January 31, 2005

The Last Honest Progressive In America

The Last Honest Progressive In America
From the introduction to The Last Honest Place In America - Paradise and Perdition in the New Las Vegas:

"The panorama unfolded as a wall of purplish-brown mountains with rose-ochre skirts to our right, rippling mahogany hills to our left, and straight in front of us, the sandy desert flats of pastel beige, tangerine, and pink stretching through Ivanpah Valley and then ever deeper into Nevada. The black stripe of Interstate 15 ripped right through it's heart and on the hottest of summer days the smell of the bubbling, sticky asphalt would pour right into the cab of our red Plymouth Valiant."

I've driven that road & I've seen the colors, I've never seen it described as well. The author of the above is Marc Cooper, progressive blogger, journalist, radio host, essayist, contributing editor to The Nation, author of the best selling memoir Pinochet and Me: A Chilean Anti-Memoir and Roll Over Che Guevara: Travels of a Radical Reporter.

Cooper is that rare bird (from a conservatives point of view) an honest progressive and though I almost always disagree with his progressive points of view, I have come to like him a lot. The title of this blog entry is, as you will no doubt discern, taken from his latest book.

Cooper was raised in Los Angeles where his father was a steel salesman. His career as an author/journalist began in high school where he founded an underground newspaper. Those of us remembering the 60's know that "underground" was automatically assumed to mean "radical;" and so it was. Graduating from high school, Cooper enrolled in that great bordello of ultra liberal values The University of California System. There, he began engaging in anti-war activities and was expelled by order of Then Governor Ronald Reagan in 1971.

Cooper traveled to Chile where he became a translator for President Salvador Allende who had been elected president in 1970 by an arrangement of the Chilean Congress as per their constitution when Allende led the vote, but with only 36% of the vote. Allende was a socialist and pursued a policy of reform he called "La vía chilena al socialismo" ("The Chilean Way to Socialism"). Cooper became not only Allende's translator, but a staunch supporter of Allende's goals. Following the coup of September 11, '73, Cooper became a roving reporter, covering such diverse places as Lebanon, South Africa, Central and South America, Eastern and Western Europe. He developed also, an interest in American Politics. Norm Geras recently posted a profile on Cooper, a Must Read to understand this progressive iconoclast. Cooper states that he is an atheist, a position I find hard to believe given his intellect. I wonder how agnostics and atheists can look on the wonder of the universe, the absolute perfect beauty of dew on a spiderweb or the look of love in young folk and not be a believer. But, that is another posting.

I first came across Marc Cooper in May or June of 2004 when a blogger I have long admired Michael J. Totten recommended him. Since then, he has become one of my very favorite bloggers and I have grown quite fond of this rambunctious progressive. Cooper doesn't hesitate at all to take on the powers that be, regardless of who they are. He castigates Republicans and Conservatives (though, of course he is usually far off the mark), Democrats, liberals, other progressives, socialists, fascists, communists, castroites, trotskyites, indeed anyone he believes to be cowardly, stupid or cravenly, dishonest or not on the up and up. Cooper always explains his reasoning, usually with wit, sometimes with disdain.

Over the last few months, he has actively posted on such varying topics from the coming murder trials of Augusto Pinochet, to the idiocy of MoveOn's inability to understand that their candidate lost. Of course, as a conservative, I delight when he takes on the shibboleths of the left. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately depending on your point of view, he doesn't spare the right either as noted here and here. In the last example however, I believe that Cooper was premature and mistaken. The genesis of his blog posting was the MSM's complaint that President Bush did nothing for three days following the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean. Of course, we now know that the first major rescue efforts to arrive were the US military, whose Commander In Chief has to give the order for such massive effort. Too often, the left, Cooper included, mistake style for substance, as in Mr. Clinton's famous biting of his lip, abject apologies and wiping of a tear showing how compassionate he was. He didn't do much, but he had all the right moves down.

Cooper is perhaps best, when he takes on the left. This is not unusual in that we seldom see a member of the port side of the political aisle castigating their fellow believers and so when it does happen, conservatives sit up and take notice. In much the same way, the left sat up and took notice when Senator Goldwater castigated the Republican party for it's Buchannanish stance on gays. Yet, Cooper has no compunction about skewering the left when he feels the left has lost it's way or exhibit their (all to frequent) feet of clay. In a recent posting, Cooper took on Soros and the other "billionaires" who plan to donate $100,000,000.00 to helping the Democrats build a "progressive infrastructure."

Cooper has his flock of regular commenters (I include myself in that mix) from conservative (me, John Moore, PJ, Woody, DennisthePeasant) to liberal (Rosedog, reg, steve, Michael Turner). He manages them fairly well and encourages each to be respectful to each other in bandying comments. That doesn't always work of course. Yet, he seldom "bans" commenters (though he has threatened to) - (has he banned anyone yet? - ed. - I'm not sure, I don't really know) even when they are repetitious and banal. After a number of tussles with another of his posters I wrote Cooper an e-mail saying that though I would continue to read his blog, I wouldn't be posting any more comments. He wrote back and said (in his idiosyncratic spelling) "Oh no u don't.. I love ur comments." It is the rare progressive that openly welcomes conservatives into their blogs, and, truth be told, equally rare for conservatives to welcome the progressive. Cooper is seldom tacky or impolite to his commenters, but he can be, he can be.

Back in September, I asked Cooper what he thought about me starting a blog. Even though I'm conservative and obviously on a different side of the political fence, Cooper was consistently encouraging; offering suggestions, helping me look at cost (I selected the free one of course) teaching me what he knew about blog and generally being quite helpful. When I launched my blog in November, Cooper announced it on his blog and added my link to his blog roll. That is what you call nice.

I will continue to castigate progressives and the Democrats when I think it appropriate, including Marc Cooper. But, having learned from him to keep it about ideas and not personalities, I will always appreciate The Last Honest Progressive In America.

UPDATE: Welcome readers of Michael Totten's blog and of course Marc Cooper's blog. Thanks to you two guys for the nice mention.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Round Up Of Posts On The Election. Good Reading All

VeriFrank, Captain's Quarters, Patterico's Pontifications, Tom Grey's Liberty Dad with lots of other links, Citizen Smash, Michael King at Rambling's Journal and so many more but I can't list them because I'm off to teach a grad class on Group Therapy...Hmmmm, Maybe the Hyper-Libs could use my students services. The Hypers would get healthier and my students would gain valuable experience

Posted by GM Roper at 03:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Hard-Core Lefties Take a Flight From Reality

Pundit at What's-A-Pundit also has a great post on the naysayers of the left. I'm getting more and more confused; first the naysayers want the elections "put off" then they want to imply that the elections aren't legitimate, now they think that nothing need be said about the elections. Oh, wait, I forgot. Many of the (left)wing-nuts really don't care that much, but they do hate the bushies.

Sigh, I can remembered principled lefties in the days of the Happy Warrior. Totten, Cooper, and Simon seem to be all that's left (no pun intended) and the hard-core left has excommunicated them.

Posted by GM Roper at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Darn It Todd, Please Don't Make Me Laugh Anymore

Tod Pearson at Reasonable Prudence has a short but sweet post that had me laughing so hard, my sides hurt.

Posted by GM Roper at 03:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Steyn Gets It Right; As Boxer, Kennedy & Kerry Get It Wrong

Mark Steyn writing in Jewish World Review notes that

"In Europe, the wise old foreign-policy "realists" scoff at the Iraq elections — Islam and democracy are completely incompatible, old boy; everybody knows that, except these naive blundering Yanks who just don't have our experience."
Yep, it just won't work, ask the 72% of eligible voters with their stained purple fingers.

Steyn goes on to note that the "naysayers" in the Democratic Party and the MSM are "obsessed" with Rummy, Rice and Bush getting it all wrong, they haven't noticed what is really happening. Here's a though: can they notice that the Iraqi voters really don't care about what everyone thinks, they want to have an open, free, representative government.

There are plenty of things that have gone wrong in Iraq, things not planned for, changes in strategy, the increase in the terrorists determination to keep Iraq a fiefdom of the Baathst Party or a Mullahocracy a' la Iran. But cataloging those faults, mistakes, whatever does not, REPEAT, Does Not take anything away from those brave Iraqi voters.

All you really have to ask yourselves is why, with all the problems, do Iraqi's brave death and dismemberment to vote in such huge numbers, and we, safe in our snug little burgs, far from the terrorism facing much of the world and especially the Middle East can only manage slightly more than 50%? This may be the real scandal.

Steyn also notes:

"Even on the Sunni side of the street, there are signs the smarter fellows understand their plans to destroy the election have flopped and it's time to cut themselves into the picture. The International Monetary Fund noted in November that the Iraqi economy is already outperforming all its Arab neighbors."

As the Great King of Siam (From Anna and the King - The King and I for those of you who don't read but do go to movies and plays) said "It is A Puzzlement."

Like Steyn, I wonder with the changing demographics in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, how they will fare in two, three or four years?

UPDATE: Marc Cooper agrees that despite the problems in Iraq (and he is from a progressive, anti-Iraq war perspective) should not outweigh the good:

"...the political opening in Iraq, no matter its limited size and the grotesque distortions imposed by the war, is a felicitous by-product of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the U.S. occupation."

Likewise, Richard at Mossback Culture sees it similarly to the way I do. I'm not as sure that it is a "defeat" for the anti-war left as much as I'm positive its a victory for the people of Iraq.

UPDATE~2: Michael Totten has a terrific post setting up a "cantankerous Wild West of a comments section" to channel questions and observations about the Iraqi election. And he did it the day BEFORE the election. Atta~boy Michael, atta~boy!

Posted by GM Roper at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cooper Doing What He Does Best

Marc Cooper, Progressive, Pundit on all things Leftish and all around nice-guy, blogger and good friend has done it again. Writing in the LA Times, in an "experimental" column called "OUTSIDE THE TENT" Cooper (use the link starting this paragraph for a link to the article, the LATimes is already charging for it's "archive") notes the title of his column "The Times' 'Blazing Straddle'" and takes on journalism that is overly balanced.

That's not to impugn what has been reported to date [Cooper is referring to the Times coverage of the Iraqi elections -ed]. But that reporting, like nearly all reporting in The Times, has been run through the usual sort of editorial food processor that guarantees the prevailing standard of "fair, balanced, objective stories." You know the routine: he said/she said; yes/but; the so-called blazing straddle of "objectivity."
And of course my friend is correct, and also (as usual) somewhat wrong. I see no problem when a reporter writes "the kind of stuff written by hard bitten reporters with the press cards stuck in the hatbands, chasing down leads they've stumbled across rather than interpretations of the daily press briefings" as one of Marc's commenters wrote. Were that all reporters, went after stories and hunted them down. All too often however, they also slant their reportage with a political bias. This is especially true if the issue at hand is political or sensational and this is not a rant against the "Leftist MSM" but is a condemnation of the right doing the same thing as well.

What we really need, are reporters who go after a story, do the deep background, follow it up and report it accurately. Then, in separate article, or by another reporter, see if you can't find evidence to the contrary.

That would make for some good reading methinks and no one ought to be able to complain about bias.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 30, 2005

He's Still An Ass, And I Don't Think He's Curable!

Kerry on MTP.jpg Photo on MSNBC's Meet The Press

From Today's Meet The Press:
MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe that Iraq is less a terrorist threat to the United States now than it was two years ago?"
SEN. KERRY: "No, it's more. And, in fact, I believe the world is less safe today than it was two and a half years ago."
MR. RUSSERT: "Is the United States safer with the newly elected Iraqi government than we would have been with Saddam Hussein
SEN. KERRY: Sure."

Is Senator Kerry for real? I mean, he answers Russert's first question in the negative with a long winded (self serving?) comment about how "less safe" we are, then not two minutes later when Russert turns around and asks essentially the same question but preceeds it with the "newly elected government" as opposed to "Saddam Hussein" Kerry answers "Sure!" Kerry must be so in love with hearing himself pontificate that he didn't even realize he had been ASKED essentially the same question just a couple of minutes before. Or, maybe he did and this is an incidence of "I actually believe we were less safe before I believed we were more safe."

I think that Mr. Kerry's loss was a real gain for America.

And, if you don't believe me, ask George Soros as quoted in Bloomberg.com:

"Kerry did not, actually, offer a credible and coherent alternative," Soros, 74, said yesterday in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "That had a lot to do with Bush being re-elected."

My previous posting had another comment from Kerry on the same show. Blue Staters, get down on your knees and Thank Almighty God that you were delivered from this man by the Red Staters!

Posted by GM Roper at 11:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

An Election Like No Other and Kerry Makes An Ass Of Himself

Salah al-Din Rasheed / Reuters
Kurds celebrating the first election in Iraq.

The MSM is almost beside themselves. Turnout is better than expected in many areas where terrorism had promised a low turnout. People across the country proudly give the terrorists the (purple) finger.

John Kerry, loser par excellence, noted: "It is hard to say that something is legitimate when whole portions of the country can't vote and doesn't vote..." Senator, are you a total ass? If large numbers of Afrikaners in South Africa had not voted, would you have said the same thing?

Further my dear Senator Kerry, only a few percentage points over half of our citizens elected to vote and we had no insurgents, no bombings, no hindrance of any kind. So, does that make our own recent elections illegitimate? Oh, wait, you think you should have won and that you would have except for all those damn red staters.

I'm waiting for Kerry to note to a group of folk "I actually opposed the election before I supported it." What a creep! Surely the Democrats aren't going to give this man another chance (Unless of course his Teh-Ray-Zuh buys it for him). Surely, the good folk of Massachusetts aren't going to return this man to the US Senate. Surely not!

NOTE:Blogging has been slow over the last week, I'm in the process of re-designing my blog. Please visit my old blog here for some of my previous postings

(Cross Posted from GM's Corner)

Posted by GM Roper at 04:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 28, 2005

Damn The Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead

Thus was titled my first entry in my first blog in November, 2004. Since then, I've learned a lot about blogging, but even more about how much fun this can be. Soon, the blog GM's Corner will be here rather than at blogspot, so, Damn the torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Who I Am!

Hello, my name is George Mann Roper and I'm the author of this blog. You may be wondering why I named this GM's Corner, simple really: When I first started commenting on other's blogs, I used only my first two initials and last name, other's responded to me using GM and one told me to go to my corner after a fierce battle verbal battle. Hence, GM's Corner.

I was born in Germany in 1946 to American parents. I grew up in the army (Yes, I'm PROUDLY an Army Brat AND an Army Veteran) and lived in many parts of the world. I attended 10 different schools in 7 towns, over 5 states and two continents before graduating from High School. Attended college and in 1969 I married a wonderful woman by the name of Cynthia, she passed away in 1996 after almost 27 years of marriage. I loved her dearly. I have remarried since and am deeply in love with my second wife and count myself blessed by having been loved by two wonderful women. I have a daughter, Jennifer, who is the delight of my life and a friend, confidant and daughter. I'm lucky beyond belief and have been blesssed by my maker.

By day, I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor and Instructor at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. At night and in my "spare time" (hah, what spare time?) I'm a political junkie addicted to all things political. My personal politics tend to the conservative side of things which to some would mean that I'm a knuckle dragging neanderthal with the intellect of a carrot or in DU parlance a slug. But the reality is that politics is about perception.

Perception has to do with your learning from past experience, your ability to call up memories and relate those memories to your current environment. If you are say, of European descent with hints of English, French, German and Irish blood but were born and raised in Bolivia for example, you would speak Spanish, see things through "Bolivian eyes" and your world view would be colored by that set of circumstances.

In real life (as opposed to those who say they are members of the so called "reality based community") nothing is set in stone, all things are variable except for integrety and honesty, those are absolutes. The lede for my blog is "This Is The Place Where Truth, Honesty and Integrety Are Honored Above All Else! Truth In Politics Is Often Perception; Integrity And Honesty Are Absolute!" and I believe that. So, for me at least, I will post about things that interest me, things I find humourous and things I believe to be true. True for me, may not be true for you, but I will be honest in what I say for it will be what I believe.

So, welcome to my blog, look around and you will find something for everyone.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:50 AM | TrackBack (0)

January 10, 2005

Rules For Commenting

My main inspiration for these rules is a very wise lady Romeo Cat who writes at Cathouse Chat and who said I could borrow and revise these rules. She says that she got them from La Shawn Barber, so if you see anything particularly well worded and brilliant, it's hers or hers. If it's funny, I claim it. ;-)

By commenting on this blog, you are agreeing to abide by these public rules of conduct for GM's Corner. If you break these rules, you are subject to a) editing, b) ridicule, and/or c) banning, according to my mood at the time and according to the eggregiousness of your stupidity.

Big Rule # ONE (Number 1 for those from the California School System): I own this blog. It is mine, not yours. Therefore, I rule here with an iron fist. If you wish to comment, you will follow the rules to the letter. As La Shawn says, "this is my weblog and I pay for the hosting. The First Amendment protects my right to speak on this site, not yours. The amendment prohibits government from infringing on my right of free expression. On this blog, your expression is a privilege. On your own blog, your expression is a right. Learn the distinction."

Big Rule # TWO: There will be no swearing, invective (look it up), or ad hominem attacks of a juvenile nature (see below for what I mean by "juvenile nature") in the comments here, either directed at me or at another commenter. Any links included in your comments that break this rule (e.g. www. "f*thesouth" dot com) will be removed or edited. Of course, racist, sexist (of any sexual persuasion), or hateful comments are included in Rule Two. If you break this rule, you will be banned, and your comment will be revised or deleted. If you want to be removed from my ban list, you may e-mail me a personal and sincere apology. I will post it publicly (probably in the original comment thread) and remove your ban.

Big Rule # THREE: All opposing opinions are welcome, as long as they are in conformity to Rules One and Two. If you really want to try to persuade me to your point of view, use well-reasoned arguments supported by documentation from places other than the Democratic Underground and other places infested by Barking Moonbats on Speed(TM). Please remember that I am like most people: coaxing me works far better than beating me over the head - I don't like being beaten over the head, I once had a boss trying to do just that. I told him off, and it cost me a job, but I was looking for a job when I got that one.

Big Rule # FOUR: Here's where I demonstrate that I can be a benevolent despot. If I break Rule Two, above, and someone politely reminds me of it, I will post an apology. I will not make excuses, or try to avoid the fact that I was wrong. This rule applies only to the comments, and not to posts. My posts are effectively my journal, and I may rant and rave a bit in them. If there is a glaring violation of Rule Two in my posts, I will consider revising and apologizing, if given a rational reason to do so.

Now, "ad hominem of a juvenile nature:" I define this behavior as attacks on the level of using words like (and here I will break Rule Two) "bitch, cunt, bastard, asshole, nigger, spic, wop, kike, homo", and slurs of this genre. This is not, of course, an exhaustive list. These types of attacks are subject to immediate banning. I do not tolerate this type of thing AT ALL.

However, if the ad hominem is particularly inventive and "clean," and/or makes me laugh, I will probably allow it to stand. I will also, since I use similar terms ("Barking Moonbats" comes to mind...), allow things like "Repug" and so on, as they are in fairly common circulation and are relatively amusing.

Finally, I reserve the right to interpret any of these rules to mean whatever I choose, and may at any point revise, retract, or remove them at my whim. If you don't like it, then get your own blog and make your own rules.

That is all. On to the fray.....

Posted by GM Roper at 10:35 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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