Plunge Pontificates

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Other Blogs

Time to look and see what is cooking on other blogs that I read. Most of the do NOT deal with Asia.

I usually hit Captain's Quarters a few times a week.

Top post there right now is about France heading towards collapse, something that wouldn't bring a tear to my eye at all.

Captain Ed says:

It goes beyond credibility, especially with De Villepin. The PM ordered the new youth employment contract that led to the student strikes and caused France to almost shut down a few weeks ago. Earlier, De Villepin's lack of movement on minority employment created some of the force behind the immigrant demonstrations, protests which quickly escalated into riots and terrorist attacks by the burgeoning number of Islamists in France. On both occasions, the French looked towards the PM's political opponent, Nicolas Sarkozy, as the solution to the mess that De Villepin could not resolve.


These days, however, the French have become more and more irrelevant. Thanks to their participation in the Oil-For-Food scandal, the US and UK do not trust them on foreign policy any longer, and their own people don't trust them to maintain order and the economy. Their nanny state is headed for collapse now that they have cut off the flow of cheap labor from North Africa and the Middle East. Only their nuclear arsenal and their veto on the Security Council gives them any global relevance at all any more, and the former becomes more of a worry as their economically depressed and socially isolated Muslim population continues to grow.

In the end, the Washington Post is correct: no one will recall who smeared whom. If we acre enough to remember anything, it will be that the French slowly strangled themselves into insignificance, both economically and politically.
Amen! Captain has some good posts. He's a bit fiery, but that is to be expected from a political blogger.

Powerline is next on the list. It is a daily read, always has something good to say.

Up right now:

Ray McGovern is the former CIA employee who heckled Don Rumsfeld in Atlanta last week. This led to his being hailed as a "truth-teller" by the mainstream media. Gateway Pundit was all over the case, pointing out that McGovern has a long record as a far-left nutjob. Now Tom Joscelyn has written us to say:
The media has lionized this guy already, despite a long record of nutty beliefs and statements. I was watching CNN tonight (while at the gym) and they did a thoroughly dishonest segment in which they tried to paint Gateway Pundit and other right-wing blogs as just out to vilify McGovern because he went after Rumsfeld. There was no mention of his nutty comments.

The segment was so completely disingenuous it was ridiculous. But, the same thing is going on all throughout the press.

Anyway, this is the media at its would take them five seconds to figure out that McGovern is a moonbat.
Tom cites chapter and verse in the post linked to above. McGovern is Cindy Sheehan with a beard, with the same distressing tendency to start babbling about Israel at the wrong moment. He's worse, actually: unlike Sheehan, McGovern has endorsed the idea that the Bush administration knew in advance about the September 11 attacks but "deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen."
These guys seem to be spot on most of the time. A must read if you are in to US politics.

After this, it is VodkaPundit. If you've never read Stephen's site, you are missing something. Stephen is 007 without a gun. Smooth, sophisticated, knows how to cook and mix the perfect drink. On top of this, has a keen insight to everything political. He has the annoying tendency to take a week or month off blogging every now and then.

His latest:

Got a lot on my plate right now, including two essays I can't seem to complete and starting a new business. Yikes. So tonight, just this:
RIYADH, 2 May 2006 — Authorities have opened an investigation into a case of a severed penis belonging to an alleged rapist, the Okaz daily reported. A man arrived at an emergency room in the capital with his severed penis, which was reattached after speedy surgery. According to the report, the man allegedly snuck into his maid’s quarters after his wife had gone to sleep and attempted to rape her. The Filipina managed to escape his advances, rushed into the kitchen and got a knife. Despite her weapon, the man attempted to assault the maid, who, in return, pulled a “Lorena Bobbit” defense and cut off the man’s penis.

Usually, VodkaPundit is your go-to blog for funny severed penis stories. There's nothing funny here, unfortunately. This woman acted in obvious self-defense - a concept which doesn't exist for women in Saudi Arabia. She'll probably go to jail, or even be executed.
Next, it's time to see what the experts at Oxblog are saying. Named Oxblog because the bloggers have all attended or are attending Oxford University on scholarship.

Currently, Immigration is the topic of choice:

A COUNTERINTUITIVE APPROACH TO IMMIGRATION: Picking up on Patrick's post below, I thought I'd post some quotations from a recent article on immigration in TNR [subscription required]:
The universally held--but virtually unquestioned--assumption is that illegal immigrants make up a discrete and problematic group, whereas legal immigrants are a benign or even beneficial presence. But this sharp dichotomy is fundamentally misleading...That's because the problems facing us do not stem exclusively from illegal immigration, but from immigration itself...

Immigration restrictionists learned to reduce their array of objections to immigration generally to the problem of illegals specifically--a tactic that also enabled them to avoid the charge of racism. The legal-illegal dichotomy thus became a relatively safe framework within which to debate a complicated and volatile issue--and it has stayed that way until today.

When Americans denounce illegal immigrants, they complain about lost jobs, overcrowded schools and emergency rooms, and noisy, dirty neighborhoods where nobody speaks English...Yet, whatever their specific merits, not one of these complaints pertains uniquely to illegal immigrants. If Congress were to grant a general amnesty or augment legal immigration tomorrow, the same concerns would be voiced by Americans. This suggests that something else is bothering the public: the transience and disorder that inevitably accompany mass migration...

Americans want to believe that immigrants come here to stay. It is part of the national mythology that the United States is a beacon, attracting foreigners who long to become part of our noble experiment. That's what President Bush is getting at when he says, "It says something about our country that people around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to America."

But this is, at best, a half-truth that ignores the fact that immigrants do not typically arrive here intending to settle down..."Left to their own devices, most Mexican immigrants would work in the United States only sporadically and for limited periods of time." [Princeton sociologist Douglas] Massey emphasizes that even those with legal documents don't necessarily intend to stay.

What is bothering Americans most about immigration, legal or illegal, is that it frays--and threatens to rip--the social fabric; it makes them feel that things are out of control...As with old debates over crime, liberal elites condescendingly dismiss such concerns as racist or foolishly reduce them to economic fears. Even sympathetic conservatives are not very responsive, in great part because they, too, have bought into the prevailing legal-illegal dichotomy. Without such elite support, mass discontent remains submerged until it erupts in an angry and inarticulate populist outburst, which of course sends the politicians scurrying for the safety of the entrenched legal-illegal framework.
The editors at TNR love nothing more than an argument that's both counterinuitive and that makes a hash of the usual left-right partisan politics. This article delivers on all front.

Although I don't know much about immigration beyond what I read in the papers, I still wonder whether the article's authors are too quick to erase the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. For example, a police officer in my neighboorhood told me a few months ago that illegal immigrants are often the targets of street crime, since muggers assume that they tend to carry a lot of cash.

That sort of evidence is entirely anecdotal, but it's the kind of thing I'd like to hear more about before accepting that legal-illegal distinction isn't as useful as we think.
I have my own strong opinion on immigration. Maybe I should post about that next.

Finally, let's look at Michelle Malkin. I LOVE Michelle. She pulls no punches, normally gets it right and is just as honest when she gets it wrong.

Here is her top post right now.

I understand the Rangers wanted to do something innocuous to recognize a holiday celebrating historical and cultural pride. But the politically correct selectivity here is telling. While it's considered a celebration of "diversity" to acknowledge the military sacrifices of another nation's heroes, it's considered racist to acknowledge the military sacrifices of one's own.

Case in point: Can you imagine if someone proposed changing the Rangers' jerseys to "Confederate Rangers" to celebrate Confederate Heroes' Day?

Oh, and I'm sure I'll be labeled a racist for pointing out the double standard.

Like that's anything new...
We'll end here. I probably look at 100 blogs a week, most just a glance to see what is there. This is a sample of those that I read religiously. I'll do some more later.