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Not A Blog
Jf
January 08, 2003, 09:00 AM
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To Blog Or Not To Blog

We`ve now published several compilations of short items by me, using titles like I Keep Saying We Should Have A Blog…, I Still Think We Should Have A Blog…, We Definitely Should Have A Blog!, and Blog! Blog! Readers have written us letters saying "it`s not really a blog." (Goodness knows what the title of this one is, by the way. I`m not responsible for the titles.)

And that brings me to the reason why this isn`t a Blog. The Editorial Process. Everything that I write has to go through the Editorial Process.

What that means is that I write something and send it in, and then Peter Brimelow calls me on the phone, saying "This is very good, but…" asking "What exactly do you mean by this?" and saying "This has to be tightened up a bit." All in what he has called his "stubbornly-unassimilating English accent" (a modified Lancastrian) which occasionally requires me to say "Say again, please?"

A real blog (short for weblog) is just its author`s musings, and no one but him can be blamed for it. But VDARE.COM is always in danger of accusations of racism, not to mention insensitivity, and therefore the authorities have to pass everything before posting. Otherwise accidents happen. Look how much heat Rich Lowry got for merely suggesting that the U.S. might consider nuking Mecca. And NRO is much more sensitive than VDARE.COM.

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Sensitive NRO

It`s too bad, because the advantage of blogging is the speed at which you can react to items like this extraordinary example on Monday:  The Empire, 2003, in which National Review, (now Transnational Review [Goldberg Review as per VDARE.COM house style]) has given a soapbox for Iranian-French Amir Taheri to advocate the abolition of Europe through amalgamation with the Turks and the Egyptians. Taheri writes:

"Against that background it is interesting to see some Europeans cling to old prejudices to promote a `little Europe` ideology. France`s former President Valery Giscard d`Estaing claims that Turkey`s entry into the EU could mean `the end of Europe.`

"The reason?

"Giscard answers with one word: Islam.

"Germany`s former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, despite the fact that his own son has married a Turkish Muslim lady, takes a similar position.

"What Giscard and Kohl ignore is the fact that Islam already forms the second-largest, and the fastest growing, religious community in the European Union. Giscard and Kohl are yesterday`s men, with a vision oriented toward the past rather than the future.

"What would happen if the entire European continent, including all those that have refused to join the EU, enter the club alongside with Turkey, Egypt and the four North African countries? This new and expanded version of the old Roman Empire will have a total population of around 800 million of which some 250 million would be Muslims."

Taheri says it`s the new Roman Empire. I say it`s the new Siege of Vienna. I was going to say that it`s the new Fall of Constantinople - but no, Constantinople is still in the hands of the Turks.

See? That only took a moment, and there you are: We attack NRO, Islam, and stand up for Europe, all in one item.

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Wanted: A New Word For Blog

But we have to stop saying "Blog," it`s confusing people. One liberal woman, who had never heard of blogging, wrote to say that "I will pray for your conversion, that you will become a decent, Christ-centered human being without any of this hate in your soul.  This attitude will condemn you to hell unless you repentBlog, whatever the hell you mean by that, is jeopardizing your soul, my friend."

She promised to light a candle for me, which is why I`m not publishing her name and email address. But we need a new name for this thing. "Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene" is taken. Any suggestions?

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Tarantold You So! Great Moments In Wall Street Journalism

Under the heading of "Great Moments In Law Enforcement," our old friend James Taranto ["Tarantoad" - VDARE.COM house style] of the Wall Street Journal recently linked to an ABC report of the case of Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, an FBI agent who, some time before 9/11, refused to wiretap a fellow Muslim during an investigation of al Queda on the grounds his loyalty to Islam was greater than his loyalty to America. According to ABC:

"[FBI whistleblower Robert] Wright says Abdel-Hafiz told him, Vincent and other agents that "a Muslim doesn`t record another Muslim."

"`He wouldn`t have any problems interviewing or recording somebody who wasn`t a Muslim, but he could never record another Muslim,` said Vincent.

"Wright said he `was floored` by Abdel-Hafiz`s refusal and immediately called the FBI headquarters. Their reaction surprised him even more: `The supervisor from headquarters says, `Well, you have to understand where he`s coming from, Bob.` I said no, no, no, no, no. I understand where I`m coming from,` said Wright. `We both took the same damn oath to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic, and he just said no? No way in hell.`

"Far from being reprimanded, Abdel-Hafiz was promoted to one of the FBI`s most important anti-terrorism posts, the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia, to handle investigations for the FBI in that Muslim country."

Taranto calls Abdel-Hafiz behavior "appalling." I agree.

But I have a question. When an Arab member of Bush`s Secret Service detail was refused permission to board a plane, (inexplicably, the pilot was suspicious of an armed Arab who said he was going to see the president) I wrote a column asking "Er…Why Does Bush Have An Arab Bodyguard Anyway?"

And Taranto was appalled – at me. See  The Wall Street Journal And The Arab On The Airplane and Establishment Thought-Crime Watch. Why, he demanded, should "one James Fulford" suspect an Arab-American of Arab sympathies, to the point of asking why the most sensitive job in the Federal government should not be given to someone whose relatives President Bush may be bombing at any moment?

This is another VDARE.COM we-told-you so moment. My question: why hasn`t Taranto admitted that I was right and he was WRONG? (You can email him or his colleagues and ask)

The Arab Secret Service agent, by the way, may have been perfectly harmless, albeit apparently excitable. My point is that it`s unreasonable to be so unsuspicious in wartime. Ask Agent Wright.

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Fit to Print

The New York Times reports (January 6) about the dangers to American businesses of having programming done overseas.

"`Anyone tells you that `offshoring` computer systems does not put the infrastructure at risk is lying,` said Ken O`Neil, a programmer who lives on Long Island. He and other programmers talk of `sleeper bugs` that could be set to go off at a later date, or back doors that would let intruders in to shuttle money around, steal fractions of a penny from millions of transactions or shut down the system entirely. They warn of risks from political instability, organized crime and terror cells, and even from governments that might demand the ability to spy."

["Experts See Vulnerability as Outsiders Code Software," by John Schwartz]

VDARE.COM`s John Miano reported this first.  But this story is interesting because the New York Times is telling its readers that people are losing their jobs as a result of immigration. It must suddenly have become Fit To Print.

"Such talk could be dismissed as the grumblings of disgruntled white-collar workers who have seen their high-paying jobs move elsewhere. `Nobody is going to cry for people who make $75,000 or $100,000 a year,` said Marc Alan Fink, who lost his programming job more than a year ago. 

"In fact, some of the newly expressed concern is part of a long-running and acrimonious fight by programmers to hold on to their jobs in the face of relaxed immigration standards for technical workers and increased outsourcing. They attack the rise in special visas for immigrant engineers, known as H1-B visas, and the trend toward sending jobs overseas."

The whole business of H1-B visas that we`ve spent so much time and effort covering is news to the readers of the New York Times.

Not to NYT management, though. Reporter John Schwarz could also have interviewed the 5 H1-B visa holders Rob Sanchez`s invaluable H1B Database  [Send Rob Sanchez money] says that the New York Times has working for it, including the $40,000 a year web developer, or the $45, 00 a year editor.

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Good News, Bad News on Deportation

The Los Angeles Times reports (January 5) that the pace of deportations speeding up, because the Attorney General has been putting pressure on the Board to clear its backlog. ("Speedier Rate of Deportation Rulings Assailed," by Lisa Getter and Jonathan Peterson.)

The subhead of the LA Times story is

Ashcroft`s goal to clear a backlog of immigration appeals has board members deciding cases in minutes. Increasingly, foreigners are losing

Actually, the whole point of deportation is for foreigners to lose. There are estimated to be four million Mexican illegals in the United States. If the immigration appeals board had to spend as much as ten minutes each on four million people it would take …no, never mind, it`s not going to happen anyway.

But a speedier appeals process means that more people will be deported, which is good news.

In the bad news section, if you`re being persecuted because you`re white, like Frieda and Wessel Steenkamp, who left the South African countryside to work on farms in the United States, you`re in trouble. They`re being deported, because the persecution of white farmers, according to Human Rights Watch, is not because they`re white, but because they`re farmers.

"There is no asylum for people leaving a poor economic situation or generalized crime. Asylum-seekers have to show persecution based on race, religion, national origin, political opinion or membership in a social group."

Although international journalists and others describe the situation as a "powder keg," Peterson points out that Human Rights Watch maintains the attacks on white farmers are criminally, not racially, motivated.

Double standards again?  In fact, Human Rights Watch has produced a report on rural violence that would tend to show that the Steenkamps are victims of persecution, and the new South African government is allowing this persecution, in the same way that authorities looked the other way during lynchings, pogroms, Nicaraguan turbas, and modern race riots, from Los Angeles to the North of England.

If the authorities decide that you aren`t worth protecting, then you`re being persecuted by default, which is the situation in rural South Africa, and one that is spreading to formerly civilized places like Britain.

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January 08, 2003