»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Monday, November 1st, 2004


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01 — Intro.     Yes, my fellow Americans: time once again for news of the day from Radio Derb, brought to you from the glittering towers of National Review world headquarters here in New York. This is John Derbyshire. Let's see what's been happening in the world.


02 — Trial Lawyers influence influenza.     Coming up to flu season, the nation is suffering a shortage of flu vaccine. Why? Because manufacturing flu vaccine is a risky business with no profits in it, so drug companies have mostly stopped doing it.

Why is vaccine-making risky and low profit? Why do you think? Government regulation and out-of-control trial lawyers.

That's why, and John Kerry's answer to this is what? To elect the party that favors more government regulation and has a trial lawyer on the Vice Presidential ticket. Yeah, right. John


03 — Nothing succeeds like failure.     Those who can, do; those who can't, teach. This venerable adage was illustrated yet again this week when former CIA director George Tenet was given a professorship in diplomatic studies at Georgetown University.

A lot of us think that George should have been reduced to the ranks, kitted out with desert fatigues and a survival kit, and then air-dropped into eastern Afghanistan to do some serious field work.

In politics, though, nothing succeeds like failure. Oh, you were looking the other way when al Qaeda was setting up its U.S. operation? You told the administration that Saddam Hussein had weapons that he did not in fact have? You told them it would take five years to get some decent intelligence operations going?

No worries. There's a nice well-paid academic position waiting for you, so you can teach the cream of the nation's youth to be just as useless and incompetent as you are.

It is, you might say, a slam dunk.


04 — It's a living.     There's a rap singer who travels under the nom de rap KRS-One, but whose actual name is Chris Parker. Mr Parker admits to having cheered when the World Trade Center went down. He doesn't just admit it, in fact: he declares that he's proud of it.

Here's his explanation. Before the attacks, according to Mr Parker, security guards kept black people like himself out of the Towers because, quote, "of the way we talk and dress."

Later in the event — this was some kind of panel discussion run by the New Yorker — Mr Parker sneered at efforts by other rappers to get people to vote. "Voting in a corrupt society just adds more corruption," he said. "America has to commit suicide if the world is to be a better place."

The thing that baffles me that people like this is, if they hate America so much and are so scornful of efforts to improve it, what don't they go live somewhere else?

Surely Mr Parker would be more happy in, say, Zimbabwe or North Korea. Of course, he might not be able to get rich selling garbage to teenagers in those places. He might not find so many opportunities to scandalize Whitey either.


05 — Being who you were.     Do you think homosexuality is a choice? Bob Schieffer asked the candidates in the third presidential debate.

Thus given an opening to launch into metaphysical speculation, John Kerry grabbed it. "We're all God's children," he started out.

Well, yes we are, but this doesn't actually get us very far along with the question. St Francis of Assisi, Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa — er, I mean the Albanian nun, not Mrs Kerry — were all God's children. So, unfortunately were Bluebeard, Stalin, and Saddam Hussein.

Hmm. Still, some of us settled back happily in our chairs at this point looking forward to some nice knotty theological points to chew on. Instead, we got this.

"I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was. She's being who she was born as."

Now, even allowing for the weird grammar — nevermind who she was, how about who she is? — this is wellnigh content free. Does the Senator mind Ms Cheney being who she is, or was, or what? Does he think she should be able to get married to a likeminded person of the female persuasion? We were left very little wiser.

What was really going on here was John Kerry making an urgent little plea for the anti-same-sex-marriage vote. Key elements of the Democratic coalition, notably African Americans and old people, don't like the idea of same-sex marriage a bit and are defecting to Bush or planning to stay home on election day.

Kerry's remark in translation means. See: the Republicans are just as gay-friendly as we are, so there's really no point you switching your vote.


06 — Mature democracy, zzzzz …     [Clip:  Elephant trumpeting.] Would somebody get that thing out of here?… Thank you.

It may have occurred to you as it has to me during the past few weeks that mature democracy can be a pretty dull affair. Democracy is much more fun when it's just starting up. Think of those fist-fights in the Taiwan Senate chamber.

Here's another example. They're having a presidential election in the Ukraine and one of the candidates is a Mister — or Comrade or however it goes in the Ukraine nowadays — Viktor Yanukovych. To induce citizens to vote for him, Mr Yanukovych's supporters have organized free striptease shows at a bar in downtown Donetsk.

Said one of the organizers: "We hope the voters will remember who gave them this show for free when they go to the ballot box.

You bet they will. Meanwhile, in our own drab, dull, politically correct, and mature democracy, all we get from our candidates is bumper stickers and lapel pins.

Come on, guys. Where's the harm in offering us a lap dance?


07 — Welcome to America!     The Department of Homeland Security is investigating an intelligence report that a band of Chechen terrorists with links to Islamofascist groups snuck into the U.S. across the Mexican border back in July.

The Chechen terrorists, just to remind you, are the guys who took over a school in the Caucasus last month and blew up a bunch of schoolkids and teachers.

But, heck, we all know that people only crossed the border illegally so they can put food on their families or, how does it go? "match themselves up as willing workers to a willing employer." What's to worry about?


08 — Mrs Kerry's work ethic.     Teresa Heinz Kerry doubts that Laura Bush has ever had a real job "since …" — I'm quoting here — "since she's been grown up."

Mrs Kerry, by contrast, is a regular Rosie the Riveter who can be seen hopping on the commuter train into Boston at 8:00 any weekday morning … NOT.

Mrs Bush actually worked as a public-school teacher and librarian before getting married at age 31. Perhaps Mrs Kerry doesn't consider the first thirty years of life to qualify as "grown up."

Or perhaps she's just a ditzy rich broad who doesn't know what she's talking about.


09 — A is just as good as straight.     Are you ready for the latest lifestyle choice? Asexuality.

A study in England found that one percent of adults have never felt sexually attracted to anyone at all. The researchers think this is an underestimate, as asexuals are afraid of scorn and ridicule, and so many of them are not yet ready to come out of the … er, place where they practice their asexuality. Researchers think the true number of asexuals maybe as high three percent, which puts them in the same proportion as homosexuals.

The asexuals are organizing to with an "'a' pride" website and a campaign to raise awareness, and so on.

What next — demands for asexual marriage? But we already have that. It's called "marriage."


10 — Vote for Utopia.     John Edwards, the Democrats' Vice Presidential candidate, says that if we elect John Kerry and himself, the lame will walk, the blind will see, and lepers will be whole again.

Ah Yes. And everybody will have everything, without having to work for it. Just like in the Big Rock Candy Mountain! All together now:

[Sings.] Oh, the buzzin' of the bees in the cigarette trees,
The soda water fountain.
Where the lemonade springs and the bluebird sings
In that Big Rock Candy Mountain.


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