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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, this is your ebulliently genial host John Derbyshire with some choice nuggets from the week's news.
All is blissfully serene here in the Mediterranean, I am glad to say, so without further ado, let's see what's been happening elsewhere.
02 — SOTU: It's for them, not for us. Political event of the week was Tuesday's State of the Union speech. I have vented the loathing and disgust that this spectacle arouses in my breast many times, in many different places: In, for example, Chapter 3 of my galaxy-wide bestseller We Are Doomed, where I referred to the ceremony as a, quote, "Stalinesque extravaganza."
It would be superfluous to repeat those earlier execrations. I wouldn't watch the filthy thing at all if I wasn't paid to.
Thirty-three point three million Americans disagreed with me on Tuesday. That's the number the Nielsen ratings firm reported watched the State of the Union festivities.
That strikes me as astonishing. Why did those 33.3 million people — better than one in ten inhabitants of the U.S.A. — why did they watch it? The speech has no information content. You don't come away from it knowing something you didn't know before.
It's true that what speechwriters call the "poetry" component of the speech offers heartwarming moral uplift, and I guess that's the attraction for some people. My view on that accords with the view of a certain British Prime Minister who said, quote: "If people want a sense of purpose they should get it from their archbishop. They should certainly not get it from their politicians." End quote. If it's uplift you're after, go to church, or read some actual poetry — the good old stuff, not the whiney unstructured victimological claptrap they teach on Creative Writing courses.
Here's another thing I'd like to say to those 33.3 million viewers: The State of the Union party is not for you: It's for them. Just look at them in the chamber before the President comes in: hugging, backslapping, grinning, laughing. It's like a teen party. They're there to display themselves to each other, to assert a common interest — not, in this case, the common interest of defying adult authority, but the common interest of fleecing the citizenry.
What you were watching there was the political class at play: useless mouths who could not succeed in any kind of productive enterprise, but who have found a road to riches and fame by manipulating a political order originally designed as one in which the phrase "public service" could be uttered without smirking. What you were watching was the case for term limits.
Perhaps I will repeat myself just a little, as some things bear repeating. For example: What are justices of the Supreme Court and senior military brass doing at the event? The Constitutional requirement is that the President, quote, "shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union," end quote. It's a message from the President to the Congress, nothing to do with the judiciary or the Joint Chiefs.
I hereby offer my vote, my loyalty, and my firstborn child (if he wants her), to the first presidential candidate to return the State of the Union message to written form, no more than two single-spaced pages, copies mailed to the Speaker of the House and the Vice President at the Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. 20515.
03 — The immigration-reform charade. Here's another thing that's for them — the political classes — not for us: immigration reform.
Not that immigration doesn't need reforming. We let in too many people for permanent settlement, far too many guest workers, and way too many foreign students. We don't guard our borders properly, don't rigorously monitor the entry and exit of visitors, aren't sufficiently strict with employers, … You know the charge sheet.
None of that is what the political class means by the phrase "immigration reform." What they mean is, massive increases in settlement to appease the various lobbies who fund their campaigns. Those lobbies include the Chamber of Commerce, whose member firms want cheap labor, organized ethnic and lifestyle blocs, who want to increase their power by increasing their numbers, globalist ideologues, white ethnomasochists, and good old Democrat ward-heelers, who want more heels for their wards — heels that will vote Democrat, which is what immigrants do.
This week that segment of the political class that clusters under the label "Republican" brought forth some immigration reform proposals of their own. This wasn't easy.
You'll remember that the U.S. Senate passed a bill last June, one that pleased all of the special-interest lobbies. Unfortunately the Senate bill didn't much please Republican voters, and Republican congresscritters got an earful of voter discontent. The ones who had most keenly promoted the Senate bill suffered major loss of credibility. Remember how just a year or so ago Marco Rubio was being spoken of as a possible Presidential candidate? Remember Marco Rubio? Right.
That put the Republican congresscritters in a bind, pulled in opposite directions by, on the one side, the business lobbies who pay for their campaigns, and on the other, by voters demanding they stand up for the interests of American workers, American taxpayers, and American sovereignty.
A politician needs money and votes. When the moneymen and the voters are demanding opposite things, he's in a pickle.
Since the Senate has already passed a bill, it's down to Republicans in the House to devise some form of depicklement. The three leaders of the House GOP — Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Budget Committee Chaircritter Paul Ryan — bent themselves to the task. Thursday this week they came out of the shadows to tell us the result of their lucubrations.
The result is not all bad. The two-page document takes a swipe at chain migration, for example, which badly needs cutting back to spouses and dependent children only.
That aside, the rest is pretty bad. To satisfy the business lobbies wanting cheap labor, people living here illegally will be given work permits; but so that the congressreptiles can pretend this isn't amnesty, it'll be hard for the now-legal scofflaws to get citizenship, as if they care. There's a Zuckerberg clause to hand work permits to foreigners who graduate from our universities. There are some empty promises that no-one should believe about securing the borders, monitoring entry-exit, and mandating E-verify — promises we've been hearing for thirty years, about which nothing ever gets done.
Even supposing the House acts on this dismal document, it would still have to be reconciled with the Senate bill, which means that the tiny portion of good in it will end up in Chuck Schumer's shredder.
If we can't have genuine immigration reform, which plainly we can't, the clear interest of Americans is to demand Congress do nothing, while demanding the Executive enforce current laws. Get on the phone to your Senators and Representative and let them hear that.
04 — Homeland Security chief ♥ illegals. To add some spice to that immigration-reform blah segment, here's some immigration-reform outrage.
The current Secretary for Homeland Security is a bloke named Jeh — that's J-E-H, don't ask me — Johnson, a scion of the mulatto elite. Last Friday, speaking at a conference of mayors, Secretary Johnson opined that the several million foreigners living in our country illegally have, quote, "earned the right to be citizens."
This cabinet officer responsible for the security of our homeland didn't say what, exactly, these foreign scofflaws have done to earn the tremendous privilege of American citizenship. His remarks on the subject consisted of the tired old clichés of open-borders apologists insterspersed with bursts of incoherent babble.
Samples of the clichés included "out of the shadows," "path to citizenship," and of course "comprehensive immigration reform."
For a sample of the incoherent babble, try this, quote:
It is also, frankly, in my judgment, a matter of who we are as Americans. To offer the opportunity to those who want to be citizens, who've earned the right to be citizens, who are present in this country — many of whom who came here as children — to have the opportunity that we all have to try to become American citizens.
End quote. Now of course, an illegal does have the opportunity to try to become an American citizen. Pretty much everyone in the world has that opportunity. He finds some category of legal immigrant he might qualify for, and applies to the nearest U.S. consulate in his home country. There you go.
And note that weasel phrase "who we are as Americans." You hear that all the time from leftist politicians. "This is who we are …," "This is not who we are …" We heard it from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, in the remarks I spoke about on Radio Derb last week, when the Governor told his voters that, quote, "extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are."
Watch out for the "who we are" phrase. It's a sure sign some politician is trying to pick your pocket.
05 — A boom in child smuggling. Here's an immigration factlet I bet you never heard before.
Key phrase here: "unaccompanied minors." Those are minors — defined to be persons under the age of 18 — who unlawfully cross our southern border from Mexico without any related adult accompanying them.
OK, you ready for the factlet? The number of these illegal alien minors apprehended — just the ones apprehended, mind — was nearly 25,000 last year, and that was nearly double the number in 2012, which in turn was double the number in 2011. In other words, we're seeing a big surge in child smuggling from Mexico and Central America.
Why? Well, administration policy on the so-called DREAMers — illegals who crossed the border as minors — is surely something to do with it, creating a major incentive for teenagers to sneak in, and for their families to sneak them in.
We have also heard, from a federal judge in Texas, the charge that Jeh Johnson's Department of Homeland Security has been delivering smuggled-in children to their illegal alien parents here in the U.S.A. So, no need to bring the kids with you when you jump the border. You come in by yourself, find work and settle down, then pay some coyote to get your kids across, I suppose with luggage labels sewn on to their jackets bearing your name and address. Homeland Security will take care of delivering them to you, because hey, you've earned it!
What, I hear you ask, what about those youngsters who are not delivered to parents here? Are they just sent back to their home countries?
Are you kidding? What are you, some kind of Nazi? No, those kids are considered refugees — I have no idea why — and handed off to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a division of the federal Health and Human Services Department. ORR in turn hands them off to the big refugee contractors, along with funds to clothe, house, and feed them until they turn 18, at which point they're just released into the general population as DREAMers.
The flow of money here is out of your pocket via taxes, into the Treasury, thence via ORR to the refugee contractors — outfits like the Conference of Catholic Bishops and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services. There are some others, all of them with reassuringly churchly names like that, all getting boxcar-loads of public money for handling refugees and people who pretend to be refugees. How this squares with separation of church and state is beyond my understanding.
And here's the punchline. The amount of money being sucked out of our pockets to end up in the bank accounts of those churchly-sounding contractors was just increased mightily by Congress, from $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion. Yes, we may be in an era of sequestration, cutbacks, and belt-tightening in the federal budget, but Congress can always find 400 million dollars more to feed, clothe, and house smuggled-in Guatemalan peasant kids. Come on, they've earned it!
06 — Black and white drift apart. Fifty years ago, with the U.S. Civil Rights movement well into its stride, there was a widespread belief — shared by me and most everyone I knew — that when racial segregation was banished and unjust laws struck down, America would be on the way to racial harmony — to a society in which race didn't matter and no-one would think about it.
How naive that looks now! Black and nonblack Americans seem to be drifting further and further apart. Here's a news item on that theme.
It comes from Gallup, the polling firm. For the past few years Gallup has been asking Americans the following question:
We'd like you to imagine a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to ten at the top. Suppose the top of the ladder represents the best possible situation for our country and the bottom represents the worst possible situation. Please tell me the number of the step on which you think the United States stands at the present time.
That's the question. Ratings of six to ten were counted as positive, zero to four are negative, five is neutral. So what percentage of Americans are positive about their country on this definition?
Overall, 39 percent. There's a big racial gap in there, though, and it's widening. Only 33 percent of whites are positive, versus 57 percent of nonwhites. That's a 24 percent gap. In 2007 the gap was zero; in 2008 whites were more positive by six percent.
I don't see much mystery as to why whites are glum. Whites are increasingly second-class citizens in the U.S.A. They are passed over for police and firefighter jobs and college places in favor of less-qualified blacks. They are lectured and scolded by arrogant black public figures like Eric Holder. They are spoken down to like children by the news media, who hide unpleasant truths from them behind expressions like "youths," "teens," "thugs," and "the robber was described as a tall man in his thirties." They are portrayed as evil, selfish oppressors in movies like Django Unchained, The Butler, and 12 Years a Slave.
No, I don't see any mystery at all as to why whites are depressed about these things. The mystery is, why they put up with them.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: It's a funny thing about the news business that stories linked by a common theme, but otherwise unrelated to each other, tend to come in batches. So it has been this week. There have been three stories all on a somewhat unusual theme. The theme is … flatulence. I'll give you the three stories as three separate items, and leave you to ponder the peculiar concinnity here.
Item: Meet Amy Herbst, an opera singer with the Nashville Opera Company. Mrs. Herbst gave birth to a son two years ago. While in labor she was given an episiotomy, a minor and very common surgical procedure to enlarge the birth canal. She claims, however, that the hospital botched that episiotomy, with the result that when, in the course of her opera-singing work, she reaches for a high note, out from the other end comes a low note.
Mrs. Herbst and her husband are seeking $2.5 million in damages and costs from the hospital. While waiting for the case to be heard, Mrs. Herbst will be singing in a new production of The Magic Toot. Just mind you don't get seats too near the stage.
Item: I'm just going to read this one to you. It's datelined Berlin, from Reuters, January 27th. Quote:
Methane gas from 90 flatulent cows exploded in a German farm shed on Monday, damaging the roof and injuring one of the animals, police said.
End quote. Radio Derb wishes the cow a speedy recovery.
Item: Third and final flatulence story, this one a little bit of presidential history.
In his yearbook from Punahou, the private prep school he attended in Hawaii, Barack Obama thanked his grandparents, who raised him, his "choom gang," which means the classmates he used to smoke pot with, and Ray. Ray was Raymond Boyer, the dealer who sold them the pot.
This week we learned what happened to Ray, and it isn't nice. He was a hippie hedonist, not an entirely unknown species in Hawaii. When he wasn't dealing drugs or surfing, he was day manager of a pizza shop near the prep school.
His life went pretty much downhill from there. He ended up in a relationship with a homosexual prostitute drug addict called Andrew Devere. On New Year's Day 1986 Devere killed Ray by beating out his brains with a claw hammer.
What's the flatulence angle? Well, when police arrested and questioned Devere he gave them a whole list of reasons why he was mad at Ray. Reason number three was that Ray had developed a habit of breaking wind in Devere's face.
You may be wondering, as I am, what Devere's face was doing in a position where Ray could break wind in it. Apparently the police never did get to the bottom of that.
Item: According to The Washington Post Saudi Arabia has deported a quarter million illegal aliens in just the last three months. A quarter million in three months.
The U.S.A. has twelve times Saudi Arabia's population, so just scaling up there by a factor of twelve, with an equivalent effort we should be able to deport three million illegal aliens in three months. At that rate, we could repatriate all our illegal residents in less than a year.
To do so would of course be wrong. Not only would we be depriving ourselves of much wonderful diversity, our economy would take a major hit, as everyone knows you can't have a thriving economy without masses of immigrants.
Quote from the Washington Post story, quote:
Saudi authorities say booting out illegal foreign migrants will open more jobs for its own citizens.
End quote. What a strange way of thinking! Kicking out illegal residents will free up jobs for their own citizens? It doesn't make any sense …
08 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Now, this weekend is the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse. I'm therefore going to dedicate this Radio Derb broadcast to all the world's horses. May your oats always be sweet and your fetlocks supple! Here's a horse song to see us out.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: Roy Rogers, "A Four-Legged Friend"]