• Play the sound file
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, folks, time for another survey of the passing scenery as we slide down History's razor blade. This is your omnividently genial host John Derbyshire offering a reactionary perspective on the human comedy.
We're getting close to the end of the year, and thence to the 112th Congress, with Rep. John Boehner as putative Speaker. That's a heck of a responsibility to fall on one man's shoulders. I do hope Boehner will find the strength to cope with it. Such a terrible burden, trying to do the right thing for all Americans. I tear up just thinking about it. [Snuffle.] I do hope Mr. Boehner can summon up the inner resources. [Sob.] Such a tremendous responsibility! [Crying.] For just one person to bear! [More crying.] …
02 — Obama converts to capitalism! OK, listen up now, class, we're going to have a pop quiz. Everybody ready? Here we go. Tell me who said the following thing: "The business of America is business." Anyone know that?
Yes, the boy in the front row? [Voice: "Calvin Coolidge."] No, sorry, it wasn't Calvin Coolidge. Anyone else? No? Well, it was Barack Obama.
Yes, it's hard to believe, I know. You recall when we were doing the class reading of Dreams from My Father, how on page 135 Obama describes his few months working in the private sector, how he felt like, quote, "a spy behind enemy lines"? Well, somewhere in these last few months our president has had an epiphany.
He still doesn't have much of a clue what happens in the business world, but he's grasped that whatever it is those guys do, it's real important. On Wednesday this week he held a meeting in Washington, D.C. — our wealthiest city — with CEOs of twenty big corporations: Boeing, Google, American Express, and so on.
Prior to the meeting Obama made a speech. It was a short speech, only 700 words, but it did contain the following passage, quote:
I believe that the primary engine of America's economic success is not government. It's the ingenuity of America's entrepreneurs. It's the dynamism of our markets.
All right, it's not precisely "the business of America is business," but it's close enough.
Look at the transformation there! — Young Barry Obama back in 1984, slinking in to work at Business International Corp., hoping the spirit of his socialist Dad wasn't looking down on him from the big Ministry of Plenty up in the sky. Twenty-six years later, here's Barry channeling Andrew W. Mellon.
The meeting with those twenty business leaders was closed-door so we don't know what was said. I imagine the President had a lot of questions for the CEOs. "Tell me, Mr. McNerney, these profits you talk about: Wouldn't the equitable thing to do be to distribute them among your workers? You know, spread the wealth around …"
And let's never forget how easily power bonds with power. It's good that our political masters acknowledge the strength of American capitalism. Companies as big as Boeing and American Express aren't exactly sleek models of efficient and imaginative enterprise though. Let me tell you, as one who's worked both in big companies and government departments, from a worm's-eye view, they don't look so very different.
It's not altogether unknown for big business and big government to link arms and do the Mexican Hat Dance on competition and local interests. Be nice to see the President hold a meeting with a couple of hundred representatives of small business.
But let's not complain. It's progress of a sort: from being a spy behind enemy lines to openly fraternizing with the enemy. I just hope Obama's own troops don't court-martial him for it.
03 — DREAM Act to come to the Senate. Here we are deep in a recession, with 22 million Americans unable to find a job, and what are the priorities of the U.S. Senate under the leadership of Harry Reid?
Well, one of the priorities is to get the DREAM Act passed, giving legal residence rights to several million foreigners. Harry's keeping the Senators in session all through this weekend, and one reason is to get a vote on the DREAM Act on Saturday.
Harry needs to play every angle he can on this, and scheduling a vote for the weekend gives him an angle.
The angle is, that Senators are responsive to their switchboards being flooded with calls from angry constituents. This is especially the case with Senators in competitive states who come up for re-election in 2012. That would be you, Joe Lieberman, and you, Ben Nelson, and you, Jim Webb, and you, Maria Cantwell. That also applies to RINO Republicans under Tea Party pressure: Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins.
Now, switchboards in Senators' offices, in both Washington D.C. and their home states, don't light up so much at weekends because there's often nobody manning them. Harry Reid is evil, but not stupid. Not tactically stupid, I mean, not politically stupid. Giving millions of foreign scofflaws the right to compete with Americans for any job at all at a time of ten percent unemployment is stupid beyond belief, but not in the sense that politicians understand stupid.
And make no mistake about it, that's what DREAM is doing. As soon as the illegal alien has filled out an application under the DREAM Act — and without his having to provide any evidence for his claim — he moves to "conditional lawful permanent resident status" and is given a ten-year work permit. If he belongs to a favored race or ethny he will come under the scope of Affirmative Action laws, putting him in line ahead of American citizens.
Our best estimate is that about two million illegals can make that application truthfully. Judging by the 1986 amnesty, another one or two million will make it falsely, and get their work permits anyway.
And if you think old Uncle Sam will be willing or able to revoke those work permits when the alien can provide no evidence for his claim … well, if you think that, you're lost in a dream of your own, a dream of governmental rigor and efficiency.
Don't forget, either, that a good part of the energy behind DREAM is race hatred. Race hatred against whom, precisely? Let a DREAM activist tell you.
This is Ken Wong, who teaches at UCLA.
[Clip of Ken Wong: "When that day happens, the young people of this DREAM Act movement will go on to accomplish great things with your lives. You will go on to lead important organizations. You will go on to become lawyers, and teachers, and doctors, and members of the U.S. Senate to replace those old white men. (Laughter, cheers, applause) …"]
Listen to those cheers. As an old-ish white man myself, I take it personally. Why wouldn't I?
Every nation and every people is entitled to its dreams. The most famous such in U.S. history is the dream that Martin Luther King articulated half a century ago in a famous speech: the dream that his four little children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
The dream of the DREAM Act activists is not that dream. It's a different dream: a dream of racial triumphalism — a dream, as that speaker said plainly, as plainly as it could be said, a dream of racial replacement. And the whole room cheered.
04 — Terrorist bombing in Sweden. Radio Derb had a bit of fun last week with Sweden, the dark star of feminist craziness, where if you accidentally step on a girl's foot in the subway you'll find yourself up on a rape charge.
Well, it's not just feminism that the Swedes take to extremes, it's also multiculturalism. Around five percent of the country's population is now Muslim, the consequence of mass Muslim immigration over the past 35 years.
That five percent is concentrated in a small number of places, notably the southern city of Malmö, which is around a quarter Muslim.
The Muslims of course will not assimilate. They regard the culture of their host country with open hostility. Their fiercest hostility is directed at Swedish Jews. A Malmö synagogue was bombed in July, the Jewish cemetery has been vandalized, and Jews are now leaving the city.
There are about 700 Jews in Malmö, as against a hundred times as many Muslims, so it's a fair prediction that Malmö will soon be Judenfrei.
Another thing that mass Muslim immigration brings you, along with ethnic cleansing of Jews, is terrorist violence. Sweden got a taste of this on Saturday last, when an Iraqi-born Swede named Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly tried to set off a car bomb packed with canisters of natural gas in a busy shopping street in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
Unfortunately for his project Mr al-Abdaly was working from the same manual as our own Times Square bomber here in New York back in May. The fusing didn't work and the car just caught fire. Al-Abdaly ran off, but only got 300 yards before some explosives he was carrying went off, killing him and injuring two bystanders.
It turns out that al-Abdaly had a wife and three kids in England. He'd belonged to a mosque there, but the mosque had thrown him out for being too radical. He had a Facebook page praising known terror groups and featuring Photoshopped pictures of London in flames. He went to Yemen for training, then came back.
Hmmm … A foreigner in Britain on work visas which he must have had to apply for; a spell of training in Yemen; London in flames on his Facebook page; thrown out of his mosque for being too radical; you'd think the British security services would have had a clue about this guy, wouldn't you?
Ah, but you see, they have been too busy keeping really dangerous people out of their country. Remember Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, who was hustled right back on his plane at Heathrow Airport. And now it's Terry Jones, the eccentric Florida pastor who threatened to burn a Koran. They're not going to let him in.
Back to Sweden, though: Why did al-Abdaly want to blow up Swedes, when he could have been setting fire to London, as his Facebook page suggested?
Well, shortly before last Saturday's bombing a Swedish news agency received a sound file of al-Abdaly venting about Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who got in trouble three years ago for drawing the prophet Mohammed as a dog.
Mr Vilks compounded his offense in May of this year when giving a lecture on artistic freedom at Uppsala University in Sweden. In one part of the lecture he showed a film clip of Mohammed in a gay bar. An audience member ran to the stage and punched Vilks in the head, breaking his glasses. Others started chanting "God is great" in Arabic, and the police had to be called.
These were the things that had Mr al-Abdaly upset — so upset he decided to murder a street full of Christmas shoppers.
Following the Saturday bombing the Swedish Foreign Minister declared it, quote, "unacceptable." Continuing high levels of Muslim immigration into Sweden are, however, acceptable. Just as in Britain, giving visitor's visas to nutty but harmless Christian pastors is unacceptable, but giving full settlement rights to foreign Muslims and turning a blind eye when they go radical, is acceptable.
Here's a quote I like from James Burnham, quote: "Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western civilization as it commits suicide."
05 — Why are we in Afghanistan?. Why are we in Afghanistan? Someone remind me please. Perhaps I should ask the troops out there in the field. Whaddya say, guys? [Clip: "We're here because we're here …"] Oh right, that's it.
The Radio Derb strategy for dealing with barbarians is well known throughout the world, and often quoted in the high councils of geostrategic deliberation, thus: "Nuke 'em, bribe 'em, or leave 'em alone." To our nation's loss, this administration, like the last, has failed to heed our advice.
So here we are ten years on, still flailing around in the Hindu Kush for no reason anyone can explain to me. We're there because we're there because we're there because we're there.
The last few days saw two developments in this miserable futility. First, last Thursday, came the administration's annual review of the war. It was not very informative. Yes, we shall be able to withdraw some troops next Summer, as Obama sort-of promised. Yes, Afghans will be able to take care of their own security by 2014. Yes, we'll still be busy in the region for years and years after that.
The President's report dragged along some military and intelligence briefings in its wake. The military briefings were upbeat, in the true General Westmoreland spirit. The intel was more somber: some progress in the south, but losing ground in the north.
That's after 3,358 days of war. World War Two, by contrast, lasted only 1,365 days, Pearl Harbor to V-J Day.
Put it another way, this coming February 10th our war in Afghanistan will have lasted two and a half times as long as WW2. Sometime in March of 2013 it'll be three times as long.
The second development of the week was the sudden death on Monday of Richard Holbrooke, who was the administration's chief at-large diplomat in the region. The main point here is that Holbrooke's death removes one voice of good sense from the government's policy.
Holbrooke wasn't precisely a "nuke 'em, bribe 'em, or leave 'em alone" guy in the Radio Derb mould. He was a diplomat who believed that any problem in the world could be talked to death if you could just get the right people in a room together. He'd had some success in this kind of thing, and seems to have been a very capable diplomat … but still a diplomat.
He knew, though, as anyone with eyes to see knows, that our so-called war in Afghanistan is without point or purpose, and that American soldiers are dying to save the faces of fool politicians.
Holbrooke's relatives told us that his last words as he was going under the anesthetic ready for surgery were: "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." The reptiles in the White House press office insisted that Holbrooke's remark was, quote, "just part of a jovial back-and-forth with the medical staff," end quote. In fact Holbrooke's words were consistent with what we know of his opinion on the war, even if he was too good a diplomat to air those views in public.
Cut a deal with the Taliban. Let them have the filthy place. Make it clear to them that we reserve the right to drop daisy cutters on any terrorist training camp we find out about on their territory. Same for Pakistan. Insert some special forces small units in there to keep an eye on things and cut throats as necessary — starting with Karzai's, would be my recommendation, but I'll let the coverts make their own judgment.
Our country's broke and we're spending a hundred billion dollars a year on this folly. We punished the Taliban for hosting al-Qaeda. We should make it plain we'll punish them again if they do it again. Beyond that, Afghanistan is none of our business. Get our guys out of there.
06 — New Nixon tapes. The Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library released some new tapes from that long-ago Presidency. Please don't ask me why there are still new tapes to be released 36 years after the guy left office, I'm as baffled as you are.
Anywhere, here's the material: Nixon in informal discussions with top advisers in February and March of 1973. You'll need some smelling salts near to hand here, and preferably someone to fan you back to consciousness after you've swooned with horror.
You ready? Here it is: Nixon believed that nationalities, ethnies, and races display distinctive characteristics of personality, behavior, and intelligence.
I'll give you a minute or two to recover from that shocker. Here's some soothing music to bring your blood pressure down while you recover.
[Clip: Ketelbey's "In a Monastery Garden"]
Have you recovered? Good. Well, here is Nixon in 1973 telling us that Irish people get mean when they're drunk, Jews are abrasive and obnoxious, Italians are unstable, and it'll be five hundred years before black people can, quote, "strengthen our country."
And then for the Kissinger-haters, there was this from Dr K, speaking of the U.S.S.R., quote:
If they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.
I confess myself unshocked, neither shaken nor stirred. Kissinger was just stating an elementary and correct principle of statecraft: that while national interest and humanitarianism may sometimes overlap, they are not coextensive. If some dictator in China, or Africa, or Brazil decides to deal with some bothersome national minority by gassing them, that is indeed a humanitarian concern, but it does not necessarily impinge on our national interest. The mass murders in Rwanda in 1994 were very horrible, but none of our national business.
There is a strain of thought in American life that says not a sparrow falls anywhere in the world but the U.S. taxpayer should take responsibility somehow. Kissinger does not agree with that, and neither do I.
As to Nixon's observations on national, ethnic, and racial traits, they were the common currency of informal talk among all Americans in 1973, which as it happens was the year I first came to this country. They, or similar observations, had been common currency among all parts of the human race for about a hundred thousand years previous to that.
Those people were all wrong of course, and shamefully ignorant. Nationalities, ethnies, and races display no distinctive characteristics whatsoever. Anyone who says otherwise is a very bad person indeed, possessed by bad thoughts. We should pity such a person, lost in darkness as he is, and try to lift him up into the light of truth and reason.
As a matter of fact there are no such things as nationalities, ethnies, and races. These are fictions put about by evil people trying to sow discord. There are no differences whatsoever between human groups. Only a bigot would suggest otherwise. People all over the world …
Hold on, who's this coming into the studio? Good heavens! — it's Queen Marie of Romania!
07 — Christmas Island shipwreck. Speaking of humanitarian issues, 1973 was also, as well as being the year of those Nixon tapes and the year I first made landfall here, it was also the year that French novelist Jean Raspail published his novel The Camp of the Saints.
If you don't know the book, here's a précis.
The story is set in the near future. The nations of the advanced Western world have opened their borders. Impoverished people from the Third World are swarming in.
Well, well. On Wednesday this week a terrible scene was played out on Christmas Island, which is a little speck in the Indian Ocean two hundred miles off the coast of Indonesia.
In spite of being that close to Indonesia, Christmas Island is Australian territory. The thousand-odd people who live there, mostly of Chinese ancestry, are Australian citizens, even though Australia is five times further away than Indonesia.
Australia's a pretty nice country, so this situation makes Christmas Island a tempting target for Third Worlders seeking a better life for themselves. Demand creates supply, so a people-smuggling network has come up in Asia and the Middle East. A discontented person in those places can pay a sum of money to a coyote and get flown to Indonesia. Then he's packed into a boat with a couple hundred other people and the boat is pushed off in the general direction of Christmas Island.
If the customer makes it to Christmas Island he'll be arrested by the Australian authorities and put in a camp. He knows, however, that Australia is a humanitarian Western nation, and he won't be in the camp for ever. Sooner or later he'll be a free man in a civilized country, and that's worth the expense and the risks.
What happened this Wednesday was that one of these boats foundered in heavy seas right off the coast of the island. In view of people on the cliffs above, the boat broke up on the rocks. There were eighty or a hundred people on board; at least thirty drowned, including eight children.
The people on the boat were from Iran and Iraq. They wanted to live as free people in a civilized country. If you or I were born in places like that, we'd want the same thing, and might risk anything to get it. Even setting aside the tragedy of the shipwreck and those dead children, you can't help but sympathize with these people.
At the same time, the question asked by Jean Raspail hovers in the background here. Australia's population is 21½ million. Iran and Iraq between them have 107 million. If only a quarter of Iranians and Iraqis want to go settle in Australia — probably an under-estimate — you just doubled Australia's population right there. And of course Iran and Iraq are not the only sending countries here.
When Deng Xiaoping visited the U.S.A. in 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter chided him for China's restrictive policies on emigration. If people wanted to leave China, Carter said, they should be allowed to do so. Deng replied cheerfully: "OK. How many do you want?"
Watching those poor devils struggling in the sea off Christmas Island — there's video of the whole thing on the Internet — one's normal reaction is: Oh, for goodness' sake, let them in! But if you let them in, many more will come — millions and tens of millions, and here we are back in The Camp of the Saints.
It is, as mathematicians say, a nontrivial problem.
08 — Miscellany. OK, now comes our closing miscellany of brief items.
Item: Here's a little immigration story that made me smile. Meet Omar Ahmed, a Somali who until recently was living in Ottawa, Canada, whence he had been brought by his father at age nine.
Omar is now 25, and has a long rap sheet. He's a street gang member and a trafficker in crack cocaine. The Canadians got fed up with him and put him in an immigration detention center.
After six months of that, Omar waived his rights and agreed to be deported back to Somalia. The idea was to send him back to his home village, but that got lost in the works and Omar was flown to Mogadishu and left there.
His Dad back in Ottawa is furious about this. Quote from him:
Imagine: Mogadishu is the worst place on Earth; it's like Afghanistan. That boy has no experience.
Like I said, it made me smile.
Item: Man of the week was undoubtedly U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, who became the first, though surely not the last, federal judge to strike down the Obamacare insurance mandate. That's the part of the Obamacare law that says the federal government can force you to purchase goods from a private vendor, and punish you if you refuse. Unconstitutional, said the judge.
Be nice to think that this is the start of a road back to our judiciary reading the Constitution according to the actual dictionary meaning of its words and the rules of English grammar, but don't celebrate yet. Lefty law scholars have been burrowing away in the judicial system for forty years, and there are plenty of judges out there, including some on the Supreme Court, eager to find "penumbras" and "emanations" in the Constitution.
Still, for a while at least, we have a constitutional hero among us. Let's give thanks for that.
Item: A little snippet here from the world of the human sciences.
University of Iowa researchers have reported finding a woman who knows no fear. The woman, identified only as SM, suffers from a rare condition that has destroyed her amygdala, an almond-shaped unit deep in the brain that governs our fear responses. Having no amygdala, SM has no fear.
The boffins did their best to scare her, showing her snakes and horror movies and the like, to no avail.
They also tell us that she lives in a poor urban neighborhood and has been mugged at knife- and gun-point, yet her behavior even under those circumstances, quote, "lacked any sense of desperation or urgency."
Interesting. No fear, huh? Send her round to my house and let's see how she copes when Mrs Derb finds out she ate the last piece of cheesecake.
Item: What else? Scraping the barrel here. Just let me check the headlines …
"Model's hair catches fire at rapper's party." No, I don't think so.
"Rahm Emanuel has a New York Times vending machine in the crawl space under his house." That's news? If it'd been a National Review vending machine, that would've been news.
"Chinese men look West" — what's that about? "The supposed materialism of Chinese women is putting off some Chinese men and driving them into the arms of Western women." So says the Washington Post. I wouldn't know, and had better not say anything, not till the fuss about the cheesecake has calmed down.
Oh, here's a headline that will appeal to Radio Derb listeners: "Turkmenistan president vain and suspicious, say Wikileak cables." Yes, it's our hero Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, President-for-Life of the noble republic of Turkmenistan. Apparently among those Wikileaked diplomatic communications were some relating to the heroic leader.
Berdymukhammedov does not like people who are smarter than he is. Since he's not a very bright guy … he is suspicious of a lot of people. The president does not like America, Iran or Turkey but likes China.
I'm sure that can't be right. In my private telephone chats with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, he has always expressed warm regard for the U.S.A. What else they got? Quote:
The President is vain, suspicious, guarded, strict, very conservative, a micro-manager, and a practised liar.
Which president are we talking about here? Oh, "conservative" — obviously President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. He is indeed a fine conservative.
The rest is slander, I assure you — as are any rumors you may have heard about Radio Derb acquiring preferred shares in Turkmenistan's oil industry at extremely favorable prices. Filthy lies, all of it.
09 — Signoff. That's it for this week, listeners. The grotto beckons.
Let's have something out of the ordinary to close the show with. How about some rhythm and blues? That's the ticket. And who better to bring it to us than everyone's favorite KGB fingernail-puller and journalist-killer, yes that cuddly old Russian bear Vladimir Putin. Take it away, Vlad …
[Music clip: Vladimir Putin, "Blueberry Hill."]