Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Friday, November 08, 2002

Charles Krauthammer says that the Democrats are brain dead.

I'm not sure brain dead is accurate. I still believe that they are simply afraid to tell people what they believe because they know that the American people would leave the Democratic party in droves. To understand what the Democrats really believe then you would have to read Woody Harrelson's piece in that British paper (which one exactly escapes me right now) or maybe read something by Barbra Streisand. Or you could relive David Bonior's and Jim McDermott's visit to Baghdad. That's what Democrats really believe. Despicable and often treasonous anti-Americanism and socialism are two hallmarks of the real Democrats, they just can't say it out loud.

Frontpage Magazine has the full details of that letter from Professor Peter Kerstein to that Air Force Academy cadet. I especially liked the Academy's response to Kerstein's letter:

"It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."
~Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, Sergeant, USMC

Beautiful. I wish more leftists understood who exactly is the guarantor of our freedoms. Maybe they wouldn't hate the military so much.

U.N. Security Council Unanimously OKs U.S. Iraq Resolution

I'm not happy at all about THIS resolution because it gives the French and Russians the moral right to veto any US action if Iraq continues to play games with weapons inspectors. We have given the UN control and I am not confident that they will ever authorize action no matter what Saddam does. I think this is one big game and I do not consider this any sort of a victory for President Bush. I hope I am wrong though. I hope.

Peter Beinart says that the Democrats are about to engage in a civil war:

"As a result, the left, for the first time since the 1980s, has a shot at taking over the party. The defeat of moderate Democrats in swing states and districts inevitably tilts the congressional party toward ideological hardliners in safe seats. Ted Kennedy and John Conyers would have yanked the party left in 1994, had not the Clinton White House moved in the other direction. But now there is no counterweight. And that is what makes the Democratic Party's current predicament so dangerous. The ideological vacuum atop the post-September 11 Democratic Party will inevitably be filled. And if it is filled by Nancy Pelosi and Dennis Kucinich, the United States will no longer be a 50-50 nation; it will be a 40-60 nation for a generation."

One of the results of the Democrats losing so surprisingly and decisively in the recent election is that they are now forced to reconsider their positions on a number of important issues. They probably won't change some of the more liberal positions they have staked out such as prescription drug benefits for seniors, but one of the reasons they lost so convincingly is that they failed to articulate any kind of position on big issues. The bottom line is that Democrats were afraid to oppose popular opinion. They could not expose what they really believe because their hollow, emotion-based principles are not held by the majority of Americans.

The events of September 11, 2002 awakened the American people from a stupor. Political correctness had clouded our moral clarity. There were so many gray areas that we could no longer define right from wrong and good from evil. That terrible day was a collective smack upside our head. The fog of indecision was blown away and we were once again able to see what should have been clear. Once that fog was lifted we began to see where all those left-wing ideas had been leading us. We finally saw that the Democrat agenda was an unprincipled and emotion based philosophy that was not rooted in reality. That, in my opinion, is at the very heart of the Democrats election loss.

We cannot allow our nations priorities to be ruled by emotion. That may sound cold-hearted, but the fact of the matter is that perceptions are not reality. We may perceive injustice, but closer examination of the facts often reveal a simple truth. Racial profiling was assumed to be the reason that black drivers were being stopped at a disproportionate rate in New Jersey, but scientific evidence ultimately showed that black drivers were simply more likely to speed. I don't know why they speed, but that is much more likely the reason they were being stopped. But the left was so simply outraged at the appearance of injustice that emotions completely took over. That's just one example of how the left let's emotions dictate policy.

Emotions were the guiding force behind nearly every Democrat priority and that's not necessarily a bad thing as long as reality and perception agree. Now, it looks like Democrats are going to further exacerbate the problem by moving even farther to the left as a party. They are preparing to abandon the center and move even farther away from the general public. In the process of defining their emotion based principles they will lose even more centrist voters. Personally, I hope they do move farther left, but at the same time I understand that Republicans do need a legitimate counterweight. If we lose the Democrats as a responsible governing partner then we will be the poorer for it.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Wow, you write letters and you write letters, and you wonder if anyone ever reads them. Well, I have my answer. The Spectator has published my letter to the editor. (scroll down to "Comment on Commissioner Pétain fights back by Boris Johnson 2/11/2002) That's definitely a first.

Theodore Dalrymple's "The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris" (via Instapundit) is a sad and hopeless portrait of the real France that the 60 million annual tourists probably never see. Law and order in France is reaching intolerable levels, but the criminal justice system seems to be unwilling to do much about it because elites have successfully argued that criminals, mostly from projects, are not really to blame for the crimes they commit. We had the same attitude here in the US until we decided that we had had enough. Here's how Dalrymple describes the insecurity that French citizens are having to live with:

"I first saw l’insécurité for myself about eight months ago. It was just off the Boulevard Saint-Germain, in a neighborhood where a tolerably spacious apartment would cost $1 million. Three youths—Rumanians—were attempting quite openly to break into a parking meter with large screwdrivers to steal the coins. It was four o’clock in the afternoon; the sidewalks were crowded, and the nearby cafés were full. The youths behaved as if they were simply pursuing a normal and legitimate activity, with nothing to fear."

Here's an example of the French criminal justice system at work:

"The laxisme of the French criminal justice system is now notorious. Judges often make remarks indicating their sympathy for the criminals they are trying (based upon the usual generalizations about how society, not the criminal, is to blame); and the day before I witnessed the scene on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, 8,000 police had marched to protest the release from prison on bail of an infamous career armed robber and suspected murderer before his trial for yet another armed robbery, in the course of which he shot someone in the head. Out on bail before this trial, he then burgled a house. Surprised by the police, he and his accomplices shot two of them dead and seriously wounded a third. He was also under strong suspicion of having committed a quadruple murder a few days previously, in which a couple who owned a restaurant, and two of their employees, were shot dead in front of the owners’ nine-year-old daughter."

The people will get fed up with this eventually, it's just a matter of time. When they do get tired of it, we will be hearing reports of French racism and intolerance. Bet on it.

I don't know David Corn and I certainly have never read of his writing, but Andrew Sullivan suggested this piece from this week's The Nation magazine. I hate The Nation magazine. It's one of those far left-wing magazines that considers the US a "rogue" state, so it was stunning that David Corn wrote such an honest piece on the election. To say that I was amazed is an understatement. I don't agree with everything he says, but Corn definitely hit on the reasons the Democrats lost:

"Message matters. Bush had one: support me, the war, and tax cuts. That was pretty straightforward. The Democrats offered, we're not Bush and vote for us if you're anxious about the economy even though we don't have a comprehensive plan for dealing with it. Not much of a bumper sticker there. Besides, we're-not-Bush is not a great plan when the President is scoring approval ratings in the mid-60s."

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Peter Kirstein responds:

"Due to considerable off-campus interest in a private correspondence with a military person, I am posting this. The situation has been resolved on a personal level with humility, mutual respect and friendliness. May nations also learn differences can be overcome,
disagreements bridged and that peace and harmony are possible.

I apologize for offending the countless men and women of the military who serve this nation with professionalism and
dedication to their mission."

Here's my letter to the President of Saint Xavier University at yanikoski@sxu.edu in regards to that last post:

Sir

I am furious. I just read the letter from Peter Kirstein to an Air Force Academy cadet. Have you seen that letter? I have included it below in case you somehow missed.

An apology is not nearly enough because I believe that Mr. Kirstein is not sorry at all. The only thing he is probably sorry for is that his vile letter was made public.

Do you understand that Mr. Kirstein is an example of an extreme left-wing ideology and that this is the dominant viewpoint on America's college campuses? Are you aware that surveys show that leftists thoroughly dominate universities? We need political diversity on our college campuses and this is a prime example of why.

I am sick that Mr. Kirstein has those views, but the thought that he is spreading his lies to young impressionable minds and also understanding that the chances of his viewpoints being countered by a conservative voice is probably near zero is infuriating. What is the counter point to Mr. Kirstein's political indoctrination of young minds? I have serious doubts whether there is one.

Sean Roper

This is a huge reason the Democrats lost.

Here's the letter:

From: Peter Kirstein
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 1:46 PM
To: Kurpiel Robert C4C CS26

Subject: Re: Academy Assembly

You are a disgrace to this country and I am furious you would even think I would support you and your aggressive baby killing tactics of collateral damage. Help you recruit. Who, top guns to reign death and destruction upon nonwhite peoples throughout the world? Are you serious sir? Resign your commission and serve your country with honour.

No war, no air force cowards who bomb countries with AAA, without possibility of retaliation. You are worse than the snipers. You are imperialists who are turning the whole damn world against us. September 11 can be blamed in part for what you and your cohorts have done to Palestinians, the VC, the Serbs, a retreating army at Basra.

You are unworthy of my support.

Peter N. Kirstein
Professor of History
Saint Xavier University.

And my letter to Peter Kirtsten at kirstein@sxu.edu:

"You son of a bitch! How dare you talk to this man this way! He is serving his country in the best way he knows how and you turn your venom on him like he's some mass murderer? Fuck you and your left-wing ideas."

Noam Scheiber of the left leaning New Republic says that the Democrats failure was not tying President Bush to corporate corruption. If that's all that the Democrats have then they are in more serious trouble than most people think. If Scheiber considers corporate corruption to be the best way to defeat Republicans then he doesn't have clue as to why the Democrats lost so decisively. Scheiber does not want to admit that the Democrats lost because the American people do not agree with them. It's that simple.

The US shot down an artillery shell with a laser. This is significant because an artillery shell moves much faster than a missile and indicates that the "Star Wars" technology that Democrats derided for so long is very real and it works.

Once again, Democrats have been proven wrong and I love it.

National Review has a symposium of experts on last nights election results. Pete Du Pont and David Horowitz are predicting a lurch to the left by the Democrats (oh that would be too good to be true). Du Pont:

"Now the Democratic party will be driven further left by its angry teachers' union, minority, feminist, and antiwar base, and that will help the Republicans too."

Horowitz:

"The consequence of the defeat for Democrats is likely to be an internal battle royal, a lurch to the left, and a push for the presidential candidacy of "populist," antiwar Gore. This could provide an historic opportunity for the Republican party to become the party of an American majority. Given the dangers of the looming war on terror, and the appeasement mentality of the Democratic Left, the opportunity couldn't come at a better time."

I was watching last night when James Carville put that trash can on his head. Here's Laura Ingraham's take on that:

"At least Jim Carville had an honest moment. As we approached midnight on Tuesday, perhaps the most famous FOB put a garbage can on his head and mugged for the CNN cameras. That freeze frame was worth a thousand words — this was a day more embarrassing for Democrats beyond what most Republicans could have ever imagined."

The Weekly Standard has one of the first reactions to the midterm election. This will probably be the first of about a zillion pieces on the subject, but I think analysis will be helpful in understanding why the election went the way it did.

Wow, what a stunning turn of events last nights election turned out to be. I certainly hoped that the American people were politically sophisticated and informed, but I was not optimistic. I am so proud that the people finally rewarded principle and integrity. You might not like the Republicans and you might believe that they are beholden to business, but no one can deny that they told you what they believed. They told us why we should vote for them. We know what they believe. They didn't support the tax cuts or the war on terror simply because it was the politically expedient thing to do. They supported those things because they felt deeply that it was the right thing to do. The Democrats voted to support those two issues because of fear. They feared what a vote against those issues would mean.

Democrats hate tax cuts because that takes away their main source of funding to buy voters. The Democrat core is comprised of people who are looking for something from the government. People who have to be rewarded for their vote. What I mean is that the Democrats must reward their class warriors with legislation. The poor and their bureacratic advocates (who are an industry all to themselves) must receive extended welfare and other benefits, unions must receive an increase in the minimum wage because they have it in their contracts that when the minimum wage goes up then their pay goes up by the same amount, blacks must be rewarded with increased affirmative action, NOW must be rewarded with appointments of judges who support abortion on demand; the list goes on.

Also Democrats, at their core, hate the military. The people who most loudly and forcefully argued against us defending ourselves are Democrats. The real Democrats. People like Jesse Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Maureen Dowd, Nick Kristoff, Woody Harrelson, and Sean Penn. They said what most Democrats believe. That is that the US should appease aggression so that we don't have to spend so much on defense. They would have us transfer massive amounts of money from defense to social spending. They tend to believe that we don't need a strong military. Yes, that's absurd and naive as hell, but it's what they believe. At least the elected Democrats are smart enough to know that unelected Democrats have a recipe for political irrelevance, but it is a sacrifice of principles to say one thing and to believe another. That is exactly what the Democrats have been doing for more than a year now and I am relieved to see that the American people understand.

I said it many times, but I wasn't sure that many people agreed with me; the Democrats are unethical, immoral, unprincipled, and untrustworthy. They would have done anything to win yesterday. Anything including using a corpse.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

I have been looking forward to seeing the documentary, "Journey With George," since I first heard about it several months ago. Ross Douthat reviews the film in today's National Review online.

I really didn't want to read this piece so I can't explain why I did read it. It's called, "What Makes Us Laugh" by John Derbyshire.

Last month, the University of Hertfordshire conducted a survey to find out the world's funniest joke and Derbyshire took the opportunity to expand on the idea to examine what people around the world consider to be funny. As it turned out, I was glad I read it. I really needed something to smile at today.

I just returned from voting and judging by the reaction of the poll workers the turnout has been pretty heavy, but as I recall they have said the same thing each election day. I had to wait about 15 minutes before I was able to cast my vote.

The "Votronic" voting machine that we use are really much simpler than the old paper ballots. When I think back on those paper ballots I wonder just how many of my votes were voided because I didn't understand how to punch the damn thing. It really was complicated and making a mistake would have been pretty easy.

There was a surprising lack of ballot intiatives. There was one initiative to make a technical change in the constitution with a bill instead of a joint resolution. Real exciting stuff.

I saw a couple of names of people that I know personally and I was glad to vote for those people.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Elections in Turkey are being referred to as "revolutionary" because the ruling party won less than 1% of the vote and a one year old political party with Islamist ties took 363 of 550 seats in parliament.

The victors, the Justice and Development Party, has vowed to support secularism and to further seek admittance to the European Union.

Nations all over the world are breathing a sigh of relief.

The French have decided that they are going to thwart American plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein. This appears to be a serious and well-thought out plan to elevate world opinion of France.

I am not sure if the French want to do what is right so much as they want to simply oppose America. Regardless, Amir Taheri has interviewed several sources within the French government and put together a picture of what he calls, "The Chirac Doctrine."

I hate the French.

William Bennett offers his opinions on the Democratic party after the shameless and despicable display at the Paul Wellstone memorial.

It appears that the fallout from that event is very real and is having a tremendous impact on the Minnesota senate race. I am encouraged that the citizens of Minnesota were repulsed by that "memorial" service. I really didn't know if they would be.

This is actually a relatively old opinion given the fast turnover in newsrooms, but the analysis continues.

Where is the outrage that the sniper was assumed to be a white male? Where is the outrage among the PC police over this racial profiling? Yes, the D.C. sniper was racially profiled as being an angry white male so where are the foaming-at-the-mouth leftists who so strongly condemn racial profiling? Well, John Leo first asks the questions:

"So police came across the sniper suspects at least 11 times during the long manhunt but let them go every time. The Washington, D.C., police chief acknowledged that race was a factor in this amazing failure. "Everybody was looking for a white car with white people," he told the Washington Post. Writing on his Web site, Andrew Sullivan said this was racial profiling. If a white killer had been let go 11 times because cops were looking for a black man, he asked, "Wouldn't this be the basis for uproar? Wouldn't the cops involved be fired? Wouldn't there be a massive investigation?" Yes, and the press would have erupted in high dudgeon."

And he has the answers:

"We have been down this road before. The Atlanta child murders of 1979-81 were a big story, but the press dropped it quickly when the killer turned out to be black. The church burnings followed the same pattern–a big story when arsonists were assumed to be white racists, an instant media departure when they turned out to be black. The Unabomber was a disappointment–white, but (alas) a killer from the far left. But the press rallied with let's-understand-the-Unabomber stories pointing out that he had the courage of his convictions and was not out for personal gain (a press courtesy not extended to antiabortion killers). In contrast, the Oklahoma City bombing was a pure pressroom delight–a white, right-wing bomber who could be tied to the antigovernment "climate" represented by Newt Gingrich and other conservatives."

In case you missed the point, Leo is explaining that the local newsroom serves as the PC police precinct. This is where PC crimes are reported and from where all the investigations spring forth.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

I completely forgot to post my picks on this weeks games. I went 9-5 last week. Not bad. Here are this weeks picks:

Inside the NFL: BEAT THE EXPERTS
WELCOME YOUR SEASON RECORD 64-52
WEEK 9
Sunday November 3, 01:00 PM EST
Baltimore at Atlanta
New England at Buffalo
Philadelphia at Chicago
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Dallas at Detroit
Tennessee at Indianapolis
Minnesota at Tampa Bay
Cincinnati at Houston
Sunday November 3, 04:05 PM EST
NY Jets at San Diego
Sunday November 3, 04:15 PM EST
Washington at Seattle
San Francisco at Oakland
St. Louis at Arizona
Sunday November 3, 08:30 PM EST
Jacksonville at NY Giants
Monday November 4, 09:00 PM EST
Miami at Green Bay
TIEBREAKER: total points scored in Monday Night game: 41

Larry Kudlow says that the economy is doing quite well. This is bad news to the Democrats. They have been telling people how horrible the economy is, but evidence like this is proving to be very hard for them to deal with. The only problem is that the Democrats have repeated the accusation that the economy is bad so persistently and so loudly that people probably believe it no matter what the numbers show.

I just noticed that I completely missed Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus column on Friday.

I can't say I am familiar with any of the books, but here's Nordlinger's and his friends favorite opening lines from literature:

“Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography.” Evelyn Waugh, A Little Learning (1964)

“One of the longest journeys in the world is the journey from Brooklyn to Manhattan — or at least from certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn to certain parts of Manhattan.” Norman Podhoretz, Making It (1967)

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (1961)

As for me, I have two all-time favorites: The first comes from one of P. G. Wodehouse’s golf stories: “It was a morning when all nature shouted Fore.”

And the second is from Marchette Chute’s The Search for God: “Job was not a patient man.”

Chris Patten is a moron. He is interviewed in this piece for The Spectator and he takes the occasion to criticize the US for our increased defense spending and for cuts in health and education. First of all I reject the notion that we have made cuts in health and education. I am not sure of the exact numbers, but I can only imagine the hellfire that would be rained down on the Republicans and President Bush if we made actual cuts in health and education. I could be wrong though. As I said, I don't know. But I think what Mr. Patten is doing is what the Democrats do. That is, if the increase doesn't go up as much as they want it to, then they call THAT a cut. Anyway, I read Mr. Patten's ignorant and arrogant words and had to send the editors of the The Spectator this letter:

Editor

I just read the Boris Johnson interview with Chris Patten and the one thing that stuck with me is the fact that Patten can't fathom how the US can have a 14 percent increase in defense spending while making cuts in health and education.

We are sorry. We don't share the European luxury of being able to rely on a benign hegemon to defend us. We aren't able to choose social welfare spending over defense spending because someone must defend you socialists from the evil that exists in this world. Perhaps if Mr. Patten could get the EU to spend a much larger percentage of it's GDP on defense, we could reduce our spending on defense and raise our spending on health and education. What unbelievable arrogance coming from Mr. Patten! We are defending his sorry ass and all he can find to sniff about is American lack of humanity and sophistication because we don't spend an equal share of our GDP on health and education! What gall! Tell Mr. Patten that he should look at the American military bases in Europe and elsewhere to see where we spend our money. If the US did not defend Europe (from itself and others!), can Mr. Patten imagine how much the sophisticated socialist nations of Europe would have to cut from their welfare spending to make up the difference? There would be massive cuts or else Europe would soon find itself seriously threatened if not in outright war. Undoubtedly Mr. Patten, like so many other haughty Europeans, is under some delusion that Europe is morally superior. We have a protective umbrella over Europe that allows that delusion to remain. No wonder Americans can't stand Mr. Patten. He accuses us of being ignorant, unenlightened, and arrogant while totally ignoring the stupidity that comes from his own mouth.

Thank you for your attention.

Sean Roper