Sunday, November 06, 2005

Potpourri (i.e., a Mess o' Stuff)

I've been unable to string more than one or two coherent thoughts together lately. I blame it entirely on the weather. Fall is a simply glorious season in Texas. Sun, breeze, and temperature in near-perfect measure, excellent conditions for just about anything except swimming. And there are people who like the occasional dip even so.

So, I've been doing things like watching soccer matches and walking the dog instead of doing heavy thinking about the state of the world. Sue me.

But, some fairly important things have been going on. I'd be completely remiss if I didn't make some mention. I'll try to make sense of it, but I probably won't succeed.

Firstly, I've been holding off on commentary regarding the recent Iraqi constitutional referendum. For the first few days, I was waiting to see if it had passed. The results are ... interesting. In more ways than one. Firstly, it's a triumph for the electoral process. Turnout was even higher than in the January elections. There was very little violence on election day. This marks the third straight election that Al Quaeda has failed to deter. As far as their in-country influence goes, they're just about done. Just about the only people who still have a vested interest in seeing the insurgency succeed are the hard-left nut-bars who run the media over here. Which brings us to the next point: didja notice how sparse the coverage of the election was over here? You had to be paying close attention to see it happen at all. Mind you, we've had some hard-hitting, newsworthy disasters on our home court in the last few months. That's a partial excuse. But, I also think that there's an element in the media elite that really, really does not want to report on the fact that the new government is gaining ground over there.

Maybe they think that if they ignore the story, it'll go away.

But here's one they ignored for the first several days, but won't go away: Riots in France.

It would be easy to gloat. I've never had much use for the French government, and this is their own idiocy coming home to roost. No, the unemployed, unassimilated masses lurking in their capital's suburbs would never be a problem. No, they'd never, never rise up and bust the chops of the oh-so-nuanced and solicitous internationalists who staunchly opposed the simplisme, unilateralist Americans. Oh, no, they'd just stay put, hat in hand, and suck up the dole like good little boys and girls.

Hmm ... gloating came easier than I thought. But, after this, can there be any doubt that we're in a real fight? That we're ALL in a real fight? That appeasement won't cut it?

I mean, they found out in 1940 what appeasement gets you. Are their memories really so poor?

Maybe so. They're getting numerous wake-up calls, in the form of Gospodin Molotov's favorite mixed beverage.

The important thing to remember here, folks, is that this demographic time-bomb would have blown up in their faces, invasion of Iraq or no invasion. The poor damn French don't grok immigration. No one in Europe does. It's something they're either gonna have to figure out, or show most of the immigrants the door. It's a problem I don't really envy them.

We have centuries of experience in assimilating immigrant populations. It's who we are. It's what we do. See, there's a key difference between us, and France, and Germany, and the rest of that lot. If I were to move to France or Germany, I could never, ever become French or German. Oh, I could do so in a purely legal sense. But I would never be truly accepted. I'd always be an American ex-pat.

It's different here. Anyone can become an American. The main thing that's required, is that you want to. That's about it. If you want to badly enough, and you're willing to make it happen, you can be one of us. You can live in our neighborhoods. Your kids will go to school with ours. We'll cheer from the sidelines of the same soccer games. We'll shop in the same stores, mostly, and go to the same restaurants. We may not attend the same churches, but that's OK. There are lots of different ways of being American.

There aren't a whole hell of a lot of ways to be French.

Which is probably just as well, considering.

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