Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Jay Nordlinger explains why I refer to leftwingers as leftists and not liberals. When compared to many societies, our ideas of basic freedoms and rights are very liberal.

It is inaccurate to refer to leftists as liberal because they are in fact very illiberal and quite intolerant of other points of view. I can't find it now, but David Horowitz made exactly this same argument in a piece several months ago.

Here's another report that says the war against Iraq has already begun. This report is from the Asia Times. I have never heard of this paper, but the details sound very much like what Debkafile reported.

This could turn out to be very nearly a bloodless overthrow. That's not highly likely, but I wonder what the Iraqi army will do once they realize that a massive military force is aligned against them and they further realize that all we want is to remove Saddam. Say for example, we make secret contact with the heads of the Iraqi military and tell them that if they give us Saddam, allow in inspectors, and promise democratic reforms, then Iraq will be spared. I believe that Saddam's grip on Iraq is very tenuous and it wouldn't take much to get the Iraqi army to surrender en masse very much like they did in the Gulf War. The only group likely to put up much of a fight will be the Republican Guard and they are shell of their former outfit. The overthrow of Saddam could actually take less time than the Gulf War did.

Friday, August 16, 2002

While I was at The Christian Science Monitor I found a story titled, Whyville: The Place Girls Love To Go For Science. The writer of the piece is Michelle Thaller and this is what she says about Whyville:

"One of the real lights in the echoing darkness of science education is a small independent company called Numedeon, which runs a website called Whyville. Whyville has managed to do the impossible – generate massive interest in science among adolescent girls. Whyville has almost a quarter-million registered users, three quarters of which are middle-school aged girls."

I don't have the time to actually investigate Whyville, but I thought I would provide a link because Thaller wrote so passionately about the site. Here's the link to Whyville. If you have a young daughter or son, I hope they enjoy this site.

This Daily Update at The Christian Science Monitor says that although Great Britain opinions polls now show that less than one-third of the British public supports a invasion of Iraq, if the invasion goes forward the British public will support the action. I hope so because the British are our greatest ally and if we can't convince them, then well, we would truly be alone in this. The Russians and some others are supportive, but the historical connection between the US and Great Britain means that we need their moral support and any military support they can offer. The Christian Science Monitor says that the UN will eventually support the invasion of Iraq, but that corrupt organizations opinion means very little to me.

I just read this article at The Washington Times online newspaper that says that European leftists and environmentalists are blaming America and America's failure to approve the Kyoto environmental treaty for the recent flooding in Europe and the droughts in other parts of the world. This is absurd. I recently posted this entry that provides a link to a story by Andrew Kenny that asserts that global warming may not be the man-made event that environmentalist proclaim it to be. Furthermore Kenny goes on to explain that leftwing politicians and environmentalists have a lot to gain by creating an environmental scare. I hope that reasonable people will not fall for the hyteria. Global warming MAY be a growing problem that is indeed man-made, but the environmental record, as Kenny points out, suggests that the Earth has gone through many natural changes to its environment over thousands of years. Our current environmental situation could be perfectly natural and normal.

I have heard of Camille Paglia, but this is the first time I have ever read anything by her. I found out that she is a democrat that voted for Clinton twice, but she is nevertheless able to speak honestly about Clinton's presidency. I must say I was impressed with Ms. Paglia and I look forward to reading more of her work.

I wish more democrats would see the man this way. It is my opinion that the man was a below average president and we are feeling the effects of his presidency today. I believe that Bill Clinton's policies and priorities as president have set the stage for the terrorist attacks and the dwindling economy. I believe that Clinton's lack of character (remember when the democrats kept telling us that character didn't matter? I do.) and ethics have had an indirect effect on the current corporate scandals. The president is supposed to set the moral tone of the nation and at that he failed. I do believe that Clinton had positives about his presidency, but I also believe that the negatives far outweigh the positives. I believe that history will judge Bill Clinton fairly. The man had so much potential, but in the end his lack of principles and virtue will cause him to be remembered unfavorably.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Ann Coulter is not only beautiful, the woman is brilliant in my opinion. I love to read her column because she is smart and funny. Here's her latest column for Frontpage Magazine.

I find this very exciting (how dull am I?). It's an article by Claudia Winkler that discusses a debate between German intellectuals opposed to the war on terror on pacifistic and humanitarian grounds and a group of American neo-conservatives who believe that the war is perfectly justified and indeed necessary. This debate is taking place via an exchange of letters and has become a hot topic in German newspapers and among the German public.

It seems that the Germans are comparing unintentional and regrettable civilian deaths in Afghanistan to the intentional killing of the civilians in the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and on Flight 93. As if the two were morally comparable. It's like saying, "Saddam gassed thousands of Kurds, and the US killed civilians in Afghanistan." I am sorry, there is no comparison, but many leftists hold the view that there is NO difference. September 11th brought the whole debate of moral relativism into the public domain where most people are seeing it for the first time. This has been a core belief of the leftwing for many years and I am glad Americans are finally understanding what the left has been preaching and teaching for all these years. I think many Americans were shocked to realize this is what the left believes and to see the theory applied to September 11th.

While I was at The New Republic I read this article (short registration required) about a movement in California for the valley of San Fernando to secede from the city of Los Angeles. I had read about this movement several months ago when it had more steam behind it, but now polls indicate that support is falling off.

Michelle Cottle is the writer of the piece and she is basically arguing that a failure of the secession movement would mean a return to insensitive and uncaring Los Angeles city government. It appears that Cottle is opposed to secession, but not the secession movement because the threat of secession is the reason reforms are being made. Right now, the city government is opposed to secession and they are doing all they can to address all the issues that voters might see as reason to secede.

Me, if I lived in San Fernando Valley, I would be all for secession because this article makes it plain that Los Angeles is a bloated and inefficient city with a highly overpaid government bureaucracy that seems most concerned with taking care of its own.

Boy, Delaware really pissed this guy off.

This article is by Jonathan Chait in The New Republic and he is very angry at the state of Delaware. He starts off complaining about how Delaware forces out of state travellers on interstate 95 to pay exorbitant tolls and then he moves on to an examination of other things that the state does that he feels is wrong. I am not sure how I feel about this, but it seems like Delaware is looking out for its citizens and this guy doesn't like that very much. If I lived in Delaware I wouldn't be complaining very much, but if I lived in a border state I would probably be angry like Chait.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

I just read Francis Fukuyama's speech to The Centre for Independent Studies in Melbourne, Australia. Mr. Fukuyama was there to deliver the John Bonython Lecture. While Mr. Fukuyama makes many of the same points that have been covered by others, he does point out some very interesting statistics that I was not aware of. Here's an excerpt:

"Moreover, to point to differences in power is merely to beg the question of why these differentials exist. The EU collectively encompasses a population of 375 million people and has a GDP of nearly $10 trillion, compared to a US population of 280 million and a GDP of $7 trillion. Europe could certainly spend money on defence at a level that would put it on a par with the United States, but it chooses not to. Europe spends barely $130 billion collectively on defence—a sum that has been steadily falling—compared to US defence spending of $300 billion, which is due to rise sharply. The post-September 11 increment in US defence spending requested by President Bush is larger than the entire defence budget of Britain. Despite Europe’s turn in a more conservative direction in 2002, not one rightist or centre-right candidate is campaigning on a platform of significantly raising defence spending. Europe’s ability to deploy the power that it possesses is of course greatly weakened by the collective action problems posed by the current system of EU decision-making. But the failure to create more useable military power is clearly a political and normative issue."

Europe is in far better shape economically than I thought. Their GDP actually outpaces the US GDP. Europe could have as effective and dominant military as the US, but they obviously choose not to. So what do they spend that money on? I wonder.

blah blah blah blah blah death and destruction to US and Britain if Iraq is attacked blah blah blah blah blah.........(yawn)

Lowell Ponte makes a good argument as to why he believes that the Saudi Arabia as we know it is nearly finished. Here are some surprising figures that I am sure the citizens of Arabia are all too aware of:

"Meanwhile, Saudi oil revenues keep declining while its population grows by 4 percent per year. As political analyst Borut Grgic notes, “today’s Saudi Arabia looks a little ragged…. Saudi per capita income plummeted from a staggering $28,600 in 1981 to $6,800 last year. Even within OPEC, writes Grgic, Saudi power and influence has declined drastically."

I don't think Saudi Arabia can maintain the status quo for very much longer. This piece by Ponte makes clear why the Saudis are opposed to war against Iraq and refuse to allow US strikes from their territory. A democratic and oil producing Iraq are not exactly the best thing for Saudi Arabia.

Yasser Arafat is a friggin' billionaire. It appears that Arafat has been pocketing a lot of the money that the international community has been sending the Palestinians. This is one of the reasons why the US demands an end to the corrupt and despotic rule of the Middle Eastern states, not to mention that the leaders of those states sponsor terror. No wonder the Arab leaders don't want democracy. They're cleaning up. I wonder how many leftists will denounce him and demand a return of all that money. I won't be waiting for that to happen. They'll probably find a way to blame it all on Israel and the US.

Andrew Sullivan has written an excellent article about the relationship between America and Europe that first appeared in The Sunday Times Of London.

When I say Europe, I should say, Europe minus Great Britain. While the US and Britain do have their differences, we have had no greater ally in the past 100 years and I hope that continues. Britain has been a full partner in our fight against terror since September 11th. The British mourned with us and they even have a memorial to September 11th planned. British support, both moral and militarily, has been exactly what you would expect from a friend. However, the same cannot be said for the rest of Europe. France is by far the most diffficult "ally"' the US has. We can do nothing right in their eyes.

Sullivan has written a characteristically impassioned article that the Europeans should pay attention to because he is a British expatriate with many ties to Europe. He has the pulse of America and I think he also has the pulse of Europe.

I don't know who runs Debkafile but they have a pretty explosive article (scroll down) that says that the military campaign in Iraq has already begun under a haze of disinformation. I don't know how reliable their information is so I can't say what they are reporting is true. Debka reports that the campaign is a campaign of gradualism and that thousands of American, British, French, Australian, and Dutch soldiers are already taking part. The report says that the allies are incrementally moving forward via Jordan and the northern and southern no fly zones. Debka reports that a US military force has been in Iraq for sometime now, and that 4,000 more troops have recently arrived in Jordan for "exercises." I think it has begun. Wow.

I noticed another report from Reuters via The Drudge Report that says the US is trying to find ships big enough to carry helicopters and other arms to the Red Sea. I can't find it now, but I also read yesterday that Saddam has gone underground to one of his bunkers. It's all starting to add up. I think he knows it has begun and his days are numbered.

Check out Debka and read it for yourself. It's very interesting reading.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

I am so sick of celebrities and their opinions....on anything. I really, really do not care what Leonardo DiCaprio thinks about the environment. He calls the US the worlds biggest polluter while ignoring the Asian Brown Cloud. Why doesn't Leo speak about the brown cloud that could kill MILLIONS. We don't have any brown clouds floating around in our atmosphere that immediately endangers millions of people, but we have to get lectured by the likes of Leo DiCaprio about our environmental record. Personally I blame the media. They give waaayyy too much weight to what a celebrity thinks, as if, because they make some lame ass movie about a ship that sinks, we are supposed to give a damn what he thinks. Please!

This piece by Joe Katzman asks, "What would a reasonable person have to believe, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, in order to make a respectable argument against an invasion?"

I've read a couple of arguments by the doves and they seem to believe that we must wait until Saddam does something before we act. They are also arguing that Saddam would not give away the technology for a nuclear weapon because it's been so costly for him to acquire. That insanely wishful thinking. I don't think Saddam gives a damn who bombs us, just as long as someone does it. The same people who are opposed to war against Iraq would have been the same people who appeased Hitler.

The United Nation's Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women has passed the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is now headed to the full senate for ratification. On the surface, this might appear to be a good treaty that we ought to sign on to. But one must remember that this measure has the full support of feminists and the politically correct set so perhaps further examination of this issue is in order. I found this article by Wendy McElroy of Ms. McElroy is a feminist, but she not Patricia Ireland's sort of feminist. I hope people will listen to her on the issue of the CEDAW.

Monday, August 12, 2002

I just can't help myself. I have to read Fox News' Tongue Tied, which is an examination of political correctness run amok. There's some doozies in there today. One piece in particular caught my attention. It's the one where the The National Association of Black Journalists booed and jeered a black conservative for daring to speak against reparations. If you are black, you MUST have one political point of view or you are an Uncle Tom, or in this case, "the white man's boy." The man who spoke his mind is the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson and he is a very brave man indeed.

While Andrew Sullivan is on vacation, David Horowitz ably takes up the cause of exposing the New York Times as the deceitful and horrilby biased newspaper that it has become. David provides these three examples of the NY Times' intentionally misleading and flagrantly biased reporting.

The Opinion Journal has some pretty interesting statistics showing where the money for Palestinian welfare comes from. It is surprising to note that the Arabs only donate 2% of the funds. Here's the relevant excerpt:

"The economic crisis facing the Palestinian refugees comes at a time of sharp economic downturn in the Middle East. Yet it is still significant that, of UNRWA's $340 million annual operating budget, the Arab states combined donate less than $5 million (or just under 2%), compared to nearly $90 million from the U.S.--well over 30% of UNRWA's budget. Egypt, the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, gives only $10,000 per year, and the wealthy Persian Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates collectively donate a paltry $4.5 million."

Sunday, August 11, 2002

I have never travelled overseas so a lot that I know comes from reading. It really is true that you can only learn so much from reading and studying. There is no replacing personal experience. So I have to trust when I read something like this that says that the Germans are losing a competitive economic advantage because of government mandated time off. The writer doesn't come out and say that, but that is what I took from the article. I am all for time off. I don't mean to come across as being opposed to vacation time. I love my time off. But when government passes laws that ensure workers get between five and eight weeks of vacation a year, well that's crossing a line. That is a line between capitalism and socialism. In the real world, the global economies are very competitive. My corner of the world seems like it is losing jobs at an exponential rate so it would be economic suicide if our federal government started telling employers that they had to give all workers six weeks of vacation a year. I am not sure where the line is between making sure companies don't mistreat workers and where government doesn't mistreats companies, but I am sure that the labor laws in Germany and in Europe are not good for the average worker. Those laws seem like a good idea, but they really have the effect of stifling entrepreneurial innovations.

I don't want to be mistreated by my company. I hope and expect they will give me enough time off so that I can enjoy my life, but I also understand that if my company goes out of business I suffer and my community suffers. It's a fine line that has to be negotiated very carefully.

I can't stand it. The Carolina Panthers lost to the Washington Redskins 37-30 in a game that was very similar to the way they lost games last year. It was only a preseason game, and there were a couple of bright spots, but they still lost the same way they lost games last year. I hope this is not a sign of how the season is going to go.