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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. Yes, that was one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, and this is your host John Derbyshire with another edition of Radio Derb.
Well, the weather outside is frightful, but Radio Derb will as usual be insightful — and not the least bit spiteful, although of course there are occasions when one can be rightfully spiteful.
Enough of that. Let's see what's been happening this week.
|02 — Huckabee's theology. Mike Huckabee tells us that he is the only
Republican Presidential candidate with a degree in theology.
Not comparative theology, apparently; for in an interview with the New York Times, when asked if he considered Mormonism to be a cult or a religion, Huck said, quote: "I think it's a religion. I really don't know much about it." End quote
Well, I don't know much about it myself. In fact, what I know about theology would fit on the head of a pin, for all those angels to dance around; but then, I'm not boasting about having a degree in theology, while Huck is.
Then our candidate compounded the offense by adding a follow-up question of his own to the interviewer. Quote: "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?"
Well, that caused no end of trouble, and old Huck's been back pedaling as fast as he can. Last I heard he has now retreated to the position that the Savior and Old Scratch are merely cousins twice removed in Mormon theology.
Paul Johnson once said that when he first started hearing about Bill Clinton, his first thought was nobody who's been five times elected Governor of a state like Arkansas could possibly be an honest man. That's a bit of a slur on the good people of Arkansas; but looking at Bubba, you sort of see what P.J. meant.
Mike Huckabee's only been elected governor of Arkansas twice, so I guess he is to Bubba as two is to five.
|03 — Hillary's blasphemy. Meanwhile, over in the Party of the Little Guy,
the apologizing was being done by multimillionairess Hillary Clinton, who has never held a real job in her life.
Mrs Clinton had a tougher row to hoe then poor Huckabee. Huck only had to apologize for a rude remark about the Savior. Hillary actually had to apologize to the Son of God in his current incarnation as Presidential candidate Barack Obama.
One of Hillary's campaign staffers had made a pointed reference to Obama's confession in his autobiography that he'd used marijuana and cocaine in his youth, way back before Oprah Winfrey anointed him as the Word made flesh.
This campaign staffer was, of course — it goes without saying! — absolutely not acting on instructions from Mrs Clinton. No way! Unthinkable! He was speaking entirely on his own initiative and it would be contemptibly mean-spirited of us to think otherwise.
I mean, to think otherwise, you'd have to suppose that Mrs Clinton told the staffer what to say, told him that he would then have to resign, but that he'd be well taken care of, and knew that if she then publicly apologized for the staffer's remark, she'd score a trifecta.
Whoever would think that a Clinton could be so devious and unscrupulous?
Anyway, the offending staffer, consumed with remorse, hurled himself from the roof of Little Rock's tallest building … but fortunately two storeys isn't far to fall, and he landed in a pile of horse manure anyway, so he's going to be all right.
Rumors that Mrs Clinton has hired a team of Haitian voodoo priests to stick pins round the clock into wax figurines of Obama are a disgraceful slander put about by people who simply don't understand what a high-minded and incorruptible lady this is.
And what's wrong with a little voodoo, anyway? Do you want me to insult another guy's religion? Who do you think I am — Mike Huckabee?
|04 — Florida drops Stephen Foster. [Choir singing "The Old Folks at
That was a 1955 recording of the high school choir of Stanton, a little town by Lake Weir down there in the middle of Florida. The song they're singing is of course "The Old Folks at Home."
In my opinion it's a very lovely song. If you just read the words, which are all right there on the Wikipedia page for the song, you will see that they stand up very well just as verse, even without the tune. Here for example is the last stanza and chorus just read as plain verse.
One little hut among de bushes,
Now, as nostalgia poems go, I'd put that right up there with my own favorite: Thomas Hood's "I remember, I remember." It's poignant and moving.
Since most of the Suwannee River is in Florida, "The Old Folks at Home" has been Florida's official state song since 1935. No longer: Governor Charlie Crist asked for it not to be sung at his inauguration earlier this year.
The problem is, you see, that the original lyrics were in 19th-century black dialect. Why this should be a problem for anybody I don't understand. Does someone think that 19th-century African Americans did not have a dialect of their own? What, they all spoke like Dr Huxtable?
The soldiers in Kipling's poems speak in dialect, and nobody minds that. George Eliot wrote a novel whose characters all speak in Derbyshire dialect, if you don't mind me mentioning it, but nobody ever ever minded that, either.
Stephen Foster, the popular-music genius who actually wrote "Old Folks at Home" was a Pennsylvania boy who supported the Union in the Civil War. Does anyone care?
Does anyone care that we're being stripped of our past, of everything that once belonged to us and united us and made us aware of ourselves as a nation, by a passel of Leninist busybodies and professional complainers?
Governor Charlie Crist, you are a damn disgrace to the Republican Party, and to the state of Florida, and to the United States of America, and to Western civilization. If the people of Florida — black and white alike — still have any patriotic feeling, they should impeach you.
I see that you're promoting a campaign to find a new state song. May I suggest "The Internationale"?
[Clip: "The Internationale."]
|05 — "I ain't lettin' them get away with this." Oh, I've got to cool off a bit here. Let's see
if there's something a bit more cheering in the news. Whadda we got?
Oh yes, Joe Horn. Joe Horn — this is the 61-year-old guy in Pasadena, Texas who shot two villains dead after seeing them burglarize his next door neighbor's house. Joe went outside with a shotgun and told the vermin to stop or he'd shoot. They didn't stop, so Joe shot 'em.
This is one of those stories that puts a happy smile on your face all day long. The fact that the two shootees were criminal illegal aliens makes it even better. If ever anyone needed shooting, it was these two.
One of them had been deported once after a drug conviction in 1999, but I guess he needed to get back across the Rio Grande to affirm his family values and show us fat, lazy Americans how hard-working people live.
Joe Horn's declaration before he headed out the door that, quote, "I ain't lettin' them get away with this." can stand up there with "Let's roll!" as a sentence to live by in today's America.
Of course, all the race hustlers and illegal-immigrant coddlers and politically correct goo-goo nail-biters are all over this, calling for Joe to be indicted for something or other. Letting bad guys get away with it is just what these people are into.
May they be confounded and their forces scattered in howling disarray! May Joe Horn live to a ripe old age, secure and happy. And may the words "I ain't lettin' them get away with this" be inscribed on a gold plaque attached to the next interstellar space probe we send up.
|06 — Nanking anniversary. It was 70 years ago last week that the Rape of
Nanking took place.
Nanking is a city in central China, up the river from Shanghai. Japanese troops stormed into it and committed mass atrocities in December 1937. The number of dead isn't known even approximately, as far too many people — most notably the Chinese Communist Party — have an interest in inflating the number, while other people — most of them Japanese — have a similar interest in de-flating it.
The official figure of 300,000 put about by the Chinese Communist Party is certainly an exaggeration, but there is no doubt that this was one of the great mass atrocities of the 20th century, and a terrible stain on the Japanese imperial army and the Japanese people.
As horrible as the Rape of Nanking undoubtedly was, one can't help but be disgusted by the way the Chinese Communist Party milks it for its own benefit. The communists know that their only hope of clinging to power is to keep the Chinese people constantly thinking about the cruelties and injustices their ancestors suffered at the hands of foreigners. Then they won't have any time left to think about the cruelties and injustices they themselves and their parents have endured at the hands of the communists.
In fact, even if we were to accept the figure of 300,000 for the dead of Nanking, it would be only one percent of the number who died in the famines that followed the failure of Mao Tse-tung's crazy agricultural policies in the late 1950s; and that itself was a mere one episode in the sixty-year horror of communist rule.
If there is a prize awarded in Hell for murdering Chinese people, the easy winner in the 20th century category would be Mao Tse-tung, whose portrait hangs on Tiananmen.
And in fact the Rape of Nanking was preceded ten years earlier by a smaller but still horrible series of massacres when the army of warlord Zhang Zongchang, nicknamed "the Dog Meat General," evacuated the city to escape the advancing Nationalist armies. Zhang's troops looted, burned, and raped as they left, according to foreign correspondents on the scene.
Zhang isn't around to apologize. He was assassinated in 1932 by the son of one of his countless victims. The communists are still around, and if they had any humanity, they would apologize for the tens of millions of victims of their murderous misrule.
They won't, of course. Better to keep people focused on the misdeeds of those evil, evil foreigners.
|07 — The end of cheap everything? This is not a great time to be working
on Wall Street; I'm sure you've heard that. The investment banks and the brokerage houses are laying off people.
It's true enough; but if you look a bit closer, while they're laying off people here, they're hiring people like crazy there.
Where? On the commodities desks, that's where.
Commodities are oil, metals, some minerals like potash, and food sources like soybeans and wheat. Where are the prices of these commodities going? Up, up, up and up.
Copper prices are now so high that you could make a modest profit if you take all those pennies your kids wrapped up and instead of depositing them and depositing them in the bank, just melt them down. Oil is dancing around just below the hundred-dollar mark. Corn and oil-seed crops are up twenty-five percent on last year.
If they were making that movie The Graduate now, the thing that Walter Brooke whispers in Dustin Hoffman's ear wouldn't be "plastics," it'd be "commodities."
Why are commodities so hot? Well, there's a couple of big reasons. Big reason number one: China. Big reason number two: India. With huge populations crossing into the middle class, these nations are sucking in resources. And not only them, even Africa's having a little boom.
It's good and it's bad, but for you and me it's mostly bad … unless you have a big commodities portfolio. No, I don't, either. I was raised to believe that commodity investing was basically a form of roulette.
So unless you got into this game early, everything is just going to cost you more.
The Economist ran a cover story last week: The End of Cheap Food. It may be the end of cheap everything, for a while anyway — except cheap labor, of course. That's us, buddy. Pull your belt in.
|08 — Miscellany. Okay, here are a few short items to see us out.
Item: A 16-year-old immigrant Pakistani girl in Toronto was strangled by her pious father because she refused to wear a proper Muslim headscarf.
The president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, a certain Mr Elmasry — and what's his first name? let me just check here … oh, yes, it's Mohamed — Mr Mohamed Elmasry said, quote: "I don't want the public to think that this is really an Islamic issue or an immigrant issue. It is a teenager issue."
Yes, yes: These teenager issues are so vexing. I'm sure every parent of a teenager can sympathize with the father in this case.
Item: Ike Turner died. Ike Turner was famous for two things: one, for cutting the first ever rock'n'roll record back in 1951, and two, for being a wife-beater.
His wife Tina Turner left him for good in 1972, and her stories of his abuse darkened Ike Turner's reputation.
For all that he was a great American musician. Genius doesn't come with any guarantees of good nature. How many times has that been proved in history?
Item: There were a couple more Presidential debates.
Item: Waterboarding — which strikes me as not much worse than the kind of treatment I'd expect if I was pulled in by New York's finest — waterboarding actually works, according to the testimony of John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent.
Kiriakou said that the technique was used on chief al-Qaeda recruiter Abu Zubaydah, who sang like a canary after less than a minute of the treatment.
If waterboarding is the worst thing our guys do when interrogating suspects, and it gets useful information out of the likes of Abu Zubaydah, I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it.
If you want to know the real meaning of the word "torture," read about the KGB and the Gestapo, and about the things being done right now to Falun Gong believers by China's state torturers.
Waterboarding? Big fuss about nothing.
Item: New Jersey is going to abolish the death penalty. The state legislature has already passed a bill and there's no doubt Governor John Corzine, a bleeding-heart left-liberal, will sign it.
Corzine says that the death penalty will be replaced by a sentence of, quote, "life without parole."
Oh yes, we all believe that will mean exactly what it says, don't we, listeners? Of course we do. Politicians have never been known to lie about that, have they? Of course not.
Memo to the good people of New Jersey: See if you can get Joe Horn to move up there.
Item: Andrew Young — sometime mayor of Atlanta, and sometime U.S. congressman and U.N. ambassador — Andrew Young got himself in a spot of bother at a live TV event when an audience member asked him what he thought of Barack Obama.
Said Young, who is an irredeemable Clintonite, quote: "Bill Clinton is every bit as black as Barack. He's probably gone with more black women than Barack." End quote.
This didn't play well with Charles Barron, a member of New York City Council. Said Chuck, quote: "I don't know if it's self-hatred or whether he wants to go with somebody else. Well, go ahead, but don't insult our community." End quote.
Well, for sure nobody could accuse Charles Barron of self-hatred. This is the guy who once said, quote:
I want to go up to the closest white person and say, "You can't understand this. It's a black thing." And then slap him, just for my mental health.
Barron is also a big fan of Zimbabwe President-for-Life Robert Mugabe, who's expulsions of white farmers have left his country starving. Barron also cheered on the Crown Heights antisemitic pogrom in 1991.
Self-hatred? Not our Chuck. He hates white people and Jews so much he doesn't have any hatred left for himself.
Meanwhile, Andrew Young has been going around telling people he was only kidding. Ah, Andy, there is many a true words spoken in jest.
Item: Australian Prime Minister John Howard didn't just lose his party the reason the election, he even lost his own parliamentary seat the constituency of Bennelong, a suburb of Sydney.
There are a couple of things you need to know here.
Thing One: Bennelong has a big immigrant-Chinese population.
As mathematicians say: Q.E.D.
Item: Here's a much sadder story from Down Under. Off Torquay beach in southern Australia, a kangaroo was eaten by a shark.
The poor marsupial just bounded merrily down the beach into the water [boing, boing, boing, boing] and then [Jaws music].
I think that's the first ever shark-eats-kangaroos story I've reported.
|09 — Signoff. That's it, Radio Derb listeners. Not much good news there;
but hey, if it's good news you like, why are you listening to Radio Derb?
We are doomed, doomed; but if Western civilization makes it through another week, I'll be here to conduct you round the latest batch of ruins.
Until then, get wrapping those presents!
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]