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

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Interesting interview with Mickey Kaus

Glenn links to a interview Hugh Hewitt did with Mickey Kaus on the Plame "scandal". Several interesting aspects of the case are discussed. Most of this we already know, but Mickey does a good roundup and analysis of various elementts. My comments are interspersed (all emphasis mine):

HH: Mickey, you have to do this solo, and I think it's pretty impossible, actually. But for the benefit of the audience starting out, would you kind of line up what the speculation is about who tipped Bob Novak to Valerie Plame?

MK: Well, Novak has written a piece where he said he got if from one administration source who is not a partisan gunslinger, i.e. not Karl Rove. And then he confirmed it with a second source, who it's pretty clear now was Karl Rove. But the confirmation is suspect, according to the New York Times today. Novak called Rove, and Rove said I heard that too. Now that's not really a...that in itself is not really a confirmation. It's just saying he heard it, not that what he heard was true. So, that's what we know about Novak. The rampant speculation which is sort of going on sub rosa, which John Podhoretz floated a couple of days ago in the National Review, is that the original source for a lot of this is Judy Miller herself.

Interesting defense on the "I heard that too" line from Rove, and something I had speculated on when I heard the latest line from the left even by confirming the story Rove may have committed a crime under the IIPA.
HH: The imprisoned New York Times reporter.

MK: Right, who wrote a book on WMD's, and did a lot of reporting on WMD's, and Valerie Plame is a WMD expert at the CIA, and Miller may very well have run into her in the course of her reporting, and know that she's Joe Wilson's wife and put two and two together. And if you knew that when Wilson's op-ed came out, how could you not dine out on that? How could you not gossip about it?

Judith sure seems to be a nexus of this whole issue.. And she'd rather go to jail than talk.

HH: Right.

MK: I certainly would.

HH: Of course you would. And now, stepping back, you had some funny stuff over at Kausfiles today about how welfare reform was cultivated by big journalists and high level contacts, etc. Do you see anything here that is remotely out the ordinary for Washington D.C.?

MK: Well, yes. There are CIA agents who are very upset about the identification of Ms. Plame. And I talked...I went into a group where Admiral Bobby Inman gave a talk, and he's, you know, a Republican, but probably an anti-war, Brent Scowcroft type of Republican...

HH: Most definitely.

MK: He was head of the NSA, he's a patriot. And he said he hoped that whoever leaked this got nailed, because as an intelligence guy, it's very serious when people are outed. So, they're judicial opinions with eight pages that are redacted, that judges then say, well, that's highly persuasive. Obviously, there's a national security case here. So, there is an important interest, and even if Karl Rove heard it from a reporter, the identity of a CIA agent is probably not something we want people bantering around the way they would, you know, is so and so going with so and so, or sleeping with so and so. Or is so and so gay? The standard things that are the stuff of unprinted Washington gossip. We probably want people to think twice, and Karl Rove has a security clearance. You're not supposed to blab about a lot of things if you have a security clearance. So I don't think it's over by any means.

HH: I didn't say over. I said whether or not it's unusual for Washington. I think actually that it is over, with regards to the intelligence identities protection act, because having read the brief in the DC Circuit case, filed by the major news organizations, it's fairly persuasive she was not under cover, or at least the CIA was so negligent in asserting that she was, that you couldn't really prosecute even the person who tipped Novak, not Rove.

MK: Right. That's right. And Rove has four or five other outs that seem pretty airtight.

Which has been my defense for the allegations that Fitzgerald is pursuingRove for perjury or obstruction of justice, etc. Why would Rove lie to the grand jury to protect himself of a case where he has 4 or 5 outs already? Or why wouldn't he just plead the 5th? That doesnt' mean that Fitzgerald isn't looking for perjury, just that the perjury target being Rove is unlikely.

HH: Right.

MK: So I don't think that's going to be the basis of a prosecution, but there are other secrets acts, and I guess I don't move in those circles, so I don't know how ordinary it is. Certainly the back and forth between reporters and administration officials are totally routine. The alliance of reporters with like-minded officials in sort of crusades is totally routine, on both the left and the right. It's just the...I don't know how people...how careful people are with CIA covert status, because that's not the sort of reporting I do.

HH: You know what I think it going on here is that the reason Fitzgerald is still pressing so hard, it's not Plame's identity. It's the SCI stuff, the sensitive compartmented information. This all had to be SCI stuff...what he found there, where he went, who he talked to. That's got to have a color-coded cover on it, that gets passed around, and someone told someone about that. Now that's a problem, not a non...

MK: What do you mean SCI stuff? Sorry, I...

HH: Sensitive compartmented information is a classification above top-secret, which is code-worded, like veil, and different...that's where Bob Woodward got his term veil. That was top-secret, code-worded information. And I think there's some other leaks here that have come out in the course of this, and that's why this is going on. I don't think Fitzgerald is shooting at Rove at all, do you?

MK: Well, when I talk to reporters, they say he testified before the Grand Jury three times. That's a lot. So if you...so if you're his lawyer, that makes you very nervous, because that means A) they were interested enough to call him three times, and B) everything he says is now etched in stone, and any contradiction can be the basis of a perjury charge.

HH: Yup.

MK: So, if Fitzgerald was that kind of prosecutor, yes, I don't think Rove is out of the woods.

HH: He did not...but his lawyer has repeatedly asserted he's not a target. They have not given him a target letter.

MK: Right. But they sometimes don't do that, because that triggers all sorts of protections. You don't want to do that until the last minute. I think he's...morally, he's almost out of the woods.

HH: Yeah, I agree.

MK: But legally, it's a tougher thing, and you know, assuming he was truthful in all his testimony.

We know he testified 3 times because he's admitted to it. If you were worried about being a target or being portrayed in the media as being a target, why would you release that you testified 3 times? My question is has anybody else testified that many times?
HH: Now perjury, of course, would lie against anyone who testified. I have not seen reported, and I want to know. Has Joe Wilson testified before the Grand Jury?

MK: Very good question. I don't know the answer to that.

HH: Because if he has, everybody is fair game at this point, because Joe Wilson has a record of lying, that not even Joshua Marshall disputes anymore.

MK: Well, but does he have a record of lying under oath?

HH: That's the key question. But that's why this might be dragging on for a long period of time, and why Miller might in fact hold the keys to the cell for Joe Wilson. Let me ask you about Andrew Sullivan writing today, as I have said, if this backfires on the press, because they rushed to judgment, it could turn out into another Bush triumph. I don't know yet, but it's a possibility. Do you agree with that?

Hmm.. And Joe Wilson has also praised Miller for keeping her mouth shut....

MK: It is a possibility, and certainly those TV pictures of the press hounding Scott McClellan, all the big boys suddenly decided hey, this is a story. We're going to get tough. I think that helps, every time they show that, it helps Bush. So, it's entirely possible, and it'll be another case if it all fizzles out. It will be another case of the left, you know, going crazy about something, and having it fizzle, which has been their tendency of late.

How true: Texas ANG, Jeff Gannon, Rove's speech, etc. And thats all in the last year! I still don't understand the fascination the left has with Karl Rove. He wasn't elected to anything, he hold no real power, he doesn't run for election. The namesake of this blog is related to the hysteria that the left feels for this man.
HH: Sort of like Michael Moore saying the Saudis got to get out of the country, or Howard Dean saying Bush may have been warned by the Saudis, you know, an extravagant claim made by a hard left partisan, that gets caught up in the media and then proves them to be silly. Is it a shooting the pumpkin moment? Sort of like when Dan Burton shot the pumpkin in the Vince Foster deal?

MK: Not quite, because you do have guys, you know, who are serious people. I mean the CIA put in a complaint, saying please investigate this. So, it's hard to say this is Dan Burton shooting a pumpkin. It's our own CIA. And they, at least part of our bureaucracy, thought it was serious enough to start this in motion.

HH: But there are reasons for them to have done that, unrelated to serious concern over secrecy, which is serious concern over looking like a group of keystone cops for taking Joe Wilson's wife advice to send Joe Wilson, who is a Gore supporter and partisan, who changed his story. I mean, if all of a sudden, they realize, duh, we sent the exact wrong person to Niger, we'd better somehow throw up some smoke, this is a great smoke thrower.
Keystone cops is a great analogy. The whole Wilson trip reeks of unprofessionalism and beaurocratic backstabbing. Groups inside the CIA didn't want to invade, didn't want the Niger/Uranium story to be discovered, so they sent in a ringer, who would drink sweet tea, ask a few questions, and issue a report

MK: That's true, and the CIA has the...you know, there are people who say that they're vindictive when they're embarrassed. They get mad. So yes, that's possible. But it means it's not...it's hard to dismiss as a bunch of kooks.

HH: Oh no, it's not a bunch of kooks. It's just...I think it's a wildly intersting, if we had time for it, detective novel. That's the last question, Mickey. Against the backdrop of London and increasing concerns that there are cells, both in London and Lodi and other places. Is this a winner for Democrats, for Harry Reid to be offering amendments on the floor to revoke Karl Rove's security clearance?

MK: No, but he'll quickly realize this. This is a sort of scandal where you have to make a big stink, because you're hoping to stampede people. And you're hoping to stampede sources, and you're hoping to panic somebody in the administration who'll say, maybe Karl Rove's become a liability. And that's why you make a big stink. But if it doesn't go anywhere, I think he'll drop it pretty quickly.
I'm not sure he'll quickly realize it, but maybe I'm not giving him enough credit. The Kossacks and the MoveOn crowd certainly see this as a winner, or at least are so desparate for a win, for something to stick that they may be going for broke on this one.

HH: And so, as we enter into the silly season, how long does this last? We've got a Supreme Court nomination and terrorism coming up. This can't really have enough oxygen to go on much longer, does it, absent an indictment?

MK: I don't think so, but unless Matt Cooper said something we don't know about. But that would be my judgment. That's what I tell my left wing friends, who say oh, it's snowballing. And I say no, it's not. It's melting. But who knows?

HH: Mickey Kaus, I think you're right. I think it's melting. Thank you, friend.
I think your right too Mickey.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Unbelievable Story from Iraq

I assume the ACLU will be suing this guy for offending the sensibilities of the terrorist sniper...This is an amazing story - glad to hear that Pfc Tschiderer wasn't harmed. Huuuaaahhhh



Soldier survives attack; captures, medically treats sniper (Video)

Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer is a native of Mendon, N.Y. —
During a routine patrol in Baghdad June 2, Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, a medic, was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper, hiding in a van just 75 yards away. The incident was filmed by the insurgents.

Tschiderer, with E Troop, 101st “Saber” Cavalry Division, attached to 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was knocked to the ground from the impact, but he popped right back up, took cover and located the enemy’s position.

After tracking down the now-wounded sniper with a team from B Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, Tschiderer secured the terrorist with a pair of handcuffs and gave medical aid to the terrorist who’d tried to kill him just minutes before.

See the video of the attack
.

Read the account of the incident from the 256th Brigade Combat Team.

I just love how these bastards in the video are saying "allahu ahkbar" after they shoot a soldier. Psychos... Yeah, we need to "understand and empathize" with them a little more.

puh-lease...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Friday, July 15, 2005

Reading & Education


It really is a shame that kids don't like to read.

(AP) At last! Faster than a turbo-powered broomstick, Harry Potter has started flying off the shelves.

Bookstores across Britain flung open their doors at a minute past midnight Saturday to admit hordes of would-be witches, warlocks and ordinary muggles — Potter-speak for non-magical humans — eager to get their hands on "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth installment of the boy wizard's adventures. Shops as far afield as Singapore and Australia put the book on sale at the same time.

Potter fans rushed to tills to purchase the book and savor its opening words: "It was nearing midnight and the prime minister was sitting alone in his office." Many planned to stay up all night reading the 607-page tome.

"I'm going to read it all at once. I don't think I could stop once I got started," said Katrine Skovgaard, 18, who traveled from Denmark and waited in line for six hours at a central London bookstore.

I saw David McCullough in a hearing before a Senate hearing on Teaching American History on C-SPAN the other day. (Click here for realplayer video if you're a sick, twisted freak like me.) Lamar Alexander and Ted Kennedy were the only Senators listening to him at the time. The topic was the pathetic state of US student's understanding of history (just ask any high school grad for the year of our founding or who fought in World War II... if you want to really stump them, ask them to name the war between Vietnam and World War II). Anyway, McCullough made the great point that it's not that kids aren't interested in history - it's that the text books that we give them are crap. It's full of charts and graphs and pictures and has little real content. It's not presented in a compelling, human way.

And as we see from the continued success of the Harry Potter series, kids love to read. And Harry Potter isn't exactly a picture book with small words...

The biggest problem with the current education system is that we don't expect more from our students - and we don't provide them with information presented in a compelling way. We think that pretty colors and a computer screen wll impart knowledge to a student. But if you look at how passionate these kids are about reading 607 pages of Harry Potter, it becomes quite clear that kids are capable of anything if it's interesting and if it matters to them.

It's soo much fun to point out the idiocy of conventional wisdom...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Arrest in Egypt

The Counterterrorism Blog has a post on the biography of suspected terrorist Magdi Asi el-Nashar who was arrested in Egypt today:

El-Nashar earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry and organic chemistry, respectively, at Cairo University.
[...]
Michael Cutler reminds me that his interests are noted as "biocatalytic materials and ...enzyme immobilization...biocatalysis and the design and operation of biocatalytic processes with potential for technical applications," which sounds to us laymen like the study of bio-chem warfare.
Sounds that way to me as well. Two thoughts:

1.) It sounds like the 4 that blew themselves up in the attacks did not make the bombs used in the destruction. So without educated Mr. el-Nashar, their attacks wouldn't have been able to proceed.

2.) A bio-chem expert is making conventional bombs. And exposing himself to potential arrest, etc. Why expose such a valuable asset?

Possible reasons:
a) Al Queda has plenty of chemical engineers in its employ, so this one wasn't that valuable

or

b) Al Queda was desperate to launch an attack, and hasn't been able to create the materials necessary for a more deadly attack using biological or chemical weapons.

or

c) Mr. el-Nashar (or whoever masterminded the plot) couldn't wait for orders on high any longer, and ran a rogue operation on his own.

or

d) something else entirely, or a combination of the above.

B and C would suggest that Al Queda is running out of options or control of its network. A good thing in my book and valuable confirmation that the U.S. and the rest of the Anglosphere is on the correct track in the Global War on Terror.

Item A suggests that a more significant attack is around the corner, but if thats the case, why hasn't it happened?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Adding my own creepy thoughts....

John Derbyshire as a post on The Corner:


UH-OH [John Derbyshire]
A reader has a slightly creepy thought about current news obsessions:

"JD---Both the Wilson and Aruba stories are so much hoopla, space-fillers.

"Kind of reminds me of the summer of 2001, all Chandra [Levy] all the time until shortly after Labor Day..."

I had similar thoughts earlier in the summer when all the stories about the shark attacks were on the news... The same sort of stories that were around right before a fateful Tuesday in September...

Just a reminder for everyone to remain vigilant...


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Combating Global Climate Change - sans Kyoto

Good column by Paul Kelly in the Australian:

Kyoto floundering in the wake of G8 summit
July 13, 2005

AS the G8 Gleneagles summit proved, there is no consensus on how to combat global warming today or tomorrow but the bell now tolls on a decade of illusion.

The Kyoto protocol, with its system of caps, targets and timetables, is being buried with a discretion that conceals one of the great public policy failures in recent decades. Hoax is probably a better word.

Kyoto is collapsing before reality. The politics of global warming is being transformed by two simultaneous events: a recognition that climate change is real and serious and a recognition that the Kyoto methodology has failed as a solution.

This is the significance of the G8 statement on climate change. It is ironic that one of Kyoto's champions, Tony Blair, has broken the news but Blair is a realist and the Gleneagles declaration is the dawn of a new realism.

At his press conference Blair said he wanted leaders to agree that climate change was a problem, that human activity led to greenhouse gas emissions and that emissions had to be stabilised and then reduced. All leaders, including George W. Bush, agreed.

But Blair then declared that regardless of how many targets the EU reached, that "if we don't have America, China, India taking the action necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, then we won't solve climate change". Referring to the "fundamental disagreement" over Kyoto, Blair said he hoped the G8 meeting had "put in place a pathway to a new dialogue when Kyoto expires in 2012".

The story is the new dialogue. Neither Blair nor the Gleneagles statement affirmed an extension of Kyoto's targets as the post-2012 solution and the anger from sections of the green lobby is palpable. Everyone knows why Kyoto is fading -- the US, India and, to a lesser extent, China, the three economies that will dominate the coming century, won't wear the legally binding Kyoto system.
[...]
Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell, in a matter-of-fact tone, told me: "I think there is a pretty clear international recognition now that any chance of going ahead with the Kyoto system of caps, targets and timetables is destined to failure.
[...]
The media orthodoxy that the US and Australia are isolated in refusing to embrace Kyoto is now obsolete. Whether it was ever accurate is debatable. There was only one reason for Australia to sign and that was to boost its clout for the post-2012 negotiations and this argument may no longer apply.

The rearguard action to salvage Kyoto will be waged by some European nations, the green lobby and sections of the scientific community but their cause seems forlorn.

It is known that the 2008-12 Kyoto system won't deliver. Global emissions are likely to rise about 30 per cent in this period. Even if all the Kyoto nations meet their targets the increase would still be 28-29 per cent. In fact, not all nations will meet these targets. Canada, having made foolish pledges, is in trouble. But the EU should meet its overall target.

Blair's G8 meeting has begun to identity the new common ground. The US is accepting the reality of global warming and China is accepting the reality that developing nations must be part of the solution.

The future solution will be different from Kyoto. It will be universal. It will involve less "top-down" prescription and more "bottom-up" practical applications. There will be a greater emphasis on innovation, cleaner technologies and lower emitting energy sources. There may well be timetables but they are going to be voluntary, not binding and yes, the new global consensus is a long way off.

The main issue here is that Kyoto would have zero impact on global climate change and there are questions about many of the models associated with predicting human impact on the world's climate. Bush has had it right all along. The most effective way to eliminate the possibility that human activity is causing climate change is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - and the best way to do this isn't through caps, review periods, and penalties, but through technological innovation that can then be employed in the fastest growing economies which operate entirely on carbon-based fuels. Thus, Bush's federal investment in R&D for greener technologies (the largest such investment by ANY of his predecessors) is a step in the right direction. And it seems that his immediate predecessor (President Clinton) agrees.

However, the Left will disregard these facts and continue to excoriate Bush for his trashing of the Kyoto Protocol, despite that fact that he is probably doing more to reduce the possibility of a sharp increase in temperatures worldwide than any nation that has signed up to Kyoto.

It seems that the solution to global warming is more closely associated with the US' drive for innovation and pragmatism than through the command-and-control bureaucracies of the EU. We can do more, but Kyoto is not and never was the answer. In fact, one could argue that the efforts required for compliance under Kyoto are hampering the Kyoto member's ability to develop innovative techniques to reduce emissions, as the best way to reduce emissions is to reduce economic growth. And economic growth leads to new innovations in the perpetual cycle of creative destruction.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Rove Speculation - vol. 1,723

Things just aren't lining up here in this Rove story...

David Gregory on Imus (an unbearable show to watch on TV and listen to on radio) says that Plame was an undercover agent sitting at her desk in Langley. But, Joe Wilson admits that she wasn't YESTERDAY!!

The Washington Post reports this (H/T Michelle Malkin):

Sources who have reviewed some of the testimony before the grand jury say there is significant evidence that reporters were in some cases alerting officials about Plame's identity and relationship to Wilson -- not the other way around.

This all leads me to believe more strongly in my previous assertion: That Wilson informed a journalist or two that his wife was the one that pushed him forward for the job - after journalists talked to him on background regarding his NYTimes article. Then, the journalists seek out WH comment on the matter.

Why is Joe applauding Miller for keeping her sources confidential while at the same time pushing for Novak & Miller to disclose theirs?

***UPDATE 1***
It seems that David Corn of The Nation is the one who "outed" Valerie Plame. And who told Corn that Plame was undercover after reading about "Wilson's wife" in Novak's article? Methinks Corn may have gotten a call from Wilson. "David - Did you know that Novak just blew my wife's cover? That's a crime!!!"
On what basis could Corn “assume” that Plame was not only working covertly but was actually a “top-secret” operative? And where did Corn get the idea that Plame had been “outed” in order to punish Wilson? That is not suggested by anything in the Novak column which, as I noted, is sympathetic to Wilson and Plame.

The likely answer: The allegation that someone in the administration leaked to Novak as a way to punish Wilson was made by Wilson — to Corn. But Corn, rather than quote Wilson, puts the idea forward as his own.
[...]
Corn’s article then goes on to provide specific details about Plame’s undercover work, her “dicey and difficult mission of tracking parties trying to buy or sell weapons of mass destruction or WMD material.” But how does Corn know about that? From what source could he have learned it?

Corn concludes that Plame’s career “has been destroyed by the Bush administration.” And here he does, finally, quote Wilson directly. Wilson says: “Naming her this way would have compromised every operation, every relationship, every network with which she had been associated in her entire career. This is the stuff of Kim Philby and Aldrich Ames.”

Corn has assured us several times that Wilson refused to answer questions about his wife, refused to confirm or deny that she worked for the CIA, refused to “acknowledge whether she is a deep-cover CIA employee.” But he is willing to say on the record that “naming her this way” was an act of treachery? That’s not talking about his wife? That’s not providing confirmation? There is only one way to interpret this: Wilson did indeed talk about his wife, her work as a secret agent, and other matters to Corn (and perhaps others?) on a confidential basis.


David Corn - What did he know and when did he know it?

It seems the game of "gotcha" that Wilson & Corn are involved in is going to be exposed. For some reason, I have a feeling that Fitzgerald knows much of this info and isn't distracted by confusing timelines in the MSM. This also explains why Wilson is championing Miller's refusal to identify her source - because after the Novak column, Wilson shopped around the fact that Novak's column was an "outing." Finally, this also explains the fact that Fitzgerald is not viewing Karl Rove as a "target" - because the target is not someone in the administration but perhaps Wilson himself.

***UPDATE 2***
Wizbang has more on the fact that exposing Plame wasn't a crime, since she couldn't have been considered an undercover agent.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

But there's no connection - right?

Great Audio Clip about the connection between Iraq & OBL over at Roger Simon's... However, I don't expect this to stop the Left from resorting to their chant:

BUSH LIED - PEOPLE DIED!!!

The numerous facts that have been laid at their feet - all have been cast aside, merely becaues they are counter to their worldview. Their only defense is that the information in this audio tape were from the white house... but, wooops... this ABC tape is from 1999 - during the Clinton White House, which was not exactly a neocon sanctuary.

;-)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Bastille Day

Welllll, how could we have forgotten?

I just paid a visit to Downers site, after a few thorazine to prepare me, and here is what I found there: http://downleft.blogspot.com/ "The French have gotten a bad rap lately. Sure, they have an attitude problem but any country has its character quirks. At least they were smart enough to stay out of Bush's war of lies and aggression.On this Bastille Day I congratulate the French for winning their own revolution without the help of a foreign army. I will also celebrate all things French by reading the Declaration of the Rights of Man..."

Well, as Patton said, "I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French division behind me."

I also understand our wobbly cheese-eating friends have raised their threat level from "run and hide" to "surrender" after the terrorist attacks in London last week.

Jeeze, Bastille day indeed!


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Monterey John

Welcome Buzz Readers

Thanks to the Eric at NRO's The Buzz for the link!

It's been a tough couple of days & weeks, what with SCOTUS reducing our private property rights and our boss Karl going through tough times. But, hey - the facts will come out eventually.

Who am I kidding? Since when have as anyone relied on the MSM/Beltway press for FACTS?


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Beeb and the "T" word



Well, it's a little surprising that a government-owned news organization would remove words from a statement made by their ostensible boss... And why don't they use the word terrorist? Because, you know... the US, the UK, and Israel are all terrorists nations in the eyes of the Beeb.

Within hours of the explosions, a memo was sent to senior editors on the main BBC news programmes from Helen Boaden, head of news. While she was aware "we are dancing on the head of a pin", the BBC was very worried about offending its World Service audience, she said.

BBC output was not to describe the killers of more than 50 in London as "terrorists" although - nonsensically - they could refer to the bombings as "terror attacks". And while the guidelines generously concede that non-BBC should be allowed to use the "t" word, BBC online was not even content with that and excised it from its report of Tony Blair's statement to the Commons.

Instead of using the "t" word, they've employed the apparently more acceptable "bomber." Somehow this is seen by the Beeb as being more acceptable to the sensibilities of its World Service consumers. I suppose it does have a connotation wth some valid military action, instead of cowardly killing unarmed and innocent women and children.

I wonder what the Beeb's policy towards IRA terrorists was... Did they use the "t" word?

Hmmm, it looks like they have no problem with the word when it's the IRA
see here and here and the Google search here

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

St Louis Post-Dispatch - Why Finish the Investigation?

Well, it's good to know that the St Louis Post-Dispatch knows everything there is to kknow about the Plame/Wilson affair. Why do we have an investigation in process when the Editorial board of this rag has already uncovered all of the facts.

THE WHITE HOUSE: What's in a name?
07/14/2005

KARL ROVE, the president's political wizard, shouldn't resign because he is good at beating up Democrats, although that's certainly why Democrats want his scalp.

Nor should Mr. Rove resign because he leaked information to reporters to make his boss look good and his boss' opponents look bad. That's part of his job.

But the American people have every reason to hold Mr. Rove and President George W. Bush to the statements they made after the disclosure two summers ago that Valerie Plame was a covert CIA officer. The disclosure was part of a transparent effort by the White House to discredit Ms. Plame's husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, who had the temerity to challenge the president's rationale for going to war in Iraq.

Ms. Plame was outed in a nationally syndicated column by Robert Novak, a disclosure repeated in several other publications. The White House criticized the leaks, denied that Mr. Rove was involved and promised to punish anyone who was.
[...]
For the moment, Mr. Bush is saying he won't comment until the Justice Department finishes its criminal investigation. But time may not be on his side. People already are beginning to wonder how long Mr. Bush has known that Mr. Rove leaked the information and why the president hasn't acted sooner.

And I love the allusion to "What did he know and when did he know it..." Heck, they're giving MoveOn.Org and DemocraticUnderground a run for their money in the contest for tinfoil partisanship whackery...

BTW, the next time a reporter calls the WH for information on Social Security or Tax Reform, administration officials should hang up, lest they be accused of actively smearing their opponents. How can it be an "active" smear campaign when Rove didn't initiate the contact and Rove was answering the question of a reporter?

***UPDATE***
Meanwhile, Greg Palast (noted tinfoil-hatted nutter) echoes the Post-Dispatch at CommonDreams.org. I'm sure Mr. Pulitzer is proud.

Palast even knows who Judith Miller's source is and think the NYTimes is disgraceful for covering up for Karl Rove. He doesn't see the idiocy of the claim - given that the NYTimes hasn't exactly been a staunch supporter of the administraion.
[...]
New York Times reporter Miller and her paper would rather she go to prison for four months than identify their "source." Why?

Part of her oddball defense is that The Times never ran the story about Wilson's wife. They get no points for that. The Times SHOULD have run the story with the headline: BUSH OPERATIVE COMMITS FELONY TO PUNISH WHISTLEBLOWER. The lead paragraph should have been, "Today, Mr. K--- R--- [or other slime ball as appropriate] attempted to plant sensitive intelligence information on The New York Times, a felony offense, in an attempt to harm former Ambassador Joseph Wilson who challenged the President's claim regarding Iraq's nuclear program."

A Karl Rove or Rove-like creature peddling a back-door smear doesn't make him a source. Miller's real crime is not concealing a source, but burying the story. A reporter should never, ever give notes to a grand jury, but this information is something The Times owes the PUBLIC, not the prosecutors.

Why didn't The Times run this story? Why not now? Who are they covering for and why?
[...]
As Karl Rove chuckles and Judy does time, we are left to ask, What are Miller and The New York Times doing: protecting the name of a source or covering up their conduit to the Bush gang's machinery of deception?

One can only be sympathetic to Miller for choosing jail over bending to the power of the State. But as T.S. Eliot said,

"The last temptation is the greatest treason,
To do the right deed for the wrong reaso

The fact that the Times hasn't run the story that Palast implores them to run speaks volumes in my mind. Methinks that the "source" isn't tied to the administration at all and the Times is just letting Bush/Rove twist in the wind.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Hollywood Sucks

There's been much handwringing by the media over why the hollywood box office receipts are down. (I've commented on this previously here. ) I just watched Squawk Box on CNBC this am and they were talking to the CEO of Imax which has fought off this trend. He attributes this to the fact that the Imax format is more attractive to viewers.

Now, Imax is great and all, but it certainly is focused on a certain film genre (action, documentaries with expansive landscapes (space, nature, war, etc) and is probably not suited for your average romantic comedy.

But, can someone answer me this question:
Would the prosepects of seeing The Bad News Bears in Imax format pull you out of your house any more than if it was presented to you on a "normal" big screen?

Here is the problem with Hollywood and the fact that all of the execs haven't mentioned this is worrisome and likely means that the trend will continue - THEIR MOVIES SUCK!

As Hollywood continues to push re-warmed content from the 1970s (Dukes of Hazzard, Herbie, Bad News Bears, Scooby, Charlies Angels, ad infinitum), it is unlikely that they'lll change the current box office stats. Those that grew up during the 70s remember how bad those shows were and don't want to see that crap again and their target demographic (13 year old male) is too busy buried in his X-box to head to the theater - and targeting this demographic may be a mistake. It seems to me that the marketing prowess in Hollywood is so poor these days that they can't see the forest for the trees.

Evan Coyne Maloney at Brain-Terminal saw an LA Times piece which suggested that Hollywood's poor performance might, just might, be due to the fact that Hollywood seems to twist almost any plot-line to offend their target demographic.

I go back to this adage:
You can candycoat a turd, but it's still a turd.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Perhaps Kyoto could have prevented this?


Welllllllll... (in the immortal words of Frank O'Pinion)

The picture to the right is of El Capitan in Yosemite Park in central California. Guess what formed this famed geologic structure? Right! Glaciers. Talk about global warming, where did the glacier go? What did George Bush have to do with the disappearance of the glacier? Could Kyoto have "saved" the glacier?

I make the point simply to state the obvious, global warming is nothing new. Nor is global cooling anything new. The glaciers came from somewhere in the first place. There are forces at work on the earth that just could be more powerful than man.

My sense of intellectual curiosity is offended by the absence of any discussion of broader trends when "global warming" is discussed. Without context, the facts put out for public consumption have no meaning. A half degree rise in the ambient air temperature in New York is without meaning without discussion of the fact that there are now 16 million people in that area who were not there two hundred years ago. There is no meaning without comparing what that local increase means in the context of a wider area. There is no meaning if there is no discussion of whether there have been any drops in temperature elsewhere on earth. There is no meaning without discussion of whether there have been cyclic changes in the earth's temperature over long periods of time and then asking whether its is nature or man that is causing any current changes. In short, there is one hell of a lot of bad science out there, and I for one am tired of hearing it.

None of this is to say man does not impact the environment. The question is how much? Is it a negative impact? Are there positive impacts? At what cost can we reduce negative impacts if any? Is it worth it? Is it too much to ask for a cost/benfit analysis?

Memo to the scientific community: Gentlemen, please, give this a real scientific effort and come back to us when you are done and have asked all the reasonable questions.

Political correctness rather than science is driving this discussion. No one, including President Bush, has the courage to come out and say this is all bunk. Someone needs to show some real courage. Not one more cent for Kyoto, or anything like it, until there is real scientific evidence to support the conclusion that its provisions will have positive impact on the environment.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Monterey John

Reason 1,425 to cancel a subscription to the St Louis Post-Dispatch

Not like I need a reason, since I canceled my subscription 5 years ago... But rumor has it that ARC:Brian recently canceled his subscription. Am curious as to whether this was an example of what pushed him over the edge?

RIMSHOT: No Viagra for you!
07/13/2005

CALLING IT A "FRIVOLOUS" USE of taxpayer dollars, Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has ordered the Division of Medical Services to "stop providing erectile dysfunction drugs at taxpayers' expense."

The governor's order follows recent reports that the state paid for such drugs for 26 registered sex offenders during the past year. But the new ban applies to all state Medicaid recipients, who reportedly used $200,000 worth of Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs between May 2004 and May 2005.

However, Missouri officials, legislators and employees who get health coverage through the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan can still make "frivolous" state-subsidized "lifestyle choices." Viagra and Levitra are listed on their plan's approved drug formulary. Moral of the story: When you're poor, everything is more expensive - sometimes even sex.

First off... the title.... I mean, seriously.

second, is it the P-D's position that sex offenders SHOULD have viagra so they can sexually abuse other inmates?

Is the P-D be in favor of means testing prisoners, allowing those who are "economically disadvantaged" prisoners to get the drug on my dime?

The moral of the story is that if you commit a crime, the State of Missouri won't be helping you achieve an hour-long erections... This is apparently cruel and unusual punishment in the eyes of the P-D. One wonders what the P-D's position was regarding E.D. prior to the invention of Viagra, Levitra, & Cialis.

Kudos to Governor Matt Blunt

***ARC: Brian adds***
Editorials like that sure don't help. The P-D has been using the comparison between what state legislators and employees get via their health care insurace as a condition of their employment and what medicaid recipients get. As though if an employee of the state gets more than a medicaid recipient it means that Gov. Blunt is hoarding the extra's for his staff.

The comparison is ludicrous. State employees, theoretically at least, work for the state, so you know, compensating them is probably going to be necessary at some point. If providing Viagra to state employees allows us to retain the best and brightest to cut state spending, I'm all for it.
***

***UPDATE St Wendeler***
And they've extended the comparison to state employees vs prisoners. As everyone knows, if you want more of something, subsidize it. Do we really want more sex offenders in Missouri (who'll think "Hey, if I get caught in Missouri, at least I can have some fun while I'm in prison!")?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Before we change the name of this blog to "Another Rovian Frog March"

Let's see what actually occurred by letting the investigation play out. The press isn't judge, jury, & executioner. Glenn Reynolds and NRO have some interesting comments:

From Glenn Reynolds

[...]All I know is that the same people who are sure they know what's going on now were sure they knew what was going on when they claimed that the leaker was Scooter Libby. I suspect that the special prosecutor will let us know what's really going on soon enough, and that when that happens some people will be surprised

And from NRO:
Luskin told NRO that the circumstances of Rove's conversation with Cooper undercut Time's suggestion of a White House "war on Wilson." According to Luskin, Cooper originally called Rove — not the other way around — and said he was working on a story on welfare reform. After some conversation about that issue, Luskin said, Cooper changed the subject to the weapons of mass destruction issue, and that was when the two had the brief talk that became the subject of so much legal wrangling. According to Luskin, the fact that Rove did not call Cooper; that the original purpose of the call, as Cooper told Rove, was welfare reform; that only after Cooper brought the WMD issue up did Rove discuss Wilson — all are "indications that this was not a calculated effort by the White House to get this story out."
[...]
Luskin also addressed the question of whether Rove is a "subject" of the investigation. Luskin says Fitzgerald has told Rove he is not a "target" of the investigation, but, according to Luskin, Fitzgerald has also made it clear that virtually anyone whose conduct falls within the scope of the investigation, including Rove, is considered a "subject" of the probe. "'Target' is something we all understand, a very alarming term," Luskin says. On the other hand, Fitzgerald "has indicated to us that he takes a very broad view of what a subject is."

Finally, Luskin conceded that Rove is legally free to publicly discuss his actions, including his grand-jury testimony. Rove has not spoken publicly, Luskin says, because Fitzgerald specifically asked him not to.

So... all of those on the Left who think that Karl should be lead out in handcuffs should recognize that:
1 - It's unlikely that Rove committed a crime; and
2 - Let the investigation run its course before you give political / legal advice to the Bush administration.

***Update***
See the guys at Powerline for more info.

And this Podhoretz post at the Corner indicates that Wilson may have leaked the info to Miller.
WELL, WELL, WELL... [John Podhoretz]
...it appears Joe Wilson has issued a statement IN DEFENSE OF Judith Miller. (Hat tip: IVQ.)

Which is odd on its face, because if Wilson is so concerned about finding out who revealed the name of his wife -- who Wilson claims was somehow placed in personal jeopardy by the revelation -- shouldn't he want her to testify and reveal who told her what?

Here are Wilson's words: "The sentencing of Judith Miller to jail for refusing to disclose her sources is the direct result of the culture of unaccountability that infects the Bush White House from top to bottom....Thus has Ms Miller joined my wife, Valerie, and her twenty years of service to this nation as collateral damage in the smear campaign launched when I had the temerity to challenge the President on his assertion that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa."

This makes no sense. Judy Miller's jailing is the direct result of an effort to find out who revealed his wife's name. But there is at least one way in which it might make sense -- if Wilson is himself the original source.

This is especially strange, since Joe Wilson made the following comment:
Retired career diplomat Joseph Wilson said Sunday that he would to love to see whoever blew the cover on his wife as a CIA operative "frog-marched out of the White House."

And, more directly, this:
It's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs. And trust me, when I use that name, I measure my words.

Well, Joey... if you think Rove is the source, Miller can spill the beans and you can see that frog-march for yourself. BTW, what story did Miller write that referenced Plame? There isn't one. Which leads to the possibility that SHE leaked to someone else (Cooper? Novak?) and isn't willing to disclose her source. Also, if Judith didn't write a story about Plame, how can she hide behind journalistic integrity??

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

End of an Era in Midwest Radio

I've commented previously about the demise of KMOX. They have two primary drivers for their existing radio audience and the competition in the St Louis market is KILLING THEM.



Well, it appears that the second to last nail has been hammered into KMOX's coffin:

Lamping: KMOX 'pretty much done with us'
By Dan Caesar
Of the Post-Dispatch
07/13/2005

Cardinals President Mark Lamping, unhappy with what KMOX has called its final offer to the team to retain its radio rights beyond this season, said the club no longer is focusing on that bid. Instead, the team is concentrating its efforts on deciding whether buying into KTRS and moving the broadcasts there, as has been discussed for months, is feasible.

"There's nothing else to focus on from KMOX," Lamping said this week. "They're pretty much done with us. We can't make them give us another offer.

"As far as KMOX is concerned, other than some non-economic things, we're not in the midst of any discussions with them. What we're spending our time on is not so much evaluating KMOX's offer, but if we choose to go to another station then there are issues that we're going need to deal with. (We) need to determine if we can deal with those issues or not before we make up our mind as to what we're going to do."

One of those key issues is lining up stations on the club's radio network that would cover areas in the St. Louis market that now get KMOX (1120 AM) but do not receive the signal of KTRS (550 AM) at night, when most of the games are played.
Advertisement


"That's one of many things," being evaluated, Lamping said. "Just in terms of the strength of the flagship station, KMOX is the best (option). But there are issues on both. And the thing that we're working on now is if we end up with a network that the flagship station does not have that strong of a signal, then there are things we need to deal with. What we're doing is we're figuring out is how would we deal with those things before we make up our mind."

Last week a source tied to KMOX and its owner, Infinity Broadcasting, said the offer to the Cards for next season, the first of a five-year deal, was worth about $7.5 million. But Lamping scoffed at that figure.

"The question has never been our rights fee going up with KMOX," Lamping said. "It always has been a negotiation of how far it goes down. I don't know what kind of funny math they have going."

[...]

"We know that there are a tremendous number of positives with both offers," Lamping said. "KMOX's positive is they've got a strong signal. If it just came down to signal (strength), this would have been decided a long time ago. On the other hand, if it just came down to financials it also would have been decided a long time ago and we would have gone to KTRS. There's no question financially the best way for the Cardinals to go is KTRS."
[...]
The "sports voice" of St Louis now will not have the Cardinals, the Rams, nor the Blues. They've always been a mix of talk and sports and they've had difficulty focusing on their identity, especially with significant competition from both the sports side (several all sports stations that true sports junkies listen to) and talk (550 KTRS and 97.1 FMTalk have eaten into their marketshare). The demographics for the station are terrible from an advertising standpoint...

How long before Rush leaves KMOX?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Well, there's a first time for everything...



St Wendeler asked if I would like to join his merry band, so here I am. It's kind of like the St Crispin's Day thing only different :) We band of brothers, we few and all that.

For any who care to know, I relocated from Columbia to the Central Coast of California after better than thirty years in Missouri, fourteen years in Kansas City and eight in St. Louis before going to Columbia. I am an attorney. I spent many years defending poor downtrodden insurance companies against unscrupulous and over reaching widows and orphans. I have since changed hats since going West.

I stumbled over this blog a month or so ago and have been hooked ever since. I posted a few items, and St seemed to like what I had to say. So here I am. I look forward to serving up a comment or two as we go along.

My politics tend to range from neo-con to paleo-con to lbertarian depending upon the issue and my mood at the time.

In the meantime, the pictures above are where I spent part of last week and are in part why I'm out here in the land of fruits, flakes and nuts. The other part is my children have located here and a grandchild is due is September. Pretty good reasons all things considered.

It's late here, so I will sign off for now.

Go Cards! Go Tigers! Uuuurah! to the good men and women in Iraq and elsewhere. God bless George Bush and the USA.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC:Monterey John

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Krugman - Tax Policy Idiot?

Now, I'm a fan of Krugman when it comes to free trade. But his punditry on other issues leave something to be desired. Donald Luskin makes fun of Krugman's idiotic and ignorant claims about the Bush Tax Cuts over at NRO. Like Luskin, I love the smell of tax cuts in the morning.

Smells like Victory
The sweet fragrance of the Laffer curve versus the stench of Krugman’s tax-increase scheme.

In his New York Times column Tuesday, Paul Krugman complains that President Bush’s tax cuts have put the nation in a “fiscal quagmire.” America’s most dangerous liberal pundit says “we won’t get out of that quagmire until a future president admits that the Bush tax cuts were a mistake, and must be reversed.”

Now, consider reality. Take a look at the chart below, which tracks total federal tax receipts in trillions of dollars, year by year (source: Office of Management and Budget). Revenues peaked in 2000 with the last gasp of the 1990’s boom. They were in free-fall in 2001, 2002, and 2003. But you can’t blame the tax cuts for very much of that. It wasn’t until 2003 that any but a tiny fraction of Bush’s tax cuts were put into effect. After the cuts went into action, however, revenues have soared — and they are forecasted to reach all-time highs in a few short years.



Krugman snarls,
The usual suspects on the right are already declaring victory over the deficit, and proclaiming vindication for the Laffer Curve — the claim that tax cuts pay for themselves, because they have such a miraculous effect on the economy that revenue actually goes up.

Count me — and anyone else who’s seen this chart — as among “the usual suspects.” And as long as we’re making cinematic allusions, let me add that I love the smell of tax revenues in the morning. Smells like victory.

The best Krugman can do is forecast that the explosion of revenues in the wake of the 2003 tax cuts won’t last. Why? For one thing, Krugman claims that “the economy as a whole is, if anything, doing worse than one would expect at this stage of an economic recovery.”

Again, consider reality. Since the recession bottom in the fourth quarter of 2001, real GDP has grown 12 percent. That beats the 11 percent growth over the comparable period in the previous economic recovery — the one that began on Bill Clinton’s watch, which Krugman once called an “economic miracle.”

Krugman also frets that the revenues flowing into the U.S. Treasury are the wrong kind. Not enough revenue growth, he complains, is coming from taxes “tied to the number of jobs and the average wage, such as payroll taxes and income taxes.”

Consider reality: Personal withheld tax revenues are up 7.3 percent compared to last year, and social insurance and retirement receipts are up 6.4 percent (source: U.S. Treasury). Yes, there’s been even greater growth in corporate tax revenues. But why are corporate revenues the wrong kind of revenues?

And yes, there’s been a surge in non-withheld personal income-tax revenues, which Krugman guesses is mostly from capital gains. Why are those the wrong kind of revenues? Perhaps because slashing the capital-gains tax rate was the signature of Bush’s 2003 cuts; a surge in those revenues proves just how vindicated the adherents of the Laffer curve really are.

One wonders what kind of growth would be good enough for Krugman and the Democrats. Don’t kid yourself that they’d be satisfied even if George W. Bush left office, the 2003 tax cuts were repealed, and all deficits magically vanished. They won’t be satisfied until tax rates are raised to the point where government is seizing an unprecedented fraction of personal wealth. Krugman recently told an Asian newspaper,
We should be running surpluses ... We should be getting 28% of GDP [gross domestic product] in revenue. We are only collecting 17%.

Consider reality (and if you’re not used to thinking about tax revenues as a fraction of GDP, this reality will come as quite a shock). As the chart below shows, the federal government has never collected more than about 21 percent of GDP in taxes. Krugman wants it to collect 28 percent — even more than was collected at the very height of World War II.



What would government do with such money (assuming, fantastically, that the attempt to collect that much in tax dollars wouldn’t utterly destroy the economy)? Krugman has at least one idea. Both of his Times columns last week (here and here) were pleas to “put aside our anti-government prejudices” and “do something” about obesity — “America’s fastest-growing health problem.”

Something tells me Krugman hasn’t checked with Michael Moore or Teddy Kennedy about that particular idea for spending taxpayer money. They’ll have to work that out among themselves later.

For now, the first step is to seize every taxpayer dollar they can. Every time they talk about repealing the Bush tax cuts, that’s what they’re trying to do.

Every time taxes are cut, tax revenues to the Federal Treasury in nominal dollars increase. For some reason, the Left thinks this is a bad thing... you would think they would love all the new funds that they can use for their "important" programs. Krugman has GOT to be kidding if he thinks the Feds need 28% of GDP... GDP in 2004 was something like $11,000,000,000,000 (figured I'd put the zeros in for effect). That means Krugman wants $3,080,000,000,000 (or more assuming a growing economy) each year. Thanks to Bush's tax cuts, federal tax revenues are approaching $2.3 trillion.

Keep in mind that this guy is likely to get a Nobel prize for economics in the future.... despite this idiocy. Keep in mind that capital (ie money) goes to where it is most appreciated.

It seems that this man knew what the heck he was talking about when he drew this:


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, July 11, 2005

Not Serious about the War On Terror

And the Left wonders why everyone thinks they're soft on terror! Perhaps, just perhaps, it's because of thinking like this (which I've fisked):

How To Stop Terrorism
by John Dear

Like many, I was upset about the horrific terrorist attacks on London on July 7th. I spent a few days in London just this past Christmas. I know my way around the Tube. It gave me flashbacks of my days working at Ground Zero right after the September 11th attacks, and the thousands of grieving people I met in the months afterwards as a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the New York Family Assistance Center.

However, I am equally upset by the ongoing U.S. terrorist attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere. My heart breaks with every report of the hundreds of nameless people who die from our bombs, our weapons, our soldiers.
A Jordanian guy wiring a bomb next to the road is taken out by a predator drone. My brother-in-law serving in Iraq cheers. This guy weeps for the scumbag.
For me, then the question, “How to Stop Terrorism?” is easy. We stop terrorism first of all by stopping our own terrorism! We cannot fight terrorism by becoming terrorists. We cannot end terrorism by using the methods of terrorism to bomb and kill Iraqis, to occupy Iraq, to support the terrorist occupation of the Palestinians, and to hold the world hostage with our nuclear weapons. We must bring the troops home from Iraq, fund nonviolent democratic peacemakers in Iraq, send food and medicine to Iraq, support United Nations’ nonviolent peacemaking solutions, end world hunger immediately, cut all U.S. military aid everywhere, dismantle every one of our nuclear weapons, fund jobs, education and healthcare at home and abroad, clean up the environment and teach nonviolence to everyone around the world, beginning at home in every U.S. classroom.
We should become Switzerland. Oh, wait. Switzerland has a buttload of weapons (an M16 in every home) to keep fools from invading. I'm sure the reverend would be allowed to pray to Jesus after the Islamofascists take over, right before they remove his head with a rusty blade.
As I watch the TV news reporters and commentators, I am amazed at their lack of understanding. Half the world considers the United States the leading terrorist in the world, by our public spokespeople remain clueless about what’s really going on. We are seen as terrorists by many around the world because we bombed and killed 100,000 people in Iraq in 2003, and because we have over 20,000 weapons of mass destruction, (many of them in my neighborhood in New Mexico), which we are willing to use on any nation that does not support “U.S. interests.” Our wars and bombing raids and hostility toward the world’s poor are turning the world against us. We are breeding thousands of new terrorists, desperate poor people who have nothing, whose backs are up against the wall, and who have learned from our total violence to adopt the lunacy of violence, even suicidal violence, to strike back, blow up trains and buses, and spend their lives spreading fear.
100,000 Iraqi dead is seriously disputed. I don't remember the last time we launched a nuclear missile at Canada (or any other country) for not supporting our interests. The "economically disadvantaged jihadist" is a cliche that is incorrect, as most jihadists are well-educated and wealthy people who have visited the west.

Violence in response to violence can only lead to further violence. Jesus taught us that as the soldiers were dragging him away to his death when he said, “Those who live by the sword, will die by the sword.” Gandhi taught us that when he said, “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”
Indeed... violence against Nazi Germany only brought us return fire from the germany military. But I don't recall the violence from Germans 10 years after World War II... missed that ongoing cycle of violence...

Violence cannot stop violence. We have to break the cycle of violence, renounce violence, start practicing creative active nonviolence on a level that the world has never seen, and reach out and embrace the world’s poor by meeting their every need. Then, we will win over the world, and no one will ever want to hurt a Westerner again. On that new day, we will sow the seeds of love and peace and discover what a world without terrorism, war, poverty, and fear is like.

Oh, they'll have love for you, preacher... they'll whisper sweet nothings to you about Allah as they whip out the blade. Violence does not stop violence is an idiotic cliche. One thing that violence is good at is removing a fascistic ideology. Once violence peeled back the layers of national socialism and fascism, few in the world have sought to return to that system.
I remember with sadness meeting thousands of Iraqis in 1999 when I led a group of Nobel Peace Prize winners to Baghdad. We asked everyone the simple question, “What do you want us to do?” Everyone we met, from the Papal Nuncio to the Muslim Iman to the non-governmental organization leaders (including the late, great Margaret Hassan) to hundreds of high school children to the hundreds of mothers holding their dying children, said: “Don’t kill us!” That sounds so obvious, but they said it with tears. If you want to help us, don’t kill us! If you want us to live in peace, don’t kill us! If you want us to be friends with you, don’t kill us! If you want Iraq to create a new democracy, don’t kill us! Send us food and medicine instead, and fund nonviolent, democratic movements for peace. Then, we will live in peace with you.
"I was just amazed at how open and honest these folks were with us, despite the pistols that were held at their backs." Either you are naive or simply evil. I'm sure that you'll get similar sentiments from the inhabitants of North Korea... they just love, love, love their dear leader. They love him so much that they're willing to live on boiled grass and die from starvation and send their young girls to service him... Just ask them... they'll agree (just as long as they're in North Korea and your "tour guide" is standing next to you).

I reject violence and espouse only nonviolence, but I know that most Americans support, even relish violence, anything for “God and country,” they say. If people really believe in violence and justified warfare, then why should they be upset when individuals, or hundreds, or thousands, or maybe someday millions of people turn against the United States, England, or other first world nations in acts of terrorism? What do they expect when we have shown only hostility to the world’s poor, when we have practiced genocide against people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Darfur, Haiti, and elsewhere? Why are people who espouse violence--including most Americans, most TV commentators, most government officials, even most church people--so upset about these terrorist attacks, when they themselves support terrorism upon sisters and brothers elsewhere on the planet?

I do not understand our love of violence. If you want other people to be nonviolent, you first have to be nonviolent. If you want to remove the speck from someone else’s eye, you have to remove the two by four from your own head. If you want other nations to hold you in high regard, you first have to hold other nations in high regard, and treat every human being on the planet as a sister and brother. As someone once said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That is the answer to the nightmare of terrorism.

United States, Australia, India, North Korea, Iran, Sudan - no differences between them. We should hold them all in high regard and they'll turn the corner! how easy! what a fool! It certainly worked well with Hitler. We held him in high regard in 1938. That sure turned out well!
On August 6th, thousands of us across the country will remember that the United States vaporized 140,000 innocent, ordinary people sixty years ago in Hiroshima, Japan, in the ultimate terrorist attack. That morning, hundreds of us will converge on Los Alamos, New Mexico, the birthplace of the bomb, and citing the book of Jonah, we will put on sackcloth and ashes, repent for the sin of war and nuclear weapons, and beg the God of peace for the disarmament of the world. That afternoon, I will fly to Las Vegas, to join over five hundred people of faith in a three day interfaith peace conference, where I will speak and then we will drive out to the Nevada Test Site, where hundreds of us will commit civil disobedience by walking onto the Test Site and getting arrested in a peaceful demand that they close this U.S. nuclear terrorist training camp. I hope everyone everywhere will stand up in protest against nuclear terrorism on August 6th.
Surely you're joking. From a morality standpoint, which would've been better. The demonstration of the destructive power of our new weapon by targeting a fishing village? Or continued firebombing of Tokyo, invasion of Japan with losses of US soldiers in the MILLIONS and unspeakable death & destruction for the Japanese people? Oh, I supposed your philosophy wouldn't have considered either option. Meanwhile, all of Asia Pacific would be a vast slave labor colonies for Japan's natural resources requirements. your assumption that if we played nice in 1940, the Japanese wouldn't overrun the entire Pacific is juvenile.
How do we stop terrorism? Renounce every trace of violence in your heart and your life. Adopt the wisdom and practice of active nonviolence, as Gandhi and Dr. King taught. Beg the God of peace for the gift of peace. Join your local peace and justice group. Stand up publicly for an end to war. Let your life be disrupted, and take a new, nonviolent risk for disarmament. Create new cells of active nonviolence. Embrace the religious roots of nonviolence. Study and teach the wisdom of nonviolence. Resist your local military and government violence. Stop business as usual, government as usual, media as usual, war as usual and demand peace, justice, and disarmament for the whole world, now. Announce the vision of a new nonviolent world, a disarmed world, a world without war, poverty, injustice or nuclear weapons. Explain how such a world is possible if we give our lives for it, demand it, insist on it, work for it, and begin to live it.

Kumbaya, my Lord.... Kumbaya...

I'd like to buy the world a Coke...

It seems that the reverend does not recognize that there IS evil on this planet. That the Left embraces and promotes such folly demonstrates their inability to govern in a serious way. (It seems that some other leaders in the Democratic Party have similar thinking to Rev Dear.) Fortunately for the Reverend, he's not met an Al-Qaeda terrorist face to face. I wonder if he would change his tune as he sits in front of the masked thugs in an orange jumpsuit while they chant out Allahu Akbar. Would he plead for his life? Or smile as they cut his throat, knowing that his death didn't involve any violence (on his part).



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Justice Gonzalez?

Well, besides this minor issue, he'd be great! (NOT!)

Judicial Jeopardy
"Justice Gonzales" supporters fail to make the case
By M. Edward Whelan III
Posted: Friday, July 8, 2005

As I have previously outlined, if Alberto Gonzales were appointed to the Supreme Court in the near future, he would likely have to recuse himself from virtually all the cases that the administration considers of greatest importance to the nation. His recusal obligations would have devastating consequences for the administration's prospects on the hotly divided issues that these cases present. In essence, the unique and invaluable role that Gonzales has played and continues to play as the president's top lawyer is precisely why, notwithstanding his excellent qualifications, it would be worse than senseless for the president to appoint him to any imminent vacancy.

Gonzales's recusal would, for example, place in serious jeopardy cases that present issues crucial to national security and the war on terror, as Andy McCarthy has explained. On the domestic side, Gonzales's recusal would almost surely result in the invalidation of the federal partial-birth abortion, a key part of President Bush's effort to build a culture of life in this country. And Gonzales, it appears, would be required to recuse himself from the three most important cases already on the Court's docket for next term, which involve parental notification for abortion, physician-assisted suicide, and the clash between universities and military recruiters over the military's policy on homosexuals. These are just some of the many major cases of special interest to the administration in which a Justice Gonzales would be required to recuse himself in coming years.

In addition to these issues, wouldn't it be necessary for Gonzalez to recuse himself from any matter concerning the detainment of enemy combatants (legal or illegal) in the WOT, given that in his role as legal counsel to the POTUS, he had a direct involvement in setting administration policy??? Wouldn't he in effect be setting policy and then ruling on the constitutionality of such policy?

Just a minor issue... My pick is Miguel Estrada. He would not have the same problems as Gonzalez, shares W's judicial philosophy, and is Hispanic. I think that's called a threefer.



;-)

Meanwhile, if you're a Leftist and looking for some red meat, check out this post.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

News on the WOT

There's just no good news coming out of Afghanistan and the War on Terror.

Oh, wait... nevermind.

[...]
In the early days of this series, I noted a story of three Afghan exchange students coming to Florida to learn about life in America. Now, year later, they are going back to their homeland:
Abdulahad Barak, Abdulahad Fazil and Khushal Rasoli joined Floridians and other Americans in a year punctuated by hurricanes, holidays and a presidential election focused largely on a U.S. war against a Muslim country. They watched as American media covered Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Afghanistan. They jumped on rides at Universal Studios, Disney World and Busch Gardens, and volunteered to help victims of nature's wrath. Barak even got a chance to meet the president.

And they taught as much as they learned, helping Americans of other religions, or no religion, understand a little more about what it's like to be a Sunni Muslim so far from home.

"I thought Christians here would be mostly against Muslim people," said Barak, 16, who attended Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs. "But they have too much respect for Muslim people."

He didn't mean it quite that way. Barak knew very little English when he arrived last August as part of the Youth Exchange and Studies Program, coordinated by the State Department and World Link, an Iowa-based nonprofit group. He sometimes says "too much" when what he really means is "a lot." But his English has improved dramatically, thanks to spending time with a South Florida family, in a South Florida school with American friends.
"There's too much freedom here, about everything," he said. "How they dress, where they go, wherever they want. They can't do these things in other countries."

Back home, the three want to pursue careers where they can help their fellow countrymen and women: doctor, pediatrician, and politician. "The three said they were most amazed by the U.S. presidential election, watching George W. Bush defending his record in televised debates against challenger John Kerry. The thought that it was even possible for a world leader to be deposed without violence was new to them."
[...]

Arthur Chrenkoff goes on to detail recent news about infrastructure, society, etc in Afghanistan. As usual, for some reason you have to read a friggin' blog to get actual information about the WOT in Afghanistan. Unless you're interested in the latest celebrity murder or cliches such as "the cycle of violence", can someone explain to me why anyone should pay attention to the MSM?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Meanwhile...

Kyrgyzstan has an honest to goodness election and there doesn't appear to be any fraud. Unfortunately, the voters don't appear to be well informed on what the positions of the candidates are and the two front runners decided to team up... (however, >80% turnout isn't anything to sneeze at)


Landslide win for Kyrgyz leader Kurmanbek Bakiev

Kyrgyzstan's acting president, Kurmanbek Bakiev, has won a landslide victory in a presidential election.

With almost all the votes counted, Mr Bakiev has 89% support, giving him an insurmountable lead, the election commission said.

He was appointed acting president by opposition groups following the downfall of former leader Askar Akayev, who fled into exile five months ago.

Election officials say the turnout was nearly 75%, much higher than expected.

A turnout of 50% was needed for the poll to be valid.

Full results, as well as a verdict on the fairness of the poll from observers with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, are expected on Monday afternoon


so, yeah. it was an election (which is good), but it probably could've been better. Probably more important than the first election of a country is the second election. One vote, one time does not a democracy make.

When I first saw this news, I immediately checked out my favorite blogs for democracy in this region... and yes, they had already posted on the topic and did more justice than I could.
Registan.net (here and more recently, here)
PubliusPundit

I also look forward to the thoughts of the Gateway Pundit. I notice that Bushitler's March of Democracy appears to have inspired yet another country... *sigh*

Why won't these people listen to the Lefties in the western world and realize that democracy is a capitalist construct imposed on them by the bougeiose?


;-)



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Biggest Waste of Time This Week

Ummm, what are these people doing???

Luxembourg backs EU constitution
Voters in Luxembourg have approved the European constitution by 56%.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he welcomed the result with "great satisfaction".

Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who said he would resign if there was a "No" vote, said it proved the treaty was not dead.

But the BBC's Caroline Wyatt says it is unclear whether Luxembourg's support is enough to save the charter, which for the time being has been put on hold.

It is unlikely this "Yes" vote from Luxembourg will change that, whatever Mr Juncker may hope, she adds.

'Signs of optimism'

In his first public reaction to the result, Mr Juncker said: "It is the expression of the popular will of a small state but a great nation. This vote was every bit as important as those in France and the Netherlands.

Sure, Mr. Juncker - every bit as important as to two major countries cleaning your clock... Note the margin on this vote is similar to the margin of the French 'non' vote. Which number is bigger? 55% of France's population ( 60,656,178)? or 56% of Luxembourg's population (468,571)?

If California and Florida voted against an amendment to the US constitution, but North Dakota voted FOR the amendment, would we be "optimistic" that the amendment would pass?

Can anyone name a city in Luxembourg other than Luxembourg City? Can anyone name a city in France other than Paris?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler