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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! This is your ecumenically genial host John Derbyshire with all the news that's fit to podcast.
To start us off this week, a story from Greece, to whose warm, sunny islands, turquoise waters, and golden sands I have been so shamefully exiled.
02 — Athlete takes heat for tweet, can't compete. It's been a busy week for fans of that institution that seems to be defining the early 21st century: the Two Minutes Hate.
This week has seen two sessions. I'll get to the second a little later in the broadcast, but here's the first. Playing the part of Emmanuel Goldstein, who you'll recall was the original target of the Two Minutes Hate in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, playing the Goldstein role is 23-year-old Voula Papachristou, a young female athlete from here in Greece.
Ms. Papachristou's event is the triple jump, known in my schooldays as the hop, step, and jump. She had been selected for her country's 105-member squad at the London Summer Olympics. Then last Sunday she posted a joke on her Twitter account, and suddenly found she had hopped, stepped, and jumped into something sticky and smelly.
There's some background to the joke. First: Greece, even more than other north Mediterranean countries, has been plagued by illegal immigrants from Africa, the near East, and Muslim West Asia. It's an easy country to get into: long coastline, lots of islands, land border with Turkey, law enforcement cut back because of collapsing government finances. Second: there's been an outbreak of West Nile virus in Greece, a nasty flu-like disease transmitted by mosquito bites, fatal in around seven percent of cases.
OK, so here is Ms Papachristou's Sunday tweet, quote: "With so many Africans in Greece … At least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!" End quote.
All right, it's not the funniest joke you heard this year. It is, though, a joke about black people, made by a white person. To white liberals, black people are a kind of sacred objects, and making jokes about them is a kind of blasphemy.
White liberals are an even mightier force in the welfarized, feminized, socialized states of Western Europe than they are here, if you can imagine it; so by tweeting her joke, Ms. Papachristou was setting herself up for a witchcraft trial.
To further compound the offence, Ms Papachristou is known to be a supporter of the nationalist party Golden Dawn. Golden Dawn is a legal political party: since the elections last month they hold 18 seats in the 300-seat Greek Parliament. Their nationalism, however, is of the fiercer sort, angrily hostile towards African and Muslim illegals. Among other things, they propose putting landmines along the border with Turkey.
They don't suffer leftists gladly, either. One of their most popular politicians is a chap named Ilias Kasidiaris. During last month's elections, Kasidiaris was on a TV discussion program with two leftist female parliamentarians. Things got heated, and he threw a glass of water at one of them. The other one then smacked him with a rolled-up newspaper, to which Mr Kasidiaris retaliated with a sock to the lady's jaw.
Well, the two things together — supporting a nationalist political party, then tweeting a feeble joke about Africans — were too much for the Thought Police. Following Sunday's tweet, Ms Papachristou was dropped from her nation's Olympic squad.
The lady, who I am sure desperately wants to compete in the Olympics, issued groveling apologies; but that just put blood in the water, stirring the P.C. mob to new frenzies of denunciation. Apologizing in these situations is always a mistake. It shows weakness; and the Left are bullies who just kick harder and whoop louder when they know their victim is weak. The correct response is to spit in their faces.
I had a run-in with the Thought Police myself recently, and I'm proud to say that when the matter of apologizing was suggested, I told the suggester in plain language which part of my anatomy he could kiss. That's the way to deal with these bullies. If you're going to go down, go down proud and fighting, for the encouragement of those who take up the fight when you've gone.
It's a sad story. It has an upside, though, at least so far as heterosexual males are concerned. The upside is, we got a good look at Ms Papachristou. Turns out she's hot, so hot she blisters paint in fact. The London Daily Mail, reporting the story, ran no less than twelve pictures of the lady, all of them showing her in skimpy athletic outfits and interesting athletic poses. Eight of the twelve pictures showed her belly button. I think it was eight, though I may not have counted right. Hang on, I'll just go back and count again …
03 — Teeny concession on Munich Olympics victims. The Olympic Games is run by a clique of weasely globalist bureaucrats. One of the things they keep telling us is that they want to keep politics out of the Games.
That, however, opens up the tricky matter of how you define politics.
For example: Suppose a gang of terrorists gets into the Olympic Village, takes one of the national teams hostage, and makes ransom demands? And suppose the host country then botches the rescue attempt, leading to the deaths of eleven athletes? Would that count as politics?
That of course is what happened at the Munich Games in 1972, when Arab terrorists took the Israeli Olympic squad hostage. The Arab countries didn't see anything much wrong with the ensuing massacre. At a memorial service in the main Olympic stadium following the massacre, the flags of the competing nations were flown at half mast. Seeing this, ten of the Arab nations promptly objected, demanding that their flags be raised to normal position. The IOC weasels fell over themselves to comply.
At every summer Olympics since then there has been an unsightly little tussle. The Israelis and their supporters in other countries — mainly the U.S.A. and Germany, and you can count me among those supporters — want some public recognition of the murdered athletes, with a one minute's silence during the Games' opening ceremony generally thought to be suitable. The IOC suits, however, are terrified that if they allowed such a thing, the Arab countries would pull out of the Games, or otherwise make a fuss.
Well, this year being the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre, pressure for a moment of silence was greater than usual. Head IOC weasel Jacques Rogge still won't allow a tribute during the opening ceremony, but he yielded just a little on Monday this week.
The occasion was something called the Olympic Truce ceremony, held at the Olympic Village on Monday. This is some United Nations project to try to get warring nations to hold a truce for the duration of the Games. Lots of luck with that. Anyway, there was Mr Rogge at the Olympic Village on Monday, in front of a crowd of about a hundred people, described by the news wire as, quote, "IOC executive board members, dignitaries and Olympic athletes and officials," there he was mumbling a few words of tribute to the murdered athletes, and, yes, observing a moment of silence.
Better than nothing, I guess. And to be fair to the IOC, they will be sending representatives to a ceremony in Germany on the actual anniversary of the Munich massacre, September 5th. That will be at the Furstenfeldbruck military airfield, where most of the Israelis were killed.
The impression remains, though, that in failing to commemorate the dead athletes during the Olympic Games proper on the grounds that that would be bringing politics into the festivities, the IOC considers homicidal terrorists to be a species of politician. That's what we philosophers call a category error, and a serious one.
04 — Colorado shooter: the randomness of it. The big news story of the week was of course the shootings at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, shortly after midnight last Friday morning. Twelve people were killed and 58 wounded, some of the latter paralyzed for life. The killer was 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes.
Although of course an incident like this is major news, it's tough for commentators to get a handle on. The randomness of it leaves one with little to say. There was no discernible political, racial, or sexual component to the shooter's madness. It's like a meteor strike — just one of those horrible things that happens by chance now and then.
Our minds abhor randomness, though. We love to find order in things, and are reluctant to accept that there sometimes isn't any.
The randomness here is at a high level. Holmes was a little weird in some respects; but reading accounts by people who knew him, you can't help thinking of people you know who are twice as weird. Holmes was not wildly out of range in any way. There is no record of anyone who knew him thinking he was certifiably crazy.
Most of us get imprinted with our first recollection of a random-mass-killing news story. For me, the first one was Charles Whitman's rampage at the University of Texas in Austin back in the summer of 1966, when I had just graduated from college. Whitman, like Holmes, showed no indisputable signs he would go berserk, although he had been suffering from bad headaches, and on autopsy was found to have a small brain tumor.
Maybe it's that search for order kicking in again, but I can't help wondering if Holmes had some identifiable brain disorder — perhaps a tumor, like Whitman's. Scanning techniques are good enough nowadays that we'll find out, if so. I note that he bought his first gun just twelve weeks ago, suggesting that he decided on his murder rampage only very recently.
Arguing against the neurological explanation, though not very strongly, is the fact that Holmes had himself been a student of neuroscience, so he should have been able to do some self-diagnosis if there was organic malfunction. Then again, this is the brain we're talking about. Do crazy people know they're crazy? I called a friend who is actually a practicing psychiatrist. He: "Some do, some don't. Some know at some times but not at others …"
It's hard to get one's own mind around. Randomness we can just about take if it's an earthquake, a meteor strike, a tornado or a flood. Human randomness is different. Humans aren't supposed to be random.
05 — Colorado shooter: blame the Tea Party. If it's hard to pass any kind of opinion on the event itself, the reactions of public figures to the event offer rich pickings.
The richest pickings in this case came from Brian Ross, a reporter for ABC News. In common with, I imagine, most mainstream media journalists, Ross assumes that anyone using a gun with malice in some hick flyover burg like Aurora, Colorado must be acting out some crazy, hateful conservative agenda. So let's google for James Holmes around Aurora, Colorado, and see what we get. Aha! here's one — a Tea Party member. That's got to be it!
Ross went on air with his discovery. To be fair, he did allow that it might not necessarily be the same James Holmes. He plainly thought it was likely to be, though, or why go on nationwide TV with it? And, you know: Tea Party, guns, hatred, mass murder — it's all perfectly logical! Well, it is if you are a lefty metropolitan media bubblehead.
Alas, the Tea Party James Holmes was a different person from the mass murderer James Holmes. The Tea Party guy was massively inconvenienced, and we should all hope he gets lawyered up and extracts a big fat settlement from ABC News.
Brian Ross's blunder was quite predictable. In fact it followed a pattern, the pattern laid out for us by blogger Gabriel Malor. Any time there's some gruesome killing, the media lefties look for a way to blame conservatives. Samples, courtesy of Mr Malor:
So it goes. But what do you expect? Almost fifty years after the event, you still can't get a lefty to acknowledge that John F. Kennedy was killed by a communist.
And a footnote here on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Not content with having made an idiot of himself over the Times Square bombing, Bloomberg doubled down on the idiocy following last week's Colorado shooting. In an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, Bloomers suggested a nationwide police strike until the voters forced their lawmakers to pass strict gun control.
[Clip: "I don't understand why the police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say: 'We're going to go on strike. We're not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what's required to keep us safe.' After all, police officers want to go home to their families, and we're doing everything we can to make their job more difficult — but more importantly, more dangerous — by leaving guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them …"]
With Bloombat of course deciding who should have them. At this point you have to nurse the suspicion that Bloombaloney is in the pay of gun manufacturers. I mean, can you imagine what a nationwide police strike would do for gun sales? There'd be a line around the block at every gun store in the Republic.
And that, of course, is leaving aside the legality and morality of a nationwide police strike. It was, you'll recall, in reference to the 1919 Boston police strike that Calvin Coolidge uttered the words that started him on the road to the Presidency: "There is no right to strike against the public safety, anywhere, anytime."
Of course, it's all academic for Bloomacy. He has an armed security detail to protect him, 24/7.
06 — Romney adviser's "Anglo-Saxon" gaffe. Some large portion of the American public, including all liberals, and therefore all mainstream journalists, keep their racial sensitivities on a hair trigger. That trigger was pressed this week by a Mitt Romney aide whose name we do not know.
The aide was part of the advance party for Romney's trip to Britain this week. In an interview with a London newspaper the unnamed aide said that, quote:
We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he [that is, Romney] feels that the special relationship is special … The White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have.
"Anglo-Saxon heritage"! That's code for "white people," you see. Or as the currently fashionable idiom has it, Romney, via that aide, is dog-whistling for white Christian votes.
Well, why wouldn't he? At least 96 percent of blacks will vote for Obama come rain or shine, out of simple racial loyalty. Two-thirds of Hispanics will vote for any Democrat over any Republican, because they are poor and want the federal handouts that are a key part of every Democratic platform.
Jews, Muslims, and Hindus vote Democratic because they think Republicans are too Christian. East Asians, other than Korean evangelicals, vote Democrat for complicated historical and psychological reasons that I tried to explain in a column on VDARE.com some years ago.
That leaves the white vote, still nearly two thirds of the electorate, as the big fishing ground for Republicans. Why wouldn't they cast their nets there?
I actually hope that's what Romney's doing, because I'd like to see him win. I hoped the same thing in '08 in regard to John McCain. I hoped, for example, that McCain would put the Rev. Jeremiah Wright front and center, and all the shady revolutionary types Obama was hanging out with for most of his life.
I was of course disappointed then, and I'll likely be disappointed now. In fact I see that Romney has already repudiated the aide's remarks very indignantly.
Why? What's going on here? John McCain wellnigh threw the '08 election rather than bring Barack Obama's sleazy acquaintances to the public's attention. It looks as though Mitt Romney's inclined the same way.
Back after 9/11, when the George W. Bush administration was being extravagantly polite to Muslims lest anyone would assume that Islam had anything to do with the attacks, back then I coined the phrase: "Better dead than rude." That is, we'd all rather be killed in another terrorist attack than hurt the feelings of Muslims.
What we see with Barack Obama's opponents is a sort of electoral equivalent. John McCain preferred to lose the '08 election rather than leave anyone thinking he had a single racially discriminatory bone in his body. I cut McCain some slack on that, figuring that a man of his generation — McCain was born in 1936 — would be weighed down with guilt over Jim Crow.
I thought Mitt Romney, being a few years younger, might be a bit bolder, but he seems to be just as race-spooked as McCain. Like McCain, he's determined to keep up the pretense that race is of no electoral importance whatsoever, even when 96 or 98 percent of blacks vote for the black candidate without a flicker of embarrassment.
Romney would rather throw the election than give anyone cause to think he nurses racially impure thoughts.
That's the Republican slogan nowadays: Better electorally dead than rude.
07 — Chick-Fil-A and Chicago values. I don't know about you, gentle listener, but I confess I'd never even heard of Chick-fil-A until this week. Apparently it's a chain of fast-food outlets specializing in chicken sandwiches. There are sixteen hundred Chick-fil-A restaurants, mostly across the South. The chain was founded in Atlanta in 1967 by a bloke named Truett Cathy.
The current President and Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A is Dan Cathy, Truett Cathy's son. Like his Dad, Dan Cathy is a devout Christian of the Southern Baptist confession. As such, he is totally opposed to homosexual marriage, and doesn't care who knows it. He said it out loud on a radio show recently.
That got the attention of the homosexualists. With their usual ruthless intolerance, they are pressing the nation's politicians to prevent Chick-fil-A from expanding into the politicians' precincts, cities, counties, and states. Quote from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 26th, quote:
A Chicago alderman vowed to block a Chick-fil-A proposed in his district, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel supported him, saying, "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values." Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wrote in a letter to Cathy: "There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it."
I'm going to be charitable here and pass over in silence Mayor Emanuel's reference to "Chicago values." Please reflect on that in your own time.
While doing so, you may want to further reflect on the fact that Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, which is headquartered in Chicago, is even more fiercely opposed to homosexual marriage than the Cathys are. Farrakhan told his followers just a few weeks ago about the Cities of the Plain, adding that, quote, "Five thousand years later, not even a blade of grass grows in Sodom."
(Cue here one of my favorite movie quotes. In Robert Aldrich's 1962 movie Sodom and Gomorrah, Anouk Aimee sets out to deliver a message to the Elamites. Halfway across the desert she encounters a stranger, who helpfully warns her: "Watch out for Sodomite patrols!")
And yet, not only does Rahm Emanuel tolerate the existence of Farrakhan's organization in his city, he has enlisted its help in tackling the astounding levels of crime in Chicago's black ghettos. Members of Farrakhan's cult will patrol the ghettos trying to discourage the black gangs from killing each other.
How about this, Mayor Emanuel and Mayor Menino: Let anyone who wants to set up a legitimate business in your city do so, whatever the private convictions of the owners, so long as they don't break the law. And if people don't want to patronize that business, let them stay away.
It's called "liberty." Oh, but perhaps it doesn't fit in with Chicago values …
08 — Huma's rights. I mentioned up above there that there's been a second Two Minutes Hate going on this week. So who's the Emmanuel Goldstein in this second one? Michele Bachmann, that's who.
This story ties in to last week's segment about Anthony Weiner, the formerly upstanding member from New York's 9th district. I mentioned in passing that Weiner has a wife, who works as a staffer for Hillary Clinton, our nation's Secretary of State.
Mrs Weiner actually goes by her maiden name, Huma Abedin. Her title in Mrs Clinton's entourage is Deputy Chief of Staff. So she is very close indeed to the Secretary of State. You'd think a person like that would have been vetted nine ways to Sunday by the FBI. You'd think so, wouldn't you?
Think again. Ms Abedin is a U.S.-born Muslim. Her parents came from what is now Pakistan. She has a brother, Hassan. The father, who died twenty years ago, the mother, and the brother all had or have connections with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the main world-wide vehicle for advancing Islam.
Does Huma Abedin herself have links with the Brotherhood? I have no idea. Much more to the point, the United States government seems to have no idea. The kind of intensive security vetting that ought to be done for a position like Ms Abedin's was not done.
Why not? Again, I have no idea. Steve Sailer speculates that Saudi money may have something to do with it. As Steve says, if the Israel Lobby is the third rail of U.S. politics, the Saudi Lobby is the fourth rail. The Saudis have a sensational amount of money. To think they wouldn't use some of it to buy a congressman or two, maybe a senator or two, is naive.
Whatever the reason for going easy on Ms Abedin, on June 13th Michele Bachmann and four other members of Congress wrote a letter to the Inspector General pointing out the deficiency, and also pointing out a number of State Department policy decisions recently that have, quote, "been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests." The letter asks the IG for proper audits and inspections, and mentions Huma Abedin by name, noting her family members' connections to the Brotherhood. Rep. Bachmann is on the House Intelligence Committee, and so are two of her four co-signers.
Michele Bachmann's letter caused terrific protests and condemnations of her. No, not from Democrats: It was Republicans leading the charge.
John McCain got the ball rolling with a speech on the Senate floor. He did not mention Rep. Bachmann by name, but said, quote:
When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are … it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.
The rest of the RINOs then piled on: Marco Rubio, John Boehner, Lindsay Graham, and Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, who's the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. It was a Two Minutes Hate, all right; and the haters throwing Newspeak dictionaries at the telescreen were not Michele Bachmann's political opponents, but members of her own party.
Which party would that be? The Stupid Party. The party that throws elections out of fear that some leftist might call them "insensitive." The party that would rather be dead than rude. The party that threw open the nation's borders to forty million people, none of whom, nor their descendants, will ever vote for it. The party that threw away California and is now throwing away Texas. The loser party, the hopeless party; the party I am now going to change my registration out of, just as soon as I can get down to the County Board of Elections office.
09 — Signoff. That's all for this week, citizens. Just one curious little language item before I sign off.
I see from the indispensible London Daily Mail that schoolchildren in the East End of London are to be taught Cockney rhyming slang as part of their heritage.
In case you don't know, Cockney rhyming slang substitutes some ingenious rhyming phrase for a commonplace word; then it usually drops key words from the substituting phrase. So for example, the word "feet" changes into the phrase "plates of meat," then that gets truncated to just "plates," and you will hear a Cockney say: "I walked all the way home an' me plates aren't 'alf sore."
I'm sorry to tell you that a lot of the substitutions are indelicate. The adornments of a lady's chest, for example, are her bristols, because there is a well-known soccer team in England named Bristol City. I leave you to work out the signification of "Hampton Wick," "Berkeley Hunt," and "cobbler's awls."
After I'd read about this, I got on the dog and bone to me trouble and strife and told her the Jackanory. She could hardly Adam an' Eve it.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]