[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. Diddle-de-dum dah dah dee-dee-dah … Radio Derb here, ladies and gentlemen. That was one of Franz Josef Haydn's Derbyshire Marches and this is your serenely genial host John Derbyshire with NRO's weekly round-up of the news.
I should begin with an apology. In last week's broadcast I mistakenly referred to the actor who played Goldfinger in the eponymous movie as Gert Strobe. It was of course Gert Frobe. I can't account for my mis-pronouncing Mr. Frobe's name. Possibly it was the result of being distracted by a flashing light in front of my eyes.
OK, on with the motley!
02 — Hating Israel. Let's start with a wee literary reading. This is from the Two Minutes Hate scene in Nineteen Eighty-Four:
In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish. Even O'Brien's heavy face was flushed. He was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out "Swine! Swine! Swine!" and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen. It struck Goldstein's nose and bounced off; the voice continued inexorably. In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair. The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.
George Orwell was not, as I'm sure he would have been happy to tell you, inventing some bizarre new form of social behavior for his novel. The Two Minutes Hate is an ordinary and everyday feature of our social and political life. Anyone who's survived high school will tell you that.
That majestic, infallible arbiter of truth and justice known as [soaring chords] the International Community has been having a Two Minutes Hate against Israel, except that this looks like being stretched out to a Two Weeks Hate. Here are some samples from major and respected voices in the [chords] International Community.
The government of China took a break from issuing orders for Tibetan nuns to be clubbed to death to extrude the following statement: "We were shocked by the Israeli attack which led to severe casualties and condemn it." Right, the guy in that portrait that looks down over Tiananmen Square would never, never have authorized the killing of people who attacked Chinese soldiers.
And so on. Yes, the International Community's having a Two Minutes Hate — just as Orwell described it, "A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness." Welcome to the International Community.
03 — Backing the wrong Palestinians. In throwing their support to Hamas, the terrorist gang that rules the Gaza Strip, the International Community is not only being hypocritical, it is being plain stupid. The goal of the International Community for decades now has been some kind of settlement in the Middle East, a settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs. No such settlement is possible with Hamas, but the other Palestinians, the ones in the West Bank, who are not ruled by Hamas, are inching towards just such a settlement. Since the International Community is supposed to be keen on peace in the Middle East, you'd think they'd be backing the Palestinian party that is working for that, not the one sworn to destroy Israel.
Now to be sure, there are plenty of crazy Islamists in the West Bank. And to be sure, the Palestinian Authority that rules the place continues to name roads and sporting events after terrorists who got famous by murdering Israeli civilians. And to be sure, the official TV station, run by that Authority, offers a steady output of antisemitic propaganda and demands for Israelis to go back where they came from, apparently unaware that a lot of them came from Arab countries that kicked them out.
However, Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, did say this on June 9th, quote from Associated Press: "What we care about is to live in coexistence with Israel in order to bring about the independent Palestinian state that will live side by side with Israel." Now, if you want to tell me that Abbas is a snake in the grass, a holocaust denier, and so on, I won't argue with you. Abbas is what passes for sane among Palestinians, though, and there's some chance he might settle things with Israel. That quote I just quoted is a million miles from anything a Hamas politician would ever say.
Abbas is as good as it gets in the Middle East, and by comparison with the Hamas nutcases, he's Abraham Lincoln. So somebody please explain to me why the International Community, which is supposed to want peace in the Middle East, is kicking him in the shins and cozying up to Hamas, his deadliest enemy.
04 — Helen Thomas. Jumping in to the Two Minutes Hate came Helen Thomas, whose Homeric epithet is "doyenne of the Washington press corps."
I wasn't sure I could define the word "doyenne" if I had to do it to save my life, so I looked it up in Webster's Third. Quote: "A person uniquely skilled by long experience in some field of endeavor." Hm. As the author of a column titled "Journalists Are Scum," I resist the notion that journalism is a field of endeavor. A field of narcissism, a field of shameless toadying to the powerful, a field of procrastination, a field of alcoholism, … maybe, but "field of endeavor"?
Anyway, if you add "of the Washington press corp" after "doyenne," you can be pretty sure you are talking about a screaming lefty. So it proved with Ms. Thomas. In a videotaped interview with Rabbi David Nesenoff, she opined that the Israelis should, quote, "get the hell out of Palestine," Somewhat taken aback, the rabbi asked her to elaborate. "These people are occupied, and it's their land, not German and not Polish," said the doyenne of the Washington press Corps, who has apparently never looked into the Old Testament. "They should go home," she added. Where is home? "Poland, Germany."
Now, I'm not going to go into one of those tiresome arguments about who should go back to where; though I will note in passing that if the Rabbi had suggested to Helen Thomas that the illegal immigrants clogging up our schools, jails, and emergency rooms should go back home, she would have denounced him as a heartless racist. I'll just gently remind you that this lady is, or until last week was, the Doyenne of the Washington Press Corps. Can you imagine what the rest of them are like?
And since the title is now vacant, can we have some nominations? Is Bernadine Dohrn available? How about Rosie O'Donnell? Jeanine Garofalo? Squeaky Fromme?
05 — World Cup. I mentioned South Africa up there above. That country is of course the host for the World Cup of soccer, the world's most boring major sport. Covering the World Cup in South Africa may not be boring, though. The crime rate in that country is one of the world's highest — South Africa ranks ninth in the world for homicide, for example, with a reported rate of 37 per hundred thousand. The U.S.A. is at 5.4. Bottom of the table, if you want to know, is Iceland, at 0.31. Hard to find your victim through those swirling clouds of volcanic ash, I guess.
Well, the World Cup tournament hasn't even started yet — I'm taping this segment on Thursday night — and already we have a crime story. Some photojournalists from Europe were hanging out in their hotel room when three armed men came in and took all their stuff — $35,000 worth.
Rough deal. I've told National Review if they want me to cover a soccer World Cup, I'll do it the year the thing is held in Iceland.
06 — Netherlands election. They had an election in the Netherlands, and the result was … interesting. On a proportional representation system, the center-right party got 31 seats in parliament, the center-left party got 30. With a bit of horse-trading, the center-right guy, Mark Rutte, can form a government.
The real news, though, was that Geert Wilders Freedom Party was close behind both these centrist parties with 24 seats in parliament. Wilders is the guy who wants to stop all non-European immigration into the Netherlands. He's also the guy who made the powerfully anti-islamic movie Fitna, for which he will be tried in a criminal court later this year on charges of "inciting hatred and discrimination."
As the third biggest block of seats in a finely divided parliament, Wilders' party is now a force to be reckoned with. This result is the more surprising in that Dutch voters, like all the rest of us, are obsessed with the coming world-wide fiscal catastrophe, and are voting their pocketbooks. That they still care enough about the cultural swamping of their nation to place Wilders' party a strong third, tells you something about how big an issue this can be, even among a people as mild-mannered and tolerant as the Dutch.
07 — New Jersey jihadis. A couple more American jihadis here. Twenty-year-old Mohamed Alessa and 24-year-old Carlos Almonte were arrested on terrorism charges last Saturday at Kennedy Airport. They were on their way to Somalia, apparently to undergo some training. Both were American citizens; Alessa was born in Jordan, Almonte in the Dominican Republic.
The first thing to be said about these two is that they are a couple of very serious misfits. Quote from Almonte, on an FBI undercover tape, quote: "Any Muslim that gets even a ten percent chance of waging jihad should risk it because it's better than sitting back here and working like a dog and being somebody's puppy," end quote. Hard to see him trying for Employee of the Month. Quote from Alessa: "Freaking Major Nidal shaved-face-Palestinian-crazy-guy, he's not better than me. I'll do twice what he did." Nidal was the nutso Army psychiatrist who shot 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood last year.
The second thing to be said about these two is that they are dim bulbs. There's good news in that, and bad news. The good news is, that thanks to their dimness, they were easy to catch. The bad news is, the fact of their having been caught tells us nothing about how well the authorities are doing at tracking smart terrorists.
And the third thing to be said is that if not for mass Third World immigration, neither of them would be here.
08 — Primaries. There was some primary voting this week. There'll be plenty more to come between now and September, so policy analyst geeks were reading the tea leaves … as it were. Bottom line: Let's not get too excited. Larry Sabato, one of the sharpest of those analysts, notes the following, quote:
The most significant mid-term election in modern US history was in 1994, when Republicans picked up 52 House seats and nine Senate seats to win both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. In that cataclysmic political season, exactly how many congressional incumbents lost in all primaries taken together? Four House members and no-one in the Senate.
End quote. So if you're looking for a mass cull of incumbents in this just-begun primary season, sit down and have a drink.
There were a few bright signs on Tuesday, mind. Nikki Haley's first-place showing for the South Carolina governorship nomination is encouraging, though she faces a runoff before it's a done deal. Sharron Angle, who clinched the Senate nomination in Nevada and is already polling well against Harry Reid, is even more so. She wants to abolish the Department of Education, end the income tax, and audit the Fed. Lots of luck with those, lady. We had a president thirty years ago who wanted to abolish the Department of Education, and it's still there, bigger and richer than ever. Conservatism never really wins anything in the U.S.A., but at least the lady's heart is in the right place.
To remind us why we even bother with politics at all, Carly Fiorina, who is the GOP nominee against Barbara Boxer for the Senate seat in California, made some scathing comments about the Senator's hair when she thought her mike was off. I don't know what this does for Fiorina's Senate prospects, but it sure relieves the boredom of most politics-watching. On the issues, Fiorina's come out in favor of illegal immigration being illegal, though you get the impression her campaign people had to put her thumbs in a vise before she'd say it.
Meg Whitman, who got the GOP nod for California gubernatorial candidate, didn't go that far, though she's made some polite noises about closing the border. Both these ladies are from the business world, a.k.a. the world of cheerleading for cheap labor to be imported by the millions, with the social costs thrown on to taxpaying middle class natives — what economists call "privatizing profits, socializing costs." Still, both of them should sweep the votes of the 45 non-Hispanic white people still left in California.
The real winner this primary season is not the Tea Partiers, who are fading as a real force for change, being co-opted by the GOP establishment, just as I predicted they would in the April 2010 issue of American Conservative. Nor is it American Womanhood, notwithstanding all those gals winning primaries. It's actually more like one particular American woman, who's been handing out favors and support in a way that's beginning to look very politically adroit. I happen to be a fan of that woman; with all her shortcomings, I think she's a great political athlete; and I'll be tracking her whereabouts with interest as primary season progresses.
09 — Miscellany. Our closing miscellany of brief items is itself rather brief this week, ladies and gents. I've been having a spot of bother with my research assistants. Mandy, fired up by all those female successes in the primaries, is away forming something called an exploratory committee, though the joke around the studio here is that there is not too much of Mandy left unexplored. Brandy is out recuperating after slipping and taking a nasty fall while playing leapfrog with Jonah in the grotto the other day; so poor Candy has had to take the full thrust of this week's research effort. I can hear he moaning in the file room as I speak. In any case, the small news is pretty depressing this week.
Item: In Afghanistan, the Taliban hanged a seven-year-old boy for snitching on some terrorists planting explosives. Afghan President Hamid Karzai paused from tallying up his Swiss bank accounts to say, quote: "I don't think there's a crime bigger than that, that even the most inhuman forces on earth can commit," end quote. Hey, get with the program there, Hamid. Hanging a seven-year-old is wicked all right, but surely it doesn't compare with Israelis defending their country against people who want to lob rockets into it. You'll lose your International Community decoder ring if you're not careful.
Item: In another backward country addled with gross superstition, the spirit of the Aztecs lives on. That would be Mexico, where authorities found the bodies of six people, four men and two women, in a cave near Cancun, with their hearts cut out. Mexican authorities suspect drug gangs; Radio Derb suspects devotees of the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl. Not that it makes any difference to the victims, I suppose.
Item: The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico kept right on spilling, soiling beaches in the Redneck Riviera down Pensacola way. (Am I allowed to say that, "Redneck Riviera"? I am? Great, thanks.) Because the oil firm that owns the leak is British, there are stirrings of anti-British sentiment, and we may end up with a replay of the War of 1812. I would urge those of my fellow Americans who want to vent their Britophobia in a harmless way to tune in to ABC television at 2:30 on Saturday for the game between England and the U.S.A. in the World Cup. If you can't use sport to vent your tribal passions, what use is it?
Item: By one of those odd coincidences that plague the news, we are having a rash of stories about toddlers and controlled substances. Two-year-old Ardi Rizal of Indonesia, frustrated at having failed to master patty-cake, got himself a cigarette habit, two packs a day. After much negative publicity and a fatwa from New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Master Rizal is said to have cut back to 15 cigarettes a day. In Huizhou, China, meanwhile, a three-year-old girl who spent five days in a coma after being hit by a van, has undergone mysterious personality changes. She now smokes a pack a day, drinks three glasses of beer, and favors boys' clothing. No news yet on whether she's taken up softball. And not to be outdone by the Third World, a heroin addict mother in Gloucestershire, England, gave some of her methadone to her 14-month-old baby. The baby died.
Item: Finally, there seems to have been some Gurbanguly conflict in Turkmenistan. From the Turkmenistan news agency, quote: "Colonel Gurbanguly Gurbanguliyev is dismissed from the post of commander of the Air Force and Air Defence Forces of Turkmenistan for the shortcomings in his work and non-fulfilment of responsibilities assigned to him. The relevant decree was signed by President Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov." Oh dear, I do hope Colonel Gurbanguliyev was not trying to instigate a coup against beloved leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. It would be a shame for us to lose such a valuable ally in this crucially important region. I have it on good authority, in any case, that whatever the cause of the Gurbanguly-Gurbanguly tiff, no goats were harmed in the incident.
10 — Signoff. There we have it, ladies and gents: the usual parade of madness and folly, relieved only by the integrity, brilliance, and compassion of the [choir] International Community, of which our own President is one of the leading lights. When will we come to our senses and hand all our petty affairs over to the International Community for resolution? The world would be a paradise of peace and plenty in no time. Ah, we can only dream and hope …
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]