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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings to one and all from your courageously genial host John Derbyshire, bringing you news of the hour.
This week's news is heavy on issues of immigration and the border. No need to apologize for that: These are our central concerns here at VDARE.com. I shall pass comment on other topics, though: terrorism, book-burning, and … sex.
First, though, the border. Off we go.
02 — Bordering on madness. The border between Mexico and the state of Texas is 1,242 miles long, from Brownsville on the Gulf of Mexico to El Paso deep inland, where the state of Texas meets the state of New Mexico. The entire border, all twelve hundred miles, is formed by the Rio Grande river.
About halfway along that border on the Texas side is the town of Del Rio, population 35 thousand, eighty percent of them declaring themselves Latino. Largest employers are an Air Force base and a prison.
Across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, in Mexico, is the town of Acuña, which is much bigger — four times the population of Del Rio. I imagine the proportion of Acuñans declaring themselves Latino is very close to a hundred percent, but I can't find confirmation of that.
If you drive from Mexico into Texas, there's a fine expressway over the river that eventually becomes U.S. Route 277. The expressway is elevated across the river of course, then continues to be elevated for the first half mile or so into Texas. Then you come to an official Port of Entry, with a CBP — that's Customs and Border Protection — station that will process your entry into the U.S.A.
Should you choose not to drive, and so long as the Rio Grande is running low, you can wade across from the Mexican side to the Texas side. That is, you can walk into the U.S.A. Once in Texas, if the sun is really hot you can walk in the shade under the expressway.
You can't walk far, though. A couple of hundred yards into Texas you come to a chain-link fence patroled by CBP. So you're stuck there between the river and the fence, in the shade of the expressway overpass if you're lucky, otherwise on the bare sandy earth nearby or the adjacent scrub.
At the time of recording here on Friday morning there are ten thousand people stuck there between river and fence, and hundreds more joining them every hour. If this were a military operation it would be called a beach-head. All these people want entry to the U.S.A.
Who are they? The greatest number, we are told, are Haitians. They are not actually from Haiti — not recently, at any rate. After the Haiti earthquake of 2010 some South American nations — I've seen Brazil and Chile mentioned, but there are likely others — took in Haitian refugees.
Once our government threw open our southern border early this year, the word got around to these expat Haitians that instead of living in not-very-rich countries with not-very-enlightened attitudes about black people they could go live in a rich country where blacks are sacred objects who may not be criticized. So, up they came … and are still coming. You can't blame them.
We're told that there are other nationalities in there too — Cubans, Central Americans, Venezuelans, and a sprinkling from everywhere else. To judge from news photographs, though, the great majority are black, and so presumably Haitian.
So if you are one of the ten thousand — maybe twelve thousand by the time you hear this — parked there under the expressway — how do you proceed?
Well, first you get on line for a numbered ticket. You just take the ticket from a CBP or National Guard guy. These tickets are like the ones you get at the DMV: just a number to put you in sequence to go up and get properly processed. Except of course that while your DMV ticket has some number like 23 on it, presumably the ones CBP is handing out have numbers more like 11,823.
With that numbered ticket you can go stand on line for proper processing. You'll be standing on line for days, of course. Maybe weeks: Todd Bensman, in a CIS report datelined today, Friday, says that, quote, "wait times have reached three weeks at current federal resources," end quote.
The feds are of course completely overwhelmed so that the processing, when you get to it, must be pretty perfunctory. If the feds don't have anything negative on file about you — and if you're a Haitian expat who's been living in Chile since 2010, they almost certainly don't — you'll get some papers stamped granting you the right to enter the U.S.A. and remain until date so-and-so.
Between now and then you should report to an immigration office … if you feel like it. If you'd rather not, that's OK; we hardly ever deport people just for being here illegally.
03 — Beach-head, break-out. This cannot end well. A three-week wait time, out there in the summer heat, among ten thousand others and with two thousand more arriving every day; wading back across the river to Mexico to buy food; and the sanitary arrangements don't bear thinking about.
It looks to me like a seriously unstable situation. It looks that way to the CBP guys, too. Another quote from Todd Bensman:
Several officers … expressed fear that, should these immigrants become impatient with the ever-extending process periods under these living conditions, they will riot and easily overwhelm the relatively few available Border Patrol, National Guard, and Texas Department of Public Safety officers available for security.
Yes: In military science, the word that goes most naturally with "beach-head" is "break-out." Among the thousands stuck there behind the perimeter fence in the heat, trash, and stink of the beach-head, there must be many who know that. Perhaps the break-out has already happened as you are hearing this. I'm on a schedule; I'm doing my best; just give me credit for foresight.
It's not as though Haitians are gentle, pacific souls with no propensity to violence at all, other than to the bulls, goats, dogs, cats, and birds they sacrifice in voodoo ceremonies. A Google search on "Haiti riots 2021" got more than two million hits. Random sample from recent news: Reuters, July 23rd, quote:
Haiti bid a rowdy farewell to assassinated president Jovenel Moise on Friday as his funeral was roiled by nearby gunfire and protests, prompting a high-level U.S. delegation to leave abruptly and other dignitaries to duck into vehicles for safety.
And then, if news about the Del Rio delays gets back to the Haitians on their way there, surely some of them will figure out that they'll be better crossing the Rio Grande at some place in the twelve hundred miles of it not near Del Rio; or avoiding the river altogether and crossing further west, in the seven hundred miles where Mexico borders New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Of which, more in just a moment.
04 — Federal insouciance. The truly remarkable thing about the Del Rio beach-head is the insouciance of our federal government, which is responsible for border security.
The President of course has no time to spare on the issue, being too busy ordering us to wear masks and carry vaccine passports. His Vice President, who is supposed to be responsible for overseeing border issues, has her hands full fixing the root causes, which I think means negotiating bribes with the Central American gangster states to keep their people home.
If DHS Secretary Mayorkas has made any official comments about the Del Rio beach-head, I missed them. He has been preoccupied with settling the hundred thousand-odd "translators" recently flown in from Afghanistan — what a lot of translators we had! — and also with matters of internal admin, his Chief of Staff having submitted her resignation on Monday, effective month end.
"To pursue new opportunities" was the lady's official reason for resigning. That is certainly a good and valid reason for quitting one's job; but it is also what public people say when they've been forced or irritated out of a job, or placed second in some departmental power struggle. I don't know; I only speculate.
I do know a lot about bureaucratic priorities, having worked in big organizations both public and private for thirty years. I'm guessing that the rank order for Mayorkas' three big issues are (1) office politics, way out ahead, (2) the Afghans, and (3) the Del Rio beach-head, if he can ever get around to it.
And while we all know that construction of the border wall was all stopped the moment Donald Trump left office, I did not know until the other day that at some time in these past few months, someone has been removing stretches of the wall.
This is further west than Del Rio, on the Arizona section of the Mexican border. The border here was a favorite crossing point for drug smugglers because of the proximity to Tucson. Quote:
[President] Trump made securing the area a top priority and was able to construct almost 245 miles of wall along the Arizona-Mexico border, cutting off countless access points that had been used by illegal crossers for years.
That was from a September 12th report by Julian Conradson at the Gateway Pundit. Conradson then tells us that, further quote:
In one of the most heavily-trafficked areas in southern Arizona, that is a favorite of Mexican drug runners, large sections of already-constructed border wall have been cut out and have inexplicably been left wide open and unsupervised.
It doesn't seem likely that the feds cut out those sections of wall themselves, but plainly they have been in no hurry to rebuild them. Why would they? It was Trump that had them built. Everything that Trump did was bad; it must all, every jot and tittle, be reversed, canceled, annulled, undone. How else are we to attain the World of Null-T?
But please don't let me leave you with the impression that our federal government has been totally inactive on the immigration front. Heaven forfend! They have, in their own peculiar way, been quite busy.
05 — The feds swing into action. Yes: Our federal government, working from their own list of priorities, has been on the immigration case, including the matter of the Del Rio beach-head.
Thursday evening, for example, the Federal Aviation Administration enacted a restriction order to ban overflight of the beach-head by drones. Fox News has been using drones to gather pictures of the area in all its overcrowded squalor. Well, no more of that! This restriction order, the feds assume, takes care of the optics.
Ah, the optics! Nothing else really matters, does it? Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Nor have the federal kritarchs been idle. Thursday this week Judge Emmet Sullivan of the D.C. District Court blocked the federal government from continuing to use Trump's Title 42 order that lets CBP turn back migrants on public health grounds. The order was designed to protect us from incoming carriers of the COVID virus. Now, thanks to Judge Sullivan, they can enter without let or hindrance.
Our congresscritters have been busy on immigration issues in their own mysterious way, too. The key aim here is mass amnesty for all illegal aliens. Our own Washington Watcher has written about this at length; I'll just give a brief recap.
With the Senate closely divided as it is, trying to pass amnesty via regular legislation crashes up against the filibuster rule, but the Democrats think they have a way to do it anyway.
Here was Byron York in the Washington Examiner, September 16th, slightly-edited quote:
Democrats have come up with a new plan to make an end-run around Senate rules … The plan is this: Congress has to pass a budget. The rules allow senators to use a process called reconciliation to bypass the filibuster and pass the budget with a simple majority. But the rules also say reconciliation can only be used to pass a measure that is germane to the budget, that it must have some "fiscal impact."
Executive summary: The administration wants to give permanent residence, with citizenship after five years, to untold millions — twelve million, twenty million, no-one really knows — of illegal aliens … Who will then, through the wonders of chain migration, bring in tens of millions of their relatives and fake relatives.
The decision as to whether or not the administration can actually do this is in the hands of the Senate Parliamentarian.
Who he? Actually it's a she, name of Elizabeth MacDonough, age fifty-something, appointed nine years ago by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Her job is to see that the senate rules are properly observed.
Ms MacDonough's first job in government — her first real job, so far as I can gather — was as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice handling immigration cases in a law enforcement capacity; so on the upside here, she may actually know something about immigration. That would make her well-nigh unique in Congress.
Although the DoJ experience may also be a down-side. It's possible Ms MacDonough developed a bleeding heart for the foreign defendants in those federal courts. Since she wasn't representing them for a private-practice law firm, it doesn't seem likely she belonged to AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which is a big open-borders lobby; but it would be nice to know for sure.
In any case, note please that the Senate Parliamentarian is appointed, not elected. The decision as to whether to grant permanent residence and then full U.S. citizenship, complete with full voting rights, to tens of millions of scofflaws rests entirely in the hands of an unelected official.
(Well, almost entirely: The full senate could, on a majority vote, overrule her decision. The Washington Post, however, thinks that not likely to happen. Too controversial, they say; and there's believed to be an understanding between Schumer and McConnell not to challenge the Parliamentarian's ruling.)
If Ms MacDonough does say yes to amnesty, that will of course be yet another huge incentive to the hundreds of millions of wretched souls living in poop-hole countries to head for the U.S.A.
And I should not leave this business of the budget reconciliation bill without noting that amnesty aside, the bill includes a huge increase in legal immigration. The details there are knotty, and there are other issues I want to talk about, but bear in mind that it's not just amnesty at issue here; it's also the further demoralization and impoverishment of the American middle class.
Contemplating all this folly and treachery, I feel just the way Enoch Powell felt 53 years ago. Quote:
It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.
End quote. Yes, it really is.
06 — Is Europe coming to its senses? Here in the U.S.A. we may have lost our collective mind over immigration, but over in Europe there are encouraging signs of spine-stiffening.
Greece, for example, now has a very impressive wall 25 miles long on her border with Turkey. They put up a fence covering eight miles back in 2012, but this past few months they've extended it to 25 miles and added surveillance equipment.
The Taliban victory in Afghanistan has helped concentrate people's minds. The Greek government has announced they will deport any Afghans who arrive illegally.
Greece also learned a lesson from the great migrant crisis of 2015. They assumed they'd just be a transit country for the illegals — that the illegals would just want to pass through Greece on their way to the more prosperous and generous countries further north. In fact Greece ended up with 60,000 staying in the country.
Concerning those countries further north, Lithuania has taken a stand.
One of the greatest pests in Europe is the European Court of Human Rights. That word "human" in the name of the thing translates as "perverts, criminals, and illegal invaders." The Court of Human Rights is bleeding-heart anti-white progressive nation-killing institutionalized.
Well, they ordered Lithuania to accept some Afghans who'd crossed the border from next-door Belarus into Lithuania without papers. The Lithuanians refused, and shipped the illegals back to Belarus. Good for them.
That is part of a bigger story about the government of Belarus, which is not a happy country. The president, Alexander Lukashenko, has been in power since 1994, mainly by staging crooked elections. His administration is crudely authoritarian and corrupt as all get-out. We have sanctions ongoing against them, and so do Canada, Britain, and the EU.
In retaliation for these sanctions, Lukashenko is pushing migrants — currently mainly Afghans — out across his borders into neighboring Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland.
Poland just this week completed a barrier fence along her entire border with Belarus. It's only a barbed-wire barrier, not as grand as Greece's wall, but still a step in the right direction.
Border security is on people's minds all over Europe. In the upcoming October 8th election in Czechia, it's a major issue.
Even the Germans are tightening controls. Here are words spoken the other day by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, quote:
We will do everything we can to prevent the uncontrollable influx of refugees into Europe. In the case of an emergency, we will tighten border control measures. Not everyone who wants to come to our country is allowed to come.
That's a great improvement over Angela Merkel cheerily waving them in back in 2015.
The star of this thread, though, is Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary. Last Sunday the Pope visited that country. His Holiness held an outdoor mass in Budapest, the capital, in the course of which he urged Hungarians to, quote, "extend their arms to everyone," end quote — an obvious reference to Orbán's closed-door policy on immigration.
Orbán had anticipated that. Quote from Agence France-Presse, September 13th, quote:
As a gift, Orbán gave the pontiff a copy of a letter written by King Béla IV to Pope Innocent IV in 1250 asking for help against Mongol warriors who threatened Christian Hungary.
Now that's doing it in style! Orbán, I should add, is not Catholic, although his wife is.
07 — The sleeping nukes. Commemorations of the 9/11 attacks frequently included the observation that in the twenty years since, we have suffered nothing from terrorists that was anything like as bad.
Yes, there have been incidents of crazy Muslims killing people: the Fort Hood massacre in 2009, for example, which ended the lives of thirteen people and one unborn child. That was certainly dreadful; but thirteen dead is way less than three thousand dead plus major urban destruction.
There is an optimistic take on that twenty-year reprieve, and a pessimistic take.
The optimistic take is, that we have licked the problem of 9/11-scale major terrorist attacks. Our intelligence services and security protocols are now so far improved, nothing like 9/11 could again be pulled off. Either that, or there has been some deep change of thinking among the terrorists. Perhaps they've collectively decided that attacks on that scale cause more trouble than they're worth.
The pessimistic take is, that we are overdue for another 9/11.
The really pessimistic take is, that the terrorists have raised their ambitions. Flying planes into buildings? Been there, done that. Let's try for something even more spectacular. How about … nukes!
Nukes are the sleeper threat of the current age. They haven't been used in anger for 76 years. We all know they're there, but they don't loom large in our thinking. We thought about them a lot in the Cold War, with a regular supply of novels, movies, and TV dramas to keep us thinking, but they've since dwindled into the background of our awareness.
A sleeper threat is still a threat, though — more of a threat than something closer to the front of our minds, like planes flying into buildings. We are creatures of impression.
As I pointed out last week, there is at least one nation in the world that is (a) corrupt, with everything for sale, (b) armed with nuclear weapons, and (c) full of crazy Muslims. Begins with a "Paki," ends with a "stan." In another twenty years there could be others the same. Heck, it's 1940s technology.
The nukes are there, under who-knows-what level of supervision, and the crazies are nearby. It's only a matter of time.
If memory serves, Dick Cheney's rationale for the war on Iraq was that maybe Saddam was going nuclear and maybe he wasn't; but if there was even only a one percent chance he was, the nuke-terrorist danger was too great for us to do nothing.
Whatever you think of that, and of Cheney, and of the Iraq War, you can hardly disagree that if there is anything we can do to guard against a terrorist nuke, anything that doesn't violate our liberties and laws, we should do it.
So: What can we do?
One thing we could do is start implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission report.
Say what? The 9/11 Commission report? That thing came out when? (Looks it up.) In 2004, seventeen years ago. We didn't implement the recommendations yet?
No, we certainly didn't. Quote:
The [Biden] administration's dangerous and politically-driven immigration actions and policies over the past nine months ignore or defy nearly every one of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations.
That's from an excellent piece by Matthew Tragesser of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, at Breitbart News, September 14th. The headline on the piece is: Is President Biden Leading Us Towards Another 9/11?
I don't know whether he is or not. It seems plain, though, that if anyone wants to smuggle a nuke in across our borders and take out one of our cities with it, this administration's policies are making it way too easy for them.
Wait, though. We have our brilliant, dedicated, honorable, efficient, and totally apolitical intelligence agencies and national security services to protect us, don't we? So that's all right then.
08 — The future of masculinity. Two weeks ago I had a segment about the Chinese Communist Party's war on girly-men. The ChiComs are really worried about their cratering fertility rate. They want young Chinese men to stop sashaying around and get breeding.
In strict logic they ought to be exhorting their young women to be more feminine, too. I haven't heard anything along those lines, but for all I know it may be happening.
I just hope they don't bring back foot-binding. My first landlady in Hongkong fifty years ago, Mama Lee, was an old woman from the villages of Shandong who'd had her feet bound. Really bound: You could hardly tell she had any feet at all.
Well, this week I saw a news story about young American men giving up on college education. Just about sixty percent of college students today are female; and of those who go to college, a higher percentage of women than men graduate at last — 65 percent of women compared with only sixty percent of men.
Given the huge quantities of worthless flapdoodle that are taught in colleges nowadays and the shameless money racket that College Biz has become, I find it hard to be very distressed about this. Far too many people are going to college. Charles Murray wrote a very good book about it.
There is, though, a great deal to be said about the changing roles of the sexes, both here and in China — and, I'm sure, elsewhere too. How's it going in India? I have no clue.
I'd like to enlarge somewhat on the topic, but I'm up near the limit of my time budget and the filing deadline looms, so I'm just going to cheat and read you something pertinent from my 2009 intergalactic bestseller We Are Doomed.
This is from Chapter Five of that indispensible tome, chapter title: Sex: Surplus to Requirements. Quote, slightly edited:
As men slip further behind in the meritocratic rat-race, the culture sends out more and more signals that traditional masculinity is passé. Clark Gable arrived on the set of Gone With the Wind two days before his 38th birthday, a milestone that Tom Cruise reached in July 2000, Brad Pitt in December 2001, and Matt Damon in October 2008. The difference is, of course, that Gable was unapologetically and unambiguously a man, while Cruise, Pitt, and Damon are, in their screen personae, essentially boys.
09 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: I've put this item first because it follows on, in some way I'll leave you to ponder, from that last segment.
As I predicted last week — and no, I'm not claiming any great feat of prediction; every other observer predicted it, too — California Governor Gavin Newsom easily survived the recall referendum.
On Monday they're having an election in Canada. Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau is in a dead heat with the opposition Conservative Party according to opinion polls, but support for the Conservatives has been declining slightly while Liberal support is holding steady. The best guess is that Trudeau will squeak out a win.
What's the connection with that last segment? Well, look at them. Newsom and Trudeau are girly men.
I know, I know, neither of them is homosexual. And yes, Trudeau is a boxer — a rather good one, to judge from one famous match. Yet still they're both … you know … pretty.
They are also both as woke as woke can be, which is girly just by itself. Clark Gable wasn't pretty, and he wasn't woke. OK, OK, "woke" wasn't around back then; but Gable's nearest present-day equivalent, Tom Selleck, isn't woke either.
And both Newsom and Trudeau have pursued seriously unpopular policies, especially on "green" issues. Yet, voters turn out for them. Why?
Not just because they're pretty guys from wealthy backgrounds, nor because they're woke; because they are of our time in a way that their challengers are not.
That's the closest I can get to it. Discuss among yourselves.
Item: There are words and phrases that people on this side of the divide — call us "thoughtful badwhites" — throw around freely, confident that those who share our outlook know what we mean. There's the word "Uniparty," for example, or the phrase "the Ruling Class" and its close synonyms: "the Elite," "the Establishment," and so on.
Once in a while I'm listening to someone, or watching video of someone, and I find myself thinking that the preson on display is the very personification of one of those terms — the living representative of some word or phrase. If you wanted to explain that word or that phrase to the proverbial visitor from Mars, you could just sit him down in front of that recording or that video and say: "See? That's what it means."
That's what I was thinking as I watched George W. Bush speaking at the 9/11 commemoration event last Saturday. The Ruling Class, the Uniparty, the Establishment in the flesh!
Item: One more from Canada. This one's kind of … encouraging.
What happened was a bibliocaust, a burning of books, in the state of Ontario.
The event, billed as a "flame purification" ceremony, was organized by a school board for French-speaking Catholic schools in the state. Too many of the books in schools supervised by this school board were insufficiently respectful to, quote, "Aboriginal knowledge keepers and elders," end quote. I guess that means activist busybodies from local Indian tribes. The removed books included comic books and children's books like Asterix and TinTin.
What's encouraging about that? Well, nothing about the event itself; but the larger reaction to the news story suggest that even in the lunacy of today, it's possible for Progressives to go too far.
Justin Trudeau spoke out against the bibliocaust, and so did Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole, his principal opponent in next week's election. Other national political figures chimed in with agreement. The school board has suspended the further removal of offensive books.
Outside the precincts of that school board and the tepees of Indian activists, there seems to be general agreement that burning books is wrong, even if done in a woke cause.
Will it still be wrong twenty years from now? It's unlikely I'll be around to find out … thank God.
No, wait a minute; that's gendered, isn't it? There's a ¡bienvenida! as well as a ¡bienvenido!, right? Mmmm … OK, got it: ¡bienvenidx!
Some signoff music. Just this morning I got a request of a generalized sort from a listener. Why haven't I ever played some rockabilly? he asked.
Haven't I? I did a quick scan of the logs, and apparently I haven't. To remedy the omission, here's a classic of the genre from Gene Vincent. I knew about his limp from reading Nik Cohn's book, but checking with Wikipedia for a refresher, I learned that Vincent's favorite piece of music was Beethoven's Egmont Overture. Life's full of surprises, isn't it?
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Gene Vincent, Be Bop A Lula.]