Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, August 24, 2002

One of the lesser known battle grounds in the war against terror is in Colombia. The newly elected president, Alvaro Uribe, was elected with a mandate to fight and win the war against the narco-terrorists. The US recently agreed to share intelligence, provide helicopters, and to train the Colombian military. The terrorists realize the new threat and have also turned to the US for aid. The aid the terrorist have enlisted is in the form of 45 US congressmen. Here's an excerpt from an Opinion Journal editorial:

"The guerrillas want to cut off any U.S. aid to be used against them. Their only hope in that regard lies in convincing the American public that the Colombian military kills innocent civilians and that the Colombian civilian government stands by and watches. That is precisely the campaign underway."

Leftwing politicians are especially sensitive to ANY claims of human rights abuses, whether true or not, because it is the nature of their constituencies to always question a government's military. The bottom line is that the people of Colombia want and need our help, but the greatest threat to that help comes from US leftwing politicians who are more than eager to believe just about anything that terrorists say.

The British online newspaper (is that an oxymoron?) The Spectator has an article on German investment in Yugoslavia. I didn't find that very surprising, but what I did find surprising was the tension of the country that the writer describes.

"One of the biggest and best-kept secrets is that Bosnia, far from being a settled nation, is now a hotbed of hardline mujahedin. Islamic fighters from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan went to the republic during the civil war of 1992–95 and many are still in the country today. Last October, for instance, just weeks after the cataclysm of 11 September, the British and American embassies in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, were forced to close for five days after the building was besieged by angry Muslims protesting at attempts by Western forces to deport suspected Islamic terrorists in the region to Cuba.

Kosovo is a mess: the few Serbs still living there have to stay within tightly guarded enclaves or risk death at the hands of ethnic Albanians under the very noses of the world’s so-called peacekeepers. Last week about a dozen UN peacekeepers were hurt when hundreds of ethnic Albanians went on the rampage in the town of Decane because the UN had arrested one of their number on charges of murder and torture. Such incidents are rarely covered by the Western press, and for that politicians in Whitehall and Capitol Hill must be grateful — the mayhem does not fit the picture of the Kosovo success story they would like us all to believe. Huge amounts of heroin meanwhile reach London via Kosovo; and kidnapped girls are bundled off to the brothels of Europe, including Soho, courtesy of Albanian gangs."

It doesn't sound like much has been settled in Yugoslavia. The smoldering tensions are likely to erupt at the first opportunity.

I just read a long, but thoughtful article on global warming at Tech Central Station. The article is by Drs. Hans H.J. Labohm and Dick Thoenes. The piece is an examination of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the various environmental reports that predict global environmental disasters if something isn't done.

Labohm and Thoenes seem to be skeptical about global warming and this is significant because they are European. Labohm and Thoenes say that a debate has just started in Europe over global warming because, until now, it was not politically correct to publicly dispute the science behind the theory of global warming.

The biggest point that Labohm and Thoenes make is that the facts are not supported by the scientific evidence that the Greens have been using as proof of looming disaster. Temperatures have simply not risen as predicted by all the scientific models that have been used. While CO2 content has risen by 25% in the last 100 years, temperatures have not. Or rather, temperatures have not risen as expected. Satellite measurements of global temperatures seem to indicate that temperatures have remained unchanged for the past 23 years. I am not dismissing global warming, but until now the media, environmentalists and leftwing intellectuals have been telling us that global warming is a fact. The real truth is that the issue deserves more investigation before we do something drastic that is totally out of proportion to the risk to our environment.

A reader wrote and asked me to explain why I lumped libertarians with leftists. They aren't exactly natural allies and I didn't make myself clear so I wrote him a letter to try to explain. Here's the letter:

I guess I should have taken more time to explain the line you questioned. I agree with you that libertarians are, for the most part, much more conservative than democrats or liberals. However, one crucial part of the libertarian platform is open and unfettered immigration between nations. This is one area where leftists and libertarians are in agreement even though they agree for different reasons. This would have the effect of wiping out any line of demarcation. The border is a critical part of determining exactly what is America, or Canada, or any other nation. The border says, "You are now in America. This is what we believe. If you agree with what we believe, and we agree to let you in, then you are welcome." There is one line in the Hudson Institute piece that explains what the transnational progressives believe:

"One member of the Commission explained that the members found the concepts of “Britain” and “nation” troubling."

I understand that libertarians would do away with welfare which would take away an incentive for people to immigrate, but I also know that leftists are fundamentally tied to the nanny state. Leftists and libertarians agree on immigration, but the left will never agree to an elimination of welfare.

I am not opposed to immigration. I believe wholeheartedly in sustainable and legal immigration so that our nation can attract the best of the best. What I do not support is an open door policy because it would completely blur national loyalties and our national identity as Americans. If the transnational progressive movement is successful, I can see a day when America is nothing more than a carbon copy of Europe in the early 20th century. I believe that our national identity as Americans would be replaced by regions of individual cultures. We would become the Europe of America. The left is hard at work replacing national loyalty with cultural loyalty. The hyphenation of America is well underway.

There are other reasons why I am not a libertarian, but the belief in open borders is probably the biggest reason why I am not a libertarian.

Friday, August 23, 2002

I just read a horrifying article that takes a look at the future of western civilization. John Fonte calls the political movement "Transnational Progressivism," and the idea is to basically destroy western civilizations various constitutions and laws and replace it with multiculturalism and international law. Here's a quote:

"In October 2000, the British government-sponsored Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain issued a report that denounced the concept of “Britishness” as having “systemic…racist connotations.” The Commission, chaired by Labour life peer Lord Parekh, declared that instead of defining itself as a nation, the UK should be considered a “community of communities.” One member of the Commission explained that the members found the concepts of “Britain” and “nation” troubling. The purpose of the Commission’s report. according to the chairman Professor Parekh, is to “shape and restructure the consciousness of our citizens.” The report declared that Britain should be formally “recognized as a multi-cultural society,” whose history needs to be “revised, rethought, or jettisoned.”

The concept of "Britain" and "nation" are troubling? Oh my God.

Here are examples of what the supporters of this idea believe:

• University of Chicago Philosophy Professor, Martha Nussbaum calls for reinvigorating the concept of “global citizenship” and denounces patriotism as “indistinguishable from jingoism."
• Strobe Talbot, former Undersecretary of State, when he was an editor of Time magazine wrote that he was optimistic that by the end of the 21st century “nationhood as we know it will be obsolete: all states will recognize a single global authority…All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary.”

The Transnational Progressives are heavily financed by the Ford, Rockefeller, Charles Stewart Mott, and MacArthur Foundations.

Another quote from the piece:

On issue after issue, a wide range of Western NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are attempting to achieve political ends that they would not be able to achieve through the normal democratic process. They do so by going outside the liberal democratic framework, using extra-constitutional or post-constitutional means. These issues include:

• the International Criminal Court
• the UN Convention on Women’s Rights
• reservations on the UN treaty against racial discrimination
• policing United States borders
• implementation of affirmative action legislation
• imposition of the death penalty
• the Kyoto Treaty on global warming
• legal rights of non-citizens in a constitutional regime

The major NGO's supporting transnational progressivism include:
• Amnesty International USA
• Human Rights Watch
• Oxfam
• American Friends Service Committee
• American Civil Liberties Union
• Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
• Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
• National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.
• National Council of Churches, USA
• International Human Rights Law Group
• Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law

Now I understand where Europe is trying to lead the world. Most likely, if you are a democrat in America, you are supporting this movement away from a sovereign US towards a one world government whether you know it or not. Your support for democratic or libertarian candidates and leftwing organizations is providing support for this leftwing agenda. I hope you know what you are doing.

Most people have seen a movie that features aboriginal people in their primitive culture. The story usually portrays these loin cloth wearing characters and their society as honorable, righteous, noble, and generally morally superior to the evil western culture. The truth is that these cultures are very often brutal and oppressive. Raymond Tallis exposes the myths in this review of Roger Sandall's book, "THE CULTURE CULT:
Designer tribalism and other essays." Here's an excerpt that makes the point:

"In some highland Papua New Guinea societies, boys “were beaten with stinging nettles, had barbed grass pushed up their urethras to cause bleeding, were compelled to swallow bent lengths of cane until vomiting was induced and were required to fellate older men, who also had anal intercourse with them”.

The initiation rituals undergone by Papuan boys are somewhat at odds with the “communal basket-weaving, accompanied by traditional dance and song”, that, Sandall argues, dominates the image of indigenous cultures in the minds of “ boutique” multiculturalists. Multiculturalist thinking tends to exaggerate the place of art in past communities. Writers enchanted by Aztec art, architecture and poetry often ignore the unspeakable despotism of this warrior and priest-ridden society and their continual wars, waged in pursuit of the 20,000 prisoners needed annually for purposes of human sacrifice. For their neighbours, the arrival of the conquistadors was liberating."

Multiculturalism is an evil masquerading as an enlightened belief. I am all for a diverse society, but the multiculturalism we are spoon fed on a daily basis is a lie based on "feelings" instead of the truth. The plain truth is that some societies are morally superior to others. I am not saying that western society is or has been perfect, but at least we have constantly moved forward to an ever higher level of life.

Here's another excerpt from the article that further illustrates the truth about primitive cultures:

"The Maoris, for example, managed, despite their relatively small numbers, to wipe out about 30 per cent of the indigenous species, including all twelve kinds of Moa, within a century of their arrival in an edenic New Zealand. This took place against the usual background of incessant tribal warfare, and a brutally unfair legal system which was reformed only when, as a result of a series of deals with the white settlers, which benefited the chiefs but not their people, the Maoris were marginalized in their own land and came under European law."

Thursday, August 22, 2002

This was a banner advertisement at National Review that I had been putting off reading. I guess it was the fact that it was written by some 17year old kid. But I finally did read it and this excerpt crystallizes the whole piece:

"I believe the Clinton phenomenon has left deep scars on the soul of American life. Particularly affected are the young who saw parents turn a blind eye to the endless stream of scandals and malfeasance, who preached lofty goals and values but fell short themselves. I wrote this to address this perceived dichotomy and its likely consequences. Adults, who clearly would not want this philanderer for a spouse, or depend on him as a friend, or leave him five minutes with their daughter, or trust him with their legitimate business interests, apparently concluded that for a president he was okay."

Leftists believe that greater governmental control is the answer to every problem that we have or are going to have. That's the crux of this piece by Lowell Ponte. It seems that the world is facing a declining birth rate worldwide in rich and poor nations, and the left has the solution all figured out. More government, of course.

Generally speaking, I believe in less government. We do need government protections, but there are limits to what government can do effectively. I believe in a mix of government and free market solutions to our problems with the emphasis on free markets.

I found this article on Ann Coulter in The New York Observer via The Drudge Report. This is one of those pieces that I had to read because I am a fan of Ann's. Yes, Ann uses incendiary language that many considerate inappropriate and she is quoted in this piece saying that her biggest regret about Timothy McVeigh is that "he did not go to the New York Times Building." Many people consider that way over the top and I may agree somewhat, but I still love the way she writes. Speaking of Ann Coulter, here's her latest article for Frontpage Magazine.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

To paraphrase a rule of economics, you tend to get more of whatever you subsidize. That's the conclusion of this piece by Claudia Rosett. In this case Rosett is speaking about aid bureaucrats. Here's an excerpt:

"In that sense, we are about to witness a mighty meeting in Johannesburg of supply and demand, a global gathering of people engaged in vast transfers of money that keeps aid bureaucrats employed and too often helps keep unattractive potentates in power."

I am not saying that it is wrong to give charitably to nations that need help, but I am saying that unelected global bureacrats, whether they are environmental bureaucrats, human rights bureaucrats, or economic bureaucrats, should be kept on a short leash because sometimes it's not clear whether the money they spend is actually helping the intended recipient or the bureaucrat.

Here's a prime example of how leftists, or liberals if you must think of them that way, see things. The piece is by Mark Steyn and it's a discussion of the gang rapes by Arabs in Australia and Europe. This gets my blood boiling. After one of these rapists is sentenced to 55 years in an Australian prison, some idiot multiculturalist writes that, "As terrible as the crime was, we must not confuse justice with revenge. We need answers. Where has this hatred come from? How have we contributed to it? Perhaps it's time to take a good hard look at the racism by exclusion practised with such a vengeance by our community and cultural institutions." This man, Monroe Reimers, is blaming Australian society because a gang of Arabs raped those women. Other multiculturalists in Europe blame the woman outright by saying that "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes" because their manner of dress would be regarded by Muslim men as inappropriate. "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it." So there we have it. The women are to blame. That's leftwing multiculturalism for you.

These men could just as easily have been speaking about September 11th. It was our fault. What did we do to bring this on ourselves? Just as the poor women in the story are to blame for being raped according to the multiculturalists, we were to blame for being savagely attacked.

Leftists have become morally repugnant.

Good things do happen. Cynthia McKinney, the hate America first democrat lost her primary battle against Denise Majette.

The disheartening part is that if republicans hadn't crossed over and voted in the democratic primary, the democrats would have sent this woman back to DC to continue her anti-American hate with from the well of the House of Representatives. The democrats are infected with anti-American hate and political correctness. This is why I could NEVER be a democrat. The divide and conquer tactics of democrats are not good for America. The democrat habit of classifying people according to their race, income, gender and sexual preference is the only way contemporary democrats can win elections. The fostering of animosity that is identity politics has a corrosive effect on American society. But hey, anything to win an election, right? That's what Bill Clinton taught them. Just win baby.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Patrick Michaels has written this article for National Review exposing the lies the UN and CNN has told about the global environment. A couple of examples:

"Nightmarish reports like the ABC (Asian Brown Cloud) have a way of appearing right before big U.N. environmental conferences — and being proven wrong not long thereafter. In 1995, a Geneva meeting, which gave rise to the infamous Kyoto Protocol on global warming, was prefaced with a breathless pronouncement that we now had climate models that matched the real atmosphere, lending credibility to gloom-and-doom forecasts of climate change. Months later, Nature magazine was compelled to publish a paper showing that the data which the U.N. cited was incomplete, and when all the numbers were put in, the correspondence vanished."

And this:

"The U.N.'s most recent world environment confab occurred last fall in Marrakech. Days before that one, we learned that the poor islanders of Tuvalu were being drowned by sea-level rises caused by global warming. Within days, an article appeared in Science magazine showing that sea level around Tuvalu has been falling, not rising, for most of the last 50 years."

And finally this excerpt exposes the "inaccuracy" of a report by CNN, the UN's greatest supporter in the US:

"The U.N.'s pre-Johannesburg hype prompted CNN to write that the ABC "has led to some erratic weather, including flooding in Bangladesh, Nepal, and northeastern India, [and] drought in Pakistan, and northwestern India." The fact is that there isn't a single shred of scientific evidence to back up those claims. In fact, in its 2001 report, the U.N. noted that there's no evidence for any systematic changes in extreme weather around the planet."

Michael's article further explains that the ABC is caused by poverty, mostly the burning of cheap fuels such as dung.

I simply don't trust the UN because politics are more important to that organization than facts.

Monday, August 19, 2002

This is why I hate unions and their leftwing politics. It's an article in The Washington Times that says that the National Education Association (NEA) has two suggestions for its member on how to discuss the events of September 11th. The first suggestion is that the teachers don't tell the students who did it because they haven't been tried and convicted in a court of law. That's absurd. We all know who did it. The second suggestion is that the teachers tell the students that it was all the United States' fault by urging educators to "discuss historical instances of American intolerance," so that the American public avoids "repeating terrible mistakes." I can't stand it! The United States was attacked by Osama Bin Laden because the US had troops in the Arab holy land. Why did we have troops in the Arab holy land? Because Saddam Hussein had invaded his neighbor Kuwait and further threatened Saudi Arabia. Can anyone imagine what Saddam would have done if he had control of those oil fields and the revenue that goes with them? But the NEA wants teachers to tell students that it was the whole of US foreign policy that incited the Arabs to attack. The attacks of September 11th had nothing to do with Central America, the Palestinians, Southeast Asia or Europe. The attacks were all about the US presence in Saudi Arabia. That is why Osama declared war on us, not any other reason. But the leftists would have people believe that Osama was fighting for all the "oppressed people" of US foreign policy.

Here's what William Lind has to say about the NEA's plan:

"A lot of what's stated in these lesson plans are lies," said William S. Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative policy think tank. "None of what is mentioned in these plans are facts. It's an ultimate sin to now defend Western culture. It does not matter today whether a student learns any facts or any skills. What matters now is the attitude they come away with when they graduate school. "The critics also have trouble with schools teaching about Islam, specifically when teachers describe it as a "peaceful religion." Instead, they say, schools should warn children that the root of the problem lies in Islamic teaching. "There is no such thing as peaceful Islam," Mr. Lind said. "It says that followers should make war on those who believe that Christ is the Messiah."

The good news is that people aren't accepting crap like this from leftists anymore. Before September 11th leftists pretty much got away with anything, but now people are challenging the left and they are screaming that their right to free speech is being suppressed. Their speech isn't being suppressed, it's being challenged.

The trial lawyers are lining up to sue fast food providers for obesity related damages. National Reviews Robert Levy writes that "the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine warns that meat consumption is responsible for $61 billion each year in U.S. medical costs." If you can calculate 30% of 61 billion then you can see why the trial lawyers are lining up for their share of the loot. Levy says that, "This fall, Northeastern University law professor Richard Daynard is holding a strategy session for nearly 100 lawyers interested in suing "Big Food." Only 100? This is probably just the first 100.

David Horowitz writes about the recent reparations march on Washington.

Martin Luther King was a great American who fought for civil rights for all Americans. The reparation seekers are nothing more than shakedown artists. There is no comparison between King and these people and the fact that this march was a failure indicates that many people see those people for what they are.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

What's a a blog you say? Here's a Newsweek piece on the subject.

It's probably a fad that has yet to peak, but who knows where we go from here.

I just read Tony Judt's, "After Victory" at The New Republic. Judt's piece is part book review of Michael Oren's book, "Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East" and part historical analysis of The Six Day War in 1967 and the aftermath. Judt says that the Jews were very much like European socialists before the war:

"The kibbutzim, curious communitarian progeny of an unlikely marriage of Marx and Kropotkin, dominated the cultural landscape no less than the physical one. Even though it was already clear to some observers that the country's future lay in technology, in industry, and in towns, the self-description of Israel drew overwhelmingly on a socialist realist image of agrarian pioneers living in semi-autarkic egalitarian communes."

There was a humbleness and underdog quality that elicited much sympathy from their socialist brethren the Europeans. The Jews were victims; surrounded on all sides by Arabs bent on Israeli destruction. Then the war started and Israel wiped out the Arabs. They were no longer the romantic socialist victims. They had become the arrogant, racist, and colonial conquerors that were so despised by Leftists.

This was the beginning of the end of European support for the Jews. Add to this the need for Arab oil plus large Arab immigrant populations that vote, and one can see why the Europeans are so quick to condemn the Jews for all the problems of the Middle East.

I learned a lot from reading this article. I never realized how military success had changed the Jewish state. It's rather long, but anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the occupied territories should read this piece.

Now The Weekly Standard has examples of the distortions and inaccuracies of The New York Times. It's a pattern of behaviour with the NY Times. They have a political agenda and it infects their news stories.

It's one thing for columnists to write pieces on the editorial pages in support of a position, but it's clear that the NY Times editorializes in straight news stories. The Weekly Standards suggestion to the Times: "Our advice to the Times: Take a break from trying to manipulate American foreign policy, and concentrate on Who, What, When, Where, and Why."

Here's a link to a piece in The Corner that says that Greenpeace has a picture at its website that shows two pictures of glaciers. One picture is today and the other was 80 years ago. Greenpeace is trying to show that this is the result of global warming, but the fact is that this glacier melted in the 1920's according to a glaciologist from that region of the world. I wonder how many people will see those pictures and just accept what Greenpeace says.

Justin Brown asks, Should Woods carry the black man's burden? This article includes this quote by Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post:

"There's a social responsibility that comes with being black in America, regardless of the profession, and that obligation increases exponentially with stature," Wilbon wrote in a recent column. "They're rules adopted out of necessity, even desperation, by the subculture we as black folks inhabit."

"One of the rules is you speak up, even if it means taking some lumps."

What if Tiger speaks up and he says something that black people don't much approve of? What if Tiger speaks up and says that he is against affirmative action or reparations? It is assumed by people like Wilbon that Tiger is like 90% of black people and that he only has one view of issues. And if he, or really any black man, doesn't share the democrat idea of victimization then he would be an outcast among black people. An Uncle Tom. An oreo. "The white man's boy." The only way a black man can truly be accepted is if he supports the idea of victimology that is so widespread among many black leaders. I posted this opinion the other day that tells the story of the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson and what happened to him when he spoke against reparations at a convention of The National Associaton of Black Journalists. Reverend Peterson doesn't believe in reparations and he was roundly booed and jeered and called "the white man's boy" when he spoke his mind. What if, instead of the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, this was Tiger Woods? Would he be "the white man's boy?" Can Tiger speak his mind if he doesn't tow the accepted line among democrats? No he can't and that is the simple truth.

Tiger is a joy to watch. I would prefer if he just played golf and kept his politics to himself.

Well, the Carolina Panthers lost another close game in the final minutes. It's painful to watch. They looked good until the reserves took over in the second half. The Panthers do not have the reserve players that are essential to a winning football team. It's still only preseason, but the lack of depth is glaring and will probably be the biggest shortcoming of the team this year. I want them to do well, but I am also realistic. I predict that they will win about five games this year even though they have a very weak schedule. The Panthers have improved offensively, especially in the running game, but the defensive secondary is going to kill them unless the defensive front four can create enough pressure on the opposing quarterback to force bad throws. The absence of Rashard Anderson was a terrible blow, one they are not likely to recover from this year. Hopefully he will be able to rejoin the team next year.

I hope my predictions are wrong because I would love nothing more than to see them do well.