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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. [Party sounds.] Er, I think we'd better keep the door closed there, guys … thanks.
Yes, listeners, it's party time here at Buckley Towers. The Chateau Latour Pauillac is flowing freely; every conservative's favorite rock band, Slocombe P. Warbucks IIIrd and his Supply Siders, are setting up on stage; and we've locked away the copy machine where Jonah can't find it.
I'll be joining the party fun shortly, but duty before pleasure. I know the nation won't go into the New Year in peace of mind without a final year-end update from Radio Derb, so here we go.
02 — Senate to pass healthcare bill. Looks like we'll be getting a healthcare bill out of the Senate. Harry Reid got the senators he wanted on board, basically by bribing the borderline senators with boxcar-loads of your money and mine.
Message coming out from the healthcare sausage factory: Sell your house ASAP and move to a state that has a pesky senator, one who's willing to hold out on his party leader till he gets a billion-dollar check for his state from Uncle Sam.
Some other messages coded into this new legislation:
Message 2, for anyone settled in this country illegally: Party on! The citizens of the U.S.A., through their elected representatives, are only too happy to provide you with all the healthcare you need. And if your cousin over in Trashcanistan needs kidney dialysis, get him a plane ticket to Mexico City and a bus ticket to Tijuana. Once he's in the U.S.A, we'll take care of him. We are a hospital to the world!
Message 3, for trial lawyers: Same message — party on, dudes. There's not a whisper of tort reform in this bill. Non-tort-lawyers should listen up too: if you think your drinking problem was caused by that hemorrhoid operation you had last year, get lawyered up.
Message 4, for anyone with dollar savings: Get rid of them. There is no way these vast new entitlements can be paid for without putting the U.S. Treasury printing presses into overdrive. Since no sane person will buy our bonds, bills, or notes once this thing is passed, that means we'll just have to peg our own greenback to the Zimbabwe dollar.
Yes, folks, those wonder-workers in the U.S. Congress have finally figured out a way to bring the country to its knees.
03 — Obama: fiscal conservative. See if you can guess who said the following words this week. Quote:
In the long run we can't continue to spend as if deficits don't have consequences, as if waste doesn't matter, as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like monopoly money, that's what we've seen time and time again … Washington has put off hard choices spending bill after spending bill, budget after budget.
End quote. OK, who said it? Grover Norquist? National Review? Ron Paul? Nope, that was Barack Obama. [Laughter.]
Does this guy have a line of patter, or what? Did we ever have a President so adept at talking out of both sides of his mouth? Did you ever know a guy so agile at ducking out from the Temperance meeting to take a quick swig of Jack Daniels in the men's room?
Oh, but the administration's going to stop all this extravagant spending real soon now. It's just for the duration of the present emergency, you see.
Far-left radicals like Barack Obama aren't actually keen on big government spend-a-thons. Why on earth would you think that? Our President is a fiscal conservative! And I am Marie of Romania.
04 — We are the scum of the universe. Twelve months ago, when NRO asked me for my predictions for 2009, one of them was, quote: "Dark matter will be observed under laboratory conditions."
I may just squeak in under the wire with that one. Physicists at the Fermi Lab near Chicago are pretty sure they have found traces of the elusive stuff, using detectors deep in an abandoned iron-ore mine in northern Minnesota. It's not official yet, but we're still in 2009!
Dark matter, for listeners not up to date on this stuff, is a hypothetical material that's never been directly observed, but has been theorized to account for otherwise-unaccountable motions of galaxies.
It's thought to make up around 25 percent of the universe. An even weirder, also unobserved, stuff called dark energy makes up 70 percent. The other five percent, a sort of surface residue or pollutant, is the regular matter and energy that we are made from.
Yes, folks, we are literally the scum of the universe. Funny place, the universe.
05 — Kwanzaa fading. Here's a report from the Associated Press on Kwanzaa.
You know Kwanzaa. That's the Christmas-time holiday invented out of whole cloth in 1966 by black separatist Ron Karenga. Well, the news is that celebration of Kwanzaa has leveled off.
Keith Mayes, who's written a book about Kwanzaa, estimates that from half a million to two million people in the U.S.A. celebrate the holiday. Given that there are around 40 million self-identifying African Americans, that's somewhere from one percent to five percent.
My guess would be that Kwanzaa was killed by kindness. Nonblack American multiculuralists embraced it. My own kids, attending public schools in a mostly-white suburb, were taught to sing Kwanzaa songs for their school Christmas shows. George W. Bush sent out a written Kwanzaa message every year, as did Bill Clinton.
A gesture of separatism that gets taken up by the mainstream culture like that, has lost its point. In any case, it's hard to start up a new holiday. People are too conservative about these things.
My own people, the Germanic-speaking north Europeans, still worship a magic tree at this time of year, with special lights burning and a special log in the hearth — just like our ancestors did three thousand years ago … though we generally remember to stick a star or an angel on the tree in deference to this new-fangled Christianity that's come up since.
There's nothing more conservative than Christmas, and long may that remain true. Far be it from me to begrudge anyone his Kwanzaa bush. If that's your thing, I wish you joy of it … but if there are still any Kwanzaa bushes around in another 43 years, I'll be highly surprised.
06 — China stiffs U.S.A. on climate change. Americans were relieved on Friday last when our President, Barack Obama, was finally granted an audience with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.
I am sure you will all join Radio Derb in expressing heartfelt thanks to Prime Minister Wen for finding the time to listen to our President. It was supremely gracious of him, in the fine tradition of Chinese courtesy and hospitality.
Obama was heard calling out to a room where the Chinese leader was holding court: "Mr. Premier, are you ready to see me? Are you ready?"
Once he had dealt with more important business, Prime Minister Wen was indeed ready. Some of us had been a bit worried that the President might have to do a full kowtow, knocking his head on the floor nine times, as was demanded of Lord Macartney by the Qianlong Emperor in 1793, but the Chinese did not insist on this. They let it be known that a formal bow would suffice, and the President of course complied.
There were limits to the Chinese courtesies, though. Chinese media were allowed in to the audience, but American media were not. That's how people treat you when they hold 800 billion dollars worth of your debt.
The result of the audience was … no result. Basically, China stiffed the President. He had wanted an agreement with, quote, "transparent verification" that China was abiding by emission-level standards. There was never any way the ChiComs would agree to that. They do not regard transparency as a high value. Indeed, they regard the idea of transparency with abject terror. Open inspections and verifiable reporting would expose just how little control the Peking mandarins have over their nation's economy.
Wen Jiabao's China, like the Qianlong Emperor's, has grave structural problems they would much rather not let the world know about. China's arrogance and self-righteous blustering mask deep insecurities, just as much as Obama's clueless fumbling and searching for meaningless "compromises" do.
So which one is the paper tiger here, China or the U.S.A.? That's more than I can figure.
We live in an uncertain world, listeners. Buy more bullion, and bury it deep in your back yard.
07 — We Are Doomed: introduction. Another extract from that tremendous bestseller We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism, which I am pleased to see was featured in the Lexington column of The Economist magazine this week.
This reading is from Chapter One, in which I state my main theme, which is of course that we are doomed. As of course we are. What's that you say? This is not an appropriate reading for the Christmas season? Bah, humbug.
Back in the late 1960s, when the sectarian problems of Northern Ireland were heating up, the British Home Secretary (roughly equivalent to a U.S. Attorney General) went over to the province to pour oil on the troubled waters.
08 — Miscellany. This week's miscellany of brief items is brief indeed. I am in fact going to concatenate the items into a single paragraph. Here we go.
A dog in White Plains, New York, has contracted the swine flu, the first canine victim of the pandemic. Uganda has passed a law giving 14 years' imprisonment for homosexual acts, and the death penalty for something called "aggravated homosexuality," the precise meaning of which I'd rather not know. Mexico City has gone the other way, legalizing homosexual marriage. Ah, diversity! A police detective in Washington DC walked into a snowball fight and took a snowball in the head. He pulled out his service sidearm and challenged the snowballers to throw another one. None of them did. Stalin's grandson, Eugene Dzhugashvili, is suing a Moscow radio station after the station host called Stalin a mass murderer. Perhaps Vladimir Putin's Attorney General will file an amicus brief on Mr. Dzugashvili's behalf, I don't know. And in southwest China, a man has been jailed for 12 years for eating a tiger — one of those man-eats-tiger stories that journalists love.
09 — Signoff. Well, there you are, listeners. A truncated Radio Derb this week, since it's a truncated week, and the party's already in full swing.
Oh, I forgot to mention: Ahmed, our new diversity hire, is back from attending to his family business in Pakistan. We're glad he can join us for the holiday season. What's that you've got there, Ahmed?
[Ahmed: "I'm making a list, checking it twice."]
That's great, Ahmed. Good to see you getting into the holiday spirit. Mind if I take a look? … Yep, it's a list all right: Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, New York Stock Exchange, Brooklyn Bridge, … Wow, you have a lot of gift deliveries to make there, Ahmed! All right, say Merry Christmas to the folks, Ahmed — I mean, of course, Merry Eid.
[Ahmed: "Death to infidel dogs and whores!"]
Ha ha ha ha! He's a rip, that Ahmed! What a comedian! We have so much fun here with him.
OK, here's Pépé — say Feliz Navidad to the listeners, Pépé.
[Pépé babbling in Spanish.] Right, thanks … that's great … thank you, Pépé. Now where are the girls? [Party noises.] Here they come: My accomplished research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy. What's going on out there, girls? [Girls: "Dance party!"]
OK, listeners, gotta go. A Merry Christmas to one and all, and a prosperous and healthy New Year! You'd sure better hope it's healthy: It'll be tough finding a doctor to treat you at Obamacare rates …
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]