»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, November 21st, 2008


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

01 — Intro.     Greetings, listeners. Radio Derb is on the air once again, and this is your genial host John Derbyshire with news of the hour.

I've been a little distracted by money worries these few days, I'm sorry to say. See, I entered into this binding legal contract with the little old Mexican lady who cleans my house. I agreed to pay her seventy dollars an hour, with lifetime health insurance, pension, and mortgage assistance. The cost of all that has gotten to be so burdensome, I've had to put up the fees I charge to editors for my imperishable prose.

In this economic climate, of course, they're reluctant to pay my higher fees, and now they flee from me that sometime me did seek.

I'm looking for a helping hand from the new administration in Washington, but they won't actually be in charge till January, so the next few weeks are going to be tough sledding.

Still, we'll manage somehow. Sorry to bleed on you there. [Ethel Merman clip: "Let's go on with the show …"]


02 — Correction, recession, depression?     So what have we got here:  A correction, a recession, or a depression?

I don't see anyone much buying "correction," except maybe Steve Forbes. The rest of the economics commentariat are way past that, and it's obvious the economy is contracting fast. "Recession" is the market leader right now, but "depression" is finding more and more buyers.

Here's John Thain, chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch, quote:

Right now, the US economy is contracting very rapidly. We are looking at a period of global slowdown. This is not like 1987 or 1998 or 2001. The contraction going on is bigger than that. We will in fact look back to the 1929 period to see the kind of slow-down we're seeing now.

End quote.

Here's John Whitehead, former chairman of Goldman Sachs, and a guy who actually remembers the Great Depression — he's 86 years old, quote:

I think it would be worse than the depression. We're talking about reducing the credit of the United States of America, which is the backbone of the economic system.

End quote.

Here's Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase. Dimon doesn't use the D-word, but he thinks that what's coming will be real bad, quote:

The U.S. recession could be worse than the credit-market crisis that brought lending to a standstill.

End quote.

Gloomiest of all was trend analyst Gerald Celente on Fox Business news the other day — just go to YouTube and search on his name, Gerald C-E-L-E-N-T-E. Celente has a pretty good track record at economic prediction. He says that by 2012 the U.S.A. will be an un-developed country, with widespread unrest: food riots, job marches, tax revolts, and the like.

I wouldn't be at all surprised. So, citizens, enjoy that Thanksgiving turkey. Next year you may be eating spam.


03 — School rezoning.     You may remember a few weeks ago there was a YouTube video going round the conservative side of the blogosphere, showing a little group of McCain supporters marching through the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

In case you didn't see it, go to YouTube and search on "McCain Supporters March in New York." The Upper West Side is a tony area, with condo apartments running around a million bucks. The inhabitants are media, cultural, and academic types — high IQ, well-educated, and prosperous, New York Times readers to a man and a woman. They gave the McCain supporters a real shellacking in that video, booing and jeering them, making rude gestures and calling out obscenities. Obviously this is solid Obama territory.

Well, I thought you'd like to know what all those progressive, compassionate, post-racial liberals are doing when they're not yelling four-letter words at Republicans.

Here's what they're doing, courtesy of a story in the New York Post, November 19th. They're protesting furiously about a plan by the city's Department of Education to make some adjustments to school district boundaries.

See, a lot of these people bought those million dollar condos so that their kids could attend P.S. 199 on West 70th street. It's a really good elementary school with great test results. If the rezoning goes through, though, their kids will have to attend P.S. 191 at West 61st and Amsterdam Avenue. That's a lousy school with dismal test results.

Naturally these liberal, progressive, Obama-voting parents are furious.

But wait:  what exactly is it about P.S. 191 that makes it compare so poorly with P.S. 199 in these parents' eyes? Why do they think it's a bad school? Why don't they want their kids to go there? What, actually, is the definition of the term "bad school"? What makes a bad school bad?

Not to keep you in suspense, gentle listener, but I looked up the student stats for the two schools on the GreatSchools.net website. As I'm sure you know, in matters residential and educational, our nation is in process of splitting in two, with white people and Asians on one side of the chasm, black people and Hispanics on the other. Let's call this the Ice People / Sun People divide.

Here are the student stats for P.S. 199, the good school those parents shelled out a million bucks for:  Ice People 80 percent, Sun People 19 percent. Got that? 80 to 19.

Here are the stats for the school our progressive post-racial liberal citizens angrily do not want their kids to go to:  Ice People 12 percent, Sun People 88 percent.

So: two things to remember when you're visiting the Upper West Side: One, scrape that McCain-Palin sticker off your car bumper. Two, don't even think of suggesting that your liberal, progressive hosts send their kids to a school with a crowd of Sun People kids.


04 — Dealing with pirates.     [Robert Newton clip]  That's the great Robert Newton as Long John Silver, possibly the most imitated voice in movie history, with Jimmy Cagney the runner-up there.

Well, piracy is in the news again. It's not crusty old salts with parrots and eye patches. This time it's road warrior types from Somalia with Kalashnikovs, cell phones, designer shades, and speedboats.

They got themselves a big one last week, a Saudi oil tanker carrying a hundred million dollars worth of crude. Ransom negotiations are under way.

The BBC reports that piracy is quite a thriving industry in Somalia. Quote from the Beeb:

The coastal region of Puntland is booming. Fancy houses are being built, expensive cars are being bought — all of this in a country that has not had a functioning central government for nearly 20 years.

End quote.

I've suggested previously on Radio Derb that these pirate towns would serve very well as target zones for the air forces and navies of the civilized world to train their bombing and artillery crews on. Since there were no takers for that, here's an alternative suggestion, based on our experience with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

We had a justified beef against the Taliban for having hosted al-Qaeda, so we quite rightly went and broke a lot of their stuff. Having made our point, we should then have sat down with the Taliban and said: "Look, you guys can run Afghanistan any way you want, and the tighter the better. We really admire the way you're trying to shut down the drug trade. However, if you make yourselves a nuisance to us one more time, we'll level a few of your cities. Capish?"

If we'd cut a deal like that, instead of getting lost in stupid fantasies about building democracy, we wouldn't be in the mess we're now in in Afghanistan. The best government for a backward and unruly place like that is a strict-Islamist one, just so long as they understand they'd better not vex us.

Same with Somalia. That country has a strict-Islamist movement, and we should do all we can to encourage it. This piracy is like Afghanistan's drug trade — something a strict government with wide public support could shut down, as the Taliban shut down opium production.

That's what we want. Let's find those Islamists and get down to some bargaining.


05 — It ain't over till the Left wins.     Boy, are conservatives ever losers!

One of the chapters in Michelle Malkin's book about illegal immigration has the title:  "It Ain't Over 'Til the Alien Wins." That sums up the legal process that takes place if an illegal immigrant decides to appeal a deportation order.

It's the same all over, not just in immigration. The good citizens of Nebraska voted on November 4th for an amendment to their state's constitution banning affirmative action. The vote was 58 percent in favor. However, the amendment can't be implemented until a lawsuit against it has been resolved, which of course it never will be until the affirmative action supporters win.

Same with that Proposition 8 in California, banning homosexual marriage. The state Supreme Court has said it wants to take a good look at the ban to see if it's constitutional. You know what the answer will be.

Over to Minnesota, where Al Franken is challenging every jot and tittle of the ballot that put Norm Coleman ahead of him in votes. No chad will be left unturned, you may be sure, till the left has won that one, too.

Everything goes down like this. It's all a large-scale replay of those tedious student union debates you remember, where everybody except the fanatical leftists — or to put it another way, everybody with a life — got bored and went home, so that at last the Left could vote itself whatever it wanted.

The Left just cares about politics much more than the rest of us, and they'll always wear us down in the end.

There is no solution to this. We are doomed.


06 — Is Obama the Left's Reagan?     So what do we have to look forward to in an Obama administration?

What the Left is hoping for is that Obama will be their Reagan. He'll inspire them and win victories for them. There'll be a nasty recession, as there was in Reagan's early years, but after that it will be onward and upward for two full terms, leaving office with high approval ratings and the adoring approval of millions.

This might come to pass. Obama could engineer one big victory for the Left — health care reform would be my guess — as Reagan won one for the Right — ending the Cold War. The rest will be scattershot changes in the national life, all in a leftward direction.

Well, that's a possible future. Another one, a darker one, is that an Obama Presidency could widen the fissures in our society, accelerating the destruction of the old United States.

For sure, we shall lose a lot of our liberties. With Eric Holder as Attorney General, there will be witch hunts against "hate speech,"  "racial profiling," and immigration restrictionists, who are of course just cross-burning racists in light disguise.

If you want to see what's in our future, check out a story in the Toronto Globe and Mail, November 19, about Queen's University in Ontario hiring conversation cops to eavesdrop on students' talking. If the cop — he's plain-clothes, and officially called a "facilitator" — overhears any language hostile to protected groups like blacks, homosexuals, or illegal immigrants, he can step in and correct the speaker.

Coming soon to an American community near you.

We'll also see the shoring-up of affirmative action, the rebirth of the Fairness Doctrine to shut down talk radio, amnesty and all sorts of public-fisc goodies for illegal immigrants, perhaps even another attempt at forced school integration.

The net effect of all this, it seems to me, will be to increase the level of racial rancor and resentment, advance the re-segregation of housing and schooling that's been going on quietly for decades now, and hasten the end of our concept of ourselves as one people under one system of law.

More and more I ask myself if there even will be a U.S.A. when my children are middle-aged.


07 — Proposition 8 Backlash.     Nice thing about being a writer is, you get the chance to add something to the language now and then. I can't claim much success in this area, but I keep trying.

One of my attempts, a few years ago, was to float the expression "straight flight." Now, you remember "white flight" from the 1960s and 1970s. Poor black people moved up from the South, and when they reached a certain proportion in a street or district, the white people up and left. Court-ordered busing is usually blamed, but I think that was only an accelerant.

Whatever, my expression "straight flight" refers to the similar phenomenon you see when lots of homosexuals move into some zone of the culture. At a certain point, the straight people all leave. It's happened in some Episcopal parishes, where the church got turned into a dating club for homosexuals, and straight parishioners just dropped out.

The place where it's happened most noticeably, though, is in the musical theater. The production of Broadway shows has gone from being a business only a modicum wilder and more eccentric than the average for American enterprises, to a homosexual ghetto.

It's an intolerantly exclusive one, too, or at least its West Coast equivalent is. Scott Eckern, Director of California musical theater, resigned his post the other day after a quarter of a century working with that group. Eckern, who is a Mormon, had contributed $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign to ban homosexual marriage in the Golden State. When this was discovered, the homosexual cliques attacked him mercilessly, and he resigned to save the theater he loved.

Don't go looking for tolerance among the homosexualists.

This story has a twist in the tail, too. Proposition 8, to ban homosexual marriage, actually failed among white voters, but was passed by overwhelming support from black and Hispanic voters.

So the folk these homosexual activists should really be mad at are not white Mormon theater producers, who will always grovel under pressure anyway — Scott Eckern tried for Political Correctness re-certification by donating $1,000 to one of the homosexualist lobbies. No, the people those lobbies should really be mad at are California blacks and Hispanics.

That wouldn't be very "progressive," though, would it? So the homosexual activists went for the soft target, the one they knew would back down and grovel, the timid white guy.

So to the intolerance of the homosexualists, you can add moral cowardice. If it's musical theater you want, I susgest you just buy some old Rodgers and Hart DVDs.


08 — Hillary for State.     Much talk about Hillary Clinton becoming our next Secretary of State.

Is Secretary of State marked as some kind of Affirmative Action position? President Nixon got the ball rolling with Henry Kissinger, our first Jewish Secretary of State.

(Leading to a famous exchange between Nixon and Golda Meir. The Israeli Foreign Minister at that point was Abba Eban, who'd got his education at English private schools and Cambridge University. "We have something in common," Nixon told Meir, "We both have a Jewish Secretary of State."  "Yes," replied Golda," but mine speaks better English than yours," which was quite true.)

Well, after Kissinger there was a bunch of boring white guys, then a white lady, then a black guy, then a black lady, and now apparently we're going to have another white lady.

It's great that we can advertise our diversity to the world like this, but I'm getting a bit worried about the boring white guys. What are they all going to do? Investment banking is now at one with Nineveh and Tyre, so they can't do that.

Well, I guess there's always lawyering and accounting. I'd just hate to see the good old stuffed-shirt boring American white guy become an endangered species. He's given our country so much.

Anyway, back to Hillary. With Clintons you of course get two for the price of one, so our nation's foreign business will be thoroughly Clintonized once again. Dirt-poor desert countries with nothing but goats and aspirin factories will get the occasion missile lobbed at them. Balkan nations that fail to celebrate diversity will be carpet-bombed. Africa will be apologized to, Muslim terrorists will be left alone to cook up their next raid, and the Chinese military will have guest privileges at the White House.

And of course, with Bubba trailing around the world behind our Secretary of State, the expression "foreign affairs" will acquire a whole new meaning.


09 — Miscellany.     A few short items here to see us off to bed.

Thursday November 20 was World Philosophy Day, I bet you didn't know that.

If you didn't, it's not too late to catch up. You can spend an hour or two over the weekend pondering free will, dualism versus monism, essence versus existence, and the apothegm that Betrand Russell attributed to his grandmother, quote: "What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind."


Meanwhile, up beyond the stratosphere, an astronaut working outside on the space station let go of her tool bag and it floated away into the void. Perhaps she was too deep in pondering Kant's categorical imperative.

The same thing happens to me all the time; tools disappear into the twin voids that are my basement and garage. Those places are nothing like a spacious as, you know, space, but they are just as difficult to locate things in.


Also from the science news, geneticists have pieced together the entire genome of a woolly mammoth, the last living specimen of which dwelt in Siberia ten thousand years ago.

There is some speculation that the DNA might be used to bring mammoths back, Jurassic Park style. Then we could all go hunting them with flint-tipped spears, which we be about right for the technological level we'll be at after a few years of major recession.


News from Asia: With American consumers having no money to buy their goods, Chinese factories are closing all over that country, and the Commies in Peking are worried about workers marching in the streets demanding American-style bailouts — or worse yet, American style constitutional government.

Seeking a solution to these problems, Chinese head honcho Hu Jintao flew to Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro, no doubt hoping for some economic advice from the man who made Cuba's economy into the well-known Caribbean tiger that it is.


Al-Qaeda spokesman Ayman al-Zawahiri responded to Barack Obama's election victory by calling our President-elect a, quote, "house Negro," the obedient tool of white devils and Jews.

Mr Al Zawahiri went on to compare Obama unfavorably with Malcolm X, the Black Muslim icon assassinated in 1965 by associates of leading Chicago citizen Louis Farrakhan, with whom Barack Obama, another leading Chicago citizen, does not have, and never has had, any friendship, alliance, association, connection, or acquaintance whatsoever, in any way, shape or form. And if you say anything to the contrary, they know where you live.


Finally, on the historical front, some newly unearthed records from a World War One army medic reveal what many of us long suspected: that Adolf Hitler was monorchic. Which is to say that what most gentlemen have two of, the Führer had only one of; or to put it another way, that an inventory of items in his shorts would have come up numerically short; or to put it yet another way — I am trying to be delicate here, gentle listener — the Reichskanzler had a little more room in his lederhosen than is normally the case.

Probably just as well: think what trouble the man might have caused if he'd had the complete set.


10 — Signoff.     There you are, listeners: another week spent sliding down the razor blade of history.

We must do what we can to keep smiling, though, for the sake of the children. After all, it's they who will have to drudge away all their lives to pay off the debts that we've piled up.

So let's go out on a cheery note once again, with all the lads and lassies from the mill. Take it away, Gracie!


[Music clip: Gracie Fields, "Sing As We Go."]