[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, fife & drum version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, once again, listeners, this is your bibulously genial host John Derbyshire with some highlights from the passing charivari.
We are rather at sixes and sevens here on the island this week, and I'm afraid it's my fault.
You see, among the many news sources that my research assistants scour for highlights to bring you is the London Daily Telegraph, which I have flown over to us by air mail.
Well, Mandy brought over to me the Arts section of the March 13th Telegraph with the page turned to a story headlined, quote: Erotic Pompeii goat statue arrives in the British Museum. Sub-heading, quote: "One of Naples's most prized artworks, a statue of Pan having sex with a goat, will go on show in the British Museum's Pompeii exhibition," end quote. The story was accompanied by a photograph of this remarkable ancient statue, which does indeed show the god Pan in intimate congress with a goat. It's a nanny goat, of course — nothing queer about old Pan.
Mandy, who is an innocent young thing, asked me what Pan and the goat were doing. Not wishing to bring a blush to her fair cheek — these girls have led very sheltered lives — I explained that the goat had fallen on her back and Pan was helping her to right herself. That seemed to satisfy Mandy and she went away to convey my explanation to the other girls.
However, they had left the Telegraph on their desk, opened to that page, when Nikki Nicolaides arrived with their lunch. Nikki saw the picture and seemed to grasp the essence of the story. After uttering an ejaculation in his own language, he left the building at a fast run and was last seen rowing for the mainland. We are told that he took the bus to Athens and immediately boarded a plane for London.
So now we have no fast-food service on the island. There's nothing for it but to heat up frozen souvlaki in the microwave until Nikki gets back. These are the inconveniences of life in the sunny Aegean.
Oh well … I was getting tired of goatburgers anyway. And those 64-ounce cups of fig cola are really too much — someone should pass a law …
OK, on with the show!
02 — New Pope. Congratulations to listeners of the Roman Catholic confession on your new Pope.
This is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, until this week the archbishop of Buenos Aires. He is an Argentine of, like a great many Argentines, Italian ancestry, so he shouldn't have too much trouble making himself understood to taxi drivers and bartenders in Rome.
Cardinal Bergoglio has taken the papal name Francis, in honor either of the Italian saint from Assisi or of the Italian lounge singer from Hoboken, I don't know. He is a sprightly 76 years old and I am told lives a fairly abstemious lifestyle, so he should be with us for many years yet. May it indeed be so, and Radio Derb wishes Pope Francis all the luck in the world — and, given his position, out of the world too.
It would of course be a gross breach of etiquette to repeat any of the jokes that are going round, so I'll leave it to you to hear from your co-workers and family members about the Hispanic who went to Europe to do the low-paid work Europeans won't do, or about the Papacy having gone from Germany to Argentina, a thing never known to happen before, or any of the other low, bad-taste quips. No, listeners, you must go and seek them out for yourselves. This is a class operation I'm running here.
03 — Tuition for criminals but not for soldiers. This next story is a twofer. I mean, it's really two stories, but they go together somehow.
First story: This is from Stars and Stripes, daily newspaper of the U.S. Armed Forces, issue dated March 8th, quote:
The Army announced Friday it is suspending its tuition assistance program for soldiers newly enrolling in classes due to sequestration and other budgetary pressures.
End quote. The report goes on to tell us that as of March 8th, soldiers will no longer be permitted to submit new requests for Tuition Assistance.
Second story: This one's from ABC News in Denver, Colorado, March 9th. Headline, quote: House approves lowering tuition for Colorado illegal immigrant students, bill goes to governor.
The story here is that the Colorado State House of Representatives has passed a bill to give in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens attending state colleges, thus privileging the illegals over U.S. citizens from out of state. The vote was 40 to 21, with all the Democratic representatives and three of the Republicans voting for it.
The non-state college fees are up to three times higher than the in-state fees, so this is a real, substantial privilege being given to foreign scofflaws but denied to citizens.
There are the usual paper-thin conditions to comply with, so the illegals will have to put themselves to the trouble of getting some fake documents before they can clamp their teeth on the taxpayer teat, but that won't slow them down too much.
So: Tuition breaks for serving military personnel? No, sorry, the country's too broke. Tuition breaks for illegal aliens at taxpayer expense? Line forms on the left.
At this point I should break into uncontrollable screaming. Unfortunately I'm suffering from outrage fatigue, so I'll just stare dumbly at my computer screen for a while instead.
Yes, the Obama administration admitted this week that it had released more than 2,000 illegal alien criminals from federal jails, due to, quote "budget constraints." The releases took place over three weeks in February.
These are not, please note, persons whose only offense was to cross our nation's borders without permission. These are pickpockets, drunk drivers, swindlers, and suchlike, picked up by the police then found to be here illegally. Ten of them, the administration tells us, were charged with aggravated felonies, which is serious stuff. Robbing a bank, for example, would be an aggravated felony.
There is a slimy little paper trail of administration lies behind that admission. Two weeks ago, on March 1st, Associated Press reported, based on some documents it had gotten hold of, that, yes, more than 2,000 illegals had been released since mid-February.
Three days later, on March 4th, our willowy and winsome Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, was asked about this at a public event. No, lisped the secretary, quote: "Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn't thousands," end quote.
The following day, March 5th, the House Judiciary Committee released the documents Associated Press had worked from. Yep, the number was more than two thousand. So we were lied to. What. A. Surprise.
So, bottom line here: If you've gatecrashed our country, you can go to Colorado and get a college education at one-third the citizen rate. After class, should you feel stressed out by all that instruction, you can go to a bar, get likkered up, and drive off down the road with 90-proof blood. Should you get arrested, don't worry: Homeland Security will spring you in a day or two.
What we have here is an aristocratic class blessed with special privileges not available to us peasants, to us mere citizens. The aristocratic class can do pretty much as they please, without fear of penalty or punishment. It's like France under the Ancien Régime, before the revolution.
To which all I can say is: Bring on the tumbrils.
05 — Racist cops shoot baby-faced teen. A couple of items here from New York City.
First off, a racist outrage. Hey, what would a week's news be without a racist outrage?
In this one, a baby-faced young black honor student, 16 years old, was on his way from chess club to violin practice shortly before midnight last Saturday when he was savagely gunned down by two cackling racist white cops. "We got us a n-word!" the cops crowed gleefully as they high-fived each other before adjusting their mirrored sunglasses and helping themselves to chaws of Red Man tobacco.
Well, that's pretty much how the mainstream media reported it, along with soft-focus pictures of the baby-faced teen, name of Kimani Gray. You know the drill. The mainstream hacks certainly do.
Master Gray's community expressed their grief and sorrow by looting several stores up and down their community street. Here's a quote from Lorenzo Evans, manager of the Rite Aid drugstore. Mr. Evans is also black, and 56 years old. Quote: "They poured in here, like 40 or 50 of them. They pulled the registers off the counter … They punched me in the face, several of them did." End quote. Here's another store owner: Mamadou Bah, also black, 31 years old, proprietor of Hallmark African Movies, quote: "They knocked on my door, broke the glass, and ran in. They were throwing the DVDs around." End quote.
That was Monday night. Tuesday night and Wednesday night these mourning rituals were repeated. In the Wednesday night mourning, some of the mourners tried to climb on police motorcycles. Quote from the Daily News, quote: "A police officer suffered a gash in the face when a tossed brick hit him, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said, and a window was smashed in an inspector's car." End quote.
Well, I guess every ethnicity has its own style of mourning.
For further elucidation here, we need a community organizer. Here's one: Sandra Mitchelin, talking to New York neighborhood website DNAinfo.com, quote: "The kids, they retaliate because they want their voice to be heard. They're frustrated. Not even the police commissioner or the mayor, nobody came out … And [Kimani Gray] was a baby!" End quote.
By mid-week, though, we had started to get some actual information that the mainstream media couldn't suppress. That "baby," Kimani Gray, had, it turned out, a rap sheet that included four prior arrests, including charges of grand larceny, possession of stolen property, and inciting a riot. You know, typical baby offenses. He was also a ranking member of the Bloods street gang. Pictures turned up of him making gang signs.
It also emerged that the two cops who shot him were not white, neither of them. One was a Hispanic, one a dark-skinned fellow of Egyptian ancestry who self-identifies as black.
By this time of course the mainstream media had pretty much lost interest. The broad TV-watching and tabloid-reading public were left with the impression of yet another cute, harmless teen murdered by racist thugs. As intended.
There's actually a little more than that to Mr. Valle's offense. He didn't just plan to kidnap four women, including his wife. He apparently planned to kill, cook, and eat them. New Yorkers know him as the Cannibal Cop.
Well, Tuesday this week Mr. Valle was found guilty in a jury trial and could be sentenced to life in prison. Sentencing will be June 19th.
I must say, this whole case has me baffled. My belief heretofore has been that if you are in a cell following conviction by a jury of your peers, and awaiting sentencing which might be for life, you must have done some very serious harm to somebody. This is not actually the case with Mr. Valle. In fact, nobody's been harmed at all. Of the women he was convicted of planning to kidnap, all are at liberty and in fine health, with no body parts missing.
Here's what Mr. Valle did, in cahoots with some like-minded pals. He browsed cannibal websites. No, I didn't know there were cannibal websites, either, but nowadays there's something out there on the internet to accommodate every taste. As it were.
Among the evidence presented at Mr. Valle's trial was a Facebook-like social network called DarkFetishNet, catering to people with sadistic or cannibalistic fantasies. The profile pictures show women being choked or strangled. Mr. Valle's handle on the site was "GirlMeatHunter."
So how far did Mr. Valle and his pals actually get with their dinner plans? Did Mr. Valle actually buy the "very large serving dish" he did a Google search for? Did he rent that cabin in the woods whither he was going to take college student Kristen Ponticelli — described online by Mr. Valle as, quote, "the most desirable piece of meat I've ever met" — that cabin where he was going to roast Ms. Ponticelli over an open fire? Did he buy the choroform, the duct tape, the ropes, the pulley, the bone saws?
No, he didn't. He didn't do anything, other than visit some grisly websites and instant-message some gross stuff.
That's what has me baffled. I thought that to be convicted of a felony you had to have harmed someone, or taken their stuff, or be in a state of preparation to do so. Apparently not. Apparently you can face a lifetime of porridge just for having really weird thoughts and sharing them with others. "You can't go to jail for what you're thinking," went the old song. Well, scrub that: nowadays you can.
I am by nature a law'n'order guy. I want criminals punished: really punished — not cable TV, nautilus machines, and basketball in the yard. I favor hard labor, solitary confinement, bread and water, and flogging for breaches of prison discipline. The most serious criminals should forfeit their lives, in my opinion, and without a preliminary fifteen years of legal nitpicking. If they're short of guys to pull the handle, I'll be glad to help out.
That's my basic position. Yet sometimes, when I'm reading about what prosecutors get up to, I find myself thinking What the hell? If you don't know what I mean, get hold of Dorothy Rabinowitz's book about the child-abuse hysteria of twenty years ago.
I don't have any proposal to fix this, but I'm sure there's something wrong here. Gilberto Valle wouldn't be my personal choice to be marooned on a desert island with, not unless there was a lot of live game on the island that was easy to catch. I can't see what he's done to deserve a life sentence, though, nor even a felony conviction. Am I missing something?
And a note to the New York tabloids: Enough with the puns already. I know, Mr. Valle had a bone to pick with his wife. I know, Ms. Ponticelli is quite a dish. Yes, the prosecutors cooked his goose, and now he'll get his just deserts … Enough already! I say.
And just one more afterthought: Am I the last person in the world who remembers Jean Léon's 1964 movie Aimez-vous les femmes? You could look it up on the IMDb.com database. Perhaps Gilberto Valle did. Perhaps that was his inspiration. In which case, shouldn't Jean Léon be in jail too?
07 — Queen Elizabeth's secret defense. Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, sovereign ruler of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, came down with a nasty case of gastroenteritis. She was taken to hospital on Sunday, and spent 24 hours under close medical supervision.
Her Majesty is back home in the palace now, I'm glad to say, but was obliged to cancel all her outside engagements for the week. She did hold a ceremony at the palace for Commonwealth Day, which is when various colored folk from around the world assemble to thank the Great White Queen for having brought them civilization, Christianity, crumpets, and cricket.
Now that's a pretty impressive recovery for an 86-year-old lady. What's her secret? As a former fellow-countryman of Her Majesty's, I can tell you.
The secret, gentle listeners, is British food. When you've been raised on sherry trifle, toad-in-the-hole, syllabub pie, fish and chips, black pudding, spotted dick with custard, and steak and kidney pie covered in treacle, believe me, your digestive organs are invulnerable. The gastroenteritis bacillus doesn't stand a chance.
I have seen it reliably reported that the KGB had to alter their assassination methods after they discovered that no poison can kill you if you've been raised on British food.
So let's hear it for the great lady. We got suitable music? … This is 300 years or so out of date, but it's in the right spirit:
[Clip: God Save the King, 2nd verse.]
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: CPAC, the nation's main conservative gathering, assembled this week in Maryland. It hadn't been under way more than a few hours before it became clear what an ugly mess American conservatism is in right now. Our man James Kirkpatrick has all the depressing details over on VDARE.com. I didn't get invited to CPAC this year, can't imagine why.
The different factions of conservatives are defined by what is most salient to them. What's salient to social conservatives are issues of faith and family, opposition to abortion and homosexual marriage, patriotism and respect for law. What's salient to neocons is a huge military establishment, putting the Middle East to rights, remaining dominant in the Pacific, open borders and free trade. What's salient to libertarians is individual liberty, minimal government, and sound national finances.
The problem is, these are not a movement, they are three movements, who on key points of policy can't stand the sight of each other. Libertarians want social conservatives to stay out of their bedrooms; social conservatives want neocons to enforce immigration laws; neocons want libertarians to agree to deficit financing so we can build a couple more carrier groups.
Here's my suggestion: A tag wrestling match between Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul: two falls, two submissions, or a knockout to decide the winner. Then at least the damn movement will have a leader, and we can take things from there.
Item: The state of Michigan has taken over the city of Detroit, which is 14 billion dollars in debt and has a 300 million dollar deficit. The city had nearly two million inhabitants in 1950; now it has barely a third of that. Unemployment is at 18 percent, and the street lights have been turned off.
You've probably seen some of the "ruin porn" websites showing the wreckage of this once-great city. Perhaps you've seen that little panel of four pictures showing Detroit and Hiroshima side by side; top two panels in 1945, bottom two today.
As depressing as what's happened to the city is the mealy-mouthed way the media talk about it. What happened to Detroit is no big secret. The 1967 riots happened, that's what. Forty-three people died and 2,000 buildings were destroyed. The rioters were overwhelmingly black. Aware of this, whites packed and left. In 1960, Detroit was 72 percent white; today, it's 92 percent black. The homicide rate in 1960 was nine per hundred thousand; last year it was 53 per hundred thousand.
It's true that the decline of the auto industry didn't help; but other places survived industrial decline. Pittsburgh is doing OK without steel; out on Long Island where the Derbyshires have their estates, the aerospace industry disappeared, but nobody much noticed.
Since no-one else wants to say it, I will: The ruin of Detroit is what you get when whites leave and blacks take over. Ask a Rhodesian.
In related news, former mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted this week in a federal court on 24 charges of corruption and bribery. Kilpatrick was mayor from 2002 to 2008.
Item: Finally, I omitted to mention last week the death of lefty nuisance Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. Mr. Chavez died of cancer.
On Friday last week the Venezuelan government announced that Mr. Chavez' body would be embalmed and put on public view, as was done with Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung. As it happened, I saw this news on TV while sitting in a dentist's chair. As it further happened, the very next news item was about the cannibal cop. Well, you know how your mind wanders when you're in that chair having your teeth fixed. The two stories fused together somehow, and I was having these mental images of Chavez on a super-size serving plate with an apple in his mouth and a nice honey glaze on his plump limbs.
Wicked of me, I know. But hey, I'm outside the jurisdiction of the New York criminal courts, so why should I care?
Just a late update on that: On Thursday we heard that plans for the embalming have been shelved. Apparently they left it too long, or the morgue didn't have enough ice, or something; Mr. Chavez' body is not in a suitable state for embalming. I guess that rules out the apple and honey glaze option too. Pity.
For goodness' sake, Venezuela, just bury the poor guy.
09 — Signoff. Boy, that was kind of a macabre Radio Derb broadcast, wasn't it? Bestiality, cannibalism, royal gastroentiritis, and a gamy ex-dictator. I'm sorry, it's just the way the stories came this week. I shall strive to bring you more wholesome fare in future broadcasts.
To see us out, and in honor of Pope Francis, here's a clip from the other Francis. No, not the Assisi guy, the other other one.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Frank Sinatra, "One for the Road"]