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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Radio Derb here, ladies and gents, presented by your peripatetically genial host John Derbyshire, fresh from my four-day sortie into the heartland.
Yes, folks, I have been mingling with the sturdy homesteaders of Washington, D.C. and the yeoman farmers of Baltimore. Out there in those alabaster cities, on those fruited plains, I encountered the real America, in all its thrusting energy.
Having broken bread with those horny-handed sons of toil on N Street Northwest and shared the whisky jug with buckskin-clad pioneers in conservative journalism at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport Holiday Inn, with herds of buffalo thundering past outside, and amber waves of grain stretching away to the far horizon, I feel re-charged and re-inspirited in Radio Derb's mission to bring you the most important items from the week's news, garnished with the most penetrating insights.
Are you ready? Here we go.
02 — Election results. Good news and bad news on the election front. The GOP picked up two governorships, in Virginia and New Jersey, but Democrats won the two special house elections.
Only one of those Democrat House victories made any change to the balance of votes in the House. That was the one in New York's 23rd District, where Democrat Bill Owens took the seat formerly held by Republican John McHugh. McHugh had resigned to become Secretary of the Army. In California's 10th District, Democrat John Garamendi replaced Democrat Ellen Tauscher, who President Obama had appointed to a job in the State Department. That moves the balance of the House from 257-178 to 258-177, widening the Democrat advantage in votes by two.
The loss of the two governorships, though, may widen the gap more than that on key items of the President's agenda, indicating as it does that Obama-wise, the bloom is off the rose, and making Democratic congresscritters from conservative districts very nervous.
Nancy Pelosi put a brave face on it all. At least, I think she did: with a face as botoxed as hers, it's hard to tell. She got the arithmetic a bit confused, though. Quote:
From our standpoint, we picked up votes last night, one in California and one in New York.
No, Ma'am, you picked up one in New York and the GOP lost the same one. Perhaps it's a bit much to expect a liberal Democrat to count up to two without error.
I say it's a big net win for the GOP. Of course, there is always the possibility that Eric Holder will annul the election results in Virginia and New Jersey, and send the Black Panthers in to supervise a recount. Ah, just kidding. I think.
03 — Fort Hood rampage. Thirteen of our military personnel were killed and thirty wounded when a crazy gunman, Major Malik Nidal Hasan, went berserk at Fort Hood Army base in Texas.
Born in the U.S.A., Major Hasan was a devout Muslim of Palestinian parentage. Scheduled for deployment to Iraq, he was apparently vexed at the thought of fighting fellow Muslims. As he blasted away at his fellow Americans, he shouted "Allahu Akbar" — God is great.
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, took a break from suing the shirt and pants off anyone who utters a word critical of Islam, to condemn the mass murder. Quote:
No political or religious ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence …
Etc., etc. Fair enough: but Major Hasan plainly feels that his religion does justify it, and he is hardly alone in that belief, to judge from about ten thousand similar incidents, including, but by no means starting with, 9/11.
CAIR would reply that a great majority of Muslims in America are peaceful and law-abiding. That is true too, I'm sure; but you can't blame non-Muslim Americans for wondering if allowing Muslims to settle in numbers among us non-Muslims is really such a spiffy idea.
So far as Muslims in the generality are concerned, I bear them no ill-will, and wish them success; but perhaps they would be happier, and we would be safer, if they stayed in their own countries.
Or how about this: We let Muslims settle here in the same proportion as Saudi Arabia allows non-Muslims to settle there, with full civil rights, freedom of worship, and so on. What would be wrong with that deal?
What would be wrong with it, of course, is that ours is the Universal Nation, with a divinely-ordained duty to permit any number of people, of any faith, from anywhere in the world, to settle here. That's our state ideology, and woe betide anyone who questions it.
See? That's the Southern Poverty Law Center, on to me already.
04 — Homosexual marriage, whether we want it or not. Back in May the state legislature of the state of Maine voted to allow homosexuals to marry each other, but opponents got up a petition, delaying implementation of the law and forcing a popular referendum.
That referendum took place on Tuesday. Result: Maine voters overturned the homosexual-marriage law by 53 to 47. That makes a straight run of 31 consecutive losses for homosexual marriage in popular votes.
That would seem to suggest that Americans at large do not approve of homosexual marriage. Only five states legally perform homosexual marriages, and in all cases the decision was by the legislature or the judiciary, not popular vote.
Of course the nation will get homosexual marriage at last. The liberal elites will see to that. They'll find some way to rig up the laws, to ban popular votes. They'll also barrage us with another 20 years or so of movies and TV shows where the normal, likeable characters are homosexual, and the axe murderers all heterosexual. It'll be a done deal. Then clergymen and justices of the peace will have to marry homosexual couples, whatever their conscience tells them.
You don't think so? Look what happened to justice of the peace Keith Bardwell down in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, last month.
Mr Bardwell refused to marry an interracial couple (white lady, black guy) because it was against his conscience. He thought the kids would have a hard time in life. He gave the couple the name of a justice of the peace who would marry them, and politely sent them on their way. They were married three days later.
Mr Bardwell followed his conscience, and no harm was done to anyone. Yet he has been forced to step down from his position (which is elected, by the way). He is being sued by the couple for "emotional distress," or some such bogus flapdoodle, and has been denounced as a wicked, evil, twisted man by every liberal pundit in the country, and most conservative ones too.
I don't agree with Mr. Bardwell about interracial marriage, but he is entitled to his opinion, and ought to be able to recuse himself on conscientious grounds.
When homosexual marriage has spread across the nation, there'll be a Keith Bardwell every day of the week, and their consciences will be stomped into the mud by screaming hordes of politically correct enforcers, just as his was.
05 — Potential immigrants. The Gallup Poll did a world-wide survey, asking people if they would like to move to another country. Based on their sampling methodology, seven hundred million people would like to change countries.
Guess how many would like to come live in the U.S.A.? Answer: 165 million. Another 45 million would like to move to Canada.
Now, I'm going to give you a little math here, so pay careful attention. There'll be a quiz period afterwards!
OK: Gallup uses a measure called the PNMI, the Potential Net Migration Index. First you take the estimated number of adults who would like to move in to a country permanently, minus the estimated number who would like to move out — in other words the net desiring-to-move-in. Then you divide by the country's current population.
If 17 million adults would like to move in to your country and two million would like to move out, that's net 15 million in. If your country has a current population of 30 million, your PNMI is 50 percent. See? The bigger the score, the bigger your population gain under open borders. It's a sort of popularity index.
OK, what are the actual scores? With 165 million wanting to settle here, assuming nobody wants to move out, ours is 55 percent. That's way below the leaders. Top of the league is Singapore, with a PNMI of 260 percent. Number two, sit down for this one, is Saudi Arabia at 180 percent, followed by New Zealand, Canada, and Australia.
Bottom of the league: Democratic Republic of the Congo, negative 60 percent, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone, both negative 55, Haiti and El Salvador both negative 50.
I await the editorials from liberal newspapers urging us to open up our borders and let those 165 million people settle here.
06 — Healthcare Bill. Nancy Pelosi's healthcare reform bill lumbers towards a vote in Congress. It's nineteen hundred pages long — 2.3 times as long as my King James Bible. The defects of the bill have been well advertised. The other defects, I mean — being two and a half times as long as the Bible is a pretty substantial defect by itself.
The main issue is the cost of the thing, quoted in newspapers as a trillion dollars, but surely much more — government schemes always cost far more than advertised.
Where's the money to come from? By cutting half a trillion from Medicare, we're told. What, less medical care for seniors? No no no, the bill's supporters tell us: we'll cut out waste and fraud. Of course, if anyone knew how to do that, it would have been done long ago.
What about the other half trillion? That will be raised by increasing taxes on small businesses. What a great idea, in a recession! — or out of one for that matter. What a boost for the national economy!
And then, go back to the sheer length of the thing. There's room for a lot of land-mines in nineteen hundred pages.
Here's just one, Section 2531, heading "Medical Liability Alternatives," quote:
[E]stablishes an incentive program for states to adopt and implement alternatives to medical liability litigation. [But] … a state is not eligible for the incentive payments if that state puts a law on the books that limits attorneys' fees or imposes caps on damages.
So your state will get big goodies from the feds: but if your state is so impertinent as to restrict trial lawyers' fees, the goodies will be snatched away before you can say "John Edwards." I wonder where the input to that little nugget came from.
How about we move to rename this monstrosity "The Trail Lawyers' and Federal Bureaucrats' Indoor Relief Bill." At least that would be honest.
07 — We Are Doomed: Diversity. As in the previous four broadcasts of Radio Derb, I am going to regale you with a passage from that wonderful book We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism.
Here is something from Chapter Two, which deals with diversity. Here's the extract.
It should be noted that Diversicrats are not, or not often, stone-faced commissars in shiny suits enforcing a reign of terror on a cowering populace. Most of them are bland, cheerful, middle-class careerists. Go to the website of any office concerned with Diversity indoctrination or enforcement — the University of Delaware's "Residence Life" department, for instance. The Diversicrats smile out at you — well-groomed citizens with sheaves of paper qualifications and good salaries. See how happy we are! they seem to say. Come join us! Help us to celebrate Diversity!
08 — Miscellany. Here's our miscellany of short items from the news.
Item: China's capital city, Peking, had its first snowfall of the year last Sunday, courtesy of the Chinese Air Force, which seeded the clouds above the city to force artificial precipitation.
Given that the cloud cover over Chinese cities is largely composed of concentrated industrial pollutants, it would be interesting to know what color the snow was, but the news reports didn't tell us. Bright purple, would be my guess.
Item: The world's largest cruise ship, twenty stories high, with berths for eight and a half thousand passengers and crew, sailed up the Kattegat and sailed down the Skaggerak, from its home in Finland, on its way to Florida.
The name of the ship is Oasis of the Seas. This was thought to be more marketable than the name originally proposed: Terrorist Target Number One.
Item: Here's another survey, this one from the Pew research center. They interviewed working women — not housewives, working women — asking them if they'd prefer to work full-time or part-time. Sixty-two percent said part-time, versus only 21 percent of men.
Of course, most women work because it's not possible now, as it was just forty years ago, to raise a family on one salary. It's quaint to recall that the aim of the original feminist movement, led by people like Eleanor Roosevelt, was to keep the wages of American men high so that American women wouldn't have to work.
Item: I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the only guy in the U.S.A. who pays his income taxes.
It emerged this week that Ron Dellums, the mayor of Oakland, California, owes $239,000 in back taxes to the IRS. Dellums claims he took a big financial hit when he left his Washington D.C. lobbying firm to go and be mayor of Oakland. That doesn't jibe with the IRS records though. Dellums became mayor in January 2007; he was a tax delinquent in '05 and '06.
I guess the late great Leona Helmsley nailed it: "Only the little people pay taxes."
Item: We have a couple of wedding announcements here.
In Sliven, Bulgaria, a young gypsy lady went into labor at her wedding ceremony. She was rushed to hospital and gave birth to a 5-lb 8-oz baby girl. Congratulations to the happy mother, Kordeza Zhelyazkova, who is eleven years old. Her husband is nineteen.
Meanwhile, over in Galguduud, Somalia, Ahmed Muhamed Dore, who claims to be 112 years old, married his sweetheart Safia Abdulleh, who is 17 years old. Not so much a May-December romance as a January 5th-December 29th deal. Quote from Mr. Dore: "Today God helped me realise my dream," end quote. If you really are 112 years old, pal, he's going to have to help you a whole lot more in the days and nights to come, I should think.
Item: Go Yankees! Yes, the Bronx Bombers won their 27th World Series, beating Philadelphia in game six by 7 to 3.
Special congratulations to Hideki Matsui, who drove in six of those seven runs, and had a Series batting average of .615, including three homers. Also to Derek Jeter, who was 11 for 27 in the series, for an average .407, and got his fifth World Series ring. Also to Mariano Rivera, also getting his fifth Series ring, and having pitched the final out in four of them.
I've been a Yankee fan since the days of Billy Martin and Goose Gossage. I used to own a cat named Thurman. Far as I'm concerned, baseball is the Yankees, and the Yankees are baseball.
Item: Just one more point on Tuesday's elections.
One of the biggest local upsets was the whupping of Democrat County Executive Andrew Spano in Westchester County, the first county north of New York City. Republican Rob Astorino beat Spano 58-42 in this county thick with liberals.
Now, I lived in Westchester for four years, and still have friends there. I was talking to one of them at the weekend. Three days ahead of the election, he told me Spano was toast. Why? I asked. "Affordable housing," came the emphatic reply.
Back in August, you see, the county announced a settlement with the federal Housing and Urban Development department to build affordable housing for low-income minorities amid the bosky suburban glades of Westchester. The locals didn't like this a bit, and took it out on Spano.
Anybody who knows Westchester knows this, but the news media apparently don't. The only mention I've seen of the affordable-housing factor in Tuesday's election was by conservative legal writer Walter Olson in City Journal. For the rest of the MSM, the factor apparently didn't exist.
To admit that it did exist, would be to admit that all those New York Times-reading, hybrid-driving, gay-marriage-supporting, Obama-loving Westchester liberals are no more keen on opening up their neighborhoods to poor minorities than those rednecks down south are.
And that, my friends, is a thing the MSM would not admit under pain of torture.
Item: OK, what else? Oh Lord, I almost forgot the news from Honduras. I know Radio Derb listeners are keenly attentive to the critical events in this vitally important nation, so let's get up to date. What's happening there? What are the consequences for the United States? What are the implications for world peace? How will this extremely fraught situation be resolved?
Well, this week [buzzer sound] … Oh, I'm sorry, we're out of time. More on the Honduras situation next week.
09 — Signoff. That's all I have for this week, listeners. I'm afraid things fell into disorder somewhat while I was away.
As you know, our studio here on the 95th floor of Buckley Towers is right below Jonah's suite on 96. Included in Jonah's suite is the grotto where we go for after-work relaxation and in-depth discussion of issues of the day while our diligent research assistants tap away at their blackberries.
Well, there seems to have been some kind of horseplay up there in my absence, causing great quantities of water to be splashed around, generating a minor flood down through our ceiling here. My own research assistants Mandy, Brandy, and Candy were fortunately not involved, they assure me, as they were all busy at work in the library.
I have my suspicions about Pepé; but as a mixed-race, transgendered, undocumented immigrant with a slight congenital case of strabismus, Pepé allows us to cover all federal diversity regs in one fell swoop — just about as valuable an employee as one can have. I am therefore loth to inquire too deeply into the grotto incident, for fear he will resign in a huff.
These are the tribulations of the modern employer. Thank goodness, at any rate, for my faithful female amanuenses, toiling away down there in the stacks. Help of this quality is not easy to find.
Oh, I see Candy waggling her loofah at me from behind the studio window. That means it's time for my afternoon rubdown. Mustn't keep a lady waiting! More next week from Radio Derb.
Meantime, to see us out, here are the children of Ms Susan Marsico's Kindergarten class down in Mableton, Georgia, singing their loyalty song. If you want to join in, the words are:
Barack Obama is our new President
[Music clip: Obama song.]