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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, this is your industriously genial host John Derbyshire with an early look at the news ahead of Labor Day weekend. On account of the holiday, we are going to tape earlier than usual this week.
There will be no short measure, though. On the contrary: Because this will be your last Radio Derb broadcast for ten days, we have tried to pack a little more into it. You're welcome!
OK, let's see what we've got.
02 — Spare me the cheap, hollow rhetoric. This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. I've said what I have to say about the anniversary in my posted column at Taki's Magazine this week. What follows here is just supplementary.
A thing I didn't say in my column is that I can't summon up any enthusiasm for King's speech because of a deep, life-long, and general — I mean, non-King-specific — distaste for gassy rhetoric. I don't think my distaste is personal to myself, either; I think it is characteristically English. We're just not much moved by oratory. Orators in Britain tend to be Welsh, like David Lloyd George or Aneurin Bevan; and the English tend to dismiss them as windbags.
One possible riposte to that is to say: "What about Winston Churchill's famous speeches, that so inspired the Brits during the dark days of WW2?"
Well, I have a handy counter-riposte. This is from the London Daily Mail, August 22nd, quote:
A new book by Professor Richard Toye, based partly on reports by the Mass Observation exercise — which collected the private thoughts of the British during the war, in diaries and by direct eavesdropping — radically undermines the popular image of [Churchill] as a sublime popular wartime orator, who held the nation together during the darkest phases of the war. Professor Toye says: "There is little evidence that [Churchill's speeches] made a decisive difference to the British people's will to fight on."
End quote. So there.
And in this same context, I can't resist a quote from George Orwell's 1943 riposte to the pacifist Alex Comfort. Comfort had written a long poem setting out the case for pacifism and non-resistance to Hitler. Orwell responded in kind, fifteen stanzas of iambic pentameters making the case for patriotism. Here is stanza eleven. The first two lines quote phrases from Churchill's speeches. Quote:
I'm not a fan for "fighting on the beaches,"
Ah, Orwell; there was a chap who knew how to slip the literary knife in.
I listen in to Obama's speeches even less often than Orwell listened in to Churchill's, and with even less tolerance. I sure won't be listening in to his Wednesday speech commemorating King's. With all his well-advertised faults, shady associations, and leftist leanings, I'll allow King this much: He most likely believed in the religious ideas that provided the framework for his speech.
I've read a million words about Obama, including the man's own autobiography, and I don't believe he has a religious bone in his body. He probably does believe in the magical explanations for black failure: in "institutional racism," "stereotype threat," "white privilege," and all the rest of the sinister vapors and miasmas, the dark invisible forces keeping the black man down.
Whether or not you believe in either religion or magic, I think you have to acknowledge that the one is more substantial than the other. Religion has sustained great civilizations and moved men to great deeds: Magic is just lazy thinking and tawdry tricks, cheap and hollow.
No, I won't be listening in to Obama's speech. If I want cheap and hollow, I'll go to the 99 cent store.
03 — Dream a little dream. King's speech loses some of its force for readers today because the whole business of "dreaming," as employed to refer to big, expensive new government programs, has been considerably devalued.
That's putting it politely. I personally am about ready to throw up in my mouth the next time I hear some moocher tell me how he is "dreaming" of government grants and favors. What happened to the classic American ideal of self-sufficiency within the law? Isn't anyone dreaming of that any more?
When it comes to dreaming about the wealth of productive, law-abiding Americans being taxed off and transferred to scofflaws and parasites, nobody is dreaming harder than illegal infiltrators from Mexico and points south. I'm sure listeners all know about the so-called DREAM Act, which aims to give the precious boon of lawful U.S. residence to all these shameless gatecrashers, and also to their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins and collaterals.
But hold on there, Derb, you heartless bigot (I hear you cry). Aren't these DREAMers high school valedictorians who will bless our country with their talents and energy? Do you really want them to suffer because of bad choices their parents made?
To the latter point, children have suffered throughout history, and will continue to suffer into the far future, for bad choices their parents made. There are kids with parents in jail, kids with only one parent, kids living in crappy neighborhoods, kids being raped by live-in boyfriends, because of bad choices their parents made. That's life. It's no reason to throw our national sovereignty out the window.
And as to blessing our country with their presence, here are a couple of news stories at random. One:
An illegal alien brutally murdered Laura Wilkerson's 18-year-old son in Texas, tied his body up, and then doused him with gasoline before burning him … Wilkerson would later find out that an illegal alien, who would have been eligible for citizenship under the DREAM Act, brutally murdered her son after he offered to give him a ride home.
An intoxicated, wrong-way driver who pleaded guilty to the killing in April of a Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper carrier … had been convicted of DUI a year earlier and had never been licensed to drive in Virginia. Santos Gabriel-Tomas, 30 [which makes him DREAM Act-eligible], an immigrant from Guatemala in the country illegally, was convicted in March 2012 of driving under the influence of alcohol in neighboring Lunenburg County.
I could go on for a long time, but I urge you to seek out these stories for yourself, which you can do by going to the website of the Remembrance Project, theremembranceproject.org, which lists a good selection of them. The Remembrance Project was set up in 2009 to raise awareness of Americans killed by illegal infiltrators.
Reading these terrible stories will show you what a nightmare we are bringing upon ourselves with this DREAM foolishness.
04 — For the kiddies! Urging us to "dream" is one way that interest groups and self-aggrandizing politicians can lift our eyes up to the lofty heavens so they can pick our pockets.
Another way they have of doing it is to beg us to think about the little children. The kiddies! Think of the kiddies!
This kiddie ploy is also good for getting us into unnecessary wars. So here was Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking ex cathedra in Washington, D.C., August 26th, quote:
[Clip: Kerry: "What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable."]
Well, it's not totally undeniable, Mr Secretary. The opposition in Syria includes some very unpleasant people: people who believe, for example, that flying civilian planes into civilian office buildings is a meritorious act in furtherance of their cause. I don't doubt they would pull a false flag stunt like this if they could. As Radio Derb said last week, the evidence here implicates the government forces, but it's far from dispositive.
But even if we suppose the Syrian government did it, what business is it of ours? Even before the present civil war broke out, Syria was a basket case country of no significance to us. The only U.S. interest you could argue in this war is our general interest in killing jihadis wherever we can. Since the jihadis are all in the anti-government forces, that should line us up with the government, not the rebels.
You could make a case — I wouldn't bother to argue much with you — that we should supply covert financial and military support to Bashir Assad, so he can kill more jihadis. It'd be cheaper and easier than us doing the work.
Ah, what about those kiddies, though? Well, what about them? I've just been reading the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs, which has an article by Africa expert Jason Stearns on the war in the DR Congo, what used to be called Zaïre. That war's been going on since the ramshackle kleptocracy of Joseph Mobutu collapsed in 1996 — nearly twenty years.
(I'm sorry, but I can't mention the late President of Zaïre without giving you his full name and title: Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga. The honorific part there translates as "the rooster who leaves no hen untouched." Ah, there were giants in those days.)
So yes, the Congo civil war. Getting on for twenty years; number of dead not known even to the nearest million, but a 2007 report estimated around two million children dead to that point. Why didn't we intervene there, if we're so exercised about dead children?
I have two kids of my own, for whom I would happily take a bullet. My brother's and sister's kids are of concern to me, to a lesser degree; the kids of my neighbors and my town likewise, and those of my state and my country — American kids. Beyond that, my concern is pretty attenuated, and easily outweighed by other considerations.
Considerations like, for example, the wisdom of my nation going to war. We are coming up to the anniversary of WW1, when British troops marched off in a sentimental haze to assist plucky little Belgium against beastly, nun-raping Germans. Four years later, with twenty million dead and four great civilized empires in ruins, people wondered what the heck we had been thinking.
Let's hope that John Kerry's and Barack Obama's tears for the little children of Syria don't lead us into a similar catastrophe. If they do, it will be our kids who pay, not theirs.
[Added later : Right after mailing off the sound file for this Radio Derb to Taki's Magazine, and therefore too late to include, I spotted an article in the London Daily Telegraph headlined Labour must fight this war, not the last one. The sub-heading was: "Syria's children have a dream, too — it's worth fighting for to make the world a better place." A twofer: the dream and the kiddies!
05 — A Queer Feminist take on Trayvon Martin. In case you thought that leftists were all through milking the Trayvon Martin case, here's a story from the Windy City Times. Just so you can orient yourself properly before we start, I'll note the the main page of the Windy City Times carries the banner, quote: Celebrating 25+ Years of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender News, end quote.
The headline on this story, dated August 21st, reads, quote: "Event looks at Trayvon Martin case through queer, feminist eyes." That's the headline. Opening paragraph, quote:
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, Chicago has seen several public events and workshops exploring its aftermath. On Aug. 15, queer and feminist scholars gathered at the famous Hull House for a panel titled, "Transformative Justice and The Trayvon Martin Case: A Consideration."
If you don't know why Hull House is famous, google Jane Addams. She was a WASP reformer in the late 19th-early 20th century who wanted to break down class barriers and help immigrants assimilate into American society. She was also a queer feminist avant la lettre; although naturally, the times being what they were, she didn't make a public show of it.
Anyway, Hull House was one of her foundations, where middle-class women could mingle with the poor and do good works. It all sounds a bit precious and naïve; but I'm bound to say, the queer feminist thing aside, I can't summon up much animosity against those old reformers. They probably did much good. At least none of them used their "community activism" as a stepping-stone to the Presidency.
OK, back to this story in the Windy City News. So we have a panel of self-described queer feminists talking about the Trayvon Martin case. What do they have to say?
Well, these are root-causes people. The key phrase is "Transformative Justice." I'll allow one of the panelists to define that for us.
This panelist is Traci Schlesinger, associate professor of sociology at DePaul University who works on racial disparities in sentencing. Quote from her:
Transformative Justice is the transformation of the social conditions that perpetuate violence.
See? I told you — root causes. Prof. Schlesinger went on to say that "the breakdown of elements like public schooling in cities like Chicago, coupled with more intense private and public policing of Black bodies like Martin's were indirectly and directly the cause of such events."
Hmm. As I recall, when police found burglary tools and stolen jewelry in Trayvon Martin's backpack, they took no action. Doesn't sound very "intense" to me.
A different panelist, Erica R. Meiners, got to the heart of the matter. Meiners is a professor in the Gender and Women's Studies Department at Northeastern Illinois University. According to her, Trayvon Martin was killed in part by colonialism. Key quote:
The web of interconnected histories and contexts that made it possible for George Zimmerman to shoot Trayvon Martin and walk away cannot be separated from white supremacy, colonialism, heteromasculinity, and capitalism.
Prof. Meiners was just clearing her throat there, mind. She went on to cite the Bradley Manning trial, the bombing of Yemen, the expansion of the prison system, the high presence of police in Chicago public schools and the, quote, "targeting of trans youth."
So that's the queer feminist take on Trayvon Martin for you to discuss with your buddies down at the bowling alley. At some future date I shall give you the straight masculinist take; then you'll have a fully rounded picture.
06 — We are all guilty! In last week's broadcast we reported the killing of 88-year-old Delbert Belton in Spokane, Washington. Mr Belton was a combat veteran of the Battle of Okinawa, back in WW2. We reported that he was randomly stomped to death by two random teens in the parking lot of his pool club.
We should now correct that: Mr Belton was in fact not randomly stomped to death, he was randomly clubbed to death with flashlights by the two random teens. After randomly selecting Mr. Belton for their attentions, the random teens randomly attempted to rob him; Mr Belton's wallet was found in the vicinity and money had been taken.
And who was at fault in this dreadful incident? Well, first of all, we were: you, me, and everybody else, though I guess mostly the inhabitants of Spokane. That is according to Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, August 26th. They quote Chief Straub as follows, quote:
One of these individuals was pretty much a standout basketball player — and because nobody wrapped their arms around him, nobody cared enough about him, he's now going to face murder and robbery charges. And, probably, he's looking at the rest of his life being significantly affected — if not destroyed — by this.
Poor little chap! Doesn't your heart go out? And it's our fault for not having wrapped our arms around him! As the great Dr. Heinz Kiosk used to say: "We are all guilty!"
Some of us are more guilty than others, though. Chief Straub singles out one person for particular blame: Delbert Belton. Quote from the Chief, quote:
Our information is that the individual fought back — and that may have made this a worse situation.
I wonder if Mr Belton having fought back against the Imperial Japanese forces on Okinawa made that a worse situation? Whaddya think, Chief Straub, over there on the West Coast? Or would you prefer the question in Japanese?
07 — Refugee racketeers rake in the spoils. One of my favorite websites, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, is Ann Corcoran's Refugee Resettlement Watch. Ann keeps a watch on the refugee resettlement racket; and boy, is it a racket!
The chief racketeers here are the so-called VOLAGS, the voluntary agencies that bring refugees in once the U.N. has identified them. The Volags are mostly church affiliated: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Lutheran Immigrant Aid Society, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Church World Service, and so on.
These VOLAGS get money from the U.S. government for every refugee they bring in, as much as $4,000 a head; although how this squares with separation of church and state, I have never figured out. They all have very well-paid executive staff running their refugee operations.
The original idea, when resettlement got going thirty years ago, was that the VOLAGS would help the refugees settle in American communities, using funding from their own resources. In fact, after a few weeks — typically three to four months — the VOLAGS hand off refugees to the welfare agencies and go collect another batch. [Ker-ching.]
Yes, these refugees — the U.S.A. takes about 100,000 a year, forty percent of them Muslims, and you can multiply that by about four for follow-on dependants and such — these refugees are instantly eligible for welfare: for TANF, Medicaid, the EBT card, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and a raft of other programs.
In a report this week, Ann highlights the case of Springfield, Mass., where the Mayor, Dominic Sarno, has asked the federal government to stop sending refugees to his town. He is backed up by Abdulahi Ibrahim, an actual refugee. Quote from the original news story:
Ibrahim said he and his wife and five children resettled in Springfield on Wilbraham Road last October, aided by Lutheran Social Services of New England, after fleeing from Somalia to an Ethiopian refugee camp. The family has struggled since with the new language, the colder climate, and challenges such as where to get heating fuel and how to pay for heat. There was not enough assistance from Lutheran Social Services after the initial welcome and funding for rent and some expenses, he said.
As Ann points out, Massachusetts is one of the top states in the nation for welfare generosity. Mr Ibrahim, who looks about sixty and speaks no English, obviously isn't working. With those five kids — not to mention the cost of their schooling — and his SSI (probably) and all the other goodies, I'd estimate Mr Ibrahim is costing us around a quarter million dollars a year.
There really wasn't any way to help him in Ethiopia for less than that? He doesn't even sound very happy here. Perhaps he's not dreaming hard enough.
It's bad enough that this major component of U.S. immigration policy is all decided by the U.N. It's bad enough that whenever thorough checks are done — for example, DNA testing for people claiming family relationships — there is found to be massive fraud in the programs. It's bad enough that religious charities are getting scads of public money. It's bad enough that Washington, D.C., where the VOLAGS are headquartered and all the political movers and shakers live, takes practically no refugees — less than 40 a year. It's bad enough that Congress has never questioned the quota presented to it by the administration.
That's all bad enough: Now the Obama administration is prioritizing homosexual and transsexual refugees or pseudo-refugees. One of the VOLAGS is demanding that Medicaid pay for sex change operations for refugees.
There is so much madness in America right now, it's hard to keep track. This, though, is one matter where you can get involved locally. When the Mayor of your town announces that five thousand Syrian refugees are to be settled along Main Street, tell him how you feel about it. Then, get together with your neighbors and start building barricades.
08 — Miscellany. And now for our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Just a brief follow-up to that last segment. I'm going to dial a number here, actually the number 1-888-678-8914, which is Michigan Department of Social Services hot line.
I'll get a recorded message 56 seconds long. Bear with it: The interesting part is at the very end.
In case you don't know, the EBT card replaces the old Food Stamps program. Nowadays you swipe a card fro free food. OK, here goes.
[Clip: Michigan DSS message: "Thank you for calling Michigan EBT customer service. Qualified Department of Human Service (sic) clients who have been using their food assistance at approved restaurants will no longer be able to do so as of August 1st 2013. We regret any inconvenience. Cards can still be used at qualified homeless, elderly, and disabled meal provider locations. Reg (?) card-holders can use their cards at many farmers' markets: Check online at the Michigan Farmers' Market Association website for a participating market near you. Card-holders should be wary of fraudulent attempts to obtain your card number or PIN. We will never call you or send you a text message or email requesting that you contact us to prevent your EBT card from being deactivated. Please do not respond to these requests. For English, press 1. Para Español oprim a dos. (Something in Arabic.)]
Get that? The very last bit of the message there translates as: "Press 3 for Arabic."
And you still don't think we're doomed?
The afflicted institution here is St. Peter's Preparatory, a private all-boys Roman Catholic school in Jersey City, over there in the Garden State. Any news story about a school, we of course first want to know the student demographics. St. Peter's is 63 percent white, seven percent black, 30 percent other — about equally Asian and Hispanic.
OK, so what's the story? The story is, that back in May a 16-year-old black student ran for president of the Student Council. He thereupon received four hateful text messages, calling him rude words and threatening him. The student brought these messages to the attention of school officials who called in his father and Jersey City police.
A battalion of National Guard troops was dispatched to secure the school in lock-down, the Constitution was suspended, and the United Nations was alerted … No, I made that up; but there was a heck of a fuss.
I don't have precise details, but I imagine there were parents demanding an investigation, teachers rending their garments, weeping students begging for trauma counseling, protests, demonstrations, candle-light vigils, … You know the script.
Guess what: The police were able to trace the source of the text messages to … the student himself!
I know you are just as stunned as I am, listeners.
Item: Just some closing snippets.
Scientists in Sweden have spotted a new element, atomic number 115. They have no name for it, yet, but no doubt Obamanium is under serious consideration.
A chap in Cambridgeshire, England, is gravely injured and in hospital after being trampled by a herd of cows. This follows an incident in Brazil three weeks ago when a man in bed with his wife was killed by a cow falling through his roof.
So something's going on with cows lately — keep your eyes open.
African news: Twenty-five thousand students took an entrance exam for the University of Liberia, and not one of them passed. What, don't they have affirmative action over there?
And a 15-year-old boy in Kyrgyzstan has died from bubonic plague, a.k.a. the Black Death. I hope and trust our good friend President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in nearby Turkmenistan has alerted his well-equipped and efficient public health services. If anyone can forestall a world-wide plague, it is our dear friend President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.
09 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. From all of us here at Radio Derb and Taki's Magazine, a very restful and relaxing Labor Day weekend. May you return to your customary labors on Tuesday brimful of energy and enthusiasm, as we shall be, in order to bring you …
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]