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[Music clip: U.S. Air Force Band, The Stars and Stripes Forever]
01 — Intro. A little July Fourth music there. That was the United States Air Force Band with The Stars and Stripes Forever; and this is Radio Derb, hosted by your ceremonially genial host John Derbyshire this holiday weekend.
Commiserations to listeners on the East Coast, who were hit with Hurricane Arthur on the Fourth. I hope you managed to keep a few of your fireworks dry. To all, welcome to the show!
Let's get the dreary stuff out of the way first. Yes folks, it's news from the Middle East. [Boos, groans.]
02 — Peace process collapses! Headline, from the website for Foreign Policy magazine, June 27th, quote: Top Obama Mideast Envoy Steps Down As Peace Talks Crumble. Here's the lead paragraph in the story, please try to stay awake through it. Quote:
Top U.S. Mideast envoy Martin Indyk resigned Friday amid the apparent collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the clearest signal yet that the administration may soon be throwing in the towel on what has been one of its top foreign-policy initiatives.
See what I mean about staying awake? The phrase "Israeli-Palestinian peace process" is an insomnia cure all by itself, equivalent to 200mg of Nembutal.
There are two issues here, on both of which everybody and his parakeet has an opinion. Issue One: What are the rights and wrongs of this thing between the Israelis and the Arabs? Issue Two: Should it all be any business of the U.S.A.?
Radio Derb's portmanteau answer to both issues is that Israel is an outpost of Western Civilization, and we don't want to see Western Civ. lose one square inch of ground to barbarians.
What, then: Am I willing to see my country spend its money, and perhaps the blood of my fellow-citizens, in defense of that outpost?
Well, blood-wise the issue is moot. The Israelis are very willing to do their own fighting, and are very good at it. They're not asking for American troops, and weren't even when under existential threat in 1967 and 1973. Money-wise, we've given them a ton of aid in the past, but nowadays there's not much but discounts on military equipment, which I can't get bothered about.
So Radio Derb's pretty sanguine about the whole business. The Muslim nations have given up going to war against Israel and taken to massacring each other instead; which, as I have expressed before, is a thing I'm even more laid-back about. The oil factor, which used to loom large, is looming smaller as Uncle Sam heads towards energy independence. And anyway it was always the case that they had to sell the damn stuff to someone, or else starve.
Even the demographic factor is moot. The Muslim slogan used to be that they were going to win the "battle of the womb," swamping the Israelis with a swelling population. In fact the Israelis are doing well demographically, with the highest Total Fertility Rate of any advanced nation: 2.62 babies per woman. The West Bank, where most Palestinians live, is at 2.7, but that includes the contributions of a half-million Israeli settlers. The Gaza Strip's a bit more impressive at 4.24 babies per woman, but even at that rate it'd take them a century or two to catch Israel, and Gaza is of course a corrupt U.N. welfare-ocracy, a political and economic shambles.
The other Muslim nations are cratering demographically, Iran down way below replacement. Islam is moribund, except in a few places like Nigeria and Yemen, that will never attain any kind of technological civilization. So nothing worth bothering about there, either.
From the point of view just stated, it's hard to see why we keep these peace processes going. What's the point? Yet keep it going we do. Why? For crying out loud, why? Next segment.
03 — Why do we bother? More from that Foreign Policy article, quote:
His predecessor [the predecessor, that is, of Martin Indyk, the American peace-process diplomat who just resigned], former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, had also resigned after failing to jump-start the moribund talks. Indyk will be replaced by Frank Lowenstein, the envoy's current deputy, but State Department officials declined to comment on whether the team Indyk assembled would continue its work or be disbanded.
Disband! Disband! There never was much point to the peace process, and there's less and less as time goes by. The Israelis will go on doing what they have to do to survive, the Muslims will go on hating them while being too messed-up to do anything about it other than lob an occasional rocket over the border, and the big players in the region — Egypt, Iran, the Saudis — will go on with their everlasting private feuds not caring much about Israel other than for rhetorical purposes.
Further quote from Foreign Policy magazine, quote:
Indyk's resignation is a blow to the Obama administration, which has invested enormous amounts of time and political capital in the peace process.
"Enormous amounts of time and political capital"! Why? No, really: Why? What are they thinking?
A bit further on, the article tells us. Quote:
The administration has insisted that an Israeli-Palestinian deal would spur other positive change throughout the region and prevent a larger future conflict between the two sides.
[Laugh track.] Yeah, like the Saudis and Iranians, the Sunnis and the Shias, are going to sink their differences and turn on Israel. Like the Egyptians and the Syrians are going to solve their internal problems and roll their tanks across Sinai and the Golan Heights like 1967. Like the Palestinians are going to remove their mouths from the U.N. welfare teat, organize a real army under a real government running a real economy, and march on Tel Aviv.
Really, like those things are going to happen and we have to invest major diplomatic resources into stopping them. What fools we have for leaders!
Leave the damn Middle East alone. We have more important things to worry about.
04 — HUMCRI on the border. Our own borders, for example. The people who write newspaper stories, politicians' speeches, and TV newsreaders' scripts now all have the phrase "humanitarian crisis" set up as a one-key macro. Pretty soon they'll start abbreviating it; after all, eight syllables is a lot to have to keep repeating.
There used to be a Governor of New York State who was so fond of the phrase "Brotherhood of Man and Fatherhood of God" his speechwriters just abbreviated it to BOMFOG in his scripts. Nancy Pelosi's people could do the same thing with "humanitarian crisis," chopping it down to HUMCRI, perhaps.
Nancy was actually down at the border this week to see the HUMCRI for herself. After visiting a facility in the Rio Grande valley where hundreds of this recent wave of Central American invaders are being held, Mrs Pelosi spoke to the press.
Every American should watch that speech. It's only five minutes. You can see it on YouTube: Put "Pelosi on the border" into the search box. Some record of it should be put in a time capsule and buried, so that historians of the future will be able to understand why the U.S.A. disappeared from the face of the earth in the mid-21st century.
Pelosi's speech is, not to put too fine a point on it, five minutes of the most concentrated stupidity it has ever been my painful duty to watch. I can't find a version with good sound quality, so I'll just read out snippets from it.
This is a community with a border going through it.
What, so the U.S.A. and Mexico are a single nation, and the border some kind of mistake? How does that even make sense in context? The teenage gang-bangers — oops, I beg your pardon: the "undocumented minors" — that Pelosi was visiting come from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, hundreds of miles to the South of where she's standing on the Texas-Mexico border. Is she talking about their borders with Mexico? Or what?
And this crisis that some call a crisis, we have to view as an opportunity.
I used to have a boss who, any time you went to him and said: "Paul, we have a problem," used to wave his index finger backward and forward in front of your face and say: "Not a problem, John, an opportunity." Everybody hated that guy.
This morning we had the privilege of meeting with Bishop Flores and other advocates for justice on this issue.
Doesn't justice have something to do with the enforcement of laws and punishment of those who wilfully break laws? No? Forgive me then, I obviously need a new dictionary.
What we just saw was so stunning. If you believe, as we do, that every child, every person has a spark of divinity in them and is therefore worthy of respect, what we saw in those rooms was a dazzling — sparkling! — array of God's children worthy of respect.
Possibly so, Congresslady, but are they worthy of U.S. residence? Since I assume the phrase "every person" includes me, then I must have that spark of divinity in me too. I'm glad to know it; but it still took me a lot of time, money, and paperwork to satisfy the immigration authorities that I was worthy of residence in the U.S.A. Are these little sparkles from Central America being held to the same standard? If not, why not? What else are they worthy of, besides U.S. residence? Olympic Medals? Nobel Prizes? Taxpayer-funded housing, education, and healthcare?
So we have to use, as was said this morning, the crisis that some view as a crisis, and that does have crisis attr … er, qualities, as an opportunity to show who we are as Americans.
Of all the weasel phrases in current political discourse, that one about "who we are as Americans" is surely the most grating. Listeners, when you hear a politician utter the phrase "who we are as Americans," take a good tight grip on your wallet and get the hell out of there.
Who we are as Americans, Congressbimbo, is, a sovereign nation ruled by laws which we'd like to see fairly and humanely enforced, if that's not too much trouble.
So with the balance that we're trying to create is to move these kids, these young people, these families, as quickly as possible into another setting.
Hey, now you're on my wavelength, Ma'am! Yes, let's get them into another setting — the one they came from.
I'm a mother of five, I have nine grandchildren, I wish that I could take all those children home with me.
As numerous commentators have pointed out, Mrs Pelosi, you can take them home with you. It's hardly likely that any official from the Obama administration would try to stop you; and you have plenty of room in the many spacious mansions and estates that you and your billionaire husband own.
That five-minute clip is, as I said, a little crystalline concentrate of the political stupidity that is dragging our nation down to perdition. To show you what I mean, let's just follow that path down a little way to see where it leads, and what the future has in store for the U.S.A.
05 — A glimpse of America's future. I have two news stories here to key this segment off … off of … from off of … off which to key … whatever.
First news story, from National Journal, which is a sort of house newsletter for liberal policy wonks. Headline: Hispanic Wealth Could Triple by 2025.
Well, that sounds hopeful. However, the thrust of the article is that Hispanics are going to stay poor relative to non-Hispanics. Most of that wealth increase will just come from there being more of them. Quote:
Even if everything goes well and the average Hispanic family gains wealth, by national standards they still wouldn't be well off.
I note in passing, while reading that, that it seems now to be OK to say in respectable publications that the great efforts under the Clinton and Bush II administrations to increase minority home ownership by leaning on lenders to relax standards, was a prime cause of the 2007-2009 recession, although you have to say it carefully. Quote:
Hispanic families lost almost one-third of their net worth between 2007 and 2010. While white families were also hard hit, the average white family lost a smaller share of its total wealth than the average minority family, partly because white families tended to hold more types of assets and to have less money tied up in home equity.
Guess what, politicians: If you bend rules and relax standards to spread home ownership to people who can't really afford it, a lot of those people will end up in distress. But hey, you sounded wonderfully "compassionate" and "anti-racist" at election time; and that's the important thing, isn't it?
The best thing about the National Journal story is the photograph that decorates it, which is very revealing — unless, like most good liberal readers of National Journal, you have trained yourself not to see the obvious.
The photograph shows a Hispanic family … sort of. Seated on a sofa is a morbidly obese middle-aged woman of apparently pure-blood native American ancestry. Seated with her are two younger women of similar appearance, presumably her daughters. Neither of the younger women is obese yet. One of them is dandling an infant in diapers, presumably the third generation. Standing behind the sofa is another Aztec woman who could be either the sister or another daughter of the obese woman. The infant in diapers may be male; if it's not, there are no men in the picture at all.
The second news story is from the New York Times, June 29th, headline: Boom Meets Bust in Texas: Atop Sea of Oil, Poverty Digs In. It's about La Salle County in southwest Texas, near — but not on — the Mexican border. Lyndon Johnson grew up around here.
What's going on down there? Well, there's a big oil and gas boom in La Salle County; yet 39 percent of the county's children live below the federal poverty level. Why would that be?
The Times introduces us to a county resident, Judy Vargas, quote:
Ms Vargas, 28, cooked spaghetti for her three children and her grandmother. Ms Vargas, a high school dropout, had just arrived home from her job as a restaurant cook. She and her grandmother, who works as a maid at a motel, make a total of roughly $1,500 a month.
Yeah, that's pretty poor. But again: Where are the men? Quote:
Above their dining table, there was a portrait of the Last Supper and, tucked in a corner of the frame, a picture of Ms Vargas's uncle, unsmiling in a white uniform and one of at least three incarcerated relatives.
The really interesting thing here is the following set of stats, which one of Steve Sailer's commenters dug out. Just pay careful attention here: I am showing you America's future.
You ready? Stats for La Salle County: Eighty-five percent of residents identify as Hispanic. But only seven percent are foreign born.
Translation: These are Hispanics who've been in the U.S.A. for a couple of generations, at least.
Next stat: Sixty-three percent speak a foreign language at home, and I'm guessing it's not Norwegian.
Final stat: Barely half of the adults 25 and older are high school graduates.
Just as I promised you: A glimpse of America's future. Let's hope that oil and gas boom delivers the goods. We're going to need a lot of revenue to support all these useless mouths.
06 — The peasants are revolting. Who's doing this to us? It's customary to blame politicians. A lot of politicians are indeed slimy bottom-feeding reptiles who'd skin their own grandmothers and sell you the pelt for a campaign contribution.
Politicians get where they are by persuading citizens to vote for them, though. Call me a starry-eyed idealist, but I believe we still live in a representative democracy and get the politicians we deserve.
At this point you may, if you like, take a break and re-read George Washington's First Inaugural Address.
Finished? Good. As I said, it's really down to us. Not enough of us cared about it to stop it happening.
Is that changing? If it is changing, is the change coming too late?
There are some hopeful signs. We saw one this week in the town of Murrieta in South California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. What happened was, the Border Patrol, having run out of processing facilities in Texas where the current invasion is mainly happening, packed 140 of the invaders into a plane and flew them to San Diego. There they put them in buses and drove them up to Murrieta, where there's a Border Patrol facility with some spare space.
Or rather, they tried to. Some of Murrieta's citizens learned in advance of the illegals' arrival, and organized a protest. They filled the road a few blocks from the Border Patrol center, carrying signs that said "Stop Illegal Immigration," and "Return to Sender" and "No New Illegals." The buses had to turn back to San Diego.
That was Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday evening there was a public meeting at which several hundred Murrieta residents made their feelings known to town officials. Sample quote from the Los Angeles Times report of the meeting, quote:
County Supervisor Jeff Stone hit the national government … saying that there was a "lack of political will to protect our borders," adding that the issue was a federal responsibility. He publicly demanded that Congress take action to secure the border.
It's encouraging; but Murrieta has a population of 107,000, and although that meeting was angry, only a thousand or so people were present — say one percent of the town's residents. The town is 54 percent white, 30 percent Hispanic.
And of course the media and bought-and-paid-for politicians will have no problem spinning the story of Tuesday's demonstration to make out the citizens there are twisted racists and bigots with swastika tattoos concealed under their shirts. You know how this stuff works.
So yes, it's encouraging that some citizens are waking up. It's not many, though, and they'll easily be intimidated into silence. Those illegals are being processed right now down in San Diego, where nobody seems to be protesting. Pretty soon they'll be at large among us, enriching us with their vibrant diversity … like the ladies on that couch, or Judy Vargas in her La Salle County shack, with mugshots of incarcerated male relatives tucked into the picture frame of the Last Supper.
Don't blame the politicians; America's doing this to itself.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: We reported last week on the flood of Muslims and Africans north across the Mediterranean to Sicily and other Italian islands. It's getting worse: Five thousand more made the crossing just last weekend.
Apprehending one fishing boat crammed full of illegals, the Italian Navy discovered that thirty of the occupants were dead, apparently suffocated. Either that was an awfully crowded boat, or else something else was going on there, who knows?
I say again: This story is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. There are a couple of billion people in Islamia and Africa, a great many of them living in unimaginably crappy countries. You can't blame them for wanting to leave, but you also can't blame Europeans for not wanting their countries flooded with unassimilable foreigners.
The general posture of the Italian government and other European governments is that this is a HUMCRI, and we have to take care of these poor people somewhow.
How long can that last before reality comes crashing through the humanitarian façade? It'll be interesting to see.
Item: There's a cable TV network in the States called BET, Black Entertainment Television. I've never watched it myself, so I don't know what kind of content it runs. I imagine it runs the kinds of shows black people like: gospel singing, blues guitarists, tap-dancing, reruns of The Jeffersons, women with big bottoms, that sort of thing.
Whatever: BET has an awards ceremony every year in Hollywood. The date for this year's ceremony came around last Sunday, and prior to the ceremony there were lots of pre-awards parties.
You might want to stay clear of those parties. At one of them on Saturday evening a guest was stabbed in the stomach. He survived, and is in stable condition at Cedars-Sinai hospital. At a different party in the early hours of Sunday, one man was shot dead and four were wounded.
The BET awards went ahead Sunday evening anyway in true show-business spirit. Then in the early hours of Monday there was another shooting at a post-awards party, although this time no-one was hit.
I guess different groups have different ways of celebrating their achievements. It would be a dull old world if we all celebrated the same old way, wouldn't it? Let's hear it for diversity!
Zamperini was one of those larger-than-life Americans we don't seem to get so many of any more: charging through life fearlessly with a grin and a wisecrack, taking whatever fate threw at him and throwing it right back.
Born to Italian immigrants in New York State, Zamperini became a track star. He was on the U.S. team for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and shook hands with Hitler. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force in WW2, was shot down over the Pacific, survived seven weeks at sea on a life raft, then spent two years in a brutal Japanese prison camp.
After the war Zamperini became a born-again Christian and an inspirational speaker. He made a point of going to Japan, seeking out the camp guards from his days as a prisoner, and forgiving them.
He never quit. In the 1998 Winter Olympics at Nagano, in Japan, he ran a leg in the torch relay at age 81. There's a movie about his life coming out later this year, title Unbroken.
Rest in peace, Louis Zamperini.
08 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Let's continue the July Fourth theme with a little military music. With absolutely no disrespect to the other services, the one closest to my own heart right now is the Army, so here are the Singing Sergeants of the U.S. Army Field Band with the Army song.
A very happy Fourth to all from myself, your unfailingly genial host, and my ever-reliable research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy … Girls, girls, you missed your cue [Girls: "Oh my gosh! / Sorry! / Oh no!"] From my ever-reliable research assistants: [Girls: "Happy July Fourth, everybody!"] That's better.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: U.S. Army Field Band, "The Army Goes Rolling Along."]