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[Music clip: From Oum Kalsoum's "Hadeeth El Rouh."]
01 — Intro. I thought we'd flaunt our multicultural credentials here this week, listeners. That was, I'm sure I don't need to tell you, the great Oum Kalsoum singing the Arabic ballad Hadeeth El Rouh, which translates as "Conversation of the Soul."
Most appropriate, don't you think?, when the President of this great Muslim nation of ours is over there chomping down on falafel and sheep's eyeballs with the King of Saudi Arabia and our other good friend the democratically-elected, scrupulously constitutional President-for-Life of Egypt, old What's-His-Name.
Yes, folks, our Chief Executive has himself been having a little conversation of the soul, a hadeeth el rouh if you will, with our dear friends and allies in the war on Terror over there in the other great Muslim nations of the Arab world. Here is Radio Derb, and your Islamically genial host John Derbyshire (peace be upon me) to tell you all about it.
02 — Obama's speech to Arab despots (1). Our drama queen of a President favored the Arabs with one of his long, gassy, portentous speeches, filled with soaring declarations of high principle and seasoned with reminders if his own unique wonderfulness.
I'm starting not to mind this too much, aside from the effort of staying awake through these Castroesque effusions. This particular Obamathon ran to 6,000 words and over an hour of delivery. It's plain the President has no ideas, so there was nothing definite in there. That's all to the good, far as I'm concerned. If Obama did have an idea, it would probably be one he'd gotten from his radical hippie Mom or his crackpot white-hating preacher, or his nutty wife [scream], so we're better off without it.
Anyway, nobody has much of an idea what to do about any of the horrible problems of the Middle East, so it would be bogus to pretend otherwise.
For extra seasoning to his speech, the President threw in a few well-chosen quotes from the Koran and some words of Arabic. As always with these shallow multiculturalist types, he got some of it wrong — it's a hijab, Mr Prez, not a hajib — but the Arabs seem to have been flattered anyway.
So far as the speech had any overall message, it was:
We haven't been really good friends up to now, and that's America's fault for not showing proper respect to Islam, which is a fine religion. In fact pretty much everything bad that's happened this past few years has been America's fault. Now, however, the United States is blessed with Me, and I am far wiser and more worldly that the oafs that came before me. So now we can really be friends. Yes, we can!
Well, that's great, Mr President, if the Middle East is really as important as they think they are, and as you told them they are, and if the USA really has a messianic mission to lift up the rest of humanity.
If, on the other hand, these dustbowl despotisms are destined to be squalid, corrupt, and third-rate for ever, and if the U.S.A. would be wiser to drop the world-saving rhetoric and settle down as a commercial republic, interfering in other countries only to give them a good hard smack when they harm us, then the President's trip was a waste of time, and his speech a self-indulgent embarrassment.
03 — Obama's speech to Arab despots (2). Generalities aside, there was actually some questionable stuff in the speech.
All that business about "colonialism," for example. The great colonial power in the Arab world for most of the modern era was Ottoman Turkey. Why isn't the President of Turkey over there apologizing to the Arabs? Oh, right: he's a Muslim too. When did the USA have any Arab colonies?
Then there were the apologies for the Iraq War. I wasn't a fan of the Iraq War either, once we'd made our point, but I don't see any advantage for the USA in apologizing to these people. They'll just take it as a sign of weakness.
And what's with telling the Iranians we're fine with them having nuclear power? They're going to get it anyway, that's plain as eggs. Giving them permission to do something they're going to do anyway? More wimpery.
It's like my son telling me he's going to stay out till midnight. Me: "I don't approve of that." He: "Well, I don't care, I'm going to do it anyway." Me: "Oh, well, then I guess I'm fine with it."
And asking Hamas if they wouldn't mind, please, being much nicer people and giving up their entire reason for existence? How about just telling them if they lay a finger on America, we'll carpet-bomb the Gaza Strip?
Actually, I think the trip would have been better not made. None of the terrorists are going to listen to Obama. He doesn't have any clue what to do about the Israel-Palestine business, any more than anyone else has, so it was foolish of him to go raising Arab hopes like that. Telling Arabs how to organize their affairs and how to treat their women, is just impertinent. Private citizens are entitled to express their own opinions, but it's no business of our government how Arabs treat their women.
The one thing Obama might have said that would have warmed the cockles of my heart, he of course did not say. That was: "The U.S.A. has all the Muslims it can handle right now, so I've instructed the immigration authorities not to permit any further Muslim settlement in our country until we see how this tranche assimilates."
If the President had said that, I would have stood up and applauded. As it was, I just sat there dully staring at the TV screen till the fumes of Obama's rhetoric sent me off chasing the dragon.
04 — Tiananmen Square anniversary. Speaking of dragons, over in China it was the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident.
The anniversary came and went with, as Radio Derb predicted two weeks ago, total silence from the ChiComs. It was left to Chinese people elsewhere to mark the occasion.
President Ma Ying-jiu of Taiwan, who has taken an open-minded and conciliatory line towards the Communists in most matters, said that it's high time they faced up to the truth about the incident. Quote from President Ma's statement, quote: "This painful period of history must be faced with courage and cannot be intentionally ducked," end quote.
In Hong Kong a crowd of Chinese people estimated at 150,000 showed up for a candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary.
Some Western leaders extruded statements carefully calibrated to show their disapproval of the Chinese army massacring unarmed Chinese citizens, without ticking off the Communists too much for fear they'll stop buying our bonds, or let their hackers loose on our military or financial computer networks.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who speaks Chinese and was once a diplomat in Peking, said: "All people around the world were affected by those events and they still have resonance today." Fearless talk there, Kev.
Even Hillary Clinton was a bit bolder than that, murmuring that the Commies should, quote, "provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing." Oh, yeah: They'll do that just as soon as they've provided a public accounting of the millions murdered in the Land Reform campaigns of the early fifties, and the tens of millions who died in Mao Tse-tung's famines in the late 1950s, and the further millions who died in the Cultural Revolution.
The ChiComs actually responded to Hillary in their customary thoughtful, reasonable fashion, with eloquence and charm, saying that anyone who criticized them for anything at all was a filthy degenerate white-boned demon with a dog's head and a snake's body, seeking to insult and humiliate the long-suffering Chinese people, to restore Western Imperial domination, restart the opium trade, and burn down the Summer Palace.
If China wants to dominate the 21st century, as they boast they will, perhaps they should start by getting themselves a government with a mental age in double digits.
05 — Holder's justice: illegal aliens. Eric Holder's Justice Department has been busy fulfilling the worst expectations of conservatives.
I'm not even sure you need to be conservative to find Holder's actions objectionable, in fact. Most recently Holder has been making it plain who he does, and does not, want showing up at polling stations to vote. Does want: illegal immigrants. Does not want: anyone disapproved of by the Black Panther Party.
By way of getting more illegal immigrants in to vote, Justice this week struck down the state of Georgia's procedures for identifying voters. Georgia was asking voters to show driver licenses and Social Security numbers as proof of citizenship. Sniffed the Justice Department, quote:
This flawed system frequently subjects a disproportionate number of African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters to additional, and more importantly, erroneous burdens on the right to register to vote.
You see, it's really hard for citizens of color or Hispanicity to get themselves valid social security cards or driver licenses. You know: When an African American shows up at the DMV to get a drivers license, they ask him to spell "paradimethylaminobenzaldehyde," then stand around laughing pitilessly and throwing peanuts at him as he struggles with the letters.
What Eric Holder actually means, of course, is that if voters have to prove their citizenship, illegal immigrants won't show up at polling stations, and that will suppress the Democratic vote, since illegal immigrants, to John McCain's utter bafflement, are hardly ever Republicans.
06 — Holder's justice: Black Panthers. On the other side, here are the people our Attorney General wants to dis-courage from voting: people the Black Panther Party disapproves of.
At a Philadelphia polling station last November, three Black Panthers in full paramilitary regalia, and armed with nightsticks, were standing at the entrance intimidating and insulting white voters. Career lawyers at the Justice Department had built a civil case against these Panthers.
The brief described the Panthers as wearing, quote, "military-style uniforms, black berets, combat boots, battle-dress pants, and black jackets with military-style insignias," end quote. The Panthers were armed with, quote, "a dangerous weapon." They used racial slurs and insults to scare would-be voters and the volunteers there to assist voters.
One witness was Bartle Bull, a former civil rights activist and former aide to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Mr Bull said in a sworn affidavit that he was serving in November as a credentialed poll watcher when he saw the three uniformed Panthers confront and intimidate voters with their nightsticks. He overheard one of the Panthers tell a white poll watcher, quote: "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker."
Nice, huh? Can you imagine if a bunch of Aryan Nation skinheads with billy clubs had been harassing black voters at a polling station? Justice would have taken over the whole state. We'd still be hearing about it twenty years later.
Well, as I said, career lawyers at the Justice Department had put this case together. A court had actually entered a default judgment against the Panthers in April. Then last week the lawyers were ordered by their political bosses at Justice to drop the whole thing.
Obviously Eric Holder doesn't feel it's his department's job to stand up for voters against intimidation.
So … should it happen, gentle listener, that next time you go to vote there are three guys in military uniforms there, swinging nightsticks and calling you "cracker," don't even bother calling the Justice Department. Well, not unless you're an illegal immigrant.
07 — Abortionist, Army recruiter killed. Abortionist George Tiller, famous as one of the very few doctors willing to do partial-birth abortions, was shot dead by a lone maniac last Sunday in the vestry of the Wichita church where he served as an usher. Fifty-one-year-old Scott Roeder was arrested three hours later and has been charged with the killing. Roeder is a wacko of several different kinds, who had previously done jail time for possession of explosives.
The next day, this last Monday, Private William Long, an army recruiter, was shot dead in Little Rock, Arkansas, and his colleague was wounded, by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly Carlos Bledsoe, an American convert to Islam who had spent time in Yemen, apparently for terrorist training.
Reaction to the two murders followed party lines. President Obama responded in hours to the Tiller murder, deploring what he called "a heinous act of violence." By contrast, it took Private Long's Commander-in-Chief three days to tell us that he was, quote, "saddened" at the soldier's murder.
Strange, huh? Now, you're not going to find too many people who are equally and impartially outraged by both these murders. I'd imagine most Radio Derb listeners feel as I do: that a guy whose job is to recruit capable young Americans into the nation's military service is living a better life, and performing a more valuable social function, than a guy who sucks the brains from out of newborn babies' skulls, even if he's doing it lawfully, as Tiller apparently was.
The President's supposed to be above that kind of partiality, though.
Still, let's make allowances. Perhaps Obama held off condemning Private Long's killer for fear of offending his hosts in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, whose preachers seem to have been such an inspiration to Carlos Ble … Oh, I beg his pardon: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad.
08 — Geert Wilders surging. One of the slowly-developing political phenomena of our age is the gradual rise of nationalist parties in Europe.
The standard-bearer here is Geert Wilders' Freedom Party in the Netherlands. In this week's voting for the European Parliament, the Freedom Party looks set to win four of the Netherlands' 25 seats, up from zero in the last parliament. Based on these results, Geert Wilders' party is now the second most popular in the Netherlands.
Yes, this is the same Geert Wilders that was banned from entering Britain back in February because of his strong views on Islam, expressed in the short movie Fitna that he produced. Wilders believes that far too many Muslims have been allowed to settle in his country, and that Turkey should not be admitted to the European Union.
Naturally all the politically correct multiculturalists of Europe are squealing with outrage, jumping up on chairs and clutching their skirts, but it seems that a great many Dutch people agree with Wilders.
Britain, too, has been having elections to the European Parliament this week, and there's a good chance for gains by Britain's own nationalist parties, the UKIP and the BNP — though widespread loathing for the horrible Gordon Brown and his appalling Labour Party may swamp the effect by driving people in hordes to the Conservative Party, which is just as multiculturalist as Labour.
Long-term, though, I think it will become ever more clear that Europeans have had enough of watching their cities taken over by foreigners who have no intention to assimilate, and who demand special rights for themselves, and who respond to criticism with threats and violence.
Geert Wilders is under 24-hour security protection, has to sleep in a different place every night, and only gets to see his wife once a week because of security concerns. That's the life of a dissident under multiculturalism, which Radio Derb hereby declares to be the stupidest idea humanity has yet come up with after ten thousand years of trying.
09 — Miscellany. Here's our closing miscellany of brief items.
Item: Pastor Ken Pagano of Louisville, Kentucky, a former United States Marine, wants his congregation to attend Sunday service on June 27th, that is the service before July Fourth, wearing their sidearms.
Responsible handgun owners, says the Reverend, should mark Independence Day by showing their support for our freedoms, in this case the Second Amendment. He'll have ushers at the church door to check that the handguns are unloaded and in secure holsters.
Well, if you can take a Bible to the shooting range, I don't see why you shouldn't take a gun to church.
Item: Sensation of the week here in New York State: Our Governor, David Paterson, vetoed a state bill to add another layer of 24 carat to the gold-plated benefit deals enjoyed by New York police and firefighters.
It's probably just a momentary aberration on the Governor's part. He's been a big squish on public-sector union demands. Our state is flat broke though, subsisting for a few months on temporary budget fixes and gimmicks. Nobody has any idea how we'll make it through next year without a California-style meltdown.
Make no mistake about who's melting, either: it's private enterprise and the private citizen. State workers are locked into generous benefit plans that have to be funded by law, whether New York and its taxpayers can afford them or not.
Did I mention we have an election for Governor next year? Perhaps somebody just alerted Paterson to the existence of the private sector.
Item: Reporters and bloggers have been digging around in the paper trail of this month's Quota Queen, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
Turns out that her now-famous 2001 assertion that a wise Latina woman would deliver better judgments than some boring white guy, was not just a one-off slip of the tongue. She's been pushing that line repeatedly for years, since at least 1994.
So much for the President's assertion that it was a, quote, "poor choice of words." It wasn't a poor choice of words, Mr President; it was a poor choice of Supreme Court nominee.
Item: Guess who's been chiming in on the General Motors bankruptcy? Yep, it's Michael Moore, the socialist crusader who made the movie Roger & Me twenty years ago. That was the movie where Moore tried to chase down Roger Smith, then-CEO of General Motors, to chastise him for downsizing and layoffs.
Well, what does the Leninist lard-butt have to say about the bankruptcy? A great opportunity! is what he says. Now the government has got its hands on GM's plants and resources, they can go ahead and take charge of the means of production, distribution, and exchange on behalf of the laboring masses. [Clip of the "Internationale".] They can build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices! Bullet trains and windmills! No more of that hideous, inhuman capitalist stuff about supply and demand.
What's a government for, if not to tell us what we want? And then give it to us … good and hard. And government bureaucrats are so good at industrial management. Ask any British auto worker.
Item: For your reading pleasure, there's a new book out this week titled Does God Hate Women?, written by two academics, one British and one American. (And the book may only be available in Britain right now.) The authors examine religious attitudes to women, with particular attention to Islam. They even discuss in detail the prophet Mohammed's marriage to nine-year-old Aisha.
This is tricky stuff. A few months ago the publisher who brought out a novel about that same marriage was the victim of an attempted fire-bombing. The Religion of Peace doesn't take kindly to criticism — you could also ask Geert Wilders.
Still, now that the Blessed Barack has shed the light of his countenance on the Muslim world, perhaps all that will change.
Item: In showbiz news,the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night were disrupted by comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen, a/k/a Borat.
In the persona of his latest movie character, gay Austrian fashion expert Bruno, Baron Cohen flew overhead across the auditorium on a wire wearing a dove outfit, chanting, "Ich bin Bruno. Ich bin der dove of peace." Then he suffered a wardrobe malfunction that bared his backside. Then he dropped onto rapper Eminem, seated in the audience after a spell of doing whatever it is that rappers do, up on stage.
Eminem was not pleased at finding his face in close conjunction with Bruno's glutes. He asked rhetorically, with a colorful adjective, whether Baron Cohen was serious. Then he and his people stormed out of the amphitheater.
I guess rappers don't need a sense of humor. But then, who needs rappers?
10 — Signoff. Now don't worry, listeners, I'm not going to sign off with more of Oum Kalsoum. I rather strongly suspect that with you, as with me, a little mid-20th century Egyptian pop music goes a long way. So here is a different musical genius, the great Fariq Yusuf al-Haydn with one of his Derbyshire Marches.
Tune in again next week for all the news you need to bother with from Radio Derb.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]