[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, fife'n'drum version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! This is your effervescently genial host John Derbyshire with some headlines from the news.
Quite a week, with more than the average quota of big stories. First, an atrocity.
02 — Bombs at the Marathon. Leading news story this week was the bombings at the Boston Marathon. As Radio Derb goes to tape we — we, the general public — have no idea who done it. All we can do is speculate, so let's do that.
The speculative possibilities as to perp and motive fall into two categories, each of which further divides in two, for a total of four categories altogether.
The two major categories are (A) private, and (B) political. (A) then divides into (A1) and (A2), (A1) being private-criminal and (A2) being private-crazy. (B), the political, divides into (B1) and (B2), (B1) being political-domestic, (B2) being political-international. You with me? OK, let's take them in turn.
(A1), the private-but-criminal, is possible. This is the scenario where, for example, someone wants to off a spouse for the life insurance money. In fact it used to happen a lot, when commercial aviation was still quite new. John Gilbert Graham of Denver, Colorado got this gruesome little ball rolling back in 1955 when he blew up his mother and 43 other people in United Airlines flight 629, after buying a sheaf of life insurance policies on her from airport vending machines, which you could do in those days. There were many more similar cases, including one in 1972 against a Cathay Pacific plane that I would have been on if my schedule had been just slightly different.
James Fulford of VDARE.com tells me Graham was not the first person to blow up a plane for a life insurance payout. The first was a French-Canadian, Albert Guay, in September 1949.
Arguing against (A1) is the fact of there being two bombs. If you're going to blow up your wife for the insurance money, it's hard to see the need for two bombs. Those things aren't easy to make.
Then we have (A2), the private-but-crazy. Here you'd have someone with a beef against the Marathon, or against some particular Marathoner, or against marathons in general — a beef you couldn't understand because the perp is crazy. It's in the nature of lunacy that motive is hard to fathom.
A slight argument against this one is that crazy people in the generality don't function well enough to carry through the kind of technically detailed operation we have here, with electronic timers and such. I say slight because one can think of contrary cases, lunatics who've carried out cognitively demanding plots — Charles Manson, for instance.
On the political side there's (B1), political-domestic: the Timothy McVeigh scenario, or perhaps our President's old buddy Bill Ayers taking a nostalgia trip. Possible, I suppose; but why would a politically motivated perp choose the Boston Marathon? It doesn't have any political angle known to me. McVeigh hated the federal government, so he bombed a federal government building. Ayers was more generously anti-authoritarian: he bombed a police HQ as well as Congress and the Pentagon. I can't fit the Marathon into this pattern.
Finally there's (B2), political and international. The pattern fits better here. The big international terrorist nuisances — people like the IRA and Al Qaeda — have been willing to blow up anything at all that creates headlines for their cause. In the world we live in today, Muslims are the obvious suspects; but there's a chance it's some non-Muslim group we never heard of before. Remember Fraunces Tavern, 1975, blown up by Puerto Rican nationalists.
Arguing against (B2) is the lack of any acknowledgment. Terrorist organizations usually take credit for their mayhem, although "take credit" always seems like the wrong way to say it.
Executive summary: I'd say (A2) and (B2) are the likeliest, the private-but-crazy and the political-international. If I had to place a bet, I'd go with (A2), but I wouldn't bet the house.
03 — Oderint dum metuant. A few sidebar issues here on the Boston bombing.
First, we're getting conspiracy theories. This is natural: Nature abhors a vacuum, and with a near-perfect vacuum of actual information, creative minds have fun putting theories together.
The conspiracy theories I've seen center around the Saudi national who was near enough one of the bombs to suffer burns, who was then interrogated in hospital by the FBI as a "person of interest," and who was then deported back to Saudi Arabia. By coincidence — or not, depending on your appetite for conspiracy theories — Barack Obama met with the Saudi Foreign Minister the same day we learned about this.
Second, we got some off-the-wall commentary from Tutsi columnist David Sirota at Salon.com. I'm using "Tutsi" there as a shorthand for the left-liberal, urban, mostly-white, over-educated U.S. ruling class, as opposed to the lower-class Hutus clinging to their guns and religion out in the sticks — these Tutsis and Hutus being the two sides in what I call our Cold Civil War.
Well, Sirota's a Tutsi who hates Hutus so much he can barely get the words out. The title of his Tuesday column at Salon.com was Let's hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American. Here's his argument, sample quote:
The specific identity of the Boston Marathon bomber … is not some minor detail — it will almost certainly dictate what kind of governmental, political and societal response we see in the coming weeks. That means regardless of your particular party affiliation, if you care about everything from stopping war to reducing the defense budget to protecting civil liberties to passing immigration reform, you should hope the bomber was a white domestic terrorist … because only in that case will privilege work to prevent the Boston attack from potentially undermining progress on those other issues.
End quote. The key word there is "privilege." It's a thing David Sirota knows all about. He grew up in a tony Philadelphia suburb and attended a very tony private school. Presumably — I don't know the guy personally, but I'll go with the obvious explanation here — presumably he's guilty as hell about it all, and projects his guilt on the Hutus that he hates so much — working-class white people who drive pickup trucks instead of hybrids, drink supermarket beer instead of wine-of-the-month, keep coal in the bathtub, et cetera.
So here's the logic. Working-class white people are invulnerable in their "white privilege," so if it turns out the bomber was one of them, the government of Amerik-k-ka will do nothing. If, on the other hand, it turns out to be a member of a Designated Victim Group — a black, a Muslim, or, quote, "a foreigner from the developing world," which I think you can take to mean a Mexican — if it turns out to be one of those poor downtrodden souls, who of course would only be trying to protest their oppression and exploitation, then pretty soon screeching foam-flecked Hutu mobs will be pitchforking black, Muslim, or Mexican babies into bonfires.
I know, it's nuts, but that's the Tutsi mentality. They hate us. Fortunately they also fear us, which is what all this noise about gun control means — more on that in a later segment. Personally, as a registered Hutu, I'm cool with them hating me, so long as they're also fearing me. As the Romans used to say: oderint dum metuant, "let them hate, so long as they fear."
Finally on these sidebar notes: One always wants to offer something constructive, even when, as in this case, we don't know who's to blame. Yes, it could be some lunatic with a private grudge, or some splinter group from the East Timor Liberation Front. And yes, without North Korean levels of social control, we shall never eliminate all such incidents.
We can reduce the odds a bit though. Taking the last twenty years as a whole — since the first World Trade Center bombing, that is — Muslim terrorists have committed more than their share of these atrocities … or, like the Times Square Bomber, have tried to.
So security-wise, there's some low-hanging fruit here to be picked. We should stop allowing entry of people from Muslim countries. There would be no injustice involved: it's our country, we can let in who we please. We should have done this after 9/11. We should still do it. We won't, because we're collectively too stupid and pussified, and too willing to be browbeaten by Tutsi elite types like David Sirota, who believe that all the ills of the world are caused by Hutu whites. So we won't, but we should.
04 — Schumer-Rubio immigration lie-o-rama. That segues nicely into the week's second big story, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. That's the 844-page amnesty bill cooked up by the Gang of Eight senators, notably Chuck "I have a passion for legislating" Schumer and Marco "We don't need new taxes, we need new taxpayers" Rubio.
The first thing that got my attention when this behemoth finally appeared was that title: the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Why isn't that three acts? What do Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization have to do with each other? I understand, of course, that from a Hegelian perspective, everything is connected to everything else, we are all droplets in the Cosmic Ocean [clip: "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, …"] and so on: but if we need a Border Security Act, why don't we pass one? Oh wait, we already did: the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act promised secure borders. So did the 2006 Secure Fence Act.
That's most of what you need to know about this bill. This bill has two objectives: One, to feed more cheap labor to American business, which benefits the GOP since the Chambers of Commerce fund their campaigns. Two, to feed more clients to the welfare state, which benefits the public-sector unions who operate the welfare state and fund the Democratic Party. Everything else, including all the slippery stuff about secure borders and law enforcement, all of it is squid ink put out to hide those main objectives.
No, "squid ink" is too nice: it's lies. The framers of this bill are promising, in writing, to do things they have no intention of doing. If you think I'm exaggerating, I urge you to read Ann Coulter's syndicated column of April 18th, title: If Rubio's Amnesty Is So Great, Why Is He Lying?. Sample, quote:
Rubio said his comprehensive immigration plan isn't amnesty because … "it's cheaper, faster and easier for people to go back home and wait 10 years" — as the law currently requires — "than it will be to go through this process that I've outlined."
End quote. Read the whole thing, it's Ann at her best. And if you think I'm just saying that to get Ann's attention because I'm in love with her, stick around for the next segment, when I reveal a new love in my life.
Immigration policy is a massive fraud on the American people. This country doesn't actually need any immigrants at all, legal or otherwise. We have 300 million people here — all the talent we need. In 1960, when we had little more than half that number, we staffed labor-intensive industries, put men on the moon, and created a popular culture that swept the world. In 1974, when I first got a job as a computer programmer in this country, I worked in a large room filled with American-born computer programmers, except for one Filipino and one West Indian. Nowadays you can hardly find a U.S.-born programmer; not because we've got worse at it, only because mass immigration via the H-1B program has driven down wages to a point where no American wants to do the work.
The U.S.A. is a country, not a hotel. We are a nation, not a mere pool of labor. If this bill passes Congress, we shall have signed away our nationhood. Fight this disgraceful bill! Call your congresscritter; go to the NumbersUSA website and sign their petition; make yourself heard.
05 — Seeing off Maggie. Mrs. Thatcher's funeral was held in London this week, and it went off very well. The Brits still do this stuff better than anybody. They did this particular event as well as they did Winston Churchill's funeral back in 1965.
In fact one of the London newspapers showed the view up the Strand as the funeral procession made its way to St. Paul's cathedral, and put it alongside a photograph of Churchill's funeral taken from the same spot. The London skyline has changed some, but otherwise the two scenes were remarkably similar. I was actually in the Strand 48 years ago to watch Churchill's casket go by, so I guess I'm one of the dots in that picture somewhere.
The service at St. Paul's was beautifully done. We Anglicans don't believe in anything much nowadays, but we put on great services. The Bishop of London gave a sermon that was less vapid than usual for a cleric of his rank and denomination. We heard some fine hymns, and apppropriate passages from the Book of Common Prayer, quote: "Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up and is cut down like a flower; he flieth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay." End quote. Hard to argue with that. The Prime Minister-bot did a very lifelike impersonation of a human being reading from the Gospel of John.
The star of the show, however, was 19-year-old Amanda Thatcher of Dallas, Texas, currently a student at the University of Virginia. Amanda is Mrs. Thatcher's granddaughter, a very pretty and poised young lady who gave a pitch-perfect reading from Chapter 6 of St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians, verses 10 to 18 (reported by the New York Times as Chapter 10, verse 18 of the Sixth Book of Ephesians).
As sorry as I was to see Mrs. Thatcher go, getting acquainted with her lovely granddaughter, even through a TV screen, almost made up for it.
If Amanda ever feels the need of a break from her college work, she is most welcome to join us for a few days here on our sun-kissed island in the warm Aegean. My ever-obliging research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy would be only too glad to instruct her in the rudiments of beach volleyball, while in the evenings I am sure I could spare time for long moonlight walks with her discussing world affairs. Or I could bring her here to the studio and let her amuse herself with my apparatus. Whatever: Just let us know, Ma'am, care of Taki's Magazine. I am always anxious to do what I can to help the up-and-coming generation.
06 — Gun bill shot down. As predicted by Radio Derb last week, The Public Safety And Second Amendment Rights Protection Act died in the Senate. This was the centerpiece of the administration's gun control strategy, pushed in the Senate by Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
Pseudo-strategy, I should say. We are in the realm of gesture politics here. All Washington politicians know that federal gun laws go nowhere because of the strength of feeling on this issue among working-class whites. Thus both Democrats and Republicans get to pose as busily and compassionately doing something after an event like the Sandy Hook shootings in the sure and certain knowledge that when push comes to shove, they won't actually have to do anything at all.
Senator Toomey notwithstanding, to the degree that there is real passion here, it's on the Democrat side. The Democrats are the main Tutsi party, while guns are the supreme emblem of lower-class white Hutu males. The fact that Hutus always win on gun control drives the Tutsi classes nuts.
They have to vent, and going through the motions of legislating is one way of venting. They work up some picayune extension of the background-check laws — laws which, as we also told you last week, don't work anyway; or else they invent some bogus new category of "assault weapons," as if anything with a spinning lead projectile coming out of it at nine hundred feet per second isn't an assault weapon.
When the legislation goes nowhere, that gives them the opportunity to make Tutsi-rallying speeches demonizing low-class whites, keeping the Cold Civil War alive for another season.
Another way the Tutsis vent is by writing newspaper editorials. All newspaper editorialists are Tutsi, of course, so the failure of this pseudo-legislation brought them out with all guns blazing … though that can't possibly be the right metaphor here.
Thus Dana Milbank in the Washington Post Wednesday. A majority of senators supported the gun-control law, said Milbank, but, quote: "too many cowered in the face of fierce opposition from the National Rifle Association," end quote. Hmm: I wonder if Dana Milbank ever wrote a sentence containing the phrase "too many cowered in the face of fierce opposition from public-sector unions," or "too many cowered in the face of fierce opposition from La Raza," or "too many cowered in the face of fierce opposition from AIPAC." I'm guessing not.
In the same sputtering spirit, the L.A. Times called the killing of the legislation "a shameful failure." The Chicago Tribune said it was a "vote for violence." The New York Times fumed that, quote: "For 45 senators, the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School is a forgotten tragedy," end quote. Well, perhaps they just didn't think it would have helped. The Cumbria mass shootings in England three years ago happened in an environment of gun control far beyond anything our most liberal politicians have ever proposed.
But as I said, it's gesture politics — a propaganda skirmish in the Cold Civil War; our liberal elites venting while conservative Americans grimly stand their ground. We won this one easily. The fight over the amnesty bill won't be so easy, but we have to win that one, too.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The city of Phoenix celebrates diversity, as of course we all should. The city has, however, a slight diversity problem. Phoenix gets pretty hot in the summer, so the city's 29 public swimming pools are in great demand, especially by poorer black and Hispanic residents whose houses don't have their own pools.
Problem is, public pools need lifeguards; lifeguards need to be really good swimmers; and being really good at swimming is very much a white thing. Ouch.
Not to worry though, the city fathers have worked out a solution. They are going to recruit black and Hispanic lifeguards, even if they can't meet lifeguard standards in swimming. "We will work with you in your swimming abilities," says city official Melissa Boyle, addressing herself to aspiring lifeguards from the minorities.
It would of course be a tragedy if this lowering of standards led to Phoenix kids drowning in city pools; but, as General Casey said about the Fort Hood massacre, it would be a greater tragedy if our diversity were to become a casualty here.
Item: Here's Bashar Assad, the dictator of Syria, in an interview with one of his own country's TV stations. Assad, last of the secularist Arab dictators, is holding his own in a vicious civil war against Islamist fundamentalists. His main point in this interview was to warn Western countries against supporting the rebels.
He drew a nice parallel with what happened in Afghanistan back in the eighties. Back then the West supported the Mujahideen fighters against the Soviet occupation. That worked, and the Soviets eventually left; but then the Mujahideen turned into (a) the Taliban and (b) Al Qaeda, who've been giving us nothing but trouble ever since.
It's a point worth pondering. If there is a single lesson to be learned from this last thirty years' engagement with the Muslim world, it surely is that the less we have to do with them, the better. Let them sort out their own issues.
Bashar Assad is not a lovable figure, except possibly to his mother: but any conceivable replacement will almost certainly be worse. Whatever: it's none of our business. If we try to make it so, we'll be regretting it for decades to come.
Item: A footnote here to the immigration bill — I beg its pardon, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. This is from Investor's Business Daily.
Under the 2010 Obamacare healthcare act, if an employer offers insurance that a worker can't afford, then the worker becomes eligible for ObamaCare's exchange subsidies; but then the employer would have to pay the government up to $3,000 for the subsidized worker.
As you've probably heard, employers can get themselves off the hook here by shifting some workers to part-time; so expect to see a lot of that next year when Obamacare kicks in.
A wrinkle in the immigration bill, however, means an employer can also save that $3,000 by hiring someone in provisional legal immigrant status — i.e. an illegal alien who's applied for legalization.
Bottom line here: an illegal alien who's applied for legalization will have a $3,000 edge in the labor market over a citizen.
I have a suggestion for Schumer, Rubio, & Co. Why don't you just name this the War On U.S. Citizens Act?
Item: Finally, just sweeping up here, two from the wonderful world of science, always uncovering astounding new facts about the world we live in. One, quote: "Scientists say listening to music stimulates the senses giving pleasure," end quote. Who knew? Two, quote: "Optimism can make us happier say scientists. When people imagine good things in their future it makes them happy." End quote. Whatever will they find out next?
Last of all, just so you know that there's a downside even to Easter: 54-year-old Sharon Dixon of Yorkshire, England, choked to death during a boiled egg-eating contest at her local pub. Very sad. My advice to anyone thinking of entering a boiled egg-eating contest and not wishing to succumb to the same dismal fate as Ms. Dixon would be to watch the movie Cool Hand Luke beforehand to see how it's done.
08 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. I was a few days late noticing that last week saw the 85th birthday of Tom Lehrer, whose comic songs gave much pleasure to my generation back in the early 1960s. Yes, yes, I know: Lehrer was a flaming liberal. He did write some funny songs, though; and politics should never get in the way of appreciating a person's non-political talents. I speak here as a Wagner fan. Anyway, Lehrer was a mathematician by profession, so how bad could he be, really?
Here's a clip from one of his songs to see us out. This is a sweet little ballad titled "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park."
Happy birthday, Tom, and there'll be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: From Tom Lehrer's "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park."]