»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, September 22nd, 2006


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

01 — Intro.     Greetings, NRO fans. That was one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches and this is John Derbyshire with your weekly ration of sarcasm and song here on Radio Derb.


02 — Selfishness and corruption? No, spiritual self-discovery!     Someone tell me please: When did it become okay to present gross selfishness, feckless hedonism, and blind disregard for family obligations as journeys of spiritual discovery?

I'm speaking, of course, of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who was obliged to resign his position in 2004 when a male employee threatened him with a sexual harassment suit.

McGreevey has now produced an autobiography in which he relates his heroic struggle towards self-knowledge and spiritual fulfillment as a gay American.

An important milestone in this pilgrim's progress, the ex-Governor wants us to know, was his first sexual encounter with a young employee while the unknowing Mrs McGreevey was in hospital recovering from the caesarian delivery of their baby.

Well, the whole country now knows what a loathsome creep Jim McGreevey is. What the country at large doesn't know, but anybody living within a hundred miles of New Jersey can tell you, is McGreevey's administration was corrupt even by the extremely lax standards of the Garden State.

There is a general opinion, in fact, that McGreevey was on the point of being indicted for corruption when he resigned over the sex business, which suggests that the sex business is just squid ink put out in the hope everyone will forget what are sleazy politician McGreevey was.

Or, to put it slightly differently, all these appeals for understanding and sympathy as a tormented gay American are just meant to cover up the fact that McGreevey did to the good people of New Jersey pretty much the same thing that was being done to him while his wife was giving birth to their daughter.


03 — U.N. hosts West Asian anti-American nutcase.     Li'l Squinty Ahmadinejad flew in from Tehran to harangue the United Nations about the wickedness of Uncle Sam.

He treated us to half hour of standard hate-America boilerplate. Sample, quote: "Sustainable peace and tranquility in the world can only be attained through justice, spirituality, ethics, compassion and respect for human dignity." End quote.

Oh, you know: that respect for human dignity you show when you seize an embassy, violate their diplomatic immunity and hold their personnel hostage for a year or so. That respect for human dignity you show when you arrest women for walking around with their faces uncovered.

The Poison Dwarf ended up with a hope that the end of the world would come soon. Well, actually he called for the Hidden Imam to return and bring all of humanity to justice and peace, while omitting to mention that according to his own preferred reading of Islam, a good fiery armageddon will hasten the arrival of this happy event.

Nor did he vouchsafe to us how wiping Israel off the map fits in with this scheme of universal justice and peace. No point spoiling the mood, I guess.

The Mad Midget was of course greeted with rapturous applause from the assembled crooks, thieves, clowns, and liars of the U.N. General Assembly.


04 — U.N. hosts South American anti-American nutcase.     And then came Hugo Chávez, President-for-Life of Venezuela, dear friend and disciple of Cuban President-for-Life Fidel Castro.

Standing at the podium before the U.N. General Assembly the next day, Chávez said, "The Devil came here, right here, right here, and it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of."

Well, I was thrilled to hear the President of Iran referred to in such appropriate terms. Alas, Chávez was talking about our own President Bush, who'd addressed the multinational mafioso a few hours before the crazy cross-eyed creep from Tehran.

Chávez has a nerve considering that the caviar and limousines that he and his cronies enjoy down there in Caracas are paid for by American money, we being the biggest purchaser of Venezuelan oil.

Do you dream gentle listener, as I do, of a day when we no longer need the oil that finances these miserable lunatics and their ramshackle regimes? So that we could just sit back and watch with quiet satisfaction as they sink back into the squalor, chaos, and insignificance that is their natural condition, while we get on with living civilized lives without having to bother about these crazy people?

Well, we can dream.


05 — Half a billion dollars of futility.     The Space Shuttle, whose sole reason for existence is to service the International Space Station, returned to Earth after servicing the International Space Station, whose sole reason for existence is to give the Space Shuttle something to do.

There was a brief panic when some eagle-eyed shuttle astronaut spotted mysterious tiny objects floating in space nearby. Apparently none of them was the President of Iran; and in fact, all of them turned out to be detritus carelessly expelled from the shuttle itself. One of them was said to be a garbage bag; though from what we know about astronaut life, one has to suspect that that is a euphemism for something or other.

Anyway, no offense to the astronauts, but at half a billion dollars per pointless flight, I wish there was a garbage bag big enough for the Shuttle itself so we can leave it out for pickup along with all the rest of the government waste.

Now, how did I get through that segment without saying "objects in space" for all the Firefly fans?


06 — Does "diversity" just mean "Mexican"?     Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain on September 16th each year.

Anxious to be properly multicultural, Principal Sam Williams of the Velasco elementary school down in Freeport, Texas, had the whole school assemble and watch a group of parents pledge allegiance to the flag — the flag of Mexico, that is.

Heck, sixty-five percent of the students of the school are Hispanic. As some spokesmoron from the school district reminded us: September 15th through October 15th is considered National Hispanic Heritage Month, and, quote: "Velasco's assembly was a cultural educational activity. The district values and respects diversity." End quote.

Of course it does! Don't we all? But hold on there just uno momento. How diverse, exactly, is a school that's sixty-five percent Hispanic? When, a year or five from now, the school is ninety-five percent Hispanic, will it be more diverse or less? Why do so many of us have the feeling that "diverse" is increasingly a synonym for "Mexican"?

Are any elementary schools in Mexico holding United States pledge ceremonies on July fourth? If not, why not? Don't they want to be diverse, too, since it's such a great and wonderful thing to be?

So many questions, so few answers.


07 — Muslims don't do irony.     One thing we've learned this past few days is that the Muslim world doesn't do irony.

The Pope makes a speech in which he quotes some Byzantine emperor to the effect that Mohammed's command to spread Islam by the sword was evil and inhuman. The Pope then goes on to gloss the emperor's thought with one of his own: that spreading faith by means of violence is unreasonable.

Muslims around the world react by burning churches, murdering nuns, and generally creating mayhem against any symbols of Christianity they can find.

So, let's see. If I say that I don't think it's right for you to use violence in furtherance of your religion, you get so mad that you commit acts of violence in the name of your religion.

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? And the religion of peace marches ever on.


08 — Hungary shows the way.     I am something of a Hungarophile ever since dating the entire second year Hungarian Department at London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies back in my student days. She was a very nice girl.

My command of the ferociously difficult Hungarian language doesn't extend very far beyond hogy vagy?, which I think means "how do you do?" Oh, and a universal expletive featuring horses, which is much too gross for a family radio show, even in the original Hungarian.

Well, here's a news item from the land of the Magyars. Back in April after a rancorous election, Hungary's socialist Prime Minister, name Ferenc Gyurcsány, held a meeting with the members of parliament from his party.

He told them the country needed harsh economic reforms. Why? In the Prime Minister's own words, quote:

Because we screwed up — not a little, a lot. No European country has done something as bone-headed as we have. Evidently we lied through the last year and a half, two years. You cannot quote any significant government measure we can be proud of, other than at the end, we managed to bring the government back from the brink. Nothing. We lied in the morning, we lied in the evening.

End quote.

Well, I call that bracing honesty of a kind that we too seldom hear from politicians.

Alas, the meeting was taped. The tape was made public and Hungarians came out and rioted in the streets demanding Mr Gyurcsány's resignation.

Well, if they don't want him, we'll take him, socialist or not. Imagine: a politician who tells the truth! He should be in a glass case at the Smithsonian.


09 — Small coup in Thailand, not many dead.     There was a military coup in Thailand and the Daily Telegraph ran an article about how disappointed tourists were.

Grumbled 27-year-old English tourist Peter Brown: "I've just arrived in Bangkok and you can't notice any difference. The bars are full and everyone's fine. The only unusual thing was having an embassy representative at the airport."

Another visitor, this one from Ireland, whined that: "It's almost not exciting enough. Some colleagues of mine went down to the tanks, some of them with their children and the soldiers smiled and posed for photographs."

Well, it's natural for these tourists to feel let down. I mean, you shell out a couple of thousand dollars, head off to some Third World country, arrive just as they're having a coup and don't even see any blood.

No corpses hanging from lamp posts, no firing squads at work in the city sports stadium, nobody scrambling desperately over the wall of your embassy; just a few boring tanks standing around, and soldiers smiling and posing for photographs. Where's the proper coup spirit?

It occurs to me that some travel industry entrepreneur might make a bit of money by selling coup tours; you know, guaranteeing a big batch of tourists that there'd be a good, noisy, gory, old-style coup in some Third World country just as they arrive. Slip a few brown envelopes to the country's generals — it could easily be arranged. For an extra premium, you might even offer a full scale revolutions, with show trials and fighting in the streets.

What's politics for, anyway, if not to make money? I'm surprised nobody's thought of this.

Wait a minute … maybe somebody has.


10 — Signoff.     Okay, that's enough for this week, ladies and gents. Mayhem and madness, folly and crime, plagues of frogs and the locusts … the poor old world just keeps a-turning.

Likely enough it'll still be here next week; and then, so shall I, with yet another broadcast of Radio Derb to send you running to the liquor cabinet.

Here's old Franz Joseph to see us out. Viszlát, és kösz a halakat. Oh, that's Hungarian for: "Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish."


[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]