TCS Daily


Calling a Tail a Leg

By Robert McHenry - May 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Of all the many, mostly apocryphal, anecdotes told of Abraham Lincoln, my favorite has always been this one:

(Lincoln poses a question to someone who has been arguing with him.) "If you call a mule's tail a leg, how many legs does the mule have?"

"Why, five," answers his puzzled antagonist.

"No," says Lincoln. "The mule has just four legs. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one."

This kind of category error commonly confounds our public and private debates, and it offers rich ground for those who enjoy or profit by fanning those debates into controversies and battles royal.

Our latest instance -- and one of the sillier we've been treated to in a season already looking to set records -- is the so-called Spanish version of "The Star-Spangled Banner." This plays nicely into the current brouhaha over illegal immigration and the various legislative actions and inactions that have been prompted by it. With two or more camps already well defined, lines drawn, and tempers edgy, it's either a brilliant marketing coup or one big dumb move to introduce a piece of forgettable cultural foam at the right moment. But introduced it has been. And predictably, those segments of the media, both mainstream and bloggish, that live by haranguing the perpetually outraged have their amps turned up to eleven.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" began as a poem titled "Defence of Fort M'Henry" and was printed as a broadsheet for easy and wide distribution in 1814. A short time later it was reprinted as sheet music, using the melody of a British (!) drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven" by John Stafford Smith, and with the title we now know. Not until 1931 did this song become officially the national anthem of the United States. It is worth remembering that the poem had, and the song has, four stanzas, although the second and third are almost never sung and the fourth is sung but rarely. One reason is the difficulty of the melody, of which one run-through is enough for most people. Another is the anti-British phrases in the middle: "the foe's haughty host"; "their foul footstep's pollution"; and others. Even the fourth, with its "Then conquer we must," embarrasses enough people nowadays to limit its use.

I won't insult you by offering the words of the first stanza here, as though you didn't have them by heart. But think of them now; hear the song in your mind's ear. "Oh, say can you see...". Then look at an English translation of the first verse of "Nuestro Himno."

The day is breaking, do you see it?
In the light of the dawn?
What we so acclaimed at nightfall?
Its stars, its stripes, flew yesterday
In the fierce battle in a sign of victory,
The glow of battle, in step with liberty
At night they said: "It's being defended!"

Oh say!
The voice of your starry beauty is still unfolding
Over the land of the free
The sacred flag?

Let's agree to begin with that there's nothing objectionable in this lyric. Let's agree further that it shares some themes with the first stanza of "Defence of Fort M'Henry." But is it a translation of that poem? A very loose one, it might be argued. But where are the bombs, the rockets? Where is the fervor? It would be more apt to say that it is a verse somewhat inspired by the Francis Scott Key original but reflecting a particular modern sensitivity to martial images and language. The second verse goes farther afield with talk of brotherhood and an obscure call to "break the chains."

So what happens when you sing those Spanish words to the same tune -- remember, a borrowed British one -- as we use for "The Star-Spangled Banner"? Are you then singing a "Spanish version" of the national anthem? No, of course not. You are free to sing any words to that tune, and unless they happen to be identical to Key's you are not singing the national anthem. Or you may recite Key's words aloud, and unless you happen also to change your intonation so as to produce the melody of "To Anacreon in Heaven," you are not singing the national anthem. You are singing the national anthem when, and only when, you pronounce Key's words to Smith's melody. Change anything, and you are reciting some other poem or singing some other song.

There can be no "Spanish version" of the national anthem or any other alternate version, unless Congress says so. Congress may conceivably say so, but if I were you I'd expect a solution to Social Security and, for that matter, war with Alpha Centauri before that happens. Until then, try to imagine what Abraham Lincoln would say:

"If you call "Nuestro Himno" a version of the national anthem, how many versions are there?"

Unless you're a talk show host or a careless journalist or a politician snatching at yet another diverting issue or you just plain enjoy being irked, you'll join Abe in answering "One. Calling "Nuestro Himno" a Spanish version of the anthem doesn't make it one."

Robert McHenry is Former Editor in Chief, the Encyclopdia Britannica, and author of How to Know (Booklocker.com, 2004).

Categories:

51 Comments

State Deptartment's spanish translations
Himno nacional -- La Bandera de Estrellas
Versión en español de Francis Haffkine Snow. (c)1919
http://usinfo.state.gov/esp/home/topics/us_society_values/national_symbols/anthem_spanish.html

Spanish version of SSB misses the point.
This whole controversy is rife with comedy...

The Spanish version has been around for years. It started like this: José, can you see?

If the SSB is going to be in Spanish, then hockey and baseball fans know that Oh, Canada needs to be in Spanish as well. Maybe before a hockey game, we need to sing Oh, Canada in English, French, and Spanish followed by the SSB in English and Spanish.

If we're gonna have a Spanish SSB, then we need Spanish screw-ups of the SSB. Take Carl Lewis's rendition:

...and the rockets.. (switch to high pitch) red glare!!
Uh oh. The bombs bursting in air.
Gave proof to the night, that our flag was still there.
I'm gonna make it up to you now.
....

Finally, I think I read on Wikipedia (just kidding) that the song we stole from the British wasn't just a British song, but a British drinking song! As with all drinking songs, it's OK to make up whatever words you want after a few brews. If you come up with something good, someone has to write it down.

Well then
Does that mean we should be reading the bible in hebrew and greek?

ONE VERSION!
There is only ONE version of our national anthem --- The Star Spangled Banner. It got me sick to my stomach when then would also sing the Mexican national anthem at Padre's games in San Diego. Why? It's not Mexico's national sport and San Diego is NOT Mexico --- although with all the illegals passing through they think so.

For the Hispanics --- if you can't sing our national anthem in ENGLISH, as Francis Scott Key wrote it --- you know which way SOUTH is. Get moving!!!

A pile of dog sh*t covered in icing....
is STILL a pile of dog sh*t! These illegal, job-stealing, disease-spreading, non-English speaking, gang-banging, dope-smuggling, anti-American wetbacks can yap on all they want about their so-caled love of America but their actions speak louder than words! A JEW wrote that song and it's singers are all black and mestizo. See the site:
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2006/04/who-is-adam-kidron-man-behind-nuestro.html
I say put a $5 bounty on ALL non-whites and shoot them for sport! Make America FOR the white people, BY the white people and RUN by white people!

How many languages
That's my question. My German ancestors learned English and sang the SSB in English. The same for friends who trace their origins back to a myriad of languages.

Part of America's greatness is the melding of various cultures in the melting pot to produce the equivalent of a super metal, with traits beyond those of the separate elements.

To allow one group to have their own version of the National Anthem demeans those who eschewed their birth language when they committed to becoming "American."

Too Far!!
I'm not crazy about the current situation --- and I don't believe that anybody who won't be American should stay in America--- but I think you're going OVERBOARD here. I don't think a bounty is something that should even be considered. That sounds KKK/Aryan Nation.

And maybe a Jew wrote that song (maybe not, I don't know), but what does that have to do with it?

The issue is whether or not Hispanics in this country want to be Americans or Hispanics --- whether they want to accept the fact that American tradition is an English-speaking nation or if they want to change it so that it is a Spanish-speaking nation --- whether or not they want to obey our laws, or break them selectively to their own advantage.

We do have Hispanics in this nation who have been here for generations, are productive AMERICANS and resent what the big-mouth law-breakers are doing.

My issue is with those who want to bring south of the border north, not white versus whatever. Frankly, I think we ought to give them California (or at least the southern half) just so the rest of the nation can see what a mess they make of it --- Mexico North. While they are in conflict, they feel powerful. However, even Ho Chi Minh (that little SOB) said that it was easier to govern in war than it is to govern a peace.

Oh yeah --- and don't believe every blog you read.

This doesn't belong here.
Anyone who can not keep a reasonably civil set of fingers to their keyboard should not (IMHO,) be allowed to post comments here.

It's not the message but the format. Do we need a filter on TCS Daily??

Same Experience
My family came from Poland --- both sides --- my grandparents. And many followed them --- aunts, uncles, cousins, friends. All of them couldn't wait to speak English because that marked them as AMERICANS.

Sometimes, when they didn't want the kids to hear what they were saying, they'd talk in Polish, but that was it. When I was six, I asked my Mom why we never spoke Polish at home. Her answer: "Because we're AMERICANS not Poles."

If you want to speak Spanish --- go back to/or stay in Mexico and south.

Activist Judgments
There is nothing in the Constitution that forbids speaking in Spanish, German, Klingon, or any other langauge.

Good God!
Rhampton, you can speak any damned language you want in the privacy of your own setting. THAT however, is NOT what these people want. They want a bilingual nation (Spanish first, then English) at best. At worst, let's just throw out the English.

English is the AMERICAN tradition. If you want to be an AMERICAN, you abide by AMERICAN traditions.

Otherwise, you will wind up with linguistic chaos --- just like Los Angeles where they print ballots in 82 different languages. If you can't understand the language of the place you live, what the hell kind of voter can you be? An idiotic, uninformed one!!

Just as an aside --- Spanish is the language of a culture that never has embraced democracy --- at least for more than a few years. It's people have returned to autocracy at every chance they get. They seldom, if ever, rebel in an effective manner. When they do, their "democratic" leadership enjoys its power and returns to autocracy. And if the Mexicans didn't have American just north of them, to which they can flee instead of trying to change their own system for the better (the lazy bastards), they would all be kowtowing to the autocracy in Mexico City.

Good Governance
"English is the AMERICAN tradition. If you want to be an AMERICAN, you abide by AMERICAN traditions."

Actually, if you are born in the United States or naturalized, then you are an American citizen (14th Amendment, Section 1) -- there is no legal requirement to speak English. If that's what you want, better start working on amending the Constitution.

Press Briefing by Scott McClellan
The White House, May 2, 2006

Q: Scott, I wonder -- on Friday, the President firmly said he believes the National Anthem should be sung in English. Kevin Phillips, the REPUBLICAN ANALYST, wrote a book called American Dynasty, and in there he claims that during the President's 2000 campaign, [GEORGE W. BUSH] DID SING THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER IN SPANISH at some Hispanic festivals, various campaign events. Are you aware, do you recall that from the 2000 campaign?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I don't.

Q: Do you think that that would be counter to what the President laid out on Friday?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't recall that, and I'm not going to try to speculate on something I haven't looked into.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/05/20060502-4.html

Good God! Again!
Rhampton ---

"Actually, if you are born in the United States or naturalized, then you are an American citizen (14th Amendment, Section 1) -- there is no legal requirement to speak English. If that's what you want, better start working on amending the Constitution."

Don't pull this legalistic bullshit with me. It is the refuge of small minds.

In fact, there is a language test for naturalized ctizenship, but it is seldom sincerely enforced --- at least ever since the Clinton administration.

The issue is not a legal one --- it is a cutural one. One that transcends the petty legalistic crap to which people like you cling. What we are looking at here is no less an invasion than if the Mexican army landed on the beaches at La Jolla. You are looking at a people who have no respect for the laws of this land yet want to take advantage of its benefits and NOT want to become part of it.

So take your idiotic, legalist point of view and stuff it where the sun doesn't shine. Nor do I think McClellan's conference has anything to do wth anything.

I have no intention of wasting my time further either reading or responding to your comments.

PS - I neutered my cat yesterday. Now he's a liberal.

Constitutional Flip-Flop
Washington Weekly Review
The Christian Coalition of America, July 15, 2005

...The importance of replacing the social liberal Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor who announced that she is retiring from the court earlier this month with a STRICT CONSTITUTIONALIST IN THE MOLD OF JUSTICES ANTONIN SCALIA AND CLARENCE THOAMS is more important than ever ... President Bush promised during his 2000 and 2004 campaigns to appoint only Supreme Court Justices who are like Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, strict constitutionalists WHO DO NOT LEGISLATE FROM THE BENCH...

http://www.cc.org/content.cfm?id=237

Hampton's logic or its monkeyhouse time!
Of course Hampton, just take your meds and put on your straitjacket. Can anyone imagine being hired by the US government without being able to speak English? But in Hampton's world this isn't required by the Constitution. Nor does it state that smoking is illegal so far as my searches have shown.

Hampton's just another ACLU troll. Come on Hampton sing us the "International" just like you do at home.

Poor Hampton the idea of not using a living constitution
It just drives him crazy that judges shouldn't make laws or preempt the legislatures or executive branches. What's a commusnist to do?

Got their Vietnamese translation?
How about their Swedish one?

Protectionism
Once, not that long ago it seems, being Conservative meant being respectful of the Constitution.

And you are correct, smoking itself is not illegal -- it's where you smoke that States Rights have been asserted (regulating smoking on governmental property and public spaces).

Finally, you must have a deep-seated hatred of Libertarians and the Free Market of Ideas.

Free Market Fears
I am VERY BOTHERED by advocates of Strict Constitutionalism who are only interested in promoting a precise reading of the law when it suits them.

So for them, it's time to figure where their true allegiance lies -- Cultural Protectionism or Strict Constitutionalism.

Hampton'sbothered by freedom and democracy
and judges who don't hold the same views he does. After all commissar what's a gulag for?

Let us know when you ever post a free market thought Hampton
When all we've ever seen is praise for communists and their ideals.

Four for Free Markets
Sure, that's easy TJ. Here's just a few:

1. Reinsurance in the Free Market
http://www.tcsdaily.com/discussionForum.aspx?
fldIdTopic=7578&fldIdMsg=14973

2. Free Market Education
http://www.tcsdaily.com/discussionForum.aspx?
fldIdTopic=7444&fldIdMsg=11894

3. Market vs. America
http://www.tcsdaily.com/discussionForum.aspx?
fldIdTopic=7731&fldIdMsg=15920

4. Free Markets are global, not local
http://www.tcsdaily.com/discussionForum.aspx?
fldIdTopic=6990&fldIdMsg=7224

TJ -- you're just too much!
I'm continuously amazed by your ability insult and slander without regard to truth or reason -- you're like a Machiavellian idiot-savant.

Some Thoughts
I sent the following message to some people with a copoy of this article.

Following it is an e-mail that I got back from a dear friend of mine.

Is the message clear? Do you see what our anthem means to those of us who wore our nation's uniform and those who appreciate the people who did?

========

KK Note: I am not ashamed to say that I cry every time our national anthem is played. I cry with pride for our nation and all those who have sacrificed for our freedom. I now cry for the stupidity, selfishness, ignorance of the Hispanic community and its desire to turn America into another Mexico --- a dung heap of corruption and poverty.

When I was at West Point, every plebe had to learn the FOURTH stanza of the Star Spangled Banner. I doubt any of you have ever heard or read it. So, here it is in all its emotional power.

"Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand

Between their loved homes and wild war's desolation;



Bless'd with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land

Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!



Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust!'



And the Star-Spangled Banner Banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."


We must now conquer those who would internally destroy us. They wage wild war against us for the reason that all those who start wild war do so – their own selfishness. If we do not preserve our nation now --- who will later?

============ THE RESPONSE:

Ken,
We had to do the same thing at Navy, i.e. memorize all four stanzas.
As I think back about it, when I was a child, my father had been a decorated war hero. He had two Purple Hearts. He was part of a new unit called UDT (underwater demolition team). That new unit was the founding unit of what we now call the Navy Seals. Dad fought on, among others, Tarawa, and Okinawa. He saved a couple of his journals where he described the fear and reverence he had for the men who had gone before him.
I remember whenever the National anthem was sung, that my father would stand tall (which is hard for a 5’7” guy) and start belting out the first lines of the song. He wouldn’t get more than 2 or three lines in before he had to stop, tears running down his face, and a trebling hand across his heart.
My father was never one to talk about war stories; he had a lot of night terrors after coming home from 4.5 years of duty. He was in a POW camp for 3 months, and still has residual problems in his right leg from squatting with a bamboo shaft behind his knees.
I asked him why he cried at the National Anthem, and, being a man of few words, would say something to the affect that, “I know many men who gave their lives for that flag, and I honored and loved them all. They were my brothers, I shall never forget them”.
As I write this to you, my eyes fill up, and tears are beginning to run down my face. Not the bawling kind, just the soft “knowing and understanding” kind, though I have never been in combat. Like you, I cry at the national anthem, almost at the same places my father did. He’s still alive, and still doesn’t talk about the war stories, but he does still cry at the national anthem. I can think of very few legacies that are greater than the legacy he gave to me.

God bless.

The Vows We Keep
As a memeber of our nation's military, I'm sure you recall that when joined our armed forces, you vowed to defend the Constitution of the United States -- not our National Anthem -- with your life.

Newsflash for Rhampton
Hey buddy, here in America, it's an unspoken GIVEN that we speak ENGLISH! Our migrant (as opposed to immigrants who take from a country already developed and built)ancestors, chose to become part OF our country illegal scum who only want to reamain apart FROM our counrty, sap it's welfare system and remain socio-parasites!
How many hospitals have been shut down due to illegals NOT paying their bills and how many Americans have been turned away because they don't have insurance? How many WHITES are into gangs and gang-banging? How many WHITES are in the penal system? How many WHITES are HIV and AIDS positive? How many WHITES are unemployed due to illegal wetbacks? How many BLACKS are unemployed due to ******* illegals? Get a grip you gliberal dumb ass!

Now why would I want to be like you?
Commissar I'm really not sure whether we're more amused when you do Charlie McCarthy or when you sing the International. Personally I'm sure you'd be a big hit on one of the rapper channels, you in your high heels and dress having Charlie sing the International.

Reversal
I am going back on what I said before --- I actually looked at your bullshit ---

Rhampton --- you give an entirely new dimension to the meaning of the word "stupid." You are a unidimensional moron who hides in legalism as his last refuge. I wouldn't be surprised if you were an ******* attorney --- with apologies for the redundancy. That, or a commissar whose whole life is governed by Das Kapital and the "wisdom" of Marx and Stalin.

Were these like your dubbing a Marxist a Conservative?
Sorry sir you have no credibility with anyone here.

Hampton's vow-to salute the Red flad whenever, wherever
Sad Hampton, pathetic. Its just the sort of BS we'd expect from someone who would do neither. Go sing the International will you.

If you ever wondered who worships at Lenin's tomb now you know
The Commissar is normally incoherent. But what can one expect from a NAMBLA recruiter?

Hmmmm?
Maybe he's the type we should put a bounty on?

Did You Vow To Defend The Constitution?
kgkphd,

To address the question of "stupid" -- I actually DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION. At present, the singing of the National Anthem in Spanish, ASL, Klingon, or any other language including English is UNQUESTIONABLY within the right of any and every American citizen.

Now if you want to take away that right, you need to amend the Constitution. Got it?

Also, I can't help but notice that you and TJ have a uniquely odd fascination with calling people "commissar" and acusing them of being Marxists and Stalinists.

TJ, are you double posting again?

A Bounty On My Life?
You need help.

Hey FBOOGER **** YOU!
It's pathetic, cyber eunuchs like YOU who have allowed thios country to be over run by ******* scum! **** YOU you piece of **** couch potato!
If there was more like ME who protest those illegal shits then YOU would have a job and we wouldn't have to worry about supporting you on welfare. But then again, if you had a dollar for every time you daddy fucked your ass, you wouldn't BE on welfare! FUCKSTICK!

You Are Stupid --- And You NEED Help
You "defend" the Constitution? You didn't answer the question before as to whther or not you are an attorney. I guess that does --- since attorneys see themselves as defenders of Constitution --- when actually they are the most perverse influence on our Constitutioin that ever existed. Attorneys (which I assume you may be) sit high-handed over others and make a mockery of the law --- such that any relationship between justice and our current legal system is merely a coincidence.

Attorney or not --- you wouldn't know defending the Constitution if it hit you in the face like a Mack truck. your simple minded liberalism can't even tell the difference between what IS a Constitutional issue and what ISN'T. You make mountains out of mole-hills and your mush-filled cranium can't tell the difference.

And you still have no idea of what it means to experience an assault on your nation OTHER than a military one. God, you're a sorry, simple-minded loser.

Why am I wasting my time on you?

Volunteers needed!
Personally I think he is quite capable of dealing with you but in the evnt you think volunteers are needed I am sure the readership here will be glad to assist.

For fouling the sidewalks?
But then you'd have to find his keeper for allowing Hampton to run loose without his straitjacket and meds.

The New Know-Nothings
kgkphd,

I am not, nor have I ever been, a lawyer, paralegal, court stenographer, bailiff, judge, elected official, lobbyist, or any other profession related to the law. As for your paranoia -- it's nothing new:

1843-1903: The Immigrant Church
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis

...by the 1850s, anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant sentiments had come together in a movement whose members called themselves the "KNOW-NOTHINGS."

Officially called the American Party, the Know-Nothings were nativists. That is, they supported policies that favored native inhabitants rather than immigrants. Eventually, they ran their own candidates for office on platforms of limiting immigration and restricting the rights of immigrants who already were in the United States. And the Know-Nothings gradually began to think of immigrants and Catholics as one and the same.

Irish Catholics were a particular target for the Know-Nothings. Meanwhile, the new Irish immigrants, who tended to live in St. Patrick's Parish, also had a tendency to LINK THEIR CATHOLICISM WITH THEIR OWN CULTURAL AND NATIONAL HERITAGE...

http://www.archstl.org/history/chap3.html

The Constitution in Black & White
"Hey buddy, here in America, it's an unspoken GIVEN that we speak ENGLISH!"

The Constitution trumps "unspoken givens". So why not start the amendment process and make English the official language and prohibit citizens from speaking any other?

Jose, Can You See?
I certainly agree with the sentiment of Mr. McHenry's article, but what are tunes sung at baseball games - differently arragned, usually - if not "versions" of the national anthem? Heck, what about Jimmy Hendricks at Woodstock? Okay, belay my last; he was protesting.

The Constitution
R, you don't seem to understand much about the Constitution. There is nothing in there that says that there CANNOT be an official language. Thus, if Congress wants to pass a law that all official business must be done in English, this would NOT be a violation of the Constitution. Only liberal judges who like to read their favorite pet projects into the Constitution could find a prohibition on such an act of Congress.

Furthermore, it is also clear that the states have the power to pass similar laws.

-BOb

Yes and No
I do agree, but the particular wording of the hypothetical State law is important. Thus, if you pass a Constitutional Amendment, it's beyond argument even for "activist judges."

However, the main point is that current law does not prohibit singing the National Anthem in Spanish, or more broadly, using any language besides English. Until such laws are past, English-only demands have no authority.

More huffing and Hampton puffing-
Please don't display your ignorance so publically or so loudly. The Constitution states that all rights not discussed are reserved to the people. So much for your trumps. Too bad it doesn't state what should be done to cretins who seek to remake the world as they would like via a "living constitution."

How appropriate for Hampton to display his leanings-The New No Nothing
Fits you tro a tee.

Are you a Neo Know-Nothing?
Vintage radicalism may emerge in protest
The Arizona Republic, April 30, 2006

...The know-nothings -- the Pat Buchanans and Tom Tancredos of their day -- built a political movement based on opposition to "alien" influences, including concern over the rise of Catholic immigration to a then overwhelmingly Protestant America.

Gaining considerable influence before the Civil War, these early nativists advocated a program that makes today's nativists seem lamblike. Their New York affiliate demanded, among other things, the elimination of the foreign-born from political office, a 21-year residency requirement for naturalization, the deportation of foreign paupers, mandatory Bible reading in schools and a ban on the use of foreign languages in schools or public documents...

...Latinos, contrary to the assertions of both nativists and nationalist radicals, are integrating rapidly into the American political and social framework. 90% of Latino high school graduates, for example, preferred to speak English over Spanish. Despite images of Latinos as newly arrived, the Spanish-speaking first generation is becoming a progressively smaller percentage of the Latino population; by 2040, the second generation is expected to double while the third generation, the vast majority of who don't speak fluent Spanish at all, expands threefold...

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/
articles/0430kotkin0430.html

9th Amendment
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to DENY OR DISPARAGE others retained by the people."

You're reading the Constitution -- congratulations TJ!

Why don't you honor it?
You might try reading the Constitution. You'll find it a wonderful tool for protecting the people against the vain and egocentric. Unfortunately we have a government of poltroons and self serving idiots.

In Hampton's world law breakers are the progressives
Yup, I guess I'm a know nothing. I won't tolerate the breaking of the law. What is the name for those who praise law breaking? And that son is why you're a commissar.

The Jewish Marxist Heir Behind 'Nuestro Himno'

Who is Adam Kidron, the man behind "Nuestro Himno?"

When I first heard of the Spanish rewrite travesty of the "Star-Spangled Banner" that has been released in time for the May Day pro-illegal immigration rallies, I said, "Well, that at least is more financially enterprising than anything you normally see from Mexicans in America, who have otherwise had so little impact on popular culture, despite their vast numbers."

But then I heard that it was created by record producer Adam Kidron. "That's funny," I thought, "Because 'Kidron' sure doesn't sound Spanish."

So, who is this guy?

Well, it turns out Adam Kidron is not Hispanic at all. Indeed, he's from a very interesting family. He was born in England, where his father, Michael Kidron, was a famous Marxist theoretician and his uncle, the late "Tony Cliff," [V-News: real name Yigael Gluckstein] was the leader of the largest Trotskyite party in Britain, the Socialist Workers Party or SWP.

Adam was a producer for a bunch of minor early 1980s New Wave musicians such as East German novelty act Nina Hagen, The Slits, Orchestre Rouge, and Scritti Politti. Many of the artists were leftwingers.

Here's something revealing from the website of an old anarcho-punk band called Zounds:

"In the process of recording the record, the band involved themselves with Adam Kidron who was given production credits although his job was more a glorified engineer.

Steve, 'We had a guy engineering called Adam Kidron, he was the millionaire son and heir of the Socialist publisher who owned Pluto Press. He was really funny and we were very naive and impressed by him. He talked us in to giving him producer royalties when we didn't even know what royalties were and we thought we were producing the album ourselves.... Adam hated guitars so we ended up with a far less powerful guitar sound than we would have liked. We were a guitar band after all.'"

To some people, being raised to want to overthrow capitalism seems to give them an excuse to behave like the worst kind of robber baron. Hey, don't blame me for what happened to these poor dumb guitarists' royalties, blame this rotten capitalist system, man! Come the Revolution, my true saintliness will finally manifest itself.

During the dot-com era, Kidron was a co-founder and CEO of the hip-hop website Urban Box Office Networks Inc., which went bankrupt in 2000 after hiring 300 employees, mostly marketing people. UrbanExpose.com wrote:

"After a year and a half of operation UBO has made approximately $150,000 dollars in revenue against nearly $50 million in spending."

Kidron has apparently now converted the remains of Urban Box Office into a Spanish-language record label selling reggaeton (Caribbean rap).

Adam's dad, the Marxist theoretician Michael Kidron, died in 2003, but it sounds like his old man would be proud of Adam's contribution to May Day 2006, "Nuestro Himno."

The Socialist Review began its obituary:

"Mike Kidron, who died last month, was probably the most important Marxist economist of his generation, although he never received the recognition he deserved from the academic Marxism of the 1970s and early 1980s."

Here is the conclusion to Wikipedia's article on Michael Kidron:

"Kidron remained a Marxist committed to changing the world and therefore understood the necessity of developing a theoretical understanding of how the world works precisely in order to change it. His final article appeared in the Autumn 2002 issue of the International Socialism Journal on The Decline of Capitalism, and spoke of a sure and certain knowledge that another world is not just possible but demanded. As ever, the revolutionary role of the working class in the core countries of capitalism was reasserted and the goal of a communist society reaffirmed."

Michael Kidron offended pacifist leftists by advocating street violence.

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V-News: Here is what Wikipedia says about Adam Kidron: Kidron is a supporter of the goals of such charities as the Jewish Family and Children Services, National Jewish Medical & Research Center, Mazon: A Jewish Response to hunger, and the Meir Panim Relief Center in Israel.

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