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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Yes, ladies and gents, it's that time of week again and Radio Derb is on the air.
This is your genial host, John Derbyshire with all the news of the hour, served up with a side helping of Old World cynicism, a garnish of New World arrogance, and a slight seasoning of political incorrectness. Let's go.
|02 — Running out of oil? I closed last week's broadcast crowing that the
Dow Jones Index had gone over fourteen thousand.
I got a bunch of email on that: a few nitpicky old women complaining that I'd said "fourteen hundred" when I obviously meant "fourteen thousand" — damn perfectionists! — but a lot of much more interesting ones from friends in the securities business telling me that the real story about the Dow is not its ups nor its downs, but it's volatility recently.
"Volatility" is Wall Street jargon for "goes up a lot, then goes down a lot, then up again, then down again, and none of us has the faintest clue why, although anybody will give you a theory."
The most popular theory I've heard for the underlying problem here is oil — the possibility, that is, that the world might actually be beginning to run out of the stuff. After forty years of false alarms on this, I take it with a grain of salt, but people whose jobs are riding on the issue sound awfully worried.
Time was, oil prices went up and down in a fairly stately kind of way, not fast enough to count as volatility, and always with enough downs to leave you with the comforting feeling that the ups could be written off as jitters caused by various Middle East crises, of which there is an inexhaustible supply.
Hence the last up when Israel was fighting Hezbollah last summer. That got us to $78 a barrel, after which the price fell to $50 a barrel in January.
Yet now, with nothing much happening in the way of crises, oil is wobbling around $75 a barrel, close to last summer's crisis level. If you adjust for inflation, the price is almost where it was after the Iranian revolution in 1979, which was the highest point ever historically.
OPEC says they will bump up supply if necessary to get the price down, but it's not clear they can actually do that because demand is too high — notably from China. One guy tells me we'll be paying over a hundred dollars a barrel when we go to the polls next November, even without a Mideast crisis. With one, who knows? A hundred dollars would be the highest price ever in both real and inflation-adjusted terms.
What will the world look like with oil at a hundred dollars a barrel? I guess we'll find out. Personally, I'm checking my local bus schedules.
|03 — New Haven welcomes foreign scofflaws. Oh, college towns —
you gotta love 'em.
Here's one: the town of New Haven, Connecticut. There's some kind of college there. I can't be bothered to look up the name, but it's a pretty big one: eleven thousand students, thirty-three hundred faculty, endowment twenty billion dollars. Motto: Lux et veritas. That's "Light and truth" to you who dwell in the darkness and ignorance of not knowing Latin.
Well, you can imagine how liberal New Haven is. I doubt anyone there listens to Radio Derb; but if they do, they probably pronounce my name Derbyshitler.
Now, it is a fact universally acknowledged that a town as packed to the ivy-clad towers with so many rich liberals must be in want of a servant class. Not surprising, therefore, to read that New Haven is a sanctuary city for illegal aliens.
And, not satisfied with just being that, New Haven has now declared that it will issue i.d. cards to all town residents, including illegals, to make it easier for them to open bank accounts, use libraries, play golf, and so on. The mayor of New Haven, John DiStefano, says that the aim of the measure is to, quote, "build a stronger community."
Currently New Haven has about ten or twelve thousand illegal immigrants. I guess they think that's not enough.
I note without further comment that New Haven is the birthplace of our President, George W. Bush.
|04 — ChiComs' racial profiling. Communist China is doing pretty well
nowadays. In fact that's one reason the price of oil is going through the roof.
How are they spending all that money they've made? Well, one thing they're doing is recruiting people in the U.S.A. to perform industrial and military espionage for them. So says Bruce Carlson of the FBI's counterintelligence division, according to a report in USA Today. About one third of all economic espionage investigations trace back to Chinese government agencies or research institutes or businesses, Mr Carlson tells us.
That's the background to the conviction last month of California engineer Chi Mak on an assortment of charges including conspiracy, and two counts of attempting to violate export control laws, and failing to register as a foreign agent. Mak could get 45 years in the slammer. Four of his relatives also pled guilty in what prosecutors say was a long-running spy plot.
Now, here's the politically incorrect stuff, so the more sensitive among you might want to cover your ears.
You might think that Chinese officials fishing for industrial and military secrets would be handing out the brown envelopes to anyone at all without discrimination for fear they might tarnish the image of all people from Chinese ancestry.
Nope. Quote from the USA Today report:
China seeks to capitalize on some of the thousands of Chinese and Chinese-American engineers, researchers, scientists, and students who fill key positions in U.S. industry and academia.
End quote. A sort of racial profiling, you might say.
|05 — It's a trial lawyers' world, you just live in it. Did you know that
Fred Thompson — you know Fred Thompson: the guy with the Dudley Do-right jaw, the guy who will absolutely, positively, without a sliver of
doubt announce something or other about his future career plans any day now, unless he decides not to — did you know that old Fred used to
be a trial lawyer?
Yep. Before Fred was an actor or U.S. Senator or a media teaser, he was out there in the courtroom exposing the crimes and cover-ups of heartless corporations and bungling doctors to juries carefully selected for their single-digit IQs and lack of opposing thumbs. Just like our old pal John Edwards!
"In the Senate …" I'm sorry: I'm reading here from a Washington Post article about Fred Thompson. "In the Senate Thompson routinely voted against legislation aimed at shrinking the size of fees that attorneys could collect, and rejected limits on medical-malpractice lawsuits, bucking his own party."
You don't say. Why don't we just give in here and have a Constitutional amendment mandating that every presidential ticket must include at least one trial lawyer?
I suppose the Ambulance-Chasers Association would only start agitating to get it changed to two.
|06 — Britain drowning. Serious flooding over there in Britain from the
basin of the River Severn. That's the river that feeds out into the Atlantic between the southern coast of Wales and the southwestern peninsula of
Reading the reports though, and then reading about Britain's problem with Islamic terrorism, leaves you thinking that the British are nuts.
Here's a quote from a news item about the flooding in TimesOnline, quote:
The disastrous flooding will also reignite concerns over the building of new homes on flood plains. There is particular concern at the government's commitment to building three million new homes by 2020, to be set out in a housing Green Paper yesterday, will increase the risk of flooding and create intense pressure to develop the Green Belt.
End quote. The Green Belt, I should say, is a zone of preserved countryside with very restricted building around London.
So: three million new homes in a little island that's already overcrowded.
Why does Britain need so many new homes? Well, let's go over to a different section of TimesOnline. The headline here is Asylum Seekers Form a Quarter of Terror Suspects. The accompanying story tells us that these "asylum seekers," which basically means "illegal immigrants from dysfunctional countries," were 232 out of the 963 people arrested for terrorism offenses between 2001 and 2005 — very nearly a quarter of those arrested.
We also learn that four hundred thousand — count 'em, four hundred thousand — "failed asylum seekers" — and for that you can read "illegal immigrants who tried the political asylum dodge and didn't get away with it" — four hundred thousand of these characters have not been reported. This is not even to mention the tens of thousands of legal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Middle East who settle in Britain every year.
Let's see: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Middle East, that's all Muslim territory. Four hundred thousand absconded illegals from … where? Well, since asylum seekers form a quarter of all terror suspects, some big proportion of that four hundred thousand are presumably Muslims, too.
And all these tens and hundreds of thousands are causing a demand for green fields and woodlands to be turned into housing estates and the associated amenities — oh, you know: mosques, for example.
In a country that has just discovered that some of its most densely populated regions are prone to flooding, t his is strange.
"I say, Percy, just whack me over the head with that two-by-four once again, would you? There's a good fellow … [Boing!] Ouch! Again … [Boing!] Ouch! Again … [Boing!] Ouch! Oh, this is so much fun! …"
|07 — Problem-solver Bloomie. All right, listeners, now I want you to adopt
a reverent pose. Back straight, head respectfully bowed, hands folded neatly in lap please.
And I want you to listen in hushed silence to the words of America's philosopher-king Michael Bloomberg, who, in the intervals between communing one-on-one with the Creator of the Universe serves as Mayor of New York City. Are you ready? Quote:
We have too much crime on the streets. People are getting killed throughout the country. We have an education system that's not educating everybody. That's detrimental to the whole country, including the people who are left behind.
Tell it, preacher! Tell it! Oh, there's more. Quote:
We have no answers as to how we're going to have energy independence. We don't have a good immigration policy that will carry this country forward.
Well, here endeth the lesson. How fortunate we are to have a giant like this to instruct us! But what are your solutions, Mike? What shall we do to be saved? Wait, don't tell me, let me guess.
Too much crime? People getting killed? Repeal the Second Amendment!
A failing education system? Triple the budget of the Federal Department of Education!
Energy independence? Slap another five dollars a gallon tax on gasoline!
No good immigration policy? Open the borders!
Listener, if this man ever gets elected President, take the first plane out to anywhere at all.
|08 — The case for Roots at last. You remember that late-1970s TV
miniseries Roots — you know the one about ugly
white people being mean to handsome black people back in the old South? Well, listen.
Over in Ethiopia there's a refugee camp full of people displaced by the wars that seemed to have been going on there forever in that neck of the woods. Now, these refugees aren't badly off. They get enough from the international aid agencies, in fact, that they can pay taxes to the local warlord as well as supplying recruits to his militia.
So you can imagine that the warlord wasn't too pleased to hear that the refugees — there are four thousand of them — are to be resettled in America. There goes his source of taxes and recruits!
What did he do? He played Roots to them at the camp cinema. The refugees, you see, you didn't know that this was a historical drama. They thought that it showed the kind of treatment they'd get from white people in America. So most of them — all but seven hundred, in fact — refused the resettlement offer.
Now the U.S. labor market will have to manage without several thousand Ethiopian goatherds: news that will no doubt cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth over at the Wall Street Journal.
That's an interesting story. Maybe I should write a TV miniseries. What's the Spanish word for "roots"?
|09 — Miscellany. Now for our wrap-up miscellany of short items.
Item: Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez doesn't take criticism well. In fact, he takes it so badly that earlier this year he shut down his country's second biggest TV network because he thought they were unfriendly to him.
Now Mr Chávez has clarified his position on criticism for the benefit of us gringos and any other foreigners who might come under his jurisdiction. In his weekly TV program, the Castro-hugging Presidente has declared that foreigners who publicly criticize him or his government while visiting Venezuela will be expelled from the country. Quote:
How long are we going to allow a person from any country in the world to come to our own house to say there's a dictatorship here — that the President is a tyrant — and nobody does anything about it?
Are you getting this, listeners? Free speech is all very well, but those who use freedom of speech to assert that free speech is being silenced, should be … silenced.
Item: Barry Manilow has endorsed Ron Paul. At any rate, the Federal Election Commission's campaign-contribution database says that Barry contributed the individual maximum $2,300 to Dr Ron's campaign recently.
Considering that Barry's previously-recorded contributions, all at that same maximum number, were to Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, you have to wonder what's going on here.
Which of Ron Paul's positions was it that got the conky crooner's attention? Abolishing the IRS? Withdrawal from the United Nations? Denial of birthright citizenship? Who knows?
Whatever the attraction, it is apparently mutual. Asked by MSNBC's Tucker Carlson if he was a fan of Manilow's music, the candidate replied: "I really like it now."
You see, not even an austere paleo-con constitutionalist like Dr Paul can resist that showbiz glamor.
Item: Regents of the University of Colorado voted eight to one to fire Ethnic Studies Professor Ward Churchill. That leaves this key department short of a professor, severely impacting their program of research into the wickedness of white people, the coming collapse of capitalism, and the unspeakable historical crimes of the United States.
This vitally important work must go forward if human knowledge is to be advanced! Applications for the now-vacant post are invited from any chain-smoking poseurs willing to fake Indian tribal ancestry, to plagiarize other academics' work, and to write essays arguing that victims of terrorism had it coming.
Applications by mail, with a résumé please, to the University of Colorado Ethnic Studies Department, Avenue of the Oppressors, Boulder, Colorado.
Item: Well, what else do you want? Oh, I know: you want salacity, don't you? You want to take a walk on the seamy side of the news, right? Heck, I know my audience. Okay, here you go.
Sherborn, Massachusetts: Eighteen-year-old Roger Henderson the Second was charged with being much too friendly with several sheep. The thing that caught my eye there was "the Second." Roger Henderson the Second … I didn't know WASPs went in for that kind of thing.
Over to Broward County, Florida, where twenty-year-old Terry Lee Alexander — presumably that's Terry Lee Alexander the First — has been found guilty and sentenced to sixty days in jail for being much too friendly with himself. The odd thing here is that Mr Alexander was alone in a jail cell at the time serving ten years for armed robbery. A female prison guard saw the self-gratifying act on a closed-circuit TV camera. Obviously Mr Alexander did not have a firm grasp of Florida prison regulations.
Back to Manhattan where James Bonomo has filed suit in federal court against his former employer, Mitsubishi International, claiming that a co-worker at Mitsubishi surreptitiously took a photograph of his generative organ during a business trip to Beijing.
There now, that's as low as Radio Derb will go. If I descend any further into this swamp of salacity and smut, I'll have to talk about Lindsay Lohan.
|10 — Signoff. And there you have it, listeners — another week of
Western civilization sliding down the rusty razor blade of history.
Tune in again next week for more drama, doom, and degradation from Radio Derb.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]