[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! A rather short broadcast this week, fans, for reasons it would be tedious to relate. We shall, though, be sure to make up in quality any shortfall in quantity.
So this is your adscititiously genial host John Derbyshire bringing you news of the hour.
02 — Rodney King, R.i.P. We lost Rodney King this week. King, aged 47, was found dead in his swimming pool, leading to a lot of tasteless jokes about the relative buoyancy and swimming abilities of different ethnicities, and the correct interpretation of the letters "R.i.P." Radio Derb would of course never be so mean-spirited and disrespectful as to repeat any of those shameful jokes.
King was arrested in March 1991 after leading police on an eight-mile high-speed chase through residential areas of Los Angeles. He was drunk. He was also on parole following a conviction and jail sentence. That was for robbing a Korean store and assaulting the store owner two years previously. Once apprehended after the 1991 chase, King resisted arrest very vigorously and had to be subdued by force. A private citizen in a nearby apartment videotaped the whole thing.
The media of course took King's side against the police, just as they are now taking Trayvon Martin's side against George Zimmerman. Then as now they were ruthless in cooking the evidence, showing carefully edited portions of the citizen's video to put police actions in the worst possible light.
A jury shown the entire video delivered a not guilty verdict on three of the four officers subsequently charged, and split on the fourth, leading to all four officers being acquitted in April 1992.
This led to four days of rioting and looting by Los Angelese blacks, in which 53 people were killed and a billion dollars worth of property damage caused. The looting was mostly directed against Asian-owned businesses, the rioting mobs having apparently failed to notice that none of the police officers acquitted was Asian.
Ignoring the principle of double jeopardy, the weasely Bush 41 administration had the four officers re-tried on federal charges of civil rights violations, it apparently now being a civil right to resist a reasonable arrest with your fists, feet, and head. Two of the officers were acquitted, the other two were sentenced to two and a half years each.
King got a four million dollar settlement, most of which he squandered pointlessly. He spent the next few years being repeatedly arrested for drunk or reckless driving and domestic assault. He picked up what money he could get by participating in low-grade cable TV shows with the word "celebrity" in their title.
Rodney King's contribution to society in the 21 years following the famous chase and beating was just as net negative as in the preceding 26. True, he didn't rob any more stores; but he did attempt vehicular homicide on his wife in 1995, for which he got a 90-day sentence.
If King is remembered at all it will be for asking on TV, during the third day of riots and looting in 1992, quote, "Can we all get along?" That question hangs uncomfortably in the air to this day, no clear answer yet forthcoming.
03 — Obama's amnesty for illegals. For outrage of the week you have a choice between Obama giving work permits to a couple of million illegal aliens and Obama withholding documents in the Fast & Furious investigation from Congress. I'll take them seriatim. That means "one after another," for all you listeners who flunked Latin.
So, first, Obama's knee in the groin to young American workers. It actually came in the form of a memo issued last Friday, on Obama's authority of course, by Janet Napolitano, our winsome and extremely feminine Secretary for Homeland Security. The purpose of the memo, stated in its first sentence, is to describe how the Department, quote, "should enforce the Nation's immigration laws against certain young people who were brought to this country as children and know only this country as home."
In a world where words are used with the meanings they have in standard dictionaries, enforcing the Nation's immigration laws against these people would mean detaining them and then deporting them swiftly and humanely back to their country of lawful citizenship.
Unfortunately we don't live in that world. We live in a bizarro world where words mean whatever lawyers and politicians can get away with pretending they mean.
The phrase "young people," for example, conjures up — is meant to conjure up — fresh-faced late-teens just out of high school, eager to move on to work or further education. In fact, if you read the fine print, it means anyone under 30 … plus any older illegal alien who can present fake documentation claiming a false date of birth. As Jon Feere writes in a careful deconstruction of the DHS memo on the Center for Immigration Studies website, quote: "Illegal aliens are already involved in serious ID fraud and ID theft, so falsifying one's age to the Obama administration shouldn't be too much of a problem."
Or take the phrase "brought to this country as children." Teenage aliens frequently jump the border on their own. There is nothing in the memo to say that work permit applicants must prove they were brought by their parents, and it's hard to see how such a thing could be proved anyway. To quote again from the CIS analysis, quote: "people who knowingly and willingly violated U.S. sovereignty will benefit from Obama's plan," end quote.
And then the phrase about how they "know only this country as home." This is meaningless. It is well established in immigration law that the "continuous residency" requirement on which this clause will rest permits absences from U.S. territory for up to six months in a year!
So a Mexican who jumped the border solo at age 14, is now aged 36, has fraudulent documents giving a false date of birth, and has been spending half his time in Guadalajara, should be able to get the amnesty easily.
And please note that I have only parsed the first sentence of a 900-word memo. You really have to read the full analysis on the Center for Immigration Studies website at cis.org. Secretary Napolitano's memo is a tissue of lies and misrepresentations from beginning to end — another lying document from a lying administration.
The estimate of 800,000 eligible aliens is perhaps the biggest lie of all. These estimates are always lies. Estimates for the 1986 Immigration amnesty were under one million; the final number amnestied was nearly three million. Add in all the fraud and loopholes, that 800,000 will be two million in no time — followed, of course, by a huge incentive for further illegal immigration.
The memo's in effect, though: and congressional Republicans, who are if anything even less keen on enforcing the people's immigration laws than the administration is, will utter a few mouse squeaks then turn away.
Don't be looking to Mitt Romney for any relief, either. He, like the rest of his party, is trapped in the absurd illusion that Hispanic voters will flock to vote for the GOP if only Republicans can get the words right, and maybe put a Hispanic name on the ticket. It's nonsense, but this is the Stupid Party we're talking about, and the fools all believe it.
So, if you're a young U.S. citizen, in your sixth or ninth or twelfth month of trying to find a decent job: Well, as we say in New York, fuhgeddaboutit. Nobody cares about you. The goodies in this country are all for protected classes, and the biggest protected class of all right now is illegal aliens.
04 — Mexicans not hungry. If you were paying close attention, you may have caught a passing reference to Marco Rubio back there. That's the Golden Boy from Florida whose presence on the Presidential ticket will bring Hispanics flocking to vote for Mitt Romney in November, according to Rubio's boosters.
Yeah, right. I should say, by the way, that Rubio has come out in support of Obama's amnesty order. What a surprise.
The Golden Boy — or perhaps I should say the chico de oro — has also come out with an autobiography titled An American Son, playing all the tear-jerker chords about rags-to-riches striving immigrants. Sample:
Many people who come here illegally are doing exactly what we would do if we lived in a country where we couldn't feed our families. If my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn't give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn't a law, no matter how restrictive, that would prevent me from coming here.
And if I were running Homeland Security, Senator, there isn't a hastily-written campaign book, no matter how self-serving, that would prevent me from applying the law and deporting you.
But let's just fix our attention on that phrase about kids going to sleep hungry every night. I'm sure there are countries like that; but the overwhelming majority of our illegal immigrants are from Mexico. Is Mexico one of those countries where kids go to sleep hungry every night?
Let's take a look. Here's a study by the OECD, that's the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, ranking the countries of the world according to obesity. The most obese country, at number one, is the U.S.A. Not too surprising, if you've been to Walmart lately. But who's this at number two? Why, Mexico!
So according to Marco Rubio we have to open up our Southern Border and amnesty those who've jumped it so that people from the world's second most obese nation can become citizens of the world's first most obese nation.
Look: I'm a registered Republican and I'll be voting the Republican ticket this November, unless Ron Paul makes a Third Party run. I've got to say, though, that the phrase "Stupid Party" is looking more and more inadequate for the level of idiocy we see at the high levels of the GOP. I don't see how a Romney administration could possibly be worse than an Obama one, but I nurse no hopes that it will be more than a sliver or two better.
05 — Executive Privilege. And then, the week's other outrage: Obama invoking executive privilege when refusing to release key documents on the Fast & Furious gun-walking scandal.
As Radio Derb explained to you last week, Fast & Furious was most likely intended as prelude to an administration attack on our Second Amendment rights, starting with a claim that this leakage of weapons across the southern border calls for a new ban on so-called assault weapons.
Then it all went wrong, a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed with one of the loose guns, ATF field agents were blowing whistles left, right, and center, and Congressional investigators got in on the act.
Point man here is Congressman Darrell Issa of California, who is the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Congressman Issa has been threatening to bring a vote to the House floor citing Attorney General Holder as in contempt of Congress for non-co-operation with the Committee. It now looks as though this vote will go ahead; though the Washington D.C. wrangling here has now overflowed my threshold of tolerance for political inside baseball, so you should not bet any large sums of money based on my opinion.
Executive privilege is something that's been re-debated in every administration, going back as far as my memory goes, which is to the Nixon administration, when it became a huge talking point in the Watergate pseudo-scandal. The party holding the presidency always wants us to know what a great case there is for executive privilege, which I'm sure there is, given the level of stupidity and corruption in Congress, while the party in opposition wants us to know that in the particular case that's brought it to the political forefront, the administration is abusing the privilege, which I have no doubt administrations are frequently tempted to do.
The administration's excuse for withholding documents on Fast & Furious is that the withheld documents pertain to, quote, "sensitive law enforcement activities" and, quote, "ongoing criminal investigations." Obama apologists are also making much of the fact that this is Obama's first invocation of executive privilege, as against Bush 43's six times, Bill Clinton's 14 times, and Bush 41's four times. Obama's enemies have countered with a video clip from the episode in 2007 when the Bush administration fired a bunch of Justice Department attorneys and Obama criticized the Bushies for hiding behind executive privilege.
I'm going to leave it to the constitutional wonks to sort out the rights and wrongs of executive privilege in general and particular. The fact remains, as Radio Derb spelled out last week, that Fast & Furious stinks like a cage full of grizzlies. I hope Rep. Issa keeps pushing; I hope Eric Holder and Barack Obama end up with, at the least, egg all over their smug, smirking faces; and I hope someone in this administration has to answer at last for the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry a year and a half ago.
06 — Obama's fictional autobiography. Those of us — I think it adds up to about 17 people worldwide — who have actually read Barack Obama's 1995 autobiography Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance have long suspected that the book has a high quotient of bogosity.
Diligent reporters should of course have been checking the veracity of the stories in that book during the two years preceding the 2008 election, the period when it was becoming increasingly clear that Obama was going to make a run for the presidency. Not many presidential candidates offer us an autobiography to check up on.
Why weren't reporters doing this in 2007 and 2008? Well, in part because reporters are 95 percent left-liberal, and Obama was their darling. They were afraid they might turn up something dubious or bad about him. In part also, I suspect, having slogged through the book myself, because it's an insomnia cure, and after you've read a hundred pages or so, your brain is too numb to do any investigative reporting — too numb to do anything at all more proactive than picking your nose.
Now, much too late, we're getting some real reporting. The white girlfriend in chapter 11 whom Obama broke up with because, quote, "She couldn't be black," turns out to have been made up — What. A. Surprise.
And then there was that episode in chapter 19, where Obama's grandmother Sarah in Kenya is telling the life story of his grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama.
The British, Sarah claimed, according to Obama, when they ruled Kenya back in the 1940s, had pulled Onyango in for subversive activities, detained and mistreated him. Quote: "When he returned to Alego he was very thin and dirty. He had difficulty walking, and his head was full of lice." End quote. That same grandmother, interviewed in 2008, amped up the story, claiming that Onyango had been tortured by the British.
Well, David Maraniss, who has just written a new book about Obama, could find no record in Kenya of Granddad Onyango having been detained. He spoke to five people who knew Onyango. They all either doubted the detention/mistreatment story or were certain it did not happen. Quote from Zablon Okatch, who worked with Onyango as a servant to American diplomats shortly after the detention is supposed to have happened, quote: "Hussein was never jailed. I know that for a fact. It would have been difficult for him to get a job with a white family, let alone a diplomat, if he once served in jail." End quote.
So Dreams from My Father is basically a work of fiction. If you read it — yeah, yeah, I know you didn't; but I did, trust me — if you read it, you kind of intuited that anyway.
What you get if you read the book with attention is Obama's strong need to prove to himself and others his own authentic blackness. This wasn't easy. Barack Obama was a middle-class kid raised mainly by white people in places where there were no other black people at all. It was especially difficult for him to make much claim to victimhood at the hands of evil oppressive whites. If he couldn't make such claims on his own behalf, though, he could at least attach them to his relatives in British-run Kenya.
Hence the tales about his grandfather's arrest. On David Maraniss's researches, it most likely never happened; but it gave pampered, white-nurtured, upwardly-mobile young Barack some victimhood to boast of, if only at second hand.
07 — Signoff. That's all I can offer you this week, ladies and gents. I apologize for the short measure. Radio Derb will be back at full strength next week. Until then, buckle down to your citizenly duty: Read Barack Obama's fine novel Dreams from My Father … or at least crack the spine, so people will think you read it.
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]