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

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Freedom on the march

H/T Instapundit

It looks like there's a scandal brewin' up in Moslon & Labatts territory. Net is that it appears that our friends to the north could use some good old McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. Actually, they already have similar restrictions, but like here in the US, enforcement is always the tough part.

From Small Dead Animals:

Canadian Election On Horizon?

The testimony at the ongoing Gomery Inquiry into the Sponsorship program, in which money was poured into Liberal friendly advertising agencies and possibly rerouted back to party coffers has reportedly heard "devastating testimony" over the past two days.

What it is, no one can say - the testimony is under a court ordered publication ban, on the premise that releasing it could prejudice other criminal trials. But it seems to be damning enough that both the governing Liberals and opposition parties are moving into high gear in preparation for the possible fall of the minority government.

Bloggers are beginning to dig, but it's uncertain what they can publish in Canada, should they uncover the details. (Perhaps its time to brush up on our "poetry" skills.)

I don't believe the bans extend to foreign sites, though...
Hmmm, wonder if our "friendly" neighbors to the north will have their own "nixonian" moment... perhaps there's a chance yet for a political realignment.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Friday, April 01, 2005

Zimbabwe Election Update

Serious questions are being raised about the elections in Zimbabwe, such as allegations of government agents kicking opposition election workers out of the polling places, bribing others to let them alter the count, etc. Sokwanele is a good resource and has the unofficial results here, as anounced on Zimbabwean (government run) TV.

Check Sokwanele's blog for updates about first-hand accounts and what's happening on the ground in Zimbabwe. Mass Ukranian-style protests are going to happen if official results are consistent with the early unofficial numbers.

Sokwanele announcement : early election results
Sokwanele : 1 April 2005, 11.00am

We had intended to bring you two sets of results for each constituency – alongside the official results provided by the partisan Registrar-General Tobias Mudede, setting down the best count available from the polling stations themselves. In order to do this we were relying upon ZANU-PF to adhere to the electoral law of the land. This includes a provision (under the Electoral Act section 64 (2)) requiring the presiding officer of each polling station to affix a copy of the polling station return outside the polling station immediately upon the completion of the count.

Our mistake was to believe for one moment that this lawless regime would adhere to the law – even their own deeply flawed legislation. In fact we have now learnt that presiding officers were instructed to openly flout the law by imposing a news black-out on the results until authorised to release them by Harare. In the result at this stage we can only provide the official, and clearly suspect, results announced by the Registrar-General (column (2) on our tables). The blank column therefore indicates the missing element - the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

Despite every obstacle thrown in the way, we still intend to bring you the real results (column (1) on our tables) as soon as we are able.

Reports of the lawless activities of presiding officers and other officials of the Zimbabwe Election Officer (ZEC) continue to flood in. Here are just a sample few of them.

In one instance ZANU PF thugs entered the polling station after polling had closed and remained there while the counting continued (Insiza). In another, ballot boxes containing postal votes of unknown origin were added to the registered votes and when election agents queried this with the presiding officer they were told to mind their own business (Victoria Falls). In Kwe Kwe ZANU PF youths whose names were not on the register and who only arrived at the poling station after 7.00 pm, were allowed to vote despite the protests of election agents. At two polling stations in Lupane ZANU PF militia chased away the election agents, and the count continued in the absence of any MDC representatives. At another polling station photocopies of postal ballots of unknown origin were accepted, each and every one of them being votes for ZANU PF.

But the most blatant and widespread violation of the electoral law concerned the refusal of presiding officers to post the results at the polling stations upon the completion of the count, as required by Section 64 (2) of the Electoral Act. Time and again, and from centres across the country, we hear of polling officers refusing to post the results, and instead seeking to impose an illegal news blackout. MDC election agents were illegally detained at polling stations after the completion of the count, and they were prevented from using their cell phones. Many were imprisoned by presiding officers. In one instance (in Bulawayo East) the election agents only recovered their freedom by making good their escape from their captor (presiding officer). In many instances the MDC election agents are still being held hostage as we write.
Willisms.com has a good roundup here... And The Gateway Pundit (Howdy, Neighbor) has info on practice of "zombie" voters in Zimbabwe. (Sounds like Wisconsin 2004 to me.)

Publius Pundit has all the info you need.

I'm sure Jimmah Carter is going to provide us with his stamp of approval soon... Although, even the Carter Center couldn't bless the 2000 election (in Zimbabwe).

***UPDATE***
Click Here to read Mark Steyn's take on the Zimbabwe situation from the previous election in 2002. It provides some context for why this election is so important. Here's his intro (written today):
BOB'S BACK

The Zimbabwe election fix is one of those stories that comes around every couple of years now. This is how it looked to me writing in The National Post last time round, on March 7th 2002, after the Commonwealth Conference. If you're wondering why Zimbabwe doesn't seem likely to enjoy an election day like Iraq's any time in the near future, that's because its fate is in the hands not of George W Bush but of Britain, Canada and South Africa who'd rather "manage" the problem in perpetuity:
Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Il Papa, Requiescat In Pacem

Although I'm not Catholic (despite my tagline of St Wendeler*), I hope that Pope John Paul (Karol Józef Wojtyla) peace and comfort as he enters the kingdom of God. His work to combat communism (from the USSR to Cuba) and anti-Semitism (through official visits to Israel and Auschwitz) has made him one of the most influential people in modern history. Many of his critics did not agree with his stance on abstinance and any number of issues - but, his positions in matters of Life and Death were consistent.

Bio
More in-depth information available from Wikipedia.org, "The People's Encyclopedia!"

Brian / Peneleope - Any thoughts? You're Catholic, right?

(jeesh, like pulling teeth.)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

* The reason for my tagline of St Wendeler has less to do with the Saint and more to do with a cheap cheap (but potable) beer from the St Wendeler region of Germany when I lived over there...

Sandy Burglar and the Case of the Mooched Memos

H/T Michelle Malkin & Ace

From Confederate Yankee:


There's some debate out there about whether the pilfered papers were copies or originals. Based on my recollection of the events, they were copies that contained additional, handwritten notes in the margins. Now, I suspect that Berger didn't destroy the documents because of their contents, but because of these handwritten notes. I offer two plausible categories of information for what might have been written on the docs:

  1. Indications that Clinton's anti-terrorist policies were insufficient, inept, and any success were due to pure luck
  2. Comments on how the terrorist angle could be used politically to enhance Clinton's "legacy," which was of prime importance after he was impeached...?li>
Just my two cents... I love how the story quickly became one not about a high-level government official stealing highly classified national security docs from a government investigation, but about how revelation of the investigation was a political dirty trick by those wascally republicans.

Yeah, the Lefty bloggers really need to have conf calls with MSM outlets to push their stories... (LOL)

***UPDATE***
John Cole has required reading, which includes a link to this image:


H/T Instapundit

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Rudy's Friends

Clicking on a couple of links from The Rude Pundit's blog roll. I know it's April Fools and all, but is this story from the Smirking Chimp really necessary? I mean, I couldn't stop laughing as I was reading it. Election Reform 2008 - PRESIDENTS SHOULD BE DECIDED ON EXIT POLLS!!!

There's a one-in-959,000 chance that exit polls could have been so wrong in predicting the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, according to a statistical analysis released Thursday.

Exit polls in the November election showed Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., winning by 3 percent, but President George W. Bush won the vote count by 2.5 percent.

The explanation for the discrepancy that was offered by the exit polling firm -- that Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polling -- is an "implausible theory," according to the report issued Thursday by US Count Votes, a group that claims it's made up of about two dozen statisticians.

Twelve -- including a Case Western Reserve University mathematics instructor -- signed the report.

Instead, the data support the idea that "corruption of the vote count occurred more freely in districts that were overwhelmingly Bush strongholds."

The report dismisses chance and inaccurate exit polling as the reasons for their discrepancy with the results.

They found that the one hypothesis that can't be ruled out is inaccurate election results.

"The hypothesis that the voters' intent was not accurately recorded or counted... needs further investigation," it said.
Question: Why don't these folks investigate Wisconsin? Oh, yeah... Kerry took that state (by 11k votes)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Rude Pundit

Ah, uh appears that some bloggers on the Left didn't appreciate my posts about Terri Schindler-Schiavo yesterday... Apparently, hoping that God welcomes her into His kingdom and helps those who were instrumental in killing her to realize that every Life is precious is just too "controversial." For all of the traffic of yesterday, I got one comment from The Rude Pundit:

you're a friggin joke.
Not exactly a devastating commentary or critical analysis of the issues or points raised here. But hey, banter is banter and he even decided to refrain from his normal crude language. (Thanks, Rudy! I appreciate your consideration of our readers!) This is what passes as "intellectual thought" on the Left, if Churchill, the Kossacks, DU, and Ollie Willis are accurate representatives of their side (and I think they are). Anyway, I visited The Rude Pundit's website and took a look around. Talk about a critical discussion of the issues and an accurate representation of what "the Left" thinks. I apologize for Rudy's foul language (and obsession with certain sexual acts) in advance.

On Terri Schiavo
Rudy falls back on the "it's a circus" angle and just LOVES that Terri died (and you expect him to break out into this song). He finds special comfort in the fact that the prayers of the religious in Pinellas Park and across the country were seemingly unheard. You know, b/c those f-ing fundies need to realize that there IS NO GOD! And then he has to throw in some Bush election fraud rhetoric:
It is time, it is time, it is indeed time for the protesters to start the long, lonely process of packing up to head back to their homes in far-flung townships around the bright spring-lit nation of America. Now that Terri Schiavo has died, as she should have nearly a decade ago, there is nothing left for the motley group of insane Christian families, sex offenders, and people-with-nothing-better-to-do except take hands as if they are a real and actual community, pray one final time to a Jesus who apparently didn't give a shit about all the other prayers, and move on.
[...]
And while they're busy praying for little Schiavo's everywhere, they won't even notice that the government that abuses their vote keeps whittling away, whittling away at every foundation of their lives until there will be nothing left but war and Jesus.
But wait, there's MORE!!!

On the Political Impact of Schiavo
I'm sure Rove is taking note of Rudy's suggestions...
And it's flushed Bush's poll numbers into the pre-9/11 shitter. Bush knows that this is a fuck-up of major proportions. His approval rating has plunged as more and more people realize they were suckered in by words like "compassion" and "security." Bush is lame-ducking himself faster than it takes, say, a woman in a vegetative state to die.

Karl Rove knows that Republicans are taking the blame for this one, at this point, that he's finally, at long last, alienated the moderate portion of the party and that much threatening, whipping, and sodomizing will be required to get them back in line. But you reap what you sow, motherfuckers, and the Republicans created this Golem. Since Reagan (when Randall Terry first reared his hateful head), they've been pandering to the fundamentalists, getting them to think they had more and more power without, as so many have pointed out, delivering much more than a prayer and a little bit of rhetoric to them. Remember: Churchy wanna get paid. At some point when you pledge the promised land and holy days to people, they're gonna want a down payment. The Republicans lost control of their monster and that big bastard's gonna go on a rampage.

The money part of this is the way the nutzoids outside the hospice and around the country are demanding that the opportunistic, decadent fuckers in Congress prove their loyalty to the cause of "life" (or, better put, "Christ") is more than lip service. C'mon, motherfuckers, you fuckin' subpoenaed Terri Schiavo. Now, do you have the balls to enforce it? Of course not. Of course not. That would require that the Republicans (and the bushel of enabling Democrats in the House) actually have "beliefs" and "principles."

There's other issues where the demands of the wacko right are beginning to appall the majority of Americans, like the Michigan bill that would allow doctors to deny care to homosexuals.
By the way, with regard to the Michigan bill, here's the actual text of the proposed legislation. Now, I'm not up on Michigan politics (so I could be wrong), but this appears to be a law to protect health care facilities (such as those that are religiously affiliated) from having to perform procedures (eg. abortions/late-term abortions) which they object to... b/c you KNOW that some enterprising pro-death liberal sued some hospital because a 15-year old wasn't able to express her full Constitutional rights by killing her baby without her parent's knowledge at a religiously affiliated hospital. And by golly, if it's a Constitutional right, it can't be infringed upon for any reason! (at least, that's what I see when I read the text of the bill.

Can someone please provide me with an example of another Constitutional right that we all (but the most rabid of us) want to be "rare." Post suggestions by commenting.

Penelope - Hear anything about this legislation or its justification?

BUT WAIT!!! THERE'S MORE!!!

On Social Security Reform
Rudy then goes on and provides this insightful, ummm... idiotic, no.... sex-obsessed, nooo... scatalogical analysis of Social Security Reform as a political issue. (Sorry for Rudy's base language.)
3/23/2005
A Great Big Fist Job:
Karl Rove is a frustrated fat man; no matter how much he works, he can't train his male leather slave to take a fisting. Oh, he's tried, Lord, how he's tried to get that sphincter loose enough. He's used butt plugs, anal beads, ben-wah balls, strap-ons, dildos smoothed and cock-shaped, ketchup bottles, everything he can thing of, but for some reason, for some anatomical quirk, perhaps, Rove just can't manage to get his whole hamhock hand into his leather slave's anus.

Rove keeps his leather slave chained in the basement of the White House, right next to James Buchanan's hand-crank vibrator and Richard Nixon's Saigon whore blow-up doll (with real sucking action). Rove has been working on the fisting since the second inauguration -- it's the one thing his leather slave hasn't done, having gladly taken the tax cut golden showers, the Patriot Act scat treatment, not even yelling the safe word, "Impeach," when Rove branded him with the word "Iraq." But this, this one thing, a fisting, that would bring Master Rove so much pleasure, the leather slave has denied Rove.

Meanwhile, George Bush, ostensibly Rove's boss, was continuing on his all-American odyssey of trying to convince the electorate that he knew best about Social Security. In Albuquerque, with his bitch, John "The Gimp" McCain, by his side, Bush threatened Democrats and Republicans in a spirited show of bipartisanship: "I remember this issue, people saying, well, you better not talk about the issue, there will be a bad political consequence. I believe there will be a bad political consequence for people who are unwilling to sit down and talk about the issue." Although, you know, he mostly meant Democrats. Considering the polls on the issue, Bush trying to beat up the Democrats on Social Security is like a crazed six year-old trying to hit his Grandpa with a sledgehammer - chances are that sledgehammer's gonna do a hell of a lot of damage to that six year-old before it ever lands on Grandpa's toe.
[...]
And in case you didn't get that this was important to Bush and Cheney, well, Dick Cheney says you can go fuck yourself: "The President and I got a lot of things we could do besides go bang away at the Social Security issue from border to border. And we enjoy the fray, or we wouldn't be in the business, but it is a very important piece of work." Oh, ho, oh, ho, it's such a merry game, is it not, the fray? Government for this administration is like playing a video game, SimAmerica, where you create a bunch of economic hardships and horrors for your little Americans, and you can just sit and watch the chaos in the streets from the comfy side of the monitor.

Back in the White House basement, Karl Rove grunts, sweats, and squeals in concupiscent rage at not getting that pudgy hand into that ass, at not turning his leather slave into his meat puppet. He know, though, he knows that if he has to, he'll ignore all the safe words and force fist that fucker until his ass is good and bleeding. And then Karl Rove will take his forever damaged leather slave in his arms and hold him, feeding him sweet Iranian figs, telling him not to worry about the blood and pain, that it'll all be okay.
Such is what passes for "thought" on the Left. Don't discuss the demographic ponzi scheme that is Social Security, a system that is older than the hypothetical grandpa that Rudy alludes to... But, hey. I'm sure that Rudy's view on economics and free markets is probably just as dated, probably heralding from the 1930s or (dare I say) 1848?

BUT WAIT - THERE'S MORE!!!

On "Justice"
Despite Rudy singing this when Terri died, it appears that (in some circumstances), Rudy IS ON THE SIDE OF LIFE. Specifically, those that commit heinous crimes and those that seek to commit mass murder:
Moments of Justice:
Aw, shit, get ready to hear all the gruesome details of the cases of juvenile murderers who were on death row whose sentences have now been thrown out by the Supreme Court. By a 5-4 decision, the Court said that it's unconstitutional to off prisoners who committed their crimes before they were eighteen, thus finally allowing the U.S. to become a slightly more legitimate member of the "civilized world," thus making us slightly less evil than Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan on that account. Yeah, thank Christ that we Americans can hold our heads high in the world and say, "Hey, we don't kill the 'tards or the kids." Wanna take bets as to who's gonna call for a constitutional amendment that says,"We believe the children are the future. Let us kill them"?

[...] What Simmons did was awful, disgusting, and disturbing, in hog-tying his neighbor, who happened to wake up while the 17 year-old Simmons was robbing her house, and then tossing her over a bridge into a river in Missouri where she drowned. [ED - Hey, at least he admits the crime was disgusting... and then comes the but-monkey] [...] And you're gonna hear liberals mocked for daring to suggest that juvenile brains aren't developed and that Simmons had been abused as a child and was a drug addict. Anyone who dares suggest that society is degraded by a juvenile death penalty will be mocked and derided for being a part of the "loony left."
[...]
All in all, it's been quite a day for justice, real, actual justice and not law of the jungle justice, in America. There's the Roper v. Simmons decision at the Supreme Court, and then there's the U.S. District Court decision saying that Jose Padilla, the supposed, maybe, but we can never know "dirty bomber," must be charged with something, anything, or released. After two and a half years in some hell hole, more than likely being tortured, the poor fucker, whose only crime seems to be being a not-white gangbanger and having read some shit about dirty bombs, is at least one step closer to seeing the light of day for more than an hour a day.
[...]
We live now in this world of Bush where every day we are confronted with the myriad ways in which this administration and its hellish minions attempt to strip rights, dignity, and humanity in favor of a world of unchecked corporate greed-seeking and governmental repression in the guise of parental protectiveness. So it's always blindsiding to hear news that affirms something akin to human dignity. Let us mark the day, because there are precious few.
Yes, Rudy... you're hypocrisy on matters of Life & Death are "loony." And, yes... let's have a discussion about "human dignity." It seems that for you, the only humans that deserve dignity are those that consciously kill others...

Anyway, Rudy... thanks for visiting! Your site has now been added to my Kooks / Sources of humor Material blog roll. Your site and your opinions are consistent with your blog title...and your stated mission: "Proudly lowering the level of political discourse." I certainly would characterize your ramblings as crude & imperfect... Keep it up! Heck, I just looked at your MARCH posts... and just randomly picked a few. Next thing you know, you'll be on some panel talking about opinion journalism. Heck, at least you have actual opinions (stupid and ill-informed as they may be), unlike some in the blogosphere - heck, she even makes a living on this blathering!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Zimbabwe

No news out of Zimbabwe yet... This report from This is Zimbabwe doesn't look good, given that it looks like Mugabe's party thugs are throwing their weight around. However, we'll see in the next few days what happens.

This article in Zimbabwe's independent The Daily News shows heavy turnout. We'll see who that favors...

This article looks like the MDC supporters think the fix is already in and are preparing their orange scarves.

Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo and Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), alleged over the weekend that the elections had already been rigged and called on people not to accept another "stolen" Zanu PF victory.

Archbishop Ncube repeated the allegations that opposition supporters were being denied food aid and urged Zimbabweans to protest “Ukraine style” if Zanu PF wins fraudulently.

Tsvangirai, while addressing a rally on Sunday, called on MDC supporters countrywide to reject a Zanu PF victory.
Let's hope that whatever result is fair and peaceful.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Steyn on Terri Schindler-Schiavo (Again)

As usual, Mark Steyn does not disappoint... (If you don't regularly read him, you should. Sometimes it's difficult to know where his latest article will appear, since he writes for so many publications. However, Steyn's website, SteynOnline fixes that problem.)

Here's the initial part, but read the whole thing, as I cannot do justice to it here. It gets better...

Public execution
Mark Steyn - New Hampshire

Do you remember a fellow called Robert Wendland? No reason why you should. I wrote about him in this space in 1998, and had intended to return to the subject but something else always intervened — usually Bill Clinton’s penis, which loomed large, at least metaphorically, over the entire era. Mr Wendland lived in Stockton, California. He was injured in an automobile accident in 1993 and went into a coma. Under state law, he could have been starved to death at any time had his wife requested the removal of his feeding tube. But Rose Wendland was busy with this and that, as one is, and assumed there was no particular urgency.

Then one day, a year later, Robert woke up. He wasn’t exactly his old self, but he could catch and throw a ball and wheel his chair up and down the hospital corridors, and both activities gave him pleasure. Nevertheless Mrs Wendland decided that she now wished to exercise her right to have him dehydrated to death. Her justification was that, while the actual living Robert — the Robert of the mid-1990s — might enjoy a simple life of ball-catching and chair-rolling, the old Robert — the pre-1993 Robert — would have considered it a crashing bore and would have wanted no part of it.

She nearly got her way. But someone at the hospital tipped off Mr Wendland’s mother and set off a protracted legal struggle in which — despite all the obstacles the California system could throw in her path — the elderly Florence Wendland was eventually successful in preventing her son being put down. He has since died of pneumonia, which is sad: the disabled often fall victim to some opportunist illness they’d have shrugged off in earlier times, as Christopher Reeve did. But that’s still a better fate than to be starved to death by order of the state.

Six and a half years later, the Terri Schiavo case is almost identical to Robert Wendland’s — parents who wish to care for a disabled daughter, a spouse who wants her dead, a legal system determined to see her off. The only difference is that this time the system is likely to win — it may already have done so by the time you read this — and that Mrs Schiavo’s death is being played out round the clock coast to coast, with full supporting cast. It is easy to mock the attendant ‘circus’, the cheapest laugh of the self-identified sophisticate [AHEM - That's your cue, Mr. Twinkiemeister!]. A 12-year-old boy has been arrested for attempting to offer Mrs Schiavo a glass of water. Ha-ha.

On the other hand, if one accepts the official version that the court is merely bringing to an end (after 15 years) the artificial prolongation of Mrs Schiavo’s life, since when has a glass of water been deemed medical treatment? In the public areas of Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, the waiting journalists grab a Coke or a coffee or even a glass of water every half hour or so without anyone considering it ‘medical treatment’. That it is, uniquely, a crime to serve Mrs Schiavo a beverage underlines the court’s intent — not to cease the artificial prolongation of life but actively to cause her death.
Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Party of Death, Part III

Terri Schindler-Schiavo died today (I commented on this news here).

My previous posts (Party of Death Part I & Part II) have been confirmed. The Left and the Democrats just can't side with anyone who might have a respect for life, regardless of it's form. On this matter, The Left (almost monolithically) aligned themselvtes with Michael Schiavo, an alleged wife abuser. My justification for calling him an abuser?

  1. Quesions about abuse which might have caused Terri's condition
  2. Questions about Michael attempting to kill her through insulin injections
  3. Terry received zero treatments for her condition after the insurance award was made to Michael (which is also the time at which he "remembered" that she wouldn't want to live in this state).
  4. Questions about Terri's true wishes - if she really did want to live, then is he not a murderer?
Situations like this result in strange bedfellows, indeed. The Left, "protectors of the little guy, the poor, the downtrodden" find themselves allied with a potential wife-beater whose zeal to kill his wife is only eclipsed by the Left's zeal to stick one to President Bush. Ultimately, the Left saw Terri's life as being an obstacle to their agenda, and in their minds, sometimes you have to break a few eggs in order to make an omelet. Terri's death became more important to them than Terri's life, and thus they aligned themselves with people that they would normally consider unsavory. In her final hours, Michael wouldn't even allow Terri's family to visit her, keeping them out of her room until she had "slipped the surly bonds of earth." This, along with his denial of daily communion for Terri, just demonstrates how cruel and crass Michael Schiavo is.

Here are pictures of those that were instrumental in this outcome. Unfortunately, some of the Republicans in the Florida Senate also failed Terri... For the Democrats, I recognize and say Thank You to Jesse Jackson and FL State Senator Al Lawson for standing up for Life...


Michael Schiavo


Judge George Greer


Oliver Willis (of OliverWillis.com) and Lindsay (of Majikthise.typepad.com)


Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (aka DailyKos founder)


Geoffrey Feiger

Florida State Senators
(21-18 vote, with 1 Democrat, Senator Al Lawson joining the GOP in the minority):

Democracts
Dave AronbergLarcenia J. BullardWalter Campbell, Jr.
Steven A. GellerTony Hill, Sr.Ron Klein
Gwen MargolisLesley "Les" Miller, Jr.Nan Rich
Gary SiplinRod SmithFrederica Wilson
Republicans
JD AlexanderNancy ArgenzianoMike Bennett
Lisa CarltonPaula DockeryDennis Jones
James KingEvelyn LynnBurt Saunders


I haven't listed any of those in the US Congress that were against Terri for two reasons:
  1. the bill in Congress passed and they were therefore unsuccessful in their opposition to Life
  2. Ultimately, this really was an issue for the State of Florida, and when push came to shove, the Senators of the Sunshine State pictured above were the ones that failed her
Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Theresa Marie Schiavo (nee Schindler), R.I.P.

Although we've been shouting about the absurdity of the Catch-22 that Terri Schindler-Schiavo found herself in, she finally has succumbed to her husband's cruelty. Unfortunately, our focus and passion on saving her life was inconsistent, peaking only when it seemed like her death might be imminent. If more attention had been paid to her situation in the interim, when the media wasn't deviously running nationwide polls, miscommunicating the facts, and increasing the spotlight on all of those involved, she might have been saved. In the end, Terri's fate was in the hands of two men: her Husband In Name Only (HINO) Michael and Judge Greer. I do not know what's in the hearts of these men, but based on the situation they've created and the actions they've taken, I can only at this point assume that their motivations were less than sincere. Ultimately, we all failed her. We were unable to convince these two men that the facts as they saw them (or wanted to see them) were incorrect.

Let's just pray that God has taken Terri in his arms and welcomed her into his Kingdom and will protect her (something that her husband would never do). I'm confident that God restored Terri's broken body and mind and, like a child, she is in awe of His grace. I hope she now knows with her full heart how much she was loved by her family and friends, and that her situation gripped the entire nation.

May those that wished for her death recognize the error of their ways and realize that humanity is beautiful, regardless of their perception of its "quality." May they find peace in the heart instead of the cruelty that they relentlessly displayed for Terri.



Teresa Marie Schindler
1963 - 2005

***Update***
The inestimable WizBang Blog has more, as does Captain Ed, CollegePundit, Scared Monkeys, Conservative Revolution.

***UPDATE 2***
H/T to WuzzaDem. Vince Aut Moire has an appropriate post from a couple of days ago.

***UPDATE 3***
Michelle Malkin weighs in... as does Pajama Hadin, Confederate Yankee, Outside The Beltway, and GOP Bloggers.

***UPDATE 4***
Based on the coverage by the MSM, I think the Left's "blog swarm" worked... Here's where I lay the blame...

***UPDATE 5***
Don Singleton has links to Living Will forms... so, while we're all thinking about this matter, make sure you fill one out and discuss with your loved ones. Make sure that your family and your spouse don't go through what Michael Schiavo & the Schindlers just did.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Ted Rall on Terri Schindler-Schiavo

Ted - You're a tool... You're lucky I'm not your boss, you no talent @ss clown.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Technorati Profile

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mr. Mugabe - Your Jail Cell is Waiting

According to this article in the Zimbabwe Daily News, the leader for the MDC (small-d democrats) is promising full investigations into crimes committed by the Mugabe government should his party be elected.

Tsvangirai vows to jail Mugabe backers

Date: 29-Mar, 2005

HARARE - Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change which is threatening Zanu PF’s hold on power, has promised that he will jail corrupt individuals surrounding President Robert Mugabe.

He told a jubilant crowd of 25 000 in Harare at the weekend that should his party prevail in Thursday's elections he will jail what he called the corrupt elite surrounding President Mugabe.

"I will have the keys," said the 52-year-old opposition leader. "I will throw them away."

The former trade union leader turned politician vowed that full investigations would be carried out into acts of violence and human rights abuses and the culprits would be brought to book.

The crowd of mostly young people wore bandannas with the slogan "MDC new beginning" at the rally held at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield township.

It was the same location where Mugabe returned triumphant after winning 1980 elections after the seven-year armed struggle against white minority rule. President Mugabe launched his election campaign about six weeks ago, ordering "zero tolerance" to the violence that marred the last two elections since 2000 and which saw about 300 people murdered by his upporters.

Tsvangirai has admitted the level of intimidation has been considerably lower, and has commended police for acting "professionally".

"On the 31st of March, the whole world will be looking at us, Tsvangirai told the crowd. "The world used to say Zimbabweans are too passive, they cannot remove Mugabe. We are going to remove him, in the manner that we know. We are not interested in fighting, we will do it peacefully. Go and vote for food, go and vote for jobs, go and vote for hope and for a future.”

Zimbabwe holds a crucial parliamentary poll on Thursday which is under the international spotlight amid charges by human rights organisations and civic society groups that the electoral environment in the country favours President Mugabe’s Zanu PF.

Despite this, Tsvangirai has vowed his party will win the poll.
It will be interesting to witness whether one of the most ruthless authoritarians in Africa can be replaced with the seeds of democracy. I'm sure this would all have happened if the President had listened to the advice of Brent Scowcroft, Madeline Albright, et al.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

P2P File Sharing: Do the Justices "get it"?

Now, as referenced in our Blog Description on the right sidebar, ARC:Brian is the Technology guru. However, due to a harddrive crash on my work PC, I have some time to comment on this... Brian won't be available to comment on this until this evening, but I'm sure he'll have plenty to offer.

The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case involving file sharing technologies and specifically whether the software developers who created the application should be held liable for the fact that many users out there are using their app to download copyrighted music. Here's the coverage from the AP:

Court Case Could Rewrite Copyright Rules
Tue Mar 29, 2:08 AM ET
By TED BRIDIS, AP Technology Writer

WASHINGTON - When the Supreme Court justices were growing up, swapping music meant exchanging vinyl records. And sharing a movie involved walking someone to the cinema.

Today many of the latest hit songs and movies are a few mouse clicks away on the Internet, and those same justices are being asked to settle a multibillion-dollar dispute about how such items are shared.

Entertainment companies want the court to let them sue the manufacturers of file-sharing software that allows computer users to download music and movies from each other's computers. The companies say such downloads violate copyright protections and amount to stealing.

Lower courts have sided with the software makers, Grokster Inc. and StreamCast Networks, which say their technology should be looked at no differently than a videocassette recorder.

The Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday and will issue a decision before July.

How the justices rule could redefine how consumers can watch television shows and films and listen to songs that increasingly are delivered in digital formats. Supporters of file-sharing technology say a ruling against the software companies could effectively give the entertainment industry a legal veto over up-and-coming gadgets; they fear the threat of expensive lawsuits could hamper development of new devices.

The case has star power on both sides.

Don Henley, Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks and other musicians are backing the major recording labels, saying their livelihoods are threatened if millions of people can obtain their songs for nothing.

About 20 independent recording artists, including musician and producer Brian Eno, rockers Heart and rapper-activist Chuck D, support the file-sharing technology. They say it allows greater distribution of their music and limits the power of huge record companies.

Regardless of the outcome, it still won't be legal to download copyrighted materials over the Internet without permission, though tens of millions of computer users do so each day. And any ruling won't affect thousands of copyright lawsuits filed individually against Internet users caught sharing music and movies online.

But a victory for the entertainment companies would allow lawsuits that could drive companies that make file-sharing software out of business. It also would effectively overturn rules that have governed technology companies for more than two decades: Manufacturers can't be sued for copyright violations committed by customers using their products illegally.
Now, I hate to say this, but I am convinced that no one on the USSC understands what the @#$ they're talking about with regard to this matter. I have a feeling that they will side with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)... and impose limitations on the software developers. Unfortunately, this will have little effect other than to drive developers out of the country. If I were Grokster, Limewire or WinMX, I'd be setting up offices right now in some other country which doesn't have extradition agreements with the US government.

The entire problem that the "industry" status-quo idjits have is that their old forms of distribution which have massive costs are being replaced by more efficient means with little or no costs and which are one-to-one (or peer-to-peer). Being able to sue the software development companies that create this software is akin to suing gun manufacturers for deaths caused by handguns - and most of us agree that that's an idiotic proposal.

What I'm really concerned about is the fact that these file sharing programs are used not just for sharing copyrighted material, but also non-copyrighted or Open Source/GPL materials. Heck, just five minutes ago, I used BitTorrent (which rocks, btw) to download a free version of Linux (Knoppix) in order to see if I could recover files from my harddrive (not successful). If you'd like more info on BitTorrent, which is totally different than the Groksters and Napsters of the world (and shows how the government will have difficulty enforcing any ruling), read this Wired Magazine article.

If the Supreme Court looks at this case narrowly and does not take into account limitations on their ability to control this phenomenon, the ability of the software to be used for non-malicious sharing, etc, they'll end up driving this technology off-shore and limit the free distribution of information (in the form of entertainment).

BTW, this isn't about the artists not getting their jack... it's about Sony Corp and the middlemen not getting their slice of the pie. Since they're costly and inefficient distribution system is no longer required, this shouldn't be surprising. When the automobile came out, did the buggy whip manufacturers lose market share? Yes. What Sony, the RIAA, and the MPAA need to do is figure out how to USE this technology to their advantage. If it's easier to download a movie for a small fee than to spend hours trying to find a pirated copy, then most consumers will opt for the former. MovieLink, Napster, and iTunes, etc are all good examples of this.

BTW, Kudos to Brian Eno, Heart, and Chuck D.

***UPDATE - 5.15 pm CST***
This report from the AP hints that the USSC is troubled by the ability to pirate, but also concerned about stifling innovation. Thus, it's my prediction (first suggested by ARC:Brian) that the USSC will "split the baby" and force these software developers to include code which tracks/reports any download that appears to violate copyright laws. Again... if I'm grokster... I'm setting up shop overseas.
During a lively argument, justices wondered aloud whether such lawsuits might have discouraged past inventions like copy machines, videocassette recorders and iPod portable music players - all of which can be used to make illegal duplications of copyrighted documents, movies and songs.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the same software that can be used to steal copyrighted materials offered at least conceptually "some really excellent uses" that are legal.

Justice Antonin Scalia maintained that a ruling for entertainment companies could mean that if "I'm a new inventor, I'm going to get sued right away."

While seeming leery of allowing lawsuits, the court also appeared deeply troubled by efforts of the companies that manufacture so-called file-sharing software to encourage Internet piracy and profit from it.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy pressed a software lawyer on the question of whether profits from trafficking in stolen property can rightfully be used to help finance a young technology business. "That seems wrong to me," he said.
Justice Kennedy - There's a lot that I find wrong with your recent opinions (see Roper), so let's not continue to rule based on what you feel is "wrong".... Let's rule on the practical aspects of the law. Is the handgun manufacturer responsible for deaths caused by handguns? (I'm afraid of what his answer will be....)

***UPDATE 2 - 5.30 CST***
Michelle Malkin talks about the more disgusting capabilities of P2P, specifically the ability to distribute illegal pornography. Now, I think this stuff should continue to be illegal and the Feds should hunt these guys down and lock them up so they can get all that they deserve. But, Peer to Peer, like any other technology, is not good or evil itself - it's value neutral. It is humans (and these sickos) who abuse technology for nefarious purposes. Instead of decrying the technology (and all of us moving to Lancaster, PA), we should be focusing our criticism and disdain on our fellow humans.

***UPDATE 3 - 8.30 CST***
Fellow St Louisan, Brian J Noggle, agrees with me that Michelle may be overly critical of P2P technology (although I think she's probably just highlighting the problem and not urging us all to become Luddites).

***UPDATE 4 - 10.05 AM, 3/30***
Good Richard's Almanac pokes fun at the USSC.
The supreme court was embroiled in heated discussion today over whether or not to outlaw trucks manufactured by the widely known Troksger motor company.

The issue at hand was the wide use of Troksger trucks to transport stolen and other illegal goods throughout the U.S. Justices argued whether allowing companies to sue Troksger would hinder insterstate commerce by making it exceedingly costly to manufacture transportation vehicles in the U.S.
heh

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Left/Scott Ritter echoes Hitler/Goebbels

Whacko Lefty "journalistic" site Raw Story (which also recently interviewed Sen Minority Leader Harry Reid) has an "article," in which they interview former UN Weapons Inspector, Scott Ritter - who has been a Saddam loyalist (and alleged pedophile) for quite some time. Raw Story has been discussed on this blog previously, here. Truly an objective news source worthy of an interview by the Minority Leader... certainly not partisan like that fundie-rightwing Talon News.

In this "article," the language employed by Ritter sounds eerily like Hitler & Goebbels... and I'm not one to to break Godwin's Law lightly. If you take into account the fact that the word "Neocons" and "Jews" have been interchangeable for those on the Left, this is truly amazing...

Ritter: A high level source, a NeoCon at that, within the system has said to me directly that “John’s Bolton job is to destroy the UN, Rice’s job is to destroy the State Department’s and replace it with a vehicle of facilitation for making the Pentagon’s national security policy.”

Raw Story: And what of Karen Hughes’ appointment?

Ritter: Hughes she is a salesperson; she will sell the policy. She is irrelevant. She is nothing. Her appointment means nothing. Rice has already capitulated to the Pentagon and the White House, and Hughes’ appointment is but a manifestation of that larger reality.

The NeoCons are parasites. They build nothing. They bring nothing. They don’t have a foundation. They don’t stand for business. They don’t stand for ideology. They use a host to facilitate and grow their own power. They are parasites that latch onto oil until is no longer convenient. They latch on to Democracy until it is no longer convenient.

Rice’s appointment to the State Department is simply to reshape it into a NeoCon vehicle.

Raw Story: Why the State Department? Why Rice?

Ritter: The State Department still has free thinkers in it. Rice is a dilettante. Anyone who was there during the Reagan era and her advising on Soviet policy knows how inept she is. She is not there because she is a brilliant Secretary of State.

The media has bought into this, because the NeoCons cleverly put a woman, an African American woman at that, into this position. So when Rice goes abroad, people do not look at the stupid things she says, they look at what she was wearing and such.

‘Godless people who want power, nothing more’

Raw Story: So you believe the NeoCons are elitist parasites?

Ritter: Yes, elitism is the perfect term.

Raw Story: Do you consider it localized or global elitism?

Ritter: The NeoCons believe in what they think is a noble truth, power of the few, the select few. These are godless people who want power, nothing more. They do not have a country or an allegiance, they have an agenda. These people might hold American passports, but they are not Americans because they do not believe in the Constitution. They believe in the power of the few, not a government for or by the people. They are a few and their agenda is global.

Raw Story: You suggest the Republican Party is simply an organizational host. Is there any vestige left of the host or has the entire party been devoured?

Ritter: The Republicans have been neutered by the NeoCons

Raw Story: Your concept of NeoCons seems confusing because, using your host/parasite paradigm, they cannot tell between the host and the parasite which invades it.

Ritter: I know people who have worked for George H. W. Bush, both when he was Vice President and President. Bush Sr. called the NeoCons the “crazies in the basement.” I think it is dangerous to confuse the two, because there are Americans who love their country and are conservatives who do not support what is going on. Until the host rejects the parasite, it is difficult to separate the two. Brent Scowcroft for example is not a NeoCon, yet people call him one. Scowcroft worked hard to reign in the “crazies in the basement,” as did Reagan.

Raw Story: Many have defined the NeoCon movement based on the highly intellectual, albeit warped, musings of Strauss and Bloom. Yet one could hardly call the current leadership intellectual or even capable of digesting this philosophy. Even NeoCon thinkers are jumping off the ship. Do you believe this is simply trickle-down Machiavellianism in much the same way that Communism trickled down as an aberration of its original intent?

Ritter: No plan survives initial contact with the enemy. The NeoCon ideology was always hypothetical in its pure application until now. What we are seeing today is what happens when theory (bad theory at that) makes contact with reality. You get chaos, through which the NeoCons are now trying to navigate.

Raw Story: Is Karl Rove a NeoCon?

Ritter: Karl Rove is not part of the neo-conservative master group; he is a host.

Raw Story: Then who is in steering the ship?

Ritter: An oligarchy of ‘public servant’ classes who are drawn from business, and serve naked economic interests. This is true whether you are Democrat or Republican.
These were the same arguments that Hitler made in the German beerhalls in Munich. That the Jews were a parasite on the German people and that their "infestation" (likened to rats in this Nazi propaganda film) was making it difficult to distinguish between the parasite and the host.

Amazing what the Left has morphed into... and they just don't see it.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, March 28, 2005

Digital Camera for Iraq

Okay... have an interesting question for anyone who reads this blog. My brother-in-law is heading to Iraq for 6 months. He'll be doing double duty between Baghdad, Iraq and Doha, Qatar. He currently has a Fuji digital camera (with xD format) and his wife and two kids are going to use that to send him pics/short videos of them. He's looking to get a digital camera to take with him for the same purposes... but not sure what would be good, given the environment (sand, scarcity of power, etc).

Any recommendations on a specific model?

Also, is there any particular card format which is better/more durable? (ie SD, Compact Flash, xD, Memoy Stick, etc)?

Would like to make a purchase this week... Please post comments with any info - it's much appreciated.

BTW, about my brother-in-law:

Joined the Air Force out of High School to fulfill his dream of becoming a firefighter. He was stationed at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, Texas (beautiful city, btw), was an airport firefighter, got married and had a beautiful baby girl. Due to force reduction, he was honorably discharged before his committment was up and returned to Missouri where he now works as 911 dispatcher and volunteer firefighter. He's since had another little girl and doing well. After 9/11, he felt like he hadn't fulfilled his desire to serve his country, so he joined the Navy Reserves and is stationed at Scott Air Force base as part of the joint forces U.S. TRANSCOM. We found out in February that he and his unit are being deployed to Qatar & Iraq in April for 6 months. His responsbility will be to make sure that casualties are transported from Iraq to field hospitals in the area and he'll rotate between working in Doha, Qatar and Baghdad, Iraq every few weeks. He won't be "on patrol" with the grunts, although being anywhere in Baghdad certainly isn't safe in my book. His willingness to serve in light of his family situation is extraordinary in my opinion and I applaud him for his committment. I realize that all of those serving have made extraordinary committments to our country, and I applaude them all.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I dont get it.....

More power to Sam Kimery, if he can get people to buy this device, he deserves the $8.95. But I just dont get it. Just because I think CNN, ABC, NBC, and especially CBS are biased to the left doesn't mean I don't want to tune into them from time to time. So I don't see what good it would do to block the channel permanently.

The Tulsa, Okla., resident also has received thousands of e-mails, both angry and complimentary, as well as a few death threats since the device debuted in August.

"Apparently the making of terroristic threats against those who don't share your views is a high art form among a certain core audience," said Kimery, 45.

I especially don't understand the "death threats" he says he's gotten. Why would Fox Viewers issue death threats to him for selling this product? This sounds like DemocraticUnderground type spin to illustrate a conspiracy out to get Kimery for "daring to speak the truth" about Fox News. Probably good marketing spin for the target audience though. (Note to self, call the patent lawyer about the tinfoil Fox News blocker.)
Business could pick up since the blocker was alluded to in a recent episode of the ABC drama "Boston Legal." The show's original script mentioned Fox News, but ABC removed the references.

I also didn't see the Boston Legal episode, but I'd love to know what the context of it was.
A Fox spokeswoman at the station's New York headquarters said the channel's ratings speak for themselves. For the first three months of this year, Fox has averaged 1.62 million viewers in prime-time, compared with CNN's 805,000, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Somehow I don't think Roger Ailes is losing any sleep over this device. Or leading any "death threats." Do you remember when CNN was the source for 24 hour news? Now it's being beat 2-1.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Steyn on Schindler-Schiavo

Mark Steyn weighs in on Schindler-Schiavo (btw, I'm using her maiden name purposely). The opening few paragraphs say it all:

A couple of decades back, north of the border, it was discovered that some overzealous types in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had been surreptitiously burning down the barns of Quebec separatists. The prime minister, Pierre Trudeau, shrugged off the controversy and blithely remarked that, if people were so upset by the Mounties illegally burning down barns, perhaps he'd make the burning of barns by Mounties legal. As the columnist George Jonas commented:

''It seemed not to occur to him that it isn't wrong to burn down barns because it's illegal, but it's illegal to burn down barns because it's wrong. Like other statist politicians, Mr. Trudeau . . . either didn't see, or resented, that right and wrong are only reflected by the laws, not determined by them.''

That's how I feel about the Terri Schiavo case. I'm neither a Floridian nor a lawyer, and, for all I know, it may be legal under Florida law for the state to order her to be starved to death. But it is still wrong.
[...]
Read the whole thing...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler