[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! — broadcasting to you from our state-of-the-art sound studio here in the balmy Aegean, sponsored by the good folk at Taki's Magazine. We have now transported our entire staff of technicians and research assistants over here, not without some difficulties finding suitable accommodation. My personal assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy were given cabins by Taki himself, on his luxury yacht moored out in the bay there. How are those cabins, girls? [M, C, & B: "Great!]
The rest of us are ensconced in rooms at the local taverna — it's a bit of a squeeze, but we're coping, and the proprietor gives us special rates on food and booze. My sound technician Ahmed of course, being a devout Muslim, shuns the booze. … You OK there, Ahmed? You don't look very comfortable, squirming and fidgeting like that. [Ahmed: "I am trying out a new style of underwear."] Really? Whoa, too much information there, guy.
OK, enough of this scene-setting, let's get down to the week's news.
02 — European elections: Greece. Probably the most consequential news of the week came from Europe. That was the election results in France and Greece. Greece is of course notorious as the worst of the south European basket-case economies. France is not in such dire straits, but she's way bigger, with an over-exposed banking system, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
The executive summary for these election results is: Enough already with this austerity b-s!
Let me explain about austerity. I am definitely the go-to guy for an explanation here. I spent the first few years of my life hearing the word "austerity." Postwar Britain, in which I grew up, was a land of austerity, on account of the country having beggared itself to fight the war, and then, when the war was won, elected a socialist government who believed that getting capitalism up and running again was much less important than transferring the means of production, distribution, and exchange from private ownership to government bureaucracies. You want to hear about austerity? I got stories.
The austerity in today's European situation has basically the same causes: Governments spent too much, not to win existential wars, but to provide entitlements and make-work government jobs to aging populations not much inclined to work hard, practice entrepreneurship, or reproduce themselves. Much of the money these governments spent was borrowed, and has to be repaid. At the same time, socialism is so entrenched that public-sector labor unions are major political players, so that reducing the size and cost of government is like pulling teeth.
That's been the situation in Greece for most of the past three years, since the Eurozone debt crisis began.
The sane and logical thing to have done, once it became clear how utterly incompatible the Greek way of work, leisure, business, and politics was with the north-European norms demanded by the Eurozone, the sane thing to do would have been for Greece to dump the Euro, return to the drachma, and be a sovereign country again.
However, nobody really wanted that. Greece's political managers didn't want it, as they knew that it would be a decade or so before anyone ever again bought Greek sovereign debt. The Greek people didn't want it, because they know what thieves and crooks their politicians are, and preferred to take their chances with German bankers. The big north-European players didn't want it, because their European Union is like a religion to them, and the secession of one nation might give the idea to others. So deals were cut, bail-out packages were put together, austerity was imposed, and Greece has been hobbling along for two years as the sick man of Europe.
Now Greek voters have said that's enough of that. Some large portion of them want to have their baklava and eat it too: Yes, we want to stay in the Euro, but no, we won't continue to pay the price demanded. Some other big and growing portions, both left and right, want out of the Euro. The faction that has gotten the most publicity there has been Golden Dawn, a nationalist party of the noisier sort that now holds 21 seats in the 300-seat Greek Parliament. Just to put that in perspective, the Communist Party holds 26 seats and the just-barely-not-quite Communist Syriza bloc holds 52. There's been a flight from the middle, in other words; and the middle, in Greek politics, is just a tad to the right of Dennis Kucinich.
No single party made even twenty percent of the vote, though. Whether the Greeks can cobble together a coalition government, and whether, if they do so, that government will be able to squeeze any concessions out of the mostly-German holders of the bailout purse strings, remains to be seen.
Every time the Euro crisis bobs back up into the news, I think: "This is it, this time the dam will burst." It doesn't, though. Somehow they keep finessing the situation. Reality suggests, though, that Europe has only so many fingers to stick in that dam. Sooner or later it will burst; and the later the burst, the more destructive the deluge.
03 — European elections: France. The French elections were of a different character. They were presidential, not parliamentary; and this was a runoff election, following an inconclusive result on April 22. The Socialist Party leader François Hollande won, and he will be inaugurated as President this Tuesday, May 15.
Hollande's told his people that he'll head to Berlin that very afternoon to discuss things with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. What things? Well, the French, like the Greeks, have had enough of austerity. The word on everybody's lips now is "growth."
See, the idea is that instead of bumping along the bottom indefinitely in a condition of austerity — reduced public services and entitlements, later retirement ages, higher taxes — the government grows the economy by pumping money into it. With all that money to spend, factories start whirring again, retailers are busy, there are more jobs, and so on. Growth! — that's the ticket.
It's not a completely incoherent position, and it has the support of some bigfoot economists — Joseph Stiglitz, for example, and Paul Krugman. Reading the arguments, though, a layman can't help asking: Where is all this growth money going to come from? Since massive debt is the underlying problem, borrowing doesn't seem like a terrifically good idea. Increased taxation is popular with those bigfoot economists; but didn't higher taxes just get a mention as part of the austerity everyone hates? And since increasing taxes must surely have some depressing effect on growth, how do we know where the break-even point is?
In the end I suppose governments will just print the money, and we'll go through a decade or so of inflation, watching our savings melt away. That'll be growth, all right. Watch for the price of a gallon of gas to grow all the way from four dollars to forty. Ah yes, growth …
04 — Obama supports same sex marriage! If those European elections were the most consequential news of the week, the least consequential was surely Barack Obama's coming out, so to speak, in favor of same-sex marriage.
Least consequential, and least surprising. Our drama queen President of course made a great show of having wrestled with his conscience, meditated on high mountaintops, consulted with deep-browed philosophers, and, quote, "evolved"; but if you believe any of that, you must have just heard the name Obama yesterday after waking from a five-year coma.
Did anyone imagine, did anyone on earth imagine, that this yuppie agnostic, raised by leftists, steeped from infancy in the sociobabble of "rights" and "equality" and "social justice," did anyone imagine that there was ever a single cell of Obama's body nursing negative feelings about same-sex marriage?
I don't even understand why Obama held back for political reasons. Christian conservatives, the biggest voter bloc opposed to same-sex marriage, weren't going to vote for him this November anyway.
Blacks are generally hostile to the issue, as we saw with Proposition 8 in California four years ago, when seven out of ten black California voters expressed that hostility at the polls: but they'll vote 95 percent for Obama regardless, out of racial loyalty, and he surely knows that. Obama could run for President wearing a Klan robe and hood, carrying a can of gasoline and a wooden cross, and blacks would still vote 95 percent for him. I know it, you know it, and he knows it.
Besides, when you're as coldly calculating as Obama, there is this one cold little fact to take into account: Homosexual organizations have masses of money, since homosexuals in the generality don't have to fritter away their wealth raising kids and sending them to college. Blacks, on the other hand, do not have much money. Running for re-election needs lots of money. The result, as we math buffs say, follows.
For the record, Radio Derb opposes same-sex marriage on the inflation principle. That is, the more lifestyle choices there are around and accepted, the less each one is worth. I'd like the lifestyle choice of men marrying women, making babies, and staying together to raise them as well-socialized citizens, I'd like that lifestyle choice to be esteemed and accepted head and shoulders above all others, because I think that's the foundation of a healthy society. You want to live some other way, go ahead, but don't be looking for broad social approval: you shouldn't get it.
As for "rights" and "equality" and "social justice," well, when shall we extend those wonderful things to polyamorists, zoophiles, necrophiliacs, and guys who want to marry their granddaughters? I await the President's further "evolution."
05 — Editorial support … not. So imagine this scenario: You're a commentator who wrote something unkind about black people. As a result, you're being chased down the road by a howling mob of leftists. Desperately looking around for some support from your colleagues, you spot your editor — right there in the mob, howling along with the rest of them!
What must that feel like? How should I know? It happened this week, though, to Naomi Schaefer Riley, a paid contributor to the Brainstorm blog at the Chronicle of Higher Education website. Ms. Schaefer Riley was reacting to a Chronicle puff piece about the new generation of Black Studies scholars. Their "scholarship," Ms. Schaefer Riley pointed out, quite correctly of course, was perfectly bogus, as is their field. The Ph.D. dissertation topics mentioned in the Chronicle's puff piece were, she remarked, quote, "obscure at best and a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap, at worst."
This brought thunderous denunciation down on Ms. Schaefer Riley's head. An online petition signed by 6,500 academics demanded that the Chronicle fire her. The Chronicle's editor, Liz McMillen, held out for a whole weekend against the pressure, then fired her on the Monday.
A whole weekend! Now if the Chronicle had been a conservative outlet, they would have folded to the mob inside twelve hours. How do I know that? I don't, I really don't — just guessing. Next item.
06 — Federal inmate scores primary triumph. We've all been following the Republican primary debates with keen interest. Well, perhaps not all of us, but those of us who've been paid to … Yet nobody's paid much attention to the Democratic primaries.
Yes, there have been some. Barack Obama hasn't been having things all his own way. Primaries in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alabama earlier this year turned up sizable minorities of Democrats, fifteen to twenty percent, voting for anyone but the President.
Anti-Obama Democrats didn't really crack the news programs until this week, though. The unlikely — extremely unlikely — hero here is 53-year-old Keith Judd, currently an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas. Inmate Judd is serving a 17½-year sentence for extortion, currently scheduled release date June next year.
Inmate Judd somehow got himself on the ballot in the West Virginia Democratic primary, held this past Tuesday. It's a closed primary, registered Democrats only. Forty-one percent of West Virginia's Democrats chose Keith Judd over Barack Obama. Forty-one percent.
Concerning Inmate Judd's outlook and preferences, Politico reports, inter alia, that he lists his religion as Rastafarian-Christian; that Mozart is the person he'd most like to meet; and that his favorite president is Richard Nixon. So, a bit of a mixed bag, but obviously not grass-eating crazy.
OK, you want serious explanations? Quote from the Fox News story, quote: "This was about hardening resentment against Obama on the state's top economic issue — Obama's mounting restrictions on the mining and burning of coal — as well as a general sense among blue-collar, socially conservative Democrats that there isn't a place for them in Obama's party."
See, the modern Democratic party is still somewhat stressed by the tension between multicultural metrosexual yuppie liberals like our President and the horny-handed sons of toil who dig coal out of the ground in places like West Virginia.
Democrats should not worry: this tension will not last much longer: only as long as it takes the environmental fanatics to close down the last coal mine, and the open-borders fanatics to replace the last working-class white guy with a Mexican immigrant.
07 — John Travolta, there's the rub. [Saturday Night Fever music.] Should I comment on this business of John Travolta and the masseurs? It's awfully tempting, but I think I'll pass.
For one thing, I don't get the crime here. You've got two adult males, adult male A hired to give a massage to adult male B. Adult male B makes a grab at adult male A's crotch and makes a lewd suggestion. That's awful bad manners, I'll grant you, but how is it a crime, or even a tort? Tortious behavior, if I remember my legal reading correctly, embraces nuisance, negligence, defamation, and trespass. Which one's being claimed here?
What would be wrong with the masseur just saying: "Hey, lay off that, pal, or I'm out of here"? The guy might then sue to regain his fee, but that's not what they're suing for: they're suing for sexual assault. Sexual assault? By one adult male against another? For goodness' sake. And why a lawsuit? If there was an assault, why wasn't it reported to the police?
I'm skeptical of the whole thing. You're famous like Travolta, all kinds of people are going to try stuff. Perhaps I'm too partial; perhaps Travolta just reminds me too much of my own sweet wasted youth. I dunno. I do appreciate the opportunity this story has given to our tabloid newspapers to make up punning headlines, though. New York Post, May 9th, Rubbed the Wrong Way, and so on.
08 — The anti-racist cringe, U.K. Suicide of the West alert: a story from across the pond in Airstrip One, the land of my birth, which at this point I'd be perfectly happy never to set foot in again.
The police forces of the British Isles have long since ceased to see public security as their primary role. What they mainly exist for is enforcement of the diversity ideology. Check the British press any day of the week for examples. Here's a random one from this week: Scotland Yard, headquarters of London's Metropolitan Police Force, has banned use of the word "blacklist" as insensitive. Quote from the Scotland Yard spokes-weasel, quote: "I am sure we can appreciate the sensitivity around the use of such terminology today so please ensure it is no longer used." End quote. He suggested using "redlist" instead, apparently without considering the impact on the sensitivities of Native Americans.
Here's another one, from the London Daily Telegraph, May 10th, quote: "A Scotland Yard sergeant has been suspended following an allegation he made a racist remark in front of colleagues. The alleged incident took place in North London on Wednesday morning and the officer was suspended when a colleague reported the matter to a supervisor. No members of the public were involved." End quote. So this was a remark passed in the police canteen or locker room, not even in public. A colleague snitched, and the loose-tongued bobby will soon be an ex-bobby.
Further from the same story, quote: "There are currently 13 separate allegations of racism under investigation by the Metropolitan Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission involving 27 officers and staff." End quote. Yes, forget about chasing down muggers, investigating burglaries, or solving homicides: The main business of British police nowadays is watching each other for "racism," the most serious crime of all — the only crime worth prosecuting, actually. The U.S. military is trending the same way, as I shall report in the next segment; but let's stay in the sceptered isle for a moment longer.
All that is background to a trial that concluded this week in Liverpool crown court, in northwest England. Nine men from that area were convicted of running a sex-trafficking ring using under-age girls. The girls were not identified, reasonably enough, but eight of the nine perps were. Here are their names: Kabeer Hassan, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Rauf, Mohammed Sajid, Adil Khan, Abdul Qayyum, Mohammed Amin, Hamid Safi. The ninth perp was known only as Defendant X for legal reasons I do not understand. We only know that he is 59 years old. I feel sure, however, that his name, if we were to learn it, would be as redolent of roast beef, yorkshire pudding, cricket on the village green, and Vera Lynn singing "The White Cliffs of Dover" as the other eight aforenamed. The total number of under-age girls involved may have been as high as fifty.
Here's the punch line. One of the kidnapped girls, at age 13, and being driven around to be gang-raped by strangers in squalid apartments, had appealed for help to the police and social services back in 2008. She and other victims had gone on crying out for help for two years, but neither the police nor the social workers took any action. Why not? In the words of the Member of Parliament who campaigned to bring the whole horrible business to light, quote: "They were petrified of being called racist and so reverted to the default of political correctness. They had a greater fear of being perceived in that light than in dealing with the issues in front of them." End quote.
The full horror of this story has to be read in detail to be appreciated. Here's a brief sample quote.
Girl A told police that she had been raped and provided DNA evidence from her attacker. The Crown Prosecution Service twice decided not to prosecute him. As a result, the 15 year-old's abuse continued. At its height she was driven to flats and houses to be raped by up to five men a night, four or five days a week. She was singled out because she was white, vulnerable and under-age. Her ordeal only ended when she became pregnant and her teachers became concerned by the number of Asian men picking her up from school.
The word "Asian" there is a British newspaper code word for "Muslim," usually Pakistani. The authorities twice declined to prosecute, even with DNA evidence at hand. Because if they did so someone might have said they were "racist."
That is the insane position we have arrived at with this mad "diversity" ideology. Not just in Britain, either …
09 — Islamophobophobia in the U.S. military. Somewhat related to the previous item, here's a story from Stateside.
It's no news that the Clinton-Bush-Obama years have seen a sustained full-court press for extreme political correctness in all branches of the U.S. government. These efforts passed the point of utter absurdity long ago. In the U.S. military, that precise point was passed in November 2009 when, following the massacre of soldiers at Fort Hood by a Muslim terrorist, General George Casey uttered the memorable words, quote: "As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse." End quote.
That was two and a half years ago, and the military hasn't let up on its determination to promote the diversity ideology even over the safety and preparedness of our troops.
Here for example is a story from Danger Room, the national-security blog at Wired.com. Headline: Senior U.S. General Orders Top-to-Bottom Review of Military's Islam Training. First paragraph, quote:
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday ordered the entire U.S. military to scour its training material to ensure it doesn't contain anti-Islamic content … The order came after the Pentagon suspended a course for senior officers that was found to contain derogatory material about Islam.
End quote. It turns out that an elective course taught at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia included a text declaring that, quote, "Islam had already declared war on the West."
Of course, as any Pentagon staff officer will tell you, Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims worldwide are yearning to embrace our Western values of liberty, democracy, and equality between the sexes. If your Pentagon staff officer were to tell you differently, he would very swiftly be reassigned to winter training duties in the Aleutian Islands.
The Staff College course that included that grossly Islamophobic material has now been canceled. The Pentagon has appointed a two-star general to spend the next 30 days investigating how the course came to include anti-Islam material in apparent contravention of a White House directive.
Heads will roll, I'm sure. And I am speaking metaphorically there. I don't actually expect that those responsible for the offending material will have their heads hacked off on live video. We don't do that. There are people in the world who do it, but their religious affiliation escapes me right now. Zoroastrians, perhaps? Christian Scientists? I forget.
10 — Signoff. That last item was actually sent in by a reader, who suggested a suitable musical accompaniment. Here it is: the inimitable Noël Coward singing "Don't Let's be Beastly to the Germans," the original version of which was written in the middle of WW2. A lot of people didn't get the joke. I venture to speculate that if you were to wander the halls of the Pentagon nowadays singing "Don't Let's be Beastly to the Muslims," even fewer people would see the humor of it.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Noël Coward, "Don't Let's be Beastly to the Germans."]