• Play the sound file
—————————[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. That was one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches and this is John Derbyshire, your National Review Online radio host, bringing you up to date with all the crimes and follies of mankind in this Year of our Lord 2006.
A couple of bulletin-board notices first. I am recording this before the Thursday night bash at Bill Buckley's house, so if I met you there, I'm glad to have done so and I hope you got home safely.
Which you surely did, thanks to the guard-rails now set up on New York City sidewalks at Nurse Bloomberg's command, and the foam padding installed on the pavements and walls of the city, and the four miles an hour speed limit on all city vehicles. Thank you, Mr Mayor for keeping us all safe and warm.
Second item: If you're going to the Petroushka Ball at the Waldorf on Friday night, we'll see you there.
Okay, let's take a look at the passing charivari.
|02 — Conscripted to fight for civilization. The way I look at it, a lot of
"Greetings …" telegrams have been going out this past few days.
What I mean is that a lot of ordinary folk who would much rather not are being conscripted into the fight for civilization.
Let's say you're an editor at some newspaper in Europe or America. That's a pretty good job. Well paid; meet interesting people; excellent benefits; and so on. Life is good. You have a significant other. You watch TV, go to the movies, raise kids, go skiing in the winter.
Then suddenly the Fickle Finger of Fate swivels in your direction and your life is on the line for freedom, for law, for intellectual openness. If you publish those cartoons, you're a target for the Islamic nutsos. If you don't, you're a coward.
It's gone beyond the matter of taste now. This is news and your readers are entitled to know what the news is about.
Your first thought — as with the guys who got those "Greetings …" telegrams — is probably: "Why me?" Your second thought should be — as theirs was in most cases — "Oh well, better pack a bag."
Of course, the real mass mailing of "Greetings …" telegrams right now is going out to sane, moderate Muslims. You people really have to stand up and be counted now. For you to be silent now is to hand over your faith to the crazy people — lock, stock, and burka.
|03 — A martyr to press freedom. Meanwhile, as we are kicking around
theoretical points about press freedom here in the West, over in China the enemies of press freedom are kicking around actual people.
The town newspaper in Taizhou, a town in eastern China, published a piece criticizing the local traffic police for charging high fees to the users of electric bicycles. I know, I know: you've never seen an electric bicycle, and I haven't either, but they're very popular down there in Taizhou.
Anyway, back in October last year, this editor, whose name was Wu Xianghu, published this article criticizing the town traffic police. The day after the article appeared, a platoon of traffic police stormed the offices of the newspaper. They found Mr Wu and they beat him senseless. Last week he finally died from his injuries.
One cop — and this being China, it was probably the one with no relatives well-connected enough to get him off the hook — one cop was fired for the incident. The rest of them are still out there on patrol.
So if you're visiting Taizhou and feel like taking a turn around the town square on an electric bicycle, pay the fee very politely.
And let us remember the name of a man who died last week for freedom of the press: Wu Xianghu of Taizhou, China.
|04 — Anarcho-Tyranny: Los Angeles. The unfortunate inhabitants of Los
Angeles have no Michael Bloomberg to make sure they eat their spinach and brush their teeth afterwards.
One traumatized casualty of this shameful neglect on the part of the authorities in the City of Angels is five-month-old Sean Federline, son of pop singer Britney Spears.
Some paparazzi … do I mean paparazzo? what's the singular form here? I don't know … uh, some, some paparazzi or paparazzo took a picture of Britney driving along with baby Sean sitting on her lap.
I'll pause for a moment to let the shrieks of horror and outrage die down …
Naturally the police got involved. Quote from one of the news reports:
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sergeant Diane Hecht said officers went to the home to seek information for the Department of Family and Children's Services.
End quote. We all know how good those big-city Departments of Child Services are at looking out for the welfare of tots, don't we?
In the good times a-coming, when everyone will have a government job and all liberty has been stamped out, victims like Baby Sean will be whisked off to be cared for by state employees in state run nurseries.
Until that glorious day arrives we must tolerate with gritted teeth, as best we can, the sight of a mother holding her baby on her lap.
|05 — Democrats campaign at Mrs King's funeral. Martin Luther King's widow
died and there was a grand and emotional funeral.
Not all of the emotion was directed at grief for the loss of Mrs King, though. Jimmy Carter showed up to remind us how deranged the nation was to elect him in '76, and how wise it was to ditch him at the first opportunity thereafter.
Apart from having been a sensationally awful President, Carter is a mean, nasty human being. Possessing neither the chutzpah to assault George W Bush by name while standing in front of Mrs King's casket, nor the good sense and elementary good manners to restrict his remarks to the proper scope on such an occasion, the Carter critter slipped in a snide little reference to wire-tapping and smirked with pleasure as the mourners forgot their grief for a minute or two to whoop and holler at President Bush's discomfiture.
If I had been Bush, I would have got up and walked out right there. Our president, however, has more class than I have; more, in fact, than the whole of the rest of that congregation, possibly excepting his Dad. He sat and took it.
Then he sat and took it when some minister launched into a rant against the Iraq War, for which there was a two minute standing ovation — for the rant, I mean, not for the war.
Then our President sat and took it when Bill Clinton got up and gave a campaign speech on behalf of his wife.
Yup: George W Bush wants it to be known that he is President of all the American people, even of the uncouth, disrespectful rabble that attends civil rights funerals.
|06 — Anarcho-Tyranny: London. You laugh at me when I tell you that
Western civilization is doomed, doomed. Well, listen to this and see if you can still laugh.
On February third — which, by the way, was a Friday, and so supposedly a holy day for Muslims — there was a big demonstration in London. Masked protesters, one of them dressed as a suicide bomber, marched through the streets with placards saying: Massacre Those Who Insult Islam, and Freedom Go To Hell, and Europe Your 9/11 Is Coming.
The Daily Telegraph's report of the affair included the following little gem of a sentence, quote: "The only arrests were to counter-demonstrators who police said were held after apparently attempting to hand out caricatures of Mohammed." End Quote.
We just can't dig our own grave fast enough, can we? Hand me that shovel, and my copy of Malcolm Muggeridge's essay, "The Liberal Death Wish."
|07 — Taiwan: Japan boasts, ChiComs rage. The Japanese Foreign Minister is
This bloke's name is Tarō Asō and he opined the other day that, quote: "Taiwan's current high standard of education is due to Japanese rule." End quote.
Just to bring you up to date here, Taiwan was a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945.
Well, the ChiComs are sputtering with outrage at Mr Asō's remarks. Indignant protests; pompous, self-righteous declarations of Chinese moral purity; blustering threats; the whole ChiCom nine yards.
What Asō says is true, though. I first went to Taiwan in 1971. I was pretty well-informed about Japanese war time atrocities, which certainly happened. Some of my own relatives fought the Japanese.
In Taiwan, though, I was surprised to find that the locals regard the Japanese rather fondly. The older generation of Taiwanese looked back to the Japanese occupation with nostalgia as a time of good government and rising living standards.
Prior to 1895 the Chinese had just regarded the place as, in the words of one imperial official, "a malarial swamp full of pirates." The Japanese had a more constructive attitude.
Now of course the ChiComs know all this. They even tell their young people that the Taiwanese are traitors who sold their souls to the evil Japanese devils. When you talk to young Chinese people who are all fired up with nationalism, they don't just want to bring Taiwan back into the warm bosom of the motherland. They want to kill Taiwanese people.
This is all part of the ChiComs' preparation for the invasion of the island and the destruction of its liberties. This will happen sometime soon while the U.S.A. is distracted with trying to teach some bunch of Arabs how to tie their shoelaces.
|08 — Killing politics with lawsuits. I don't know how many Americans
have heard of the British National Party. It's a tiny political party in, of course, Britain, with a strongly nationalist and somewhat racist policy
line, very hostile to continuing mass Third World Immigration.
The British National Party is descended from the older National Front party, which had a large hooligan element and a strong antisemitic tone.
Well, the BNP has given itself a makeover. They've booted out the antisemites and the leg-breakers, put on suits and ties, and they're campaigning for votes in a lawful way.
I don't see how this is anything but good, even though the BNP is not a party I'd endorse or vote for, having seen the old National Front in action in my student days. To the Labour Party that currently controls the British government, however, the BNP is a menace.
Two great reservoirs of Labour Party support are the white working class and Third World immigrants, especially Muslims. The BNP steals votes from the first group and makes the second group angry.
Well, this is no problem for Tony Blair and his buddies. All they have to do is haul the BNP up in court and then keep doing so until BNP funds have all been spent on attorney's fees.
That is the background to the acquittal the other day of Nick Griffin, head of the BNP, on charges of, quote, "using words or behavior likely to stir up racial hatred."
What Mr Griffin actually did was to tell a public meeting that Islam is a, quote, "wicked vicious faith." If he had said that about Christianity he would have been given a guest column in one of Britain's broadsheet newspapers. Having said it about the Religion of Peace, however, he is now on the Tony Blair conveyor belt to bankruptcy.
Though he was acquitted last week, the government has said it will retry him. Then it'll retry him again and again until he's flat broke.
This is the state of liberty in Britain today.
|09 — Sterilize before self-lacerating. Since Western civilization is so
busy inflicting wounds on itself, I suppose the following item, also from Shakespeare's sceptred isle, is not very surprising.
A different British newspaper, this one The Times, reports that a nurses' lobby wants to distribute sterilized implements to patients who wish to mutilate themselves.
You see, there is a category of patients, usually in mental hospitals or prisons, whose chief pleasure in life is to lacerate their flesh with knives. Well, these nurses say, patients of that orientation should be given clean knives so they can lacerate themselves hygienically. It's no different, the nurses argue, from giving clean hypodermic needles to drug addicts.
No, I suppose it isn't. After a certain point, you just become numbed to this madness. All I can think of to add here is the name of the nursing group spokes-idiot who is pushing this scheme. His name is Jeremy Bore — B-O-R-E, Bore. How'd you like to be seated next to him on a long plane flight?
|10 — Signoff. That's it, kiddies. Remember to wrap up warm these frosty
winter mornings or the Los Angeles police will ticket you for endangering your health.
And for those of you who really do want to endanger your health, a good long slash with a kitchen knife should do the trick. Just make sure your knife has been properly sterilized.
Toodle-oo everyone. Tune in again next week for more self-lacerating lunacy from Radio Derb.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]