• Play the sound file
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. Radio Derb is on the air! This is your genial host John Derbyshire with all the news you need to know. Let's go straight into it
|02 — Illegal aliens on the march. Bleeding heart liberals like, oh, you
know: George W Bush, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and so on, have been telling us for years that we need to give amnesty to the
umpteen million illegal aliens in our midst because otherwise these people will have to continue living in the shadows.
Well, several hundred thousand of them came right out of the shadows this week to parade on the streets of our cities under Mexican flags, carrying mass-produced placards saying that not only do they have a right to live here, they actually have more right to live here than the rest of us do. Some high schools emptied out as their almost-all-Hispanic student bodies went marching.
Meanwhile, the 92 percent of us, the American public, who told an IQ research poll back in March that securing the U.S. border should be a top priority of the White House, and the 80 percent who want the federal government to get tougher on illegal immigration, and the 75 percent of us who favor major penalties on employers of illegal aliens, and the 59 percent who oppose a guest worker proposal, and the 57 percent who would use military force at the Mexican border, staged a march of our own.
We marched into our offices and factories and our kids marched into their classrooms to study.
It is of course the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Perhaps we the 92 percent, the 80 percent, the 75 percent, … perhaps we should start squeaking.
|03 — France: legacy of '68. The situation in France is going off in all
sorts of interesting directions.
Last week young French people were out in the streets protesting a law that would allow employers to fire entry-level workers during the two-year probationary period without giving a reason.
These educated, middle-class, mostly white French youngsters were met by mobs of poor youth from the ghettos who took great delight in dispelling, with boots and fists, those old 1968 ideas about solidarity between middle-class intellectuals and the working class.
The Los Angeles Times reported the conflict as follows, quote:
As France braces for major nationwide strikes to protest a new labor law today, an embattled government confronts two youth crises that threaten to converge with resounding impact. Tension between the two is evident on the streets. On Monday morning more than a hundred vandals went on a rampage outside a high school occupied by student protestors in Saint Denis, a tough suburb near the birthplace of the November riots, and they burned cars and threw stones.
End quote. It's said that generals always want to fight the last war. Well, here are the kids of the soixante-huitards trying to boss the government around the way their parents did.
Unfortunately France is a very different place now from what it was in '68. For one thing, it contains millions of angry young people who hate it. They don't just hate this policy or that policy, they hate France.
Who should the middle-class young French blame for this situation as they run for their lives from the howling ghetto mobs? Why, their parents!
|04 — Two hundred million years without sex. News from the world of
The Darwinulidae are a family of tiny freshwater shrimp-like creatures that have long been thought to hold the record for sexual abstinence. Only females of this family were known to exist; and this has been true not only in the present-day world, but also in the fossil record all the way back to the Triassic era. So far as anyone could ascertain, the Darwinulidae gave up sexual intercourse two hundred million years ago.
However, scientists have just recently discovered three male Darwinulids living in Japan. Tantalizingly, these males have wee hooks on their limbs similar to those found in related organisms, where they are used to clasp the female during sexual congress.
The case is not proved yet, but it may be that the Darwinulidae are going to have to yield their sexual abstinence record to a different creature — the bdelloid rotifer, who gave up sexual reproduction a mere forty million years ago.
Keep on working your way down this list and pretty soon you come to … But no, it would be unkind of me to introduce the name of any prominent female American politician into this topic. Unkind, and wrong. I will not do it.
|05 — Springtime for Kim Jong Il. If you've seen that Mel Brooks movie
The Producers you'll know all about the musical
Springtime for Hitler.
Well, here's a new musical that has folks' toes a-tapping over in South Korea. The show is called Yodok Story. In case you don't know, Yodok is the name of North Korea's most dreaded, most infamous concentration camp. The musical, according to BBC World News, portrays life in the camp as a nightmare world of public executions, rape, torture, and starvation.
Some of the dance numbers in the show — hey, you can't have a musical without dance numbers, can you? — were choreographed by Kim Yong Sun who herself spent eight years in the camp and lost her parents, her husband, and her sons there. Says, Mrs Kim, quote: "Someone had to tell the world about what's going on in the camps."
Well, for sure; but is this really the right way to do it? I mean a musical, with dancing — a sort of Springtime for Kim Jong Il? What happened to good old protest marches, letters to the editor, U.N. commissions? All being tried, I suppose.
Certainly it's no use looking to the South Korean government for support. They disapprove of the whole idea and for years they've been abstaining in U.N. votes condemning the North's human rights record. "Engagement, not confrontation," they murmur in soft diplomatic tones as a few hundred more camp inmates are clubbed, tortured, and starved to death. Probably the producers of Yodok Story just feel that at this point anything's worth a try.
|06 — Humanizing politicians. Dick Cheney showed up to address the Radio and
TV Correspondents' Dinner at the Washington Hilton.
"The lighting could be better," said the Veep, squinting into the cameras, "but I can still see the whites of your eyes."
Ho. Ho. Ho. Don't you sometimes find yourself suspecting that pols deliberately stage these little funny, embarrassing news items — like the Cheney quail-shooting episode — just to humanize themselves a little, to have something to quip about at these dinner functions.
If there's any truth in that, then George W Bush should think up a little humanizer himself ASAP. His approval ratings are down in the thirties and his chief of staff, Andy Card, just bailed out.
Come on, W, think of something. Get your tie caught in the flywheel of your elliptical cross-trainer, perhaps. Give us something to chuckle over. We don't want Cheney to shoot another lawyer.
|07 — Putting tissue to use. A Chinese cosmetics company has been using skin
taken from the bodies of executed convicts to develop beauty products for sale in Europe, according to a London newspaper.
An agent for the company informed customers it is developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from skin taken from prisoners after they had been shot. After, note — let's be thankful for small mercies.
The agent was quoted as saying, quote: "A lot of the research is still carried out in the traditional manner using skin from the executed prisoners and aborted fetuses." He suggested that the use of skin and other tissues harvested from executed prisoners was not uncommon.
Further quote: "In China it is considered very normal and I was shocked that Western countries can make such a big fuss about this." end quote.
Well, here's one guy who's not really very surprised. A Chinese person who I know quite well once told me that when she was sick as a child, her mother, who was a hospital nurse, dosed her with placenta she got from the maternity ward.
"What," I asked, "like … actual human placenta?"
"How did she prepare it?"
"Fried in a wok."
I'm not making this up. It's a big world out there, folks, and the ages are a long way from the middle.
|08 — Ticket to civilization. Abdul Rahman, the Afghani who was
jailed and threatened with a death sentence for converting to Christianity, has been released and is now in Italy.
This I'm guessing, followed some conversations between the U.S. ambassador and the Afghan president in which the ambassador explained to the president that while the United States is certainly willing to expend blood and treasure in order that Afghanistan can be democratic, we didn't intend for them to be that democratic.
It occurs to me also that Italy is a peaceful and prosperous country, while Afghanistan is a violent and a poor country. Putting these two facts together, is it very cynical of me to suspect that we're gonna see a lot more conversions to Christianity in Afghanistan?
|09 — From here and there. Listeners, there is so much insanity in the world
this week, I can't do it justice in a single broadcast. So here are just a few headlines to illustrate that point before I call it a day.
Ready? Here goes.
In Fort Collins, Colorado a man has been arrested for having sex with his wife while she was sleeping. "I've asked him time and again not to do that," said the Mrs.
In Upper Darby, Pennsylvania … whoa: Upper Darby? … Er, two teens face charges of having murdered a man because he mooned them. I guess it's logical that there are two accused in this case since there must have been, you know, two moons in the picture.
Over in Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, Mr Ibragim Izma Tulayev was about to dispatch a rooster so he could put it in the pot for his dinner when the rooster crowed, "Allah! Allah!" The rooster was retrieved and is now a celebrity rooster — the one inhabitant of Central Asia who, I think we can be pretty sure, will not be converting to Christianity any time soon.
Finally — and this one leaves me speechless — Sharon stone has declared that Hillary Clinton should not run for president because she's too sexy. Hillary Clinton: too sexy. [Long pause.] As I said, I'm speechless. [Pause.] Speechless.
|10 — Signoff. That's it, boys and girls. More gloom, doom, and lunacy next week from Radio Derb.|
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]