[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, this is your irrepressibly genial host John Derbyshire with our weekly glance at the passing parade.
I'd better warn you that this week's broadcast is heavier than usual on diversity topics. I know this gives everyone sweaty palms, but don't blame me, it's just the way the news came out. In any case, the coming election season looks set fair to be the most racially rancorous since the Civil War, so you may as well start acclimatizing yourselves.
All right, here we go. First, Mitt Romney at the NAACP.
02 — Romney bombs at the NAACP. Yes, presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed the annual meeting of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Romney told the assembled colored people that if elected President he would, quote, "eliminate every non-essential expensive programme I can find, that includes Obamacare." Hearing this, the colored people started booing, and went on booing for 15 seconds, which is a lot of booing.
This little episode got some peculiar reactions from the lefty TV channels. On CNN, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile told viewers that the crowd was right to boo because the term "Obamacare" is, quote, "derogatory terminology used by an intolerant group of Americans."
That intolerant group of Americans apparently includes David Axelrod, Obama's chief campaign strategist, who back in March this year sent out an email saying, quote, "I like Obamacare. I'm proud of it — and you should be, too. Here's why: Because it works. So if you're with me, say it: 'I like Obamacare.'" End Axelrod quote.
MSNBC meanwhile waded deep into weirdness territory. Spokes-lefty Lawrence O'Donnell argued that Romney had deliberately provoked the boos in order to appeal to white racists. O'Donnell's guests concurred. One of them, identified in the news stories only by the one name Touré — perhaps he's a pop singer, like Madonna or Beyoncé — this Touré bloke said, quote, "He wants to get booed. It makes him either look tough and strong to the white people watching, or makes him look sympathetic to the white people watching."
If O'Donnell and his guests all had this figured out, why didn't they go to the NAACP organizers beforehand and tell them: "For goodness sake, don't boo the Governor. It'll just make him more attractive to white racists"?
An even naughtier question would be: Why didn't the NAACP audience figure this out for themselves, and refrain from booing without even having to be told to by a smart white guy like Lawrence O'Donnell? Presumably because blacks are too clueless and helpless to understand what's going on without a white liberal to spell it out for them.
Romney actually got a few smatterings of applause. He got those smatterings by telling the gathering that the disproportionate levels of unemployment among blacks were due to — wait for it — yes — bad schools! Oh, when will we fix those schools? You know, those schools that Vietnamese immigrants with twelve words of English go into and come out of four years later with full scholarships to Caltech and MIT.
Quote from Romney, quote: "Today, black children are 17 percent of students nationwide, but they are 42 percent of students in our worst-performing schools." End quote.
Interesting, but … which way does the arrow of causation point? Why are those worst-performing schools performing so badly? It wouldn't be anything to do, would it, with the, er … students?
Perish the thought! Only an incorrigibly wicked person would even think of asking questions like that.
We'll have to wait till the polls come out to see if Romney got some black votes out of his appearance before the NAACP. He sure didn't have many before the event. An NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll earlier this week showed Barack Obama beating Mitt Romney among black voters by 92 percent to one percent. That's one as in "one is the loneliest number."
Who knows? Perhaps now that Romney's checked off the NAACP on his to-do list, his share of the black vote will soar to, oh, maybe two, even three percent.
Memo to future Republican presidential candidates: Skip the NAACP trip, it's a waste of time. Unless, of course, you're black and the other guy's white.
03 — California dreaming of fiscal solvency. As we all know, diversity is our nation's strength. As we all also know, the tens of millions of immigrants from south of our border are just the ticket to revitalize our country with their hard work and family values, and to contribute taxes to pay for the Social Security and Medicare of retiring baby boomers.
The city of San Bernadino in California should be a showcase for all this. Forty years ago, San Bernadino was a deplorable 66 percent non-Hispanic white, 20 percent Hispanic. Today it's only 19 percent non-Hispanic white and a vibrant 60 percent Hispanic. The black population has held steady at 14-15 percent.
So San Bernadino must be doing great with all that diversity, right? Not exactly. This week San Bernadino became the third California city in less than a month to declare bankruptcy.
The Mayor, Patrick Morris, announced the decision on Tuesday. Quote from the L.A. Times: "San Bernardino's tax revenues have declined by as much as $16 million annually over the last few years, primarily because of drops in sales and property taxes." End quote. Hard to figure how that can be, now that the city's so diverse. Has there perhaps been some hanky-panky going on?
Well, just a little. As San Bernadino's fiscal crisis got worse and worse over the past few years, city budget officials tried to hide the situation from elected officials by fudging the numbers. Quote from the city attorney: "For the last 16 years the budget prepared for the council showed the city was in the black. The mayor and the council were not given accurate documents." End quote.
So, all you Californians — and indeed citizens elsewhere in the country living in municipalities with bloated public-employee payrolls, especially if you've also been blessed with diversity — all of you, pay attention. Your city may declare bankruptcy any day now.
How can you know whether it will or not? You can't. If things are really bad, your town budget officials are likely cooking the books to keep their politicians happy.
This is the U.S.A., Year of Our Lord 2012.
04 — George Zimmerman out on bail again. George Zimmerman, the most evil person that ever lived in the entire history of the world, is out on bail again.
You'll remember that Zimmerman was originally released from jail, back in April, on a $150,000 bond. Then he was rearrested in June because prosecutors said that Zimmerman and his wife had misled the court about how much money they had available. Turned out they had been raising money for George's legal defense through online donations.
Speaking last week in New Orleans, the very reverend Al Sharpton expressed his indignation, quote: "Now, we see they are soliciting money!" End quote. That, of course, is a thing that Rev'm Al would never do. All of his income comes from honest toil in the vineyards of the Lord.
Well, last week Zimmerman's bail was re-set at a million dollars. White-enough George raised the money somehow and is now out free, though under strict rules: He has a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, for example.
I'd like to advise George to get the hell out of America, as the authorities will plainly not rest until they've found him guilty of something and put him behind bars for a few decades. Even this current spell out on bail will likely be brief. Give them a couple of weeks, the judge and prosecutors will cook up some reason to haul George back in. Then new bail will be set, perhaps at a billion dollars this time.
Unfortunately George can't leave the country that is determined to destroy his life for having taken his civic duty too seriously and defended himself too vigorously against a violent thug. Part of the bail order specifies that he may not own a passport. Sorry, George. They're going to get you, and there isn't a darn thing you can do about it.
I note in passing that as well as being an eager tool of the witch hunters in this case, Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester is also illiterate. In his second bail order, Judge Lester wrote, quote: "Under any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system." He means "flouted," of course. How do you get through law school without mastering basic English vocabulary? By having the right leftist opinions to please the leftist law professors, I suppose.
Meanwhile, records released on Thursday this week show that the FBI has been busting a gut trying to find evidence that George Zimmerman is a racist, whatever that means in the case of a brown-skinned semi-Hispanic. Alas, their efforts have all been for naught. Quote from the Chicago Tribune, quote: "None of those asked said he or she had ever known Zimmerman to show racial bias."
I don't know what's happened to the FBI recently. Guys, guys: just slip a few benjamins to those people you're asking, they'll give you that answer you're looking for. You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, you know; and you can't frame up an innocent man without bending a few rules. Do your duty for America!
05 — George Zimmerman: What's going on here. Here's what's going on here, folk.
Interracial crime in the U.S.A. is overwhelmingly black on nonblack. If you want to look at the actual numbers, I spread them out for you, with all necessary links to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in a June 10th posting on the website VDARE.com. The numbers I used are not from law enforcement; they are from the National Crime Victimization Survey, when the DoJ twice a year sends questionnaires to a big sample of households asking for details on any crimes they've been victims of, even if those crimes weren't reported to the police.
Bottom line: of the five or six hundred thousand interracial — that is, black / nonblack — crimes of violence that are committed each year in the U.S.A., around five out of six have a black offender and a nonblack victim. ("Nonblack" includes self-identifying Hispanics.) If you scale up for the fact that only one in eight Americans is black, that means the average black American is around forty times more likely to assault a nonblack than vice versa.
For homicide alone the disproportion isn't quite so dramatic. Black-on-nonblack homicides are only about twice as many as nonblack-on-black; 447 to 218 in reporting year 2010, the latest I can find. Again, though, if you scale up for relative populations, blacks kill nonblacks at a rate 13 times higher than vice versa.
Those are the numbers, the cold numbers, from the Department of Justice's own databases. You can check them for yourself; I've given the necessary links in that June 10th post I mentioned.
The very peculiar thing is, that it's considered a gross breach of manners — a breach I'm afraid I just committed — to mention these numbers in public. Even more than that: Any act of violence by a nonblack against a black must be inflated to the level of a national outrage, to promote the fiction that blacks are at peril from nonblacks.
As the DoJ numbers show, the reverse is the case by huge factors; but that's the real world, which no-one wants to admit they live in. In the bizarro world of the media, the courts, the judges, and the politicians, America's streets are haunted by sinister white men looking for a black person to assault or kill.
Hence the extravagant publicity given to incidents like the Duke lacrosse team case. At the drop of a hat, we're led to believe, middle-class white men will gang up and rape an innocent black girl. In fact, the National Crime Victimization Survey shows black on nonblack rapes for 2008, the last year I can find, at close to twenty thousand; the number of nonblack on black rapes was too small to extrapolate from the sample. And of course, when the facts of the Duke lacrosse case came to light, they turned out not to fit the bizarro world scenario at all.
Never mind, there will always be another white-on-black event to seize on and inflate. Hence the fuss over George Zimmerman. George isn't exactly white, but he's white enough for the propagandists. The fiction, the bizarre fiction, that whites are more dangerous to blacks than blacks are to whites, must be maintained, even though the cold facts make that a lie by orders of magnitude.
When the truth is too hard to bear, we must take refuge in lies.
06 — NAACP irony alert. Eric Holder showed up on Tuesday at the NAACP convention, to rail against state laws requiring voters to show i.d. before casting a ballot. Such laws were, Holder said, "discrimination."
Numerous observers noted the curious fact that in order to get in to the NAACP convention hall to hear Holder speak, reporters had to present two — count 'em, two — forms of identification.
Consistency, said Emerson, is the hobgoblin of small minds. No small minds at the NAACP, then. These guys have minds as large as the prairie … and just about as empty, to judge from the fact that none of them seemed aware of the irony.
07 — Banking, bureaucracy, and politics. I've been trying to get a handle on this latest banking scandal — without, I'll admit, much success.
LIBOR I know about, or at least dimly remember once having known about, from my Wall Street days. It's one of those benchmark interest rates that all the other interest rates — the ones you pay on your credit card balance, for example — derive from. LIBOR is set by a bunch of big commercial banks pooling their knowledge to come up with a common rate.
Obviously the deciding banks are going to factor their own interests into the process of setting the LIBOR rate. Banking isn't charity work. So what exactly does it mean to say that these banks — JPMorgan, Citigroup, but most prominently Barclay's — have been rigging the process? Why would they do anything else?
Seeking enlightenment, I went to my finance guru, Tom Costello at the Radio Free New Jersey blog. Quote from Tom: "I don't see what the big deal is … Maybe I don't know the whole story, but how exactly was Barclays supposed to determine what it wants to submit as a LIBOR fixing? Is it really not supposed to take its positions into account? That's what 100 percent of all the other banks are doing — so why can't Barclays do it?" End of quote from Tom.
That's kind of what I thought. My guess is that there are two games going on here, one bureaucratic and one political.
The bureaucratic game is being played by the regulators. Regulators in the financial world are always at an inherent disadvantage, like tribesmen with spears and arrows up against the Maxim gun. The guys in high finance are really, really smart, and terrifically well rewarded for their smartness. Your average regulator is just a middle-class worker-bee who wouldn't survive an hour on a trading desk.
Regulators know this, and the knowledge is irksome to them. They develop a mentality of: "Well, I may not be super-smart and super-compensated like you traders and M&A wizards, but I have power over you, and I'm not afraid to use it!"
I've seen this mentality in action, and it ain't pretty.
The other game is the political one. Western economies are stagnant, and Western voters are mad about it. Their instinct is to be mad at their politicians; but a skilful politician knows how to deflect at least some of that blame.
As a target for deflection, nothing beats a smart young guy in red suspenders, making an indecent amount of money conducting transactions that nobody outside the world of finance understands.
So the politicians point at that guy and say to their voters: "See, your troubles are no fault of mine. It's those greedy bankers screwing everything up!"
Back to Tom Costello for a closing quote — a long one, but worth the attention. Quote:
The real tip-off is that none of the traders that sent emails involved in the scandal even tried to hide what they were discussing. They weren't using code words or being discreet. They weren't meeting under parking garages late at night. They were using a communications medium that everyone in the industry knows is permanent as a function of law, and they were coming right out and saying what they were hoping for … This was not because they were brazen enemies of the common man blinded by their own greed. It was because they didn't think they were doing anything wrong. And the truth is, they weren't. It's silly to believe they were. This is how banking works. Or at least, this is how it used to before the world's politicians and journalists decided to "change" things and to make the banks work less like self interested corporations and more like a division of the government. As usual, they should be a little more careful what they wish for — but they haven't the experience or the brains.
08 — Condi for veep? The latest buzz on Mitt Romney's vice-presidential pick is that it may be Condoleezza Rice.
Why do I find this so depressing? Well, obviously, in the first place because I want him to pick Rand Paul. And in the second place, because Dr. Rice reminds us all way too much of George W. Bush and his Wilsonian trillion-dollar foreign policy adventures.
On the other hand, Rice is very smart and has no disqualifying personality flaws. She seems to be, as we boomers used to say, "together" — comfortable in her own skin, unburdened by resentments, enmities, or chips on the shoulder. She's experienced in government, if not precisely in politics. What's not to like?
Nothing, I guess. She's just such an obvious twofer — female and black. Yes, yes, I know, that's how we do things nowadays. I just wish it wasn't.
I guess I should be thankful for small mercies. At least Dr. Rice doesn't seem to be a lesbian.
09 — Railroad to nowhere. As we all know in the age of Obama, governments don't spend money, they invest it. Their slogan is: "If you build it, they will come."
So with California cities toppling over like so many 3 a.m. Lindsay Lohans, what does the state government do? Build a railroad line, that's what. It'll cost a ton of money, but hey, it's an investment, don't you know?
Wait a minute. A railroad line, in California? Home of the freeway? Put a hundred down and buy a car?
Yes: Californians are going to have a high-speed train from San Francisco to L.A. The state legislature just committed to spending six billion dollars to get the project started. Three point five billion of that actually comes from the feds, but that still leaves a lot of its own money for the state to spend. And this, while California is cutting back spending on education, law enforcement, welfare, and everything else it can think of. Because, you see, California is flat broke, and then some.
Here's my suggestion. Why stop at L.A.? Run the line all the way down to the border and over into Tijuana. That'll make it easier for Mexicans to come in, with all their vibrant enriching vibrancy.
Then, with all the taxes they're paying, state finances will be back in shape before you can say "locomotive." The first four letters of which, I cannot forbear noticing, spell loco.
10 — China cracks down on illegals. Illegal immigrants are being cracked down on all over. Not here in the U.S.A., of course. We don't have any illegal immigrants, only "undocumented workers."
Elsewhere, though, governments are getting tough. Radio Derb's been telling you about Israel deporting illegals back to South Sudan.
Here's the latest on Israel: a bill now before the country's parliament to make it unlawful for illegal aliens — "infiltrators" is the actual Israeli term, which I rather like — to make it unlawful for them to send remittances out of the country. Quote from the Israeli news service, quote:
The bill proposes that the penalty for transferring money abroad by infiltrators will be six months imprisonment or a fine of 29,200 shekels. The penalty for a person who will assist an infiltrator in transferring money aboard will be one year's imprisonment or a fine of 29,200 shekels, or twice the amount he intended to help the infiltrator take out of Israel.
End quote. Again, mysteriously and unaccountably, that story did not make any of our broadsheet newspapers, not even the New York Times. Or perhaps I should say especially not the New York Times … I guess they're worried that if they report these stories, Americans might go getting ideas.
Now here's news from China. The Xinhua news agency reported June 30th that, quote:
China's top legislature on Saturday passed a new exit and entry law that stipulates harsher punishments for foreigners who illegally enter, live or work in the country … According to the law, employers will be fined 10,000 yuan (1,574 U.S. dollars) for every foreigner they illegally employ up to a maximum of 100,000 yuan. Any monetary gain resulting from such employment will also be confiscated.
Now, I wouldn't hold up China's legislative or law-enforcement processes as a model for anyone. Just think about the externalities here for a moment, though. This is gadget-crazy China, right next door to gadget-crazy Japan. If you have a shortage of workers in today's world, you can import some from abroad, or you can automate.
The Japanese have gone the automation route, and it looks as though the Chinese will follow them. The U.S.A. has taken the other path, importing huge numbers of low-skilled laborers.
Which is the wiser path? Time will tell.
11 — Chicago's mysterious crime statistics. Here's a dirty little secret about crime statistics as reported by police departments: They are awfully easy to manipulate, if you want to make the department look good.
Well, most of them are. The big exception is homicide statistics. The thing about homicide is, there's a dead body on the premises. It's not easy to explain away a corpse.
Hence some skepticism is warranted in respect of Chicago's crime statistics. For the first six months of this year, the city's homicide rate is up 38 percent on the corresponding period last year, to 259 dead. The office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, however, tells us that overall crime was down 10 percent for the same period. Interesting.
Mayor Emanuel's on the case, though, never fear. After a seven-year-old girl was shot dead while selling candy outside her home, the Mayor appealed to the city's killers to show some values. Quote from the mayor, quote: "We've got two gangbangers, one standing next to a kid. Get away from that kid. Take your stuff away to the alley." End quote.
So, all you Chicago hoodlums: by all means go on killing each other. Just do it in an alley out of sight. That's a mayoral order.
12 — Signoff. That's all I have for you, listeners. I'm sorry about the diversity stuff. I hope it didn't make you sweat too much.
We've actually had a slight issue with race relations here on the island recently. There are a lot of boat people crossing the Mediterranean from Africa now, trying to get into Europe. Now and then a boatload would come up on our beach here. We had to call the mainland authorities to come and get them, which was a nuisance.
Fortunately our quick-thinking mayor, Mr. Papakonstantinou, worked out a solution. We now have big signs on the beach informing newcomers in English, French, Greek, Arabic, and Swahili that the island is in fact a leper colony. Now the boats just keep right on going. Ah, Greek ingenuity …
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]