Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Lebron James has been ruled ineligible to continue his high school basketball career because he accepted free jerseys from a store in Ohio last week. The problem is that he profited from his fame as a basketball player. The jerseys constituted a payment which means that he is no longer an amateur.

Personally, I am glad to see this happen. For one thing, I was sort of worried that he would get hurt before he signed his multi-million dollar deals with Nike or Reebok and whichever NBA team drafts him. But I am also glad that this happened because it shows how the people surrounding Lebron can have a destructive effect. Lebron is a kid and there is real danger that hangers on will have a ruinous effect in his life. I hope someone can protect this kid. He's very talented, but he's also too young to fully comprehend all that will be happening to him in the next few years. I pray that some professional athlete like Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson can reach this kid before it's too late.

Newsweek is reporting that the U.S. will release highly sensitive electronic intercepts to show that Iraq has been working to deceive the weapons inspectors.

This release isn't being touted as some smoking gun, but Newsweek is saying that it will contain some pretty damning conversations between top Iraqi officials. One anonymous U.S. official says:

"Hold onto your hat. We’ve got it”

What that means should become clear on February 5, 2003.

Friday, January 31, 2003

Robert Kagan explains why Tony Blair and the other European leaders who signed that letter the other day supporting the U.S. in our confrontation with Iraq should be considered brave and inspirational leaders in every sense of the word:

"And never mind that they insisted America's war on terrorism must be Europe's war, too -- at a time when, as EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana recently conceded, most Europeans do not feel the slightest bit threatened by international terrorism and, indeed, fear Bush more than they fear Osama bin Laden."

That's unbelievable to me. That Europeans could actually fear the U.S. more than they fear Osama bin Laden. How is that possible? We have done nothing to make them fear us. We have fought and died to free them. They have been our partners and allies for more than 50 years, but for some reason they actually fear us more than they do a terrorist who would kill them all if he had the means to do it. Kagan explains that European intellectuals and politicians have fostered these feelings to focus their citizens anger away from the failed policies of the European goverments:

"Instead, as keen observers such as Christopher Caldwell have noted, anti-Americanism has become the organizing theme for all European grievances about their world. And just as Arab leaders channel domestic unhappiness with their rule into anti-Americanism as a kind of safety valve for discontent, so, in perhaps more subtle ways, do European leaders. Schroeder surely hopes his impoverished constituents in the former East Germany can be encouraged to vent their anger at Bush and not at their own chancellor. French anxieties about France's growing Muslim population are channeled into hostility toward Israel and the Bush administration's Middle East policies."

I can only hope that Rhode Island gets rid of it's spineless Republican senator Lincoln Chafee. Here's how The Washington Times characterized Chafee's comments on Iraq:

"Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island Republican, suggested that the inspection teams could keep Iraq contained for a year or more."

Wow.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Damn. This is just vicious. A radio station in Florida, WQAM-AM, features a cruel and bitter racial attack against Condoleeza Rice by the host Neil Rogers and there's not one word from Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or the NAACP.

The reason there was no response? It's simple. Ms. Rice is a conservative and Neil Rogers is a Democrat. Yet another example of how unprincipled the left is.

For the record I have to say that I admired Nelson Mandela. He is a great man, but his recent comments are simply too much. Here's the piece from CNN detailing what Mandela said. Here are the exact quotes:

"Speaking at the International Women's Forum, Mandela said "if there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America."

Mandela said U.S. President George W. Bush covets the oil in Iraq 'because Iraq produces 64 percent of the oil in the world. What Bush wants is to get hold of that oil.' In fact Iraq contributes to only 5 percent of world oil exports."

Also:

"Receiving applause for his comments, Mandela said Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are 'undermining' past work of the United Nations.

'They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man?' said Mandela, referring to Kofi Annan, who is from Ghana."

Needless to say Mr. Mandela got a letter through his African National Congress email address. Here's the address: nmandela@anc.org.za and here's my letter to Mr. Mandela:

"Mr. Mandela

With all due respect for your courage, you are a goddamn idiot. To say, "if there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America" is perhaps the single most stupid thing to ever be said in the history of the world.

Furthermore, your blindingly stupid comment that, "because Iraq produces 64 percent of the oil in the world. What Bush wants is to get hold of that oil" is preposterous. Iraq has nowhere near that much oil.

You have lost a lot of respect from many Americans who saw you as a world treasure. Your Marxist beliefs and horrible lies will very nearly destroy all the respect you had built up from Americans.

Mandela used to stand for courage, honor, and justice. Now it means despicable liar. I hope you are happy.

Sean Roper"

You think that "goddamn idiot" comment was too much? Nah, me neither.

Eight European nations have signed a letter pledging their support in any war to force Iraq to disarm. Good. Now I wish the other European nations would wake up. Here's the full text of the letter.

In the same New York Times piece I found a sentence that really pissed me off:

"The antiwar lobby found fresh support today from Mohamed ElBaradei, who heads of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency and is leading the organization's hunt for nuclear weapons in Iraq."

The Times is saying that the WEAPONS INSPECTORS are weapons searchers. This the sort of word game that the Times is famous for. That seemingly innocuous word "hunt" speaks volumes about The New York Times' editorial position on this whole affair. This can't be stressed enough. They are INSPECTORS. Their job is not to hunt for weapons. Their job is to document and verify that Iraq has destroyed all the weapons that we know they have. That also needs to stressed more. We know they have weapons and delivery systems that they pledged to destroy and we know they haven't. Oh man, the Times really pisses me off sometimes.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

This is Al Sharpton and no one should EVER be fooled into believing anything else:

"Matthews, like some of the New York press, seems unaware of a far more egregious example of Sharpton's malevolence and his skill at insulating himself from the consequences of his demagoguery — the 1995 killing of seven people at Freddy's Fashion Mart on 125th Street.

Sharpton and his National Action Network turned a dispute between a Jewish tenant who rented the space for his store (Freddy's) from a black church and his black subtenant into a racial hailstorm. Sharpton set up pickets outside the store, led by his lieutenant in the National Action Network, Morris Powell.

Powell was an intimidating figure to many on 125th Street. An escaped mental patient who had thrice been accused of attempted murder, he had long threatened that "there will be war" against white merchants and "this street will burn." His protesters, sometimes joined by Sharpton, shouted racial epithets like "Jew bastards" and "the bloodsucking Jews," while referring to other whites as "crackers" and black customers as "traitors."

One of the protesters, a man who called himself "Shabazz," forced his way into the store shouting, "I will be back to burn the Jew store down." He didn't, but a man named Abubunde Mulocko did.

Apparently angered by the mistaken assumption that the store had hired Hispanics instead of blacks, Mulocko, a man with a long criminal record, his "paranoia goosed by the protests," burned the store down.

Armed with a .38, he shot three whites and a Pakistani in cold blood (he had mistaken the light-skinned Pakistani for a Jew) and then set the fire that killed five Hispanics, one Guyanese and one black, the security guard who the protesters had taunted as a "cracker lover."

A compliant press never asked Sharpton tough questions in the wake of the massacre. He denied that he knew what his own lieutenant was up to. Instead, having thoroughly intimidated people in Harlem who might criticize him, he was allowed to resume his pose as a 'civil-rights leader.'"

A great line from Jonah Goldberg's latest piece for National Review:

"This may not explain the dynamics of why Saddam's got to go right now. But after he's gone, when the Iraqi prisons and archives of terror are opened and the Iraqi people are free, Bush can simply say of Saddam, in cowboy parlance, "He needed killin'"; and everyone will understand."

Here's the transcript from President Bush's State of the Union Address.

The most overlooked part of the speech is the most important:

"In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. (Applause.)

A single chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car — producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free. (Applause.)"

I listened to people talk about this speech today and no one mentioned hydrogen powered vehicles. This is not science fiction. We already have vehicles that are powered with this technology. The biggest problem with making this an everyday reality is the creation of the hydrogen stations that will replace gas stations. The problem for now is that the hydrogen is so dangerous that people would blow themselves up while fueling their vehicles. Once the safety issue is removed we will move quickly to reliable hydrogen powered vehicles. I am so excited about this. I will probably be old and gray before it happens, but knowing that it certainly will happen still makes me very optimistic for the world's future.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Daniel Pipes offers a brief historical perspective to explain the European mindset. Pipes argues that Europe is remembering the horrors of World War l and is forgetting that the appeasement that followed that conflict allowed for the rise of Adolf Hitler:

"Four years (1914-18) of hell, especially in the trenches of northern France, then prompted immense guilt about the jubilation of 1914. A new consensus emerged: Never again would Europeans rush into war.

Appeasement looked better than ever. And so, as Adolf Hitler threatened in the 1930s, British and French leaders tried to buy him off. Of course, what worked in colonial wars had utterly disastrous results when dealing with an enemy like the Nazis.

This led to the policy of buying off totalitarian opponents being discredited. Throughout the Cold War, it appeared the Europeans had learned a lesson they would never forget. But forget they did, soon after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991."

The time is drawing short for Saddam Hussein. We'll be at war in less than 30 days is my prediction. That's a pretty safe bet considering what Colin Powell is saying:

"The issue is not how much more time the inspectors need to search in the dark," he declared. "It is how much more time Iraq should be given to turn on the lights and to come clean. And the answer is: not much more time. Iraq's time for choosing peaceful disarmament is fast coming to an end."

I know that many Europeans doubted our sincerity or somehow believed that we could be dissuaded from toppling Saddam. The French were especially confident that they could block our intentions. They were wrong. We were attacked on September 11, 2001 and that day showed us all the possibilties. We understood like never before the consequences of allowing Saddam Hussein to remain in power. He had broken every single promise that he had made and we knew that, given time, he would get a nuclear weapon. From there it would be an easy matter of turning that weapon over to some terrorist group to set off in the U.S. It didn't have to be some infamous terror group. It could be a group of three or four who were determined to attack us for any reason whatsoever. The point is that Saddam could easily attack us anonymously, but even if it was determined that he had done the deed the American left would come to his defense. That's what happening today and it wouldn't be any different then.

On the surface we are disarming Saddam. But the underlying message we are sending is something akin to the message a mafia godfather would be honor bound to send. The mafia boss would understand that no response for such a devastating attack would only encourage other attacks. The other guy uses a knife, we use a gun. They send one of our guys to the hospital, we send two of his to the morgue. We are honor bound to do this thing. We have no choice.

Monday, January 27, 2003

My IP must have fallen victim to that internet worm that's been going around. I haven't been able to get online for two days. I tried this one last time before I called them to see exactly what the problem is, but I see that all is now well.

I've been having withdrawal symptoms. I swear, I don't know what I would do without the internet.