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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air. This is John Derbyshire here with another week of sin, folly, crime, and football to report, listeners; so let's get to it.
|02 — Border Patrol agents' ugly prosecution. It's looking more and more
likely that the administration's relentless vendetta against Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and José Compean is going to turn and deliver
some nasty bites and scratches to our President and his Attorney General.
At congressional hearings on Tuesday, the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security admitted that his officials knowingly gave false information to four congressmen in a meeting last September. The false information concerned what Compean and Ramos had told investigators. It was designed to portray the agents as negatively as possible in the hope of getting the congressmen to lose interest in the case.
We have also learned that the drug smuggler who was given immunity to testify against Compean and Ramos had lied, too, and has admitted to having lied.
The whole case in fact is starting to look like a tissue of lies, with federal employees leading the pack of liars while the Mexican low-life tries to keep up with their mendacity.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!
Why on earth did the administration press this prosecution so vigorously? I haven't heard any convincing explanations. The best I've heard — it's not very good, I'm only saying it's the best — is that George W. Bush wanted a couple of sacrificial goats to help Vicente Fox's candidates in last year's Mexican election.
Given George W. Bush's enthusiasm to do anything at all for his pals in the Mexican elite — letting them export their social and unemployment problems to us, for example — it's not too implausible.
Right now theories like that are still out on the lunatic fringe. If we don't start hearing some explanation soon, though, concerning this ugly prosecution, today's lunatic fringe might become tomorrow's center stage. Give us some answers, Mr. President and Mr. Attorney General.
Now we hear that Ignacio Ramos was beaten up in the federal jail by a gang of illegal immigrants. I guess the authorities couldn't find any Americans willing to do the job.
|03 — No love for federal prosecutors. And then there's that other
prosecution — you know, the one where that guy is charged with having told somebody something about some other guy's wife being in the CIA.
Or was it the FBI? Don't ask me. Far as I'm concerned, the whole thing is an insomnia cure. There's a federal prosecutor in there somewhere
Ah, federal prosecutors! I've been hearing all about federal prosecutors from my readers this week as a result of some exchanges I had on the corner with Andy McCarthy.
I have absolutely nothing to add to those exchanges here, but they did prompt a lot of readers to email in with opinions about federal prosecutors. Three or four readers offered different variations on the theme that there is really only one federal crime in these United States, and that is not going high enough when a federal prosecutor says, "Jump!"
One reader told me that while he doesn't differ from Rudy Giuliani on any particular point of policy, he'd refuse to vote for him anyway because Giuliani was once a federal prosecutor.
Wow. These guys are really unpopular, at least among conservatives.
This is encouraging in a way, though I don't doubt that some federal prosecutors are diligent public servants doing useful work.
The very foundation of conservatism is mistrust of government power — in the U.S.A., especially mistrust of federal power. When a federal prosecutor swings into action, he is bringing all the resources of the government to bear against some individual citizen.
Sometimes, of course, this is highly justified — think of Al Capone. That generalized mistrust, though, is healthy, and thoroughly conservative.
|04 — Obama's church disavows middle-classness. Right after Joe Biden got in
trouble for calling Barack Obama "clean," George W. Bush got in trouble for calling Obama "articulate." God help anyone who calls
Obama "intelligent" or "law-abiding."
The racial fandango has got so convoluted here in America that "clean," "articulate," "intelligent," "law-abiding," "industrious" are fighting words. The opposite words would of course get you in even more trouble.
So what can a white politician say about Barack Obama without giving offense? I think "nice tie" is probably okay, but you'd better check with your handlers.
Meanwhile the website of Barack Obama's church has been located by diligent researchers. Trinity United Church of Christ declares that, quote:
We are a congregation which is unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian. Our roots in the black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting, and permanent. We are an African people and remain true to our native land: the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism.
That's the end of a long quote.
I must say Trinity United Church of Christ articulated that pretty well. I totally got the point. There follows a list of precepts of which the one that raised the most eyebrows was, quote, "disavowal of the concept of middle-classness," end quote.
So apparently Senator Obama is a disciple of a fierce kind of black nationalism, at least on Sunday mornings.
But hey, don't you know Mitt Romney is a Mormon?
|05 — Test scores drift south. Most depressing news of the week came in a
report from the Educational Testing Service. The steady downward drift of reading and math skills shows no sign of slowing.
"A post-industrial economy has less and less need for unskilled, uncredentialed workers," says the report. "Baby boomers are retiring and a large wave of less educated immigrants are moving into the workforce. Hopes that the children of those immigrants will rise to middle-class American norms are not panning out. Their average school performance is poor."
Perhaps they've been studying the precepts of Senator Obama's church and decided to "disavow the concept of middle-classness."
Anyway, says the lead author of the study Irwin Kirsch, who is a senior research director at ETS, quote: "We have the possibility of transforming the American dream into the American tragedy." End Quote.
Wouldn't it be a good idea then to stop importing several hundred thousand unskilled illegal immigrants every year? Wouldn't it?
For goodness sake, Derb! What are you, some kind of racist?
|06 — Astronaut love triangle. All right, let's get on to the real news
story of the week: astronaut Liza Nowak's attempt to off her love rival, a younger and prettier astronaut named Colleen Shipman. Both women had an
intense interest in the same man: Bill Oefelein, also an astronaut.
Here is a woman who brooded and seethed and plotted her revenge. Knowing that Ms Shipman would be flying into Orlando airport, Ms Nowak drove the thousand miles from Houston wearing astronaut diapers to save time on rest stops, confronted her rival in the airport parking lot, and tried to squirt her with Mace.
The rival drove off and told the police. Ms Nowak was arrested, and when the cops searched her they found a lot of gruesomely suggestive equipment in her bag: rubber hoses, a knife, latex gloves and so on.
So now Ms Nowak is confined in a tiny cell — though that should be no hardship for a trained astronaut — and with a lot of time on her hands.
That should be no problem for a trained astronaut either, actually. NASA has 96 of them and is currently running one or two shuttle flights a year, with seven astronauts going up on each flight. Do the arithmetic.
The devil makes work for idle hands, and obviously he has a branch office in Cape Canaveral.
|07 — Citizens act on hiring of illegals. The answer to the illegal alien
problem is of course to shut down the employment opportunities for illegals. Then having no work, they'll up and go home quietly.
Since the federal immigration authorities don't seem inclined to do much in this line, citizens are taking it on themselves.
Here's a new website, www.wehirealiens.com, that posts photographs of employers hiring illegal workers, along with the names of the companies. The website reports a million hits a month, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Asked for a comment about this website, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Laura Haley said she could not say whether anyone from her agency ever looks at the tips. She further said that said that, quote: "We would like the tips sent to our telephone hotline, so as law enforcement agents we can evaluate them." [Laughter.]
This citizen website is a very worthy effort and I applaud it. However, given the administration's record on this issue, I'm a bit worried for the developers of the website.
I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn that federal prosecutors have been knocking on their doors bearing writs of attainder, or whatever it is federal prosecutors bear when the government decides that some citizen's face needs stomping on.
Watch out, guys. Johnny Sutton knows where you live.
|08 — Rudy and the girls. Grownups all across America perked up a bit this
week at the growing signs that Rudy Giuliani is indeed going to run for the Republican nomination in '08.
There was general agreement that Rudy would have to do some soothing on gun issues, right-to-life issues, gay marriage and immigration, but that all those issues are probably soothable.
Mrs Giuliani showed up on the front page of the New York Post in a lip lock with Rudy, to mixed reviews.
So far, with little to go on, I'd say that Mrs Giuliani seems like a sensible sort of girl, my only tinge of doubt arising from that weird 1960s cutesy way she has of spelling her name: J-U-D-I. As a friend pointed out, though, at least it isn't J-U-D-E-E, which would qualify her for a room in the Playboy Mansion, I think.
Well, we'll find out. The real female time bomb in Rudy's luggage is more likely his shaky flaky second wife, Donna Hanover. If Republican legislators still swing any power and if they'd like to give Rudy a helping hand, I suggest an emergency law banning all performances of The Vagina Monologues through November 2008.
|09 — Miscellany. Here's our closing miscellany of short items worthy of note.
Item: The Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl, and I watched the whole thing for the first time ever.
My only complaint: We didn't get to see much of the chain crews, who to my way of thinking are what makes the game live.
Some other people grumbled about the commercials, which were — according to these grumblers — homophobic, sexist, racist, and sub pornographic. In other words, they were funny. A lot of people hate fun.
Item: For those of us who've been wondering what Generation X has been up to since we all stopped talking about them circa 1990, an answer of sorts came out of Brattleboro, Vermont, where a 47-year-old man denied charges that he was naked and masturbating inside a glass enclosed ski lift gondola at a Vermont ski area. The man was also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession.
What had happened was: A 26-year-old-man riding a gondola down the hill passed the offending gondola, which was on its way up. This witness, according to a police affidavit, could see a naked man standing up in the enclosed ski lift gondola engaged in the aforementioned act of self-stimulation. He noted the number on the side of the Gondola and made a report to the ski patrol when he got to the bottom of the hill.
So not only is Generation X still busy amusing themselves, so is the next one: Generation Spoilsport.
May she rest in peace; and may late-night comics soon find a new target for their dumb blonde jokes
Item: A New York State Senator wants to hit citizens with a hundred-dollar fine if they walk, jog, or bicycle while using an iPod. He cited the death of a 21-year-old man who was listening to music on his iPod when he stepped off a curb and was hit by a bus in Brooklyn.
Apparently this politician wants us all to live forever. Being hit by a bus in Brooklyn wouldn't be my own personally-chosen method of departure, but it beats being choked to death with pettifogging regulations dreamed up by numbskull legislators — who in New York State have much bigger things to worry about.
Item: Over in Wales a dog has been born with no ears. The kindly animal shelter where he ended up named him Weasel.
Weasel! Why not Snakehead, Fishface, or something even less sensitive? Weasel?
Well, if you want a dog who answers to the name of Weasel — or probably doesn't answer, actually, not having any ears to hear you with — there he is, in south Wales.
Item: President Bush sent a very nearly three-trillion-dollar budget to Congress.
Three trillion: ten thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child.
It's a bargain, the federal government. Think of all those prosecutors you're getting!