• Play the sound file
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 1, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! That was a snippet of Franz Joseph Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 1, and this is your forcibly genial host John Derbyshire with the 798th edition of Radio Derb, the voice of the Dissident Right.
Last week's podcast had a theme: foreign affairs. I'm not going to make any permanent switch to a thematic show, but as it happens there is a theme this week, too. The theme is law enforcement.
We know we need them; we appreciate what a tough job they have; we want to support them and encourage them; but … it's not always easy to do so whole-heartedly. This is a zone where the personal collides with the political.
Law-enforcement officers are numerous enough that you don't get to middle age without having known a few personally. One of my nephews was a cop. My next-door neighbor is ex-NYPD.
In my National Review days I had two fans, a married couple, who were both FBI agents. They were really nice people. When I was visiting their part of the country once, they took me to dinner. I asked if they were carrying; they said they were, and showed me their sidearms. That was the safest I've ever felt in a restaurant.
And of course we all want to live in an orderly society, so we're glad to have these people around.
On the other side, law-enforcement officers are representative of the authorities — federal, state, or local. They enforce the power of the authorities, which is often corrupt and sometimes malign.
In today's America, for example, they are stood down when anarchist mobs burn and loot, beat and kill, because the political authorities are on the side of the mobs.
So, ambivalence. Permit me to enlarge on this.
02 — Law enforcement basics. I believe all of the following things to be true.
Those six points are the basics of policing. They don't always fit comfortably together. We all want to live in an orderly society with as small a chance as possible of being assaulted or robbed. That inclines us to support law enforcement and think well of them.
Sometimes, however, politics gets in the way. It comes down from those elected officials at the top, and ends up at the bottom with officers, perhaps reluctantly, squared off against normal law-abiding citizens asserting their lawful rights.
That's general. Let's look at some particular recent cases.
03 — Law enforcement weaponized against dissent. The most thoroughly politicized law-enforcement agency in the U.S.A. today, and the hardest one for normal citizens to support or respect, is the FBI.
It's now beyond doubt that the FBI carried out illegal surveillance on the 2016 Trump campaign and then on the Trump administration itself, all in support of the Russia-collusion hoax.
The FBI has behaved just as lawlessly towards ordinary citizens. Read Miranda Devine's account in the June 23rd New York Post online, of the way they have dealt with Joseph Bolanos.
Mr Bolanos lives in New York City. He's a mild-mannered senior citizen, 69 years old and unmarried, and cares for his 94-year-old mother.
He went to Washington, DC on January 6th to listen to Trump's speech. He never got involved with the protests, was nowhere near any kind of disturbance, and can prove it — he was filming himself pretty continuously. He never breached the barricades or entered the Capitol.
Back in his mother's apartment in New York in mid-February, Mr Bolanos was woken by federal agents breaking down the door at 6 a.m. one morning. The apartment was trashed, his property was seized, he was cuffed and interrogated for four hours. He was so distressed he suffered a stroke. Today, four months later, he still hasn't been charged and his property still hasn't been returned to him.
So Mr Bolanos had gone to Washington, DC to hear the president speak. Not much impressed with the speech, he'd left early and walked back to his hotel. Later he'd walked back to the Capitol, taken some pictures, then returned again to his hotel. For this, he is an Enemy of the People.
Apparently a neighbor had overheard him talking — the neighbor said "boasting" — about being at the Capitol. She had called the FBI hotline. Mr Bolanos lives in New York City, remember: the beating heart of crazy gentry progressivism.
As Miranda Devine says, it's like something you'd read about Communist China.
It's not just federal law enforcement the regime has weaponized against dissent. The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia four years ago was deliberately wrecked, probably on orders from the Governor, by having the Charlottesville police stand down so that a lawfully-permitted protest could be attacked by Antifa.
Or you could ask my VDARE.com colleague Michelle Malkin about the Law Enforcement Appreciation Day she helped organize in Denver, Colorado one Sunday last July.
Note the name of that event: Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It was a Back the Blue rally. Like Unite the Right in Charlottesville, it was lawfully permitted. Also like Unite the Right, it was broken up by a BLM and Antifa mob, while police mostly stood by.
In fairness I should note that Michelle tells us, quote:
On Tuesday morning, a Denver police union official called me to apologize for the department's failure to protect those of us who tried to speak on their behalf. The "backlash" for defending our constitutional rights was too high a price to pay, he told me. Sorry.
And in double fairness, I note that one police lieutenant refused to follow the stand-down order. He kept his officers on station, although they don't seem to have done much to hold back the mob.
If you still want to Back the Blue without reservations, check out what happened Tuesday this week in Loudoun County, Virginia. Next segment.
That was a county school board meeting. A parent of the county, a lady who had grown up in Communist China, told the school board that the Critical Race Theory they want on their schools' curriculum seemed perfectly familiar to her. Quote:
The communist regime used the same Critical Theory to divide people. The only difference is, they used class instead of race.
That was two weeks ago. The newsworthy event this week from Loudoun County also concerns a meeting of that same school board.
It wasn't critical race theory this time. The school board has put some draft proposals out for discussion concerning so-called transgender students — children who are confused about their sex.
These proposals would, in the words of The Washington Post, which of course is entirely sympathetic to them, quote:
require teachers to address transgender students by their names and pronouns and grant transgender students access to facilities and activities that match their gender identity.
In short, male students should be allowed to play on girls' sport teams and use girls' restrooms, and teachers should have to memorize, for each of their dozens of students, whether a student wants to be addressed as he, she, it, they, ze, xe, per, ve, thon, spivak, popocatépetl, or honorificabilitudinitatibus.
This being Loudoun County, just thirty miles from the heart of federal power in Washington, D.C., we shouldn't be surprised that many parents spoke up in support of this lunacy. One of them thanked the school board for, quote, "having the courage to continue the righteous pursuit of equity and justice so that all students can thrive," end quote.
The courage! The courage to march in lockstep with all the power centers of society: the media, the big corporations, the schools and colleges, the book publishers and TV talking heads, the banks and the churches! The courage, when the ruling class says "Jump!" to squeal back, "How high?"
Such courage! If we'd had the Loudoun County school board in those landing-craft on D-Day, why, World War Two would have been over in a week.
It's heartening to see, though, that even this close to the very center of regime power, dissent is strong and unafraid. More than 250 people had signed up to submit spoken comments, maximum speaking time one minute each, and most of them were mad as hell.
A little over an hour into the public comment period a former Virginia state senator got the mike and issued some particularly scathing criticism. Sample, quote: "It's absurd and immoral for teachers to call boys girls and girls boys," end quote.
That got cheers and applause from the room; and that was too much for the school board. The Schools Superintendent declared the event an unlawful assembly and directed people to leave. Several people refused; sheriff's deputies — and the sheriff himself, apparently — moved in; and there were arrests.
This episode doesn't reflect as badly on law enforcement as the other stories I've been telling. The meeting having been declared closed, that sheriff and his deputies apparently thought their duty was to clear the building and arrest as trespassers any who resisted.
On a strict point of law, they may have been right. And the final butcher's bill wasn't too bad: One guy got a summons for trespassing, another was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Still, video of the event — there are plenty on YouTube, just search on "Loudoun," L-o-u-d-o-u-n — plainly shows a lot of ordinary people, a high proportion young mothers, arguing for their right to speak out against the people running their public schools.
Ordinary people, normal people: not freaks and misfits dressed all in black, with hoods and covered faces. No neck tattoos, no nose rings or lip studs, no Molotov cocktails or eye-burning lasers. They didn't look at all like they were setting out to loot the local Target store, or burn down a police precinct. If they had, the sheriff's guys would probably have stood back and let them get on with it.
Why couldn't they have been left to depart from the building in their own good time? These were normal citizens concerned for their children. These weren't Antifa or BLM lunatics; if they had been, the sheriff and his deputies would have headed to the donut shop.
05 — Inversion of values. Now let's take a look from the point of view of law-enforcement officers. The illustration here comes from New York City.
Two stories from the New York Post on successive days, June 20th and June 21st. And I should say, if you want to read the stories for yourself, I'm using the Post's online version here. They sometimes have stories online that aren't in the print newspaper, and the dates sometimes differ by a day.
So, June 20th, headline: Charges against hundreds of NYC rioters, looters have been dropped. Opening paragraph, quote:
Hundreds of alleged looters and rioters busted last year in protests over George Floyd's murder by police have had their charges dropped, according to NYPD data — figures ripped as "disgusting" by a local business owner.
Although the rioting in New York City didn't get much publicity nationwide, it was pretty damn nasty. As I reported at the time, they even looted Macy's in Herald Square.
It wasn't just Manhattan, either. In the Bronx there were bonfires in the street, I guess so that the looters had light to work by.
This June 20th news story tells us that most of the people arrested have had their cases dismissed. A few — fewer than one in six — have been convicted on lesser counts like trespassing, which carries no jail time, while some smaller number have cases still open.
The District Attorneys' offices blame the pandemic, which they say has stuck them with a huge backlog because the courts have been closed.
The small business owners who were the main victims here are mad as hell. And so are city cops, who did after all make those arrests the DAs have dismissed. Quote from one, actually an ex-cop, quote:
If they are so overworked that they can't handle the mission that they're hired for, then maybe they should find another line of work.
So even when cops buck the politicians and do their jobs as they should, they get shafted by lefty-progressive DAs and prosecutors. You can see the appeal of the donut shop.
It's actually worse than that for street cops. Here's my New York Post story from the following day, June 21st. Headline: NYPD watchdog says 39 cops should be disciplined over George Floyd protests. Opening paragraph:
The Civilian Complaint Review Board has recommended discipline against 39 officers, including police brass, over their response in last year's George Floyd protests, according to a new report released Monday.
Goodness, there must have been some serious abuses of authority there by cops. What did they actually do?
The story doesn't supply many details, but we do learn that Officer Enrico Lauretta had a pair of complaints sustained for, quote, "discourtesy and offensive language after flashing a white power sign during a June demonstration," end quote.
If you follow the news you know that well-nigh any configuration of the hands and fingers is a "white power sign" to somebody somewhere, unless you're holding your hands straight up with palms out and fingers straight in obvious surrender.
As for "discourtesy and offensive language": What's a cop supposed to say when the mob has set fire to a police vehicle, his colleague just got knocked out by a frozen water bottle, and a crowd of looters are emerging from a jewelry store with armfuls of merchandise? "Excuse me, gentlemen. May I have a word with you?"
Again, policing is rough work. Not all of it can be carried out while speaking in the diction of a doorman at the Waldorf Hotel.
Bottom line here on the law-enforcement theme: No thoughtful person can declare himself pro-cop or anti-cop without qualification, except perhaps in the case of the FBI, which looks to be thoroughly corrupted and needs to be pulled down and rebuilt. State and local cops have a lot to put up with from idiot politicians and DAs bought and paid for by George Soros.
For what needs fixing, especially at the local level, the answer is what it always is: get involved and elect the right people. Make a ruckus, like those Loudoun County parents.
If, as Colonel Max Morton warned us back in April, "There is an authoritarian leviathan coming for traditional America," let's try to make sure that local law enforcement, at least, is on our side.
06 — New York City mayoral election. While working the law-and-order beat, I should say something about New York City's mayoral election, upcoming this fall. The present Mayor, communist Bill de Blasio, is term-limited and can't run again, so there's a good field of candidates to replace him.
You'll recall from two weeks ago that I live out in the gloomy forests of Suffolk County on Long Island, far from the city boundary, and so am not eligible to vote. So to me the mayoral contest is of merely academic interest.
Most inhabitants of the actual city feel the same way. Few of them bother to vote in mayoral elections. There are currently five and a half million registered voters in New York City: 67 percent of them registered Democrats, ten percent registered Republicans, the other 23 percent unaffiliated.
The great majority don't bother to vote for Mayor. Turnout percentages in the last six mayoral contests were 25, 13, 20, 22, 26, and 24. If three-quarters to four-fifths of New Yorkers don't care who their Mayor is, I don't see why I should; but I'll give you my preference anyway.
With a 67-to-ten advantage in voters affiliated to the major parties, it's tough for a Republican to get elected. It's tougher now than it used to be since the city's Republican Party organization was taken over by John Catsimatidis, an eccentric plutocrat, and his ditzy daughter Andrea. New York Post reporter Doug Dechert tells the dismal story over at American Greatness, June 21st.
(Along the way, Dechert tells us that Andrea is known in city political circles as the Bionic Bimbo for her addiction to cosmetic surgery procedures. That's him telling us that; I just couldn't resist retailing it. And hey, Dechert's a reporter.)
Primary elections were held this Tuesday. With the next Mayor certain to be a Democrat, it was that party's results that got all the interest. Unfortunately the city's implemented some complicated new voting system for the primaries, meaning another round of voting when the no-hopers have been eliminated.
The leading possibility looks like Eric Adams, a black guy who was a city cop. This being New York, all the Democrat candidates were crazy-left, but Adams is the least crazy. And with law and order well and truly broken down in the city, an ex-cop has a lot of appeal, even to Democrats.
Being black, Adams might of course turn out to be corrupt, as most black politicians are, or soon become.
Still, the craziest and most destructive left-progressives — and the most anti-white — are the white ones. If the choice is between a white progressive and a black progressive, I'd vote for the black.
For example: I don't like having an anti-white progressive as U.S. Attorney General any more than you do, but if I had to have one or other of them, I'd take Eric Holder over Merrick Garland. A black guy who hates whites, I can at least understand; a white guy who hates whites is sick in the head in some way I can't understand.
So if I were a city voter, Adams would be my guy.
I'm not a city voter, though, and I'm glad I'm not.
07 — Exporting black rape? Here's a nasty story from Deutsche Welle, which is a sort of German BBC. Deutsche Welle has outlets in a multitude of languages; this is from the Chinese outlet. So yes, here's a chance for Derb to showcase his very rudimentary Chinese. Headline: 宁波黑人外教奸杀女学生惹众怒.
That translates as "The rape and murder of a female student by a black foreign teacher in Ningbo stirs public anger."
Ningbo is a big city on China's east coast, south of Shanghai. What happened, according to the story, is that a black American named only as Shadeed, and of whom we are given only a poor-resolution picture, has been teaching English at Ningbo Institute of Technology since 2016.
On the evening of June 14th Shadeed made advances to a 23-year-old female student. When she rejected those advances, he raped her and stabbed her to death, presumably in that order — we're not given many details. This happened in some woods near the college, and that's where the victim's corpse was found.
The newsy thing here is not so much the contents of the story as the story about the story. It's been reported on numerous Chinese outlets, including China-based English-language outlets, but they all report the same fragmentary details, just expressing different degrees of outrage about foreigners being beastly to Chinese people.
I haven't been able to find any reports in Western outlets at all. Nor do I have any confirmation of the alleged rapists' name and nationality. The Chinese outlets that give those details all do so in the same formulaic language as the Deutsche Welle report, so I assume they're all drawing on a common source.
You'd think that this Shadeed, if that's really his name, would have some relatives in the U.S.A., if that's really his country, who'd have something to say about the case, but I haven't seen anything in our media.
Perhaps they just aren't interested. Or perhaps the whole thing never happened. China's a funny place. Reviewing Jasper Becker's book about the great Mao famine, my review included this, quote:
Becker tells of a reporter in China in the 1920s responding to a request from his editor for "the bottom facts." His reply: "There is no bottom in China, and no facts."
Although, if this horrible incident did happen, all credit to Deutsche Welle for telling us, right there in the headline, that the perp is black. In the U.S. media he would just be "man," or at best something like "New Jersey man."
08 — We lose a war. We really do seem to be on schedule to quit Afghanistan in September. Not a moment too soon: in fact, close to twenty years too late.
The Daily Mail reports "U.S. experts" — ah, those U.S. experts! — as saying that the Taliban could take over the country, quote, "within a year," end quote, of our withdrawal.
Are they serious? My own estimate would be a week — plenty of time for the leaders of our puppet government there to decamp to their luxury condos in Dubai.
It would have been the same result if we'd left a year ago, or five years, or ten or fifteen years … as I have been saying for, well, fifteen years. When a burned-out old computer programmer can forecast a military result better than those "U.S. experts," Uncle Sam really should shop somewhere else for his experts.
The mid-September Taliban takeover is going to be rough on Afghans who've co-operated with us. You may say they were stupid to do so, given our military record these past few decades. The name "Vietnam" mean anything, guys?
Maybe they aren't so stupid, though. Perhaps they figured that when the thing goes pear-shaped at last, at least there'll be a U.S. green card in it for them.
So there will be, although not immediately. The New York Times reported on Thursday that the Biden administration will relocate outside the U.S.A. thousands of Afghan interpreters, drivers and others who worked with American forces to keep them safe while their entry visas are processed.
We don't have many details about what "outside the U.S.A." means; Guam is the only place mentioned.
And if you read down a bit further, that word "thousands" should really be "tens of thousands." More than 18,000 Afghans have already applied, the Times tells us, and they have 53,000 family members. So that's 71,000, with three months still to go.
Did we really have that many people working for us? I doubt it. This is a backward Third World corruptistan we're talking about, and rigorous employment documentation going back twenty years is not likely their strong point. The record of these disengagements, in Iraq for example, is that we end up taking in far more people than we actually employed over there.
Are we honor bound to take in these tens of thousands, perhaps eventually hundreds of thousands, of Afghans? Podcasting here on an immigration-restrictionist website, it pains me to say it, but I think we are.
Look on it as the price of our own stupidity. It's not the fault of Afghans that our leaders chose their country as a test site for our World Saver fantasies.
We could have flattened Afghanistan by Christmas 2001, then pulled out, leaving a note on the door saying: "Don't mess with the U.S." Instead we went for the nation-building flapdoodle, and squandered untold trillions of dollars and more than two thousand precious American lives to give the world a lesson in futility.
If we had the spirit of our ancestors we'd be hanging politicians from utility poles all up and down Pennsylvania Avenue.
09 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: A couple of stories about statues: one up, one down.
The one that went up was of junkie street hoodlum George Floyd. This was in Brooklyn, New York. The statue — technically it's just a bust, head and shoulders — was unveiled last Saturday, the nineteenth, a date which has some special significance for blacks, don't ask me. It's made of wood, not stone, which I guess is symbolic of something or other — again, don't ask me.
In the small hours on Thursday, however, the Floyd bust was defaced: black spray paint on the face, and the legend "PATRIOT FRONT.US" stenciled with white paint on the plinth.
A black hoax, would be my guess. Regardless, I want to make it perfectly clear that I was nowhere near Brooklyn Wednesday night or Thursday morning. I have a watertight alibi.
That's the statue that went up. The one that came down was of Teddy Roosevelt.
Yes: Monday this week something called the New York City Public Design Commission voted unanimously at a public meeting to remove the equestrian statue of TR that stands in front of the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West at 79th Street.
The TR statue has greeted visitors to the museum since 1936. TR's father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., was one of the founders of the museum in 1874.
So why are they removing it? It's "a symbol of colonialism," says The New York Times.
George Floyd up, Theodore Roosevelt down. I don't see how our nation's decline could be made any plainer.
Item: In last week's podcast I noted the passing of former Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda. That prompted a listener to send in this Zambia-related item from the Daily Mail, June 23rd.
It's a story, with a brief but heartbreaking video clip, of a Zambian TV news anchor, name of Kabinda Kalimina, interrupting his live news bulletin to complain that he and his colleagues hadn't been paid. The station here is KBN.
[Clip: Away from the news, ladies and gentlemen. We are human beings. We have to get paid. (Unintelligible) on KBN, we haven't been paid. People are getting instruments on KBN. (Unintelligible names) and everybody else haven't been paid, including myself. We have. To get. Paid.]
The station bosses were not pleased. They accused Mr Kalimina of being drunk on-air. To judge by the small proportion of sense to words in what he said, I wouldn't be surprised; but perhaps he was fielding some kind of dialect there.
What this story mainly got me wondering, given that my listener was inspired to send it by my memorializing of the late departed Kenneth Kaunda, and that the story features this Kabinda Kalimina bloke, what I'm wondering is: does everybody in Zambia have initials KK?
Item: Spanning the world now, a different listener forwarded this story from Peter Brimelow's former employer, Market Watch. Headline: This is the most expensive city in the world for expats from the U.S.A..
Can you guess which city they're talking about? Dubai? Singapore? I'll give you five seconds: … 103, 104, 105 — time's up! It's Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Yes, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov's capital city has just bumped Hong Kong from the top spot.
The Market Watch story has some explanation to do with natural-gas prices tanking, inflation running wild, and other stuff.
Sorry, I couldn't summon any interest. Any time the Mrs and I visit Ashgabat, everything is comped by our dear friend President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. Not only is he the wise ruler of his people and an invaluable patron of Radio Derb Enterprises, Inc., the President is a warm and generous person. How fortunate the people of Turkmenistan are!
Long live President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov! Long live the noble republic of Turkmenistan!
[Turkmenistan national anthem.]
10 — Signoff. That's all, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your time and attention, and congratulations on surviving yet another solstice.
Casting around for signoff music to see us out, it occurred to me that I haven't played anything silly for a while. Fortunately a kind listener has come to the rescue with one of the most deeply silly songs I have ever heard — and I speak as a connoisseur.
This comes to you all the way from 1958, when people really knew how to be silly. This is from John Zacherle, who died just five years ago at the splendid age of 98. It was really intended as a Halloween song, but I don't think John would have minded my playing it in June. I couldn't resist the sheer wanton silliness of it. And even setting that aside, there is some nifty instrumental work here.
Ladies and gentlemen: Dinner with Dracula.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: John Zacherle, Dinner with Drac."]