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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! In the servers, whatever. Greetings, listeners, from your skeptically genial host John Derbyshire.
I open this week's podcast with a possible erratum. Last week I noted, not for the first time, that the word "immigrant" should only be applied to persons permitted to settle indefinitely in our country. Absent that permission, an alien in the U.S.A. is a nonimmigrant. I cited in support the U.S. visas stamped into my British passport thirty-odd years ago, which plainly said, in capital letters and red ink, Nonimmigrant Visa. If guest workers like myself were nonimmigrants, I argued, then surely illegal aliens are too.
A colleague did some deep research on this issue. The key text here is U.S. Code Title 8, "Aliens and Nationality," Chapter 12, "Immigration and Nationality," Subchapter Roman I, "General Provisions," Section §1101, "Definitions," Subsection lower-case (a), "As used in this chapter," Item (15). Hey, I told you my colleague dived deep, deep into that dumpster.
So: Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter Roman I, Section §1101, Subsection lower-case (a), Item (15). What does it say? Quote:
The term "immigrant" means every alien except an alien who is within one of the following classes of nonimmigrant aliens —
So every alien is an immigrant unless he falls into one of the categories in the list that follows.
Which is some list. It is in fact is a single sentence more than four thousand words long. There are twenty-two main headings, each designated by an upper-case letter of the alphabet, "A" to "V." These are divided into forty-two sub-headings by lower-case Roman numbers. Some of these are further divided into sub-sub-headings by uppercase Roman numbers, then into sub-sub-sub-headings by lowercase letters … or, in the case of heading T, sub-heading (i), sub-sub-heading II, by doubled lowercase letters.
That, once again, is the official list of categories of alien who are considered by federal law to not be immigrants. They are nonimmigrants, like guest-worker Derb in 1985.
My colleague claims that there is no mention in that list of illegal aliens. If he's right, illegals are not in the nonimmigrant category. You could argue, therefore, that they are immigrants, so that, contra Derb, the phrase "illegal immigrant" is jurisprudentially precise.
Is my colleague right? Listener, there are some doors Man was never meant to open. I treasure my sanity, and four thousand words of Fedsperanto with just one period, at the very end, is too much of a risk. I deloped.
Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.
End tweet … except for some words of praise for what a good job Mexico and Guatemala are doing stopping the caravans. [Laugh.]
I'm sorry, but that's just embarrassing. I prefaced that with "I'm sorry" because I get blowback from the Ever Trump cheering section whenever I call Trump a bag of wind. Sorry, folks, but how is that not the tweet of a blustering blowhard emitting clouds of hot air while having no clue about the subject he's addressing?
The tweet was on Monday the 17th, so I presume the President was promising action next week, the week of the 24th. As we head into the weekend, therefore, illegal aliens from sea to shining sea, from Portland east to Portland west must be bracing themselves for the arrival of the ICE agents … not.
For one thing, ICE doesn't have anything like the resources required, as the President — the ultimate authority for federal law enforcement — should know.
More to the point, although the President really ought to know this too, federal authority, including law-enforcement authority, in areas where our ruling class is deeply invested, is a broken reed; and nowhere are our CultMarx elites more deeply, more passionately invested than in unlimited mass immigration.
So here's about the most that could possibly happen next week. ICE makes a few hundred arrests. The arrestees go into deportation proceedings. The ACLU and allied rackets swing into action. Judges who are CultMarx-compliant, as many are, or just overwhelmed, issue appearance tickets to the arrestees and let them go.
The contempt felt by illegal aliens towards our enforcement practices goes up; the morale of ICE agents goes down by a corresponding degree.
"Man proposes, God disposes" seems to be a universal sentiment among us humans. At any rate, there is some such saying in all the languages I have any acquaintance with. In Chinese: 謀事在人成事在天, "Man plans things, Heaven completes them."
In matters where the grip of the elite consensus is firmest, the rule is: Voters, legislators, and Presidents propose; judges dispose. Or, as Michelle Malkin expressed it more pithily: It ain't over till the alien wins.
03 — Trump launches re-election campaign. The day after that, Tuesday, the President held a rally in Orlando, Florida, to mark the beginning of his 2020 re-election campaign. The President spoke for 76 minutes to a huge and enthusiastic crowd — twenty thousand, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
As well as being a public-relations success, the Orlando rally was a financial success. Trump's re-election campaign took in $25 million in the 24 hours leading up to and following the rally, according to the Republican National Committee. That's quadruple the $6.3 million Joe Biden raised the first day of his campaign, or Bernie Sanders' $5.9 million.
I'm happy for the President, and I'm happy for the Ever Trumpers. Sorry again, but I just can't share their enthusiasm. I'm paid to say what I think. What I think is, Trump is a busted flush — an empty vessel that makes a lot of noise but from whom nothing much is to be expected on the National Question.
Lack of enthusiasm is not the same as hostility. If the Presidential election were held tomorrow I would certainly vote for Trump. As minimal as my expectations for his second term are, I know all too well what to expect from Biden, Sanders, Warren, & Co.
I expect nothing from Trump; but there are quantities less than nothing, negative quantities. I'll take nothing, thanks.
VDARE.com's own correspondent, posting as "Washington Watcher II," watched the whole of Tuesday evening's Orlando rally and delivered a fairly upbeat report. He praised the President for putting immigration front and center in his speech, but noted that Trump now focuses his polemic on illegal immigration, when the legal varieties — most prominently right now, our insane rules on asylum, chain migration, birthright citizenship, and the so-called "refugee" rackets — badly need attention.
And yes, while it's all too true that the President proposes but judges dispose, the President is not altogether without powers. There are immediate actions he can take and there are gauntlets he can throw down to the activist judiciary. We, and other patriotic immigration outlets, have spelled out those actions, described those gauntlets, without any success at getting Trump's attention.
And then there's the bully pulpit. The biggest black mark againt Trump was his failure to get any change to immigration, legal or illegal, in those first two years when Republicans controlled both houses of congress.
To be sure, the Republicans in control there were of the bought-and-sold variety — bought and sold, that is, by the cheap-labor lobbies. Still, Trump had that bully pulpit. He could have made immigration a key issue; he could have named and shamed; he could have publicized the abuses and absurdities. He did nothing.
Now, two and a half years into Trump's first term, legal immigration is as wildly out of control as ever. If you include the swelling throngs of bogus asylum seekers in the "legal" category, which I suppose you should, it's actually far worse than before.
Meanwhile the ten, twenty, or thirty million actual illegal aliens among us are happily settled in. Last week my own state, New York, awarded them state driver's licences, with registration to vote as an automatic side benefit. Their kids are in our schools, their sick are in our hospitals, their delinquents are in our jails.
Ah, but only until next week! Then ICE will swoop; the illegals will be rounded up and deported in batches. The President promised!
04 — Prospects for 2020. With Trump's re-election campaign now under way, what are his prospects?
This far out, with seventeen months to election day, explicit forecasting is a mug's game. All one can do is list the factors likely to be determinative, and weigh each factor as to whether it is more likely to help or hinder the President.
A big factor — the biggest, unless we get involved in some fool war or financial catastrophe — will be the quality of the opposition. This was where Trump got lucky in 2016. Hillary Clinton was a really awful candidate: Too old-school Democrat to fire up the growing legions of the Woke, while not enough old-school Democrat to convince working-class white voters she gave a damn about them. Even with all the media on her side, she couldn't pull off a win.
The field of 2020 Democrats does not, at this moment, look much better than that, so it's possible Trump will get lucky again.
Leading in the polls is Joe Biden, who has the old-school Democrat thing down to a "T." Can he carry the Woke demographic, though? With all that bottom-squeezing and hair-sniffing, and palling around with old-old-school Democrats back in the seventies? And ol' Joe is old: on completion of his first Presidential term he'd be 83.
There are plenty of others in the field, of course. The latest poll I've seen, out of Quinnipiac on Tuesday, showed Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, and Peter Buttigieg also beating Trump, though all by lesser margins than Joe Biden.
How many of them are likely to stay the course as plausible candidates, we'll have a better feel for this time next week, after the Democrat candidates debate on Wednesday and Thursday. That's right, two nights of debate. There are so many of them now, we'll get ten candidates on Wednesday and ten more on Thursday.
Another big factor is the media. Trump had them kind of baffled in 2016. They weren't sure what to do with him. Their overall approach, as I recall, was that he was a bit of a joke, a no-hoper. Remember that precious moment — it never gets old — just precisely four years ago this week, June 19th 2015, on Bill Maher's show, when Lady Ann predicted a Trump victory and everyone fell around laughing?
Well, there'll be none of that this time. For the 2020 campaign the media will have its anti-Trump act well and truly together. If the President forgot to feed his goldfish back in 1952, you'll hear about it — and hear about it, and hear about it. The media will be relentless, and nobody will be laughing at all. The media lefties hate this guy.
That includes the social media, where most Millennial airheads get their news. Trump won't just be up against the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the big network TV channels; he'll be facing off against Twitter, Google, YouTube, and Facebook too. Media-wise, Trump's 2020 campaign will have to fight uphill all the way.
That's two big determinative factors: the quality of the opposition, and the uniform hostility of the media. A third big factor is of course Trump himself.
I have coined the phrase "Trump Disappointment Syndrome" to encompass those voters like myself who cheered Trump's victory in 2016, believing he was a genuine reformer who might chase the money-changers from the temple, but who have since come to see him as an empty suit from whom no real reform can be expected.
How many of us are there? Most to the point: How many 2016 Trump voters are so disappointed they won't bother to turn out next November? There were several states that Trump won by the merest whisker: Michigan, 0.23 percent, Pennsylvania 0.73 percent, Wisconsin 0.77 percent, Florida 1.2 percent.
A few thousand votes — in Michigan just ten thousand — could tip these states … which next year will be bluer than they were in 2016 as immigrants become citizens, woke millennials enter the voting rolls at the young end, and traditionalist white pre-Boomers take their leave feet-first at the other end.
The Ever Trumpers put up a great show of enthusiasm in Orlando on Tuesday, and good luck to them all. Outside that stadium, though, are there enough Ever Trumpers to carry Trump's boat over the shoals of disappointment, in the teeth of gale-force headwinds blowing from the media and social media?
And then, of course, there is Big Determinative Factor number four: "Events, dear boy, events." There is no point trying to call that one.
As I said, prediction at this stage is a mug's game. With all due acknowledgment of the utterly unpredictable, though, I'll be the mug and make a prediction, one that gives me no joy at all: Trump will lose in 2020.
05 — Threatening Iran. Trump Disappointment Syndrome is actually two-dimensional.
There were two big things about Donald Trump that got our attention and support in 2016. One was his seeming to understand the destructive folly of uncontrolled mass immigration; the other was Trump's opposition to foreign entanglements in general, and missionary wars in particular.
Trump has been just as much of a disappointment here as on the National Question. We're still in NATO, waiting for the Red Army to come storming through the Fulda Gap. We still have 30,000 troops in South Korea, to protect that populous and wealthy nation against half-as-populous and one-fiftieth-as-wealthy North Korea. We still have troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in dozens of other plague-infested rat-holes like Niger and Somalia.
Now we hear that on Thursday night this week, Trump ordered air strikes against targets in Iran. This followed Iran's shooting down of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone that morning.
The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.
As I go to tape here, nobody seems to know why the strikes were called off. My own mental image is of Secret Service agents bursting into the Oval Office, grabbing John Bolton, strapping him into a straitjacket, then dragging him out, screaming and frothing at the mouth. That's probably not what happened but … I don't know any more than you do.
I am baffled to know why Iran is any of our business. There was a case, twenty years ago — heck, I used to make the case — for pre-emptive nuclear strikes on Iran, or any other rogue nation that looked like it might develop nukes. That bus has long since left the depot, though. If North Korea can have nukes, why can't Iran? Because they're crazy Muslims? The name "Pakistan" mean anything?
Nuclear deterrence has worked pretty well. It's kept the civilized world out of big meat-grinder, city-flattening wars for close to seventy years now. No, it's not infallible — nothing in human affairs is — but let's at least make sure that whoever else has nukes, we have way more and are clear about our willingness to use them.
With that clear, let's try to get our relations with Iran on some kind of normal footing. They don't threaten us; there's no reason we should be threatening them.
And if that policy is displeasing to the Saudis and the Israelis, let's tell them to mind their business and we'll mind ours.
06 — The reparations clown show. Congressional clown show of the week was the House Judiciary Committee hearings on a bill to … wait a minute, let me get it precisely right: "a bill to create a commission that would make recommendations concerning 'any form of apology and compensation' to descendants of enslaved African-Americans."
That's the bill: to create a commission to make recommendations. Reminds me of my days as a student union debater, when we had fun with Roberts' Rules of Order, moving a motion to move the motion that the motion be now tabled.
Sorry, my mind was wandering there. I just have trouble taking this reparations stuff seriously.
For one thing, I see all these race issues through the prism of the Cold Civil War: two big groups of whites going hammer and tongs at each other for all they're worth while blacks hang around the periphery, dodging on to the battlefield now and then to rob a corpse or land a sucker punch.
I mean, do blacks really care about this, or is it just a way for guilty white liberals to display their mating plumage? Quote from myself:
Anti-racism is a mating display. It says: "Look at me! I have such earning power I can live where I like! I don't have to worry about feral underclass blacks or Salvadoran gangbangers! I can strike a pose of lofty indifference to matters of race! Drop your knickers right now!"
And in fact a couple of blacks showed up at the hearing to argue against reparations as demeaning to blacks — as carrying the implication that unless whites give them stuff, they can't cope.
Which is in point of fact true. When the whites are driven out, as in Detroit or Zimbabwe, or killed off, as in Haiti, the blacks end up with, well, Detroit, Zimbabwe and Haiti. Without whites blacks really can't cope.
That's a hard thing for Talented Tenth blacks like those two dissenters at Wednesday's hearing to admit, and I intend no offense to them personally — they both seemed like fine, smart American gentlemen — but the Untalented Nine-Tenths is a mighty burden to bear: too much for the Talented Tenth to manage without help.
I revert to my analogy of a man dragging a sack along a road. If the man is big and healthy, and the sack not too heavy, he can cope all right. The sack will slow him down, but he'll make progress. A smaller man with a bigger, heavier sack won't cope so well, perhaps won't be able to cope at all.
Whites have their feckless, troublesome underclasses, too. I know; I grew up among some of them. That's the sack we have to drag. There aren't so many that we can't manage them, though, and make progress in spite of them. Blacks have a different equation to solve.
White Americans have done their best to help them solve it. We've done more than that, in fact; we have distorted our entire social system, twisted our laws, and spent trillions of dollars to help them.
Affirmative action, contract set-asides, hiring favoritism, exquisitely punctilious protocols in speech and writing to avoid offending them, gibberish college courses for them to be professors of, strict media silence over levels of black crime, fake documentaries presenting black thugs and rapists as saintly victims, …
The question I'd put before congress is not, "Should we do more?" but, "How much more can we be expected to do?"
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Since the issue of black slavery got an airing in congress on Wednesday, here's a related news item from the New York Post, June 19th, page 19.
Last Saturday 23-year-old Temar Bishop, who is black, was arraigned in court here for charges including rape and attempted murder. He had raped a 20-year-old woman and then beaten her unconscious.
The charge sheet also includes hate crime, based on words Mr Bishop spoke to a witness after the event. Here are the words, quote:
She was a white girl. She deserved it because us minorities have been through slavery … This is what they used to do to us. This is what they did to us during slavery. They used to beat us and whip us.
I think the whole notion of "hate crime" is totally misguided and I'd like it removed from the statute books. Why is Temar Bishop's offense any worse because he hates whites?
If I were judge in the case and Temar Bishop was found guilty at trial, I'd give him twenty years for the rape and fine him ten cents for the hate crime.
Item: Last week I alerted you to the coming Turco-Icelandic War. Well, if open hostilities do break out, that will be a blot on Iceland's copybook. Something called the Global Peace Index has issued a report on the peacefulness of 163 nations. Top of the list as most peaceful: Iceland.
Having grown up in the Cold War, I come at this with some ingrained skepticism. Back in those dear lost days, if a college classmate or work colleague tried to get you to join some organization with the word "peace" in its title, you could be pretty sure it was a KGB front.
There used to be World Peace Congresses and World Peace Councils at which earnest young men with beards but no ties and plain women in tweed skirts and sensible shoes — the early-Boomer equivalent of Social Justice Warriors, though the women not so fat as they are nowadays — exchanged indignant stories about the wickedness of Yankee imperialism.
That's unfair of me. Away with my antique stereotypes! This Global Peace Index looks to be doing its best to be impartial. Right behind Iceland at the most-peaceful end of the list are New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, and Canada. I'll have to pass on the first four there, but I was in Canada last month, and yes, it did seem pretty peaceful.
Down at the other end, the least peaceful end of the list, are places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and the Congo.
Of course, it would be shameful if the people of Iceland were left to vegetate in demographic uniformity without any of the blessings of diversity.
The numbers are small, but then so is Iceland — entire population only 340 thousand. Once chain migration gets going in earnest, Iceland will be properly diverse in no time!
Item: Speaking of demographics, the UN Population Division has released its biennial estimates for the growth in the world's population.
Their estimate is down somewhat from the 2017 estimate, which was for 11.2 billion souls at this century's end. This new estimate says only 10.9 billion, a downward revision of 2.7 percent.
Current world population is 7.7 billion, so by the end of the century we just need to find room for another 3.2 billion. Hey, no problem. Iceland can probably take the point-two billion all by itself.
The countries expected to see the biggest increases over the next thirty years are: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt, and the U.S.A.
I'm not sure what we are doing there in the list with all those smelly fly-blown Third World places, and I'm afraid to ask.
Item: Here's some different demographic news from the Catholic Herald, April 25th, headline: The West can learn a lot from Hungary's pro-family policies.
The story tells us that the pro-family laws of Viktor Orbán have raised the marriage and birth rates to their highest in decades, while dropping rates of abortion and divorce correspondingly.
A new slate of these laws comes into effect July 1st, including, quote, "a 3,000 euro mortgage reduction for a second child, and a 12,000 euro reduction for a third. Effective in 2020, mothers with 4 or more children will enjoy a lifetime personal tax exemption." End quote.
What a nation of rubes! Don't they understand that the right way to increase your population is to open your borders to the tired, the poor, the hungry masses of, you know, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, the Congo, …
Get with the program, guys!
08 — Signoff. And that's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and welcome to summer: The solstice occurred here shortly before noon today, as I was preparing this podcast. Any of you who happened to be at sea in the western Atlantic on the Tropic of Cancer would have seen the sun directly overhead.
How about some authentically American music to see us out? You probably heard about the silly flap over Woody Guthrie's old classic, "This Land is Your Land." Some aborigines have grumbled to Smithsonian magazine that ol' Woody should have been ashamed of himself. This land is not our land, or his land; it's their land, say the redskins.
Hey, whatever. Those of us who remember what a lefty hero Woody Guthrie was back in the day are savoring the irony. The identity left of today and the downtrodden-laboring-masses left of the 1940s really don't have much in common, do they?
Me, I prefer the old lefties. Sure, they were idiots about communism, but at least they didn't hate white people.
I think "This Land is Your Land" has been getting enough air time. Here to see us out is a joint effort: Woody Guthrie with Cisco Houston singing "Bury Me Beneath The Willow."
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston, "Bury Me Beneath The Willow."]