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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, faithful listeners. This is of course your eruditely genial host John Derbyshire with our customary roundup of the week's news.
First there is a somewhat unpleasant matter to clear up. Some listeners have grumbled that my commentary on Radio Derb is occasionally marred by a taint of salacity via the technique known to our Gallic cousins as double entendre.
I have, these listeners aver, been especially guilty of these delinquencies when discussing the situation of Mrs. Derbyshire, who is holding the fort over there in Long Island with no-one but Miguel the pool boy to help with household chores; and also when making asides about my diligent and superbly well-educated young research assistants Amanda, Candace, and Brunnhilde (to give them their full birth names), who from sheer professionalism sacrificed the art galleries and opera houses of New York City for the beaches, olive groves, warm waters and yacht parties out here in our Aegean exile. [Valley Girl clip] … Girls, could you keep it down over there? … Thanks …
I indignantly reject these accusations of salacity via double entendres. Those who know me will be glad to tell you that I hold the female of our species in the highest regard. I am the very soul of chivalry, a perfect Sir Galahad towards the weaker sex. Is that not so, girls? ["Of course!"] The double entendre is a style of diction utterly alien to my frank and direct nature.
Now that I've cleared that up, let's proceed with the broadcast … Er, Mandy, when you have a moment free my dear, do you think you could help me out here? I dressed in rather a hurry this morning, I'm afraid. My sock needs tucking …
02 — We hired the money, didn't we? So how are we getting on at resolving the fiscal crisis?
Not too well: badly enough, in fact, to keep alive a spark of hope that congressional Republicans will in fact get up off their knees and walk away from the whole silly show. There is only one thing this nation's economy needs, and that is a big reduction in federal spending.
We sure won't get that from Barack Obama. Spending is Obama's middle name; or it would be, if his middle name wasn't … something else. He is actually demanding more money for federal government programs, 1.6 trillion more.
In his November 28th speech, Obama threatened that, quote:
If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. Starting January 1st, every family in America will see their taxes go up. A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200 …
Speaking for my own middle-class family of four, I say: Bring it on.
It's a pretty good rule of economic sanity that you should pay for what you get, to an amount at least as much as the thing costs. If middle-class Americans want all these federal programs, well, let them damn well pay for them. We've gotten into the mess we're in by pretending you can have things without paying for them. Let's drive a wooden stake through that great collective illusion.
You want Medicare for your grandma and grandad? Pay for it. You want tens of thousands of soldiers in Germany, Italy, Japan, and Korea? Pay for them. You want federal bailouts for union-whipped auto manufacturers and too-big-to-fail financial institutions? Pay for them. You want billions in foreign aid, farm subsidies, high-speed rail, refugee resettlement, the Pigford scam, contraceptives for university students, gun-running operations to Mexican bandits, protection for spotted owls, and crackpot education schemes that promise to make dumb kids smart? You want those things? Well, then, pay for them, dammit.
If you don't want those things, why do you vote for politicians who keep them alive? In particular, why did a majority of you vote for Barack Obama?
Bring it on! If the great American public wants their federal government to spend another 1.6 trillion dollars, let's raise the revenue to pay for it. Where from? From the great American public. Where did you think? The Revenue Fairy? Yes, that's pretty much what people have been thinking the past few decades.
Our country is knee-deep in debt because we haven't been earning to pay for what we've been getting. Instead, we've been borrowing to pay for it. When you borrow money, it eventually comes due, principal and interest.
The British and French governments borrowed a ton of money from the U.S.A. to pay for World War One. In the twenties, when the repayments were getting to be onerous, it was suggested to President Calvin Coolidge that the debts be forgiven, or scaled down, or at least restructured. Coolidge replied in the negative. When pressed, he said, immortal quote: "They hired the money, didn't they?"
We've been hiring a whole lot of money, and it's time we dropped the habit.
The nation wanted Obama; well, they got him. Now let's pay for him.
03 — Bring in the clowns. I spoke there of a spark of hope that congressional Republicans might do the right thing, which would be, to go home and disconnect their telephones.
It is, of course, only the tiniest spark. The congresscritters, Democrats and Republicans alike, are just as addicted to spending as Obama is. It's not just Obama squeezing away at the teats of the taxpayer cow, it's him and Congress both, though they may differ somewhat in squeeze technique.
As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, federal spending in fiscal 2012 was 24.33 percent, higher than in any previous year since 1946, when it was 29.94 percent. Got that? Winding up World War Two and preparing to face down the Soviets: just short of thirty percent. Winding up a tiny colonial skirmish in West Asia and facing down a few hundred fanatics with boxcutters: 25 percent.
It's not just Obama, it's also Congress. Which means, at one slight remove, it's us. We want the goodies, but we don't want to pay for them. This is, not to put too fine a point on it, immoral. We hired the money; and if we don't pay for it, our children will have to. I love my kids; I want them to have good lives in a country that conducts its fiscal affairs with honor and good sense; I'll pay. But for goodness' sake, let's not ratchet up the spending even further on this president's stupid, bogus, quote, "investment in training, education, science, and research."
So what will actually happen with these fiscal cliff negotiations? Shall my spark of hope burst out into glorious flame?
Not likely. John Boehner is a spineless twerp, and few House Republicans are any better. Like Britain's high-tax, high-spending, open-borders, unnecessary-wars, multiculturalist, globalist Tory Party, the GOP has entered a death spiral. This recent election knocked them off their feet; but it was like knocking down a 95-year-old guy on a Zimmer frame.
Barack Obama will get the deal he wants, more or less, because his opposition doesn't have a full set of vertebrae between the lot of them.
Obama knows this, of course, and is openly mocking us. News report from the Weekly Standard blog, December 4th, quote:
President Barack Obama met with several MSNBC hosts this afternoon at the White House to discuss tax rates, according to Huffington Post reporter Jennifer Bendery. The reporter wondered if an "MSNBC love fest" was going on at the White House.
End quote. Named in the report as having been summoned by the President to offer their fiscal advice were Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, and Rev'm Al Sharpton.
In related news, John Boehner has been seeking advice on the nation's fiscal management from Snookie, Pee Wee Herman, and Pastor Terry Jones.
Listeners, shed a tear for our beautiful country, that has come to such a pass. Then, get ready to pay what you owe. A nation gets the government it deserves, and this is the one we got.
04 — Not cynical enough. Cynicism does not get a good press in the U.S.A. There have been some great American cynics — H.L. Mencken, Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain in his darker moments — but this is on the whole an optimistic, romantic nation. Our moving spirit is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who taught that human nature is fundamentally good, and is only diverted into the evils of greed, selfishness, and a dozen bad words ending in "-ism" by the corrupting influences of bourgeois civilization.
The Old Adam keeps breaking through the smiley-face mask, though, and the daily diet of stories from the news media always contains a few items to make us cynics cackle with cynical glee. This week's news turned up a real doozy in that line.
The central characters here are, first, Lawrence DePrimo, a New York City cop, and second, Jeffrey Hillman, a street person, age 54.
On the cold night of November 14, Officer DePrimo was on foot patrol in Times Square. He saw Mr. Hillman sitting on the sidewalk propped against a wall, and noticed that Mr. Hillman's feet were bare. Officer DePrimo did the Good Samaritan thing: He went to a local store and, with his own money, purchased a pair of boots and a pair of socks, and went back out and put them on Mr. Hillman's feet.
A passing tourist caught the episode on her cameraphone and sent it to the New York Police Department. Her recording of the incident was unknown to Officer DePrimo at the time, and definitely unknown to Mr. Hillman, who appears comatose. The NYPD put the pictures online, and Officer DePrimo became a national hero. Pretty soon he was doing the talk show circuit. By last weekend he could have run for Mayor. In fact, given the menagerie of tinfoil-hat lefties who are running for Mayor, many of us wished he would.
It was a pretty little story; but to us cynics, it was surprising from a couple of angles.
For one, this was a cop doing this. There is hardly any profession where you'll find a higher concentration of cynicism than in police work. Cops don't read Jean-Jacques Rousseau. They don't need to. They have philosophy lessons every working day of the week. If you want to see human nature as cops see it, I recommend Connie Fletcher's book What Cops Know.
My surprise here was muted somewhat when I learned that Officer DePrimo is a rookie, only 25 years old. Still, even at that age, he can have been out patrolling the streets for two or three years, so the incident still bespeaks an exceptional innocence of heart.
For another thing, this was New York City, where the normal friendly greeting to a stranger is "HEY, JACKASS!" and you're either getting elbowed off the sidewalk or you're doing the elbowing. Anything you care to say about cynicism can be raised to the second, third, and fourth power in New York City.
Anyway, when I read the story, my inner cynic spoke up right away. Here's what he said. "Ha! As soon as that homeless guy sobers up enough to string two thoughts together, he'll sell those boots to buy more booze or crack."
Deplorable of me, I know. It turns out, though, that I wasn't cynical enough. Perhaps in today's world you can never be cynical enough.
Now, I don't actually know that Mr. Hillman sold his boots for booze money, but the circumstantial evidence is mighty strong — to quote from Henry David Thoreau, as when you find a fish in your milk.
I do know, because last Sunday's New York Times reported it, that Mr. Hillman is still wandering the New York streets, and is once again barefoot.
Tackled by the Times reporter, Mr. Hillman had this to say, quote: "Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money. I could lose my life." End quote. Mr. Hillman also had a grievance to air. Who doesn't, in our Republic of Resentment? Quote: "I was put on YouTube, I was put on everything without permission. What do I get? This went around the world, and I want a piece of the pie." End quote.
Leaving aside Mr. Hillman's grievance that all he got from the affair was a lousy hundred-dollar set of boots and socks, what does he mean by saying "I could lose my life"? I've been walking around New York City for forty years, often in pricey footwear, but I've never felt my life was in danger therefrom.
So perhaps Mr. Hillman's fears for his life refer to the denizens of the anarchic homeless shelter in which the poor fellow is obliged to spend his sleepless nights? Well, not likely. Here's where I wasn't cynical enough.
You see, it turns out Mr. Hillman is not actually homeless. New York's Channel 4 News reported on Tuesday that Veterans Affairs gave Mr. Hillman an apartment in the Bronx last year. City officials confirmed that he does actually live there. He pays his rent using, quote, "a lifetime voucher for homeless veterans, together with his Social Security income," end quote. They don't explain why Mr. Hillman's getting Social Security at age 54. Presumably this is SSI, Supplemental Security Income, which was created in 1974 to help people not old enough for Social Security but too disabled to work. SSI is now a vast scam feeding taxpayer cash to anyone who can persuade a doctor to sign a note, with unscrupulous attorneys skimming off the cream.
A friend who is a tad less cynical than myself suggested that perhaps panhandling in Times Square is just more profitable if you're barefoot, as indeed Officer DePrimo's actions would illustrate. So possibly Mr. Hillman just leaves his boots at home when doing his night job, I don't know.
Whatever the fate of those boots, the takeaway here is that our nation is planted thick from coast to coast with welfare programs like SSI, SSD (that's a different one), Veterans Affairs, SNAP, WIC, EBT, Medicaid, Section 8, school lunches, and the rest, all funded out of your taxes. Any time you feel like spending money to help some homeless person on the street, just stop a moment and remember that you already gave at the office. Which you surely did — at the IRS office, that is.
05 — Americans, your government hates you. It's been a while since there was an immigration item in the news for me to froth and sputter at. This week delivered a couple. I'll tackle the big one here and defer the lesser one to my closing miscellany.
This concerns the STEM Jobs Act, which passed the House of Representatives last Friday and came up before the Senate this week. STEM — it's an acronym, S-T-E-M — stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. High points of the Act: It
The STEM Jobs Act is a Republican initiative, an aspect of the Republican desire to feed cheap labor to their business sponsors and funders. There is no evidence whatever that the U.S.A. has any shortage of STEM graduates. What would count as evidence would be rising salaries in these fields. Salaries overall are in fact falling, largely because these fields have already been flooded with foreign workers. It's not hard for a foreign graduate to get a job offer, if he's willing to work for a low salary. As foreignization depresses salaries, STEM careers become less appealing to Americans, who go to law school instead.
I watched the whole thing happen in my own former profession, commercial IT. As a mainframe programmer in the U.S.A. forty years ago, I worked with teams of American programmers, all of them citizens from working-class or lower-middle-class backgrounds, with ancestries that were Irish or Italian, Anglo or German, Jewish or black. It was a good middle-class career for a citizen. Now foreignization has killed that opportunity, and Americans have responded in the rational way, by shunning computer science courses.
To illustrate the issue, cast your eye down the graduate-student roster for Caltech's Department of Electrical Engineering. It's reproduced on ee2.caltech.edu/people/gradstudents.html, and again in a December 4 post on VDARE.com.
There are 96 graduate students listed. I have no way of knowing how many of them are non-citizens, but just based on the names, I'm guessing it's a lot. Sixteen of the 96 names are of obvious British, German, Italian, or other European origin — that's one-sixth. The others are all Indian, Chinese, Korean, or Middle Eastern. Assuming a further sixteen of these non-European names belong to citizens, that would leave two-thirds of the class as foreign, which I think is a fair guess.
So that's the Republicans' STEM Act. It's crafted to balance out various interests: Eliminate the Diversity Lottery, which just swells Democrat voter rolls. Residence visas for STEM graduates, which satisfies the cheap labor lobbies that fund the GOP. Speed up chain migration for legal residents' families, to do that "reaching out" to Hispanics that the Republicans are always being urged to do. (Mostly by their enemies, but they are too stupid to notice that.)
Congressional Democrats have their own immigration bill, and as is the silly custom now, it too has an acronym: it's the BRAINS Act. That's B-R-A-I-N-S, which stands for Benefits to Research and American Innovation through Nationality Statutes. It's pretty much the same as the GOP bill, except it doesn't eliminate the Diversity Lottery. The Dems love that Diversity Lottery because the people it brings in are mostly uneducated and low-skilled, which is to say, future Democrat voters. The BRAINS Act is the brainchild of New York's Senator Chuck Schumer.
Opposing the STEM Act in the Senate on Wednesday, Schumer said the Republicans' Act contained, quote, "anti-immigrant language," presumably because it does not increase the number of immigrant visas. It awards 55,000 to the STEM graduates, remember, but ends the 55,000-visa Diversity Lottery. BRAINS, on the other hand, also has the new STEM visas but keeps the Lottery.
In fact neither STEM nor BRAINS is anti-immigrant. What they both are, and what all immigration talk is at the level of congressional or mainstream-media discussion, is anti-American. When this country first put men in space in the 1960s, immigration levels had been exceptionally low for 40 years, thanks to the restrictive 1924 Act. There was no shortage of scientists and engineers. Today we have twice as many citizens, 315 million people, a big enough pool of talent to supply all the expertise we need in every field. Employers don't want Americans, though, because foreigners will work for less money.
The whole message of immigration talk from both parties is that Americans are no good. Foreigners are so much brighter, more industrious, more entrepreneurial. Having priced low-skilled Americans out of the bottom part of the labor market by allowing illegal Mexicans to flood in, Congress is now hard at work pricing the skilled middle-class out of their jobs with insults like the STEM and BRAINS Acts.
Here's my comprehensive — yes!, comprehensive — solution, which I am sure will be enthusiastically received by both parties in Congress: the Systematically Crush America's Majority Act, known for short as the SCAM Act.
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items. Where are you, Miss Elleny? … Ah, here she comes.
Imprimis: Here is Sinclair Community College in downtown Dayton, Ohio. It's some big place: nearly 30,000 students, with of course a deep commitment to "diversity." Quote from Sinclair's website, quote: "The concept of diversity at Sinclair Community College encompasses the acceptance, inclusiveness, engagement, and mutual respect among students, faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the broader community." End quote. If you are wondering whether the po-faced apparatchiks who extrude that kind of buncombe ever reflect on how far into self-parody they have sunk, stop wondering: They don't.
Well, a construction crew was digging up the road in the grounds of the college. They put up a sign that said MEN WORKING. A college administrator of the Gyno-American persuasion saw the sign and had a fit of the vapors. After being revived with smelling salts, she lodged a complaint with the construction company.
Once the outrage became known, the college was locked down, several hundred trained grief counselors were bused in to help the students cope with their hurt feelings, and Eric Holder's Justice Department dispatched a team of investigators charged with identifying the Civil Rights violators. Nah, I just made that up … I think.
What nobody seems to have noticed is that if there were no women in the construction crew — which is usually, though of course shamefully — the case, the sign was perfectly truthful: there were men working. Even if anyone had noticed this, though, I doubt it would have made a difference. When diversity is on the line, truth counts for nothing.
Item: The shooting of black teenage delinquent Trayvon Martin by "white Hispanic" Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida last February brought out the very worst in our corrupt mainstream media. No pains were spared by mainstream journalists to portray the shooting as an anti-black crime motivated by race prejudice, of a type characteristic of evil white Americans.
What is actually characteristic of today's U.S.A. is the low-level race war being committed by blacks against whites and Asians, with hundreds of victims every year. Details can be found in the Department of Justice's crime statistics, or on websites like blackracismandracehatred.blogspot.com Where they can not be found is in the mainstream media, which suppresses them.
Well, George Zimmerman is fighting back against the media goons. This Thursday he filed a lawsuit against NBC TV for editing an audio tape of his 911 calls to make him sound racially prejudiced. His attorneys also released high-resolution police photographs of Zimmerman showing the head and face injuries he'd received from Martin. The state prosecutors, who are in cahoots with the media rats, had previously released only very low-quality images in which the injuries could not be clearly seen. Zimmerman's attorneys managed to force release of the originals a few weeks ago.
This whole affair has been a shame and disgrace on the national media, and on the elected officials of Florida. I hope George Zimmerman gets an eight-figure award and never has to work again.
Item: Oh yes, I promised you a minor immigration story. Here it is. Onyango Obama, Barack Obama's uncle, has had his immigration case re-opened. You'll recall that Mr. Obama was arrested for drunk driving in August last year. He is an illegal immigrant, had been ordered deported in 1989, had appealed the order, had his appeal turned down in 1992, then just stayed anyway.
Following his DUI arrest last August, Obama had been given a stay of deportation until June 5 this year so that his court case could be dealt with. It was; June 5 came and went; he's still here. It now looks as though this drunk-driving scofflaw will be here for good, like Obama's aunt; though in his favor it must at least be said that unlike Aunt Zeituni, he isn't living off welfare.
Why such special treatment for this illegal immigrant lawbreaker? Why do you think? Next time anyone tries to tell you that ours is a nation of laws, not of men, you have my authority to sock him on the jaw.
Item: Finally, a sad story from New Mexico. Eighty-one-year old Luciano Mares of that state found a mouse in his home. Being not well-disposed towards mice, Mr. Mares threw the rodent outside into a pile of leaves he was burning in his yard. The mouse, its poor fur all afire, escaped from the leaf pile and ran back into the house. The house thereupon caught fire and burned to the ground. Mr. Mares escaped unharmed, but is now homeless.
The Daily Caller, where I found this story, tells us that the present whereabouts of the mouse is unknown.
So apparently there is a God … and he's a mouse.
07 — Signoff. Way over my time allowance as usual, ladies and gents. I really must attempt to restrain my loquacity.
To see us out, and to keep Radio Derb in good standing with the higher powers, here is the fine old Scottish actor Donald Douglas reading Robert Burns' poem, "To A Mouse." I've edited it down to four stanzas. For the full poem see johnderbyshire.com under "Readings."
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Donald Douglas reading Burns' "To a Mouse"]