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

Friday, August 19, 2005

Rex Carr reacts calmly to the Madison County decision...

In the wake of the Illinois Supreme Court decision closing the door, at least part way, by striking down a $1 Billion dollar verdict obtained "over there" in the county famous for the Sauget Ballet and venue shopping, the esteemed (listed in Best Lawyers in America) plaintiff's attorney, Rex Carr, reacted calmly and eloquently to the ruling by saying about the American Tort Reform Association who has been pushing for this type of decision:

“They (ATRA) (American Tort Reform Association) must be drinking Benzene. They are in the pay of the Chamber of Commerce to spread the big lie and to restrict poor victims from getting what they deserve.

"They (ATRA) are drunks and dopeheads."


Such reasoning is indeed hard to argue with and one can see why Mr. Carr enjoys the esteem of Democrats everywhere.

***UPDATE St Wendeler***
Added a pic of Mr. Carr from this Puff Piece by Madison / St Clair County's The Record and found his major areas of practice:

Practice Areas of Rex Carr:
  • Amputation
  • Birth Defects
  • Birth Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice LawsuitsClass Actions
  • Complex Litigation
  • Drug Product Liability
  • Drug and Medical Devise Litigation
  • Gross Negligence
  • Hospital Negligence
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypoxia
  • Machine Defects
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Home Negligence
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Telephone Company Fraud
  • Trial Practice
  • Trial and Appealate Practice
  • Wrongful Death

Ohhhh... he's one of THOSE lawyers!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Monterey John

Rasmussen on Cindy Cindy Cindy

Rassmussen Reports has more evidence that the Sheehan Saga isn't catching on with anyone but rabid Lefties (aka the Democratic Party).

;-)

Cindy Sheehan: 35% Favorable 38% Unfavorable

Survey of 1,000 Adults

August 17-18, 2005
Cindy Sheehan
Favorable 35%
Unfavorable 38%

August 19, 2005--Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mother who maintained an anti-War protest outside of President Bush's ranch, is viewed favorably by 35% of Americans and unfavorably by 38%.

Sheehan is viewed favorably by 34% of men and 35% of women. Forty-two percent (42%) of men and 34% of women have an unfavorable view.

seems that women are less likely to judge a grieving mother? Is that patronizing of me???
In general, people see in Sheehan what they want to see. Opinion about her is largely based upon views of the War, rather than views about the woman herself. Democrats, by a 56% to 18% margin, have a favorable opinion. Republicans, by a 64% to 16% margin, have an unfavorable view. Those not affiliated with either major party are evenly divided.
Interesting that just a slim majority of Dems have a favorable opinion of her...
People who think we should withdraw troops from Iraq now have a positive opinion of Sheehan (59% favorable, 12% unfavorable). Those who do not think we should withdraw troops at this time have a negative view (15% favorable , 64% unfavorable).

Or, put another way... 59% of dems think she's great, 64% of republicans think she's not the best person to decide our foreign policy
Among those with family members who have served in the military, Sheehan is viewed favorably by 31% and unfavorably by 48%.

Forty-two percent (42%) of Married Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Sheehan while 33% have a favorable opinion. Among those who are not married, Sheehan's numbers are 38% favorable and 30% favorable.

Ahh, the marriage gap on display yet again. Does the Democratic Party understand that they have no future just catering to the singles crowd?

For what it's worth... Net is that if you were a Kossack or Michael Moore, you'd likely think that the whole country was behind Cindy...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Is the party about to end in Madison County?

Today's Post-Dispatch has an article detailing the yesterday's ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court overturning the $1billion (yes with a B) decision against State Farm Insurance (based in Bloomington, IL) for using non-standard car parts.

As the article details though the appeal wasn't about what parts to use in cars, but rather on the venue shopping for class action lawsuits in Madison County Illinois.

Madison County courts are notorious for being plaintiff friendly. From my understanding, most of the judges are former plaintiff's attorneys, the juries (if it ever gets that far) are plaintiff friendly, which leads to large verdicts against companies.

It appears that at least the Supreme Court is starting to notice the venue shopping that is going on, and is starting to tell the lower courts to shape up with their class certifications.

The party may be about to end...

I'm sure Penelope, having actually been in a Madison County Courthouse, could comment further..... Penelope?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Ahhh, the Foolishness of the Left

Look for these immature antics at your local bookstore.

  1. Select a local bookstore to carry out your reshelving activities.

  2. Download and print "This book has been relocated by the Ministry of Reshelving" bookmarks and "All copies of 1984 have been relocated" notecards to take with you to the bookstore. Or make your own. We recommend bringing a notecard and 5-10 bookmarks to each store.

  3. Go to the bookstore and locate its copies of George Orwell's 1984. Unless the Ministry of Reshelving has already visited this bookstore, it is probably currently incorrectly classified as "Fiction" or "Literature."

  4. Discreetly move all copies of 1984 to a more suitable section, such as "Current Events", "Politics", "History", "True Crime", or "New Non-Fiction."

  5. Insert a Ministry of Reshelving bookmark into each copy of any book you have moved. Leave a notecard in the empty space the books once occupied.

  6. If you spot other incorrectly classified books, feel free to relocate them.

Well, while they're off taking these idiotic actions, we'll continue to press forward in this War On Terror. We'll sort out the bookshelves after we've won the war, mmmmkay???

(How's that for patronizing????)

By the way, I was at Borders over the weekend and was perusing the Politics & Government shelves. I was amazed at the number of anti-Bush books... And it seemed like most of them were written by C-list authors or obscure "journalists" with recommendations on the back cover from similarly obscure websites.

I think I may just ditch this whole conservative/libertarian line of logic and head over to the deranged, Bush-obsessed Left for the next 3 years. There's a ton of money that can be made by just making stuff up...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Air America Enron

Michelle Malkin has a great roundup of the problems facing Air America.

It appears that in addition to stealing $875k from the mouths of poor kids and Alzheimer's patients, they tried to avoid liabilities incurred by the original company when they changed to Piquant Media.

Two questions:

  1. Why is it that the "hypocrisy-obsessed" media does not focus on this hypocrisy from the Left's most celebrated network?
  2. Why would anyone invest, buy ad time, or work for Air America?
It's a shame that Air America isn't a publicly traded company, b/c I could make some serious jack shorting them... Of course, Air America couldn't comply with all of the SEC regulations to start with, given all of the shady dealings they've had in such a short time.

On a scale of 1 - 10 (with one being little chance of going under and 10 being metaphysical certainty of a collapse), I'd give Air America an 8. The only thing that can save them is a wealthy Liberal investor who isn't too bright - and we know there are plenty of those.

***update***
At NRO Byron York covers the original Airscam, involving Gloria Wise and AA's dismal ratings, and some of the conflicting statements by AA mgmt:
Until a few weeks ago, the biggest worry for executives at Air America was what to do about the liberal radio network's alarmingly low ratings. Launched amid much hype on March 31, 2004, Air America, with Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Randi Rhodes, and a host of other anti-Bush personalities at the microphone, has, with the exception of a few cities, had great difficulty finding an audience. Even in New York, where the network's true-blue message should be welcome, its daily average ratings are actually lower than those of the Caribbean talk-and-music station it replaced a year and a half ago.

That would be bad enough. But now Air America finds itself fielding questions not only about its ratings but about its connection to a Bronx-based children's charity known as the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club. In early July, a little-noticed local online journal, the Gotham Gazette, reported that New York City's Department of Investigation (DOI) was looking into the diversion of "hundreds of thousands of dollars" from the Gloria Wise club to Air America. The first figure was around $450,000, but it now appears that $875,000 was transferred from the taxpayer-and-contribution-supported Gloria Wise club to the struggling radio network.
[...]




Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Calling All Conspirators!!!

Meeting of the conspirators tonight... Well, at least 2 of the 4

;-)

Here's the location - sssshhhhhhhh

BTW, if you enjoy laughing at other people's misfortune, here's a good story for you. Signs that you're in trouble:

In trying to elicit fresh ideas, Mr. Moonves has cast a wide net. Earlier this year he sought advice from executives far afield of the news division, including those who conceived the "Dr. Phil" talk show and others from MTV News. A report yesterday in The New York Observer said the network had asked dozens of college-age summer interns to give Olympic-style ratings - on a scale of 1 to 10 - to ideas for revamping the news.

See you on Friday!!!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sheehan - The More She Speaks, the Worse for the Dems

Mark Steyn has an excellent column on the Sheehan fiasco - and it's a fiasco for the Dems, not Bush. Read the whole thing:

Hold your tears
Mark Steyn
[...]
But in the wreckage of Pat and Cindy Sheehan’s marriage there is surely a lesson for the Democratic party. As Cindy says, they’re both Democrats, but she’s ‘more liberal’ and ‘more radicalised’. There are a lot of less liberal and less radicalised Dems out there: they’re soft-left-ish on healthcare and the environment and education and so forth; many have doubts about the war, but they love their country, they have family in the military, and they don’t believe in dishonouring American soldiers to make a political point. The problem for the Democratic party is that the Cindys are now the loudest voice: Michael Moore, Howard Dean, moveon.org, and Air America, the flailing liberal radio network distracting attention from its own financial scandals by flying down its afternoon host Randi Rhodes to do her show live from Camp Casey. The last time I heard Miss Rhodes she was urging soldiers called up for Iraq to refuse to go — i.e., to desert — and entertaining theories that 9/11 was Bush’s Reichstag fire.

On unwatched Sunday talk shows you can still stumble across the occasional sane responsible Dem. But, in the absence of any serious intellectual attempt to confront their long-term decline, all the energy on the Left is with the fringe. The Democratic party is a coalition of Pat Sheehans and Cindy Sheehans, and the noisier the Cindys get the more estranged the Pats are likely to feel. Sorry about that, but, if Mrs Sheehan can insist her son’s corpse be the determining factor in American policy on Iraq, I don’t see why her marriage can’t be a metaphor for the state of the Democratic party.

Casey Sheehan was a 21-year-old man when he enlisted in 2000. He re-enlisted for a second tour, and he died after volunteering for a rescue mission in Sadr City. Mrs Sheehan says she wishes she’d driven him to Canada, though that’s not what he would have wished and it was his decision. As to whether he died in vain, the Associated Press reported this week:

‘The capital’s Sadr City section was once a hotbed of Shiite Muslim unrest, but it has become one of the brightest successes for the US security effort. So far this year, there has been only one car bombing in the neighborhood, and only one American soldier has been killed.’

Cindy Sheehan is a woman whose grief has curdled into a narcissistic rage, and the Democrats cheering her on are cheering their own marginalisation. Most Americans will not follow where she’s gone — to the wilder shores of anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-Iraq, anti-Afghanistan, anti-Israel, anti-American paranoia. Casey Sheehan’s service was not the act of a child. A shame you can’t say the same about his mom’s new friends.
**********
ARC: Brian adds

You beat me to it Saint. Man, can ol' Steyn write.

This part really stood out for me:
It was suggested by the columnist Cal Thomas that Bush should agree to a (second) meeting — in public. Cindy Sheehan could let rip, but there would also be other bereaved moms of soldiers who don’t feel as she does, and maybe some bereaved Iraqi moms to tell of their gratitude for the liberation of their country from a psycho regime. It’s a fine idea, and I’m sure the reason Bush won’t do it is because he understands that Mrs Sheehan is having a mental breakdown in public and it would be cruel to take advantage of that. If only the Michael Moore Left had that much decency.

Wow can you imagine such a townhall? It would be like a caged deathmatch on the war issue, once and for all.

Of course, I understand politically why it would never happen. Neither side would consent to such a spectacle, nor should Bush be so cruel to Ms. Sheehan as Steyn rightly points out.
**********

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Israeli Pull-Out

Is it a betrayal of Jewish settlers who were asked by the Israeli government to risk their lives in Gaza?
Yes.


Is it likely to be seen by the Islamofascists as a victory for terrorism?
Yes


Given those two major faults of the situation in Gaza, I recognize that this pull-out was inevitable and that it is likely the only way that Israel can defend itself more aggressively. In addition, while it is a short-term concession to the terrorists, Sharon should wall off the Gaza strip from Israel proper and not allow anyone to cross the border - no one.

Next, discuss with whoever the hell is running the Palestinian Authority today that the next suicide bombing in Israel will be followed up with carpet bombing of Gaza. This gives the PA some respect, in that it assumes that they have a control over their own territory and are able to function like a real government.

So, in the short-term, Hamas may be cheering... but I wonder how they'll feel when they find out that this might be Israel's first step towards finally treating terrorist attacks as acts of war rather than merely a security issue.

Jeff Goldstein at ProteinWisdom (who is always insightful, but only if you've taken the red pills found behind the sofa cushions) points to this post by the VodkaPundit which echoes this sentiment, although perhaps he is less optimistic:

Israelis won't have to deal with 1.5 million Palestinians who, by and large it seems, want them dead. The security situation might degrade ever-so-slightly, but the Excedrin Factor just dropped several notches. And that's no small something for a country that's been at war for virtually all of its 58-year existence.

The other thing Sharon has accomplished is to maybe, just maybe, force some of the Palestinian leadership to act like grownups. The PA – or Hamas, or whoever – now finds itself in the uncomfortable position of providing water, filling potholes, solving crimes, putting out fires – all the little tiny basic things local government is supposed to do.

And when the PA can't or won't provide those things? Then maybe, just maybe, the propaganda-driven death cult Arafat created will die, and the Palestinian people will start acting like grownups, too.

It's a slim chance, but the only chance Israel can reasonably take. I say that because Israel's other choices are to become an apartheid state, or expel every single last Arab out of Gaza. Neither option is less undesirable than the one Sharon has taken.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Blogging & Profanity

Dean Barnett at SoxBlog has an interesting post on the reaction of one angry Leftist blogger to a column he wrote in The Weekly Standard. He makes the point that I have here with BitchPhD tha0t it isn't wise to rely on profanity and coarseness in political discussions.

In reviewing the piece, Brigham began with characteristic eloquence, referring to it as “shitty ass.” Later in his screed, he suggested that James Carville “kiss my ass.” Brigham also had similar counsel for me: “Kiss my ass you lazy fucking reporter, next time pick up the fucking phone before you make a complete ass out of yourself.” As a matter of fact, he chastises me in a similarly delicate manner no fewer than three times for having the audacity to have written the story without seeking out his insights first.
[...]
What I’m not impressed with is how Brigham can’t tell the difference between a mistake and a “fucking lie.” I know his response was just a manifestation of the angry young blogger shtick, but it’s tired. All the obscenities, all the rage – what do Brigham and his ilk think they accomplish? Do they not see how pathetic such antics make them look?

LEFT WING BLOGGERS LIKE BRIGHAM are often guilty of confusing and conflating “straight talk” with vulgar talk. Look, I’m no prude, especially when it comes to coarse language. Those who personally know me, and especially those who have played golf with me, view me as a uniquely unlikely champion for obscenity-free communication.

But politics is different from one’s rec-room or the golf course. There are a bunch of people who find obscenities offensive. In politics (and bloggers like Brigham are in politics), there is no need to gratuitously offend a segment of the voting society with coarse language. And yet Brigham and many of his cohorts insist on writing like they’re politically obsessed Quentin Tarantino characters.

Similar to Dean, I don't think I'd be considered a prude when it comes to much - He and I apparently have similar skills at golf. However, my point to BitchPhD and to all bloggers that might have stumbled upon this post is this: Thoughts & Ideas expressed on a blog are much different than conversations you have with people. Use of profanity not only distracts from your argument (seriously, F-CK, Sh!t, @ss, etc don't add much to your line of reasoning) and show that you have an extremely poor vocabulary, but they also show contempt for your reader. In addition to that, what a person posts on a blog is permanent (or as permanent as things in the internet age can be). Thus, your profanity laden screed from Noveber 2004 (post-election loss) likely won't be read with the same understanding by your audience in August 2005.

As I said, I'm no prude when it comes to many things... but I will say that I'm trying to control my use of profanity (I can thank my 3 year old and my nieces that arrived before him), not only in my writings, but also in my speech. Profanity only shows two things: that you're rabidly pissed off or that you're an intellectual midget.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sheehan... this says it all.

Sheehan's husband filed for divorce August 5th. I really do feel for this lady, but she sure seems to be losing the folks closest to her. It would not be illogical to draw a connection between her present state of mind and her actions and the filing of the divorce.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Able Danger... developing

From Austin Bey today. I have nothing to add. He is absolutely right.

8/17/2005

Able Danger: It’s time for President Bush to address this

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:21 am

I haven’t written about the military’s Able Danger “data-minig” operation and Rep. Curt Weldon’s accusations that the outfit had identified four 9/11 hijackers prior to the 9/11 attacks. Several things struck me as curious for an allegation of this magnitude, among them: (1) no available paper trail; (2) no knowledgeable Defense official or officer involved providing information “on background”, much less speaking on the record. Allegations of conspiracy don’t impress me; facts do– and I wasn’t getting facts.

That being said, I thought many of the folks serving on the 9/11 panel were weak, pompous politicos — placed there because of personal political connections, not defense and intelligence acumen or reputation for careful analysis. However, Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean have credibility, and they were the men who led the commission. If Able Danger had evidence, I expected Kean and Hamilton to demand to see it and vet it.

Yesterday Fox, the AP and NY Times changed the dimensions of this story. I’m still not certain where the allegations will lead, but we now have an officer involved providing details. How clear and detailed was the Able Danger information? We still don’t know– Weldon’s and Shaffer’s allegations could still unravel if the information amounts to “hearsay.”

But today the Times reports:

A military intelligence team repeatedly contacted the F.B.I. in 2000 to warn about the existence of an American-based terrorist cell that included the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a veteran Army intelligence officer who said he had now decided to risk his career by discussing the information publicly.

The officer, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, said military lawyers later blocked the team from sharing any of its information with the bureau.

Colonel Shaffer said in an interview on Monday night that the small, highly classified intelligence program, known as Able Danger, had identified the terrorist ringleader, Mohamed Atta, and three other future hijackers by name by mid-2000, and tried to arrange a meeting that summer with agents of the Washington field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to share its information. ..

The “wall” between mil/CIA and the police serves a definite civil purpose. That wall has lowered significantly in the past–when we were at war. It’s been lowered since 9/11. Until 9/11 America did not consider the terrorists’ attacks as war. Washington treated the terrorists as criminals. That was the strategic error, no matter what you think of Clinton or Bush.

If Jamie Gorelick wasn’t the weakest commission member, she was the most compromised. Gorelick should have recused herself from participation on the 9/11 Commission– because she did “raise the wall” during the Clinton Administration. Had she done that she would have enhanced her reputation. But she didn’t.

LTC Shaffer told the NY Times:

He said he learned later that lawyers associated with the Special Operations Command of the Defense Department had canceled the F.B.I. meetings because they feared controversy if Able Danger was portrayed as a military operation that had violated the privacy of civilians who were legally in the United States.
“It was because of the chain of command saying we’re not going to pass on information - if something goes wrong, we’ll get blamed,” he said.

I’ll defer to my wife — who is a lawyer– on this point. She says attorneys are trained to say no and raise objections. They’ll hesistate because they anticipate an ACLU law suit and a DC political firestorm. A senior military commander will focus on the potential for attack — he knows the American people are “the final client” and will weigh the data with that in mind. So far there is no evidence that says any discussion between attorneys and senior commanders took place.

It’s time for the President to make a statement about Able Danger, even something as simple as “the lieutenant-colonel’s statements require further investigation.” Then, let’s investigate, with presidential authority.

Stay tuned.




Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

I Give Clinton a (conditional) Pass

Paul @ Wizbang has this great post on the early warnings that were given to Clinton in 1996 regarding Osama Bin Laden and the threat of Al Qaeda.

State Dept. Says It Warned About bin Laden in 1996

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 - State Department analysts warned the Clinton administration in July 1996 that Osama bin Laden's move to Afghanistan would give him an even more dangerous haven as he sought to expand radical Islam "well beyond the Middle East," but the government chose not to deter the move, newly declassified documents show.

In what would prove a prescient warning, the State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that "his prolonged stay in Afghanistan - where hundreds of 'Arab mujahedeen' receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate - could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum," in Sudan.

The declassified documents, obtained by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and provided to The New York Times, shed light on a murky and controversial chapter in Mr. bin Laden's history: his relocation from Sudan to Afghanistan as the Clinton administration was striving to understand the threat he posed and explore ways of confronting him.

Before 1996, Mr. bin Laden was regarded more as a financier of terrorism than a mastermind. But the State Department assessment, which came a year before he publicly urged Muslims to attack the United States, indicated that officials suspected he was taking a more active role, including in the bombings in June 1996 that killed 19 members American soldiers at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Now, I have to say that in general, I am not going to pin the blame on Clinton or Bush for 9/11. I think too much ink (and film) has been spent in a war over who failed the victims in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania. Yes, the 1990s saw the opening gambits of the War on Terror and they were largely ignored, except for when they were responded to with the badge of an FBI agent or a Tomahawk up a camel's butt.

So, I'll give Clinton a pass on this one. He clearly didn't understand the implications of OBL in Afghanistan or the true motives of Al Qaeda and Islamofascists the world over (despite being explicitly told it's a big deal by the State Dept). In this regard, the entire population of the US was in the same boat - from the news media to the major politicians to the citizens that voted the tools into power.

HOWEVER (and this is a BIG however), if Clinton CONTINUES to lie about how his administration took terrorism more seriously than the Bush administration, I will not give him the benefit of the doubt. This is primarily because his false assertions in this regard are not only intended to cover his own rear, but to place the blame for 9/11 squarely at the feet of the Bush administration.

So, to all those Lefty Loons out there (and you know who you are), this is called being objective and recognizing that it was unlikely that 9/11 could have been averted, given the haze that the entire country was in before that tragic day. I am willing to give Clinton a pass for his inability to predict the future. Will you extend that same courtesy to Bush?

*Begin Whackjob Moonbat Illiberal Liberal Response*
Dude, Clinton may not have been able to predict it, but BUSH and the J-E-W-S were the ones who planned and executed 9/11, so they could move the US to the fascist state that it is today!!! US and Israel out of Palestine!!!
*End Whackjob Moonbat Response*

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Where I break with the Bush Administration & Social Conservatives

This is not smart...

Bush administration objects to .xxx domains
By Declan McCullagh

The Bush administration is objecting to the creation of a .xxx domain, saying it has concerns about a virtual red-light district reserved exclusively for Internet pornography.

Michael Gallagher, assistant secretary at the Commerce Department, has asked for a hold to be placed on the contract to run the new top-level domain until the .xxx suffix can receive further scrutiny. The domain was scheduled to receive final approval Tuesday.

"The Department of Commerce has received nearly 6,000 letters and e-mails from individuals expressing concern about the impact of pornography on families and children," Gallagher said in a letter that was made public on Monday.
[...]
ICANN has not said what will happen next. John Jeffrey, ICANN's general counsel, said in an e-mail that "all of this correspondence and any other correspondence received will be given to the board for their consideration relating to this matter."

After ICANN's vote to approve .xxx, conservative groups in the United States called on their supporters to ask the Commerce Department to block the new suffix. The Family Research Council, for instance, warned that "pornographers will be given even more opportunities to flood our homes, libraries and society with pornography through the .xxx domain."

"The volume of correspondence opposed to creation of a .xxx (domain) is unprecedented," according to the Commerce Department's Gallagher. "Given the extent of the negative reaction, I request that the board (provide) adequate additional time for these concerns to be voiced and addressed before any additional action takes place."


Fact - Pornography is available on the internet. (Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry asks "Why would I need a computer?" and George answers "Stock Quote? Porn?" That was in the infant days of the internet)

Fact - Almost any internet search engine will return some p0rn site, even for innocuos sounding searches.

The .xxx domain is something that should be welcomed by social conservatives, as it provides parents with a specific domain which can be avoided. There is little chance that internet pornography will be reduced - not given our current social trends. The libertarian in me says that it is wise to provide the .xxx domain and then allow families and individuals to make decisions as to whether they want to allow access to this "Red Light District" of the internet.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Great Raid - A Note to Senator Durbin

I was up in Sacramento last weekend and went with my two twenty-something sons to see the Great Raid. The movie is the story of an Army Ranger and Phillippino guerella raid into Japanese territory in the Philippines during World War II to rescue American POWs from certain massacre. I brought from it something other than just the story it told.

The theater was full of grey hair. The audience was in large part people in their 70s and 80s remembering what that time was like. They were the Greatest Generation in Brokaw's terms.

But beyond that, what jumped out at me was the incredible brutality of the Japanese captors. Incinerating prisoners alive, starving them to death, working them to death, beating them to death all for no greater purpose than the amusement of the keepers. The Japanese were animals. (One can only wonder what was going on their society to breed men like that.)

About half way through the movie I leaned over and whispered into the ear of my eldest son, "When you hear about what is going on down in Guantanmo, you now have something to compare it to."

While people like Senator Durbin compare us to folks like the guards depicted in this movie, the reality is something totally different. The brutality suffered by the American POWs rose to levels far beyond mishandling the Koran or putting panties on someone's head. This movie depicts the reality of torture.

Senator, and others like you, PLEASE, no more comparing us to the Nazis, Pol Pot, The Gulag and whoever else pops to your pathetically misinformed minds. Words have meaning, and if hyperbole is indulged, like calling putting panties on a prisoners head torture, then we lose track of what real torture is.

We are still waiting for that apology Senator.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Eliminate Discrimination

based on income level.

Steve Forbes had an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday regarding his proposed Flat Tax. If you don't have a subscription to the WSJ, you should get one. The Flat Tax really is a win-win, although our comrades on the Left will surely shriek in terror at the thought (which tells me to push the idea).

One Simple Rate
By STEVE FORBES
August 15, 2005; Page A12

A major domestic battle looms this fall, when tax reform -- a centerpiece of the president's bold domestic agenda -- will finally be on the table. The President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform is expected to release its findings by the end of September. After the political shellacking the White House took on Social Security, the administration will be strongly tempted to take a conciliatory path that supports only superficial reforms, essentially preserving the status quo of our hideous income tax code.

Such a course would have perilous consequences, economically and politically.[...]

The current system is beyond redemption, a beast whose complexity, confusion and outright unfairness have corrupted our economy and society. Americans waste more than $200 billion and over six billion hours each year filling out tax forms. They engage in all kinds of useless economic activity intended to take advantage of the code's complicated maze of deductions and to reduce taxes -- from deducting donations of old socks to making unwanted investments. The waste of brainpower -- at a time of increasing global competition -- is incalculable.

The code corrupts our system of government by encouraging the crassest political conduct and by creating a massive, intrusive federal bureaucracy. One-sixth of the private-sector employees in Washington are employed by the lobbying industry. One-half of their efforts are directed at wrangling changes in the tax code. Few people realize that our health-care system, with its runaway costs, is, in fact, the ultimate product of the tax-code distortion in our economy. And last, but most definitely not least, we simply pay too much in tax. When you take into account all the taxes, fees and tolls paid to the government, the typical American pays somewhere around half or more of his income in taxes. Why do we the people accept this?

My flat tax plan has one simple rate, on the federal level: 17% on personal income; and 17% on corporate profits. There would be generous exemptions for individuals: $13,200 for each adult; $4,000 for each child or dependent and a refundable tax credit of $1,000 per child age 16 or younger. A family of four would pay no federal income tax on its first $46,165 of income. Exemptions for a family of six -- mom, dad, four kids -- would be $65,930. No anti-risktaking capital gains levy; the capital gains tax would go to 0%. The abusive Alternative Minimum (really maximum) Tax would be abolished. No more death tax: You'd leave the world unmolested by the IRS. No taxation without respiration!
[...]
To avoid puerile and divisive debate about who would gain and who would lose, my flat tax is designed to be a tax cut for all. Because some people will only focus on what they lose in the way of deductions under the flat tax -- ignoring the fact that their income tax payments would go down -- my plan gives you a choice: When the flat tax is implemented, you can file your postcard return under this new, simple system, or continue to file your tax returns, with all of their mind-numbing complexity, under the old system. See for yourself which is better. I think most would conclude that the flat tax is best.

Other countries are getting the message, even if we have yet to. Hong Kong has successfully had a variation of the flat tax for 60 years. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia enacted flat taxes in the '90s that have been hugely successful. Russia put in a flat tax four years ago, and revenues have more than doubled in real terms. Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, Georgia and Serbia have also successfully enacted flat taxes. How ironic that one-time Communist nations have been reaping the benefits of a flat tax before that bastion of free enterprise, the U.S.

President Bush should understand that trying to tinker with the tax beast won't work. In 1986, Ronald Reagan simplified the tax code somewhat: A number of tax shelters were eliminated and the number of tax brackets were cut to two: 28% and 15%. But the code remained intact. No sooner was the ink of Reagan's signature dry than Washington politicians slid back into their bad, old habits. Since his day, the federal income tax code has been amended 14,000 times. The tax system today is 60% larger than it was after the Reagan reforms. The flat tax's very simplicity makes such backsliding difficult: Any change would trigger a national debate. For insurance, the Forbes Flat Tax also contains a supermajority provision -- taxes can't be raised unless approved by a 60% vote in both the House and Senate.
[...]
That's why George Bush should pull a Ronald Reagan -- he should demand that Congress destroy this hideous tax system, the way Reagan demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall. Should the president make such a plea, the American people would surprise the Washington cynics and give him a grateful, full-throated cry of support.

I am a supporter of the Flat Tax, and I especially like the choice option that Steve provides (although this invariably means that the IRS bureaucracy will continue in the short term). Secondarily, a National Sales Tax is perhaps worth discussing - as it's described in this Neil Boortz column. Unfortunately, Forbes raises some significant concerns regarding the Flat Tax in the article above which I removed. The worst of both worlds would be to tinker around the edges or even to simply implement a Reagan-esque two-tier system, as it would not be a reform at all.

Another Editorial by Steve Forbes on his Flat Tax proposal can be found in the Washington Times (which does not require a subscription)... click here for Part I and here for Part II

I hope that the President acts boldly... If only our Congressman & Senators retain the courage to follow his lead.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, August 15, 2005

Common sense prevails... for a change.

There is a court called the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. It's a federal applellate court deep in the Heart of Red States, in this case Kansas. From there came some legal common, or maybe uncommon, sense. The case is Louise Sawyer et al v. Southwest Airlines.

Two African American women were traveling from Las Vegas to Kansas City, returning home no doubt after attending some activity to broaden their minds and/or spirits. They were late checking in. They were put on standby, and as fate would have it, there were seats available and they were boarded at the last minute. The flight attendant in an effort to get everyone seated so the plane could push back from the gate said, "Eeenie, meenie, minie moe, everyone take a seat we've got to go."

Well!!!!

Of course the women sued.

As they were indigent, a lawyer was appointed to represent them. (Indigent? Traveling from Las Vegas? Well, never mind.) That lawyer, as it turns out, was a former clerk to the trial judge. The plaintiff's no doubt thought they had won the lottery, at least until the judge renedered a summary judgment in favor of Southwest. At that point they accused the judge of judicial misconduct for not recusing herself, no doubt on the theory the their lawyer, the judge's former clerk, swayed the judge in favor of the defendants. Not sure I get that one.

Then there is the matter of appointing a lawyer in a civil proceeding for damages. Perhaps there is provision for such in 42 USC 1981. If there is, there shouldn't be. Frankly, the plaintiff's bar, and I am a member in good standing, is not one of my favored charities. Anyway, no lawyer apparently would touch the case, so guess who paid?

Moving right along...

Their suit was basically sounded in the theory that their feelings were hurt as the rhyme had a racist history (which obviously it did, but there was no showing the attendant was aware of that). Never mind there was no physical harm. Never mind there was no intent to hurt anyone emotionally or physically. Never mind there is no logical nexus between what was said and the hurt feelings. By golly, their feelings were hurt and someone was going to pay.

Which brings me to my main point.

Since when does the law protect you from hurt feelings? Since when are hurt feelings actionable? Where did this idea get started?

We are entitled to be protected from drunk drivers who kill our family members. We are entitled to compensation when someone slanders our good name. We are entitled to compensation when we are physically injured by someone else's negligence etc. But hurt feelings? One's feeling could be hurt by anyone at anytime by anything.

We have a culture of victimhood. Everyone is offended by something. Only last week the NCAA all but banned the use of Native American themes as symbols of college athletic teams. Why? Because someone might be offended, ergo: they might sue, and it is that threat that brings about some really stupid decision making, like telling the Fighting Illini they can no longer use that nickname.

Someone, somewhere needs to take a stand for commonsense and not be blackmailed by the threat of suit. Cudos to the 10th Circuit for taking a stand against this madness. Cudos to Southwest for fighting this one out and not taking the easy route of buying the plaintiffs off with some small settlement.


Michelle Malkin
covering as well, as is OverLawyered.com

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Signs that you're an extremist

H/T The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

Your sentiments are echoed by one David Duke. It is REALLY interesting that the same points that David Duke raises might as well have come out of DailyKos, MichaelMoore.com, or DemocraticUnderground.

Why Cindy Sheehan is Right!
By David Duke

Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost a son in the Iraq War, is determined to prevent other mothers and fathers from experiencing the same loss.

Courageously she has gone to Texas near the ranch of President Bush and braved the elements and a hostile Jewish supremacist media to demand a meeting with him and a good explanation why her son and other’s sons and daughters must die and be disfigured in a war for Israel rather than for America.

Recently, she had the courage to state the obvious that her son signed up in the military to protect America not to die for Israel.
[...]

In truth, Cindy Sheehan is absolutely right. Her son signed up in the military to defend America, not Israel, and to safeguard our own democracy, not the democracy of some foreign nation that neither wants nor needs it. In advancing this war for Israel, government and media advocates obviously couldn’t get Americans behind the war by saying it was a war for Israel. They had to make up bogus reasons for the war, such as saying that Iraq was an imminent threat to America and that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Now that these lies have been exposed, they have changed the rationale for the war to “fighting for democracy” and “fighting against terrorism.” Here’s a short list showing why Cindy Sheehan is right!

1) It was criminal for Cindy Sheehan’s son to die for Israel rather than for the true interests of America.

From the beginning, this war was orchestrated from top to bottom by Jewish Neocons that saw the war as one for Israel’s strategic objectives. They ramped up the war through Jews such as Perle and Wolfowitz, the false intelligence through CIA analyst Stuart Cohen and by Israel’s Mossad, and had a compliant Jewish-dominated media to cheer on the war. The truth is the Iraq War has inflicted incredible damage on America and the American people. It is war against America rather than in defense of America.

2) It was criminal to send her son to die for a lie.


There were no weapons of mass destruction, no nuclear program, no uranium from Niger, no links with Al Qaeda, no imminent threat to the American people. Every reason the American people were given for going to war has turned out to be a lie.

3) It is criminal for her son to be forced to die for democracy in other ountries.

If Americans were sent to die for democracy or justice in all the countries of the world we deem unjust or undemocratic, then we must be ready to send millions of our sons and daughters to war all over the globe.

4) The lie that her son died for the good of the Iraqi People is false on its face.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraq men women and children have been killed, injured, made homeless and suffered from this war. You don’t save people by destroying their homes and hospitals, and throwing their country in chaos.

5) The Iraq war and her son’s death did not defend American from hatred or terrorism.

In fact, the war is massively increasing hatred and terrorism. For every one terrorist killed in Iraq, we are creating thousands more who hate and want to hurt America and Americans. This is the surest way to lose the war on terror not win it.

6) Cindy Sheehan’s son died for no true interest for the American people.

It has secured us no new or cheaper oil, it has cost a national treasure of hundreds of billions of dollars, it has alienated friends and allies, it has hurt American business around the world, it has separated and caused hardship upon millions of American military and National Guard families. It has killed almost 2000 and maimed tens of thousands of loyal and brave Americans who do their duty in Iraq. Again, this is war against every true interest of the America. The only nation that benefits from it is Israel!

Cindy Sheehan has a lot to be angry about. Her son was betrayed and his life lost by government officials who treasonably created and continue a war for Israel and the Jewish supremacist agenda rather than that of the United States.

We stand with Cindy Sheehan and the memory of her son which should spur all truly patriotic Americans to demand an end to this war for Israel, this war against America, the Iraq War.

It is not Iraq’s borders that need protecting, it is the American border with Mexico!

Support our troops…bring them home!

Let them protect America and not die for Israel.

Sincerely,
David Duke

He sounds like a modern day progressive. Perhaps the Dems have a new candidate for 2008!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Big Mess on Campus

I read this BusinessWeek review of Barrett Seaman's Binge, which may explain the fuzzy thinking from both the students and professors at some of our more prominent universities.

At just after 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning in October, Hamilton College's security chief received an emergency phone call. A first-year female student at the elite upstate New York liberal arts school had collapsed after downing 22 one-ounce shots of vodka in a drinking game. The incident was far from unusual: She was one of 20 inebriated students who had to be rushed to the hospital that semester.

There are many such chilling anecdotes in Binge, Barrett Seaman's disturbing account of his odyssey through undergraduate life at the start of the 21st century. Unlike lots of higher-education guides that are aimed at students, this book is clearly meant for parents. And as the subtitle -- What Your College Student Won't Tell You -- suggests, it's a sobering antidote to the institutions' glossy PR broadsides.

[...]His targets range from the continuing struggle to integrate minority students to the growing volume of mental-health woes and the culture of "hooking up" that has largely replaced conventional dating.

The author restricted his research to the most selective colleges. Making no secret of his project, he arranged to live on the campuses of 12 such schools, including Harvard, Middlebury, Duke, Stanford, the University of Virginia, and Canada's McGill. Seaman himself is a product of this world, but of a very different era: He graduated from Hamilton in 1967, when it was still male-only and telecommunications consisted of a pay phone in the dormitory hallway. His efforts to fit into the radically different environment of today's co-ed housing make for some awkward and comical moments. At a Berkeley co-op house, for example, he stumbled across a nude hot-tub party attended by both sexes. "People are pretty casual about nudity here," he was advised.

On balance, though, Binge is more unsettling than amusing, making a persuasive case that in most respects the residential college experience has deteriorated in recent years. Sure, college students have been imbibing to excess for decades. But Seaman provides powerful evidence that binge drinking is more prevalent and more deadly today. And like Tom Wolfe -- who used similar methods to research his 2004 best-selling novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons -- Seaman takes a dim view of the college sex scene. Not only is the coupling more superficial, but date rape is also up. One of his few encouraging findings: Use of hard drugs is down.

The decline in academic rigor that Seaman documents is more disturbing, in some ways, than his accounts of the party scene. Partly in response to grade inflation, many students spend surprisingly little time studying. That trend has been accentuated by the widespread elimination of Friday classes, which means the hard-partying kicks off on Thursday night. Cheating is also all too common, reports Seaman, citing a study by a Middlebury psychologist in which an outright majority of students admitted to it. And in another acceleration of a long-term trend, many undergrads have little meaningful contact with their professors, especially at big research universities such as Berkeley and Stanford. One reason: a system that rewards aspiring professors more for research and writing than for what they impart to students.
[...]

Yeah, no classes on Friday is a great idea... and grade inflation certainly has become a significant problem at what are supposed to be extremely elite institutions. Unfortunately, you only will get from students what you expect from them. And the "soft bigotry of low expectations" is a plague on our entire education system, not just in the Ivy League... As Thomas Friedman has pointed out, 10 years ago it was better to be a B student in Des Moines, Iowa than an genius in Bangalore, India. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that our kids or our colleges understand how difficult the coming years will be as we truly compete in the global economy.

My question is how do I get the assignment to live on campus as a college student for 12 months?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Reason No. 2,762 Why We Love Howard Dean

Unfortunately, I don't watch CBS' Face the Nation (b/c it's on during other, more watchable Sunday talk shows). But Captain Ed caught Dean defending Saddam's treatment of women. This is all along the same meme that the US is no better than Hitler, Pol Pot, etc that has been pushed by Kennedy and Li'l Dickie Durbin.

Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman who was the hero of his party's anti-war wing before his gaffe-prone 2004 presidential candidacy crashed and burned in Iowa, still doesn't think the Iraqis are better off with dictator Saddam Hussein out of power and in prison.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" yesterday, the fiery former Vermont governor said, "It looks like today, and this could change, as of today it looks like women will be worse off in Iraq than they were when Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq."

I'm sure the Iraqi women are comforted by the thought that the leader of the opposition party in the US thinks they'd be better off in mass graves, industrial shredders, and in rape rooms. Perhaps Howard is running for the next presidential election in Iraq:
Howard Dean today spoke at the Women's Election Forum in Basra, Iraq:

"I promise to return to the time when you could be abducted and raped at will by Uday, Qusay, and any regime official. As your new Iraqi President, I promise that I will personally bring back this joy to you!

YEEEEAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

The more he is out there as mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, the better it is for the GOP. Unfortunately, having such a whackjob as DNC Chair means that it will be IMPOSSIBLE for the Dems to move away from its extremist elements.

Which means more fun for us here at Another Rovian Conspiracy!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Frank Rich: I've finally succeeded in undermining American Foreign Policy!

Frank Rich declares in the New York Times (link is to the International Herald Tribune) that the War is Over... It's almost as if he's giddy. I guess when someone sees their efforts of many years to undermine this war finally come to fruition in their mind (through the time-sensitive tea leaves that are a poll), it's understandable that they'd be giddy.

Frank Rich: Someone tell the president the war is over
The New York Times
MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2005

NEW YORK Like the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President George W. Bush may be the last person in the United States to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over. "We will stay the course," he insistently tells us from his Texas ranch. What do you mean we, white man?

A president can't stay the course when his own citizens (let alone his own allies) won't stay with him. The approval rate for Bush's handling of Iraq plunged to 34 percent in last weekend's Newsweek poll - a match for the 32 percent that approved President Lyndon Johnson's handling of Vietnam in early March 1968. (The two presidents' overall approval ratings have also converged: 41 percent for Johnson then, 42 percent for Bush now.) On March 31, 1968, as LBJ's ratings plummeted further, he announced he wouldn't seek re-election, commencing America's long extrication from that quagmire.
Sorry, Frank... Bush isn't LBJ (he doesn't listen to polls) and Iraq isn't Vietnam, no matter how often you say it is... Please make a phone call to my favorite Democrat and military historian, Victor Davis Hanson.
But the current Texas president has even outdone his predecessor; Bush has lost not only the country but also his army. Neither bonuses nor fudged standards nor the faking of high school diplomas has solved the recruitment shortfall. Now Jake Tapper of ABC News reports that the armed forces are so eager for bodies they will flout "don't ask, don't tell" and hang on to gay soldiers who tell, even if they tell the press.

The president's cable cadre is in disarray as well. At Fox News, Bill O'Reilly is trashing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for his incompetence, and Ann Coulter is chiding O'Reilly for being a defeatist. In an emblematic gesture akin to waving a white flag, Robert Novak walked off a CNN set and possibly out of a job rather than answer questions about his role in smearing the man who helped expose the administration's prewar inflation of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. (On this sinking ship, it's hard to know which rat to root for.)

As if the right-wing pundit crackup isn't unsettling enough, Bush's top war strategists, starting with Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, have of late tried to rebrand the war in Iraq as what the defense secretary calls "a global struggle against violent extremism." A struggle is what you have with your landlord. When the war's uber-managers start using euphemisms for a conflict this lethal, it's a clear sign that the battle to keep the Iraq war afloat with the American public is lost.

That battle crashed past the tipping point this month in Ohio. There's historical symmetry in that. It was in Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002, that Bush gave the fateful address that sped congressional ratification of the war just days later. The speech was a miasma of self-delusion, half-truths and hype. The president said that "we know that Iraq and Al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade," an exaggeration based on evidence that the Senate Intelligence Committee would later find far from conclusive.
Iraq & Al Qaeda DO have contacts that go back a decade - and it's documented in the very Senate Intelligence Committee report which Frank refers to as discrediting the President's statement. Of course, Frank is relying on the confusion of the general public and the disservice of the MSM to cloud his distortion.
He said that Saddam "could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year" were he able to secure "an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball." America's own National Intelligence Estimate of Oct. 1 quoted State Department findings that claims of Iraqi pursuit of uranium in Africa were "highly dubious."

Yes, the anti-Bush State Dept under Colin Powell had serious disagreements with the Bush Administration policy regarding Iraq and sought to undermine it wherever possible. My question is why the State Dept is used by the CIA for such highly sensitive and crucial intelligence? Incompetence is my only answer...

And yes, Bush was right that Saddam's Iraq had sought uranium (the infamous yellow cake) - and the Senate Intelligence committee even found Amb. Wilson's report from Niger to support this statement. Again, Rich relies on the MSM bubble that he lives in to protect him.
It was on these false premises - that Iraq was both a collaborator on Sept. 11, 2001, and about to inflict mushroom clouds on America - that honorable and brave young Americans were sent off to fight. Among them were the 19 Marine reservists from a single suburban Cleveland battalion slaughtered in just three days at the start of this month. As they perished, another Ohio Marine reservist who had served in Iraq came close to winning a congressional election in southern Ohio. Paul Hackett, a Democrat who called the president a "chicken hawk," received 48 percent of the vote in exactly the kind of bedrock conservative Ohio district that decided the 2004 election for Bush.
Bush did not allege that Iraq collaborated on 9/11 - in fact, he publicly stated that the did not. Iraq with a nuclear weapon surely would target American interests (read US forces in Saudi Arabia enforcing the no-fly zone or our frieds in Israel - and yes, if you smirk at the use of the term "friends," you have serious problems.)

Hackett <> Dean <> MoveOn <> DU <> Progressive/Liberal Democrat. At least, not in ANY of the ads he ran for this race.
These are the tea leaves that all Republicans, not just Chuck Hagel, are reading now. Newt Gingrich called the Hackett near-victory "a wake-up call." The resolutely pro-war New York Post editorial page begged Bush (to no avail) to "show some leadership" by showing up in Ohio to salute the fallen and their families. A Bush loyalist, Senator George Allen of Virginia, instructed the president to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother camping out in Crawford, as "a matter of courtesy and decency." Or, to translate his Washingtonese, as a matter of politics. Only someone as adrift from reality as Bush would need to be told that a vacationing president can't win a standoff with a grief-stricken parent commandeering television cameras and the blogosphere round the clock.
Meeting with Cindy Sheehan isn't a statement that the war is over. No doubt Frank would declare "Bush admits failure" if he were to visit with Cindy a second time (to explain to her yet again what her son died for). Visiting the families in Ohio does not either. And the reason Bush is unable to go to military funeral is because it would make the extremely emotional event a spectacle. No doubt Frank would decry Bush's "politicizatoin of America's War Dead."
Such political imperatives are rapidly bringing about the war's end. That's inevitable for a war of choice, not necessity, that was conceived in politics from the start. Iraq was a Bush administration idée fixe before there was a 9/11. Within hours of that horrible trauma, according to Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies," Rumsfeld was proposing Iraq as a battlefield, not because the enemy that attacked America was there, but because it offered "better targets" than the shadowy terrorist redoubts of Afghanistan. It was easier to take out Saddam - and burnish Bush's credentials as a slam-dunk "war president," suitable for a "Top Gun" victory jig - than to shut down Al Qaeda and smoke out its leader "dead or alive."
And yet, Bush told Rumsfeld 'in due time', since we DID go after Afghanistan and removed it as a haven for Al Qaeda. And that country is scheduled to have parliamentary elections in less than a month - with several million registered voters, including women. And Bush reminded us multiple times that this war is not just about catching a single man (OBL), but rather to change the entire environment of the Middle East so that the people there have hope for the future (and do not see any use of terrorist attacks).
But just as politics are a bad motive for choosing a war, so they can be a doomed engine for running a war. Early last year, Bush said, "The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me, as I look back, was it was a political war," adding that the "essential" lesson he learned from Vietnam was to not have "politicians making military decisions." But by then Bush had disastrously ignored that very lesson; he had let Rumsfeld publicly rebuke the army's chief of staff, Eric Shinseki, after the general dared tell the truth: that several hundred thousand troops would be required to secure Iraq. To this day it's America's failure to provide that security that has turned Iraq into the terrorist haven it hadn't been before 9/11 - "the central front in the war on terror," as Bush keeps reminding us, as if that might make us forget he's the one who recklessly created it.
Iraq under Saddam has been a terrorist haven for quite some time (see Abu Nidal, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, etc, etc). Shinseki retired as scheduled... his disagreement with Rummy was more over the definition of "several" or "couple" than anything else.
The endgame for U.S. involvement in Iraq will be of a piece with the rest of this sorry history. "It makes no sense for the commander in chief to put out a timetable" for withdrawal, Bush declared on the same day that 14 of those Ohio troops were killed by a roadside bomb in Haditha. But even as he spoke, the war's actual commander, General George Casey, had already publicly set a timetable for "some fairly substantial reductions" to start next spring.

Officially this calendar is tied to the next round of Iraqi elections, but it's quite another election this administration has in mind. The priority now is less to save Iraqi democracy than to save Rick Santorum and every other endangered Republican facing voters in November 2006. Nothing that happens on the ground in Iraq can turn around the fate of this war in America: not a shotgun constitution rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline, not another Iraqi election, not higher terrorist body counts, not another battle for Falluja (where insurgents may again regroup, The Los Angeles Times reported last week). An American citizenry that was asked to accept tax cuts, not sacrifice, at the war's inception is hardly in the mood to start sacrificing now. There will be neither the volunteers nor the money required to field the wholesale additional U.S. troops that might bolster the security situation in Iraq.
Yes, thanks to the constant politicization of the war by Dems, the Left, and the MSM, political concerns now are in the realm of consideration. If only the Dems would live by the traditional credo that party affiliation and division ends beyond the borders. Instead, we have Democratic congressmen heading to Iraq to visit with Saddam pre-war. We have constant harping over military strategy, from the Goldilocks discussion over deployments to specific military logistics issues to which theater troops are deployed to.
What lies ahead now in Iraq instead is not victory, which Bush has never clearly defined anyway, but an exit (or triage) strategy that may echo Johnson's March 1968 plan for retreat from Vietnam: some kind of negotiations (in this case, with Sunni elements of the insurgency), followed by more inflated claims about the readiness of the local troops-in-training, whom America will then throw to the wolves. Such an outcome may lead to even greater disaster, but this administration long ago squandered the credibility needed to make the difficult case that more human and financial resources might prevent Iraq from continuing its descent into civil war and its devolution into jihad central.
The day that we sit down to negotiate with Zarqawi will truly be a defeat. Discussions with Iraqi Sunnis (not Zarqawi) to have them cease their terrorist operations and lay down their arms is appropriate. However, giving these anti-democratic forces a seat at the table of the new, future Iraqi government is another sign of a failure in Iraq (and it's precisely what Frank would call for to get us out of Iraq).

BTW, there are two main criticism that I feel are valid of the Bush Administration's prosecution of this war:
  1. Their failure to secure a northern front through Turkey and hit the Sunni Triangle well before the fall of Baghdad (this is primarily Powell's failure, btw);
  2. Their wholesale disbanding of the Iraqi military. Just idiotic to turn trained military men into unemployed guys with no future and plenty of arms. Whether they would've joined our side or not is up for debate (as demonstrated by the Iraqi general who was a turncoat in Fallujah).
Thus the president's claim on Thursday that "no decision has been made yet" about withdrawing troops from Iraq can be taken exactly as seriously as the vice president's preceding fantasy that the insurgency is in its "last throes." Americans have already made the decision for Bush. We're outta there. Now comes the hard task of identifying the leaders who can pick up the pieces of the fiasco that has made America more vulnerable, not less, to the terrorists who struck us four years ago next month.

Sorry, Frank... but you & your NYC cocktail party circuit do not make the entire body politic - no matter how hard you try. And a simple question in a poll is probably not the best way to decide a complex foreign policy issue. Fortunately, Bush doesn't rely on polls to make his decision. He has what the Democrats sorely lack:

"The Vision Thing"

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Tolerance of the Left

I linked to this post on the B!tchPhD blog on Friday and ARC:Brian & I headed over to have a conversation with the commenters there. My initial post involved two things:

  1. that NARAL's false ad isn't just a problem for the ad that was pulled, but for all future ads from the organization since they just proved that they'll distort the truth and lie to their audience; and
  2. to let them know that, while they may be angry, profanity and harsh rhetoric is no way for their side to gain support.
They disregarded the first point and immediately castigated me for my "patronizing" tone, telling women that they shouldn't be so "uppity" and that they weren't "justified in their anger." (Frankly, I didn't know that all of the f-bomb commenters were women...)

I also commented that BitchPhD's logo (click here to see it) is a perfect embodiment of the Left today - an immature kid that doesn't know anything, but is more than willing to flip off the world for shock value - not knowing the meaning of her actions.

Anyway, Brian joined in the fray and hilarity ensued, with Leftist whackos failing to address major points of discussion, returning to defensive tones about the "gender constructs" that Brian & I were using when posting.

I recommend reading the comments for that post, as it's instructive on how far from reason the Left has moved. It is also interesting to note that many of the commenters have university email addresses (Duke, Northwestern, etc), so they're either poorly educated students, poorly educated staff, or poorly educated professors. I'm sure if it's the latter, they're well credentialed - they failed to get the basics is logic and reason.

Anyway, after reading our comments, Bitch PhD has apparently banned us from future comments... Amazing how tolerant the Left is for dissent.

And this is a common practice of the Left side of the blogosphere. You'll find a similar welcome from the Twinkie-Meister (OliverWillis.com), who reviews every comment before it appears publicly. Many of my comments that linked to objective facts from non-partisan sources and undermined Ollie's posts were never allowed. Try to submit a "non-progressive" post or response on DemocraticUnderground.com - I give you 15 minutes before it is removed and your ID revoked (assuming they grant you one in the first place).

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler