Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Love it. From John Derbyshire at The Corner:

EXCHANGE WITH READER [John Derbyshire]
She: "Do you look down on the Irish because so many of them are Roman Catholic or do you look down on Roman Catholics because so many of them are Irish? Just wondering."

Me: "What I mostly look down on is people who are determined to seek out 'offense,' 'discrimination,' and 'bias' in every frigging thing they hear or read. So now quit wondering and get back to cramming for your Victim Studies exam."

Hehehe

David Frum asks some very good questions about gay marriage.

Currently, the left wants this to be a state's rights issue, but Frum's questions show that this must be addressed at the national level. Here's a sample of the sort of problems with leaving this up to individual states to decide:

A Delaware family set up a trust for their son. The son moves to Massachusetts, marries a man, and then gets divorced. The trust is the son's only financial asset. Should the Massachusetts take the trust into account while dividing up the couple’s possessions? If yes, what happens when the Delaware trustees refuse to comply?

A Massachusetts woman married to another woman wins a lawsuit against a California corporation. She dies before she can collect her debt. Her closest blood relative demands that the corporation pay the relative, not the surviving spouse. Who should get the money?

Later in the piece Frum makes clear what will happen eventually:

Somehow I cannot imagine Andrew and those who think like him reconciling themselves to that outcome. I suspect that “letting the states decide” will over time gradually evolve into a demand to allow the most liberal states to impose their social values on the others through the mechanism of a million petty lawsuits on a thousand different issues.

Framing this as a states rights issue is the equivalent of the foot in the door. Once the states decide, and some will definitely choose to make gay marriage legal, what then?

Mexico puts soldiers on it's southern border to keep out illegal aliens (illegal aliens....illegal aliens...illegal aliens). If we do the same we are evil racist gringos who hate brown skinned people.

If we don't want to educate the children of illegal aliens we are evil racist gringos who hate brown skinned people.

However, a Washington Post story shows that Mexico bars children from public school all the time if they don't have the proper papers to identify them as citizens.

Black people can spew the most hateful racist language and it hardly makes the news. Mexico can do things America would be universally condemned for and we don't hear a peep from human rights groups.

I'm tired of the double standards.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Victor Davis Hanson:

In 1939 Great Britain was a unilateral power, threatened by a broad multilateral axis and without any real ally. The 1956 Suez Crisis was a multilateral enterprise--an undertaking by France, Great Britain, and Israel. It was stopped unilaterally by the Eisenhower administration. Israel in 1973 reacted unilaterally to a preemptive strike from a multilateral coalition involving Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. The only real constant was not preemption/multilateralism/unilateralism, but simply that a democratic state was fighting those who were not.

Allies themselves are not always wonderful assets: Dozens of coalition members helped Hitler butcher thousands of Ukrainians and enabled the Soviets to spread worldwide terror. Too many allies were largely the reason that we did not go to Baghdad in 1991 and take out Saddam Hussein when it would have been far easier--and would have spared the lives of thousands long since dead. The European Union had gads of countries in a truly multilateral coalition, only to watch a quarter-million Bosnians and Kosovars die until a unilateral United States intervened.

Here's the bottom line for leftists:

The Left's problem is not our embrace of the concept of "unilateralism" per se--or it would have attacked Clinton's U.N.-be-damned use of force in Iraq, Kosovo, and Haiti. No, the rub is something altogether different. A Christian, southern-accented, conservative Republican president, coming off a disputed election, has chosen to preempt. And when you hit first in a therapeutic America, you are at least supposed to bite your lip and squeeze Hillary's hand on national television. You do not dare say, "Bring 'em on" and "Smoke 'em out"--much less fly a jet out to an aircraft carrier.

Illegal aliens...illegal aliens...illegal aliens...illegal aliens...illegal aliens. Illegal aliens don't like being called illegal aliens.

Illegal aliens....illegal aliens....illegal aliens......

Gee, who would have thought that Arab dictators would be opposed to reform?

Poor, poor tyrants. Does the evil U.S. expect you to let freedom reign? Damn those evil Americans and their wicked insistence on democracy and human rights! Damn them all to hell!

Ayatollah Sistani agrees that elections in Iraq aren't feasible until at least the end of the year.

Via Tim Blair.

Fidel Castro is worth $195 million.

It's telling that the left's favorite dictator doesn't live the same life he forces on the Cuban people. If it's so great, if Cuban society is so wonderful, why isn't el presidente living the same life? Hmmm? Because it's not great. It's a bleak, hopeless life those people have. They will never have the chance to own a fleet of Mercedes' or live in a mansion, but that doesn't mean that Castro can't live like that.

Generally speaking the left looks the other way when it comes to their brutal philosophical cousins' wealth. Do they really think Castro (or Yasser Arafat) has earned a penny of that money? He stole it! But Cuba has low infant mortality and high rates of literacy so the two things cancel each other out. Right? If Castro has robbed the Cuban people it's okay because he's done so much for the people with his totalitarian dictatorship.

If only the left could rule like Castro. If only the stupid American people would see that they know what is best for the people like the great Fidel Castro. If only we would shape our evil, racist, corrupt society on the Fidel model all would be well.

That seems to be the general leftwing view of things.

How can Mike Tyson be broke? I don't know how much money he had, but I'm sure it was over $100 million. How do you squander that much money? How can anyone be so foolish?

I have no sympathy for him at all. I don't want to see the man starve, but he has done this to himself.

Update: Vincent Sola at Pirate Blog, a group blog that featured students at Park University, has a link to a CNNSI piece that says Mike Tyson has by his own admission "blown through $500 million."

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Tom Friedman writes that outsourcing is not as bad for the American economy as it appears on the surface.

I don't want to be insensitive to people who are competing vigorously for their jobs against lower wages. The world economy is complex. It's no comfort to someone who has lost their jobs to a technician in India to tell them that the economy is actually benefitting from outsourcing.

I believe the number one issue for the majority of Americans this fall will be national security. I would like to believe that most Americans understand this:

The other day Kerry drew a distinction between himself and Bush in the war on terror. "I think there has been an exaggeration," he said. "It's primarily an intelligence and law-enforcement operation." But fighting terror through intelligence and law enforcement means not fighting it at all. As the Clinton administration demonstrated, there are always more reasons not to do something. Intelligence is unreliable and not always actionable, and, when it is, it's highly perishable: in a risk-averse, legalistic environment, by the time you've run what you'd like to do past the lawyers it's too late to do it. As for fighting terror through law enforcement, nobody's interested. The Saudis don't mind if Washington sends in commandos to kill the guys. But they've no desire to see them on the witness stand talking about which princes they met when. So a legalistic approach means it's over: it's not possible to fight it that way.

If Gore or Kerry had been in the White House on September 11, I'm certain the Taleban would still be in power, and Afghanistan would still be a playground of terror camps. Oh, to be sure, there'd have been sanctions and Security Council resolutions and some arrests of associates in the US, but the broad context of 9/11 would have been different: it would have been a "tragedy", not an act of war; mounds of teddy bears, not regime change. For that critical, liberating distinction we have to thank Don Rumsfeld and George W. Bush.

The quote is from a Mark Steyn (reg. req).

I believe the September 10th people that Steyn mentions represents a dying political fad. As a result I don't believe this fall's election will be as close as many people think. We'll see.

Okay. I wasn't going to even mention it, but I have to add my two cents worth.

Clear Channel is overreacting to Nipplegate. People were upset by that because parents were blindsided.

Clear Channel should leave Howard Stern alone. People know what he says and they know what kind of show he has. There are no surprises there. Young children are not likely to tune in his show and even if they do they won't have a clue what he's saying. There's little chance Howard Stern is going to surprise anyone. He won't be on prime time TV during an event that is billed as family entertainment.

Rush should be concerned. This could have gotten out of control, but now I think it's unlikely.

I didn't see President Bush's remarks to the Republican Governors Association and soon forgot that he had even spoke. Thank goodness I read Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus column. I immediately went and read the whole thing because of these great lines:

In 2002, the United Nations Security Council yet again demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs. As he had for over a decade, Saddam Hussein refused to comply. So we had a choice to make: Either take the word of a madman, or take action to defend America and the world. Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time. (Applause.)

Others would have chosen differently. They now agree that the world is better off with Saddam Hussein out of power; they just didn't support removing Saddam from power. (Laughter.) Maybe they were hoping he'd lose the next Iraqi election. (Laughter and applause.)

I know a lot of people viscerally hate President Bush, but the fact is that the man has accomplished a lot. He's done great things for this country.

Ann Coulter:

Sweeney has rewarded Bush by calling him a "horror" for organized labor. Apparently what "organized labor" really wants isn't good jobs at good wages, but ... abortion on demand! The AFL-CIO has vowed to devote massive union resources against Bush in the crucial swing states of Missouri, Ohio and Florida in the coming election.

Strictly following his strategy of selling union votes for nothing, the AFL-CIO has endorsed Sen. John Kerry – who voted for NAFTA, voted for trade with China and voted against drilling for oil in Alaska. Skilled laborers will have to wait another day for "fair trade" and high-paying jobs in Alaska, but at least Sweeney's candidate supports the issues that really matter to the average blue-collar worker: gay marriage, global-warming treaties and hybrid cars.

Union workers are getting exactly what they deserve. I hope they're happy.

Via Instapundit.

MIAMI - U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown verbally attacked a top Bush administration official during a briefing on the Haiti crisis Wednesday, calling the President's policy on the beleaguered nation "racist" and his representatives "a bunch of white men."

Her outburst was directed at Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. Noriega, a Mexican-American, is the State Department's top official for Latin America.

"I think it was an emotional response of her frustration with the administration," said David Simon, a spokesman for the Jacksonville Democrat. He noted that Brown, who is black, is "very passionate about Haiti."

Brown sat directly across the table from Noriega and yelled into a microphone. Her comments sent a hush over the hourlong meeting, which was attended by about 30 people, including several members of Congress and Bush administration officials.

Noriega later told Brown: "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man," according to three participants.

Brown then told him "you all look alike to me," the participants said.

Can you imagine the uproar if a white person had said this to a black person or other person of color? Can you imagine?

I'm stunned, but I don't expect to hear a peep about this from the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or any of the so-called "civil rights" community. If I had to bet I would say this story probably won't make it to CNN. Now if a white man had said it, it would be front page news.

This is just outrageous.

Well, the snow has arrived. The National Weather Service is calling for my area to receive between 6 and 10 inches of snow.

Good job weather guys.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Wow. A woman collapsed and later died while watching Mel Gibson's new movie, The Passion of Christ.

... WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT UNTIL 6 AM EST FRIDAY........

Yea, I've heard this before from the National Weather Service. I know, they don't make the weather. Still, I can't help get frustrated when they issue a winter storm warning and it's wrong. Here's their definition of a storm warning:

... A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE IMMINENT OR HIGHLY LIKELY.

Highly likely should mean better than 60% chance.

We'll see if they are/were correct tomorrow.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Ralph Nader has announced his candidacy for president as an independent.

Howard Dean sounds so much like Nader that I can't help wondering if Dean will offer his support.

I don't watch Fox's American Idol, but one performance I did see from that show was William Hung's. You remember Hung. He was the young man who, as it turns out, innocently butchered Ricky Martin's song, "She Bangs."

Fox News has a great article about Hung. I hope he is able to profit from his performance. I wouldn't feel that way if I felt that Hung had been plotting this all along. Hung's complete cluelessness is endearing and real.

The Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal features a hopeful editorial about democracy in Iraq.

Led by liberal-minded Iraqi drafters designated by the Iraqi Governing Council, work is nearing completion on a Transitional Administrative Law that will structure government and guarantee rights from the transfer of sovereignty on June 30 to the seating of a democratically elected government under a new constitution. With its provisions for civil liberties, due process, separation of powers, devolution of power and other checks and balances, this will be the most liberal basic governance document anywhere in the Arab world.

Civil society is springing up. Associations of women, students, professionals, journalists, human-rights activists and civic educators, along with independent think tanks, are building organizations, holding conferences and crafting the grant proposals that will enable them to work for democracy on a larger scale. In one university, a team of eight translators is at work full time translating works on democracy into Arabic.

Iraqi women--organized in part into an Iraqi Higher Women's Council--have come together rapidly across ethnic, regional and ideological lines to craft an impressive agenda for political inclusion and empowerment of women. Some new civic associations--including a gifted group of democratically minded young people with skills in the visual arts--are helping the Coalition Provisional Authority to produce an ambitious civic education campaign. Once each week, for the next several months, this campaign will distribute throughout Iraq a million leaflets, each batch explaining in simple terms a different concept of democracy: human rights, the rule of law, free and fair elections, participation, accountability, transparency, minority rights and so on. These will be reinforced with similar messages on radio and television.

I'm hopeful that the Iraqi people won't lose the gift we have given them, but that really does ultimately depend on whether we stay in Iraq and help defend their fledgling democracy.

If John Kerry wins the presidency it will be because the people who voted for him didn't listen to what he says.

What is it with Democrats and insanity? Kerry is beginning to sound like Howard Dean.