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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Okay, that was one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches and this is John Derbyshire with Radio Derb. We Derbyshires do indeed march, and usually to a different drummer.
On with the show!
|02 — Advice to W from Kipling. What on earth are we going to do with George
W Bush? It's now clear that what our mothers told us was right: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Bush 43 is morphing into Bush 41 before our
He only has to cut a tax raising budget deal with Congress and we're right back to 1991, Iraq war and all. Except of course that W doesn't need to cut any budget deals with Congress as he's right in line with their budget priorities: cut taxes while spending like drunken sailors.
It's hard to dislike George W Bush personally unless you have that hate-Bush gene that seems to define American liberalism nowadays; and I think there's still a lot of goodwill out there towards him among conservatives. As Rudyard Kipling pointed out:
… beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
You're still beautiful George, and we still love you; but our rations are getting cold and we soldiers of the right can't march on love.
|03 — Harriet Miers not ornery enough. Is
Harriet Miers a bad pick for the Supreme Court? I
don't see how she could be any worse.
What's that you say? She's a devout Christian? So is Jimmy Carter. You want him on the Supreme Court?
She's a conservative? Heck, she's from Texas, where pretty much everyone is some kind of conservative, even Democrats. So all we really know about her is that she's a go-alonger. Who's she going to go along with on the Supreme Court?
You want to tell me she's a really nice person? Well, that disqualifies her right there. As I pointed out at the time of the John Roberts nomination, my case against Roberts was that I feared he might be too nice, and liberals eat nice for breakfast.
The whole point of liberalism is to present itself as codified, intellectualized niceness. It's nice to give welfare to unmarried mothers so their poor little kids won't go hungry. It's nice to have set-aside slots for African Americans at elite colleges after the beastly way our ancestors treated their ancestors. It's nice to spend exactly the same funds on college sports for women as for men.
When the liberals open up those sluices and the tide of niceness sludge comes oozing down towards you, you need a strong backbone and a good streak of ornery to stand up against it.
I flunk Harriet Miers on orneriness. She won't to. She's too nice.
|04 — Special Forces dolphins. You heard the story. The US Navy has been
training dolphins to identify terrorist scuba divers and attack them by firing toxic darts. Three dozen of these armed and dangerous dolphins,
normally kept in a facility near Lake Ponchartrain, were washed out into the Gulf of Mexico by Hurricane Katrina and are still at large. If you plan
to go scuba diving off the Gulf coast any time soon, be very, very alert.
Unfortunately, like so many of the best news stories, this one is pure fiction.
The navy does train dolphins, but only in observation duties. Some domesticated dolphins were indeed swept out of a Gulfport, Mississippi aquarium tank, but none was armed with toxic darts and all have been recovered.
What is it with the human thirst for sensation? Isn't a hurricane exciting enough without the need to make our flesh creep by cooking up these bogus extra nightmares?
The ultimate source here seems to be a British weekly newspaper, the Observer part of the Guardian media group, which has a strongly left-wing editorial line. Wouldn't you know it.
|05 — Barbra does climatology. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, coming as they
did one after the other, are proof that our planet has entered an epoch of global warming emergency.
Says who? Says world-renowned climatologists and seer Barbra Streisand. In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer Ms Streisand instructed us that, quote: "We are in a global warming emergency state and these storms are going to become more frequent, more intense. There could be more droughts, dust bowls." End quote.
Wow. Just like the 1930s, when the federal government expanded its powers to deal with the crisis and the left intelligentsia came into its own.
The looming catastrophe is of course George W Bush's fault. Quote: "I mean, for the United States not to be part of the Kyoto treaty is unforgivable," raved Ms Streisand.
For a second opinion ABC brought in National Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield, who explained that these things are all cyclical. Quote from him: "We'll have a few decades of really active hurricanes and then inactive periods, followed by active periods again. This activity that we're in can be explained without invoking global warming." End quote.
But heck, what does he know? He's only a meteorologist.
|06 — Miss Tibet crowned. Twenty-two-year-old Tenzin Nyima was crowned Miss
Tibet this weekend. It wasn't an unexpected win as she was, in fact, the only contestant.
This happened not in Tibet, you see, but in India, among the Tibetan exile community. The Dalai Lama and his followers fled Tibet in 1959 after the failure of an uprising against the ChiComs. The refugees settled in Dharamshala, an old British hill station — it was formally called Macleod Ganj — in the Indian foothills of the Himalayas, and there the Tibetan exiles remain, keeping the traditional culture of their nation alive as best they can.
That culture is apparently not hospitable to beauty pageants, though. For four years now, attempts to organize a Miss Tibet pageant have foundered on the rocks of Buddhist conservatism, with particular hostility directed at the swimsuit round of the pageant.
Under the pressure of disapproval by the clerical establishment, seven of this year's eight original contestants pulled out of the competition, leaving only Tenzin Nyima still determined to display her Himalayan charms.
I offer this lady my sincere congratulations and urge her to wear her tinsel crown with pride.
Conservatism is a very fine thing, but it is not threatened by a little harmless commercial kitsch, not even on the Roof of the World.
|07 — National Review's 50th birthday party. National
Review is fifty years old and, as you probably heard, we had a party to celebrate. It was a Grand party.
Father Rutler gave the blessing and added a wise cautionary note to the American conservative movement in the context of the long fight to vanquish the U.S.S.R. and push back domestic liberalism. Father Rutler quoted the words that Livy put into the mouth of one of Hannibal's generals: "Vincere scis Hannibal victoria uti nescis" — You know how to win, but you don't know how to use your victory.
But that's enough about the Harriet Miers business …
|08 — China in space. By the time you hear this China's second man's space
flight will probably be on the way, with two astronauts in orbit for five days.
As it happens, this year, China commemorates the 600th anniversary of the voyages of the legendary Chinese Admiral Zheng He, who explored the Pacific and Indian Oceans nearly a hundred years years before Christopher Columbus sailed the Atlantic.
Admiral Zheng's voyages were a one off national prestige thing that led nowhere. No colonies were planted, no cities were founded, no permanent trade routes were established, and no widespread interest was excited among Chinese intellectuals about strange people in distant lands.
Pretty much like the U.S. manned space program, it was all a huge waste of government money. Now the Chinese look set to do it all over again.
Well, it's their money. Better they should be spending it on dumb national-prestige projects than on aircraft carriers.
|09 — Piglet banned in Dudley. A news item here from the land of my
birth — from in fact the town where
one of my grandparents was born,
the fine old town of Dudley in Worcestershire.
What's happened to Dudley? Well, the town council has ordered that all pig-related items — including toys, porcelain figures, calendars, and even tissue boxes featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet — all these pig-related items must be removed from council offices because they offend the sensibilities of local Muslims.
Muslims don't like pigs, you see. Muslim moms don't amuse little Muslim babies by counting off their toes with "this little piggy went to market," etc. It's more likely "this little martyr went to jihad," or something like that. I don't know.
Anyway, the good counselors of Dudley are determined not to offend any Muslim who might stray into the town hall and find himself confronted by a picture of Piglet on a box of Kleenex.
Do you ever find yourself wondering if you will ever, ever, ever read a new story about Muslims in some Muslim country somewhere displaying this kind of exaggerated sensitivity towards Christians or Jews?
My advice would be, don't hold your breath.
|10 — Immigration: more illegals than legals. For the first time in U.S.
history, the number of illegal immigrants coming into this country now exceeds the number of legal ones.
The Pew Hispanic center has estimated the 2004 numbers as 455,000 legal and 562,000 illegal. That second number reinforces an illegal population already here that officially numbers eleven million but could be much larger.
Legal immigration has slowed because of tighter security following 9/11 and a national economy less attractive and less labor-hungry than it was in the boom years of the 1990s. Nothing slows down the flow of illegals, though: certainly not any action by the federal government, which continues to neglect its enforcement obligations disgracefully.
If we want an orderly immigration system, we must look to the U.S. Congress, which has five major bills on the subject before it. I hope our Senators and Representatives will give these bills their full attention, and I hope they'll give preference to those that will drain the swamp of unlawful employment by enforcing employee verification and employer sanctions.
Bills that would award amnesty to scofflaws, however skilfully disguised the amnesty is, should be rejected.
|11 — Signoff. That's all from the passing charivari this week,guys and
Now, just for change, I thought that instead of the usual Haydn clip, I'd sing out this week's Radio Derb myself with a song of my own composition.
Since, like all good immigrants I'm trying hard to be an American, this song is in a fine old American genre, namely the Blues. I don't guarantee success and I can't afford an accompanist, so you'll have to take this as it comes, a capella.
Here goes then with the George W. Bush Second Term Blues.
[Derb singing.] Well, I woke up this mornin' with a nomination to declare. (Oh yeah)
Oh yes I woke up this mornin' and stepped into the TV cameras' glare (Yes I did)
I gave then Harriet Miers. They said, "George, she ain't goin' nowhere." (That woman's goin' nowhere)