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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! This is your genial host John Derbyshire with all the news of the hour from a Tory-pessimist point of view.
Get ready to be depressed. If you don't hang up Radio Derb feeling absolutely awful, I haven't done my job.
Ready? Here we go.
|02 — Tony Blair on black crime. The news has been more depressing than
usual this week, listeners, because so much of it has been about race, which is a depressing topic.
There were two big race stores and one little one. The big ones were the Don Imus shenanigans and the Duke lacrosse team fiasco.
The little one — though it was big in England — was Tony Blair, who is now in the last weeks of his Prime Ministership over there, saying that the high arrest rate for young black men was not due to malice by the police, or poverty, or racism, or any of the usual suspects, but was the result of their committing way too much crime, and that their tendency to amass these appalling statistics arises from something in black culture.
Quote from Tony:
We need to stop thinking of this as a society that has gone wrong. It has not, but of specific groups that for specific reasons have gone outside of the proper lines of respect and good conduct towards others, and need by specific measures to be brought back into the fold.
This whole area is, I think, more painful for people of my generation, which is only just slightly older than Tony's, because we remember the early hopes of the civil rights movement. We believed — we really did — that if bad laws were struck down and opportunity was equalized, the whole grisly race business would melt away.
That didn't happen. Boy, did it not happen! There is as much racial hostility now as forty years ago, and it's louder and more rancorous.
When the failure of the whole racial equality project is pushed in our faces, as happened with Hurricane Katrina, we turn away in shame, or embarrassment, or something. Meanwhile, our schools and neighborhoods get more and more segregated; the shakedown artists get richer and fatter; the rappers get more obscene; and the jails fill up with more and more young black men.
Did you know that a random adult male black man in Washington, D.C. is 29 times more likely to be in jail than a random adult male non-Hispanic white man? And that's in a city with a black police force!
I don't know that talking about this will do any good, but I'm pretty sure that not talking about it does no good at all. So all credit to Tony Blair for speaking frankly.
Any chance of someone of equal prominence in the U.S.A. speaking as frankly? If you want my opinion: No, not a chance.
|03 — Duke rape case dies. Now on to the first of the two big race
stories, the Duke Rape Case.
Roy Cooper, the state Attorney General down there in North Carolina, has done what he should have done long since and anulled the whole case. He not only dropped all charges against the three young lacrosse players, he declared them innocent and said they were the victims of D.A. Mike Nifong's, quote, "tragic rush to accuse."
"Tragic" is not the word I'd use, I must say. Nifong was making an obvious play for black votes by trying to harpoon a Great White Defendant, a thing novelist Tom Wolfe prefigured twenty years ago in his novel Bonfire of the Vanities. The fact that this involved wrecking three men's lives and beggaring their families was of no importance to Nifong. What are a few lives when there are votes to be won?
I hope the lacrosse players sue the state of North Carolina, which is Nifong's supervisory authority, until it bleeds. I hope they get a humongous award and never have to work again; and I hope the young woman who allowed herself to be Nifong's accomplice in this shameful episode wakens to some awareness of what she has done and repents.
Or, failing that, has as rotten a life as, to judge from her personal history, she seems destined to have.
|04 — Advice to Don Imus. And then of course there's
Imus. It's hard to work up much
sympathy for a guy who's lost his job when that job consisted of being paid ten million dollars a year for ad-libbing into a microphone four hours a
day. You can't help thinking: Hey, I could do that.
Imus has, though, done plenty of good charitable things with his money, and it's sickening to see him — or anyone — brought down by the odious Al Sharpton and the creepy Jesse Jackson. Ad-libbing into a mike is at least honest work, which is more than you can say for getting rich by shaking down guilty white liberals, or by destroying the lives of minor state officials with false rape charges.
Well, Imus is 66 years old and stinking rich. If I were him, I'd retire to a beach house somewhere and occupy myself with founding and running a foundation for the relief of people persecuted by race hustlers like Sharpton and Jackson, or by similar bullying nuisances like CAIR or the Southern Poverty Law Center or the ACLU.
It would be a cool, quiet revenge. Not the most instantly gratifying kind, perhaps, but the most effective in the long run.
|05 — Burns burned by Latino grievance cops. We Americans of course love a
challenge. Since having one race problem wasn't challenging enough for us, we decided to import another one. So now we have Hispanic grievance-mongers
and sowers of discord cropping up all over the place.
Here's one of them: Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, an associate professor in the journalism department at the University of Texas.
Ms Rivaas-Rodriguez and her staff, she tells us, quote, "police projects about World War Two all over the country — books, films, conferences, and the like — to make sure Latinos are represented," end quote.
Well, one of her staff members came across filmmaker Ken Burns' new documentary about World War Two. Burns had set out to give some ordinary Americans' perspective on that war by visiting four towns and having a handful of people tell their stories.
Ms Rivas-Rodriguez' minion attended a preview of the film. ¡Que horror! — there were no Latinos in the film.
Imagine the nerve of that Burns fellow! Ken has not been forced to do a full diversity grovel, apologizing and heaping ashes on his head in prime time TV. Nor is he going to alter the content of his film to appease Ms Rivas-Rodriguez and her cohorts; but he has agreed to make a supplementary film about, quote, "the wartime experiences of Hispanic and American Indian veterans."
Right. Here's a suggestion for your next historical documentary, Ken: The Zoot Suit Riots. The Zoot Suit Riots — look it up on Wikipedia.
|06 — Hearts of oak … not. And then of course there was
the aftermath of the Iran hostage crisis.
The fifteen British sailors and marines held hostage by Li'l Squinty and his nutjobs were sent safely home to England with Goody bags full of such wonderful souvenirs as Iranian candy, CDs of Iranian music — oh boy! — and the pickled, severed body parts of captured Israeli soldiers.
Leading Seaperson Faye Turney, the gal who had that headscarf on before you could say "feminist role model," told her story to a British newspaper for a hundred thousand pounds. That is believed to be the highest price ever paid for chicken of the sea.
Meanwhile we learned that Able Seaman Arthur Batchelor was relentlessly tortured by his Iranian captors. First they compared him to the TV comedy character Mr Bean, which made him cry. Then they flicked at his neck with index finger and thumb, which he tells us had him frozen in terror.
Then — and you may want to sit down for this: it's pretty grim stuff — then … oh, I can hardly bear to say it. Come on. Force yourself, Derb. The truth must come out! Then … they stole his iPod.
Let me tell you, listeners, when I first complained about the dishonorable and disgraceful behavior of these sailors in a column I published April 2nd I got a mass of emails telling me how mean-spirited I was being.
Did I really think that they were doing that stuff un-coerced? people asked me. On Alan Colmes' radio show, Alan assured me that the hostages had guns pointing at them when they made those videos.
Well, actually, Alan: No. If Able Seaweenie Arthur Batchelor is anything to go by, you don't have to point a gun at a British serviceman to make him sit up and beg. You just have to take away his iPod.
Yes, yes, I know: That's unfair. I know that there are brave and resourceful people in the British armed forces. Problem is, nobody in the Middle East knows that now. All they know is Faye Turney and Arthur Batchelor, whom they've been watching grovel on their TV screens every day this past week.
What do you think the effect on the jihadis will be? This disgraceful spectacle will cost us in blood.
I started out two weeks ago saying these servicemen should be court-martialed on return to Britain. I still think that.
People — including brave, fearless, and patriotic British servicemen — people will die because of what these creeps did.
|07 — Iraq: Let 'em fight. Does anybody have a frigging clue what to do
about Iraq? I sure don't.
We've invested in this Maliki government, who are a bunch of Shias getting their own back on the Sunnis. The Sunnis are turning to al Qaeda who are glad to oblige. In Anbar province, we're told, the tribal sheiks are ticked off with al-Qaeda, so now the al Qaeda guys are popping up elsewhere in Iraq.
The troop surge has depressed violence in Baghdad, but nobody knows if this effect is temporary or permanent.
Iran is chuckling at the Shia dominance of Iraq's government, which they think is great for them.
General Petraeus himself thinks that the surge only has a one in four chance of succeeding, according to Senator Gordon Smith.
The Washington Post reports Petraeus saying that, quote: "The Washington clock is moving more quickly than the Baghdad clock," which is the General's way of pleading for more time.
How much more? He doesn't say, but that same Washington Post report quotes John J. Hamre, a former Deputy Defense Secretary, as saying, quote: "The timescale to succeed is years, while the timescale for tolerance here is twelve months for Democrats and eighteen months for Republicans."
There's going to be an almighty crash when those numbers collide, that's all I know.
What a mess! What a terrible mess! And of course if we pull out we're humiliated and the jihadis are emboldened.
Stanford Poli Sci Professor James Fearon has a piece in the current issue of Foreign Affairs arguing for a pullback to fortified positions and a disengagement from the Shiite government, and letting the civil war proceed to some kind of conclusion.
It is, as Professor Fearon says, not graceful, but it's about as good an idea as I've seen out there. What a mess!
|08 — W clueless on immigration. Our President was in Yuma, Arizona on
Monday, arguing for his temporary worker program.
Quote from the President: "You cannot fully secure the border until we take the pressure off the border, and that requires a temporary worker program." End quote.
I think both those statements are false.
To secure the border, you secure the border with whatever resources are necessary. There is no precondition. You don't have to "take the pressure off the border" before you secure it. You just secure it. On a properly secure border there will be no pressure.
Second statement: taking pressure off the border requires a temporary worker program. Like we don't already have one? Try googling "immigration classifications and visa categories." There they are on the USCIS website.
Those are existing visa categories. What's wrong with them? If the country needs more temporary workers, why not just raise the H-2A and H-2B quotas? Where exactly is the need for a whole new program?
I count 82 different visa categories on that website. It's possible I counted wrong; but you go there and count for yourself. The rationale for adding an 83rd, an 84th, and an 85th category is … what, exactly?
Does the President have any idea what he's talking about when he talks about immigration? I've been through the immigration mill. I know how it works. I've been a B visa and an H visa and a Green Card, and now I'm a citizen. I've had friends who were F visas, J visas, and L visas.
Does the President have any idea what I'm talking about? Or does he just have a vague fuzzy feeling that immigration is wonderful because the Mexicans who work on his ranch are wonderful, which I'm sure they are.
Mr President: Immigration isn't a matter of sentiment or inclination. It's policy implemented by laws and rules for the benefit of Americans and their country, not for the benefit of foreigners.
We have laws and rules a-plenty already. Will the federal government please enforce them?
|09 — Miscellany. Here is the traditional miscellany of short items to see us out.
Up to now they've only offered it to weddings where a man is marrying a woman. How reactionary! So now Disney has announced that homosexuals, too, can have a FairyTale Wedding.
Stop that sniggering, you in the back row.
Item: Red China, having failed to bring America to its knees by flooding our stores with cheap tacky goods and our movie theaters with pretentious over-colored movies where beetle-browed mystics conquer evil by superior moral force, has decided to try a different tack: poisoning our pets with tainted pet foods.
Count me not surprised. Walking to work at my job in China, I used to pass a restaurant boasting the sign 香狗肉, which means "fragrant dog meat."
So I'm wondering what exactly is in those cans of Chinese dog food even when un-tainted. Are our pooches being lured into cannibalism? We should be told.
Item: Another China story. In this one multiculturalism meets national security.
Chi Mak, a 66-year-old engineer for a California defense contractor, is accused of passing naval technology secrets to the Chinese. His trial has just started in San Diego.
Whatever the verdict, one thing is for sure. If the Chinese security services aren't striving mightily to recruit agents from among the millions of Chinese people living in the U.S., they're not doing their job.
And if those efforts are totally unsuccessful, given the available numbers, that would be absolutely amazing.
Item: Just a follow-up to my item in last week's Radio Derb about Omar Muhammedi, the New York lawyer who is suing to find out the identities of the passengers who reported the flying Imams last year.
I did not mention at the time, because I did not know, that Mr Muhammadi is president of the New York chapter of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.
Oh, did you fall off your chair in surprise? I'm sorry.
Item: Campaigning in Alabama, Rudy Giuliani was asked a question about the price of basic commodities. How much is a gallon of milk? How much is a loaf of bread? Rudy didn't know. Ooooh!
What a crock! I don't know the answers either. My wife does the food shopping.
How silly is politics going to get between now and November 2008? Way silly, is the answer.
Item: A magazine article about David Axelrod, chief political and media advisor to Senator Barack Obama, showed Axelrod and Obama deep in discussion in the senator's Capitol Hill Office.
That is a violation of congressional ethics rules, which forbid the use of federal office space for political and campaign activity.
Oh, well, look on the bright side, Senator. At least they didn't catch you smoking.
|10 — Signoff. That's it, folks. If I've been sounding a little frazzled
this week it's because I'm doing the single parent thing. My better half's gone off to China to deal with a family crisis.
All you young people out there, listen, this is from the heart: You do not want to be a single parent. Okay?
End of public service announcement; end of this week's Radio Derb; more next week.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]