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

Friday, September 29, 2006

Crickets Chirping

At least, that's the sound from this blog over the past few days.

Sorry for the lapse in posting. I was traveling Wed through Thursday (a "Rovian Retreat" to put the finishing touches on our Rovian October Surprise) and had limited connectivity.

Oh... and I thought I'd perhaps turn this into a contest to see how long it would take before ARC:Brian or ARC:John decided to post. I won't even get into the ARC:Penelope thing, since she's an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, shrouded in mystery.... at least, that's what she always says when she's waving that 9mm in my face as she's off to do some more political black-ops.

But, saw this news which I thought was interesting.... I mean, it's clear that the Chinese (for all of their advances economically) are looking ahead to a future confrontation - with us.

Beijing secretly fires lasers to disable US satellites
By Francis Harris in Washington

China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by "blinding" their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.

How it works

The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran.

Sources told the military affairs publication Defense News that there had been a fierce internal battle within Washington over whether to make the attacks public. In the end, the Pentagon's annual assessment of the growing Chinese military build-up barely mentioned the threat.

"After a contentious debate, the White House directed the Pentagon to limit its concern to one line," Defense News said.

The document said that China could blind American satellites with a ground-based laser firing a beam of light to prevent spy photography as they pass over China.

According to senior American officials: "China not only has the capability, but has exercised it." American satellites like the giant Keyhole craft have come under attack "several times" in recent years.

Couldn't we consider this an act of war? And, despite our concerns about the impact this might have on the non-existent pressure that China is putting on the N. Koreans, doesn't this perhaps provide a reason as to why the pressure from China on the N. Koreans has been non-existent? If the N. Koreans decide to play ball, wouldn't our attention start to focus on the next largest "threat" in the region?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dems, MSM, and CIA in Concerted Lie to Attack Opponents

The Democrats, the MSM, and the National Security Bureaucracy are so eager to bug out of Iraq that they selectively leaked a portion of a National Intelligence Estimate to attack their opponents. This was a huge mistake...

First, it clearly demonstrates that there are many Clinton holdovers within the bureaucracy of the Executive branch which are still opposed to the policy positions of the duly elected President. This is a serious issue...we're 6 years into this presidency and he is still be undermined by his subordinates. These are the same people that dropped the ball when it came to responding to terror attacks in the '90s, when Bubba was in office. And they're still praying that they can get back to prosecuting terrorists in court rather than killing them like the vermin they are.

Second, they surely knew the other aspects of the NIE which were directly contradicted the assertions that they were going to throw at the Administration - and went ahead with it anyway, hoping that no one would have the cojones to call them on it.

Well, Bush decided that it was time to set the record straight and declassified all of the Key Judgements from the report... and it's damning stuff. You can read the entire declassified judgments here.
This post at RedState is a great summary of the judgments, the most important being the following:

For me this is the single most important line:
We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.
So how do they percieve success? Can you say redeployment? Good, I knew you could! Conversely there was this line:
Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.
Again, what strikes me is how the NIE findings are the complete opposite of what the New York Times sought to persuade the public to believe. No wonder Pelosi wanted to hold a closed door session of the house to read this before it hit the fan.

The Bush administration also posted the Key Judgments from the NIE on the website, along with public statements from the President which mirror the sentiments in the NIE. I recommend it as well.

As the paulseale at RedStat asks... will the press cover this factually? Or will they perpetuate the meme that the MSM and the Dems (are they still separate entities?) kicked off.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

JustOneMinute Revises Greenwald's Revision of "Revisionist History"

I'm no fan of the WWF, but I think they refer to this as a "smackdown." Tom Maguire at Just One Minute catches ueber-partisan Glenn Greenwald in a bit of revisionist history himself:

Glenn Greenwald, lefty fabulist extraordinaire, brings his story-telling talents to the question of whether Bill Clinton's debacle in Somalia emboldened Osama Bin Laden.
My post this morning on Salon concerns the accusation voiced this weekend by Chris Wallace in his Fox News interview with President Clinton (a favorite accusation of neoconservatives) that Clinton "emboldened" Al Qaeda when he withdrew American troops from Somalia as soon as we suffered casualties, which (so the neoconservative mythology contends) led Osama bin Laden to believe that we were weak and could be defeated.
Pardon me, it is "neoconservative mythology" that Osama was emboldened by Somalia? Well then, based on this interview, Osama must be a neocon, yes?
After a few blows, [the United States] forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. America stopped calling itself world leader and master of the new world order, and its politicians realized that those titles were too big for them and that they were unworthy of them. I was in Sudan when this happened. I was very happy to learn of that great defeat that America suffered, so was every Muslim....

Mr. Greenwald builds at least part of his pro-Clinton case on the use of selective excerpts. For example, the Times story noted below cited Bob Dole as a Senate leader of the group supporting the President's plan to stay an additional six face-saving months in Somalia. However, Greenwald gave us this snippet to make his contra-historical argument that Dole was in the Cut and Run contingent:
GOP Minority Leader Sen. Robert Dole, Senate speech, October 5, 1993

I think it is clear to say from the meeting we had earlier with--I do not know how many Members were there--45, 50 Senators and half the House of Representatives, that the administration is going to be under great pressure to bring the actions in Somalia to a close.
Oh, please. Let's go with a longer excerpt, shall we?

I think it is clear to say from the meeting we had earlier with--I do not know how many Members were there--45, 50 Senators and half the House of Representatives, that the administration is going to be under great pressure to bring the actions in Somalia to a close. It is up to the administration to give us a plan--a plan--not a U.N. plan, an American plan, that will stress American interests because I do think if we just say, `OK, we are out of there,' and everybody packs up and goes home, we place American hostages in danger, of course. We also, I think, would jeopardize anything else we might be involved in from this time for the next 5 or 10 years.
Any questions?

Apparently Glenn Greenwald is a liar... a liar adorned with kneepads.

Read the whole post, because that wasn't the only historical fact that Glenn misrepresents in his defense of the ueber-Bubba.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Clinton's Blowup on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace

Haven't commented on this because:

  1. most reasonable people would recognize that Clinton had several missed opportunities to kill Bin Laden
  2. the appearance and subsequent blowup on FNS with Chris Wallace was orchestrated
  3. it has been pretty widely covered by everyone
  4. Condi Rice has done a good job countering the bogus assertions of the former President
However, this article by Dick Morris - someone who knows Bill Clinton extremely well - is instructive.

Read the whole thing, but here's the assessment with which I have to agree:
President Clinton assumes that criticism of his failure to kill bin Laden is a “nice little conservative hit job on me.” But he has it backwards. It is not because people are right-wingers that they criticize him over the failure to prevent 9/11. It was his failure to catch bin Laden that drove them to the right wing.

The ex-president is fully justified in laying eight months of the blame for the failure to kill or catch bin Laden at the doorstep of George W. Bush. But he should candidly acknowledge that eight years of blame fall on him.

There are plenty of examples of people who gravitated to the right after 9/11. I featured two bloggers that went through that very transformation in this post.

Now, Dick Morris knows something about Clinton, foreign policy, and the use of the US military to attack our enemies.

As was documented by the Indepent Counsel in the Lewinsky kerfluffle that President Clinton was receiving oral sex from an intern while he discussed troop movements in Bosnia...

..which (in my book) is not a sign of someone who takes the use of military force against our enemies seriously.

If Clinton really wants to have this argument, I think it's great. It will only amplify how unserious the Democrat mindset is in this War On Terror. Let's remind the public - especially those that will head to the polls in November - that the Dems shy away from serious actions and prefer to pursue feckless and ineffective policies of law enforcement when dealing with terrorists.

Caption: Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil, and a big giggle because of classified documents in his pants

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The mark of a good writer...

Reading Lileks this morning. And he caused more thought and imagery* in my mind in a couple of sentences, than most writers can do with entire paragraphs.

Gazebo weather. That says it all now, doesn’t it. Beautiful fall day, but busy. Had to take the car to the repair shop this morning, so they could spend four (!) days repairing the abrasions visited on my car two weeks ago. Apparently it takes a day for each coat to cure. I’ve known people get heart surgery in less time, but of course the doctors didn’t paint their arteries with a patented epoxy. I waited for 15 minutes to get another car – and that’s America, right there. I need a car! Hold on, sir, I will conjur up a suitable vehicle in a quarter-hour. Take a seat and read a magazine.

I did; they had Highlights (haven’t checked in on the Timbertoes in a while) and Time, which I stopped reading long ago. Just as newspapers are for people who didn’t read the internet the day before, Time is for people who didn’t read the newspapers.
Says a lot about today's media culture.

And don't forget this one.
The car is a Merc – a Sable, I think. It’s okay. Punchy enough for the class but it has that slightly cheap feel you expect in a rental, and the same vague air of soaked-in resignation rental cars seemt o have. They belong to no one, and they know it. What’s most interesting is the smell - it's a commercial air freshener not available to the general public, and it reminds me of motel rooms. It’s the smell of someplace not your own, the smell of rented things and common items that have now passed into your hands, for a while. I like it. It smells like adventure.

I have the same reaction. Something about a hotel room smell. Your not at home, your in the wild. With business travel there's a mission, and with vacation travel, there are sights to see. Either way, and adventure.
Chlorine has the same effect. Reminds me of motels, swimming pools, vacations. It would make a nice girl's name: Chlorine.
Chlorine can take me back to being 15 in a heartbeat. My first job was as a lifeguard/swim instructor. Although it didnt pay well, it was probably the best job one could have growing up.

*I actually had to look this word up. I spent probably 10 minutes staring at it. Is this a sign of old age? Losing one's ability to spell? Or is it a sign of the internet culture where spelling perfectly takes too much time, dammit!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Monday, September 25, 2006

South Park Secrets

I saw this interesting article on ABCNews website the other day. It discusses the double standard that is applied to much in our culture and how South Park makes fun of our idiocy on a weekly basis. Read the whole article...

Secrets of 'South Park'
Cartoon Co-Creators on Tom Cruise, Mohammed and the Time They Came Close to Packing It in

Sept. 22, 2006 — - Comedy Central's vulgar, profane, hilarious animated hit "South Park" begins its 10th season on Oct. 4 in an uncertain place.

In the past year, the show and its creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, won their first Emmy and were also honored with a Peabody for best electronic media. But the year was also fraught with moments of censorship that caused the show's creators to wonder if the world had changed so much in the last 10 years that "South Park" could really no longer thrive.

"What we've stood behind for 10 years is: It's got to all be OK or none of it is," Parker told ABC's "Nightline." "Because as soon as you start picking, 'Well, OK, we won't do this,' then all of a sudden the ones you did about that shouldn't be OK either. So we were starting to say, 'I don't know that this is a world that 'South Park' can live in.'"

"South Park" has been vilified as crude, disgusting and nihilistic, and the eagerness of Stone and Parker to impale every sacred cow they can reach is a major reason for its success. After all, in the fictional town of South Park, Colo. -- home to third-graders Kenny, Kyle, Stan and the evil Cartman -- everything is fair game. Even the Prophet Mohammed, who appeared as a superhero in a July 2001 episode called "The Super Best Friends."

"People told us at the time, 'You can't really draw an image of Mohammed,'" Parker says. "And we were like, well, we can. We're not Muslim, so it's OK."

In 2006, however, when Stone and Parker wanted to depict Mohammed in an episode, Comedy Central wouldn't let them. After all, Muslims worldwide had rioted over insulting depictions of Mohammed in a newspaper in Denmark.

It seemed odd to the creators of "South Park," who had been and were still allowed to depict Jesus in any number of profane ways. In fact, the episode in question, "Cartoon Wars," shows a cartoon (supposedly created by al Qaeda) in which Jesus defecates on President Bush.

Open Season on Jesus

"That's where we kind of agree with some of the people who've criticized our show," Stone says. "Because it really is open season on Jesus. We can do whatever we want to Jesus, and we have. We've had him say bad words. We've had him shoot a gun. We've had him kill people. We can do whatever we want. But Mohammed, we couldn't just show a simple image."

During the part of the show where Mohammed was to be depicted -- benignly, Stone and Parker say -- the show ran a black screen that read: "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network."

Other networks took a similar course, refusing to air images of Mohammed -- even when reporting on the Denmark cartoon riots -- claiming they were refraining because they're religiously tolerant, the South Park creators say.

"No you're not," Stone retorts. "You're afraid of getting blown up. That's what you're afraid of. Comedy Central copped to that, you know: 'We're afraid of getting blown up.'"

"At the same time, just like we always do, we managed to get something on and say something about how we can't say something about Mohammed," Parker says.
One of the things that really intrigued me about the religion issue is that Isaac Hayes (the voice of a prominent character and Scientologist in real life) had no qualms about participating in the creation of shows which made fun of Judaism, Chrisitanity, Mormonism, Islam, etc, etc, etc... but the moment the South Park kids had an episode involving Scientology (and how whacked out it is), he left the show. It seems that - for Isaac and many of the Muslims that over-reacted to the Mohammed episodes - some religions are greenlighted for parody and ridicule, while others must be revered.

Also in the article, they mention South Park Conservatives. Now, I don't think it's a great term, as I think some of their jabs are definitely aimed at large number of constituencies of the conservative movement. However, I would gather that the creators of South Park are more closely aligned with the Libertarian-wing of the republican party than with any other group in the political sphere. For that reason, I find their cartoons to be rather humorous and am a big fan.

And I think it's been really interesting to me to listen to my liberal friends who were huge South Park fans in the early days, but then decided that it wasn't funny when the kids from South Park skewered some liberal orthodoxy. And then when Team America: World Police came out - which certainly poked fun at the idiocy of the Left, but took some not-to-subtle jabs at the hawks in the War On Terror - they stopped watching anything from Matt & Trey and decided that some things just weren't funny.

So, what's the one thing - the "secret" - that all of South Park's targets have in common? (And, it should be noted that this one thing probably is the reason that the South Park creators target them week in and week out for ridicule and parody.)

What do Scientology, Islam, every liberal orthodoxy, runaway political correctness, Algore, overbearing and protective parents all have in common?

They're all unable to laugh at themselves... They're all super-cereal and off limits when it comes to humor...

...and that's the surest sign of weakness.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler