The Corner

Confucius Say . . .

At the beginning of our latest podcast, Mona Charen and I have a guest, Henry Olsen. He is a guru on elections and electorates, plus other important matters. Then Mona and I discuss a range of issues — beginning with Hong Kong. Could Tiananmen Square be repeated? And how about the broader question of democracy, for peoples that don’t have it? Democracy for me but not for thee?

Then we talk about the business of terrorist-killing — this is very important business. It is hard to do without harming or killing innocent people in the process, as President Obama knows. Does he have a twinge of sympathy for Israel, which tries to take out terrorists who place themselves and their matériel amid schoolkids and hospital patients?

We talk about the University of Chicago — which has just done a stirring thing. They have dropped the Confucius Institute from their campus. What’s a Confucius Institute? In large part, an extension of the Chinese Communist Party’s “soft power.” There are hundreds of these damn institutes in free countries.

The other day, I did a little post about Kim Jong-un — who has been out of public view for a while, I believe. The word is, he’s laid up by gout. While a schoolboy in Switzerland, he developed a fondness for cheese, and gorges on the stuff (again, according to reports). Thanks to the Communist system, millions of North Koreans are starving — but their leader is all too well fed.

Mona and I talk about this. Then some more issues. We go out with some music: the last few minutes of The Firebird, Stravinsky’s ballet. When they opened Carnegie Hall’s season on Wednesday night, the Berlin Philharmonic played some excerpts from this ballet. In my review, I wrote that Stefan Dohr’s horn solo was just about the best part of the whole evening. He is one of the great instrumentalists in the world.

To hear Dohr play the solo in question — not this week, but years ago — go here.

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