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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
Rain, rain, go away.
I find this whole time of year depressing, actually; no longer really summer, but not yet properly fall. Should I take the air conditioner out of my window and stow it away? Start wearing a shirt over my T-shirt? Stop going to the village in flip-flops?
I Dunno, but you don't want to hear me grumbling about my life. You want to hear me grumbling about the state of the world, right? Right. So here we go.
|02 — Channeling Sir Kingsley Wood. I'd have a little more faith that we are fighting the war on
terror in a serious way if the ghost of Sir Kingsley Wood didn't keep popping up.
Sir Kingsley who? Let me explain.
Sir Kingsley Wood was head of the air ministry in the British government when World War Two broke out. In the fall of 1939, during the early weeks of that war — the period known in England as the "phony war" and in Germany as Sitzkrieg, the "sitting down war" — there was an exchange in the House of Commons.
Some Members of Parliament were putting pressure on Sir Kingsley to authorize the bombing of German munition stores in the Black Forest. Sir Kingsley was shocked. "Are you aware it is private property?" he protested. "Why, you will be asking me to bomb Essen next!" Essen was the home of the famous Krupp munition factory.
Well, up popped Sir Kingsley's ghost last week. An unmanned drone flying over a Taliban-held area of Afghanistan spotted two hundred or so jihadis gathered at a funeral for some fallen comrades. The images were seen by army intelligence officers who scrambled to organize a missile strike on the assembled enemy.
It would have been an easy kill. Army brass, however, ruled against a strike on the grounds that a cemetery is "a culturally sensitive area." Coalition forces, explained an Army spokesman, channeling Sir Kingsley Wood, quote, "hold themselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than their enemies," end quote.
Did I mention what happened to Essen and the famous Krupp's works? We bombed them flat; but that was later in World War Two when we had decided that we actually wanted to win the war, not just strike elegant moral poses.
I wonder how long it'll take us to get serious with the jihadis.
|03 — Li'l Squinty applies for a U.S. visa. Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad has applied for a U.S. visa, according to State Department officials.
I guess we should be grateful for small mercies. At least Li'l Squinty is going through the proper channels instead of just sneaking in across the Mexican border, the way most people come to our country nowadays.
The runty cross-eyed little antisemite is planning to attend the U.N. General Assembly where he will no doubt get a standing ovation. There's nothing U.N. member nations appreciate more than a guy who's called for wiping other U.N. members of the map.
Should we grant the astigmatic little dwarf a visa? Not until he's come clean about his part in the barbarous assault on our diplomats in 1979. That's my opinion, anyway.
Notice please, all you journalism students, how I have maintained the most rigorous standards of impartial objectivity throughout that segment, with prejudice towards none.
Fair and balanced, that's Radio Derb: fair and balanced.
|04 — Offense Kabuki. You can't get away with anything nowadays.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had a closed-door meeting with some of his staffers back in the spring. At the meeting he passed some comments about Cubans and Puerto Ricans in general, and State Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia in particular.
Said the Gov, quote: "They are all very hot. They have part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them, and together that makes it." End quote.
Well, somebody was taping the meeting and the L.A. Times got hold of the tape. They put Arnold's remarks on their front page, and all the guardians of political correctness jumped up onto their chairs and squealed, clutching their skirts.
We then went through the familiar cycle of simulated outrage, groveling apologies, and all the familiar weasel words on display by people anxious to assure us of the purity of their souls: "inappropriate," "repugnant," "deeply offensive," yada, yada, yada.
It's all a stylized Kabuki drama. I suggest in fact that some enterprising movie-maker might put together a standard kit for these occurrences. Just a five-minute clip in which generic community leaders sputter with outrage, some generic public person explains with furrowed brow that he spoke out of character and would never ever say such things in front of his children, and a couple of generic TV commentators click their tongues and shake their heads more in sorrow than in anger, and a generic supporter of the offending celebrity steps up to say that he's not like that at all, really, it must have been some sort of medication causing a momentary lapse in sanity.
Then any time some public person runs off at the mouth, TV stations could just show the film and we could all experience the appropriate brief catharsis and get on with our lives.
|05 — Mug us again! The fifth anniversary of 9/11 arrived and the Bush
administration celebrated by announcing that fifteen thousand young people from Saudi Arabia would be admitted to this country under a special new
program to study at universities and colleges … and flight schools, probably.
That will quintuple the number of Saudi students in the USA.
You remember 9/11, right? That was when nineteen young Muslim lunatics committed mass murder against three thousand people here on American soil. Did I mention that fifteen of those nineteen were citizens of Saudi Arabia?
The administration's idea is apparently that seeing freedom and democracy in action here in the U.S.A. will awaken in young Saudis that yearning for liberty that the Almighty has planted in every human heart, you know, just like it did for Hani Hanjour, Nawaf al-Hazmi, Satam al-Suqami, and all the rest of those bright young Saudis who demonstrated their yearning for liberty on September 11th, 2001.
The Associated Press report says that this deal to bring a flood of eager young Saudis into our country was personally brokered between George W. Bush and King Abdullah. Not much surprise there, so far as Bush is concerned. We all know that the slogan of this administration is: Leave No Foreigner Abroad."
What's in it for the Saudis, though? It's the Saudi government that's mostly paying the tuition for these students, so there must be something in it for them. Chance to get rid of a few thousand potential troublemakers, perhaps.
Not to worry though. These young Saudis will all return home once they've completed their studies, won't they? Of course they will.
|06 — Death of a President. In the precious little world of British
TV production everybody is a preening lefty. Everybody hates George W. Bush, and everybody knows that the United States is the cause of everything
that's wrong with the world.
It's not very surprising, therefore, that More4, a British digital-TV channel, has brought us Death of a President, a movie that, by dint of computer-generated footage, shows President Bush being assassinated.
Acting President Dick Cheney uses the resulting panic to push through Congress a new Patriot Act which, according to the review I'm reading here, "further enhances the American police state and broadens the powers of the executive branch." Uh-huh.
The assassin in the movie is an American who's been sickened — I'm quoting again from that review — sickened by the needleless carnage in Iraq. But of course the Cheney administration pins the crime on an innocent Arab — is there any other kind of Arab? — to whip up more public hysteria.
What daring stuff! What cutting-edge satire! Director Gabriel Range has certainly made a name for himself as a bold political commentator with this movie.
Of course he could make even more of a name for himself if he made a movie, showing the President of Iran being assassinated, perhaps by a relative of that young Iranian girl who was hanged in public from a construction crane for dating a boy.
Will Mr. Range be making a movie like that any time soon? Don't be holding your breath. Insulting the American President gets you famous and invited to lots of dinner parties in tony areas of London. Insulting the Iranian president might get you killed; and it wouldn't be right for Mr. Range to risk depriving the world of his commercial artistic talent, would it?
|07 — Vampire freak shoots up college. It's not just jihadis who love
death. We have the occasional death-lover right here among us.
Take, for example, 25-year-old Kimveer Gill, who lived near Montreal and who posted to a website named Vampirefreaks.com.
Here's one of his posts, quote: "Work sucks. School sucks. Life sucks. What else can I say?" End Quote.
Well, we all feel like that now and again. Life can indeed seemed like a bit of a suckfest at times. Mr Gill went a tad further than most of us would go, shooting up a college in Montreal one morning, killing one person and wounding nineteen.
Get ready now for all the muckety-mucks telling us that this kind of thing wouldn't happen if all guns were banned.
Well, let's see. News item from the Daily Telegraph of London, England. That's "England" as in "all kinds of guns of every conceivable description totally banned from private ownership."
As it happens, this news item appeared in the very same issue of the Telegraph as coverage of Mr Gill's little rampage. The headline was Hundreds of Guns Found in Police Raid. A semi-detached house in a London suburb was found to be stocked up to the rafters with rifles and handguns. The police who raided the house said it will take three days just to count the guns.
Moral of the story: If you want lots and lots of illegal guns floating around, ban legal gun ownership.
|08 — Dutch Dhimmitude. Here's the latest illustration of the dismal truth
that there is no limit to how far you can bend over backwards if you have no spine.
The illustrator here is Piet Hein Donner of the Netherlands. Mr Donner is not just of the Netherlands, in fact; he is the Minister of Justice in that nation.
Mark well, the Minister of Justice, the Dutch equivalent of the United States Attorney General.
The topic under discussion was: Should Dutch Muslims be allowed to rule themselves by sharia law?
Of course they should, said, Mr Donner. Quote: "A tone that I do not like has crept into the political debate, a tone of: 'Thou shalt assimilate. Thou shalt adopt our values in public. Be reasonable. Do it our way.' That is not my approach." End quote.
What exactly is Mr Donner's approach? Quote: "For me, it is clear. If two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the sharia law tomorrow, then the possibility should exist. It would be a disgrace to say that is not allowed. It must be possible for Muslim groups to come to power in the Netherlands via democratic means. The majority counts — that is the essence of democracy." End of quote.
End of the Netherlands too, if they're putting morons like Mr Donner in charge of their justice system How long does he think democracy would last in the Netherlands under sharia law? Well, he'll soon find out.
|09 — Miscellany. A little miscellany of items to finish off today's
Item: Race, income, and location are big factors in determining how long you will live.
If you want to make it past ninety, be an Asian woman in the suburbs. If you want to be sure to die before sixty, be a reservation Indian in South Dakota. That's from a study carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health.
Speaking as the spouse of an Asian woman in the suburbs, I'm not surprised. For one thing, they don't carry much weight around. Mine is about 100 pounds soaking wet. For another, rice, fish, and green tea trump fries, steak, and soda in the longevity card game. Having a sappy doting husband doesn't hurt either … but let's not go into this any further.
Item: Amnesty International has accused Hezbollah of war crimes for shooting rockets at Israeli civilians.
Wow. That's like hearing that your maiden Aunt Ethel has been working the pole at a local strip joint.
What's going on here? Hasn't Amnesty been telling us for years that war crimes are only ever committed by the U.S.A. and Israel?
Something must be wrong over there at the Amnesty offices. Perhaps they've been infiltrated by those creepy neocons.
Item: The oldest writing ever found in North America has turned up on a stone slab in Mexico. It seems to be three thousand years old.
Researchers haven't worked out a definitive translation yet, but it appears to be a forged U.S. residence permit
Item: A team at Central Missouri State University has found a prime number bigger than any heretofore known. It has 9,808,358 digits.
That's kind of frustrating because there's a prize of $100,000 if you can come up with a prime that has ten million digits or more; so these guys fell just a couple of hundred thousand digits short.
You can actually download all nine million-odd digits and check for yourself that the thing is prime.
Item: Leicester University over in England has surveyed 2,500 hundred people and found that lovers of classical music are more likely to have smoked pot. Twenty five percent admitted to it.
Well, that explains why Jay Nordlinger giggles so much. Just kidding, Jay.
|10 — Signoff. Well, there you are. Plainly we are doomed, doomed.
However, it's possible — just barely — that our civilization will still be intact this time next week, in which case you should tune in for more Sturm und Drang from Radio Derb.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]