»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]

01 — Intro.     Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma … Oh, hi folks. Sorry, just singing along there.

Okay, Radio Derb is on the air. A slow week for news, or what? Have you had enough of that Runaway Bride yet — staring out at you from the newspapers and TV with all the whites of her eyes showing? I'm starting to get nightmares.

But es anything else happening? Not much.

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02 — GOP spend-o-rama.     The people of Britain went to the polls to decide whether they want to go on having a government that spends 40 percent of the national wealth or whether they prefer to switch to one that only spends 39 percent.

One in five of the Brits voted for the Tories; two in five voted for Labour or parties further left, and the other two in five stayed home. That's the state of conservatism in Britain today.

Here, of course, things are much better for conservatives. We have a conservative president and the Republicans, our conservative political party, control Congress.

Wait a minute, though. What's this stuff the Cato Institute is putting out? Quote:

George W. Bush has presided over the largest overall increases in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest spending president in 30 years.

Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush's first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton's last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush's first term.

The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted that budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent.

End quote. Nah, that can't be true. Cato must be making it up.

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03 — Runaway Bride, the wrap-up.     Okay, okay, you want to hear about the Runaway Bride, I know you do. Here's the latest.

First off, it turns out that our Jennifer is a serial jilter. She dumped a previous fiance when they were already in the house-hunting stage.

Next, she's done jail time for shoplifting.

Third, friends of the couple have told us that Jennifer was unhappy with her born-again Hubby-to-be's policy of total premarital sexual abstinence.

And finally: Jennifer's family has got a new camera, one with an attachment that eliminates that annoying white-eye effect.

There now, that is totally my last word on this stupid nonstory … unless Ms Wilbanks decides to run for political office. Which, given her track record of unpredictable flakiness, might not be a bad career choice.

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04 — Soviet lies still current in Russia.     Sunday was the 60th anniversary of VE Day — that's Victory in Europe Day, the day World War Two hostilities ended in the West.

For Russians World War Two was the Great Patriotic War, a stupendous catastrophe in which untold millions of them died. Unfortunately the sympathy the rest of us feel for Russia's great sacrifice is qualified.

For one thing they were allied with Hitler for the first two years of the war and presumably would have been allied with him for the duration if he haven't attacked them.

For another thing, one consequence of that alliance was the division of Poland, and the Russians behaved just as badly in their zone of Poland as the Nazis did in theirs: massacring the Polish intellectual and professional military classes just as enthusiastically as the Germans massacred Poland's Jews.

For yet another thing, Russian war losses were caused in part by the poor quality of Russian military leadership; and the main reason for that was that Stalin had murdered his best generals in the great purges of the late 1930s.

For still another thing, he victory over Germany was followed in eastern Europe and the Baltic states by enslavement under communism.

And for yet another thing, the Russian people have never been told the truth about any of this, nor about the aid given to their war effort by America and Britain, nor about the practice of shipping Russian prisoners of war straight from the German camps to Siberia.

The Soviet Union was an empire of lies and most of the lies are still believed by most Russians.

I'm glad Hitler was defeated. I'm grateful to the brave Russians who suffered and died to help us defeat him. According to the New Testament, though, it's the truth that makes you free. Russians won't be free until they can acknowledge the truth about their own past.

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05 — Rehabilitating the barbarians.     Did you see this new Crusader movie yet? The one that tells us how a bunch of crazy fired up Christians went and did beastly things to the peace-loving Muslims?

Are we supposed to read any kind of message into that, do you think? Surely not. Hollywood would never stoop so low.

Meanwhile, I hear that Oliver Stone is also working on a medieval battle epic, one about Genghis Khan. It seems that Genghis was just a mild-mannered sheep farmer minding his own business out there on the steppes when a bunch of wild-eyed religious fanatics from Europe showed up and started trying to turn these kids into Republicans. Well, what could he do?

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06 — Airheads for Arianna.     Arianna Huffington's celebrity blog has finally made its much-heralded debut, and it's just as inane as we all knew it would be. Celebrities are fun to look at, but who wants to hear their stupid, predictable, loopy-left opinions?

Not that it matters much. The Huffington blog is kind of lost among the dozens of parodies it's generated, all of which are much more entertaining than the thing itself.

I'm happy at any rate that Arianna has found a way to employ her time. Also thankful that she is not the Governor of California.

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07 — Who'll pay illegals' medical bills? We will!     You've no doubt been reading about how states along the Mexican border are going broke paying hospital bills for illegal immigrants.

Well, our federal government has come up with a brilliant creative solution: We'll all pay those bills!

Yes, folks: The Federal Department of Health and Human Services, which is to say the poor old U.S. taxpayer, is going to cover the hospital expenses of illegal immigrants … assuming, that is, that hospital administrators can figure out who they are.

Can't they just ask, you might wonder? Heaven forbid!

Asking, explains Cecilia Muños, Vice President of the National Council of La Raza, would, quote, "create a perception in the Latin community that you have to show your papers in order to get emergency care. That's a misperception, but it may be enough to deter some people from seeking care," end quote.

I think I have a solution for the illegal immigration problem. Why don't we just send daily flights of C130s over Mexico, loaded up with dollar bills, and just shower the place with taxpayer money? It would probably work out cheaper than the current mess.

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08 — Utah tea party.     The No Child Left Behind Act is a federal government program in which states hand over the direction of their schools to the Department of Education in return for federal money. You know, one of those "compassionate conservative" programs designed to win over Democratic voters by showing that our Republican president is just as keen as any Democrat to spend wads of our money on useless bureaucratic extravaganzas.

Well, the good and brave people of Utah are having none of it. The Governor has just signed into law a bill that will give priority to Utah's own educational goals over the federal mandates.

If this means that the Beehive State will lose federal money, says the Gov, so be it.

Good thing Utah doesn't have a harbor. If it had, they'd be dumping tea in it.

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09 — Signoff.     Signing off now folks.

Just a reminder before I go. We're having a fund drive here at National Review and National Review Online. Here's my two cents worth towards the fund drive.

I love National Review. Working here is a privilege and a pleasure. What it's not is a path to riches. An independent political magazine is always hard up.

If you can help, please do. There's a donation button on the website. Please do anything you can, and thank you in advance for your generosity.

The signoff clip this week is for Jay Nordlinger with great affection and respect.

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[Music clip: Kathleen Ferrier, "Blow the Wind Southerly."]