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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 … fairly genial host John Derbyshire with our weekly news round-up.
Here is what I have for you, ladies and gents: a resignation, a replacement, a Republican, a reconquista, a rethink, a remonstrance, a resumption, a repeal, a reassessment, another Republican, a remembrance, and of course a closing refrain. Would you like me to repeat all that? [No!] Then let's review the week's remains.
02 — Holder returns to His People. Breaking news as we go to tape here is that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is about to announce his resignation. Apparently Holder feels he has done all he can do for His People, which I think means the mulatto government-employee elite of affirmative-action law-school graduates.
You'll remember that Holder started off his career as A-G a couple of weeks into Obama's first term by telling us we are a nation of cowards who don't talk enough about race. I personally took that to heart and had a go at talking frankly about race, but got rapped over the knuckles for it. Friends later explained to me that you're only supposed to talk about race a certain way. I wish Holder had made that clear; but perhaps he was speaking without notes.
Most Americans want the federal Department of Justice to be a force for justice — fair laws fairly administered. From that aspect, Holder has been a very bad Attorney General indeed, and it is not surprising to read that in a poll conducted this month for NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, Holder gets the lowest rating of any administration official.
The Washington Times quotes someone they identify as "a longtime, current employee of the Justice Department" saying that, quote:
Mr Holder and his subordinates have racialized and radicalized the department to the point of corruption. They have embedded politically leftist extremists in the career ranks who have an agenda that does not comport with equal protection or the rule of law; who believe that the ends justify the means; and who behave unprofessionally and unethically. Their policy is to intimidate and threaten employees who do not agree with their politics, and even moderate Democrats have left the department, because they were treated as enemies by administration officials and their lackeys.
That's what happens when you get committed racial socialists at the highest levels of government. Holder's Attorney-Generalship has been little short of a war on non-Hispanic white people. Remember the knock-out game, where young thugs come up behind a person, often elderly or female, and smash them in the head? There were videos of these knock-outs all over the internet for months in 2012 and 2013.
Finally, at the end of last year, Holder's Justice Department filed federal hate crime charges against one of the perps — a white man in Houston, Texas who knocked out a black man. The innumerable cases of blacks knocking out whites apparently didn't catch their interest.
Holder's a loathsome creep all right, but the worst thing is that he's not terrifically unrepresentative. In the matter of Attorneys General, our nation doesn't have much luck. A high proportion of them have been loathsome creeps, though not as bad as Holder, I'll allow.
Remember Alberto Gonzales, George W. Bush's second A-G, the guy who sicced the entire power of the federal government against the Fire Department of New York City because blacks and Hispanics weren't passing the qualifying exam in sufficient numbers, thereby proving the Fire Department was racist racist racist? The Department now hires in by race quotas.
Or remember Janet Reno? Remember her? [Scream.] That was one very scary … lady.
All right, they haven't all been creeps and lunatics. Mike Mukasey was a decent sort, likewise Ed Meese. For a senior government job, though, you have to agree there's been a high proportion of bad apples.
03 — Holistic individualized consideration (cont.) Speculation about a successor to Holder as Attorney General is focusing on current U.S. Solicitor General Don Verrilli, described on NPR as, quote, "a lawyer whose judgment and discretion are prized in both the Department of Justice and the White House."
That name, Verrilli, rang a bell. I dug into the Radio Derb archives. Sure enough, there he was, in a Radio Derb broadcast two years ago.
The topic there was oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Fisher v. University of Texas, which concerned affirmative action in college admissions. Verrilli emerged from those arguments as a champion of, quote, "holistic individualized consideration." I had some fun with that. So did certain of the justices.
Here's an extract from that broadcast of two years ago, just so you know what we're in for if Verrilli gets the nod.
[Clip: "While none of the justices is willing to admit …"]
04 — The GOP wishes you Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! We have midterm elections coming up this fall, including the usual raft of elections for one-third of the U.S. Senate. In among those is one for junior Senator from New Jersey, the late Frank Lautenberg's old seat, currently held by Cory Booker.
So who have the Republican Party put up to run against Booker for this Senate seat? A chap named Jeff Bell, that's who.
Bell is an old GOP war horse. To be precise, he's 70 years old, a Vietnam vet (Army), with a long career in think tanks and political consultancy. He's run for a New Jersey Senate seat before — in 1978, bless him, where he lost in the general, and again in 1982, when he lost in the primary.
Well, so here's Jeff Bell challenging Cory Booker for a New Jersey Senate seat. He's busy sending out fliers and emails to Republicans. One recipient passed on one of those emails to me. I'll read it to you, or as much of it as I can get through before my stomach reacts. Quote:
From: Jeff Bell
That's it, that's as far as I can go. This Republican candidate is offering raw, unadulterated immigration boosterism, shilling for the treason lobby.
And just look at the evasions and untruths there. Mexicans believe that, quote, "marriage is composed of a husband and a wife"? Homosexual marriage was legal in Mexico City before it was legal in New York — a year and a half before.
Quote, "the crisis that stems from 1986"? The nature of that crisis was, that the southern border was not sealed, as had been promised in the 1986 law, because the agricultural lobbies wanted a flow of cheap labor.
Big Labor is against mass immigration? Say what? Which planet is Jeff Bell living on?
Bell's email illustrates the sneering contempt that both big political parties have for people who are skeptical about the benefits of continuing mass immigration — which means, on the polling data, an actual majority of Americans. We have no-one to vote for.
Let's suppose you are a non-Hispanic New Jerseyan who is dubious about the benefits of mass immigration. You might, for example, be a computer programmer who lost your job when your firm hired in cheaper workers from India on H-1B visas. Or you might have run a small home-improvement or landscaping business employing Americans that lost out to less scrupulous firms using illegal-immigrant labor. Or perhaps you watched over the years as a quiet old working-class part of your town got taken over by tattooed gangbangers from El Salvador.
Or perhaps you think that the good old U.S.A. can produce all the high-school dropouts it needs, and doesn't need to import them from other countries; or that forty million Mexicans settled here is enough Mexicans; or that opening a seedy bodega in a back street isn't exactly up there with Walmart and Google in "business creation"; or that our nation's laws should be respected, and people who break them should not be rewarded with the great boon of U.S. citizenship.
Suppose, in other words, you are an immigration skeptic in New Jersey. Who are you going to vote for to fill your junior Senate seat: Democrat Cory Booker, who is graded F-minus on immigration issues by NumbersUSA? Or Republican Jeff Bell, who — it could hardly be more obvious — is bought and paid for by the cheap-labor lobbies?
Is it any wonder that 3 million non-Hispanic white voters stayed home in the 2012 election? What's the point of voting when both major-party candidates are singing the same song on an issue crucial to the future of our nation?
05 — Our other underclass. A footnote to the previous segment.
In his Happy Hispanic Heritage month email, Senate contender Jeff Bell quotes Ronald Reagan saying: "Latinos are Republicans, they just don't know it yet." Well, yay for Ronald Reagan, but he wasn't right about everything.
And in common with a lot of other politicians who should know better, including Jeff Bell, Reagan spoke as if Hispanics just showed up in the U.S.A. some time in the later 20th century. In fact there have been Hispanics here since before the founding of the nation. There are Hispanics in the Southwest who can trace their ancestry locally back to the 16th century.
The state with the highest percentage of Hispanics — 47 percent — is New Mexico, and again many of those Hispanics have been there 200 years or more.
How does New Mexico vote? Well, both their Senators are Democrats, and so are two out of their three Congresscritters. In the 2012 Presidential election they went for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by 53 to 43. That's after two hundred years. Gosh, when are these people going to realize they're Republicans? How long is it going to take? Reagan didn't offer an estimate on that.
Here are some numbers from the Pew Hispanic Center, a polling and research organization. Here you go: The median net worth of non-Hispanic white households in the U.S.A. in 2009 was $113,000. For Hispanic households it was $6,300; for blacks, $5,700.
Those are terrific discrepancies. Put it another way, median net worth for non-Hispanic whites is 20 times what it is for blacks, and eighteen times what it is for Hispanics.
There's a slight caution to be added there. Those numbers are for year 2009, which is the latest I can find, so they reflect the pop of the housing bubble and the recession. In 2005, before the crash, those ratios were better — nine and a half, seven and a half — but still dismal. There's no reason to think the current numbers are any better than the 2009 ones, nor even as good as the 2005 ones.
Put it still another way: Hispanics are a second underclass. Like any other underclass, they will vote for redistribution, for the party that offers them the bigger share of the public fisc. That would be the Democratic Party. Hispanics are going to vote their interest, and their interest is in redistribution, from the folks with median household net worth $113,000 to the ones with five or six thousand.
I am not alone in my opinion here. In fact I have some distinguished company: bigfoot political commentator and Fox News contributor Michael Barone, who used to be an immigration booster. Barone seems to have changed his mind. Here's a quote from a column he posted on Townhall.com September 23rd.
After some boilerplate rhapsodizing about the Ellis Island immigrants, Barone says this, quote:
Asian immigrants seem to be moving upward similarly today. But not the group the Census Bureau calls Hispanics. In my 2001 book, The New Americans, I predicted that Hispanics would move upward, much as Italians had a century before. That was overoptimistic. There has been little or no upward mobility among third- and fourth-generation Hispanics.
Even the sunny Reaganite optimists are having dark thoughts about mass Hispanic immigration. Welcome to the truth, Michael. Hey, perhaps we could have you write something for VDARE.com …
06 — Carbon dioxide is good for you!. Radio Derb last addressed the global warming issue back in February, our February 8th and February 15th broadcasts. There I declared myself affirmative on warming, guardedly affirmative on the causes being human activity, negative on alarmism, hysteria, and grand globalist projects to fix the problem, if it is a problem.
A couple of developments since then on the personal level. Development one: Visiting Alaska last month, I went to look at a couple of glaciers up close: the Portage Glacier south of Anchorage and the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau. Development two: September 16th I attended a dinner where the guest speaker was physicist Will Happer of Princeton, a longstanding critic of global-warming science.
The main thing you're hoping for when you visit a glacier is to see it calve — to see a great slab of it peel off and fall into the water. That doesn't actually happen much, and I didn't get to see it. I did suggest to the boat captain who took us across the lake to the Portage glacier that if I were running the tours, I'd station some guys out of sight up on the glacier with sticks of dynamite for when the tourist boat comes by — give the tourists a show.
"If we did that," said the captain, "there'd soon be no glacier left." Fair enough, I guess.
There's already a lot less glacier than there used to be. Quote from one of the locals, who's lived there many years: "When I first came here, that sucker was up against the parking lot," end quote. That's the parking lot where you park to get on the boat to cross the lake.
Then last week, off to dinner with Will Happer, who turned out to be not much of a skeptic after all. What he's mainly skeptical about, in fact, is the hysteria and the grandiose plans for government action, which is my position too.
Are we causing CO2 levels to rise? I asked him. Yes, he said, we are. And will this cause a global warming trend? Yes, he said, it will. He just doesn't think there's any cause for alarm. Happer likes CO2, says it's good for us. Hey, it's a point of view.
I told him what the Alaska native told me about the Portage Glacier. Sure, said Happer, the Alaska glaciers have been retreating for a hundred years and more. Oh.
I dunno, every time I get up close with a climate skeptic, he turns out to more or less agree with me. Yes, it's warming. Yes, it's probably because of human activity. No, it's nothing to get hysterical about.
The hysteria goes on none the less. It was going on all over last weekend, ahead of a debate at the U.N. about international action to reduce CO2 emissions. There was a huge march through New York City on Sunday: either two, or three, or four hundred thousand people, depending which newspaper you read. The People's Climate March, it was called.
The marchers were addressed by New York's Marxist-Leninist Mayor Bill de Blasio, who told them of his plan to reduce the city's carbon emissions by 80 percent before mid-century. This, he said, would be a, quote, "turning point." Hey: if you can't trust a guy who idolizes Fidel Castro and lets Al Sharpton dictate city law-enforcement policy, who can you trust?
Numerous celebrities flew in on their private jets to join the climate march, apparently not familiar with the concept of irony.
The marchers themselves displayed some lack of awareness in that zone too. They left behind great piles of garbage, photographs of which were uploaded to social media sites by New Yorkers who, if not exactly disgruntled, were far from gruntled.
07 — Gulf War Three? Last Monday night the U.S.A. opened a campaign of air attacks against areas in north Syria controlled by this ISIS or ISIL group. Targets included training camps, weapons dumps, communications centers and vehicle parks.
Five Arab countries participated in the attacks, we are told. President Obama said this, quote, "makes it clear this is not America's fight alone," end quote. The military campaign will be long and relentless, we are further told. Quote from Rear Admiral John Kirby on Tuesday, quote: "I can tell you that last night's strikes were only the beginning."
Is this Gulf War Three, then? If it is, will Congress formally declare war, as the Constitution requires? Not if they can weasel out of it. These bombings are being conducted under the Authorization to Use Military Force, a joint resolution passed by Congress in September 2001. Here's what that resolution actually says, quote:
The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
Whether that covers actions against ISIS, which didn't actually exist in 2001, judge for yourselves.
The justification for these actions is to keep the U.S.A. safe from terrorist attacks. The administration has told us, in fact, that the first wave of bombings targeted a new terrorist group called Khorasan, which was on the verge of carrying out an atrocity against civilian airliners.
So thirteen years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, trillions of dollars, and thousands of U.S. military fatalities, left us with the Middle East in chaos and dire, immediate terrorist threats against our civilian airplanes. Is it time maybe we should try something else?
For a clue as to the kind of thing we might try, check out this latest report from the Center for Immigration Studies. In the period from 2010 to 2013, says the report, we took in nearly 300,000 immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries. What would have been wrong with a smaller number — say, zero?
Here's Steven Camarota, co-author of the report, longish quote from him:
All of that does raise national security concerns, and I don't think there has been any consideration of that … The primary threat from a group like ISIS to the homeland is through our immigration system … No one's suggesting that they're going to launch a missile and hit New York, but rather they're going to board an airliner and blow it up. They're going to park a car in a public place, they're going to go on a shooting spree, or any one of those things.
They certainly do. But gosh, restrict Muslim immigration? That would be racist. So … bombs away!
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: This ISIS or ISIL group may be swivel-eyed fanatics, but they're not totally devoid of PR skills.
When they first got power in Northern Iraq, one of the things they did was ban smoking. It was un-Islamic, they said, and a form of, quote, "slow suicide." I guess that's as opposed to the fast suicide favored by Islamic martyrs.
Well, now they've softened their approach. Al Arabiya News reports that the ISIS authorities in the region have rescinded the smoking ban in an effort to gain popularity with the inhabitants.
Reporting thirty years ago from the Lebanon civil war, P.J. O'Rourke noted what heavy smokers the Lebanese all were. He surmised that under the prevailing circumstances, death from emphysema was not top of the list of local anxieties. I'd assume the same is true up there in the ISIS areas right now. Smoke 'em if you've got 'em, guys.
Item: Among the least pressing issues facing humanity right now is the question, which never quite seems to go away, of whether Pluto should or should not be considered a planet.
You'll no doubt recall that Pluto was demoted from "planet" to "dwarf planet" status by the International Astronomical Union back in 2006. Well, last week there was a debate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. After hearing both sides, the audience voted to reinstate Pluto as a planet in full standing … or orbiting, whatever.
This is probably the least consequential news story of the week. The Cambridge vote doesn't even have any official standing. I mention it only because my lifelong fascination with space exploration will find full closure ten months from now when the New Horizons spacecraft sends us pictures from its fly-by of Pluto, the only planet — yes, planet, dammit — we have not yet visited. Sail on, little gizmo.
Item: Speaking of clueless Senatorial candidates from the Stupid Party, allow me to introduce Monica Wehby, who is challenging incumbent Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat of course, in the November election.
Merkley's grade on immigration from NumbersUSA is F, which is at least a shade better than Cory Booker's F-minus. Is Wehby any better?
It's hard to tell. Googling "Monica Wehby immigration" brought up just a single quote from last March, quote: "Secure the border but increase H-1B visas and guest workers." Along with that there's a TV clip from the Oregonian back in May of her in a primary debate mumbling some well-worn empty platitudes about going to the back of the line, securing the border, and so on — the stuff we've been hearing for thirty years while the Third World has been pouring in.
This, I'll guarantee you, is a candidate who has never given fifteen seconds consecutive thought to immigration issues, and never read a single sheet of paper or web page on the subject.
Wehby is a pretty hapless candidate altogether. Her current batch of TV campaign commercials focuses on whether or not Merkly pays his female staffers the same rates he pays males. As an issue of national importance, I'd rate that a tick or two below whether Pluto should be reinstated as a planet.
This is after fighting off allegations that Ms Wehby plagiarized her health-care plan from, wait for it … Karl Rove. Plagiarizing from Rove is the political equivalent of burglarizing an empty house.
That's the GOP candidate for Oregon's Senate seat. Can't someone please put the Republican Party out of its misery? They shoot horses, don't they?
Item: Finally, let's have a few seconds silence in memory of Charlotte the groundhog.
You know about Punxsutawney Phil, of course, the groundhog in Pennsylvania who gets dragged out of hibernation every February 2nd to predict whether Spring will come early or not. Well, New York City has a groundhog too; or rather had one. That was Charlotte, who was brought out and presented to Mayor de Blasio this February at Staten Island Zoo.
Unfortunately Charlotte reacted to her close encounter with New York's communist Mayor pretty much the way I would have: She screeched, wriggled out of his grasp, and made a leap for freedom. The Mayor is 6' 6", so it was quite a leap. Charlotte suffered internal injuries from which she died a week later. We have only just been told about this.
The New York groundhog, by the way, is traditionally known as "Chuck"; so in Charlotte's case, gender identity confusion may have contributed to her demise … or possibly transphobia, I wouldn't be surprised.
The really strange thing is, I could swear I remember reporting this story yesterday … and the day before … and the day before that … and the day before that … and the day before that …
09 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents.
One of my listeners has requested something from Beethoven's piano sonatas as exit music. I'd be glad to oblige, except that I have not yet listened to Professor Greenberg's lectures on the sonatas. Those lectures are on my list, and I'm looking forward to the experience, but there are only so many hours in the day.
I can tell you this about Beethoven, though, which I bet you didn't know. His name is rendered in Chinese as bei-duo-fen (貝多芬), but if you say that to a young clued-in Chinese hipster, he will smile or snicker. It's a sound-pun for "more points from behind," which is urban slang for an older woman whose face and bust have deteriorated but who still looks OK from the rear.
Ah, the stuff you learn from Radio Derb!
I have listened with rapt attention to Prof. Greenberg's Wagner lectures, though, so in lieu of 貝多芬, here is the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: Kirsten Flagstad, Mild und leise]