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

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What Did McCain say in California Today???!!!

I am rather certain Saint and Brian are thinking to themselves, "I told you so."

They would be well within their rights to do so, but I am equally certain they are too decent to actually say it, right guys? Right? Well, never mind.

Here are a few of points made by our "leader:"
1. Close Gitmo. I'll give him that one given his personal history. I think it is a bad, very bad, idea. But at least I can understand from where he is coming.
2. Ratify Kyoto-like treaty. What the hell??? Is he crazy? Even Bill Clinton did not go for that scam.
3. Be willing to be persuaded by our "democratic allies" in conducting our foreign policy. At the risk of being redundant, what the hell? Is he a Republican or John Kerry? I thought his hero was Teddy Roosevelt, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Not so much.

Those are just a few of the lowlights from his disastrous performance today.

I do believe I'll go take a nap. (Hey, I'm 60 now and folks expect it.)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Good Grief!

What is going on in the "education" system?

Never mind, I think we already know.

From NRO this morning:


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

No Room for the Vets@School [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The patriots
at Vets for Freedom were headed to Forest Lake Senior High School today with Rep. Michele Bachman. That is, until the Democratic Underground got to school administrators. “DON'T WAIT. CONTACT THEM NOW.”

Demonstrating class, the instructions to contact the school officials
included: “Note: Remember the woman that groped G. Dubya? That's this Michele
Bachmann.” (The freshman congresswoman was enthusiastic
to greet the president at the State of the Union last year.)

Planned was an assembly with about 150 Social Studies students. The vets —
including Vets for Freedom head Pete Hegseth, a graduate of the school (and
frequent NRO contributor
) — were to talk about their experiences at war.
According to Hegseth, “The venue was closed to the public, and we reached an
agreement with the principal not to talk about anything political. We had 2
Silver Star recipients and 1 Navy Cross recipient lined up, as well as a
half-dozen local veterans.”

It would have been an honor for kids, if you ask me. But it will not be.
The school canceled Monday, claiming it was becoming a political event. From the
sound of it, only Underground. The school and the Vets sounded like they were on
the road to a memorable educational event (and life experience). The
cancellation is a real shame for those students.

If I were a parent of a student at Forest Lake Senior High School, I’d be
mad. And if I were a Social Studies teacher anywhere in the country, I’d get on
the horn and invite the Vets for Freedom to my classroom.

03/25 05:55 AM

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Obama Speech Part 21,312

Jonah Goldberg speaks for me this morning. He has written a marvelous column today. His point: the Left does not want a discussion on race, they want an opportunity to instruct us on racial matters. Amen.

Has No One Seen Crash?

We’ve been talking and talking and talking about race.By Jonah
Goldberg

Thank God for Barack Obama. Until his “More Perfect Union”
speech last Tuesday, it seems it never occurred to anyone that America needed to
talk about race.“Maybe this’ll be the beginning of a conversation,” Wall Street
Journal columnist Peggy Noonan proclaimed on Meet the Press. The Chicago Tribune
reported that “many voters, black and white, say they were moved by Obama’s
speech ... which they see as a long-awaited invitation to begin an honest, calm
national dialogue about race.” Newspaper editorial boards agree. In the words of
the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Prodding Americans to confront their racial
differences is, by itself, an accomplishment of historical proportions.”

Because so many agree on this brilliant new strategy to heal our national
wounds, I can only assume that I’m the one missing something. But when one
luminary after another smacks his forehead like someone who forgot to have a V8
in epiphanic awe over the genius of Obama’s call for a national conversation on
race, all I can do is wonder: “What on Earth are you people talking about?”

“Universities were moving to incorporate the issues Mr. Obama raised into
classroom discussions and course work,” the New York Times reported within 48
hours of the speech.

Oh, thank goodness Obama fired the starter’s pistol in the race to discuss
race. Here I’d been under the impression that every major university in the
country already had boatloads of courses dedicated to race in America. I’d even
read somewhere that professors had incorporated racial themes into classes on
everything from Shakespeare to the mating habits of snail darters. I also had
some vague memory that these universities recruited black students and other
racial minorities, on the grounds that interracial conversations on campus are
as important as talking about math, science, and literature. A ghost of an image
in my mind’s eye seemed to reveal African-American studies centers, banners for
Black History Month, and copies of books like Race Matters and The Future of the
Race lining shelves at college bookstores.

Were all the corporate diversity consultants and racial sensitivity
seminars mere apparitions in a dream? Also disappearing down the memory hole,
apparently, were the debates that followed Hurricane Katrina, Trent Lott’s
remarks about Strom Thurmond, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for
Clarence Thomas, the publication of The Bell Curve, and O.J. Simpson’s murder
trial. Not to mention the ongoing national chatter about affirmative action,
racial disparities in prison sentences and racial profiling by law
enforcement.

And the thousands of hours of newscasts, television dramas, and movies —
remember films such as 2004’s Oscar-winning Crash? — dedicated to racial issues?

It’s as if they never existed.I feel like one of the last humans in an
Invasion of the Body Snatchers movie in which all of the pod people are
compelled by some alien DNA to pine continually for yet another “conversation”
about a topic we’ve never stopped talking about. And if I just fall asleep, I,
too, can live in the pod people’s dream palace, where every conversation about
race is our first conversation about race. Snatching me from any such reverie
was this masterful understatement from Thursday’s New York Times: “Religious
groups and academic bodies, already receptive to Mr. Obama’s plea for such a
dialogue, seemed especially enthusiastic.”

No kidding.

Janet Murguia is one such enthusiastic person. She hoped, according to the
Times, that Obama’s speech would help “create a safe space to talk about
(race).”

Who’s Janet Murguia? Oh, she’s just the president of the National Council
of La Raza, which, despite what they’ll tell you, means “the race.” Maybe it’s
just me, but aren’t most of the people begging for a “new conversation” on race
the same folks who shouted “racist!” at anyone who disagreed with them during
all the previous conversations?

This disconnect between rhetoric and reality is the kind of thing one finds
in novels by Alexander Solzhenitsyn or Milan Kundera. To my un-rehabilitated
ear, Murguia sounds like an old Soviet apparatchik saying that what the USSR
really needs is an open and frank conversation about the importance of
communism.

Why do voluptuaries of racial argy-bargy want yet another such dialogue?
For some, it’s to avoid actually dealing with unpleasant facts. But for others —
like La Raza or the college professors scrambling to follow Obama’s lead — when
they say we need more conversation, they really mean their version of reality
should win the day. Replace “conversation” with “instruction” and you’ll have a
better sense of where these people are coming from and where they want their
“dialogue” to take us.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of Liberal
Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics
of Meaning.
(C) 2008 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

With Enemies like Chavez, Who Needs Friends?

From the good folks at Reuters:

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist and
fierce U.S. critic, warned on Tuesday that relations with Washington could
worsen if Republican candidate John McCain
wins this year's presidential election.

Chavez said he hopes the United States and Venezuela can work better
together when his ideological foe, U.S. President George W. Bush, leaves the
White House next year, but he said McCain seemed "warlike."

"Sometimes one says, 'worse than Bush is impossible,' but we don't
know," Chavez told foreign correspondents. "McCain also seems to be a man of
war."


I am sure Reuters thought this would be upsetting to their American readers and cause them to flock to the Democrats.

Somehow I doubt that will be the result.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cafe Hayek Debates Health Care

Russell Roberts of Cafe Hayek has an excellent conversation with a socialist doctor who wants to confiscate pharmaceutical company profits to pay for government-provided universal healthcare.

Here's Russell's post over at Cafe Hayek and a direct link to the audio:

Is health care a right?
Russell Roberts

Is health care a right? I have no idea. What I do know is that treating it like a right can be hazardous to our health. Here's my debate on the issue with a doctor who thinks health care is a right and the government should provide it.

It's a great listen and Russell provides an excellent refutation of the good doctor's idiotic proposals.

I thought it was hilarious when the NPR moderator mentioned that her friends who've returned from a year in France or the UK remarked at how great things are (e.g. the kids get glasses every 6 months - for free!).

It's amazing how stupid the NPR moderator's friends are - and how easily she internalized and accepted such a ridiculous statement.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Obama Speech - Victor Davis Hanson Nails It

I opened NRO and saw that V.D. Hanson had posted a piece on Obama's speech last week. It was one of those "Gee, I wish I had written that" moments. What a great way to start the morning.

The Obama Crash and Burn
If he acts as if the Wright controversy is behind him, it's over for
Obama.

By Victor Davis Hanson

The latest polls reflecting Obama’s near-collapse should serve as a
morality tale of John Edwards’s two Americas — the political obtuseness of the
intellectual elite juxtaposed to the common sense of the working classes.

For some bizarre reason, Obama aimed his speech at winning praise from
National Public Radio, the New York Times, and Harvard, and solidifying an
already 90-percent solid African-American base — while apparently insulting the
intelligence of everyone else.

Indeed, the more op-eds and pundits praised the courage of Barack Obama,
the more the polls showed that there was a growing distrust that the eloquent
and inspirational candidate has used his great gifts, in the end, to excuse the
inexcusable.

Read the rest here.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC:MontereyJohn

Saddam's Links to Terror

It seems that every report that is trumpeted by the MSM as demonstrating once and for all that Saddam had no ties to Islamofascist terrorists, WMD programs, etc always turns out, after a short time, to be completely to the contrary. It's almost as if the media recognizes the possible impact to their narrative and preemptively attempts to frame the new information to support their position.

Remember the Iran WMD program story from a last Fall? Turned out that the narrative that Iran had ceased its weapons program was one small aspect of the overall report, which perhaps should've caused increased concern for the US.

From today's WSJ:

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Saddam's Terror Links
March 24, 2008; Page A14

Five years on, few Iraq myths are as persistent as the notion that the Bush Administration invented a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Yet a new Pentagon report suggests that Iraq's links to world-wide terror networks, including al Qaeda, were far more extensive than previously understood.

Naturally, it's getting little or no attention. Press accounts have been misleading or outright distortions, while the Bush Administration seems indifferent. Even John McCain has let the study's revelations float by. But that doesn't make the facts any less notable or true.

The redacted version of "Saddam and Terrorism" is the most definitive public assessment to date from the Harmony program, the trove of "exploitable" documents, audio and video records, and computer files captured in Iraq. On the basis of about 600,000 items, the report lays out Saddam's willingness to use terrorism against American and other international targets, as well as his larger state sponsorship of terror, which included harboring, training and equipping jihadis throughout the Middle East.

"The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the region gave Saddam the opportunity to make terrorism, one of the few tools remaining in Saddam's 'coercion' toolbox, not only cost effective but a formal instrument of state power," the authors conclude. Throughout the 1990s, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) cooperated with Hamas; the Palestine Liberation Front, which maintained a Baghdad office; Force 17, Yasser Arafat's private army; and others. The IIS gave commando training for members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the organization that assassinated Anwar Sadat and whose "emir" was Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became Osama bin Laden's second-in-command when the group merged with al Qaeda in 1998.

At the very least the report should dispel the notion that outwardly "secular" Saddam would never consort with religious types like al Qaeda. A pan-Arab nationalist, Saddam viewed radical Islamists as potential allies, and they likewise. According to a 1993 memo, Saddam decided to "form a group to start hunting Americans present on Arab soil; especially Somalia," where al Qaeda was then working with warlords against U.S. humanitarian forces. Saddam also trained Sudanese fighters in Iraq.

The Pentagon report cites this as "a tactical example" of their cooperation. When Saddam "was ordering action in Somalia aimed at the American presence, Osama bin Laden was doing the same thing." Saddam took an interest in "far-flung terrorist groups . . . to locate any organization whose services he might use in the future." The Harmony documents "reveal that the regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al Qaeda -- as long as that organization's near-term goals supported Saddam's long-term version."

For 20 years, such "support" included using Fedayeen Saddam training camps to school terrorists, especially Palestinians but also non-Iraqis "directly associated" with al Qaeda, continuing up to the fall of Baghdad. Saddam also provided financial support and weapons, amounting to "a state-directed program of significant scale." In July 2001, the regime began patronizing a terror cartel in Bahrain calling itself the Army of Muhammad, which, according to an Iraqi memo, "is under the wings of bin Laden."

It's true that the Pentagon report found no "smoking gun," i.e., a direct connection on a joint Iraq-al Qaeda operation. Supposedly this vindicates the view that Iraq's liberation was launched on false premises. But the Administration was always cautious, with Colin Powell alleging merely a "sinister nexus" in his 2003 U.N. speech. If anything, sinister is an understatement. The main Iraq intelligence failure was over WMD, but the report indicates that the CIA also underestimated Saddam's ties to global terror cartels.

The Administration has always maintained that Iraq is just one front in the war on terror; and the report offers "evidence of logistical preparation for terrorist operations in other nations, including those in the West." In 2002, an IIS memo explained to Saddam that Iraqi embassies were stockpiling weapons, while many of the terrorists trained in Fedayeen camps were dispatched to London with counterfeit documents, where they circulated throughout Europe.

Around the same time, the IIS began to manufacture better improvised explosive devices "designed to be used in civilian areas," and the regime bureaucratized suicide operations, with local Baath Party leaders competing to provide recruits for Saddam as part of a "Martyrdom Project."

All of these are inconvenient facts for those who want to assert that somehow Saddam could have been easily contained and presented no threat to the U.S. The Harmony files buttress the case that the decision to oust Saddam was the right one -- which makes it all the more puzzling that the Bush Administration is mum. It isn't the first time the White House has ceded the Iraq debate to its opponents.
The "Reality-based community" will continue to ignore stubborn facts like these because their entire world-view would come crashing down. Their minds were settled back in 2003 and they are loathe to change them, regardless of any new evidence to the contrary.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, March 23, 2008