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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. [Party noises.] Yes, the girls are back. Those were the mellifluous tones of my research assistants Many, Candy, and Brandy. We are in fact together here in London, reunited after many alarums and excursions.
You will recall that last week I was just setting out for Turkmenistan in hopes of negotiating the return of my omni-capable research assistants, whom I had loaned to President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to assist in a research project he was undertaking.
Imagine my surprise on arriving at the presidential palace in Ashgabat, the famous Plaid House, on learning that the research project was finished long ago. The girls were being held against their will in a sumptuously appointed but heavily-guarded wing of the palace, apparently awaiting forced marriages to President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov's three favorite nephews: Turbanguly, Shmurbanguly, and Deshawn.
When I confronted President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and charged him with deception, I am sorry to say he got quite snippy. My command of the noble Turkmen language is not all it could be, and the interpreter seemed to leave out a great deal, but I did catch one narrative thread on the subject of boogely-googely, a traditional Turkmen pastime of the billiards family, played on a tabletop with small spheres fashioned from the horns of the Turkmen mountain goat. As President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov expressed himself, the essential implements of the game were apparently to be extracted from me in some fashion, I didn't quite catch that part.
Well, never let it be said that the Derbyshires lack resourcefulness when stuck in a tight spot. While President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov was delivering his annual 18-hour speech to the Turkmen Youth League at the national sports stadium, I spirited the girls out of the palace in burkas. We acquired some amenable donkeys, and in no time were at the shores of the Caspian, whence we proceeded across the Caucasus and Russia to London.
In short, a very adventurous week. The girls are quite flushed with excitement. They have apples in their cheeks. Relations with Turkmenistan may be somewhat fraught for a while, but I trust the adroit diplomats of our State Department to pour oil on the troubled waters over there. I have already had a telephone conversation with Mrs Clinton, who assures me that all will be taken care of.
And we have arrived in London just in time for the Royal Wedding! This is of course the nation of my birth, so thanks to some longstanding personal connections in the House of Windsor, I have been able to secure a job as commentator on these momentous events. Radio Derb will be discussing the other news of course, as usual, but from time to time in this broadcast we shall break off to follow the royal procession as it wends its way round the magnificent old sights of Central London.
Let's begin, then, with all good wishes to the royal couple. Or actually, in proper protocol, I should say the soon-to-be-royal couple, as Ms Middleton does not officially become royal until later, when the Ladies of the Bedchamber have signed the appropriate affidavits.
This is, though, the monarchical ideal: the nobility reaching down into the lower social orders to fortify the gene pool. As Jeeves had occasion to remark to Bertie Wooster when Bertie's aristocratic uncle married a barmaid, quote: [Clip: Jeeves, "Sturdy lower middle class stock, Sir, …"]
02 — Ron Paul announces. Big political news of the week is Ron Paul announcing for the GOP nomination in '012, or at any rate announcing one of those "exploratory" thingumajigs. It's plain that he is seriously considering a run.
You can count me a Ron Paul fan. I had the pleasure of voting for him in the New York primary back in '08. And if Paul was a good candidate in the fiscal circumstances of '08, he's an even better one today, when the gross incontinent extravagance of the federal government is plain for all to see, and is obviously killing off our liberty and prosperity.
The problem with Paul has always been his libertarianism. I'm not going to mince words here: I think libertarians are nuts. Mildly nuts, but nuts.
Libertarianism is a universalist ideology, like Marxist socialism. It embraces the whole of humanity, the whole world. It scoffs at the idea of the nation-state and argues for completely free movement of peoples.
If you challenge a libertarian on that and argue the free movement of people would result in prosperous and successful nations being swamped by people from poor failed nations, he replies: "Think of all the great new restaurants we'd have!" If you tell him that it would result in people from nations with no welfare state flooding into nations that have welfare states, he'll tell you that the welfare state is a really bad idea and we should get rid of it. Lotsa luck with that.
This loopy universalist aspect of libertarianism is very off-putting. It's also distressing, as libertarians are right about so many other things, things to do with personal liberty and the scope of state power.
Dr Paul hasn't avoided the loopiness altogether. However, when he was on the campaign trail in '08 he showed some signs of being aware that he needed to keep the loopier aspects of libertarianism at arm's length.
He took a stand for national sovereignty, for example. He said he understood that the actual alternative to national sovereignty is handing over control of our affairs to inter-national authorities like the U.N. He called for enforcement of immigration laws. He wanted illegals deported, birthright citizenship dropped, and a return to the requirement that immigrants not be a public charge.
This was my dream candidate — a non-crazy libertarian!
How about today? Well, if voting for Ron Paul seemed a bit quixotic three years ago, it looks much less so now. He is the only candidate who's spoken out consistently, for years now — for decades — against wanton government spending. He's the only candidate asking why we still have 50,000 troops in Iraq eight years on, 28,000 in Korea 58 years on, and 52,000 in Germany 66 years on. He's the only one asking why we have a government agency empowered to buy bonds issued by another government agency when no-one else wants them.
He's the only one asking why, in a lush and fertile nation with the world's most advanced agricultural technology, 43 million citizens are on food stamps; or why we have surrendered so much of our national autonomy to international organizations; or why we need a federal Department of Education; or how the Commerce Clause ever got interpreted so widely as to allow the feds to do anything they feel like doing; or why we are paying ballooning costs for a health-care system that, by first world standards, isn't very good.
In short, Paul asks the questions I ask here on Radio Derb. He wants to return us to our tradition of individual liberty, self-support, and frugal, minimal government adhering strictly to the Constitution. Why anyone would be against those things, I don't understand. I'm for them.
On the National Question, however, Paul seems to have slid back into classic libertarian one-worldism. In his latest book, Liberty Defined, his comments on National Question issues seem to be trying for the Newt Gingrich Hispandering award. Key quote:
Many claim that illegal immigrants take American jobs. This is true, but most of the jobs they "take" are the ones unemployed Americans refuse at the wage offered.
There you see libertarian loopiness naked and proud. The proper wage for any kind of job is the wage that someone, somewhere in the world, will accept. A goatherd from Ethiopia, a paddy farmer from Vietnam, a North Korean refugee — let's bid down all labor to the lowest possible level.
Now, I don't say there may not be a sort of Aristotelian case for this on the basis of ethereal pure reason, but I do say, and I defy you to contradict me, that if you go out on the campaign trail with that as one of your platform planks, you won't be getting votes from too many working Americans.
So I'm disappointed in Dr Paul. After all these years saying so many of the right things, things that are just now dawning on large sections of the American public, here he is recycling all the most threadbare clichés of the open-borders nitwits.
It's a shame. I was gearing up to vote for the guy again. Oh well; we still have Michele Bachmann.
Royal Wedding intermission. We have just heard that the ceremony is complete and the royal couple have emerged from the Grand Mosque, formerly known as Westminster Abbey. They are mounting the Royal carriage to lusty cheers from bystanders, and will now proceed in the direction of Parliament Square on their way to Buckingham Palace. More shortly.
03 — Obama's birth certificate. Other big news of the week was the President's release of his birth certificate at last, under prodding from Donald Trump.
A number of points arise. One is that all the Obamarrhoids in the media have been lying to us for three years. How many times have you heard them say: "He has released his birth certificate. It's on the internet. Go look, ya moron."
Turns out they were all lying. What was on the internet was just a Certificate of Live Birth. The actual original birth certificate is the one just released. Mainstream media lefties lying through their teeth to us — who woulda thunk it?
Then there's the contempt Obama has for us, the American people. It's a small thing, to release your birth certificate into the public sphere, a little courtesy to the people whose votes you're seeking, but for three years Obama wouldn't do it.
There are all sorts of guesses as to why, the most popular one among the wonks being that the Birthers were too useful to him, making it easier for him to say that people not on his side were all nutty. I suppose from a point of view of cold political calculation you could say that was strategically smart, but it does come with a sneer, doesn't it?
And now the Left is calling Donald Trump a racist. Why? Because he addressed Obama forcefully, as one citizen to another, asking him why he wasn't fulfilling an elementary courtesy to the American people.
That's not how you're supposed to deal with Obama. That's not how you're supposed to confront him. In fact you're not supposed to confront him at all, on anything. It's not nice. Why not? Because he's special, so special, by no means to be treated as an equal.
Why is Obama special? See if you can figure it out.
Now Trump is asking to see Obama's college record. That, too, seems to me perfectly reasonable. It's an even hotter potato than the birth certificate, though. Obama undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action. We know he did because he told us so in the New York Times, August 3rd 2008, story headline "Delicate Obama Path on Class and Race Preferences," second paragraph, quote:
Mr Obama said he had "undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action" in his own academic career.
This in spite of the fact that he was raised in a prosperous middle-class family and none of his ancestors was a slave. Indeed, his father's people, the Luo of Kenya, were slave-holders until the British cured them of the habit.
Now, we all know about affirmative action. It's widely disliked, though, and goes against the grain of American traditions of fairness.
Here's a Quinnipiac poll from May-June 2009, question:
Do you think affirmative action programs that give preferences to blacks and other minorities in hiring, promotions and college admissions should be continued, or do you think these affirmative action programs should be abolished?
The poll found 55 percent favoring abolition. Among Republicans it was 73 percent; independents, 63.
So this is a touchy subject for national-level politicians. They dare not speak against affirmative action because they know the media lefties will jump all over them as "racist." On the other hand they know that Americans in general dislike it. Under these circumstances, their strong preference is that citizens not think about it, and definitely should not know too much about the details of affirmative action.
If Obama's college records are released — records which, on his own testimony to the New York Times, will show how he benefited from affirmative action — suddenly we'll all be thinking about it. Some of us might even start looking into the sausage machine itself, into the actual day-to-day mechanisms of affirmative action. Those who do so will be horrified by the scale of the thing, and the dishonesty with which it is practiced and promoted.
(If you want to follow up on this there's a good book I'll recommend: Steven Farron's The Affirmative Action Hoax, which lays it all bare.)
As the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court said recently, "the way to stop discriminating by race is to stop disciminating by race." That, of course, is the last thing the social engineers and sowers of discord want. Keeping the blanket on real understanding of affirmative action is a key part of their strategy. No, we won't be seeing Obama's college records.
I got through that whole segment without congratulating Donald Trump for his audacity and fearlessness. Thank you, Sir. You're not my candidate, but I wish you well in the race. Anyone so hated by establishment Republicanism— you know, the establishment Republicanism that gave us Bob Dole and John McCain — anyone hated by that crowd of clueless seat-warmers must be doing something right.
Royal Wedding intermission. Here we are back at the royal wedding procession. Cheering crowds are lining the streets all along the route, a heart-warming sight. The royal carriage has just passed the Houses of Parliament — or, as we reporters are supposed to refer to it nowadays, EU Branch Office No. 17. The members of parliament are lined up in front of the building, waving their stock option certificates and EuroRail passes in the time-honored traditional manner.
04 — Bernanke gives a presser. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a presser, his first ever I think.
Bottom lines: No QE3 when QE2 comes to an end June 30. QE3 won't be needed, says Ben, because we'll be further into recovery by then. Uh-huh. Also, he's going to keep the cheap money coming via super-low interest rates. Great … unless you're retired and living off interest, or worried about inflation.
But why should anybody worry about inflation? Bernanke sure doesn't. He allowed that food and gas price inflation will continue, but he said there's nothing he can do about it. Quote: "The Fed can't create oil."
What about the sliding dollar, making imports more expensive? Oh, that's the province of the Treasury Department, says Ben. Nothing he can control.
He sounded like the Puerto Rican janitor: "Eez not my yob." He left us all wondering why we need him. Perhaps Ron Paul's right: we don't.
Bernanke's contribution to the nation's fiscal health may in fact be negative: The dollar fell 1.5 percent against gold just while he was speaking.
Oh, and that recovery he's banking on? Within hours of Bernanke's presser we learned that first quarter growth was a lousy 0.4 percent.
You may complain that I was a wee bit unfair to Ben there on inflation. He did after all say, quote: "We've got to keep inflation under control." Actions speak louder than words, though. This is the guy who bought five billion dollars worth of his own government's bonds just this last week. In fact, quote:
The Fed will continue expanding its holdings of securities.
The phrase "expanding its holdings of securities" is Fedsperanto for "printing more money." How does that square with "We've got to keep inflation under control"? You're not supposed to ask.
"Bernanke plans three more press conferences this year," we're told. I refer Mr Bernanke to Proverbs, Chapter 26, Verse 11, quote:
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
Royal Wedding intermission. Now the royal carriage is well on its way down Whitehall, just passing the Treasury building, looking rather deserted and folorn, I'm afraid, because, as with our own Treasury building in Washington, D.C., there is nothing in there. Oh no, not quite nothing: I think I just saw a bat fly out from one of the upper windows.
05 — Devastation in the southeast. The southeast of our country has been devastated by storms, tornados, and now floods. As Radio Derb goes to tape the death toll is nudging three hundred, with of course billions in material losses and uncomputable amounts in losses of treasured mementoes and objects.
There isn't a lot the political commentator can say about natural disasters, except to urge his listeners to help their fellow citizens who have been afflicted, in a spirit of patriotic solidarity. If you belong to a school or church group that is sending relief, make a contribution. If not, just Google "tornado relief," and you'll find plenty of organizations you can volunteer for or send money to.
I just did that and I see Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton are organizing a relief concert in Durant, Oklahoma, May 26th. That would be a great thing to go to if you can make it. I'll confess I haven't kept up with country music and have only the foggiest notion who Blake Shelton is, but I've been listening to young Reba for a long time. She's a good-hearted girl, a real American star, and this is just the kind of thing she'd do. Good luck to her and Blake, and to everyone who's helping down there.
I see Talladega speedway, where I once spent a fun day out, has also contributed $100,000. Thanks from Radio Derb to them, and to everyone else trying to help, and of course condolences to those who've lost loved ones, their homes, and their livelihoods.
And come on, Radio Derb listeners: I can't imagine there's many of you who'd miss a couple of hundred bucks. Google "tornado relief" and help your fellow citizens.
Royal Wedding intermission. The royal carriage is still in Whitehall, now passing the majestic old buildings of what in my childhood was called the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, now known officially as Diversity Central. An Afro-Caribbean steel band is playing in the portico, to the enthusiastic pleasure of the bystanders …
No, wait a minute, there seems to be a spot of bother. Could you hand me the field glasses, Mandy … Ah, I see. Right next to the steel band there was a demonstration by an organization called WART, which stands for Windsors Are Racist Toffs, who agitated unsuccessfully for Prince William to marry a person of color. And yes, I'm sorry to say fighting has broken out … The steel band players are attacking with fists and drumsticks … [gunshots] now there are gunshots …
What a shame to spoil such a festive occasion with rancor. I'm glad to say the royal couple are well out of gunshot range now. It would of course be a tragedy if either of them were to be wounded; although if our diversity becomes a casualty, that would be worse …
06 — Alan Hevesi's pension (cont.) If, in defiance of all the gremlins, you managed to catch last week's Radio Derb, you heard me whining about 71-year-old Alan Hevesi, formerly State Comptroller of New York State, and before that City Comptroller of New York City. A Comptroller is a sort of chief auditor.
Mr Hevesi got caught with his fingers in the till and last week began serving one to four in an upstate correctional facility.
The scandal is that Hevesi, in spite of his multiple malefactions, will be collecting his pensions regardless: $105 thousand-plus dollars from the state employee retirement system and $55 thousand-plus from the state teachers' retirement system. Total $161,283.
An odd thing there, as I pointed out last week, was that I could find no record of Mr Hevesi ever having been a teacher. Well, a listener has emailed in to enlighten me. Quote from his email:
Well, thank you, Sir. I'd say that that is breathtaking, except that in the matter of public employee pension and retirement boondoggles, I no longer have any breath left to take. A $55 thousand pension from the state teachers' retirement system, without ever having taught a class! And a fat annuity to boot!
Once again, folk: Get a Government Job!
Royal Wedding intermission. The royal carriage has made the turn towards Buckingham Palace and is proceeding along the Mall, past St James Park. The park has, as perhaps you have read in the newspapers, been taken over by Romanian Gypsies … and in fact I can make out a small party of them there under the trees barbecuing one of the royal swans in their colorful Gypsy style. And what's this … something's happening there … Oh, that's very touching: A little girl has emerged from the Gypsy encampment to offer a bouquet of flowers to the new princess. How perfectly charming!
The royal carriage has stopped, the little girl has executed a perfect curtsey, and Princess Kate is joyfully waving the bouquet of flowers for the spectators to see. People are cheering … but now there seems to be some kind of problem, the royal carriage is not moving. Let me see if I can find out what's going on there. Hold on … something coming in through my earpiece … yes … yes … I see … OK.
Unfortunately what seems to have happened is that while the royal carriage was stopped, the Romanian Gypsies stole its wheels. Now we have to wait for new wheels to be delivered and fixed in place. Nothing to worry about … a beautiful day here in London town …
07 — Carter calls for aid to North Korea. Our 39th President went to North Korea and all he brought back was this lousy T-shirt. What does it say? Human Rights Abuses in North Korea, that's what
Hold on there a minute. The 39th President … that would be Jimmy Carter, wouldn't it? — fawning friend of gangster regimes everywhere, Carter's talking about human rights abuses in North Korea? I mean, all of us — everyone but Jimmy Carter — know that North Korea is a hell on earth, with no economy, a vast complex of slave-labor camps whose inmates are worked or beaten to death, an arrogant, pampered ruling elite that savagely suppresses all dissent, regular famines seeing off hundreds of thousands of people, and international pariah status due to their inclination to sink other countries' ships any time they want to draw attention to themselves.
Well, I mis-spoke slightly. What Jimmy Carter actually said on his return from a three-day private visit to Pyongyang was that the U.S.A. and South Korea are committing human rights violations against North Korea.
Ah, that's more like it. That's the Jimmy Carter we know and loathe. North Korea would never violate a single human right — perish the thought. It's those callous imperialists in Seoul and Washington D.C. who are violating human rights.
Speaking in Seoul after leaving the North, Carter also passed to the South Korean leadership a note from Kim Jong-il himself. In the note, Kim confessed that he was ronery, so ronery, and said North Korea was willing to hold unconditional talks with South Korea at any time.
Once again, the guy who was once the leader of the free world is apparently the only person on earth who gives any credence to Kim Jong-il's pronouncements. Fool us once, shame on Kim; fool us twice, shame on us; fool us three times a year since 1994, shame on Jimmy Carter.
It's a very sad fact, which we have spent twenty years learning, that any kind of aid to North Korea just strengthens the regime and prolongs the agony of the North Korean people.
The food situation is very dire, and has been for years. Here's a refugee just escaped from North Korea, interviewed last September by BBC China correspondent Damian Grammaticas, quote:
We don't ask to wear good clothes, to dance or play. We only want full stomachs. But every day we wake up and our first thought is "How are we going to get some food for breakfast?" Then "How are we going to get something for dinner?" Living like that makes people go crazy. Just brush against someone in the street and they will start fighting you. In their hearts everyone knows we live like dogs. But no-one can say it out loud.
You can be sure Jimmy Carter knows nothing of that; or if he knows, he doesn't care. He is so filled with hatred of the nation that rejected him at the ballot box in 1980, there is no room in his vain, shriveled heart for any other negative emotion.
If you are moved by the dreadful plight of North Koreans, find a way to contribute through private funds, if you can locate one. The evangelical group World Vision is about as good as it gets, with no more than one third of their funds coming from governments. Even then, resign yourself to the fact that your donation may end up feeding Kim's military, or his nuclear physicists, or his own pudgy family.
As a matter of national policy, we should give North Korea nothing — not a nickel, not a beansprout. Kim is sick and the regime is unstable. Let it fall, the sooner the better.
And Jimmy Carter, if you hate your own country so much, go find somewhere else to live.
Royal Wedding intermission. I'm glad to say the royal carriage is on the move again with replacement wheels, within sight of Buckingham Palace now, just passing Clarence house, official residence of the Prince of Wales … Oh, no, my earpiece is telling me I'm out of date. The Prince of Wales has moved out and Clarence House is now officially known as the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, Two-Spirited, Polyamorous, Intersex, Asexual, Undecided, and Zoophilic Outreach Centre.
There seems to be some kind of welcoming show being put on there, too … the field glasses, please, Mandy? Thank you. Yes, a big crowd has come out of the GLBTQTSPIAUZO Centre, most colorfully attired, and in fact in some cases hardly attired at all. Aren't they cold? Oh yes, I see they are cold … and … what are they doing up on that float there? … Oh my goodness. Well, that doesn't really seem appropriate … I do hope our new princess did not see that.
08 — Signoff. The royal couple arrived at Buckingham Palace a few moments ago and we're just watching for them to appear on the balcony there.
My own heart is overflowing with nostalgia at seeing Buck House once more. I recollect the many happy hours I've spent there in years gone by, playing cribbage with Betty and Phil in the small drawing room, coaching Princess Di through her marital responsibilities, or helping the dear old departed Queen Mother up the stairs after her second firkin of gin. Good times, good times.
Oh, here comes the royal couple. They're out on the balcony … they're waving joyously to the crowd. We're all waiting for the moment when they kiss there on the balcony, and hoping that this time the prince will connect on the first attempt. It is so embarrassing when one has to keep trying.
Yes, it looks as if … wait a minute, no … Kate is leaning over the balcony busy with something … she seems to be unfurling something … William's looking puzzled, obviously this is unscheduled … yes, Kate is unfurling a banner, a long banner, her mother seems to have hold of the other end further along. Hard to make out the words at this distance, but I think what it says is … yes, it says Mission Accomplished.
[Music clip: The Broadside Band, "Rule Britannia."]