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

Saturday, November 12, 2005

This Week...

Well, I see my partners have checked out for the Currant River if I remember my Mo geography. I recall having a terrific time at Big Springs years ago. A lovely lady, floating, tons of food... did I mention a lovely lady? Ah well, misspent youth, but definitely fond memories.

So, they left me holding the bag.

Actually, I don't have much time myself. I'm off to Pacific Grove with family to, among other things, see and photograph the Monarch butterfly winter sanctuary.

But I'll put up a couple random thoughts.

As for this week and the status of the conspiracy, it was a mixed bag. The elections were a fiasco and reflect the morale, or lack thereof, of the troops. The polls for W have been going south for a long while now and are resulting from a multitude of troublesome issues. The bombings in Jordan were horrendous (we had one person from here in Monterey killed who was attending the wedding). But then W gave that speech on Thursday, and it was a good BEGINNING. Perhaps the gloves are finally coming off. I certainly hope so.

The total lack of response has only encouraged the loons. They are like schoolyard bullies. At some point in time you have to stand your ground. Perhaps The White House has finally accepted this childhood truth.


Well, I need to get going. Need to drop by Ace and get a large can of RAID... just kidding.

W, strap 'em on and head for the OK corral.

OK Saint, back to you.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Veterans Day


Happy Veterans day to all of those that have served our country.

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the War to end all wars was finally ended. Despite the hopes of those back in World War I, war is still (and probably always will be) part of human existence. However, with the spread of democracy throughout the world, war may become less likely.



Thanks to this veteran who served with distinction in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Brian and I are off to an undisclosed location for a few days. While we're out, Monterey John will have to be your source of Rovian Rants.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Left and Intolerance of Dissent

Is non-existent on the Left. As we've posted before, both Brian & I have been banned from commenting on BitchPhD's blog. It seems that others challenging their orthodoxy have now been banned (and their academic careers threatened as well).

The number of times that OliverWillis has deleted my comments are too many to count. He seems to have chilled out, and at least he didn't ban me outright. Thanks for the tolerance, Ollie!

I have also been banned from DemocraticUnderground, as well.

And, another notch on my belt, I just got banned from posting comments on DailyKos. It seems that my comments regarding the facts surrounding White Phosphorous and the applicability of international treaties covering such use were inconvenient for the Kossacks and I am no longer able to rebut their ridiculous claims. It seems that in an echo chamber, everyone must be singing the same tune.

And Kos now has backtracked on White Phosphorous... He actually agrees with me that WP is not a banned/restricted round. At least he's honest there... But that doesn't stop him from using horrific pictures of civilian casualties (purportedly attributed to WP shells) to score political points and undermine the war.

For more info on White Phosphorous, check out my previous post, this one from Jeff Goldstein, and ">this post that has a picture of WP in action.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Kurdistan - The Other Iraq

Saw this commerical on TV last night... wife & I looked at each other with amazement. Click Here to see the video.

From their website
:

The Kurdistan Region in Iraq is a good news story that seldom gets told.

With a population of 5 million in an area larger than Switzerland or twice the size of New Jersey, it is surprising that this region remains largely undiscovered and commercially untapped.

The Government and the peoples of Kurdistan invite you to discover their peaceful region, a place that has practiced democracy for over a decade, a place where the universities, markets, cafes and fair grounds buzz with progress and prosperity and where the people are already sowing the seeds of a brighter future.

Great to see that the Kurds recognize that this is a media war (and the US press is clearly not on their side).

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Willie Pete

Many electronic bits have been used to decry the alleged use of White Phosphorous (aka Willie Pete) in an attack in Iraq. Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! discussed this recently. I don't know the details as to whether this event actually occured or not. But, as with the Geneva Conventions and their applicability to illegal combatants (aka terrorists), the Left is disingenous when they claim that we're acting in violation of international treaties.

For more information on White Phosphorous and its potential uses (most commonly as a smoke screen), see this WikiPedia entry.

It turns out that White Phosphorous is a banned incendiary under Protocol III of the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons. However, as with Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions which automatically affords terrorists with POW status, the US is not a signatory to the protocol that restricts the use of incendiaries such as Willie Pete and napalm.

In fact, Amy Goodman reads directly from Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons to describe Willie Pete as a restricted weapon.

LT. COL. STEVE BOYLAN: Well, part of what he was saying was fading in and out, so I'm not clear on everything he said. But again, I would assert that [White Phosphorous] is a legal weapon to use. It is not considered a chemical weapon as chemical weapons are described today. And again, he is again in error. And I would stack up my 21 years of training in the military versus his and what his profession is now. All of our chemical weapons have been declared to the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are being destroyed in the United States in accordance with our obligations under the chemical weapons convention. So he, again, is in error that it is considered a chemical weapon, as are all other individuals asserting that fact.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to read to you from the Geneva Convention on certain conventional weapons, protocol three. “Protocol and Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons. Geneva, October 10, 1980. [aka Protocol III] Article I, definitions for the purpose of this protocol. One, incendiary weapon means any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target. (a) Incendiary weapons can take the form of, for example, flame throwers, fougasses, shells, rockets, grenades, mines, bombs and other containers of incendiary substances.” Lieutenant Colonel Boylan?

LT. COL. STEVE BOYLAN: I know of no cases where people were deliberately targeted by the use of white phosphorus. Again, I did not say white phosphorus was used for illumination. White phosphorus is used for obscuration, which white phosphorus produces a heavy thick smoke to shield us or them from view so that they cannot see what we are doing. It is used to destroy equipment, to destroy buildings. That is what white phosphorus shells are used for.

Surely she knows that we are not a signatory to this protocol? Jimmy Carter (and his successors) never signed this protocol... She's either a liar or stupid. I'll let her pick which...

Check out John Cole's Balloon Juice for more info... And the Kossacks are in a tizzy over this, too - even calling White Phosphorous a Chemical Weapon. (Are they really this stupid?)

Tip of the Hat to the "intellectual" insurgent.

***UPDATE***
Be sure to check out the Daily Ablution and Protein Wisdom as well. Both debunk the claims being made regarding the use of Willie Pete (as opposed to my position which is that it doesn't matter if it was used or not - we're in a friggin' war and all approved weapons should be "on the table". And that isn't to say that White Phosphorous is an offensive weapon - it's primary use is as an obscurant, not to inflict damage on the enemey. But to say that the US military shouldn't be able to use such a tool in warfare is ludicrous.)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Rovian Cabal on Yesterday's Elections

The only thing I have to say about the elections yesterday (in which it appears the theme was keep the status quo) is that I'm an utterly disappointed.

[sarcasm on]
I mean, come on... if we can steal two (count 'em, TWO) presidential elections AND knock off the Democratic Majority Leader in the Senate, why can't we handle a couple of simple governor seats and ballot initiatives? I mean, it's not THAT hard, is it? Did they use paper ballots instead of our beloved Diebold machines? Well, that shouldn't matter - God knows we know how to steal elections using the paper ballots, too!

Come on, Conspirators!!! It's time that we take our mission seriously!
[/sarcasm off]

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

From the Left Coast...

It's the morning after the tragic suicide of the State of California. These people are frickin' nuts. It is hard to conceive of the mass delusion that holds this magnificent state in its thrall.

As most folks know, we had a number of propositions on the ballot that were a beginning at getting a handle on the mess that is the government of this state.

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

The opposition to these reasonable measures was astounding. Millions of dollars were spent on tedious and inaccurate attack ads opposing the propositions. Big Labor was the primary source of the funds. Interestingly, one of the propositions would have required that unions get the members' permission before spending their dues on such activity.

The state, according to my favorite morning talk guys in San Francisco, is like a beautiful and generous woman who has gone totally insane. There is no way to get control and the only thing you can do is sleep with a pistol (but not in San Francisco[that's another story]) under your pillow or flee to Nevada or Arizona.

The alliance between the anarchist left, the elite liberals, the cult of victimization and labor has a strangle hold on California.

I have no idea what if anything can be done to change course before this Titanic state strikes the iceberg of financial ruin. It is institutionally broken, and any attempts to fix it are repudiated by the aforementioned coalition. It is depressing.

I love California, that beautiful and generous woman, but the pistol under the pillow is giving me a crink in my neck.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

ce qui je souci? (What Me Worry?)

At least, that's the translation that AltaVista gave me...

From AP:

French Rioting Appears to Lose Strength
Nov 9, 7:31 AM (ET)
By D'ARCY DORAN

PARIS (AP) - France's storm of rioting lost strength Wednesday, with car burnings falling nearly by half, police said. But looters and vandals still defied a state of emergency with attacks on superstores, a newspaper warehouse and a subway station.

The extraordinary 12-day state of emergency, which went into effect Tuesday at midnight, covered Paris, its suburbs and more than 30 other French cities from the Mediterranean to the border with Germany and to Rouen in the north - an indication of how widespread arson, riots and other unrest have become in nearly two weeks of violence.

No worries... the insurgency is starting to tail off... why, only 600 cars were torched last night. (And they're small cars at that, so it would be like burning 200 US cars, you American Pigs!)

I know what needs to happen here and anyone who questions my plan is with the terrorists eerrrrrr,,, insurgents, errrr... youths (that better?). George Bush and Don Rumsfeld should announce Operation Franco Freedom. For the 3rd time in 100 years, the US could save France's bacon... we could send in the Army's 4th ID and put this insurgency down in short order.

No doubt the French people would treat us as liberators. Heck, we could even do a landing at Normandy just for kicks... to remind the people of our past heroics. Now, it won't be easy... militarily, it'd be a cakewalk. But winning the peace would be difficult. We would have to transform over 200 years of French desires for a statist planning... but we're up to the challenge.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Saw this on Puffball Hardball with Tweety Bird Chris Matthews...... glad to see that Hugh was also talking about it.:

"The manipulation of intelligence, to sell the war in Iraq, Vice President Cheney is involved in that. The White House energy policy, that puts Big Oil ahead of the American consumer, Vice President Cheney is behind that. Leaking clasified information to discredit White House critics, the Vice President is behind that. Halliburton, contracting abuse, the list goes on and it goes on. Certainly America can do better than that."

It seems that the Dems are disappointed that Fitzmas did not bring a Rovian indictment, so they're aiming their sites higher - to the Veep himself. And it's interesting to watch Matthews devolve into a shadow of the rabid whackjob Keith Olberman, who reports the news as if his only source is The Raw Story and Eric Blumrich.

Anyway, I think we are seeing the complete and total invasion of the Democratic Party by the Body Snatchers. It's as if Harry Reid were Mark Moulatsisdjfsis of DailyKos or any number of nutjob posters on DemocraticUnderground. The next thing you know, he'll be talking about how Bush knew about 9/11 or how Bush stole the 2004 election in Ohio. (Oh, wait... while the Senate Minority Leader hasn't made those claims, the Chairman of the DNC and the last Democratic Presidential Candidate have made those claims.)

As we've posted previously
, this isn't your grandfathers (or fathers) Democratic Party.

Now, on to the actual purpose of Reid's attack... he wants Cheney out. Well, I say.. "Kudos to Harry!" Let's put Condi as Veep... or perhaps Romney or Giuliani. Let's start solidifying our 2008 Presidential nominee now.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

VDH on Paris Burning

Victor Davis Hason (my favorite Democrat) has this article by Bruce Thornton about the flames in Paris and the way that the journalists are covering the insurgency:

Troubling “Facts” of the Paris Riots
How our newspapers might turn bias to balance.
by Bruce Thornton
Private Papers

The media's techniques for smuggling opinion into what are supposed to be news stories are so pervasive that often we don't even notice when they are at work. Here's an example from the Friday, November 4 New York Times, in a story about the Muslim riots in Paris. Most of the article simply describes the events and the political fallout for various French politicians.

It's in the last paragraph that the reporting of news gives way to disguised opinion: "The continuing unrest appears to be fueled less by perceived police brutality than by the frustration of young men who have no work and see little hope for the future." In Saturday's coverage, this opinion migrates to the front of the story, with references to "underlying frustrations" and "decades of high unemployment and marginalization." To statements such as these any perceptive reader should respond, "Says who?"

Notice the use of the impersonal weasel-word "appears." Appears to whom? The Times writer, a French politician, an academic, an imam, or the rioters? The way this opinion is phrased obscures the fact that it is a mere opinion, an interpretation of the events described, not a fact. As such, the source of the opinion should be identified so we can evaluate its usefulness and integrity. But to say it "appears,” unconnected to a person with a point of view, is an evasion of responsibility. If this explanation was deemed so important for the story, then surely the reporter could have found someone to give him a quote expressing the opinion so that at least we'd know whose ax is being ground. And a thorough reporter would be sure to find other people with alternative interpretations in order to provide balance and give the reader a fuller range of opinion on the matter. Without this sort of attribution, however, the opinion then must be that of the writer and the editors of the Times. At which point we need to be asking why a newspaper that continually proclaims its professional objectivity is putting opinion into what's supposed to be a news story.

But it's not just the concealment of the opinion's source that is troubling. The opinion itself reflects a certain ideology, a set of modern prejudices about human behavior. To attribute the riot to "frustration" and "no work" is to indulge a highly questionable view of human action that reduces it to environmental forces outside the individual. This materialist determinism — the idea that material causes in the environment, especially economic ones, are the prime mover of humans — is not a scientific fact but an ideological prejudice whose roots lay in pseudo-scientists like Marx and Freud. It discards the fact of human free will and ignores the many complex and conflicting motivations of people that explain their actions. Sometimes people burn and loot out of economic frustration and hopelessness; sometimes they do so because of the innate joy in destruction and in the power that such destruction temporarily bestows; sometimes they do so because they want stuff for free; sometimes they do so in pursuit of some value or ideal; and sometimes they do so just for the sheer hell of it.

In the case of the Paris rioters, there are other explanations for their behavior that are more accurate than liberal clichés about “frustration.” As Dr Jack Wheeler puts it, “The problem is not that these Moslem kids are unemployed, but that they are unemployable. They are illiterate, unskilled except in crime, don't speak French well, refuse to assimilate into French culture and think being Moslem is more important than being French. Worse, they are paid by the French welfare state not to work, living well off the dole (and crime). The problem was epitomized by these words of a young Moslem rioter to a French reporter: 'In the day we sleep, go see our girlfriends, and play video games. And in the evening we have a good time: we go and fight the police.'”

But don't expect the Times to explore these alternative interpretations. The Times endorses the opinion consistent with the liberal-left world-view of the paper's editorial board, a vision of human nature in which notions like free will and unmotivated evil are superstitions that have been unmasked by science. People in reality are just passive victims of the larger forces controlling their destinies. Thus the unjust economic system (i.e. capitalism) and its oppression are to blame for destructive actions, for man does live by bread alone, and so if he acts up it's only because he doesn't have enough bread. All those Muslim youths have no autonomous wills, no values or ideals they hold dear, no spiritual beliefs that justify their actions. They are just passive victims who can only react to the injustice around them.
If only France's economic system could be characterized as capitalistic... if anything, the statist economic policies of France (which are antithetical to free-market principles) have resulted in this situation.

At least the cars that they're burning are environmentally friendly... although I'm not sure they're environmentally friendly when they're ablaze. But, let's admit it... if you're going to burn a car, it's cuter if it's a nice, small Puegot rather than some gas guzzling SUV. I mean, those things are scary when they're lit up!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Outsourcing

Economic Protectionism (and isolationism in foreign policy) find audiences on both the Right and the Left. However, both have been proven to be unfounded not only in theory, but in practice. Hitler and the Japanese proved that the US could not remain isolated from the conflicts in the world and Osama Bin Laden proved that the spread of democracy and freedom is in the best interest of the United States (and is crucial to our very survival in the long term). Well, economic protectionism has become the last refuge of the scoundrels on the Left and Right (take your pick) and it too should be recognized for the fallacy that it is.

Remember all the bleating about the outsourcing of America (from the likes of John Kerry, Lou Dobbs, etc, etc)? Well, as professor Gregory Mankiw pointed out in 2004, outsourcing is good for America. Agence France Press points out that conventional wisdom is (once again) wrong:

Outsourcing assumptions turned upside down by report
Agence France Press
1 November 2005
[...]
The outsourcing of technology jobs to low-wage countries will provide a $68.7-billion (U.S.) benefit to the U.S. economy in 2005, said a study released yesterday, challenging key assumptions about shifting work offshore.
[...]
The report concluded that despite the loss of some jobs to low-wage countries such as India, that worldwide sourcing of IT services and software generated 257,042 new U.S. jobs in 2005.

“No one is denying that there are job losses, but the net effect is that you create more jobs than you lose” in the overall economy, said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight and lead author of the report.

The benefits come from lower inflation, higher productivity and lower interest rates that boost economic activity, the report concludes.

The researchers calculated this provided a net benefit to real U.S. gross domestic product of $68.7-billion in 2005, and that this would rise by 2010 to $147.4-billion compared with a situation without any offshore outsourcing.

“The main thing is cost savings which radiate out in the form of lower prices for high-tech goods, and higher profit margins for the companies,” Mr. Behravesh said.

So you have lower inflation, which means higher real income; you have higher profits. Companies use higher profits to invest more; consumers use higher incomes to purchase more . . . all these produce a much stronger economy and produce more jobs than the offshoring destroys.

In terms of jobs, the report concluded that offshore outsourcing led to the creation of more than 419,000 jobs, more than offsetting the 162,000 technology jobs displaced by the shift.

The report flies in the face of criticism that the U.S. economy and workers are being hurt by sourcing of computer-related jobs to low-wage countries, an issue intensely debated in the 2004 presidential election campaign.

“Global sourcing continues to be a net positive for American workers and the U.S. economy,” said ITAA president Harris Miller.

“By driving down the costs associated with computer software and services and by opening more overseas markets to U.S. competition, global sourcing sharpens our country's competitive edge at home and abroad. The result is more American jobs, higher wages and a faster growing economy overall.

Mr. Miller said that the IT industry is still growing and the United States faces possible shortages of science and engineering graduates.
Now, outsourcing certainly can be difficult at the micro level... individual helpdesk jockeys in the US certainly are hurt by such economic activity. However, those resource could (and are) better utilized for higher value tasks. Similarly with programming that gets sent overseas... All this means is that today's Computer Science grads aren't cranking out meaningless code - rather, they're working on the cutting edge of technology and/or interfacing with customers instead of being stuck in a cubicle for a few years. In some cases, they're managing the very people in India who are now doing the grunt work. The skills that these workers obtain doing these higher level tasks result in higher productivity for the economy and higher compensation for them as individuals.

Now, there is a dark and painful side to this phenomenon - the worker that will not retrain or pursue work that is of a higher value. Like the buggy-whip maker in 1905 hoping that the dreaded horseless carriage will prove to be a failure, these workers hope and pray that someone will stop this mindless outsourcing. Howevwer, it's impossible to turn back the clock on free markets. Doing so would only put the US in greater economic peril...

What's the best way to insure that we're able to compete in this global economy? It's not protectionism that the cure - it's education. And our education system in the US is woefully inadequate - in every aspect. From teacher compensation to student incentives to curriculum, we are doing a disservice not only to our students, but also to our country. And education should be seen as not only an activity for the young, but also for every adult in this economy. But that's a post for another day.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

'06 Fundraising

Willisms has this information which shows that the Dems, while succeeding in the press, are not winning the hearts & minds of the American electorate... at least not among those willing to contribute to campaign coffers:

For all the talk of looming political trouble in 2006 for Congressional Republicans, the major GOP committees are out-raising their Democrat counterparts. And it's not just a handful of ultra-wealthy individuals contributing the big bucks, either. It's grassroots success. Lots of small and medium contributions.

Despite troubling polling numbers and overwhelmingly biased news coverage cooked up by the media, and despite a few targeted grumbles here and there from the GOP base, Democrats have failed to offer anything but shameless demagoguery, scandal-mongering, and seething hypocrisy.

Thus, Republicans have maintained their fundraising advantage across the board.

Check out the post for the charts & graphs... the Republican Senatorial Campaign committee isn't doing as good as the party in general, but as Willism points out... is anyone surprised by that?


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

I'll have whatever he's drinking...

Read this post/essay from Stephen Green (aka the VodkaPundit):

The Arm of Decision
Posted by Stephen Green · 8 November 2005 · Permalink

Four years into the Terror War, "What's the most important element for victory?" is a question long overdue. It's also a question our national leadership, nearly all of our intellectuals, and none of our mainstream media have yet to answer.

President George W Bush hasn't told us, because he doesn't know. His rivals for the Oval Office never answered the question – either because they also don't know or because they don't like the answer. Our Congress and Senate ought to be debating this issue, the most important of our postmodern era. Instead, they're doling out the pork, posing for the cameras, or busy keeping the campaign dollars flowing in by treating small, partisan differences as matters of life and death. Here we are, with a real life-and-death struggle on our hands, and our leadership fiddles while the barbarians beat us at our own game.

Our public thinkers – pundits, intellectuals, whatever you want to call them – are the people we should most rely on for guidance in times such as these. However, they've come up short even using the pathetic standard by which this blogger measures them. Too many of our intellectuals are caught in the past, real or imagined. Most liberal thinkers think one of two things: That this Terror War can be safely ignored (or treated as a police matter, which is effectively the same thing) or that "America isn't worth dying for." Either path leads to defeat – but at least Cindy Sheehan is cheering openly for the other side. Conservatives fall into three camps. Paleoconservatives, like Pat Buchanan, have joined in the loony left's "blame America first" chorus. If only we'd cut off Israel, buy off the Arabs, retreat behind our borders, and act a lot more like France – then we wouldn't be in this mess. Neoconservatives hold the naïve hope that if we just topple the dictators, democracy will sprout like shiitake mushrooms after a cool rain. Vanilla conservatives might have some reservations about singular campaigns in this war (George Will's reservations about Iraq, for example), but usually get all gung-ho whenever and wherever the troops are involved. But as I discussed in an essay called "Game Plan" last year, this war is about a lot more than combat.

Our mainstream media haven't answered the question, because they know the answer – and they're deathly afraid you'll find out what it is. But we'll get to them in a moment.
[...]
Today we face a new global threat. Like the Soviet Union of old, our threat is ideological. Unlike the Soviets, our new threat isn't a nation-state. The enemy has no divisions. It has no tanks, nor fighter jets, nor nuclear missiles. Our threat is repressed young men with the desire to die for Allah, and to take as many infidels with them as they can on their road to Hell.
[...]
What I didn't see then - but what I do see today - is what "taking the initiative" really means.

It means, fighting a media war. It means, turning the enemy's one great strength into our own. Broadcast words, sounds, and images are the arm of decision in today's world.

And if that assessment is correct, then we're losing this war and badly.
[...]
Today, too many reporters report from the relative safety of Baghdad hotels. Their reports – and the public's understanding of the war – have suffered as a result. And too few of the original embeds remain reporting for duty. When reporters who don't see what going on write stories without context, they fail to steel the public for bad news and to put the good news in perspective.

It's fair to ask if the Iraq Campaign was a necessary component to the Terror War. It isn't fair to compare Iraq to Vietnam, when the two wars have nothing, zero, nada in common. It's fair to ask if our soldier are dying in vain, or because of stupid policy, or because of inferior equipment. It's not fair to run headlines like "Battle Deaths Continue to Mount." No shit, Sherlock? A real story would be, "Battle Deaths Decline as Fallen Soldiers Miraculously Resurrected." It's fair to question Bush's policies. It's not fair to act as a conduit for enemy propaganda. It's fair to ask if Iraq is draining resources from our efforts in Afghanistan. It's not fair to complain that Afghanistan isn't perfect yet. It's fair to complain about indecencies at Abu Ghraib. It's not fair to virtually ignore atrocities committed by the other side everywhere else in Iraq.

But our media, aware of their power but ignorant as to its uses, would rather play "gotcha" than provide critical perspective.

Germany lost WWI because they couldn't match our manpower. They lost again in 1945, because they couldn't match Allied productive might. We could very well lose this war, because our leadership has so far failed to recognize the power of the media. We might also lose because our enemies are oftentimes more media-savvy than we are. We could lose also because our mainstream media seems to find terrorists less unattractive than having a conservative Texan in the White House.

The only thing that I disagree with is that the pullback at the first battle of Fallujah may have had a positive consequence (in a sick and demented way). (Stephen argues that it was a clear defeat of the military by enemy propaganda, which is an honest assessment to some degree.) When the Marines pulled back in April of 2004, they left the hotbed of insurgent desires to the whims of Islamic radicalism. And Zarqawi & Co terrorized the very Sunnis that they claimed to be fighting for... The benefit is that many of the survivors after the second battle for Fallujah now are willing to cooperate with the US Army. Sure, they want us to leave Iraq - as do most Iraqis, who see our presence as the very sign of their impotence. But, they understand that letting a mad-man like Zarqawi and his comrades run their country is a sure path to Hell on Earth.

Whenever the subject of failure in Iraq comes up, I point to this man as one of the main causes for our situation there. It was HIS job to make sure that the 4th ID, the most technologically advanced armored division in the world could smash the Sunni Triangle from the north. Not for nothing did the military planner position the 4th ID on the northern front of Iraq. Powell's failure to secure the cooperation of the Turks meant that the Sunni Triangle was untouched by the might of the US military until AFTER the symbolic fall of Baghdad - after major combat operations had ceased and the rules of engagement had changed. Had the Sunni Triangle been occupied and the symbolic town of Tikrit and Fallujah been subdued in the opening phases of the war, I suspect that many of the young insurgents would have thought twice about taking up arms against the US.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, November 07, 2005

Kos Joins the Libertarian Right?

At least when it comes to free speech and Campaign Finance Reform, Kos doesn't like his party's approach to the matter:

Kill HR 4194
by kos
Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 10:35:46 AM PDT

Well, the same geniuses that killed the first attempt to pass HR 1606 -- the Online Freedom of Speech Act -- are at it again. This time, they are pushing HR 4194, which would do more to harm the medium than help.

HR 4194 is sponsored by Shays and Meehan, and only those two, as they honestly have no clue what they've gotten into. Their complete lack of understanding of this medium would be quaint and cute, for two old out-of-touch luddites, if it didn't have such real-world repercussions. Yet on issues of campaign finance these two have a well-earned reputation, one which allowed them the use fear, uncertainty and doubt to kill HR 1606.

Now, HR 1606 would've protected blogs from regulation by the FEC under the existing campaign finance regulations. While we don't get funding from candidates (all our juice required to keep a blogspot weblog alive comes from Karl Rove himself), we are consistent when it comes to political speech, regardless of the medium - DE-REGULATE!!!

When 1606 was defeated, Kos went into a tirade on his site, but thanked the Democrats that supported teh bill. It's interesting that Kos, true to form, did not mention that most of the Left in the Congress voted against him, while the Right voted to support 1606. He didn't provide a breakdown of the vote by party... Here's the roll-call vote (Note that due to House Rules, 2/3 vote, or 290 Yeas, were required for passage):
HR 1606 2-Nov-2005 8:08 PM
On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass
BILL TITLE: Online Freedom of Speech Act
YeasNaysPRESNV
Republican 1793813
Democratic46143 13
Independent1
TOTALS 22518226
Perhaps if Congress had more conservative Republicans than Leftist Democrats, Kos' 1606 would've passed... No doubt Kos will start campaigning for the GOP now. (It's also intereseting to note that Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) who is a darling of the Left (and the most liberal congressman) voted against HR 1606. No doubt Kos will support Bernie's candidacy for Senate.

This is precisely why those of us on the Right opposed McCain-Feingold, since it is a regulation directly aimed at restricting political speech - something that the first amendment explictly protects. It's frankly hilarious to see Leftists like Kos (who was surreptitiously on the payroll of the Dean campaign last year) to suddenly find that their political speech should be protected while still agreeing with the underlying provisions of McCain-Feingold that restrict speech for other organized groups.

Now that Kos is such a big name in the blogosphere and has even formed KosMedia LLC, why should his speech be any different than that of the NRA? Alas, Kos now understands the bitter reality that his side of the aisle is not on the side of free speech.

***UPDATE***
Another instance where the Lefty-side of the Blogosphere probably runs counter to their usual "principles" is the UN takeover of the Internet. For more information on the UN's attempts, see this WSJ editorial by Sen. Norm Coleman or this article from Tech Central Station
Will the Internet become the UNTERNET?
By Carroll Andrew Morse

The United Nations wants control of the internet. At its November 2005 meeting in Tunis, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) will deliberate its "second phase" of creating a bureaucracy to manage internet governance. The WSIS is run by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the UN. At the WSIS Preparatory Commission meeting held this past September in Geneva, the European Union joined with countries like China and Iran in rejecting the concept of not fixing what is not broken and decided that increased international supervision -- maybe even international control -- of the internet has become necessary. Why the United Nations should have a special right to manage "internet governance" is unclear. The claim -- like most UN claims -- is based on the idea that, because it has the form of a government, the UN can grant itself whatever government-like powers it desires. In this case, the UN has decided it has an information age power of eminent domain and can take over any communications network of international scope.

No doubt the Kossacks, who extol the virtues of the UN and all multinational organizations will applaud this attempt by the UN to get the Internet out of the grasp of the overly capitalistic (and overly free) US. No doubt such a move will placate the "Arab Street" and show that America is much more willing to accomodate the wishes of others... why, I'm sure that Kos & Co will even tailor their musings so that they do not offend the sensibilities of Muslims around the world.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Delusional DUers

The folks at DemocraticUnderground (aka DUers) are all atwitter over this news posted at The Raw Story, a great source for all of your lefty news.

Zogby poll: Majority of likely voters support considering impeachment
if Bush lied on Iraq, 51-45 percent
John Byrne and Miriam Raftery

Impeachment support is greater among all adults than likely voters

A new poll of likely voters by Zogby International has found that a majority of Americans support Congress considering the impeachment of President Bush if he “did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq,” RAW STORY has learned.

The poll, to be released this afternoon, finds that 51 percent of likely voters want Congress to eye impeachment, while 45 percent do not. It was commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a coalition of progressive groups seeking a Congressional investigation of the events leading up to war in Iraq.
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Among all adults surveyed, the numbers were higher: 53 percent supported impeachment, while 42 percent did not. The poll, which has a +/- 2.9% margin of error, interviewed 1,200 U.S. adults from Oct. 29 through Nov. 2.

Not surprisingly, Democrats supported the consideration of impeachment by a broad margin (76 percent) while Republicans opposed (66 percent). However, 29 percent of Republicans told Zogby pollsters that they supported Congress examining impeachment over Iraq.

"These results are stunning," AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik said in a statement. "A clear majority of Americans now supports President Bush's impeachment if he lied about the war. This should send shock waves through the White House - and a wake-up call to Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who have sole power under the Constitution to impeach President Bush."

Whites were more likely to oppose impeachment proceedings, while Hispanics and African Americans supported them. Asians who took the poll were more likely to oppose impeachment, though only 21 answered questions about their views.

Also notable: 46 percent of those who considered themselves "born again" said they would support Congress considering impeachment.

The House of Representatives has the sole authority to impeach a president. Democrats, however, have not touched the issue, and they do not constitute a majority in the chamber.

Zogby last polled likely voters on impeachment in June. At that time, 42 percent supported considering impeachment, while 50 percent opposed.

Another poll of American adults conducted in early October by Ipsos, the agency used by the Associated Press, found that 50 percent supported Congress examining the issue, while 42 percent opposed.

RAW STORY placed calls to some of the more liberal members of the House, among them Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Bob Filner (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). None of the offices returned calls for comment.

Fertik, who also runs Democrats.com, has also set up ImpeachPAC, a political action committee aimed at supporting Democrats who say they will seek impeachment.

Of course, impeachment will only happen if the GOP turns on Bush or if the House switches to the Dems in 2006. But even if that were to happen, would they have the cojones (and be deluded enough) to go for it?

I think it would be great...
  • First, it would establish for once and all the facts surrounding our delayed removal of Saddam.
  • Second, it would create a perpetual chaos in our government, permitting future presidents to be impeached for policy decisions based on information available at the time which later turned out to be incorrect.
  • Third, it would finally solidify the fact that the Democrats pine for the status quo in our foreign policy and specifically in the case of Saddam. They love to coddle dictators and continue the practice of realpolitik which created the very environment in the Middle East that resulted in 19 youths crashing planes into the World Trade Center.

And don't let the Dems get away with the meme that "Yes, Clinton believe that Saddam haed WMDs, but at least he didn't take us to war!" The obvious retort to such idiocy is that:
  1. Clinton established the policy of regime change in Iraq, meaning that he was positioning US foreign policy for such an eventuality if Saddam failed to comply.
  2. Bill Clinton didn't have to respond to September 11th...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Vinnick for President!

Just finished watching the West Wing (Live) Debate on NBC. The show has really done well in the past season detailing the various campaign tactics between the Santos and Vinnick campaigns. In past seasons it was a liberal love fest with the various leftist positions spouted out while walking between offices.

But the campaign has been fair to both sides, showing the foibles and strengths of both parties.

The debate episode echoed that. It was very enjoyable for this, admittedly, political junkie. If your on the west coast, be sure to check it out. If your on the east coast, try and find a rerun.

And the best part is that it must have killed Alan Alda to talk about the benefits of tax cuts and the free market.

**** Update ******
Cafe Hayek has his own review and does more justice to the Vinnick for President cause than I ever could:

There were a few missteps here and there, but overall, it was the best defense of limited government I've heard from a candidate since Reagan. It figures, as a friend pointed out, Alda and Reagan are both actors.

******************

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian