»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, May 19th, 2006


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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]

01 — Intro.     Once again, ladies and gentlemen, this is your genial host, John Derbyshire bringing you news from far and wide on Radio Derb. Without further ado, here's what's happening in the world.


02 — The insolence of W.     President Bush went on prime-time TV to address the nation on the topic of illegal immigrants.

He gave the unmistakable impression of a man who knows he has to address the issue, knows that people all over the country or steamed over it, knows that his own party in Congress is about to mutiny on it, but can't for the life of him understand why any of this is happening.

You can see the thoughts going through his head even as he speaks. Don't these folk know any Mexicans? Don't they know how cute and Friendly Mexicans are? Great servants and gardeners and chauffeurs and baby-minders they make? Maybe I should get my dear friend Vicente Fox to come and address Congress so they can see what a wonderful, warm, sincere human being he is.

If you were teaching the English language to foreigners you could use Monday night's TV address as a living definition of the phrase "not getting it."

Personally I can never see George W. Bush's face nowadays without thinking of Dr. Johnson's comment about Mrs Thrale: "Sir, the insolence of wealth will creep out." Yes, it will, and it does.


03 — Guest-worker programs rock!     Meanwhile, Congress deliberated masses of new laws to govern the rights and treatment of immigrants.

Never mind that we already have a slew of laws that the executive doesn't feel inclined to enforce. Let's have a few dozen more!

So we're going to get a guest worker program. Nobody seems to have noticed that we already have one. In fact, if the U.S.A. did not already have a guest worker program, I wouldn't be here, because it was as a guest worker that I arrived on these shores back in 1985.

To be precise, I came on an H-1B visa, which is defined by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services as, quote, "specialty occupations, Department of Defense workers, and fashion models." I should like to make it plain that I was not and have never been a fashion model.

[Added when archiving (2018):  Not quite right. I first entered on an H-1 visa; it only speciated into H-1B and H-1C later. See here.]

Other H visa categories are H-1C, "nurses going to work for up to three years in health professional shortage areas"; H-2A, "temporary agricultural worker"; H-2B, "temporary worker, skilled and unskilled"; H-3, "trainee"; and H-4, "spouse or child of H-1, H-2, or H-3."

So you see a immigration rules already have plenty of programs for temporary workers and their families. My H-1B visa entitled me to stay in the U.S.A. for two years, though I could renew twice for a total of six years.

I could only work for the employer the visa had been approved for, though. If I wanted to work for a different employer, I had to leave the country and start again; and after six years, according to the rules, I had to leave anyway.

Isn't that a guest worker program? Why do we need a new one?

Now, you may be murmuring to yourself: "Hey, Derb, you say you were supposed to leave after six years according to the regs. Yet you didn't. Twenty-one years later, you're still here. In fact, you're a citizen."

Well, yes, that's right. Aren't guest worker programs great?


04 — Ah, the seventies!     The world's largest passenger ship docked here in New York last week.

Named Freedom of the Seas, this behemoth has gross tonnage nearly four times the Titanic's and can carry four thousand passengers on fifteen decks.

Coincidentally, a remake of The Poseidon Adventure opened in our movie theaters. That was the 1972 movie with Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine in an ocean liner that capsized.

The word "hubris" mean anything?

Personally, I'll be avoiding both the ship and the movie remake. The ship because there isn't anything I want to do in company with four thousand other people; the remake for fear I may blur those treasured memories of Carol Lynley in hot pants. Aaaaaah …


05 — Paris swoons for Philadelphia cop-killer.     The lefties of the world, both domestic and foreign, must always have some hero figure to worship as an emblem of the beastliness, racism, cruelty, etc., etc. of America, which in this context is spelled with three k's. The ideal romantic hero is one who (a) belongs to some designated victim group and (b) has murdered a law enforcement officer or two.

We of the older generation recall the days when the star on this particular circuit was Leonard Peltier, an American Indian who shot two FBI Agents back in 1975. Statues were erected and public squares were renamed in honor of Peltier all over the communist world from Belgrade to Blagovashchensk.

Hero-worship is fickle, though, and Peltier has been pushed into the background by a new hero, Mumia Abu-Jamal. "Mumia," which is the Swahili word for "prince" (according to Mumia) shot a Philadelphia policeman named Daniel Faulkner in December 1981. He shot him once in the back then four more times in the front, just to make sure. This was in front of four eyewitnesses.

Naturally the lefties all adore Mumia. Black; a cop-killer; real long, ratty hair; what's not to like?

Well, now the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis has renamed a street after Mumia. The Mayor of Saint-Denis, Didier Paillard, who looks like your high school Latin teacher, held a little naming ceremony the other day.

So far no cars have been burned in Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal, but I suppose it's only a matter of time.

Of course, if a cop gets murdered there, the wheel will really have come full circle.


06 — Off the hook for Da Vinci Code.     Here are some quotes for you.

Quote: "Retarded, ridiculous, and crushingly dull."

Quote: "Long and mostly inert."

Quote: "Unwieldy, bloated melodrama."

Quote: "Plodding, tedious and deathly dull."

Quote: "Not interesting or clever enough to engage, let alone entertain."

Quote: "Unforgivably dull."

Quote: "Dreary, droning, and dull-witted."

Now, obviously all that is reaction to some performance or other, but what was the performance? George W. Bush's immigration speech? Another 18-page letter from Iran's President Achmadinejad to some head of state or other? Howard Dean attempting to hold on to the gay vote? My latest NRO column?

Nope, none of the above. That was critics reviewing the movie of The Da Vinci Code.

My own favorite movie critic is of course Steve Sailer, but so far steve has restricted his comments to: "Hooo, boy."

Well, this is great. I've already made up my mind not to read the book. Now I don't have to see the movie either.

Of course, when the computer game comes out my kids will clamor for it, but I'll face that when it happens


07 — The Duke lacrosse D.A. keeps trying.     Down there in North Carolina the hunt for the Great White Defendant is getting more and more frantic.

A second round of DNA testing in the Duke University lacrosse rape case came back with the same result as the first: no conclusive match to any member of the Duke lacrosse team.

The District Attorney on the case, Captain Ahab — oh, sorry: that's Mike Nifong — is not deterred, though. Determined to get some white frat boy in jail somehow or other, he dragged team captain Dan Flannery into court for a minor noise ordinance violation dating from January 10th, two months before the famous party.

The judge dismissed the case and told the D.A. not to waste his court's time; as if a judge's time was of any importance when weighed against the D.A.'s pride and his need to start preparing for his next election.


08 — Imbecile intellectuals.     Any time you feel a tremor of doubt about the proposition that intellectuals are the stupidest people in the world, along comes Noam Chomsky to set you back on the rails.

The M.I.T. professor and major league intellectual was in Lebanon the other day for a kiss and a cuddle with Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the terrorist gang Hezbollah. Chomsky made a speech to the effect that Hezbollah needs more weapons so they can kill more Jews. Then he rambled off into his academic specialty, which is language and meaning.

Quote from the M.I.T. megabrain:

There is a meaning to the word "terrorist." In fact, you can read a definition of the term "terrorist" in the U.S. code of laws. It gives a very clear, precise, adequate definition of the word. When you use that definition, it turns out, not surprisingly, that the U.S. is one of the leading terrorist states.

End quote.

Guess what, Prof? There's a meaning to the phrase "driveling imbecile," and you fit it to a "t."


09 — Fear of change perplexes monarchs.     Now, you all know my favorite song. [Sings.] "I'm ronery, so ronery, / So ronery and sadry arone …"

Well, poor little North Korean dictator-for-life Kim Jong Il may not be ronery much longer. "The Bush administration," it says here — I'm reading a quote — "The Bush administration is considering opening direct talks with North Korea on a peace treaty, as a new approach to persuading that nation to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons." End quote

Well, I still think a quick barrage of thermonuclear missiles would be more persuasive, but I just can't get the President's ear recently.

In a related development, North and South Korea have been having talks to unify industrial standards so there won't be so many problems when national reunification takes place.

Considering that North Korea's civilian industry ground to a halt sometime around 1985, this strikes me as a bit futile.

And is the North really going to reveal its lathe tolerances and quality control variances for racks, thumbscrews, eyeball electrodes, red-hot pincers, and bastinado sticks? I don't think so.

In distantly related news, the U.S.A. is going to reestablish diplomatic relations with Libya after 27 years. So Muammar Gaddafi won't be ronery anymore either.

This touches my heart just because the first article I ever got published in a national journal was about a visit to Pyongyang by Colonel Gaddafi. That was was 23 years ago. Kim Jong Il's Daddy was in charge of North Korea back then.

And I see that Gaddafi is grooming his own son to succeed him. Nice to see these grand dynasties laying down roots like this — you know, sons following fathers into the presidency.

In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds …

Sorry, I'm quoting Milton here.

In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs.

I bet Kim and Gaddafi are indeed perplexed by fear of change. For sure, so far as their nations' systems of government are concerned, both are determined that there shall be no change at all.


10 — Signoff.     Well, that's all for today, boys and girls.

Yes, I know: you're all on tenterhooks to know when Derb TV will air. We're almost ready: just need to get through furnishing our brand new 20,000-square-foot studio with state-of-the art cameras and recording equipment.

Until then, this is John Derbyshire signing off with one of the Derbyshire Marches from Franz Joseph Haydn. Take it away, Maestro!


[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]