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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Radio Derb is on the air! This is your phlegmatic presenter John Derbyshire bringing you news from the nation and the world this fine midsummer weekend.
Where should I start? At the bottom, of course, with politics. I shall then ascend through higher and higher planes of existence, ending up in the outer Solar System.
First, though, the nasty terrestrial stuff.
|02 — Hillary's actual campaign song. I'm sorry to report that the
Hillary Clinton campaign has not taken up my offer of a campaign song from last week's Radio Derb
"Onward, Clinton Soldiers!" did not have the right appeal, they said. It was apparently a bit too militaristic — off-message for the soft-focus, antiwar-leaning Hillary campaign.
Instead they have picked as their campaign song Celine Dion's 2004 hit "You and I." Here are the lyrics, with interpretive comments by Yours Truly.
[Voice of Nellie Derbyshire] High above the mountains
[My voice] That voice from across the sea is presumably the collective voice of all those Chinese generals and Indonesian billionaires who did so much to make the 1996 campaign a success for the Clintons.
[Nellie again] Brighter than the sun
[Me again] I hate to pick nits here, but this doesn't make sense. If it's darker than the night, how is it shining? Perhaps it's a sort of shiny darkness. I guess that must be it.
[Nellie] And on and on
[Me] And on and on the Clintons spin, though not as well as they used to when Dick Morris was their spin advisor.
[Nellie] If I could travel 'cross the world
[Me, chuckling] You could, Hillary, but I doubt you would. Okay, here's the chorus.
[Nellie] You and I
[Me] Uh, so long as someone else is paying for the flight, of course. Close watchers of the news will know the shareholders of a firm named Info U.S.A. are suing the CEO of that firm, who's a friend of Hillary's, for flying her round to political events at company expense.
Nothing surprising there. Neither of the Clintons has paid for anything themselves since about 1983.
[Nellie] So come with me
[Me] I don't quite know what's being suggested here. Perhaps it's just my sinful mind, but I seem to detect an erotic subtext. Determined not to follow that thought, I shall press on.
[Nellie] Sailing like a bird high on the wings of love
[Me] Oh, dear, who wrote these lyrics? This is Eurovision Song Contest stuff. In fact, it sounds like the translation of some Icelandic pop ballad. "Wings of love …" "Stars above …" Anyone got a rhyme for "September"?
[Nellie] I'm burning, yearning
[Me] Gently turning round and round, eh? Like for the Iraq war … against the Iraq war. Hillary, you're giving too much away here.
[Nellie] I am always rising up
[Me] Hillary: no offense, honey, but if you were to rise up to, oh, say, the orbit of the Moon and never come back down, a lot of us Earthlings would be just fine with it.
|03 — Bloomie leaves GOP. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the
beautiful and talented Ms Nellie Derbyshire in that last segment
Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York, tore up his Republican Party membership card the other day, thereby causing the center of gravity of the party to move several yards to the right.
Bloomberg is just about the least conservative person ever to belong to the GOP, the main contender for that title being another New York mayor, John Lindsay of wretched memory. In fact, Bloomberg only joined the party because there were too many Democrats on the ticket back in 2001 when he decided to run for Mayor
A liberal's liberal with a whiny voice, a bullying manner, and a massive ill-concealed conviction of his own high virtue, Bloomie will not play well in Peoria.
What policy lines is he pushing? Global warming; education; bipartisanship. Uh-huh. Translations: higher gas prices, more feather-bedding of the teacher unions, and buckling to left-wing special interests on everything.
Still, let's look on the bright side. Once it's clear how far to the left Bloomie is, he might take votes from Clinton or Obama.
|04 — Salman Rushdie gets knighted. Lefty novelist Salman Rushdie has been
knighted by the Queen of England for services to literature.
I can't comment on the merit of the award, having found Rushdie's novels — I'm sorry; of course I mean Sir Salman's novels — perfectly unreadable.
Other people have not been so shy about commenting. Here's a gent named Ijaz ul-Haq, who glories in the title Religious Affairs Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. That's the country's official name, by the way: "Islamic Republic of." You thought only Iran was an Islamic Republic of, didn't you? Listen and learn!
Well, Mr Haq had this to say about Rushdie's knighthood. Quote:
If someone commits suicide bombing to protect the honor of the Prophet Mohammed, his act is justified. If Britain doesn't withdraw the award, all Muslim countries should break off diplomatic relations.
That bit about all Muslim countries breaking off diplomatic relations is intended to be a threat, I think … though it has a lot of us Yanks thinking that if we can rustle up a Mohammed-insulting novelist of our own, it'd be a good idea to give him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
|05 — Why no National Council of Die Rasse? The Governor of California,
addressing the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists the other day, told them that Spanish-speaking immigrants should
shun Spanish-language media.
Said Arnold, quote:
You've got to turn off the Spanish television set. It's that simple. You've got to learn English. When I came to this country I very rarely spoke German to anyone.
Naturally this remark had members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists reaching for the smelling salts. "I'm sitting shaking my head, not believing that someone would be so naive and out of it that he would say something like that," said Alex Nogales, is who is President and Chief Executive of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
Okay, hold on here just a minute. So there is a National Association of Hispanic Journalists and there is also a National Hispanic Media Coalition?
You bet. There are probably a dozen other similar organizations out there representing Spanish-speaking media. They have plenty of media outlets to represent. I couldn't get a count for Los Angeles, but in the Washington D.C. area, which I never thought of as particularly Hispanic, there are fourteen Spanish-language stations or media organizations, as follows.
Perhaps the reason governor Schwartzenegger rarely spoke German to anyone is connected in some way with the fact that America does not have a National Teutonic Media Coalition or a National Association of Teutonic Journalists.
|06 — Duke's unhinged faculty minds. Rogue prosecutor Mike
Nifong, who spent most of last year trying to pin rape charges on three young lacrosse players at Duke University, is no longer district attorney of
Durham County, North Carolina.
It would be nice to tell you that he stepped down, but that's not what happened. Ol' Mike had his law license taken away by the State Bar Association last Saturday for leading quote, "a clear case of intentional prosecutorial misconduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation," end quote.
Mike then said he'd step down as D.A. but not until July 13th.
Not so slow! said state judge Orlando Hudson, and told Mike to clear out his desk ASAP. An interim D.A. has now been sworn in.
Among North Carolina desks not being cleared out of those of the 88 Duke University faculty who jumped on Nifong's sleazy little bandwagon as soon as it got rolling, signing their names to an ad in the Duke student newspaper declaring that, quote, "what is apparent every day now is the anger and fear of many of the students who know themselves to be objects of racism or sexism," end quote.
What is apparent every day now is that many of the faculty at prestigious universities have had their minds unhinged by PC dogma. They are unable to comprehend that anything that happens to white males, like the Duke Lacrosse players, could possibly be an injustice.
They look with contempt on such petty-bourgeois niceties as due process.
These, listeners, are our modern institutions of higher education: the places that, if you hand over a couple of hundred thousand dollars of your money to them, will credential your child as suitable for middle-class employment. What a system!
|07 — Juneteenth, best stay home. Now be honest: Had you ever heard of
Juneteenth before this week? I hadn't and I've spent 26 years of my life in these United States.
Possibly I've been living in the wrong parts. Wikipedia tells me that Ralph Ellison wrote a novel with Juneteenth as the title back in the 1960s. The holiday itself seems to have started in Texas a hundred years before that. Ralph Ellison came from Oklahoma, right next door to Texas, so I guess he knew all about it.
Well, I didn't; and nobody I've spoken to here on the frozen Tundra of Long Island knew, either
We live and learn; and now apparently we have another day when we'd best stay home — or at least, if we must go out, be very careful what neighborhoods we drive through.
Spare a tear for David Morales of Austin, Texas who was not careful, and who got stomped to death by partying Juneteenth celebrants.
|08 — Petraeus keeps trying. If General Petraeus doesn't turn Iraq around
with his surge strategy, it won't be for want of trying.
This week saw the launching of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, a huge assault on some terrorist strongholds north of Baghdad. Ten thousand U.S. troops are involved with two thousand more Iraqi soldiers.
It's a built-up area, so not only do our guys have to act fast to get the enemy surrounded, they also have to act fast before the enemy propaganda machine starts up with lurid stories and pictures of the inevitable civilian casualties.
The military news is all upbeat, of course, with enemy body counts and optimistic reports of districts cleared and Iraqi civilians welcoming our troops.
I'm taking all that on faith and cheering on our guys to success in the operation. Maybe it'll help.
We all know at this point, though, that politics — the politics of Washington and the politics of Baghdad — is going to decide how the Iraq war ends up. Our lads could win every battle, but we could still lose the war.
Well, I hope our lads do win every battle, anyway, and come out of there proud and strong. And if the war is to be lost at last, let's put the blame where it belongs, which will not be on our troops.
|09 — Planet, dwarf planet, builder's rubble. Well, I told you we'd end up in the outer Solar System, and
here we are with poor old Pluto.
Now you remember that last August the International Astronomical Union downgraded Pluto from a planet to something called a dwarf planet. This was because some objects had been found in the Kuiper belt way out beyond the orbit of Pluto that were at least as big as Pluto. If we started counting these Kuiper belt objects as planets, we'd be adding planets to the list forever.
Well, now two astronomers at Caltech have shown that the Kuiper belt object named Eris, discovered in 2005, is definitely more massive than Pluto. Presumably a lot of yet-undiscovered Kuiper belt objects are likewise.
So not only is Pluto a mere dwarf planet, it isn't even the biggest dwarf planet! And we used to be so proud of the little guy — the only planet to have been discovered by an American.
Astronomy writer Stephen Eales delivered the coup de grâce. The solar system, said Eales, "consists of eight planets and two belts of builder's rubble left over from its formation 4.5 billion years ago." He's talking about the Kuiper belt and the asteroid belt.
Poor little Pluto! From planet to dwarf planet to builder's rubble. Perhaps we should send in a cleanup crew to tidy the place up
|10 — Our impartial journalists. There you have it, listeners …
Oh, no, wait a minute, there's one last item just landed on my desk.
MSNBC has discovered by going through the public records of the Federal Election Commission, 144 journalists and TV news people who have given money to political candidates and causes since 2004.
Guess what? A hundred and twenty-five of them gave their cash to Democrats and liberal causes. That would be, let's see … 125 out of 144 … that would be 87 percent. Only seventeen gave to Republicans; two gave to both parties.
This isn't just a left-wing media story either. There are folks at Fox News and the Wall Street Journal giving money to lefties.
Well, surprise, surprise. Of course, these media financers of liberalism never let their politics influence their reporting. Never. Absolutely never. No, Sir, never happens. Never has, never will, never could. Oh, no. Any more than I would.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]