Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Class is in session and Professor Goldberg has the floor.

Today's lesson is an argument against the near universal translation of the Lord Acton quote that, " Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Goldberg is arguing against the way that quote is applied because it's distorted from it's original meaning.

An exceptional piece by an exceptional mind.

Russian special forces stormed the Moscow theater to bring an end to the four day standoff between Chechen terrorists and Russian authorities.

I am just glad it ended with so few deaths. It could have been much worse.

On another note, I hate to say this, but Fox News Channel should be embarrassed at how badly CNN beat them to get the details of this story. I was watching TV last night when the news broke that Russian soldiers had stormed the theater and CNN was on the air for a looooong time with the story before Fox News broke the news. CNN also had better reporting with footage of the scene and coverage of the press conference by the lead Russian authority. I can't stand CNN's leftwing bias, mostly because they deny they have one, but they did whoop Fox News Channel last night. That's not the first time I have noticed it too. This happens repeatedly, I'm sorry to say.

John Muhammad may very well have been part of a terrorist organization. According to The Bellingham Herald (via Andrew Sullivan), Muhammad was traveling all over the place.....on airplanes....while living in homeless shelters. The man had no job, but he was jetting to New Orleans, Denver, possibly to Jamaica and the Caymans.

Andrew Sullivan has an article in Salon.com about the bigotry of the left. This article shows one reason why I say that leftists should not be referred to as "liberal." Here's an excerpt:

"When a black public person like Harry Belafonte calls another African-American a slave to white masters, you see what I mean. When defenders of feminism call someone who files a sexual harassment lawsuit "trailer-trash," you get the picture. When a gay man can write a column asserting that another man is a "nasty faggot," it's hard to think of how much lower the discourse can get. When liberals denigrate the president as a "boy" or as a "sissy," to quote Maureen Dowd, homophobia doesn't lurk far behind.

I remember a brief interaction I had with one Barbra Streisand long, long ago when the Paula Jones suit had just been filed. I asked Ms. Streisand what she thought of the suit. "Oh, she's just a little kurva," she replied, referring to Jones. That's a yiddish expression for "whore." Charming.

Again, the simple test here is the following: If a conservative had used these expressions, would it have been denounced by liberals? The answer, obviously, is yes. Imagine if George Will had called Colin Powell a "house slave." Imagine if Pat Buchanan had called Barney Frank a "nasty faggot." Imagine if Trent Lott had called Hillary Clinton a whore. Do you think they'd be invited on "Larry King Live" to further elaborate on their comments?"

Sullivan's article is about bigotry on the left so he doesn't go into the political intolerance of the left on college campuses. College leftists are highly intolerant of any speech that opposes the fundamentals of leftwing politics. Conservative speakers are rarely invited, but when they are they are usually under heavy guard because of the threat of violence or they end up having their speech cut short by hecklers who basically shout down the speaker. The conservative speakers I am talking about are not some neo-Nazi or klan member who is spouting pure racial hatred. I am talking about people who simply disagree with affirmative action, reparations, or who simply think that little girls are treated better than little boys in schools (Christina Hoff Sommers was told by a college professor to "shut the fuck up, bitch" because she said that at a forum....it goes against leftwing orthodoxy....yes, it happened).

The left is a highly intolerant collection of individual hyphenated groups. These groups simply cannot afford to have an honest discussion about their issues because they will not stand up to logic and reason. Many of these groups main issues are based on emotions. That's to say that they came to the conclusions they arrived at based mostly on their feelings. That's why they get angry enough to threaten or shout down speakers. They don't want to hear reasoned arguments attacking their positions because they understand that their positions are not rooted in fact, logic, or reason and will crumble when exposed. That's the only conclusion a person can come to. If they were solidly rooted in reality, they would be able to withstand any contrary argument. That's why some have such a violent and emotional reaction to conservative speakers. The truth hurts and they simply can't stand it.

Friday, October 25, 2002

David Frum uses the last day in his week-long series of editorials to argue a truth instead of dispelling a myth. Frum's says: The truth: America is indeed subverting the Middle East and I agree with him. I agree that we are done with the status quo and I agree with Frum when he says:

"And that is why so many Europeans with an interest in the Arab world and its oil have urged America to learn to live with terror: to be realistic, to adjust, to accommodate - as they have had to do. And it is America's refusal to be realistic in this way that, more than anything else, has puzzled, vexed and even enraged so many in Europe and in Britain."

One of the first arguments I heard from Europeans in the days after September 11, 2001 was that Europe had been living with terror for a long time. Those people were saying that we should calm down and accept the fact that now we were going to have to learn to live with terror too. They had learned to live with it and that is what we had to do too. Oh that pissed me off. I told the Europeans in Soapbox that they could live with terror if they wanted, but that we have decided to NOT live with terror. It was about that time that the French foreign minister said that our leaders were being simplistic in our response to those attacks. It was simple. We were attacked by terrorists and we decided that we were not going to live that way. Nothing complicated about that.

There is another quote in Frum's piece that really caused me to stop:

"As Saudi Arabia's veteran ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar, told the Washington Post in a report this February: '"If the reputation . . . builds that the Saudis take care of friends when they leave office, you'd be surprised how much better friends you have who are just coming into office.'"

The man was advertising for people to oppose action against Iraq by promising payoffs for the person when they leave office. That's the context of that quote within Frum's piece. I guess I was naive if I didn't understand that that happens in DC, but the flagrant nature of the offer surprised me. I mean the man was coming right out and saying that payoffs would be made. It's that clear what he meant. No wonder politicians are seen as so sleazy and despicable. Who knows who is being paid off?

I can't say I am familiar with the British paper, The Mirror, except that they have a reputation for being leftwing and anti-American. Given those two bits of information it was very surprising for me to find a link at Glenn Reynolds's site Instapundit for a pro-American editorial in the Mirrors online site. Professor Reynolds has another link that shows that the Mirror has seen a decline in it's readership that may be attributable to that newspapers strident anti-American editorials. I hope so.

Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minn) died today in a plane crash that also took the lives of his wife, daughter, two pilots and three of his aides.

I recognized that Senator Wellstone was a principled Democrat (he could more accurately be described as a Socialist) so I can honestly say that while I strongly disagreed with him I had respect for him because, as far as I could tell, he believed very much in the things he fought for.

As callous as it may seem the fact of Senator Wellstone's death raises some problems for the Democrats with the election less than two weeks away. I am predicting that the Democrats will mourn for Senator Wellstone this weekend, but by Monday I predict they will file a court order to try to delay the election so they can select someone to take his place. They will argue, as they did in New Jersey, that the citizens of Minnesota deserve a "choice" and that will be the basis for their request to delay the election. Of course, choice will have very little to do with it. They will simply be trying anything they can do to maintain control of the Senate. We'll know by Monday what they are going to do. They can't wait much longer than that.

Arts and Letters Daily has returned. I have to change that Philosophy and Literature link BACK to a link to Arts and Letters Daily. If you knew how lazy I am you would understand how annoyed I am that I have to change that link. But since it's Arts and Letters Daily I will do it gladly. A&L Daily was always a great site with links to excellent essays, book reviews, editorials, and opinions. I missed it for the two weeks it was gone.

Russia and France are the two main obstacles at the UN to a strong resolution on Iraq. On the surface, they say that it's because they want to give inspections a chance. But the real truth is that both nations have serious economic interests that would suffer if there were a regime change in Iraq. Many of the contracts and debts that Iraq is under obligation to now would be thrown into jeopardy. In other words, Russia and France want to get paid. I fear that Russia may have to finally learn the hard way that the civilized world is in a global struggle against the forces of Islamic fundamentalism and that not getting paid for Iraqi contracts is a short term and minor problem when compared to the larger problem of radical Muslims.

The Russians have been engaged in a war against Chechen Muslim rebels for several years now and the latest is that rebels turned terrorists have taken approximately 700 hostages in a theater in Moscow to force a Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. If those hostages are killed, Russia will be forced to join the US in the war against terror and I suspect that total war will be unleashed against Chechnya. Russia cannot continue to suffer terrorist attacks because it will erode confidence in the government and investment will suffer dramatically. Russia has turned an economic corner and Muslim terrorism is a serious threat to the promise of prosperity.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

I read this piece by Daniel Moore and then I sent him this letter:

Daniel

Ha ha ha, you're a joke. All that you believe is irrelevant and outdated. You and your kind are so fringe that people consider you extremists. Yes, you are a political dinosaur and everything you believe has been proven to be wrong in the past year. I know people still read Maureen Dowd, but how many of those people take her seriously anymore. She is a living parody of left wing politics. I laugh at you people. You really are silly.

You are ignorant to the fact that appeasement of dictators is more likely to cause death and destruction than firm resolution. You convince no one with your silly thesis that Bush is a homicidal maniac. FYI: moral equivalence is a ridiculous concept. Post-modern theory has been thoroughly repudiated. Only dinosaurs such as yourself and your left-wing professors still adhere to those modern day forms of philosophical witchcraft .

I hope that you grow up one day and understand just how ignorant you have been. But I think it's probably unlikely.

Sean Roper

PS I do give you credit for having the nerve to include your email address. That took guts.

Here's the fourth installment in David Frum's weeklong series of myth busting editorials for The Telelgraph.

This installment is: Myth IV: America couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks and I agree with that statement to a large extent. I care what Great Britain, Australia, and a few other nations think, but Europe can kiss my ass. I agree with Frum that this is the heart of Europe's pissy attitude towards America:

"What really irks many Europeans is not that America violates treaties it has ratified, but that it refuses to obey agreements that it has not ratified - such as Kyoto or the international conventions on land mines and the international criminal court."

I don't think it's a complete myth that America couldn't care less what the rest of the world thinks. We couldn't care less what much of the world thinks. I think that is more accurate.

On September 11th, 2001 I visited Excite's Soapbox chatroom because I knew that people from all over the world would be in that room discussing the terrorists attacks. It didn't take me long to realize that many of the people from other countries, particularly Australia and New Zealand, were actually laughing and enjoying the events of the day. One of these people, a man from New Zealand said, and I'll never forget this, He said, "Ha ha ha at America." He was having a good time.

Now I think about the Bali attacks and I wonder how those same New Zealanders and Australians who enjoyed seeing America under attack, I wonder just what they make of events in their region of the world. Are they blind to the fact that Muslim fanatics seek to either convert them or else kill them all? Do they blame Australian support for America as the reason for the attack? Do they suddenly have cold sweats in the middle of the night because the threat has suddenly become real to them? Do they see really think that their nation should stop supporting the US and that this will cause the Muslims to leave them alone? I hope I will get the answers to my questions.

If and when I "see" these people again, I will offer them this editorial by James Bennett of UPI. Mr. Bennett shows that Australia is basically screwed without the US. We are their best and only hope of fighting back. Without the US, Australia would have to intensely ratchet up defense spending. The people of Australia would have to make do with deep cuts in social spending and even that might not be sufficient to deal with the threat.

I hope that those people from New Zealand and Australia are seeing now why it was so remarkably ignorant of them to laugh at America on September 11, 2001. The peace and survival of their nations, and indeed the peace and survival of many nations, is tied to the peace and survival of America. If the US were to isolate itself, it would not be long before peace loving nations all over the world would see an explosion of war and violence.

I haven't posted anything about the Beltway sniper because, well, I don't know why except that I had the feeling from the beginning that the media would make me sick of the whole thing, and they did. But now arrests have been made and that is such a significant event that I am compelled to make mention of it. I hope this is for real.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Michael Ledeen has all the latest news on Iran. An apparent crackdown is taking place in that nation and it's being widely ignored by the press. Also, Ledeen is reporting that the connection between Al Qaeda and Iran is growing stronger day by day.

I have heard the accusation that President Bush was leading us to war with Iraq for personal reasons. That President Bush was going to war because Saddam had tried to have his father killed. I never took that accusation serious. I always thought the accusation was nothing more than sarcastic exaggeration. Who knew those people were serious!

Apparently, the British and Europeans believe that is exactly what Bush is doing. David Frum has to use day three of his week long series of editorials in The Telegraph to dispel that particular myth. Good grief! I had no idea those people could be so, um, misinformed (for lack of a better word other than stupid). I know Maureen Dowd would be inclined to believe such idiocy, and perhaps a few others on the left, but I had more hope for the British. The French, well, they made a bestseller out of a book that said that the attack on the Pentagon never happened so I can reasonably understand that they believe the charge that Bush would go to war for personal reasons.

I made mention of this story (via Instapundit) several weeks ago and haven't heard much of it since, but the verdict is in: Michelle Houellebecq was found not guilty of inciting racial hatred in France.

Houellebecq had been on trial for saying that Islam was "the stupidest religion."

It's hard for us to imagine us being put on trial for expressing an opinion, but that is basically what Houellebecq was on trial for. I am glad he was found not guilty, but it's still disturbing that he had to defend himself in a court.

Ouch, Claudia Rosett is brutally honest in her assessment of the Clinton foreign policy:

"Greater safety sure wasn't the trend in the slaphappy 1990s, the decade of denial, when U.S. foreign policy consisted largely of Bill Clinton desperately seeking a legacy, Hillary kissing Suha Arafat and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright belting out karaoke and dancing the hula. The assumption in those days was that what we didn't acknowledge couldn't really hurt us. As long as we got despots to sign on the dotted line, we'd be safe--and we had lots of paperwork that said so."

I especially like that last line. In fact, I want to repeat it: "As long as we got despots to sign on the dotted line, we'd be safe--and we had lots of paperwork that said so." I get the image of some United Nations or Clinton foreign policy advisor tapping forcefully on a piece of paper in frustration that we just don't get it. "Look, they have signed this! The threat has been eliminated!"

John Burns has more on the prisoner release in Iraq.

I am wondering if Saddam has made a serious miscalculation. He announced a general amnesty, but it's clear from Burns' report that there were prisoners he never intended to let go free. The families of these prisoners stormed the cell block where these prisoners were being held and freed many. We will see in the next couple of weeks what the true repercussions of the prisoner release are.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus shows why college campuses are such hotbeds of leftwing extremism. This is not isolated. This is rampant throughout America's universities:

"They’re calling us “Talibanic,” a lot. “They” is . . . you know, they, and “us” is conservative Republicans. I remember back in the 1980s, when Sam Donaldson discovered Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon. He immediately began to refer to “the Hezbollah wing of the Republican party” — meaning, Reaganites, the vast majority. He thought it was so cute. And now the Left has switched to the Taliban. (Who drove the Taliban out of power and into the ground, by the way? Bunch of “Taliban Republicans,” wasn’t it?)

Caught Bill Bennett on television the other night, and he said something interesting, as always. He was on a panel in Colorado, with Karen Hughes, and the professors there — this was at a college — were calling the two Republicans “Talibanic” and “despicable.” The Left always does this, Bennett pointed out.

At which point Alan Colmes broke in and said, “You should read my e-mail, Bill! They say I’m unpatriotic, they say I should defect to Iraq,” etc. To which Bennett responded — perfectly — “Yes, but I suspect those e-mails are from cranks. I’m talking about tenured college profs, who shape the minds of our kids.”

Exactly."

This is VERY interesting. The Weekly Standard has this:

"We note that Norway--surprise!--is the world's third largest oil exporter. We note that Norway's non-oil economy slipped into recession in the second quarter of this year. We note that the Norwegian government forecasts rising unemployment and only modest total GDP growth from now through the end of 2004. We note that even these not-especially-cheerful forecasts depend for their fulfillment on world oil prices remaining at current levels.

We further note that an American-led "regime change" and subsequent reconstruction of Iraq would inevitably and significantly transform the current global petroleum market: In a post-Saddam Iraq, the United States (and our genuine allies) would surely help modernize that country's oil fields and exploration capabilities. We note, in other words, that President George W. Bush's "belligerent" foreign policy promises sharply to boost future Iraqi oil production, which will depress world oil prices, which will leave the Norwegian economy . . . well, totally screwed.

And we note, finally, that the director general of his government's policy-making Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is none other than Nobel Peace Prize committee chairman, and Bush critic, Gunnar Berge.

Kinda puts the phrase "oil for peace" in a whole 'nother light, doesn't it?"

I found this in Opinion Journal:

"Bruce Springsteen gave a concert in Berlin, where, Reuters reports, the overrated pop star '"helped patch up some of the damage caused by U.S. anger over the German government's staunch opposition to war against Iraq."' How is it that we're supposed to "understand" the "rage" of barbarians who murder innocent people, but "American anger" over German officials likening our government to the Nazis is the "cause" of Germany's problems?"

I read David Frum's second installment like I was a starving man who hadn't eaten in several days. This installment has the subheadline, "Myth II: America wants war with Saddam because of oil" and since I have heard this ludicrous and outrageously insulting argument from leftists, I was very eager to read Frum's piece. I wasn't disappointed. The whole thing is brilliant and shows yet again why I do this for free while other, more intelligent, people are able to articulate an opinion and get paid for it. I have a couple of things that I have to excerpt from Frum's piece. First, there's this:

"1) Wasn't it just yesterday that America was being scolded for not buying oil from Iraq and thereby causing (as it was wrongly but loudly alleged) the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians?

2) Isn't it odd for people who oppose "wars for oil" to rally to the defence of a dictator who launched two of them - one to conquer the oil fields of Iran, the second to annex neighbouring Kuwait?

3) Although it is apparently wrong for hawks to be swayed by oil, it seems to be perfectly OK for doves. Here, for example, is a leader from the anti-war Guardian: "Would Saddam launch missiles against Kuwaiti and Saudi oil fields? Would an attack on Baghdad foment strife in Riyadh? To different degrees, both would be a shock to oil supplies . . . [During the Iranian revolution,] Iranian oil production fell from six million barrels a day to three million and never recovered. If the same happened in Saudi Arabia, the world would see oil prices spurt upwards. The consequences would be rising inflation and consumers deprived of spending power." So, while war for oil is condemned, appeasement for oil is quite all right."

And finally there is this:

"Think for a minute about the logic of the claim that America wants to fight for oil. Does that mean "for access to oil"? America can already freely purchase all the oil it wants. There has not been a credible threat to access to oil supplies since the Arab embargo of 1973-74 and there is no credible threat to access today. Saddam wants to sell more oil, not less. And if conquest and occupation were necessary to obtain oil, why wouldn't America attack an easier target than Iraq - Angola, for example?

So does "for oil" mean "for cheaper oil"? Is it suggested that America will invade Iraq, occupy its oilfields, and then sell oil for, say, $12-$15 a barrel, rather than the $25-$30 barrel it fetches today?

Even though a $12-$15 price would close down the larger part of America's domestic production and drive the country's dependence on oil imports up from 50 per cent toward the two thirds or three quarters mark?"

Brilliant.

David Frum has begun a week long series of editorials that the Telegraph says is a discussion of the importance of oil. I don't think that quite explains it, but then again I don't know where this series is headed. The reason I say that doesn't quite explain what the series is about is because the very first installment is an attempt to debunk the myth of that the Jewish lobby controls America.

Speaking of the first installment, Frum is able to show, I think convincingly, that America's support for Israel is far more ideological than a Jewish conspiracy. Here's how Frum explains it and I agree 100%:

"When Americans look at the Middle East, they see a democratic society inspired by the Bible and committed to human freedom, surrounded by murderous and tyrannical enemies."

This installment appeared yesterday and I missed it. I will discuss the second installment in the next post.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Robert Bartley has it exactly right. Bartley has examples of how the Democrats are doing everything they can do to win elections using illegal, unethical, and immoral tactics. It's all they care about. It seems that they are so convinced that they know what is best for people that they have decided that even if they have to break laws or if they have to be unethical to win then it's ok because, ultimately, they are what is best for this nation and people.

Harry Belafonte has gotten Condoleezza Rice disinvited to Africare's annual fundraising dinner according to Opinion Journal. As The Opinion Journal put it, I think the wrong person was disinvited:

"Time was, the black left would gripe (with justification) about the dearth of black higher-ups in federal government. Later the complaint was that a black could become, say, secretary of labor or education but wasn't permitted to fill senior cabinet posts. By tapping two capable blacks for Secretary of State and National Security Adviser--positions that couldn't have less to do with the color of their skin--Mr. Bush is properly seen as something of a trailblazer.

But for Mr. Belafonte and other supposed liberal champions of "tolerance" and "diversity," all black Republicans are race-traitors. Those who stray from the Democratic Party's ideological "plantation"--to use his favorite metaphor--are Uncle Toms. We'd say Africare disinvited the wrong person."

This is one of those pieces that is invaluable in Soapbox. The piece is called, "Dispelling Economic Myths" by Daniel Mitchell. I have heard everyone of these myths argued as fact and now I have expert opinion to support my arguments.

Tens of thousands of people (short registration required), possibly as many as 150,000, were released from Iraqi prisons in a general amnesty that was declared by Saddam Hussein in an move designed to create support for his regime.

The last paragraph of this piece is probably giving democrats, and the left in general, heartburn:

"Once the prison gates collapsed, the mood changed. Seeing watchtowers abandoned and the prison guards standing passively by or actively supporting them as they charged into the cell blocks, the crowd seemed to realize that they were experiencing, if only briefly, a new Iraq, where the people, not the government, was sovereign. Chants of "Down Bush! Down Sharon!" referring to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel, faded. In one cell block, a guard smiled broadly at an American photographer, raised his thumb, and said, "Bush! Bush!" Elsewhere, guards offered an English word almost never heard in Iraq. "Free!" they said. "Free!"'

This has to piss the left off. They would rather these people suffer than to see President Bush proved right. We are doing the right thing and this confirms it.

Max Boot (is that a cool name or what?) has a piece in The Weekly Standard discussing "The Consequences of Clintonism." This is an examination of Clinton's efforts at peacemaking and how every effort he has made has come unraveled, most notably the Northern Ireland and the North Korean processes.

The left's idea of peacemaking can most accurately be described as following the Neville Chamberlain model. There is definitely a time and a place for discussions, but an overreliance on talks has had the effect of appeasing aggressive behavior and that sort of behavior must not be appeased. It must be stopped even if it means physical force.

Sometimes peace can only be achieved by force. That may seem like a contradiction, but no one can argue that a peaceful Germany and Japan were not achieved by war. Those two nations are prime examples of the necessity of making war to create peace.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

I spent most of my online time today at Excite's Soapbox chatroom (download required) arguing with people about all sorts of things. That used to be my greatest online passion. I love to discuss political issues with people who are as passionate about it as I am and those people are the most passionate people one is likely to meet. It's a very rough room where being able to type quickly is every bit as important as being able to formulate an opinion. It's also important to be able to back up what you are saying with links to sites that support your argument. For instance, today I got into an argument with a man from Oregon (coincidentally, he's from the same county I live in here on the other side of the country) about the budget process in Washington DC. He said that the president is the person most responsible for the budget process because he must submit a budget to the congress, but I argued that the president's budget is mostly a suggestion or a proposal. I swear this is true; he literally cussed me out because he said I had no idea what I was talking about. I cussed him back, and then I posted a link to a website designed for children so they can understand the budget process. I suggested to this, er, person (I used another word that has seven letters, first letter starts with "A") that this website would explain it in terms that even his feeble mind could understand. I pointed out that the site referred to the presidents budget as a "suggestion" or as a "proposal." He grew silent and left a few minutes later.

Soapbox is brutal. Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. I have been both, but I tend to read more than the average Soapbox visitor so I am often better prepared than the average person. I don't read so that I will be strong in Soapbox, it's just that my passion for reading is very often a deciding factor. Soapbox is survival of the fittest and if you are weak in your arguments, a slow typists, or if you make a mistake, you will be eaten alive. Figuratively speaking of course.

Soapbox has their share of jerks. Sometimes people come just to get into a fight. Usually it's a fight to see who has the wittiest comeback and it usually has very little to do with politics. I tend to stay out of those fights because they are pointless.

I must say that the people who visit Soapbox are some of the smartest people you will meet in a chat room. This is just a guess, but I think the average age is probably somewhere over 40. We don't hit on each other, and we generally don't respond to sexual invitations, except as a joke, like people do in other chat rooms. We tend to get very agitated at people who come to the room and ask ASL (Age, Sex, Location) The average Soapbox regular is generally well informed, articulate, and it appears, very well traveled. If you spend enough time there you will learn who is lying and who is telling the truth. The regulars all know each other and will greet each other accordingly. It took me a long time to be considered a regular. I visited that room quite often for a couple of years before anyone seemed to recognize me from the last time I visited.

Overall, I enjoy Soapbox very much. As I said, we have our share of jerks, but I appreciate being able to discuss politics with people who actually know what the issues are and who follow current events.