»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, August 17th, 2007

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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]

01 — Intro.     On the air once again with Radio Derb! This is your crusty commentator John Derbyshire, here to bring you news and views from the nation and the world.

I'll start with a couple of notes on the candidates for next year's election … though under protest. I'm in the mood to favor a Constitutional amendment banning all campaigning until a month before the election.

Well, I can dream. Meantime, here's Rudy.

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02 — Rudy clarifies.     Rudy Giuliani has been clarifying his thoughts on immigration and foreign policy.

It's a mixed bag. On immigration he seems to have bought into the notion that the U.S.A. needs — and has always needed, and always will need — lots and lots of immigrants.

I don't believe that. For the first twenty years after World War Two we took in almost no immigrants, yet the country went along just fine. In fact, we prospered.

On the particular matter of illegal immigration, Rudy says: Seal the borders, establish a "path to citizenship," and set up more guest-worker programs, presumably to add to the half-dozen or so that we already have.

In short, this is basically the Senate bill that we took such pains to defeat last month.

On foreign policy, Rudy is good on things like fighting terrorists with covert ops — supposing that our current military and intelligence structures are still capable of covert ops — and he calls for better human intelligence, which is also good, although subject to the same qualification.

He's still keen on reforming the world order, though, and he still talks as though the U.S.A. has infinite resources. It's great to talk about expanding the military; but when those invoices start coming in for retiring boomers, Medicare, and Social Security, we may not be able to afford a military of any size bigger than the Coast Guard.

Look, I still count myself a Rudy man. I want to get behind a guy who actually has a shot at winning the Republican nomination and who strikes me as capable, experienced, and ruthless enough to be President in a dangerous world. Rudy's still my guy.

I think he still needs a lot of educating on immigration though; and so far as the international order is concerned, I'd like a little more humility and realism. But Rudy's still my guy, by a mile … faute de mieux.

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03 — Edwards abandons Nevada, Reid upset.     Third-place Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards has pulled his staff out in Nevada to save money, even though Nevada may hold caucuses before the New Hampshire primary on January 22nd.

Right. Ho Hum … but here was the thing that grabbed me in the news report. Harry Reid, who as well as being a mealy-mouthed hypocrite and pander is also the senior U.S. Senator from Nevada, said the following thing, quote:

Any candidate who chooses to ignore Nevada and its rich diversity does so at their own peril.

End quote.

Looking up Nevada, I guess the old fool is referring to the fact that the state is 23 percent Hispanic, nine percent black and seven percent Asian. Well, that's nice for Nevada, but why is it relevant to Edwards pulling his people out? I'm struggling to find a connection here.

Perhaps the 120-year-old senator means something like this:

We have all these big ethnic groups in Nevada, each one looking to its own group interest, and any candidate who doesn't come here and pander his butt off is going to lose the votes of their co-ethnics in other parts of the country.

Well, that's the best I can do by way of parsing Senator Reid's statement, but even that doesn't make much sense. Do Filipino Americans in Manassas, Virginia really give a fig what Filipino Americans in Elko, Nevada, think?

Who knows? Ah, the mysteries of diversity!

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04 — Wreck a nation, get ovation.     Zimbabwe is in a desperate state. Inflation is running close to five thousand percent, unemployment around 80 percent. The economy has pretty much collapsed. Electricity and fuel are in short supply, and people are fleeing the cities because there's no food to be bought.

In Bulawayo, the country's second city, this week two people were crushed to death when shoppers stampeded a store on hearing rumors that the store had sugar for sale. South Africa is talking about building camps for the tens of thousands of Zimbabwean refugees who have flooded in across the border.

So what happened when Robert Mugabe, President-for-Life of Zimbabwe, showed up at a meeting of the fourteen-nation Southern Africa Development Community? What do you think? They gave him a standing ovation, of course.

For taking a country that was once the breadbasket of the region and turning it into a hell-hole of hunger, poverty, corruption and oppression, you get a standing ovation from your neighbors. Funny place, Africa.

But hey, at least they got free of all those wicked old colonialists.

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05 — NYPD clueless on jihadis.     The New York City Police Department has issued a report on the threat from home-grown jihadist terrorism. The report spelled out how people get radicalized; and it urged better intelligence and more vigilance on the part of the public.

However, there were a couple of questions that, it seems to me, were left un-answered by the report.

For example: Since these jihadist ideas originate in a foreign religion, Islam, why don't we just stop admitting foreign Muslims into the U.S.A.? It's true that not many Muslims are jihadis; but sympathy for jihadis, as poll after poll has shown, is widespread among ordinary Muslims.

This is our country. We can choose whom to admit and whom to politely refuse admittance.

Here's another question: Why are Muslim clerics — many of whom are sympathetic to jihadism and some of whom actually preach it — why are these clerics proselytizing in our jails?

You have this ideology that preaches violence and hatred for Western society, and you allow it to be preached in jails — preached to the most violent and antisocial people we've got. Hel-lo?

Jihadism is an ideology, not a religion. Why don't we just treat it the way we treated the last dangerous ideology that came down the pike: communism? Keep out foreigners who profess it and keep a careful watch on Americans who profess it.

But I guess that would be insensitive, hurtful, hate-filled, and all the other slimy little epithets of multiculturalism.

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06 — Heroine of Post-Soviet Motherhood?     The population of Russia is low and shrinking. The ravages of communism, high rates of abortion and alcoholism, poor healthcare, a terrible climate, and the ancient, deep-seated Russian conviction that human life isn't worth a bent kopek have combined to make this fine old European nation a demographic sinkhole.

Well, the authorities in one region, that is Ulyanovsk, five hundred miles or so east of Moscow, have declared a Day of Conception and ordered everyone to take that day off — it's September 12th — to take the day off to procreate. Couples who give birth nine months later on June 12th will win prizes: cars, video cameras, and so on.

Wait a minute, though. Didn't the Russians try this before, back in Soviet days, with a campaign for Heroine of Socialist Motherhood or something like that?

I went looking on Google — or, as it is known in Russian, "Gogol" … a little Russian literary joke there — and sure enough, here's a website for collectors of Russiana offering for eighty dollars a, quote:

Large certificate for the title of Mother Heroine issued in April 1971 in 8½-inch by 12 inch hard blue folder with gold lettering on the cover.

Nicely decorated citation from the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., similar to the large certificate for the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

Shows facsimile signature of the Supreme Soviet Chairman Podgorny awarded on 26th of April 1971 to Uldan Mignarova for giving birth to ten children and raising them.

End quote.

Yes, Podgorny. I remember him; though not as well as I remember my favorite Soviet official, sometime Chairman of the State Planning Committee, Veniamin Emmanuilovich Dimshits.

The CIA World Factbook tells me that ten to fifteen percent of Russia's population is Muslim, so you sort of know how this is going to work out in the long run, don't you?

Still, good luck to the people of Ulyanovsk on their day off. It's a day off, mind, not a vacation day. No slacking, please!

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07 — Bless the astronauts, scrap the shuttle.     The astronauts on space shuttle Endeavor have been getting through a lot of diapers this past few days.

A piece of debris knocked off some of the heat shield on Endeavor's underbelly at liftoff, leading to prolonged worries about whether the shuttle could safely re-enter the atmosphere.

I have been severely critical of the shuttle program, which I think is a gross waste of public money — and also so far of fourteen human lives — in aid of practically nothing at all. Still, I of course don't wish the astronauts any harm, and I hope that they will all return to earth safely.

Then I hope Congress will scrap the whole stupid thing … if those congresscritters whose pockets are stuffed full of cash from the shuttle contractor companies can be locked in a congressional bathroom for the duration of the vote.

Let's all drink to that, shall we? Cheers!

08 — Dutch bishop bows to Islam.     With absolutely no offense to anyone at all, you can't help wondering sometimes if old Fred Nietzsche didn't have a point when he said that Christianity is rooted in a slave morality.

Here's the Roman Catholic bishop of Breda, a region in the Netherlands. The bishop's name is Tiny Muskens, although I think that first name is pronounced in Dutch as "Teeny." Teeny, Tiny, whatever. Well, here is what Bishop Teeny Tiny has to say. Quote:

"Allah" is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will call God "Allah"? God doesn't care what we call him.

End quote.

So faithful Catholics in the Breda diocese are from now on to profess their faith in Allah, the father, Allah, the son, and Allah the Holy Ghost, I guess. How is this going to work, exactly?

Anyway, under Bishop Teeny Tiny's inspiration I have decided to revise my own attitude to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Out of respect for the Shinnecock, which is the only surviving tribe of native Americans here on Long Island, I shall henceforth refer to the Almighty as the Great Manitou.

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09 — Signoff.     Well, there you are folks. Short measure this week, I'm afraid, but I hope there was enough there to renew your faith that the world is going hopelessly to the dogs and that we are all doomed, doomed. That's the mood I strive to inculcate.

Tune in again next week for more of the dark linings inside all those silver clouds, courtesy of Radio Derb.

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[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]