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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, traditional instruments version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your bashfully genial host John Derbyshire, podcasting to you from VDARE.com with commentary on the week's news.
This week I am mainly on-topic — the topic of course being immigration. I shall have words to say about other matters towards the end; but it's been the southern border that's monopolized my attention this week, so that's most of what I'm going to talk about.
Lend me your ears …
02 — We have open borders. Not many of us are well-informed about the minutiae of national policy. We hire politicians to do that stuff for us. We listen to what they say and watch what they do; and if they fail sensationally at something, or seem to us to be taking the country in a general direction that strikes us as wrong, or get caught in bed with the proverbial dead girl or live boy, we fire them and hire replacements.
A few of us can claim some expertise in particular areas. I know a lot about immigration, for example, having changed my country of domicile several times. That's just accidental, though. Policy details are boring unless you are directly impacted, or belong to the tiny minority of wonks who are suitably inclined. The rest of us have lives to live, families to mind, jobs to keep, devotions to make, hobbies to pursue, sports to follow.
Policy-wise, most of us don't know much about anything. But for the accidents of my own life trajectory, I would know as little about immigration as the average citizen.
Which is awfully little. I'll wager that not one native-born U.S. citizen in a hundred could tell you the difference between an immigrant visa and a nonimmigrant visa — just about the most fundamental distinction in U.S. immigration procedures. When it comes to the fine points of labor certification, sponsoring of relatives, refugee admissions, or investor visas — fuhgeddaboutit.
That puts us at a disadvantage in dealing with people from outhouse countries who would like to come to the U.S.A. and partake of our stability and abundance. The minutiae of U.S. immigration laws and procedures are of compelling interest to them.
You can find peasants in the paddy fields of Indonesia who know the difference between an F visa and an H-3. If they don't know, there's a source of expertise in the nearest city they can go to. Walk down a street in the business area of Manila, Lagos, or Caracas, holding your breath until you see a sign or nameplate advertising U.S. IMMIGRATION SERVICES. You won't turn blue.
All this came to mind last weekend as I watched our President's reactions to the so-called "caravan" of Central Americans heading north through Mexico to the U.S. Border.
From his speaking and tweeting earlier this week, after a briefing from Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, it is plain that the President did not know, until Secretary Nielsen enlightened him, that there is no legal way for the U.S.A. to prevent most foreigners from just walking into our country, then settling here permanently.
The drill is, you get yourself to Mexico or Canada, go to the border, present yourself to a border agent, and ask for asylum. The law says that your asylum application must then be formally recorded and considered. The considering of course takes for ever.
Ideally you'd be detained in custody while it goes on. In practice, there are nothing like enough detention facilities because Congress won't appropriate the funds. So most applicants are just given an appearance date, then released. They disappear into the U.S. interior and hook up with relatives, friends, or their gang boss from back home.
That's a rough sketch of what happens, although a fair one, as can be seen from the number of asylum applications outstanding — 300,000 currently, up from 16,000 five and a half years ago. It doesn't apply to persons from contiguous nations — Mexico and Canada — who can be refused entry. Hence the term you often see in coverage of the situation at our southern border: "OTMs," which stands for "Other Than Mexicans."
There are further wrinkles where "unaccompanied minors" are involved — wrinkles every pucker and crease of which are widely known to the folk in the paddy fields.
Also, the Trump administration has recently fiddled with the process to try to reduce the backlog, with what success we don't yet know. We'd better hope for some success: If the rate of increase is constant for another five and a half years, the number of asylees will be kissing six million. Then another five and a half years at the same rate gets you over a hundred million. It's a geometric progression, see?
It looks to me as though the President didn't know any of this until last week. Why should he have? Again, I doubt one citizen in a hundred knew it. So far as those OTMs are concerned we have, under our current laws, essentially open borders.
And as I just said, while Americans don't know, and can't be expected to know, these administrative minutiae of our immigration laws, in Islamabad and Port-au-Prince and Guatemala City, even the dogs in the street know them.
03 — The caravan moves on. So here's this caravan of OTMs coming up through Mexico to our southern border.
I'm not clear how it suddenly got tagged with the word "caravan." You don't often see that word in news stories. It confuses the heck out of readers in Britain, where the word "caravan" usually means "mobile home."
This usage of "caravan" has at least, though, allowed commentators to dig out the old Levantine proverb that: "The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on." Personally I prefer the Cantonese equivalent: Máh jiu jáu, móuh jiu tiu, "The horses go on running, the dancers go on dancing," … but yeah, I'm just showing off there.
Thursday's Daily Mail had a very good photo-montage of the caravanners, putting faces and bodies to the news coverage. A striking number of the bodies belonged to pregnant women. Why would that be, I wonder? A lot of others belonged to winsome-looking children. Surely we wouldn't be so heartless as to turn away little kiddies, would we?
However, if you discount some for the tabloid Daily Mail's natural preference for the picturesque, it's plain that the biggest cohort of caravanners are unattached young men, a lot of them sporting tattoos. I have nothing against young men, and not very much against tattoos. Looking at these faces and bodies, though, I do seriously doubt that any of this cohort, if permitted to settle among us, will take up brain surgery, theoretical physics, or the composing of symphonies.
That's by the by. If this caravan were composed entirely of credentialed professional doctors, engineers, architects, and lawyers, I still wouldn't approve of their being allowed to settle in my country by virtue of merely showing up at the border.
I don't mind these people, or dislike them. I certainly don't hate them, as the infantile language of the Cultural Marxists would say. Some of them look like nice ordinary people. Check out, for example, William Castillo and his family from El Salvador in the Daily Mail montage. I'd guess Mr Castillo is a hardworking guy who wants his best for the little boy. Heck, if I were an ordinary working Joe in El Salvador, I'd want to get out of there, too.
The world's full of people like that, though: hundreds of millions, billions of them. If even a minor fraction of them — half a billion, say — settled in the U.S.A., we would have a radically different country. I rather like our country the way it is. If I may be forgiven for saying so, I liked it even more the way it was 45 years ago when I first came here.
So, "hate"? Not really. I wouldn't even scold these caravanners as people intending to break our laws. As I pointed out in the previous segment, they don't actually aim to break any laws. What they aim to do is take advantage of our terminally stupid laws on asylum — laws that the U.S. Congress could fix in a one-hour session, were it not for the fact that our legislators are too useless and corrupt to do what is necessary.
"Hate"? I am, as regular listeners surely know, a genial fellow. One or two personal and particular grudges aside, I don't hate anybody.
There are, though, persons of whom I can say that if, while watching a Netflix movie in my living room, I were to glance out my window and see that person covered in tar and feathers and being chased down the street by a jeering mob of my fellow-citizens, I would not rise from my Barcalounger and go to their assistance.
William Castillo is not one of those people. Chuck Schumer's one, though. Paul Ryan's another; and Nancy Pelosi, and Mitch McConnell, and Maxine Waters, and Lindsey Graham, and John McCain, and Luis Gutierrez, and Kamala Harris, and Steny Hoyer, and Elijah Cummings, and Jerry Brown, and …
04 — People Without Scruples. Here's a thing I confess I didn't know: This business of shepherding Central Americans up through Mexico in caravans to the U.S. border has been going on for fifteen years. The organizers, an outfit called Pueblos Sin Fronteras — People Without Borders — actually boast on their website, quote, "more than fifteen years," end quote, but fifteen years is what our own media outlets say.
Who knew? Well, the folk down in Central America plainly knew. The Mexican government must have known: It's their territory the caravans have been passing through year after year. The people financing Pueblos Sin Fronteras surely know, and presumably have known for all fifteen of those years. It's we, the poor taxpaying shlubs of the U.S.A., who didn't know. Nobody told us. Must've slipped their minds.
Who are the people financing this caravan? We are told, by the way, that Pueblos Sin Fronteras is not affiliated in any way with a U.S.-based group named People Without Borders, which describes it-self as, quote:
A non-profit, Christian-based organization committed to serving immigrants and international residents of the Washington, DC Metro Area.
Pueblos Sin Fronteras is also based in the U.S.A., but they want us to know they are entirely different from People Without Borders. Not affiliated! No connection! Nothing to do with each other!
Yeah, right. As if these open-borders lobbies don't share funding and tactics. As if they don't have the same names in their Rolodexes: George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg, the Gates Foundation and the Koch brothers, U.S. Chambers of Commerce, every single Democratic congresscritter and a good slice of the Republicans, La Raza and Al and Jesse, everybody of importance in the business and government of Mexico; all the sly, sleazy, moralizing financiers of the cheap-labor rackets and anti-white ethnic agitator groups.
"People Without Borders"? Why not "People Without Scruples"? Or "People Without Enough Cheap Maids and Gardeners and Fruit-Pickers and Software Developers"? Or "People Without Any Wish To Keep a Surplus of Uneducated Poor Peasants In Their Country"? Or "People Without Any Affection for the U.S.A. and Its Majority Population"? Or "People Without Reservations About Turning the U.S.A. Into Just Another Shambolic Dysfunctional Race-Stratified Latin American Slum"?
Perhaps those names were taken.
As Radio Derb goes to tape here, latest news is that our President has ordered National Guard troops to the border. The number isn't clear; between two and four thousand, we are told. That's not even a band-aid. It's actually fewer troops than George W. Bush's Operation Jump Start. You remember George W. Bush, right? And how passionate he was about securing our borders, right? Right.
The troops being sent will not of course be shooting people down as they cross the border. What I'd guess they'll be doing is taking over some of the Border Patrol drudge work to free up Border Patrol agents to deal with asylum applicants.
Of which there may not be many. The size of the caravan seems to have dwindled considerably. The government of Mexico has been handing out permits so that the caravanners can stay in that country.
I'd guess that a couple of hundred of them will press on to the U.S. border, claim asylum, and end up in our unskilled workforce, our ob-gyn wards, and our welfare rolls, as seems to have been the case with previous years' caravans.
Probably the caravan organizers feel they could have done without all the publicity and just snuck these folk in quietly as they did the previous fourteen years.
That couple of hundred will be a drop in the ocean. Border Patrol apprehended thirty-seven thousand individuals between ports of entry on our Southwest Border during March. February, twenty-seven thousand; January, twenty-six thousand; Fiscal 2017 (which ended last September), 304 thousand. Caravan or no caravan, the invasion goes on.
The caravan story is already fading into the background of dead news. Three or four weeks from now we'll all have forgotten about it.
So why have I just spent three segments on it? Because it's a warning, that's why; a harbinger, a portent.
05 — The shape of things to come. What's this caravan a portent of?
Of a whole lot more — a whole lot more — people from outhouse countries trying to get into the stable, prosperous, free nations that they see on their TV and movie screens and hear about from friends and relatives who have emigrated there.
Random observation from the current press. This is actually The Economist, March 31st, page 50, quote:
In a Pew poll, about 40 percent of respondents in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal said they planned to move to another country within five years. Asked whether they would move at once if they had the means and opportunity, 75 percent of Nigerians and Ghanaians said yes. Polling by Afrobarometer in Nigeria last year suggests why. Most of those thinking of leaving said it was to find work or escape economic hardship.
That's from an article about sub-Saharan Africans who reached Libya in hopes of getting to Europe, but who instead are being flown back to their home countries free of charge, courtesy of a joint effort by the EU and UN to stop the flow of so-called "asylum seekers" into Europe.
The returnees are glad to get out of Libya, where — according to The Economist — they were being sold for $400 a head in slave markets; but once they get back home they are itching to escape again. Further quote:
One mother, on receiving her daughter from Libya, said she would simply try to fly her to Europe instead.
That's with things as they are today. If you follow Steve Sailer's posts you'll be familiar with what Steve calls The World's Most Important Graph. That's the one of UN population projections through the rest of this century, the one that shows Africa's population soaring up into the four billion zone while Europe's flatlines.
Not very long ago — a mere generation, twenty or thirty years ago — it was possible to believe that any Third World country, with sensible economic policies, could become a Denmark, a U.S.A., an Australia. The Cold War was won; we were witnesses to the End of History.
Nobody believes any of that now. History may have ended, but human biodiversity didn't. Countries with a decently high mean IQ, and some track record of civilizational attainment, and not in thrall to crazy religious or ideological cults, will do well. The rest will sink into squalor and desperation.
There are some open cases. India may have a chance, Brazil possibly, Southeast Asia and some Arab countries. Black Africa, though, and Latin America north of the white "cone" nations — Chile, Argentina, Uruguay — … is it possible to have any hope for these places?
I was just recently reading something about Venezuela. Four million people have fled the place. Inflation is six thousand percent per annum. There are food riots; people are eating their pets. And this is a country with major oil reserves!
What's that you say? "Resource curse"? Norway has major oil reserves; where is their resource curse?
On the horizon, five or ten or fifteen years from now, we can foresee great movements of people — tens and hundreds of millions of people, by land and sea and air. Very few of them will be white, so it will be interesting to see whether our current, compulsory hypocrisies about race will hold up under the onslaught.
This week's caravan of a few hundred was not consequential in itself. It did, though, give us a clue — a foretaste — of the shape of things to come.
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Last week I made a passing mention of David Hogg, the 17-year-old student from Parkland High School in Florida who is now the darling of the Left for his glowering, obscenity-laced rants against gun owners and the NRA.
I then raised the spirit of the late Quintin Hogg, who I said was the only other Hogg known to me.
A multitude of listeners emailed in to tell me about a third Hogg, true-blue American. This was James Stephen Hogg, elected the first native Governor of Texas in 1890.
Judging from the biography at the Texas State Historical Association website, this Hogg was a smart, fearless, and energetic advocate for sound causes who, quote, "was always interested in good government," end quote.
Hogg named his only daughter Ima. There's a folk legend that he had another daughter whom he named Ura, but this is not true; his other three offspring were all boys. Ima Hogg was just as energetic, and just as useful to her state, as her father had been. She survived to age 93, and it was a life well lived. Two fine Americans.
To the everlasting shame of the University of Texas, in the iconoclastic hysteria following the Antifa riot in Charlottesville last summer, a statue of James Hogg was removed from the university's grounds.
March 28 Ms Ingraham tweeted a link to an article stating that the aforementioned David Hogg had been whining online about some of his college applications being rejected, which indeed was true. Ms Ingraham's tweet was no more than mildly sarcastic. David Hogg's favorite four-letter word, for example, did not appear in it. I cannot believe, in fact, that this word has ever escaped from Ms Ingraham's lips, pen, or keyboard.
David Hogg, or rather the CultMarx puppet-masters pulling his strings, leapt into action, claiming Ms Ingraham had cyber-bullied him. Ms Ingraham, like the lady that she is, offered an apology, but Hogg spurned it. He got a campaign going to have the companies who advertise on Ms Ingraham's show disown her.
Such is the squealing pusillanimity of corporate America in the face of CultMarx intimidation, several did. You can read the full list at the anti-white communist website Media Matters. May these companies' sales wilt and their share prices collapse!
One company that didn't join the lefty boycott was MyPillow. CEO Mike Lindell, a Trump supporter, is standing loyally with Ms Ingraham. I applaud his loyalty and guts. I'd buy one of your pillows, Mike, but things are tight just now. The date "April 15th" mean anything?
What's the fuss about anyway? In my podcast last week I referred to David Hogg as, quote, "a foul-mouthed young twerp." I haven't heard from any of my advertisers cancelling on me. Oh wait …
Item: My February Diary had a segment about Kevin Williamson, then battling a Twitterstorm from the Left following the announcement that he was moving from National Review to The Atlantic. The latter magazine's Gentry Liberal subscribers were not happy.
Neither were some readers of my diary, who thought I had been too soft on Kevin. Hadn't he written a piece urging white Americans stuck in decaying flyover towns to die?
No, actually. Kevin had said the communities should die, and their inhabitants move elsewhere to find work. You can agree or disagree, but he wasn't wishing death on anyone.
And yes, the guy's a Never Trumper. So what? Some of my friends are Never Trumpers. Hell, some of my friends are Hillary voters. Politics isn't everything, for crying out loud.
"Speak as you find" is the maxim I was taught. Kevin Williamson never did any harm to me or mine; and I believe, on circumstantial evidence, he stood up for me when others wouldn't. I'll do the same for him as best I can.
Good luck with the job search, Kevin.
Item: Listeners tell me I'm still not getting the joke right — the one about Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, duh duh duh, Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, and so on.
Whatever. You can anyway scrub the item about cops in Heaven being British. The bobbies over there in what Mark Steyn calls the United Cuckdom are now locked in firmly to anarcho-tyranny.
In case you don't recall, anarcho-tyranny is that condition of society where law enforcement ignores actual crime and criminals and relentlessly hounds decent citizens for small or dubious infractions.
This week's case: Richard Osborn-Brooks, a retired office worker, is 78 years old. He lives in the London suburb of Hither Green with his 76-year-old wife, who suffers from Alzheimers.
Late Tuesday night, in bed with his wife, Mr Osborn-Brooks heard an intruder downstairs. He went downstairs and confronted the intruder, who held him at bay with a screwdriver while an accomplice went upstairs to see what he could steal.
Mr Osborn-Brooks went on the offensive, wrestling the screwdriver away and stabbing the intruder. The intruder staggered out into the street and later died in hospital. The accomplice got away.
Mr Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murder and held in custody for two days. He has now been released on bail until next month, when the police may press charges. The intruder meanwhile has been identified as a career criminal from a family of career criminals.
That's how things are in the United Cuckdom. I should say that Mr Osborn-Brooks has at least this much going for him: The intruder he killed was a white Englishman. If he'd been black or Muslim, Mr Osborn-Brooks would have been put in the Tower of London.
07 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening; and if you have settled your taxes and come out ahead, go buy a MyPillow.
Another thing in my February Diary was a link to that moving video of Winston Churchill's funeral. Several readers want to know about the background music.
Well, it's the tune of a British patriotic hymn, "I Vow to Thee, My Country." The hymn started out as a poem by British diplomat Sir Cecil Spring Rice, a friend of Theodore Roosevelt — he was Best Man at Teddy's weddding to Edith Carow.
In the somber national mood following the slaughter of World War One, the English composer Gustav Holst adapted music from the "Jupiter" movement of his Planets suite, composed some years before, to the words of Sir Cecil's poem, and a lovely hymn was born. Here are the words of the the first stanza:
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Like all the best-loved Anglican hymn tunes, this one has a name of its own: Thaxted, after the Essex village where Holst was living.
Oh, you want to hear it sung? No problem. Let me just first say: There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: "I Vow to Thee, My Country."]