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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. [Sings] Stayin' alive, stayin' alive, uh uh uh uh stayin' alive … [Normal voice] Oh, there you are. Welcome to Radio Derb, ladies and gentlemen. This is your genial host John Travo … er, John Derbyshire with all the news you need to know, lightly seasoned with some cranky Toryism and civilizational despair.
Here we go.
|02 — Democrat '08 candidates on parade. The eight candidates for the
Democratic Party's nomination had a debate on the telly.
Unfortunately I missed it. The Uzbekistan Folk Dance Troupe was on Channel 87 and one must make choices.
So off I go to Google News, search on "debate transcript," and here we are, the whole thing. I'll just pick out some highlights. Let's see …
John Edwards grew up really poor and he wants everyone to have the opportunities he had. Who doesn't have them, John?
Senator Obama promises Senator Gravel that he's not planning to nuke anybody right now. Well, that's a relief. It's certainly a relief to Mrs Clinton.
Bill Richardson held off on criticizing Alberto Gonzales out of racial solidarity, Richardson's mom being Mexican, the same as Alberto Gonzales' mom.
Well, isn't that nice? Imagine a Republican Presidential candidate saying he was holding back on criticizing Don Imus because, you know, white guys should stick together. Well, no, you can't imagine it, but the laws of nature are all different in a Democratic universe.
Richardson also said he would end the Iraq war on his first day in office, quote, "with diplomacy." Plainly the governor has never met a senior diplomat. It takes more than 24 hours for one of those critters to approve the menu for the next diplomatic banquet.
Back to John Edwards. John Edwards really likes his wife, and his father, and God. O-kay.
Hillary Clinton thinks that hedge fund managers spend their spare time worrying about the poor and underprivileged. [Laughs] Senator, I've met some of these guys and, believe me, they don't.
Chris Dodd is proud to come from a family that, quote, "served in public service." He's proud, proud, proud that generations of Dodds have had their noses in the government trough, none of them ever holding down a real job.
Mike Gra-vel, Gra-vel, how d'you say that? … thinks that nuclear war is immoral. That's one of those opinions that it makes sense to hold only if everybody else in the world also holds it. If you think nuclear war is immoral then you or your children will quite likely be killed by someone who holds the opposite opinion.
What else? Three of the debaters have never had a gun in their house.
Hillary wants to bring illegal immigrants — oh, can you guess where she wants to bring them? — ri-ight: "out of the shadows." She did actually say "illegal immigrants," though, so we should be thankful for small mercies.
Dennis Kucinich wants you to know that he is very strongly connected to middle-class communities as well as to Hair Club for Men. Everybody supports Roe v. Wade. Everybody thinks that the Supreme Court's token loony lefty, Ruth Ginsburg, is the ideal justice. Everybody wants to bring the troops home.
These, ladies and gentlemen, are your Democrats who want to be President of the United States; and these are the things that they think it is important for you to know about them.
The Uzbekistan Folk Dance Troupe? Oh, they were great!
|03 — Bloomie seeks inspiration in Mexico. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of
New York City, went to Mexico to see how they deal with poverty down there.
I could have saved him the trip. The way the Mexicans deal with their poor people, Mr Mayor, is, they export them to Los Estados Unidos. A lot of these illegal immigrants end up in New York City where life is good and easy for them as New York is a sanctuary city where nobody will ask about your immigration status.
So let's see: Why is Bloomberg in Mexico? Oh yes: He's checking out this program that Mexico City has to pay poor families — assuming there are any left in Mexico — to pay them cash for attaining certain goals: attending parent-teacher conferences, going for a medical check-up while holding down a full time job.
Bloomberg wants to get a similar program going in New York — basically bribing people with cash to behave like responsible citizens. Bloomberg's program is scheduled to start in September with grants of five thousand dollars each to poor families in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
That pilot program will be funded from private donations, but Mayor Mike has said that when he gets a full program going, it will be government-funded.
Now it is a statistical certainty that some of the 2,500 families in Bloomberg's pilot program will be illegal immigrants, though we won't know which since the New York authorities aren't allowed to ask.
So, bottom line: We, the taxpayers of New York are going to be taking money out of our pockets to pay people to do what we do ourselves from a sense of responsibility and good citizenship. And some of the people we're paying have no right to even be in our country.
Or you could look at it from the point of view of a poor Mexican. He can take a bribe from his own government to do the things a decent person ought to do without being asked, or he can head north to New York City and get a bigger bribe in real U.S. dollars on the same terms.
What should he do, listeners?
As James Burnham said: "Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western civilization as it commits suicide."
|04 — Rosie the Blimp v. Rosie the Derb? I feel obliged to say
something about Rosie O'Donnell, but I'm severely handicapped here, never having seen even a nanosecond of her TV show. I think that back in
the dim past, I watched one of her standup routines on a tape that one of my friends had. That's been my entire exposure to the lady and I don't
actually remember anything she said.
Well, this is what Wikipedia is for. Let's see.
She ambushed Tom Selleck, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. My own Rosie has a picture of herself with Tom Selleck and it's one of her most cherished possessions, so there's a black mark on the O'Donnell person right away.
That little ambush was part of Rosie O'Donnell's campaign to make gun ownership illegal … except for her own bodyguards, of course. Strike two.
Then she was rude about Chinese people, mocking their language as, quote: "Ching chong, ching chong," which actually in Chinese means: "Please collide, please collide." Well, strike three.
Wait a minute. Tom Selleck … Ching, chong, ching, chong … Does Rosie the Blimp actually have it in for Rosie the Derb? Is this some sort of rivalry between Rosies?
Given Ms O'Donnell's self-declared orientation, perhaps it would be best not to ask.
What else? She's rude about Catholics. With a name like O'Donnell I guess she figures she can get away with it, like Chris Rock dumping on black people.
She thinks the World Trade Center was blown up to destroy evidence of corporate scandals. Nothing to do with Arab terrorists!
She thinks those British sailors captured by Iran were tools in an American plot to start a new war.
Okay, so here's what I'm getting. Ms O'Donnell has a big mouth, a tiny brain, and a lefty agenda.
Well, I'm glad she's off the air. Now I won't even have to worry about catching a glimpse of her TV show by accident.
|05 — Joe Biden's Theory of Everything. What was the cause of the recent
mass killings at Virginia Tech? Senator Joe Biden has the answer for us.
Joltin' Joe was a guest the other night at an event hosted by Al Sharpton's race-baiting … oh, sorry, I mean civil rights group, the National Action Network. Here's what Joe said, quote:
I would argue since 1994 with the Gingrich Revolution, just take a look at Iraq, Venezuela, Katrina, what's gone down at Virginia Tech, Darfur, Imus — take a look. This didn't happen accidentally, all these things.
You see what the senator is getting at? All the evils and horrors of the past thirteen years have a common cause, which is, quote from Joe again, "the politics of polarization promoted by Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, and Karl Rove."
Gosh, that explains everything! Hurricanes, populist movements in Latin America, berserk lunatics with guns, African famines, … I never thought until Joe pointed it out, but yes, obviously there is a common thread: those evil Republicans!
Oh, hold on a minute, though. What about the first World Trade Center bombing, the Waco disaster, the Unabomber, the Somalia fiasco, the massacres in Rwanda, the savings and loan collapse, the O.J. Simpson murders, the Tonya Harding and Lorena Bobbitt outrages, and the major league baseball strike? Didn't they occur under a Democratic President and Congress? Or did I just dream that?
|06 — What heroes this country produces! An extraordinary tale of Cold War
heroism has recently come to light. This is the case of CIA agents Richard Fecteau and John Downey.
The two men, both in their early twenties at the time, were captured while on a secret mission into Manchuria during the Korean War. The Downey and Fecteau case has been known in outline for many years, but we've only recently got a detailed, unclassified account published in the CIA house magazine Studies in Intelligence.
The two agents were beaten at the time of capture, then interrogated under brutal psychological pressure — sleep deprivation, hours of standing, and so on — for two years before being tried in Peking.
Downey got a life sentence; Fecteau, twenty years. In fact Fecteau was released in 1971 after just nineteen years imprisonment. Downey was released fifteen months later following Richard Nixon's visit to China.
Those were long years in cold concrete cells being fed maggotty vegetables and under-cooked rice. There were spells of solitary confinement, one of them six years long. Six years in solitary.
When at last they were released, both men refused offers to sell their stories. Downey said that the entire experience had been, quote, "a crashing bore." Fecteau joked that his good health was due to having spent nineteen years without booze, broads, or butts.
Both men went on to live useful and successful lives. Fecteau became sports director at Boston University, which was his alma mater.
Downey went to Harvard Law School, married a Chinese woman, and became a distinguished judge in Connecticut, specializing in juvenile cases. There's actually a juvenile courthouse in New Haven named in his honor.
What men and what heroes this country produces!
|07 — Woman's Town in China. Over in China again. The authorities in charge
of tourism are looking for investors in a novel concept: a Woman's Town where men get punished for disobedience.
This is out in southwest China, in Sichuan Province — a district, some Chinese official tells us, where it is traditional for women to rule and men to obey. Interesting.
The motto of the new town would be, quote: "Women never make mistakes and men can never refuse women's requests," end quote.
When tour groups enter the town female tourists will play the dominant role when shopping or choosing a place to stay. And a disobedient man would be punished by, it says here, kneeling on an uneven board or washing dishes in restaurants.
Now, speaking as an old married guy, I don't feel I need to take a trip to Sichuan to get this experience. I shall say no more than that, having only recently survived a long session of kneeling on an uneven board.
I must say, though, I've always liked the old Stepford Wives movie: not the remake, the original one — which, after all, is about a sort of fantasy Guys Town, isn't it?
Perhaps some entrepreneur in some other part of China could get an amusement park started on that theme?
Or perhaps one day, one Heaven-sent day, I shall hear Mrs Derbyshire say: "I'll die if I don't get this recipe. I'll die if I don't get this recipe …"
|08 — Tag wrestling on Iraq. Harry Reid's comment that the Iraq war is lost
started off a little tag-wrestling match, with Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani coming in through the ropes to bounce Ol' Harry on the canvas.
Cheney said that Reid was just playing politics with the war. The Democrats want to put us back on defense, said Rudy.
That got Barack Obama climbing into the ring. Giuliani was, quote, "taking the politics of fear to a new low" the senator from Illinois articulated audaciously as he body-slammed America's Mayor.
Hillary Clinton came in and piled on, saying that Giuliani was covering for the Bush administration's failure to crush Al Qaeda. Then John Edwards came in saying Giuliani's remarks had caused him physical discomfort and he planned to sue asking for massive punitive damages. Harry Reid himself was back in the ring by this time, calling Cheney the President's attack dog, … and so it went
As is always the case with these multi-party wrestling matches, you didn't quite know who had won, or why, but it was all good theater.
Meanwhile, in Iraq itself, General Petraeus soldiers on as a soldier should, but he flew over to Washington to give some briefings to politicians and the press.
He wasn't particularly upbeat, since no one would have believed him if he had been; and he made it plain that it would take years to achieve any kind of victory, and that it all depends on the Iraqis getting their act together — a thing that nobody, including probably the General, thinks the Iraqis are actually capable of.
The United States Congress punctuated the General's remarks by passing legislation to start winding down the war this year. The President will of course veto the legislation and the Congresscritters knew that in advance, so this is gesture politics here at this stage; but it's clear to everyone, including surely Petraeus, that he is not going to get those years that he needs and Iraqi politicians are not going to do what he wishes they would do.
Which leaves us where? With Iran the Middle East hegemon, Al Qaeda triumphant, and our nation humiliated? Is that what the American people want?
It kind of looks like it. Our President's not for turning, though, and the congressweenies don't have the guts to cut off funds for real, so it'll be November 2008 before we find out for sure.
|09 — United States of Taxation. I hope all you good readers got your taxes
done in time.
I've got a report here quoting a Treasury spokesman as saying that tax receipts from individuals hit a record one-day high of 48.7 billion on April 24th. Total tax receipts this year will probably be over two and a half trillion. That's better than eight thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in these United States.
Back in 1913 — when the 16th amendment was passed, allowing the feds to collect income taxes — back in 1913 federal, state and local taxes amounted to about eight percent of our income. Today taxes take over 33 percent of what we make.
And of course we make a whole lot more. According to the Tax Foundation Americans work 116 days to pay federal, state and local taxes. So we just about finished paying them. We only work 62 days to pay for our housing and only 30 days for our food.
Go back another hundred years or so to 1799 and you find Thomas Jefferson running for office on a plan to ban all internal taxes. And he won!
Taxes always make me think of Washington, D.C. — I mean the city. I go there a lot and I gaze in awe at all those vast blocky buildings where hundreds of thousands of federal employees toil away on our behalf.
Within living memory Washington was a sleepy Southern town with working farms inside the D.C. district boundaries. Is there a road back to that? No, of course there isn't, but it's nice to dream.
|10 — Miscellany. Just a few short items, listeners.
Item: A man in West Burlington, Michigan was fired from his job for referring to a fellow worker as a "Mexican." The colleague did in fact come from Mexico, but supervisors thought that calling him a Mexican was, quote, "discriminatory."
Item: The Prime Minister of Poland, Mr Jarosław Kaczyński, is in trouble with the diversicrats at the European Union for opposing homosexualist propaganda in schools.
Quote from the Prime Minister — who definitely has my vote — quote:
Such propaganda should not be in schools. It definitely doesn't serve youth well. It's not in the interest of any society to increase the number of homosexuals. That's obvious.
Actually, Mr Prime Minister, it's one of those things that used to be obvious but that nowadays will get you fired — like calling someone from Mexico a Mexican.
Item: The chairman of a county Republican Party in Utah says that illegal immigration is the work of Satan.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah County District 65 Chairman Don Larsen has submitted a formal resolution that begins as follows:
In order for Satan to establish his new world order and destroy the freedom of all people as predicted in the Scriptures, he must first destroy the United States.
So how do we defeat Satan's plan? Close the borders to illegal immigrants, says Chairman Larsen, in order to, quote, "prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion."
Well, I'm with the guy on the main issue, though I'm not sure about the Satanic aspect. Can we get him on a ticket with the Polish Prime Minister?
Item: Somehow they have to get the Olympic torch from Greece to Peking next year.
The Chinese have it all worked out. They have an 85,000-mile journey planned for the torch, taking in, among other places, the summit of Mount Everest, followed by a long run through Chinese-occupied Tibet.
The President of the International Olympic Committee said that the torch relay would be, quote, "a journey of harmony, friendship, and respect to people of different nationalities, races and creeds," end quote.
If the ChiComs really want to show respect to the Tibetans, how about giving them their country back?
|11 — Signoff. That's it for now, listeners. Tune in again next week for
more doom, gloom, and despair from Radio Derb.
Here's Mr Haydn to play us out.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]