• 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, this is your inerrantly genial host John Derbyshire with your weekly roundup of the news courtesy of Taki's Magazine.
Speaking of the main magazine, I should apologize for the absence of my weekly column there this week. I strive to keep up my regular publishing schedule, but now and then unforeseen circumstances disrupt the flow. My apologies once again.
Here on Taki's private island in the Aegean, life proceeds at its usual quiet tenor. The figs and olives are ripening nicely on their trees, and the villagers tell me there will be good harvests in the fall. Goat cheese is abundant in the village store, and the fishermen seem to be prospering.
Betty and Philip, the elderly couple who own our neighbor island, are enjoying their first great-grandchild, whose birth I reported last week. A celebratory party is to be held next week; my young technicians and research assistants are all looking forward to it with much excitement.
That's the local and personal news; let's see what's happening in the wider world.
02 — Hillary Clinton refresher course. For those listeners interested in party politics …
[Boos, hisses] …
No, really, there are some, I know. This is a full-service news station; we have to cater to all tastes. The majority of listeners, I understand, want to hear Radio Derb's masterful geostrategic analyses, penetrating sociological observations, biting cultural critiques, and Lindsay Lohan jokes. Minorities have rights, too, though. Indeed, in a well-ordered 21st-century society, they have more rights than the rest of us, so I am obliged to address their interests.
So for the minority of listeners who are already looking forward with eager anticipation to the 2016 Presidential election season, here are some very early notes.
The principal name here is Hillary, which is to say Mrs Clinton. The lady I am sure needs no introduction from me. The last major coverage we gave her on Radio Derb was in October last year, when we named her as one of the Three Horsegirls of the Apocalypse. The other two horsegirls were Samantha Power, who ran the Obama administration's evil and foolish human rights program, then advanced from there to become our Ambassador to the evil and foolish United Nations, and Susan Rice, Ms Power's predecessor as Ambassador to the Turtle Bay asylum.
The particular apocalypse of which Clinton, Power, and Rice were the horsegirls was the human rights apocalypse: that is, the horrors that ensue when powerful nations decide that defending their commercial interests and keeping an eye on potential adversaries are insufficiently uplifting in a world crying out for moral guidance. Keeping the sealanes open and rattling the occasional saber simply cannot compare in importance to deposing friendly dictators and preventing Somali goatherds from circumcising their teenage girls.
So we got the 2012 Benghazi fiasco, in which the U.S.A. lost an ambassador, the first to be murdered in the line of duty since 1979. Three other Americans were also killed, in part due to sloppiness and inattention by Mrs Clinton's State Department, who then of course did their best to cover up their delinquencies.
Mrs Clinton accepted responsibility for the disaster at last; but having said "I accept responsibility" she apparently felt that no further action on her part — such as, for example, a dignified resignation — was necessary.
That's the lady. Before she was Secretary of State she was a Senator from New York, and in 2008 a candidate in the Democratic Party's Presidential primaries. Democratic primary voters in their wisdom decided that as exciting and leg-tingling as it would certainly be to have a female President, having a black one would be even more gratifying to their feelings of moral worth, so Hillary got State as a consolation prize.
So the question now is, will Mrs Clinton try again in 2016? Let's weigh the odds.
03 — The great pro-Hillary brainwashing campaign begins. The question with which I closed the last segment was of course a trick question. Will Mrs Clinton run for President again in 2016? Is a bean green? Of course she will!
The left-liberal elites who own, operate, and staff America's entertainment media, and who will provide much of the financing for a Hillary campaign, certainly think so. There are already three — count 'em, three — Hillary biopics in the works.
The one we have most recently been told about is a four-hour miniseries planned by NBC. That's NBC as in MSNBC, its cable channel, home of such progressive luminaries as Chris Matthews, whose approach to race relations is that he is terribly, terribly sorry he's white; Al Sharpton, who thinks he damn well ought to be; and Rachel Maddow, who in last year's election cast a write-in vote for Henry Wallace.
NBC and the cable clone MSNBC are wholly owned by the Comcast corporation, whose executive Vice President, David Cohen, was a major fundraiser for Barack Obama in the last Presidential election cycle. Cohen actually held a fundraiser for Obama in his Philadelphia mansion.
So here's a prediction: The NBC miniseries will not cover the firing of employees from the White House Travel Office in 1993, when the Clintons came in. The employees, humble non-political Washington worker bees, were fired so that the Clintons could reward their friends and accomplices with jobs. To cover up this fact, the Clintons, with Hillary apparently as the main player, alleged that the employees had been fiddling the books. One of them was actually charged with embezzlement; he was found not guilty at trial.
I'll make further predictions. None of the Clintons' scuzzy business dealings, bare-faced corruption, or weasely evasions of responsibility, either in Arkansas or in Washington, will be honestly covered in the NBC mini-series. Viewers will be left with no understanding as to why Bill Safire, a seasoned and responsible reporter, wrote in 1996 — in the pages of the New York Times, yet — that, quote:
Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar.
So, NBC. Who else is preparing a Clinton biopic? Who do you think? CNN, of course.
Graybeards among you may remember back in the 1990s when CNN was said to stand for "Clinton News Network." Well, that's still what they stand for.
The best you can say for CNN's political line is that it isn't quite as anti-white as MSNBC's. At CNN, in fact, gay trumps black. This is even the case when gay and black are the same person, as when gay black CNN reporter Don Lemon's chief contribution to coverage of the George Zimmerman trial was to ask lead prosecutor John Guy how he felt about people — presumably people like Don Lemon — calling him "McDreamy." Oooooh!
And yet another Hillary movie, this one actually a real movie, and longer in the works: Rodham, a project of Temple Hill entertainment. This has been a staple of the gossip columns for several months. Here's a plot synopsis, from one of the early promotions, quote:
During the height of the Watergate scandal, rising star Hillary Rodham is the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon, but she soon finds herself forced to choose between a destined path to the White House and her unresolved feelings for Bill Clinton, her former boyfriend who now teaches law in Arkansas.
So this is to be the young Hillary, and the young Bill. There's been much speculation about casting for the role of young Hillary. One of the webzines actually ran a poll. I voted; but apparently nobody else thinks Snooki fits the role. Not enough of the midwestern co-ed WASP look, I guess.
For Bill I wanted Charlie Sheen, but again I seem to be in a minority of one. Good thing I never set out to make a career as a casting director.
So yes, Hillary will be running for Democratic Presidential candidate in 2016, come hell or Whitewater. The media lefties wouldn't be investing so much in her otherwise. Never mind the scandals: the Travel Office, the insider trading on cattle futures, the mysteriously missing law firm billing records that mysteriously re-appeared, the Healthcare Task Force, the Benghazi cover-up. The media can be depended on to bury all that.
You look at Mrs Clinton and you see a haggard old cynic in a muu-muu. Stick around; after a couple of years of media brainwashing, the American public will look at her and see Joan of Arc riding to the rescue of her beleaguered nation.
Enough of this petty personal stuff, though. What are the larger issues here?
04 — The politics of scuzz. Well, here's one of the larger issues: If a politician has a scuzzy private life, how much weight should we give to the scuzziness when deliberating how to vote?
The current poster boy here is of course Anthony Weiner, running in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City. Weiner's personal failings are well known by now. To what degree should they influence a New York Democrat's voting preference?
The latest round of revelations about Weiner, reported by Radio Derb last week, have certainly caused his poll numbers to detumesce. A new Quinnipiac poll out on Monday showed him in fourth place with 16 percent of voters favoring him. That's down from first place and 26 percent last week.
A big drop, to be sure; although if you want to look at it from a glass-half-full perspective, Weiner's lost only two-fifths of his voters — not even half. Which tells you something about New York Democratic voters.
Yes, folks, Radio Derb can still report that Anthony Weiner is holding his own. [Groans.]
I got to thinking about this, trying to see it from a left-liberal's point of view. What if this were my candidate?
Leave the New York mayorship aside and imagine the following scenario. There is a candidate for major national office. He has strong and consistent policy positions that I really like.
You get the idea. Now, I would be drooling to vote for this guy — or gal, whatever. But now suppose I learned that he had been doing dirty talk over the phone with ladies not his wife, and tweeting them pictures of his johnson. Would I still want to vote for him?
It's not an easy question. It's also a question I can procrastinate about because it's not likely to happen. Conservatives just aren't like that. Oh sure, you can name one or two cases, but it's highly unusual. Conservative positions arise from a conservative temperament, and we're just not … transgressive.
The last conservative U.S. President who was significantly scuzzy was Warren Harding, and even his scuzziness wasn't really transgressive. Sure, he boinked White House secretaries in the broom closets, and served whiskey to guests during Prohibition, and enjoyed a game of poker with his cronies. He was a great conservative President, though, and dealt with the 1920-21 recession by doing exactly the right thing — nothing, basically.
Historian Paul Johnson on Harding, quote:
Harding won the election on his fifty-fifth birthday, which, characteristically, he celebrated by playing a round of golf. He did not believe that politics were very important or that people should get excited about them or allow them to penetrate too far into their everyday lives. In short he was the exact opposite of Lenin, Mussolini and Hitler, and the professional Social Democratic politicians of Europe.
Be still, my heart.
Of course, we now know that Harding fell short on certain qualities you'd want in an ideal politician: mainly, he was careless in his choice of friends. Still, on policy he was hard to beat, and as a voter I would certainly forgive him the occasional quickie in a White House broom closet.
What about someone really transgressive, though? What about a promiscuous homosexual who held all those good policy positions I favor?
I honestly don't know. There is certainly a line there I wouldn't want to cross; but to be perfectly honest, I don't think Anthony Weiner's strange personal habits are on the wrong side of the line.
Of course, I wouldn't vote for Weiner in a hundred years; but that's because he's a far-left liberal. If he had all the wonderful policy positions I listed above, I'd vote for him. How often does the opportunity come along?
And what if he was just a congenital liar like Hillary Clinton: a person whose notion of taking responsibility is to say "I take responsibility," then stick his snout right back in the trough? That I don't think I could stomach; but again, I'm not likely going to have to. Conservatives aren't like that.
In any case, I'm just one voter; and a candidate with the policies I listed would stand zero chance of being elected to anything in welfare-state America; so it's all pretty hypothetical.
As the lady herself might say: At this point, what difference would it make?
05 — The righteous among the RINOs. Here's a guy who actually is electable — in fact he's currently sitting in the U.S. Senate — and who I would vote for with enthusiasm. In fact Radio Derb has already suggested he undertake a Presidential run. I refer of course to Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.
Senator Sessions was on fine form this week. In a memo to his Republican colleagues dated Monday, July 29th, Senator Sessions urged them to, quote, "flip the immigration debate on its head." You can read the entire memo on the internet — it's on the Weekly Standard website, and several other places. I urge you to do so. I'll just quote a few of the opening sentences, quote:
The same set of GOP strategists, lobbyists, and donors who have always favored a proposal like the Gang of Eight immigration bill argue that the great lesson of the 2012 election is that the GOP needs to push for immediate amnesty and a drastic surge in low-skill immigration.
That's a bit disingenuous. The hemorrhaging of support wasn't quite from middle- and low-income Americans of all backgrounds. The key factor, as Sean Trende, Steve Sailer, and other analysts of the election results have shown, was that middle- and low-income white Americans saw nothing worth voting for on the Republican ticket. Blacks and Hispanics form an inconsequential portion of the Republican electorate at the best of times.
Still, let's allow Senator Sessions some ingenuousness. The great good-natured American public doesn't want to hear the blunt truth about racial voting patterns, not from their politicians anyway. As a poet sagely observed: Human kind cannot bear very much reality.
Immigration-wise, the judgment of those middle- and low-income white Americans was correct. Romney and Ryan would have sold the pass on immigration if elected, as their subsequent comments — Ryan's in particular — make clear.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is even worse. Cantor and Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia are currently drafting an amnesty bill for illegal aliens who claim to have been brought here as children by their parents.
Never mind that any such program would be overwhelmed with fraudulent applications which, the immigration officers' union has already told Congress, they won't have the resources to check.
Never mind that the Obama administration will just ignore or override any part of the law they don't like, as they are doing with current immigration laws.
Never mind that obliging people to go back to their home country is no great hardship: people change countries all the time — I've done it myself — and often take their kids with them.
Never mind any of that: great swathes of the GOP have been suckered into thinking that unless they do the bidding of their big-money donors, their party is doomed. Yo, idiots: What's dooming your party, as those electoral analyses clearly show, is that middle- and low-income white Americans don't see their interests represented by the GOP.
Senator Sessions understands that. So does Iowa Rep. Steve King, who is currently being made the subject of a Two Minutes Hate in the media for telling the truth about these so-called DREAMers, to wit, that the average underage illegal is far more likely to be a drug mule than a high school valedictorian.
So we've got Senator Jeff Sessions and Representative Steve King — two honest men, at least, in Congress. God promised Abraham that he'd spare the Cities of the Plain if he could find ten righteous men in them. He couldn't, so Sodom and Gomorrah went up in smoke. I'm wondering what the corresponding number is for the U.S. Congress. Well, we have two …
06 — Civilization dodges a bullet. Long-time listeners may recall that back in February 2011 we mentioned the Carrington Event of September 1859, a huge interplanetary electromagnetic disturbance that brought the Aurora Borealis down to Baltimore and caused telegraph equipment to burst into flame.
The Carrington Event was what we science geeks call a CME, which stands for "Coronal Mass Ejection." What happens is, the Sun burps out a huge blob of highly-charged gas which then lumbers across the Solar System and out into interstellar space. The Sun actually does this a lot, but the Earth is a comparatively small object comparatively far away, so most of the blobs miss us by tens of millions of miles.
Well, it turns out that we just dodged one of these bullets. The Washington Examiner reports that, quote:
The earth barely missed taking a massive solar punch in the teeth two weeks ago, an "electromagnetic pulse" so big that it could have knocked out power, cars and iPhones throughout the United States.
This one actually crossed Earth's orbit on its way through the Solar System, but fortunately it did so a few days before our planet got there.
National security experts, led by former CIA Director James Woolsey, have been trying to raise the alarm about the catastrophic damage that one of these electromagnetic events might cause. An enemy nuke, exploded outside the atmosphere, would have a similar effect over a big area, as described in Bill Forstchen's 2009 novel One Second After.
Woolsey tells us that, quote:
Some in Congress are interested in the issue, but the administration is just in the "beginnings" of paying attention.
So I think we can confidently file this under Things That Nothing Will Be Done About Until It's Too Late.
And please, listeners, by all means celebrate, in any way you think fit, my having got through a segment about massive blobs of highly-charged hot gas without mentioning New Jersey's gun-hating, illegal-alien coddling, Obama-embracing RINO Governor Chris Christie.
07 — Ladders of opportunity, chutes of diversity. If the Obama administration are not concerned about Coronal Mass Ejections, what are they concerned about?
Well, here's one thing they're concerned about: Our cities, towns, and neighborhoods are not diverse enough.
The agency we're talking about here is the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a/k/a HUD, which you may recall is one of the federal departments my dream candidate of fifteen minutes ago wants to abolish. Well, here's why.
HUD has just published a new regulation — yes, that's a new federal regulation — that all public planning processes and, quote, "other decision-making that influences how communities and regions grow and develop" must take into account, quote, "data provided by HUD … to evaluate patterns of integration and segregation, racial and ethnic concentrations of poverty, and access to valuable community assets." End quote.
Let me translate that for you. If your city, town, or county wants anything at all from the feds, you had darn well better let them build a brand-new slum in the middle of it.
The aim here, HUD tells us, is to, quote, "ensure that every American is able to choose to live in a community they feel proud of." So if you don't feel proud of the community you currently live in, you ought to be able to choose to go live in another one. If you can't afford the house prices in that other one, no worries: The feds will build a house for you.
This all came from a speech that the HUD Secretary, Shaun Donovan, gave to the NAACP on July 16th. Secretary Donovan told the assembled colored people that, quote:
We have got to shape a future where ladders of opportunity are available for all Americans. For African Americans, this is critically important. Historically, for this community, the rungs on these ladders have been too far apart — making it harder to reach the middle class.
Nice imagery there, Mister Secretary, but the number of nonblack Americans who think that blacks are at any disadvantage at all, in a nation with a black President, a black Attorney General, and rampant affirmative action pulling blacks up that ladder while nonblacks struggle to get a foothold — the number of nonblack Americans willing to buy this gobbledygook is dwindling fast.
If anyone wants to reach the middle class but doesn't know how, here's the recipe.
That's the recipe. It's not difficult. It has nothing to do with diversity, or ladders, or the federal government.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The late Isaac Asimov, who himself trained as a biochemist, once revealed an infallible way to tell whether or not someone is a working chemist of that or any other variety. The way you tell, said Asimov, is to write down the word U-N-I-O-N-I-Z-E-D and ask the person to read it aloud. A non-chemist will say "unionized"; a chemist will say "un-ionized."
I trained as a mathematician, so my training betrayed me as I was reading about this week's election in Zimbabwe. One of the candidates bore the rather striking first name "Welshman." That was his first name. Whether he has brothers named "Irishman" and "Scotsman," I can only speculate.
The candidate's last name was spelt N-C-U-B-E. Now, this actually has a meaning in mathematics. In one dimension you have a straight line segment; in two dimensions you have a square, bounded by four line segments; in three, you have a cube, bounded by six squares; in four dimensions, you have a hypercube, bounded by eight cubes.
There are analogous figures in N dimensions, the N-dimensional analogue being called an N-cube.
So that was how I read the candidate's name: Welshman N-cube. It's a pretty cool name. If you're a mathematician, it's even cooler than Goodluck Jonathan, the current President of Nigeria.
So who won the election? Who cares? This is Zimbabwe, for crying out loud.
Item: A congressional delegation visiting the Guantánamo Bay prison camp was told by the military officials in charge of the place that the book most requested from the camp library by inmates there was Fifty Shades of Gray, the erotic novel by E.L. James describing the experiences of a naive young woman at the hands, and other body parts, of an experienced and somewhat sadistic older man.
OK, permit me to enumerate the possibilities here.
I'm just going to leave it to your judgment, gentle listener, which of these is actually the case.
Hawaii, in case you've never been there, is a pretty nice place. A lot of people want to live there. It's expensive, though. Hawaii newspapers run regular columns offering advice to mainlanders who want to come and live in the islands. The principal item of advice is, "Bring a sackload of money with you — you'll need it."
That's assuming you want to live in Hawaii with a bourgeois lifestyle: nice apartment or house, nice car, well-paid job, and so on.
If, on the other hand, you just want to lie on the beach getting zonked on Thunderbird, you can ignore the newspaper advice and just show up. Hawaii's a solid Democratic state with liberal social policies, as you'd hope for from Barack Obama's home state. You can supplement your welfare by bumming from the tourists, supplement your food intake with a little fishing, and if worse comes to worst you're not going to freeze.
Homeless people may be homeless, but they're not necessarily stupid. A lot of them have figured out the thing I just said. Result: The islands are overflowing with bums — 17,000 of them is the official estimate, in a total population of 1.4 million. So around one person in 82 in Hawaii is homeless. It does seem like a lot.
Now the state government is starting a new program to offer one-way tickets to homeless people, tickets to anywhere in the continental United States. They'll even send them back on cruise ships, each with his own cabin. I bet that'll be popular on the shuffleboard court.
The new program has been greeted with some skepticism in the islands. State Representative John Mizuno told a local newspaper that, quote:
It's fractional. It's not for 5,000 homeless people. It's going to be a handful of homeless people that we send home.
Er, excuse me, Sir, but if they are homeless, how are you going to send them home?
Could be worse, I guess. At least Hawaii doesn't have a border with Mexico.
09 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Having ended there with one of our rare items about the Aloha State, I have an excuse to close the show out with a brief clip from the King — Blue Hawaii, of course.
That was, I think, the third of a rush of movies Elvis made in the months after he came out of the army. I'd like to dedicate it to the lovely state of Hawaii, and also to every American who served and is currently serving in our nation's armed forces.
Ladies and gentlemen: the King. And there will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Elvis, "Blue Hawaii."]