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

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Report from the Left Coast

I've been pretty quiet of late. Lots of personal and professional stuff going on. I have also been totally uninspired by people and events. As my friend Desert Rat might say, basically in a "Grump Mode."

Well, Zarquawi's departure for the Brothel Eternal has brightened my mood considerably. Do I celebrate his demise? Yep. Now, I didn't go out in the back yard and unload an AK47 into the air, for some reason they frown on such things in California, but I was pretty well pleased by this development.

I voted in my first ever California primary this past Tuesday. Zarquawi was not yet gone, so I did not have all that much of an emotional response to this ground breaking event. But now he is gone, and by golly, I'm feeling very positive about developments in the the country's psych ward.

It appears that the rumors of Ah-nold's demise have been greatly exagerated. The Democrats had quite the bloodletting in their primary. It was the New Age Silicon Valley founder of E-Bay, Westley, versus the old pol, Angilides. The battle was a good one, and with an Angiledes win, Ah-nold's guns should be well loaded for the fall given all the stuff Westley turned up on Angiledes.

Then there was the flaming defeat of The Meathead Initiative. Rob Reiner's proposal for "universal pre-school" lost roughly 40/60. If that is an indicator of public sentiment here, well, things are looking up.

Moonbeam Brown (you remember Jerry Brown, don't you?) won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. Moonbeam is presently the mayor of Oakland, the crime capital of the nation, kind of a Baghdad West on a bad night. Now that's a problem for the fella running for chief law enforcement officer of the state.

Truth be known, Brown, other than the crime problem, has been a good mayor. The once dying city has rebounded. Why I even donned a flak jacket and visited the downtown. It really is very nice if you ignore the crackle of occasional gunfire.

Here in Monterey County, the Republicans have won control of the Board of Supervisors, and elected Republicans to the sheriff and district attorney. We also have two Republican state senators. Not bad for an area that sits 90 miles south of San Franfreako and is, GASP!, right next to the People's Republic of Santa Cruz.

Funny enough, on a number of fronts, California may drift back to it's time honored spot in the Red State column. I'm not saying it will come off the psych meds any time soon, but there are some faint signs of recovery here.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Time for a Little Truth-In

In response to this post from my inestimable co-conspirator Brian, I'd like to make a pointed statement to Jason Leopold of

You were lied to. Someone fed you a line of b.s. to get you to go out on a limb so that your credibility would be tarnished. The story is no longer whether Rove will be indicted - even if he's indicted tomorrow your credibility is nothing (although I bet there are some tinfoil-hat-wearing moonbats that think you're right on target... HALLIBURTON!!!)

No, the story is no longer Karl Rove and whether he's indicted. The story is who are you sources that tried to completely destroy your career?

In order to reclaim your credibility in the blogosphere, let's be consistent and give you 24 business hours to reveal your sources.

And once you've done that, I would recommend a little shift in your branding. Change the brand from TruthOut to TruthIn. It would highlight your conscious decision from now on to focus on the facts in stories and question the motives of your sources.

Previous TruthOut posts here, in chronological order:

I'll be emailing this post to Jason and provide any of his responses here.

*** Update ***
Jeff Goldstein @ ProteinWisdom pokes fun as well.

...Or more precisely, Jason Leopold will reiterate his belief in the indictment’s imminence on Monday, muttering about it to himself over a half-dozen Wahoo’s fish tacos and a Diet Berries and Cream Dr Pepper. But that’s kinda like news, right?

Posted by Jeff Goldstein @ 10:28 PM

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Friday, June 09, 2006

Fitzmas turned into another Fizzlemas?

Another week, 4 weeks overall, 28 days (business or otherwise) and still no frogmarch of the anointed one, Karl Rove.

At this point, Jason Leopold has 2 choices. Continue down the Mary Mapes route, assuring us all that he's sincere with his original reporting, just "ahead of the news cycle" [way ahead -ed]. Or he can come clean, turn on the anonymous sources that shattered his already limited career in journalism and tell his readers the whole truth.

Jason, its obvious you were lied to. There is no indictment, sealed or otherwise, there was no marathon negotiation session, there was no story. So let us know, who told you? Who tried to force the prosecutor's hand? Who?

I notice that there hasn't been any update on the website on this subject since the original story on May 13th. Perhaps its time to bring your readers up to date?

As to a potential source... Let's see who's still saying there might be indictments?

From a DU journal comes a description of a limited dinner engagement with none other than Joseph C Wilson [the IV -ed]:

As a clinician, I have had the opportunity to meet people to whom I would never have been introduced in ten thousand years. It is the nature of my occupation that makes it as appealing as it is at this life stage, because the entire health care establishment is circling with some fair degree of coriolus force in the toilet as far as I’m concerned.

We're only a paragraph in and the pretentiousness [wow you can use big words too -ed] is dripping. This is going to be painful.
It was with some surprise however, when a patient of mine contacted me and asked if I would wish to join her and her group for a ‘small, private dinner’ with Joseph Wilson. In the milliseconds before I almost literally jumped at the chance I remember a certain silence and stillness in the room – that it was almost unbelievable that this opportunity would arise. The dinner was scheduled to be in Philadelphia’s only 5 star restaurant and if for no other reason, I really needed an excuse to have a meal there – rationalizations are always necessary when it comes to these things and these large dollar donations. I am a cynic by nature, but if there were one true ‘hero’ of the years since the recount of 2000, it was this individual, and it would be less than honorable to decline if for no other reason than to pay homage to someone who really risked it all in the name of American Righteousness. Years ago, I had met with Eliot Richardson post-Watergate and he was another who had risen above the fray to at long last, do the right thing.

Risked it all? What did Joe Wilson, "risk?" He's been a media darling, he makes a ton on speeches, and he had a book deal [don't forget the 5 star restaraunt meals -ed] some "risk." And, the only hero since the recount of 2000? Who was the hero in that? Al Gore?
Last night was no disappointment. First of all, unbelievably, I was seated at a table for seven, directly across from Ambassador (call me Joe) Wilson. Understand this: he is as charismatic, deft, witty, charming, and obviously brilliantly competent as he appears on the television, with the exception that he is even more so. Now clearly, much of this is practiced, for I am certain that he answers the same fifty questions daily, but he is really – and I am a child of the fifties, so many of you won’t necessarily understand the real meaning of the word – really cool. Believe me, the word has evolved, but I’m talking about the beat generation definition of cool.

Wow. Got it, you like him...
My take on him is that he is a meticulously rehearsed, guarded, brilliant guy who is aware of the nuances of every single utterance which left his mouth. You would expect this from a career diplomat of course, but his responses to asides which people made to him were crafted to allow you to realize that he’s bright, and you are to know that he’s that bright, but it’s acceptable in his case because he is someone who clearly, is in command of the truth. More on that later, of course.

Ok, ok. You REALLY like him. Greatest thing since sliced bread. Got it.
To make a long story shorter, he spoke to us after the order and before the appetizers were served. He stated, and I’m paraphrasing because I was absolutely not going to record this conversation out of respect to him, that the country is careening towards repression of a massively frightening nature, that the Republican Party - in his words one fo the two great parties in the country, has been hijacked by this radical element; that the attempt at personal destruction of him and his family was in fact personal, and he regarded it as such. He was pretty witty at times, he referred to an aunt of his as Mrs. John Birch, and she’s off his Christmas card list because she sided with Bush in 2004; he referred to Bush not as stupid, but as “bright, in a feral way”, which I thought was terrific. He asked for questions around the room, and gave very long, involved answers, some of which were included in his books or heard on TV almost verbatim. He asked for “THE question” – everybody looked at everybody else, so I went out on a limb and said, “OK, we haven't heard much from Bob Novak lately. Any personal thoughts about him, by any chance?” He was pleased with the question – I think – and stated that the reason that Novak did asserted neither his 5th amendment rights nor his 1st amendment rights was that he would have wound up indicted, or in jail with Judy Miller. Rather, he sang like a bird and answered ‘every question’ that Pat Fitzgerald put to him. He seemed to imply, although I can’t say for sure that he stated, that there were going to be more indictments coming down the pike.

Repressive and not only that but frighteningly so! Oh my! The Brownshirts are right around the corner! Why they won't even let us eat in these fancy 5 star restaraunts comrade!

An lo and behold the implication at the end of th eparagraph... There are indictments coming! More of them! Behold the glorious indictments to be coming forth! And the frogmarch! We'll have a frogmarch to end all frogmarches!!!
Someone asked him why Rumsfeld and the others would [lie] about something which really didn’t matter so much – I can’t remember what exactly – and he said that these guys lie about everything, “just to keep in shape”. Really brought the house down.

Ha ha!.. Lying to keep in shape for futher lying. Oh what a riot that Joseph, "call me Joe," Wilson [the IV -ed] is!
Importantly, someone asked him, “What can WE do about all this?” and his response was to continuously and without fail petition the representatives in congress no matter what their previous affiliation or party is, no matter how they voted or sucked up (my words) to the Administration in the past. Once they get wind that there’s a seismic shift, they will have to respond or run the risk of losing, no matter how safe a district. They could be ousted the implication was, via their own primary defeats as we have seen in PA (not a good thing I might add – because it’s the wingers taking over from the moderates), or in the general election. Either way, change is brought about by the people, and he quoted a great man, and I don’t want to get the citation wrong and I don’t have time to research it now, but it could have been Jefferson, who stated that he was never afraid of the People,

All we need is a small seismic shift! And this feral government will fall apart! Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh, and order another bottle of fancy french wine for the witty and oh-so-charming Joseph, "call me Joe", Wilson [the IV -ed].
At the presentation at the University of the Arts, held at Broad and Pine Streets, he had a pretty good, but not sell-out crowd. My guess would be 350-400 or so. The moderator, a local guy who’s bright but not brilliant, basically asked him to refute the three major reasons why the Right wing says that Wilson twisted the truth. He did so effectively and completely, and people applauded him often, which he didn’t mind too much. It was quite an evening, to say the least.

Oh that pedestrian moderator, asking such silly questions... He's no match for the great Joeseph "call me Joe" Wilson [the IV -ed]! Why the applause we heaped on him was such a little gift for a man of his charm! His Wit! His Elegance!

Aww, hell.. What tripe....

Joe my man.. If you know of some secret indictment, let Jason know (if you haven't already)! He's floundering out there waiting for a Fitzmas, that isn't coming.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

The Updated Zarqawi Video - Check it out

Somewhere, Eric Blumrich is puking and banging his fist on his keyboard while he watches this video.

*** Switching to Eric Blumrich's perspective ***
Because, you know... it's okay to make super-duper animations/videos of carnage with catchy music, but this is just too jingoistic. Know what I mean? There isn't any criticism of "President" Bush in the Zarqawi strike video, and he's the worst mass murderer in the world today, you know?

It this thing on? Helloooo?

Man, I wish I could find a job...
*** End Eric Blumrich's insane perspective ***

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Ann Coulter... Shrill? Odious? Al Franken in Drag?

What follows speaks for just me...

Do you suppose Ann Coulter has asked herself WHY the mainstream media is so eager to interview her?

I for one have seen more than enough of her. She makes conservatives look like heartless morons. I do not appreciate the results of her efforts.

Going after the 9/11 widows on a personal level? Is she crazy? Is she really that mean spirited?

There is much to be said about how the Left uses victims of tragedy and how some victims allow themselves to be used. The theory is that no one will take them on because to do so will only blowback on those who try to get at the substance of whatever issue is currently on the table. The victims are untouchable.

Well that is just not so. So long as the critic sticks to the issues, the substance of the matter, there is no problem with challenging "victims" who have untenable views. But to say that the victim is "enjoying" their loss and similar such idiotic comments is just plain stupid.

It has to be said Coulter's basic point is right on. She then goes on to undermine her own position with how she goes about trying to make that point. She is totally self-destructive.

Well, this is Coulter's "schtick." It obviously sells books and gets lots of interviews. The problem, for me, is that in the end it harms the conservative cause.

And, if as I suspect is true, Coulter has done what she has done to sell books, well, shame on her.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Thursday, June 08, 2006

World Cup - USA Feelin' the Love

Now that the US team has got some skills, it seems that the rest of the world isn't too pleased. Of course, this isn't news to anyone that's followed the team over the past few years and heard the shouts of "bin Laden!" from the Mexican crowds.

I found this article very interesting:

U.S. national team prepared for the hate
Wayne Drehs

HAMBURG, Germany -- In the heart of this city's bustling shopping district, where locals and tourists move at a pace only New Yorkers would appreciate, flocks of uniformed Polizei stand amid metal barricades, blocking the cobblestone road in front of the Park Hyatt Hotel. Inside, a metal detector and x-ray machine greet lobby visitors. Beyond that, suit-wearing secret-service-esque officials demand passports and World Cup credentials.

Welcome to life on the road for the U.S. men's soccer team. Here, Kasey Keller, Landon Donovan and the rest of the American team ride in the only World Cup team bus without a flag on its side. Here, streets are closed and traffic rerouted as 20 police vehicles deliver the team bus to and from practice. And here, everyone from team security members to state department officials keep a wary eye on interview sessions.

Yet, this is nothing. Although preparing for the World Cup in an air-tight safety bubble has been a popular topic for international journalists, Team USA can only yawn.

Try playing with chants of "Osama bin Laden! Osama bin Laden!" raining down, the Americans say. Try getting ready for kickoff with uniformed militia guarding the field holding ready-to-fire machine guns. Try scoring a goal with rocks, batteries and bottles flying toward you. And try falling asleep the night before a match while fans drive by your team hotel, honking horns, setting off cherry bombs and blasting music.

A little extra security for the World Cup in Germany? C'mon. Try being a visiting U.S. soccer player in Central America during World Cup qualifying.

"The players [in Europe] deal with a lot of pressure, but I'm not sure they fear for their lives and well-being," midfielder Landon Donovan said. "And we certainly do."

A recent Gatorade commercial highlighted the rocky road that brought the U.S. to Germany. In one clip, fans stomped on the stadium floor so hard that the ceiling tiles shook in the U.S. locker room. In another clip a fan held a massive sheet that read, "Yankees Go Home." And in another clip, a fan held a sheet that depicted a U.S. player as the devil.

But what's really interesting about this article from ESPN on the anti-Americanism (and intolerance) from "the world" is that there's no reason for this article to be written - at least, that's what the writer tells us in the following two paragraphs:
"The way we are treated and the way the country is perceived is different," he said. "Yes, some people are critical of Americans as a whole or critical of our policies, but nobody is mad at me personally. Most people treat others as a person -- they either like the individual or they don't. Never has somebody come up to me and said, 'Oh, you're an American. I disagree with the war in Iraq. I don't like you.' I've never had that."

Which is why, combined with the tight security, the Americans have all the freedom they could want here in Germany. On Tuesday, Marcus Hahnemann enjoyed an early-morning jog around the city's Alster Lake. Donovan went for dinner at a local sushi restaurant with a few friends. And Keller, who lives just outside Dusseldorf, wouldn't hesitate to go out in public or taking his family to the zoo.

"It's probably more dangerous for my family to drive with me on the Autobahn every day than it is to be [in Hamburg] with me," Keller said. "If they can deal with that, they're fine."

So, what's the reason for this being published again? Oh, right... it's because the writer wants to smack around W. Sandwiched between these two excerpts is the following:
Individually, the majority of U.S. players are strangers to foreign fans. But when they put on the jersey with "U.S." stitched on the front, everything changes. The unknown becomes the hated. Part of that is soccer. Part of that is politics. The United States is a growing force in the sport, a move that frustrates fans of smaller countries, who love seeing the world power struggle in the world's game. On top of that, it's no secret that the White House's stance on weapons of mass destruction and on invading Iraq doesn't set well with much of the international community.

And then, just in time, here come these 20- and 30-year-old U.S. soccer players, providing a perfect avenue for opposing fans to express their frustrations.

"When you're an American, it doesn't matter," DaMarcus Beasley said. "They see that uniform, and then you're the enemy."

It will be interesting to see how the European fans treat the American team... will they be intolerant and prejudiced?

Will this be because of Bush's policies? Or the fact that the US, dominant in almost every aspect of the global economy and culture, is starting to challenge some of the historically dominant teams.

Heading into this World Cup, the US is ranked 5th... Behind them are France in 8th, England in 10th, Italy in 13th, and Germany in 19th.

I have a feeling that the fans of these countries who will be in attendance are going to be ticked if the US makes it very far, given that the audience and appeal of football soccer here in the US is almost non-existent. How humiliating would it be for them to lose to a country who doesn't really care?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Video & the Politics in Iraq

Centcom has posted the bomb footage that took out Zarqawi on their website, but unfortunately it appears that the site is down b/c of the amount of traffic. Or it's a DOS attack... Or it could be that they don't want to inflame the Muslim world. Who knows, but here's a link to the video if you're interested.

Here is Bush's statement on the attack.

Statement by the President on Death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Rose Garden
Washington, D.C.

7:31 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Last night in Iraq, United States military forces killed the terrorist al Zarqawi. At 6:15 p.m. Baghdad time, special operation forces, acting on tips and intelligence from Iraqis, confirmed Zarqawi's location, and delivered justice to the most wanted terrorist in Iraq.

Zarqawi was the operational commander of the terrorist movement in Iraq. He led a campaign of car bombings, assassinations and suicide attacks that has taken the lives of many American forces and thousands of innocent Iraqis. Osama bin Laden called this Jordanian terrorist "the prince of al Qaeda in Iraq." He called on the terrorists around the world to listen to him and obey him. Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq. He masterminded the destruction of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. He was responsible for the assassination of an American diplomat in Jordan, and the bombing of a hotel in Amman.

Through his every action, he sought to defeat America and our coalition partners, and turn Iraq into a safe haven from which al Qaeda could wage its war on free nations. To achieve these ends, he worked to divide Iraqis and incite civil war. And only last week he released an audio tape attacking Iraq's elected leaders, and denouncing those advocating the end of sectarianism.

Now Zarqawi has met his end, and this violent man will never murder again. Iraqis can be justly proud of their new government and its early steps to improve their security. And Americans can be enormously proud of the men and women of our armed forces, who worked tirelessly with their Iraqi counterparts to track down this brutal terrorist and put him out of business.

The operation against Zarqawi was conducted with courage and professionalism by the finest military in the world. Coalition and Iraqi forces persevered through years of near misses and false leads, and they never gave up. Last night their persistence and determination were rewarded. On behalf of all Americans, I congratulate our troops on this remarkable achievement.

Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him. We can expect the sectarian violence to continue. Yet the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.

Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda. It's a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle. A few minutes ago I spoke to Prime Minister Maliki. I congratulated him on close collaboration between coalition and Iraqi forces that helped make this day possible. Iraq's freely elected Prime Minister is determined to defeat our common enemies and bring security and the rule of law to all its people.

Earlier this morning he announced the completion of his cabinet appointments, with the naming of a new Minister of Defense, a new Minister of the Interior, and a new Minister of State for National Security. These new ministers are part of a democratic government that represents all Iraqis. They will play a vital role as the Iraqi government addresses its top priorities -- reconciliation and reconstruction and putting an end to the kidnappings and beheadings and suicide bombings that plague the Iraqi people. I assured Prime Minister Maliki that he will have the full support of the United States of America.

On Monday I will meet with my national security team and other key members of my Cabinet at Camp David to discuss the way forward in Iraq. Our top diplomats and military commanders in Iraq will give me an assessment of recent changes in the political and economic and security situation on the ground. On Tuesday, Iraq's new Ambassador to the United States will join us, and we will have a teleconference discussion with the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet. Together we will discuss how to best deploy America's resources in Iraq and achieve our shared goal of an Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself and sustain itself.

We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continued patience of the American people. Yet the developments of the last 24 hours give us renewed confidence in the final outcome of this struggle: the defeat of terrorism threats, and a more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren.

May God bless the Iraqi people and may God continue to bless America.

It should be noted that the death of Zarqawi is not an isolated incident and, when combined with the ongoing political progress in the Iraqi government, this is not a happy day for the Islamofascists.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Abu is Toast, Moonbats React

It looks like the Islamofascists man in Iraq ceases to be... I know, it's not nice to joke when someone gets killed, but Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi has a special place in hell reserved for him, most likely involving an orange jump suit and a dull pocket knife slowly replicating Abu's evil acts on himself.

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi Killed in Air Raid
Jun 8, 7:27 AM (ET)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida leader in Iraq who waged a bloody campaign of suicide bombings and beheadings of hostages, has been killed in a precision airstrike, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday. It was a long-sought victory in the war in Iraq.
"We want to give you the joyous news of the martyrdom of the mujahed sheik Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," said the statement, signed by "Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Iraqi," identified as the deputy "emir" or leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

"The death of our leaders is life for us. It will only increase our persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme."

Despite the sick & twisted congratulatory remark by Al-Qaeda, I think this will have somewhat of an impact on the efficacy of the insurgency. And you'd think that our friends on the Left (who Zarqawi would want to turn his dull blade on more than anyone in the world) would be joyous at this news, right?

Wrong... Instead, we get warmed over conspiracy theories. From DU:
So, will Zarqawi's Retirement from the CIA Stop the Insurgency?

Thu Jun-08-06 07:48 AM
Original message
So, will Zarqawi's Retirement from the CIA Stop the Insurgency?

Thu Jun-08-06 07:49 AM

1. nope... Updated at 6:55 AM

Thu Jun-08-06 07:53 AM

2. No.

We'll just keep playing Whack-A-Mole: Iraq.

Thu Jun-08-06 07:53 AM

3. That myth was getting a little threadbare, eh? Cash in...

Edited on Thu Jun-08-06 07:54 AM by Junkdrawer
the over-hyped threat for an over-hyped victory. Bring in the next boogieman from central casting.

Thu Jun-08-06 08:02 AM
4. The beheadings might stop.

Not a bad concept as 'black' propaganda - they could've inspired as much outrage as the ANC 'necklacings' did during Apartheid. But they weren't winning the media war, so Zarqawi had to retire.

Look out for Crazy Towelheads III - See Abu Waleed Smother His Victims Under A Mound of American Flags And Smoke Hashish With Victim's Skull.

But, hey... they're serious about the war on terror, right? They're totally on board and want the US to win, right?

Well, this DUer posts about his gladness in hearing the news - and is met with some approval, some questioning whether this isn't just some Rovian ploy to get Bush's poll numbers up... This DUer says that this is just another mark on Bush's body count in this illegal war.
Thu Jun-08-06 08:03 AM

15. Unless it signals a move toward peace...

...or even a respite in the killing, it's just another dead body among the hundreds of thousands. All we know for certain is that it's a PR victory for *.

I don't celebrate killing.

How very principled... stupid, but principled. And this is just one terrorist killing another, don't you know?

And this DUer "connects the dots." The wrong dots and the connection is non-existent, but he certainly scores points for great imagination!
Thu Jun-08-06 07:50 AM
Original message

Are we seeing a full-court 'terrorism' push by the Bushies?

Just noting the "coincidence" of Canada and Zarqawi in the same week...

They easily could have been monitoring Zarqawi for meets waiting for the correct political timing to do an airstrike...

Holy cow... these people are unbelievable.... And here's the post over at DailyKos. Read the comments, which are full of concern over the political implications of Zarqawi's death - not in Iraq, mind you... but here in the US!

Gateway Pundit is also covering

*** UPDATE - Jeff Gannon/Guckert implicated as reason for Zarqawi's death - Cover-up for Bush's bi-sexuality (not that there's anything wrong with that) ***


At least, according to this deranged DUer:

Thu Jun-08-06 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #48

174. I couldn't agree more with your psyops assessment of the situation...
Updated at 12:16 AM

...I never believed in this pat story of AL Qaeda in Iraq. It set off my bullshit meter right from the get go. This won't help Bush as much as Rove would like. It is just a desperate stunt in an attempt to prop up Bush's poll numbers and boost the popularity his failed war by feigning the killing of one of the psyop program's main character. But by next week they'll have thought up another one to take his place.

This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog. And what better way to shut down the story of Bush's bisexuality that were picking up a "head" of steam? I'm sure Jeff Gannon is thrilled about this latest development.

ARC's 1st and 2nd Law... confirmed yet again and all in a single post!

Dr Sanity and My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy cover the Moonbats reaction as well.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Jack Danforth - A Touch of Home and Un-Common Sense

Former Senator Danforth was here on Monterey last night at the Panetta Institute. What a breath of fresh air. I had almost forgotten what it was like to hear an intelligent, articulate and principled politician.

Memories of the times years ago in the 1960s and 1970s when we were re-inventing the Republican party in Missouri came flooding back. The tragic night in August 1976 when the winner of the Democratic primary was killed in a plane accident setting the table for Danforth's win in November stands out. I remember well all of us leaving the our primary victory party in prayerful silence that night. Then there was the elation that followed in November.

Then there was the Thomas nomination to the Supreme Court. What a fight! Jack had what it took.

His best line last night came when asked who would win the 2006 elections, the Republicans or the Democrats? His answer: "The Republicans, they are far less feckless (worthless, ineffective) than the Democrats." Amen! It's not the Republicans are not feckless, it is that they are far less feckless than the Democrats. Leave it to Danforth to choose a word like "feckless" and the playful double negative.

What is going on with in the U.S. Senate this week highlights Republlican fecklessness. I cringe when they go on one of their "fire up the base" riffs. But the reason it stands out is that this is pretty rare for the Republicans. The Democrats are constantly doing it.

God bless you, Jack, you would have made a fine president.

ARC: Monterey John

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tiananmen Square: 17 Years

Each year on the 4th of June, the government of China is tested. Will they allow the people to hear about Tiananmen Square?

Sadly, this year is a repeat of the last 16...

Sunday, June 4th, 2006 @ 8:12 EDT
China: June 4th:Silence, Memorial and Blogger’s Saying

Today it’s June 4th, the 17th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre, which marked the end of student democracy movement in Beijing and nationwide lasting from March to June, 1989. The communist party of China still did not recognize this mass incident as peaceful protest of students, who used demonstration and hunger strike to demand democracy and removal of corrupted officials.

Under the party propaganda policies, no commemoration of the movement was allowed in public places and the newspapers and TV networks passed the day wthout any even implied mention of it. Like the popular columnist and blogger Lianyue once has wrote when Google has entered Chinese market:”We(Google) guarantee: The day after Jun3th must be Jun5th”, the state-controlled media have just pretended that the event never happened 17 years ago, identical with the official history book’s negligible claim of the movement as “a political incident in the spring and summer of 1989″.

However, at least it's good that alternative sources of media are attempting to spread the information. Although I find it disheartening that Google has kowtowed to the ruling party... They are definitely doing evil.

The surest sign that China is ready to make the transition to an open society will be when they allow this sad piece of history to be accessible by all.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, June 04, 2006

From This Vista, I'll Take Linux

It seems that the much anticipated (and much delayed) release of Microsoft's new operating system, called Vista, will be the disaster that I've predicted on this blog. Previous MSFT blog entries are:

  1. Wooooops
  2. Hasta la Vista - Parte Dos
  3. Re-arranging Deck Chairs at Microsoft
  4. MSFT

See this blog post from Evan Coyne Maloney & this article/review from one of Microsoft's supporters:
Windows Vista February 2006 CTP (Build 5308/5342)
Review, Part 5: Where Vista Fails

I still remember the day very clearly. It was Monday, October 27, 2003. Several thousand developers--and, let's face it, quite a few garden variety Windows enthusiasts--charged into Hall A at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) like teenage girls at a Justin Timberlake concert, jockeying for the best seats. I've been to more Bill Gates keynotes than I can count, and this was the first time I ever saw anyone climb over other people in order to secure a better view. (No offense to Mr. Gates, but he's not exactly a dynamic speaker.) It was PDC 2003 (see my review) and everything was right with my world.

The purpose of this melee? Gates and Microsoft were about to unveil Windows Vista--then still known by its codename Longhorn--to the world. And sure enough, almost an hour into a typical Gates snoozeathon, the lights finally dimmed, the rock music kicked in, and we were treated to a musical and video feast for the senses (see my showcase). As I excitedly wrote at the time, "my goodness. [Windows Vista] is going to rock ... The transparent window effects--called glass windows, appropriately enough--are beautiful. The ability to embed video and any other kind of media into documents, apps, and anything else you can think off--even small previews you see when you mouse-over a scrollbar--are just incredible, surpassing anything on any system available today (yes, including Mac OS X Panther). The visuals in [Windows Vista] are just going to blow you away."

Let those words hang in your mind for a bit. Two and a half years later, Microsoft has yet to ship Windows Vista, and it won't actually ship this system in volume until 2007. Since the euphoria of PDC 2003, Microsoft's handling of Windows Vista has been abysmal. Promises have been made and forgotten, again and again. Features have come and gone. Heck, the entire project was literally restarted from scratch after it became obvious that the initial code base was a teetering, technological house of cards. Windows Vista, in other words, has been an utter disaster. And it's not even out yet. What the heck went wrong?

Be sure to read the whole thing...

MSFT's dominance in the operating system space has primarily been driven by the pervasiveness of its office suite and other applications and given the continued pressure that these applications are receiving from web-services (see Writely) and open-source alternatives (see Open Office), could a problematic release of Vista be the one thing which would push many frustrated consumers and businesses to consider moving off of the MSFT platform? And given the fact that the MSFT execs still don't seem to "get" the interweb, I doubt that they'll be able to handle the challenges that it is presenting.

As a lifelong PC user, I know that I'd rather migrate to Linux or Mac rather than install something which is incredibly ineffective and frustrating.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Vonage IPO

I'm blogging on this only because I am a Vonage customer and was invited to participate in the IPO. This story in Saturday's WSJ is disturbing:

Vonage Faces Lawsuit Over IPO
June 3, 2006 9:00 p.m.

Vonage Holdings Corp., is the target of a class action lawsuit filed Friday that claims the Internet phone company improperly steered consumers toward investing in its $531 million initial public offering, according to a statement issued by the law firm Motley Rice LLC.

Shares of the Holmdel, N.J., Internet phone startup have plunged more than 30% since the much-anticipated IPO on May 24. The company, which has been a high-profile hit with consumers, took the unusual step of setting aside 4.2 million IPO shares priced at $17 for customers. Some disgruntled investors who have said the IPO process was flawed and the stock was overpriced they plan to withhold payment for the stock, which was at $11.98 in 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading Friday.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claims Vonage tried to compensate for a lack of interest among sophisticated institutional investors who usually dominate IPO's by selling shares to consumers, according to the statement. The suit contends that Vonage and its underwriters violated a securities law that "requires that a company recommending the purchase or sale of its securities to a customer must have a reasonable basis for believing that the recommendation is suitable for the customer," the statement said. Vonage, "had no such reasonable basis in this case and improperly crammed investors into the Vonage IPO regardless of their suitability," according to the statement.

Company insiders "who had invested hundreds of millions of dollars of their personal funds in the Company, were losing money," the statement said. "Desperate to execute an exit strategy for themselves, (they) embarked on an illegal course of conduct to sell shares of the company in a public market."

Officials at Vonage and Motley Rice could not immediately be reached for comment.

I'm sorry, but I was invited to invest in the IPO and there was substantial warnings to potential participants about the unprofitable nature of Vonage's business. In addition to reading the actual prospectus (which a majority of customers would be unlikely to do - simply because all those numbers are sooo tricky!), potential investors had to go through 10 to 20 questions online before they could even identify the number of shares that they would be interested in buying. If Vonage didn't offer its customers with the opportunity to invest in the IPO, no doubt the Vonage user forums would be filled with screeds about Vonage trying to keep its customers out of the reindeer games.

And for those that are not current Vonage subscribers, I would recommend Packet8 instead. While their website and user interface is definitely not as good as Vonage, the VOIP quality is just as good (if not better) than Vonage. The only possible reason that one might consider Vonage over Packet8 is the free calls to Europe. If you don't have a need for that, go Packet8.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler