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[Music clip: Haydn's Derbyshire Marches.]
01 — Intro. John Derbyshire here, NRO listeners, with this week's broadcast of Radio Derb. A tumultuous week, tumultuous. Well, perhaps not really, but I do like that word "tumultuous." Also a sad week for us Boomers, as we shall see towards the end.
02 — Hillary's defeat. To borrow a figure of speech from Oscar Wilde: A conservative would have to have a heart of stone to read about the collapse of Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign without smiling. This loathsome woman and her repulsive husband have blighted our national life for sixteen years now. They have got stupendously wealthy from public funds and from the side benefits of what it pleases them to call "public service," without ever having done a hand's turn of useful, productive work, or put themselves in any danger on their country's behalf, Mrs. Clinton's fantasies about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia notwithstanding. When Harry Truman left the presidency he had nothing to fall back on but his army pension of $112.56 a month. He had to take out a bank loan so he could write his memoirs. That's how it used to be in the U.S.A., before we turned into the Ottoman Empire ruled by a Sultan surrounded by fawning courtiers. Well, it looks as though we'll get a change of Royal Family this time around, and that's fine with me. I might be a bit more inclined to be gracious to Mrs. Clinton in her defeat if I didn't have to put up with her as junior Senator from my poor benighted fiscal train wreck of a state for another four years. Watching her on the campaign trail, I could at least console myself with the thought that while out there she had less time to represent me in the Senate. Now she'll return to business as usual: ripping money out of my pocket so she can shovel it to the grievance groups, tax-eating federal agencies, corporate-welfare boondoggles, and internationalist busybody nuisance organizations she favors. Do I sound a little short on sympathy for Mrs. Clinton? Sorry. I prefer to save my sympathy for people who meet setbacks when trying to do something useful with their lives for non-extravagant rewards. Go home, Hillary, and take your intern-fondling husband with you … if he'll go.
03 — Obama's victory. And then there's young Paddy O'Bama, flushed with victory. Well, not flushed, exactly … Oh, you know what I mean. Paddy is working hard to cover up the fact that for the previous 99 percent of his adult life he has been slightly to the left of Pol Pot on most political issues and pretty much lined up with Robert Mugabe on anything to do with race. We all know that a Democrat has to win over the Left in the primaries, then race to the middle for the general election. Paddy has further to race than most, and he's going to get out of breath before long. That cigarette habit won't help, unless he really has kicked it — thrown Joe Camel under that bus along with Rev'm Wright, Father Pfleger, Trinity United Church, Tony Rezko, grandma Obama, his wife … Oh, sorry, Mrs. O'Bama hasn't gone under the bus yet. Watch your back, Michelle. Your clue as to when it's time to head into the federal witness program will be when you hear Paddy say: "That's not the Michelle I used to know …" Well, last I saw of Paddy he was drumming up Jewish votes at an AIPAC fundraiser in Washington DC, wearing not just a Stars & Stripes lapel pin, but a lapel pin with both Old Glory and the Israeli flag on it. In his other lapel he had a sprig of shamrock, just in case there might be any Irish Jews in the audience. The sombrero was a nice touch, too, I guess worn to get the eye of possible Hispanic-Jewish attendees. I do think that with the kielbasa sticking out of the pocket of his suit, Paddy might have been trying for a little too much multiculturalism, as indeed he might have been by wearing a Chairman Mao suit in the first place … the first Chairman Mao suit I've seen that had kente cloth lapels, but hey. Now we're hearing what a terrific campaign Paddy has run. I must say, I'm not impressed. How difficult can it be to run for office, when you're willing to say absolutely anything that any audience wants to hear? Still, O'Bama has at least given new meaning to the phrase "campaign bus". That's the vehicle all those inconveient old acquaintances and supporters get thrown under.
04 — McCain is not Bush. Meanwhile, what's Ol' Yosemite Sam up to? Trying to get a word in edgewise, that's what. John-John was down in New Orleans with a big speech, in which he said that he is not George W. Bush, has not been taking any advice from George W. Bush, has not attended any meetings with George W. Bush, does not intend to take up any of George W. Bush's policies, and in fact does not even know who George W. Bush is, if such a person actually exists, which he doubts, and anyway is not the least bit interested in finding out. Also in his speech, the Republican nominee said that Obama is a young whippersnapper who has a thing or two to learn about the world. Quote: "I have a few years on my opponent, so I am surprised that a young man has bought into so many failed ideas." Y'know, John, my friend, you should practice a little caution talking about how much older you are than Wonder Boy. I know it's tempting, and I know it goes over well with the Metamucil and Fixodent crowd, but they're pretty much in the bag anyway, the white ones at least, so you should work on broadening your appeal. What else did Senator McCain say? Well, he boasted of having worked with the president, whatever the guy's name is, to, quote "keep our nation safe," but immediately followed up by saying that he disagreed with that guy, what's his name, on pretty much everything. He promised to end, quote, "Washington's stagnant, unproductive partisanship," end quote. Well, that's the worst news we've heard in the campaign so far. That stagnant, unproductive partisanship is all that keeps the federal government from doing things — things that would undoubtedly cost you and me a ton of money, and contribute to the further wrecking of our country — "comprehensive immigration reform," things like that. Both McCain and Obama want the federal government to get busy doing things, oblivious of the fact, known to most of us citizens who have just about reached the point in the year when we are working for oursleves and our families instead of for our masters in Washington DC, that wellnigh everything the federal government does is either wrong-headed, or messed up, or a gift to unfriendly powers like Iran, Mexico and China, or inconceivably expensive, and generally all of the above. "That's not change you can believe in," Yosemite Sam kept saying in that creepy over-controlled anger-management seminar voice he's developed. Well, call me disillusioned, but the only candidate who offered any change I could believe in was Ron Paul. Dr. Paul was also the only person on the trail who thought we should just try to be a normal country, instead of the savior of the human race, conqueror of the universe, and a light unto the Gentiles. A normal country! — now there's a radical notion. Too radical for Obama and McCain, that's for sure.
05 — Indian caste war. Here's an irresistible story from India, courtesy of the London Guardian. We all know that India has a rigid caste system, with the lowest castes doing all the dirty work. What is less well known is that the Indian government runs a huge affirmative action program to try to lift up these historically downtrodden groups, reserving half of college places and government jobs to them. Here is one of the results. A group of nomadic tribesmen called the Gujjars, traditionally regarded as low caste, have brought Delhi to a standstill with a major demonstration. They have, for example, paralyzed transportation by squatting on railroad tracks. What are they demonstrating for? They want their caste status to be downgraded. Quote from the Guardian report: "Community leaders have been demanding that the government give the community special status for several years. The Gujjars, already considered a disadvantaged group, want to be reclassified further down the Hindu hierarchy." End quote. You know the saying that in America you can never be too thin or too rich. Well, in an affirmative action society, you can never be too poor or too oppressed, not if you want a college place or a government job … either of which beats nomadic farming, I'm sure.
06 — MS-13. Here on Long Island we are plagued by the activities of MS-13, a Central American gang brought to us as one of the blessings of the Clinton-Bush open borders policies. MS-13 is exceptionally ruthless. They maintain their cohesion by murdering any gang member suspected of snitching to the authorities. Initiation rites into the gang are brutal. You have to kill a random victim, or submit to an unrestrained beating, or, for girls, a gang rape. When a gang member does get fingered by the police, he heads back to his home country, usually El Salvador or Honduras, from which extradition is nearly impossible, to the great frustration of U.S. law enforcement officials. MS-13 will operate any kind of criminal activity: drugs, auto theft, people smuggling, street robbery. Murder is what they are mainly famous for though, including murder of law enforcement personnel. So this is good news from Toronto: the police up there have conducted a big sweep, arrested 17 gang members and hit them with 63 different charges, from drug possession up to conspiracy to commit murder. I say good news, but it's also bad news, in that MS-13 has now metastasized from its original base in Los Angeles to pretty much everywhere in North America. If they're not in your town yet, they soon will be, and you can depend on police efforts being hampered by accusations of "profiling" and "discrimination," with lawsuits to follow from La Raza, LULAC, Mecha, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, and all the other guardians of the rights of foreigners. Thanks, President Clinton. Thanks, President Bush. Of course, these problems will soon be dealt with when the 44th president is sworn in. Of course they will.
07 — Famous Chinese. James Reynolds, the BBC's Peking correspondent, has an interesting question for you. We're all told all the time how important China is, right? Terrifically important. Heading to be a major power. Going to shake the world. Etc., etc. OK, try this test: How many important living Chinese people can you name? Politicians, thinkers, writers, artists, scientists, scholars, movie stars, entertainers, sportsmen … How many? If you got ten, you're doing pretty darn well. In fact if you got more than three you're probably doing above average for a round-eye. I try to keep up with Chinese affairs and I have family connections there, yet I could only manage eighteen: Three politicians, one sportsman, one scientist, one cult leader, two movie stars, two business moguls, four writers, and four dissidents. I include the dissidents because I think they're important, though probably nobody in China's allowed to hear about them and they get precious little support abroad. Spare a thought, for example, for Dr. Wang Bingzhang, a mild and scholarly fellow whom I met and wrote up once for a British magazine. Dr. Wang, sixty years old, is just beginning his seventh year in a Chinese dungeon, part of a life sentence for, quote from the ChiCom authorities, "espionage and terrorism." I have never met anyone less likely to be a spy or a terrorist than Dr. Wang. That's how the Chinese Communist Party deals with those who criticize it. Remember Wang Bingzhang and the many like him when you're watching those gaudy Olympic ceremonies.
08 — Miscellany. A handful of short items to see us out.
Item: One upside of the rise in oil prices must surely be, that Iraq's oil production must now easily be paying for the cost of Iraqi reconstruction, as Paul Wolfowitz promised us it would back in 2004. Well, not exactly. Iraqi oil production has been improving. It's now at 2.5 million barrels a day, which is almost as much as it was in early 2003 before we invaded. Back then it was at 2.6 million barrels a day. Let's do a little back of the envelope here, ignoring costs: 2.5 million times 365 makes 913 million barrels a year. At $135 per barrel, that's 124 billion dollars in revenues. Wow! That's eighty percent of the cost of the war right there! After only five years! Of course, most of it ends up in numbered Swiss bank accounts, Iraq being, according to the Transparency International index, the world's 178th most corrupt country out of 179 listed. Still, we should congratulate the Iraqis on getting oil production up to where it was under Saddam Hussein. Congratulations, guys!
Item: The latest attempt by the European Union to impose uniform bureaucratic rule over the entire continent looks as though it's in trouble. The so-called Lisbon Treaty, the latest attempt at a federal constitution for Europe, was waved through the parliaments of most member states, but the pesky Irish insisted on having a referendum — on actually asking the people of Ireland what they thought of it. What a concept! The people of Ireland get to vote on June 12th. The latest poll I'm looking at here has 35 percent ready to vote No on the treaty, 30 percent Yes, 28 percent undecided, and 7 percent declaring they won't vote. The Irish like to boast that they saved European civilization back in the Dark Ages. Looks like they might do it again.
Item: The national Spelling Bee came to its conclusion, and here are the names of the twelve finalists. From the top: Sameer Mishra, Sidharth Chand, Tia Thomas, Samia Nawaz, Scott Remer, Kavya Shivashankar, Rose Sloan, Catherine Cojocaru, Jahnavi Iyer, Kyle Mou, Justin Song, Austin Pineda. That's four Indian-American kids and at least two East Asians. (I couldn't figure out Austin Pineda's ancestry. He sounds Hispanic but doesn't look it at all.) What is it with Indian kids? I used to think it was those long Indian names. I mean, when you've grown up around people with names like Sripathi Panditharadhyal Balasubramanyam and Mokshagundam Vishveshwaraiah and Venkata Subramanian Nagarajan, being asked to spell "ophthalmoplegia" is a breeze. But then, how do you account for those East Asians, with names like Mou and Song? And why don't kids from Polish families feature? I don't know; but I do know that we white Euro types are losing out big time here, and black and Hispanic Americans are nowhere to be seen. How do you spell "ethnic humiliation"?
Item: If you think our federal bureaucrats are bad, listen to this. Quote from an Agence France-Press report, quote: "According to an official study, Egypt's six million government employees are estimated to spend an average of only 27 minutes per day actually working." This, says the report, quote again: "reflects a real problem with productivity." I would say. What are all those bureaucrats doing for the other 453 minutes of their working day? Praying, apparently. A pious Muslim is supposed to pray five times a day, and two of those sessions — the noon prayers and the afternoon prayers — fall within regular office hours, bringing work to a standstill. A prayer generally takes an average of 10 minutes, but it can be extended if the worshipper chooses to recite one of the longer verses of the Koran. And before the prayers, there's a mandatory washing of the face, hands and arms, feet and head. In an office building, people have to line up at the bathrooms to do these ablutions, so you see where the time goes. This actually explains a lot about the Muslim world.
Item: The good people of Kenya are excited about Barack Obama's likely nomination, mainly, it seems, because they think he'll do something for them. Obama's Dad was from Kenya, you recall. Quote from Kenya's Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Richard Onyonka, quote: "We hope that he will not forget Kenya when he becomes president. He will be much more receptive to African issues. Africa needs somebody who understands Africa." Yeah, right. I wouldn't get your hopes too high, Mr. Onyonka. How do you say "under the bus" in Swahili, I wonder?
Item: Quiz question: Which musician had a brief career as a light heavyweight boxer, played at Carnegie Hall, recorded with Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry, once shared billing at a show with Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, and the Rolling Stones, and counted among his fans and imitators just about every rock superstar from Elvis Presley to the Beatles and Eric Clapton? Well, that would be Bo Diddley, who died this week at the age of 79. Born either Otha Ellas Bates or Ellas Otha Bates — he wasn't quite sure — to a dirt-poor farmer's family in Magnolia, Mississippi (how Southern is that?), Bo went on to the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. He was the last of a breed. Rest in peace, Bo.
09 — Signoff. That's it for another week, boys and girls. Barack Obama's week, no doubt about it. I won't be voting for the guy, being allergic to radical socialism, but congratulations to him anyway; and say what you like, it is a milestone for the U.S.A. And heck, he did beat Hillary Clinton. As a change from Franz Josef Haydn, and a mark of respect to a great American artiste, and also perhaps because, since this is Barack Obama's week, I should get a little racial balance into the broadcast, here's Bo Diddley to sign us off.
[Music clip: Bo Diddley.]