Bloggers discuss the expected "non" vote by the French on the EU constitution referendum; they also criticize the Egyptian government for squashing protests and ponder a young-adult book about group oral sex.
Non!: French politicians are predicting that their constituents will vote against the European Union's constitution during Sunday's referendum.
Why are the French people so down on the constitution? "The 'non' is essentially a big 'fuck you' to the arrogant elites that have proved unable to lead France in the past 30 years, or at least unable to fight unemployment and to give a positive idea of where France was going in the increasingly English-speaking and market-friendly globalized world, despite reasonable success in actually reforming good chunks of the country," writes Jérôme à Paris on liberal Moon of Alabama. "[T]he 'non' crowd is in fact just as arrogant, and offers no perspective beyond a solitary revolution." Noting that almost all mainstream French newspapers and political parties support the constitution, conservative Andrew Sullivan points out, "[W]hat we are watching is a kind of democratic protest. It may have less to do with the constitution itself than with the way in which the EU has made people feel powerless over their own destinies. The E.U. will survive a no-vote. European democracy will be deeply strengthened by a no."
What will be the shakeout of a "non" vote? Right-leaning Point of View predicts the end of Jacques Chirac's presidency and opines, "The EU isn't dead but it will have to go back to the drawing board; when the constitution is 512 pages of political wrangling, returning to the drawing board will be painful. While they are there they may want to re-examine the Euro and monetary policy." The MUSC Tiger's Jenks, a conservative medical student, observes, "Naturally, the French would be doing something good unintentionally, but it should still be recognized. What's funny is that you would think that France would be four square behind an enterprise whose sole real purpose is to lessen the influence, wealth, and power of America (eventhough that is a fool's errand anyway)."
Read more about the French vote.
Egyptian referendum: During yesterday's referendum on multi-party elections in Egypt, government forces hurt and sexually harassed hundreds of demonstrators. Bloggers from across the political spectrum are condemning Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and first lady Laura Bush, who recently praised Mubarak's reform attempts.
"To all the women and men who had their bodies violated while peacefully demanding self-rule today: your pains are not forgotten, your bravery humbles us, your souls edify us. Your blood is on the hands of this despotic regime, until the day of reckoning," writes an Egyptian woman on Baheyya. American bloggers are reflecting on the United States' influence on Egypt. "[T]he US has some real leverage with the Mubarak government--the kind of leverage provided by $2 billion a year in military and civilian aid," notesHarry's Place, which agrees with thisWashington Post editorial criticizing Laura Bush. "When Mrs. Bush endorses democracy Mubarek-style, she insults the Egyptian people. Mrs. Bush insults the hopes of her own husband, who probably genuinely believes in democracy but has not a clue how to obtain it," writesNWO Realpolitik's "pragmatic anarchist" Sartre. Abu Aardvark'sMarc Lynch *, a professor specializing in the Middle East, provides a roundup and writes, "[W]e're going to find out whether the world really is watching, and cares, the next few days. The world, and Bush."
Read more about the Egyptian referendum.
Kiddy lit or kiddies porn?: Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin is outraged by Paul Ruditis' young-adult book Rainbow Party, in which teenagers plan a party where a group of girls (each wearing a different color lipstick) gives oral sex to a group of boys. On her blog, Malkin notes that Oprah had a magazine editor "blabbing and giggling about it in explicit language" on her show. She asks, "Why should [Oprah] be allowed to hide behind the disingenuous guise of 'education' while [Howard] Stern faces a crackdown for vulgar entertainment?" Pointing out that Malkin condemns the book's tagline "Don't you want to know what really goes down?" Michael Schaub, a frequent contributor to Bookslut's blog, admits it's "pretty racy," but snarks that it's "still much better than ... 'Like Bridge to Terabithia except instead of a secret forest kingdom there's a bunch of teenage girls having loads of oral sex.' "
Conservative Lifelike Pundits' Kitty Litter asserts, "Maybe this is sexist ... I don't care ... but it bothers me that a man wrote a book about pubescent girls giving bj's and then calls it 'an interesting topic.' " On The Cafeteria is Closed, Catholic Gerald Augustinus laments, "I'm 33 but I can say 'That would have been impossible when I was a kid.' Every day, a new low point is reached. Lipsticks for group oral sex, bracelet to indicate what sex acts you're willing to perform ... organized, marketed, publicized madness."
Read more reaction to the book.
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