• Play the sound file
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. Radio Derb on the air, ladies and gentlemen — in some haste this week, as I am out the door to catch a train as soon as we have concluded here. I am going to Baltimore for the weekend for a meeting of the H.L. Mencken Club, whom I shall in fact be addressing.
So this is your expeditiously genial host John Derbyshire with a hasty compendium of the week's news.
02 — Europe alone? Y'know, it just seems like yesterday that American conservatives were crowing about how Europe was finished.
Their huge welfare states were choking off their economic vitality; hedonism, secularism, and working motherhood were choking off their demographic vitality, depressing birthrates way below replacement level; large-scale Muslim immigration had produced a generation of alienated young jihadis, ready to blow up trains in Madrid and buses in London; it had also aroused the ethnic consciousness of the natives — these ancient peoples who had been in occupation of their land often for a millennium or more — bringing to the fore the kind of snarling nationalism that disfigured the mid 20th century … and so on. The place was dying on its feet.
Meanwhile we Americans, self-sufficient and skeptical of government, were striving away in economic vigor. Our religious faith would keep us optimistic and breeding. Our complete lack of ethnic awareness, of blood-and-soil nationalism — our concept of ourselves as a "proposition nation" — would keep the ethnic and racial bogeymen at bay.
Our openness to big inward flows of settlers would take care of any lingering demographic problems — would keep our population young, paying the bills for the old folk, while our long experience of erasing all distinctions between the Irishman and the Italian will make sure ethnic tensions melt away with time. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Those Euro-weenies were headed for perdition while we were bracing for a second American Century. That was the script.
Alas! Just as, in the old military adage, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, so uplifting triumphalist predictions have a way of not surviving contact with history.
While American states and municipalities disappear beneath tsunamis of debt and the dollar dwindles down towards parity with the Laotian kip, the Europeans are raising their Social Security eligibility age and slashing expenditures.
While we wait in dread for the letter from our insurance company informing us of a 20 percent rise in premiums on account of Obamacare, the Europeans are shutting down programs and laying off government workers.
While our public schools close their doors for the Muslim holy days and we fret over whether to built a triumphal mosque at the site of a jihadist atrocity, Europeans are banning the burqa and telling disgruntled Muslims to go back to their Muslim homelands.
While our fool politicians deliver fawning speeches to assemblies of La Raza and our Justice Department sends emissaries out to collect friend-of-the-court briefs from foreign dictators in their campaign to crush the state of Arizona, European politicians announce that multiculturalism is a flop and if you want to live in Germany, darn well learn German.
Even their birthrates are improving: France is now close to replacement, and even if you subtract out French Muslims, they are still close to replacement.
Did we get the script wrong? Oh, wait a minute — there is still our military. While the Europeans have been letting their soldiers join labor unions, grow their hair long, and shack up in homosexual liaisons, we've kept our armed forces lean and mean, in fighting trim, right?
Er, well … that calls for another segment.
03 — Our PC military. This segment is, in fact, my outrage of the week.
I picked this story up from the blogger who calls himself "Federale." He's obviously an employee of the Homeland Security Department in some capacity, and provides sensible, literate, and extremely well-informed commentary mostly on topics related to immigration and the National Question. Google "Federale" and he's probably on the first page there somewhere.
Well, Federale posted this story from Associated Press, dateline October 16, quote:
A soldier who recorded the terror of last year's deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood using his cell phone was ordered by an officer to delete both videos, a military court heard Friday.
Now why would the army order those videos erased? They would be valuable evidence against Major Hasan. And as a matter of fact, as Federale points out, destruction of evidence is a crime under several federal statutes, including 18 USC 1503, Obstruction of Justice, and 18 USC 1519, Destruction of Evidence.
So let me rephrase the question: Why would the U.S. Army order a soldier to commit a federal crime by destroying evidence of the Fort Hood shooting?
Why do you think? Because Muslims are a designated victim group, a protected minority, and one of the things they have to be protected from is courtroom prosecutors, even in cases where they're on trial for mass murder.
Prosecutors in the Hasan case have not yet said whether they will seek the death penalty. Let me just say that again: In this case of a Muslim fanatic murdering thirteen of our servicepeople in cold blood while shouting Allahu Akbar! the prosecutors just can't make up their minds, darn it, whether the death penalty is justified.
Of course, now that key video evidence in the shooting has been destroyed, at the orders of the military, conviction and a death penalty for Hasan is that much further away. Hasan's defense lawyers are just going to argue that the videos would have exonerated their client and the army destroyed them for that reason. The thirteen dead soldiers were killed by someone else — firing from a grassy knoll, perhaps.
Hasan might get off; or if not, he might at least escape the death penalty. Presumably that's what the army wants. The heck with the dead soldiers — who cares about them? The priority here is to show our sensitivity towards Muslims. What could be more important than that?
Meanwhile, when is the army willing to ask for the death penalty? Well, here's a case to keep your eye on: the investigation into five members of the Army's 5th Stryker brigade, deployed in Afghanistan.
The five guys are supposed to have murdered three Afghan civilians earlier this year. I of course have no idea whether they did or not, but one of them, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, is said to be, quote, "co-operating with investigators." For that, we have been told, he will definitely not face the death penalty should the case be proved in court.
This rather implies that his four comrades, should they be brought to trial — it hasn't yet been decided — will face the death penalty.
Bottom line here: Get Islam, hear voices in your head telling you to kill the infidels, kill thirteen of them in cold blood in a domestic army base far from any combat — no death penalty. Be in the vicinity in a theater of war when three civilians die, we'll hold the death penalty over you as an inducement to co-operate.
The other old adage is: Military justice is to justice as military music is to music. In the age of political correctness, though, it's even worse than that. This is that age, and the U.S. Army is determined to prove it's even more PC than the faculty of Berkeley … even if they have to break federal law to do it.
04 — Don't Ask, Don't Tell a Muslim. But yes, it's true, the military forces of Europe aren't up to much fighting. Most of them belong to NATO, whose members are pledged to defend each other. So if, for example, Russia attacks Latvia, or Iran attacks Turkey, or Morocco attacks Spain, we all trundle off to war. I wonder how many Americans know that?
Now of course small countries need to join with allies to defend themselves against big countries. It's just not clear to me why Russia-Latvia or Iran-Turkey would be any of my business. A sensible thing, after the Cold War, or for that matter during it, would have been to lean hard on the Europeans to make a strong independent alliance among themselves so we could get the heck out of there.
We didn't do that. Happily dependent on American protection, the European military establishments sank into infantilism, with the aforementioned deformations: pony tails, unions, homosex in the barracks, and so on. That's a shame, as some of those European countries have splendid military traditions — yes, even France.
It may be time for those Europeans to start polishing up the regimental silver, though. While dependency was corroding their martial spirit, political correctness was eating away at ours. The previous segment illustrates how far things have gone. Don't forget General Casey, in that same context, telling a TV interviewer that diversity is much, much more important than soldiers' lives.
Don't forget either Admiral Roughead's gushing speech in praise of diversity as the highest of all military values, reported in Radio Derb's February 26th broadcast. The Admiral followed through with an order allowing women to serve on submarines.
The latest instalment in this sorry saga is of course the push to allow open homosexuals to serve, as reported in our broadcast last week. The administration's punted this into the lame duck session of Congress so Democratic congressfolk won't have to embarrass themselves by voting on it right before the election, but no doubt it'll get done.
Now our military gets into a tricky zone, though. If Muslims are the cherished pets of the military establishment, which they plainly are; and if homosexuals are bunking up together in the barracks, what happens to the Islamic prohibition against homosexuality? Won't devout military Muslims like Major Hasan — or perhaps Major Hasan himself, if the prosecutors fail to convict and he's returned to duty — won't they be looking for an opportunity to push a wall over on their gay comrades?
I await further developments with keen interest.
05 — All quiet on the eastern front. Meanwhile, how's the fighting going in those backward, dysfunctional hell-holes of countries whose governments, awash with corruption, can do nothing to prevent armed insurgents committing gross acts of mass murder, and even killing our own people as opportunity arises?
Well, we don't currently have any troops deployed in Mexico, and the administration doesn't want to start anything down there because if they did, it might impact the Hispanic vote.
Over in Afghanistan and Iraq things are pretty quiet, and the mission this administration inherited from the last one — which is, to get out of those places quietly, without any unsightly footage of people clinging to helicopter skids — is on track.
In Afghanistan the Taliban, aware that we have declared we'll be leaving next year, is doing the sensible thing and waiting out the clock. Hamid Karzai, the head of our stooge government there, is cutting a deal with them in between shoveling crates of our money into his Swiss bank account and setting up his luxury-compound bolt-hole in Dubai.
Iraq's more secure, with Iran's puppet there firming up his control, and the Sunnis and Kurds pretty much cowed at the prospect of Iranian armies coming to his aid if they make any trouble.
So … things are going fine, and we should be able to bring our guys home and concentrate on our domestic problems soon. Unless, you know, Russia attacks Latvia.
06 — New York governor race. My man Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for the New York state governorship, is now polling 26 percent to his opponent's 63 percent.
Terrific. The opponent, Andrew Cuomo, is a northeastern liberal out of Central Casting, an abject tool of the public-sector union bosses, and a sworn enemy of private enterprise and the free market. In other words, he's crazy.
What else can you call it? He believes our state can just go on getting deeper and deeper into debt for ever, with no consequences. That's crazy — crazy, meshugah, nuts, barmy, loco, demented, unhinged, loony, nobody home, and not quite sixteen annas to the rupee.
Now you may object at this point that my man Paladino is crazy too, and I wouldn't give you an argument on that. Paladino's up-front crazy, though, and mostly about things that don't matter. I mean, I'd hate to see him follow through on his threat to fit New York Post reporter Fred Dicker out with concrete galoshes; but heck, the Post can get another reporter, and the large affairs of the state aren't affected. No offense there, Fred.
Cuomo's craziness is less visible and so more acceptable — more what my teenage son, in a different context, would call "silent and deadly" — but it'll do us far more harm in the long run.
Paladino's a hard guy to like, but he'll get my vote on November 3rd. I've had enough of liberalism; and liberals don't come any more liberal than Andrew Cuomo.
07 — A look at our elites. What do you think of elites, listener? My own view of the matter is that I rather like them. I am sure, at any rate, that a healthy society can't get along without some kind of elite. Unfortunately, while I like the idea of elites in general, I detest the elite we actually have at this point in our history.
Well, that's just me. I raise the topic because there's been some to-ing and fro-ing on the opinion websites about elitism. This is fallout from an October 2nd posting by Jacob Weisberg on Slate.
Weisberg's a lefty, so of course he was poking fun at Republicans who claim to be anti-elitist. John McCain in the recent Presidential campaign, for example. Quote from Weisberg:
Thus did the son and grandson of admirals, a millionaire who couldn't remember how many houses he owned, accuse his mixed-race opponent, raised by a single-mother and only a few years past paying off his student loans, of being the real elite candidate in the campaign.
Yeah, that's cute, Jake, and I can't find it in me to rise to McCain's defense. I'm still working with one eye, having plucked the other one out when voting for John McCain in '08.
You're missing the point though. What elite status in the U.S.A. is really all about is college education. The surest path to influence and wealth remains a degree from one of our top universities.
Here's a recent study — out of Harvard University, as it happens — tallying up the degrees held by members of the U.S. Senate. Top five schools: Harvard, 35 degrees in the Senate; Yale, 23; University of Virginia, 10; Stanford, 8; Georgetown, 8. No other school has more than seven.
Politically of course we are at the moment going through a spasm of anti-elitism; or at least, in the Radio Derb spirit, hostility to the elites we currently have, if not to the notion of elitism in all its generality.
Surveying history, I think I detect the following general rule about elites. When things are going well for the mass of ordinary citizens — which means in practice that the country is getting richer year by year — people will put up with any kind of elite — aristocrats, robber barons, military types, Harvard graduates, we don't care. When economic progress stalls, though, we take it out on our elites. If things go far enough, we end up with a new elite.
That's what we're headed into. With the national pie shrinking, at least for the next decade or so, the factional fighting for shares of the pie will get more intense, and resentment against those perceived to have too big a share will rise.
We're in for some social discord, folks. We may come out of it with a whole new elite — perhaps one that actually likes America, and puts the interests of American citizens over the interests of foreigners … who knows?
08 — Miscellany. Just a few brief items to see us out.
This one is Juan Williams and the window belongs to NPR, the radio station funded by your tax dollars. They didn't even fire the guy for something he said on NPR. It was on Fox News, and the thing he said was, quote:
When I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.
[Sound of breaking glass.]
Out ya go, ya hate-filled bigot, before you say something even worse — like, perhaps, that Major Hasan really did kill those soldiers at Fort Hood. If he did, surely there'd be some video evidence of it, wouldn't there, with everybody carrying cell phones nowadays? Case closed.
So long, Juan. No, being black doesn't get you off the hook here: Muslim trumps black nowadays.
Item: Went to see this new movie The Social Network, passed some remarks about it on the Corner. Here's just a follow-up note.
One effect of the movie's success may be a revival of geek chic. The BBC thinks they've spotted the trend: They just ran an article on nerdcore. Nerdcore, that's hip-hop music for nerds. Quote from the Beeb:
People rapping about programming languages or role-playing games; that is all real.
Ri-i-ight. Other topics for these geek rappers include video games and science fiction. There's more, though, further quote from the Beeb:
The deeper themes also look at feelings of alienation, paranoia and inadequacy that must always be battled in order to leave your apartment.
I dunno, I think the best way to make yourself want to leave your apartment is to play a little nerdcore music. [Clip: MC Frontalot.] See what I mean?
Item: Here's your tax dollars at work. The federal government is to pay $680 million of them to a group of American Indians who claim they were denied Agriculture Department loans because of their race. Quote from the news story:
The lawsuit filed in 1999 contends Indian farmers and ranchers lost hundreds of millions of dollars over several decades because they were denied USDA loans that instead went to their white neighbors.
Curious use of the word "lost" there. If I ask my bank for a million dollars and they refuse, have I just lost a million dollars? Discuss among yourselves.
And there is no data in the news reports about how credit-worthy these Indians were; that would be kind of interesting to know, and sort of … relevant.
Well: Let's add one to our list of federal agencies to shut down if we ever get a conservative government in the United States: Departments of Education and Energy are already on the list, along with public broadcasting. Let's add the Department of Agriculture. If farmers want loans, let 'em do what every other business does — go ask a bank.
Also from that news story, quote:
The government settled a similar lawsuit filed by black farmers more than a decade ago.
What a surprise. Oh, and there's a second case by black farmers in the pipeline, too. And then, quote:
Hispanics and women farmers also have pending cases.
What, just Hispanics and women? Where are the gays and the illegal immigrants? Come on, youse guys. The federal government wants to give you a few hundred million, to ease the pain of all the oppression and discrimination you've suffered, all you designated victim groups. Why shouldn't they? They're the government. They have all the money in the world. If they run out they can just print some more.
So come on, all you wretched of the earth: transgendered, disabled, Asian Pacific Islanders. The line forms on the left.
Item: Els Clottemans, 26 years old and Belgian, did a very wicked thing. She's a skydiver, and so was her friend Els Van Doren.
Alas, both the Elses loved the same chap, Marcel Somers. When it became plain that Mr Somers preferred the other Els, Ms Clottemans did some fast work with scissors on her rival's parachute in its bag. On their next jump together, Ms Clottemans had the satisfaction of watching her rival plummet to her death, struggling to get the parachute working.
Moral of the story: If you're a skydiver, or a practitioner of any other extreme sport — bungee jumping, rock climbing, spelunking — try to stay on good terms with your fellow enthusiasts. On no account get into love triangle situations with them.
09 — Signoff. There you have it, listeners. I leave you in haste, gotta catch that train to Baltimore.
Radio Derb will return filled with the Mencken spirit, so you may want to turn your scorn, cynicism, and vitriol filters up to maximum suppression for next week's broadcast.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]