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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 prudently genial host John Derbyshire, here with VDARE.com's coverage of the week's news, with particular reference to the National Question.
It was a depressing week for immigration patriots. The mainstream media whipped up a hysteria about our cruelty to illegal aliens, with showbiz airheads and ex-First Ladies weeping and rending their garments in public.
Our President reacted by backing off from his perfectly defensible policy into a less defensible one. And the Goodlatte Bill — which, with all its many imperfections and shortcomings, was the nearest Congress has gotten to immigration sanity since 1924 — was defeated in the House of Representatives.
I'll break down the issue as best I can. First, the hysteria.
02 — The United States of Hysteria (cont.). If you followed the hysteria outbreak on non-mainstream media, you'll be familiar with the depth of nonsense and dishonesty behind it all.
You'll know that the policy causing all the shrieking and fainting has been in place for years, long before Donald Trump showed up. You'll have seen the old clips from not-that-many years ago of Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, and both of the Clintons telling us what a great evil illegal immigration is and how we need to take a strong stand against it.
You've probably also heard the numbers. You know that of the 12,000 minors detained in the six weeks of our zero-tolerance policy, only 2,000 were actually with a person claiming to be a parent. That's seventeen percent. You probably suspect, as I and Attorney General Sessions do, that if DNA testing were to be applied, that percentage would drop into low single figures.
You likely know that Mexico, through which these Central American invaders passed, has a well-equipped U.S. embassy and nine, count 'em nine, U.S. consulates scattered across that country from Yucatan in the south to Tijuana in the north. Any Central American seeking asylum in the U.S.A. could apply at any of those places, without any fear of being separated from his children.
You probably also know that Mexico is a nation addled with criminality and corruption. Much of what happens there is dictated by crime syndicates who depend on smuggling narcotics into the U.S.A. Those syndicates obviously have a keen interest in keeping our border patrol busy with other matters — like, for example, detaining and processing illegal border-crossers.
As of today, Friday, you're probably acquainted with the backstory behind Time magazine's current cover picture of a weeping tot who, according to Time, had been ripped from her mother's arms.
The true story — uncovered by the British press, of course, not by our own worthless hacks — is that the child comes from a comfortable middle-class family in Honduras; that the child's mother long fantasized about living in the U.S.A.; and that she at last acted on her fantasy, paying six thousand dollars to people traffickers and heading north without telling her husband, who is left in Honduras with their other three children, aged fourteen to six.
The husband tells us that to the best of his knowledge child and mother have not been separated … though child and father obviously have, by several hundred miles, at the mother's initiative.
This whole thing, this whole hysteria, is in other words bogus from top to bottom, just like all the other progressive hysterias of recent years: Charlottesville, Russian election meddling, Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, the savage racism of asking for voter i.d. at polling stations.
If you pay any attention at all, if you care at all about actual facts, if you're willing to privilege — pardon the word, please: it's the correct word — if you're willing to privilege objective truth over your own surging emotions and personal resentments, you know that it's all one Big Lie.
It's a usual thing for people suspected of a crime to be detained by law enforcement. If they have kids, this perforce separates them from their kids, since no humane society wants kids placed in adult detention facilities.
That's been true in the case of U.S. citizens for ever. To say it should not pertain to non-citizens is to privilege — again, that's the mot juste here — to privilege foreigners over our own people. And foreigners have a straightforward way to avoid this particular peril: They can stay in their own countries.
03 — The First Virtue. But they're desperate!" wail the hysterics. "Their countries are so messed up! And it's OUR FAULT they're messed up!"
The first thing to be said about that is, that a very great many countries are messed up. Billions — that's "billions" with a "b" — of people live in messed-up countries. A handful of outliers excepted, all countries are messed up except the few established and majority-populated by Ice People — Europeans and East Asians.
Getting and keeping a not-messed-up country seems to be a difficult, an extraordinarily difficult achievement. Not even Ice People can always pull it off. For a non-messed-up country, iciness is necessary but not sufficient. Russia is quite badly messed up; so is China. Check out Albania. Check out North Korea. Being an Ice People country doesn't guarantee you're not messed up, nor vice versa, but that's the way to bet.
As for the notion of it being our fault that Central American countries are messed up, I don't buy it. For one thing, messed-up-ness is the normal state of affairs for countries not populated and run by Ice People, as just stated.
Take Latin America. It's hard not to notice that the general level of messed-upness down there is greatest where Ice People are least numerous. The southern "cone" countries — Chile, Argentina, Uruguay — with mostly Ice People populations, have their problems, no doubt; but none of them is Guatemala or El Salvador. They are the least messed-up Latin American countries.
How is that? Did we evil Gringos just forget to go and mess them up? Please.
I'm put in mind of the reply the Mexican made to the Texan when Tex asked why Mexicans are always so mad at the U.S.A. and blame us for everything. The Mexican's reply, according to P.J. O'Rourke, quote:
You stole half our country. And not only that, Señor, you stole the half with all the paved roads.
And then, if your country messed up my country, why would I spend my family's savings and risk life and limb to break into your country, the great messer-upper?
One of the blessings of living in Central America is that if you are dissatisfied with your country, there are lots of countries close by you can flee to for refuge. A citizen of Honduras is closer to Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Panama, Colombia, and the Bahamas than he is to the U.S.A., and not much further from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil. Refuge-wise, he's spoiled for choice. Why would he want to come here, to the Great Satan, with all our cruelty and racism and xenophobia and white supremacy and toxic masculinity?
Mrs Hernandez, the mother in the Time magazine cover story, doesn't seem at all mad about Uncle Sam messing up her country.
Listings of the Four Cardinal Virtues generally put prudence at number one.
In the realm of the National Question — the question of what kind of nation we wish to be, and of what kind of nation we wish our children and grandchildren to inherit — prudence is surely appropriate.
If getting and maintaining a non-messed-up country is as difficult at it seems to be, and as dependent as it seems to be on a healthy supermajority of Ice People, prudence consists in a strict attention to demographic stability and the avoidance of wild demographic experiments.
With all my heart, and with as loud a voice as I can raise, for the sake of my children and their children, I urge prudence upon our nation's leaders.
04 — The Godwinization of public discourse. What our nation's leaders are actually doing is … nothing much.
There are plain political reasons for this. Some of them, some of those reasons, have been the motivations behind this week's hysteria over illegal aliens. Others are more longstanding and baked-in to our system.
Our national legislature is quite finely balanced between the two big parties. The Senate is Republican by 51 percent; the House is Republican by 54 percent (55 percent if you factor in currently vacant seats). Under these circumstances, with midterm elections just twenty weeks away, both parties are of course strategizing like crazy.
The Democrats' strategy is to run out the clock: doing nothing either positive or negative while striving to make President Trump look as bad as possible in the eyes of their base — goodwhite ethnomasochists and racial minorities. The mainstream media are totally on board with this, and pushing the strategy for all they're worth.
That's what this week's hysteria has been about. Random comment from a random media shill, this one actually Charles Blow at the New York Times June 17th, quote:
Trump is lying, as he often does. This barbaric policy is an outgrowth of his own personal cruelty … This practice of family separation must end, and Trump and every other politician who was silent about it or worse, endorsed it, must be held to account at the ballot box.
That puts it as plainly as you could want. Trump is an evil person! Vote Democrat!
Godwin's Law — which states, just to remind you, that as an internet discussion thread grows longer, the probablity of someone mentioning Hitler approaches certainty — Godwin's Law has been much in evidence in this week's hysteria: so much so, in fact, that even some of the open-borders people have felt moved to protest.
Here for example was John Podhoretz in today's New York Post. Podhoretz is an old-school Jewish immigration sentimentalist and race denialist. Quote from him, June 22nd:
Hitler wanted all Jews dead. Trump wants non-Americans who are here in violation of US law out of the United States. Dislike that all you wish. I do. I do not think this is the right policy. But it's not the systematic elimination of the Other [capital "O"].
That's taken from an op-ed titled: "Stop cheapening the Holocaust to score political points." It might be a bit more persuasive if Podhoretz had not himself done a bit of Holocaust-cheapening five months ago when he compared either Presidential advisor Stephen Miller or our own Steve Sailer — it's not clear which — to Joseph Goebbels.
Still, it's a sign of how crazy things have gotten that even Podhoretz, a neocon's neocon, thinks the Godwinization of our public discourse has gone too far.
That's congressional Democrats and their media shills. What about congressional Republicans?
Well, there have been signs of sentient life in the House of Representatives. Yes, the Goodlatte Bill was voted down on Thursday, but it got 193 GOP votes, that's 82 percent of the House Republicans who voted — much better than forecast. Praise and blessings from Radio Derb to all 193 of those House Republicans; a pox on the 41 Republican Nays.
The Speaker himself did not vote. This is customary and not at all remarkable. Ryan does, however, seem to have taken that better-than-expected 193 vote count to heart. He's been working up a bill of his own, a much cuckier, more donor-friendly bill. He'd planned to bring his bill to a vote this week right after Goodlatte's, but that vote has now been postponed to next week so that Ryan can jiggle the bill a bit to make it more acceptable to the 193.
There is very little prospect that Ryan's jiggling will make this second bill anything other than what it currently seems to be: a huge mass amnesty for alien scofflaws garnished with some vague, easily-reversed promises on border security and internal enforcement. That's what GOP donors want, and that's what Ryan will give them. After all, six months from now he'll be working for them openly, full-time, as a lobbyist.
The Senate is as usual immigration-shy and effectively inert. Even if Ryan's bill passes the House, it will die in the Senate. Everybody, including Paul Ryan, knows this.
So it's all kabuki theater. Democrats want to go into the midterms saying to their base that the President is Hitler; Republicans want to go in saying to their base that, heck, we know you want something done and we tried to do something, we really did, but there are just too many darn Democrats in Congress to get anything through.
05 — Ripping, ripping, kidnapping, ripped. The actual mood of the Republican base seems to be strongly pro-enforcement, even after this media blizzard of stories about howling toddlers being ripped from their mothers' arms. The strong vote for the Goodlatte Bill reflects this: GOP congresscritters have been hearing from their constituents.
My own thumbnail gauge of GOP voter sentiment is, as I mentioned last week, the Letters columns of the New York Post, which I have reason to believe actually reflect the feelings of readers of this conventionally center-right newspaper in a not-very-Rebublican region.
The Post actually ran an editorial about border detentions as the hysteria got under way, taking quite a stern line against President Trump's policy. I waited patiently to see what the Letters column showed.
That editorial ran on Sunday the 17th. Monday the 18th, nothing. Tuesday the 19th, seven letters. Five of the seven were hysterical. The words "ripping," "ripping," "kidnapping," and "ripped" showed up in four of the five. Godwin's law of course kicked in, quote from a Manhattan letter-writer: "I now feel like I'm living in Nazi Germany," end quote. That's from the heart of New York City, current mayor Comrade Bill "Honeymoon in Castro's Cuba" de Blasio.
Even then, though — on Tuesday, as the hysteria was cresting — two of the Post's seven reader letters were non-hysterical. One blamed the illegals for putting their children at risk. Another calmly suggested using FEMA facilities — Federal Emergency Management Agency — to house the detainees.
Friday the Post ran another batch of readers' letters, nine this time. Only one followed the hysterical line. Incredibly, it refrained from invoking Godwin's Law; but it did include the phrase, quote, "ripped from their mothers' arms," end quote. The other eight wanted better border control and scoffed at the hysteria. Seven of the eight supported current policy. The eighth opposed it from the right, deploring, quote, "President Trump's executive order flip-flop," end quote, which the writer blamed on Ivanka and Melania.
I don't say this is definitive, certainly not any kind of scientific survey. Those letters do show, though, that even here in New York — the beating heart of left-liberal lunacy and Republican cuckery — there are plenty of people not taken in by the hysteria.
Radio Derb, by the way, agrees with that eighth New York Post reader that Trump's executive order was a blunder. There's been some commentary from our side arguing for the President playing four-dimensional chess here; that the executive order is some kind of triple bank shot that will somehow, at some future point, throw the Democrats into confusion.
Uh-huh. I think it much more likely that Trump just folded under pressure from his family and cabinet colleagues. He hasn't exactly been firm as a rock on National Question issues.
The policy that caused all the hysteria — separating kids from their parents or pretend-parents and keeping them in HHS facilities for a few days — was perfectly legal, defensible, and humane. What's supposed to happen now? We put the kids in Border Patrol lock-ups? How is that better?
The logic is inescapable. An adult who crosses the border without authorization is liable to arrest and detention, quite rightly so. If there are children with him, those children need to be detained and cared for, too; though since it's the adult who broke the law, not the child, this is a child-care issue, not a law-enforcement issue.
If child-care detention in HHS facilities is unacceptable, and detention of children in Border Patrol lockups with their parents is unthinkable, the only possibility is to let the kids go. So thousands of children — including a lot of teenagers and likely some adults posing as teenagers — with no proper claim to U.S. residence, have gotten it. And when the accompanying adult really is the child's parent, they'll get to stay too.
Our courts will make sure of that. Our courts are in fact a big part of the problem. Michelle Malkin many years ago stated the Prime Directive of immigration jurisprudence, quote: "It ain't over until the alien wins." That will probably be the governing factor in the fate of these Central American border-jumpers going forward.
A friend who knows much more about our laws and Constitution than I do tells me that Congress could in fact bar the federal judiciary from considering these cases.
That's nice, supposing my friend is right and I've understood him correctly; but the chance of Congress actually doing anything that imaginative, or that patriotic, is so small you'd need an electron microscope to see it. So this idea is like — to leap to the other end of the cosmic scale — is like the Heat Death of the Universe: kind of interesting, but not actually relevant to anything likely to happen in our lives.
The President could anyway have spared himself all the wrangling his administration's in for with the judiciary, and could also have spared us this last few day's screeching hysteria, by just doing what he was elected to do: build an effective border barrier.
It's not that hard. Israel's done it; Hungary's done it; Saudi Arabia and India have done it. China did it two thousand years ago.
What, you want to tell me we can't do it until Congress appropriates the funds? I don't believe it. I understand about checks and balances, but the President doesn't have that little power. If we can bomb wedding parties in Afghanistan without a Congressional declaration of war, surely we can put up a decent border barrier.
This has been Trump's greatest failure. Those of who voted for him, campaigned for him, and turned out on freezing winter mornings to show our support for him, need to keep telling him this.
Build the damn wall, Mr President! BUILD THE DAMN WALL!
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Harvard consistently rated Asian-American applicants lower than others on traits like "positive personality," likability, courage, kindness and being "widely respected" …
This of course is from the ongoing lawsuit by aggrieved Asian Americans who believe Harvard discriminates against them on admissions.
As of course Harvard does. From papers filed in this case it is plain that on only academic considerations, Harvard admissions would be less than one percent black and over forty percent Asian. Actual admissions are eleven percent black, nineteen percent Asian.
This is what is known in Edspeak as "holistic admissions." In case you don't know the word "holistic," it translates into common English as "completely subjective."
I assume what's mainly meant by "Asians" here is Chinese. Following that assumption, I'd venture to boast that I know more about Asians than the average Harvard Admissions Officer. I've lived among them in Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, and the overseas communities across several decades. I've written two novels about them. I speak their language and have read their literature. I've been married to one for 32 years. Half our friends are Chinese — I beg your pardon: Asian.
Boring? I got stories. A lot of stories.
That said, I'm in sympathy with Harvard. They're fudging the numbers not because they really think Asians are boring, but because they don't want their university to be forty or fifty percent Asian.
Of course they don't. Harvard's cachet rests on its WASPiness; and that is just as true in Beijing as it is in Boston. Chinese people don't want to go to a majority-Chinese university, either. They want that WASP cachet. Trust me here, I know this territory.
It all comes down, as so much does, to the National Question. It's mass immigration that's put Harvard in this embarrassing bind — mass immigration, and the careless, open-handed way we hand out student visas.
So here we go, importing another overclass — one with whose racial homeland we might soon be locked in military conflict.
You think Asians are boring? Imagine how stupid they think we are!
Item: I may have to walk that back a little way, just a step or two. Here's a headline from the Japan Times English-language version, June 15th, headline: Abe-led [that's Shinzo Abe, Japan's Prime Minister] panel adopts new visa plan to accept 500,000 low-skilled laborers by 2025.
We here at VDARE.com like to hold up Japan as a model for immigration sanity. True, the nation has 1.3 million foreign workers — that's [gasp!] one percent of her population, most from Vietnam, China, the Philippines and Indonesia. For some reason the Japanese haven't been jumping all over the chance to take in Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Somalis and Afghans. I don't know why that is, you'd have to ask them.
They have a cheap-labor lobby, though, just as we do; and that lobby wants more lettuce-pickers. Crops are rotting in the fields!
The difference in Japan is that the cheap-labor lobbies there operate in the teeth of fierce, deep-ingrained cultural hostility to mass immigration.
It's not likely this latest proposal will change things much, assuming it makes it through Parliament. Quote: "A lengthy process will still be required for foreign workers to apply for and eventually receive a stable resident status under the envisioned new visa system," end quote. That lengthy process includes, for example, demonstrated ability to speak and understand Japanese.
I think we can go on promoting Japan as our model for a while yet.
Item: It's always entertaining to see the super-rich squander their wealth on politically correct but futile endeavors.
And if it's politically-correct but futile endeavors you're seeking, the very first place to look is the education system, memorably described in Chapter Six of my worldwide bestseller We Are Doomed as, quote, "a vast sea of lies, waste, corruption, crackpot theorizing, and careerist logrolling," end quote. I don't believe I have ever written truer words.
You could ask Bill Gates. Ten years ago the crackpot theory dominant in edbiz, eventually sanctified by Barack Obama in his 2012 State of the Union address, was raising teacher quality. It wasn't bad schools, said the theory, nor — Heaven forbid! — bad students. It was the teachers that needed fixing. Filter out the bad ones, improve the others! Fix the teachers!
Of course, it'll cost a ton of money. Anyone got a couple of hundred million dollars to spare?
Bill Gates and his wife stepped up, announcing in November 2009 that their foundation would invest $335 million in a program called "Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching." Apparently only $212 million of the Gateses' money actually got spent, but that's still a lot of gravy.
Hoo-kay: forward eight and a half years. This week the RAND corporation published their final report on results of the program. Executive summary: There weren't any.
Sample quote: "The improvements were minimal to none."
Sample other quote: "When RAND studied math and reading scores from before and after the reform, improvement was scarce with some schools left worse off."
Sample further quote: "Dropout rates were not dramatically better than they were for similar sites that did not participate in the program, the report found."
I really wish I had better teeth. When I smile as broadly as I'm smiling now, it doesn't show me to my best advantage.
Item: Finally, news from Turkmenistan. Counter-revolutionary wreckers and saboteurs have been causing somewhat of an economic slowdown over there, to the degree that our Turkmen friends are even less inclined than formerly to spend their disposable income on bathroom tissue.
They have therefore fallen back (so to speak) on newspapers. This has become a political problem, as Turkmen newspapers, very understandably, contain many, many pictures of our dear friend President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.
Quote from BBC News, May 24th, quote:
There is a special janitor at each landfill site whose job is to inspect garbage, to look for soiled newspaper photos, to establish the house or flat of the newspaper subscriber and to report it to the police.
And you thought you had a lousy job!
Never fear, though: President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has assured Radio Derb, in a telephone conversation, that those who thus defile pictures of him will meet a bad end. He will get to the bottom of their evil machinations! Their shameful smears shall be erased, their insults flushed away! The noble republic of Turkmenistan will be wiped clean of their filthy deeds!
All hail the brave people of Turkmenistan! All hail their great leader President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov!
[clip: Turkmen national anthem.]
07 — Signoff. That's all I have for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening.
I hope you all observed World Refugee Day on Wednesday with proper solemnity, as I did. My personal campaign to get the U.N. to split the celebration into two days, one for genuine refugees and another for the far more numerous bogus refugees, has so far borne no fruit, I regret to report, but I shall persist in my efforts.
Here's some quite extraordinary signoff music a kind listener sent me. I should really have saved it for Veterans' Day, but I just can't resist posting it.
The voice here is that of an actual Union soldier, Laurentine Higbie. He was 85 years old when the recording was made, in 1926 or -27. That means he was born around 1841 or -42, which would make him nineteen or twenty when the Civil War started. Here he is singing "The Veteran's Last Song."
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Laurentine Higbie, "The Veteran's Last Song."]