Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, November 23, 2002

The Atlantic Online has a long article about Bobby Fischer who was quite possibly the greatest chess player ever. The piece is a disturbing examination of Fischer's wildly irrational conspiracy theories while being interspersed with a timeline and short discussion of his chess related accomplishments. An excellent piece for anyone like myself who has heard of Fischer, but knows nothing about the man beyond that.

Near the end of his latest piece for The New York Observer, Ron Rosenbaum reveals that he is still very much a political progressive even though he is frustrated with the state of left-wing fundamentalism. He's frustrated because he can't understand why the left supports brutal totalitarian regimes. Here's how Rosenbaum puts it:

"Pardon me if I ask what might seem like a naïve question, but isn’t the Left supposed to be on the side of oppressed people, rather than on the side of the police states, such as North Korea, or the vicious theocracies, such as Iran, that oppress them? That’s why I used to think of myself as part of the Left. How did it all turn around so that if Mr. Bush opposes a police state, that particular police state is then taken under the nurturing, protective wing of the Left—and those oppressed people don’t count. Police states like Iraq and North Korea must be worth protecting even though they torture their citizens, murder their dissenters, repress women and gays, because—well, because Bush is the devil, and if the devil opposes something, it must have something going for it."

Exactly. This is why I am so bewildered by the left. They are supposed to care about the people in those nations, but instead they have become the biggest defenders of some of the most brutal regimes this world has ever seen.

As I said in the beginning of this post, Rosenbaum reveals at the end that he is still very progressive. That label implies a certain enlightenment, but it really means a socialist worldview. Anyway, Rosenbaum has one line in this otherwise excellent piece that I had to respond to with an email. Here's the offending part:

"And I didn’t like him for Florida, and wrote several columns bashing him and his thuggish minions for pickpocketing that election (whatever the conflicting newspaper recounts showed, there’s no doubt that more people went to the polls in Florida seeking to vote Democratic for President than Republican, and only a disgracefully prejudiced, political and hypocritical Supreme Court gave him the Presidency—as Sandra Day O’Connor’s husband indiscreetly made clear)."

I think Rosenbaum and his fellow leftists are plain wrong and I sent him this email in response:

Mr. Rosenbaum

No matter how you want to spin it, no matter how you want it to be otherwise, the plain truth to the Florida election of 2000 is that George W. Bush won that state according to the rules in place BEFORE election day. The US Supreme Court did not decide that election. Florida law decided that election. The Florida Supreme Court wanted to change the law AFTER the fact and the US Supreme Court told them that they could not do that.

You are wrong when you assert that the USSC decided that election. Florida law was upheld and the Florida Supreme Court was instructed to follow the law that the state legislature had created. When you say otherwise, you become like the left-wing conspiracy theorists that you deride.

Sean Roper

Friday, November 22, 2002

Islam is a religion of peace? How many more people do adherents have to slaughter before we get the idea that the practitioners of Islam are maniacal believers in death, violence, and destruction? Where are the Muslim "moderates?" Why aren't they on TV denouncing this sort of insane murder? This was all sparked because a newspaper mentioned that maybe Mohammed would have picked a wife from the Miss World competition that is being held in Nigeria. These people are completely out of control.

Canadian representatives just keep spitting in our face. Fox News says that the Canadian PM's communications director, Francoise Ducros, called President Bush a "moron."

Ducros is an idiot herself. President Bush is defending the US and Ms. Ducros is defending Saddam Hussein.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

I read a piece about homelessness in The Christian Science Monitor and I was struck almost immediately by a statement of fact by the reporter that:

"Behind the backlash is a rise in homelessness - the biggest spike in a decade- and tighter budgets that have forced states to trim social programs."

This guy is either a very sloppy reporter or his political bias is showing. I read the piece and then sent this letter to the editor:

Editor

You will have to forgive me if I don't accept this statement as fact:

"Behind the backlash is a rise in homelessness - the biggest spike in a decade - and tighter budgets that have forced states to trim social programs."

NUMBERS PLEASE! Don't make accusations like that without numbers and documentation. Simply put, I don't trust you left-wing outlets. If that's what the data shows, then so be it. But the perceived rise in homelessness in Daniel Wood's world may be due to his city's generosity towards the homeless and neighboring city's less than generous attitude toward the homeless.

The biggest reason I am writing to you in regards to this piece by Daniel Wood is because many people on the left have stated that, now that a Republican has taken office, they intend to raise the homeless issue again. The problem completely dropped off the radar screen when Bill Clinton was president, but it has mysteriously and cruelly returned now that George W. Bush is president. Hmmm, that is curious.

I am deeply suspicious of Mr. Woods motives and especially when he drops an unsupported statement like that on the reader without the least bit of documentation. Could he have an agenda? Does he vote for Ralph Nader? He made that statement as if the reader is supposed to KNOW that it's a fact that homelessness has increased. Well, I don't know that it's a fact and I am not prepared to take his word for it. Giving Mr. Woods the benefit of the doubt, it means that he was very sloppy in his reporting. If I were much more mistrusting I would say that Mr. Woods included that statement because his bias has infected his work. Further, I would characterize your online magazine as untrustworthy and deeply biased.

I hope you will demand better from your reporters in the future. You are a professional organization and I would think that you would at least demand that your reporters document their statements of fact.

Sean Roper

I haven't seen Eminem's new movie yet and I'll probably wait till it comes out on video. I hear that it's an excellent movie and I look forward to seeing it, but until it does come out on video I will have to make do with reviews like this in the The New Republic.

It encouraged me that the left-leaning TNR would have this sort of review. For many years the main characteristic of leftist ideology has been to pit group against group in a sort of divide and conquer strategy. The idea has been to create victims and oppressors in which the aggrieved is moved to political action by their anger. This has been very successful in the past in getting Democrats elected to office and will probably work again, but TNR movie review of 8 Mile is nearly contemptuous of the class warfare that is so prominent in the movie. It heartens me to see a left of center magazine discuss race and class so honestly.

I saw on the news the other day where Jimmy Carter was complaining that the US doesn't contribute it's fair share to international aid, but of course Carter wasn't including money that we spend on our military. We spend billions of dollars a year defending the world. That's not an overstatement. If the US didn't guarantee European security those nations would not be spending any money on international aid. They would be spending that money on defense. The same is true for our friends all over the world. I bring this up because Tammy Bruce has an article at Frontpage Magazine that discusses more of Carter's intentional misrepresentations.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Joe Pantoliano aka Ralph Cifaretto on The Sopranos has an interview in The Weekly Standard. The reason for the interview was because Pantoliano has written an autobiography, but the reason I read the piece was because of the discussion of the Ralph Cifaretto character.

I am a Sopranos junkie. I love the show and eagerly look forward to the show each week. In the interview Pantoliano reveals a couple of things that I didn't know. The most interesting tidbit is that Ralph did not kill that horse:

"It's a fight to the death between him and Tony over a horse that he had nothing to do with. Over a horse that Tony extorted away from him. Over a horse that was killed in a fire that Ralph virtually had nothing to do with. It was an accident. And when Tony leaves the Bada Bing! after washing Ralph's blood off of his hands, he walks by and sees a photograph of Tracy [the dancer Ralph viciously murdered last season].

All Ralph talks about in Episode 9 is how God is punishing me for the things I've done with my life. And he tells the priest, "Father, my parents were bastards. They did bad things to me." And he's not saying, "Forgive me father, because I'm a victim of abuse." He's just saying there's no help for me. I can't pray to God. God has closed His eyes to me. I've gone too far. I've crossed that line. And then Tony comes in and tells Ralph about this horse and Ralph says, "Geez, that's too bad. But wait a minute. You think I did it? You think I had the time to set up a fucking horse while my son is dying in a fucking hospital room, you fat fuck?" So Ralphie's mouth always got him in trouble. And in the end it got him killed."

Harvard Law School is considering speech codes.

This has been happening on campuses all over the US so it was only a matter of time before the thought police arrived at Harvard Law School. If this initiative succeeds, look for it to spread like wildfire throughout the rest of the major universities in the US.

I have to admit that I agree with Senator Robert Byrd when he asks why we need a Department of Homeland Security. I agree with him, but for different reasons.

The way I see it, if we would simply enforce the laws we already have we wouldn't need more laws or another department. The failure of our intelligence agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service were largely due to racial sensitivity issues. Before September 11, 2001 political correctness dominated every policy. If the government were to have enforced the letter and spirit of the laws, the left would have gone absolutely nuts. That's my opinion, but I also believe that it contains a lot of fact. We are still infected with political correctness, but I believe that many people see the idiocy of our policies before September 11 and a slow examination of those ideas is being made today. Our government will take years to come to the same conclusions that the people have, but at least the repudiation has begun. It's a start.

Two super black holes on collision course.
That's the headline of a story at CNN. They're not just black holes, they're super black holes.

I just love this sort of cosmic event. Oh well, it won't happen for millions of years so there's no reason to get excited. Still, the idea of two black holes colliding has a certain Godzilla versus Mothra appeal. The enormity of the event will be awesome.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Well, well, well. Once again I am wondering where Noam Chomsky is. He's the famous MIT linguistics professor who says that US sanctions against Iraq have caused the deaths of over 500,000 thousand children since the end of the Gulf War. That's not all the man says, but that has been the most prominent thing he has said in the year since the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

Chomsky is a self-described anarchist who views the US as the greatest terrorist state in the world and he blames the US for the deaths of those children in Iraq because we restrict how much oil Saddam can export and what he can import. Saddam is allowed to sell oil to feed and provide medicine for his people, but Chomsky always ignores that little fact. In short, Noam Chomsky is a liar. Anyway, it was reported a few days ago that Saddam had sent $3.5 billion to Lybia to buy political asylum for his family should it become necessary. $3.5 billion! Now, I wonder where Noam Chomsky is. Why hasn't he condemned Saddam Hussein for this selfish act? $3.5 billion would go a looong way toward easing the suffering of the Iraqi people. Did I mention that Saddam has been spending billions to buy loyalty, to build on his personal palaces, and to fund his weapons of mass destruction programs? That's something else you would NEVER hear from Chomsky.

The Opinion Journal has the details, links, and relevant opinion on the disciplinary action against the St. Xavier Professor Peter Kirstein.

At first I was a little distressed that Kirstein had been disciplined. It did seem to be a violation of his right to free speech, even if it was some of the most vile speech I have ever heard. I tended to believe that Kirstein was entitled to his opinions and that the only fallout from it should be public opinion. But, as The Opinion Journal points out, Kirstein has a special responsibility that is understood by scholars. The Journal has a link to an official statement by the American Association of University Professors that details Professor Kirstein's responsibilities in regards to academic freedom. It appears that the discipline was justified.

My visceral disgust of leftists, especially leftists who told us that we had no right to go into Afghanistan, is justified by this piece in The Guardian. This article is an examination of whether we did the right thing. Mind you, this is in THE GUARDIAN. The question by the reporter to Afghan citizens is, "Was it worth it afterall?"

"Of course it was, said everyone I asked. They all had their grotesque Taliban tales. "Right there, bodies hanging, rotting, stinking!" said a trader in Chicken Street, the tourist trinket centre. Taliban horror stories poured out of everyone, unstoppable like water from a broken tap: "I was walking with my cousin and her husband outside here," said another man. "The vice and virtue police beat them both with big sticks, beat them to pieces, blood everywhere, because her ankles showed too much under her burka. I stood there, ashamed, but there was nothing I could do. I didn't go out after that." He was a young Pashtun and no friend of this new mainly Tajik government, but he had no doubt that the Americans did the right thing."

But it was especially the right thing to do for the women of that country. Here's a sample of what they said:

"At the Woman to Woman centre, 20 women of all ages were sitting on the floor, all them with burkas left hanging on pegs by the door. Despite the absence of outward change, were things getting better for them now that the Taliban had gone? There was a spontanteous chorus of cries, hands raised in the air, laughter, sighing, exclamations - my translator could not keep up with their energetic assertions that life had changed beyond recognition. This relative liberation - freedom to walk outside for many who had never left their one room in years - was hard to imagine. "I never saw the light of day in five years!" one widow said."

You tell me who leftists were supporting? It certainly wasn't the people who needed them the most. If it were up to them, the Taliban would still be running that nation today.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Leftists cannot explain the election of 2002 so they resort to all kinds of wild, irrational conspiracy theories to explain why the Republicans won. It's really sad to see the Democrats contort themselves this way.

The common thread seems to be that George W. Bush and his co-conspirators are out to deceive the American people on a scale heretofore unheard of in America. It's all hid behind that "genial" smile that masks an unfathomable evil hellbent on replacing decent American values with oil and timber company values. Good grief. The Democrats are suffering a mental breakdown. They can't understand how the American people would so thoroughly reject their beliefs.

Memo to Democrats: It was your sympathy and support for non-Americans that lost you the election. That's the short version. The longer version is that the American people saw that the Democrats were opposed to the US defending itself. They saw that the Democrats were ready to cede all decisions related to our security to the UN. We understood that many Democrats, at their core, are anti-American and deeply pro-European. We were attacked on September 11, 2001 and one of the first responses from Democrats was that we needed to understand what evil we had done to bring this on ourselves. We were to blame. We had spent the 20th century fighting aggressive totalitarian regimes and communists who openly declared their goal to take over the world, and all we got in return was condemnation for those efforts. Yes, we probably did have our own interests at stake, but it was understood that we were fighting for the interests of the world as well. Now, after we were attacked, Democrats are saying that our world involvement was the reason we were attacked. We had done it to ourselves because we fought so long and hard against communism and other world threatening ideas. That's the thanks we get for engaging the world to extend the promise of democracy? And to make matters worse, it was the supposedly most liberal and enlightened people who were the first to criticize our worldwide efforts.

The Democrats have lost their way. The used to be the party of Roosevelt, Truman, and Reagan. Now they are the party of Castro, Chretien, and Carter. They were exposed by the events of September 11, 2001 and it will take some heavy spin to recast their image.

I love it. John Leo has a list of of euphemisms and the terms they replaced. For example:

Roster management: eliminating male athletes, adding females

Verbal abuse: criticism

Assaultive expression: criticism

Linguistic domestic violence: criticism of a wife

Abductees (in Sudan): slaves

Tribal chief: swarthy, non-English-speaking leader you admire

Warlord: swarthy, non-English-speaking leader you do not admire

Self-sacrifice bombers: suicide bombers

Targeting process error: looks like we killed a lot of civilians

Activist volunteering (feminese): helping to kidnap a child from a father who has custody

Tree-density reduction: chopping down every tree in sight

Sunday, November 17, 2002

I just finished reading a combination fisking/misting of a Gore Vidal conspiracy theory that a cabal lead by President Bush and the oil companies were the real perpetrators of September 11, 2001.

Leftists have completely lost their minds. If they can believe any of this, then there is no point in debating anything with them. They have completely lost touch with reality and the rest of the sane people should write them off as a hopelessly lost cause. Here's a sample of what these people believe. The first quote is Gore Vidal's and the second part is Ron Rosenbaum's response to that unbelievable bit of insanity.

"The 342 pages of the USA Patriot Act were plainly prepared before 9/11." Note that "plainly" tucked in there. In other words, he has no evidence; it’s supposed to be self-evident—all the people who drafted the act were in on the plot, too."

I hope people will read the whole piece so they can understand the full depth of the insanity that has infected the left. They have completely lost touch with reality and everyone needs to see and understand this for themself.

I heard Marcy Kaptur, Democratic representative from the state of Ohio, repeat this same conspiracy theory on the November 12, 2002 Hannity and Colmes show. Kaptur was a candidate, along with Nancy Pelosi, to be the minority leader in the House of Representatives so she is not some fringe member of the Democratic party. She is very much in the mainstream. Anyway, Sean Hannity asked her point blank if she believed the conspiracy theory that President Bush had started the war against Afghanistan solely for the purpose of securing cheap oil via an Afghan pipeline and Ms. Kaptur's response was, "This is not some conspiracy theory. It's the truth." Sean Hannity told her that she was despicable.

This is the Democratic party. They are apparently suffering some group delusion, but they are beyond help. If they believe this, we can't help them. We should write them off and go on without them.

Where's the outrage over this!? Geez, I was just complaining that the left is willfully blind to excesses by totalitarian regimes, then I find this piece in the Christian Science Monitor. Where's the outrage? Why aren't the very people who oppose this sort of thing by Israel howling and foaming at the mouth? Where's the world press? I'm not saying that Jordan is not justified. This might be necessary, but the simple fact of the matter is that if this were Israel or the US, the outrage would make this a frontpage story for weeks and months.

The New York Times is reporting that Iran's leading Ayatollah has ordered a review of the death penalty imposed against history lecturer Hashem Aghajari. Aghajari was condemned to death for saying that people should not blindly follow religious leaders.

I'm like Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit. He asked where Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were during this whole episode. Where were they? Why didn't The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Daily Mirror feature glaring headlines quoting those organization's outrage over this death sentence? I'll tell you: Those organizations are left-wing organizations whose sole purpose is to portray the US as the world's most evil nation. They can't and won't condemn people of color for the same things that they will stage massive protests of the US for. I should be used to the fact of left-wing hypocrisy, but each time I see it I am outraged. Where's Noam Chomsky? Why isn't he helping the students in Iran? Why isn't he helping the people of the Middle East overthrow the totalitarian regimes that abuse them? He's not helping because Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, and Egypt are brutal totalitarian regimes and he supports them. The only type of government that he opposes are democratic, especially the US.

I hate leftists because they are inconsistent, hypocritical, and willfully ignorant and blind to the murderous and torturous totalitarian regimes in the world. To leftists, Castro is God and the US is the greatest evil the world has ever seen.

Al Gore continues his lying, misleading and inflammatory rhetoric against the policies of President Bush in this piece for Time Magazine Online.

It's one thing for Gore to say that he believes that President Bush is leading the US in the wrong direction, but Gore is stating his opinion as fact. It's like when Democrats call Republicans racist or homophobic. They have simply repeated the same thing over and over again until it has become fact to the media and others. This has been the Democrats strategy for years. Scream until your face turns red that the Republicans are destroying the environment, throwing old people out into the streets, wrecking the economy, or discriminating against minorities. Then tomorrow do the same thing. And get all the Democrats to repeat the same lies to the media until it becomes accepted fact that is beyond dispute. If anyone does dispute the "facts," then all you have to do is to tell them that everyone accepts these "facts" and that you must be hopelessly ill-informed if you don't know that what Al Gore is saying is true. "It's in the New York Times!", they'll say, as if that is proof that what they are saying is true. And we all know that the New York Times is a "centrist" newspaper that would NEVER slant a story or inject commentary into a straight news piece. Heaven's no!

I have seen budget resolutions on C-Span where every single Democrat went to the well of the house to say the same thing....over and over and over again. They were all repeating the same thing and the idea was to plant these ideas as "fact" into the subconcious of the viewer. Republicans were evil. They were coming for our old people. They were going to throw them out into the streets. They were going to starve children. They were going to kill minorities or at least to deny them basic human rights. One Democratic representative after another came to the well and said these same things, over and over again, until the same lies had been repeated well over 200 times. It became fact. The Republicans spoke on a variety of topics that each individual felt moved to speak about, but the Democrats followed the script to the letter.

Al Gore is continuing this same strategy hoping that some brave Democrat like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson will pick up the theme and help him to spread his message of lies and divisiveness. He is hoping to return to the glory days of Democratic unity where they all goose stepped to the well of the house to read the same Democratic playbook. Al Gore sickens me. He is a political opportunist of the worst sort.

I did not do well at all last week on my football picks. I went 5-9, but missed many games by only a few points. I hope I do better this week.

Inside the NFL: BEAT THE EXPERTS
YOUR SEASON RECORD 76-67

WEEK 11
Sunday November 17, 01:00 PM EST
Pittsburgh at Tennessee
Dallas at Indianapolis
Buffalo at Kansas City
Baltimore at Miami
Green Bay at Minnesota
Arizona at Philadelphia
New Orleans at Atlanta
Cleveland at Cincinnati
Washington at NY Giants
Sunday November 17, 04:05 PM EST
Carolina at Tampa Bay
San Francisco at San Diego
Sunday November 17, 04:15 PM EST
Denver at Seattle
Jacksonville at Houston
NY Jets at Detroit
Sunday November 17, 08:30 PM EST
New England at Oakland
Monday November 18, 09:00 PM EST
Chicago at St. Louis
TIEBREAKER: total points scored in Monday Night game: 60