Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The senate has voted to allow drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Good. This is another defeat for Democrats.

I especially love how Democrats say that this will destroy habitat and hurt the wildlife that live in that region when the fact is that the oil field we already have in Alaska has seen it's caribou numbers quintuple since that field went into production.

The only thing they have to offer is fear. They will peddle the same arguments to the American people even when the evidence clearly refutes everything they are saying.

The bottom line for me is it's time we did something about our dependence on foreign oil for our energy needs. We need to tap our own reserves while doing all we can to protect our natural environment. The technology we have will allow us to drill safely and cleanly. Hell, even 30 year old oil drilling technology has allowed the caribou numbers to quintuple since the first Alaska oil field went into production and the odds are that our modern technology will allow this new drilling to be even more environmentally friendly.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I quit reading Matt Labash a long time ago when his views on Iraq began to sound like something written by the editorial board of the New York Time. But his Canadian piece is a must read. I actually laughed out loud several times.

Mark Steyn has his St. Patrick's Day column up:
For the last 3-1/2 years one of the most persistent streams of correspondence I've had is from British readers sneering, ''Oh-ho. So America's now waging a war on 'terror,' is she? Well, where were the bloody Yanks the last 30 years? Passing round the collection box for IRA donations in the bars of Boston and New York, that's where.''

They have a point. Blowing up grannies and schoolkids at bus stops is always wrong, and the misty shamrock-hued sentimentalization of it in this particular manifestation speaks poorly for America, the principal source for decades of IRA funding. On the other hand, it was the London and Dublin governments, not Washington, that decided they were going to accommodate the IRA, Her Majesty's government going so far at one point as to install Gerry Adams and his colleagues in the coalition administration of Northern Ireland, making IRA terrorists ministers of a crown they don't even deign to recognize.

I can't quite explain how I mean, but from everything I've read about Guiliana Sgrena it seems this woman is the epitome of the leftwing intellectual. She comes across as extremely arrogant, self-important, and deeply anti-American. Some examples via Jack Kelly:
"Be careful not to get kidnapped," Doornbos warned Sgrena.

"You don't understand the situation," she responded, according to Doornbos' account last week in Nederlands Dagblad. (Excerpts were translated into English and posted on a Dutch writer's Web blog.) "The Iraqis only kidnap American sympathizers. The enemies of the Americans have nothing to fear."
The enemies of the Americans. That pretty much sums up her feelings.
Sgrena left her hotel the morning of Feb. 4 to interview refugees from Fallujah, the resistance stronghold captured by U.S. Marines in November. The interviews didn't go well.

"The refugees ... would not listen to me," she said. "I had in front of me the accurate confirmation of the analysis of what the Iraqi society had become as a result of the war and they would throw their truth in my face."

Sgrena's feelings were hurt that the refugees could be so curt to her: "I who had risked everything, challenging the Italian government who didn't want journalists to reach Iraq and the Americans who don't want our work to be witnessed of what really became of that country with the war and notwithstanding that which they call elections."
That is just so typical of leftists. "We know more than you. Just shut up and let us tell you simpletons what the facts are. We are your betters and we know what is best for you." That's the basic idea behind leftism (aka socialism and communism). Your betters know what is best for you so just sit quietly while they run your life for you. And yes, if they decide they have to slaughter a few million people then you'll just have to understand that it's for the greater good.
Sgrena claims the Americans shot without warning. "A tank started to shoot at us without any sign or any light," she told reporters March 7....Sgrena said "the tank" fired 300-400 shots at her car. But photographs of it published March 8 by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica indicate the vehicle suffered remarkably little damage for such a fusillade. There is a single bullet hole in the windshield, but the window glass and the fenders are otherwise intact, as is the hood.

Perhaps the soldiers were remarkably lousy shots. But if they were trying to kill Sgrena, why did they take her to the hospital instead of finishing her off?
Her 15 minutes are just about up aren't they?

I'm one of those people who didn't think Ward Churchill should be fired for his unpopular views. I've always believed he is entitled to his opinion. However, I also didn't think he should be immune to the avalanche of criticism that has washed over him. The response to Churchill's outrageous views are an exercise in free speech as well.

I believe the market place of ideas should decide who is right and wrong. Churchill expressed his beliefs and the opposition countered. Now it's up to the people to decide who they agree with and in the fullness of time one idea will prevail. That's not to say that the losing side's ideas will completely vanish. It's just that the losing side will lose audience and influence and ultimately the market place of ideas will reward the winner. The winner's ideas will be rewarded financially and influentially. It's intellectual Darwinism. The strong will survive and the weak will be eaten by lions.

With all that said, I believe that the knell has rung for Churchill. It's going to happen much faster than is natural. I believe Churchill's ideas are the weaker ideas and he ultimately would have lost the fight for the hearts and minds, but he's weak and about to be devoured by lions because of a self-inflicted wound he suffered in 1997:
Officials at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia sent CU an internal 1997 report detailing allegations about an article Churchill wrote. "The article . . . is, in the opinion of our legal counsel, plagiarism," Dalhousie spokesman Charles Crosby said in summarizing the report's findings.

Churchill did not return calls to his home or office Thursday seeking comment.

Dalhousie began an investigation after professor Fay G. Cohen complained that Churchill used her research and writing in an essay without her permission and without giving her credit. Although the investigation substantiated her allegations, Cohen didn't pursue the matter because she felt threatened by Churchill, Crosby said.

Crosby said Cohen told Dalhousie officials in 1997 that Churchill had called her in the middle of the night and said, "I'll get you for this."

Cohen still declines to talk publicly about her experience with Churchill, but she agreed the Dalhousie report could be shared with CU officials, Crosby said, because "whatever concerns she may have about her safety are outweighed by the importance she attaches to this information getting out there."
It's all over but the crying.

Omar at Iraq the Model is reporting that Baghdad's main wholesale district has collectively decided to boycott Syrian goods because Syria is the main supporter of the terrorists that are slaughtering Iraqi citizens.

The Iraqi people are taking charge of their country.

This is the sort of story that the MSM doesn't report. As a result, if, and that's a big if, this boycott has any effect on the Syrian economy and if the business class in Syria feels a big enough pinch on their wallets then that could set off a "Butterfly Effect" that could alter Syrian government policy or even alter life in the Middle East as we know it.

Boycotts work and the power of the market can be woefully underestimated especially by people who aren't aware of the potentials

As I said, this is a big if, but because the MSM won't report this story, should anything become of it they will attribute any change in Syrian policy to something else. In other words, they will have missed the story. But people who read blogs will be aware of what has happened and they will be able to make the connection.

Years ago when something like this happened, and the media missed it, people wouldn't understand what really happened because the MSM wouldn't know what happened. Today people are able to bypass the credentialed outlets and tell the story themselves.

The word is out on the boycotts. Let's see if the MSM picks the story up and if they do it will be yet another indicator of the power of the new media.

I lost a whole week of spare time by experimenting with my computer. I became almost obsessed with learning something new and before I knew it a week had gone by.

I know it's probably best for me to learn by trial and error, but I wish I could hire a tutor to just show me how to do certain things.