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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, harpsichord'n'kazoo version version]
01 — Intro. Hoo-kay, this is your humbly genial host John Derbyshire and that was one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches played on harpsichord and kazoo. I venture to speculate that this may be the very first time Haydn's music has ever been performed on that particular combination of instruments.
See, I like to vary our intro music. By contractual agreement it has to be the Derbyshire Marches, but there's nothing to stop me handing copies of the sheet music to specialists in challenging or obscure instruments like the kazoo and inviting them to offer a rendering. If anyone out there knows how to play the spoons, I'd be much obliged.
But enough of these fripperies. Let's get down to what the Chinese call "Great matters under heaven": statecraft and the fate of nations — beginning, of course, with the Presidential contest. I seriously doubt that either Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton knows how to play the spoons; but there are those who will say that Mr Trump was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, while Mrs Clinton's personal history brings to mind Dr Johnson's warning about a man who preaches moral relativism, quote: "When he leaves our houses, let us count our spoons."
That's the best I can do by way of a segue. I don't believe the great lexicographer had anything at all to say about the kazoo.
Take it away, Ethel.
[Clip: Ethel Merman, "Let's go on with the show.".]
02 — The debate about nothing. Wednesday's debate was a big nothingburger. Neither candidate fell down, picked his nose on camera, or said anything witty, original, or wise. There was no reason for any viewer to have a different opinion at the end of the debate than the one he had at the beginning.
Watching Trump and Clinton up against each other for the third time, in fact, made it very clear how narrow a rhetorical range each of them operates in. Trump doesn't venture far from the personal, telling us what a good businessman he is and how incompetent and corrupt Mrs Clinton is. Yes, he is a good businessman; and yes, Mrs Clinton is incompetent and corrupt; but it all wears thin when you hear it for the twenty-seventh time.
Mrs Clinton is the Who We Are candidate. She told us we can't deport illegal aliens because that's not Who We Are; guys can't speak disrespectfully about women to other guys in private because that's not Who We Are; we shouldn't applaud security guards who throw troublemakers out of political rallies because that's not Who We Are.
Perhaps Mrs Clinton's party should just rename itself the Who We Are Party. Personally I wish politicians would spend less time lecturing us about Who We Are and more time addressing the issue of Who We Are Becoming through uncontrolled mass immigration and fiscal recklessness.
Trump has at least put forward sensible, patriotic proposals to re-orient our immigration policies towards the interests of Americans. The trouble is, he doesn't seem to remember having done so.
I stood up ready to cheer when the moderator asked about immigration. I thought Trump would just smack Clinton across her face with that speech to Brazilian bankers that's been leaked, the one where she told them that her dream is of open borders.
Instead Trump offered a long ramble about drugs pouring across the border, quote, "destroying our youth." Further quote, actual quote:
The single biggest problem is heroin that pours across our southern borders.
For goodness' sake! The single biggest problem? I don't think so. Nobody cares about drugs coming in, other than church ladies in the ghetto who won't vote for Trump anyway. People care about worker displacement, sanctuary cities, terrorism, lawlessness, Latin-style corruption, immigrants taking welfare, the handing out of U.S. citizenship like candy. Nobody cares about drugs.
Piling blunder on blunder, Trump then said that President Obama has deported millions of people. In the first place, as anyone who's spent ten minutes looking at immigration issues knows, Obama's done no such thing; he has only performed an accounting trick to make it look as though he has. Obama has actually admitted this himself. And in the second place, if Obama had deported millions, wouldn't that have been a good Trumpish thing for him to have done? Why advertise the Trumpish virtues of the other party?
It was left to Chris Wallace, the moderator, to bring up Mrs Clinton's open borders dreaming. When he did so, Trump thanked him. Like: "Thank you for reminding me of the ace card I've been holding but forgot to play when it mattered."
It was the same when Mrs Clinton railed against Vladimir Putin's Russia. That should have been Trump's cue to bring up the fact that Russia now owns half of America's uranium, as a result of a sleazy deal made by Bill Clinton and approved by Mrs Clinton's State Department. Instead he just riffed on how Putin is smarter than Mrs Clinton. Yes, I bet he is, Donald: but why play a seven when you're holding an ace?
And this was still supposed to be the immigration segment of the debate, Trump's signature issue. Mrs Clinton twisted it to be about Putin, and Trump dumbly went along. "We're a long way away from immigration," said Chris Wallace. Yes we were. Mrs Clinton led us that long way, and Trump followed.
It never got much better than that. Trump was such an easy mark, Mrs Clinton even dared to bring up the Venezuelan beauty queen again, confident that Trump would not think to remind viewers that the woman is a low-grade slut who hangs out with gangsters and should never have been given U.S. citizenship. That's the Venezuelan woman, not Mrs Clinton … whose confidence was not misplaced.
Donald Trump is a decent person, a patriot. A Trump Presidency would be far better for the U.S.A. than another Clinton Presidency. There's no avoiding the fact, though, that Trump is a simply terrible candidate. My strong advice to him, when he comes up for re-election in 2020, is not to engage in any televised debates.
03 — The rising tide of corruption. This is the incest segment, where instead of opinionating about an issue, I opinionate about a different opinionator opinionating about an issue. Got that?
If you wanted to be uncharitable, which of course you don't, you might put this down to sloth on my part. Why bother working out my own thoughts and putting them into sentences and paragraphs when I can just refer you to someone else?
I prefer to think of it as praiseworthy humility on my part. I want to say something; but I notice that some other guy has said what I want to say, and so much better than I could say it. Humility, see? "Humility" is my middle name.
The other party here is Mark Steyn; the issue is corruption.
In last week's Radio Derb I reported on a survey out of Chapman University about what Americans fear. Way up at the top of the list, with 61 percent of respondents declaring themselves afraid or very afraid of it, was government corruption.
I'm with that 61 percent. So is Mark Steyn. On Wednesday this week, before that evening's debate, Mark posted a column titled "Laws are for the Little People." It's an absolute tour de force, Mark Steyn at his polemical best. If I could make every adult in the country read it, I would.
Mark declares up front that, quote, "for me the overriding issue in American politics is the corruption," end quote. He then runs through the recent shenanigans at the FBI, inluding the latest news about the bureau and the State Department trading favors.
He goes from there to the rise of Donald Trump. The energy behind that rise, says Mark, was widespread public outrage at how the political class, as exemplified by Mrs Clinton, sets itself above the laws that we humbler folk have to obey. It's all in their interests, says Mark; it's all for them. Quote:
Consider illegal immigration, for example, which pre-Trump was entirely discussed in terms of the interests of the lawbreakers — how to "bring them out of the shadows," how to give them "a path to citizenship," celebrate their "family values" and "work ethic" — and never in terms of the law-abiding, whose wages they depress, whose communities they transform, and, in too many criminal cases, whose lives they wreck.
Mark then excoriates the feebleness, stupidity, and occasional treachery of the Republican establishment. The indifference from influential conservatives towards both the naked corruption of our political class and the despair of the rest of us is, he says, deeply disturbing.
It's a brilliant piece, and I strongly recommend it to your attention. For a 2,000-word summary of what's wrong with our Republic, and the prospects for doing anything about it, I don't see how it could be improved on. Equality under the law, for the mighty and the humble alike, used to be a bedrock principle in our system. As Mrs Clinton might put it: That's who we were. It's not who we are any longer, as her career illustrates all too plainly.
Just a footnote to that. Going back to last week's segment about what we fear, a listener reminds me of a classic line on that from one of Burt Reynolds' movies. So what are you scared of, Burt?
[Clip: Burt: "Only two things in the world I'm scared of." Ned Beatty: "You're only scared of two things? What's that?" Burt: "Women and the po-lice."]
That was back in 1973, when the Watergate break-in — which didn't even make any money for anyone! — was considered an outrageous blight on our political system. Even with that in the news, I doubt you could have got 61 percent of people to declare themselves afraid of government corruption. Of women and the po-lice, I don't know …
04 — Dirty tricks. Did I just mention the Watergate burglary? Possibly I had it in mind after reading this news story from CNN, headline: Dem[ocrat] operative "stepping back" after video suggests group incited violence at Trump rallies. Relevant quote from the story, quote: "Democracy Partners called O'Keefe's video a "well-funded, systematic spy operation that is the modern day equivalent of the Watergate burglars." End quote.
What's this all about? Let me take it a piece at a time.
Democracy Partners is a progressive consultancy group. Their website says they offer, quote, "cutting edge strategies for progressive values … We tell stories, create narratives, use powerful symbols." End quote.
The word "progressive" here of course means Cultural-Marxist: Hostile to everything customary and traditional, hostile to law enforcement and national sovereignty, globalist, open borders, anti-white, radical feminist, the whole CultMarx package.
One of the partners in Democracy Partners, and instrumental in founding the outfit, is a chap named Robert Creamer. He's married to Jan Schakowsky, who represents Illinois' 9th District in Congress — that's northern districts of Chicago. Robert Creamer is an ex-con: Back in 2005 he served five months in federal prison for check kiting and tax evasion.
Creamer is the guy in the headline I started with, the guy who is "stepping back." What he's stepping back from is involvement in work that Democracy Partners is doing for Mrs Clinton's election campaign, paid for by the DNC, the Democratic National Committee. They've been advising and helping Mrs Clinton.
So why is he stepping back? Well, conservative activist James O'Keefe — the one who exposed the ACORN community-organizer group back in 2009 — O'Keefe had sent people to Democracy Partners posing as potential donors and wearing hidden video cameras. O'Keefe got footage of Creamer explaining his dirty tricks to O'Keefe's people under the illusion they were sympathetic listeners. He explains, for example, how he gets around voter ID laws to register illegal aliens as voters.
Along with Democracy Partners, and I think reporting to them as a subcontractor, is a different outfit, the Foval Group. This group doesn't have a website, and in fact seems to be a one-man operation with a business card. The one man is Scott Foval, who has also been working on the Clinton campaign. I'm not totally clear about the chain of command here, but Foval was employed by, or contracted to, Americans United for Change, another CultMarx outfit of the ACORN type.
O'Keefe ran the same sting operation against Foval, and recorded some juicy quotes about his methods for advancing the Clinton cause: fomenting violence at Trump rallies, for example, and even hiring mentally ill people to get the violence started. Americans United for Change fired Foval this week after O'Keefe's videos went online.
Mrs Clinton and the DNC are feigning indignation over all this, and the mainstream media is of course covering for them. It's hard to argue with the video-recorded evidence, though. The best they can come up with is that the video has been "selectively edited," as if all video isn't selectively edited.
Now back to the quote from CNN that I started with, quote:
Democracy Partners called O'Keefe's video a "well-funded, systematic spy operation that is the modern day equivalent of the Watergate burglars."
So the crime here, equivalent to the Watergate burglary, was to sting these DNC contractors into revealing their methods. The crime, please note, is not the methods themselves — paying homeless people to start violence at Trump rallies, registering illegal aliens to vote — that's not the crime. The crime, according to Democracy Partners, is deceiving people into talking about those methods on-camera. Got it?
Now here's the punchline. Robert Creamer, the guy who's stepping back from assisting the Clinton campaign, the guy who did time for a federal felony conviction, the guy boasting about registering illegal aliens, Robert Creamer has been a frequent visitor to the White House.
How frequent? Very very frequent. From November 2009 to June this year, Creamer visited the White House 340 times. That's an average of once a week, every week for 6½ years. Forty-five of those visits were for meetings with Obama, average seven times a year. I bet there are cabinet officers who don't get that much time with Obama.
I am now going to say the obvious thing: If we were in a Republican administration, and a black ops guy like Creamer was making weekly visits to the White House for six years, and then was caught on tape bragging about his illegalities, that would be front page news for months. Like … Watergate.
Instead, while the mainstream media have dutifully reported the story, I shall be very surprised if we hear any more about it from them after, oh, I'll guess, this weekend.
05 — What's Putin up to? We heard a lot about Russia in that debate on Wednesday, but neither candidate shed much light on what Putin is up to. What is he up to?
Putin's certainly been giving cause for concern recently. Back in July we learned that he had fired the entire leadership of his Baltic Fleet, most likely because the officers had refused to engage in the risky behavior Putin was demanding — buzzing American warships, for example.
This past few weeks Russian TV has been running public service announcements telling citizens to make sure they know where their nearest fallout shelter is. We hear they're even building new shelters. So what's going on here?
Analysts can only guess, of course. Of all the guesses I've read, the one that seems most plausible to me is that Putin wants to bring down NATO. He really hates NATO, most especially the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe after the Cold War ended, and most most especially its expansion into Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which Russian nationalists regard as properly part of the Motherland.
This theory fits nicely with Putin's actions on the political front. He has been supporting the rising nationalist movements in Europe, funding Marine Le Pen's National Front party in France, and egging on the British to vote for Brexit in June's referendum. The calculation here must be that the more nationalism there is in Europe, the less enthusiasm there will be for multi-national projects like NATO.
That would also explain why the Russians favor Donald Trump in our coming election. He's another nationalist, and less likely than Mrs Clinton to take the U.S.A. to war in defense of Latvia, as the NATO charter requires us to do. So Trump gets elected, Putin makes a move against Latvia, NATO collapses in a cloud of dust.
What is surely not happening is Putin preparing for a general conflict with the West. Their military just isn't up to it. With a feeble economy, there isn't money left over for military spending. Their newest class of destroyers, the Admiral Gorshkovs are way behind schedule; and the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which steamed through the English channel this week on its way to the Eastern Mediterranean, is so dilapidated it sails accompanied by a tug in case it breaks down.
The reality is that the damage done when the Soviet Union came apart has not been repaired.
Looking back across the past quarter-century it's pretty clear that our Russia policy has been seriously misguided. What was supposed to be the point of expanding NATO right up to Russia's borders? Once Russia could no longer afford its East European empire, we should have put our diplomats to work setting up a deal with Russia that we'd acknowledge their rights in their sphere of influence, as they acknowledge ours in the Caribbean, and then disbanded NATO. Pat Buchanan said this at the time, but our rulers paid no attention.
The old quip is that Russia is never as strong as she looks, and Russia is never as weak as she looks. On the economic and military indicators, Russia sure looks weak right now, all the bluster about fallout shelters notwithstanding. She could be strong enough to bring down NATO, though, with an assist from our own politicians' stupidity.
06 — Magic bricks. In Chapter Six of We Are Doomed I told the story of parents in the Upper West Side of Manhattan furious over a proposal to redraw school district boundaries back in 2008. Their kids attended Public School 199, whose student body was only 19 percent black and Hispanic. Under the rezoning proposal, their kids would have had to attend P.S. 191, which serves nearby projects, and whose student body was 88 percent black and Hispanic. The liberal, New York Times-reading, Obama-voting goodwhites of the Upper West Side were determined not to let that happen.
That was in 2008, eight years ago. I assumed when I wrote about it that this little conflict was a one-off story that would be resolved one way or the other. Not so: It is apparently what gardeners call a hardy perennial, a permanently recurring feature of New York City life.
So here's the New York Times, September 29th 2016, headline: Rezoning Plan for Manhattan Elementary School Draws Anger From All Sides. Quote:
New York City has proposed to move some blocks out of the zone of a popular school, Public School 199, which is mostly white and well off, into that of a lower-performing nearby school, Public School 191, where the students are largely poor and black or Hispanic. The city hopes to achieve a more diverse racial and economic mix at the schools, as well as relieve overcrowding at P.S. 199.
Once again, eight years since I wrote about it, the goodwhites of the Upper West Side are fighting tooth and nail against the rezoning plan. I'm guessing that if I went back a further eight years there would have been a plan back then, too, and goodwhites fighting against it. Probably, eight years from now there'll be another plan, and the goodwhites will have to buckle on their armor yet again. It's what Nietzsche called Eternal Recurrence.
It's delicious of course to contemplate all the goodwhite hypocrisy on display here. Delicious, but also depressing to see how deeply stupid an issue like this makes otherwise intelligent people.
The editorial writers at the New York Post, for example. The Post is normally a pretty sensible paper; but race denialism does to IQ what Sherman did to Georgia. Here is an actual quote from their October 19th editorial, quote:
The core problem remains the ugly fact that the city's worst schools are overwhelmingly in minority neighborhoods.
Just savor that, and think about the mentality behind it.
We have fun at VDARE.com with what we call Magic Dirt Theory: the notion that differences in the overall performance of different races are caused by people just being in the wrong place.
Well, you see in that quote from the Post that it's not just Magic Dirt, it's Magic Bricks and Mortar, too. See, there are these bad schools. New York's PS 191, for example, has low test scores, and it shows up regularly on New York State's annual list of most dangerous schools.
What makes a school bad? It must be the construction materials it's made from. The bricks and mortar exude invisible, noxious vapors that make the students dull-witted and violent. What else could it be?
And look: These bad schools are, quote, "overwhelmingly in minority neighborhoods." How evil is that — to put these bad schools with their poisonous bricks in neighborhoods full of blacks and Hispanics?
Why don't we build good schools in minority neighborhoods — schools made out of good construction materials, that don't make the kids dumb and unruly? Why does nobody think to do that? Don't black lives matter? Look at the injustice!
That is the actual mentality of race denialists. That's what they believe. It's magical thinking, at a level that would disgrace headhunters in the Amazon jungle.
The hypocrisy of those Upper West Side parents is, as I said, amusing and entertaining to watch. The willed self-enstupidation of those who shape public opinion is not amusing, not entertaining. It's depressing and alarming, and bodes nothing but ill for our civilization.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
So we're at war with Yemen, one of the most wretchedly godforsaken sinkholes in the inhabited world. They're having a civil war there; the Saudis favor one of the factions and are bombing the other; and we are supporting the Saudis.
We've been launching drone attacks on Yemen since 2002, killing several hundred of the Yemeni enemy. This week we fired cruise missiles at Yemen from one of our destroyers.
What is our vital national interest here? Beats me. We're sure helping the Yemenis and Saudis to turn Yemen, which was a basket case to begin with, into what may be the worst place in the world. How bad are things in Yemen? So bad, Yemeni refugees are fleeing to Somalia.
Refugees? I'd better shut up about Yemen. If Obama hears about Yemeni refugees, he'll want to import a couple of million.
Item: I said some scathing words about the Russian military back there. Our own military is indeed much better equipped and provisioned, but it has its own weaknesses, especially in leadership.
Our military is totally signed on to our state ideology of diversity. This comes from the top, from the civilian leadership. The Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning, for example, is openly homosexual.
The Secretary of the Air Force seems not to be homosexual, but she is a female, and strongly committed to diversity. She has a problem there, though. Quote from a news report, October 2nd, quote:
There are still numerous key positions that don't seem to attract diverse candidates, namely pilots, cyber operations, intelligence operations and space and missile operations, which is very upsetting to Air Force officials.
Poor things! I can imagine how upset they must be. Not to worry, though: the Secretary of the Air Force is on the case. Last year she introduced nine initiatives to increase diversity in the service — to, as she explains, make the demographics of the service match more closely with the changing demographics of America.
Alas, last year's nine initiatives didn't do the trick. Transgendered black Hispanics still don't want to fly fighter jets. So this month the Secretary, Deborah Lee James, announced thirteen new initiatives. More initiatives! More initiatives!
Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news, the Air Force is desperately short of pilots and mechanics: 700 pilots and 4,000 mechanics short.
That's distressing, to be sure; but so long as Secretary James is on the case, at least the service won't be short of initiatives.
Item: Finally, I think this one comes under the heading "Metaphor Alert." One of Mrs Clinton's campaign buses was caught dumping human waste in the storm drain on a public street in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
A local businessman took photographs of the dumping, and police investigated. Quote:
When police arrived at the scene, they were greeted with a foul odor and remnants of used toilet paper scattered across the ground. What the campaign dumped at the scene was so disgusting that a HAZMAT team was called to come in to clean up the mess.
The jokes pretty much write themselves here. Mrs Clinton was apparently not on the bus at the time. I'm told that when she heard about the incident, she flushed … with embarrassment.
08 — Signoff. There you have it, ladies and gents. Eighteen days to the election. A week is a long time in politics, remember. Well, eighteen days is two and a half times as long as that, so who knows what's in store between now and November 8th?
One thing about becoming a senior citizen is occasionally seeing a name in the news, the name of someone who was a famous adult when you were a kid, and thinking: "Good grief, is he still with us?"
That happened to me this week, the name in this case being Chuck Berry. Chuck Berry was already famous in the late 1950s, when I was starting to engage with pop music. And yes, he's still with us. He turned ninety on Tuesday, and I hope he had a very happy birthday and will have many more.
Chuck's age brings to mind a human biodiversity point: the black-white mortality crossover. At every age up to 74, whites have longer life expectancy than blacks. After 74, blacks have longer life expectancy than whites.
I'd assume that's just an innate biological difference between the races … but that just tells you what a terrible, terrible person I am. Whatever: It's working to Chuck's advantage, and I'm glad for him.
There'll be more from Radio Derb next week. Here's Chuck.
[Music clip: Chuck Berry, "Johnny B. Goode."]