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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Radio Derb is on the air once again, NRO readers. This is your host John Derbyshire, fresh from hacking the ice from my front porch steps.
The weather outside is frightful here in the New York 'burbs, yesterday's snowfall having solidified itself somehow into a rock-hard substance that isn't really snow or ice, just a sort of … snice. I actually took an ax to it, leaving irreparable scars on my fancy brick work.
When I finally obtain fame and wealth I shall go and live in a large, comfortable hotel. I've had enough of this homeowner stuff.
But you don't want to hear my troubles. You want to hear about what an unholy mess the human race has got itself into since last week. Okay, here we go.
|02 — Harvard gets CultMarx President. Harvard University has got a new
President and surprise, surprise, it's a woman: Mrs
Drew Gilpin Faust.
I used the word "surprised" twice there because there are in fact two surprises. Not only is the new President-elect of Harvard a woman, she's a straight woman. At any rate she has a husband who has first name Charles; and she has an ex-husband, first name Stephen; so one makes the common assumptions here.
Straight or not, Mrs Faust is a rabid feminist ideologue who will waste a great deal of the university's time and money ramming diversity down its throat, probably wrecking a couple of departments in the process.
When the New York Times asked the lady whether her appointment marked the end of, quote, "gender inequities" at Harvard. Mrs Faust replied: "Of course not. There is a lot of work still to be done, especially in the sciences."
This is a reference back to the 2005 flap about then-president Larry Summers speculating out loud on the underrepresentation of women in math and science being a consequence of innate sex differences.
Summers was was boiled alive for his remarks and Harvard has been groveling to the diversity creeps ever since. Mrs Faust's appointment is just the latest installment of that long grovel.
One can't help thinking it would have been a bit more convincing as a refutation of Larry Summers' remarks if a woman mathematician or scientist had been appointed President. Mrs Faust is a historian.
Anyway, if there are in our future some good hard scientific results on innate differences in ability or academic preference between males and females, you can be sure those results won't be coming out of Harvard.
What will be coming out of Harvard will be an endless flood of pseudo-academic papers with titles like "Women's Power and the Gendered Division of Domestic Labor in the Third World," to quote an actual example.
Something to look forward to; and much more compelling and relevant than all that stupid math or science stuff.
|03 — The Obamas are victims! The CBS news program 60 minutes
interviewed Senator Barack Obama, who, as you may have heard, is a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination as well as being notably
When the interviewer, Steve Kroft, observed that some African Americans don't think Obama is black enough, the Senator articulated the following thought: "I notice when I'm catching a cab, nobody's confused about that." O-kay.
In a later segment of the interview Mrs Obama joined her husband. Steve Kroft asked her whether she worries, as Alma Powell famously did, about some crazy person with a gun. Replied the lady: "I don't lose sleep over it because the realities are that, you know, as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station."
Thus was revealed a depressing truth about race relations in the U.S.A. today, namely that upper-middle-class African Americans like the Obamas, both of whom are Harvard law school graduates, are just as susceptible to the poisonous myths of racial disadvantage and racial persecution as any ghetto dropout.
It is probably a waste of time to point out that the most sensational recent shootings at gas stations were those carried out in October 2002 against a racially diverse assortment of victims by the Beltway Snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, both of whom were black — and the second of whom was an illegal alien to boot.
But heck, let's not let facts get in the way of victimology.
|04 — Religionless refugee shoots up shopping mall. Eighteen year old
Sulejman Talović, who shot up a shopping mall in Salt Lake City earlier this week killing five shoppers and wounding four more before being
shot to death himself by police, was not an African American.
He was in fact a refugee from Bosnia, admitted to this country as part of our very generous refugee resettlement program.
After 9/11 we actually cut back on the number of refugees we admit, yet still we take in about two-thirds of all the refugees resettled to the industrialized world by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees — 42,000 last year. For the past three decades the United States has resettled more refugees from around the world than all other developed nations combined.
It goes without saying that this isn't good enough for our President, who has declared that his eventual goal is a program that resettles ninety thousand refugees in the United States each year, more than twice the total number of refugees resettled by all other developed countries combined in any year since the federal program began in 1980.
Unlike other immigrants, by the way, refugees are entitled to all state and federal welfare programs from the day they arrive.
What a generous nation we are, aren't we? I'm going to give you a few seconds to just reflect in smug silence on our boundless goodness towards the oppressed and downtrodden of the world.
Okay? Back to young Sulejman Talović, the guy who shot up the shopping mall in Utah. As I said, he is a refugee from Bosnia. Now, isn't Bosnia majority Muslim? And doesn't Mr Talović's first name Sulejman sound uncannily like Suleyman, the name of several Ottoman emperors?
So was this a rampage by a suicidal Muslim? If it was the news organizations don't want us to know. I haven't seen Mr Talović's religion mentioned anywhere. Perhaps he was a Christian Scientist or a Jehovah's Witness or a follower of the Lubavitch Hasidim. Who knows?
The fewer of us, the better, so far as the authorities are concerned. We wouldn't want to raise any criticism of that wonderful refugee program, would we?
|05 — ChiComs get wrong anthem. Taiwan, you may or may not know, is
officially called the Republic of China.
The Republic of China, founded by Sun Yat-sen in 1911 when the last Emperor abdicated, has not actually ruled mainland China since 1949 when the commies took over and called themselves the People's Republic of China.
Chiang Kai-shek took the Republic of China off to Taiwan with him, and that's what the island is still officially called, even though Taiwan is the only bit of the old Chinese Empire that the Republic of China actually controls nowadays.
Republic of China, People's Republic of China: important to keep the distinction clear in your mind.
Someone forgot to explain all this to the Royal Grenada Police Band. Grenada, you see — it's one of those tiny island nations in the Caribbean — used to recognize the Taiwan government, a/k/a the Republic of China, as the true government of the Middle Kingdom, as by the way twenty-four nations worldwide still do. Then the ChiComs showed up with a big bag of cash and Grenada switched allegiance.
The ChiComs built a huge sports stadium in Grenada's capital, paying for the whole thing — forty million dollars worth. Time came to open the stadium and there was a ceremony. The Royal Grenada Police Band was on hand to supply the music, bringing with them their sheet music for the Chinese national anthem.
Alas, the sheet music hadn't been updated. It contained the anthem of the Republic of China, or Taiwan, not the anthem of the People's Republic, which as you all know begins [singing] 起來! 不 願 做 奴隸的 人們 … [Normal voice.]
Anyway, the, ChiCom ambassador and several dozen of the Chinese workers who built the stadium had to stand and listen to the so-called anthem of those renegade splittist running dogs of imperialism lurking over there in Taiwan.
Embarrassing for them, a laff riot for the rest of us.
|06 — A border fence for Pakistan? Fences along national borders are a
simply terrible idea; we all know that. Everyone from the President on down has been telling us for years what a terrible, stupid, insulting idea a
border fence is, what a noxious message it sends, and so on.
Yep: Border fences are a disgrace … er, except when they're not. Case in point, the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It's pretty wild country up there in the Hindu Kush, you see. The Taliban fighters we originally kicked out of Afghanistan set up shop in remote regions of Pakistan whence they have been crossing back into Afghanistan to conduct raids on us and our allies.
The word going round is that the Taliban plan some pretty big raids this Spring, with perhaps even attacks on Kabul and Kandahar in the works.
So what's our pal President Musharraf in Pakistan going to do about it? He'd better do something. The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that instructs the President to certify every year that Pakistan is doing its best to suppress these Taliban intruders. If the certification can't be made, all U.S. military aid to Pakistan must be cut off. That's what the bill says.
Naturally Musharraf is keen to comply, or at least to look like he's trying to comply. In December, he suggested a border fence and minefields.
The mention of minefields made the Europeans all shriek and jump up on their kitchen chairs clutching their skirts, so Musharraf dropped that, but he still seems keen on a border fence.
There are endless complications, not least the fact that the border itself is in dispute, and has been for about a hundred years. Look up "Durand Line" on Wikipedia if you want the details.
Also, there are still around three million Afghans living in refugee camps in those remote corners of Pakistan. No doubt they'll all be shipped over to live on welfare in the U.S.A. one day soon, but in the meantime they are perfect cover for a few thousand Talibans.
Still, Musharraf is at least talking about a border fence, which is of course — I can't repeat it often enough — a terrible, shameful idea, sending totally the wrong message.
|07 — Tibet likes global warming. After my adventures this morning, hacking
away at the ice on my front steps, I think I can be forgiven a hollow laugh at the mention of global warming.
I keep trying to get worked up about this issue and I keep not succeeding. The Earth's climate is variable and always has been. The phrase "Ice Ages" mean anything? If humanity can't cope with that we might as well give up and go find some other planet to live on.
And of course we can cope with it if we set our minds to it. Sea levels rising? build some dykes — the Dutch have been doing it for centuries. Glaciers melting, rain forests dwindling, permafrost going swampy? Well, all these things are bad news for someone, but they're probably good news for someone else.
By way of illustration, here's a story from Tibet. Yes, Tibet, up there in the Himalayas. We don't get many stories out of Tibet, but here's one to … warm your heart.
Fifty-six-year-old Mr. Tsewang Dumi, a Tibetan shepherd with a flock of sixty sheep and goats up there on the roof of the world, told the London Daily Telegraph that, quote: "Yes, it's definitely getting warmer. Fewer animals died of the cold this winter. I don't have to take my sheep so far away from the mountain in lambing season now."
So there you go. Bad News for New Orleans: good news for Tibet.
Since the New Orleanseans are my fellow countryman while the Tibetans aren't, I guess the bad news should outweigh the good here.
Hmm … Let me think about that for a while.
|08 — Miscellany. Some brief items to see us out.
Item: In China a man has been sentenced to death for running a scam in which he promised huge returns to investors from ant farms.
Ant farms … Kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it, about all those stories you read about how China is going to be the 21st century superpower? A nation of people who believe you can make money from ant farms.
Item: Lady Thatcher, a/k/a Margaret Thatcher — Whom God Preserve! — is to have a statue of herself unveiled in the lobby of the House of Commons.
Speaking as the only possessor of a genuine Margaret Thatcher memorial mug on Long Island, I should just like to say that I hope the driveling, sniveling, contemptible weasels who forced this great lady out of office back in 1990 will have the good grace to stay away from the statue unveiling ceremony.
Item: Our own Byron York, doing heroic work there at the trial of that guy who gave that woman's name to that other guy — you know the one I mean — grumbled on The Corner the other day that the trial had reached a, quote, "boring patch."
I guess that would be like a wet patch in the North Atlantic or a sticky patch in the La Brea tar pits.
Item: Mitt Romney declared he's running for the Republican Presidential nomination, making his announcement at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
The choice of locale was pounced on by the National Jewish Democratic Council, who pointed out that Henry Ford was an antisemite.
Since it's the Republican nomination that Romney's going for, the temptation must have been pretty strong to say the thing that James Baker famously said to George Bush the First back in 1992, but Romney manfully restrained himself.
Item: Mayor Bill Purcell of Nashville has vetoed a local ordinance passed by his city council to require that all city documents be in English.
Said Hizzoner, quote: "If this ordinance becomes law, Nashville will become a less safe, less friendly and less successful city."
I'll translate that for you. We can't afford to fight a lawsuit with the ACLU.
|09 — Signoff. That's it, boys and girls. Tune in again next week for
more song and sunshine from the lavishly-equipped studios of Radio Derb, here on the 95th floor of Buckley Towers.
And if you're at a loose end on President's Day, take a trip to the birthplace of some President — if there's one near you, which there very likely is. I've visited a dozen or so of these places and enjoyed every one. Take the kids with you, if you can get them away from the Xbox.
Okay, take it away Franz Joseph.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]