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[Music clip: Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"]
01 — Intro. And muddle through we shall, Judy, I have no doubt.
Faithful Radio Derb listeners know that my commentaries tend to be cynical, pessimistic, and disrespectful. Well, that's for the rest of the year. At Christmastime I'm going to try to be upbeat.
So here is some good news for the season of goodwill.
02 — Man of the Year. Time magazine voted you as Man of the Year, listener. And me, too. To be precise, quote: "Anyone using or creating content on the World-Wide Web."
The cover of the current issue shows a white keyboard with a mirror for a computer screen where buyers can see their reflection. The editors said they were fgoing to make Ahmadinejad, the poison dwarf of Teheran, Man of the Year; but it just didn't feel right, Li'l Squinty not having actually done anything much but rant and rave.
Well, I'd rather see the reflection of myself in Time's cover than a picture of the Mad Midget. At least both my eyeballs point in the same direction.
Time's decision has come in for much mockery here on NRO; and for sure, no conservative has any reason to love Time, with its relentlessly left-liberal editorial line. I'm going to give them two cheers for this one, though. It's high time we of the great unwashed masses got a little recognition.
03 — Legally sober. Tara Connor is Miss USA 2006. She was crowned back in April at the Miss USA Pageant, which is owned by the Trump organization. Since then young Tara has been much more naughty than nice, I'm sorry to report. In fact she's been partying up a storm.
Among the places she's been partying at are certain New York City bars; and that's a shame, because the legal age for drinking in New York is 21, an age Tara only attained this week.
There's some other stuff, too. The New York Daily News reported that Tara had tested positive for cocaine, and had been sneaking men into her Trump Place apartment.
It was all pretty depressing. The assumption was that Donald Trump would de-crown Miss Connor for her antics. Not so: He has given her a second chance. Tara did what any celebrity does in these kinds of circumstances: repositioned herself as an invalid. She's checked into a drying-out clinic, and she teared up at a press conference.
Imagine — going for alcohol rehab the very week you attained legal drinking age.
Anyway, all credit to The Donald for giving Tara a break; and good luck to her in cleaning up her act. And a merry Christmas to both of them.
04 — When leisure suits were cool. The new Rocky movie has been getting good reviews, and I'm glad.
That first Rocky movie so stood out from most of the seventies glop. The sequels were pretty dire; but now apparently Sylvester Stallone has got his original inspiration back, and we geezer types can all go and watch this new movie and feel nostalgic about our wasted youth. Thanks, Sly, and a merry Christmas to you.
I might set aside a whole week to just reprise the seventies — my seventies. You know: put some Bachman Turner Overdrive on the CD player; or maybe some Electric Light Orchestra. Go looking for Mary Tyler Moore clips on YouTube; rent a copy of Jaws; curl up on the couch with Shogun or Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. I may even have a lava lamp in the attic somewhere …
Of course, there's a worm in every apple. Just when you've got into that seventies mood and you're thinking that the Bee Gees and double-knit leisure suits are pretty cool, you suddenly find yourself thinking of Jimmy Carter.
05 — How to fix illegal immigration. The premises of the meat-packing firm Swift and Co. got raided in six states last week because the firm is hiring illegal aliens.
Good. Now ex-employees of Swift and Co. are suing the firm for conspiring to depress wages by hiring those aliens. Double good. Since we can't get rid of the trial lawyers, let's enlist them in the fight against illegal labor.
Meat packing is not work that Americans won't do. We used to do it at decent wages. These firms hiring in illegals are insulting American citizens and legal residents. I hope Swift and Co. get taken to the cleaners in this civil suit, with some hefty punitive damages; and I hope we see more of these lawsuits by people who've lost their jobs to illegals.
This is the key to the illegal immigration problem: no jobs, no problem.
06 — A prayer for twisted knickers. OK, Democrats got elected to Congress. Can they actually do any of the things they campaigned on, though?
Enact all the recommendations of the 9/11 report, for example? Curb the influence of lobbyists? [Laughter.] Bring home the troops? Peg new spending to tax hikes or cuts elsewhere? Push through an immigration amnesty even their own supporters don't want?
I doubt it. I'll bet, and I hope, this is going to be a do-nothing Congress: a lot of thunder, but no rain. And that, if I'm right, will be really good news.
Merry Christmas, Nancy. May your parliamentary knickers get in a twist, and stay that way until 2008.
07 — Iraq comes back. There's even — if you can believe it — theres even good news from Iraq, for heaven's sake.
Newsweek magazine reports that despite all the sectarian violence and political chaos, plenty of Iraq's economy is booming. The economy grew this year by either four percent or seventeen percent, depending on whether you believe the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. Real estate and construction are thriving; the number of registered companies in Iraq grew from eight thousand in 2003 to thirty-four thousand this year; and the country earned forty-one billion in oil revenue.
Unemployment's still horribly high; but people who have jobs are seeing healthy growth in their salaries. Iraqis have even had tax cuts.
Of course, you have to wonder what proportion of those statistics come from Kurdistan, which is stable … but hey, I'm looking on the bright side here today.
08 — Signoff. Well, there we are, listeners: some good news to fill you with a happy glow as you sit down to your Christmas dinner. The world's not such a bad place after all. There's a lot of beauty in it, too. Here for example is a great Irish tenor — he was one of my Dad's favorites — singing a fine old Christmas carol.
[Music clip: John McCormack singing "Adeste Fidelis"]