03m02s — From the Deplorable Right. (Campaign narrative goes into reverse.)
10m48s — Mrs Clinton meets the old man's friend. (Energy in the Executive?)
20m38s — Rancor homeostasis. (The whining of pampered pets.)
26m58s — Talpra Magyar! (Orbán gets savaged by a dead sheep.)
36m11s — Obama's refugee scam. (For him it's a win-win-win.)
44m17s — Self-driving what? (Wal-Mart leads the way.)
45m29s — Rum, pregnancy, and the lash. (A sailor gives birth.)
47m05s — Multiculti accommodation? (Or cultural appropriation?)
48m50s — Did the Constitution deliver? (And the shame of citizenship.)
51m02s — Signoff. (She preferred a waltz to a csárdás.)
As a professional writer who is perforce attentive to matters of vocabulary and style, I find very depressing the utter lack of verbal creativity in our public figures, especially those on the left. For years — for decades, thirty years at least — I've been hearing the same insult-words cranked out, directed at those of us who believe in liberty, national sovereignty, and demographic stability.
You know the words I mean: "hateful," "vile," "abhorrent"; or, when something a tad gentler is called for, "troubling," or "mean-spirited." We don't say the things we say, we "spew" them or "spout" them. We don't write columns or articles, we write "screeds." And so on and so on. You know the whole stale, threadbare lexicon, I'm sure.
I therefore applaud Mrs Clinton in venturing to depart from the usual stock of insult-words, to introduce some innovation into the vituperation. We are, she told a giggling audience at a fundraiser last week, "deplorables," in fact "a basket of deplorables."
I'm not sure that the word "basket" isn't a bit … troubling in itself. Isn't "basket case" an insult directed at very poor nations and severely handicapped persons? So isn't it "tinged" — that's another word they like, "tinged" — isn't it "tinged" with ablism and possibly colonialism? I refer you to your local precint house of the Microaggression Police.
Whatever, Mrs Clinton's "deplorables" was the political story of the week, so let's start with that.
02 — From the Deplorable Right. The preferred narrative of the current election — preferred, I mean, by the media and political establishment — both sides of the aisle, in the latter case, trough Republicans as well as swill Democrats — the preferred narrative has been that Donald Trump is a clumsy amateur, one of the awkward squad, continually getting his foot stuck in his mouth, saying things that tick off key segments of the voter base; while Mrs Clinton is the smooth operator, the seasoned political pro, gliding effortlessly through exactly the right verbal maneuvers to fortify her base and draw approval from independents.That has been the preferred narrative. Note the perfect tense there: "has been." This past couple of weeks have consigned that narrative to history — reversed it, in fact.
Mrs Clinton has been tripping over the hem of her pant suit, figuratively as well as literally, making newsworthy blunders that even her shills in the media can't hush up; while The Donald has gone smooth — "slicker than snot on a doorknob," as a Texas friend of mine likes to say — purring respectfully about how, if we might spare a moment to consider it, his health plan, or child-care plan, or economic plan, would so help ordinary Americans. He sounds like he just got out of butler school.
Mrs Clinton's first gaffe was her drawing major attention to the Alt-Right on August 24th. Whether this was actually a gaffe, I shall leave History to decide. I personally think it was.
Sure, some portion of her audience, hearing about Alt-Right for the first time, would go looking and find Hitlerites and wackos, who are definitely out there … I mean here. There aren't that many of them, though. I have been to several American Renaissance conferences, and never seen a single noose or swastika.
The random enquirer is more likely to stumble on VDARE.com, Unz Review, or American Renaissance; and some subset of those enquirers, having thus stumbled and browsed, will find themselves thinking: "Hey, this is a whole lot closer to reality than the stuff I heard from Tim Wise and Al Sharpton at last week's session of the Nice White People's Self-Flagellation Club!"
Different opinions are possible there, and it may be that the Trump campaign will indeed hemorrhage votes now people know that there's a thing called the Alt-Right and that many Alt-Righters quite like Trump. As I said, I'll let History judge.
I don't think there can be any argument, though, that Mrs Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment last Friday was an own goal.
The ex-President's wife was speaking at a fund-raiser in Manhattan: the usual roomful of billionaire bankers and showbiz bubble-heads. Addressing these worthies, the champion of the Little People unbosomed herself of the following reflection:
[Clip: You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? [Laughter/applause]. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million …]Actually, Ma'am, it was the publicity you gave us the other day that got our numbers surging … but I already covered that.
[Clip continues: Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America …]That's not who we are!
[Clip continues: But that other basket of people who are people who feel that government has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they are just desperate for change …]In other words, they're losers — not like us! We should pity them, and patronize them, and maybe hire them as gardeners or chauffeurs, just so long as they don't try to come and live near us.
How bad a gaffe was this? Even the New York Times allowed, very grudgingly, that it was, quote, "impolitic" — although not, they added to reassure their proprietor, Mexican billionaire monopolist Carlos Slim, not incorrect.
I'm not sure whether NPR, National Public Radio, is to the left of the New York Times — that is, as Doctor Johnson would have said, a point of precedence between a flea and a louse — but even NPR winced at Mrs Clinton's speech. Quote:
Memo to candidates: Stop generalizing and psychoanalyzing your opponents' supporters. It never works out well for you.End quote.
The Donald's response was pitch-perfect.
[Clip: Our support comes from every part of America, and every walk of life. We have the support of cops and soldiers, carpenters and welders, the young and the old; and millions of working-class families who just want a better future, a good job.Now come on, admit it: This is the most fun Presidential election ever, isn't it? Come on, you know it.
These were the people Hillary Clinton so viciously demonized. These were among the countless Americans that Hillary called "deplorable," "irredeemable," and un-American.
Nobody's heard anything like this. She called these patriotic men and women every vile name in the book. She called these patriotic men and women "racist," "sexist," "xenophobic," "Islamophobic," … She called half of our supporters "a basket of deplorables.]
03 — Mrs Clinton meets the Old Man's Friend. Before modern antibiotics came up, medical people used to refer to pneumonia as "the old man's friend." When you were old and sick and in pain, with no hope of recovery, it was pneumonia that carried you off to peace at last: the old man's friend.Mrs Clinton had an engagement with the old man's friend last week, we have learned. We didn't learn this because she, or her campaign, told us. In typical Clintonian style, they had no intention of telling us. They hoped to glide through the episode without anyone knowing, outside the inner circle.
Unfortunately the candidate was too sick to keep up the pretense. She had to be hustled away from a 9/11 memorial event, and was filmed collapsing as she got into her limo. The cat was out of the hag … sorry, bag, the cat was out of the bag.
The candidate's defenders did their best to spin the matter as a sexist attack whipped up by the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy; Bill told us it was just an attack of the flu; and inevitably someone blamed it on Global Warming; but the damage was done.
And, again as usual with the Clintons, only half the damage was done by the event itself. The rest was caused by their cack-handed efforts to cover it up.
What kind of physical shape is Mrs Clinton in? Like everyone else, I can only guess. I'm going to flatter myself that I have a slight edge in the guessing, having grown up listening to medical talk. The things are easier to apprehend when you have the words.
My mother was a professional nurse. She had special nurse words she used in ordinary conversation with her nurse friends, that I grew up thinking were regular English words, not understanding why I drew blank looks when I used them outside the house.
One of those words was "cachectic," which basically just means you look really unwell. So Mum would go visiting with some old biddy in the street. She'd come home shaking her head and saying: "Mrs Robinson's looking very cachectic." You could pretty much order the funeral wreath right there. Mrs Robinson was a goner.
Making allowance for the fact that Mrs Clinton has a team of doctors, nurses, therapists, and makeup artists in permanent attendance to keep her looking and sounding as good as science and art can contrive, I'm guessing that if we could see her without their ministrations, she'd look pretty damn cachectic.
Guessing aside, one extraordinary thing about this election, not much noted, is how old both major candidates are. At inauguration in January, Donald Trump would be 70, Mrs Clinton would be 69.
For comparison, here are the ages at which our last nineteen Presidents first became President. Nineteen gets us back to Teddy Roosevelt, who was of course the youngest person ever to ascend to the Presidency. Teddy was 42. Proceeding forward from there: 51, 56, 55, 51, 54, 51, 60, 62, 43, 55, 56, 61, 52, 69 — that's Reagan, of course — 64, 46, 54, 47.
Average 54, median also 54, mode 51. Standard deviation is 7, so two-thirds of them were between 47 and 61.
Age-wise, our two candidates are real outliers, way out on the tail of the distribution. Their precise ages at inauguration bracket Ronald Reagan's rather neatly: Clinton would be 264 days younger than the Gipper, Trump would be 235 days older, and so the oldest ever.
Here's an exercise for someone with more time and patience than I have. Go through those nineteen Presidents and discard occasions when they came to power accidentally. Just log their first actual Presidential election contests. Add together the age-at-inauguration of the guy who became President and his major opponent: so for Trump-Clinton the sum is 139. I bet that number's even more of an outlier than the single ages.
Does this matter? That depends on how you feel about "energy in the executive." There's an argument that less is better. Said Will Rogers of Calvin Coolidge: "He did nothing; but that's what people wanted him to do." The quip about Reagan was that when someone said, "I have slept with the President," it meant the person had attended a cabinet meeting.
Well yes; but both Coolidge and Reagan were aware that there are moments when a chief executive must act, swiftly and decisively. Spotting those moments when they arrive — preferably even anticipating them — and knowing what is the correct action to take, demand a certain alertness and energy.
Those of us who have attained the divinely ordained threescore and ten can tell you that alertness and energy are not what they once were.
There's a lot of individual variation, of course. There are sluggish 60-year-olds and vigorous 90-year-olds. Modern science can do wonders, too, especially if you are super-rich like our candidates, and can keep an MD on a $10,000-a-month retainer just to write prescriptions for things like Aderall and Human Growth Hormone, medications not available to us peasants.
And there are times that require more than occasional flashes of energy in the executive. The U.S.A. of the 1920s, Coolidge's America, pretty much ran itself, remote from the world's troubles and enjoying soaring prosperity under a strong cultural consensus. The consensus even extended into politics: the two major-party candidates in the 1924 Presidential contest were both business-oriented small-government conservatives. Coolidge could afford to snooze.
Reagan's 1980s weren't that serene, but our only international power challenger was in clear decline and our economy, after some obvious reforms, was strong. The post-WW2 cultural consensus still held, though Cultural Marxism and mass Third World immigration were sapping away under its foundations.
This isn't the 1920s, nor even the 1980s. Those foundations have collapsed. We have bitter cultural divisions and major looming economic problems. China is rising and flexing its muscles. Europe is under invasion from Africa and the Middle East, and sinking fast. Islam is resurgent, and making a major nuisance of itself everywhere.
Today's U.S.A. needs energy in the executive: not as and when occasional events demand it, but continuously, watchfully, striving to regain control over events.
Can Mrs Clinton supply that kind of energy? I doubt it. Can Donald Trump? He's surely a better bet.
Webster's defines "rancor" as "vehement hatred or ill will," colon, "intense malignity or spite," colon, "deep-seated enmity," colon, "inveterate malevolence," period. It derives ultimately from the Latin verb rancere, to be rancid, to stink. Our word "rancid" of course has the same root. I once described Barack Obama as, quote, "a law-school nonentity with no executive experience and nothing in his head but 1980s college-radical sociobabble and the endless rancor of the blacks," end quote.
Homeostasis is a term from theoretical systems analysis. It sounds a bit daunting, but the concept is straightforward. It's the tendency many systems have, especially biological and social systems, to keep some important feature stable as conditions change. You can walk from a refrigerated room into a hot sauna, but your internal body temperature will maintain its preferred 98.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Homeostasis.
There's a phenomenon in psychology called "risk homeostasis." When seat belts became the norm in automobiles, there was a slight tendency for people to drive faster and less carefully. We had all gotten accustomed to a certain level of risk. Now our cars were safer, we got more reckless to keep the risk level constant — risk homeostasis.
So OK, rancor homeostasis. That's what came into my mind when I saw pictures of those football players kneeling and giving the black power salute while the National Anthem was being played.
See, for us geezers, those black power salutes brought to mind the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Two black American sprinters, at the award of their medals, gave the black power salute as the National Anthem was played.
Forty-eight years — most of a lifetime — and nothing's changed. They're still black-power-saluting the National Anthem.
But of course things have changed tremendously. Carlos and Smith had grown up under segregation. In 1968 legalized discrimination had only just recently been struck down. Jim Crow was gone, but the memories were fresh and the wounds were still raw. There weren't too many black authority figures. The term "affirmative action" in a racial context was just seven years old, and the thing itself had hardly gotten off the ground.
Now, forty-eight years later, there are black authority figures all over: black governors, black mayors, black police chiefs, black principals and college presidents, black CEOs. We have a black President, a black Attorney General, and black Secretaries of Homeland Security, Education, and Transportation. We've had black Secretaries of State, Health and Human Services, Veterans' Affairs, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and Energy, and a black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Affirmative action favoring blacks is all over. There's a big fat government thumb on the scales in hiring and promotion, in contracting and college admissions. On top of that we have internalized massive taboos against any expression of negativity towards blacks. Just noticing and remarking on the stupendously high levels of black crime is a moral offense, in many areas a career killer. Newspapers and TV news programs mutilate journalistic standards, and the English language itself, to avoid telling us that a criminal is black.
American blacks are the most pampered, petted, privileged, preferred group of people since the aristocracy of Old France. In matters of acceptability and preference, blacks have indeed gone from a freezer room to a sauna these forty-eight years.
Yet still they play the victim; and black athletes, the most pampered of all, lead the displays of anger and resentment. Still it's there: the same raised fist and bowed head, the same level of rancor.
Rancor homeostasis. You heard it here first.
fought the Huns to a standstill at Châlons (although to judge from the character sketch in Gibbon, Aetius might just as happily have fought on the other side, if the price was right). Charles Martel stopped the Muslims at Tours, and John Sobieski turned them back from the gates of Vienna.
So far as I can observe, today's Europe doesn't have champions of that caliber. They do, though, have Hungary.
Hungary's current Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, is a loud and unapologetic voice for his nation's identity, and Europe's, and for protecting those identities by refusing to go along with the opening of Europe to millions of illegal aliens from Africa and the Middle East. Orbán's views of course drive the mandarins of the European Union crazy.
It's gotten so bad that we are now hearing the first calls for Hungary to be thrown out of the EU. Monday this week, Prime Minister Orbán made a speech in which he said, edited quote:
If Europe wants the best for itself … it should be able to rule the Mediterranean, and — as the old Roman emperors did — sink the empty, unauthorised ships.End quote. I don't quite get that reference to the Roman Emperors. From what I know of Roman attitudes and methods, they would not likely have bothered to check that the boats were empty before sinking them; and to judge from the comment threads to European news websites, that Roman spirit is far from dead.
Leaving that aside, Orbán gave a good vigorous speech, in strong opposition to the arm-flapping surrender mentality of the EU girly-men. He announced that Hungary will hold a referendum on the EU's demand that member countries accept 160,000 so-called Syrian so-called refugees for permanent settlement.
Orbán's not just talk, either. He's been fortifying Hungary's border with razor-wire fencing; and last month his Secretary of the Interior announced that they are recruiting 3,000 more border security agents.
As I said, this kind of talk and action drives the EU mandarins nuts. Here's one of them: Jean Asselborn, the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg. Honk from him, in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt following Orbán's speech, edited honk:
We cannot accept that the basic values of the European Union are being so seriously breached … Anyone, like Hungary, who builds fences against war refugees … should be temporarily, or if needed forever, excluded from the EU.End honk.
A member of the British House of Commons once described having been criticized in the chamber by a rather limp and mild-mannered member from the other party as, quote, "like being savaged by a dead sheep." I imagine a verbal assault — probably even a physical one — by the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg feels somewhat similar.
I note in passing that the German headline on that story reads: Asselborn fordert Ausschluss Ungarns aus der EU — "Asselborn demands the exclusion of Hungary from the EU." Those with an interest in 20th-century European history will note that Ausschluss is the opposite of Anschluss. They both derive from the noun Schluss, a closing or locking. The related word Schlüssel is the German word for "key." With an Anschluss you bring someone in and lock the door behind them with your Schlüssel. With an Ausschluss you throw them out and lock the door …
Sorry, I'm rambling. The wonderfully expressive German language always sidetracks me. Where was I? Oh yes, in Hungary.
Prime Minister Orbán is not the only Hungarian in the news. Meet Mr Árpád Jeddi. Mr Jeddi is a truck driver by trade. Last November he was driving his truck from Hungary to Britain. This of course involved him driving through the approaches to Calais, on the French side of the English Channel.
Those approaches are crowded with illegal aliens. There's a huge camp of these scofflaws outside Calais, popularly called "the Jungle," current population over ten thousand. They all want to get to Britain, where the welfare is lavish and sentimentality about "refugees" rampant. To this end, they break into trucks that are headed for Britain, sometimes making the trucks slow down or stop so they can force the doors open or cut through the tarp.
So along comes Mr Jeddi in his truck, heading for Calais. He made a 15-minute video of the view from his truck along those approaches. Mr Jeddi is cursing angrily all through the video; but he's cursing in Hungarian, so it's not too distracting for non-speakers of that noble tongue.
It's worth watching that video, to see the scale of the problem. With all respect to Mr Asselborn, you won't see many pitiful refugees dragging their emaciated bodies along, begging for the truckers to throw them a crust. What you will see is gangs of tough-looking young men looking for trucks to break into, and throwing rocks when they are frustrated.
You should watch that video for a feel of what Europe's undergoing.
Mr Jeddi uploaded his video to YouTube. This is last November, you'll recall. The video was a big hit right away. When I viewed it just now I was the four million and some person to do so. That's not bad for a clip whose voice-over is entirely in Hungarian. The entire population of Hungary is only ten million. A lot of the viewers are non-Hungarian, though, as you can see from the YouTube comment thread.
Well, that video cost Mr Jeddi his job. See, he's yelling curses at the illegals, and at one point swerves towards a crowd of them in the roadway, forcing them to run for the grass verge. The haulage firm fired him, although we're told he's since got a job driving for a different firm.
Now for some reason Hungarian prosecutors are trying to get him into court. They say he should have a suspended jail sentence for reckless driving. Mr Jeddi responds, via social media, that when ordinary law enforcement can't contain a lawless situation, citizens have to take matters into their own hands. Watching that video, it's hard to disagree with him, and I bet not many Hungarians do.
So, while François, Herman, and Giuseppe flap their arms impotently, there are at least some Europeans willing to stand up against the invaders. Talpra Magyar!
06 — Obama's refugee scam. There is no aspect of the Western world's immigration romanticism more obnoxious than these "refugee" rackets. Not the least thing to find obnoxious about them is that there are genuine refugees — helpless women, children, and old people driven from their homes by war and revolution, badly in need of food and shelter.The word "refugee" is not a synonym for "immigrant," though. An immigrant is a person granted permanent residence in a country not his own, with the assurance and expectation that (a) he will make a positive contribution to his new nation, and (b) he will not be a danger to its native inhabitants or a charge on the public purse. A refugee, on the other hand, is a person given charity in some safe place until he can safely return to his home. If, in the event, he never can safely return, he might reasonably be considered for immigration at some future time.
That sure isn't how the U.S.A. conducts its refugee policy. I refer listeners to the website Refugee Resettlement Watch, run by the doughty Ann Corcoran, a true patriot and heroine of our time. Ann tirelessly chronicles all the crookedness and bogosity of our "refugee" system, and its dire effects on American towns and cities, and on our country's security.
It's all a monstrous racket. To take that security aspect: A moment's common-sense reflection tells you that chaotic places like Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea and the Congo, with high levels of illiteracy and government clerks who can be bought over the counter for a pack of cigarettes, do not maintain reliable databases of criminal activity or terrorist affiliation. Anyone from any of these places can claim anything, and probably back up their claim with bogus documentation.
If common sense doesn't tell you this, let the Director of the FBI tell you. Giving testimony to the Senate Homeland Security Committee last year, Director Comey said in respect of Syrian refugees that, quote:
We can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.End quote.
That of course is no deterrent to the contractors running the refugee resettlement rackets, who have money and careers invested in the game. Still less does it deter our President, who has strongly pro-Muslim sentiments and a gnawing dislike of provincial white prole Americans, bitterly clinging to their bibles and their guns.
September 30th marks the end of the federal government's Fiscal Year 2016, so although Obama won't be in charge much longer, he can ask Congress to appropriate money for Fiscal Year 2017.
Well, he just asked. Specifically, he asked Congress to fund 110,000 so-called Syrian so-called "refugees" for the coming Fiscal Year. The number for 2016 was 85,000, so that's an increase of 25,000.
And as Ann Corcoran has documented very extensively, that 25,000 will be housed in red states, not blue states; as we Charles Murray fans would say, in white prole Fishtown, not in upper-middle-class Belmont.
The philanthropy of our elites is telescopic. They want to do good to the oppressed masses of the world, but they don't want them living nearby. They definitely don't want their kids going to school with them.
From Obama's point of view, of course, it's win-win; in fact it's win-win-win. Not only does he (a) get a worshipful, admiring press from the globalist bureaucrats at the U.N. and elsewhere; not only does he (b) accelerate the growth of nontraditional America by importing a mass of fecund Muslims into states that voted against him; he also (c) pokes a finger in the eye of those flyover white people he hates so much. Win-win-win!
The American nation is not without its defenders, though. While Annn Corcoran is toiling away in the vineyards of internet commentary, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is striking back from Congress, where the money will be appropriated, if it gets appropriated.
In a statement issued Tuesday this week, Senator Sessions blasted Obama's request. Sample quotes:
Despite opposition by the American people, a documented link between terrorism and individuals admitted to the United States as refugees, and over $19 trillion in debt, the Obama Administration has committed the United States to admitting 110,000 refugees during Fiscal Year 2017 …End quote. Keep at 'em, Senator. You too, Ann. Thanks for all you're doing here. And listeners, let your representatives know how you feel about this. That especially applies if your representative is one of the weasel Republicans who will happily go along with Obama's scheme of demographic transformation, however much it costs.
The common sense concerns of the American people are simply ignored as the Administration expands its reckless and extreme policies …
The Administration's claim that the program costs roughly $1.5 billion drastically understates the true costs of initial resettlement — as it does not include costs for programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income, among others …
It would be safer and more cost-effective to establish safe zones for refugees as close to their homes as possible — particularly for those from the Middle East … With the prospect for a cease-fire in the region, there is even more reason to focus on providing temporary support for displaced persons in the region.
Imprimis: We've all heard about self-driving cars and self-driving trucks. Well, WalMart has filed a patent for a self-driving shopping cart.
The best thing about the self-driving shopping cart, we are told, is that after you've taken it out to your car in the parking lot and unloaded it, the cart will find its way back to the store.
Hold on there a minute, though. If my car is a self-driving car, I won't have to wheel my shopping cart out to it. I just walk out of the store, snap out my smartphone, and summon the car to come and meet me. Right?
Perhaps there's something I'm missing. I'm not really at home in the 21st century.
Although, I must say, as a busy gardener and transporter of logs to the woodpile back of my garage, I could definitely be in the market for a self-driving wheelbarrow …
Item: In the September 2nd podcast I noted that the roster of dropouts on the U.S. Marines Infantry Officer's Course included the only female Marine on the course. No, I beg her pardon: the only Marine on the course who happened to be female — that's better.
Well, do not despair, ladies. There is still one thing that servicepersons who happen to be female can do better than males. We learned this week that one of the former, serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on patrol in the Persian gulf, gave birth to a seven-pound baby girl.
Aircraft from the Eisenhower have been flying combat missions over Iraq and Syria, so this is an operational situation. Operations seem to have been suspended, though, while the maternity crisis was dealt with. A spokesman for the Fifth Fleet reported on Tuesday that, quote:
As the baby was born at sea aboard an operational unit, the main focus for the U.S. Navy, the ship and its crew is the safety and well-being of the baby and the mother.End quote, and the mission be hanged.
Item: Heading back into the German language for a moment, you may know that the traditional dress in Bavaria is, for men, lederhosen short pants and suspenders, with of course an alpine hat; for women, it's a dress called the dirndl, with full skirt, bare arms, and a plunging neckline.
Well, the Germans are now striving to make their culture more acceptable to the million and a half Muslims they invited in last year to share the bratwurst and butterkartoffel. So they've come up with a variant on the dirndl: wait for it … the burkirndl.
The burkirndl is in the same relation to a dirndl as a burkini is to a bikini: minimal flesh display, long sleeves, high neck, and of course a full head covering.
Muslims can now feel at home in Bavaria, wrapped up modestly in their burkirndls as they quaff beer at Oktoberfest.
Wait a minute, though; Muslims aren't allowed to drink beer, are they? And shouldn't there be some similar accommodation for Muslim men, so they won't be embarrassed about showing their bare knees? Burklederhosen?
Multiculturalism sure isn't easy. It's important to keep trying, though!
Item: Finally, this Saturday, September 17th, is Constitution Day. Should you choose to spend that day contemplating our nation's great founding document, here's a recommendation — a supplementary item that may rekindle your interest in the intellectual debates of 230 years ago.
Scholar and author William Watkins has an essay up at The Daily Caller, September 15th, title: Did the Constitution deliver?
Watkins doesn't think it did. Sample quote:
On this Constitution Day let's be honest with ourselves. The Constitution and the Federalists did not deliver on the promises of limited powers. The Anti-Federalists, however, perspicaciously saw the flaws in the system and tried to warn the people. If we desire to reform our all-powerful national government, we should jettison The Federalist Papers and instead listen to the wisdom of Brutus, Cato and their fellow Anti-Federalists.End quote. It's a good argumentative piece, and not long — less than seven hundred words.
When you're through with that, if you still have time, you might note that as well as being Constitution Day, it's also Citizenship Day.
Thinking about that will of course depress you. As all goodthinking people know, the main thing wrong with U.S. citizenship is that billions of people are shamefully excluded from it merely by virtue of being foreigners. Shameful, shameful. Hate-ful, in fact! Xenophobic. Vile. Nativist. Mean-spirited. Abhorrent …
a lengthy review by me of a great Hungarian novel, Miklós Bánffy's Transylvanian Trilogy.
One of the characters in that novel is a rather stiff and, as we 1960s survivors were wont to say, uptight lady, of whom the novelist tells us that, quote, "she preferred a waltz to a csárdás." OK, so what's a csárdás? Well, it's a traditional folk dance of Hungary, characterized by dramatic changes of tempo.
To play us out, here's an actual Hungarian, the lovely and talented Katica Illényi, playing one of the fast bits.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Katica Illényi, The Monti csárdás.]