»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Thursday, October 20th, 2005

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

01 — Intro.     Radio Derb on the air agian, ladies and gents, with a beaten-up old Tory's view on the passing charivari. Let's see what the cat brought in this week.

Oh, and in response to innumerable requests, there will be no Blues this week. In fact, I promise not to sing at all. Just the facts, Ma'am, just the facts.

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02 — Conspicuous consumption at the high school prom.     Did you read about this Roman Catholic high school out here in Long Island canceling the senior prom?

"Too much conspicuous consumption," said the principal. He blamed the parents who have been encouraging their kids in all sorts of wildness and extravagance: booking them weekend houses in the Hamptons, paying for after-prom booze, cruises and so on.

I think we're losing our moorings here a bit. The old idea was that this kind of gaudy extravagance was contemptibly plebeian. The really classy people like the late George Apley had shabby furniture in their houses, wore ten-year-old suits, and made their kids do the gardening for minimum wage.

But what am I talking about? Long Island's never been known for class. This, after all, is the home district of Joey Buttafuoco — remember him?

The thing I want to know, looking at my property tax bill, is how the heck anyone living in Lawn Guy Land can afford to splash out a thousand bucks on his kids' prom. I have my own kids after-prom parties already booked … at Taco Bell.

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03 — Rebuilding from Katrina … with illegals.     The administration is putting on a great show of having seen the light on illegal immigration, with Chertoff talking about sending all illegal entrants back to their home countries.

I'll believe it when I see it. Even if we stop the inflow though, we still need to drain the swamp — the swamp, that is, of employers exploiting illegal workers. Latest I've heard is that illegals are pouring into Louisiana to do rebuilding work in districts that suffered from Hurricane Katrina.

The federal government is actually waiving the Davis-Bacon rules on wages for workers on government projects. Those rules say that the workers have to be paid "locally prevailing wages," which in practice means union rates.

Davis-Bacon was passed back in the 1920s [Added when archiving:  Actually in 1931 — JD] specifically and frankly — you could afford to be frank about such things in those days — to prevent government work going to African Americans who were willing to work for lower rates than white workers.

It would be nice if Davis-Bacon were being waived so that African Americans could do the reconstruction work. Nope: The whole effect here is to shut out African Americans and give the work to illegal immigrants who worked for less.

So legislation designed to shut out African Americans from honest work is being waived in order to shut out African Americans from honest work. Go figure.

And who's fine with this? Liberals are fine with it, that's who.

You know, sometimes, reading the newspapers, I feel I want to throw up.

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04 — The Million More March.     I feel the urge to try to find something positive to say about the Million More March.

This was the event last weekend in Washington DC addressed by Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and others of that ilk, ten years on from the Million Man March of 1995.

Now I'll admit: With a list of names like that on the podium, "positive" isn't the first thing that comes to mind. The guys were trying to be restrained though, which in this context means that none of them said out loud that the white devils had deliberately breached the levees around New Orleans so that black folks would drown. They just hinted at it.

Jackson, for example, telling the crowd that quote, "a barge in the canal hit the levee and the waters came rushing in," end quote, but not offering an opinion about whether this might've been deliberate or not.

This is nasty stuff; and Farrakhan, Jackson, and Sharpton are nasty people. A lot of the folk who attended the march, though — the organizers declined to give the numbers, but there were way less than a million, perhaps a third of a million — a lot of the folk attending were just ordinary working- and middle-class black Americans trying to do something for their communities. It's a shame they look to mountebanks like Farrakhan and Co. for guidance on what to do, but at least they're trying.

There now, I said something halfway positive … I think.

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05 — TV is for girls.     Here are some media statistics for you from the pages of last week's newspapers.

Boys and young men, which is defined to mean ages 13 to 24, watched 24 percent less movies last year than two years ago.

Next item: Average age of newspaper readers in the USA is 55.

So it seems Hollywood is losing young guys and the newspapers are losing Gen X altogether. Interesting.

What I want to know is: Who watches TV anymore? Sure, I watch the news,I watch O'Reilly, sometimes I'll watch a movie on AMC, but that's about it.

My wife watches more than I do and my daughter watches more than my son. My impression is in fact that aside from sports and news, TV is for girls. The few shows that I catch by chance seem awfully girly, far more so than anything I record from twenty years ago.

I watched an episode of Friends once and the estrogen was practically losing out of my TV screen and puddling on the carpet. The other day I caught my wife watching Sex and the City and it was ten times worse even than Friends. I mean, the TV set was hurling estrogen across the room.

Is there anything on TV for guys? You used to be able to depend on Fox for that stuff — remember Married with Children? Ah, yes. But now the average evening's Fox schedule looks like all the others, which is to say like a gynecologists' convention.

Time for American males to rise up and reclaim TV. How about it, guys? … Guys? …

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06 — Oregon channels Freud.     The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that live sex shows are free speech, Constitutionally protected. Oregon is also the state that permits doctor-assisted suicide.

Sex and death, Eros and Thanatos, both easily and legally available.

Now, I'm a big Tenth Amendment guy myself; and furthermore, I favor assisted suicide. So I can't say I'm up in arms about this. If the good people of Oregon want to see a live show then go home and top themselves, I'm cool with it.

I do, though, just want to note how persistently the two things go together. Sex and death … perhaps old Freud was on to something after all.

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07 — Assad applies the Stalin rule.     You remember that sour old joke from the Civil Rights days? Deep down in the Jim Crow South, a black guy's found nailed to a tree, covered with gasoline and set alight. The local sheriff describes it as the worst case of suicide he ever saw.

Well, last week the Interior Minister of Syria was found dead in his office. Suicide, said the Syrians. Uh-huh.

I guess it's something that we've got the Syrians trying to cover up their crimes: in this case, the murder of a popular Lebanese politician back in February. Under pressure, Boy Assad is actually letting investigators question Syrian officials. They had in fact been questioning the guy who was shot last week — by himself, I mean, of course: you know, 35 times in the back, or whatever it was.

Perhaps he told the Lebanese investigators too much. And Boy Assad decided to apply the Stalin rule: No man, no problem.

That's a tough neighborhood down there.

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08 — Jihadism metastasizing.     Jihadi terrorists struck in the Russian Caucasus last week. By the time the shooting stopped 85 people were dead, though 61 of them were jihadis . er, according to the Russians.

Never mind just Iraq. It's not even just the Middle East we should be worried about. This whole darn thing is metastasizing. Indonesia, Thailand, the Caucasus, Africa, London …

Why not us — the Great Satan? Either we're better at looking after ourselves than I actually think we are, or the blighters are saving up something big and nasty for us. Your guess is as good as mine.

I'm hearing my colleague Rick Brookhiser, who keeps telling us that this thing will go on for decades. I think he's right and I think it'll get worse before it gets better.

Are we tough enough and mean enough to see it through? If it gets seriously worse here in the homeland, we soon shall be.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing for it. I live right up against New York City and I have kids, but I don't believe we're really serious yet.

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09 — Signoff.     Well, that's all, folks. Tune in again next week for more news from Radio Derb.

This has been John Derbyshire and this is Franz Joseph Haydn.

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[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]