Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Behold the brilliance of Ann Coulter:

"Contrary to their current self-advertisements, it was liberals who were citing Saddam's weapons of mass destruction – and with gusto – in order to argue against war with Iraq. They said America would suffer retaliatory strikes, there would be mass casualties, Israel would be nuked, our troops would be hit with Saddam's chemical weapons, it would be a Vietnam quagmire.

They said "all" we needed to do was disarm him. This would have required a military occupation of Iraq and a systematic inspection of the 1,000 or so known Iraqi weapons sites without interference from the Hussein regime. In other words, pretty much what we're doing right now."

As always, the whole piece should be read. She's absolutely brilliant. I love you Ann.

Here's my letter to Andrew Sullivan in response to the resignation of Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd at The New York Times:

"Andrew

I don't know how you'll take the news, but your focus on Raines' management of the NY Times was exceptional and you deserve most of the credit for his resignation.

Don't feel guilty, if you ever do. You did the right thing for the people that newspapers often claim to serve. Raines did this to himself.

Attaboy.

Sean Roper"

Here's a letter I sent in response to this Opinion Journal piece (scroll down):

Editor

I just read about a recent student senate meeting in the Wall Street Journal's online Opinion Journal and I was moved to write to you.

Here's the link and what I read: http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110003586

"From the Highlander, the student newspaper at the University of California, Riverside, comes a hilarious example of how diversity is actually practiced in higher education. It's a report on a student senate meeting:

At the meeting, the senate also voted to approve a mural to be placed in the Commons. There was some concern voiced by the senate about the contents of the mural.

"I see some pilgrim invaders here," said Elisa Haro, academic affairs director. "It kind of reminds me of my colonization, and I don't like that."

The artist of the mural said that the pilgrim invaders were meant to be Shakespearean actors and that he would try to make that more clear.

Other concerns with the mural included the depiction of white cranes, which the senate demanded be changed to color cranes.

They were also concerned with the lack of a same sex couple depicted, which the artist agreed to add. The senate voted to approve the mural in light of the adjustments being made."

Oh my God. You people are out of control. Pilgrim invaders? White cranes? Is that supposed to be some sort of reference to white people? Are you people out of your borg-like intolerant multicultural minds?

Multiculturalism is an evil that has nothing to do with inclusion. It's all about division and separation that pits group against group in a grab for power and control based on race, gender, sexual preference, and income.

I am sickened by your example.

Assimilation, not multiculturalism.

Sean Roper

I love to post to my weblog, but work has preempted me from updating it for several days. I have to make a living afterall.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

I wanted to mention the various NGO's (Non-governmental organizations) Steyn mentions in his piece for The Telegraph and how they're going about they're business.

I know that many people who work for NGO's mean well, but I don't trust the organizations as a whole. As much as helping people, or maybe more importantly than that, I know that one of the things they want to do is to justify their existence. I believe they will exaggerate or outright lie to create false impressions as a way to keep themselves in high paying and prestigious jobs. Here's a sample from Steyn's piece that better explains what I mean:

"As I got out of the car, I noticed across the street a big, white sports utility - a sure sign that someone from the welfare jet set was in town. This one was marked Oxfam. "Hmm," I thought. "Must be some starvation in the neighbourhood."

The winsome young Arab boy with a face as lovely as Halle Berry's and a lot less grumpy brought me a whole roast chicken - stringy but chewy - piled with bread and served with a generous selection of salads. I managed to determine that the Oxfam crowd was holding a meeting with the Red Cross to discuss the deteriorating situation. But just what exactly was "deteriorating"? As my groaning table and the stores along Main Street testified, there was plenty of food in town. Was it the water? I made a point of drinking the stuff everywhere I went in a spirited effort to pick up the dysentery and cholera supposedly running rampant. But I remain a disease-free zone. So what precisely is happening in Rutba that requires an Oxfam/ICRC summit? Well, the problem, as they see it, is that, sure, there's plenty of food available but "the prices are too high". That's why the World Food Programme and the other NGOs need to be brought in, to distribute more rations to more people.

Can you think of anything Iraq needs less? If prices really are "too high", it's because storekeepers are in the first flush of a liberated economy. Given that the main drag in Rutbah has a gazillion corner shops lined up side by side, competition will soon bring prices down to what the market can bear, if it hasn't already. Offering folks WFP rations will only put some of those storekeepers out of business and ensure that even more people need rations. But perhaps that's the idea.

And perhaps that's why I found rather more hostility towards the WFP, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees et al than towards the military. "Americans only in the sky," one man told me, grinning as a chopper rumbled overhead. "No problem." Down on the ground, meanwhile, the new imperial class are the NGOs. They shuttle across the globe, mingling with their own kind - other SUV users - and bringing with them the values of the mother country, or the mother bureaucracy. Like many imperialists, they're well-meaning: they see their charges as helpless and dependent, which happy condition has the benefit of justifying an ever-growing aid bureaucracy in perpetuity. It will be very destructive for Iraq if the tentativeness of the American administration in Baghdad allows the ambulance-chasers of the NGOs to sink their fangs into the country."

I love it. Steyn calls them "the welfare jetset" and "the ambulance-chasers of the NGO's." That's it. Those are exactly the words I couldn't find.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I don't trust the individuals who run such organizations because of their politics. The sort of person who would normally run these organizations are leftists and that personality has some defining characteristics as explained by John J. Ray:

"It is submitted here that the major psychological reason why Leftists so zealously criticize the existing order and advocate change is in order to feed a pressing need for self-inflation and ego-boosting -- and ultimately for power, the greatest ego boost of all. They need public attention; they need to demonstrate outrage; they need to feel wiser and kinder and more righteous than most of their fellow man. They fancy for themselves the heroic role of David versus Goliath. They need to show that they are in the small club of the virtuous and the wise so that they can nobly instruct and order about their less wise and less virtuous fellow-citizens. Their need is a pressing need for attention, for self-advertisement and self-promotion -- generally in the absence of any real claims in that direction. They are intrinsically unimportant people who need to feel important and who are aggrieved at their lack of recognition and power. One is tempted to hypothesize that, when they were children, their mothers didn’t look when they said, "Mummy, look at me".

This means that the "warm inner glow" that they obtain from their advocacy and agitation is greatly prized. So it is no wonder that anything which threatens to disturb it -- such as mere facts -- is determinedly ignored. This view of Leftism as a club of the righteous that must never be disturbed or threatened is explored in detail by Warby (2002). See also Ridley (2002) for a brief account of the way Lomborg’s findings were greeted primarily by abuse rather than by any serious attempt at refutation.

And, of course, people who themselves desperately want power, attention and praise envy with a passion those who already have that. Businessmen, "the establishment", rich people, upper class people, powerful politicians and anybody who helps perpetuate the existing order in any way are seen by the Leftist as obstacles to him having what he wants. They are all seen as automatically "unworthy" compared to his own great virtues and claims on what they already have. "Why should they have...?" is the Leftist’s implicit cry -- and those who share that cry have an understanding of one-another that no rational argument could achieve and that no outsider can ever share.

Envy is a very common thing and most of us have probably at some time envied someone but, for someone with the Leftist’s strong ego needs, envy becomes a hatred and a consuming force that easily accounts for the ferocious brutality of Communist movements and the economically destructive policies (such as punitively high taxation, price controls and over-regulation generally) employed by Leftists in resolutely democratic societies. So the economic destruction and general impoverishment typically brought about by Leftists is not as irrational as it at first seems. The Leftist actually wants that. Making others poorer is usually an infinitely higher priority for him than doing anybody any good. One suspects that most individual Leftists realize that no revolution or social transformation is ever going to put them personally into a position of wealth or power so the destruction of the wealth and power and satisfaction of those who already have it must be the main thing they hope to get out of supporting Leftist politics."

The rest is worth reading as it further explores the various aspects of the leftist mentality.

Mark Steyn is or was in Iraq investigating how things are going. From all indications things are, well, boring. That's the greatest thing I could hear. Here's a excerpt, but the whole thing is well worth reading:

"I've spent the past couple of weeks on a motoring tour of western and northern Iraq, and I can't recommend it highly enough. The roads are empty except for the occasional burnt-out tank and abandoned Saddamite limo. You can make excellent time, because it will be several months before a deBa'athified Iraqi highway patrol squad is up and running and even longer before they replace the looted radar detectors. On the boring stretches of desert motorway you can liven things up by playing D-I-Y contraflow. And best of all, if you avoid Baghdad and a couple of other major cities, you'll find the charming countryside completely unspoilt by Western reporters insisting that America is "losing the peace"."