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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. Thank you, Franz Joseph. This is John Derbyshire here with your weekly infusion of downdrop. Downdrop — that's the opposite of uplift, you see? — from Radio Derb.
Just got back from a trip to the Mother Country to attend a family wedding. I shall have things to say about Britain later. Here up front I just want to wish bride and groom, the lovely Nicola and my nephew Marcus, many, many years of happiness together with mutual love and support to see them safely through whatever lies ahead.
Which may, if Ted Turner is right, get pretty ugly. More on that shortly. First, of course, the darn boring election
|02 — What do the voters know? I get back to the States and what do I find?
This wretched election campaign is still going on. How much more of this can we take?
When I find myself thinking these dark thoughts, though, I remind myself that I work for political magazines, and I hang out with people who care a lot about politics. Most people aren't like that — thank goodness! They have lives, families, jobs and interests, none of which have anything to do with the question of who will get to supervise one of the three branches of the federal government for the next four years.
Most people don't care much about politics; and if you ask me, that's a jolly good thing. If the great mass of citizens cared as much about politics as we political hacks do, then nothing much else would get done.
There is a downside, though. People not caring about politics means that they don't pay much attention to what candidates will do. Most people just go by sound-bites and vague impressions.
And so we traipse off to cast our votes with our next fishing trip at the front of our mind, or a loved one's illness, or our last argument with the boss, or Little Sally's prospects at the school track meet.
You think I'm exaggerating? Well, here are some numbers. The particular topic here is immigration.
Now, it is a fact well-known to all political folk that the three current candidates for President are all totally AWOL on the immigration issue. None of them will do anything at all about illegal immigration, let alone the legal variety. They all have internalized the fact — which is actually a false fact, but they've internalized it — that you must never, ever say anything that might cause offense to Hispanics if you want to be elected President. All of them probably believe that even talking about immigration is a sign of moral turpitude and evil intentions.
We political wonks all know these things about the candidates, but what do the voters know?
Well, the Center for Immigration Studies has been finding out. Quote from a report that they've just issued, quote:
Voters often held different positions from the candidate they supported. Only 31 percent of McCain voters had the same immigration position as he has. For Clinton voters, 45 percent shared her position. Sixty-one percent of Obama voters shared his position.
Here's another quote:
Of McCain voters, 35 percent mistakenly thought he favored enforcement that would cause illegals to return home. Another ten percent thought he wanted mass deportation and 21 percent didn't know his position …
And so on. You can read the full details at CIS.org.
If it's like that on immigration, things probably aren't much different with economics, foreign policy, national security, or any other policy area.
Politics is a dull and unedifying sort of business for sure, and I'm glad that not many people have to wade into it as deep as I do. Could voters pay just a little more attention though? Just a little more. A little bit more scrutiny, a little bit less wishful thinking?
|03 — Mass immigration is the scandal of our age. Over to the mother country
for some more news on immigration.
Yes, immigration is an issue over there too; and yes, it's an issue of both legal and illegal immigration; and yes, just as here, opinion polls show huge majorities of citizens opposed to large-scale immigration, either legal or illegal; while business and political elites struggle to maintain open borders and to insist that any kind of critical thinking about immigration is motivated by malice and cruelty and race hatred.
In Britain, as here, the elites tell any rube who dares to raise the immigration issue that immigration is a huge economic benefit to the nation, spurring growth and helping to fund the welfare state.
Well, the Economics Committee of the House of Lords, which is the upper chamber in the British parliament, has just done a three month inquiry into the issue taking in masses of testimony from experts of every kind, including economists.
Their conclusion, published this week: If there is any economic benefit arising from immigration, it is too small to measure. Certainly immigration increases the national wealth. Since it also increases the population, though, the per capita national wealth is unaffected.
In the meantime, there are further offsetting costs from increased burdens on the health, welfare, and criminal justice systems.
The House of Lords report also criticizes the government for its very poor record-keeping, noting that at one committee session, the Governor of the Bank of England declared frankly that, quote:
We just do not know how big the population of the United Kingdom is.
In Britain as in America, mass immigration is the scandal of our age, a vast fraud perpetrated on the ordinary citizens of our countries by arrogant elites.
|04 — Can Obama escape his radical ghetto? All right, all right, I'll talk
about the damn candidates. What happened this week in Candidateland?
Well, cast your mind back to March 21st when New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, disguised for some reason as the late Luciano Pavarotti, endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination.
We have now learned that prior to that endorsement, Hillary Clinton met with Richardson and tried to dissuade him, telling him that Obama is unelectable.
Mrs Klingon … sorry, Clinton is of course quite correct. Obama is never going to break out of his base on the Democratic left, and he probably doesn't want to since he believes all the things that they believe.
College students will vote for Obama because he's radical. Lawyers will vote for him because he's a lawyer. Blacks will vote for him because he's black. Hispanics will vote for him in some numbers because he talks the minority-grievance talk very brilliantly, and he strongly favors open borders and amnesty for immigration scofflaws.
That's a huge slice of the Democratic Party right there and it could get Obama the nomination.
Once you get outside those few precious little groups, though, Obama's support drops off like a continental shelf, and this will be even more true when the Republican campaign is through digging up and publicizing his past remarks and handing out free copies of his race-obsessed autobiography, along with free DVDs of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright screaming about the wickedness of greedy white people.
Obama's a no-hoper, and actually Hillary isn't much better. That's why the Democrats will draft Al Gore. I've been telling you this for months now. Why don't you listen?
|05 — Rev'm Wright's black value system. Barack Obama's church of choice for this past twenty
years has of course been Trinity United Church of Christ, proprietor the Reverend Jeremiah "God Damn America!" Wright.
Funny things have been happening to that church's website though. Up to a few months ago the church's web page called "About Us" included a statement of commitment to something called "the black value system."
There are, you see black values, which are different from white values — and also I presume, although I can't really claim any expertise in this area, they're different from yellow values and red values and brown values.
What would be an example of black values? Well, the website used to offer a list of twelve, of which Number Eight was "disavowal of the pursuit of middle-classness."
This item has now mysteriously vanished from the list, although it is still there on a PDF that is also part of the Trinity website. There we read that "disavowal of the pursuit of middle-classness" basically means that while you should try to get an education and you need not disavow the pursuit of middle-incomeness, you must on no account succumb to the plots of the evil — and presumably nonblack — power structure.
What is that power structure's plan for black people? Quote:
Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which, while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of "we and they" instead of "us."
I think what all this means is that you can get educated and you can get rich, but you must not act white.
Now, you might naturally suppose that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who has been pushing this stuff at his congregations for twenty years and more, would never ever be caught acting white. He would never separate himself from his black brothers and sisters on the South Side. He would never put himself away behind a wall with a lot of rich white folks, would he? Surely not.
Imagine my surprise then at reading that the Reverend Wright has bought himself — or more precisely, since he used church funds, he's had his congregation buy for him — a 1.6-million-dollar house with ten thousand square feet in a gated community in Chicago's Tinley Park suburb.
Well, surely that's a black neighborhood, at least, isn't it? Er, no. Tinley Park is described on city-data.com as "less than two percent black."
This will actually be Reverend Wright's retirement pad since he has recently stepped down from his ministry at Trinity Church.
I wonder what his parting message to his congregation was? Something like this, perhaps: "Stay here in the ghetto, suckers, so you can keep tight hold of that black value system I told you about."
|06 — ChiComs round up thought criminals. To make quite sure that their
distinguished foreign guests at the Olympics opening ceremonies will not have their peace of mind disturbed by any rumors of discontent, the Chinese
communists are rounding up dissidents and hustling them off to labor camps.
The latest one to go is human rights activist Hu Jia, sentenced to three and a half years.
What did Hu do to get a three-and-a-half-year sentence? Well, to quote from the communist news service, "Hu spread malicious rumors and committed libel in an attempt to subvert the state's political power and socialists system."
Yeah, yeah, but what did he actually do? Well, he published articles on websites outside China and he allowed himself to be interviewed by foreign journalists. In the People's Paradise that'll get you three and a half years in the pokey.
Hu is only one of many similar thought criminals being rounded up ahead of the Olympics. Nothing, nothing must disturb the serenity and harmony of the Olympic Potemkin village being constructed for the awe and admiration of foreign visitors — notable among them, I'm ashamed to say, our own President.
You can't avoid the laws of nature, though, one of which is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The harder the commies work at suppressing all signs of dissent ahead of the games, the more it dawns on the oppressed peoples of the communists' slave empire that this is a unique opportunity to put their case to the world.
Latest to realize this are the non-Chinese Uighurs of occupied Eastern Turkistan. Eastern Turkistan appears in your atlas under its Chinese name of Xinjiang, which means "New Territories." A Uighur, if you ask him, will say: "It may be new territory to the Chinese, but it's been our homeland for a thousand years."
Their case is pretty much the same as Tibet's. Like the Tibetans, the Uighurs have suffered famines and massacres at the hands of the Chinese communists. In the 1960s things got so bad, there was a mass movement of refugees from Eastern Turkistan into Soviet Central Asia — the only recorded case of an oppressed people seeking refuge in the U.S.S.R. Now the Uighurs are demonstrating for their liberty.
Because of their new consciousness of public relations. The ChiComs dare not do what they have always done in the past — just sending in troops to shoot anything that moves. They have to practice finesse, and that's something they're not very good at.
This is going to be a very interesting Olympics.
|07 — Brits host Sarkozys. The main event in England while I was over there,
other than my little nephew getting hitched, was the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his ex-supermodel wife Carla.
The London tabloids had a field day with this; though I'm sorry to say that instead of concentrating on the substantive matters between Britain and France — things like NATO enlargement, immigration control, common energy problems, EU agricultural policy and all that dull stuff — instead of that, the tabloids filled their pages with commentary about Madame Sarkozy's wardrobe, figure, voice, total outclassing of the royal family, and height.
Yes, height. The lady stands five foot nine inches, which is four inches higher than her husband, and it noticed even in the photographs where he was wearing Cuban heels and she was wearing flat-heeled ballet pumps (by Christian Dior, according to one tabloid).
Now of course, shortness in French leaders is by no means a new thing, as any student of European history will tell you, but the opportunity for jokes here was too much to resist.
One newspaper cartoon had Mrs Sarkozy at an airport check-in desk saying: "Non, zis eez not my carry-on bagg-azh, zis ees my usband."
A radio comedian spoofed Sarkozy's address to a joint session of the British parliament, presenting it like a school French lesson. "Bonjour, medames et messieurs," said Sarkozy. The parliamentarians replied in a ragged chorus: "Bon-jour, Mon-sieur le Pre-si-dent …"
Underneath all the jollity there were some real issues though. Sarkozy came to power last year as a sort of French Margaret Thatcher, determined to wean the French away from their addiction to government jobs and handouts, and featherbedding restrictions on private employers. Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, is more of a sort of British François Mitterrand, aiming to expand the welfare state to French proportions.
Neither project is currently going very well. Perhaps the two leaders should just swap countries.
|08 — Stories from Europistan. The worst idea of our age, with the
possible exception of reality TV, has surely been mass immigration by Muslims into Western societies.
Why on Earth did we let this happen? There are 57 nations in the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Any Muslim who feels the urge to go and live in another country has 56 Muslim countries to choose from. Why do they have to come live in ours? And why do we let them?
Oh, right: so that we can celebrate diversity some more, and also because mass immigration is an unqualified good, and anyone who complains about it is a sinister racist, as any Presidential candidate will tell you. I keep forgetting all that.
Well, here are some news items about Muslims living in Western societies.
First Austria, where Freedom Party politician Susanne Winter — or Su-zann-eh Vint-err I suppose I should say, but I'm not going to — has been indicted by the authorities for saying rude things about Mohammed, peace be upon him. She also said that, quote:
Islam is a totalitarian system of domination that should be cast back to its birthplace on the other side of the Mediterranean.
She further warned her countrymen that in twenty or thirty years, half the population of Austria will be Muslim if Austria's present immigration policies continue. The charges she's been indicted on are Incitement and Degradation of Religious Symbols.
Would you like to hear that in German? Verhetzung und Herabwürdigung religiöser Symbole, there you are.
Well, over there in Sound of Music-land that'll get you two years in the slammer.
Muslim activists meanwhile have sworn to kill Ms Winter, as of course their wonderful religion instructs them to.
Further North in Holland Geert Wilders' movie Fitna has been causing trouble. The Federation of Dutch Employers, furious that the politicians they pay such high prices for have not been able to shut Mr Wilders up, have now asked their lawyers to sue Mr. Wilders for damages in the event they lose revenue through Muslims boycotting Dutch products.
Quote from one leading Dutch captain of industry, quote — oh, this is Doekle Terpstra, he's a member of the board of the Unilever Corporation — quote:
Geert Wilders is evil, and evil has to be stopped.
Left-wing Dutch journalist Henk Hofland has gone further, proposing that the Dutch authorities lift the police protection of Mr Wilders so that the Muslims can carry out their holy obligation to kill him.
Meanwhile, next door in Belgium, the government's antidiscrimination office has warned Internet providers that they must remove their links to Fitna. The movie, say the Belgian bureaucrats, aims to foster, quote, "fear, distrust, and hatred of Muslims."
Why on earth would anyone wants to do such a thing?
Come on, let's celebrate diversity! Where are my Pete Seeger recordings, peace be upon him — Here we are.
[Clip: Pete Seeger, "Kumbaya."]
That's better. And of course Peter is absolutely right: Someone's sleeping. An awful lot of people are sleeping.
|09 — Miscellany. Here's a handful of short items to see us out.
Item: Over in Southern Rhodesia …
Oh, sorry! I mean, of course, Zimbabwe. Southern Rhodesia was that derelict, poverty-stricken disease-radled basket-case of a country with a collapsed agricultural sector, empty tourist hotels, nationalized mines, and one-hundred-thousand-percent inflation, ruled by a cynical dictatorship. Zimbabwe is the prosperous, efficient, tranquil country with thriving agriculture and industry under the British rule of law and with an independent judiciary. Got to keep these things straight.
Well, over there in Zimbabwe they had an election a week ago. We don't know the result of the election yet, apparently because the result didn't come out right.
Chances are they'll hold the election again so that it does come out right. What's the point of having an election if the result doesn't come out right?
Item: Over in Iraq, the Sunni Muslims seem to have remained bought — as well they might be with the great wads of money we've been stuffing into their pockets; but the Shiites are proving a little more troublesome.
Muqtada al-Sadr's private army took on the official Iraq army for a few days there and did pretty well. Now, having made his point, Mooky has stood down his forces leaving American commanders fretting that, quote from General Kevin Bergner:
There is still much more work to do in developing and strengthening the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces.
I bet there is, General. In fact, there's much more work to do in buying off Iraqi politicians and tribal leaders — the only strategy that's really worked for us so far. Hey, perhaps another couple of hundred billion dollars will do the trick.
Item: NATO, you no doubt recall, is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, whose members all pledged to come to the aid of any other member that comes under attack. The point of the alliances to defend Western civilization from the threat posed by Soviet communism.
What's that you say? Soviet communism ceased to exist 17 years ago? Pshaw! — don't bother me with details. Those war-crippled economies in Europe need defending till they can get back on their feet.
Well, this week, two more nations were admitted into NATO: Croatia and Albania. So if anyone should attack our good friends and trusted allies in Albania, America's sons and daughters will be sent over there to defend the place … wherever the heck it is.
Gives you a nice warm feeling, doesn't it? Long live NATO, the alliance that is absolutely essential to our national security. Without NATO, we'd be trembling on the brink of Armageddon.
Item: An illegal immigrant is suing New York City. He claims that city police reported him to ICE — that is, immigration enforcement.
You See, New York is a sanctuary city whose employees are forbidden to report illegals to the federal authorities. That's by order of the mayor, Mike Bloomberg. Now this plaintiff, a Palestinian chap named Waheed Sali, got reported none the less.
Mr Sali has a short fuse, apparently. He gets into a lot of fights. The police are called and they come and break up the fights. Mr Sali doesn't like their attitude, so he files complaints against the police.
After a few go-rounds like this, he suddenly found himself in federal custody. He claims the police grassed on him in retaliation for the complaints that he'd filed. So he's got lawyered up and now he's suing the city.
My guess is he'll win. At least, he will if he shows up in court. He was let out of the federal pen on bail and his present whereabouts are unknown.
Perhaps we should check the flight schools.
Item: Radio station KSAC in Sacramento changed its format this week. FSAC used to be a liberal talk station. As of this Monday it's a gospel station.
From liberal talk to gospel; from "Raise our taxes!" to "Praise the Lord!"
Star host Mike Malloy insists that the reason is economic. KSAC couldn't get any of those big-money backers, he whines. Quote:
If you listen to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, you'll hear plenty of national ads. If you listen to someone like me or Randi Rhoads, there's a complete lack of those types of sponsors.
Yes, but on the other hand, if you listen to NPR, you get undiluted liberalism with no economic problems at all because it comes at taxpayer expense.
Item: So what does the future have to offer us?
Well, we're all going to be chowing down on human flesh in an atmosphere hot and muggy with carbon dioxide. That's according to media mogul Ted Turner — who, come to think of it, could surely spare a billion or two to help keep KSAC broadcasting the liberal gospel.
Anyway, in a televised interview with Charlie Rose, Ted gave it as his opinion that the world is over-populated. "We're too many people! That's why we have global warming," said Ted. "Too many people are using too much stuff."
Ted further opined that global warming will kill off all the crops, so that, quote, "most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals."
I don't know, Ted. I find that a bit hard to swallow. Seems to me that what the world has too many of is left-wing billionaires.
And I'm actually okay with the cannibalism scenario just so long as we get to eat the liberals first. I bet Ted's liver would go great with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
|10 — Signoff. With that mouthwatering thought, ladies and gentlemen, I
I have to sign off anyway, as my wife tells me dinner is ready. She's experimenting with a new dish, something she calls "long pig." Smells delicious, wafting up from where she's got it roasting on a spit in the backyard. Where are the kids though? I haven't seen them around all day. And why has it been so darn hot lately? Maybe I should check the news on CNN.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]