»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, February 23rd, 2007

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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]

01 — Intro.     Welcome once again, listeners, to Radio Derb, the authentic voice of un-compassionate conservatism.

This is your host John Derbyshire bringing you news and views of the hour in a spirit of charity towards none and malice aplenty towards the enemies of Western civilization in general, and the United States in particular.

On with the motley!

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02 — Brits in Iraq.     The British Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced that his country's troop strength in Iraq will be drawn down over the next few months from the present 7,100 to less than 5,000 by year's end.

To confuse things, it was simultaneously announced that 22-year-old Prince Harry, second in line to the British throne after his jug-eared Dad, will be deployed to Iraq shortly with his unit, in which he has cornet rank. (That's second lieutenant to you colonials.)

The British royal family, for all their faults and dysfunctions, have a long and honorable connection with their nation's armed forces. Jug-ears' younger brother, Prince Andrew, served in combat in the Falklands War. Jugs himself holds rank in the Royal Navy, and Prince Philip served with distinction in the same navy in World War Two.

Sad to compare this with Britain's political elites. Try browsing through the biographies the current cabinet and shadow cabinet on Wikipedia. I just did, for as long as I could stand to: not a glimpse of any military experience at all.

The people who run today's Britain are a pretty solid phalanx of professional politicians, people who have never had any kind of life outside politics except for an occasional brief spell in the media or labor unions. What a bunch of bores they must be!

Our own political classes are a little better, but not much. Hard to blame our current President for not sending his kids off to war. They're both girls and he probably believes, as I do, that girls don't belong in combat.

Same for the Clintons; though one has to suspect that even if Bill and Hill had brought forth a whole platoon of male issue, none of them would be patrolling the back streets of Fallujah right at this minute.

Which President came before Bill Clinton? Oh yeah. Well …

Anyway, jolly good luck to Prince Harry and his combat assignment. State safe, mate.

The Brits have lost 132 soldiers in Iraq to date. So far as the troop drawdown is concerned, Tony Blair pointed out when making the announcement that in Basra, which is the main area of British operations, there is no Sunni insurgency, no Al Qaeda, and very little Shia versus Sunni violence, the small number of Sunnis in Basra having mostly been driven out long since.

The fighting there now is between different Shiite militias and criminal gangs. No point foreigners getting mixed up in that. Best to just withdraw to bases, do a little training and keep an eye on things. Once ethnic cleansing has been completed in the rest of Iraq, the same will be true all over

But what am I saying? There is no ethnic cleansing in Iraq. It's a single nation under a single popularly-elected government. Right?

Right. Of course! And I am Marie of Romania — who, by the way, was first cousin to Prince Harry's great-great-grandfather.

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03 — Congress of jellyfish.     It wasn't exactly a historic, precedent-shattering constitutional confrontation. The House of Representatives, now in Democratic hands, slapped President Bush across the face with a wet haddock, voting their verbal disapproval of the recent troop increases.

Seventeen Republicans voted for the slap; two Democrats voted against it.

Then the Senate weighed in with a 56 to 34 support for the so-called non-binding resolution — not enough for a formal endorsement. Seven Republicans went with the Democrats in the Senate vote.

What a bunch of jellyfish! I hate this fool war and I wish we'd never got into it. I'll be damned if I'll see my country humiliated though, and I want to see some kind of victory in Iraq, if it's only peace via thorough ethnic cleansing … which I suspect it will be.

Until that victory comes, let's keep doing what we have to do; and if Congress doesn't like it, let them have the guts to defund the war.

Whoa, what did I just say? Congress? Guts? [Laughter.]

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04 — Clintons target Obama.     Uh-oh, there'll be tears before bedtime. David Geffen, a Hollywood bigshot, who up to a few days ago was best known as a booster of the Clintons, has turned coat and jumped on the Barack Obama bandwagon.

Says he, quote: "Everybody in politics lies but the Clintons do it with such ease, it's troubling." End quote.

This is news? Reacting, Hillary Clinton played the virtue card, purring that, quote: "I want to run a very positive campaign and I sure don't want Democrats or supporters of Democrats to be engaging in the politics of personal destruction."

Of course you don't, Honey. As if a Clinton would have anything to do with the politics of personal destruction. Who would ever think so?

Barack Obama, giving the impression of a guy who's just taken an arrow in the glutes but hasn't quite registered the pain yet, articulated that, quote: "It's not clear to me why I would be apologizing for someone else's remarks. My sense is that Mr Geffen may have differences with the Clintons, but that doesn't really have anything to do with our campaign."

Dream on, Barack. Everything about the Clinton campaign has something to do with yours. Furthermore, every syllable from Mrs Clinton's lips, every raise of her eyebrow, every step she makes and every breath she takes is directed directly and deliberately at the personal destruction of … you.

Politics of personal destruction? You're about to get a crash course, Senator Obama, and guess what? You're cast as the crash dummy. Just hope that you get through this campaign with your hide in one piece, buddy.

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05 — The people who shape our country.     Now they have control of Congress the Democrats are preparing some nice, compassionate immigration legislation for us.

Compassionate, that is, to the trespassers who've been breaking into our country this past twenty years in search of free healthcare, schooling and birthright citizenship for their babies, not so compassionate for us citizens who have to pay the bills and watch our country being turned into just another Latin American corruptistan.

Here comes to the legislation, anyway: "comprehensive immigration reform." The prime mover here is of course senator Edward Kennedy, who gave us that wonderful 1965 Immigration Act, the one concerning which he promised at the time, quote: "Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. The ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. The bill will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area." End quote.

Current levels of legal immigration? Oh, about a million annually.

The new bill should be ready for floor action in April. In drafting it Senator Kennedy has been assisted by various groups. Among the ones we've been permitted to know about: the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, whose membership list you can inspect on ewic.org, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, the National Council of The Race, and the Service Employees International Union.

These are the people who are deciding what this country will look like when my children are grown.

Listener, if you have time or money to spare, do anything you can think of — call or write your congresscritters, letters to the editor, join a group — anything to stop this insanity.

We live in a country which, like any country at any time, has problems to be solved. We should be working to solve those problems, not to import new ones.

There were times in America's history when mass immigration was a good idea. This is not one of those times. Mass immigration isn't going to solve any of our problems. Mass immigration is a problem.

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06 — Iran to U.N.: "Or else what?"     I'm opening a book on when Iran will test its first atom bomb. Name a month, chip in twenty bucks, and you're in my book.

I'm in for December '08. I guess the Iranians could be ready before then, but they'll hold off until after the U.S. Presidential election so as not to stir up the hawk vote.

I must admit I don't understand these much longer estimates we hear from the administration, the United Nations and so on. Look at North Korea, a country without an economy — with no international trade unless you count revenues from fake Viagra, no natural resources and a starving population. They got themselves an atom bomb, didn't they? Well, we're pretty sure they did.

Iran is way bigger and richer with oil money pouring in and a well-educated well-fed population. They can't throw a nuke together in a couple of years? Come on.

It's clear at any rate that the Iranians are going hell for leather to get a nuke built. But hold on there, you say, wasn't there a U.N. resolution just a few weeks ago imposing sanctions and setting a sixty-day deadline for compliance with the resolution's demands? Yes, there was.

Didn't those demands included Iran stopping all uranium-enrichment activities and suspending its work on heavy water projects? Yes again.

And didn't the resolution mandate all U.N. member states to, quote, "prevent the supply, sale, or transfer of all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to Iran's enrichment-related reprocessing or heavy-water-related activities or to the development of nuclear weapons delivery systems," and quote? Sure did.

And didn't the U.N. resolution also instruct U.N. member states to freeze the funds and assets of a list of key individuals and companies linked to Iran's nuclear or missile programs? That's right.

So isn't Iran totally defying the United Nations? Sure looks like it.

So what does the U.N. do now? My guess would be another resolution.

Hasn't anyone in the world of international diplomacy ever raised any children? Don't they know that when you say "X, Y, Z, or else," there had darn well better be something substantial following the "or else"?

Well, I guess not. Diplomacy is so much more sophisticated than that,don't you know?

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07 — Mitt schmoozes geezers.     [Sings] "The Villages, Florida's friendliest home town …"

You remember that ad? The one about The Villages, a retirement community in Florida? That place where decrepit old geezers in double-knit slacks play golf and shuffleboard all the live-long day? The one that makes you more determined than ever to slit your wrists the minute you reach retirement age?

Well, Florida's friendliest home town is apparently solid Republican from wall to wall; or, as you might say, from surgical-appliance store to ladies' mahjong lounge.

That makes it a must-stop place for aspiring Republican presidential nominees like Mitt Romney. Mitt dropped in on The Villages over the weekend. He seems to have done all right, partly thanks to an assist from Jeb Bush.

Though one evangelical geezer stood up and called Mitt "a pretender who doesn't know the Lord." I guess the folk in The Villages can already see those pearly gates shimmering in the near distance and want to stack up some cred with St Peter while they still can. Anyway, Romney fielded the question gracefully, asserting his own faith, and made comforting noises about offshore drilling and Medicare.

He's come in for a lot of jeers the past few days: accusations of flip-flopping on social issues, skepticism about his healthcare plan, the silly business at the Ford Museum, and polls showing him losing to just about everyone in just about every hypothetical nomination or election matchup.

I'm a Giuliani man myself; but from all I've heard, Romney's a decent and exceptionally capable executive who, as of this broadcast, has no place to go but up.

How about a Rudy-Mitt ticket? Works for me.

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08 — Spare a thought for Britney.     How did I get this far into my broadcast without mentioning Britney Spears, especially since, ahem, I called this one.

Go to the NRO archives, gentle listener, and look up my column dated January 9th, 2004 just after Britney's 55-hour marriage to Jason Alexander broke up.

Quote from myself:

Is Britney Spears headed for a crackup? In a televised interview with Diane Sawyer, young Britney shed some tears. Should grown-up people care?

Perhaps. The Sawyer interview revealed a sadness and emptiness that is not Britney's alone. In show business since age six; ill-educated and, so far as one can judge, unchurched; adrift in the vacuous meretricious world of pop; … Judy Garland comes to mind.

Odd to find oneself, when faced with this icon of beauty, wealth, and fame, thinking: There but for the grace of God …

Spare a thought for Britney.

End quote.

Well, here we are three years later with Britney shaving off her hair in public, popping in and out of rehab clinics like the proverbial prairie dog out of its burrow, and achieving the astounding feat of making Kevin Federline looked like a responsible parent.

Faithful readers will remember my Christmas singalong number, "Bimbo Wonderland." For the unfaithful, here is the second stanza.

Britney Spears is in Heaven
Now she's got rid of Kevin.
Her bottom is bare,
But she doesn't care,
Living in a bimbo wonderland.

Well, now Britney's top is bare, too.

Showbiz — what would we do without it? The Romans had gladiator shows and Christians being ate by lions. The Middle Ages had cockfighting and bear baiting. Now we have dysfunctional pop queens.

There is some difference, of course. The Christians and the bears were having it done to them. The gladiators and cocks were doing it to each other. Britney's doing it to herself.

It still seems cruel to watch, though.

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09 — Miscellany.     Some brief news items to see us out.

Item:  I'd like to pay a tribute to our troops. No, not the ones in Iraq this time. I mean the NRO editors who do so much of the dirty work that has to be done in this business.

Byron York, as I mentioned last week, has been to the furthest shores of boredom, attending that trial of that guy in D.C., the one who may or may not have given that woman's name to that other guy.

Meanwhile, our sainted editor Rich Lowry let slip in a recent column that he has read both of Barack Obama's books about himself. Both of them!

Talk about devotion to duty. They should give medals for this stuff. They don't, but I hope Byron and Rich will at least hear the thanks of a grateful nation.

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Item:  A snippet from here in Long Island.

A 70-year-old man was found dead in front of his TV set, having apparently been in the same position and the same condition and presumably tuned to the same channel for over a year. The TV set was still on.

Well, watching TV will do that to you.

Police said that Vincenzo Ricardo appeared to have died from natural causes. They didn't tell us which TV channel he was tuned to, but I have my suspicions.

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Item:  In a telephone poll conducted by Arizona State University, only 54 percent of the Grand Canyon State's Republican voters favored their senior Senator John McCain in a Presidential primary next February.

Why on earth would so many Republicans be unfriendly to McCain? It couldn't possibly — could it? — be anything to do with his efforts, in concert with Edward Kennedy, to give citizenship to illegal aliens? Or his other efforts to make campaign-finance regulations as complex as the federal tax code?

No, it couldn't possibly be

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Item:  The world of Second Amendment rights is all a-flutter over the Zumbo affair.

Jim Zumbo, a keen sportsman over in Wyoming, and a writer on guns and hunting, and a lifelong supporter of Second Amendment rights, made a casual remark on a blog the other day that assault rifles were, quote, "terrorist weapons."

That got gun rights activists … well, up in arms, to put it mildly. Zumbo has had over a million emails, some of them threatening death. He's lost his job and his 40-year career has been destroyed.

There you see the power of Second Amendment activists. Rudy Giuliani, take very careful note.

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Item:  The modern age has been blighted by a long succession of nation-wrecking experiments.

You know the tally. Lenin wrecked Russia; Mao wrecked China; Perón wrecked Argentina; the Khmer Rouge wrecked Cambodia; Castro wrecked Cuba, Idi Amin wrecked Uganda; Robert Mugabe wrecked Rhodesia; et cetera, et cetera, et miserable cetera.

Now Hugo Chávez has entered the lists with a determined effort to wreck Venezuela.

This one won't be easy. Venezuela has big oil reserves and some of the best farmland in the Americas. Chávez is determined, though, and he's making steady progress with his program of Zimbabwe-ization.

Oil production and the value of the currency are down, inflation and social unrest are up. Fresh meat is disappearing from supermarket shelves and Chávez is threatening price controls on groceries, with jail time for violators.

Told that something or other would be the ruin of the country, Adam Smith famously replied that "there is a deal of ruin in a country." Nation wrecking can be done though, if you're determined enough. Watch Hugo Chávez.

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Item:  In a provincial town in eastern Colombia two clowns were shot and killed by an unidentified gunman during their performance at a traveling circus.

According to local police, the gunman burst into the circus and shot the clowns in front of an audience of twenty to fifty people. One of the clowns was killed instantly and the second died the next day in hospital.

Well, I think we all know how the gunman felt. I mean, you can see how a clown show might drive someone to homicide.

And when news of this event becomes generally known, you wouldn't want to be a mime.

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10 — Signoff.     That's it, listeners — all the madness of the world condensed into a five-minute broadcast. Nobody else does this!

Tune in again next week for more illumination, edification, cerebration, and desperation from Radio Derb.

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[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]