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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Wow: two Radio Derbs in one week! Is there really that much news?
Well, no, not really. However, while we may be short on news, we are never short of opinion here at Radio Derb. Let the bloviating commence.
|02 — ChiCom conundrums. Sometimes you just have to feel a bit sorry for the
poor old ChiComs.
Back in early September George W. Bush announced that he will be attending the 2008 Summer Olympics in Peking as an honored guest of the Chinese Communist Party. Score one for Marxism-Leninism-Mao-Tse-Tung Thought! The barbarian king comes to pay tribute to the Emperor! One more demoralizing news item for the labor-camp guards to taunt their prisoners with while they work them over with cattle prods: "See, the Americans don't give a damn about you. They only care about trade and money!"
This was a big coup for the commies. You can bet they were breaking out the bubbly at Zhongnanhai. But then — Whoa, what's this? The U.S. Congress is giving their highest civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal, to the Dalai Lama at a ceremony next week. And — say it ain't so! — W has announced that he will be present in the same room as the Dalai Lama, that damned old nuisance in a saffron robe who never stops whining about how Tibetans had their country stolen from them by Mao and his boys.
You'd think after all these years the old fool would have realized the tremendous benefits that Chinese rule has brought to Tibet: like, for example, turning the place into a cheesy tourist trap dotted with piles of rubble. And, you know, massacring all those parasitic monks and nuns and using the monasteries for air force bombing practice; killing off the local wildlife, which was eating all the grass and generally making the place look untidy; building a railroad into Tibet so that the occupation troops can be rotated more easily — all that good stuff.
Well, from breaking out the bubbly at Zhongnanhai we've gone to wailing and gnashing of teeth. Get ready for the ChiComs to demonstrate some serious displeasure by shooting down another satellite, perhaps, or launching sneak cyber-attacks on the internet, or firing some missiles over Taiwan, or jailing a bishop or two, or beating up a few dissidents.
Got to show these stinking imperialists what Socialist Spiritual Civilization is all about.
|03 — Hillary has lots of ideas! Hillary Clinton has backed down from her
proposal to give a five-thousand-dollar bond to each baby born in the United States. She now says that she was just brainstorming.
Quote from Mrs C: "I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all."
Well, what do you know? Hillary speaks the truth at last!
Here's one more idea to add to that million, Hillion … I'm sorry, I mean Hillary.
One very pressing issue for the U.S.A. over the next few years is how to pay for the welfare state we have currently got. Be interested to hear what you have to say about that before you start shooting out any more ideas about expanding the welfare state.
|04 — Carter badmouths Cheney. Now you know me: good old Derb. Malice to
none and charity to all. Humani nihil a me alienum puto, everybody's friend — the very soul of amiability and charitableness.
There are, though — I'll admit it — there are a few people in the world whose picture, when I see it in the newspaper, sends me into spasms of twitching and snarling.
Well, here's one of them, 127-year-old ex-President James Earl Carter, who I absolutely refuse to call Jimmy, as if he was someone you could like.
Carter is never going to forgive America for dumping him in favor of Ronald Reagan. He is never going to understand why we only remember the bad things about his administration.
You know: twenty percent inflation, twelve percent unemployment, the Russian commies invading Afghanistan, the Panama Canal sold to the Chinese commies, Castro sending us boatloads of criminals and psychos, gas prices through the roof, hostages in Iran, a whole new federal department to shovel money at the teacher unions, killer rabbits, Billy Beer and all the rest, when nobody remembers the good things, like for example [crickets] And then there was [more crickets].
The evil that men do lives after them;
… someone said. He forgot to explain how a man whose career produced so many evils can still, thirty years later, be so stuffed up to the nose-holes with a belief in his own flawless goodness.
Why am I even talking about this horrible man? Oh yeah: He's here in this news story, badmouthing Dick Cheney. "Cheney has been a disaster for our country," says Carter.
Well, I'll admit I'm not as big a Cheney fan as some of my colleagues are. I like the bucket-of-warm-spit style of Vice President; you know, sitting in the Willard Hotel watching TV until some foreign potentate dies and you go to the funeral. The thing I couldn't get past in the Scooter Libby business was, why does the Vice President need a chief of staff, or even a staff?
And let's admit it: Five draft deferments is at least four too many, and James Earl, for all his innumerable foul-ups and weaknesses of character, did at least serve in uniform.
Still, when it comes to being a disaster for the country, net-net I think Carter owns the title; and the wisest thing the American people did in the 20th century was to get rid of this turkey before his incompetence got us all killed.
|05 — The Muslim Barbie. Oh, just a note here on the Muslim Barbie, the
Muslim Barbie doll.
Over in Indonesia the Muslim Barbie is selling well as a gift for the kiddies for the end of Ramadan festivities. Her name is Salma and she has the same creepy smile as a regular Barbie doll; but she wears a headscarf and full-body clothing instead of shorts and a halter top.
For those who want anatomical realism, a version of Salma is available with full genital mutilation; and for the Middle East market, her accessories of course include the designer suicide belt and a Barbie car with bomb already installed.
|06 — 2007 Nobel Prizes. The 2007 Nobel Prize announcements are being made.
I say "being made" because the Nobel Committee paces out the announcements over several days.
We've already been told of the winners for the hard sciences — that is Medicine, Chemistry and Physics. They're all men, in case you're wondering; but for goodness sake don't tell the feminists at Harvard that or else they'll be having fainting fits all over the place.
The Medicine prize went to two Yanks and a Brit for their work messing around with the genes of mice.
The Chemistry prize went to a German fellow for, and I can only quote you here, "his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces." Sounds interesting; though not as interesting as the name of the Chemistry Prize Committee Chairman: Gunnar von Heijne.
The Physics prize went to a German and a Frenchman who discovered something or other that helps to make your hard drive work.
The Literature prize went to an unreadable old lefty crank because that's what the Literature prize is for nowadays.
The Peace Prize winner will be announced on Friday, just about as you are listening to this, and there is much speculation that it will go to Al Gore for his wonderful work in whipping up hysteria about improbable ecological catastrophes, thereby contributing somehow or other to world peace. Don't ask me.
The Economics prize comes on Monday.
Alas, there is no prize for Broadcasting Brilliance; and even if there was, it will be too late to send in your nominations for Radio Derb.
|07 — Things government should not do. There are some things that the public
authorities just shouldn't get involved in: not the President, not the Congress, not the courts. Leave 'em alone! Nothing but trouble! Stay away! Keep
One of those things is the evergreen dispute between Turkey and Armenia about what happened back in 1915.
Now here is our House Foreign Affairs Committee passing a bill on a 27 to 21 vote to designate whatever it was that happened as genocide. The Turks are mighty ticked off and have withdrawn their ambassador. Armenian Americans regard it as a great coup and they're all celebrating.
Now look: I have no idea what happened back there in 1915, but if someone can tell me how this vote helps to advance the interests of the United States of America in 2007, I'd really like to hear it.
|08 — Gorebaloney takes a hit. Back to Al Gore for a minute.
Now you've all heard about Al's movie An Inconvenient Truth, right? But you may not have been aware that there is a worldwide push under way to make viewing of this movie compulsory. Everybody must watch it!
Pretty soon, if you are known to be a person who hasn't watched Al's movie, you'll get fired from your job, your wife will leave you and your friends will stop calling you, your mortgage company will foreclose, your health insurer will cancel your coverage, and you will end your days eating cold baked beans from a can in some rat-infested rooming house.
Over in the U.K. things have gone a good way down that road. The Socialist government over there has a Department of Children, Schools and Families. There is actually a British government official called the Minister for Children. Everything is for the kiddies, you see; and Heaven forbid that the raising of them should be left in the hands of parents!
Considering that, according to Mark Steyn, the folk over there have pretty much stopped having babies, this is all a bit odd, but there you are.
Anyway, the Department of Creating Huge New Government Programs in the Name of the Children wanted Al Gore's movie to be shown in all British schools. This was objectionable to a chap named Stuart Dimmock, who is on the governing board of a school down in Dover where the white cliffs are.
Mr Dimmock sued the government and, bless him, he won his case. The judge in the case, after hearing expert testimony, said that Al Gore's film contains nine scientific errors.
As an example of the Gorebaloney, the judge raised Gore's, referenced to a, quote, "new scientific study showing that polar bears had drowned swimming long distances — up to sixty miles — to find the retreating Arctic ice."
In fact, said the judge, the only relevant study anyone has been able to find was one about four polar bears who drowned in a storm. Not to put too fine a point on it, Al Gore just made up that new scientific study. To put an even less fine point on it: He lied.
The government says they will show the film in schools anyway, but with a warning that, quote, "Gore presents evidence and arguments which do not accord with the mainstream scientific opinion," end quote.
Well, that's a nice way of putting it. I prefer frankness: Al Gore, you're a damn liar.
|09 — China's sensational corruption. Try to imagine what life would be like
in the U.S.A. if one political party, let's say the Democratic Party, had controlled the White House, the Congress, the judiciary, and all the state
and municipal governments in the nation for fifty-eight years. You imagining that?
Well, that's been the exact situation in China. Not surprisingly, government in China is seriously dysfunctional.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which is a think tank, has just issued a report on corruption in China, which it says is at stupendous levels. Eighty-six billion dollars of government money every year changes hands in bribes and payoffs, or is just stolen. That's ten percent of the governments' administrative and procurement budget. Entire jurisdictions, says the Carnegie report, are just local Mafia states.
The Chinese Communist Party is having one of its five-yearly get-togethers next week. As you watch footage of the event on TV news, just remind yourself of what you're seeing: a bunch of amoral mafiosi with one hand in Chinese Joe Citizen's pocket, the other pointing a gun at his head.
|10 — Art world follies. News from the art world. Sixty-one-year-old
performance artist Stelios Arcadiou has had an ear implanted onto his left forearm.
He's not through yet, either. Quote:
I hope to have a tiny microphone implanted to it that will connect with a Bluetooth transmitter. That way you can listen to what my ear is hearing.
Well, I can't wait, and I'm sure you can't either, listener. Perhaps I can set up a special edition of Radio Derb from Mr Arcadiou's forearm.
Meanwhile, over at London's Tate Gallery, they're having a spot of bother with their latest masterpiece of installation art.
This exhibit is a crack in the floor. The crack is 548 feet long and up to three feet deep in places. That's the problem they're having: People keep falling into it. The installation cost half a million dollars and took six months to complete.
I don't know how vigorous the ambulance-chasing industry is over there, but if this work of art ever finds its way to New York, I guarantee that half a million dollars will be a drop in the bucket compared with what the gallery will be shelling out in legal settlements.
|11 — Signoff. And there you have it, Radio Derb listeners: another week of
madness and mayhem, derangement and decadence, insanity and insecurity, here on planet Earth. We're going to hell in a handbasket and there isn't a
durn thing you can do … except of course, to tune in to Radio Derb again this time next week.
Until then, this is your ever-genial host John Derbyshire signing off. Bring it on, Franz Joseph: duh duh duuh, duh duh duuh duddle-dum, dum dum dum deedle-dum …
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]