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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. A sad, dark week in the Republic, Radio Derb listeners. I'm a little despondent from reading the news this week, so I have no humorous quips for you, no merry tales of my research assistants and their mischievous antics, no songs of cheer; only more evidence of the gathering gloom.
It gives me no joy to bring these things to your attention; but then, Cassandra wasn't thrilled with her job description either, but she said what she saw.
02 — Death of the West. "Democracy," said our second President, John Adams, "democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
"Liberalism," said James Burnham forty-five years ago, "is the ideology of Western suicide." Liberalism is, Burnham further said in that same book, "a philosophy of consolation [that] permits Western civilization to be reconciled to dissolution."
Six years later, Malcolm Muggeridge published a fine essay titled "The Great Liberal Death Wish."
In 2001 Pat Buchanan published a book titled The Death of the West, in which he said:
It may be that the time of the West has come, as it does for every civilization, that the Death of the West is ordained, and that there is no sense prescribing new drugs or recommending painful new treatments, for the patient is dying and nothing can be done.
Do you think these guys were kidding? If you do, here comes General George Casey, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, to disabuse you.
Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, General Casey extruded the following observations, quote:
The military benefits from diversity … Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse.
Mark well, citizen: This is not a professor of multicultural studies at some cow college talking. This is not some 14-year-old Troyskyite editorializing for the New York Times. This is not your kids' second grade teacher leading into a class lesson on Sacagawea. This is not some parasitic social worker or community organizer threatening a Wal-Mart boycott. This is the Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
A Muslim fanatic screaming "Allahu Akbar!" kills 13 people and maims 30 more, and General Casey is fretting that diversity might become a casualty.
No need to worry, General, no chance of that. Diversity is our supreme value, standing far above patriotism, national unity, common sense, assimilation, or preservation of our culture. Diversity is God, and whosoever speaks against this god will be cast into the place of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
None dares question diversity — certainly not the Army officers under your command who sat like sheep listening to Major Hasan rant about cutting off the heads of infidels and pouring boiling oil down their gullets.
Our Army has not lost its battle courage. Our soldiers will still advance under enemy fire, still patrol streets they know are loaded with IEDs, still throw themselves on a grenade to save a comrade's life. But question diversity? No way.
To die in battle is still honorable; to be cashiered for "racism" is a blot on your record for life. People will cross the street to avoid you. Speaking up against diversity is a far more serious military offense than cowardice under fire. Isn't that right, General? Of course it is.
Casualties we can take, but if we lose our diversity, we shall be less than the beasts. Or, to repeat General Casey's precise words: "As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse."
Any threat to diversity — I'm just repeating the words of our Army Chief of Staff yet again — any threat to diversity is more horrific than a mass killing. That's his opinion. General George William Casey Jr., Chief of Staff of the United States Army. It should be your opinion, too, if you know what's good for you.
Pull down the shades, put out the light, America. It's over.
03 — The Iron House. I'm going to give you a quote from a different writer, something of a favorite of mine, though not much known in the West.
This is the Chinese writer Lu Xun, who flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. He died in 1936. Like you and me, gentle listener, Lu had the misfortune to find himself living amid the collapsing wreckage of a corrupt, dying civilization, where politically well-connected playahs amassed stupendous wealth while the common people sank into poverty and impotence.
Sometimes called the Chinese Orwell, Lu was honest and clear-eyed, and kept despair at bay only with difficulty. He marveled at the way people were able to ignore the stink of rottenness all around them, and persist in dreams and illusions that contradicted every reality of their lives.
Well, here he is in 1922, trying to explain why he took up writing. It's a longish quote.
Imagine an iron house without windows, absolutely indestructible, with many people fast asleep inside who will soon die of suffocation. But you know since they will die in their sleep, they will not feel the pain of death. Now if you cry aloud to waken a few of the lighter sleepers, making those unfortunate few suffer the agony of irrevocable death, do you think you are doing them a good turn? But if a few awake, you can't say there is no hope of destroying the iron house.
So perhaps there's some reason, at least, to go on writing and talking. And then if, as I believe, we are going into a great darkness, we can still, at least, sing as we go.
In the days of public executions in England, the condemned man on the scaffold was greatly admired if he could sing a popular song, or make a comic speech, while the hangman was testing his knot. It was the same in China, according to Lu Xun. The hero of one of his stories is vexed because, about to be executed, he can't remember the words of the operatic aria he wanted to sing.
So come on, listeners, let's have a jolly sing-along as the air in the iron house gets staler and the light dimmer. It needs to be something that won't offend General Casey, of course. You don't want to tick off the Army, given that ten years from now they'll probably be running what's left of the country.
So, none of that imperialistic Halls of Montezuma stuff. Think how offensive that must be to our Mexican friends! Here I have just the thing. You all know the words. Come on, sing along now: [Kumbaya …]
04 — Obama at Fort Hood. Tuesday, the day before Veterans' Day, the President went down to Fort Hood to attend a memorial service for the 13 people killed by Muslim terrorist Nidal Hasan. He gave a speech of the kind that Presidents give at such occasions, one belonging to the genre known as "ceremonial Deism."
The speech was pretty good, of its kind, and I'd guess it gave some comfort to the relatives of the dead. It may, therefore, have been churlish of me to reflect, while reading the speech, on some of the contradictions behind the President's words.
I wish, for example, he had not said the following silly thing, quote:
It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy.
Tragedy, schmagedy: Tragedy, a wise man once said, is not a conflict between right and wrong, but a conflict between right and right. Nobody calls Jack the Ripper's crimes a "tragedy"; nobody thought Lizzie Borden was perpetrating a "tragedy" when she took an axe to her parents. Nobody thinks the Gulag or the Final Solution were tragedies.
Nor do I find Hasan's logic twisted or hard to comprehend. His loyalty was to Islam; he believed America to be making war on Islam; therefore his loyalty commanded him to kill Americans. Seems perfectly logical to me — a darn sight more logical than the Army continuing to promote him long after they knew what was in his head.
Then there was the President's appeal to justice in the afterlife, quote:
We know that the killer will be met with justice — in this world, and the next.
We don't actually know that, though many believe it. I wonder what single-digit percentage of elite leftists in Obama's circle actually believe in an afterlife? I'll confess to very considerable doubt myself; but then, I'm not the one talking about cosmic justice. The impression you get from Obama's autobiography is that he doesn't believe in anything much, and that his church-going was merely political.
Speaking of which, there were those fine patriotic phrases about "the values that we were founded upon" and "the core values that we are fighting for" — fine and appropriate words in themselves, certainly, but not easy to take from a guy who spent twenty years sitting in a pew listening to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright bellowing "God damn America!" Nor is it easy to believe that the younger Obama, pondering his career choices, ever dwelt for more than a nanosecond on the military as an option.
Well, perhaps I'm being too astringent here. We only have one President at a time. If the proprieties were observed and comfort was given, I'll swallow my doubts and thank President Obama for doing the right thing. As my Mum used to say when some aunt gave me a deeply unappealing birthday present: "It's the thought that counts." Thank you, Mr. President.
05 — Unemployment remedy. One index of our determination to destroy ourselves is our utter incapacity to apply the simplest, most obvious remedies to our problems, for fear of offending the gods of multiculturalism.
Major Hasan offers an obvious example. Here's another one: unemployment. The economy lost nearly 200 thousand jobs in October, so that 16 million Americans are now unemployed. That's an unemployment rate of 10.2 percent, the highest since 1983.
The other day I had the pleasure of hearing Charles Gasparino speak. This is the author of a terrific new book that came out last week, title Sellout, subtitle How Three Decades of Wall Street Greed and Government Mismanagement Destroyed the Global Financial System.
Charlie Gasparino is one of our best financial reporters, a genius at digging up the dirty little facts behind the big stories. Well, in his speech the other day Charlie offered the opinion that if unemployment goes over eleven percent, the big commercial banks will be in trouble with their consumer debt overhangs.
This is not Wall Street banks Charlie's talking about, these are Main Street banks. So this swelling unemployment isn't just pain, it's also danger — danger for the economy, for national stability, for the global trading system.
What does the administration plan to do about any of this? Well, just a few hours ago President Obama announced he will hold a jobs summit in December. The President said that the summit will, quote, "gather CEOs, small business owners, economists, financial experts and representatives from labor unions and nonprofit groups to talk about how we can work together to create jobs and get this economy moving again."
Well, isn't that nice. Note the presence of "nonprofit groups" in Obama's list there. Mustn't leave out the community organizers, must we? We know how potent they are at creating wealth.
Meanwhile, here is a modest suggestion to help the unemployed. Let's have a complete moratorium on all immigration until the unemployment rate goes below five percent. It's easy to do, just a quick Act of Congress. Why are we accepting new immigrants for settlement, not even to speak of turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants, when sixteen million Americans are out of work?
The Las Vegas Sun, November 2, reports that, quote
U.S. citizens are starting to show up in the early mornings outside home improvement stores and plant nurseries across the Las Vegas Valley, jostling with illegal immigrants for a shot at a few hours of work.
Excuse me for asking an impertinent question, but why should U.S. citizens have to jostle with foreign scofflaws for the chance of a day's work?
And Microsoft Corporation, I see, has just laid off 800 people. Would that be the same Microsoft Corporation that's been leading the campaign for more H-1B visas for foreign software engineers? Are those the people the company's laying off? Or do only U.S. citizens get laid off?
It took me sixteen years to get U.S. citizenship. If I now have to wait in line behind border-jumpers for a day's work, what's my citizenship worth?
06 — 9/11 memorial. Did I mention James Burnham just now? Well, Burnham spent his last years, and eventually died, in the little township of Kent, Connecticut. Perhaps inspired by that, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made his home there too. Well, here is a story from that same town.
Like other Connecticut townships, Kent is ruled by a Board of Selectmen … I'm sorry: I mean, of course, "Selectpersons." Well, the Kent Township Board of Selectpersons has been at odds with a Kent citizen named Peter Gadiel.
Mr Gadiel's son Jamie, just 23 years old at the time, was the only resident of Kent Township to be killed in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. His father, Mr. Gadiel Sr., has got the Board of Selectfolk to agree that a public memorial to Jamie is appropriate. A plaque on the front lawn of the town hall seems acceptable to everyone.
The disagreement has arisen over the wording of the plaque. Mr Gadiel wants the following form of words:
Guess which line is causing the trouble? First Selectmarm Ruth Epstein has sniffed that she wants a, quote, "tasteful" memorial, not one with the words "murdered by Muslim extremists."
What would First Selectmistress Epstein consider tasteful? Something in pastels, perhaps? We could call Martha Stewart in as a consultant.
The First Selectprincess further opined that, quote:
Language is extremely important, and words can either heal or hurt people. We just didn't feel that this proposed wording reflected the diverse, welcoming town that Kent has come to be.
Aaaah, we knew diversity was in there somewhere, didn't we? Looks like the business about tastefulness is just a cover. It's not Martha Stewart they've hired in as a consultant, it's General Casey!
Mr Gadiel, meanwhile, is sticking to his guns. Quote from him:
People need to know the truth about the people who murdered my son and 3,000 other people.
The townspeople of Kent seem to be divided between the Caseyite diversity-über-alles faction and those who favor frankness. Following fall elections, Her Tastefulness Ruth Epstein steps down December First to make way for a new First Selectperson, Bruce Adams.
Will this break the impasse? Not likely. Mr Adams turns out to be no more sympathetic to the phrase "murdered by Muslim extremists" than Ms Epstein is. Quote from First Selectweenie-elect Adams, on Mr Gadiel's choice of wording, quote:
It's the use of a word that picks on a group of people for the deeds of some.
The implication here is that the Great Unwashed proletariat of Kent — where, I see on the Coldwell Banker website, average list price for a single family residential property is 915 thousand dollars — the ignorant laboring masses of Kent will, upon seeing those dreadful words on Mr Gadiel's memorial, grab themselves some pitchforks and hemp neckties and form a posse to string up some Muslims.
You know what Americans are like: Just whisper one tasteless word to them, and they're rushing off home for their robes and hoods. So, at least, seems to be the belief of First Selectcreep Epstein and First Selectwuss-elect Adams.
Not to mention General Casey, President Obama, Eric Holder, all the broadsheet newspaper editorialists, CNN, MSNBC, all the Ivy League university presidents, all the Hollywood opinionators, all the Congresscritters, every school principal and corporate Human Resources manager, …
07 — Healthcare victory. On November 7, the 92nd anniversary of the Bolshevik coup in St Petersburg, a giggling Nancy Pelosi joyfully announced the passage of the House healthcare bill, all nineteen hundred pages and 1.2 trillion dollars of it.
Given that the House is as Democrat as it could possibly be, having been elected in the middle of last fall's government financial debacle, and given all the arm-twisting the President conducted leading up to the vote, the roll call was closer than it should have been, a five-vote margin in a chamber with an 81-vote Democrat advantage.
Thirty-nine Democrats voted against their party; Only one Republican voted against his.
Now the buck passes to the Senate, only one-third of which was elected in last year's slough of Republican despond. Harry Reid's talking a brave game, but he's got his work cut out. He needs 60 votes to stop a Republican filibuster. Has he got them? Well, he's got 58 Democrats and 2 Democrat-leaning independents.
At least four of the Democrats are shaky, though: Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, and Evan Bayh of Indiana. So's one of the independents: Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.
Shaky Republicans are harder to find, though Susan Collins of Maine might be peeled off, given enough concessions in the Senate bill.
We'll get a clearer view of Harry's prospects in the next few days, as the vote to bring the bill to the Senate floor is taken. Then will come weeks of horse-trading before the vote on the bill itself. A week is a long time in politics, said a British Prime Minister. This is going to be a long few weeks for healthcare legislation.
The smart money among Congress-watchers seems to be on the President getting some kind of bill through, but the precise shape of the thing is up for grabs.
Good luck to everyone fighting against this thing, frustration to Harry Reid and his knavish tricks, onward and upward to the mid-terms!
08 — We Are Doomed: immigration. Here's the sixth in Radio Derb's series of extracts from the greatest conservative book of the decade, if not the century: We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessism.
This week's reading is from Chapter 10, whose topic is immigration. Are you sitting comfortably? Here we go.
The whole topic … is soaked with moralizing and sentimentality. Immigration advocates have their eyes fixed firmly on the past — Ellis Island, Famine Ships. Yet population policy is really all about the future — not about indignities suffered by our grand-parents, but about the kind of nation our grand-children will live in. Conservatives should be the realists here, the number-crunchers and green-eyeshade talliers of debits and credits, of assimilations and absimilations, making the most pessimistic assumptions when the projections are unclear.
09 — Miscellany. Here's our miscellany of short items.
Item: John Allen Muhammed, one of the D.C. snipers who terrorized the capital region seven years ago, was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday at a Virginia prison.
His motive for the killings remains unknown. It certainly can't be connected in any way whatsoever with his having changed his last name from Williams to Muhammed. Also unknown, to me at any rate, is why it took seven years to get from Muhammed's arrest to his execution, when his guilt was perfectly obvious.
Muhammed's companion, Lee Boyd Malvo, is doing life without parole, and lets hope that doesn't mean "life until some ingenious lawyer gets him out on a technicality."
Item: Saturday was, as I noted, the anniversary of the Bolshevik coup in Russia, at least on the Gregorian calendar that we use.
Two days later came the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The two events being commemorated, the revolution and the counter-revolution, were 72 years apart — a lifetime. For millions of people on the other side of that wall, it had been a very miserable lifetime.
For those of us watching from a distance, communism was a strange business — a weird blend of classical oriental despotism and early 20th century heroic materialism, with a lot of crackpot stuff about dialectic and laws of history. None of it ever worked very well, and it all collapsed at last in a cloud of dust.
Socialism is a vampire that won't stay dead, though. The dream of human and social perfection, of a kingdom of heaven on earth, has been around since the millennarian sects of the Middle Ages. That dream didn't die with the U.S.S.R. any more than it did with the French Revolution or the Taiping.
Keep eternal vigilance, and a sharp stake ready to drive through the creature's heart.
Item: Freshmen at the City University of New York were tested for their math knowledge. Ninety percent of them were unable to solve a simple algebra problem with one unknown. Asked to convert a fraction into a decimal, only one-third — that's point three recurring — could manage the task.
To New Yorkers who've been reading in their newspapers about how math scores among city high school students have been soaring upwards, this must all have been a bit of a surprise. Those of us who understand that the whole business of school performance scoring is a political racket, were much less surprised. About one-tenth as surprised … or zero point one.
Blogger Dennis Mangan's comment on this story can't be improved upon, quote:
Of the 90 percent who can't do basic algebra, probably 90 percent of them don't belong in college. However, the powers that be want college enrollment to increase — I mean, hey, we've got to be prepared for all those high tech jobs that barely exist anymore — and if these kids can't do algebra, then we'll just have to increase the numbers of H-1B visas.
Item: Lou Dobbs quit his position at CNN this week, leaving a big gap in the major-media coverage of the illegal immigration lunacy.
Dobbs says he wants to do other things, and I know of no reason to doubt that's his motivation; though the rumor mill says that his giving air time to the Birthers was an issue for his bosses. Whatever; the leftist lobbies shilling for illegal immigration are boasting and jeering that they helped drive Dobbs out from CNN.
The Southern Poverty Law Center racket crowed that, quote: "we exposed his wildly inaccurate reporting about immigrants …" Note the word "immigrants" there — no mention of illegality. Hey, pal, I am an immigrant, and a huge fan of Lou Dobbs.
And here's something called the William C. Velásquez Institute, a Latino race-hustling outfit, quote: "Dobbs' resignation heralds the beginning of the end of the current era of anti-immigrant policies, practices, and laws."
I guess "anti-immigrant laws" are any laws governing immigration. Like, every decent person knows that there should be no laws whatsoever governing immigration.
Lou, I want to thank you for all you've done to keep this issue in the news, and I hope you'll keep up the good work wherever you find youself next.
Item: President Obama held his 247th meeting to discuss General McChrystal's request for 40 thousand more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. Meanwhile the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, who was formerly a military commander in Afghanistan, wrote to the President urging him not to send more troops until our puppet government in the country shows interest in some other activity than shoveling U.S. taxpayer dollars into Swiss bank accounts.
General McChrystal was said to be furious about the ambassador's letter. There is, you might say, a diversity of views here — which should please General Casey, at least.
Item: I'm sorry I didn't get to the Honduras news last week. I know Radio Derb listeners keenly follow the epoch-making events in that vitally important nation, so here are the latest developments to bring you up to date.
OK, here we go … [Dog bark] … Hey, who let Toby in here? Hi pooch. [Bark.] No, no, don't jump up on the desk, please. [Bark.] Whoa … don't take that — that's my news transcript. [Barking.] Toby! … Darn it, the stupid dog's eaten my transcript.
Oh well; I'll put another Honduras story together for youse next week. Sorry about that.
10 — Signoff. There you have it, listeners. Twilight in the American empire. But let's look on the bright side: we have our toys, our cell phones, our twitters, and our flat-screen TVs.
And we still have our ideological purity. When that great glowing mushroom cloud rises over some American city to cries of "Allahu Akbar!" from the bombers, we shall be able to reflect that however many casualties there are — ten million, twenty million — at least diversity was not among them.
Yes, they can murder our soldiers, fly planes into our buildings, terrorize our capital with sniper shootings, but they can never call us racist! Reflect on that, citizens, and glow with pride … while waiting for the day when you'll be glowing with something different.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]