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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, fife'n'drum version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air. Welcome, listeners, from your thankfully genial host John Derbyshire with yet another edition — it's actually number 768 — of Radio Derb, your window on the world.
Before proceeding, just a reminder that next week at VDARE.com we have our Giving Tuesday: a livestream beginning at 8pm that evening, December 1st, of myself and the boss giving a guided tour of the VDARE castle at Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
This will be my first visit to the castle. I look forward to inspecting the moat, the portcullis, the merlons and embrasures, the ravelins and the drawbridge, the barbican and the bailey, the … Oh, for Heaven's sake, Derb, put away the damn Thesaurus for once.
I am looking forward to my visit, though, and to sharing it with you via the wonders of livestreaming next Tuesday.
Now, the main course.
02 — An unofficial transition. So … how are we doing with that Presidential election thing, coming up to a month after the vote? Seems like just yesterday, doesn't it?
Probably the most significant event this week was the statement on Monday by GSA head Emily Murphy that federal agencies will start co-ordinating with Joe Biden and his people on a transition of executive power. Monday was the start; the stop will of course be on January 20th, following the Inauguration.
The GSA, General Services Administration, is a federal agency handling routine support work for the feds. It's in the same sort of relation to the actual, glamorous federal agencies like Treasury and Defense as the maintenance crew in an office building is to the cube jockeys, sales reps, and corner-office bosses who carry out the company's actual business.
Ms Murphy started the transition with exquisite attention to protocol. The salutation on the letter to Joe Biden that made things official read "Dear Mr. Biden," not "Dear President-Elect Biden," as would normally be the case.
Given the news, President Trump tweeted back that, tweet:
We will keep up the good fight and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.
As the President indicated, he has by no means conceded defeat. His team, along with independent outfits like The Public Interest Legal Foundation and some individual voters, have legal challenges alive in several states. It's hard to keep up with these unless you're a dedicated follower of retail politics, which I am really not.
There are websites to help, though. The BBC has one, although they always seem to be three or four days behind. The Wall Street Journal has one that's nicely up-to-date, but you have to be a subscriber. I've been using the one at Associated Press, just because it gives an easy state-by-state summary, but you could probably find something better with a bit of googling.
The Electoral College meets two weeks this coming Monday, so presumably things will be sorted out by then. If they aren't, we get deep into the constitutional weeds — faithless electors, votes in the House, Supreme Court Justices putting in for overtime, the whole 1876 mess over again.
What are the odds? Let me take a brief look at latest developments. New segment.
03 — State of play in the States. At his November 19th presser Rudy Giuliani identified six states where his team, on behalf of President Trump, was concentrating their efforts. The six were: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. I'll take 'em in turn.
When listening to what follows you'll hear the words "certify" and "certification" a lot. Where legal challenges to election results are concerned, it's understood (though I don't think it's explicitly codified anywhere) that a successful challenge is way more difficult after the results have been officially certified by the state. So in this case the Biden people really, really want to get to certification and the Trump team really, really want to stall them.
OK, Rudy's six battleground states.
That's a quick'n'dirty rundown as I go to tape here on Friday evening. As best I can judge, the odds on a huge 1876-style constitutional mess are small.
With three of Rudy's six battleground states already past certification, Arizona due to certify Monday and Wisconsin Tuesday, Pennsylvania apparently free to certify following today's ruling — but, as I said, I don't know the precise law there: perhaps they'll have to wait until appeals are exhausted — with all of that, for Trump's people to get any kind of favorable result is way harder than it was two weeks ago. To get a result that flips the Electoral College means actually annulling at least two state results.
It doesn't look good, and when you read about the latest legal moves — I've spent a lot of time reading about them — it's hard to avoid the impression that at this point the Trump lawyers are just going through the motions … no pun intended.
04 — Trump phones in. Pretty dry stuff, that. However, there are some sidebar stories to it all that got at least wan smiles from your genial host.
First sidebar story. GOP legislators from Pennsylvania, along with Rudy Giuliani and his people, held a public meeting at the Wyndham hotel in Gettysburg, Pa. to air complaints about voting fraud. President Trump had said he would attend in person, but he had to cancel when a campaign staffer tested positive for coronavirus.
He attended anyway, though — by phone. He dialed in and Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis held her cellphone up to a speaker's mike so the whole room could hear him.
The President spoke for eleven minutes. I won't give you all eleven here. You can find them on YouTube: Just put "Pennsylvania Senate Hearing" in the search box. I'll give you the first minute and the last minute.
[Clip. Ellis: "Mister President, you are connected." (Audience applause and hollering.)
[Clip. Trump: "All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly, without having a political opinion or having another kind of a problem. Because we have everything … And by the way, the evidence is pouring in now as we speak.
Listen to the reactions from the GOP foot-soldiers there. If the bid to change the election result fails, it won't be for lack of enthusiastic support from the troops.
Speaking of troops: Several of the media outlets reporting this event made a point of mentioning that the Wyndham hotel in Gettysburg, where it took place, is only a mile from the site of Pickett's Charge, the climax of the Battle of Gettysburg, which, if it had succeeded, could have made Robert E. Lee the battle's victor. It didn't succeed. Lee lost the battle and retired with his army back into Virginia.
Hence my wan smile.
One more sidebar story. I think I'd better give it a segment of its own.
05 — Cat fight over Georgia. OK, a second sidebar story. This one concerns the state of Georgia.
That state's 14th congressional district, up in the top left-hand corner of the state, glories in being (according to Wikipedia) the 10th most Republican district in the nation. Further quote from Wikipedia, quote:
Among Georgia's congressional districts, only the neighboring 9th district is more Republican. Since its creation, no Democrat has managed as much as 30 percent of the vote.
In this recent election, Georgia's 14th was won by congressional newcomer Marjorie Taylor Greene. Representative-elect Greene won many hearts, including mine, back in June by posting an ad of herself cradling an AR-15 rifle while warning Antifa to, quote, "Stay the hell out of NW Georgia."
There are three other participants in this little sidebar drama. Two of them are rival candidates in one of those January 5th runoff elections for the U.S. Senate: Republican Kelly Loeffler, the current junior senator for the state, and Democrat Raphael Warnock, her challenger.
Warnock is a preacher — a black preacher of the Jeremiah Wright variety. Senator Loeffler's Republican campaign has dug up a video clip from a 2011 sermon he preached in which he says, quote:
America, nobody can serve God and the military. You can't serve God and money. You cannot serve God and Mammon at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve.
Now Georgia is a state with a lot of military installations and more than the average number of veterans, so finding that video clip was a bullseye for the GOP.
I promised you three other dramatis personæ in addition to Representative-elect Greene, the gal with the AR-15. Senator Loeffler and her challenger Pastor Warnock make two. Here's Number Three: Rep. Ilhan Omar from Minnesota's 5th district.
I'm sure Rep. Omar needs no introduction, but I'll give her one anyway. This is the lady whose mission in life is to convert the governmental system of the U.S.A. from the evil, racist, white-supremacist Anglo-Saxon model to something more … African.
Well, Rep. Omar had been defending Pastor Warnock, with whom she is of course in racial and partisan sympathy; so Kelly Loeffler — the preacher's GOP opponent: keep track here! — gave her a poke in the eye, tweeting that, tweet:
[Ilhan Omar] completely agrees with [Warnock's] disgraceful comments about our active service members, veterans, and their families.
That led to an indignant denial from Rep. Omar, and a couple of vituperative Loeffler-Omar exchanges followed.
One of the people following those exchanges was the gal I started out with, locked'n'loaded Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene. Addressing Rep. Omar, the lady tweeted the following, tweet:
Back down, [Ilhan Omar].
Snopes.com ranks the story about Congressgal Omar marrying her brother as, quote, "Unproven." She sure does hate people raising the issue, though, so you can file this under "Politics Ain't Beanbag."
In Georgia, with control of the U.S. Senate at stake, it really ain't. It ain't bikini-wrestling in a pit of Jell-O either, unfortunately; but this little spat was pretty close. Just let your imagination loose.
06 — The way we were. That's quite enough retail politics. If you don't mind, I'll take a break and tell a story — one with no connection whatever to anything in the news. It just came to mind somehow when I was saying the phrase "Mayor of the city of New York" back there.
This is a silly story, and it's about data: a silly data story. It's from my days as a mainframe programmer way back in the Paleolithic Era, when a computer with 96 kilobytes — kilo-bytes — of memory had a whole huge room to itself, with a mile of cable under the floor and a 50,000-dollar air-conditioning unit to keep it cool.
There were no monitors then — well, not in our shop — no search engines or online inquiry. The data went in on punched cards and came out on great stacks of green-line computer print-out paper.
I worked for a company with offices all over the U.S.A. and thousands of customers. One fixture in the office, with a cubby-hole all to itself, was a print-out of the customer file: all those thousands of customers in alphabetic order by name, printed on a stack of green-line paper a couple of feet high, kept on a spare desk in the cubby-hole. Occasionally we needed to go to it to look up a customer's number, or some detail of his account.
Now, we knew by word of mouth that one of our customers was the Mayor of New York City, at that time a quiet, inoffensive fellow named Abe Beame. He had just recently succeeded John Lindsay. Lindsay was the archetypal limousine liberal — somewhat like Bill De Blasio but with a three-digit IQ. Everyone had gotten fed up with him and Abe Beame was a great relief.
One day we needed to look up Abe Beame in that humongous print-out of the customer file. We opened it up at the Bs, but he wasn't there. Huh?
Someone suggested we try the As; perhaps he'd been filed under "Abe" by mistake. No hit. "Abraham"? Nope. We knew he was there but we couldn't find him.
We tried M for "Mayor," then N for "New York." No hit, no hit. C for "City"? Nope. O for "Office of the Mayor"? Na-uh. I swear someone even tried G for "Gotham."
Four or five programming grunts wasted half the morning — a full man-day — with that damn print-out. At last we divided it up and just went through it by eye until we found the Mayor. He was there under H for "His Honor the Mayor of New York."
True story. Ah, good times!
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: President Trump has hinted he may issue an executive order banning birthright citizenship. Our own Washington Watcher here at VDARE.com gave full coverage to this on Tuesday.
It's nice that the President has finally gotten round to something he promised to do in 2016, and of course I'm whole-heartedly in favor. Birthright citizenship is a dumb idea, and it has spawned a nasty little industry of obstetric tourism — pregnant women coming here from abroad just so they can give birth to a U.S. citizen.
Still, it's hard to see the point at this stage. If Biden comes in he can just rescind the executive order. The kritarchs will let him do it; there'll be nothing like the indignant fuss and judicial obstruction there was when Trump tried to rescind Barack Obama's DACA deal.
Getting rid of birthright citizenship is a multi-year project. The President issues an executive order; it's challenged in the courts; it becomes a topic of public debate; you pass it off to Congress somehow for legislation; the legislation is challenged as unconstitutional; SCOTUS rules either for or against; if against, you have to somehow get a constitutional amendment going; …
As I said, a multi-year project. The pity is, Trump really did have those years — well, four years at least, the first two with his party in control of Congress. He did nothing. Now, at the last minute, this futile gesture. Eh, it's all so damn Trumpish.
Item: The most depressing thing I read this week was an article posted Tuesday at RealClearInvestigations.com. Title: Post-George Floyd, a Wave of "Anti-Racist" Teaching Sweeps K-12 Schools Targeting "Whiteness".
Yes, schools all over — Kindergartens, elementaries, middle and high schools, including tony, expensive private schools — are re-writing their curriculums to make more room for Critical Race Theory.
Random sample from the article, quote:
In Maine, a coastal public school district where 3.7 percent of the 2,100 students are African American or Hispanic, the superintendent declared war on (inner quote) "the intentional barriers white people have built to harm Black people." (End inner quote.) The top administrator added: (inner quote) "We grieve for all of the Black lives taken by white supremacy." (End inner quote.)
This is anti-whiteness, proud and unashamed. Kindergartens!
Fortunately there's some good news if you read far enough down the article. There's a backlash: Parents are forming organizations resisting the anti-white indoctrination. There's a worthy one called No Left Turn in Education that I recommend to your attention. It's a bit cautious and cucky by Dissident Right standards; but that's because people are scared of the Thought Police — scared to lose their Twitter accounts, their bank accounts, their jobs. That's what we have come to.
It's a good sign, though, that the worm is beginning to turn; that white Americans, even with jobs and reputations at risk, are not going to sit passively, meekly for ever listening to their ancestors, their civilization, their country be insulted and belittled.
That's me being optimistic. Hey, I do my best.
Item: Across the pond in Shakespeare's island, the McDonald's fast-food chain is in a spot of bother.
This is on account of their having introduced, for the holiday season, something called the Jerk Chicken Sandwich. What is that? Well, we know what a sandwich is: What's Jerk Chicken? Quote from the very helpful news story at the Daily Mail website, quote:
Jerk is a seasoning for meat and fish which originated from Jamaica.
There of course is the problem: cultural appropriation, you see? And not merely the appropriation of any old culture, but of a culture that belonged to proud, noble indigenous people who were massacred and enslaved by evil leering white men. The British Isles are boiling with outrage against McDonald's for their brazen act of cultural appropriation.
Reading this news story, my own attention got snagged on that phrase "other meats and fish." What did "other meats" encompass for the indigenous Caribbeans? And for the black African slaves who were shipped over? Best not to inquire, perhaps.
And … Jerk Chicken Sandwich? The temptation is strong here, but I believe I can resist it. I will not, I will not, I will not. No, I absolutely will not. Be strong, Derb, be strong! No, I will not make any reference whatsoever to Jeffrey Toobin …
Ah, darn it, it slipped out. Sorry, listeners, sorry, really sorry …
08 — Signoff. That's this week's portion, ladies and gents. Thanks you for listening; and once again, this Thanksgiving weekend, double thanks for your loyalty, support, encouragement, criticisms, and suggestions.
I don't know any songs really apt to so much thanksgiving. Here's the best I can come up with: a Liverpool group from the 1960s. No, not the Beatles, although there's a family connection. This is The Scaffold singing their 1967 hit "Thank You Very Much."
I have to warn you that you'll be baffled by the first verse. They sing: "Thank you very much for the Aintree Iron." What the heck is that?
Aintree is a suburb of Liverpool, home to a major racetrack — horse-racing, that is. Okay: So what's the Aintree Iron?
Nobody knows — nobody except Mike McGear of The Scaffold, who wrote the lyrics. (And who, by the way, is the younger brother of Paul McCartney. That's the family connection I mentioned.) If you google "Aintree Iron" you'll find a quite astonishing number of possibilities, some of them radically weird. If Mike really knows which one is correct, he's been keeping shtum about it for 53 years.
That's just the first verse, though. The rest of the song makes more sense, even if you're not from Liverpool.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: The Scaffold, "Thank You Very Much."]