Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Noted In The Blogosphere -- Nothing Unites Or Divides Like Democracy

Guess Who's Coming to Online TV Whether you love her or hate her, or don't know anything about the world's top-rated blogger of Filipino ancestry (sexy good looks and sassier than the average human female), you can now see and hear MICHELLE MALKIN at a new site called, Hot Air where she may be doing regular videocasting on favorites subjects, a clue to which may be gleaned in the debut title: The Tech World Bows To Red China's Tyrants Local bloggers shouldn't be put off by this rather stentorian title, especially watching and hearing a Filipina-American blogger strut her stuff online and dish it out with the verve of those already free human beings called Americans. Full-fledged Filipino-American Michelle Malkin, even models T-shirts on this new website...Here's the launch message: "We’re live! Welcome to Hot Air, the world’s first, full-service conservative Internet broadcast network. Tune out Katie Couric and tune …"

But back to Red China's tyrants...the link above actually points to the website of Ethan Zuckerman, whom many of us here in Manila just met -- with the most salutary of effects -- during the Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace Conference last week. He's associated with Harvard University Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and his most excellent technical presentation on Internet filtering and censorship in China and elsewhere is to be found at the FEAC Conference proceedings, complete with pod- and videocasts too. The issue is repression of freedom of speech and expression in China and revolves around the arrest and disappearance of Chinese documentary film-maker Hao Wu--
Hao Wu (Chinese name:呉皓 “Wu Hao”), a Chinese documentary filmmaker who lived in the U.S. between 1992 and 2004, was detained by the Beijing division of China’s State Security Bureau on the afternoon of Wednesday, Febuary 22, 2006. On that afternoon, Hao had met in Beijing with a congregation of a Christian church not recognized by the Chinese government, as part of the filming of his next documentary.
Many local bloggers also had the pleasure last week of meeting REBECCA MACKINNON of Harvard University's Global Voices Online. Ms. MacKinnon is a former CNN broadcast journalist turned blogger with long and extensive experience in China, fluent in Mandarin and quite knowledgeable with the territory. Indeed, some of us first met her at IBLOG2, the conference at UP Law School a week ago today. Much valuable information has been transmitted to the Southeast Asian blogosphere through her presentations at both recent conferences here in Manila. The Chinese film-maker Hao Wu is a Global Voices Online's China editor and his case is only one of many in China.

For an overview of the status of press freedom in Asia, lookup the presentation of Rapporteurs Sans Frontieres at the FEAC conference last week.

IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA But since we are speaking today of noteworthing Filipinos who are making their mark far away from the homeland archipelago, here is email from RODEL RODIS, President of the San Francisco City School Board, and like Michelle Malkin, also a great Filipino-American patriot, who however, may differ strongly with Michelle Malkin on the issue of immigration in America. I give way to Rodel today to say his piece about a certain piece of legislation in the U.S. that may be of deep interest to many Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. Rodel doesn't think criminalizing the TNT's is a good idea...
RODEL RODIS: "HR 4437 will criminalize the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the US. Once the bill passes and becomes law, there will instantly be 12 million new felons in the United States.

As it stands today, "unlawful presence" in the United States is not considered a crime but rather a civil violation of US immigration laws. When illegal immigrants are apprehended only by agents of the US Department of Homeland Security, they are placed in deportation or “removal” proceedings, which are civil, not criminal, in nature. If they have no affirmative relief available, they are deported back to their home countries.

Under the Sensenbrenner bill, however, these same undocumented immigrants can be arrested by any federal, state or local authorities and handed over to the feds where they will then be charged in federal court (because it would be a federal offense, not a state crime) with being in unlawful presence in the US.

The US Constitution will provide these 12 million accused felons with certain rights that apply to all people in the US, regardless of whether they are US citizens or accused “illegal aliens”.

For example, they will be entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty as, after all, some of them may have been born here or are the beneficiaries of approved visa petitions. Unlike in civil deportation proceedings, they will be provided with free legal counsel if they cannot afford one. Under the famous Gideon’s Law, indigent criminal defendants are provided with taxpayer-paid federal public defenders. Because it is a criminal charge, the defendants are also entitled to a trial by jury.

How many federal courtrooms, judges (which require confirmation by the US Senate), prosecutors, defense counsel, bailiffs, court reporters, jurors will be needed to prosecute 12 million defendants?

According to the US Department of Justice, there are currently 2,135,901 prisoners held all over the United States in federal, state and local jails. US authorities will have to provide more prisons to house an additional 12 million felons, six times the current capacity, who, if found guilty, will be required to serve time in jail before being deported. More prisons will require more prison guards, food and inmate clothing.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger estimates that the cost of enforcing the Sensenbrenner bill would be 500 billion dollars a year (which is larger than the annual budget for US defense). California spends $31,000 a year to house, feed and guard each inmate. One million inmates would cost $31-B a year. Twelve million inmates would cost about $400-B. Fortunately for the Governator, it will not be California’s problem because they would be federal inmates.

The 12 million new felons would not include another 50 million relatives, friends and co-workers who would also be charged with aiding and abetting the felons. This would include the Catholic Church which has gone on the record as stating that it will continue to help the poor and the sick and the needy, even if they don’t have legal papers.

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has announced that Catholic priests are obligated to disobey such a law because Pope John Paul II and other popes have taught that nations with resources have a moral obligation to accommodate people fleeing persecution or economic hardship - regardless of legal status.

Besides, about 30 percent of the nearly 65 million U.S. Catholics are Hispanic, including about 6 million "undocumented" Mexicans. And there are at least 500,000 Filipinos “illegals” (“TNTs”) who are also mostly Catholic.

And what would happen to California’s $65-B a year agricultural industry? Who would pick the grapes, the lettuce and tomatoes? Americans will have to be willing to pay $20 for one tomato to defray the high costs of hiring Americans to work the agricultural fields. Prices will skyrocket and taxes will hit the roof.

President Bush may reluctantly be compelled to rescind the huge tax cuts he gave to his rich friends and campaign donors just to pay for some of the enormous costs that would come with the passage of the Sensenbrenner Bill.
Rodel Rodis is also published by the Philippines News in San Francisco and the Philippine Daily Inquirer INQ7.net online edition in Manila. That Left-Right divide in America is really opening up...

OSAMA BIN LADEN TAPE STIRS THE INFIDELS Another A-lister in the blogosphere, Filipino-Australian editor of Pajamas Media, Richard Fernandez, (Wretchard of the Belmont Club: Emanations from a Cave) weighs in on the recent audio tape message from Osama bin Laden. Wretchard notes the fact that OBL includes in his anti-Western rant the issue of those Danish Mohammed cartoons, on which Philippine Commentary did many posts. For example, Bitter Herbs and Purple Flowers and Global Jihad Against Journalists?

Author and Readers of Philippine Commentary explored and debated the civil rights dimensions of the Mohammed Cartoons issue in several posts:

On the Separation of Church and Press
The Responsible Journalism of Conrado de Quiros
Democracy Saves Religions From Each Other

Alert readers will note the breadth of the political spectrum -- from Right to Left -- that supports freedom and democracy all over the world, both online and not.

Nothing unites -- or divides -- the global blogosphere than these transcendental issues of freedom, democracy and religion! Rely on Philippine Commentary to keep them in focus and close to heart.

Hat Tip to Lord Dracula for the Heads Up: Supreme Court Decision on Calibrated Pre-emptive Response is up on their Beta Web Site.


Amadeo said...


Very timely mention of our own Michelle Malkin who debuts on HotAir. She also appears regularly on FoxNews TV.

She is a one-woman wrecking crew - against issues only. If one wants to get an idea of what she does to go through on a daily basis, try visiting hard-left sites like DailyKos and its satellite sites.

Wretchard of Belmont Club is quite different, very subdued and cerebral. I yet have to read of any disparaging comment about him from all the different sites that I visit.

More power to both of them!

Rizalist said...

Hi Amadeo, The gurrrrlll looks good though, I must admit, from their debut vidcast. Funny, I've been getting ready to launch some 3d animation on this site myself, so count on Philippine Commentary to give hot air some competition.

Lord Dracula said...

CPR was declared unconstitutional! Can't wait to read the decision; it was 13-0.

Rizalist said...

Really! Thanks for that Lord Dracula. This is getting interesting...

AmericanPainter said...

RODEL RODIS and other liberals want to turn a legal issue into an economic issue. Their bleeding hearts make it sound like most of the illegals are victims of human trafficking, victims of domestic abuse, and children.

Not so, most of them are people who sneaked across the Rio Grande river into the U.S. in violation of immigration laws. Rodis is entitled to his opinion but If we use his rule of thumb we may as well stop processing applications for immigration and just accept the ones who can sneak in. Of course this would place a terrible disadvantage to Filipinos who wish to immigrate with thousands of miles of pacific ocean to cross.

All American ancestry, except for American Indians, were immigrants but did so the legal way and so it should be for everyone.

Rizalist said...

The Filipino Tago-ng-Tago (TNT), (a term you may be familiar with AP) is a very curious kind of person. Their lives are one of sustained illegitimacy...every day is an illicit pastime..."only the paranoid survive" seems to be their motto...yet except for those immigration laws that they indeed have violated, all are perforce the most law-abiding group of citizens, since they cannot afford to get into trouble with the Law. That I guess, is how much they want to stay and be a part of the American Dream.

Thus, though I agree with your basic argument, AP, I marvel at the irony that we would expel the most avid wanna-be Americans, in the dubious hope of finding a few dozen members of terrorist sleeper cells?

Traditionally Republicans have amnestied illegal immigrants, perhaps in recognition of that long national history of immigrants. Even the Amerindians came from Asia as immigrants...same place the TNTs come from.

john marzan said...

I used to watch her on FOXNEWS. Akala ko Vietnamese nung una. Yan pala pinay. She's one of the first people who floated the idea on the Bill O Reilly show na Flight 93 (the one the went crashed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11) was shot down ba a US plane.



The issue of illegal immigration is a sensitive issue.

I know for a fact that most of the Pinoys I meet here are illegal. While I am for the respect of a nation's immigration law, I certainly will not help enforces of the said law do their job by denouncing illegal immigrants.

Rizalist said...

Oops...I seem to have granted citizenship to illegal aliens in my replay to AP! At least the Filipino TNTs, merely because every single one I've met who actually tries to say, seems to pass every test I can think of, for deserving American citizenship. They are hardworking and law-abiding than many who might take the privilege for granted. And they are perfectly happy picking grapes and tomatoes. I guess the Dust Bowl immigrants to California made famous by John Steinbeck evokes the TNT's plight for me.

HB, Immigration and assimilation are certainly major issues in Europe and Australia, perhaps even more than America.

wuZup John?



Surprisingly, Pinoy immigrants, and I suppose all other immigrants feel safe in Europe because since the opening of borders in Eruppe.

Until 20 years ago for instance, there was systematic identity "random control" of people in the streets of Paris but that has disappeared. People are given 3 days to produce and present official ID papers in case they are stopped and found without official IDs.

Obviously, those who are illegal (but haven't done violent acts or are caught en flagrant délit of committing a crime) and can't present the required immigration documents may choose not to appear - this has happened to some Filipinos I know and they continue to practise their trade without being "molested" by authorities.

What's good is that NOT once has the police raided a Sunday mass/gathering of Pinoys in Paris to round up or arrest illegal immigrants in spite of the fact that the police know that's where they can arrest illegally staying Pinoys in France.

That's why hundreds of illegal pinoys who gather during and after Sunday mass don't feel shy about being in the open. (But as Laeticia Buonaparte liked to say to her Emperor of a son, "Pourvu que ça dure!")

Amadeo said...

AP And Dean:

The San Francisco Bay Area is the seat of liberalism here in the West Coast, earning the pejorative among its critics, the Left Coast. Atty. Rodis operates under this very libertine environment. Remember S.F. pioneered in gay marriages, was the first to declare the area as sanctuary for illegals, and need I mention, the locale of UC-Berkeley. Only in SF can a city employee get reimbursement for transgender medical operation. Before Arnold, the state passed a law allowing illegals to have drivers’ licenses (it was rescinded).

Understandably, politicians here will lead in the pursuit of very liberal ideas, though at times dire consequences may be wrought to the area. For example, CA already holds in its prisons about 15,000 inmates who are illegals. The population of illegals in the state is highest in the entire country. Public services such as in public hospitals are being strained to the limits servicing illegals. Public education per capita is one of, if not the, highest for the entire country, yet the test scores have not followed suit.

Rizalist said...

HB--Europe strikes me as "lax" in immigration but problematic in assimilation. True?

Amadeo, Hehe, the People's Republic of San Francisco, eh? When the City is a Hotspot (courtesy of Google) illegal aliens will finally have Internet for free -- all the Philippine Commentary and Ignatian Perspective they can handle.

Gotta love America. Gotta love America!

Amadeo said...

Hi, Dean:

“Even the Amerindians came from Asia as immigrants...same place the TNTs come from.”

I once used this line to explain away our similarities in facial features with the Native Americans, mentioning that extinct “land-bridge” that once connected both continents via the Bering Sea. Thus, I added, a Lou Phillips Diamond could easily play the role of an Indian and be believable.

But re our TNTs, I yet have to meet one working the fields (Grapes of Wrath). Our people are in offices but mostly in the caregiving industry where it is quite easy to lose oneself yet earn sufficiently enough to maintain a decent life. Some actually prosper through the generosity of their hosts.

Rizalist said...

There's a Filam prof that did a language concordance study between Navajo and Igorot tribes. In fact it was Rodel Rodis who mentioned that to me years ago. 15% concordance in vocabulary--more than a coincidence?


Ain't true Dean,

Those who can't integrate are people who don't wish to integrate on account of religious appartenance. The problem of assimilation is encountered by people belonging to the islamist culture. The children of these immigrants are cowed by their own internal rules - immigrant women or mothers, men and fathers who were largely uneducated bring up their children in the same cultural and religious mold and enforce the divide. Those who become educated have less of a problem.

Thirty years ago, most domestic helpers, building janitors here were Spanish and Portuguese immigrants. Perhaps, because there is less religious, therefore less cultural constraints to integrate, the children of these immigrants who are now in their 20s or older have become integral part of French society, British society or other European societies. There are no longer Spanish and Portuguese maids, building janitors in Paris (or very rarely). They have been replaced by West Africans.

Blacks have a less of problem of integrating too perhaps because of their basic Judeo-Christian cultrue introduced by their former colonizers. I have more black friends here than I have of purely north African of Islamic cultural background.

The Chinese who are basically not Judeo-Christians integrate very, very easily and very well. They are appreciated for their hard work. A landlord would have no qualms renting an apartment to a Chinese tenant rather than to a north African (Islamist) because the Chinese do try to assimilate and have no qualms about integrating as quickly as possible.

So, it is not quite true that there's a problem of assimilation and there should be no problem if both parties make the effort - it takes two to tango...



To give you an example (tiny example but so telling) of Chinese tenacity for integration:

I used to give English lessons as part of highly civic service PTA sponsored programs for elementary school children in a school in Paris.

The school, like all public schools is open to all children of all origins: North Africans, West Africans, Chinese, Turks, British, etc. and of course, French.

One of the groups I gave lessons to was a group of 30 eleven-yr old kids. There was only 1 child of North African descent (Moroccan), half a dozen West Africans and surprisngly, almost a dozen of Chinese children whose immigrants parents could barely speak French.

When I asked these kids why they wanted to learn English, they say, because it was the best way to land a good job one day. To cap it all, their parents who could barely speak French were always some of the most active participants in the PTA-sponsored activities and really try to be accepted socially. Needless to say, people in the school community appreciate that kind of effort. (They really do have such an uncanny ability for integration and assimilation.) What impressed me a great deal was that the Chinese kids I had in those groups were the most enterprising - homework always passed on time, always the first to raise their hands to answer questions, etc. Not only that, they usually were some of the best pupils in their regular classes.

It is really up to people to try and assimilate - people become wary of people who do not try.

Amadeo said...

You asked if the similarities are a coincidence.

You cited the Navajo whose language is very closely related to the Western Apache language. And within the Apache tribe, we have the Spanish language influences like the case of the Mescalero Apaches.

Just like our Cebuano which closely resembles Spanish, who’s to say the same is not true in the other areas where Spanish was allowed to sow and thrive.

Funny how even among the Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, they continue to disparage each other’s spoken language. A Salvadorian will not consider Mexican Spanish at par with theirs, because of language corruption and colloquialism. I always counter by adding that Philippine Spanish is very Iberian because it was handed down to us by real Spaniards and taught textbook style.

And I will agree with Hillblogger that assimilation/integration puts the burden more on those who need it, rather than the use of government fiat.

And the factor of how educated the new emigre plays a great part in his/her assimilation.

And bi-lingualism here, particularly California, has acted more as a deterrent to this than as an aid.

Where can one find where ballot materials, supposedly to be used only by citizens, come in at least 4(maybe more) different languages?

Rizalist said...

Spot on! as hillblogger would say. about bilingual education programs in the US that is. Nothing did more to keep Chicanos in the ghetto. It delays assimilation I think, and even stigmatizes some.

Now here in the Philippines though, I am supporting "bilingualism" in the sense that we've got to get back English for the sake of the OFWs and just in general.

In either case, learning the lingo of the world is key to assimilation in it.