• Play the sound file (duration 27m44s).
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, this is your phlegmatically genial host, John Derbyshire, bringing you a selection from the week's news.
As you may perceive, ladies and gentlemen, I have become a little hoarse. [Clip: Horse sound.] Yes, I am afflicted with the common cold. I hope and trust my voice will carry me through to the end of the broadcast, but should my familiar lilting tones suddenly lapse into incoherent croaking, or utter silence, you will know the cause.
Fortunately my research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy have returned from their extended visit to Turkmenistan and are ministering to me very loyally, with many soothing potions, restoratives, salves, emollients, tinctures, demulcents, and embrocations. What Candy calls her "relief massage" I find especially revivifying. These dear girls — what would I do without them?
In local news, I note that Betty and Phil, the elderly couple who preside over our neighboring island, have been presented with a great-grandson. Unfortunately I lost a hundred Euros in the name pool, "Beauregard" being not much in favor as a name among Greeks. I congratulate the happy family none the less, and wish the infant well.
Enough of the preliminaries: On with the show! [Clip: Ethel Merman.]
02 — Campaign cash is cool stuff. Now, as regular listeners are aware, we strive to run a clean show here at Radio Derb: no smut, salacity, profanity, or innuendo — nothing that would bring a blush to a maiden's cheek. With three innocent and highly-strung young ladies in my charge here, I feel it's important to maintain a proper decorum. Er … what's the problem over there, Mandy? [Mandy: "This underwear is totally riding up my buttcrack."] Right … Why don't you go help the other girls get the party ready?
Where was I? Yes, we try our best to run a clean show. It distresses me, therefore, to have to bring Anthony Weiner to your attention once more.
You'll recall that Weiner resigned from the House of Representatives two years ago, after sending pictures of his reproductive organ to one of his Twitter followers, then getting caught having lied about having done so. Even before that, though, he had his eye on the New York City mayorship. "Mayorship," that's how you say it — the girls looked it up for me. There's an election for Mayor of New York every four years, and this is the year, this coming November. For the mayorship.
So Weiner had resigned from Congress. He'd built up some campaign funds for a run at the mayorship — around four million dollars — but he was in such disgrace, we assumed his mayoral campaign was a dead letter.
I assumed, in fact, that Weiner was sitting idle at home going through the job ads in the Daily News. That was naïve of me. When you've been in politics for 26 years and your wife is a close aide to a big political playah, in this case Hillary Clinton, there are plenty of ways to make money.
In fact Weiner had set up a consulting firm and was raking in cash by trading on his and his wife's political connections and his knowledge of government. The Weiners had half a million dollars in income last year.
Still that five million dollars, as it by now was, sitting in his mayoral campaign fund was nagging at Weiner. Calling to him, in fact. He'd lie awake at night hearing it calling: Anthony, Anthony! Spend me! Spend me!
Campaign cash is cool stuff. You can spend it like regular cash: buy yourself a car, stay in a fancy hotel while attending a conference in the Bahamas, get some good tailoring or designer dresses, eat at tony restaurants. Plus you not only get the money people have voluntarily given you, you get matching funds from the taxpayer.
The downside is, you can only spend that money if you have a registered campaign going. Once you do, not only can you open the money spigot, you can also offer campaign-related jobs to your friends, relatives, and people you want to kiss up to.
The temptation gets irresistible; and the alternative, to let all that lovely moolah just rot away unspent, gets more and more unthinkable. So two months ago Weiner announced he was running for Mayor after all. He went on TV and made a lot of the repentance-type noises people like to hear, then down to City Hall and sign up as a candidate.
In no time at all he was leading in the polls, mainly because, as Radio Derb has been telling you, the other candidates are of the type of a certain British politician who was so lacking in personality, the joke was that when he walked into a crowded room people looked at each other and said: "Who was that who just left?"
So far, so good. But then … next segment.
03 — Huma, all too Huma. That was the story up to this week. I actually summarized it in a limerick for Taki's Magazine, ahem:
When Weiner sent pics of his knob
(You have to pronounce "Mayor" New York style, with two clear syllables, if not more.)
Well, that was the story up to this week, Weiner confidently striding towards November's mayoral election. Then on Tuesday this week there was a new development.
A year after he resigned from Congress, Weiner was conducting a virtual sex affair — dirty talk, dirty pictures — with a young woman in Indiana. The affair fizzled out last fall, but when he decided to run for Mayor this spring, Weiner asked the young woman — she is 22, he is 48 — to delete all their exchanges.
Realising at last that Weiner's repentance of the previous year had been a sham — don't they teach them anything in public schools nowadays? — the lady did not do as instructed. Instead she passed the pictures and texts to a gossip website, who of course publicized them.
So there was Anthony Weiner on our TV screens Tuesday, holding a press conference with his wife Huma, doing the remorse thing all over again. Alas, it doesn't work so well the second time.
Mrs. Weiner swears she's forgiven him, but you have to wonder. She can't do much for him at this point, but making herself a sympathetic character boosts her own political prospects.
Does that sound cynical? Look, Mrs. Weiner is a close friend and associate of Hillary Clinton. Of Hillary Clinton. [Clip: Hillary laugh.] That's the lady who got rich beyond the dreams of avarice, and attained high power, by playing the wronged political wife.
Weiner might yet get away with it and be back on the road to Clinton-scale personal wealth via the political process. He's a politician, and politicians — especially liberal politicians, who have the media wind at their backs — can get away with anything.
The republic is apparently so short of people capable of writing our laws or carrying out our nation's executive functions, we have no choice but to put up with the scummy personal activities of an Anthony Weiner or a Bill Clinton, or the dull-witted mediocrity of a Harry Reid or a John Boehner, or the affirmative action entitlement of a Barack Obama or a Nancy Pelosi.
Three hundred and fifteen million people, and this shabby crew is the best we can come up with. What a falling-off there has been! The Founding Fathers must be spinning in their mausoleums. Mausolea, whatever …
04 — What brought down Detroit? The city of Detroit declared bankruptcy July 18th, and there's been much ruminating on the reasons for the collapse into dereliction of what was once the Paris of the West — Detroit was actually a strong candidate for the Summer Olympics in 1968.
The ruminating, so far as mainstream publications are concerned, was severely handicapped by our country's racial neurosis, which sent respectable commentators off in all directions searching for explanations that would excuse them from mentioning the r-word.
Among conservative commentators it was popular to blame liberalism, leading some impertinent souls to ask which bastion of liberalism would be the next to implode: Burlington, Vermont, perhaps? Or Portland, Oregon?
The decline of the auto industry was another popular culprit. Again, people who'd forgotten to take their blue pills pointed out that Pittsburgh had been at least as hard hit by the decline of Big Steel, but Pittsburgh is doing fine. There is also the small point that hardly any of the auto plants are actually in Detroit, or have been for decades. Most are outside the city, and most of the people who work in them live outside the city; and that's been the case for decades too.
My friend Paul Kersey has written a book about Detroit, title Escape from Detroit, arguing that Detroit was killed by demography; that once it became a black city run by blacks, incompetence, corruption, and crime brought Detroit down, as they brought down Camden and Newark, as they are bringing down Birmingham and Atlanta.
Paul is probably right. The lesson from Detroit is that blacks can't carry the black underclass. It's too big a proportion of the black population.
There is a speculative, but I think quite persuasive statistical theory called Smart Fraction Theory. It says that for a society to function well, to be stable and prosperous, you need a certain threshold proportion of smart people, which the author of the theory says means IQ 108 or above. If your population's smart fraction is below that threshold, the society won't work. Detroit, it seems to me, illustrates the truth of the theory.
All right, but let's try to be constructive here. What are we going to do about it? Next segment …
05 — Towards the custodial state. The basic problem here is that we still, after 150 years, haven't figured out what to do with the freed black slaves.
Some of them have done fine, of course: this is a great country, the best in the world, for smart and capable black citizens. And as Charles Murray reminded us with a fine book recently, we have a white underclass that is increasingly a problem and a burden.
Everything comes down to math at last, though — in this case to the distribution of abilities and behaviors in different populations, to the smart fraction. The white underclass is not so large in relation to the whole white population. It's a burden, probably a permanent one, but we can carry it.
The black underclass is much bigger in relation to the whole black population. It's so much bigger, in fact, that welfare usage by blacks and whites is very nearly the same in gross: blacks get 40 percent of all welfare payments, whites get just a tad less, 39 percent. Yet there are five times as many whites overall as blacks; there's the disproportion. Average per capita, blacks are getting five times as much of the welfare dollar as whites.
Whites don't want to be around the black underclass. Neither, for that matter, do middle-class blacks; but racial solidarity keeps their preference more repressed.
These simple truths have driven great social changes.
After the collapse of Reconstruction the black underclass was mostly a Southern problem, kept under control by policies of segregation and intimidation. Then came the great migrations through the middle decades of the 20th century, out of the rural South into the urban North. White Southerners weren't sorry to see blacks go. White Northerners weren't thrilled; but there were plenty of factory jobs, then a war to win, then a booming postwar economy.
In the 1950s the liberal social conscience came into its own. There was Brown v. Board of Education and federal troops at Little Rock. There was actually busing in Detroit in the early 1960s — busing wasn't just a 1970s thing. White flight started up, and was well under way by the time the 1967 Detroit riots happened. A friend who knows Detroit well, with a long family history there, tells me, quote: "The 1967 riot was the nail in the coffin, not the starter's pistol."
In 1973, just 40 years ago as I speak, Detroit's population went majority black, and Coleman Young was elected Mayor. Detroit became a black city under black control — to much celebration at the time. A 1976 report in the New York Times was headlined Blacks See Detroit as Their Own, and Hope to Rebuild.
Forty years later it's all in ruins. The experience, and that underlying math, suggest the lesson to be taken: There are enough smart and capable whites that the white population can carry its own dysfunctional underclass. The proportionally much bigger black dysfunctional underclass is too heavy for smart and capable blacks to carry, even if they felt inclined to, which they don't much. They'd rather hang out in the suburbs.
So who's going to carry the black underclass? In the end, of course, the whole nation must. Dysfunctional they may be, but they are our fellow citiizens, just as much as the white underclass. The lesson from Detroit's bankruptcy is that blacks can't do it.
But if blacks running a black city can't work, and whites don't want to move back there to live among them, we end up with what is essentially a reservation. Detroit may be the first, but there'll be plenty of others. Low-class blacks are being cleansed from New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and other big cities. They have to go somewhere. They'll go to reservation cities like Detroit, or to small towns from which whites and middle-class blacks will promptly flee.
We'll end up with a lot of poor, black, unproductive, dysfunctional communities managed from outside: the custodial state envisaged by Richard Herrnstein forty years ago.
Forty years ago, when Coleman Young took over Detroit. It's been a long forty years.
06 — Miscellany. I'm going to have to abandon ship shortly, I'm afraid, listeners. Let me try to pack my remaining observations into the closing miscellany.
Imprimis: I fear I may have short-changed you on the IRS scandal when I covered it in our May 18th broadcast. In a segment titled "If only it were the politicians" I opined that, quote:
I doubt Doug Shulman [that's the head of the IRS] or Lois Lerner [head of the division overseeing nonprofits] knew anything about this, either. The problem here is not with the politicos, who come and go; it's much more likely a problem of the permanent bureaucracy — the middle- and low-level worker-bees who staff the IRS and other government agencies.
Hearings before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week cast doubt on that. A lady named Elizabeth Hofacre, who is in charge of processing nonprofit applications in Cincinnati, told Congress that her work was overseen and directed by a lawyer in the IRS Washington office named Carter Hull. Mr. Hull said that tea-party applications under his review were sent upstairs within the Washington office, at the direction of Lois Lerner.
Looks like I was wrong. This is not local government people exercising their petty authority, it comes from the top. Radio Derb will be watching further developments and will keep you informed.
Item: The United Kingdom has legalized same sex marriage. Parliament passed the bill, the Queen signed off on it, and now Nigel and Tristram, or Felicity and Gillian, can enjoy legal conjugal bliss.
The astonishing thing is that this legislation has been pushed through Parliament by Prime Minister David Cameron, head of the Conservative Party. Indeed, it seems to have been a pet project of Cameron's. It was not a part of the Conservative Party platform at the last election, and significant sections of the party — as you'd expect with a name like "Conservative Party" — hate the whole idea. Even party member who don't hate the idea itself think that Parliamentary time should have been used for more important matters.
Cameron's thrilled with his accomplishment, though. At a celebratory party at the Prime Minister's official residence, shouting to make himself heard over loud disco music, Cameron urged the team of bureaucrats who worked on the marriage bill to fan out across the world spreading the good news about same sex marriage. Quote: "We've got to export more, so I'm going to export the Bill team. I think they can take it around the world." End quote.
The traditional joke about homosexuality was the old man saying: "In my father's time they hanged you for it. When I was a lad they put you in prison for it. Now it's legal. I hope I die before they make it compulsory."
My sentiments exactly. With the kind of enthusiasm Cameron was showing, anything might happen. And this, once again, is the leader of the Conservative Party over there. Imagine what the other two parties are like. I say it'll be compulsory in ten to twenty years. For what that will be like I refer you to Charles Beaumont's short story "The Crooked Man," about persecuted heterosexuals in a homosexual world. Into the closet we go.
Item: Finally, Australia has rewritten its refugee laws so that, quote, "No asylum seeker who comes by boat will ever be resettled in Australia." Australia has been plagued by boatloads of people, most from West Asia — Iran and Afghanistan especially — coming ashore in boats and claiming refugee status. The boats are owned and run by criminal people-smuggling syndicates.
These illegals will now be settled in Papua New Guinea, a slummy Third World island nation to Australia's north, most recently in the news for burning witches.
Australian commentators are skeptical that the government can really keep the invaders out, or even intends to. Some think the new law is political and cosmetic. The fact that the government found it necessary to pass the law though, even if insincerely, testifies to the growing fed-upness among First World populations at their politicians and businessmen importing masses of unassimilable cheap labor. And that's good. Let's get some of it over here.
07 — Signoff. With that, ladies and gents, I stagger off to my sleeping quarters. Please don't be concerned on my behalf: A few hot toddies and a rub-down from the girls, I shall be right as rain, in time to bring you …
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]