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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, this is your competitively genial host, John Derbyshire, with news from far and wide, all of it spun as best I am able to leave you feeling absolutely terrible. Enjoy!
Actually, before commencing this week I should deal with two points raised by readers. The first point is an erratum; the second, a quibble.
First the erratum. In last week's broadcast I told you that the pleasant little community of Breezy Point is at the eastern end of the Rockaway Peninsula. It is in fact at the western end. The fault here lies with my research assistant Candy. It was brought to my attention as I and my staff were enjoying some after-hours relaxation in the grotto, up in Jonah's suite on the 96th floor. Thus appraised, I can assure you I gave Candy a good tongue-lashing, leaving her moaning in dismay at her own shortcoming.
And then the quibble. A listener wrote in thus:
Dear Mr Derbyshire: I have noticed that when uttering the name of the Turkish Prime Minister, you are careful to give the proper phonetic value to the penultimate consonant, a weak velar fricative written as a "g" with an inverted circumflex over it. And yet you pointedly refuse to render Spanish words or names in anything but the most approximate English style: "Latino," for example, and "Nicaragua." How do you explain this discrepancy? Yours etc.
Well, Sir, the explanation is perfectly simple. I live in the U.S.A., speaking English, and do my best to show proper respect to other languages that cross my path. In return, I expect speakers of those languages to show proper respect to the fact that this is an English-speaking country and that speakers of other languages should not impose themselves on us unduly. That is the implicit contract, a contract of good manners between us, the English-speakers of America, and speakers of other languages.
Speakers of Spanish I am afraid do so impose themselves, and that breaks the contract. They impose themselves by making me press one for English on the telephone. They impose themselves by driving other languages, like German and Italian, out of our public-school curriculums. They impose themselves by shutting off job opportunities to U.S. citizens who can't speak Spanish. They impose themselves at election time by sticking up large notices in Spanish at my local polling station. They impose themselves in a host of other ways. The contract, so far as I am concerned, is broken, where Spanish is concerned.
The contract being thus broken, I feel free to stick it to the Nee-hah-rah-wah crowd at every opportunity. Everyone clear on that? Excellent. Let's proceed.
02 — GOP sixth debate. Another week, another GOP Presidential candidate debate.
This time there were nine of them on stage. I thought the idea was that as the campaigning progresses, candidates drop out, thinning the field. Actually the reverse seems to be happening. If things go on this way, by the time we get to the Iowa caucus in January, there'll be more Republican candidates in Iowa than hogs.
I confess I didn't pay close attention to this sixth debate. Six debates is a lot, and at this point you pretty much know what candidates are going to say. It doesn't help that all these candidates are smart, disciplined, and well briefed by their staffs. The imagination quails to think of the hundreds of hours they must have spend in rehearsal with their staffers. "OK, if they ask me this I respond with that. Then if they come back so, I deflect it thus …" on and on until it's second nature. It speaks well of the candidates that they're so smart, dogged, and industrious, but it makes for dull debates.
As I said, I didn't pay close attention. It was after dinner; I'd had a glass too many of wine; and I'd been working hard all day on a book review. My eyelids got heavy half an hour in, and by the one-hour mark I was snoring.
A family member woke me for the last half-hour, and, fired by guilt and shame, I paid attention. So I got about half of the event, one way or another.
What did I learn? Well, on the mental score-card we're all keeping, I marked Rick Perry down, for reasons I'll make clear in a moment. I marked Herman Cain and Rick Santorum up, noted Gary Johnson with interest and mostly approval, and held steady on the others.
Herman Cain especially I find I appreciate more the more I see him. That 9-9-9 business sounds gimmicky, but it's actually pretty sound, and a good way to get some business-friendly ideas lodged in the public consciousness. My big worry with Cain has always been, and still is, that with no political experience, he'll get buffaloed by the Washington bureaucrats and power-gamers. I dunno: he may just be smart and energetic enough to out-game them. I wouldn't say I'm quite ready to go for Cain as President, but as Vice President? Sure. He'd be an improvement on Joe Biden, no doubt about it.
Santorum I owe an apology to. Two weeks ago on Radio Derb I opined that, quote, "I've never heard Rick Santorum say anything that was both intelligent and interesting." An attentive friend chid me for that. Santorum, he pointed out — referring to a couple of debates ago — Santorum was the only candidate to talk about abolishing corporate taxes, which both my friend and I think a good idea.
In Thursday's debate Rick Santorum was on great form. Lobbed a question on labor unions, he put it right where it should be: on the public-sector unions that are draining our cities and states. Education? Down to the parents. Homosexual soldiers? The military is not the place for social experiments. I disagree with Santorum on keeping troops in Iraq, and I didn't care for his choice of Veep, but at least he was forthright and unapologetic. A good candidate, and I'm sorry I dissed him two weeks ago.
There'll be another debate in a few days, no doubt. I just hope the field doesn't get any bigger.
03 — Texas creates jobs … for Mexicans. Rick Perry came through as a total appeaser on illegal immigration in that debate. Responding to a question about having signed the Texas DREAM act, giving the lower in-state tuition rate to illegal immigrants attending state colleges, Perry extruded the following unsightly gob of salt-water taffy, quote:
If you say that we should not educate children who come into our state for no other reason than that they've been brought there through no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart. We need to be educating these children because they will become a drag on our society. I think that's what Texans wanted to do.
End quote. OK, let's deconstruct. In the first place, none of the other candidates had suggested that Texas, quote, "should not educate" illegal immigrant youngsters. What the other candidates object to is giving favors to illegals that are not available to Americans from out of state. Rick Santorum pointed this out, to thunderous applause.
As to "these children" will, quote, "become a drag on our society" if we don't push them to the head of the line for state college places: Well, if we deport them back to their home country, as we ought to, then they won't become a drag on our society, will they?
I can't get agitated about the idea that sending people back to their home country is somehow a wicked or inhumane thing to do. Going to live in another country is no big deal: I have done it several times. I actually find it quite stimulating. And since, as everybody knows, American society is racist and oppressive towards poor Latin Americans, why do they want to be here anyway? Wouldn't they be happier back home, among their own vibrant, un-prejudiced, non-racist people?
The discussions about immigration at Thursday's debate were anyway perfunctory. Legal immigration, which is adding close to a million people to the workforce every year, most of them chosen not for any particular ability but just because they are someone's brother or grandma, or because they've gamed one of the innumerable "refugee" scams (on which more shortly), legal immigration didn't get a mention. Not a word.
Nor did anyone bring up the report out of the Center for Immigration Studies this week: a careful numerical analysis of the much-advertised job growth in Texas, based on Census Bureau data. Guess what: most of those new jobs went to immigrants, legal and illegal in roughly equal proportions. The methodology of the study has come in for some criticism, but even the most critical commentary — you can find it on DallasNews.com, Thursday — allows that more than half of new jobs went to immigrants, with American citizens pretty much treading water.
The jobs being snapped up there are not just at the low end of the labor market, either. Quote from the CIS report, quote: "More than one out three … of newly arrived immigrants who took a job had at least some college."
We are back with the conclusion reached by George Borjas in Heaven's Door, Borjas's ground-breaking study of the economics of immigration published twelve years ago. Here's the conclusion: Immigration sure is good for immigrants, but it's a wash at best for the native population.
The CIS study in fact suggests that in today's conditions, immigration is an economic negative for the native-born. Money quote on that, longish quote:
Unemployment in the top-10 immigrant-receiving states in 2011 averaged 8.7 percent, compared to 8.1 percent in the other 40 states. Moreover, unemployment is 7.2 percent on average in the 10 states where the fewest immigrants arrived since 2007. These figures do not settle the debate over the economics of immigration. What they do show is that high immigration can go hand in hand with very negative labor market outcomes for the native-born. And conversely the native-born can do relatively well in areas of lower immigration.
End of longish quote.
Rick Perry seems like a capable guy and a skilled political operator. I reserve judgment on the numerous charges of crony capitalism he's been facing. I've got to say, though, that his cluelessness and appeals to the lowest, most Oprah-ish kinds of sentimentality on these immigration issues are really taking the shine off Perry's candidacy for this registered Republican.
04 — Capital punishment. Capital punishment was in the news this week. Three murderers were executed: Lawrence Russell Brewer at the state pen in Huntsville, Texas, Troy Davis at the Jackson facility in Georgia, and Derrick O'Neal Mason at Holman prison in Alabama.
Brewer was one of three men who murdered James Byrd in 1998, a crime that became politicized in the 2000 election for racial reasons. Byrd was black and the three men who murdered him were white. The crime was more cruel than the average: after beating Byrd, the three killers dragged him behind their truck for three miles till his head came off. Then they dragged him some more until everything else came off.
The killers had had no quarrel with Byrd: it was just something they felt like doing. Two of them were ex-cons who had joined white prison gangs for protection against the black gangs that are a feature of prison life. This got them tagged in the press as "racists," and I suppose that's fair enough; though it would be fairer still if black and Hispanic ex-cons who'd been in black and Hispanic prison gangs were likewise designated, which they almost never are.
The reason the Byrd killing got politicized was that liberal groups were trying to get the Texas legislature to pass a "hate crimes" law — one of those laws that increases the sentence on a crime if the crime victim belongs to a designated victim group: blacks, Muslims, homosexuals, and so on. Old straight white Christian guys need not apply.
"Hate crime" legislation is a terrible idea, and George W. Bush, running for President in 2000, was, to his great credit, opposed. He pointed out very reasonably that two of the three murderers of James Byrd had been sentenced to death, the third to life in prison, so it was hard to see how a "hate crime" law would improve on the justice done. (After Bush ascended to the Presidency, Rick Perry became Texas Governor and promptly signed the "hate crimes" bill. There's another strike against Perry. I tell you, the bloom is really coming off this Texas rose.)
Lawrence Russell Brewer is absurdly described in the news stories as a "white supremacist" as if he'd written scholarly tomes on the subject or founded a political party. In fact Brewer was an illiterate low-life who'd taken up his racial identity when in jail, for reasons of survival. He committed a horrible crime, though, and it's a disgrace that it took twelve years to give him what he deserved. Aged 44, Lawrence Russell Brewer died by lethal injection Wednesday evening. Of his co-defendants, one is still on death row, one is serving life.
Troy Davis, this week's second executee, was minding his own business, pistol-whipping a homeless man in the parking lot of a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia when an off-duty cop, Mark MacPhail, working as a security guard there, attempted to intervene. Davis shot MacPhail in the head. After MacPhail fell to the ground, Davis shot him again. That was in 1989, when Davis was 20.
There is some disputed evidence that MacPhail may in fact have been the second person Davis had shot that evening. There had been a road rage incident earlier, when one Michael Cooper was shot through the face — by Davis, said some witnesses. However, Cooper said in courtroom testimony during Davis's trial that, quote, "he don't know me well enough to shoot me."
In the twenty years since he was found guilty and sentenced to death, Troy Davis's case was scrutinized by every level of judicial appeal up the the U.S. Supreme Court — twice, in fact. None of the panels, boards, and courts who went over the case across those twenty years could come up with a majority fiinding of reasonable doubt. So the execution went ahead.
Race-wise, the Troy Davis case was a mirror image of the Lawrence Russell Brewer case: Davis was black, his victim white. In other respects the cases are dissimilar. Brewer committed an act of horrible cruelty; Davis's crime was probably impulsive. The racial element is plain in the case of Brewer, whose jail experiences had taught him to hate and fear blacks. Troy Davis, who likely shot a black man earlier in the evening, seems to have been an equal opportunity psychopath.
The Troy Davis case attained world-wide publicity, with movie stars, rap singers, sports celebrities, and even at one point the Pope, begging for Troy Davis to be shown clemency. For reasons which I shall leave you to figure out for yourselves, Lawrence Russell Brewer received no celebrity support at all. Many, many people claim to have minded Troy Davis's execution very much; practically nobody minded Lawrence Russell Brewer's.
The third execution this week, late Thursday, was of Derrick O'Neal Mason. Back in 1994, when he was 19, Mason held up a convenience store. The only person in the store was clerk Angela Cagle, age 25. Mason took her in a back room, told her to strip naked and lie on a table, then he assaulted her in some undetermined fashion before shooting her twice in the face. Mason is black, his victim was white, so this was only a routine local news story. Still it took 17 years to get justice for Angela Cagle.
For the record, Radio Derb's position on capital punishment is strong approval. The worst criminals should be killed by the state. It is a just and proper punishment. I don't rest much credence on the deterrence argument, since I don't think that reason plays much of a role in human affairs. I approve capital punishment because I think those of us who follow the law are entitled to some satisfaction against those who don't; and in the case of the very worst law-breakers, we are entitled to the ultimate satisfaction.
The criminal justice system is not just a cold machine for enforcement of laws: it is a moral drama, with us citizens as spectators; and the height of the drama, for the satisfaction and edification of all, is a killing. I'm glad we dispatched Lawrence Russell Brewer, Troy Davis, and Derrick O'Neal Mason. Damn good riddance to all three of them. I think it's scandalous that it took so long in each case: 12 years, 20 years, and 17 years, respectively. Furthermore and finally, I wish the good citizens of Texas, Georgia, and Alabama had enough respect for tradition to legislate that judicial killing be done the way it should be done: with a beam and a rope.
05 — Where is Muammar? Remember back, oh, thirty years or so, when Saturday Night Live had this running skit about the Spanish dictator Generalíssimo Francisco Franco? Franco actually died in November 1975, aged 82, in SNL's first season. He was a long time in the terminal ward, though. I guess nobody wanted to be the one to pull the plug. So on slow news days we'd hear on the TV news that "Generalíssimo Francisco Franco is still clinging to life …"
When the Generalíssimo finally handed in his lunch pail, Chevy Chase, doing the fake news segment on SNL, got up this running joke where he'd lead off by saying: "This breaking news just in: Generalíssimo Francisco Franco is still dead!"
Look, it was funny in 1975. Why am I spelling this out for you anyway? Isn't everything on YouTube nowadays? Yes it is. [Chevy Chase clip] That guy shouting was another running gag. As an aid for the hearing-impaired, Chase had Garrett Morris in a bubble over at one side shouting the news. You had to be there.
What brings all this to mind is Colonel Gaddafy. Just to remind you of the timeline here: Our pal Muammar was settled there in Tripoli, Libya's capital, with a retinue of Ukrainian nurses and specially-trained female bodyguards, well into his 42nd year in power as dictator of Libya, when all of a sudden in mid-February this year he was facing street protests.
Gaddafy responded in proper dictator style by having his army shoot at the demonstrators, but it didn't help. By late February we were reading news stories like this actual one from ABC News, quote: "Time Running Out for Cornered Gaddafy."
Well, like Generalíssimo Francisco Franco, the time on the Gaddafy regime has been running out mighty slowly. That, I repeat, was late February — seven months ago. In mid-March NATO got involved, though I still don't understand why. Even with the assist of NATO cruise missiles it still took the rebels five months to take Tripoli. Always remember Moshe Dayan's succinct formula for winning a war. Quote: "Fight Arabs."
Well, Gaddafy left the capital before it finally fell on August 26.
His present whereabouts are unknown. Thursday this week we got a wire service report that he'd been cornered and killed in Sirte, his home town. As we go to tape this is still unconfirmed, though.
So I'm going to emulate those old news broadcasts and tell you that the Gaddafy regime is still clinging to life somewhere in Libya. We just don't know where.
06 — Lampedusa riot. Libya aside, how's that Arab Spring thing going? Now that those countries have shucked off their rotten, corrupt dictatorships, their citizens are joyfully gathering to build democratic governments and thriving economies, right?
Not exactly. What their citizens are mostly trying to do is get to Europe. The flashpoint here is the little Italian island of Lampedusa, seventy miles off the coast of Tunisia. Fifty thousand North Africans have arrived in the place this year, most of them young men. Lampedusa's only four miles across and its base Italian population is less than five thousand, so the arrival of 50,000 Africans has been a colossal disruption.
Matters came to a head this week when residents of a holding center on the island, to protest at the prospect of being sent back to North Africa, tried to set fire to the place. There was an ugly riot, with Italian riot police beating the Africans with billy clubs and Italian residents of Lampedusa joining in, throwing rocks at the rioters.
I simply don't understand. Those North African countries are enjoying this wonderful Arab Spring, with the help of NATO and our own president Obama. Why are people so eager to get out? Don't they know their Wordsworth: "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive …" And they're trying to get out into south European countries — the very countries facing fiscal catastrophe as the Eurozone falls apart! Perhaps when that Euro-catastrophe strikes with full force we shall see the opposite phenomenon: desperate Italian and Greek boat people coming ashore as refugees in the thriving new democracies of Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt. Who knows?
The United Nations is clicking its tongue over the Lampedusa situation. Quote from the London Independent, quote: "The U.N. urged the Italian government yesterday to speed up the transfer of refugees from Lampedusa to more permanent centres," end quote. Oh yeah, that'll happen. The Italians are of all nations the one most hostile to immigration. Here's a survey from the Pew Center done in 2009, poll question, quote: "Do you agree or disagree that we should further control and restrict immigration?" In Italy, 83 percent agreed. (In Britain it was 78 percent, France 64.) That poll was done in 2009, mind. After watching the Lampedusa riot on their TV evening news, I'd imagine the Italians are even more hard-line this week.
Here's my guess as to what will happen: These refugees will end up in the U.S.A.
You may say that they are none of America's business. However, if the Arab Spring is our business, why aren't its fruits our business? If the Libyan rebellion against Gaddafy was our business, why aren't its refugees our business? Everything's America's business, don't you know that? The Somali Bantus weren't our business. Not one American in a hundred had even heard of them in 2003, when resettlement began. We've ended up with 15,000 of them in our towns and cities none the less.
In fact our refugee resettlement agencies, folk like Catholic Charities and Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services, are probably slavering at the prospect of tens of thousands of Libyan, Tunisian, and Egyptian clients. But hey, these are charities, right? Using the widow's mite to do good in the world? Actually no. Ann Corcoran over at Refugee Resettlement Watch has posted the IRS form 990 for Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services. Ninety-six percent of their funding comes from us, the taxpayers: $29.9 million out of $31 million. The executives of these "charities" pull down $200 and $300 thousand-dollar salaries.
Our national conversation about topics related to immigration and refugees is all conducted in the language of sentiment and nostalgia: like Rick Perry telling us that we'd be heartless to deny college tuition preferences to illegal aliens, or these bogus refugee charities flaunting their churchy credentials to tug at our heart-strings with stories of persecution and flight.
In fact, among the decision-makers, there is no sentiment at all: just vote-pandering and money-racketeering. Call me cynical, but please look at the evidence before you do so. The website Refugee Resettlement Watch is a good place to start.
07 — Li'l Squinty at the U.N. Did I mention the United Nations there? There've been fun and games at the old slab this week.
Let me preface this segment with my usual anti-U.N. rant. I loathe and detest the U.N. and all it stands for. You want news about the U.N.? I got news about the U.N.
Reuters, September 15, headline: Are U.N. "Peace Keepers" Raping Haitian Men? Protesters Demand That the U.N. Leave. Story, quote:
Demonstrators in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince demand the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers from the country.
End quote. That's about par for the course for a U.N. operation. The U.N. does no good in the world, and much harm. When it isn't doing harm, it's standing aside to let others do it, as in the Rwanda massacres of 1994.
This is an organization so rotten, so corrupt, and so malign, even Haitians want it out of their country. Haitians! Why Americans put up with it, totally beats my pair of jacks. I used to live down by U.N. headquarters in New York City, and believe me, all those sleek bureacrats from Ghana and Gabon, Papua and Peru, Monaco and Morocco, are living large. If you want to check them out, head down to my old neighborhood on midtown east side and look into the most expensive restaurants any evening of the week.
OK, end of general anti-U.N. rant. What's been going on this week in the filthy, stinking, rotten place?
Well, Li'l Squinty showed up on Thursday, having flown all the way from Teheran to give a speech to the General Assembly. The speech was a gem, and bears reading in full.
Squinty began with a survey of the state of the world and all its many injustices, past and present. He threw out a bunch of rhetorical questions. Sample, quote: "Who abducted forcefully tens of millions of people from their homes in Africa and other regions of the world during the dark period of slavery, making them a victim of their materialistic greed?" End quote.
Well, Squinty, that depends whether we're talking East Africa or West Africa. West Africa it would be the Europeans, Spain and Portugal in the lead. Brazil alone got about one-third of the slaves brought across the Atlantic before abolishing slavery in 1888.
In East Africa, on the other hand, the slave trade was a Muslim affair, and went on for much longer. Arab and Persian slave traders were shipping black Africans up the coast for thirteen hundred years — three times the duration of the Atlantic trade. Saudi Arabia didn't abolish slavery intil 1964. And if you're wondering why there aren't more African-looking faces around the Muslim world, that would be because male slaves were castrated after capture. Taking history as a whole, considering the comparative numbers involved, your modal trader of African slaves was a Muslim.
And while we're talking about slavery, let's not forget the Christian Europeans enslaved by North African Muslims raiding across the Mediterranean from the Middle Ages well into the 19th century — total numbers enslaved, one to one and a quarter million, according to Professor Robert Davis's 2003 book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters — well worth reading, Squinty, if you're interested in slavery.
Another rhetorical question from Li'l Squinty, quote: "Who triggered the first and second world wars, that left seventy millions killed and hundreds of millions injured or homeless?" End quote.
Well, let's take 'em in order. The First World War was triggered by the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, June 28th 1914. The assassin was Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb. Princip was, however, pinch-hitting for a co-conspirator who lost his nerve at the last minute. Name of that co-conspirator: Muhamed Mehmedbašic, a Bosnian Muslim.
World War Two was triggered by Adolf Hitler's invasion of Poland, September 1st 1939. So far as I know no Muslims were directly involved; so I'll just note in passing, Squinty, that Hitler's BFF in your neck of the woods was Muhammed Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem 1921-1948, whose most treasured possession, proudly displayed on his desk, was a photograph of himself taken with Hitler.
The strangest bit of Squinty's speech, though, was this, near the end. He's talking about a promising future for humanity. Long quote:
A future that will be built when humanity initiates to trend the path of the divine prophets and the righteous under the leadership of Imam al-Mahdi, the Ultimate Savior of mankind and the inheritor to all divine messengers and leaders and to the pure generation of our great Prophet.
End long quote.
You get that? Squinty's talking about the Hidden Imam, a/k/a the Twelfth Imam — the Shi'ite-Islam equivalent of the Jewish Messiah or the Christian Second Coming.
There is a real and knotty problem here. Here's the problem: Does Squinty really believe this Hidden Imam stuff? If he does, and he really believes we are living in the End Times, that could have a nontrivial effect on Iranian national policy.
If he doesn't, and the Hidden Imam talk is just the Iranian equivalent of Ceremonial Deism to keep the Shi'ite masses back home happy — like Barack Obama, a yuppie agnostic if ever I saw one, saying "God bless America" — in that case we can deal with Iran as a more-or-less rational nation.
I don't know enough about Iran, or Shi'ism, or Squinty, to say whether he's sincere or not. If he really believes that these are the End Times, though, and that the Hidden Imam just needs a little prompting to show up and inaugurate a thousand-year reign of peace and prosperity over a Jew-free world; well, that, it would seem to me, is very bad news.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Item: Another event at the U.N. this week: The Arabs of the West Bank of the Jordan and the Gaza Strip — two separate bits of territory ruled by two separate governments — asked the U.N. to give them a seat in the General Assembly. Mahmoud Abbas, the highly theoretical President of this two-part nation, has already made it clear that it will give no diplomatic recognition to its most significant neighbor, Israel, and will itself be Judenfrei so far as it can be. The best result here, which I hope for, would be for Israel to accept the Palestinian state then immediately declare war on it as a hostile nation, which it indisputably is. In a week or so the Arabs would have been driven back into Egypt and the Kingdom of Jordan, where they belong, and we could all stop bothering about them — and also stop paying for them, which we currently do at a rate of half a billion a year. It's time for these welfare queens to look to their Arab brothers and sisters to underwrite their EBT cards. Hey, I can dream.
Item: Evidence that Li'l Squinty may be right, that these are indeed the Last Days, comes from the pages of the New York Times. Headline: Marines Hit the Ground Running in Seeking Recruits at Gay Center. Yes, that's "Marines" as in United States Marine Corps; and that's "gay" as in "boys who like boys." Actually, as with same-sex marriage, the appeal mostly seems to be for girls who like girls. The leathernecks had set up a recruiting booth … Wait a minute … let's scrub all references to leather, shall we? The Marines had set up a recruiting booth at a community center for homosexuals in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Quote from the main article:
Master Sgt. Anthony Henry, a top Marine recruiting trainer for the southwestern United States … spent the first day of the end of 'don't ask, don't tell' at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in downtown Tulsa … in quiet conversation with a trickle of gay women who came in to ask about joining the Marines.
End quote. I'm not sure that "trickle" would be my personal choice of collective noun for ladies of that persuasion … a pod, perhaps? … or why not a pride? … Where was I? I forget. Anyway, I noticed in passing that when I put some suitable keywords into the Google search to find that story — which, should you want to read it, is in the September 20 New York Times — the Google ad feature offered me an item tagged "Gay Marine Dating — Find Local Gay Marines Near You," with a link to the website www.gaymilitarydating.com. Yes, these are the End Times. Choose your foxhole carefully, guys.
Item: We mean-spirited racial cynics have been extracting much dark pleasure from the case of the Cherokee Nation and its freedmen. The Cherokee Nation is not, of course, a nation. Its territory is part of the U.S.A., guarded by the U.S. armed forces, and served by various cabinet departments of the U.S. government. It is a tribe defined by common descent, which is to say a race; though that is of course the one thing you must never say. Federal legislation defines an Indian as someone who belongs to an Indian tribe, which in turn is defined to be a group that, quote, "is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians." Got that? Anyway, the Cherokee Nation used to include 3,000 descendants of black slaves freed during the Civil War. Then four years ago the Cherokee chiefs decided that the wealth — that is from their business interests, including of course casinos — was being spread around too widely, and they changed the rules so that only people with, actual quote from their ruling, "Cherokee blood," could enjoy the benefits of tribal citizenship. That started a nasty spat that ended earlier this month with the chiefs sending letters to all the freedmen telling them they were no longer Cherokee. Oh, but wait a minute: hearing of that, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development put a hold on $33 million dollars that we, the U.S. taxpayer, had promised the Cherokee Nation — a sort of foreign aid, I guess. The Cherokees sat down with the freedmen and smoked a pipe of peace. See — there really is no such thing as race, not when $33 million of welfare money is in the balance.
Item: A defunct space satellite the size of a bus will fall to earth somewhere this evening or tonight. The thing weighs 18,000 pounds and would cause serious damage if it landed in a populated area, which for all anyone knows it might. The NASA scientist in charge of not doing anything about this said, quote: "We know it is going to hit somewhere between 57 north and 57 south, which covers most of the inhabited world, unfortunately." End quote. Thanks a lot, pal. Now listeners, I want you all to get down on your knees and pray with me, according to your confession: Dear Lord, Maker of Heaven and Earth, mover of the stars and planets, please bring that sucker down on the U.N. building. Amen.
09 — Signoff. [Party noises] That's it, ladies and gents. We're through for the week here at Buckley Towers, and in fact I can hear the weekend party getting under way. I shall be heading up to the grotto with my assistants Candy and Brandy. Mandy is unfortunately indisposed owing to a slipped disc — a reminder, if one is needed, that unsuitable footwear and an automobile sunroof make an unhappy combination.
Right then. Ready girls? [Of course!] Off we go then. To see us out, in honor of Li'l Squinty and the Hidden Imam, here is some music relevant to the End Times. Over to you, Hank.
[Music clip: Hank Williams I'll Have a New Body]