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

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Chavez in Trouble


Uh-Oh... It looks like the Left's favorite politician in the western hemisphere is running into some problems. It seems that he doesn't exactly enjoy popular support.

Now, I am getting word from a journalist in Venezuela that 2000 students are marching against Chavez in a rapidly swelling crowd in Caracas. Chavez isn’t going to be able to control this. And it comes against a summer backdrop of a big Youth Festival Chavez is hosting in August.

This revolution may be getting started again.

Update: The crowd has swelled to 5000.

Update: The crowd has swelled to 10,000 and Chavez has sent out low-flying military aircraft to intimidate the crowd.

Update: Globovision has the first news story and picture of this fast-growing demonstration here.

Update: The passion of the crowd is getting intense - it’s not just about extrajudicial killings but now becoming an anti-Chavez rally. The crowds are chanting: Y cual, y cual, y cual democracia, se allana, tortura y dan tiros de gracia!

I'm sure this is some sort of covert, psychological operation by the bushistas....



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Happy Fourth of July

Well, except for the 4th of July and the 17th of March, I love the Brits...

;-)

My plans for the weekend? Do some work and watch some jingoistic movies, like The Patriot
Nothing like seeing the redcoats getting turned back.

For your historical enjoyment, I've quoted the founding document which marked our desire for independence from the Brits.

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

[...]


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Friday, July 01, 2005

W and the WOT

As I mentioned here and here, it's a shame that the American people's support for the war in Iraq and the War on Terror is dissipating....

oh, wait...

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup instant-reaction poll shows that President Bush apparently persuaded many viewers of his speech Tuesday night to be more optimistic about the war in Iraq. Compared with their responses before the speech, people who tuned in are now more likely to say the United States is winning the Iraq war, that Bush has a clear plan for handling the war, and that the United States should keep troops in Iraq until the situation there gets better. These changes occurred despite the fact that this was not one of Bush's more highly rated addresses since he became president. As has been typical of Bush's speeches, the viewing audience was composed largely of his supporters.

H/T to Captains Quarters Blog (aka CQB which, by the way is also an acronym for "Close Quarters Battle," but I digress).




Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Neo-Neocon

Interesting retrospective from the Neo-neocon, discussing her opinions of Reagan (now our greatest American?!)



Here's the closer:

Was I enthusiastic about Mondale or Dukakis? Who could be? Perhaps their wives; certainly not me! But, lukewarm though I might be about their inspirational qualities, they were the Democratic candidates, I was a Democrat, and I thought they would be better than Reagan and then Bush senior. Did I think deeply about it? No, for the aforementioned reasons. If you had suggested to me at the time that I might have, or should have, voted for the Republican candidates, I would have thought you were stark raving mad.

So, perhaps I was already somewhat of a neocon after all, and didn't know it: socially and domestically liberal, more hawkish in the foreign arena. I'd never even heard the term "neocon" at the time, although I did know there were "Reagan Democrats." But I was not one of them.

I think I am an example of the strength of party affiliation. Most people need a much greater jolt than I received during the 80s, and much more time and energy to reflect on the situation than I was able to give to it, to actually abandon their party affiliation, if it had been strong previously. And mine had been very strong indeed.

9/11 provided that much much greater jolt and motivation. I also had more time and more energy, as well as (and this is especially important) new and different sources of information that were easily accessibile to me.

But that's the story I will tell in subsequent installments of my "change" series. Please tune in.

And I think this explains much of what has happened in the past decade. more diverse sources of information and opinion, more interconnectivity (ie a guy in the midwest blogging on what a gal in New York thinks, etc), and a realization that the conventional wisdom about the GOP just isn't 100% accurate. (BTW, I find that's true of about almost any topic or issue. If you want to lose a ton of cash in the stock market, place your bets with the conventional wisdom crowd.)

This blog is very interesting... She provides an interesting perspective on the issues. As you can tell from her description, she's certainly has a story to tell:
I'm a woman in my fifties, lifelong Democrat mugged by reality on 9/11. Born in New York, living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon. My friends and family are becoming sick of what they see as my inexplicable conversion, so I've started this blog to give vent to my frustration. I have a background as a therapist, and my politics make me a pariah in my profession, too. Little did I know that I moved in such politically homogeneous circles.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Happy Fourth of July (Weekend)

No updates today, even though the gauntlet has been thrown down. I suspect that we'll be talking about this topic for quite some time, including some never before released document from the candidate that just happened to turn up in Bill Burkett's hand. It will be interesting, but maddening. I'm exhausted at the thought of the chattering classes going back & forth on it. And I'm a political junkie...

The rest of the family is out for the weekend while I work on other things over the weekend. I may post some over the weekend, but don't be suprised if this is still up come Monday. ;-)


Happy Fourth of July!!



Picture from Fair St. Louis. If you don't mind jingoistic displays of American flags, fireworks, beer, and brats, head on down to the fair this weekend.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Which party respects Private Property and the rights of the Common Man?

Tom "The Hammer" Delay (aka Goebbels to all you Lefties out there) is calling for removing federal funding from any project which exploits the recent Kelo decision to kick poor people out of their homes.

The ranking Dems oppose the idea...

Legislators Move to Blunt Eminent Domain Ruling
By Mike Allen and Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, June 30, 2005; 2:36 PM

Key leaders of both parties in both chambers of Congress vowed today to use the power of the purse to negate this week's Supreme Court ruling allowing local and state governments to use eminent domain to take private property for economic development purposes.

Bills introduced in the House and Senate would yank federal funds from any city or state project that forced people to sell their property to make way for a project like a hotel or strip mall.

The 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision on Monday, the last day of the term, has sparked an immediate and visceral backlash among conservatives. The response on Capitol Hill was unusual for its speed and bipartisan support, and for the biting language the lawmakers used to criticize the high court.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) said the planned intervention by Congress is part of a broad effort to "assert the responsibility and the authority of the Congress to be a check on the judiciary.
(They talk about ranking dem's also supporting the bills, and it's true that John Conyers and two other dems are co-sponsors of Sensenbrenner's bill. But the house Leadership (aka Nancy Pelosi) is against it.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at an earlier news conference that "very central in that Constitution is the separation of powers."

"When you withhold funds from enforcing a decision of the Supreme Court, you are in fact nullifying a decision of the Supreme Court," Pelosi said. "This is in violation of the respect of separation of powers in our Constitution -- church and state as well. Sometimes the Republicans have a problem with that, as well."

In opposing a Republican amendment about the issue today, Rep. David Obey (Wis.), ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said on the floor today that the decision was "nutty" but that the solution is legislation or a constitutional amendment, not punitive measures.

I s'pose someone whose district includes million dollar homes probably doesn't have much experience with eminent domain (or sympathy for the poor that are affected by it). As I've commented on before, it's not like the Left has a long history for protecting property rights. The Left's most influential ideology dating back to the 19th century viewed private property as the main cause for society's ills and sought to turn property over to "the people."

BTW, what does this decision have to do with Church & State? Is that just a red herring? Or does she view the court room as the Church? Just curious as to what the heck she's smokin...


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

I'm Long on the Anglosophere, Part II

As I've stated here, I'm long on the anglosphere. It looks like the term is becoming a reality.

The Alliance: U.S. & India Sign Major 10-Year Defense Pact
by Joe Katzman at June 30, 2005 09:35 AM



Yesterday, in my article on Bangladesh, I noted that the behaviour of its rising Islamists "is slowly forcing the US and India together over common strategic concerns."

Actually, Bangladesh is just one of many - and this week, The United States and India signed a 10-year agreement paving the way for stepped up military ties, including joint weapons production and cooperation on missile defense. Titled the "New Framework for the US-India Defense Relationship" (NFDR), it was signed on June 27/05 by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and India's Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

This is a big deal. A very big deal.

Our readers know that Winds has covered India with enthusiasm and promoted a US-India alliance for a number of reasons. Many of us are fans of the Anglosphere concept, and we also see the economic & cultural trends, historical and geopolitical logic, and moral sense behind such an alliance. I've even advocated a leaf from the British historical playbook via a "Mumbai Doctrine" for the Indian Ocean basin. As Pavitr Prabhakar could tell us, after all, "with great power comes great responsibility."

This agreement doesn't go that far, but it is a very important step. Under the NFDR, Washington has offered high-tech cooperation, expanded economic ties, and energy cooperation. It will also step up a strategic dialogue with India to boost missile defense and other security initiatives, launch a "defense procurement and production group," and work to cooperate on military "research, development, testing and evaluation." Given India's broken military procurement system, the know-how transfer will be every bit as valuable as the technology transfer - maybe more so.

And the agreement doesn't stop there...
[...]
As Winds' summary of China's Geopolitical driver and issues notes, however, the competition is implicit. Both China dn India need resources to fuel their growing and industrializing economies. Both have sizable expatriate communities in Africa, which has a lot of mineral resources and is unstable enough to be open to influence. Both also need to ship oil from the Middle East, and both will be shipping it through the Indian Ocean and watching the Straits of Malacca as an economic lifeline. Hence India's giant new naval base INS Kadamba, near Pakistan's deep-water port of Gwadar (built with Chinese help). Neither party has any interest in provoking anything, but both know that having a stronger position will matter down the road, and will affect everybody's calculations.

It doesn't get much stronger than being a geopolitical strategic partner of the United States. China doesn't have to be challenged directly or even mentioned to have its options hemmed, and that's what just happened.

Note, too, that the Vietnamese are also making friendly overtures toward the USA these days. Cam Ranh Bay is a very fine port - I wouldn't make a move just yet, but down the road it might make a fine foreign base for a naval ally with strong interests in the area.

Pretty soon some sad-eyed Chinese politician will have to campaign for election on a platform of being "stronger at home, and more respected abroad." Oh... right. Nevermind.

This is good news...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Well, there went that

Oh, DSM... we hardly knew ye. The Left thought you would bring them glory, but there's no there there.


Blair Denies Memos Prove Iraq Decision

By PAISLEY DODDS, Associated Press Writer Wed Jun 29, 3:10 PM ET

LONDON - British Prime Minister
Tony Blair said Wednesday the "Downing Street memos" paint a distorted picture, and he insisted that the
Iraq war was not predetermined by the United States.

"People say the decision was already taken. The decision was not already taken," he said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

Blair added he was "a bit astonished" at the intensive U.S. media coverage about the leaked memos, which suggested the White House viewed the war with Iraq as inevitable.

Or, in haiku form:
Downing Street Memo
We thought you could destroy Bush
We hate you Tony.


Grave Site of the Downing Street Memo:

Translation:
Downing Street Memo
Like a shooting star you shot
The Left in the heart


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Failure of our Justice System

The acquittal of Richard Scrushy really is a failure of our criminal justice system. It appears that the jurors in Birmingham have about as much sense as the jurors in California.



Scrushy Acquitted of Fraud at HealthSouth

By JAY REEVES, Associated Press Writer Wed Jun 29, 6:36 AM ET

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Jurors who acquitted Richard Scrushy of directing the massive earnings overstatement at HealthSouth Corp. didn't buy much of a prosecution case that — outside the jury box — many thought was nearly airtight.

All five of the former HealthSouth finance chiefs who took the stand to implicate Scrushy in the fraud had credibility problems, according to jurors who agreed to talk with reporters after the verdict on Tuesday.

And what about secretly made FBI recordings that contained what prosecutors depicted as ironclad proof of Scrushy's role in the $2.7 billion accounting scheme? The jurors said those recordings raised more questions than anything.

"There were a lot of things in those tapes that could go either way," said Juror 546, identified only by court-assigned number.

Scrushy was the first CEO accused of violating the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reporting law, but the jury acquitted him of that and 35 other charges including conspiracy, fraud, false reporting and money laundering.

This guy really had bad luck hiring 5 crooked CFOs year in and year out. (With that kind of consistency, you have to think that the CEO might have had a role.)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Dems as Market Makers? Ummm, No

Great post by Jane Galt at Asymmetrical Information... (Read the whole thing)

[...]
But even worse are the folks telling the progressives that the only problem is that they are misunderstood. Howard Dean, like a lot of my acquaintances, seems to believe that the only reason Republicans keep winning is that people somehow don't understand what they're up to. On fine regulatory questions, that is undoubtedly true--but I doubt that many voters know what Clinton's telecoms policy was, either. On big questions, such as taxes, the budget, the military, or what have you, the voters have a rough but workable idea of the differences between the two parties, and there is no evidence that there are systematic differences in their misperceptions of their politicians (which is to say, they believe some wrong things about Republicans, but about an equal number of wrong things about Democrats). The problem is not ignorance, or that they've been lied to. It is that they don't like what Democrats stand for.

The folks trying to tell Democrats that they've just got a branding problem are right, but the Lakoff solution--better slogans--is exactly the wrong idea. Democrats have a branding problem because, just like many companies with branding problems, they overpromised and underdelivered. Americans looked at the seventies, saw that it was the culmination of decades of progressive hegemony, and decided that they didn't need any more of that--just as decades earlier, they had punished Republicans for the Great Depression. Whether either, or neither, was fair, that is the political reality. Republicans eventually dealt with it, but the hardliners in the progressive movement are still resisting. Yet it's hard to see any hope of resurrecting the Great Society vision; the success of welfare reform has made that politically impossible. Other big issues, like abortion, are being slowly eroded by technological change that is making their stance both unnecessary, and unappealing. And the huge middle class entitlements that many are proposing in order to subvert bourgeois resistance to subsidizing the socioeconomically dysfunctional have a price tag that seems to be unacceptable to the American public.

I think that the "brand" warriors and the post above make the same, common mistake: they think of markets as something very like the ones described in John Kenneth Galbraith books, where consumers are but the hapless, unknowing cattle herded by ad-wielding corporations to the slaughter. Certainly, corporations can and do change the marketscape, but only within the fairly immovable constraints placed upon them by consumer desires. Boeing can't just sell big tin cans and make people buy them through force of will, and Democrats can't just up and change the terms of debate, because both are set by what consumers like. Perhaps this is what the author is trying to argue, but I didn't get it from his post . . . and in general, this sort of argument seems to be advanced by those who believe that they can "make the market" with pretty much the same big spending programmes they've always believed in.

Here are my thoughts on the matter... I agree with Jane that the Dem's problem isn't one of making a market vs. market taking (ie tinkering within defined market boundaries to take whatever profits are possible).

First, while Boeing was the Market Maker for jumbo jet at the time, it's doubtful that a competitor wouldn't have come up with the concept a few years later, so I think a different company should be used... heck, how about eBay?

Anyway, the problem with the Left is this... They're not trying to create a market. They're trying to RECREATE a market (since the USSR is the most extreme example of their ideals with the most palatable version being the New Deal/Great Society here in the US). US voters have been to that market and have turned away... if you're a product designer and your product fails, do you just tag it with a new name (ie progressive) and try again in a few years? No, you admit failure and exit the market (or create a new product entirely). Unfortunately for the Dems, the universe of "products" in the political sense have pretty much been explored, since the marketplace is some thousands of years old.

Here's the result of history... capitalism is the most effective way to allocate finite resources. All other systems have serious flaws that involve unbelievable suffering for some in society. Capitalism and its attendant meritocracy is the best way for the most people to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

If you disagree with this, I recommend that you read some history of other systems... or check out the unsustainable economic model that is continental Europe today. If you choose not to admit this reality, I am sorry that you are unwilling to get on board with the 21st century. The only person that will be hurt by your decision is yourself. But please do not try to force ME back to a 20th century experiment of an economic model that has been proven a failure.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

9/11 and our efforts in the Middle East

I noticed the following two items in today's Media Research Center Cyberalert.

The following item, which covers CNN talking heads being "offended" that the President linked 9/11 to our efforts in Iraq.

1. CNN Team Upset by Bush Tying 9/11 to Iraq, Gergen "Offended"
The CNN analysis team, after President Bush' national address Tuesday night from Ft. Bragg, seemed obsessed about Bush tying September 11th to the war in Iraq. Wolf Blitzer fretted: "We heard a lot of explanations of the connections to 9/11, the new world after 9/11. We heard no reference to the major argument that he made going into the war: weapons of mass destruction." David Gergen falsely asserted that Bush "never once called them 'Iraqi insurgents,' as the media does. He called them terrorists, you know, as if they're all associated and linked to the attacks here on 9/11." When Zahn asked if Bush "overreached with these multiple references to 9/11 when there has been absolutely no linkage established between the actions of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein on that horrible day?", Gergen said he was "offended by the regularity of coming back to 9/11" because "none of the terrorists were linked to Saddam, and, you know, there's been this myth for a long time that's just untrue that Saddam was somehow responsible for 9/11." But that wasn't Bush's point. He was just putting Iraq into the context of world threats post 9/11. On ABC, George Stephanopoulos also questioned Bush's linking of 9/11.

First, this parrots Harry Reid's milquetoast statement here - trying to assert that the President is doing a bait & switch on the American people. So, it's interesting that CNN and the Democratic leader have similiar initial perspectives.

Second, our efforts in Iraq are very much part of a reaction to 9/11 and, if successful, could eliminate the possibility of future 9/11s. As we have seen in Lebanon, the possibility of a democracy in one country in the Middle East inspires others to seek freedom as well. And governments which must rely on the votes of their people are unlikely to kill innocent men, women, and children for dubious purposes. And as Bush said immediately after 9/11, the main problem in the Middle East isn't that the governments there are targeting us - it's that they give terrorists such as Al Qaeda safe harbor to train, plan, and launch attacks. Democratically elected governments don't allow such things.

It's amazing to me that 4 years into this war, the folks at CNN (and many on the left like MoveOn.Org) don't get this... I wonder if they would have understood why we went to war with Hitler (and didn't negotiate with him) even though it was Japan that bombed us.

This second item relates to the good news from Iraq that you don't hear often. It seems that ABC News decided that it might as well provide something other than the IED of the day.
3. In Midst of Listing Problems in Iraq, ABC Notes Positive Trends
In the midst of a Tuesday World News Tonight story on the problems facing Iraqis, ABC's David Kerley also pointed out benefits gained by Iraqis thanks to the U.S. removal of Saddam Hussein. Kerley showcased one family with "a computer, which their teenage daughter uses to chat online, and satellite TV, which the family often gathers around -- two things they were not allowed to own under Saddam." But, he added, "the electricity is unreliable" and "went out during our interview." Kerley noted, however, that "more electricity is being generated than before the war" and the problem is prosperity: "With the purchase of so many appliances -- TVs and air conditioners -- demand far outstrips the supply of electricity." He cited other successes: "Internet and telephone subscribers have doubled" and "more children are attending school."

Click on each link for more in depth "coverage of the coverage"

***UPDATE***
Powerline provides us with the text of the Congressional Resolution to go to war with Iraq. Hmmmm, it seems that the Dems that voted Yea on the option (including John Kerry) understood that there were links between al Qaeda, Saddam, and the War On Terror as well (although they're singing a different tune today):
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Presidential Address

Well, I thought the Presidential Address struck the right tone and gave the right message. However, as with almost all Bush speeches, I wished someone with more skills as an orator was delivering it. I thought it could've been a great, historical speech, but his "style" may have eliminated that possibility.

If Clinton or Reagan had given that speech, it'd have been better - but that's probably something that we all knew going into the speech.
text of the speech here. Here's the part that struck me:

[...]
To the soldiers in this hall, and our servicemen and women across the globe: I thank you for your courage under fire and your service to our nation. I thank our military families -- the burden of war falls especially hard on you. In this war, we have lost good men and women who left our shores to defend freedom and did not live to make the journey home. I've met with families grieving the loss of loved ones who were taken from us too soon. I've been inspired by their strength in the face of such great loss. We pray for the families. And the best way to honor the lives that have been given in this struggle is to complete the mission.

I thank those of you who have re-enlisted in an hour when your country needs you. And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces. We live in freedom because every generation has produced patriots willing to serve a cause greater than themselves. Those who serve today are taking their rightful place among the greatest generations that have worn our nation's uniform. When the history of this period is written, the liberation of Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom.

After September the 11th, 2001, I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult, and that we would prevail. Well, it has been difficult -- and we are prevailing. Our enemies are brutal, but they are no match for the United States of America, and they are no match for the men and women of the United States military.

May God bless you all.

Oh, and if any conservative that's jumped on Voinivich or Durbin over tearing up applauds the emotion that Bush showed, I'll have to point that out to them. Sure, it's understandable to tear up over those that dedicate their lives to serve in the US military... and it's totally confounding how someone can turn all blubbery over the possible appointment of a guy as UN ambassador or over your own stupid comments.

But, I'm just saying that as commentators have been making fun of those two instances, for consistency's sake, they'd better not make a big deal out of his emotional ending...

Meanwhile, the Dems are saying that the President didn't lay out a strategy... ( I thought I recall something about standing down when the iraqis stand up, but hey... i'm a nitpicker).

The folks at DU are mixed on this response from Harry Reid:
(Washington, DC) ³Tonight¹s address offered the President an excellent
opportunity to level with the American people about the current situation in
Iraq, put forth a path for success, and provide the means to assess our
progress. Unfortunately he fell short on all counts.

³There is a growing feeling among the American people that the President¹s
Iraq policy is adrift, disconnected from the reality on the ground and in
need of major mid-course corrections. ³Staying the course,² as the
President advocates, is neither sustainable nor likely to lead to the
success we all seek.

³The President¹s numerous references to September 11th did not provide a way
forward in Iraq, they only served to remind the American people that our
most dangerous enemy, namely Osama bin Laden, is still on the loose and Al
Qaeda remains capable of doing this nation great harm nearly four years
after it attacked America.

³Democrats stand united and committed to seeing that we achieve success in
Iraq and provide our troops, their families, and our veterans everything
they need and deserve for their sacrifices for our nation. The stakes are
too high, and failure in Iraq cannot be an option. Success is only possible
if the President significantly alters his current course. That requires the
President to work with Congress and finally begin to speak openly and
honestly with our troops and the American people about the difficult road
ahead.

³Our troops and their families deserve no less.²

While Reid doesn't get it... at least he didn't call for a withdrawal or a timetable.

Well, at MoveOn.Org is willing to "leap into the breach" and undermine our efforts.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tonight's MSM Coverage of Presidential Address - TODAY!!

Thought I'd just go ahead and write the storylines for the MSM now and see how close I come to the actual text. Feel free to submit your own versions via comments.

Despite eroding support for Mr. Bush's adventure in Iraq, the President tonight asserted that the situation in Iraq was improving. This despite the recent surge in violence in Iraq and other facts to the contrary. While the President attempted to shore up his base and reassure Americans about the war in Iraq, it is unlikely that he will be able to turn the rising tide of discontent with the situation in Iraq. Many people, including Republicans in Congress, are calling for timetables for a pull-out from Iraq. For some, like the wife of Pvt. Alex Gonzalez, the return of US troops couldn't come soon enough.

Given his inability to change the opinions of most Americans tonight, it's only a matter of time before Mr. Bush hears this message and respond accordingly.

That damn corporate media!

***UPDATE***
I had no idea that I would come so close to the storyline of the AP. Course, I'm not sure whether they're just having fun like me or whether they've got one of those time machines or something. From Michelle Malkin at 4.44pm (before the President even took the podium!)
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - President Bush on Tuesday appealed for the nation's patience for "difficult and dangerous" work ahead in Iraq, hoping a backdrop of U.S. troops and a reminder of Iraq's revived sovereignty would help him reclaim control of an issue that has eroded his popularity.

In an evening address at an Army base that has 9,300 troops in Iraq, Bush was acknowledging the toll of the 27-month-old war. At the same time, he aimed to persuade skeptical Americans that his strategy for victory needed only time — not any changes — to be successful.

"Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying and the suffering is real," Bush said, according to excerpts released ahead of time by the White House. "It is worth it."

It was a tricky balancing act, believed necessary by White House advisers who have seen persistent insurgent attacks eat into Americans' support for the war — and for the president — and increase discomfort among even Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Delusional on Kelo

Take a look at the spin that's being offered by this blogger (aka Downer). Actually trying to assert that the Kelo ruling was from the court's conservatives....

[update - quote has been changed to reflect actual post from Downer]

Can we call it fascism yet?

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
[quote of article about the Kelo ruling]

HAHAHAHA

With this amount of delusion, how can we take anything else they say seriously? I mean, if Downer thinks Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and David Souter are conservatives, we really do live on different planets.

Check out the comments and he gets slammed for his idiocy...

***UPDATE***
And by the way, should the Left really be surprised by the Kelo decision? I mean, the history of the Left's disdain for private property rights goes back hundreds of years, to the 19th century. Can anyone really assert that the conservative/libertarian Right is against private property rights?!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

On Global Warming and the HockeyStick

I commented on this ridiculous idea to reduce global warming... and then saw this Wizbang post on global warming and the Hockeystick. The Hockeystick is the sharp increase in global temperatures over the past 20 years and into the near future, as modeled by a Univ of Virginia professor, Thomas Mann. My previous post discussed the fact that Global Warming is really only an issue in the Northern Hemisphere and that the equator and the Southern Hemisphere either have no net increase in temps or are actually cooling.

Anyway, I thought I'd post some more info on the skepticism that is swirling in the scientific community over global warming since January of this year.

This powerpoint presentation was given by two Canadians in a conference in D.C. The most damning quote from the PPT is this (revealing a willingness to eschew the scientific method in favor of political and social aims, dating back to 1995):

"With the publication of the article in Science [in 1995], I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. so one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period."
D. Deming, Science 1995

Or this graph, demonstrating the Medieval Warm Period. The implication? The Earth was much warmer in the past than the current projections. And if you continue into the powerpoint, you'll see that current projections have been called into question by scientists around the globe due to the methods used which create the appearance of a hockeystick even with random datasets.

Click thumbnail for full size image
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

This article goes into the hockeystick matter as well and is recommended reading.

By the way, interested in having the greatest impact on the lives of people around the world? Interested in getting the biggest bang for the buck? check out the work that's being done by the Copenhagen Consensus (it seems that all Europeans aren't monolithic on these issues either).

Their economic assessments place combating Climate Change as "Bad Projects" (meaning little results for the costs associated with them. More beneficial (and less costly) steps can be taken to provide drinking water, food, and medicine to the impoverished regions of the world than implementing a climate change policy that might reduce the increase in global temperatures by 0.25 degrees centigrade.

The Swanky Conservative is also covering this issue

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Hollywood as Bankrupt as the Democratic Party

My wife and I have been laughing at each new movie released over the past few years. Hollywood seems to be parroting the Democratic Party when it comes to ideas: I'm stumped on what to think - how about we dig something up from 1960!

Frederica Matthewes-Green's review on NRO of Bewitched shares this view... and her closing description of what went wrong with this film (and the film industry in general) is interesting:

There's something hostile about this whole production. Like so many contemporary films, it's the product of exacting calculation. You have to start with a failsafe old idea — a superhero, a classic TV show, an old movie, or Broadway production — because new ideas are unknown quantities, and that makes them too risky. The idea has gotta be broad, explainable in a single sentence, because you need to attract young teens whose appetite for subtlety is not large. Since a film has to make a desperate splash in its first 48 hours and can't wait to build a following, you need big names up front, whether they're appropriate for the production or not. Unfortunately, their big salaries crank up the tension further. It becomes even more urgent that every single detail be adjusted to pander to this imaginary and presumably stupid moviegoer, who might for some inexplicable, selfish reason decide to spend his dollars on Zombie Surfer Babes instead. By the time a movie actually opens, you can feel the resentment of every single person connected with it. That's more true, of course, with some productions than others, but it's palpable here. There's something magical about a really enjoyable and satisfying movie, but Bewitched is left holding the broom.

Although I haven't seen Bewitched, I have to agree to the larger point about hollywood's "formula" in the past 5 years.

When the new Herbie movie was announced, someone commented to ARC:Brian that they should run the original movies just prior to the release, as a cheap marketing campaign. ARC:Brian's reply: "But it'll just remind everyone of how cr@ppy the original films were and why they didn't do well back then. And there's no way someone will go shell out $25 for 2 people to see Herbie today."

Indeed...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, June 27, 2005

The party of no ideas resorts to lashing out..... with violence...

From Downleft yesterday:

A lot has been written about Karl Rove's insulting, dishonest and venomous comments directed at liberals recently. While reading an article in the Des Moines Register it occurred to me that the timing of his accusations that liberals would rather offer therapy to terrorists than fight them is not accidental.
Yeah, I was saying the same thing. It's part of a bait strategy to keep the Durbin non-apology in the news cycle. And the Democrats jumped to the bait.
It came right on the heels of Dick Durbin choking up during his apology on the Senate floor. Not only was Durbin too weak to stand his ground, but he had to act weepy when he apologized. Rove is trying to fully emasculate Democrats.
Um.. No, Durbin emasculated himself. He's the one that got all teary-eyed. Personally, I think he was crying because he got a drubbing from Daley.
There's no doubt that this is part of a long-term strategy by Republicans to win the culture war. Their economic policies cause incalculable harm to the average working person, so they have to depress turnout by poisoning the political climate and focusing on symbolic cultural issues they have no intention of legislating.
What sort of strategy? Hoping your opponents act like idiots? It was Durbin that was crying. Rove can't make Durbin act like a cry-baby. Oh and turnout in the 2004 election was the highest since 1968. The "Turnout helps the Dems" meme is sooo 1996....
There's only one way to reverse this tactic in the Democrats favor. Dick Durbin must punch Karl Rove in the face, and not apologize.
Huh? What? Woah!
Please don't take this as a threat or suggestion that I want to harm Rove or that anyone else should. (Seriously secret service guys, you don't have to worry about me)....
Oh whew! You were just being facetious, still, you should be careful with that kind of language...
...It only works if Dick Durbin does it. One hard sucker punch from Durbin to Rove would leave Durbin and all liberals completely vindicated.
Woah! You really meant the punch in the face thing, but only that Durbin could do it? And a "sucker punch" at that?
This will solve everything. Durbin will look like the big man, and Karl Rove will look like the dorky little bitch that he is. Suddenly, Democrats will be back on top in the culture war with rural and male voters. You won't hear any more crap about liberals being wimps who won't fight. Public humiliation is so much better than calling for Rove's resignation.
Um... No, it won't solve anything. Durbin will look like a violent man, and will have to get all teary-eyed and apologize again. And if he didn't apologize, he'd likely be serving time in jail. Assault is a crime after all.

You forget that Rove doesn't run for office. His name isn't on the ballot, the correct response to Rove was to simply ignore him.
John L. Lewis and Huey Long both used the punching strategy to great effect in their professional careers. This is what hard-nosed, populist leaders do. The press and Republicans would loudly condemn Durbin. But deep down, in the back of the minds of most Democrats and rural voters, he would be a hero.
And that just shows how lost the Democrats are! I'll give you a hint. Political parties are about ideas. Ideas about how to govern. Not ideas on how to assault your political opponents' staff members physically. Rural voters are not dumb rednecks that worship people "sucker-punching" someone.
Republicans brought the national debate down to the level of schoolyard bullying. Democrats should show them what that road leads to.
Oh please... You can't be serious... If you are, then your party has already lost. And thats a shame, as this country depends on a two party system. You need ideas, and if your ideas are not accepted by the country, then either modify the ideas, or persuade the country on your ideas. Resorting to violence will not help the matters.

Downer, I'm seriously worried if you think this is the right course of action for Dick Durbin. You seem well connected in Illinois politics. But I can't imagine that anybody on Durbin's staff would seriously entertain your suggestion, and if they do, then even Illinois will be in play in the upcoming elections.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

A Look Back

In reading Opinion Journal's Best of the Web (BOTW) today, they linked to this Andrew Sullivan blog entry. I think it's instructive to look back at this, almost 4 years removed from that terrible day.

[...]
I would be a fool to predict what happens next. But it is clear that Bush will not do a Clinton. This will not be a surgical strike. It will not be a gesture. It may not even begin in earnest soon. But it will be deadly serious. It is clear that there is no way that the United States can achieve its goals without the cooperation of many other states - an alliance as deep and as broad as that which won the Gulf War. It is also clear that this cannot be done by airpower alone. As in 1941, the neglect of the military under Bill Clinton and the parsimony of its financing even under Bush must now not merely be ended but reversed. We may see the biggest defense build-up since the early 1980s - and not just in weaponry but in manpower. It is also quite clear that the U.S. military presence in the Middle East must be ramped up exponentially, its intelligence overhauled, its vigilance heightened exponentially. In some ways, Bush has already assembled the ideal team for such a task: Powell for the diplomatic dance, Rumsfeld for the deep reforms he will now have the opportunity to enact, Cheney as his most trusted aide in what has become to all intents and purposes a war cabinet.

The terrorists have done the rest. The middle part of the country - the great red zone that voted for Bush - is clearly ready for war. The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead - and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column. But by striking at the heart of New York City, the terrorists ensured that at least one deep segment of the country ill-disposed toward a new president is now the most passionate in his defense. Anyone who has ever tried to get one over on a New Yorker knows what I mean. The demons who started this have no idea about the kind of people they have taken on.

But what the terrorists are also counting on is that Americans will not have the stomach for the long haul. They clearly know that the coming retaliation will not be the end but the beginning. And when the terrorists strike back again, they have let us know that the results could make the assault on the World Trade Center look puny. They are banking that Americans will then cave. They have seen a great country quarrel to the edge of constitutional crisis over a razor-close presidential election. They have seen it respond to real threats in the last few years with squeamish restraint or surgical strikes. They have seen that, as Israel has been pounded by the same murderous thugs, the United States has responded with equanimity. They have seen a great nation at the height of its power obsess for a whole summer over a missing intern and a randy Congressman. They have good reason to believe that this country is soft, that it has no appetite for the war that has now begun. They have gambled that in response to unprecedented terror, the Americans will abandon Israel to the barbarians who would annihilate every Jew on the planet, and trade away their freedom for a respite from terror in their own land.

I wonder if he know how right he would be at the time...

Read the entire BOTW post to see additional blog entries over the years that were right on the money...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Stop Global Warming where it isn't occurring

Here's an idiotic idea on how to stop global warming:


Space Ring Could Shade Earth and Stop Global Warming
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Writer
posted: 27 June 2005, 02:14 pm ET

A wild idea to combat global warming suggests creating an artificial ring of small particles or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics and moderate climate extremes.

There would be side effects, proponents admit. An effective sunlight-scattering particle ring would illuminate our night sky as much as the full Moon, for example.

And the price tag would knock the socks off even a big-budget agency like NASA: $6 trillion to $200 trillion for the particle approach. Deploying tiny spacecraft would come at a relative bargain: a mere $500 billion tops.

But the idea, detailed today in the online version of the journal Acta Astronautica, illustrates that climate change can be battled with new technologies, according to one scientist not involved in the new work.


Scientific studies of global temps since the 70s have shown that global warming is primarily a problem in the Northern Hemisphere and that the equator has seen almost no rise in average temps. As you head farther south, the effects are negligble. At the Antarctic, iceflows & glaciers are actually increasing. But hey, let's not let the facts get in the way!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Oh No He Didn't!!!

Hey, Downer - Your contemporary idol just dissed your historical idol...



Obama, a Chicago Democrat who is just the fifth black senator in U.S. history, also raised questions about Lincoln's role in ending slavery.

"I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator," Obama said. "As a law professor and civil rights lawyer and as an African-American, I am fully aware of his limited views on race. Anyone who actually reads the Emancipation Proclamation knows it was more a military document than a clarion call for justice."

And as for what Lincoln may have thought about Obama's election to the Senate in 2004?

"He may not have dreamed of that exact outcome. But I like to believe he would have appreciated the irony," Obama said.

I wonder if Obama voted against Lincoln in the Greatest American poll?

Had any other presidential candidate won in 1860 besides Lincoln from the new Republican party and this country would be completely different from how it is today - for the worse.

***UPDATE***
See Gateway Jim, PoliPundit, and Decision08 for more.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Exit Strategy in Iraq

I'm with Jay Tea over at Whizbangblog.

"Because exit strategies are for fighting and ending wars -- not winning them."

I think we need to work on our Germany and Japan exit strategy before we work on one for Iraq.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Ok nevermind... Grokster/StreamCast are idiots....

As I said in my post below I wasn't familiar with the particular facts of the case. It appears that Grokster pretty much did come close to my "download muz@k free d00dz" line below. Thats what I get for ranting before reading... Twenty lashes with a wet noodle for me.

From the Yin Blog:

Here're the key facts from the opinion:

Grokster and StreamCast concede the infringement in most downloads . . . and it is uncontested that that they are aware that users employ their software primarily to download copyrighted files. . . . From time to time, moreover, the companies have learned about their users' infringement directly, as users who have sent e-mail to each company with questions about playing copyrighted movies they had downloaded, to which the companies responded with guidance.

Grokster and StreamCast are not, however, merely passive recipients of information about infringing use. The record is replete with evidence that from the moment [they] began to distribute their free software, each one clearly voiced the objective that recipients use it to download copyrighted works, and each took active steps to encourage infringement.

I didn't follow this case, but it doesn't seem all that surprising that it was 9-0 decision against Grokster and StreamCast. If the record labels and movie studios can prove the facts asserted in the quoted paragraph (some of which are uncontested), it shouldn't matter that the file-sharing software can have legitimate uses, as argued by Grokster.


Yep, this is just wrong on any level. That being said, there's nothing about P2P technology specifically that encourages or discourages copyright infringement. Its just bit transfer after all.

It looks like the case is split on 3-3 grounds as to whether "absent a demonstration of intent to affirmatively encourage infringement -- if a product is "capable of substantial or commercially significant noninfringing use," its purveyor cannot be held liable" (H/T IP Central)

Basically on the question of P2P technology itself, the court is decidely split on potential culpability.

***UPDATE***
Larry Kudlow is going to be discussing on his CNBC program this evening.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Finally, an Answer - but an unfortunate one

Well, ">SCOTUS answered the question I posed to them back in March...

And they said "Peer-to-Peer? What are you talking about?!?



Malkin is covering as well!

Given the 9-0 ruling on this one, I don't think it matters who Bush appoints to the SCOTUS... If you use Peer to Peer, get out your wallet.

***ARC Brian adds***

Your exactly right Saint. They didnt understand the technology and were only looking at the impact. They felt that the tools are only used for stolen songs, etc., so therefore the technology must be bad. I haven't read the decisions yet, so maybe there is someone that "got it", but based on the 9-0 ruling, I'm guessing they didn't.

The funny thing is, how is a web server or ftp server or any other tool utilized for file transfer between two people (windows file sharing even) not now liable under this decision? Maybe I didnt understand the underlying facts of the Grokster case very well, but I don't remember seeing ads saying "Use Grokster to get your l33t muz@k here!"

Any file transfer tool can be used to transfer copyrighted materials (either illegally or legally). Heck, the cd-rw drive in most computer could be deemed illegal under these rules. All those disk duplicator machines out there could be infringing, no?

This will also not stop P2P activities or copyright infringement itself. The next battle will be on the code itself. If someone writes source code that can be compiled into a infringing product can they be held liable? What about the compiler? How complete does the code have to be? How does the code have to be distributed? If I outline an infringing mechanism (complete with small 6 point type source code) in a full page ad in the NY Times am I liable? Is the NY Times?

As Saint pointed out before, this will simply drive the P2P applications overseas. Its funny becuase the biggest source of copyright infringement was probably not P2P but rather web based. There was a russian website where by you could download as much content as you wanted for a flat fee per month. Was the content legal or not? Who knew? But it was simple. And widely used, since I heard about it from two different sources (and not your typical 3l33t teenager).

More after I read the decisions....

***UPDATE ARC:Brian***
Oops. Thats what I get for opening by big mouth and ranting before reading...I blame Saint. He was pushing me for the big scoop. Hey if it works for CBS why can't it work for me?

See above.

***

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Greatest American

H/T to Oliver Willis (who apparently doesn't like any comments that might be based on facts - more on this later).

The Gipper was voted Greatest American in the Discovery Channel's contest.



Order of the finalists were:

  1. Ronald Reagan
  2. Abraham Lincoln
  3. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  4. George Washington
  5. Ben Franklin

I have to say that I voted and had difficult choosing between them all, since they all were great Americans. While Reagan certainly was a great American, I'm not sure I would apply the adjective "greatest" when compared to Washington, Lincoln, etc. (Reagan's greatness in comparison to his predecessor (Carter) is unquestioned, but Washington?)

I think the placement of Washington as 4th is emblematic of our predisposition to think that recent figures are more important than historical ones. But, without Washington's selfless leadership and Franklin's womanizing ummmm, lobbying in Paris, there'd never be a United States of America. These two had the foresight to understand that their actions would have repercussions throughout history. Surely Reagan did as well, but without Washington, Franklin, or Lincoln, there wouldn't be a Reagan.

Just my thoughts... I'm agnostic on the final decision. But I do enjoy the fact that it's got the Libs ticked off. I also LOVE that the top two "greatest" Americans were Republicans.

:-D

***ARC: Brian Adds***
I heard about this morning on the Today show... Katie had to express how she was suprised that it was such a partisan decision. I'm sure if ol' Bill had won she'd have felt the same way.

I'm with you, that Ronnie probably doesn't compare to Lincoln, or Washington. I never ranked Franklin that high to be honest.

If you just look at the "top 5" though, I think thats pretty close....
****

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Meanwhile, on the WMD Front

Whatever you do, DO NOT... I'm serious... DO NOT click on this link.

It has information which the MSM, MoveOn.Org, DemocraticUnderground, the Kossacks & the Willies don't want you to see...

Kudos to Gateway Jim for covering this story!

History's Largest WMD Trial Begins

The largest terrorist WMD trial in history is opening in Jordan. 13 Al-Qaida and Al-Zarqawi loyalists are being tried for an attempted and nearly succcessful catastrophic chemical weapons attack on Jordan.
[...]
So what else is astounding about this case?

The chemicals are believed to be VX nerve gas. There was 20 tons of the weapons and explosives captured coming into Jordan from Syria. Syria doesn't make VX. Saddam Hussein's Iraq did.


LGF and Powerline also on the prowl

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

USSC Boots 10 Commandments

Welcome Michelle Malkin readers (Thanks for the link, Michelle!) Click on the title to go to the main page and see other rants...

So, now that they've booted the 10 Commandments from the courthouse, will they start sandblasting it from all of the federal buildings (including the Supreme Court building)?





And get them out of the Library of Congress - no place for that stuff there.



Malkin & SCOTUSblog are covering

***UPDATE***
Based on the ruling, it sounds like 10 Commandments in government buildings (such as courthouses) will be handled like porn - we'll know (whether it's appropriate or not) when we see it. Well, it's good to know that the court gave us a clear ruling on the matter so the ACLU won't have any basis for future lawsuits on the matter... uggh

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Idiotic statement of the day in the St Louis Post Dispatch

This entire editorial about allowing felons to vote in Iowa could be submitted under this headline, but I'm going to limit myself to two sentences:

Three-strikes laws in many states have contributed heavily to the high rate of incarceration and prison overcrowding. Nationally, the crime rate is at historic lows, according to federal officials, but the incarceration rate is at a historic high.

Do they just not understand the criminal mind or the concept of repeat offenders???

***ARC: Brian adds***
This just illustrates the liberal mind. They want to live in a world of their own imagination. Where things are because thats just the way they are supposed to be. See, they feel that the way the world is supposed to be is that nobody commits crimes. Therefore nobody needs to be incarcerated. If we can just eliminate the cause of crime, then we could have no crime, and not have to incarcerate anybody. Conservatives understand that the world as it is, is what we have, not what we would like it to be.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

MRC - NPR to Gitmo

A great Media Research Center Cyberalert today. Here are some of the key snippets, but visit the MRC and check out the entire posting.

On NPR not being liberal (LOL!):

1. To Totenberg's Indignation, Thomas Accuses NPR of Liberal Bias

Your news outlet is liberal, no your's is. Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas wondered, on Inside Washington over the weekend, whether the effort in the U.S. House to reduce funding for PBS and NPR through the CPB would "make NPR a little less liberal?" An indignant Nina Totenberg of NPR retorted: "I don't think we're liberal to begin with and I think if you would listen, Evan, you would know that." Thomas countered that "I do listen to you and you're not that liberal, but you're a little bit liberal." Totenberg insisted, "I don't think that's a fair criticism...any more than you would say that Newsweek is liberal." To which Thomas conceded: "I think Newsweek is a little liberal."

On Gitmo
6. Retired General Tours Guantanamo, Tells CNN Media Portrayal Wrong

Retired Major General Donald Shepperd toured the Guantanamo Bay detention facility on Friday and found that reality did not match the media's portrayal, he recounted in a phone interview from Cuba on CNN just before 3pm EDT on Friday. Shepperd asserted: "The impressions that you're getting from the media and from the various pronouncements being made by people who have not been here, in my opinion, are totally false." Shepperd contended that "what we're seeing is a modern prison system with dedicated people, interrogators and analysts that know what they are doing. And people being very, very well-treated." But when Shepperd reported that he had observed an interrogation, anchor Betty Nguyen inquired: "Kind of explain to us how that played out. And were there any instances of abuse or possible abuse?" Shepperd responded: "Absolutely not."

On media's credibility :

7. Pew Poll: View of Media's Patriotism, Bias & Fairness at New Lows

A new poll commissioned by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which was released on Sunday, found that "attitudes toward the performance of the news media are at or near their low points in Pew trends dating back to the mid-1980s. This is especially the case in opinions regarding the press's patriotism, bias, and fairness." Pew's summary of it findings detailed how "just 42 percent say news organizations generally 'stand up for America'" and 'six-in-ten see news organizations as politically biased, up from 53 percent two years ago. More than seven-in-ten (72 percent) say news organizations tend to favor one side, rather than treat all sides fairly; that is the largest number ever expressing that view."


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Nothing more needs to be said about the motives of the MSM

Good news is not coming out of Iraq... Which might - just might - explain the dipping poll numbers on the war.

And while the coverage of the women Marines was probably justified (given the relatively new entrance of women into psuedo-combat roles), a serious discussion of the extent of their injuries was not provided (burns on 15% of their bodies according to my brother-in-law who transported them to better facilities).

Oh, and is the US Military targeting journalists?

The president of the newspaper guild, Linda Foley, says so... Back at the Media Reform conference here in St Louis. (This is becoming an issue again because she recently pulled a durbin.) By the way, her use of the "corporate media" gives us an insight into her politics... methinks she's part of that "liberal/progressive" cohort. Just a guess. I wonder what her thoughts would be on handling the WOT as "primarily an issue of law enforcement?"



check out this video (courtesy of Trey Jackson) of her making inflammatory and baseless accusations:
Windows Media
MPEG Video (any player)

Give us the names of the journalists that have been targeted by the US military, Ms. Foley! She's upset that the US military has caught Al Jazeera "journalists" that paid insurgents to attack US soldiers so that they could videotape it. Yeah, that's great journalism...

And here's her non-apology apology, but I'll paraphrase "It was late in the day and by golly you right wingers are evil!" In her apology, she shifts the blame of the deaths from the US military (which she explicitly called out in the conference) to the insurgents. Nice try, Ms. Foley - but we've got the tape!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler