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01 — Intro. Welcome Radio Derb listeners. That was one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches and this is John Derbyshire speaking to you from our state of the art recording studio here in Buckley Towers at the heart of Manhattan.
The On Air light is flashing, the production engineers are hunched over their equipment, and we're ready to go with all the news you need to know here on Radio Derb.
02 — Iraq: Or else … what? Oh, Iraq, Iraq. Our President made a speech announcing 21,000 more troops for Iraq. He said that the Iraqi government better start performing, or else
Or else what? Or else we'll leave? No, that can't be it. The President made it clear: We will no way leave until we have victory, which we surely won't have if Maliki and Co. are falling down on the job.
Condoleezza Rice, testifying before a Senate committee, said that Maliki was, quote, "on borrowed time," so perhaps the "or else" is "or else we'll dump you." But if we can dump Maliki for not performing, doesn't that mean he's just a puppet and democracy in Iraq is just a sham?
In his speech, the President also declared that Iran and Syria had better stop supporting and supplying the terrorists in Iraq, or else
Or else what, again? What exactly do Iran and Syria have to fear from us? What are we gonna do to them? Stop Satellite Transmissions of I love Lucy reruns in Arabic and Farsi? Does anyone think?
Do you think, gentle listener, that the Poison Dwarf of Tehran lies awake in bed at night trembling at the thought of what the United States might do to him? My guess is that Li'l Squinty gets a pretty good night's sleep, while graduates of his training camps are blowing up our boys with roadside bombs; and that, if I am right, tells you all you need to know about the effectiveness of current US policy.
Perhaps Mao Tse-tung was right: America is a paper tiger.
03 — Chen calls, ChiComs sputter. One of those new stories that turns up so often it could be assigned a word processor macro all of its own is the one about the Chinese government protesting because the President of Taiwan has set foot on US soil.
That story cropped up again the other day as Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian was allowed stopovers in San Francisco and Los Angeles on his way to and from Central America, where a couple of countries still have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Beijing issued the usual snarling protests at these US stopovers.
Now from the State Department's point of view, the issue of whether to grant permission for these stopovers is nontrivial. Chen is a bit of a loose cannon with a habit of ticking off the ChiComs unnecessarily on occasion. When he indulges himself in this way he tickes off a lot of his own people too, most of whom just want a quiet life.
Still, when all is said and done, Chen is the elected leader of a free nation under a rule of law, while the ChiComs are loathsome tyrants with the blood of millions on their collective hands. Taiwan is an old friend of the USA and her President should be accorded proper courtesies even at the cost of some friction with communist China.
Radio Derb welcomes President Chen to our country and hopes he will enjoy his brief visits.
04 — A game for gentlemen played by hooligans. Another story that crops up periodically in the US media, though at longer intervals than the one about the ChiComs whining because we've hosted a Taiwan President, is the story about how soccer is going to take off as a major sport in this country any day now.
Well, here we go again. Mega star English soccer player David Beckham has signed a five year deal to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy, a soccer team belonging to Major League Soccer (that's the latest attempt to organize the professional game nationwide here).
Last time around it was the US women's soccer team winning the World Cup in 1999. Then before that it was Brazilian Megastar Pele signing up with the North American Soccer League in 1975. The North American League folded in 1984.
The furthest back I can trace this dismal phenomenon is 1925 when a Scottish immigrant named Archie Stark concluded the American Soccer League season with 67 goals for Bethlehem Steel. Those 67 goals are still the world record for a professional league.
Here is something I wrote about this for National Review back in 2000, quote:
Soccer has, as its U.S. promoters whine, "never gained public acceptance" here. Various theories are advanced to explain this.
That's the end of the quote. Yes, folks, I am anti-soccer and so should you be. As they say in England, soccer is a game for gentlemen played by hooligans. That's as opposed to rugby, which is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen — just like our own real football, in fact.
05 — Prizes for scofflaws. Toys-R-Us offered a $25,000 prize for the first baby born in 2007. The prize was duly claimed by a Chinese couple in New York City whose baby named Yuki Lynne was born in the first few seconds of this new year.
Uh, but it turned out that Yuki's parents were illegal immigrants. Toys-R-Us then withdrew the award.
That got all the Chinese race solidarity groups up in arms. Toys-R-Us backed down as corporations always do in the face of this kind of intimidation and handed the money to the illegals, who are still here.
The New York Times quoted a corporate lawyer named Albert H. Wang, who had mounted an email campaign on the couple's behalf as saying that the couple is happy. He added, quote:
I think justice has been done. Some people are concerned that the parents' status has been exposed; but the safest place is actually the eye of the storm, and any politician who says we should deport the parents, it would be the end of their political career.
End quote. Well, if politicians can't say it, I'll say it: This couple of lawbreakers should be deported back to China forthwith.
Don't our laws mean anything? These people can have their pictures in all the papers, identified as illegal immigrants, and nothing happens to them?
What the hell's going on here? Where are the authorities? Where is respect for the law?
Perhaps we sent it over to China along with all our manufacturing industry,
06 — Don't pluto me, bro! The linguists and lexicographers of the American Dialect Society have picked a Word of the Year for 2006, and the winner is: "pluto." "Pluto."
To pluto means to demote or devalue a person or thing, as was done to the unfortunate solar system body of that name back in August last year at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union.
Pluto was formerly the ninth planet. Now it's merely a dwarf planet, and the number of true planets has been reduced to eight. Pluto, you see, has been plutoed.
Anyone like to guess the next appearance of the word plutoed in our news stories? Prime Minister Maliki of Iraq, perhaps if our President means what he says.
07 — Proud of submission. The bus system of Grand Rapids, Michigan had a policy of refusing seats on their buses to any passenger who's face was covered. This was actually a very reasonable policy. Think of guys in ski masks, or the nylon stocking head coverings favored by bank robbers.
The policy, however, has now been rescinded. This follows an incident in which a Muslim woman in full traditional garb, only her eyes visible, was turned away by a bus driver. It goes without saying that the lady is now lawyered up, and that the ACLU is issuing demands, and the bus system suits are in full multicultural grovel mode. They're reviewing policies, modifying their diversity training manuals. They deeply regret, etc. etc, etc.
The punchline of this little story comes from the lady herself. Said this latter-day Rosa Parks, quote:
I didn't tell anyone at first, but I have a daughter and I don't want her to be ashamed to cover her face.
Oh, here's another bus story. Some students in St Paul, Minnesota were kicked off the school bus because they spoke English. The bus driver told them the route was for non-English-speaking students only.
The ACLU doesn't seem to have shown up for that one yet, but I have no doubt there'll be there real soon. Real soon.
08 — Derb v. the Big Easy. Well, I have ticked off the people of New Orleans by saying in an NRO column that on the basis of a very brief visit, I didn't care much for their city.
I'm not going to lose too much sleep over this since I got the definite impression that conservatives are pretty thin on the ground in the Big Easy. The people I've ticked off are, in other words, people who tick me off with their silly lefty opinions, so snooks to them.
I take comfort in the fact that Mark Twain didn't care for New Orleans either. In Chapter 41 of Life on the Mississippi Twain observed that, quote:
There is no architecture in New Orleans except in the cemeteries … When one goes from the levee or the business streets near it, to a cemetery, he observes to himself that if those people down there would live as neatly while they are alive as they do after they are dead, they would find many advantages in it; and besides, their quarter would be the wonder and admiration of the business world.
Look, I'm not going to argue with Mark Twain. Anyway, what kind of place has the slogan, "Let the good times roll"? A place that isn't much interested in the real business of life: work, marriage, responsibility, enterprise, self-support, respect for the law.
New Orleans, you can keep it.
09 — Miscellany. Finally, ladies and gents, here's our customary miscellany of brief items just to see us out.
Item: Air America, that's the lefty radio station, has gone bankrupt, and good riddance to them. What do we need Air America for anyway when we have NPR? Radio Derb is not in any danger of going bankrupt, dear listener, so set your mind at rest.
Item: Rosie O'Donnell versus Donald Trump … Nope, sorry, gonna pass on this one. There are some things that commentators should not have to do, not at my pay grade anyway, and thinking about Rosie O'Donnell in any context whatsoever is one of those things.
Item: Nancy Pelosi, a limousine liberal from San Francisco, checked in as House Speaker and made a gushing speech about how this was a great breakthrough for american womanhood, the dawn of a new era, yada, yada, yada.
You see, until nancy the riveter busted her way through all those barriers. The patriarchy had set up. American women were scurrying around in burkas, having a baby every year, changing diapers and churning butter all day long.
Item: Speaking of burkas, meet the burkini, the burkini.
There's been a lot of trouble in Australia, you see, with Muslim immigrants having gang fights on the beautiful beaches of that country with the locals. So to show they're just as Australian as anyone else, the Muslims have taken up surfing.
This is tricky for the Muslim gals who have to cover themselves from head to toe or else get their throats cut by outraged male relatives. So they've invented a style of Muslim beachwear called the burkini.
I'm not making this up. It's really called a burkini. The burkini is basically a total body and head speedo suit all in black.
The burkini. I bet Rosie O'Donnell would look great in a burkini
Item: Uh, do you want to know why New York state is a financial black hole? Well, it will take much too long to list all the reasons, but here's an illustrative one: The state has just decreed that every public school student is to be supplied with a calculator at school district expense.
The reasons New York's permanent financial crisis are not mysterious. What is mysterious is why anyone still lives here in the vampire state.
Item: The inventor of instant noodles has died. He was Mr Momofuku Ando, a Japanese gent born in Taiwan 96 years ago when Taiwan was a Japanese colony.
This is a much bigger deal in East Asia than it is here. For a US equivalent you'd have to imagine that the inventor of peanut butter had died.
10 — Signoff. There you have it, listeners: another week down the tubes, another week closer to Armageddon, a.k.a. the 2008 PresIdential election.
Tune in again next week for more of the never ending human comedy as recorded by Radio Derb.
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches.]