[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, fife'n'drum version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is your mesmerically genial host John Derbyshire, back in our state-of-the-art studio on Taki's private island here in the Aegean after a couple of weeks on the road.
You find me solitary this week, munching disconsolately on a goatburger, as my research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy have stayed in Ashgabat to help our dear friend President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov work on one of his exciting new projects, for the benefit of his grateful people of course. He is such a selfless benefactor!
I'm not clear about the precise nature of the project: something to do with mining, I think — which figures, as Turkmenistan is rich in all kinds of minerals. At any rate, I heard from Brandy on a rather poor telephone connection something about sliding up and down shafts, so that must be it.
I miss their help, of course, but duty calls and I shall do my best by my own efforts to bring you a good selection from the week's news. Let's get started.
02 — Last Week of Zimmerman trial. Down in Sanford, Florida, the trial of George Zimmerman is working its way to a conclusion. The timing here is bad for Radio Derb: we go to tape Thursday night, midway through the closing arguments. I can therefore only bring listeners up to date on the week's courtroom events.
This week was mostly given over to the defense presentation. Some highlights:
Zimmerman's come out of the trial pretty well. His story — which, as investigator Chris Serino testified, has been consistent from the start — held up well, the few items of really dispositive evidence, like the forensic pathologist's, all tending to confirm it. On a reasonable-doubt standard, I can't see how the jury could convict.
Experienced courtroom lawyers, however, tell us you can never second-guess a jury; that jury verdicts depend too much on interpersonal dynamics and individual perceptions.
And this is of course much more than just a criminal trial. It's been taking place amid a cloud of commentary and sidebar events. Let's take a look at some of that.
03 — Sticking it to Whitey. The dog that hasn't barked in the Zimmerman case has been Latino solidarity. Zimmerman's mother was a Peruvian, of Indian stock from the look of her. So he's indisputably Latino. Why aren't the Latino lobbies out supporting him?
I googled "La Raza" in quotes plus "Zimmerman." All I got was a bunch of reports from March and April last year about La Raza denying that they were ignoring the Zimmerman case. Since then, apparently, they have, well, ignored it.
Where are the rest of the Latino lobbyists? Where's Rep. Luis Gutierrez? Where's Juan Hernandez — remember him? — John McCain's Latino outreach director, all over our TV screens in the 2008 campaign. Where's a spokesman for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund? Where's the MalDef guy (or muchacha)? Where's Janet Murguia or Cecilia Muñoz? Where's Geraldo Rivera? [Crickets.]
You occasionally read speculations from the wilder kind of race realist that there's mass violence between blacks and Latinos in our future. And yes, there is open hostility between the two groups in prisons and ghetto schoolyards. In many of our towns and cities there's a quiet, slow ethnic cleansing going on, Latinos pushing out blacks. In some California towns it's not been so quiet; there are territorial wars going on.
Yes, all true, but that's underclass stuff. Nobody of any importance gives a fig about the underclass. Let them eat cake! The race game in today's U.S.A. is played among middle-class activists: community organizers with Harvard degrees, TV talking heads, professors of ethnic studies, diversity consultants, black politicians, and salaried bureaucrats in government departments like, oh, say, for example, Eric Holder's Justice Department.
These people, the real players in the race game, know what it's about. What's it about? It's about sticking it to Whitey, that's what. All race activism in the U.S. is anti-white first and foremost, and often — as in the Zimmerman case — only.
So don't be looking for La Raza to organize any marches on George Zimmerman's behalf. Why spoil such a wonderful opportunity to stick a finger in Whitey's eye? The myth of white oppression has to be kept alive. It's a shame George Zimmerman isn't totally white; but he's white enough.
Second sidebar point: The steady stream of sneering about Zimmerman as a, quote, "wannnabe cop." What's the point there? My neighborhood has a volunteer ambulance service, who have saved many lives. If I join them and go through the first aid training, does that make me a "wannabe doctor"? If it does, what's wrong with that?
Third sidebar point: Here's a quote from black guy Rod Vereen on CNN last Sunday. Rod Vereen — who he? Well, he's the attorney for Zimmerman trial prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, whom in our June 29th broadcast I described rather unkindly as, quote, "a 300-pound slab of ghetto attitude." I apologize for my insensitivity there. On closer inspection, Ms. Jeantel weighs no more than 280.
So here's this Vereen chap on CNN arguing that Zimmerman had made wildly unwarranted assumptions based on Trayvon Martin's youth and color. Quote:
People have a tendency to want to believe that young black men are growing up in these urban neighborhoods to be violent. And that is absolutely not the case.
End quote. You got that? "Absolutely not the case."
OK, here's a story from the Associated Press, July 7th, quote:
Shootings in Chicago during the Fourth of July holiday weekend have left at least nine people dead and several dozen wounded, including two young boys shot in different parks … One of the shootings on Saturday night proved especially violent, killing a man in his late 40s and wounding six others. A 25-year-old man was shot and killed earlier Saturday outside his home. Among the wounded are a 7-year-old boy who was shot Thursday night and Jaden Donald, 5, who authorities and relatives said has undergone multiple surgeries since being shot in the abdomen early Friday morning in a park.
Now, I don't have any information as to the races involved here, and you know I would never jump to conclusions on a matter like that. I just note in passing that according to that same AP report, quote: "The Rev. Al Sharpton has said he plans to live in Chicago for a few months to work with neighborhood leaders on the problem," end quote.
Well, that should fix things. Perhaps Attorney Vereen could go and work with him.
Finally, there's been a lot of speculation about whether blacks will riot if Zimmerman is acquitted. I have no opinion on this. I will, though go out on a limb with a related speculation. Based on the remarks I opened this segment with, I'm going to offer the speculation that if Zimmerman is convicted, Latinos will not riot.
04 — Black leaders ♥ amnesty. Further to my hypothesis that the race game is five percent pro-minority and 95 percent anti-white, here's a story about the Congressional Black Caucus, the CBC.
The CBC had a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday. Quote from the report:
"They discussed a range of topics including the economy, voting rights legislation, education, comprehensive immigration reform, youth employment, gun violence, and anti-poverty programs," said a White House statement.
End quote. Now, what caught my eye in that list of topics was the phrase "comprehensive immigration reform." So the Congressional Black Caucus raised the Amnesty Bill with Barack Obama. What's their position on it?
Their position is exactly what my hypothesis would predict: They totally support the bill. Quote from Rep. Hank Johnson, fresh from his labors to prevent the capsizing of Guam, quote: "It's good for African-Americans, and it's good for the nation." Translation: It's bad for Whitey, so it's fine with us, even though it floods the low end of the labor market with foreign workers, displacing a lot of poor blacks.
The CBC isn't having this all its own way, though. This coming Monday, July 15th, an organization called the Black American Leadership Alliance, BALA, is staging a march on Washington, D.C. — the D.C. March for Jobs. Quote from their website: "If passed, the Gang of Eight's proposed immigration bill will be costly for all Americans, but will harm black American workers more than any other group."
That goes totally against the narrative. Who are they, this Black American Leadership Alliance? Didn't they get the memo about the Amnesty Bill being the biggest Stick-It-To-Whitey campaign of the decade so far?
Don't worry, the Anti-Defamation League has got their number. Quote from them: "BALA is just the latest incarnation of a shifting series of front groups for the anti-immigrant nativist group FAIR [that's the Federation for American Immigration Reform], which has been trying for years to drive a wedge between African Americans and Latinos," end quote. See? — It's all a sinister plot by the white devils to keep colored folk down. Didn't you know it?
Once the news gets out, I'm betting the D.C. March for Jobs will be a flop, with no more than a few dozen dupes marching. That'll be a relief to Hank Johnson, anyway. He was worried that if too many people turned up, Washington D.C. might tip over and be swallowed by the Potomac.
Nothing much else has been happening on the immigration front. The Amnesty Bill is currently in limbo. It's passed out of the Senate, but the House has not yet taken it up, or decided not to take it up. John Boehner will sell the pass if he can, no doubt weeping as he does so [Johnnie Ray: "Cry."] but conservative members of the House majority are already showing signs of resistance, so we shall see.
05 — California, there it goes. Actually, about three-quarters of the arguments made by immigration boosters can be countered with a single word. No, not the word that begins with "b" and ends with "t"; I'm thinking of a different word.
The word is "California." It's sad to listen to people who grew up in the Golden State forty or fifty years ago, the California of the Beach Boys and American Graffiti. The state back then was less crowded, less expensive, less diverse, and way better governed.
Geezer nostalgia should always be taken with a grain of salt; but on the numbers, they seem to have a point here. Crowding, for example: in 1970 there were 20 million Californians in residence; that number has well-nigh doubled. The rate of increase there is much higher than for the U.S.A. as a whole, which has grown by only a bit more than a half since 1970.
That wouldn't matter so much if a lot of the land wasn't spoken for, as desert or mountain. The coastal strip and the Central Valley are where people want to live, and those regions have all they can handle. When you think of California disasters, you think of earthquakes, but in fact drought is a bigger threat to the state. There was a nasty one in the late 1980s: they were bringing water in from Canada using converted oil tankers. There'd been another one in the mid-1970s; and further back in history there were mega-droughts lasting for decades. One of them in the middle ages lasted for 220 years.
Then there's the diversity. As Radio Derb always tells you, diversity is like salt in your stew: a little improves the flavor, too much and you're in Yugoslavia — a nation which, just to remind you, no longer exists.
The demographics of California have been completely transformed since 1970. The black percentage has been the most constant, just declining a tad from seven to six and a half percent. The Hispanic percentage has nearly tripled, 13 percent to 38. Asian has almost quintupled: three percent to fourteen. And no, it's not all Silicon Valley software geeks from Taiwan: in the farmlands of the Central Valley the most commonly spoken languages are, in order: English, Spanish, and Hmong. Hmong, hmm.
Demographic losers have been the non-Hispanic whites: from 76 percent in 1970 to less than forty today — the proportion has pretty much halved.
That crowding and that diversity are of course mostly a consequence of unrestrained immigration. Fifty-five percent of children in Los Angeles County have immigrant parents.
Now, if you listen to the immigration boosters, this should have done wonders for California: pepping up the economy, funding the entitlements, dynamic young immigrants bursting with entrepreneurial zeal and cultural vibrancy, their energy driving California way out ahead of the sluggish, less diverse, non-California U.S.A. that has not been blessed with so much immigration.
Except that hasn't happened. Not at all. Quote:
What was once the most prosperous state now suffers from an unemployment rate far steeper than the nation's and a flood of firms and jobs escaping high taxes and stifling regulations. This toxic combination — high public-sector employee costs and sagging economic fortunes — has produced recurring budget crises around the state.
End quote. I took that from an excellent book out this month titled The Beholden State: California's Lost Promise and How to Recapture It. The book's published by City Journal and is composed of essays by City Journal's excellent writers, including Heather Mac Donald, Steven Malanga, and Victor Davis Hanson. City Journal's a neocon foundation so the writers try to put some optimistic lipstick on the pig, but it remains very plainly a pig — probably one of the Gadarene swine, in fact.
If you want some supplementary reading on the part politics has played in California's decline, I recommend a column titled "California GOP's Problem: Not Hispanics, But Whites (And, Of Course, Idiot Leadership)," by Peter Brimelow and Ed Rubenstein. It appeared on VDARE.com a year ago, July 2012, but is still well worth reading — a fine piece of political analysis.
06 — South of the border. Speaking of California: My friend Steve Sailer, who actually lives in the Golden State, frequently grumbles on his blog that while newspapers and news programs obsess about places like Syria and Pakistan, that no sane American gives a damn about, you rarely hear news about Mexico, which we should give a damn about because it's right next door.
It's a good point. What do I know about Mexico? Well, I was there once, but only for a few hours; and that was the island of Cozumel, one stop on a Caribbean cruise. Not representative. I read Bernal Díaz' Conquest of New Spain and Prescott's Conquest of Mexico in my college days, just because the Conquest is such a tremendous story, but that doesn't relate much to today's Mexico.
I know the same political party has held power down there for seven of the last eight decades; and it's a left-wing party; and the other parties are even more left-wing, which tells me all I need to know about Mexican politics. I know Mexico's ruling classes are tall and pale-skinned, while the Mexicans who do landscaping work around Long Island are short and swarthy, so I guess it's a racially very stratified society. That's almost it.
There is one other thing about Mexico I had an inkling of. Five years ago I was attending a conference in Tucson and one afternoon, when nothing was going on I wanted to attend, I drove my rented car down to Nogales to take a look at the border. OK, I took a look at it. Nice border.
I noticed a thing about the people of Nogales, though: An awful lot of them were awful fat. Even the little kids: I was stopped at a light by an elementary school that was letting out. Out they came, seven and eight-year-old little butter-balls, waddling out to their spherical Moms and Dads. It was really noticeable.
Well, I wasn't imagining it. A report out this week tells us that Mexico has passed the U.S.A. as the world's fattest major nation. Quote:
About 70 percent of Mexican adults are overweight, a third of them very much so. Childhood obesity tripled in a decade and about a third of teenagers are fat as well … Weight-related diabetes claims the most Mexican lives each year, with nearly one of every six Mexican adults suffering from the disease. Heart and related ailments round out the list of the country's top killers.
End quote. The report puts it all down to lots of cheap'n'nasty high-sugar, high-fat foods and drinks, which I guess is probably right.
The thing I can't figure is why our immigration boosters are still telling us that our illegal immigration problem is caused by starving Mexicans heading for the border in desperation so they can, as President George W. Bush famously said, "put food on their families." Sounds like a better option for Mexicans would be to stay home and put their families on a diet. But I guess that's just me being heartlessly exclusionary and nativist.
07 — Miscellany. And now, it's our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Now that the Defense of Marriage Act has been declared a dead letter by our Supreme Court, all sorts of oportunities have opened up for those for whom a traditional guy-and-gal marriage is too suffocatingly bourgeois.
Here's one of them: An Australian lady living in France has married a bridge. Yes, quote from the infallible Daily Mail, quote:
Jodi Rose married Le Pont du Diable, a bridge in Céret, southern France after falling head over heels for the "sensual" 14th century stone structure.
The wedding took place in front of 14 guests and was blessed by the mayor of the neighbouring town, Saint-Jean-de-Fos. However, Ms. Rose — or I guess I should call her Mme. Le Pont du Diable — wants us to know that it will be an open marriage. She wrote on her website that, quote, "He understands that I love other bridges — and men — ours is a love that embraces the vagaries of life, as materialised in the swirling currents of the river that flows beneath his magnificent body."
Reader comments on the story tended to the opinion that the bride is one arch short of a span, though several people only thought she might have been stoned. A few unkind readers wondered if the groom will be able to bear the bride's weight — Mme. Le Pont du Diable would not look out of place in Nogales. One commenter suggested that if they should have a child, they could name it Bridgette.
Strange story. It got me thinking, though. Near my home estate in Long Island there's this really cute little traffic circle I'd like to know better …
Item: Brazil's been in the news, in the worst possible way. A soccer referee got into an argument with a player and stabbbed him to death. The spectators, considering this to be a serious breach of the Offside Rule, stormed onto the pitch, hacked the referee into several pieces, and stuck his head on a stake in the middle of the field.
Nasty; but it does confirm one of the prejudices I grew up with. In my English childhood the better class of boys' schools played rugby, while on the other side of the tracks they played soccer. Rugby is actually a much rougher game. At my secondary school, a rugby school, in the average season we had a couple of broken collar bones, several cracked ribs, and half a dozen concussions. I myself was a concussee. One young man I knew, though not at my school, ended his rugby career as a quadriplegic, result of a clumsy tackle. It was considered unsporting to complain. I never heard of a soccer player suffering anything worse than a pulled tendon.
The quip was: "Rugby is a game for hooligans, played by gentlemen. Soccer is a game for gentlemen, played by hooligans." I guess there was something to it.
Item: Finally, in Indonesia, six men were setting deer traps in the forest when several tigers showed up. The men took the obvious course of action; they shinnied up a tree. Well, five of them did. The sixth was too slow and got eaten.
The five men then stayed up that tree for five days. They made cellphone calls to a nearby village, but the villagers were too scared of the tigers to free them. It took five days for park rangers to find them.
Imagine being five days up a tree with four other guys. Wonder what they talked about? I think by Day Five I would have been ready to marry the tree … but perhaps they haven't liberalized marriage laws yet in Indonesia.
08 — Signoff. All right, ladies and gents, that's it for this week. I hope the fine people of Mexico didn't take umbrage at my retailing that story about obesity down there. And I hope Congressman Hank Johnson won't be losing sleep now over the possibility that Mexico will tip over from all that weight and send tidal waves all over the hemisphere. So many things to worry about.
Just in case anyone south of the border did take umbrage over the story about their poundage, here's James Taylor to soothe their spirits.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: James Taylor, "Mexico."]