»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, September 28th, 2007

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

01 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air once again! Welcome, listeners.

We're a bit disorganized here at Buckley Towers this week. You see, we have some kind of infestation. We have the pest-control people in and they're working on the problem, but the little critters are still showing up.

Well, not so much showing up, actually, as sounding up, which is why I am telling you this. We never actually get to see the pests, but every so often we hear them — and believe me, it's not a sound you want to hear. Blood-curdling, I call it; like something from another world, a world you really don't want to visit.

Anyway, we have bait and traps all laid out — a pretty expensive thing, let me tell you, as the exterminators tell us that the only thing that attracts this particular kind of critter is money. He's not talking dimes and quarters either. Only large-denomination bills bring these little devils into the open.

Well, let's hope we get through this broadcast without any critter noises breaking in. Just to let you know what I mean by blood-curdling though, here's a clip that one of our sound engineers managed to tape the last time one of these pests let loose. You'd better have a stiff drink ready to hand for this. Here goes. [Hillary cackling.]

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02 — Who trusts the government?     How much do you trust the federal government? Not much, if this recent Gallup poll is right.

Gallup found that, quote:

Americans now express less trust in the federal government than at any point in the past decade, and trust in many federal government institutions is now lower than it was during the Watergate era, generally recognized as the low point in American history for trust in government.

End quote.

Barely half of us trust the government to handle international problems. On domestic issues the number is even lower — the lowest since 1976, says Gallup. Trust in the executive is only three percent higher than it was during the Watergate scandal. Trust in Congress is at its lowest ever recorded.

Gallup doesn't give a figure for trust in the judiciary. Perhaps it was too small to measure.

Well, I wonder how we got to be so mistrustful. Could it be something to do with the fact that we, the middle class taxpayers of America, are being milked for several thousand dollars a head per annum to pay for a war our government never should have got into and doesn't know how to get out of?

Or is it something to do with the recent revelations about how the CIA spends its multibillion dollar budget doing diddly squat, that being one reason we got into the aforementioned war?

Or is it something to do with the relentless determination on the part of both executive and legislature to fill up our country chockablock with high school dropouts from the Third World and their illegitimate offspring?

Or is it something to do with the fact that if I cash in a month's wages and head off to Europe for a vacation, my five thousand dollars will just about cover the cost of a meal in a Paris restaurant and a ticket on the Metro?

Who knows? I'll tell you this for sure, though: Any candidate for President next year who fails to give the impression that he might actually be able to get the federal government to carry out its constitutional functions won't get elected; and any candidate who tries to sell us the idea of giving the federal government even more functions — like for example, oh, managing a national healthcare system — is going to be viewed with great skepticism.

You can trust me on that.

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03 — Cold War nostalgia.     I see that Alan Greenspan, in his just-published memoirs, describes himself as "a conservative libertarian."

Well, you must be the only conservative libertarian to have gone starry-eyed over Bill Clinton. Come to think of it, you may be the only human being ever to have gone starry-eyed over both Ayn Rand and Bubba.

Greenspan also noted that when Russia and China gave up their communist command economies, that made several hundred million units of cheap labor available to the world economy, dramatically increasing labor competition and putting downward pressure on wages in the West and upward pressure on the cost of raw materials and energy.

I see. So as a matter of cold self-interest, perhaps we should have done all we could to keep communism going. Then all those millions would have gone on putting in a couple of hours a day in rust-heap factories, making things that nobody wanted to buy, and we could have gone on paying eighty-nine cents a gallon for gas.

Oh, how I miss the Cold War.

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04 — Cheap grace at Columbia.     Well, now we know who the rudest man in America is: Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University.

He invites the President of Iran to speak at his university and then, with Li'l Squinty sitting just yards away waiting to speak, Bollinger makes a speech of introduction calling Squinty all the names under the sun.

Now, sure, I've called Squinty a few names in my time: the Poison Dwarf, the Muslim Midget, the Cross-eyed Creep, and probably a few others. But then, I haven't invited him to be the guest of any institution that I'm the president of. And, just for the record, I wouldn't.

You see the difference? Well, Bollinger doesn't. He let his honored guest have it with both barrels. "Brazenly provocative," he said, "astonishingly uneducated," "fanatical mindset." And then this, quote: "Frankly, Mr President, I doubt you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions." End quote.

Now, here are a couple of phrases that came to my mind as I was reading Bollinger's speech.

First phrase: "cheap grace." Cheap grace. You see, you don't tick off anyone important when you unload on the President of Iran. You don't violate the rules of PC. You don't outrage the sensibilities of feminists to the degree that they start to swoon and have to run for the smelling salts, as in a certain incident at Harvard University two and a half years ago. You don't have pro-illegal immigration thugs charging the podium and assaulting you as in a different incident at … where was it? Oh yes: Columbia University, just a year ago — following which incident Lee Bollinger had the intellectual courage to tell those thugs that they were very naughty indeed and had better not do it again, or he'd stamp his foot and shout at them.

You want to talk about intellectual courage, Mr Bollinger, here's a suggestion: Invite the President of China to speak at Columbia and dump on him the way you dumped on Li'l Squinty. After all, Squinty's only threatened to wipe one other country off the map. China has actually done it to two nations, Tibet and East Turkistan, and is threatening to do it to Taiwan.

Let's see you spit in the President of China's face, Mr Intellectual Courage. His name, by the way, is Hu Jintao and his address is Zhongnanhai, Beijing 100032, People's Republic of China. Send him an invitation, why don't you?

Well, that was phrase number one, "cheap grace." Here's phrase number two: "low rent." What you did there, Mr Bollinger, was distinguished by an utter lack of class.

I have been known to joke around here in the Derb family circle that I am just white trash with a college education, descended from long lines of people who drank cheap liquor, squandered their money at dog races, and kept coal in the bathtub. But I'll tell you, Mr Hifalutin Lawyer-Bureaucrat Type, not me nor any of mine would treat an invited guest the way you treated the President of Iran. We've got more class than that.

Here's a story, Mr Bollinger. When the news about Japan's attacks on Singapore and Hong Kong reached Winston Churchill and his government in London, they decided to declare war on Japan right away. Churchill dashed off a letter to the Japanese chargé d'affaires. The letter, though brief, was couched in full diplomatic protocol, ending with, quote: "His Majesty's Ambassador at Tokyo has been instructed to inform the Imperial Japanese government in the name of His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom that a state of war exists between the two countries. I have, etc. Winston Churchill.

That "et cetera" in the sign-off is short for something like: "I have the honor to remain, with consideration, Your Excellency's most humble, most obedient servant." Everybody knew these things back in 1941 and Churchill was publicly criticized for having been so formal and correct. Replied the old bulldog: "If you intend to kill someone, you may as well be polite."

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05 — Marcel Marceau, RIP.     Okay, listeners, here's a little sound quiz. See if you Can guess what this is. [Man emitting a prolonged scream .]

Give up? Well, that was Marcel Marceau on his day off.

Last week, we lost the world-famous mime. Oh, I know, I know: We're all supposed to hate mimes and think that they're boring and silly. Well, if you think that you've never seen a really good mime in action.

I like mimes and I find them highly entertaining. Marceau was the best of the lot, a genius in his own tiny sphere.

In a world of elevator music, shrieking car alarms, beeping gadgets, people yammering into cell phones, and an ipod going tink tink tink tink tink tink in the seat next to you all the way from JFK to O'Hare, we should cherish the dwindling zone of silence and give thanks for performers who can turn silence into art.

Marcel Marceau, rest in peace

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06 — Population replacement in the Empire State.     Here in New York State the Governor, Eliot Spitzer, wants to give state driver licenses to illegal immigrants. Then they'll be able to board planes, buy guns, and drive trucks full of hazardous material just like any other New Yorkers.

Great idea, huh? Mind you, an illegal who wants a New York State driver license will still have to come up with six proofs of identity. Our governor wasn't born yesterday, you know — no, siree!

Spitzer did allow, though, that these proofs of identity can be foreign documents in foreign languages. Yes: that sheet of paper in Cambodian script recording your graduation from Phnom Penh Technical College will do just fine. A birth certificate from Burkina Faso? No problem. And this utility bill, what language is it in? Oh, Korean, of course. How stupid of me not to have known. Okay, here's your driver's license. Don't forget to buckle up, now!

This, by the way, is the same Governor who, a few weeks ago, told us that state employees couldn't possibly be expected to check an individual's citizenship status. According to Spitz, asking a driver license applicant for a U.S. birth certificate — or a naturalization certificate or a foreign passport with a valid U.S. visa — is an unacceptable burden on state employees. Validating high school graduation certificates from Tierra del Fuego, on the other hand, is all in a day's work.

Still, you can sort of see why Spitzer's pandering to illegal aliens. At the rate citizens are fleeing New York State with its oppressive taxes, its byzantine regulatory regime, its corrupt legislature, and its dysfunctional government, pretty soon the illegals will be the only people left for the Governor to govern.

[Hillary cackling.] Darn it, another one of those critters has got into the studio. I think it's behind that filing cabinet there. Hey, Jonah — lay out a couple of twenties, will you? See if you can lure it out, okay?

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07 — Key facts about Burma.    

[Clip of Peter Dawson singing "Mandalay."]

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay …

You know, I've been waiting for years for something to happen in Burma just so that I could play that clip. Well, here we are: riots in the streets, government troops shooting at protesting Buddhist monks — it looks like the Burmese government is in trouble. This is the military dictatorship that's run Burma, with a couple of reshuffles, for the past forty-five years.

Here's an important thing you need to know about Burma: It's right next door to China.

Here's another important thing you need to know: Most of Burma's economy, such as it is — and certainly including the busy and booming trade in narcotics out of the Golden Triangle — is controlled by one of those "market-dominant minorities" that political scientist Amy Chua introduced us to.

Can you guess which ethnicity Burma's market-dominant minority belongs to? Go on, take a guess.

Burma, though it declares itself proudly socialist, is in fact a textbook case of crony capitalism: a government of native sons, so the masses at least think that they're being ruled — or misruled — by their own kind, are in cahoots with that market-dominant minority.

In fact, though the three generals who head the military junta are sufficiently Burmese-looking to pass as native sons, one of them, Maung Aye, is in fact of Chinese ancestry and another one, Than Shwe, who's head of state and also chief of the army, is half-Chinese.

Here's another interesting fact about Burma: It has huge fossil-fuel reserves, including somewhere between ten and twenty trillion cubic feet of natural gas with pipelines up to China already in place and more under construction.

Oh, here's a fact about China: The country has a vast population and a breakneck rate of growth, but very little in the way of fossil fuel resources.

Here's another fact about China: They have a big program of military ship-building and naval expansion underway and some friendly ports on the Indian Ocean would be a great blessing.

President Bush has said he wants more sanctions against Burma. Radio Derb wants to know: Did you get the Chinese to sign off on that, Mr President?

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08 — Dutch double down on multiculti.     Here's a little bit of etymology for you. Etymology, that's the study of wood roots.

The roots here are both Greek: allo-, which means "other," and chthon, which means "land," so an allochthon is someone from another land, you see? Or it would be if the word was in Webster's Dictionary, which, as a matter of fact, it isn't.

Over in the Netherlands, though, the Dutch equivalent word, which they pronounce allochtoon, is the actual and official word used by the Dutch census bureau to designate a person born abroad or having at least one foreign-born parent. There is of course a native Dutch word for "foreigner," but the authorities thought it was just too blunt-sounding, so they cooked up this fancy word with Greek roots, allochtoon

Unfortunately this word, as words will, has got away from the bureaucrats and into popular speech, where it is used rather loosely to mean anyone of visibly foreign appearance, which in practice means Turks, North Africans, Middle Easterners, and blacks.

Now, in a classic case of euphemism creep like the one that took us from "negro" to "African American" via "colored" and "black," the Dutch government wants people to stop saying allochtoon. This is being promulgated in an edict from De Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid, otherwise known as WRR. WRR is a think tank — or, as they say over there in Tulipland, een denktank — specializing in multicultural issues.

This latest report from the WRR is in fact a little multicultural gem. It says, for example, that the Dutch must, quote, "be prepared to adapt their standards to those of newcomers, for example in the areas of religion and sexuality." The WRR report also says that, quote: "The integration debate is not helped by the fixation on the concept of national identity."

This follows on a WRR report last year arguing that too many Dutch politicians are involved in Islam-bashing and urging dialogue with, quote that I swear I have not made up, "moderate movements such as Hamas."

Boy: I sure hope that little boy shows up to stick his finger in the dyke before the Netherlands disappears completely beneath the multicultural floodwaters.

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09 — Committed soldiers.     Cast your mind back, faithful listener to my August 24th broadcast when I introduced you to Army Ranger Staff Sergeant Jeremy Murphy, Sergeant Wesley Smith, Sergeant Jeremy Roebuck, Sergeant Omar Mora, Sergeant Edward Sandmeier, Staff Sergeant Yance Gray and Army Specialist Buddhika Jayamaha.

These were the seven gentleman who wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on August 19th, pouring cold water on the administration's surge triumphalism. All of them were infantrymen and and NCOs with the 82nd Airborne Division on the point of heading back home after combat duty in Iraq.

Staff Sergeant Murphy had, as I mentioned in that broadcast, suffered a head wound on August 12th after contributing to the op-ed and he is now in a military hospital stateside.

Well, I have sad news about two of his comrades. Sergeants Gray and Mora were both killed in Baghdad on September 10th when the five-ton truck that they were riding in overturned. Enemy action doesn't seem to have been involved. It was just a lousy accident. Sergeants Gray and Mora both leave behind grieving wives and young children.

Sergeant Murphy is recovering slowly from his head wound and he may have some permanent loss of function.

Now, I'm just going to read the last sentence of that op-ed they published in the Times. Quote:

We need not talk about morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.

End quote.

You can think this about the war or you can think that about the war, but I don't see how you can deny that these brave soldiers deserved better political leadership than they've had.

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10 — Democratic candidates becalmed.     There was another one of those debate things in New Hampshire, the Democrats this time.

If I were to tell you that I watched the whole thing, I'd be telling you an untruth. In fact, gentle listener, if I were to tell you I watched even a bit of it, that too would be a departure from the very strict standards of veracity that we cleave to here at Radio Derb. The truth of the matter is that the semifinals of the All-Canada shuffleboard championships were on Channel 93 and I didn't want to miss them.

I did have a go at reading the transcript of the debate, but thoughts about razorblades, nooses, household gas appliances, and handguns kept pushing themselves to the front of my mind, so I gave up and did a sudoku puzzle instead.

I did get the vague general impression that the Democratic candidates are becalmed in that dead zone you get between all of them jostling for position at the front of the pack, and all but one of them jostling for the Vice-Presidential slot.

[Hillary cackling.]

For Heaven's sake, can't anybody do anything about these darn critters?

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11 — Signoff.     Well, that's your Radio Derb for this week, good listeners. I maybe a little late on the air next week as I'm going to be in D.C. for, among other things, a book party for a lady I admire very much, and whose book, even ahead of the party, is already at number one on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.

Good luck to that lady. Good luck to you and yours. Good luck to me getting a Radio Derb out next week. And good luck to my son's football team for breaking the two-and-oh losing streak this coming Sunday against Northport.

Now: Should I play you the usual Haydn clip to see us out, or some more Peter Dawson on the road to Mandalay? You want Dawson? Right, here he comes. I apologize for the sound quality. This is a very old recording.

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[Music clip: More Road to Mandalay]:

Ship me somewheres east o' Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there ain't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
Looking lazy at the sea.
Come you back to Mandalay!
Where the old Flotilla lay,
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' …