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[Music clip: from Carmen, Act 1 Prelude.]
[My voice] This is John Derbyshire with snippets of news from the last three or four weeks.
|02 — TSA profiles Ted. Edward M. Kennedy, a politician from Massachusetts,
found he was having trouble getting through airport security because a name similar to his appeared on the government's no fly list of terrorist
You've got to wonder what name similar to "Edward M. Kennedy" is on the terrorist watch list. Achmed al Qaeda-ny?
My own guess is that the folks at Homeland Security, under pressure to add a little diversity to their watch lists, have been throwing in a few names of IRA men, Basque separatists, Red Brigades, and the like.
While I personally have no problem whatsoever with the notion of Gerry Adams getting a full cavity search on his next visit to these shores, I can't help wondering if it wouldn't be a better use of resources to concentrate on the guys with lots of Q's and apostrophes in their names.
|03 — Educating al Qaeda. The 9/11 Commission published its
report. The main recommendations were for more bureaucrats to be hired and for more of the nation's security costs and burdens to be dumped on private
businesses. Of course, nobody could possibly object to any of that.
Some of the Commission's other recommendations were more controversial. They came close to saying — they didn't actually say it, being politicians, but they came scarily close — that the federal government should enforce its own immigration laws, an idea that everyone knows to be scandalously racist.
They also proposed that we build schools and libraries in Muslim countries so that Muslim youth would be better informed about us.
This last proposal ignores a couple of facts. One, that the 9/11 hijackers all knew us very well indeed, having lived among us for some time. Two, that the experience of U.S. correctional institutions has been that if you build a big library wing onto your local prison, you do not end up turning criminals into law abiding citizens. You end up turning ignorant criminals into really well informed criminals.
|04 — V.P. Edwards: the silver lining. John Edwards promised a
West Virginia audience that a Kerry-Edwards administration would reduce annual healthcare premiums by a thousand dollars.
Given what his pals in the Trial Lawyers Association have done to the cost of hospital care in this country, Edwards has a lot of nerve. He himself, for example, made it his life's work to read the nation of obstetricians by suing them into extinction.
Still, let's look on the bright side. If Edwards gets to be Vice President, that'll be one less trial lawyer in Congress.
|05 — An award for John Kerry. Best selling nonfiction book on both the
New York Times and Washington Post book lists was
Unfit for Command by Swift
boat veteran John O'Neill, who claims that John Kerry is a big phony.
Kerry meanwhile was tugging our heartstrings with a story about being deep in Cambodia on Christmas Day, 1968, taking fire from the Khmer Rouge and listening incredulous to President Nixon on the radio saying that the US was not in Cambodia.
Turns out there are all sorts of things wrong with this story, not the least of them being that Richard Nixon was not actually President at Christmas 1968.
Whatever you may think of John Kerry, though, the Vietnamese Communist Party loves the guy. They have a Museum of the Revolution in Saigon. There, in between pictures of Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, Uncle Ho and Mao Tse-tung, is our John-boy.
I'm not going to pass judgment on whether or not Kerry deserved his three Purple Hearts and Bronze Star, but it seems to me to be a crying injustice that he didn't get an Order of Lenin.
|06 — Al Gore burns gas. Al Gore got a speeding ticket while driving a
rented car on a visit to relatives in Oregon. He was doing 75 in a 55 zone.
The trooper who stopped Gore said that he was polite throughout the encounter, except that he kept, you know, sighing real loud, shaking his head, and rolling his eyes.
|07 — Shiite priorities. The uncredentialed bogus cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
continues to control the sacred shrine of Imam Ali in the holy city of Najaf with the aid of his gangs of Kalashnikov-wielding teenage thugs.
The thing that baffles me is: Why aren't the world's 100 million or so Shiites mad as hell about this? It's their holy city and their sacred shrine. I know how I'd feel as an Anglican Christian if some gang of Cockney skinheads took over Canterbury Cathedral under the leadership of some 30-year-old guy who flunked Divinity school.
Why aren't the Shiites of the world marching on Najaf to save their shrine from these desecrators? Sure, they might get killed, but these people are supposed to embrace martyrdom, aren't they? Wouldn't it be a grand martyrdom to die saving your sacred shrine from desecration? So why aren't they marching?
But the answer, of course: Poking your finger in the infidel's eye trumps any amount of desecration. The Shiites of the world are sitting back chuckling with glee at the site of Mooky making a monkey out of Uncle Sam. The fact that his skinhead army is using the sacred precincts as a urinal is, comparatively speaking, of no consequence.
|08 — What's John Kerry's secret? In the current issue of the
magazineGQ John Kerry offers advice to the men of America in choosing a mate. Quote:
Look for what gets your heart — somehow excites you, turns you on. It's a woman who loves being a woman, who wears her womanhood, who knows how to flirt and have fun, smart, confident, and obviously sexy and saucy and challenging.
End quote. Yeah, yeah, but that's not what we want you to tell us, John. Let's cut to the chase here. How do you snaffle those super-rich broads?
|09 — Fighting crickets. Hong Kong police arrested 115 men for illegally
gambling on insect fights. Police seized about 300 crickets and $1,025 in cash during the bust, said police spokesman T.K. Ng.
Uh, that's a quote from a newspaper report. I can't wait till this glamorous new style of gambling makes it to Vegas.
Not that we really need insect fighting here in the U.S. — not while Congress is in session, anyway
|10 — Olympics: the main event. The Summer Olympics opened in Athens.
Swimmers swam, runners ran, jumpers jumped, and throwers threw.
And then there was beach volleyball, wellnigh the only event where there was not an empty seat to be seen in the spectator area.
It would be patronizing, demeaning, and outrageously sexist to suggest that the popularity of this event has anything to do with the fifteen bikini-clad cheerleaders who race onto the sand and shake their booties in between matches and during timeouts. I therefore will not suggest it.
|11 — Don't upset the Euroweenies! George W. Bush proposed to withdraw
large numbers of U.S. troops from, among other places, Germany, where they are stationed to defend a nation that dislikes us against an enemy nation
that no longer exists.
Two different Kerry spokesmen, Wes Clarke and Richard Holbrooke, hearing of this plan, both declared that it would weaken America's national security and anger European allies.
Ah, yes. Those dear European allies! Mustn't anger them, must we?
I understand of course, that in a presidential campaign anything one candidate proposes must be denounced by the other on some grounds or other, but this seems to be a real stretch even for the Kerry people.
[Music clip: more Carmen]