Friday, September 05, 2014

When local news is bigger than national “news”

A highlight of the day [in my rented house on the island of Oléron, off the west coast of France] was going to the café and reading the local paper, Sud Ouest
reminisces Stephen Clarke.
I enjoy national papers, but at the moment, the French ones are annoying me. So here, the news that a group of local ladies, dressed as sailors, are doing the rounds of retirement homes to entertain the residents is far more interesting to me than a scoop about one French MP potentially disagreeing with another. It’s real life as opposed to press release life.

A quarter-page article about a librarian who was retiring was as neat a potted biography as I’ve read in any paper for a long time. Usually you only get them in the obituaries, and then only bigwigs and their weighty achievements. But this lady was born in the area, went to Paris, met her husband, moved to Normandy, then came back to the region with their children, presumably (it wasn’t revealed) to take advantage of the grandparents’ free time. Now she’s retiring, and, judging by the photo, her colleagues put together a very friendly send-off with plenty of drinks and snacks. Again, it’s much more immediate than the news that France might or might not end the 35-hour week (which everyone knows can’t be done overnight even if you want to do it), especially because you learn than small towns in France still have libraries. That really is news.

All this, plus a local ladies’ bowling team, a new computer club, the amount of salt put aside by salt producers against bad salt seasons, the problems of local honey producers because their bees are dying – it’s real life. Unlike the week’s massive story in France which is (in case you haven’t heard) that the former First Lady is bringing out a book about her life with Le Président. Yes, now it’s not only politicians talking about politicians. One of their ex-girlfriends is getting in on the act. Excerpts of the book take up half of the country’s biggest-selling glossy magazine. Every TV news channel is blaring about it. The newspapers will all be at it tomorrow. We will probably find out who said what to whom when, where and why, but the real question is, who cares?

I’m all in favour of big-selling books, whatever they are (within reason, of course). They put money in publishers’ coffers, which publishers spend on other books. But when you’ve got big magazine excerpts, you can kill book sales.

So please, give me more details about the librarian’s retirement party. What did she get as a going-away present? What’s she going to do now? It will tell us a lot more about France and the French than how journalists feel about how the First Lady feels about what the President used to feel about her.

If you want to see what real anarchy looks like, just have a look at our southern border

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley this week instructed officials at a Baltimore prison not to detain suspected illegal alien prisoners for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
notes Benny Huang,
unless they “present an actual threat to public safety.” The laws of the United States apparently no longer apply within the borders of Maryland.

Across the country, states and localities are refusing to work with the US government to enforce immigration laws. Some have gone as far as declaring themselves “sanctuary cities,” or places where illegal aliens can live in work (or not work) without fear of the law.

It seems like just yesterday that liberals were griping about the Supreme Court’s affirmation of Hobby Lobby’s right not to provide abortafacients to its employees. It was a slippery slope to anarchy, they argued. They almost made “anarchy” sound like a bad thing so I’ll assume they’re against it.

Their arguments were childish at best. If we don’t violate the Green Family’s rights, the next thing you know it’ll be human sacrifice! Better not to have any of that pesky religious freedom stuff lest it get out of control.

 … Of course, allowing the Greens the same rights guaranteed to all Americans will not lead to anarchy because the law is on their side. The court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected their free exercise rights. I would argue that the Constitution does too. Upholding the law is the opposite of anarchy.

If you want to see what real anarchy looks like, just have a look at our southern border. Illegals are streaming across precisely because they believe that the law does not apply to them. NBC News’s Stephanie Gosk reported in July about attitudes in Honduras that might be driving young people to attempt the trek to and across the US-Mexico border.
“There has been for about a year now, this idea …flirting around places like Honduras, that when young people, when they arrive to the U.S., mothers of children when they arrive, that they are going to be allowed to stay. There was a director of one of the groups here who said that a lot of women believed if they could just show up at the border, the official border crossing, and they would be allowed to stay.”

And they will be.

They are not misinformed. Our top law enforcement officials are dedicated to getting as many undocumented Democrats into this country as possible. Enforcement is a joke.

The freefall into lawlessness with regard to illegal immigration is having a myriad of second and third order effects but none more detrimental than the warping of our concept of the rule of law.

Those who cross our border are quickly absorbing this lesson. The first thing they learn about the country they have entered, and which they will likely never leave, is that the rules don’t apply to them. They’re special. Rather than being turned around and sent back where they came from, they are sheltered and fed at the taxpayers’ expense. On top of that, they are then given bus, train, or plane tickets to wherever they want within the interior of the US.

If they don’t have IDs they are even allowed to board airplanes without proving their identity. (TSA initially lied about this but has since admitted it’s true.) Elderly Irish nuns still have to show their IDs and go through the whole rigmarole, because, you know, they might be terrorists! Or something.

Well, not exactly. I think even liberals know that elderly Irish nuns don’t actually pose a terrorist threat but they are uncomfortable with allowing certain groups through airport screening with little scrutiny because other groups might cry foul. By “other groups,” I mean Muslims, of course. We all have to endure an equal amount of harassment at the airport to avoid the appearance of singling out Muslims.

All of us, that is, except illegal aliens. They don’t have to show identification because they’re obviously not terrorists. MS-13 members maybe, but not terrorists. Predictably, the terrorist supergroup known as ISIS has been overheard on social media discussing plans to infiltrate the US via the southern border. We’ll probably give them a ride to their intended target.

After illegal aliens have crossed the border and are safely transported, at the taxpayers’ expense, to Your Town, USA, they are then given court dates. Most will not show up.

 … Rules are for the other guy. That’s the message they hear repeated over and over again.

Is it any surprise that illegal aliens then go on to work under the table, thus stiffing the Social Security Administration of much needed funds? Or that they sometimes “borrow” other people’s social security numbers? That they drive without licenses or insurance, often drunk? In my state, cops are fed up with pulling over illegal alien unlicensed drivers because they know that the drivers will simply give false names and then skip their court dates. Illegal aliens also vote illegally in our elections and collect welfare benefits to which they are not entitled. President Obama’s illegal alien Aunt Zeituni even made an illegal campaign contribution to her nephew’s campaign.

This is what real anarchy looks like. It is the predictable outcome of a judicial system that refuses to enforce the law against a certain group of people. That group of people learns with great alacrity that they are entitled to show the same disregard toward all of our laws that they showed to the laws they brushed aside on their way through the door.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

10 Years Ago, Rotherham's Denis MacShane Was Among the Good Guys

Not that multiculti double standards should be defended in any way, and not that Denis MacShane does not deserve what's coming to him, but just a word to point out that 10 years ago, during the Iraq war, the MP for Rotherham was among the good guys. He was not only a supporter of Tony Blair's alliance with George W Bush, he was vocal in his support.

"That's Why We're Fighting the Bastards, Isn't It?"
"It hurts that war, it hurts me," [A. A. Khaliq of Rotherham said in May 2004]. "Blair made a mistake in backing Bush. I support the British troops, but not the United States. We should never have let the U.S. draw us in. We're in with a regime that doesn't listen to anybody. We should pull out."

 … Rotherham's member of Parliament during the same period, MacShane said of Khaliq, "A ways back, this is a guy who was shouting that the Brits and the Americans were wimping out and demanding the 7th Fleet bombard Milosevic when the Serbs were mistreating the Muslims."
"That's Why We're Fighting the Bastards, Isn't It?"
"Going door to door," said MacShane after two days of talking [prior to the June 2004 elections], "I don't get the impression that Iraq is what's on people's minds. It's how things are working out for them. One guy said, 'Iraq's a problem, isn't it Denis?' Then he talked about the young fellow beheaded on television, and he said, 'that's why we're fighting the bastards, isn't it Denis?' "
Then again, Tony Blair's Labour Party was always close to outstanding on the international scene, and (much) less so on the domestic scene.
Click for more vintage MacShane posts on No Pasarán