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

Friday, May 27, 2005

French on the EU Consitution

Yeah, that's great way to bring people to your side... Chirac tells voters, "if you vote no, we'll just ram it down your throats later!"

Turmoil as Chirac plots to disregard 'non' vote
By Philip Webster and Charles Bremner

PRESIDENT CHIRAC of France is preparing to throw Europe into confusion and put Britain on the spot by backing moves to keep the European constitution alive if it is rejected in Sunday’s referendum.

French diplomats say that M Chirac is expected to urge other countries to proceed with ratification because France does not want to be seen to be blocking the European project. Any attempt to persuade other countries to go ahead will dash the hopes of those in the British Government who believed that a French rejection would make a British referendum unnecessary.

British ministers argue that it will be impossible to hold a referendum next year because the final shape of the treaty on which the British would be voting will be unknown.

President Chirac was still insisting last night that renegotiation was out of the question if the French vote "no". British ministers believe that the only way that the French could get eventual approval would be to amend the constitution in a way that would make it unacceptable in Britain.

“We do not know if there is going to be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but a ‘no’ would create massive uncertainty about what we are supposed to be voting on,” a ministerial source said. M Chirac went on French television last night to deliver a dramatic last-ditch appeal for a ‘yes’ vote. He urged the French people not to punish his Government.
He and other "yes" campaigners have said repeatedly during the campaign that there is no “Plan B” if the treaty is rejected and that there would not be a second referendum.

But one option being discussed in senior diplomatic circles is for candidates in the French presidential election in 2007 to promise to ratify the treaty in parliament rather than by referendum.

It's great to know that the French government doesn't like to put issues like these in front of the voters.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Jimmah "See No Evil" Carter


It seems that Jimmy "See No Evil" Carter has blessed another election that appears to have significant problems... This is his modus operandi, jumping in prematurely to declare electoral purity when dictators, fascists, and authoritarian socialists (Venezuelan Chavez in 2004) are "elected," but keeping his powder dry when an actual election takes place (US 2004).

Friend to leftist thugs worldwide, former President Jimmy Carter

From CNN

Early results showed the opposition making strong gains -- it had held 12 seats in the departing 547-seat parliament -- but a lead for the ruling party that has held power since ending an oppressive dictatorship in 1991.

So far, results from 157 constituencies have been released, with 61 seats going to the opposition. Tension was high as the nation awaited comprehensive results, and both opposition and ruling parties claimed victory.

The National Electoral Board had promised to release provisional results Saturday, but only a handful of counts came in. It has been releasing new counts each day.

The EU report also said former U.S. President Carter, who led a team of 50 election observers, undermined the electoral process and EU criticism with "his premature blessing of the elections and early positive assessment of the results."

Unless there is a "drastic reverse toward good democratic practice" the observer team and EU "will have to publicly denounce the situation."

"Otherwise, the EU jointly with ex-President Carter will be held largely responsible for the lack of transparency, and assumed rigging, of the elections."

The opposition repeatedly has accused the ruling party of fraud, though foreign monitors have said the elections were the most open in Ethiopia's history.

The opposition threatened to boycott parliament if the allegations of vote fraud were not properly investigated by a joint team that should include representatives of political parties, electoral authorities and international observers.

EU observers had said soon after ballots were cast that the vote was "the most genuinely competitive elections the country has experienced" despite some problems and human rights violations.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, known as one of the continent's more progressive leaders, has pledged that his sometimes authoritarian government would introduce greater democracy. Many saw the polls as a test of his commitment to reform.

Ethiopia was an absolute monarchy under Emperor Haile Selassie until the mid-1970s, when a brutal Marxist junta overthrew him.
Meles' rebel group overthrew the junta in 1991. Meles became president, then prime minister in 1995. He retained his seat in the May 15 elections.

at least this guy is only sometimes authoritarian... I suppose Jimmy's probably right on this one...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Happy Memorial Day

Just hoping everyone has a Happy Memorial Day this weekend and takes some time to reflect on those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and for the freedom of other nations.

We salute all those that have served in the past (such as my Grandfather who served as a navigator in World War II) and those who serve today.

I especially want to thank my brother-in-law who is currently serving in Iraq, coordinating transportation for wounded coalition troops (US, British, Italians, Iraqis, etc) to appropriate facilities. He did not have to serve in the Navy Reserves, but he signed up post-9/11 to do his part. He's helping to save the lives of soldiers and civilians everyday in Iraq.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Little Black Book

H/T Michelle Malkin

Life imitates South Park... although this real life episode is more graphic than anything Trey Parker could draw.


Article8 has been tracking this story in Boston and has a ton of information, including these photos from the event and this video from local news channel. The "little black book" is billed as a safe-sex, educational guide... but in reality, it's sexually explicit tips & suggestions that gives its readers inaccurate information which could be harmful.

Article8 says "Three-quarters of the 500 attendees were kids, from middle school up."

Explicit pamphlets displayed at school
Health center regrets mistake
By Joanna Weiss, Globe Staff | May 19, 2005

A community health organization apologized yesterday for bringing a sexually explicit pamphlet for young gay men to a recent conference at Brookline High School on gay and lesbian issues that was attended by high school and middle school students.

Fenway Community Health officials yesterday said they left about 10 copies of the ''Little Black Book" on an informational table they rented at a conference sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network of Boston. The annual event, held on April 30 at Brookline High School, was aimed at high school students, educators, counselors, administrators, and parents.

The ''Little Black Book," produced by the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, is targeted at 18-and-older gay men, according to the committee. The book uses vivid descriptions and colloquial terms to describe the ways HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented and spread.

A Fenway Community Health employee brought the pamphlets along with other materials and put them on the table by mistake, said Chris Viveiros, a spokesman for Fenway Community Health.

''Fenway Community Health regrets accidentally making available a small number of copies of the Little Black Book, an HIV-prevention publication for gay and bisexual men over the age of 18, at an event where young people were present," said Dr. Stephen Boswell, Fenway Community Health's president and CEO.

Sean Haley, executive director of the education network, which sponsored the conference, added: ''We have very clear policies that sexually explicit material of any kind will not be made available at the conference. Had I seen the book, I would have asked them to put it away."

At the start of the event, Haley said, network officials scanned each of the 10 tables it had rented, for $35 apiece, to outside groups. He said nobody saw the pamphlet at the time. ''We're just going to have to be more rigorous in our review of materials," he said.

Haley said that about 500 people attended the conference, roughly half of them students. He said only ''a handful" were younger than high-school aged.

Yeah... sounds like a great location for a sexually explicit conference. If you want to see the filth that was distributed, be your own judge... go to Article8's website.

Here's an excerpt of a doctor's opinion on the accuracy of the info provided:
Clearly this material, which appears to have the endorsement of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, is barely fit for consumption by swine, much less the youth of the Commonwealth.

The brochure says "No HIV" as if condoms have been shown to stop HIV. At best, there is an 85% reduction in transmission among stable couples engaged in intercourse. There is no such ballpark number for use in anal sodomy, heterosexual or homosexual.


The standard condom is not built to withstand the increased friction associated with anal sodomy. Even with intercourse the slippage and breakage rates approach 10%.

Lastly, the brochure mentions abstaining from risky activity with tongue in cheek ("But how much fun is that?"). They promote "fun" over safety.

It is alarming, disheartening, and medically unethical that this information be distributed to anyone. That it is distributed at taxpayer expense to vulnerable and confused youth should awaken every citizen and legislator to immediately defund this organization, and the attorney general to pursue prosecution for endangering minors on a grand scale.

John R. Diggs, Jr., MD
South Hadley, Massachusetts
May 15, 2005

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Therapist on Amnesty Intl's Gulag

The Political Therapist offers this on Amnesty International's recent description of Gitmo as a Gulag. (It seems even the WaPo doesn't like the characterization.

Washington--In what is being referred to as the most stinging rebuke of the war on terror, a report issued yesterday by Amnesty International compared the compound at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to a "prison with real bars and stuff."

Amnesty International, an organization widely reputed for its even-handed approach to human rights, went so far as to invoke the term "Gulag," a term which invokes images of old communist regimes like the one that still controls the other 99.8% of the island. The organization’s report accuses the Bush Administration of “maintaining conditions and abuses commensurate with those they would suffer if they were running around free.”

White house spokesman, Scott McClellan, said that Geneva Convention guidelines restrict the Americans from allowing “abuses and deprivations commensurate with Castro’s administration.”

“As a matter of fact the American template creates an artificial bubble of excess and abundance,” he said. “And this causes the Cuban population outside to actually want to get in to the facility. Maybe that’s what they mean by abuse, I don’t know.”

The report, one which has no observational merit, made little mention of some of the more recent scurrilous accusations, like repeated book-beatings and the engaging of prisoners in a reality-based game called “Castro and Batista.”

“It doesn’t mean it not happening,” said one spokesperson for the organization. “We just need more people saying it's happening before we can report it as fact.”


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Party of Death, Part 175

Majikthise, who I first became aware of during the Terri Schiavo nightmare (see here, here, and here), says we can't impose parental notifications for young teenagers seeking abortions... She certainly has a predilection for death.

No compromise on parental notification

Some liberals think that parental consent laws constitute a reasonable "compromise" on abortion. Parental consent laws for minors are unacceptable, and argument that might establish their legitimacy undermines core pro-choice values.

Abortion is a medical procedure. As such, minors should have the same rights to obtain an abortion as any other medical service. Medical ethics guarantee all mentally competent patients privacy and autonomy, regardless of age. Note that parental consent laws only come into play when a woman seeking an abortion is competent to make her own medical decisions. (Guardianship for mentally incompetent patients is a totally separate issue.)

I'll post more about parental notification later, but I figured I should throw down the gauntlet preemptively.

I commented to her post with the following:
Yeah... a law requiring parental notification for girls 14 years old and younger (with an exception in the case of rape & incest) is really draconian.

Oh, and here's the text of requirements for getting pierced from The Association of Professional Piercers (APP)

Regardless of any local legislation being more lenient, the following is an appropriate minimum standards policy on piercing minors:

For any piercing of a minor, a parent or legal guardian must be present to sign a consent form. Proof positive, state issued photo identification is required from the legal guardian, and a bona fide form of identification from the minor. In the event the parent has a different last name and/or address from the child, court documentation is needed to prove the relationship, i.e., divorce papers, or a remarriage certificate.

Under no circumstances is it acceptable or appropriate for a piercer to perform piercing on the nipples or genitals of an individual under 18 years of age.

Yeah.... makes sense to require that for a piercing, but not notification (not talking about parental consent, mind you... just notification) for abortion.

A majority of Americans agree that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. And that for minors, especially those 14 and under, there should be a parental notification process. You're the extremist on this issue...

By the way, if you don't want a notification process in your state, persuade your fellow citizens and pass a law. However, you and I both know that you'll be unlikely to obtain a majority on the matter... If the facts and the reasoning behind your position are valid, they'll stand up to the test of the voters.

St Wendeler

I've posted on this topic before...

She's also a fan of government subsidized Viagra for sex offenders. Missouri recently disclosed that taxpayers have been buying viagra for some convicted felons who are still in prison. I'm sorry... but Majikthise has now made it on my Kooks blogroll... Congrats, Lindsay!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Successful Toilet Restaurant in Taiwan

Would anyone eat here? Anyone? Anyone?

Mr Hankey's success in Taiwan???

Taiwanese Toilet Restaurant Flushed with Success

May 23, 2005— Displaying fancy toilet seats studded with flowers and shells, colorful bathtubs, faucets, mirrors and shower curtains, the well-lit window in Kaohsiung — a city in southern Taiwan — looks like a showroom for a trendy bathroom brand.

But this is a restaurant.

Its unusual theme is proving a draw for customers eager to eat food off of plates and bowls shaped like western toilet seats as well as Japanese "squat toilets."

“ Most customers think the more disgusting and exaggerated (the restaurant is), the funnier the dining experience is. ”

Marton Theme Restaurant, named after the Chinese word "matong" for toilet, has become a hit in Taiwan's second largest city since its opening in May 2004.

Though bathroom decor seems a bizarre way to whet the appetites of diners, the idea has been so successful owner Eric Wang opened a second and bigger branch just seven months later.

"We not only sell food but also laughter. The food is just as good as any restaurant but we offer additional fun," says 26-year-old Wang, who gave up a career in banking to launch the business.

"Most customers think the more disgusting and exaggerated (the restaurant is), the funnier the dining experience is," he says.

The top orders are curry hot pot, curry chicken rice and chocolate ice cream because, well, "they look most like the real thing," Wang says.


"Our restaurant is the first and only of its kind in Kaohsiung and that gives us an advantage in the saturated market here. Our major challenge is to lure customers back after the initial fun," he says.

Other gimmicky restaurants in Taiwan using themes such as a prison, zombies and even China's Mao Zedong achieved quick success but folded within a few years after the novelty wore off.

To make sure his investment wouldn't go down the pan, Wang first tested the water for the toilet food gimmick by peddling ice cream in toilet-shaped cones in street booths four months before opening his restaurant. It was an instant hit as he sold up to 1,000 ice-cream cones daily for 30 Taiwan dollars ($1 U.S.) apiece, which is 5 to 10 dollars higher than regular cones.

His idea came from a popular Japanese comic featuring a robot doll fond of eating excrement in ice cream cones.

"The success with 'toilet ice cream' was a leap of faith for me to quit the stable but boring banking job and start my business despite strong objections from my family," he says.

Ummmm... his restaurant is the first and only one? surprise, surprise. I'm a little frighted by the scatalogical robot doll and this restaurant... am I being culturally insensitive here????

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

MIchael Moore's Freedom Fighter Seriously Wounded

The Washington Post reports that Abu Musab Zarqawi has been shot in the lung... Let's hope he dies soon.

Reports: Zarqawi Shot in Lung
Marines and Iraqis Launch Major Offensive in Volatile West

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service

BAGHDAD, May 25 -- Insurgents said Wednesday in interviews and statements on the Internet that the leader of the group al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi, was struggling with a gunshot wound to the lung. One of Zarqawi's commanders said the Jordanian guerrilla was receiving oxygen, heightening suspicion that the groundwork was being laid for an announcement of his replacement or death.

In the volatile western province of Anbar, meanwhile, U.S. Marines clashed with gunmen in their second major offensive there this month. A combined U.S. and Iraqi force of roughly 1,000 troops killed 10 insurgents as it began a sweep of Haditha, the U.S. military said. The offensive followed an increase in insurgent attacks on Marines posted at a dam near that small city, 125 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Among the 10 dead fighters was a man identified by residents as a cleric who was shot as he fired on troops with an AK-47 assault rifle, the U.S. military said in a statement.

On the second day of reporting about Zarqawi's condition, insurgents offered no tangible evidence that he had suffered a potentially fatal wound. Some of Zarqawi's rank-and-file fighters and one of his top lieutenants have said he was wounded in an ambush by U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces over the weekend around the western city of Ramadi. A U.S. military official, Lt. Col. David Lapan, said Wednesday that he had found no record of such an ambush.

The insurgents' accounts suggested that steady U.S. and Iraqi military pressure was taking a toll on Zarqawi's group. In an interview Tuesday, the Zarqawi lieutenant, Abu Karrar, said his group was weighing both foreigners and Iraqis as possible successors to Zarqawi if he died.
Hani Sibaie, who runs a London-based Islamic affairs research center, told the AP that al Qaeda in Iraq's call for Muslims to pray for Zarqawi meant he was in serious condition. "It is obvious that he is dying and his days are numbered," Sibaie said.

A leader in Zarqawi's organization, identifying himself by the battlefield name Abu Jalal Iraqi, said in an interview that Zarqawi's health "wasn't easy."

"He is wounded in his right lung, in which the bullets crossed and remained in his back," Iraqi said. Zarqawi, who is about 39, "is being given respiration," the aide said, without elaborating.

Sorry, Mr. Moore - I hope you don't shed too many tears over your injured Freedom Fighter.

The only mention on Moore's site about this? (First you have to read through a ton of anti-American, anti-military filth...

Osama and Zarqawi ("The Bush Twins") are planning an Islamic state. (But is Zarqawi's reign as al Qaeda Idol over?)
Mr. Moore seems to either be neutral about Zarqawi's wounding... or upset that he won't be able to create an Islamic state with his "Bush Twin" Osama.

Gateway Pundit has more...
A Web site statement posted Thursday and signed in the name of al-Qaida in Iraq said the militant group has appointed an interim leader for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who's purportedly been wounded. But a subsequent posting shortly afterward disputed the claim.

The authenticity of the postings could not be verified. does Scared Monkeys (recently added to the blogroll!)

***UPDATE 2***
I'm sorry... but shot in the LUNG?!? If you get shot in the lung, your hours on this planet are numbered. This is reminiscent of Arafat's "Not Dead Yet" saga... I have feeling that these reports are merely the chieftains in Al Qaeda fighting over the scraps of Zarqawi's organization.

***UPDATE 3***
Nutjob rantings from an American Leftist errr, journalist in Moscow. first, his bio:
Chris Floyd is an American journalist. He writes the weekly Global Eye political column for The Moscow Times and St. Petersburg Times. His work also appears in The Ecologist, The Nation, CounterPunch, Christian Science Monitor, Bergen Record, Columbia Journalism Review
Yep, it's a who's who of Leftist whackjob outlets.

Then, the nuttier bits of this post:
Road to Damascus: Next Step for the Crawford Caligula?

Corrente notes some ominous moves of US Naval forces sent on an "unexpected mission" to "support anti-terrorist efforts" in "the Balkans and the Middle East." Meanwhile, Condoleeza Rice has moved from condemning Syria for "not doing enough" to stop insurgents moving across its borders into Iraq to blasting Damascus for knowingly allowing insurgents to stage their operations on Syrian soil. And US forces in Iraq are carrying out large-scale attacks near the Syrian border. How long before "hot pursuit" of insurgents carries them into Syria itself, or some other border incident -- contrived or genuine -- gives rise to war fever among the chickenhawks of the Potomac?

All the recent Zarqawi noise seems to be part of this buildup as well. Would a jihadi website controlled or supporting Zarqawi really be posting a stream of stories about his being wounded, taken out of action, passing on the baton to an aide, etc.? Wouldn't they instead be singing the praises of their invicible leader, or other such freeper-like propaganda? One possibility is that it's dat ole debbil psy-ops at work again -- possibly setting up a scenario that finds the "jihadis" confessing that their boss is safe and sound in Syria: yet another casus belli for Bush agression.

Wow... imbecility on a massive scale.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

You might be a brainwashed Leftist If...

Hey, Downer (and other Leftists visiting the site) - Here's a test for you to take! Jasyn at Obviously Right has compiled a Foxworthy-esque "You might be a brainwashed Leftist if..." questionnaire. Here a few quick ones, but check out the whole thing:

You might be a brain-washed Leftist if...
(with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)
If you think that Michael Moore is "intelligent" or "insightful," you might be a brain-washed Leftist.

If you've ever posted at the Democratic Underground, you might be a brain-washed Leftist.

If you think that Playboy, Penthouse, or Hustler are "conservative" publications, you might be a brain-washed Leftist.

If you think that the MSM is "conservative" because its "corporate," you might be a brain-washed Leftist.

If your first reaction to American deaths in Iraq is to say "screw them," you might be a brain-washed Leftist.

If you think that the MSM is biased, but PBS isn't, you might be a brain-washed Leftist.

If you believe that Republicans are evil (e-e-e-evil!), you might be a brain-washed Leftist.

If you honestly belive that Bush is as bad as Hitler, you might be a brain-washed Leftist.

If you've casually compared Bush to Hitler, but don't really believe it, you're just a garden-variety jackass (no "might be" about it.)
If you believe that McDonald's is a grave threat to Third World nations, you might be a brainwashed Leftist.

If you’ve ever laughed at a “Bush is a chimp” joke, you might be a brainwashed Leftist.

If you believe that America is "imposing" freedom, you might be a brainwashed Leftist.

If you believe freedom of choice covers killing the unborn, but doesn’t cover retirement planning, you might be a brainwashed Leftist.
If you argued loudly to save the trees but argued against saving the Iraqis, you might be a brainwashed Leftist.

If you think Jeanine Garofalo is a serious commentator, you might be a brainwashed Leftist.


More at Saint Knowitall (now featured on the blogroll) :-D
You might be a liberal if...

You have the picture of a murderous dictator on your t-shirt.
You think that raising taxes will improve the economy.
Your wife/significant other braids the hair under her armpits and or on her legs.
You feel “profit” is a dirty word.
You feel the Ten Commandments are just suggestions.
You feel the US Constitution is made from salt water taffy.
The only evil thing you can identify is President Bush.
You have difficulty distinguishing good and evil.
You feel murderers have the right to live, but unborn children have no rights.
You feel Barbara Streisand makes some interesting points in her political commentary.
You feel Ted Kennedy has the moral authority to lecture about right and wrong.
You feel United for Peace & Justice is really united for peace and justice.
You understand what “Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency” means and you go to trendy “bistros” to hear it.
You feel Naom Chomsky has the world figured out.
You think Haliburton is an oil company.
You scream about gasoline prices, but protest against oil exploration and the building of new refineries.
You don’t understand that consumers pay all taxes, including taxes on corporations.

***UPDATE 2***
And I'll add this to the list:

You might be a brainwashed Leftist if...
    you deride the "politics of fear and personal destruction," and then scare the youth vote about possible draft, scare the elderly about elimination of their social security benefits, and characterize your opponent as a stupid chimp who's one step worse than Hitler.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Latin America - Rejecting the Tide of History

From the Washington Times via

Losing Latin America?
By William R. Hawkins
Washington Times | May 25, 2005

The Bush administration's recent interest in Latin America may be too little, too late. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a five-day trip to Brazil, El Salvador, Colombia, and Chile in late April; and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld addressed the Council of the Americas in Washington on May 3. "Today the countries of the region are working together in a very constructive way," Mr. Rumsfeld said, claiming. "They're leaning forward in support of democracy."

Unfortunately, the region is dominated by left-wing governments elected on anti-U.S. platforms, a development that cannot be considered constructive.
The Bush administration recognizes this problem in regard to President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The democratically elected ex-paratrooper is thought to have financed violent insurgent groups in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Venezuela might have played a role in the revolt that toppled Ecuadorean President Lucio Gutierrez in April.

Mr. Chavez has been accused by U.S. and Colombian officials of supporting the narco-terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). Mr. Chavez has been supplying oil to his mentor Fidel Castro in Cuba, and is looking to buy Russian weapons to expand his military.

Cuba and China have sent hundreds of military "advisers" and "trainers" to Venezuela to help the Chavez regime maintain itself against strong domestic opposition and political turmoil.

Venezuelan military training under foreign communist tutelage will not contain any of the values of democracy and respect for human rights that are part of the U.S. approach to creating professional soldiers. The Chinese hold that the army owes its allegiance exclusively to the ruling party. This principle was demonstrated during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy activists.

An indoctrinated army would appeal to the embattled Venezuelan president, who was ousted briefly by a 2002 coup after his supporters opened fire on hundreds of thousands of unarmed demonstrators. It would run directly contrary to Washington's recent efforts to foster civilian governments whose militaries stayed in their barracks during political crises.

Latin America certainly isn't moving with the tide of history... and the Bush administration isn't exactly handling the situation effectively in my opinion. Of course, there are plenty on the Left that think Hugo Chavez, Castro, et al down south are all just a bunch of cute socialists...

Yeah, they're harmless... training an indoctrinated army to make sure they keep their hold on power, shooting unarmed demonstrators, supporting narco-terrorists (FARC), toppling neighbor governments... It seems the Left will overlook these minor issues and even mobilize to financially support someone like this - as long as he's got a Oil-For-Chickens program.

El Presidente Hugo Chavez shortly before
ordering his supporters to shoot unarmed demonstrators.
Note the fashionable red beret

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Extraordinary Circumstances

From Cox & Forkum and related to this and this

And ScrappleFace provides some more humor:

New McCain Deal Protects Democrat Electoral Rights
by Scott Ott

(2005-05-25) -- Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, who earlier this week brokered a deal over judicial nominees to protect the rights of Democrats in the Senate, today announced a compromise with DNC Chairman Howard Dean which would effectively give Democrats the White House for three of the next five presidential terms.

"The purpose of elections is to protect the rights of the minority," said Mr. McCain, "So, we've agreed to block the nomination of conservatives to the Republican presidential ticket and to lead our more progressive constituents to vote Democrat in 2008, 2012 and 2016."

Mr. Dean, whose party has won three of the last 11 presidential races, hailed the compromise as a "great stride toward restoring civility and fairness to political life in America."

"I don't know why people call John McCain a 'maverick'," Mr. Dean added. "From my perspective as DNC chairman, he's not bucking party leadership. He's a solid, party-line guy."

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Prophecy of Bill Hicks

I'm not sure what this has to do with a big, juicy burger... Paris Hilton just doesn't do it for me - perhaps because I've heard her talk. By the way, where is NOW on this ad?

But, two observations:

  1. If I weren't on Atkin's right now, I'd go buy a burger from the local Hardees...
  2. Fortunately, I haven't seen this on TV yet and I haven't had to shield my 3 year old's eyes from this.... I know, all you lefties will tell me to chill out... my little guy needs to be exposed to this stuff and you can't stop them from learning about this stuff and we need to educate them on this stuff early. (But, of course - you're all nuts if you think that).

Just kidding about having an urge to go buy a burger from Hardee's... The commercial really doesn't make me...ummmm.... hungry...

It appears that we've reached the point that Bill Hicks mentioned in his standup performances before he died, where ads would essentially be porn...
I'll tell you the commercial they'd like to do, if they could, and I guarantee you, if they could, they'd do this, right here. Here's the woman's face, beautiful. Camera pulls back, naked breast. Camera pulls back, she's totally naked. [...she's, ummmm, exposed] and it just says, "Drink Coke." Now I don't know the connection here, but goddamn if Coke isn't on my shopping list that week. "Dr. Pepper." "Snickers, satisfying." (Mouth-guitars "I Can't Get No Satisfaction") Damned if I'm not buying these products! My teeth are rotting out of my head, I'm glued to the television, I'm as big as a [...] couch. "More Snickers, more Coke!"

Yeah, that's essentially what I just saw... I'm definitely in the South Park conservative camp, but I think that even the South Park creators would make fun of this commercial

BTW, the ad execs could've made fun of themselves and these types of ads) and had a bigger hit...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

NRO on South Park Conservatives

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, sits down with Brian Anderson, the author of South Park Conservatives for a short Q&A. It's an interesting discussion... I particularly enjoyed this observation regarding Fox News, which is continually characterized as Faux News by the Left:

Sure, Fox is more conservative than the media mainstream, but that, after all, was its founding purpose — to provide a haven for viewers who disliked the liberal bias prevalent on other stations. I think the media critic Jon Friedman gets it right: “The success of Fox is not the result of Fox being right-wing. It’s because they did such a good job of reaching out to the right-wing TV audience.” What liberals criticize as Fox’s “right-wing propoganda,” I think — and Jonah Goldberg, I believe, has made this point — is often just its pro-American stance in reporting war on terror stories: calling terrorists “terrorists” or “thugs” and referring to “our” troops, for instance. That a pro-American attitude should be viewed as “Republican” or “conservative” by many liberals helps explain why they’re having political difficulties these days.

indeed... read the whole interview - it's an interestig read.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Form 180 - I want to see the signature

Well, it looks like I might be able to remove the John Kerry / Form 180 line at the top of my blog.... although, maybe not.

The caveat emperor
By Joan Vennochi, Globe Columnist | May 24, 2005

AT THIS POINT it comes as no surprise. John Kerry is releasing all his military records -- but then again, he isn't.

During an interview yesterday with Globe editorial writers and columnists, the former Democratic presidential nominee was asked if had signed Form SF 180, authorizing the Department of Defense to grant access to all his military records.

''I have signed it," Kerry said. Then, he added that his staff was ''still going through it" and ''very, very shortly, you will have a chance to see it."

The devil is usually in the details. With Kerry, it's also in the dodges and digressions. After the interview, Kerry's communications director, David Wade, was asked to clarify when Kerry signed SF 180 and when public access would be granted. Kerry drifted over to join the conversation, immediately raising the confusion level. He did not answer the question of when he signed the form or when the entire record will be made public.

Several e-mails later, Wade conveyed the following information: On Friday, May 20, Kerry obtained a copy of Form 180 and signed it. ''The next step is to send it to the Navy, which will happen in the next few days. The Navy will then send out the records," e-mailed Wade. Kerry first said he would sign Form 180 when pressed by Tim Russert during a Jan. 30 appearance on ''Meet the Press."

Six months after Kerry's loss to George W. Bush, it feels somewhat gratuitous to point out how hard it can be to get a clear, straight answer from Kerry on this and other matters. But as long as the Massachusetts senator is thinking about another presidential run, the candor gap remains on the table, because he puts it there.

My question is this... how long does it take someone to fill out, review, and send in this 2 page form?!?! I mean, if this is how long it takes him to act on this matter, how long would it have taken him to decide to take out the Taliban?

Michelle Malkin & Captain's Quarters are covering as well...

By the way, based on the following sentence, Kerry may be signing the doc, but never submit it to the military:

''I have signed it," Kerry said. Then, he added that his staff was ''still going through it" and ''very, very shortly, you will have a chance to see it."
It appears that he's referring to the signed form, not the records... perhaps I'm reading too much into this. AS the Globe said, the devil is in the details, and the dodges & digressions.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, May 23, 2005

Shredding the Constitution

Thanks to Captain Ed for the text of the agreement.

In the agreement, it clearly delineates how these 14 Senators are abusing the Constitution and usurping power reserved to the Executive Branch:

We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word “Advice” speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President’s power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.

As I said in my original post - you want to talk about a Constitutional crisis? WE'VE GOT ONE!! This is a power grab by the Senate of the authority of the President of the United States....

When the President (Bush or any future Dem president) nominates someone without the prior consent of the Senate, the Senate will feel obligated to filibuster. This clearly is counter to the Advise & Consent reference in the Constitution and seems to be more along the lines of "the President may appoint individuals to the judiciary, as long as it is the Senate that picks who he nominates."


Also, based on the floor speeches made by the Dems after the compromise, this is clearly a win for them. As I look at all the angles, there's very little for the GOP to cheer about, other than the 3 judges that will now sit on the Appeals court. The dems win politically and legislatively.

See Protein Wisdom for more.. and check out Bench Memos at NRO which has this interesting entry from Ed Whelan (part of which echoes my assertion on the advice & consent clause):
1. The Memorandum of Understanding is silent as to one nomination that is already on the floor, that of Thomas B. Griffith to the D.C. Circuit. It also is silent as to all the other nominations that are already pending but have not yet reached the floor.

All the more reason to think that this MOU marks only a very temporary cooling off. The issue will resurface soon, and it is now crystal-clear which Republicans need, ahem, reinforcement.

2. The Republican signatories' agreement to oppose cloture reform is contingent (both expressly and as a matter of basic contract principles) on the Democrat signatories' living up to their end of the bargain. The fact that the MOU contemplates that each signatory will use his own discretion in determining whether extraordinary circumstances exist does not mean that Republican signatories will need to defer to a Democrat signatory's determination. On the contrary, it means that a Republican signatory is free to use his own discretion to determine that a Democrat signatory's determination of extraordinary circumstances amounts to a violation of the MOU. And the nomination of any person who elicits fewer Democrat objections than Brown, Pryor, or Owen should not constitute "extraordinary circumstances".

3. The idea that the Constitution contemplates that the President will consult with the Senate before making nominations is belied by the text of Article II, section 2, clause 2, which provides that the President "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint" judges. As a matter of basic grammar, the phrase "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate" plainly modifies "shall appoint," not "shall nominate." And the idea that consulting Senate Democrats about prospective nominees would somehow have any value is ludicrous.

Now, will the spineless republicans live up to their side of this faustian bargain and keep the Dems feet to the fire? Given that Pryor, Ownes, and Brown do not meet the "extraordinary" threshold of the Dems, any future nominees can have a similar amount of vitriol spewed by the Dems and still not meet the "extraordinary" threshold.

I won't hold my breath...

Patterico is discussing where we go from here with the republicans that signed on to this sham... and what he thinks the Dems will do on the next USSC nominees.

By the way, if you've struck a compromise with the other side and the guy standing next to you is a former Kleagle of the Klu Klux Klan, you might be making a mistake. Just my two cents.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thanks, Johnny!!!

Well, a minority of the minority have agreed to do their duty on 3 appointees to the Appeals Courts and shirk their responsibility on the other 2. In an even greater display of the cojones of this bunch, Bobby Byrd (D-KKK) and John Warner (R-VA) want to set up a panel to make recommendations to the President on who they would like him to appoint. Where in the words "advise and consent" do Warner and the Grand Kleagle see the words "appoint for the President." you want to talk about a Consitutional crisis - we haven't avoided one... we've just stepped into one. The Senators have said they wouldn't filibuster in the future unless it was for "extraordinary" reasons... Well, why do I have the feeling that any appointee not cleared by the Warner/Byrd panel will be considered "extraordinary" and justify a filibuster. (UPDATE - My fears are correct regarding this attempted power grab by the Senate)

Thanks, Johnny!!!

Michelle Malkin has more... Scared Monkeys has the roundup and insight as well

Olbermann's Countdown (which is unbearable to watch) has Craig Crawford on and he sees this as the Dems blinking... I'm sorry, but anything that limits the President's ability to nominate who he wants and have a vote on those nominees is a defeat for the GOP. We have just seen 7 GOP Senators (1) give the use of the filibuster on judicial nominees some level of legitimacy and (2) changed "advise and consent" in the Constitution to "whatever a dozen Senators think."

btw, isn't any Supreme Court nomination "extraordinary"???

***UPDATE 2***
Jeesh... Olbermann is just unwatchable.

And Mr McCain... If you did want to run for Pres in '08, methinks that you're going to have probs in the primaries.

Meanwhile, Ollie Willis is too busy unwrapping the Twinkies to comment...

And anytime the Kossacks are cheering, you can bet that it's not a "win" for the GOP.

***UPDATE 3***
Reid's using language like radical arm of the right wing republican party... Hey, when the other side can continue to use this type of language, it certainly sounds like a great compromise.

BTW, if you thought the MSM and the dems were energized over these Appeals court nominees, wait until the GOP has to consider the nucular ;-) option on the 1st US Supreme Court nominee.

I see this as a total trainwreck... Captain Ed agrees....

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Idiots in Black Robes

The US Supreme Court again has issued a ridiculous ruling...

What are these people thinking?!?! Didn't they see what happened in Atlanta a couple of months ago?!!?

From the AP via the St Louis Post-Dispatch

Court bans shackling of murder defendants
By Gina Holland
Associated Press

Carman Deck in 1996.
(Pat Hanes)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court, brushing aside warnings by two justices that it was jeopardizing courthouse safety, ruled Monday it is unconstitutional to force capital murder defendants to appear before juries in chains and shackles.

Justices threw out the sentence of Carman Deck, who was shackled in leg irons and handcuffed to a chain around his belly when he faced a Missouri jury that put him on death row.

The court's most conservative members, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said in a dissent: "The court's decision risks the lives of courtroom personnel, with little corresponding benefits to defendants."

The high court had already held that people on trial could be shackled only if prosecutors had a strong argument for it. Monday's decision involves sentencing hearings in capital murder cases.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority, said that shackling indicates to juries "that court authorities consider the offender a danger to the community."

"It also almost inevitably affects adversely the jury's perception of the character of the defendant," he wrote.

The decision left room for court personnel to handcuff or chain defendants, but only if they pose a special security risk.

In the dissent, Thomas said the ruling "all but ignores the serious security issues facing our courts."

"The need for security is real. Judges face the possibility that a defendant or his confederates might smuggle a weapon into court and harm those present, or attack with his bare hands," Thomas wrote for himself and Scalia.

Deck was convicted of killing James Long, 69, and his wife, Zelma, 67, near De Soto, Mo., in 1996. He went to the elderly couple's door asking for directions, but once inside shot them both twice in the head and stole about $400.

It's good to know that Breyer doesn't consider someone who kills on a whim for 400 bucks as being "a danger to the community"

And I wonder if Harry Reid will call Scalia & Thomas out of the mainstream for their dissent in this case...


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Matt Blunt Makes NRO

Looks like Matt Blunt has hit the big time... the editors at National Review Online have an article about him. Oh, wait... I don't think he's going to be happy about it.

Gov. Blunt’s Weird Science
Unfortunately, his position is an incoherent mess.
Blunt is redefining the word ‘cloning’ for political convenience.
So Blunt’s argument has to be that embryos created through in vitro fertilization are “new human life” while embryos created through cloning are not. But there is no reasoned, and certainly no scientific, basis for this distinction. Blunt says that cloning doesn’t create a “fertilized egg.” But this is just another word game: The egg is not fertilized because instead a scientific process that mimics it has occurred. In cloning, as in natural reproduction or IVF, a new organism of the human species is created. (If it weren’t human, the researchers wouldn’t want it.)

Science could develop to the point where it would be possible to develop an embryo created through cloning into a baby — perhaps even without its ever being implanted in a womb. There are researchers interested in artificial wombs, and some interested in cloning babies. If we reached that point, and someone proposed experimenting on those babies, Blunt would have no ground for objecting: Sperm would never have met egg.

Has Gov. Blunt thought this issue through? Does he care about the merits? Or does he just want Missouri’s biotech industry to thrive and to be grateful to him? These are not, in themselves, illegitimate goals. But Blunt’s political “game playing” — to borrow a phrase — is not a good reason to allow the destruction of human beings in the early stages of development, however they were created.

Nor will the folks at Draft Matt Blunt 2008

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Germany's Schroeder

This from the Wall Street Journal(subscribe to see the entire thing and other great content from WSJ). It appears that my previous post has been confirmed by events. I remind everyone - the SPD losing in Northrhein-Westphalia is tantamount to the Dems losing NY, MA, CT, and VT - a total rejection of the party:

BERLIN – German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder plans to hold a parliamentary confidence vote by the beginning of July, the chairman of his Social Democratic Party said Monday, a move that would mean new elections must be held by Sept. 18 if Mr. Schroeder loses.

Mr. Schroeder on Sunday called for early national elections after his party suffered a stinging defeat in a state vote in a traditional stronghold.
The call for early elections is a risky political gamble by Chancellor Schroeder to stay alive politically amid stagnation and mass unemployment in the world's third-largest economy. The surprise move by Mr. Schroeder, which would bring his administration to an end a year ahead of schedule, came after voters in Germany's biggest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, kicked the Social Democrats out of power after 39 years of continuous rule – a sign of how the center-left party has lost much of its traditional support through its failure to revive the economy despite a series of painful overhauls.

Sunday's defeat robbed the national government of crucial votes in Germany's upper house of parliament -- where state governments are represented -- giving the opposition conservative Christian Democrats even more power to block legislation. It also made clear voter discontent with the national government in Berlin, which opinion polls showed was a main reason for the regional defeat.
But the chancellor's party has yet to spell out whether it will run on a pro-business ticket, sticking with the market-oriented overhauls of the welfare state and labor market it has pursued for the past two years -- or on a business-bashing platform, blaming corporations and foreign investors for high unemployment. During the past two months, the party has veered toward the latter course in a bid to win back its traditional supporters among Germany's industrial work force and lower-income groups, who feel they have paid the price for the weak economy and for cuts to the welfare state.

Isn't it sad that the parties of the Left can't decide whether to be "pro-business" (which they recognize as the long-term solution to economic ills) or to pander to the workers and bash business (throwing them some raw meat while still pursuing free-trade policies). This explains much of the Left's difficulty getting traction - they can't decide what they stand for on any given issue.

Brian adds:
There's another aticle in the WSJ that illustrates this high cost of labor that Europe (and Germany in particular) has to deal with to drive growth and keep high quality businesses in the country.
Profitability in the services business [at IBM] was hurt in part because of high "fixed costs" in Western Europe, particularly Germany, Mr. Joyce said. The services business's largest cost is labor, and an ability to rapidly add, subtract or move people in response to changing market conditions is critical for success in the business.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Mark Steyn on Newsweak

Mark comments on the Newsweak brouhaha in the Chicago Sun-Times:

To date, reaction has divided along two lines. Newsweek has been hammered for being so flushed with anti-Bush anti-military fever that they breezily neglected the question of whether their story would generate a huge mound of corpses.

Which is true. On the other hand, there are those who point out it's hardly Newsweek's fault that some goofy foreigners are so bananas they'll riot and kill over one rumor of one disrespectful act to one copy of one book. Christians don't riot over ''Piss Christ'' and other provocations by incontinent ''artists.'' Jews take it in their stride when they're described as ''a virus resembling AIDS,'' which is what Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris said a week ago in his sermon on Palestinian state TV, funded by the European Union. Muslims can dish it out big-time, so why can't they take it, even the teensy-weensiest bit?

All of which is also true, but would be a better defense of Newsweek if the media hadn't spent the last 3-1/2 years bending over backwards to be super-sensitive to the, ah, touchiness of the Muslim world -- until the opportunity for a bit of lurid Bush-bashing proved too much to resist. In a way, both the U.S. media and those wacky rioters in the Afghan-Pakistani hinterlands are very similar, two highly parochial and monumentally self-absorbed tribes living in isolation from the rest of the world and prone to fanatical irrational indestructible beliefs -- not least the notion that you can flush a 950-page book down one of Al Gore's eco-crazed federally mandated low-flush toilets, a claim no editorial bigfoot thought to test for himself in Newsweek's executive washroom.
As for the wackiness of Muslim fanatics, well, up to a point. But, you know, we've been told ever since 9/11 that the allegedly seething ''Muslim street'' was about to explode, and for four years it's remained as somnolent as a suburban cul-de-sac on a weekday afternoon. Invade their countries, topple their rulers, bomb their infrastructure from the first day of Ramadan to the last, arrest their terrorists, hold them at Gitmo for half a decade, initiate reforms setting the Arab world on the first rung of the ladder to political and economic liberty, and the seething Muslim street gives one almighty shrug.
Until, that is, Newsweek's story of Quran-flushing prompted bloody riots from Yemen to Afghanistan to Indonesia. To get a rise out of these guys, it took a peculiarly vivid combination of disrespect: the literal word of Allah plus the flushed toilet, a quintessential symbol of Western decadence to the remoter parts of the Hindu Kush. Message to Bush: You can do anything, but lay off of my holy book.

read the whole thing...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Thanks, McCain...

Thanks to the Campaign Finance Reform act (which wasn't supported by the public, except for those with press passes), the FEC is seeking comments on why it shouldn't also apply to the the internet (and especially weblogs).

Here's the full text of the request for comments...

Here are the key rules that they're thinking about imposing:

Specifically, the Commission proposes to retain a general exclusion of Internet communications from the definition of “public communication,” except for those advertisements where another person or entity has been paid to carry the advertisement on its website, because these communications would constitute “general public political advertising..” [...] Because only Internet communications that constitute “general public political advertising,” as defined by the regulation, would be included in the proposed definition of “public communication,” [...] the Commission anticipates that the proposed definition would have an extremely limited impact, if any, on the use of the Internet by individuals as a means of communicating their political views, obtaining information regarding candidates and elections, and participating in political campaigns.
Third, the Commission proposes to modify somewhat its rules [...] as to which Internet communications require disclaimers. Political committee websites would continue to need disclaimers. Individuals and entities other than political committees, however, would need to place disclaimers only on paid Internet advertisements if the advertisements either solicit contributions or expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate for Federal office.

Now, certainly bloggers like DailyKos et al are troubled by this, since they were bought & paid for by the campaigns (sometimes covertly) in 2004. I'm sure Kos doesn't want to have his site regulated reduce that nice income he got, so there's definitely a personal interest at stake for some blogs. This blog would not be affected, unless the google ads module on the right were to start displaying political ads without my knowledge. However, there is a principle of free speech at question here, regardless of whether it is bought and paid for or the personal rantings of a blogger. I thought McCain-Feingold was unconstitutional as it was passed and signed, and was peeved that the USSC ruled otherwise. So, if you're a blogger and reading this, be sure to send a comment to the FEC to let them know your thoughts. And it seems that some of the Kossacks are coming to this realization as their ability to assist in raising funds for candidates on their blogs, etc may become impacted:
Please understand: there are basically two schools of thought in this area -- there are those who represent either right-wing interests or party establishment interests who believe that campaign finance regulation generally is bad, and that therefore there shouldn't be regulation of the internet; and then there are liberal reform groups and people like Sen. Feingold who believe that campaign finance law can work, and that carefully-crafted regulations can cover the Internet without doing damage to our speech rights.

I started off in the second camp, but I'm increasingly moving to the first, because I fear that clumsily-drafted regulations will destroy what we've all created. For example:
  • is a group blog that discusses federal candidates now a political committee that needs to register with the FEC?
  • if a blogger accepts advertising, does that mean that everything she says about candidates who don't advertise now becomes an in-kind contribution that needs to be filed and disclosed?
  • can a blogger incorporate herself for liability purposes and still freely discuss candidates? will she be forced to do so in an "evenhanded" fashion?
  • can bloggers/readers who work at corporations discuss politics online from work?
  • will we still be able to post anonymously or pseudonymously, or might websites be held liable for (a) posts by campaign staffers that don't disclose their identities or (b) posts by non-US citizens that try to raise money for US candidates?
  • and, for all of these examples, will only the bloggers and posters who can afford to hire attorneys feel free to keep doing what they're doing, becuase of the threat of subpoena and federal investigation?
exactly... you well-meaning Lefties thought you could just restrict free speech and target it so as not to infringe on our rights. Well, that's not exactly easy and the moment you allowed that to happen, you opened the possibility that certain types of speech were no longer appropriate during political campaigns.

Regardless, if they tried to regulate this blog, I'd force them to shut me down or take me to jail... for... political... speech...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

ARC's Flight over Southern Illinois

On Thursday, ARC:Brian graciously took me up for a flight over southern Illinois. We headed from St Charles Smart Field to Litchfield, IL to Parks Field (across the Mississippi River from St Louis) and then back to St Charles. I've posted some pictures of the trip at ImageShack...

for some reason, when you click the Next link when looking at the 1st photo, it jumps to the last photo in the series. So, if you want to view sequentially, click back after viewing the photo and select the next one.

Here's a view of the flight plan (as drawn by me on a Yahoo! Map)...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler