Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, August 31, 2002

I have been working on my blog tonight and once again I would like to thank EchoEcho.com for all their HTML help. I really could not have done it without them. I can recommend their tutorials because I have very little programming experience (a semester each of BASIC, Visual BASIC, and 2 semesters of ladder logic programming) and I was able to create a list of my favorite sites and align them so that they looked halfway decent.

James Robbins writes that the same arguments against war in Iraq in 1990 are being made today, and often it's by the same people.

I can't stand Chris Matthews because he has a habit of saying the stupidest things. Here's an example with the link provided:

"Chris Matthews recently painted a fanciful picture of American troops parachuting directly into the Iraqi capital (despite the unfortunate experience of some U.S. 82nd Airborne troopers who landed in St. Mére Eglise the early morning of June 6, 1944 and were slaughtered) and getting into various unfortunate situations. He concludes that "this invasion of Iraq, if it goes off, will join the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Desert One, Beirut and Somalia in the history of military catastrophes."

This from a man who was more concerned with non-US citizens so-called "rights" in the wake of September 11th than he was in protecting US citizens lives. Me? If it's a choice between protecting US citizens lives in the long term or non-citizens "rights" in the short term, I choose to protect the lives. But that's just me. Matthews is an idiot. Does he really think our military will be so stupid? Yes he does.

Victor Davis Hanson in National Review remembers all the questions the handwringers had during the Gulf War, the debate over whether we should go into to Baghdad in 1992, the attack on Milosevic in 1999, and the Afghan War.

Nick Schulz writes from the Earth Summit in Johannesburg that, while the public America bashing continues unabated, the behind the scenes story is the bashing that Europe is taking for it's policies that are keeping the poor in developing nations poor. Here's some of what's being said:

"European consumers are paying to destroy livelihoods in some of the world’s poorest countries," said a representative from Oxfam, the development agency. At issue are European crop subsidies and farm supports, such as those for sugar growers. Oxfam goes on: "An agricultural commodity that could play a real part in poverty alleviation in southern Africa does not do so" because European price supports make African sugar uncompetitive.

"EU Policies Keep the Poor, Poor," blared a headline in the environmental publication TerraViva. "[Europeans] are rich and could give us a chance to live," said a sugar-cane farmer in Mozambique."

The article goes on to say that the US has farm subsidies, but "it is nothing like the European protection measures that are three times greater than U.S. supports."

Shulz reports that the US has come to Johannesburg armed with real ideas to alleviate poverty that are contrary to European characterizations of the US as an uncaring unilateral hyperpower. Good for us.

I just read the results of two different polls that asked Americans what they thought about an invasion of Iraq. The results of the CNN/Time poll says 51% support an invasion of Iraq. According to the poll, 49% of Americans believe a war against Iraq "would lead to a long and costly war before the United States could claim victory; another one in seven believe the United States would eventually have to withdraw from Iraq without a victory." Say what? 49% believe that!? Was this 49% of Americans alive during the Gulf War? Hello? 15% more believe that the US would have to withdraw without a victory? I can't believe that many Americans are really so stupid. I'm sorry, but what other reason would those people have for saying such an ignorant thing.

The other poll I read was the Fox News poll conducted by Opinion Dynamics. This poll says that 69% of Americans support military action against Iraq. Fox News' poll says that "support for taking action softens when qualifiers are placed on the use of U.S. troops, such as the loss of a significant number of soldiers' lives and prolonged war. When these qualifiers are added, support for military action drops to about half of the public."

I tend to believe the Fox poll. There are probably some people who believe that a war in Iraq would be long and costly, but 49%!?! I question CNN/Times methods. Who is CNN/Time polling? 49% is such an unbelievably high number that I have to believe they are polling children, the mentally ill, homeless people who can't follow the news, or maybe a high number of respondents were Arabs. Or maybe they are just polling people who read Time or watch CNN. That makes sense. CNN and Time are leftwing media outlets and they do present news with a definite liberal spin. I don't know what the answer is, but when I read that 49% of respondents to a CNN/Time poll believe that a war in Iraq would be "long and costly" I have to wonder about the methods of the poll.

Friday, August 30, 2002

Bill Maher of "Politically Incorrect" fame has a weblog of sorts. He also has a message board where I took the opportunity to tell him what I thought of his politics, his career as a comedian, and his former show. Here's what I wrote:

Bill Maher lists his daily reads as "The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today." No matter how many times Maher says that he is "libertarian" (what a crock), his daily reads reveal his far left politics. If that is what he considers must reads on a daily basis then it's apparent why he has the leftwing ideas that he has. I watched his show and it used to drive me nuts that he would have, every time I saw it, four lefties (including himself) and one conservative. By the end of the show it would be four against one. Hey Bill, I was one of those people who wrote to ABC. I told them that I wouldn't watch your show ever again and it was mostly because the show was horribly biased. I love you as a comedian. You are very funny, but your show was not "Politically Incorrect." It was in fact very politically correct because you ALWAYS had an overwhelming number of liberals on the show, and as we all know, liberals ARE the epitome of political correctness. If you get the chance for another show, I hope that you will be more balanced and less derisive of conservatives. Yes, you made a sport of skewering conservatives because they disagreed with your leftwing ideas and that, in the end, cost you your show.

I also wrote another letter to Harvard Magazine after I read this book excerpt at their site. The excerpt is from a book titled, "Abolish The White Race." Here's my letter:

To: yourturn@harvard.edu
From: Sean Roper
Subject: Abolish The White Race

Editors

I just read the vile, hatefilled, racist, and evil excerpt of the book, "Abolish the White Race" at Harvard Magazine. I am stunned. I cannot believe what you people have allowed to be published by your magazine. Is it really okay to hate white people so much? When will the KKK be publishing their piece, "Abolish the Black People?"

You have provided a forum for blatant hate masquerading as enlightened progressivism. This is why I am not a progressive. I am not filled with racist hate against any group. Is it really tolerant to hate white people so much? Is this what progressives believe, that racial hatred is tolerable as long as it's directed against the proper group. Many people would rightly point out that it is hypocritical and willfully ignorant. Is this the state of America's most respected educational institution? HARVARD.....Hatefilled And Racist Vanguard Against Racial Diversity.

Sean Roper

I didn't give the letter much thought as you can probably tell. When I am moved to write a letter I usually just send what I write the first time. I don't do much editing.

It's turning out to be a letter writing day. I just wrote a short letter to the editor after I read this piece at The Black World Today. The article I read says that the Millions for Reparations march was a wonderful success that black America should be supporting. My letter to the editor says:

To: editors@tbwt.net
From: Sean Roper
Subject: The Millions for Reparations March......

.........is, was, always will be, a shakedown.

Sean Roper

I miss Larry Elder's television show, "Moral Court." I especially liked how he would cut through the bullshit and tell the people in no uncertain terms that they were wrong. No gray areas there. What happened to that show?

At least I still get to read Larry Elder's column each week at Frontpage Magazine.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Michael Rubin in The New Republic predicts an invasion of Iraq would be quickly followed by a complete collapse of the Iraqi army. He says that the people of Iraq hate Saddam and have no reason to fight for him. Rubin describes the most likely invasion strategy and says that the Iraqi army would crumble like a house of cards. Here's what the former Eqyptian Chief of Staff said recently:

"The Iraqi army has no chance whatsoever to stand steadfast and will fall like a castle of sand."

Anyone who thinks that an invasion would be long and bloody has no idea what they are talking about.

James Glassman writes in Tech Central Station that President Bush was correct in not attending the world summit in Johannesburg. The Greens wanted to use the forum to bash the US over global warming, but since Bush did not attend, the summit is instead focusing on economic growth for people in developing countries. Here are some hopeful quotes from Glassman's article:

"Academic research has shown repeatedly that, once people attain a decent standard of living, they quickly start cleaning up their environment. But for the poor, economic growth must come first. And, against all odds, that theme is beginning to dominate this conference."

"Reuters also reported on the most important extracurricular activity of the day, a demonstration outside the conference center, "where 200 poor farmers and local street traders from nearby shanty townships shouted slogans demanding freer trade."

The demonstrators carried signs stating, "Profits, Not Poverty." One of the leaders, Barun Mitra, an Indian farmer leading about 30 other farmers from his country, told Reuters, "We want the freedom to grow what we want, when we want, with what technology we want, and without trade-distorting subsidies or tariffs."

By "technology," Mitra was referring to agriculture using biotechnology. The European Union has placed a moratorium on genetically modified imports, to the detriment of farmers like Mitra—not to mention European consumers."

I really thought this was going to be another hate-America conference, but it appears that logic and real discussions are taking place.

Ann Coulter has written a typically delicate and sensitive article for Frontpage Magazine. Yea, right. Here's the link to her latest piece.

I love you Ann.

I just read Why Arabs Lose Wars by Norvell B De Atkine. The piece is an examination of the Arab military culture, but it's also an reflection of the larger social and political culture. Some excerpts:

"On one occasion, an American mobile training team working with armor in Egypt at long last received the operators’ manuals that had laboriously been translated into Arabic. The American trainers took the newly minted manuals straight to the tank park and distributed them to the tank crews. Right behind them, the company commander, a graduate of the armor school at Fort Knox and specialized courses at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds ordnance school, promptly collected the manuals from those crews. Questioned why he did this, the commander said that there was no point in giving them to the drivers because enlisted men could not read. In point of fact, he did not want enlisted men to have an independent source of knowledge. Being the only person who could explain the fire control instrumentation or bore sight artillery weapons brought prestige and attention."

"American military instructors dealing with Middle Eastern students learn to ensure that, before directing any question to a student in a classroom situation, particularly if he is an officer, the student does possess the correct answer. If this is not assured, the officer may feel he has been deliberately set up for public humiliation. In the often-paranoid environment of Arab political culture, he may then become an enemy of the instructor, and his classmates will become apprehensive about their also being singled out for humiliation — and learning becomes impossible."

"Most Arab armies treat enlisted soldiers like sub-humans. When the winds in Egypt one day carried biting sand particles from the desert during a demonstration for visiting U.S. dignitaries, I watched as a contingent of soldiers marched in and formed a single rank to shield the Americans; Egyptian soldiers, in other words, are used on occasion as nothing more than a windbreak."

"The show-and-tell aspects of training are frequently missing because officers refuse to get their hands dirty and prefer to ignore the more practical aspects of their subject matter, believing this below their social station. A dramatic example of this occurred during the Gulf War when a severe windstorm blew down the tents of Iraqi officer prisoners of war. For three days they stayed in the wind and rain rather than be observed by enlisted prisoners in a nearby camp working with their hands."

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Apparently France isn't the only European country with an Arab Muslim assimilation problem. According to this article by Daniel Pipes Denmark is having the exact same problems. Is leftwing Europe racist or does the problem lie within the religion of Islam? I can't say, but Denmark recently voted out the socialist party that was responsible for the open immigration policy and voted in a center-right party that promised to reform immigration.

I believe that Europe is experiencing effects of September 11th and I think they are in deep denial about it. I think it was Robert Kagan that said that Europe is very much like the townspeople in the movie "High Noon" and America is Gary Cooper. We are running around town trying to get some help, but all we are finding is people who are feel that we are getting what we deserve or people who just want us to go away so the problem will go away. The bottom line is the townspeople were no help to Gary Cooper and in the end he left town in utter contempt of the bunch of them. I think that is a pretty accurate assessment. I think many Americans have new found contempt for the "townspeople."

Roger Clegg discusses a New York Times article that quotes a study by the Justice Policy Institute. The Institute's survey says that the number of black men in prison has quintupled in the past 20 years. The NAACP thinks that the reason that all these men are in prison is because the government doesn't properly fund educations. Clegg asks some very relevant questions and ultimately points out two alternate reasons why black men are disproportionately incarcerated:

"The American government is to blame for decisions by some of its citizens to commit crimes? It hurts the black community to put criminals in jail—even though blacks are disproportionately the victims of crime? If the government gave more money to colleges then crime rates would go down? There is a tension between law enforcement and education? No, the fact is that relatively high crime rates and relatively poor academic performance among blacks are both traceable to social pathologies (7 in 10 blacks are born out of wedlock) and attitudes (studying hard is acting white) that must be addressed by African Americans themselves--but the NAACP doesn’t like to talk about that."


James Lileks is one of those writers that I would never have heard about if I hadn't discovered weblogging. I just read his newest screed and had to make a link to it. I give this screed my highest recommendation. It's such a shame that Lileks isn't writing for a major publication. His work always inspired and usually very funny. This piece is excellent.

This is so cool! Ok, you probably won't care, but I am very excited. I just did a Google search for my name because of something I found on my site meter and my name turns up. I am listed as an Instapundit inspired blogger. Yes, Glenn Reynolds was my inspiration and I vaguely remember sending my name to Jeff Wolfe for a list he was making of Instapundit inspired bloggers. Well, he added my name. I can now be found at least two times on Googles search engine (The other listing is for one of my first posts. I don't want to go into any detail, let's just leave it at that). I'm giddy. Hell, if I knew what to search for I might find that I am listed more than twice. Think I won't look? Yes, that's right my ego will demand it. I can't help it. It's affirming to find out that you are listed on a search engine. There's a voice in my head saying in a really deep and dramatic voice, "I blog, therefore I am." It's exciting to me to find that words that I have written are listed among the results to someone's search. I should probably get a life huh? Too late, I just found another reference TO ME at Junius (scroll down) which is a weblog by Chris Bertram. I had nearly forgotten that I had even written to him. It was a long time ago. I used to write so many letters to people that I started worrying that one of them was going to send me a virus for being such an a-hole. I can't find anything else, dagnabit. It's getting late and I need my bed.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Do you surf the web at work? This from MSNBC says that a survey found that one out of four employees spends one whole day a week surfing the web in non-work-related activities. Good work if you can get it.

Have you heard how well the delegates at the Earth Summit are being treated? Check this out and I hope you are outraged. Can you imagine if this was a capitalist meeting? This is not a summit of moderates from around the world. This is the UN. These people are socialists, but they expect to be treated very well. This is the worldwide aid bureaucracy and they are just as interested in maintaining this lifestyle as they are in providing for the poor.

This is one of the hypocrisies of left wing politics. Very often lefties are wealthy people who haven't got a clue what it is like to be poor and to struggle for life.

Stanley Kurtz discusses the left and the right's reaction to patriotic songs in the wake of September 11th in this piece titled, "Those 9/11 Songs." Kurtz compares Bruce Springsteen's album, "The Rising" to Toby Keith's song, "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue." Kurtz says that both are patriotic, but the interesting thing is how the liberal media elites have reacted to the two pieces.

The fact that the left disapproves of patriotic music does not surprise me. Many of these people simply hate America and would like nothing more than to see it changed in a radical and undemocratic way.

The title of Michael Fumento's piece in National Review magazine could very well be, "Wealthy Limousine Liberal from India Advocates Starvation for Poor," but that is something that leftwing publications do. Fumento takes Time Magazine to task for pronouncing Vandana Shiva a hero. This woman is opposed to biotechnology as it relates to food production. This is the very technology that has prevented famines in India and has kept that nation from having to borrow massive amounts of money to buy food. Also, this technology has prevented deforestation that would have been necessary otherwise.

Here's an excerpt from Fumento's piece that could apply to America's wealthy leftists too, especially Hollywood leftists:

"Shiva was born into wealth and her soft palms have never worked a plow. Weighing in on the heavy side of "pleasantly plump," hunger to her is something she reads about in the newspapers.

Only such bluebloods have the resources to buy into agrarian sentimentalism."

Monday, August 26, 2002

The pace of reform in Iran is not fast enough for the young people. Growing discontent could mean a violent revolution although that seems unlikely. What seems more likely is a collapse of the religious authority much like the collapse of the Soviet Union. The British paper The Observer features this story of how the young people of Iran are pushing the social envelopes.

Occasionally I read something that really pisses me off. I read Joe Bob Briggs' Week In Review and the first paragraph nearly caused the top of my head to blow off. I did manage to read the rest of his column, but I had to send him this letter in response to that first paragraph:

Hey somebody tell Joe Bob Briggs that an overwhelming amount of evidence is showing that global warming is quite possibly a fabrication of leftwing enviromentalists. I offer these links for the him to read so that he will stop with the global environmental insinuations and outright lies.

First: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/26/opinion/26LOMB.html

Second: http://www.techcentralstation.be/2051/wrapper.jsp?PID=2051-100&CID=2051-082102A

Third: http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-michaels082002.asp

Do I really have to go on? I know, I know you didn't come out and actually say anything. You IMPLIED. Your implication was that President Bush is an idiot and that he is stupid if he doesn't believe the Greens when they make environmental pronouncements. YOU IMPLIED. That is your cover. You can IMPLY all you want and when someone challenges you, you can say, "Well, I didn't really SAY that President Bush is stupid and I didn't SAY that global warming is fact." No, you IMPLIED it. It's a very effective tactic. It gives you cover when presented with contrary evidence. Please Joe Bob, learn more about what you are talking about. Reading leftwing environmental press releases is not nearly enough.

Sean Roper

Lizzie Grubman plowed her car into a crowd of people outside of a nightclub and Eli Lehrer of National Review is arguing that her two months prison sentence, 5 years probation, and community service is too much punishment for what she did. Is he serious? I am stunned that he even says this. Hell, I would give her a lot more time than this, especially considering the circumstances. I am sure she told the court that, "it was an accident and I am very sorry Your Honor for the events that transpired that evening. This was just a horrible accident." I don't buy it for a minute. From all indications this woman is a spoiled rotten brat that was told that she couldn't park her Mercedes SUV where she wanted to. She got mad and had a tantrum. She's just lucky that I wasn't the judge.

I don't read Jay Nordlinger's column Impromptus very often. I don't know why really, but I'm gonna start reading it. It's bloggerish in format and that's probably why I like it so much. Anyway, I recommend it very much.

Wow. Even the New York Times is saying that environmental pollution is highly exaggerated (short registration required). Here is some of what they say in the editorial:

"Why does the developed world worry so much about sustainability? Because we constantly hear a litany of how the environment is in poor shape. Natural resources are running out. Population is growing, leaving less and less to eat. Species are becoming extinct in vast numbers. Forests are disappearing. The planet's air and water are getting ever more polluted. Human activity is, in short, defiling the earth — and as it does so, humanity may end up killing itself.

There is, however, one problem: this litany is not supported by the evidence. Energy and other natural resources have become more abundant, not less so. More food is now produced per capita than at any time in the world's history. Fewer people are starving. Species are, it is true, becoming extinct. But only about 0.7 percent of them are expected to disappear in the next 50 years, not the 20 percent to 50 percent that some have predicted. Most forms of environmental pollution look as though they have either been exaggerated or are transient — associated with the early phases of industrialization. They are best cured not by restricting economic growth but by accelerating it."

I am very surprised to read this at the Times.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

The Earth Summit is just getting started in Johannesburg, South Africa and the America bashing is already starting. I am so sick of the whole world. I am ready for the US to just pull out of Europe, pull out of the UN, pull out of NATO, pull out of the International Monetary Fund, and tell the world to go fuck themselves. We are to blame for everything. We do nothing right and we are the greatest evil the world has ever seen. Why do we always have to be to blame for the worlds problems? I'm just sick of it all. The US does so much for world stability and has for the past 60 odd years. We have done more for the world good than the rest of the world combined. We stood up to communism when no one else could, our navy makes sure the high seas are safe for world trade by guaranteeing open sea lanes, our military presence ensures that Europe is free and that they don't start another world war, our technological prowess has virtually created all the high tech wonders that we live with today, we are the world's economic engine, and we are the model of democracy. But to hear the world tell it, we are the biggest problem that the world has. We are the cause of all the world's problems. We are an evil, arrogant, unilateralist, hyperpower bully. Sometimes I wish we would give the world what it seems to want and just isolate ourselves. The world would explode in violence. Wars would break out on virtually every continent. Democracy would come under assault in every region of the world. The world would regress in every measure of human achievement.

I would never actually be an isolationist, but sometimes it seems that the world thinks they would be better off without us. I hope that they really don't believe that. I hope they understand, at least on some level, that we are very much like the walls of the fort. If we get torn down, God help the people inside those walls.

I found this article by Christopher Caldwell via Robert Locke's site. I am surprised that I didn't read this article when it first appeard at The Weekly Standard, but I am glad that I did eventually get to read it.

France has a very big problem. Arab Muslim assimilation into French culture is not going very well and the attacks of September 11th have highlighted the problem. I suggest that anyone who is interested in the future of US-European relations needs to read this piece because this will be a factor in our diverging national priorities.

John Derbyshire writes in National Review that Tony Blair may be in trouble in Britain. No, the Tories aren't the threat. The threat is in his own Labour party. The reason Blair is in trouble is because Blair has been supportive of America and, as Derbyshire points out, the British Labour party is "an assemblage of hate-America love-the-world tree-huggers, with a leavening of old-line Marxists, pacifists, and immigrant Muslims." Derbyshire says that the average Labour party constituency worker "has a job title something like Health Service Community Relations Liaison Officer, sports a NO NUCLEAR POWER sticker on his car bumper, and got a not-very-good degree in sociology from a second-rate university." Talk about being leftwing. And the leftwing has a solid grip on British politics (There are 659 members in the House of Commons, 410 of Blair's party and another 65 of parties even further left).

The bottom line is that craven appeasement is the only weapon that impotent Europe has. They know we won't attack them, so they have rationalized a pro-Arab, anti-American and anti-Israel position.

Here's Derbyshire's prediction for Britain:

"Blair is a clever little chap, though, and he will find a way to retain the affection of his party, and probably of the electorate, too, by ratting on us. He probably has it all worked out already, down to the very words he will say to express his "regret" that he cannot go along with an "ill-advised" and "premature" operation, undertaken before some blathering U.N.-sponsored "process" or other has been given the opportunity to "bring Saddam to the table." There has hardly ever been such a master of weasel words as Tony Blair — ask an Ulsterman. He'll rat on us, his party will applaud, and his electorate won't care. You heard it here first."




I can breathe a little bit easier. Glenn Reynolds has a link to this piece on transnational progressivism. The piece is by James Bennett and it is called, "Anglosphere: Cracks in the Wall."

I just found out about Transnational Progressivism and it scared the crap out of me. I am relieved to find out that there is a growing resistance to this movement. Here's yet another reason for me to thank God that George Bush is our president:

"It was the advent of George W. Bush in 2001 that signaled an end to the seeming global unanimity on the progress of the transnational progressive agenda. By withdrawing from or refusing to ratify a number of highly visible international structures, including the Kyoto Agreement, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the International Criminal Court, the Bush administration presented the first substantial threat to the transnational progressive agenda."

It really concerns me that I had no idea how close we were coming to being ruled by unelected transnational bureaucrats. How much deeper would the US have gotten in the transnational movement if Al Gore had been elected? The threat is still there, but now that they have been exposed, I am hopeful they can be stopped.