Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, July 12, 2003

If you get the chance, I highly recommend the latest episode of On The Record With Bob Costas on HBO.

The show features "a panel discussion with Damon Dash, CEO of Roc-a-Fella records, and John McWhorter, Professor of Linguistics at University of California- Berkeley, on the impact of Hip-Hop on society."

Here's the link to a David Horowitz blog entry that explains why political diversity is so badly needed among black people. Indeed, in my opinion, it's the number one problem of the black community. I've tried to make similar points with a couple of people, but all I get are arguments that I'm not sensitive or tolerant, or that I'm just ignorant, or that I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm not black, or that I should "just let it go." Here's the point Horowitz makes:

"The District of Columbia whose school administration is all left and whose students are virtually all black gets $15,000 per pupil -- the highest per pupil rate in the nation. For that money it conducts the worst school system in the nation. Money is not the problem. The problem is that the schools are run by the same rules that bankrupted the Soviet Union."

From a Wall Street Journal editorial at the same link as above:

"The District already spends well over $15,000 per student (the national average is $8,500), three times more than in 1980. Yet in the latest National Assessment of Education Progress report, D.C. public school students scored lower than all 50 states. Seventy-two percent of black D.C. students read at the "below basic" level, which means they have "little or no mastery of fundamental knowledge and skills." Who can possibly defend such results?"

Indeed. I could name a couple of people who would make excuses and point the blame elsewhere. They would blame slavery, Jim Crow laws, hundreds of years of oppression, and racism instead of looking at the political ideology that brought this tragedy on black children.

Everything but the real cause.

Hehehe. Canada has fallen to eighth place among the best places to live in the world according to the 2003 U.N. Human Development report.

"Mark Malloch Brown, head of the U.N. Development Program that produces the index, said there was little difference among the top 10 rated nations."

Still, Canada's pissed. They have this morally superior view of themselves and they are simply dumbfounded that they fell behind the U.S. Here's how the Reuters report describes it:

"Canadian media reported that 89 percent of the country had an "absolute conviction that we have a better quality of life than the United States."

Hehehehe. I love it. It's meaningless to Americans, but this has got to be killing the Canadians.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Wow. France and Germany are preparing tax cuts.

"The biggest worry is still Germany. Its government this week approved the plans of the finance minister, Hans Eichel, to lop euro22 billion ($26 billion) off income taxes from January. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder hopes that the cuts, which should prune the average worker's tax bill by 10%, will help to fizz up the economy."

"France is also cutting taxes, regardless of the effect on the budget deficit. President Jacques Chirac has now confirmed that he will press ahead with the 30% cut in income taxes that he promised in last year's election campaign. “Income tax has been reduced by close to 7%”, he said last week, “and this reduction will continue.”

When socialists in Europe cut taxes as a way to stimulate their economies then Democrats in the U.S. suddenly look foolish when they denounce President Bush's tax cuts. I love it. I almost feel sorry for Democrats in the U.S. Even their natural allies overseas disagree with them about the effect of tax cuts on the economy. The only good thing about this for Democrats is that not many people in the U.S. will be aware that European socialist governments are cutting taxes. The perception will trail the reality and that will allow people like Howard Dean to keep pounding the tables demanding tax increases to raise revenues even while the idea is being rejected worldwide.

James Taranto makes a great point when he compares the American people's reaction to Iran-contra to the war against Iraq:

"What went wrong for the Democrats? They made a strategic error in emphasizing the contra part of the scandal at the expense of the Iran part. Most Americans were indifferent to the Nicaraguan conflict, but the fashionable left--the same sort of people who are now supporting Howard Dean--romanticized the communist Sandinistas and were outraged at the Reagan administration's attempt to overthrow them. (The Nicaraguan people disagreed, turning out dictator Daniel Ortega when he held elections in 1989.) The Democrats thus fixated on the possibility that the Reagan administration had violated a pettifogging law called the Boland Amendment, which barred U.S. aid to the contras. America yawned.

The Democrats might have been able to make some hay of Iran-contra if they'd resisted their pro-Sandinista urges and instead emphasized the Reagan administration's dealing with the ayatollahs. The Iranian regime was (and remains) an avowed enemy of America, and in 1986-88 memories were still fresh of the Jimmy Carter hostage humiliation. For normal Americans, going soft on Iran was a much worse sin than helping the anticommunist side in a war in far-off Central America.

Democrats seem to be just as out of touch today. Rather than celebrate the overthrow of a tyrant and enemy of America, they are trying to discredit it by retrospectively niggling over the nuances of the argument for war. It's as if they were defense lawyers arguing an appeal on behalf of Saddam, trying to get him off on a technicality.

The Washington Times quotes Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as explaining to a Senate committee yesterday: "The coalition did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass murder. We acted because we saw the existing evidence in a new light, through the prism of our experience on September 11."

Rumsfeld is exactly right, and the Democrats will self-destruct unless they grasp the political ramifications of the national epiphany that was Sept. 11. The response that "Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11," though possibly accurate, is beside the point--the equivalent of arguing in 1942 that Germany had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor. FDR and Truman knew who America's enemies were, but many of their heirs seem not to."

The girlfriend of the man who shot 14 and murdered five at that Lockheed Martin plant on Tuesday stood up during the memorial service and demanded that he be remembered as a "victim."

Susan Smith is looking for a pen pal.

Stories like this are difficult to retract because many people who hate President Bush will never see the retraction.

Via Michael Ubaldi.

Andrew Sullivan has picked up the story of the California Polytechnic student who had the police called on him for attempting to post a flier for a student government and student group sponsored event.

Glenn Reynolds commented on the controversy several days ago.

A Harry Truman diary has been discovered at the Truman Library in Missouri and some of the entries are quite surprising, especially his feelings about Jews:

"But the most surprising comments were Truman's remarks on Jews, written on July 21, 1947, after the president had a conversation with Henry Morgenthau, the Jewish former treasury secretary. Morgenthau called to talk about a Jewish ship in Palestine -- possibly the Exodus, the legendary ship carrying 4,500 Jewish refugees who were refused entry into Palestine by the British, then rulers of that land.

"He'd no business, whatever to call me," Truman wrote. "The Jews have no sense of proportion nor do they have any judgement [sic] on world affairs. Henry brought a thousand Jews to New York on a supposedly temporary basis and they stayed."

Truman then went into a rant about Jews: "The Jews, I find, are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog. Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I've found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes."

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Glenn Reynolds discusses the Iranian pro-democracy protests and the lack of coverage. He also asks a question:

"Question: If there were protests against the United States of this size in Iraq, would they get bigger play? If the United States repressed them with equivalent violence and "disappeared" the leaders, would it get more attention? Some questions answer themselves."

It's clear to me what's happening. Two things. First of all, many leftists sympathize with the mullahs. They might not like the religious element to Iran's repressive regime, but they admire the totalitarianism.

Why isn't the left mobilized to support the pro-democracy protests? Where are the protests in front of Iranian embassies, consulates, and the U.N.? Why is it that the left only marches when brutal dictators appear to be threatened with overthrow?

Secondly, I believe that the media are behaving like CNN in pre-war Iraq. They're afraid they might get booted out of Iran if they report what's really happening.

Dick Morris on Howard Dean:

"And if somebody doesn't stop Howard Dean, he and his ideas will be permanent plagues on the Democratic Party, forcing nominees to toe a line that so offends traditional values as to make its candidates unelectable. Just as the Christian right created a gender gap by its opposition to abortion, so Dean will trigger a values gap that will send moderate voters flocking in droves to the Republicans."

If Dean is nominated it will be a gift to the Republican party. The general election may not be pretty and it may not be a landslide, but it will most certainly be a Republican win. It'll be like 1996 when Republicans nominated Bob Dole to run against Bill Clinton. I voted for Dole, but he was a horrible candidate. Dean will be the Democratic Bob Dole.

Say what you want about Ann Coulter, but she makes some great points as she does in her latest column:

"......Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., denounced a radio corporation's decision not to play the Dixie Chicks as similar to Nazism and McCarthyism. The Dixie Chicks lead singer ridiculed President Bush before a foreign audience. That was constitutionally protected free speech. The decision of radio stations not to play the Dixie Chicks, however, is not a matter of their own free speech.

Conservatives are openly blackballed in all the liberal professions – publishing, Hollywood, the mainstream media, education and college faculties. Apparently, that's not "blacklisting." It is churlish for conservatives to complain about private censorship. True blacklisting occurs only when someone scowls at a liberal."

I still enjoy Ann Coulter's work even though many on the right have been giving her a hard time for her blanket accusation that the Democrats are a treasonous lot.

David Horowitz recently wrote a piece titled, "The Trouble With "Treason" where he pointed out that Coulter is casting way too wide a net.

I can agree with Coulter if she's saying that many contemporary Democrats are communism sympathizing, Castro-loving, pro-U.N., anti-Americans, but I'm not sure about the charge that all of them are treasonous.

I believe that most Democrats, not all but most, are sympathetic to Castro and communist ideals. I'm sure they wouldn't slaughter a hundred million people like their ideological cousins did in the 20th century, but I also believe that they share the ideals that were embraced by those murderous regimes. No, they wouldn't support mass murder, but I do believe that many on the left today would encourage everything short of murder to force compliance with their beliefs. Thankfully, I believe that most people understand this about the left and that's why far leftwing candidates rarely do well in American politics.

Monday, July 07, 2003

This is outrageous (scroll down to "Offensive Flier.") I know firsthand how politically intolerant and hyper-sensitive many black people can be as my own recent experience with Kamau and Walter showed.

I'm going to post the whole thing:

"The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has taken up the case of a California Polytechnic State University student found guilty of "disruption" for posting a flyer that some students found offensive.

According to FIRE, Steve Hinkle attempted to post in November 2002 fliers advertising a speech by Mason Weaver, author of It’s OK to Leave the Plantation. Weaver’s thesis is that dependence on the government puts many African Americans in circumstances similar to slavery.

When Hinkle tried to put one of the fliers on a public bulletin board in the Multicultural Center at CalPoly, students who said they were offended by it called the police to report "a suspicious white male passing out literature of an offensive racial nature."

This spring, Hinkle was found guilty of disruption and ordered to write letters of apology to the students. During the hearing, Cornel Morton, vice president for student affairs, told him: "You are a young white male member of CPCR. To students of color, this may be a collision of experience. … The chemistry has racial implications, and you are naïve not to acknowledge those."

A UK parliament committee cleared Tony Blair of misleading on Iraq.

I'm glad. Blair did not deserve the charge. It really amazed me how quickly the opposition jumped on Bush and Blair. I mean it was as if Clinton administration officials hadn't made the exact same charges.

How soon people forget.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Rebuilding Afghanistan is a discouraging report about how things are going there.

It's clear that more can be done, but at the same time I think we have to be careful how involved we do get. Yes, we must defend Afghanistan and provide aid while encouraging the NGO's to also help, but we must force the Afghan people, as much as possible, to take control of their nation. Here's an excerpt from the Times piece that explains what I mean:

"A senior Afghan transportation official who spent many years in both communist and Taliban jails, says: "I fear we'll become a people on welfare who cannot think for themselves or do for ourselves anymore. This is very upsetting to me because I know we are capable of being better. We used to be a proud people, but now I don't know."

Exactly. We have to walk a fine line between helping and doing. In a manner of speaking, we must teach the Afghan people to fish instead of just giving them fish. We must not destroy these people the way we destroyed many in our own country with the misplaced compassion of generational welfare.

The same is true in Iraq. We must not make the Iraqi people dependent on us. They must do it for themselves.

This is a principle of American conservatism that I admire greatly. There are times when people need help of course, but liberal welfare policies showed us that we can do more harm than good if we don't force people to take responsibility for themselves. We don't want to run Afghanistan or Iraq. We want them to run their own nation. Peacefully.