Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, September 21, 2002

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) imposed record fines against the Democratic Party for accepting illegal campaign contributions from China, Korea, and other foreign nations.

At the time I thought that it was a stretch to accuse President Clinton of compromising national security in exchange for campaign contributions, but that doesn't seem so ridiculous anymore. Considering what I know about the man, I tend to believe that he would be capable of just about anything. That's really sad that I would even think that our president might do something like that. I could never imagine that Ronald Reagan might, in any way, compromise national security for campaign contributions. But Bill Clinton? I have to say I don't know if he could do something like that or not. I just don't know.

James Fallows has an excellent piece in The Atlantic Online that studies the effects of regime change in Iraq in the first day, the first week, the first month, and the first year after the fighting has stopped.

The logistical and moral requirements are staggering. I understand the reasoned opposition to regime change after reading Fallows piece, but I still believe it is necessary. While I don't believe that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with September 11th, I believe that he could very easily give a nuclear weapon to a terrorist group to set off in New York City. That is not some remote possibility.

I am sure President Bush has read something very similar to this, if not this exact piece. I hope we are prepared to deal with the problems that Fallows lays out. If not, we will be hated internationally even more than we are now.

It's Saturday and I still haven't made my football picks? Ok, here they are with my picks in boldface type

Inside the NFL: BEAT THE EXPERTS
WELCOME SeanRoper YOUR SEASON RECORD 15-17

WEEK 3
Sunday September 22, 01:00 PM EDT

Cleveland at Tennessee

NY Jets at Miami

Carolina at Minnesota

Kansas City at New England

New Orleans at Chicago

Dallas at Philadelphia

Indianapolis at Houston

Sunday September 22, 04:05 PM EDT

San Diego at Arizona

Buffalo at Denver

Green Bay at Detroit

Washington at San Francisco

Seattle at NY Giants

Sunday September 22, 08:30 PM EDT

Cincinnati at Atlanta

Monday September 23, 09:00 PM EDT

St. Louis at Tampa Bay

TIEBREAKER: total points scored in Monday Night game: 30

Friday, September 20, 2002

One last article on Eunice Stone and those three muslim men. This one is by Peggy Noonan for The Opinion Journal. Noonan turns the tables and suggests that it was not the southerners, who were accused of racism, who should have been understanding. Those young men should have been the ones who were more understanding about why they are viewed with such suspicion. Noonan explains that these, and other arab muslims, could do a lot to diffuse the mistrust they faced. But they didn't. They made one wrong choice after another. Political correctness demanded that we ignore the threats we faced before September 11th. Racial sensitivity allowed those murderers to kill over 3,000. We can't afford to ignore it when three men of arab descent make similar threats again. They brought this on themselves because of a self-centered demand for understanding and sensitivity. They should have practiced a little of that themselves.

I was one of those people who had decided that I knew all I needed to know about Bobby Knight, the ex-Indiana Hoosier basketball coach. Knight was a bully who seemed capable of all the actions that he was accused of. I had seen his temper and there was little doubt in my mind that Indiana had done the right thing in getting rid of him. That was before I read Michael Ledeen's article at the American Enterprise Online. I am still not 100% convinced, but Ledeen showed me another side of Bobby Knight. A side that I can respect.

Well well well. It seems that Slate has finally woken up to the PC monster that their fellow leftists created all those years ago. Dahlia Lithwick writes that we have a problem on our college campuses with censorship (WHAT!?!?). Yes, it seems that certain groups are using violence and certain other groups are using patriotism to censor speech they disagree with. Please. Where has Dahlia been? I notice that she called it "Wartime censorship" in the title. Like this is something entirely new. Yet another reason for the left to hate the war.

I suspect that they only reason Slate has published this article is because leftists are now being attacked by the PC monster that they created. Frankenstein has turned on its creator and NOW they see a problem. I agree that patriotism may be used to censor speech, but it really pisses me off that the left is only now seeing a problem. Leftists have been silencing speech for more than 30 years, but we never heard a peep because the speech that was being quelled was conservative speech which the left had unilaterally labeled as "hate speech." They have been deciding which speech is allowed on campus for longer than I have been alive. The left did not have a problem with censorship as long as it was conservative speech being censored. What a bunch of unprincipled hypocrites.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

The Christian Science Monitor features a story about how the left is making a comeback in Europe.

That's funny. Not in the strange or peculiar way; more in that it makes me laugh. The only reason the left dominates in Europe is because we defend them. The left in Europe would collapse without the security of the US military. The Europeans live in some fantasy world where the government has seemingly unlimited resources to provide citizens with cradle to grave welfare benefits. They see themselves as more sophisticated and enlightened because they care for their citizens to this degree. But do they give a second thought as to why they can afford this idealistic lifestyle? No. They don't have to make the hard choices between a strong military and welfare because we defend them thus freeing them to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on welfare. They see us as militaristic, barbaric, simplistic, and unsophisticated, but they don't see that we live in the real world. We don't have some benign hegemon to defend us. If they would take a longer view, they would see that their lifestyle depends on our security. The truth is that socialism in Europe will only last as long as the US defends Europe.

Jonah Goldberg is my favorite editorial writer. He teaches me many things and I don't mean that he teaches me his opinions. He does do that, but he also teaches me things that I have never heard of. He explained Postmodern theory so that even my feeble mind could understand it and now he gives me a little economics lesson in his latest piece for National Review Online. Goldberg explains Frederic Bastiat's "broken window" parable and why it is will actually be an economic boon to the people of Iraq even though war is an economically destructive event. The part about why it will be good for the Iraqi people is his opinion, but he lays a logical and reasonable foundation from which he forms his opinion. This is Goldberg at his absolute best.

Jay Nordlinger makes some great points in his Impromptus column for National Review. Things that I haven't even considered which is probably the reason he is paid to express opinion while I do this for fun. Actually, Nordlinger is simply repeating charges that critics have made, but I appreciate how he is able to expound on the issues.

Nordlinger argues that Bush made a mistake in going to the UN to get world support for regime change in Iraq because it makes it looks like he wanted the UN to be a rubber stamp. I know Bush told the UN that if they failed to act that we would do it alone, but it might have been better if he never asked for their help.

I love this quote from the same Impromptus column. I read this several weeks ago, but now that I read it again I have to copy it:

"You will like something uttered by W. (reportedly uttered by W., I should say), transmitted by Bruce Anderson in The (London) Spectator. Mr. Anderson wrote, “Recently, one British visitor was chatting to CIA director George Tenet about the Europeans’ role [in the war]. ‘I’ll tell you exactly what the President said the other day on that very subject,’ said Mr. Tenet. ‘He said, “I don’t give a sh** what the Europeans think.”’”


Wednesday, September 18, 2002

From the Opinion Journal's Best Of The Web column by James Taranto:

You Don't Say--I
"Iraqis Expert at Hiding Weapons"--headline, MSNBC.com, Sept. 17

You Don't Say--II
"Oil Supplies Key to World Economy"--headline, USA Today op-ed piece, Sept. 18

You Don't Say--III
"Crime Can Take Heavy Toll on Needy"--headline, Omaha World-Herald, Sept. 17

You Don't Say--IV
"Insurance Lack Can Affect Family"--headline, Associated Press, Sept. 18

I just love Best of the Web.

800 US special forces soldiers are in Djibouti, a small nation in the African continent opposite Yemen. That's according to this story at Fox News. The placement of these troops appears to be a preparation for an exercise in Yemen. Wow, did I just read that right? The article says that it's not clear whether Yemen would approve, but I can't imagine that we would do anything like that without their permission. Can you imagine the worldwide outcry if we went into Yemen right now?

Yemen is the where the USS Cole was bombed while anchored in port in 2000. 17 US sailors died in that attack.

I am not doing well on my football picks. I am 15-17 after going 7-9 this past weekend. In my defense, I had developed a formula that failed me. I went against my own better judgement in some of the picks, but to be honest I don't think I would have done a lot better. Oh well. I just hope I do better this coming weekend.

Daniel Pipes is an expert on the Middle East. He recently wrote a short piece for the New York Post contrasting the pro-Palestinians supporters and the pro-Israel supporters on college campuses. In short, he shows that the pro-Palestinians supporters are intolerant and violent. They can accurately be described as leftwing extremists. They use violence as a means to stop free speech. Many of the pro-Israel supporters are probably leftists, but I think most of the support that Israel receives comes from the right these days because they are the only democracy in the Middle East. The pro-Israel supporters are much more tolerant and not at all violent. Here's how Mr. Pipes describes the two sides:

"Or, in the most elemental terms, we see here the contrast between the civilized nature of Israel and its friends versus the raw barbarism of Israel's enemies."

Exactly. No one can dispute this.

I agree with Tammy Bruce. I believe Eunice Stone. I think those young men said exactly what she accused them of saying. I can't give any proof except that I heard Ms. Stone tell her story several times on the day of the incident in question. I also saw the three young men in an interview and they were not believable, at least to me.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

I just discovered that Elliot Kalb is writing a weekly column for HBO sports. This weeks column features a story about the Carolina Panthers-Detroit Lions. Kalb reveals (to me at least) that four Fox television affiliates bought the remaining tickets so that the Panthers-Lions game could be televised in North Carolina. I had no idea. I am grateful.

The French don't share our idea of free speech. This story from the BBC is about a French author on trial for insulting remarks he made about Islam in a book. Via The Corner.

Niggard n: a stingy person: a miser

John Derbyshire writes about a controversy over the use of this word by a fourth grade teacher in North Carolina. Derbyshire wonders what other words or phrases will be banned by the PC thought police.

Fox News' Tongue Tied is a look at politically correct stories that have made headlines. My favorite (or rather the one I find the most noteworthy) is the story about how pro-Palestinian protesters rioted to prevent the former Israeli Prime Minister from speaking at a university in Montreal. This is typical of leftists (or liberals if you must think of them that way). The left decides which speech is acceptable. Never mind the idea of free speech. If THEY determine that the speech is unacceptable, they have decided that it is okay for them to censor such speech. This is what the left does. They use violence to enforce their ideas.

This is exactly the behaviour that John Ray referred to in those two articles I linked to earlier. This is what Hitler did, this is what Stalin did, and this is what Pol Pot did. These men slaughtered millions of people to further the leftwing agenda, and it should be obvious that leftists are using a watered down version of those tactics today. Beware of leftists, especially when they take power because the riot in Montreal would be nothing compared to what they are capable of.

What are the odds that we would have ANOTHER voting mess in Florida so soon after the 2000 election? Evidently, the odds are pretty good when you have morons voting. Dave Barry offers advice on how confusion can be avoided in the future. Via Andrew Sullivan.

Monday, September 16, 2002

While I was at The New Republic I read an article about President Bush's tax cut called Suddenly, Triangulation Doesn't Look So Bad.

I disagree with the basic premise of the article. The New Republic frames the entire tax cut as a tax cut for the rich. I am not wealthy by any means and I noticed a big difference in my paycheck as a result of the tax cut. Also, TNR ignores the fact that the senators and representatives have a horrible record of fiscal responsibility. They completely ignore that our elected leaders are not able to control themselves when it comes to spending our money. Yes, I would rather have spent down the national debt than to receive a tax cut. But that is not what would have happened. Those people would have squandered that money just like they have done a hundred times in the past. If it was a choice between leaving that money in D.C. to be squandered, or sending that money back to the people who earned it, then I have to vote to send that money out of D.C. I wish President Bush would have framed the issue just that way because if he had, the choice would have been very clear to the American people. Instead, Bush allowed the democrats to cast the issue as a rich vs poor issue. He allowed the democrats to argue that it would be better to pay down the debt. If I were him, I would have laughed in their face for lying to the American people. There would have been no paying down the debt. Those jerks, republicans and democrats, would have used that money to buy more votes by sending that money home to their districts in the form of pork barrel spending.

A new tax cut is not a good idea because of the war, but I am glad he was able to get that money out of D.C. when he did. I give him a lot of credit for doing that at least.

The New Republic, a center left magazine, says that making the war an election issue is perfectly reasonable. The democrats are delaying. They don't want to go on record supporting the war because that would help President Bush and upset many leftists that vote democrat which would very likely cost them quite a few votes. How many more votes would that mean to Nader? They can't oppose the war because it is supported by many of their constituents and because many of the leaders of the democratic party were defending military action against Iraq just 4 years ago when Saddam was less of a threat than he is now. If Daschle and Gephardt came out against the war now, the republicans would eat them up for blatant hypocrisy and for playing politics with out lives.

The democrats are in a real spot right now.

Sallie Baliunas writes in Tech Central Station that there is a rat problem in Los Angeles and that it's being blamed on global warming.

Is there any problem that is not blamed on global warming? What makes it so bad is that uninformed people in LA will spread this lie like it's the gospel. Soon, it'll be a featured story on CNN and then it will really become a "fact."

Say it ain't true Snoop Dogg! Tell us it wasn't all just an act to sell records!

Of course it was. Too often the image is not real. Look at P Diddy (aka Sean Combs). He was never the hardcore ghetto dweller that he would have had people believe at the beginning of his career. He was middle class and he lived in the suburbs. Most musicians and rappers are products of some records companies imagination. It's hype (I actually heard one young rapper refer to his music as "hype", but he meant it a good sense, like when someone says something is "dope" or "phat").

So now we find out that Calvin Broadus was just playing a character. Big surprise.

I just finished reading John Ray's long piece for Frontpage Magazine titled, The Psychology Underlying "Liberalism". This article follows another piece about leftists titled, What Are Leftists?

Both of Ray's pieces are detailed examinations of the type of personality that creates a leftist. Ray says that leftists are "motivated by strong ego needs — needs for power, attention, praise and fame." I think he is on to something here. Leftists overwhelmingly see themselves as morally superior to others. They also tend to believe that they are more enlightened on social policy than others.

There are many quotes I could pull out of Ray's piece in support of arguments, but I hope you will just read those two pieces. I would like to pull one quote though:

"They just cannot afford to have people realize that ALL the great mass-murders of the 20th century were the product of Leftism."

This is an important point. This tendency is very much alive in the people we know as liberals.

Ray has done an excellent job of pointing out the danger in the lefts' seemingly innocuous behaviour. Beware of the leftwing intellectual. His ideas represent an evil that should not be underestimated.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

We got your ass! Via the Drudge Report.

What's more, he was caught on September 11, 2002. How fitting.

Tropical storm Hanna is helping to alleviate the severe drought in my region of the world. Thank God. The rain started Friday night and continues even now. The forecast is for more rain through at least Monday.

The Carolina Panthers are officially on a win streak. They have won two games in a row (three if you count the last preseason game) and are looking like a dominant defensive team. The Panthers beat the Detroit Lions 31-7 today and are no longer the worst team in the NFL. That distinction now belongs to the Lions. Go Panthers!