• Play the sound file
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Welcome to Radio Derb, ladies and gentlemen, this is your host John Derbyshire, with a roundup of the week's news from a conservative angle.
Let's go straight to the main story, which is of course …
|02 — Virginia Tech murders: Taoist response. … the murders of
32 people by a crazy gunman at Virginia Tech.
You've probably heard all you want to hear about this terrible business, and then some. I don't have much to add. All I really want to do, in fact, is express a little skepticism about the notion that any kind of action — political action, I mean — necessarily follows from something like this.
To the news that something awful has happened there is a widespread and very natural reaction that something needs doing … by the government, of course.
We conservatives know that most of what governments do is wrongheaded, counterproductive, or badly administered; so that on the whole the less governments do, the happier we are.
We should consider the possibility that the Virginia Tech massacre doesn't imply any government action, that the correct response to it is … nothing.
It's just one of those random horrors that happen in the universe. Persons of a religious inclination will take the opportunity to ponder theodicy. The rest of us will just shrug and say, along with the late Kurt Vonnegut, "so it goes."
Actually, I'm not myself going to be quite such a Taoist as that about the Virginia Tech massacre. I think it does tell us something we might usefully do: namely, repeal those laws and rules that prevent citizens with concealed-carry permits from taking their weapons onto college campuses.
One person with two handguns can totally control the events in a building with dozens of people in it only if there are no other weapons on the scene.
Crazy gunman will always be with us. At least let citizens have a chance to defend themselves when the crazy gunman erupts.
|03 — Virginia Tech murders: audacious response. Here is what Barack Obama
had to say about the Virginia Tech murders. He was speaking in Milwaukee on Monday. I'm going to quote at some length here.
Start of quote:
There's also another kind of violence, though, that we're going to have to think about. It's not necessarily physical violence, but the violence that we perpetrate on each other in other ways.
"None the same"? That's what it says, "None the same."
… There's the violence of men and women who have worked all their lives and suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them because their job has moved to another country. They've lost their job, they've lost their pension benefits, and they've lost their healthcare; and they're having to compete against their teenage children for jobs at the local fast-food place, paying seven dollars an hour.
And that's the end of the quote from Senator Obama.
I hardly know where to start with this sort of thing. I suppose I'll start by saying that violence occurs when one person physically attacks another person, and not otherwise.
Then: College basketball players — no doubt very fine people — don't seem to me like really ideal role models for young women. Why not real major achievers like, for example, Condoleezza Rice?
And then: those displaced workers lining up for low-pay jobs in the food service industry. They're not competing with their own kids. They're competing with illegal immigrants — a favorite constituency of Senator Obama's party.
And then: Who in the U.S.A. does not have access to a decent education? There are trained teachers at work in every school district in the country, with per-pupil budgets that are the envy of most of the world.
Now, you may choose to spend your class time gossiping about your relationships and your clothes instead of listening to the teacher, but that isn't violence. That's just stupidity.
This, you can't help suspecting, is the real Obama: a liberal Democrat stuffed up to the nose-holes with every socialistic and victimological cliché in the George Soros playbook.
To be still recycling this tired, failed pap after all these years of socialist failures — well, I call it … audacious.
|04 — Lefties lo-o-ove Cuba. Everybody's going to Cuba.
First we hear that lefty movie-maker — there's a pleonasm for you! — lefty moviemaker Michael Moore took Ground Zero responders, people made sick by working at the site, to Cuba for healthcare treatment in the commie island's hospitals, which, as any lefty will tell you, are far superior to America's.
This was all filmed as part of Moore's latest documentary titled Sicko, an attack on American drug companies and HMOs. To their great credit, several Ground Zero workers refused to go along with the stunt.
Then we read that a group of students from a public, but selective, high school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan were taken on a Spring Break field trip to the communist paradise. The teacher who organized the trip, name of Nathan Turner, has, we are told, a classroom whose walls are adorned with posters of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.
Let me tell you something, reader. Any time a conservative like me uses the word "communist" or refers to the horrors of Leninist or Stalinist or Maoist rule, folk on the left just howl with derision. "Oh, that was ages ago," they say. "That's all long behind us! Nobody supports that stuff anymore. Nobody's standing up for Stalin or Mao anymore. You are so behind the times, Derb!"
Well, if that's true, how come Marxist-Leninists like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are still such heroes over on the left? If I'm flogging a dead horse, how come the horse just kicked out the brains of another dissident in Havana?
Oh, but I forgot: They have universal free healthcare. So having your brains kicked out by a dead horse doesn't hurt so much, I guess.
|05 — SCOTUS upholds partial-birth abortion ban. The United States Supreme
Court has upheld a 2003 federal law banning partial-birth abortion.
I'm not anti-abortion; but like a lot of other people of the same opinion, I thought partial birth abortion a horrible procedure, and I couldn't see how it could ever be justified. So count me with the Supreme Court majority here, and the majority of the country too.
Drawing any kind of timeline beyond which abortion isn't allowed is of course arbitrary. I don't see that as an argument against drawing a line. All kinds of legal lines are arbitrary. You can vote in federal elections the day of your eighteenth birthday, but not the day before. That's arbitrary unless you believe that the Election Fairy comes and sprinkles you with magic dust at midnight, giving you a sudden access of political wisdom.
The question with abortion is, where do we draw the line? The answer has to come from a common consensus. As with all other lines, the consensus might change as the voting age did — it used to be twenty-one. Better imaging techniques might push public opinion to want an earlier abortion line. That's consensual politics.
I'll take whatever the people decide, having no real interest in the topic; though I'd prefer that a woman who wants to get an early abortion can get one. Partial-birth abortion was an obvious atrocity, anyway, and I am glad it is now firmly banned.
|06 — Budget baloney. The House of Representatives has passed a budget
resolution. It aims to spend two point nine trillion dollars in the next year.
Here's a note for those of you who can do arithmetic: Federal tax revenues last year were two point four trillion.
They're going to spend two point nine trillion, they're going to get two point four trillion. Okay. Well: a trillion here, a trillion there.
The House budget proposal of course increases spending by billions without cutting anything. It also aims to balance the federal budget by 2012. How? Well, by letting President Bush's 2003 tax-relief package expire.
The theory is that if you implement tax relief, the government gets less revenue. Well, let's look at the evidence.
Sounds like tax relief not only smells good, it actually in-creases revenues — just as conservatives from Andrew Mellon onwards have argued.
Of course, you can't expect Democrats to put trust in anything as objective as mere numbers. Tax relief's got to go!
Congressional Republicans have proposed an alternative budget that also balances in 2012, but preserving the tax relief. It freezes some discretionary spending and tries to rein in entitlement spending.
Now don't you get the feeling, hearing this stuff, that it's all a bit academic? The Baby Boomers start retiring in big numbers next year, so entitlement spending is going to go through the roof. Entitlements will increasingly control the entire budget. All other expenditures, including defense, will have to be wedged into the cracks between entitlement programs.
That's not just Derb the pessimist talking. Listen to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke giving testimony before the Senate Budget Committee back in January, quote:
We are experiencing what seems likely to be the calm before the storm. Spending on entitlement programs will begin to climb quickly during the next decade. These rising entitlement obligations will put enormous pressure on the federal budget in coming years.
End quote. Bernanke went on to spell out the numbers, which are devastating
So when you hear politicians talk budget talk, just pause to remind yourself that whatever numbers they are throwing around are probably bogus; that the actual expenditures will be far, far bigger than they dare tell you; and that those expenditures are, even as I write, being put on your children's and grandchildren's credit cards.
|07 — Goodies for illegal aliens. Last week on Radio Derb
I advised you to check out the eighty-odd different kinds of current U.S. visas by googling
"immigration classifications and visa categories."
Well, now we know that the President wants to add a new category: the Z visa This will be for illegal immigrants. It will cost $3,500 and be valid for three years, renewable indefinitely on the same terms.
It will give illegals full access — like they don't already have it! — to the U.S. welfare state: education for their kids, free hospital care, and so on.
This is to be the basis of a new Senate bill that we'll see in its full glory after the Easter recess.
Meanwhile, over in the House, Representatives Jeff Flake and Louis Gutierrez have cooked up another bill that basically gives the store to illegals, including in-state college tuition rates to illegals attending public colleges. We wouldn't want them to miss out on any taxpayer-subsidized goodies, would we?
There's a six-year visa in the House plan somewhere, too, but who cares? The main idea is just to give these trespassers everything they want, short of a free Lexus. And in fact I haven't read the full Flake-Gutierrez bill yet, so there might in fact be a free Lexus in there.
Legal Aliens? U.S. citizens? Get to the back of the line, you knuckle-dragging nativist swine.
|08 — Miscellany. OK, here's our closing miscellany of short items.
Item: Prime Minister John Howard of Australia gave it as his opinion that people with HIV or AIDS shouldn't be allowed to immigrate into his country.
Australia seems to be the last repository of common sense in the English-speaking world. Why on earth should a country admit people who have serious infectious diseases that will require expensive care probably on the public dollar?
Because, say the guardians of public morality, English-speaking countries have a moral obligation to open their doors to anyone who wants to enter; and because, also, people with AIDS are saintly victims of something-or-other.
Well, fiddlesticks! Good for John Howard.
Item: After the lefties and race hustlers got Don Imus fired from his job, Tom DeLay called for a retaliatory campaign to get Rosie O'Donnell fired from hers. After all, she'd made sneering, insulting comments about Chinese people, hadn't she?
Rosie took the high road, refraining from calling DeLay a furry-headed cracker, restricting herself to, quote, "criminal" and, quote, "sad slug."
Note to Tom: This one won't fly. (a) Chinese people are not an officially-recognized protected minority; and (b) the lefties, by definition, cannot be racist. Their hearts are pure, you see? their intentions always noble.
Item: You think British food is bad? It's also dangerous.
A restaurant patron in London had a sausage explode in her face. She spent two weeks in hospital and has had two skin graft operations. I guess that's why the British refer to sausages as "bangers."
If you're going to sample British food, I recommend starting slowly with crumpets, which are non-explosive, and Marmite, which is non-inflammable. Work your way gradually up to the exploding sausages through black pudding, toad in the hole, and spotted dick.
Item: The Governor of New Jersey was badly hurt in a car accident. It turned out he was driving at 91 mph in a 65 zone and wasn't wearing his seatbelt. New Jersey has strict seat-belt laws.
You would expect that the state's chief executive, of all people, would observe New Jersey's motor-vehicle laws. I mean, you'd expect that if you were so naive you didn't know that politicians make laws for us, not for them.
Item: ABC News reporter Terry Moran, disappointed at the collapse of the Duke rape case, urged his readers not to feel sorry for the three lacrosse players anyway, since they were white and their families were well-off, and — oh my God! — they had used racial insults against the black strippers.
So that's all right, then. It's okay to wreck someone's college career and force his family to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees if your victim doesn't fall into any of the official victim categories and shows bad manners to those who do.
Equal rights under the law? Fuggedaboutit.
Item: Every Democrat in New York City — and we're talking here of a group that includes Al Sharpton and various of his clones — every Democrat in New York has been shrieking in outrage at the German army training video that features an instructor telling a trainee, quote:
You are in the Bronx. A black van is stopping in front of you. Three African Americans are getting out and they are insulting your mother in the worst ways. You must act!
The trainee then fires his gun, yelling a commonplace thirteen-letter obscenity. (It doesn't say whether he's yelling it in English or in German, so it may not be actually thirteen letters.)
Given that the only thing your average American knows about Germany is that it produced Adolf Hitler, I'm not too upset to know that the only thing German army recruits know about America is that there are black people in the Bronx with a tendency to mother-insulting epithets.
As a matter of fact, the Bronx is being yuppified quite fast. If a black van stops in front of you in the Bronx nowadays, it's probably to ask you the way to the nearest Starbucks.
Walking along, he came across a group of seven lesbians and offered a cheery greeting to one of them. What happened next is disputed, but it ended with four of the tribades pummeling Dwayne and slashing him with a knife.
The four ferocious fricatrices have been found guilty of assault in various degrees and are locked up awaiting sentencing.
Don't let anyone tell you that ladies of this persuasion are mean and tough, though. When the judge ordered the gals locked up, they burst into tears.
|09 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gentlemen. The sun is shining, the air
is warm, the birds are singing, and my garden is a mess. Got to get out there!
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]