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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! This is your peripatetically genial host John Derbyshire with a selection from the week's news.
I'll assume that over there on stateside you good folk have all thrown away the last remnants of the Thansgiving turkey dinner. If you forgot to do so, let me advise you that they have by now developed a nice fuzzy bloom that glows in the dark, and you really should attend to them.
With Thanksgiving out of the way, we are all looking forward to Christmas. This will be my first Christmas in island exile out here in the wine-dark Aegean. I shall strive to make it as much as possible like a Christmas at home, for the sake of my loyal assistants who have accompanied me here. They did, after all, forsake the delights of New York City for a much quieter lifestyle out here: the beach, the ouzo parlor, everlasting warm sunshine, and occasional parties on Taki's yacht.
Yes, I must show my appreciation for their sacrifice. Let's see: I shall need a Santa costume, a tree, some decorative lights … Memo to self: Check with Nikki Nicolaides about borrowing a couple of goats to dress up as reindeer …
02 — Towards the cliff edge. One week closer to the fiscal cliff, folks. So far as resolving the issue is concerned, we are pretty much where we were a week ago. The President is negotiating the politics of it with Congress; actually just with John Boehner [Johnny Ray, "Cry"], chief RINO in the House of Representatives.
The negotiations are behind closed doors, so we don't know where they have gotten to. The latest public positions taken have been: Obama — $1.6 trillion more in taxes so that the Feds can, actual quote, "invest in training, education, science, and research." End quote. Not a word from Obama about spending cuts. Boehner: Yes, maybe, could be on some tax increases, but no details until there's some commitment from the administration on spending cuts.
Radio Derb's position here is the simplest, most basic conservatism. The slogan is: Starve the Beast! Governments will find a way to spend anything you give them. As soon as they've gotten some revenue concession out of us, it immediately becomes essential spending, without which the nation could not function, notwithstanding that the nation functioned without it for two hundred and thirty-odd prior years. The problem is spending, the problem is spending. Starve the beast!
Total federal spending for fiscal 2012, the year that ended on September 30, was $3.6 trillion for a population of 315 million, i.e. $11,400 per head. In the year I first came to this country, 1973, the figure was $245,700,000,000, which would be 1.3 trillion in 2012 dollars — allowing for general inflation, that is. The 1973 population was 210 million, so the Feds spent six thousand two hundred 2012 dollars per head back then.
Got that? In constant dollars: 1973 — 6,200 per capita; 2012 — 11,400. So working in constant current dollars, if the Feds today were spending what they spent in 1973, they'd be spending 46 percent less on each one of us — almost half less. In constant current dollars, they'd be spending $5,200 less than they actually, in point of fact, are spending.
The only possible conclusion one can draw from that is that the U.S.A. in 1973 must have been a harsh, bleak place, with nearly half of federal needs unmet. That's assuming that all federal spending today is necessary, which of course is what the Feds do assume.
What on earth could it have been like, this hell-hole of constrained, niggardly Federal spending in 1973? The imagination reels. Streets lined with beggars! Little kiddies going barefoot to school! The schools themselves decrepit, with leaking roofs and potholes in the playgrounds! Old folk frozen to death in their apartments for want of fuel! The air choked with smog and the rivers running purple with pollutants! Scientific research stalled for want of government assistance! Soldiers, sailors, and airmen selling their dress uniforms on street corners in order to feed their families! Postal Service trucks held together with string and duct tape! Interstate highways roped off for fear of collapse! Federal parks shut down for want of staff!
And yet, strange to say, I remember the United States of 1973 as a happy and exciting place, awash in prosperity. The ordinary working-class citizens I lived among were well-fed and well-clothed, drove nice cars, took vacations in sunny places, and sent their kids to college without great sacrifice. Public facilities, including federal ones, were clean and well-managed. America led the world in science and technology. If I'd arrived a few months earlier I could have seen Americans walking on the Moon, and driving buggies there, too.
Basic, basic conservatism. The problem is spending, the problem is spending. Starve the beast! Starve the beast!
That is, of course, wishful thinking on my part. What will actually happen will be that Republicans, after hunting around in vain to find a conservative bone in John Boehner's body, will agree to tax increases in return for some vaguely-worded declarations that maybe, at some indefinite future time, if conditions permit, there might possibly be one or two modest spending cuts — a million here, a million there — unless the administration decides that wouldn't be prudent, or there's some kind of national emergency, or it rains in D.C. three days in a row.
That's my prediction. You can take it to the bank, along with the depreciating dollars in your paycheck, assuming you have a job.
03 — Rice, Paddy? Secretary of State is nowadays, it seems, an affirmative action hire. The current Secretary is a lady, Hillary Clinton, who as we all know struggled from original obscurity to the top of the political pile by sheer dogged will power and manifest ability, in the teeth of bitter opposition from the entrenched male patriarchy, and without the benefit of any political connections.
Before Hillary we had Condoleezza Rice, a twofer — female and black. Ms. Rice was preceded by Colin Powell, a black guy. Before him, the post was occupied by Madeleine Albright, a white lady. That takes us back to January 1997, nearly sixteen years ago, since we last had a white guy in charge of our foreign affairs.
Mrs. Clinton … Do I still have to say "Rodham Clinton"? No? … Whaddya mean, "That is SO-O-O 1990s"? I'm a conservative, darn it … Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, Mrs. Clinton. Well, she's made it known publicly that she doesn't want to be Secretary of State any more. She wants to lean back contentedly on the colossal piles of money she and her husband have made by speaking up for the little people and advancing the cause of income redistribution.
So who's in line to be next Secretary of State? Given that the post has been an affirmative action hire for sixteen years, and given that the Left always operates on the Brezhnev Principle — "What we have, we hold" — the smart money has to be on a candidate who is black, Hispanic, female, homosexual, or at a pinch maybe disabled, Asian, deaf mute, or albino.
Barack Obama's choice seems to be Susan Rice, our current ambassador to the U.N., which believe it or not is an actual job with an actual taxpayer-funded salary. Don't blame me, it wasn't my idea. Ms. Rice is another twofer, though unrelated to the previous Ms. Rice.
Here is what Radio Derb said about her back in October, in a segment titled "The three horsegirls of the Libyan apocalypse," the other two being Samantha Power, who runs the Human Rights section of the National Security Council, and the aforementioned Hillary Clinton:
[Clip: "A scion of Washington, D.C.'s mulatto high bourgeoisie, Ms. Rice is another zealot for humanitarian intervention in other people's affairs. She joined with Samantha Power to press the Obama administration to get involved in Libya against Gaddafy, with whom we had cut a very satisfactory deal, and who was on our side against the jihadist fanatics.
Well, having thrown her support behind the Libyan jihadists, Ms. Rice was somewhat discomfited when her protegées demonstrated their gratitude by up and murdering our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans back in September. Ms. Rice went on nationwide TV that week to assure the American public that the murders arose from spontaneous indignation at a privately-produced video clip mocking Islam, that had been up on YouTube for months.
There was a widespread opinion at the time that this was false; that the attacks on our people on September 11th were planned and coordinated with that day in mind. We now know that this was the opinion of our intelligence apparatus at the time, and that they said so in a report passed up the chain of command. A senior intelligence bureaucrat, James Clapper, has said that someone in his office doctored that report before passing it to Ms. Rice prior to her TV appearances.
That softened the heart of Senator John McCain, who had previously opposed the possible nomination of Ms. Rice, and who is a power in the Senate, which has to confirm the President's appointment. If it wasn't her fault, if she was just fed wrong information by the intel bureaucrats, said McCain, he'd give her the benefit of the doubt.
McCain is probably also buckling because of Ms. Rice's race. Recall that two weeks ago a letter signed by 97 House Republicans went to President Obama urging him not to nominate Ms. Rice because she, quote, "is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter."
The ink was hardly dry on that letter before a host of leftists and race hustlers were telling us that the word "incompetent" is code — a "dog whistle," in the current silly cliché — aimed at "racists," which is to say Klansmen just waiting for the dog whistle signal to don their hoods and emerge from the undergrowth armed with pick handles, rope neckties, and cans of gasoline.
Thus Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, on CNN, quote:
You know, these are code words. We heard them during the campaign, during this recent campaign we heard Sen. Sununu calling our president lazy, incompetent, these kinds of terms that those of us, especially those of us who were grown and raised in the South, we would hear these little words and phrases all of our lives and we'd get insulted by them.
End quote. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, incoming chairvictim of the Congressional Black Caucus, doubled up on the charges, saying she believed that criticism of Ms. Rice was, quote, "clear … sexism and racism."
This stuff is so threadbare and puerile by now, it's amazing it has any effect at all. It still works, though on some of John McCain's generation, who are stuffed up to the hairline with white guilt. Recall how McCain banned any mention of Barack Obama's sleazy connections and loony preacher buddy during the '08 campaign.
The leftist bullies know this: they can smell white guilt the way dogs can smell fear. Now they've got McCain whimpering and crawling, and soon enough Senate Republicans will fall in line behind him, and Susan Rice will be our next Secretary of State. And if you have a problem with that, you're a racist.
04 — Sexiest dictator alive. The last time we commented on Kim Jong Un, the dynamic young leader of North Korea, he had just ordered a senior government official to be executed by mortar fire for failing strictly to observe the mourning period for Kim's Dad, Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.
Now Kim Jong Un is in the news again. A Western media outlet named him "Sexiest Man Alive for 2012," Quote:
With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true. Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper's editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile.
End quote. This was picked up by communist China's main party newspaper, the People's Daily, and blown up into a lavish report on the excellence and sexiness of their North Korean ally, with 55 pages — count 'em, 55 — of photographs showing young Kim in various poses.
Unfortunately the Western media outlet that had given Kim its award was The Onion, whose content is entirely satirical.
You don't have to be a fan of the ChiComs to feel a twinge of sympathy for the editors at People's Daily, who have now been reassigned to construction projects in the high Himalayas. It's a well-known fact among us ink-stained wretches who write for the public prints that some large proportion of the public is impenetrably immune to satire. They take everything you write in dead earnest.
A friend of mine used to write for the Weekly Standard, which runs a satire page in every issue. (Or used to — it's been a few years since I read the Standard.) My pal told me that when they started doing it they'd get floods of incredulous letters from readers who had taken the mock story seriously. Eventually the Standard took to printing the word SATIRE in big block letters at the top of the page. They were still doing that when I gave up reading them, and for all I know are still doing it.
Readers afflicted with this satire blindness need have no fear that any of the content here on Radio Derb is satirical. We report nothing but straight facts, painstakingly sourced and verified by our diligent staff of researchers, none of whom would ever think of pulling any kind of Onion-style stunt.
In fact, we… [Phone rings] Excuse me … Hello? … Who? … From where? … What, THE Time Magazine? … You want me on the cover as your Man of the Year? As a brave champion of free speech and martyr to Political Correctness? Oh my gosh, I'm so flattered! Thank you, thank you! …
05 — Brits want their country back … some of them. There have been some mildly interesting things happening across the pond in the land of my birth.
Just a little background here. Nationalism in Britain — and I'm going to leave Scottish, Welsh, and Irish nationalism out here because they confuse the issue — British nationalism pre-WW2 was mostly an instinctive and bone-deep quality of the population that didn't need much political expression, as it was instinctive to the ruling classes too. There were some minor phenomena like the British Union of Fascists back in the 1930s, inspired by Hitler, but nobody took them seriously.
That gradually changed in the years after WW2 as the Empire was abandoned, along with the sense of duty and responsibility that the better kind of British elites had felt towards their subject peoples. The desire to belong to something big and international remained, though; and with jet travel and the growth of international organizations, younger elites realized they could have more fun, and a lot more power, and make a whole lot more money, by jumping aboard the globalization express.
The first step was to join what was then called the European Common Market. After a couple of failed attempts in the 1960s, Britain finally joined Europe in 1973. This was approved after the event two years later in a referendum, with two thirds of those who voted approving membership. There was always a healthy opposition, though, from Britons who felt the Common Market was a Franco-German racket, or a vehicle for German revanchism, or a bankers' ramp.
During those same years mass Third World immigration had become a contentious issue, bursting into the open with Enoch Powell's so-called "Rivers of Blood" speech in 1968.
The globalizing elites kept discontent at a manageable level through the next twenty years, by propaganda, political bribery, and moral intimidation. Political expression of the discontent was mostly inchoate, carried by the National Front, a street-fighting fringe party in direct line of descent from the British Union of Fascists. In the early 1980s the National Front put on suits and ties and became the British National Party, the BNP, though without much improvement to their image.
The BNP wanted to get out of Europe, but their main energies were directed against mass immigration. In the 1990s, however, the anti-European movement developed a party of its own: UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, quite distinct from BNP — indeed, there was mutual loathing between the two parties. Shortly afterwards the BNP had another go at making itself more respectable, purging its antisemitic faction and electing a fairly presentable new leader, Nick Griffin.
As always in Britain — yes, still today — the main dividing line here was class. The BNP are prole nationalists; UKIP are toffs, or at any rate middle class. The split is reflected in ideology, so far as British people bother with ideology, which is not very far. The BNP's tendencies are statist: if the phrase "National Socialist" had not been permanently and irreparably damaged, it would fit them quite well. UKIP is more libertarian.
The BNP have won a few seats in elections for town councils, and two in elections for the European so-called parliament, elections in which anti-European nationalists come out in droves and most everyone else stays home. They are on life support, though, thanks to incompetent leadership and the British establishment's policy of choking them with lawsuits.
UKIP are in better shape under their leader Nigel Farage. Two weeks ago there was a by-election in the constituency of Corby, in my own home county of Northamptonshire. The election result was good news and bad news. Good news: UKIP placed third, behind Labour and the Tories, but ahead of the Liberal Democrats, who are supposed to be the country's third party, and who in fact are currently in a coalition government with David Cameron's Tories.
The bad news is that the Labour Party actually won the election. Goodness knows what the good people of Corby thought this party of leftist academics, screeching feminists, white-hating minorities, and tree-hugging multiculturalists have to offer them, but that was the result.
UKIP is anyway in the ascendant and the party leader, Nigel Farage, who even at the worst of times has been a far more appealing and intelligent character than the BNP's rather shifty Nick Griffin, is speaking out boldly and forthrightly against the cozy three-party arrangement that has been running Britain up to now. Farage has called for much tighter restrictions on immigration, for example, causing outrage among the open-borders globalist elites who control the three big parties.
While Farage was still glowing from that third placing at Corby, his party got an unexpected boost from a news story that got everyone talking. A fiftysomething couple of exemplary character, with a seven-year track record of successful, trouble-free fostering of parentless children, took on three more foster children in September. All was well and the children thrived. Then, eight weeks later, a social worker showed up and abruptly removed the children back into institutional care. She told the couple they'd been deemed unsuitable as foster parents following an anonymous tip-off about them. The tip-off had revealed that they were … UKIP supporters!
So this is the world we live in — and don't think it's just Britain. If you support a nationalist party with a restrictionist policy on immigration, even a party as meekly and politely nationalist as UKIP, you will be branded a social outcast by the tolerance fascists. This is the totalitarianism lite that is rising all around us, stifling thought and free inquiry, suffocating our liberties.
Whether enough Britons can unite under the UKIP banner to stop it, we'll have to wait until the next General Election to find out. That will most likely be in 2015. Between now and then, Nigel Farage and his supporters, helped by outrages like this child fostering case, may assemble enough of a vote to turn British politics in a nationalist direction. Or they may all be hunted down by the Thought Police and shipped off to labor camps in the Outer Hebrides. Neither thing would surprise me.
06 — Miscellany. We're running on a tighter than usual schedule this week, listeners, so I shall proceed direct to our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The dust has settled in the Middle East and pundits are tallying winners and losers.
There is a school of thought that says Iran is the big winner. The argument goes like this. First, as I noted last week, if Arabs are not decisively defeated and humiliated, they claim a victory, regardless of how much damage they've sustained. Hamas is doing exactly this, and their stock is high among the Arabs. Since Iran is their patron, this is good for Iran. Second, Iran has gotten a good look at Israel's anti-missile defenses, and can adjust its strategy accordingly. Third, Egypt's President Morsi took advantage of the dust-up to consolidate his power, and the policies of his Muslim Brotherhood are much more in tune with Iran's than those of the rotten old dictator we encouraged the Egyptians to liberate themselves from in the so-called Arab Spring. And fourth, the Gaza fracas distracted Israel's attention from Iran's other proxy, the Hezbollah of southern Lebanon, who have their own stockpiles of rockets and are now stronger than ever and also clued in to Israel's anti-missile capabilites.
That's the argument; and the main counter-argument against it is that it's being put about by bombs-away! neocons like John Bolton, whose past advice has cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to no good purpose. It has a certain plausibility, though: some things are true even though Comrade Zilliacus says they are true, and it makes one wonder whether the Israelis, buying into the theory, will come to the conclusion they may as well strike Iran before things get any worse. If they do, it will be after their elections in January. We'll find out.
Item: Speaking at the Soul Train Awards ceremony hosted by Black Entertainment Television last weekend, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Fox-x (that's two x's) said the following thing, quote: "It's like church in here. First of all, give an honor to God and our Lord and Savior Barack Obama." End quote.
I thought I should pass comment on this as an especially weird specimen of Obama-olatry, but I find myself at several disadvantages. First, I have never heard of the Soul Train Awards, and have no idea what is being awarded to whom and why. Second, I have never watched Black Entertainment Television. When in the States, I keep my TV tuned exclusively to white channels. Third, I have never heard of Jamie Fox-x and don't know what he got an Oscar for. Hold on while I look him up on Imdb … Oh right, that Ray Charles movie, got him.
Now I've placed Mr. Fox-x, I can comment on his remark with more confidence. It's actually within a venerable human tradition, going back into deep antiquity, of the God-King as a ruler: the Pharaohs of Egypt, the Chinese Emperors, the Inca Sun King, even the Roman Emperors, though the Romans mainly waited until the Emperor was dead before deifying him.
Among civilized peoples, however, the idea of divine kingship is considered seriously out of date. You can see why the idea might revive, when you consider the miracles of statecraft and economic resurgence Barack Obama has brought about, but really, someone should tell Mr. Fox-x, he's rather badly behind the times.
Item: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hopes to see an all-female Supreme Court one day, she told a conference at the University of Colorado. Concerning the number of women on the Court, she said, quote: "I'm sometimes asked when will there be enough and I say 'When there are nine,' people are shocked." End quote.
Can we just cut to the chase here? Can we just get a program going to round up and kill all the heterosexual white men? It's plain the country has no use for us any more. Since this recent election there's been nothing but sneering and jeering about how the women, the minorities, and the homosexuals are displacing us. So do it already, the way it should be done, with cattle wagons and labor camps and execution squads. America would be such a better country without us and our retrograde opinions and our patriarchal conceits and our guns. Come on, you Progressives, make your progressive dreams come true.
Item: Jamie Fox-x would feel right at home in the West African nation of Gambia. The president of that nation, name of Yahya Jammeh, while not claiming actual divinity, does claim divine appointment. Quote from his spokesman, when foreign do-gooders criticized the President for reviving the death penalty, quote: "Allah entrusted this position to Yahya Jammeh, and anybody who is averse to the decree of Allah can bite their nose." End quote.
Bite their nose, huh? I guess that's an African thing. Wait a minute … No, can't get my teeth up there.
Anyway, President Jammeh has been consolidating his authority in several ways since taking power in a coup 18 years ago. He has closed down newspapers, worked up a major personality cult, and established a force of secret police to spy on citizens. A practitioner of witchcraft himself, he has rounded up several hundred of the nation's other witch doctors and forcibly exorcised them with herbal potions. Foreign observers have compared Jammeh's rule with that of Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti during the 1960s.
Haiti … Gambia … Jamie Fox-x … Nope, there's no kind of connecting theme there at all. Those of you who think there is, can bite your noses.
07 — Signoff. That's it, folks. I'll admit, I feel a little bad at having made fun of Jamie Fox-x. As best I can remember, that Ray Charles movie was quite good.
Ray Charles himself I have some nostalgic feelings for, because he was on the British hit parade during my teen years. His big number was of course "Georgia On My Mind," which I owned as a 45 rpm vinyl single. Ever the contrarian, I actually preferred the flip side, which none of the radio DJs ever played. I still think it's the better of the two songs. Judge for yourself: here's an extract.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Ray Charles, "Carry Me Back To Ol' Virginny"]