01m03s — Clintocalypse (cont.) (I catch the zeitgeist.)
10m02s — A Trumpish foreign policy. (From Spengler.)
17m22s — The untouchable Mrs Clinton. (Brazen in contempt for propriety and law.)
24m51s — Journalists are scum. (And the National Press Club is run by weasels.)
32m23s — What unites the Alt-Right. (Seeing pygmies humiliate a giant.)
43m34s — Another Caribbean festival. (Another butcher's bill.)
48m10s — Norks clamp down. (On figures of speech.)
49m49s — ChiComs diss our President. (Deliberately.)
50m44s — Advice to travelers. (Air China gets it right.)
52m29s — Odds and ends. (Incest, bathrooms, spiders, and the decline of an elite retreat.)
54m59s — Signoff. (The most astonishing statistic.)
This week I shall comment on the commenters; then, in response to an infinity of requests, I shall cover Mrs Clinton's email scandals. I'll offer a figurative parade of weasels and then an actual parade of Caribbeans celebrating their wonderful, vibrant culture. Bringing up the rear will of course be our miscellany of brief items to match your attention span as it winds down.
Off we go!
02 — Clintocalypse (cont.). Three weeks ago on this podcast I floated the word "Clintocalypse" to describe how the end of the world as we know it would follow a victory for Mrs Clinton in the coming election.
I opened with the question: "How critical is this election?" I closed by asserting that it is very critical.
Apparently I caught hold of something that was in the air — snatched a wing feather from the zeitgeist as it flew by. Other opinionators were having the same thought.
The one who's been getting most coverage — no, I don't begrudge it, honestly [sound of weeping] — is the anonymous writer who uses the pseudonym Decius. Decius was formerly — and perhaps still is, I am not clear on the current status of their relationship — was formerly a writer for the Claremont Review of Books, a gentry-conservative outlet in which my own lucubrations have sometimes appeared.
So the pseudonymous Decius published an online piece last week at the American Greatness website titled "The Flight 93 election." Flight 93 refers to the plane that was hijacked on 9/11, whose passengers tried to take back control. The story was made into a movie in 2006.
You can get the flavor of Decius' piece from the opening sentences. Quote:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You — or the leader of your party — may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.
Except one: if you don't try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
End quote. For those unfamiliar with handgun technology: If there's one round in the magazine of a semi-automatic, it'll be fired when you press the trigger. If there's one round in the cylinder of a revolver that you just gave a good spin, there's only one chance in N that it will fire, N being the number of chambers in the cylinder, usually six.
Decius goes on to predict a Clintocalypse should America's Merkel get elected. His pessimism is forthright. Sample, referring to Trump's proposals strictly to enforce our immigration laws, quote:
Will this work? Ask a pessimist, get a pessimistic answer. So don't ask. Ask instead: is it worth trying? Is it better than the alternative? If you can't say, forthrightly, "yes," you are either part of the junta, a fool, or a conservative intellectual.
End quote. By "conservative intellectual" Decius means the NeverTrump crowd — gentry conservatives urging us to stop fretting about mass immigration, to avoid like the plague those horrid racists on the Alt-Right, and to concentrate on things that could really make a difference: tax reductions, school choice, federalization, and so on.
It's a great piece. Decius carefully avoids anything to do with Human Bio-Diversity, but he does climb up to the lip of the Alt-Right volcano and peer down into the crater briefly. Quote:
The ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners with no tradition of, taste for, or experience in liberty means that the electorate grows more left, more Democratic, less Republican, less republican, and less traditionally American with every cycle.
End quote. That's pretty daring stuff right there, for a writer associated with a gentry-Right outfit like Claremont Review, absolutely no offense to my friends over there. "The Flight 93 election" is required reading.
There have been other articles along similar lines. One I particularly liked was titled "NeverTrumps and the End of America as We Know It," by Jared Peterson at American Thinker. Opening sentence, quote:
The election of Hillary Clinton would mean final defeat for American conservativism — for at least a generation and almost certainly for much longer than that.
End quote. Peterson names names in the NeverTrump camp: George Will, William Kristol and Jonah Goldberg. These folk will do fine in the Clintocalypse, he says. They will serve as court jesters to the triumphant Cultural Marxist ruling power, chattering away impotently and raising an occasional laugh while the transformation of our republic into a northern hemisphere Brazil proceeds unhindered.
I of course agree with these commentators. However, neither of them ventures very far into the speculative badlands we explore on the Alt-Right: questions about why different ancestral populations display such different outcomes when considered in quantity, as communities or nations.
We don't currently have any dispositive answers to those questions. Wisdom would suggest restraint on matters like mass immigration until we do have answers.
Wisdom and restraint are not currency among Cultural Marxists, though. These people are certain that a million Somalis, a million Guatemalans, a million Afghans, will turn into Tom Sawyers and Becky Thatchers once planted in the magic soil of the U.S.A. Didn't it work with the Irish, Italians, and Poles?
Yes, it did. Is it impertinent of me to notice that while neither Ireland, nor Italy, nor Poland would be my first choice as a nation of exile — absolutely no offense to anyone there — you cannot name any moment in their history as self-governing nations when life for their common citizens was one-tenth as dire as it has routinely been in Somalia, Guatemala, and Afghanistan?
Wisdom, citizens; wisdom and restraint. [Hillary laugh.]
03 — A Trumpish foreign policy. While I'm surveying the commentariat, here's an old favorite of mine: David Goldman, who writes as "Spengler" over at Asia Times.
David has a broad and deep understanding of both the Middle East and the Far East. He has decanted some of that understanding into thought-provoking books. Full disclosure: He is also a personal acquaintance of mine, and a witty and challenging dinner companion. Oh, and a contributor, like me and Decius, to the Claremont Review of Books. David is formidably literate. He knows the proper Greek plural of "epigone," as we shall see.
And he's a Trump supporter! Last month David tackled the fifty national security officials from previous Republican administrations who signed a joint letter saying that Donald Trump, quote, "lacks the character, values and experience" to be president and, further quote, "would put at risk our country's national security and well-being," end quotes.
Actually David doesn't so much tackle these panjandrums as mow them down with machine-gun fire. His August 9th "Spengler" column has the title: "Trump lacks experience but his detractors lack common sense. Concerning those national security officials who signed the anti-Trump letter, David says, quote, "Three administrations of Bush father and son have produced a monotone Establishment of functional foreign policy morons," end quote. He gives withering summaries, from his own deep knowledge, of the stupidity of our Middle East policy across recent decades.
I confess to a twinge of guilt here. Right after 9/11 I cheered on George W. Bush's policies, at least up to the point where the nation-building idiocy took over, around the Spring of 2004. By the Arab Spring in 2011, one of whose by-products was the Forever War in Syria, I was totally skeptical of our policy over there, present and past.
Now, five years further on, I am with "Spengler": these were policies run by morons — Republican morons for the first few years, then Democratic morons, including a certain Secretary of State, who in October 2012 I called one of the three horsegirls of the Libyan apocalypse (the other two being human-rights harpy Samantha Power and Susan Rice of the Mulatto Mafia).
As David says, speaking of our foreign-policy establishment, quote: "It isn't just that the emperor has no clothes; the empire has no tailors," end quote. I wish I'd written that …
If Donald Trump's common sense was at the level of the Bush and Obama foreign policy advisors, his hotels and casinos would have collapsed into heaps of rubble long since, and his net worth would be less than mine. Foreign policy-wise, how could Trump do worse than what we've been getting?
In a later column, dated August 22nd, title "How Donald Trump could fix the Middle East," Spengler actually lays out a Trumpish policy, not so much to fix the damn filthy place as to make deals that will reduce the level of chaos and the consequent dangers to Americans. I don't agree with all David's points, but I would sure like Trump to read the piece — or have it properly summarized for him, however it works in Trump Tower.
Sorry to be so quotey, but I love Spengler's stuff even when I disagree with him, which I sometimes do. I'll close the segment with a longish quote from that August 9th column. David is comparing today's neoconservatives with the older generation, the generation of Irving Kristol and Bob Bartley, both of whom David knew personally, and from whom, he tells us, he learned a lot that he later had to unlearn. Quote:
But the Republican Establishment today is guided not by the likes of Irving Kristol, but by his epigonoi. His son Bill Kristol has never published a single essay of intellectual significance, and the same is true of Commentary Magazine editor John Podhoretz, son of the estimable Norman Podhoretz. To be a "neo-conservative" in the 1970s in the mold of Irving Kristol and former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz meant to repudiate the leftist views of one's youth and make the leap to the Reagan camp. The original neo-conservatives knew how wrong they had been in their youth, and re-learned their politics after forty. Unlike their forbears, today's neo-cons never have had a self-critical moment. Today's guardians of the sacred conservative flame are to the manure born.
End quote. "E-pig-oh-noi" … I had to look it up to get the pronunciation right. Em-pha-sis on the second syl-la-ble: "e-pig-oh-noi."
Go Spengler! Go Trump!
04 — The untouchable Mrs Clinton. If the prospect of a Clintocalypse following November's election didn't make your flesh creep sufficiently, here's something even flesh-creepier. You really might want to sit down for this, or take a hold of something solid. … You ready?
The Clintocalypse may already have happened!
I owe this terrifying thought to Dennis Miller. The other night on The O'Reilly Factor Miller out-Derbed me and out-pessimized the pessimists I quoted in my first segment there. We don't have to wait for the election, he said, the Clintocalypse has already arrived. At some point when we weren't paying attention there was a silent coup. Now the Clintons are in charge and running everything.
Miller's sudden insight followed the release last Friday of a 58-page report from the FBI about a July 2nd interview their agents carried out with Mrs Clinton, concerning her treatment of classified information when she was Secretary of State.
The word "report" is worth noting there. You would think that on a matter of such public interest, and of such importance to national security, this would be a transcript, detailing all the agents' questions and Mrs Clinton's answers, verbatim. Sure, some of it might be sensitive and have to be redacted; but we'd get a better understanding of what passed at that 3½-hour interview. You might even wonder why, in this age of cheap and easy video recording, the interview wasn't put on YouTube, with sensitive parts cut out.
No: this is just some witness's notes on the meeting. And the timing of the release of these notes is deeply suggestive: right before a long holiday weekend, when nobody much cares about public matters for a couple of days.
And, as sketchy as the report is concerning what precisely was said by whom to whom, a quarter of it was redacted anyway!
If we didn't know before that the FBI was just going through the motions, we sure know now.
Mrs Clinton — to be exact, her platoon of lawyers — were in charge all through those 3½ hours. One of those lawyers was Cheryl Mills, another Mulatto Mafiosa, who was Mrs Clinton's Chief of Staff at the State Department. Now she's serving as one of Mrs Clinton's attorneys, and claiming attorney-client privilege over all that has passed between her and the interviewee.
Should that privilege extend back to the State Department days when she was not working as Mrs Clinton's attorney, only as her chief flunky? No, say people who know the relevant law. Bite me, says Ms Mills, who claimed the privilege anyway. That's fine, Ma'am, said the FBI agents, looking over their shoulders at their boss's boss Loretta Lynch — another member of the Mulatto Mafia.
What a fix! You have to wonder if Dennis Miller isn't on to something.
A foundational principle of our society is that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. On the most charitable possible assumptions about Mrs Clinton's treatment of classified material, however, she is guilty of much worse things than servicemen and civilian security officials have been prosecuted for.
So what happened to our equality under the law? Mrs Clinton isn't just being given a free ride; she's running for President, with the enthusiastic support of our media and academic elites and even a slice of the Republican Party.
What on earth is going on? How did our constitutional republic sink to such a sorry state?
In any organized society not a hereditary despotic monarchy, there is a political game to be played. As with tennis or backgammon, some persons naturally play better than others. These people get to the top of the greasy pole.
Often there isn't anyone playing at these Olympic levels of skill. Then like a sports team in the doldrums, you end up with a string of political mediocrities, like Britain after Margaret Thatcher, or post-Civil-War America.
When Olympic-level political players do attain power, though, they act as magnifying lenses, reflecting the society they're playing in. In chaotic, dysfunctional post-revolutionary Russia, Stalin played at a high level of skill, so that's who they ended up with. It was a seriously messed-up society, so they ended up with a very bad actor indeed.
The Clintons — mostly Bill, I am sure; but Mrs Clinton is an apt student — play our political game superbly well. No, of course, neither of them is Stalin. Like other really first-class players, though, they show us who we are.
That creatures of low cunning like this, brazen in their contempt for propriety and law, can seek and win the highest political office, tells us there is something systemically wrong with our political system. We need to work out what that is, and fix it.
Or maybe we're past that possibility. Maybe Dennis Miller is right: there's been a silent coup. It's as good an explanation as any for the untouchability of the Clintons and their hangers-on.
05 — Journalists are scum. If indeed, following a Clintocalypse, the machinery of state falls entirely into the hands of Cultural Marxists apparatchiks, one thing we may expect is more of a clampdown on dissent.
If you're looking for evidence of Dennis Miller's theory that the coup has already taken place, there have been some suggestive recent developments.
The first of those developments comes out of the National Press Club. This is a private organization headquartered in Washington, DC for the promotion of journalism. It advertises itself as, quote, "the world's leading professional organization for journalists." It's venerable, founded 1908; the same year, if I am not mistaken, as saw the establishment of America's — in fact I think the world's — first School of Journalism.
Before proceeding let me just say parenthetically that I scoff and sneer at this elevation of journalism into a credentialed profession like dentistry or civil engineering. For a fuller explication of that, I refer you to my National Review Online column of May 2nd 2003, title: "Journalists Are Scum."
Back to the National Press Club. One thing they do is put on speaker events and debates on topics of public interest, especially when those topics cause a stir in the world of journalism. It was therefore entirely natural that they would agree to host this week — this Friday, actually — a session on the Alt-Right.
Thanks to Mrs Clinton's August 24th speech, the expression "Alt-Right" is recognized today by several thousand times more Americans than were aware of it on August 23rd. So this was an excellent topic for airing — just the kind of thing the National Press Club exists for.
This event was the brainchild of Richard Spencer, whose National Policy Institute (NPI) is a major pillar of the Alt-Right edifice. Spencer is in fact sometimes described as the leader of the Alt-Right, though not many of us acknowledge him as that. Indeed, not many of us acknowledge that the Alt-Right is enough of a movement to need a leader.
Leaving that for another time, Richard Spencer's NPI was the organization that the National Press Club contracted with to hold this week's event. Scheduled speakers were Richard himself of course, Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, and our own Dear Leader here at VDARE.com, Peter Brimelow.
We were all looking forward to the event. Then suddenly, on Wednesday evening, just a few hours after the event had been announced, we heard that the National Press Club had reneged on their contract and cancelled the event.
The Club cited "security concerns." That is somewhat less than persuasive. For one thing, Richard Spencer had told them that should any extra security be required, his outfit, the NPI, would pay for it.
For another thing, the National Press Club has hosted several of NPI's events before, going back at least five years. Last October they actually hosted NPI's annual conference. Evidence there that there is a tightening of the screws on dissent.
For yet another, the Club has hosted events that raised far more security concerns than NPI. Nine years ago for example they hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmajinedad, Li'l Squinty himself, outspoken Jew-hater and Holocaust-Denier.
The cancellation came accompanied by what sounded to me very much like the squeaking of weasels. Bill McCarren, the Director of the National Press Club, has over the past few weeks tweeted or re-tweeted several items enthusiastically supportive of Mrs Clinton. Since the cancellation was announced he has deleted those of the tweets he had access to.
Squeak! Squeak! And no, those were not squeaks of fear. What should McCarren be afraid of? In the elite media and journalistic circles in which he dwells, roughly 99 percent of his co-dwellers think that Alt-Right spokesmen should be arrested and charged with hate speech.
No, those weasel squeaks we heard were squeaks of embarrassment. The room where the Alt-Right event was to be held, you see, is called The First Amendment Lounge, and is a space dedicated to freedom of the press. [Laughter.]
I suppose we can take some slight comfort in the fact that Weasel McCarren is, at least, still enough of a human being to be embarrassed.
And for further comfort, I note that the event took place anyway in a different location, the Willard Intercontinental Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue — a mere stone's throw, if you'll pardon the expression, from the White House. I'm told the precise venue was the Peacock Room.
That prompts me to the following suggestion to Bill McCarren of the National Press Club. Perhaps, after a hundred-and-odd years, you might consider renaming some of your rooms to better reflect the journalistic milieu of the early 21st century. Naming the rooms after animals, as the Willard does, is a neat idea. The First Amendment Lounge could become the Weasel Room. Just a thought.
06 — What unites the Alt-Right. I started off the previous segment by saying that there have been some suggestive recent developments — suggestive, that is, of the Dennis Miller theory that the Cultural Marxist coup has already happened and we may now be living be in post-Clintocalypse America with the screws tightening down on dissent.
Well, here's another suggestive recent development. Another cancelled invitation, actually. This invitation was to my neighbor here on Long Island, geneticist James Watson. I meant, of course, world's greatest living geneticist: Watson was co-discoverer, with two colleagues, of the structure of DNA, work for which they shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Professor Watson is a race realist. Nine years ago he was in the news for publicly saying that sub-Saharan Africans have a low average intelligence. He had previously said out loud that Ashkenazi Jews have a high average intelligence.
Both things are a matter of common observation; both things are supported by decades of evidence. Both things are, however, not to be spoken aloud in polite company. Watson lost his position as head of Cold Spring Harbor lab for what he said about blacks, and endured many indignities at the hands of CultMarx enforcers.
Well, Professor Watson was invited to speak at New York University's Langone Medical Center, September 12th. When the invitation was posted, activists at the NYU Student Council and something called the Student Diversity Initiative sent a honking letter to the organizers of the lecture. NYU thereupon went into full PC cringe mode and cancelled the invitation to Professor Watson.
I read about this on a website written by University of Chicago biology Professor Jerry Coyne. Professor Coyne objects to the cancellation of Watson's lecture, but in the most mincing, mealy-mouthed way possible, I suppose to safeguard his own social standing.
He calls Watson's mild race realistic remarks, quote, "provocative, hurtful, and unevidenced," end quote.
Provocative of what? Of disagreement? That's the very stuff of academic debate. It should be provoked in a university.
Actually Coyne's second adjective tells us what's being provoked: hurt feelings.
Fiddlesticks to hurt feelings. The world, said Wittgenstein, is everything that is the case. Note he did not say, "everything that does not hurt your feelings."
As for Coyne's last adjective, "unevidenced," it is a lie. There is a vast mass of evidence for race differences in intelligence. Such differences are also what you would expect a priori, as normal features of variation within species.
It's true we don't yet know the full genetic architecture of race differences in intelligence. As human-science blogger JayMan says, though: You don't need to know the name and job title of every worker in the factory to know the factory produces widgets.
Since the Alt-Right came to widespread attention last month, the question has been in the air: What unites us? What do we have in common?
We've even been asking it among ourselves. What is it that makes a person think: "Yeah, I belong to this Alt-Right they're talking about. Or at any rate, their way of seeing the world looks a lot like mine."
What makes people think that? Well, I've been hanging out with Alt-Right types for a while. To name just the speakers at the NPI conference: I've known Jared Taylor for twenty years; Peter Brimelow for sixteen; Richard Spencer I think for eight or ten. All have been guests at my house, I am proud to say.
I've been to conferences, mingled with supporters, spoken myself. I know this territory really well. So what, in my opinion, makes the Alt-Right a distinct thing — not by any means a party, a faction, or a movement, but a collection of souls with something in common?
Here's my answer: We don't like flagrant nonsense in the discussion of human affairs. We don't like being lied to. We especially don't like being lied to by credentialed academics like Jerry Coyne.
The lies are so flagrant, so outrageously obvious, you'd have to laugh at them, if not for the fact that laughing at them is close to being a criminal offense. "There is no such thing as race!" What a preposterous thing to say! What a multiply preposterous thing for an academic in the human sciences to say. Yet look! — they say it!
As Ann Coulter has quipped: It's like saying "there are no such things as mountains." When, after all, is a mountain just a hill? Similarly with "there are no such things as colors," since, after all, no-one can tell you how many colors there are, or the precise wavelength at which turquoise is more blue-ish than green-ish. How many neighborhoods are there in New York City? Beats me; so are there no such things as neighborhoods? This is infantile.
Much more to the point, it's like saying "there are no such things as families." When do you stop being a member of my family? Fourth cousin? Ninth cousin by marriage? So are there no such things as families?
But of course there are such things as families. And that's all races are: big old extended families of mostly-common deep ancestry.
This acquiescence in obvious lies — even by academics, who should be the guardians of truth — is characteristic of totalitarian societies. The money quote here is from Tony Daniels, a/k/a "Theodore Dalrymple." Quote:
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is … in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Tony himself, I should say, lines up with Goodwhites in the Cold Civil War, not with us Badwhites of the Alt-Right. I very seriously doubt he'd consider himself a member of the Alt-Right. His insight there, however, is very penetrating, and could be inscribed on an Alt-Right banner, if we ever get around to brandishing banners.
And so it is with the NYU Student Council ninnies and the Student Diversity Initiative bedwetters, not one of whom is fit to shine James Watson's shoes.
They don't want to shine his shoes. They don't want to persuade or convince him. They want to humiliate him. They, midgets and mites, want to humiliate a giant, one of the world's greatest living scientists. And the cringing administrators at New York University want to help them!
That's what the Alt-Right is about; that's what unites us; disgust with, and resistance to, these liars and weasels and commissars.
07 — Another Caribbean festival, another butcher's bill. Last week I noted the annual Notting Hill Carnival in London, a celebration of black African and Caribbean culture. I reported the butcher's bill: four stabbings, forty-three police officers injured, of whom eight needed hospitalization; total 450 arrests.
Not to be outdone, this past week New York City had its own Caribbean-themed event, the J'Ouvert Festival in Brooklyn. Sunday night and the small hours of Labor Day morning, crowds of revellers gathered on the Brooklyn streets to celebrate the vibrant culture of those sun-kissed islands.
I can't find any count of arrests. Given that Notting Hill Carnival draws north of a million participants, while J'Ouvert gets only a comparatively tame quarter million, on a proportional basis I'd expect 112 arrests at J'Ouvert. As best I can judge from the news reports, there seem not to have been anything like that number of arrests. If this is right, it bespeaks remarkable restraint on the part of New York City cops.
I should say, however, that the NYPD launched a pre-emptive strike the Friday before the Festival, storming into the neighborhood and rounding up 35 alleged gang members. Along with the 35 gangbangers, the cops brought back ten handguns, three pounds of Mary Jane, a kilo of cocaine, and some heroin. So I guess the Festival itself could have been a lot worse.
I should also say that the J'Ouvert Festival, which is a night-time affair, is not to be confused with the West Indian Day parade on Labor Day. That happens in broad daylight, and is generally trouble-free.
Still, you have to wonder why the authorities let J'Ouvert go on. The local police commander tells us that, quote from the New York Times: "Over the past decade, 21 shootings and other violent acts have been recorded at J'Ouvert festivities," end quote. So shut it down already.
I had a quiet smile to myself reading the news reports, on encountering 72-year-old Margaret Peters, who migrated to Brooklyn from Trinidad and Tobago in 1972. Ms Peters was one of the unfortunate people who suffered a non-fatal bullet wound at this year's Festival — in her case, a bullet to the left arm.
"That's it," Ms Peters told the New York Post. "I won't be going back next year."
I hope I won't be thought out of line for pointing out that Ms Peters might have saved herself some pain and medical bills if she'd heeded the advice in my 2012 column "The Talk," from which, quote: "Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks."
True, my advice was intended for nonblacks; but a bullet doesn't care what color you are.
And there, you see what an unjust world it is. You try to put out some cautionary advice to help people navigate through life, and what thanks do you get? [Sigh.] No good deed goes unpunished …
Imprimis: North Korea has banned sarcasm. Apparently citizens of the hermit state have been getting freer with expressions of discontent, often expressed sarcastically or ironically. Sample: "this is all America's fault," said when there's some screw-up by a government agency.
The Norks aren't the first in this field. Some years ago my good friend President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan had to ban ellipsis and zeugma, rhetorical figures to which the noble Turkmen language is all too susceptible. He later added synecdoche and metonymy to the banned list, on the grounds that no-one could ever remember which was which.
The heck with it: ban 'em all, I say. Aposeopesis? Eh …
Item: Trouble with China here. First off they dissed our President. When Obama's plane landed in Hangzhou for the G20 summit, meeting, the grand red-carpeted stairway that's normally wheeled out for visiting dignitaries — and which was in fact produced for other world leaders — was not available. Obama had to leave his plane by an emergency stairway.
Possibly the ChiComs were hoping he'd have to take off his shoes and slide out on the inflatable rubber disaster chute, I don't know. I'll tell you this, though, from fifty years' experience with China and the Chinese: It was deliberate, and the ChiCom bosses had a good laugh about it among themselves.
Item: And then the flight magazine of Air China, a major airline enjoying the official favor of the ChiCom government, ran an "advice to travellers" item in its in-flight magazine that included the following security tip, quote:
London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis, and black people. We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling.
End quote. That's sound advice. I think Indians might take exception: Hindus and Sikhs in London are well-behaved. Where Pakistanis and blacks are concerned, though, it's spot on. I offer the Notting Hill Carnival in evidence.
The well-intended advice was greeted with shock and horror in London. Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour Member of Parliament for Tooting, described the advice as "outrageous" and "offensive." Virendra Sharma, the member for Ealing Southall, said she hoped Air China would apologize.
Reporters tried to get comments from white English inhabitants of London, but they couldn't find any.
Item: Finally, just a quick roundup of tiny items.
For those of you wondering what the next battleground would be in the sexual revolution, once transsexuals are fully accommodated, it looks like it's going to be incest. Patricia and Misty Spann were married this March in Comanche County, Oklahoma. Patricia is Misty's biological mother.
Over to the Northeast: Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island has placed tampons in all campus bathrooms, including men's bathrooms. The President of the Council of Students, announcing the initiative in a campus-wide email, said he wants to communicate the message that not all people who menstruate are women.
I think the real news here is that there is still a college campus in the U.S.A. with separate men's bathrooms. Get with the program there, Brown!
Turning to the animal kingdom, here's a headline from the Derbyshire Times, September 5th, headline: Sex-crazed spiders as big as MICE set to invade Derbyshire homes.
No, my household is in no danger. That's the English county of Derbyshire, nothing to do with me. I assure you. The spiders here are all sexually reticent.
Finally, scraping the barrel here: In elite playground Martha's Vineyard last Saturday, a man broke into a house, stole several items, and before leaving painted the homeowner's dog purple.
I dunno, that's not the kind of misbehavior you expect in an elite retreat. That poor pooch! Perhaps the Vineyard is losing its tone. Someone tell Bill and Hillary.
This Sunday, I'm sure I don't need to tell you, marks the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. We should all take a break from our weekend activities to remember those harmless people — office workers, maintenance staff, airline personnel and passengers, cops and firefighters — who died on that day.
And I'm going to take the opportunity to say a thing I've said before: that the most astonishing statistic of our age — astonishing and, to me and many others, baffling and infuriating — is that our country has admitted more Muslims for settlement in the fifteen years since 2001 than we did in the fifteen years prior.
I suppose it makes sense to somebody, but it sure makes none to me.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]