Sean's Blog

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Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Here's an interesting statistic I found in an Opinion Journal piece by Julia Gorin:

"According to the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey, 90% of interracial crimes involve a white victim and a black perpetrator."

I would bet that most people would not believe that statistic if you told them. The media, the liberal media, would have us believe that the victim and perpetrator are reversed.

The rest of Gorin's piece is about how diversity trips the Democrats up when white people are removed from the various arguments and rationales in favor of race, sex, or sexual orientation based legislation. For instance:

"Another law, one that was passed with much fanfare, backfired just two weeks ago at the sentencing of a young Muslim man named Mazin Assi, who last September attempted to firebomb a Bronx synagogue. The crime was the first to be charged under New York state's brand new Hate Crimes Statute. What would have ended in a fine or probation for the ethnically sympathetic culprit became the maximum five to 15 years in prison.

Question God's existence, but not his poetry. The Assi case demonstrates that progressive legislation meant to target society's whiter and, when relevant, straighter elements has already gone awry (albeit not for law enforcement officials, who are glad to make use of any tools allowing them to be tougher on crime). Premised on punishing motivation over crime, and on the logic that killing a Jeffrey Dahmer because he is gay is worse than his killing people because he gets hungry, application of hate-crimes laws promises to get even stickier: According to the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey, 90% of interracial crimes involve a white victim and a black perpetrator. Yet witness the dearth of charges resulting from the 2001 Fat Tuesday mob violence against white celebrants in Seattle. Will things get even stickier if a black man one day decides to beat up a gay man--or, worse, kill a black lesbian, as may have been the case in Newark, N.J., last week?"

Wow. Try to guess who this commencement speaker was. I was very surprised.

Victor Davis Hanson is absolutely brilliant. I simply don't have the words to express myself as well as Hanson. And I never will. That's okay. Not many people do have his talent or vision.

The above linked article is a must read. It's far and away the best response to leftists and pacifists that I have read or heard as to why military action in Afghanistan and Iraq were necessary. Indeed, military action was the last resort. We tried everything else and all it got us was September 11, 2001. Here's how Hanson puts it:

"What in God's name, then, are we to do with this nonsense?

We seek military action and democratic reform hand-in-glove to end Islamic rogue states and terrorist enclaves — not because such audacious measures are our first option (appeasement, neglect, and complicity in the past were preferable), but because they are the last. Go ahead and argue over the improbability of democracy in the Middle East. Reckon the horrendous costs and unending commitment. Cite the improper parallels with Germany and Japan until you are blue in the face. Stammer on that Baghdad will never be a New England town hall.

Maybe, maybe not. But at least consider the alternatives.

Hitting and then running? Did that in Iraq in 1991 — and Shiites and Kurds hated us before dying in droves; Kuwaitis soon forgot our sacrifice, and we spent $30 billion and 350,000 air sorties to patrol the desert skies for 12 years. Afghans gave no praise for our help in routing the Soviets, but plenty of blame for leaving when the threat was over.

Establish bases and forget nation-building? Did that too once, everywhere from Libya to Saudi Arabia, and we still got a madman in Tripoli and 60,000 royal third cousins in Riyadh.

Turn the other cheek and say, "What's a few American volunteers killed in Lebanon or the Sudan when the stock market is booming and Starbucks is sprouting up everywhere?" Did that also, and we got 9/11.

Pour in money? Did that for a quarter-century; but I don't see that the street in Amman or Cairo is much appreciative about freebies, from tons of American wheat to Abrams tanks.

Get tough with Israel? Taking 39 scuds, pulling out of Lebanon, offering 97 percent of the West Bank, and putting up with Oslo got them the Intifada and female suicide bombers.

The fact is that the only alternative after September 11 was the messy, dirty, easily caricatured path that Mr. Bush has taken us down. For all the reoccurring troubles in Afghanistan, for all the looting and lawlessness in the month after the brilliant military victory in Iraq, and for all the recent explosions in restaurants, synagogues, and hotels — we are still making real progress.

Two years ago the most awful regimes since Hitler's Germany were the Taliban and the Hussein despotism. Both are now gone, and something better will yet emerge in their place. The American military has not proven merely lethal, but unpredictable and a little crazy into the bargain — as if our generals, when told to go to Baghdad or Kabul, nod yes and smile: "Hell, what are they going to do anyway, blow up the World Trade Center?"

Two years ago the world's most deadly agent was an Arab terrorist; now it is an American with a laptop and an F-18 circling above with a pod of GPS bombs.

Two years ago nuts in caves talked about Americans who were scared to fight; now the world is worried because we fight too quickly and too well. There are no more videos of Osama bin Laden strutting with his cell phone trailing sycophantic psychopaths. Yasser Arafat is no longer lord of the Lincoln bedroom, but shuffles around his own self-created moonscape.

Two years ago Syria and Lebanon were considered sacrosanct hideouts that we dared not enter — or so a sapling ophthalmologist from Syria threatened us. Today we tell the custodians of terror there to clean it up or we will — and assume that eventually we must.

Two years ago — and I speak from experience — faulting our corrupt relationship with Saudi Arabia brought mostly abuse from hacks in suits and ties in Washington and New York; now defending that status quo is more likely to incur public odium.

Two years ago the Cassandra-like trio of Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes, and Fouad Ajami were considered outcasts by disingenuous but influential Middle Eastern Studies departments; now they — not the poseurs in university lounges and academic conferences — are heeded by presidents and prime ministers.

No, we are making progress because we have sized up the problem, know the solution — and have the guts to press ahead. No one claimed all this would be easy or welcome. But like Roman senators of old with each hand on a fold of the toga, we offer choices. We hope that there are still enough people of good will and sobriety in the Middle East to rid themselves of the terrorist killers, and thus select a freely offered, Western-style democracy over the 1st Marine Division, a 1,000-plane sky, and some 30 acres of floating tarmac."

The debate is over. We know what we have to do and the world will be better for it.

Friday, May 23, 2003

The New York Times has a rather long article (registration required) about college Republicans.

All in all it's a pretty good article that examines the reasons why conservatism is doing well on college campuses. Here's an example:

"According to Bryan Auchterlonie, the 24-year-old executive director of the Collegiate Network (a program administered by I.S.I.), the terrorist attacks helped to galvanize right-wing students across the nation. ''Students are upset with what they see as anti-Americanism on campuses,'' Auchterlonie says."

But that's not the whole reason why conservatism is doing so well:

"But a movement based on patriotism and Reagan-worship alone could not have spread so rapidly nationwide. Here's where the left has unwittingly helped to energize the conservative movement. Visit any college campus today, and you're struck by the forces of what the conservatives call overweening political correctness that have seeped into every corner of life. Same-sex hand-holding days, ''Vagina Monologues'' performances, diversity training seminars, minority support groups, ''no means no'' dating rules, textbooks purified of gender, racial or class stereotypes -- for all their good intentions, these manifestations of enforced tolerance can create a stultifying air of conformity in college life. Hence the cries for ''individual responsibility'' and ''freedom of speech'' that are the leading slogans of today's campus conservative movement -- a deliberate echo of the left-wing Free Speech movements of the 1960's and a direct appeal to the natural impulse, on the part of young people, to rebel against the powers that be."

And this is another reason why students conservatism is doing well:

"Another Bucknell conservatives club member, Denise Chaykun, typifies how some young women are only driven further to the right by what they see as the pieties of the left. Chaykun, with her shoulder-length blond hair, faded jeans and rock T-shirt, could have stepped out of a 1970's campus sit-in. But she is one of the most combative and hard-core conservatives at Bucknell. ''You come to college, and the message they give you is 'Your parents are racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic, and we're going to take you and change that,''' she says. ''A lot of the courses are mushy stuff about sex and gender and social relations. You can't take a class about a war. We don't have a military historian at Bucknell. Everything is so dumbed down because no one wants to offend anyone.''

People are tired of the left's intolerance. I think that's the bottom line.

The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0 with one absence to lift the sanctions against Iraq.

Speaking of those sanctions, didn't the left insist that the sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of children? Didn't Noam Chomsky and his supporters insist that the sanctions killed upwards of 500,000? Well let's see what Iraqi doctors have to say:

"Under the sanctions regime, "We had the ability to get all the drugs we needed," said Ibn Al-Baladi's chief resident, Dr. Hussein Shihab. "Instead of that, Saddam Hussein spent all the money on his military force and put all the fault on the USA. Yes, of course the sanctions hurt - but not too much, because we are a rich country and we have the ability to get everything we can by money. But instead, he spent it on his palaces."

Then there's this:

"I am one of the doctors who was forced to tell something wrong - that these children died from the fault of the UN," Shihab said, sitting in his hospital's staff room with his deputy, another doctor and one of the hospital's administrators. As recently as just before the start of the war, he said, he had told visiting journalists and peace activists that the sanctions were to blame for the high death rate among infants at his hospital.

"But I am afraid if I tell the true thing ..." Shihab paused and laughed with a mixture of relief and shame. Using the present tense in English to describe the pre-war past, he continued: "They will kill me. Me and my family and my uncle and my aunt - everyone."

Well well well. I wonder when Noam Chomsky will be scheduling his press conference to admit that he was wrong. Yea right. That'll happen

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Here's one account of how The Dixie Chicks were received at the Academy of Country Music Awards last night:

"Former country music darlings the Dixie Chicks are still paying a price for criticizing the U.S.-led war against Iraq.
The trio was snubbed at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday while audience members booed the very mention of the absent group's name.

The Texas musicians have been on the defensive since March, when singer Natalie Maines. Several radio stations pulled the chart-topping group's songs, and sales of their acclaimed new album slipped.

Instead of showing up at the glitzy Las Vegas ceremony, the three-time nominees performed a song live via satellite from Austin, Texas. They received a "pretty big negative response," the show's host, Reba McEntire (news), told reporters backstage afterward."

And here's another account:

"The wonderful Melissa Moskal from the Young America's Foundation e-mails me on how it went down at the Country Music Awards last night: the important thing to note about last night's ACMs wasn't covered in the wire reports...

The Chicks were nominated for several awards. When their names were announced for nominations pre-performance, the audience clapped for them.

It was only AFTER the performance, when whatsherface wore the "F*** You Toby Keith" shirt, and their name was read for "Entertainer of the Year," that the audience booed. And, poetically, Toby Keith beat them out for that award.

People might have started to forgive them for the anti-Bush remarks. But picking a fight with reigning country badass Toby Keith has just gotten them totally ostracized from the country community."

Natalie Maines is stupid beyond belief.

If your religious leaders support Robert Mugabe from the pulpit it's time to find a new church:

"One notable case in point is Nolbert Kunonga, the Anglican Bishop of Harare. It is not simply that Kunonga has refused to condemn the outrages of Zanu-PF Zimbabwe. He uses his pulpit to praise Mugabe. In January last year, Kunonga took over a prayer meeting in Harare and used it as a forum to promote Mugabe’s land-reform policy. On another notorious occasion, the bishop made the astounding and impious assertion that Mugabe was more godly than he was. He endorsed Mugabe ahead of the presidential election in March last year. Then, once the election was won — though only through the use of the most brutal and murderous intimidation — he attended Mugabe’s inauguration ceremony. There he informed guests that the election result represented God’s will. He dismissed Mugabe’s critics as ‘little voices shouting at a passing elephant’.

Kunonga’s sycophancy towards the Zimbabwean despot affronted several of his fellow clergy. But he knew how to deal with their protests. He recently secured a court order banning more than a dozen churchwardens and members of the congregation from worshipping at the cathedral after they complained noisily about his pro-Mugabe sermons. Last April the United States added Kunonga to the list of corrupt public officials and villainous policemen who are banned from travelling to the United States."

The U.N. handles Mugabe in much the same way. Did I mention that I HATE(!) the U.N.?

Here's my letter to Poets Against The War:

"Poets against the war

This story appeared in The Opinion Journal:

"The New York Times reports on Baghdad's art scene:
Many of the city's artists revel in the new possibilities. At the Writers' Union, a shabby building that once was the domain of the government's literary minions, a new leadership has declared itself in charge.

A maxim of Mr. Hussein's still adorns the entranceway, proclaiming, "The nation without great poets will not have great politicians."

But outside, a handwritten sign had been taped to the wall. "All of you who used your pens to glorify the dictatorship must lay down your pens and make way for those who were smothered by the regime," the notice said.

It was signed "The Liberated Iraqi Poets' Society."

Will these idiots ever get the message?"

"These idiots" are you. If you had had your way, Saddam would still be in power and this sort of freedom of expression would not be happening in Baghdad. You were tools of Saddam Hussein. I hope you are proud of your work. I'm sure Saddam appreciated what you tried to do for him. The Liberated Iraqi Poets Society does not.

Sean Roper"

I say this with all possible hate: The U.N. is a despicable, disgusting, wretched organization that should be dismantled:

"United Nations officials looked the other way as Saddam Hussein's regime skimmed $2 billion to $3 billion in bribes and kickbacks from the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program, said U.N. officials who told ABCNEWS they were powerless to stop the massive graft."

That organization has become nothing more than a rubber stamp of world approval for corruption, deceit, and greed. France's blind ambition has been a perfect example. They didn't care about the Iraqi people or the threat to the one power that can defend freedom all over the world. France cared about it's oil contracts and it's world political influence. France cares more about returning to world prominence and those infamous oil contracts it signed with one of the world's most brutal and oppressive dictators than it does about freedom, peace, and human rights.

There are other examples of U.N. corruption, but the above linked story is perfectly representative of the U.N.'s practices. It should suffer a swift demise.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Oh my god. All the jerk (Jayson Blair) has to do is cry, "Racism!", and he'll become a martyr and civil rights symbol for the left. I predict eventually that he'll rise to the level of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King. He'll get choked up and discuss how racism ruined his life and the left will get choked up with him. He's working it all up as this interview in the New York Observer makes clear. Racism. Racism made him do it.

He's going to sign a book and movie deal that will pay him perhaps millions. And for what? Being a lying, deceitful, race-baiting asshole? Yep. That'll do it.

He will be able to ride the accusation for the rest of his life. Racism. It'll be his cloak and protection against all charges. He'll make a great victim because he knows exactly what the left wants to hear. I think I'm going to be ill.

From Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus column:

"Adam Daifallah is reporting from Baghdad for the New York Sun, and he has some interesting things to relate. I was especially struck by: "Every Iraqi [at a mass grave] had a story to tell. One man, who had lost three relatives in the 1991 Shiite uprising, said he did not want any Arab press taking pictures at the gravesite because they supported Saddam all these years."

Oh, there's so much packed into that statement."

Oh I love that. Al Jazeera, the Arab TV network, is being pummeled by the Iraqi's and that's got to be astonishing to the larger Arab world.

Did you hear about the New York Times reporter who was booed off the stage while giving a commencement speech?

The jerk used the forum to express his political views which were not well received to say the least:

"Hedges began his abbreviated 18-minute speech comparing United States’ policy in Iraq to piranhas and a tyranny over the weak. His microphone was unplugged within three minutes.

Voices of protest and the sound of foghorns grew.

Some graduates and audience members turned their backs to the speaker in silent protest. Others rushed up the aisle to vocally protest the remarks, and one student tossed his cap and gown to the stage before leaving.

Mary O’Neill of Capron, who earned a degree in elementary education, sat in her black cap and gown listening. She was stunned.

She turned to Pribbenow and asked him why he was letting the speech continue. He said it was freedom of speech. Pribbenow later said when people stop listening to ideas, even controversial ones, it is the death of institutions like 157-year-old Rockford College.

In tears, O’Neill left the ceremony.

Her husband, Kevin, sat in the audience with their daughter and was as indignant as his wife.

“This is a ceremony. ... The day belongs to the students. It doesn’t belong to a political view,” he said."

I'm proud of those students. They defended their country when it was attacked.

The blame for this whole mess clearly falls on the school administration and the speaker. They seriously misjudged their audience and ruined what should have been the students' day.

In his latest bleat, James Lileks (scroll down) writes about the BBC's attempt to back away from the accusation that the Jessica Lynch rescue was staged. In the process Lileks explains the sort of whacked-out-his-head conspiracy theorist who would believe the story in the first place:

"......he (Robert Scheer) noted that it’s one of those stories that confirms the suspicions of those who wake every day believing the worst. Sure, they say the sun rises in the east, but that’s just to keep you from looking west where the real action is. Each side is guilty of this - in the 90s a substantial contingent of the right was convinced that Gov. Bill Clinton ran coke out of Mena. It’s almost as if you have two options:

1. I disagree with my opponent's position on taxation, and therefore I shall oppose it.

2. I disagree with my opponent's position on taxation, and therefore I believe he has sex with goats.

The second option is ever so satisfying to the lone iconoclast: the fact that the mainstream media does not report the rumors about midnight goat-deliveries confirms your worldview. And the faintest whiff of goatiness whets your enthusiasm, confirms your juicy suspicions.

But of course the sheeple won’t believe it - which just proves how smart you are."

Then there's this:

"The Beeb’s website has lots of reactions to the Lynch story. Most are appalled at the credulous nature of the American public. Sheeple!

Come on. A movie (about Pvt. Lynch) before 2004, which happens to be when Bush is up for reelection? Surely there can be no other reason for such a movie than to reinforce everyone's loyalty to America. It's like something Saddam would do!
Colm, Ireland

So says an uncritical consumer of state-run media.

Soon, we'll all be citizens of the United Hates of Amnesia.
Chard, France"

This sort of conspiracy theory is dominant on the left these days. Yes, it used to be a feature of the right, but it's found a welcome home on the left mainly because the purveyors of this idiocy are usually convinced that they are oh so much smarter (to the point of open derision) than everyone else and this is prominent feature of leftism today. That's why the BBC's story was believed. It reinforced the notion that only certain people knew the truth and that the lesser intellects had been fooled again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

George Shadroui has a piece that's featured at Frontpage magazine that shows how wrong Eric Alterman is when he asks, "What Liberal Media?", which also happens to be the name of one of his books. Let me use Shadroui's words to blow Alterman's idiocy, lies, and deceit out of the water:

"Moreover, what Alterman fails to acknowledge, though it is manifestly known, is the near liberal monopoly of intellectual discussion and publication on college campuses, a combined influence that dwarfs any conservative foundation effort. University presses crank out thousands of subsidized books a year, most of them liberal and an alarming percentage perversely left. A cursory review of the top 20 endowments for public universities totaled close to $25 billion. One private college, Harvard , has an endowment of $18 billion all by itself. Many leftwing and liberal journalists (and almost no conservative ones) have sinecures at universities that subsidize their efforts. Deceptively, Alterman never factors in this huge component of the media equation.

Meanwhile, another survey published by the Chronicle of Higher Education (circa 1998) shows that of the top 50 foundations (ranked by total value of grants distributed for purposes of higher education) 12 are listed on Progressivepubs.com. Of that same top 50, only one, the John Olin Foundation, is clearly supportive of conservative causes. The rest of the 50 are dedicated to such causes as science, health care or general educational support, but are not clearly partisan. Those 12 foundations, by the way, distributed more than a half billion dollars in educational grants during the period surveyed. Remember, these are foundations that are identified as supporting "progressive" causes. In addition, progressivepubs.com lists hundreds of other foundations committed to progressive agendas.

It gets worse for Alterman, however. As David Horowitz has observed, the assets of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation alone, a noted progressive foundation, are three times those of the three major conservative foundations combined – the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the John Olin Foundation. Alterman simply overlooks these facts."

Eric Alterman shouldn't be taken seriously. He's a crackpot.

I just read Newsweek's short version of the rise and fall of Jayson Blair at The New York Times. The story is pretty interesting and it had to be told, but it's going to piss me off when the Blair ends up making a couple million dollars and becomes a national celebrity for being a terrible reporter who plagiarized and fabricated stories. There ought to be a boycott of the book and movie that will be coming out. Jayson Blair should not make one cent from what he's done, but I know he will. And he'll probably come across as some poor misfortunate who was a victim of society's expectations. I just wonder if race will be an issue and whether it will be used to excuse Jayson's behavior.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

I just read Jonathan Rauch's stirring and uplifting piece in Reason magazine and I had to send this letter to Andrew Sullivan:

"Andrew

I hope you will read Rauch's piece in Reason Online.

Contrast his optimism and vision with your talk of "failures" and "extraordinary errors" in Iraq.

I was a fan, but your campaign to discredit President Bush for whatever reason is making you look like the sort of New York Times columnist that you had become so respected for taking on.

I have grown so disappointed in your defeatism and handwringing that I can hardly bring myself even visit your site. Watch how you readership declines the more you wallow in such talk.

I hope you will see what I am talking about.

Sean Roper

While I was visiting Instapundit I ran across a link that ultimately lead to this. Here are some interesting tidbits from the column:

"Recently Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood on the steps of the New York state capitol and thanked legislators for "coming through" for his city, by giving him permission to impose $700 million in new taxes on Gotham, bringing to nearly $3 billion the total tax increases enacted by the city since the mayor took office.

Any longtime New Yorker knows that a strategy of trying to tax your way out of hard times has been tried twice before--in the late 1960s and early 1990s--with disastrous consequences. Now, as then, tax increases will not only not solve the budget crisis but will exacerbate the economic downturn. In the early 1990s crisis, as taxes went up two years in a row, the economy contracted by more than 10% while deficits persisted."

"Long-term, the damage to the city's economy could be profound. Over the last four decades, New York City has become the most heavily taxed city in America. And as a result, Gotham has not added a single net new private-sector job over that period of time, while local government jobs have grown by more than 20%--90,000 positions.

Wow. You would think that statistic would concern the leftists that run NYC, but if I had to guess I would say that it would not even raise an eyebrow. Leftism as an ideology would never admit that was a important statistic. The only thing that would matter to the left would be that, yes, jobs were created. Actually, they would probably be proud of the fact that the government had become, as I would say, bloated. It would represent, to leftists, compassion in the same way that long term welfare represented compassion. That people were trapped in a situation that was just barely enough to keep them alive wasn't a concern. They were being cared for by a morally superior and compassionate ideology that knew what was best for those people. How could anything be better than welfare?

I never read the Los Angeles Times mostly because the registration to read that horrible leftwing rag takes too long. It's just not worth it to me to read the sort of vile far leftism that Hugh Hewitt talks about it in his column for The Weekly Standard. I do read The New York Times, but if the registration to read that paper had been very cumbersome I wouldn't read it either since it's of the same ilk as the Los Angeles Times.

Anyway, as I was saying, Hugh Hewitt wrote an article for The Weekly Standard talking about how the LA Times was exhibiting the same symptoms as The New York Times. That is, it's often wrong on facts and that the newsroom culture causes it to ignore stories or angles because of a decidedly left ideology. To be clear, I'm talking about a newspaper. I'm not talking about an opinion journal. Here is an excerpt from Hewitt's piece that shows what he's talking about (The following quote is by LA Times columnist Steve Lopez):

"Bush's wimpy critics are missing the point. The question isn't: Hey, what was he doing landing on that aircraft carrier?

It's this: Why do we have nine of them?

That's right. We've got nine super-size aircraft carriers, with a 10th on order.

No other country has even one of those monsters. Are we expecting a sea battle with Al Qaeda?


But in addition to being wrong on the theory, Lopez is wrong on the facts: There are 8 Nimitz-class and 4 other carriers active, for a total of 12. And there are two on order: the Ronald Reagan and the George H.W. Bush. Lopez didn't bother with too much research, it seems, and appears genuinely to wonder why a global power that depends on the projection of force via its carrier fleet might need every ship in the fleet and needs to plan many years ahead for the replacement of the aging ships."

Lopez is just ignorant if he doesn't understand why we need a strong military. And that doesn't explain how he got the facts so wrong.

I haven't read a Jay Nordlinger Impromptus column in a long time. Maybe he hasn't wrote one or maybe it's because I just missed it, but I am glad that I didn't miss this one.

The whole thing is excellent and I suggest reading it, but I have to paste a couple of his comments so that I can be sure to have them in case the link to his column expires. Here are the best from the column:

"There is a group called the National Network on Cuba. It is a Castro-support organization, based in San Francisco. This weekend, they are holding a meeting in New York at Local 1199 of the SEIU — the Service Employees International Union. This is the union from which John Sweeney, the current head of the AFL-CIO, sprang.

As one Cuban democrat said, "Just ask yourself: Why is a union hosting the thugs from a nation that does not allow union representation of workers or freedom of speech or freedom from fear?" Castro's personnel themselves will be involved in this meeting."

One more reason why I say, "Don't trust Democrats" and one more reason why I will never be a Democrat. They often support dictators like Castro and Hussein as they have so recently shown.

Here's a letter that Nordlinger received:

"Dear Mr. Nordlinger: A couple of weeks ago, my son called here at home from somewhere near downtown Baghdad. It was in the middle of the night and I was a bit groggy. My boy is a 2LT and a Tank Commander in the 3-7 Cav. He told me, 'Pop, no matter what you hear or read in the media, remember this one thing: The Iraqi people are ecstatic to have us here.'"

Here's another letter:

"Dear Jay: The University of Michigan is complaining now that the current members of the (men's) basketball team are being made to pay the consequences for the wrongdoing of a previous generation of ballplayers. Contrast this with the affirmative-action proponents who think nothing of making my kids pay for the 'sins' of their great-great-grandparents."

The University of Michigan is fighting a court battle to keep affirmative action in place. I wonder if anyone there sees the irony.