Sean's Blog

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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

What a delightful story:

"During the singing of the National Anthem, 13-year-old Natalie Gilbert froze midway through "The Star Spangled Banner." Grasping for the words that refused to come, some 20,000 fans became restless and loud.

Riding in like a knight in shining armor, Blazer coach Maurice Cheeks put his hand on her shoulder, and picked up the tune. Soon the audience joined in on the duet, and a thunderous applause filled the arena with those final words, "And the home of the brave."

Ye Newe York Times reports on postwar difficulties following victory at Yorktown.

This is just one example of many why the U.N. is a despicable organization:

"While the United States was preoccupied with the Iraq war, Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrested 78 dissidents, journalists and librarians and "tried" them for treason, giving them varying prison sentences of as long as 28 years."

And Cuba is on the U.N.'s Human Rights Commission along with that other defender of humanity, Lybia, who by the way, has the chair to that commission.

This, along with stories coming out about the U.N.'s criminal handling of Iraq's Oil For Food program, and the other stories of U.N. corruption and incompetence make me wish the U.S. would get out of the U.N.

The U.N. is rapidly losing credibility among Americans and I wonder how much longer other nations will put up with it's ineffectually bloated bureaucracy, corruption, criminal incompetence, and appeasement of the worlds most brutal dictators.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I love it. David Horowitz dissects the common wisdom of the left and Arianna Huffington in particular.

I shouldn't be surprised to read some of the things that Huffington has to say, but I am. She is making all the same disingenuous arguments that reasonable people recognize as nonsense. I say "reasonable people", but that does not include the anti-war left. They have shown an amazing ability to lie and distort the issues in the same way no matter how many times they are corrected. For instance, David Horowitz has to say again, for the hundredth time that it was not Saddam's war machine that posed a threat the U.S. It was his willingness to use and eagerness to attain WMD's that made him such a threat. Here's the Huffington quote from Horowitz's piece:

"The speedy fall of Baghdad proves the anti-war movement was dead right. The whole pretext for our unilateral charge into Iraq was that the American people were in imminent danger from Saddam and his mighty war machine…."

Here's Horowitz's response (that he has to say this again is depressing):

"But who in the Bush Administration ever suggested, as Huffington claims, that Saddam’s war machine was a match for American military power? The answer is no one. This was never the threat."

Horowitz's article addresses each of Huffington's accusations. As I said, the fact that he even has to refute her lies and distortions is depressing, but it is necessary.

Many people have tried to say why the Hollywood left is wrong to say that their right to free speech is being infringed. Jonah Goldberg tries to address the issue and he makes some good points such as:

"The Screen Actors Guild, the Writer's Guild and the other protection rackets which serve to regulate and prohibit the speech of writers not in their club, issued blistering denunciations."

And:

"Okay, let's recap. "Intimidation" of free speech is a moral horror. Democracy means never being criticized. And, the refusal to sponsor speech you don't like amounts to having one's "right to work" repealed."

Also:

"And if (Tim) Robbins is so miffed about his "censorship" by professional baseball, I assume he's outraged about what happened to John Rocker was fined, suspended and harrassed for real. I didn't necessarily like everything Rocker had to say, but then again I'm not the guy who pounds the table about free speech protections for those with unpopular views."

All the above are very good points, but sometimes I think the simplest language, repeated with each accusation of censorship is the most effective way to deal with the accuser. My simple language is this: You do not have the right to be free of criticism. When people disagree with you they are exercising their right to free speech, just like you.

I think it's just that simple.

The Christian Science Monitor features a story about the openess that is emerging in Iraq. This openess is most represented by the demand for high priced satellite dishes and the formation of many newspapers.

It does my heart good to see the Iraqi people embracing one of the fundamentals of a free society:

"Two ethnic Turkmens - whose language is an offshoot of Turkish - are checking out new satellite dishes on the steps of Salih's store. They say they've already bought one and are enjoying watching television stations from Turkey. "If we turned on the television in the past, the only news was what Saddam did today," says Sabah Nur eh-Din. "We had only two channels. It would have been better to turn the television off and just paste up a picture of Saddam on the screen."

His friend, Abbas Ali, concurs. "We used to go to sleep at 10 p.m. Now we stay up until 4 or 5 a.m. because we can't get enough." Still desperate for war news, they tune to CNN, BBC, and what appears to be a local favorite, Fox. They like it, people here say, because it has been the most supportive of the war.

For many here, the only foreign channels they can understand are in Arabic, and they are deeply resentful of the most prominent one, Qatar-based Al-Jazeera.

Abu Bakr Mohammed Amin, an elderly man in a red-checkered headdress visiting Salih's television shop, gives them a dismissive flick of the wrist: "They only knew how to support Saddam," he says."

Monday, April 28, 2003

This just drives me nuts and the fact that it's in a conservative newspaper is even more distressing.

It's an editorial about the Dixie Chicks and it contains some outright falsehoods (I would call them lies, but I'm giving the Washington Times the benefit of the doubt for now).

First of all, the Times says that Natalie Maines said, "Just so you know, I am ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." All other reports said that she said, "we are ashamed....."

Secondly, the Times says that the Dixie Chicks have "issued several apologies." The Chicks issued one apology that I know of. There might be more, but I can't say for sure. The "several apologies" that the Times is talking about is probably the one apology that Natalie Maines keeps referring to.

Third, and most infuriating, the Times says that "Miss Maines wept as she pleaded to America for forgiveness, attempting to salvage her reputation and career with fellow Chicks." This is not true. Natalie Maines did not "plead" for forgiveness. She stood by her comments. She said she that she had issued a statement that said she regretted the choice of words, but she did not take the opportunity of the interview to reiterate her apology, much less to "plead" to America. It didn't happen.

Stephen Hayes in The Weekly Standard says that truck loads of documents have been found in Iraq and that these documents may detail the payments made to Arab and western journalists who wrote favorable stories for Saddam.

George Galloway has already been caught and I'm beginning to wonder which prominent American will be found to have been on Saddam's payroll. This could get very interesting.