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[Music clip: Tony Martin, "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody."]
01 — Intro. Ah yes, a pretty girl is like a melody. That's why we have beauty pageants, right? So for lead off this week here on Radio Derb, a beauty pageant story.
02 — Beauty pageant horror. So I've had dinner and three or four glasses of wine, and I'm watching TV news, not taking much of it in, I'm afraid.
Suddenly there's this exceptionally beautiful young woman on the screen. I had Susan Boyle on my mind for some reason — you know, the singing Scottish spinster — and in my state of postprandial disorientation, I thought for a bizarre moment that Ms Boyle had had the world's best-ever makeover. But no, this was Miss California, the lithe and lissom Carrie Prejean, competing in the Miss U.S.A. pageant.
There was a snag, though, a discordant note disturbing the bland harmony of the proceedings. Instead of being asked in the usual way what she would do to promote world peace, or how she thought we could best advance environmental awareness, or being given an opportunity to tell us how she spends her weekends doing volunteer work with disabled children, Carrie was sucker-punched with a question about homosexual marriage. What did she think of it? asked the judge, some C-list celebrity I never heard of.
Carrie parted her lovely lips and replied, quote: "I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offence to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."
That struck me as a courteous, graceful, forthright, and sensible answer to the question. As a matter of fact, I agree with Carrie; and I would still agree with her even if she looked like Susan Boyle. Nobody's stopping homosexuals from living together, if that's what they want to do. Nobody's stopping them from doing anything, except laying claim to a word that has had a certain meaning for ten thousand years, and that a majority of citizens would prefer to go on having that meaning, and no other.
The judge who asked the question, though, is himself a hysterical homosexual, and apparently Carrie's answer left him so verklempt he voted against her. Miss North Carolina is the new Miss U.S.A., though she isn't half as pretty as Carrie Prejean.
She doesn't have much character, either. If she did, she'd hand over her trophy and winnings to Carrie on principle, like Tony Manero with the Puerto Ricans in Saturday Night Fever.
03 — Shakespeare's birthday. Bill Shakespeare's 445th birthday fell this week, reminding all too many of us — most of us, I'd guess — how pathetically little we know about his works.
I just went through the 37 plays giving myself a point for each one I have seen in performance — including amateur performances, operas, TV adaptations and the like — and an extra point if I thought I could give at least an approximate summary of the plot. Result: a miserable 32 from a possible 74.
I'll take some small consolation from Ben Jonson's remark that Shakespeare had "little Latin and no Greek." That meant that by the standards of his time, the Bard himself was ill-educated in classics.
04 — The true meaning of torture. Is there anything more ludicrous and disgusting than a bunch of shyster politicians striking moral poses? Well, here we go again with the torture debate.
The political Left, who of course ooze moral purity from every pore, are all in a lather about some recently released memos from the previous administration, detailing the legal advice that administration got on interrogation techniques. Then some CIA memos came out revealing that one terrorist had been water-boarded 183 times, and another one 83 times.
Hearing that, I'd guess that most citizens reacted as I did: If they did it to the guy 183 times, how bad can it be? In fact, the main impression you get from reading these reports is of the feebleness of our interrogation techniques.
A harmless insect is placed with the suspect in a "confinement box." The suspect is to be told the insect would sting.
This technique was actually approved for Abu Zubaydah, but not used. Too horrific, I guess. After all, we're a civilized nation, you know.
Oh, here's another unspeakably horrific torture technique used by the Torquemadas of our CIA, quote:
The suspect is slammed repeatedly into a false wall to create sound and shock. He wears a padded collar to prevent neck injury.
They must be rolling around laughing in the caves up there in Waziristan, that's all I can say. If this is torture, then my friends who did U.S. Marine Corps training back in the 1960s were tortured on a regular basis, unless they're making up those stories about sadistic drill sergeants.
You want to know what torture is? I'll tell you what torture is, if you can handle it.
Torture is listening to the sanctimonious drivel extruded by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Patrick Leahy. Torture is having to see the vapid triumphalist grin of Representative Nancy Pelosi day after day. Torture is watching a once proud and independent republic consuming its own flesh in spasms of self-righteous vindictiveness.
Torture is what these preening exemplars of morality will be falling over each other to legalize if the U.S.A. takes another hit from terrorists — at least, they will if the hit actually comes anywhere near them or the lobbyist pimps who keep them and feed them.
05 — Smiling pirate. Did you see that Somali pirate grinning as he was taken off the plane that brought him to America?
Of course he's grinning: he's in America. If you're a Somali goatherd, that's like going to Heaven. What does he care if they put him in jail? Life in an American jail is way better than life in some East African village.
If you doubt that, you might ask David Kihuha. This fellow, 36 years old, comes from Kenya. He originally arrived here on a student visa; but that visa expired 13 years ago, so he's just been living here illegally.
He applied for asylum, but was denied, since he's not in any actual danger in Kenya. Now, since he unfortunately has no blood relationship with Barack Obama, he's in jail awaiting deportation.
Mr Kihuha's putting up terrific resistance, though. Twice last year, when immigration agents tried to deport him, he made such a nuisance of himself they had to give up. They put a leather head covering over him, called a spit mask, to prevent him biting them: Mr Kihuha chewed it up. On another occasion, he smeared excrement all over himself.
Explaining their failure to deport him, ICE agents told the court, quote:
Commercial pilots will not accept a violent, feces-besmeared passenger who chews off protective clothing and spits and bites.
Hard to blame them. What does Mr Kihuha say? Quote:
I told them I did not want to go. I told them to take me back to jail.
There you have it. Three hots and a cot in Leavensworth beats dirt farming in Africa. Which is a bit surprising when you remember what a shamefully racist country this is.
I'm betting this Somali pirate will do five years in the slammer, then get out and be given a green card and start shipping his relatives over, all eight hundred of them.
06 — McCain challenged. John McCain's Senate term expires next year and he has to stand for re-election for his seat.
This is the guy who got together with Ted Kennedy to cook up the 2007 amnesty bill, the one that had to be pulled after massive outrage from the Republican electorate. This is the guy who hired a shill for the government of Mexico, who was in fact actually actually an ex-employee of that government, as one of the directors of his presidential campaign. This is the guy who was given a "D" grade by Americans for Better Immigration.
This is the guy who refused to allow anyone at last year's Republican National Convention to speak critically of US immigration policy and enforcement. This is the guy who pretty much threw the election for fear that CNN and the New York Times would call him a racist if he so much as whispered the name of Jeremiah Wright. This was the guy who was scared to land a glove on Obama in case Obama played the race card against him, which of course Obama did anyway at every opportunity.
Well, McCain has an opponent in the Republican primary next year: Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman Project. Chris has a campaign website up at simcoxforsenate.com, and is accepting donations.
Arizonans, this is your chance to send John McCain into an honorable and peaceful retirement. If you'd done that six years ago, we might not now be looking at the most left-wing administration in the history of the Republic.
07 — Robots are coming. In case you're anxious about who'll take care of you, should you get old and helpless, the answer is very likely: a robot.
The RoboBusiness Exposition 2009 was held in Boston last week, and there was some amazing stuff on display. Even in a recession, robotics is booming. It's expanding into two big growth areas: the military, and what is called "eldercare."
At the deep level, both areas are driven by demographics. With the generality of people no longer having four or five kids to send to war, the advanced world is running out of soldiers. The value of a soldier's life has correspondingly increased, and if a clever little robot can deal with some dangerous battlefield task, thereby saving soldiers' lives, the military is keen to know.
The other big growth area, eldercare, is a response to aging populations, where there aren't enough trained young carers to assist the swelling numbers of semi-helpless geezers.
Robots can't do everything people can do, of course, and likely this will always be the case. So what? — automobiles can't do everything horses do, either. When did you see an automobile jump a fence? This didn't stop autos winning out over horses in most areas.
It's the same with robots, as the Boston show illustrated. They'll do more and more, and do it better and better.
Personally, staring into the abyss of old age, if I'm to need help, I'd rather get it from some tweeting R2D2 contraption than from some minimum-wage nursing-home orderly with an attitude.
And military-wise, if my son can sit in a nice air-conditioned office remote-controling a bomb disposal robot, that looks to me like a net advance for human civilization. Bring on the robots, I say.
Hey, where's that cup of coffee I asked for twenty minutes ago? [Tweeting sound.] Whaddya mean, you had to peel a grape for Jonah? What am I, chopped liver? …
08 — Durban II. One of the great mysteries of the modern world is why the United States continues to have anything to do with the United Nations.
This week the full lunacy of the U.N. was on display in Geneva, Switzerland, at the confusingly-named Durban II conference. The name is explained on the conference website, quote:
The Durban Review Conference (20-24 April 2009) … will evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
Well, what's going on at this wonderful conference dedicated to racial harmony? Let's see.
Thursday we had a report from Mr Abdulwahab Attar of Saudi Arabia, who told us, inter alia, that Saudi Arabia condemns defamation of religions and beliefs and disparagement of the personalities and symbols, not only of the Islamic religion, but also of other religions and beliefs.
Of course they do. This is the country whose government newspaper back in 1960 announced the arrest of Adolf Eichmann with the headline: Arrest of Eichmann, Who Had the Honor of Killing Six Million Jews. Saudi Arabia is still ruled by the same family under the same system, and their newspapers are probably still running the same kind of headlines.
Then we had an address from Mr Lee Sung-joo, who as I am sure you know is the U.N.'s human rights representative from North Korea. Mr Lee told us that his Government had enacted a law on Support for Multicultural Families to protect the human rights of foreigners, including migrant workers and their children living in North Korea.
See, we're not the only nation plagued by illegal immigration. North Korea is struggling to control its borders against the flood of people trying to get in there to do the jobs North Koreans won't do.
What a farce! But I say again, the biggest scandal of all is not that these thieves, murderers, and liars are having a conference, but that American money — your money and my money, citizen — American taxpayers' money is going to fund this circus of the insane.
There is a terrible sickness in the American soul; and the U.N. building in New York City is a symptom of it. Let's get out of this filthy, disgraceful racket, and kick out the corrupt Jew-baiting thieves who've made it their expense-account playground.
09 — Napolitano disses Canada again. Our Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano continues to escalate the war of words against the most dire, most looming, most immediate threat to the security of our homeland. That would be Canada, of course.
In a TV interview earlier this week, secure-borders fanatic Napolitano took a break from supervising the construction of a 60-foot wall and minefield along the 49th parallel to say the following thing, quote:
Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn't have a drug war going on, it didn't have 6,000 homicides that were drug-related last year. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border.
The interviewer asked her if she was talking about the 9-11 terrorists. "Not just those but others as well," frothed Janet.
Here's my surmise: I think Ms. Napolitano is a clone of Jocelyn Elders. Remember Surgeon General Elders back in the early Clinton years, calling for masturbation to be taught in public schools? She didn't last long.
I'm betting Janet Napolitano is coming to the end of her shelf life too. Anyway, I hope Obama dumps her before we get into a shooting war with the Friendly Giant to our North.
10 — New Zealand news. A couple of news items from New Zealand here. The land of the kiwis doesn't get much of a look-in on Radio Derb, so let's give them their moment of glory here. And I promise, no sheep jokes!
OK, news item number one: The government down there found out by chance that the names of the two islands which New Zealanders, with regrettable lack of imagination, call North Island and South Island were never actually officially registered anywhere. Since the two islands have no official names, the New Zealand government has asked citizens to suggest names.
You can pretty much get the measure of New Zealanders if I tell you that the most popular suggestions so far are, yes, North Island and South Island.
Other suggestions have included "Ki" and "Wi," "Not Australia" and "Still Not Australia," "Peach" and "Melba" — that's some kind of subtle Kiwi joke, don't ask me — and "Cheech" and "Chong" — nice to know there are some seventies survivors down there in the antipodes. Or perhaps it's still the seventies down there, who knows?
Most likely political correctness will win the day and they'll come up with names from the Maori language. It would only be justice, after all, since the Europeans took away from the Maoris all their cherished, picturesque customs — slavery, perpetual warfare, cannibalism, human sacrifice, all those quaint old folkways.
My own suggestion is to call the islands "New" and "Zealand." I mean, since the name of the country's already got two words in it, the solutions's ready made right there. Seems pretty cut and dried to me.
Speaking of cut and dried, here's the other New Zealand story.
Three preserved, shrunken Maori heads will be returned to New Zealand after being kept for decades at a museum in Glasgow, Scotland. The tattooed heads, and also a thigh bone, are believed to belong to Maori chiefs killed in battle in the 19th century. After a Maori killed someone in battle, you see, he cut off his head and took it home to be pickled and kept as a souvenir on the living-room bookshelf.
One of the heads is believed to have belonged to a Maori chief who had 40 wives. Ah, those picturesque old customs!
I'd better stop this segment right here before someone tells me a flotilla of Maori war canoes has been sighted paddling up Long Island Sound. I'm just kidding around, guys! My head wouldn't pickle well anyway, and I only have one wife. (Thank goodness …)
[Maori war chant.] What the heck is that? … Honestly, officer, I was just trying to help this sheep climb over the fence … No, I promised, I'm sorry … sorry …
11 — Obama ♥ Chávez. President Obama showed up at the Summit of the Americas in the Caribbean last weekend, and spent a happy few hours partying with the bandits, thieves, murderers, narcotics traffickers, fascists, Leninists, and racial triumphalists who pass for national leaders in that benighted part of our hemisphere.
Hugo Chávez, the Marxist president of Venezuela, gave President Obama a book, whose title was something like Kill All White Gringo Capitalist Yanqui Bloodsuckers and Grind Up Their Bones For Adobe Paste. Obama was delighted with the gift and favored Chávez with a hearty handshake and the Number One Presidential Smile.
Chávez had just nationalized a big U.S. company, but then so had Obama, so they had something to talk about at least.
And let's be thankful for small mercies: at least Obama didn't bow to Chávez.
12 — Pakistan going down? Over in Pakistan, the Taliban have made another big advance and they're now just sixty miles from Islamabad, the nation's capital.
It may be that that's as far as they will get. Their appeal is mainly to poor rural people, and in Afghanistan, while they control a lot of country areas, they haven't been able to recapture any substantial cities. On the other hand, that is exactly what everyone was saying about the Chinese Communists around 1946.
Pakistan has a big, solid, and quite prosperous urban middle class; but then, so did China in 1946, Iran in 1979, and for that matter, Russia in 1917. There's no telling how these things will go. Big prosperous middle classes are very nice things to have, but they are not much of a bulwark against crazy fanatics with guns.
Can the U.S.A. do something to help prevent Pakistan from going belly up? Well, of course we can do something: we can launch a major land war in West Asia. However, considering the trouble we had with Iraq, population 29 million, we should think carefully before trying to go into Pakistan, population 180 million, and trying to put them to rights.
But that's academic: there is no public appetite for a War on Terror bigger than the one we're fighting. Probably, when the Obama honeymoon is over, and with 9/11 receding into the distance in the public memory, there won't even be a public willingness to sustain the effort at this level.
If Pakistan's going down, there's not likely much we can do about it. My own solution? Nuclear testing. We should pop off a couple of big ones under the Nevada desert, just to remind a nuclear Iran, a nuclear Taliban-run Pakistan, and anyone else who's interested, that we are loaded up to the gunwales with nukes and are keeping them in spanking good condition.
Deterrence worked with the Soviets, it will work with the Islamists. It had better, anyway, as there isn't much else we can do.
13 — Summers snoozes. Larry Summers, who in spite of being a little deficient in the backbone region is one of the smartest men on the planet, was photographed dozing at a White House meeting while his boss, President Obama, was giving one of his wonderful uplifting hope-filled speeches.
I don't blame him a bit. Obama's gassy rhetoric sends me to sleep too. What a windbag the man is!
Remember back in the Reagan administration, when the joke was that if someone said "I've slept with the President," it meant they'd attended a cabinet meeting? Well, I wish Obama would take a leaf from Reagan's book, and nod off himself through some of these ego-fests.
I spent 20 years in the corporate world, attending meetings pretty much every day, and ninety percent of them were a waste of time. I really resent having wasted so much of my life sitting in uncomfortable chairs listening to accountants, lawyers, and executives droning through their stupid playbooks.
When the Chinese Communists won their war against Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists and took over the country, people grumbled that "Under the Nationalists it was nothing but taxes; under the Communists it's nothing but meetings." (Which rhymes in Chinese.) With the Obamarrhoids in power, we're getting taxes and meetings. Lots of taxes, lots of meetings.
Not that I'm suggesting the Obamarrhoids are communists, of course — certainly not! It is a fact, though, that lefties love meetings, because meetings give them an opportunity to talk for hours, which is all they know how to do.
14 — Signoff. And there you have it: misery, mayhem, malfeasance, and Maoris. All human life is here, multiculturally, on the network they can't suppress.
Tune in again next week for another refreshing draught of Tory pessimism from National Review Online and Radio Derb!
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]