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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, piano version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! That was a snippet from one of Franz Joseph Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, played on the pianoforte for a change, and this is your sympathetically genial host John Derbyshire with news of the hour.
I am glad to say that proper discipline has been restored here at the studio after the Halloween bacchanalia. Beach privileges have been withdrawn, the village has been declared out of bounds, and the staff are all on their best behavior. My research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy are lined up here at the desk ready to hand me the transcripts, standing at attention — eyes front, shoulders back, chests out, and … What was I saying? … Er … OK, on with the show …
[Clip: Ethel Merman]
02 — One of Eric Holder's people It looks as though we have a nominee to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General. If confirmed by the Senate, our current A.G., who is a race-obsessed Ivy League-educated leftist mulatto, will be replaced by … a race-obsessed Ivy League-educated leftist mulatto. Yep, this is the Obama administration.
The nominee's name is Loretta Lynch, 55 years old, currently the U.S. Attorney for Long Island and Staten Island in New York. That would include my own broad estates in Suffolk County, Long Island, so I'd better tread carefully here. I don't want G-men banging on the door and alarming Mrs. Derbyshire.
Ms. Lynch is just what you'd expect from an Obama nominee: blackety-blackety-black, straight party line. Her first recorded political donation was to the New York City mayoral candidacy of David Dinkins, the only black guy in a Democratic Primary field of four, including then-incumbent Ed Koch.
She is on record as opposing the federal death penalty on the grounds that, quote:
You can be as fair as possible in a particular case, but the reality is that the federal death penalty is still going to hit harder on certain groups.
End quote. Well yes: Since blacks commit homicide at a rate seven or eight times the nonblack rate, they'll get more convictions for homicide even in the absence of any bias. So it's not bias the lady objects to, it's equal justice under the law.
In the same spirit, she opposes school discipline regimes that result in proportionally more blacks being disciplined; which is to say, any school discipline regimes at all, since black students misbehave more than nonblacks. Quote:
We understand that rules are important, but we also know that when we sit and look at schools that have these zero-tolerance programs, they are often used, and they take our babies, minority children, black children, Hispanic children, and they put them out of school before they have a chance to learn.
End quote. Ms. Lynch further believes that laws requiring voters to show i.d. at polling places are a racist plot to keep the black man down. When Eric Holder filed suit against North Carolina's voter i.d. law, she said she was proud of the Justice Department for opposing laws that, quote, "seek to limit our ability to stand up and exercise our rights as citizens," end quote. Whether you can get into one of Ms. Lynch's courtrooms without showing i.d., I don't know. Perhaps someone should try it.
Ms. Lynch is a keen player of the Victimization Whack-a-Mole game. The way this works is, black activists and their white liberal sycophants lobby for some new law to help blacks. When the law turns out to have negative impact on blacks, they howl that the law was passed with racist intent. The fact that it was they themselves that wanted the law in the first place is shoved down the memory hole.
In the late 1980s, for example, black congresscritters like Charles Rangel were agitating for strong penalties against possession of crack cocaine, which they said was having dire effects on black communities. Federal laws were passed imposing stiffer sentences for crack cocaine than for powdered cocaine, with most of the Congressional Black Caucus voting aye. The ink wasn't dry on those laws before we started reading about how blacks were disproportionately being sentenced under them. Since very few whites use crack cocaine, this is not very surprising; but the people who'd wanted these laws now call them "racist." That includes Loretta Lynch, who's demanded, quote, "a reduction in the sentencing disparity" between crack and powder cocaine.
Victimization Whack-a-Mole also applies to the Community Reinvestment Acts that obliged banks to give house loans to minority people with poor credit prospects, in the name of "fairness." That led to a foreclosure tsunami that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis. The Obama administration blamed the banks. Loretta Lynch worked with Eric Holder on the prosecution of Citigroup, that ended this year with the bank paying a seven billion dollar fine for throwing rational credit standards to the winds … as the government, urged on by blacks, had ordered them to do.
So, definitely one of Eric Holder's people: a far-left black supremacist. The interesting question now is: Will the Senate confirm her?
That's going to depend on a number of factors; for example, whether last week's election results have stiffened Republican spines. Also of course on timing: Will she be coming up for confirmation by the current, Democratic-controlled Senate, or by the Republican-controlled Senate to be sworn in in January?
Another factor, perhaps the biggest, will be the perceived balance of power between President and Congress at confirmation time. If the President goes ahead with his executive amnesty for illegal aliens, the lines in that match-up will be sharply drawn.
03 — Amnesty War correlation of forces. Obama seems determined on his amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens. How will this play out? What are his chances?
The first thing to remember here is that this is another amnesty. We already had one: the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, known to its friends as IRCA.
As I keep telling you, political correctness is a war against noticing things and remembering things. You can only be PC if you don't notice, and don't remember. Well, IRCA is one thing people should remember when the subject of amnesty comes up.
For one thing, remembering it squashes the notion that amnesty is some brave new idea that we never tried before. For another, IRCA was a big encouragement to the great wave of illegals coming in during the 1990s and 2000s. For yet another, it triggered a baby boom among Hispanic immigrants. And for yet another, it led to massive fraud among the applicants for amnesty. Nobody knows how many of those amnestied truly met the conditions for amnesty, but it surely wasn't all of them, or even close to all.
That said, what are the odds? Let's look at what military analysts call the Correlation of Forces.
There are some mighty forces behind the President's program. The entire Democratic Party is behind it, and they control Congress for six weeks yet. Big business lobbies in agriculture, hotels and casinos, and food processing support it, and they own plenty of congresscritters, Republicans as well as Democrats. Obama's shills in the media, in the broadsheet newspapers and TV networks, are keen on amnesty. The economics profession, which straddles the border territory where business and academe meet government, has a big open-borders cohort who'll support amnesty. The churches will support it from misguided humanitarianism.
Against all that there is … what? Well, there is the American people. Pat Caddell, a former pollster for President Jimmy Carter, told the Daily Caller, quote:
I think the numbers in this are well in the 60s [percent] against him … This could break the back of the Democratic Party … We've had a sea change in attitudes on immigration that is stunning in the last three or four months.
End quote. Caddell thinks the wave of illegals from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador this summer is what caused the sea change. Another pollster, Kellyanne Conway, agrees, quote:
After the wave of migrants, Americans aren't focused on what's fair to immigrants. Now people are asking "What's fair to the rest of us? What's fair to the high school or college student who is looking for a job? What is fair to the guy who can't find employment? What's fair to the business owners who are disadvantaged when their rivals hire low-wage illegals?
End quote. There was plenty of evidence in last week's voting to support these opinions. The blue state of Oregon has two Democratic Senators and four out of five Democratic Congressmen, with grades on immigration reduction from NumbersUSA down in the D's and F's. It also has a Democratic Governor and a Democratic legislature (both houses). Yet Oregon voters struck down Ballot Measure 88, to give driver licenses to illegals, by a thumping 66 percent to 34. Only one of Oregon's 36 counties voted in favor — the one containing metropolitan Portland, naturally.
On the other side of the country, the blue state of Maine, whose two Senators and two Congressmen are rated D, D-minus, D-minus and F by NumbersUSA, re-elected as its Governor Republican Paul LePage, who has taken a strong line against state benefits for illegals.
And if Republicans in Congress have indeed had their spines stiffened — those of them, I mean, who possessed any spines to begin with — by last week's election results, they can easily scotch the President's plans. The indispensable Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has reminded us that Congress has the power of the purse, and can include language on any government funding bill to prohibit the huge spending required to process amnesty applications, amnesty benefits, and employment authorizations for illegals.
That wouldn't be revolutionary. Congress does it all the time. That's how the Republican House stopped Obama's plan to close Guantánamo Bay detention camp.
So that's the correlation of forces. If congressional Republicans have the guts to fight, I'd say it looks bad for Obama. I had a little trouble there getting the word "guts" into the same sentence as "congressional Republicans," though, so don't go laying bets just yet.
04 — Immigration unkillables. On the topic of immigration, I'm just going to insert a Public Service announcement here, if nobody minds,
When you argue with people about illegal immigration and related issues like amnesty, you always hear certain falsehoods that just seem to be unkillable. I mean, immigration patriots like my colleagues at VDARE.com keep patiently refuting them, but they keep popping up again. You just can't kill them.
Here are a few of the most common unkillables, all in one place for easy reference. You're welcome.
OK, there are some unkillables. Commit them to memory, gentle listener, and deploy them in argument with amnesty advocates.
05 — Landing on a comet. The most stirring news of the week, at least for those of us who are stirred by technological achievements, was the landing of a robot spacecraft on the surface of a comet, the first time this has ever been done. The landing was at 11 a.m. New York time on Wednesday, November 12th.
Comets are big lumps of ice, dust, and frozen gases like methane and ammonia — "dirty snowballs" is a fair description. They originate in belts of scattered debris bound to the Sun by gravity but far, far out beyond the orbit of Neptune. The gravitational dynamics of the Solar System now and then slow one down enough that it falls into the inner regions of the System, sometimes getting stuck there in a periodic orbit, like the famous Halley's comet.
As a comet gets closer to the sun, it warms up enough that some of the ice and frozen gases evaporate, carrying dust with them. This cloud of dirty vapor wants to stay bound to the comet, the only gravitating object in its vicinity; but the pressure of sunlight pushes it away in a direction opposite to the Sun. That's the comet's tail, and the reason for its name, which comes from a Greek word meaning "long-haired."
This true nature of comets was only understood four hundred years ago. The general opinion before that was that they were atmospheric, not celestial.
Nine years ago NASA crashed a spacecraft into a comet to see what it kicked up. Other missions have sampled the dusty gas in comets' tails. Wednesday was the first time we actually landed on a comet. This mission, officially named Rosetta, was carried out not by NASA but by the European equivalent, ESA. It includes both an orbiter and a lander. It's involved some fancy orbital gymnastics, across several years, using the gravitational pulls of Earth and Mars, to get the spacecraft up to the comet's speed.
It's been a brilliant achievement. As we go to tape here, it seems that the lander didn't land well, and the researchers may not get the data they wanted from it. That doesn't subtract much from the wonder of the thing. It's amazing they got that lander down in one piece and still functioning. From this old science geek to the Rosetta team: Congratulations!
On the human side, there are some cultural points to be noted. The team in the control room looks regrettably un-diverse: pictures show one woman, one vaguely Asian-looking guy, and a mass of white men. The control room's in Germany, but I doubt that'll get them off the hook with Cultural Marxists.
Speaking of which: CultMarx science blogger P.Z. Myers gasped and sputtered at the shirt worn by Rosetta Project Scientist Matt Taylor in a televised interview. The shirt was a garish multicolored thing with pictures of scantily-clad women printed on it. It was a sexist shirt. Honked Myers, quote:
Good work, Matt Taylor … snatching the spotlight away from the technical accomplishment of your team and making it all about your clothing choices, and for also doing it with such elan that you simultaneously denigrated all the enthusiastic young women watching the webcast. They may have been cheering at first, but then it sank in that their designated prop role is to be half-naked and posed poutingly on your shirt.
So now those "enthusiastic young women" have crept away to their rooms to nurse their shattered hopes and crushed self-esteem. The sound of weeping and moaning fills the land. Right.
What I personally want to know is: Where can I get one of those shirts?
06 — The war against the normal. Are homosexuals necessarily obnoxious people? I'm pretty sure not. My experience has been that homosexuality and obnoxiousness are independent variables: Each can vary without regard to the other.
The rise of political correctness, and of laws to enforce it, has, however, opened up new ways for those homosexuals who are obnoxious to vent their obnoxiousness on normal people.
The laws in both the U.S.A. and Britain now allow obnoxious homosexuals to hunt down, harass, bankrupt, and destroy harmless people who have done nothing wrong. They don't merely allow this, in fact, they encourage it.
Case in point: Liberty Ridge Farm in upstate New York, owned by Cynthia and Robert Gifford, who live there with their son and daughter, aged 21 and 17 respectively. For the last fifteen years the Giffords have opened up their farm to public events, including wedding ceremonies.
You know where this is going, don't you? The Giffords are devout Christians who believe that same-sex marriage is displeasing to God. That makes them easy sport for aggressive homosexuals seeking publicity, money, and the agreeable power kick of grinding normal human beings under their jackboots.
Sure enough, along came two lesbians, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin. You really don't want to be under these gals' jackboots: To judge from their pictures they weigh in at an aggregate 500 pounds.
Ms. Erwin phoned Liberty Ridge Farm to arrange a wedding. Cynthia Gifford took the call. When Ms. Erwin told her it was to be a same-sex wedding, Mrs. Gifford told her politely they didn't do that. Unknown to her, Ms. McCarthy — that's Ms. Erwin's fricatrix — was recording the call.
Why was she doing that? Why do you think? As the basis of a lawsuit by means of which they could attain honor and glory in the sorority of sapphists, make some pocket money for themselves, and — best of all — enjoy the thrill of hunting, hounding, and humiliating normal people.
"They were devastated when they heard that Liberty Ridge Farm would not take their business because of who they are," the ladies' lawyer told the New York Post. Yeah, right. I bet they could be heard cackling all over upstate New York.
Incredibly, disgracefully, the law found in their favor, and the Giffords have been hit with fines and damages. Damages for what? "Mental anguish," said the court. What, the two land whales didn't know that religious people would refuse to help with their bogus marriage ceremony? Of course they knew. They picked on the Giffords for just that reason.
This is happening all over now: Christian bakers in Oregon face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for refusing to sell a wedding cake to two lesbians. A Washington state florist is in trouble for refusing to do flower arrangements for two homosexuals. A photographer in New Mexico has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination for turning down a lesbian ceremony. It's like a sport for the homosexuals: Hunt the homophobe!
It's the same across the pond. A Christian couple in Cornwall who refused to let two homosexuals stay in a double bedroom at their bed-and-breakfast guesthouse, have been ruined by legal fees and had to sell up. What harm were they doing to anybody? Why didn't the courts tell the homosexuals to go find another guesthouse? What's happened to the legal principle de minimis non curat lex?
The case of the Giffords in upstate New York has a particularly sad aspect in that the Giffords, in spite of their beliefs, seem to want to love Big Brother. "We respect and care for everyone!" Cynthia Gifford told the New York Post reporter. "We had an openly gay man working for us this past season," she said. "We've had a woman who's transitioning to be a man. We don't discriminate against anyone."
I'd like the Giffords better if they'd said something like this: "We're normal people and we'd prefer to associate with normal people. We think homosexuality is wrong, and we'd prefer to avoid people who practice and promote it. We wish them no harm but we don't want to associate with them. Let them set up their own businesses, their own guest houses and bakers and florists, or deal with normal people who don't mind them. Why should we be forced to associate with people whose way of life we think wicked and shameful?"
Freedom of association went out the window with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. We can only dream of it ever being restored to us by the courts. But hey, let's at least dream.
07 — Another gentle giant. Reporting on race and crime in the U.S.A. has passed out of the zone of the merely ridiculous into a realm of sheer gibbering lunacy.
Here's a ripe specimen of that. In Akron, Ohio November 3rd, a police officer shot a man dead. The dead man was black, name of Raupheal Thomas. We don't know the race or name of the officer. We've only been told that he is a fifteen-year veteran of the police force.
The exact sequence of events is not yet clear. As best I can figure from the stories in local media, Thomas and another man were acting suspiciously in a residential neighborhood, perhaps casing houses for burglary. The police officer and a fellow officer stopped them, there was a confrontation, Thomas fired a gun at the officers, one officer fired back, killing Thomas. Thomas's gun was recovered at the scene and at least one round had been fired from it.
Here comes the lunacy. November 6th, three days after the shooting, Cleveland.com, which belongs to the Northeast Ohio Media Group, ran a report by Adam Ferrise, who is white, headlined Man fatally shot by Akron police remembered as loving father, artist who was turning his life around.
"Turning his life around" — see how they reach for the soothing clichés? Behind that phrase "turning his life around" you just know there's going to be a rap sheet.
Sure enough. We learn from the report that Thomas, who was 29 years old, got his first conviction in 2006, when he was 20 or 21. That was for conspiracy to commit armed robbery of a pizza parlor. He got four years in the pokey for that. In 2010, so he wasn't long out of jail, he was arrested for possession of crack cocaine, and put on probation. Eight months later he was arrested on drug and weapons charges, and got another three years' probation.
So what's this about "turning his life around"? Well, Thomas has a baby daughter, one year old. He really loved the child, according to the baby momma, Myeishia Harrison … though apparently he didn't love the child enough to marry Ms. Harrison. Thomas "would sing to his daughter and she would laugh uncontrollably," Thomas's mother, name of Sherry Wilkerson, told the reporter.
One or other of these ladies told Mr. Ferrise, the reporter, that Thomas, quote: "lightened the mood of the rooms he walked into," end quote. His mother, Ms. Wilkerson, described him as, wait for it … "a gentle giant."
Another gentle giant! At this point I expected to read that he was an aspiring rap singer; but no, he was apparently a barber and tattoo artist. Perhaps they lost the box of clichés for a while there.
Reporter Ferrise also wants us to know that Raupheal Thomas wasn't just a negro, he was a magic negro, like the Michael Clarke Duncan character in The Green Mile. Harrison, that's the baby momma, told him their daughter stopped breathing for several minutes shortly after she was born. But then, quote from Ms. Harrison, "He went over there and was talking to her and she woke right up and she hasn't stopped since."
Several people on the comment thread to this story wondered if Mr. Ferrise's report was a spoof that had strayed over from The Onion. I found myself wondering the same thing.
New York City is far more sophisticated than Akron, Ohio, of course. Fact, it's more sophisticated than anywhere. There is nothing New Yorkers can't handle … except, apparently, facts about the race of perpetrators in newspaper crime reports.
Thus in the November 11th New York Post we read about a spate of violent robberies in hitherto tranquil Riverside Park. Four, quote, "thugs" tried to rob a homeless man. When he put up a fight, they tossed him over a railing onto the riverbank below, breaking his leg. Ninety minutes later this raceless, quote, "group of men" attacked another park-goer, beating him round the head with a rock and stealing his wallet and cell phone.
You'd think the paper would give us a description of the attackers, so park-goers could be on the lookout for them. Nope. Digging around, however, I found a picture of a police notice offering a $2,000 reward for help in finding the thugs, described in the notice as "four male black perpetrators."
What irks me here is the underlying assumption that we, the newspaper-reading and TV-watching public, can't be trusted with plain descriptive facts. It's all right for the media people to know those facts, because they are superior beings dwelling high above the uncouth social fray. We, the common herd, must be shielded from the facts, lest we go berserk and start lynching people. That's what they think, that's really what they think.
This isn't journalism, it's propaganda.
08 — Miscellany. And now, Radio Derb's closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The Google search facility tells me that the name "Kardashian" has occurred only twice in our ten-plus years on the airwaves, the last time several months ago. It is time to return to the well, so here is an item of Kardashian commentary.
Good grief! What an enormous arse!
Item: Sometimes society seems to be going off in two different directions at the same time. In last week's elections a bunch of places, including Washington D.C., legalized the smoking of marijuana.
Meanwhile the city fathers of Westminster, Mass. have been hearing a proposal to ban the sale of all tobacco products in the town.
So what's the overall social trend here? What are we heading for? A nation in which you can smoke mary jane but not tobacco? Could someone clarify the logic for me here, please?
Item: [Sigh] I have been passed over for honors yet again. CAIR — that's C-A-I-R, the Council on American-Islamic Relations — has published a list of Islamophobic individuals.
Naturally I scanned the list eagerly, hoping to see my own name. Ann Coulter is there, Bill Maher, David Horowitz, Glenn Beck, … but alas, no Derb. What do I have to do to get some respect from these people?
Item: It's been 25 years this week since the Berlin Wall came down. I actually have two tiny fragments of it here on my bookshelf, encased in lucite, with little stamped certificates saying Die Mauer, which means "the wall." They were gifts from fans who swear to their authenticity.
I'm glad to have them, as reminders that things, including apparently great and permanent things, can change suddenly and dramatically. I grew up in the Cold War. We all assumed that it would just go on for ever, or end in a nuclear holocaust. Neither of those things happened. What happened was far better, and more cheering.
Say not the struggle naught availeth.
Item: Finally, a story here about Malaysia Airlines, which has lost two of its planes this year: MH370 in March, somewhere in the Indian Ocean, then MH17 in July, shot down over the Ukraine.
Passengers on the airline are understandably nervous. Twenty-six-year-old Laura Bushney was definitely nervous on flight MH20 from Kuala Lumpur to Paris this August. So much so, she asked a cabin attendant, 57-year-old Mohammed Karim how long before the plane would land. Seeing her nervousness, Mr. Karim sat in an empty seat next to her, offered some consoling words, then lifted her legs onto his lap and put his hand in her pants.
Mr. Karim was sacked, and is now stuck in a detention center in Paris, having no means to return home.
I don't know what your reaction to this story was. Here's mine: "Good grief! — a male heterosexual cabin attendant? Who knew?"
09 — Signoff. That's the news, gentle listeners. On the first of the month I promised you three sure news items for November: the midterm elections, the Ferguson Grand Jury decision, and the Rochester by-election.
The midterms have been and gone, with some detailed reporting last week on Radio Derb. The Rochester by-election, which may be won by the U.K. Independence Party, throwing British politics into major confusion, will take place on the 20th, next Thursday.
We still have no decision from the Ferguson grand jury as Radio Derb goes to tape. The next few days' weather forecast has St. Louis and its environs going through a cold snap, with temperatures in the 30s. Since the main worry down there is riots if the grand jury decides not to indict police officer Darren Wilson; and since the people who will be rioting — assuming those fears are well-founded — will be Sun People, not Ice People, this coming spell of Ice People weather might be just the right time to release the grand jury decision. Just a thought.
This week brought us Veterans' Day; and in Britain, Remembrance Sunday. In accordance with Radio Derb tradition, here to see us out is the loveliest of all remembrance hymns: John Stanhope Arkwright's "O Valiant Hearts," to the tune by the Rev. Charles Harris.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: "O Valiant Hearts,"]