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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! A somewhat truncated broadcast today, I fear, listeners. Your convalescently genial host is still somewhat depleted in health, so I shall just concentrate on a few essentials here.
02 — Europe on the lip of the waterfall. In respect of the European fiscal crisis, I've been fielding metaphors about the edge of the cliff, the lip of the waterfall, and the tree limb about to give way for so long, I've begun to wonder whether perhaps clever politicians can, after all, defy the laws of economic gravity and pay their citizens to go on doing make-work government jobs with extravagant benefits in unproductive economies pretty much for ever.
The evidence is now fast mounting that they can't. This week saw a real, nasty crisis in the European banks, most especially Spain's, with just one bank reporting panic withdrawals of a billion Euros, and reports that Spanish banks at large are holding a hundred billion Euros in bad property loans. A Euro is around 79 cents — at least, that's what it is today … — so that's a lot of dollars.
It's Greece we've mostly been hearing about, but Spain has four and a half times Greece's population, 21 percent unemployment (Greece is 22), and a seriously lackluster economy. At dinner the other night a friend asked me to name a single major Spanish company. I couldn't. I could, though, tell him that Spain has had one of the highest levels of immigration in the EU this past few years, with over 15 percent of her population now foreign born. It seems to be a rule in the modern world that the higher your level of unemployment, the more immigrants you bring in for settlement. I guess you need a degree in economics to understand that.
Back in Greece, meanwhile, attempts to cobble together a coalition government have failed, and there will be another set of elections June 17 to try to resolve matters. Polls say the radical Left grouping Syriza could come out ahead this time, giving Greeks the opportunity to try radical socialism as a solution to the problems of too much government spending and not enough productive commerce. Should be interesting. Depositors have pulled 700 million Euros out of Greek banks, and the credit rating agency Fitch has downgraded Greece from B- to triple-C, the lowest rating possible for a country that is not actually in default.
The new French president François Hollande meanwhile had his inauguration and immediately went off to Berlin as scheduled to tell Mrs. Merkel that his citizens have had enough of austerity and want some growth.
The two leaders conferred, then came out and blew a lot of hot air about gimmicky new bonds, "structural aid," "infrastructure investment," and, yes, "growth." I couldn't make much sense of any of it, but there's a big EU summit next month so they are most likely just kicking the can down the road a few weeks.
Whether, at that point, there will still be a European banking system — I mean, one not owned lock, stock, and barrel by some Shanghai billionaire — remains to be seen.
03 — Fudging the illegal numbers. The subject here is "controlling the discourse." The Obama administration, that is, controlling the discourse on illegal immigration.
The target for the Democrats here is to get an amnesty through Congress. That would be wonderful for them because the amnestied illegals are mostly poor and dependent on government services, and so will adhere to the Democratic Party, the party of ever more government services. Better yet, a high proportion are Mexican aboriginals or mestizos, a population on whom we now have good data going back five generations. They don't do well, with high-school dropout rates stubbornly high generation after generation, and rates of college attendance correspondingly low. Thirty-one percent of non-Hispanic whites have a college degree; only 13 percent of Hispanics do.
So this is a poor, government-dependent population, and will remain so into the indefinite future. You can hear the Democratic Party bosses smacking their lips. Gotta get these people citizenship, gotta get them voting.
How do you do it, though? Amnesty is widely unpopular with Americans, so much so that your average gathering of congresspeople, regardless of party, scatter like roaches when amnesty comes up.
The situation isn't hopeless for the Dems, though. It helps a lot that the Republican Party, a.k.a. the Stupid Party, is on no subject more stupid than on immigration. A big slice of the GOP, led by agribusiness interests and nation-hating globalist ideologues like the Wall Street Journal editorial page, is keen as hell on helping the Democrats get themselves twenty million new voters.
These open-borders Republicans will tell you that these are conservative people, dedicated to family values, ignoring little things like the Hispanic illegitimacy rate, which recently passed through fifty-three percent headed north, and last year's Pew Research Center poll of American Hispanics, among whose findings were, direct quote:
Latinos' political views are more liberal than those of the general U.S. public. Three-in-ten (30 percent) of Latinos describe their political views as liberal or very liberal, compared with 21 percent of the general public.
End quote. If you want to curl up with some well-researched, well-written, in-depth reading on this, I can't recommend better than Heather Mac Donald's article "California's Demographic Revolution" in the Winter 2012 issue of City Journal, available in full on the internet.
The administration's real trump card, though, is that they control border enforcement and most of the data-gathering thereon. They control the numbers. How many illegals are coming in? How many are voluntarily leaving? The feds — precisely, the Department of Homeland Security [laugh] — control those numbers. Can they cheat? You bet; and it's awfully hard to check up on them.
When I published my first book, I was curious about the sales numbers. This was in the days before Amazon made things easier. I asked my literary agent: "How do I know the publisher's numbers are true?" "Well, John," he replied, "You could go stand on the loading dock and count the pallets coming in and out …"
It's pretty much like that with illegal immigration. The numbers are what the feds say they are. Or maybe not.
That's the background to these stories you've been hearing the past few weeks about net illegal immigration across the southern border having declined to zero. That's a mighty convenient narrative for the administration. It removes an issue from the election campaign, an issue on which the administration position is not popular; and it psychologically prepares the public for amnesty if the election results fall out favorably in November. Like: "Hey, if there are no longer any illegals coming in, why not give amnesty to the ones here?"
We're not totally at the mercy of the government numbers, though. There are cross-checks you can do. There are remittances, for instance: money sent back to Mexico by Mexicans living here. Other things being equal, if the numbers of illegals are static, so should remittances be. Well, they're not. Remittances are up eight percent on last year, according to the Bank of Mexico. That's in spite of a bad economy, mind.
You can also just get DHS employees to talk to you. Are they being told to turn a blind eye in certain sectors? To lay off apprehensions? To not patrol certain areas?
Reporter Sara Carter of the Washington Examiner has been doing the investigative work on all this, and you can read her conclusions in the May 14 posting on that site. Guess what: the Feds are lying through their teeth to us. The ICE and Border Patrol personnel say so, the remittance numbers say so, and, heck, we kind of knew it anyway, didn't we?
04 — Rev. Jeremiah Wright redux. Elections campaigns can get awfully tedious after a few months, but if we're lucky there'll be some light relief to take our minds off the boring, featureless personalities the candidates have to assume in order to get elected in a country with 82,000 well-funded interest groups on a hair trigger to take screaming offense at the slightest careless remark.
In '92 we had Ross Perot with those big ears of his a-flapping and those pie charts and bar charts and diagrams nobody could make sense of. In 2004 we had that great zoo of Democrat no-hopers, Howard Dean with his yuppie attempt at a rebel yell and Al Sharpton hearing the phrase "Federal Reserve" for the first time in his life on prime-time TV.
The court jester for the 2008 campaign was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, advertized as Barack Obama's pastor, mentor, and inspiration. Obama took the title of his campaign book, The Audacity of Hope, from one of Wright's sermons. Wright married the Obamas and baptized their kids, and the Obamas were donating scads of money to Wright's church as late as 2006 — over $27,000 in that and the preceding year, according to their tax returns.
So it was all a bit embarrassing when it turned out that the Rev'm is a white-hating anti-semitic disciple of Black Liberation Theology guru James Cone, sample quote from Cone, quote: "Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy." Another sample quote, quote: "Whiteness, as revealed in the history of America, is the expression of what is wrong with man. It is a symbol of man's depravity." Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. This was Rev'm Wright's guru, and Rev'm Wright was Barack Obama's guru … so we were told. Video clips surfaced of Wright himself calling on God to damn America, telling us our chickens had come home to roost on 9/11, and so on.
Well, the campaign handlers got to work. Obama made a speech hinting that Wright had gone off his rocker and was no longer the saintly inspirational figure he had known. Wright resigned his pastorship and went off on a preaching tour of Antarctica, expenses paid by the DNC, grumbling as he left that, in regard to Obama, quote, "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me."
It wasn't as embarrassing as it might have been, at least not to those of us who'd followed Obama and read his autobiography, because none of us believed Obama has a religious bone in his body, and we presumed the Wright connection was just for political advantage.
The embarrassment level was further reduced when the McCain campaign made a strategic decision not to breathe a word about Rev'm Wright because if they did so someone might call them racist, and then the earth would crash into the sun and we'd all die.
Well now, here's a new book by Edward Klein, title The Amateur, being marketed as, quote, an unauthorized biography of President Barack Obama. Rev'm Wright gets quoted a lot in the book. Glenn Beck's website has posted some audio clips of Klein talking to Rev'm Wright, telling us for example that, speaking of the Obamas, "Church is not their thing. It was never their thing." Also hinting that the Hillary Clinton campaign paid other black preachers to disparage the good Reverend, and that the Obama campaign offered him $150,000 to keep his mouth shut through the campaign.
Deeply, deeply unsurprising stuff, worth our attention only because it goes some small way to relieving the dullness of this year's campaign. Edward Klein's book doesn't tell us anything about the Obamas we didn't already know, it just makes it all a tad more irrefutable. It also makes it a tad more shameful that a politician as icily, cynically calculating as Obama could have been sold to the American public — indeed, when you recall his reception in Europe and his Nobel Peace Prize, to the world public — as a figure of sincerity, of soulful redemption and communal healing.
P.T. Barnum said there's a sucker born every minute. P.T. Barnum's assistant then asked: "Where do all the rest of them come from?" Barack Obama's 2008 victory illustrates the wisdom of these great Americans.
05 — More evidence in the Zimmerman case. We've been getting some dribbles of new evidence in the case of George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin back in February. Highlights:
Just to remind you, we started out here with two narratives on the case. The mainstream media narrative, pushed by all the big TV networks and broadsheet newspapers, was that a racist Aryan Nation skinhead type saw a winsome little boy walking in the street with a can of iced tea and a bag of skittles, and decided to shoot him because, you know, that's what racists do.
The Zimmerman narrative was that this large 17-year-old black guy in a hoodie who, quote, "looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something" is wandering around, not on a regular street but in a gated community where there has been a rash of burglaries, confronts the neighborhood watch guy, knocks him down, starts beating him, reaches for the gun in his victim's waistband, and gets shot dead for his trouble.
As the cliché goes, I'll wait for the court testimony before coming to definite conclusions, but I still can't help asking myself: Which narrative is a better fit for this new evidence? And in fact, any time we get new evidence, which narrative does it fit better?
The mainstream media lefties are not going to let go of their narrative without a struggle, though. The New York Times on Wednesday ran a long piece headlined Trayvon Martin Case Shadowed by Series of Police Missteps. The gist of it was that we can't ever possibly know which narrative is the true one, the media's or Zimmerman's, because the local police botched the investigation so badly.
This is all preparatory to Zimmerman getting off on the absurd charge of second-degree murder, the media setting up their excuses in advance. Why did we get things so fantastically wrong? Or more likely: How did this hate-filled racist gun nut get acquitted of murdering an innocent young child? It was the fault of those dumb-ass local cops.
Meanwhile the Justice Department is said to be considering federal hate crime charges against Zimmerman. So as soon as the guy walks free from the Florida courthouse, he'll be nabbed by Eric Holder's bully-boys and subjected to a decade or so of federal litigation, with a possible life sentence at the end of it. Best possible scenario: The guy's life is ruined, he's unemployable and in constant fear.
So, if you're thinking of sacrificing some of your time to help your community, to protect your property and your loved ones via civic-minded action, think again. The government doesn't like that.
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Item: Heaven knows, I'm the last person to go around speaking up for Barack Obama, but this story about his literary agent promoting him as born in Kenya is just b.s. The story here is that Breitbart.com turned up a promotional pamphlet put out in 1991 by Barack Obama's literary agent describing Obama as, quote, "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii." Look, I have a fair experience of literary agents and publishers, and let me tell you, when they get your personal details right in their promotional materials, that's the time you crack open the champagne. The worst you can imagine here is that Obama saw the pamphlet and let it go because he kind of liked the exotic aspect it cast him in. Sorry, this is a non-story.
Item: Remember Dharun Ravi? This was the Rutgers University freshman who, a year last September, used a webcam to secretly watch his roommate kissing a young man the roommate had picked up. After watching the video, Ravi gossiped about it on Twitter, quote: "I saw him making out with a dude. Yay." Ravi was convicted in March of second-degree bias intimidation, whatever the hell that is, and invading the privacy of the roommate, as if there is ever much privacy between college roommates. Bogus charges, in other words, whipped up by the homosexualist lobbies to get more power and privilege for themselves. Well, we're awaiting the sentencing phase of the case, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor has made her opinion known. She wants jail time, and snarled in a 14-page memorandum to the trial judge that Ravi, quote: "has failed to accept any degree of responsibility for the numerous criminal acts he committed, and shows no remorse for same, despite significant evidence pointing directly at him." End quote. Anarcho-tyranny, ladies and gents, anarcho-tyranny: the full weight of state power brought to bear on trivial or made-up offenses, while the borders are left undefended, Russian gangster syndicates loot Medicare, and Jon Corzine trousers $1.2 billion of his clients' money. Anarcho-tyranny.
Item: Facebook has gone public, and we're told a thousand new millionaires will be created. First among them of course will be Mark Zuckerberg, just 28 years old, who created Facebook eight years ago when he was a college student. Zuck's about to become one of the world's richest men, worth around 30 billion dollars. I'll confess I have no idea what Facebook is, have never used it, and have no clue why it's worth so much money. What, you just talk to people online? Isn't that what email's for? As a fan of unbridled capitalism, though, I like the story, and wish Zuck and all his new millionaires great joy of their winnings. Come on, guys, spread the good fortune around: there's a donate button on my web page. That's the one, right there… yep …
Item: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in the year ending July last, 50.4 percent of births in the U.S.A. were black, Hispanic, Asian, or mixed-race. So our youngest population cohort is now majority-minority. The oldest one, the 40 million of us who are 65 or older, is 80 percent non-Hispanic white. Cycle the clock a couple of decades, and you'll have a still-mostly-white older population being taxed to educate mostly-nonwhite schoolchildren, then a mostly-nonwhite workforce being taxed to support a mostly-white population of retired geezers. What could possibly go wrong?
07 — Signoff. That's all I can manage this week, ladies and gents. Not bad; I think you just about got your half hour's worth. In any case, I need to husband some extra minutes for later in the year, when there will be dramatic events to report: The defeat of Barack Obama and the election of America's least gay president ever, the acquittal of George Zimmerman, followed immediately by his re-arrest on federal charges of having Bad Thoughts, and the absorption of the Euro into a new currency zone dominated by the North Korean Won.
Faithful readers of my TakiMag column will have caught my little tribute to Kathleen Ferrier this week. Here she is, my all-time favorite.
More, I hope considerably more, from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Kathleen Ferrier, "Che farò senza Euridice"]