• Play the sound file
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Radio Derb is on the air, and this is your incorrigibly genial host John Derbyshire with more of the news you need to know.
Where shall we begin? How about somewhere picturesquely European … like, for example, … Copenhagen.
[Clip of "Wonderful Copenhagen."]
Ah yes, wonderful Copenhagen, salty old queen of the sea. Having had some slight acquaintance with Her Majesty's Royal Navy, the phrase "salty old queen of the sea" conjures up some personal recollections … but let's get to the news story here.
The news story is, of course, the visit by the President and First Lady to Copenhagen, Denmark, to lobby on behalf of their developer and slumlord pals back in Chicago for that city to win the honor of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Chicago political establishment and the crooks who bankroll it stopped at nothing to help Obama get elected, and now it's payback time; so off went the Obamas to Chicago, with Oprah Winfrey and goodness knows who else trailing along in the entourage.
By the time you listen to this, it will be a done deal, with the Olympic Committee scheduled to vote midday on Friday. At midday on Thursday the odds I was seeing were as follows: Chicago 11 to 8 on; Rio, down in Brazil, 7 to 4; Madrid and Tokyo both at 12 to 1. So eleven'll get ya eight Chicago's the place.
This is good news for connected types in the Chicago power establishment — a term that at this point includes most of the inhabitants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. — and really good news for Chicago Mayor-for-life Richard M. Daley, who will be able to shine in the glory of having put the world media spotlight on Chicago for two weeks. No doubt he will also get a glow of satisfaction from that sweetheart deal on a lakefront property that one of his developer cronies will arrange for him.
It will of course be bad news for the taxpayers of Chicago, and of the United States at large. The Olympics are basically a big machine for sucking money out of citizens' pockets and sluicing it through to the bank accounts of property developers and their political enablers.
It took Montreal — by which I mean, of course, Montreal taxpayers — thirty years to pay off the debts they accumulated hosting the 1976 Summer Olympics. The 2004 Olympics in Athens left whole districts of the city empty and barren, with tumbleweed blowing through unused stadiums, and that bill isn't anywhere near being paid yet, either.
In short, unless you are among the connected, having the Olympics in your city, or even just in your country, is a blight. Some Chicagoans understand this: There's a website up called "Chicagoans for Rio." The way things go in Chicago, I hope the proprietors of that website keep shotguns under their beds.
Anyway, the fix is probably in already, and by the time you hear this we'll be looking at a Chicago Olympics in 2016, with Tony Rezko as the project advisor, Richard Daley as the chief shareholder, and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright delivering the benediction at the opening ceremony.
Just to get you in the mood, here's a snippet of the Olympic Anthem. [Ker-ching …]
03 — Chicago: Obama's heritage. Meanwhile, how are things in the Windy City?
They should be pretty good on the South Side, anyway, since Barack Obama did twenty years of community organizing down there. With a wonder-worker like Obama organizing your community for twenty years, Chicago's South Side must bear a pretty close resemblance to the Garden of Eden by now.
Well, not exactly. A 16-year-old lad on his way home from school last Thursday ran into some kind of a street rumble, and was beaten and stomped to death there on the South Side. The lad attends a school named Fenger Academy on South Wallace Street. The GreatSchools.net website shows the following stats for, quote, "percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards": Reading 4 percent, Math 3 percent, Science 0 percent.
Goodness, how can those scores possibly be so low, in a district where the Community Organizer in Chief was active for twenty years?
We further learn that one of the gangs participating in the rumble that the unfortunate student walked into, but was carried out of, is based in the Altgeld Gardens housing project nearby. That, readers of the President's autobiography will recall, was the scene of Obama's greatest triumph. By dint of vigorous activism and indefatigable community organizing, he persuaded Chicago Housing Authority to remove asbestos insulation from the ceiling spaces at Altgeld.
How can there be a gang based in the project, when all the asbestos has been removed? Isn't it a proven fact that asbestos causes antisocial behavior? I thought it was.
Well, let's hope that after four years in the Presidency, Obama leaves the U.S.A. in better shape than he left Chicago South Side after twenty years of community organizing. [Clip of "Chicago."]
04 — Feminists for Polanski. Men everywhere had some of their darkest suspicions about women verified this week.
Movie producer Roman Polanski was arrested on a trip to Switzerland, and held pending extradition to the U.S.A., on a 1977 charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with an underage girl. That would be Samantha Geimer, who was 13 years old at the time. Polanski had tranquillized young Samantha with champagne and a Quaalude, then had his way with her against her repeated protests.
There was some funny business at the sentencing back there in 1978. Polanski spent 42 days in the slammer under "psychiatric evaluation." The judge in the case said that was time served, and Polanski could walk. Then, for reasons not clear, he changed his mind, and it looked as though Polanski was about to get the book thrown at him.
He fled, and has been in exile in Europe ever since. He's lived mainly in France, but the Swiss have been hospitable to him up to now. Their change of heart is probably something to do with the global economic crisis and the need to make nice to the U.S.A.
Anyway, Roman's long Roman holiday is over, and he's headed back to the States, unless the Swiss change their minds again.
Public opinion, which for once I agree with, wants him to serve his sentence, whatever it is — we still don't know. If you do the crime, you should do the time, is the common sentiment, which again I'm on board with.
A lot of Hollywood and celebrity types disagree, and petitions are being circulated. What's truly creepy is, that Polanski's biggest defenders seem to be women. Sure, Harvey Weinstein has signed a petition, and Martin Scorsese, and — surprise, surprise — Woody Allen too, but so have a raft of actresses and female celebrities.
Even feminists are defending Polanski. Here's women's rights champion Peg Yorkin, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation, quote:
It's bad that a person was raped. But that was so many years ago. The guy has been through so much in his life. It's crazy to arrest him now. Let it go. The government could spend its money on other things.
Er, that's our money, Peg … but let that pass. Debra Tate, sister of Polanski's wife Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson family, said, quote: "There's rape, and then there's rape. It was a consensual matter."
Samantha Geimer, Polanski's victim, said that she had no hard feelings for him, and in fact publicly forgave him years ago.
So a 13-year-old gyno-American is drugged and raped by a 45-year-old man, and all these women are cool with it? Oh, Whoopi Goldberg, too. [Clip: Whoopi Goldberg, "I know it wasn't rape-rape."] So according to Whoopi, it wasn't rape-rape, only rape.
So, listeners, next time you feel like robbing a bank, just make sure you only rob it. Don't rob-rob it. Then Whoopi and the gals will be up there on TV rooting for you.
05 — The butt bomber. Pull my finger, kid. [Explosion.] Yes, here comes the latest innovation from al-Qaeda: the butt bomb.
We learn that terrorist Abdullah Asieri outwitted bomb-detection equipment in a Saudi palace and got himself close to a Saudi prince, the one in charge of the kingdom's counter-terrorist effort. Then he detonated a pound of high explosive he'd hidden in his lower colon. That, of course, was the end of him. The Saudi prince was only slightly wounded, though he did insist on taking a 45-minute shower afterwards.
The sub-editors of our surviving newspapers of course had fun with the whole thing: One of them told us that Mr Asieri has put the "ass" in "assassin." Another wondered if terrorists could get any lower. Yet another expressed the hope that Saudi security forces would get to the bottom of the matter — which I am sure they will, if … they can find it.
Personally I favor a spirit of defiance: telling al-Qaeda to take their new terror technique and shove it.
It's really a serious matter, though. An attack of this sort carried out in a plane could kill hundreds. Current airport security procedures offer no defense against these colonic conspirators, these rectal radicals, these anal anarchists, these bowel bombardiers, these … Sorry, got a bit carried away there.
Well, it's something new to worry about. Our own security experts are, the New York Post tells us with its usual exquisite delicacy, pooping in their pants at the prospect of more of these derriére detonators, these glute grenadiers, these keister killers, these … sorry again, sorry.
Short of forcibly conscripting all the nation's proctologists into the TSA, it's hard to see what can be done. Let's pin our hopes on the possibility that this whole story is just based on a terrible misunderstanding. Perhaps Mr Asieri had just eaten too big a portion of chick peas with his falafel.
06 — ChiComs celebrate 60th. Zhongguo renmin zhanqilaile! That's my Mao Tse-tung imitation. It's supposed to be what the old despot said at Tiananmen 60 years ago, on October 1st 1949: "The Chinese people have stood up!"
It's an odd thing that while 1.3 billion Chinese people will tell you that's what Mao said, in fact that's not what he said. Here's what he said: [Mao clip.] Altogether different, see? Translated: "The Chinese People's Republic and the Central People's government are established today."
Well, that was 60 years ago Thursday, and the ChiComs have been celebrating in grand totalitarian style, with tremendous displays of police and military power, saying to their own people, and also to the rest of the world: "Don't mess with us!"
The colorless zombie technocrats who actually run the Chinese Communist Party nowadays bear not the slightest resemblance to fearless revolutionary warriors, but they did their best.
Hu Jintao, who looks like what you imagine the fat kid in Lord of the Flies would have grown up to look like, if … well, you know — anyway, Hu Jintao got his hair styled to look like Mao's, dressed in the Yves Saint-Laurent version of a Mao suit, and stood up in back of an open limousine being driven past the massed ranks of soldiers & sailors squeaking out "Greetings, comrades!"
It's hard to see what they're celebrating. Of the sixty years of communist rule in China, the first thirty were a dreadful nightmare in which tens of millions of Chinese people died from state-ordered murder and starvation, and tens of millions more had their lives destroyed in labor camps or vindictive "class struggle" campaigns.
The last thirty have been less bad, and a great relief to the Chinese people by contrast with what went before; but China is still a long way from being a modern nation under consensual government, with rational economics and an independent legal system. Perhaps after another thirty years they'll be a normal country — who knows?
Having destroyed so many lives and wasted thirty years of everyone's time, the Communist Party has nothing to be proud of, and this brutish display of arrogant power was an insult to civilized values.
07 — Talking to Iran. Our talks with Iran got under way this week.
These are the first direct talks between us and them since the hostage crisis thirty years ago. The object for us is to get Iran to accept really open inspection of their nuclear facilities. The object for Iran is to run out the clock until they have a few nukes stored somewhere.
I doubt if anyone involved believes Iran won't have nukes quite soon. I doubt if anyone involved thinks that the, quote, "crippling sanctions" Mrs Clinton talks about will come to pass, whatever Iran does or fails to do, since both Russia and China are opposed to them. I am quite sure that nobody involved thinks that any conceivable military action will make much difference.
So there we are: soon Iran will attain nuclear-power status, and she won't suffer much, if anything, for having done so.
The best option for the U.S.A. is to keep our own huge stock of nukes clean and shiny, and make sure everyone knows we'll have no scruples against using them in our nation's defense.
Alas, that is pretty much the opposite of current administration policy, which is to make loud blustering noises about "crippling sanctions" that aren't going to happen, while running down our stocks of nukes to demonstrate our moral superiority to the world.
We have decades of experience in manufacturing and storing nukes. That gives us a huge advantage. Let's not squander it. You can never have enough nukes.
08 — Terrorists don't need Afghanistan. Last week I reported that the administration's big decision on our strategy in Afghanistan had to wait on the President's return from addressing the U.N. and attending the G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
OK, did them: now can we get a decision on strategy?
No, not just yet — the President has to fly to Copenhagen on behalf of his Chicago pals. Next week it'll be something else: a global warming summit, perhaps, or a benefit dinner for retired community organizers.
The trouble with all this procrastination is, it leaves people time to ponder whether there's any point our being in that pile of rocks at all. What is the point? "To deny al-Qaeda a safe haven," is the stock answer.
This week Paul Pillar, a former deputy chief of counter-terrorism at the CIA, published an essay in the Washington Post pooh-poohing the whole idea of safe havens. He actually pooh-poohed it from two directions: one, arguing that with terrorists connected through the internet and operating from Hamburg, Madrid, and Denver, they are not really dependent on physical base areas. Then two, that if they feel they need one anyway, they are spoiled for choice, with open arms to welcome them in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and North Africa.
Mr Pillar's not a withdrawalist, but he sees no point in adding troops to our Afghanistan force, and sees no hope for the kind of victory the administartion claims to be working for.
One guy can be wrong, of course, but this sounds more realistic to me than all the promises about "counter-insurgency," which seems to have a track record of working about twenty percent of the time.
By the way, on the subject of Afghanistan, for deep background I recommend David Loyn's book, title In Afghanistan, which I am currently reading. This is a guy who really knows the country and the neighborhood. David Loyn, L-O-Y-N.
09 — Miscellany. Here's our miscellany of short items to close with.
Item: Last week Sarah Palin gave a well-received speech to a hall full of hard-headed banking and investment types, the people who make capitalism work.
That, as I noted at the time, was within a few hours of Barack Obama giving a well-received speech to a hall full of bureaucratic parasites, crooks, and clowns who have never created a dime of wealth among the lot of them. It made a nice contrast, even if I was the only one who noticed it.
Well, here's Mrs. Palin in the news again. She has written an autobiography, title Going Rogue: An American Life, and six weeks before it goes on sale, pre-orders for the book have pushed it to the top of Amazon's best-seller list.
I offer Mrs Palin my congratulations, and also my services if she's in need of a speechwriter for the 2012 campaign. She's been good for Alaska, she'll be good for America, and I don't read the New York Times, either.
Go get 'em, Sarah. No, I'm not at all miffed that your book is selling better than mine. What I'm miffed about is that you didn't hire me to ghost it for you.
Item: Speaking of the ChiCom celebrations, the owners of the Empire State Building, New York City's iconic skyscraper, lit it up in red and yellow to show solidarity with the Chinese Communist Party. That was a pretty disgusting thing to do, and our own Jay Nordlinger has waxed indignant about it on NRO.
Here's me waxing indignant right along with Jay. What gets celebrated on October 1st is communist rule of China, a rule that has — see above — brought untold misery and horror to Chinese people — not to mention the colonized and enslaved people of Tibet, East Turkestan, and Inner Mongolia. In the heart of one of the free world's greatest cities, we are asked to celebrate slavery.
Whoever owns the Empire State Building should be ashamed; and if it turns out that the owner is some Chinese interest, then we should be ashamed for having let that happen.
Item: This item comes under the heading: "Is this a great country, or what?"
Well, it certainly is, if you are an illegal-alien child molestor. Meet 24-year-old Fernando Ramirez, a Mexican national illegally resident in this country. Mr Ramirez was doing time in the Orange County Central Jail after molesting a 6-year-old child in an Orange County park. Yes, this is Orange County, California, currently in a deep financial crisis, like the rest of that godforsaken state.
Well, Mr Ramirez was beaten up by other inmates — a thing that tends to happen to persons incarcerated for crimes against children. As a result he suffered brain damage, and has difficulty walking. He sued of course, and has just been awarded $3.75m, plus another $900,000 in medical expenses — the largest settlement ever awarded by the county for an in-custody incident.
Yes, folks: California may be broke, but they will never be too broke to stint on lavish awards to lowlife scofflaws.
Is it mean-spirited of me to wonder just exactly how much trouble Mr. Ramirez has walking? Could he walk, like, as far as the border? Never mind.
Item: Is there still a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy? I sure hope so — I still have my decoder ring.
Well, Bill Clinton says yes, it's still there. However, says Bubba, its power is much diminished. Why? "Because America has changed demographically," explained Bubba.
Now what does that mean? The country got younger? No: the median age is 37, three years older than in 1992. The male-female ratio changed? No, it's barely moved, from 953 males per female to 957. What on earth can he mean? I'm baffled.
Item: I'm sure Radio Derb listeners know of the fuss about author Jytte Klausen, whose book The Cartoons that Shook the World, about the Danish cartoon controversy that so inflamed Muslims, is being published by Yale University Press, but minus the cartoons.
Well, both Ms Klausen and Kurt Westergaard, who drew one of the cartoons, were on campus at Yale this week, as guests of different student organization. This has not sat well with Muslim students at Yale. The Muslim Students Association said in a statement that its members are, quote, "deeply hurt and offended" by the decision to invite Westergaard to speak.
Poor delicate things! They further whined that, quote:
As an institution purportedly committed to making our campus an educational environment where all students feel equally comfortable, we feel that by hosting Kurt Westergaard Yale is undermining its commitment to creating a nurturing learning environment by failing to recognize the religious and racial sensitivity of the issue.
Did you ever hear such whimpering infantile blather? You don't go to university to feel comfortable, or to be nurtured. You go to engage with human knowledge and opinions you never heard before, to learn how to apply your powers of judgment and intellect. Nurturing is for nurseries; comfort is for retirement homes.
It's not surprising that Muslims hate free speech — after all, Muslim countries don't have free speech. What's surprising is that these sniveling crybabies got into Yale, which is supposed to be a place for persons of character and intellect.
Item: A pig just flew past my window, there's a snow emergency in Hell, and Republicans in Congress are doing something smart.
What they are doing is, bringing in a motion to remove tax-law-writing tax evader Charlie Rangel from his position on the Ways and Means Committee. This means that representatives are going to have to declare themselves either for or against Rangel.
Quote from the New York Post's Charles Hurt, who explains the strategy very well, quote:
Even if the Congressional Black Caucus forces Pelosi to block a final vote on the resolution, there will still be a roll call on whether to block that vote. In other words, every member of Congress will either be on record supporting a vote on what to do about Rangel — or they will be on record covering up for him. If Democrats facing tough re-elections flee party leadership and vote against Rangel, it will be embarrassing for Pelosi and could prove crippling for Rangel. But if they support him, the lawmakers will go home to increasingly distrustful voters asking why they insist on covering up for the nation's top tax-writer who skips on his own taxes.
Nice little pincer movement there, guys. Perhaps there is some point to Congress, after all.
10 — Signoff. There you have it, listeners, our first broadcast of October. The leaves are turning, there's a chill in the air, little woodland creatures are running around storing up nuts for the winter, and Michael Moore has a new movie out. [Scream.] I'm off to the Singularity Summit, hoping to learn whether human nature will disappear into a black hole around the middle of this century.
Start unpacking those winter woolies, and tune in again next week for another dose of Radio Derb.
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]