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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And it's Radio Derb once again, ladies and gents. This is your host John Derbyshire with the week's news, or as much of it as a person of taste and sensitivity can bear to hear.
There's a very faint Russian theme breaking through the surface here and there this week; and towards the end there a voice that, if you recognize it, you'll wish you hadn't.
|02 — Obama on illegals. If you believe that the people's laws on
immigration ought to be fairly but firmly enforced, that our nation's borders should be secure, and that foreigners living here illegally ought to be
sent back to their home countries — well, if you believe those things, you are a contemptible knuckle-dragging nativist who very
likley has a collection of slave manacles and SS regalia in your basement. This is a well-known fact.
Here's another fact: If you believe those things, there is no candidate for you in the upcoming presidential election.
Barack Obama's campaign website has a whole page on immigration, but the section headings give the game away, if you don't think the game has already been given away by the fact of the entire website being available in a Spanish version. If you prefer to read campaign literature in some language other than our national language, you have sort of missed the point of the U.S.A.; and if you have a campaign website that encourages people to do that, then you are a candidate who has missed the point of the U.S.A.
Anyway, on Obama's immigration page we read that he wants to, quote, "Create secure borders." Well, that's great! Build a fence? Um, not exactly. Quote: "He supports additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry."
How many additional personnel, Senator? Twelve? A hundred thousand? Some number in between? Does "infrastructure" include a fence? If so, why not say so?
And then, quote: "we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill." End quote.
Economics 101, Senator: If employers can't find labor, then (a) the price of labor goes up, and (b) employers seek productivity improvements via ingenuity and automation. So you're saying you want the price of labor to be low, and you don't want employers to innovate or automate? Is that what you're saying?
And what's that about keeping families together? If some family is in distress because Dad's in the U.S.A. and Mom's in some other country, there are two ways to alleviate that distress, Senator. See if you can figure out what the other one is, with that Harvard-trained brain of yours.
What else? Quote: "Obama supports a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens." End quote.
But where is that line, Senator? In the home country is surely where it ought to be. That, after all, is where legal applicants have to wait, often for many years, while their applications are processed. If these "undocumented" folk are to go to the end of the line, that's where they should be — in their home countries. Otherwise, they are not at the end of the line at all, they're at the head of the line. See?
|03 — McCain's hispandering. Looks like your other choice for President will
be John McCain, a.k.a. John McPander, John McAmnesty, John McKennedy, John McScrewTheCitizensIllegalsWill WorkForLess, etc.
Senator McCain is to illegal immigration as an alcoholic is to liquor: He can't get enough of the stuff. Then, when he realizes he's losing all his friends and messing up his life, he publicly swears off it … Until, a few months later, we spot the bottle hanging out of his window on a line, like in The Lost Weekend.
At the YouTube debate back in November, McCain very graciously acknowledged that the American people (whoever they are) would like to see their laws enforced, please, if it wouldn't be too much trouble. They even want a secure national border, though McCain, as he said this, looked as though he found it hard to believe.
Then he turned on the water works. The estimated twelve million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.A. had been unjustly demonized, he said. Quote: "They need some protections under the law. They need some of our love and compassion."
See, that business about enforcing the law is so cold-hearted — cruel, actually! That can't possibly be what the American people really want. Let's stop enforcing the law, except to protect illegals.
Heck, let's stop enforcing all the other laws. Don't speeding motorists, tax cheats, burglars, muggers, drug dealers, embezzlers, rapists, murderers, and the people who tear the labels off mattresses — don't they need some of our love and compassion, too? Course they do.
McCain had at least found the right noises to make, though. He went around for weeks after that saying that he would secure the boders and the visa system before launching his amnesty plan.
Then, once he'd got the nomination in the bag, Ol' John-John went back to the bottle. Never mind "bottle," in fact: at a private meeting with 150 Hispanic agitators in Chicago, McCain was drinking straight from the jug, assuring the race lobbyists he was totally on the same page as them, brimming with love and compassion for suffering poor people everywhere, so long as they aren't U.S. citizens, and declaring that any nativist trouble-makers who object to his open-borders program will be hustled off to desert reservations where they could air their filthy racist sentiments to the coyotes and rattlesnakes all day long.
The address was a ringing success, and McCain's share of the Hispanic vote, which is about six percent of the national vote, may soar from thirty to thirty-five percent in November. That extra five percent would be, let's see, five percent of six percent is, ah, zero point three percent.
Zero point three percent! That will be four hundred thousand votes! And to win that four hundred thousand votes, all Senator McCain had to do was infuriate ten million conservative non-Hispanic voters.
Brilliant! What a great political tactician! Heck, this guy may be even smarter than Karl Rove!
|04 — Apes in Spain. The first time I ever went to Spain was in 1965, when
it was about as conservative a nation as you could imagine.
That was in the days of General Franco, a guy who didn't think anything much worth noticing had happened since the sixteenth century. He kept Spain in a little time warp, all dim-lit old churches stiff with incense and chanting monks, bullfights, and peasants drinking wine from goatskin bags. Very picturesque and charming for a a foreign visitor, but perhaps not really what a modern European population wants.
What do they want? To judge from the current results after thirty years of democracy, Spaniards want a welfare state, a total fertility rate of 1.30 (which puts Spain at 207th in the world on the CIA's ranking), and civil rights for apes.
Yes, Spain's parliament has extended the rights to life and freedom to, quote, "non-human hominids" — which is to say, chimps, gorillas, orang-utans, bonobos, and people who talk on cellphones in commuter trains.
What a country Spain must be! — From most conservative to most liberal in a single generation. Spain didn't even legalize divorce until the 1980s. Now they have legal gay marriage and a government Ministry of Equality, with equality to include apes.
Do the apes get to have gay marriages, too? I guess so. And how about unions between chimps and humans? Should that be OK too? Whadda you think, honey? [Chimp sounds.] I couldn't agree more.
|05 — Canadian kid sues Dad. Listeners who took an interest in the old
Soviet Union will be familiar with the name of Pavel Morozov.
This was the feisty little lad who back in 1932 denounced his father to the secret police for anti-Soviet activities. After some routine beating and torturing, Morozov Senior was hustled off to a labor camp. Mr Morozov's relations were not very pleased with little Pavel, as I suppose is understandable. They were so displeased, in fact, that they killed him.
Pavel thereupon became a Soviet hero and martyr. There was even an opera about the loathsome little snitch.
Well, let me introduce you to a present-day candidate for the mantle of Little Pavel Morozov: Miss X of Ontario, Canada. "X" is not her real name, of course. We're not allowed to know her real name, because she's only twelve years old and her Dad's relatives haven't yet clubbed her to death, unfortunately.
In the spirit of a very old pop song, and with Pavel Morozov in mind, I shall refer to her as "Paula."
Well, Paula got grounded by her Dad. The occasion of the grounding was, that Dad caught Paula logging on to web sites he'd forbidden, and posting on the internet some pictures of herself that he thought inappropriate. So he grounded her — to be exact, he refused her permission to go on an end-of-year trip her school had organized.
Paula would have called the secret police, but they weren't available — too busy pulling out Mark Steyn's fingernails. So Paula sued Dad in Ontario's courts.
Now, you might think that the courts would have responded to Paula's suit by saying something like:
The state still respects private life in Canada. A father's non-physical disciplining of his daughter is no business of the state or its judicial organs. Case dismissed!
You might think that, if you haven't been paying attention to events in Canada recently. The condition of free speech and personal privacy up there in that Friendly Giant to the North is not yet quite at the level it was at in the 1932 U.S.S.R., but it's not for want of trying.
|06 — Imus: "What color is he?" Don Imus set off the
racial-sensitivity alarms again this week.
No doubt you'll remember that Imus got canned by CBS radio last spring after some unfortunate comments about the Rutgers ladies' basketball team. He got back on the air with his radio show last December under a new contract, this time with ABC.
Well, last Monday Imus was chatting on-air with sports broadcaster Warner Wolf. Wolf mentioned the football player Adam Jones, who goes by the nickname "Pacman."
Mr Jones has a pretty serious anger-management problem. He is in fact currently on probation following an incident at a Las Vegas night club last year, an incident that also got him suspended from NFL play for the whole of last season.
Warner Wolf mentioned this in the on-air conversation with Imus, and added that Jones had been arrested six times since 2005.
"What color is he?" asked Imus.
"He's African-American," replied Wolf, not very logically — I mean, Africans come in all colors. Our man might have been a Boer or a pied-noir.
Anyway, Imus followed up with: "Well, there you go, now we know."
There went the race alarms. One of Al Sharpton's aides whispered the news in his ear as the Reverend was meeting with the board of General Motors; Jesse Jackson's people were checking all the motels trying to locate him to give him the news, and Father Pfleger ran to the closet to get out his his anathema kit. Everybody started getting lawyered up.
Then Imus came out with a statement saying that he'd just been trying to, quote, "make a sarcastic point" about unfair treatment of blacks in the criminal justice system but had been misunderstood.
Explanatory quote from Imus: "What people should be outraged about is that they arrest blacks for no reason."
O—K, let me see if I have this right. One can't be too careful in this area.
Imus made a remark on-air; black people thought it was insulting to them; no no, explains Imus, he was misunderstood — his intention had not been to insult black people, his intention had been to insult the nation's police officers.
Great. Thanks for clearing that up for us, Imus.
Now, then, listener, I want you to imagine that you are the desk officer on duty doing graveyard shift at the police precinct up there in Westport, Connecticut, where Imus lives. Not much crime in Westport, median household income $120,036, median house price $514,500.
So you're sitting there at the duty desk reading Middlemarch when suddenly the phone rings. It's the Imus residence, to say that they have an intruder on the premises, and it looks like he's armed. Mr and Mrs Imus have locked themselves in the master bedroom. Could you please send a squad car over ASAP?
You, listener, as that police officer, are going to really jump on that, right? So would I, so would I.
|07 — Columbia noose news. And yet more racism! What a week this has been
for bigotry and hate! Perhaps it's Senator Obama's candidacy that's bringing out all these evil racists. They are just so furious at the impertinence
of a black guy running for President — that must be what it is. When will this scourge of racism be lifted from our land? Deliver
us, Senator Obama, deliver us!
Well, the second victim this week was Columbia Teacher's College Professor Madonna Constantine, no relation to the Roman Emperor so far as I know, who got fired from her Professorship, allegedly for plagiarism.
Allegations of plagiarism by Professor Constantine have been around for at least five years, and this week's firing comes after a 22-month investigation by the college. The investigation found that Professor Constantine not only plagiarized from another teacher at the college, she had even plagiarized from two of her own students.
You may recall that Professor Constantine caused a fuss last fall — that would be over a year into the plagiarism investigation — when she found a noose hanging from her office door. The noose incident is still being pursued by police.
Professor Constantine has all along responded to the plagiarism charges by claiming that the teacher and students in question had plagiarized their work from hers, apparently not realizing that the question of who plagiarized from whom can be settled simply by comparing dates.
Anyway, Professor — now I guess ex-Professor — Constantine reacted to this week's firing by calling it "vindictive and mean-spirited." This is in line with her statement last February that, quote:
As one of only two tenured black women full professors at Teachers College, it pains me to conclude that I have been specifically and systematically targeted.
The NYPD, it says here — that's the New York Police Department — the NYPD would not comment on the progress of the investigation into the noose incident. They "would not comment" — and, if anybody wants my vindictive and mean-spirited guess, they never will!
|08 — Competitive teen pregnancy. You know what cry rings out when two or
more teenagers are gathered together in one place: "Let's do something our parents will disapprove of!"
Teenagers have very likely been saying that since the Paleolithic Era, when the outcome would have been something like hiding the tribe's supply of dressed flint, or extinguishing the sacred fire by doing number one on it.
With the advance of civilization our teens have progressed to more sophisticated forms of parent-vexing: egging neighborhood cars, smoking in the woods, or pretending to like rap music.
Or, in the little blue-collar town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, getting pregnant en masse. Seventeen freshman and sophomore girls at the Gloucester town high school are pregnant. None of them is older than sixteen.
The usual tally for pregnancies at the school is three or four per annum — disgraceful enough in itself, I should have thought, in a school of only twelve hundred students. This year — seventeen.
Time magazine published a lurid article about the pregnancies, quoting the school principal, name of Joseph Sullivan, to the effect that the girls had formed a pregnancy pact, and that one of the impregnators was a 24-year-old homeless man.
That got the whole nation's attention, whereupon Mr Sullivan disappeared from sight. "He's on vacation," reporters are being told.
The town's mayor, a formidable looking lady named Carolyn Kirk, insists that there is no evidence of a pact. Says Ms Kirk — who, if anyone wants my guess on this, probably has Mr Sullivan bound and gagged in the trunk of her car — "I wasn't able to get verification of any of his statements," end quote.
Well, lady, there may be no evidence of a pact, but seventeen pregnant teens is evidence of something, and I'm betting it's not the Holy Ghost at work here.
|09 — Miscellany. Here's our closing miscellany of short items to see us out.
Item: Now, I know we're not supposed to utter disrespectful words about candidates' wives, but sometimes they make it awfully hard to resist the temptation.
Here's Cindy McCain telling us that she takes her inspiration from the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Quote from Cindy:
She was a great inspiration to me and to the British people as well. She was a remarkable person and had a loving heart.
Oh, that's great. The Republican candidate's wife, invited to choose from among the world's three billion or so females for an inspiring role model, chose a person nobody would have heard of if she hadn't married the heir to the British throne, whose choice of companionship extended no further than fashion designers, pop singers, and disco-haunting playboys, whose only known talent was for simpering, and who managed to bore even a full-blood member of the House of Windsor — the boring-league equivalent of beating Gary Kasparov at chess.
Item: Washington has his monument, Jefferson has his memorial, Reagan has his airport, and Lincoln has his town car. What will George W. Bush have as his monument?
Well, if San Francisco has its way, he'll have the George W. Bush sewage plant. Some group named the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is putting an initiative on the ballot in November to have voters approve a change of name for what is currently Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant. The renaming, if the voters approve it, would take effect on Inauguration Day, January 20.
Supporters of the measure plan to commemorate the inaugural with a, quote, "synchronized flush" of hundreds of thousands of toilets that would send a flood of water toward the plant.
Well, that's great, San Francisco. Look: on the list of George W. Bush admirers, ranked with most enthusiastic at number one, you'll find me down around number 1,351,786. Still, I can't help asking: don't you folk in San Francisco have some work you should be getting on with?
Item: Ah, San Francisco. Let's try a little word association. San Francisco, San Francisco, what comes to mind? Er — Nancy Pelosi! Is Nancy actually Canadian, though? She certainly seems to feel the same way about freedom of speech as Canadians do — by which I mean, she is against it.
Representative Mike Pence is trying to get a bill to the House floor to outlaw once and for all the old pre-Reagan Fairness Doctrine, which required radio station owners to provide equal time to radio commentary when anyone asks for it. That would pretty much kill off conservative talk radio, as the stations would have to open themselves up to every lefty bore who takes umbrage at something Rush Limbaugh has said.
Well, at a reporters' breakfast on Tuesday, Human Events writer John Gizzi asked Speaker Pelosi flat out: "Do you personally support revival of the Fairness Doctrine?" "Yes" replied Pelosi.
Being against freedom of speech, it figures that Nancy is also against gun ownership. After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Washington, D.C. handgun ban this week, Nancy expressed the hope that, quote: "the District of Columbia will still be able to regulate firearms."
Of course, we should make allowances for Nancy. She's had a very hard life. In her childhood, her family had to survive on the pittances her father earned as a U.S. Congressman and Mayor of Baltimore. Nowadays she struggles along as best she can on a family net worth of 25 million dollars.
As she herself told us just this week at that same reporters' breakfast, quote: "I'm a victim of sexism myself all the time."
Of course you are, Nancy — poor, poor Nancy. Where's my hanky? [Female sobbing sounds.]
Oh come on, guys, you got the wrong gender sob clip there … ah, the heck with it.
Item: Today, Friday, June 27, a day that will live in infamy, is the day that Microsoft founder Bill Gates goes part-time, shifting from being executive chairman at Microsoft Corp. to being non-executive chairman, putting in just one day a week.
What's he going to do the rest of the time? Well, he's going to play Lord Bountiful, showering his excess wealth on poor people everywhere.
Mr Gates shared some of his ideas about economics at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a year and a half ago. His main idea is "creative capitalism" — capitalists not trying to maximize profits in that crude old-fashioned way, but to help poor people.
NYU economics professor William Easterley, who was also at that Davos session (a video clip of which, by the way, is on the internet, and well worth watching) has written very scathingly about this, especially in regards to Africa. Quote:
Africa's problem is not that Africa doesn't have enough money. Africa's problem is, Africa doesn't have enough capitalism.
End quote from Professor Easterley.
Nothing deterred, Bill Gates is going to continue with his program to make the world better by giving people free stuff. This, you can't help thinking, is a guy who hasn't been getting out much. Well, duh.
Item: The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is considering raising the prize money at rodeo events. Why? Because of the soaring cost of gas, that's why. Rodeo contestants are grumbling that they're having to car pool to get to the events.
Here's Monty Lewis, the 2004 world champion tie-down roper. Quote:
These rodeos, they're bumping up their money a little bit, but not near enough to cover it. You've got to win, if you don't win you've got to go home a lot sooner.
Monty says he spent twelve hundred dollars to get to the Reno rodeo from Texas. He'd have car pooled if he could, but the circuit schedule didn't allow it.
Team roper Jay Tittel of Pueblo, Colorado actually did car-pool with three other cowboys to get to Reno. Cowboys carpooling! Can you imagine Gary Cooper, John Wayne, James Arness and Clint Eastwood in a carpool? This is really the end of Western — and I do mean Western — civilization.
I know, this isn't actually a very interesting news item, but I just wanted everyone to hear me say the word "rodeo" correctly. I got a lot of stick from listeners the other week for saying it wrong, so I've been looking out for rodeo stories ever since. ROH-de-o stories. ROH-de-o
|10 — Signoff. That's all we have time for, listeners.
Before I leave you, though, I'm going to urge you to buy this new book by my friend and colleague Mark Krikorian. The title is The New Case Against Immigration. It officially comes out on July 7th but you can order it now, and it's simply terrific, packed with data and sound arguments, all in good clear writing.
In fact, buy three copies of Mark's book: one for yourself, and one each to mail to John McCain and Barack Obama.
Good luck, Mark. And speaking of books, for those of you who've been clamoring to know when the Russian translation of Prime Obsession will finally be available, I'm pleased to announce that my translator, Dr Alexei Semikhatov, and I have just finished crossing the last T's and dotting the I-s'tochkoys, and the book will be in stores soon, from Voronezh to Vladivostok and from Bryansk to Blagoveshchensk.
Whaddya think of that, Uncle Joe? [Clip: Stalin speaking.]
Meanwhile, this is your genial Radio Derb host John Derbyshire wishing you goodbye, do svidanya, and don't take any wooden kopeks. Where's my balalaika?
[Music clip: balalaika music.]