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—————————[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Radio Derb is on the air, ladies and gentlemen, after a brief lacuna for which I apologize. This is John Derbyshire with all the news that's fit to digitize.
|02 — Sanitized Santa. Over in the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland,
Santa Claus is known more formally as St Nicholas; and for reasons I don't understand, he shows up on December the sixth, not the 24th.
Anyway, there is a society of St Nicholases with 100 members, all of whom do what our own Santas do. They dress up in the red and white gear, sit little kids on their laps and ask them if they've been good.
At any rate, that's what they used to do. A new ruling from the society of St Nicholases in Zürich forbids these Swiss Santas from sitting kids on their laps.
Explains the head Santa in charge at Santa headquarters, quote: "We want to counteract any possible accusations of paedophilia involving our members. The public has become very sensitive about child abuse." End quote.
I guess this spokes-Santa was speaking in German. That's the translation printed in my newspaper. Here's my own suggestion for a more accurate translation: "The public has lost its reason, sense of proportion, sense of humor and sense of fun. They have also become very dirty-minded."
|03 — Barbra wants to impeach Bush. My neighbor, Barbra
Streisand — all right, she lives at the other end of Long Island actually, but I could swear I've seen her helicopter fly over my
house — well, Barbra wants George W Bush impeached. Why? See if you can guess.
Answer: The President deceived the country about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Did you guess right? Now to conservatives — and, I would suspect, to most other Americans not of the foam-flecked left persuasion — this really comes under the heading "show biz gossip" — about as newsworthy as Jennifer Lopez's latest divorce.
To the foam-flecked crowd, though, it is a clarion call. You can hear the copy machines whirring and the phones ringing all over this land.
Let them whirr. Let them ring. Jay Leno once described politics as "show business for ugly people." No further comment.
[Sings] People, people who impeach people …
|04 — Cruise ship 1, pirates 0. Here comes a plug for National
Well, for any cruise, actually. My wife and I have been moping around the house this past few days sighing to each other that just exactly a year ago we went on the National Review Caribbean cruise. We could do one of those ads; you know, the one where the bloke says: "My Butler knew just how I liked my coffee served …" A bit pathetic, really. Anyway, cruising is a great way to relax and forget your worries for a week or so.
However, a new wrinkle in the sedate world of cruising showed up the other day. The luxury cruise ship Seaborne Spirit was attacked by pirates of the coast of Somalia. These weren't colorful guys with parrots and cutlasses, either. They had automatic weapons and RPGs.
Apparently, though, they have not yet gotten the news that for all its luxurious stateliness, a cruise ship is one of the fastest things on the water. It also has a big turbulent wake — something to remember if you decide to approach a cruise ship in a small rubber dinghy, as these Somali dimwits did.
Furthermore, Seaborne Spirit carried a very nifty device that can send out a beam of unbearably loud, shrill sound. (Isn't it funny how Barbra streisand keeps turning up?) So the Somali pirates were foiled and they sped off muttering the Somali equivalent of Aaaarrgh to each other.
Nice to know that the cruise operators are ahead of the game. In any case, I am told by the suits at National Review that we have no plans for a cruise anywhere dangerous.
So set your minds at rest and sign up for the next National Review cruise. The only pirate you'll see will be the one on the bottle of Captain Morgan rum in the bar. Cheers!
|05 — Pluto ascending. Don't you feel a bit sorry for the planet Pluto?
I mean, just imagine you're Pluto. There you are traipsing sluggishly along at the outermost edge of the Solar System, taking 240 years to go round the sun once. Nobody even knows you're there until 1930 when some guy who didn't even have a degree spots you and promptly goes and names you after the Overlord of Hell.
None of those marvelous space probes we've been sending out since the 1960s even came close to you. You can't even claim the distinction of being incontrovertibly the outermost of the planets: because of your extremely eccentric orbit, for twenty years out of that 240 you are closer to the sun than Neptune.
To add to all these indignities, your status as a true planet has recently been disputed. People are going around saying you're really just a wayward lump of ice, not fit to associate with real planets at all.
Well, dry your eyes, folks, because things are looking up for Pluto. Number one, it's not as lonely as we once thought. The Hubble Space Telescope has recently detected two new moons orbiting the planet, for a total of three. And number two, NASA is going to launch a probe in January that will arrive at Pluto in 2015, all being well.
That'll be 51 years since the Mariner spacecraft sent back the first amazing pictures of the surface of Mars. Your humble correspondent — no, not Bill O'Reilly, me — your humble correspondent, all being well!, will have had his entire adult life encompassed by the exploration and mapping of the Solar System. I wouldn't have missed it for … well, for worlds.
|06 — Suicide bomber wardrobe malfunction. Putting new spin on the phrase
"wardrobe malfunction," 35-year-old Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi failed to blow herself up during a wedding reception at the Radisson
hotel in Amman, Jordan, after struggling in vain with the cord on her explosives belt.
This was a joint enterprise with her husband, whose suicide belt did explode, killing and maiming scores of wedding guests. And they say Arab men never take their wives for an evening out!
Quote from Mrs … er, sorry: I mean the widow al-Rishawi, quote: "My husband wore a belt and put one on me. He taught me how to use it." End quote.
Well, I'm sure the guy did his best, but you know how clueless women can be about anything mechanical. Did Mr al-Rishawi ever try to teach his wife to drive, I wonder?
The guy doesn't sound too bright. Or, as one of his friends said after the bombing: "That's al-Rishawi all over."
|07 — Un paso atrás. There is a law before the Florida State
legislature — I guess it's a bill, isn't it? if it's only before the legislature — to make Spanish lessons compulsory in the
nation's public schools from kindergarten through second grade. Kindergarten Spanish!
The bill, filed by state Senator Liz Miller — a Democrat, would you believe it? — would have the mandatory lessons start in 2007
Now, it's a great thing for kids to tackle a foreign language. Maybe — I have my doubts, but maybe — it's a good thing even for kindergartners, but why Spanish?
Not to put anybody down, but if you take Western civilization as a whole, you have to admit that Spanish is a pretty peripheral language. French, German, Latin, even Italian have been more significant in our history and literature. And just from a utilitarian point of view, so far as you can judge the course of the world economy, by the time Florida's kiddies are in the labor force, they're more likely to be doing business with Chinese, Japanese, and Indian folk than with Mexicans.
So why Spanish? It couldn't be, could it? that this is a sop to multiculturalism, another step back in the great retreat away from a single, strong, proud nation with a single culture and a single language, to a globalized gazpacho pseudo-nation whose people owe no allegiance to anything much at all.
Could it? Surely not.
|08 — All the news they want you to see. Okay. Here is Jean-Claude Dassier,
a big enchilada — I guess I should say a big crêpe — in French TV news broadcasting.
Monsieur Dassier thinks that French TV gave too much coverage to the recent riots. His own channel decided not to show footage of burning cars.
Quote from Monsieur Dassier: "Politics in France is headed to the right and I don't want right-wing politicians back in second or even first place because we showed burning cars on television." End quote.
Now, isn't this shocking? Thank goodness Monsieur Dassier isn't representative of the mainstream news business. If he was, we would never have heard anything about those French youths rioting in their French neighborhoods because of, oh, you know, discrimination against them for being … youths and … French …
|09 — High school confidential. Anyway, there's none of that censorship
nonsense at the Associated Press.
In a story dateline November 14th, AP reporter Erin Texeira told us about harassment of Asian students at a Brooklyn high school.
Asian American students at Lafayette High School get harassed and beaten up so regularly, the school has been put under supervision by the U.S. Department of Justice.
But who's doing this harassing and beating? There is only one clue given in Ms Texeira's report. In paragraph six, she tells us that, quote: "In the Bensonhurst neighborhood, historically home to Italian and Jewish families, more than twenty percent of residents now are Asian. Those changes have escalated ethnic tensions on campuses such as Lafayette High." End quote.
Wow. So it's those beastly Italians and Jews who were beating up the Asian kids. Who would have guessed? And here was me thinking it might've been … er, youths.
What a good thing it is that I, like the rest of Ms Teixeria's readers, am too dumb to look up Lafayette High School, Brooklyn on www.greatschools.net.
|10 — The West is red. Chinese capo di tutti capi Hu Jintao came
out from behind his famous wall to pay a state visit to Britain. The Brits went head over heels for this loathsome gangster.
Can you guess what the favorite color of the Chinese Communist Party is? I'll give you a minute or two. [Softly singing "The East is Red".]
Give up? Well, it's red — red, like the blood of the fifty million or so Chinese people murdered by the Communists this past 56 years. So the Brits stationed red floodlights all over London. Even the fountains in London squares had red lights installed, so they seemed to be spouting red water. Tasteful, huh?
Pretty much the only people who came out to protest Hu's visit were a bunch of Tibetans still angry about the People's Liberation Army, turning their country into a wasteland of rubble and corpses. You know, some people just can't let go.
Certainly there was nothing like the mass screaming protests of hundreds of thousands of actual British Britishers that you'd get if some real monster showed up. You know, someone like the President of the United States.
|11 — Signoff. That's all folks; and once again, sorry about the hiatus.
Radio Derb will be on the air again next week with more of the news you need to know.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]