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[Music clip: Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, piano version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your prosaically genial host John Derbyshire, here with VDARE.com's July Fourth edition of Radio Derb.
I am of course in somewhat of a holiday spirit, so this week's offering may be a tad shorter than usual. Should it leave you feeling hungry, may I modestly suggest you top up by reading some suitable segment from my monthly diary for June, which I believe will be posted online by the time you hear this podcast.
Let us hasten forward to see what's been in the news this past week.
02 — Too soon made glad. This week has seen more rulings from the last session of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The rulings published prior to this week included two that greatly raised the spirits and hopes of conservatives: one striking down a very restrictive New York State gun law, the other overruling the Supreme Court's finding fifty years ago that the Constitution guarantees the right to an abortion.
As a resident of New York State and a seething victim of this state's Red Flag laws, I cheered the first ruling very heartily.
I have no personal connection to the other issue and no strong opinions about abortion. True, I was a failed abortion myself; but that was long ago, and in another country. No harm, no foul. I don't mind abortion, under strict controls and with humane regard for the developing fetus.
I do find, though, that on the rare occasions I read through a Supreme Court opinion with careful attention, the ones I find myself nodding along with most happily — the ones that give me the impression that I'm engaging with a mind that works like my own — are the opinions of originalists like Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia. The 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling was as un-originalist as it could be, so I welcome its nullification.
So, as I said, a couple of great rulings for conservatives last week, and we've been cheering appropriately.
This week's rulings started out on Monday with another one we could cheer. A high-school football coach had lost his job because he would kneel in midfield and offer a brief prayer after games.
The Court ruled that our First Amendment gave him the right to do that, and that the coach's employers had violated that right. So again, we were cheering and high-fiving each other over that one early this week.
Our hearts were, however, too soon made glad. On Thursday there came out a SCOTUS ruling on immigration that turned our smiles into frowns.
The underlying issue here is asylum claims by foreigners crossing our borders. People from other countries find their way into ours; then, when discovered by our immigration authorities, they plead some kind of life-threatening persecution in their home nation. As our own correspondent A.W. Morgan pointed out here at VDARE.com on Thursday, well north of ninety percent of these claims are bogus, but the immigration authorities have to investigate and pass judgment on them none the less.
That takes a lot of time. Federal law says that these so-called "asylum-seekers" shall be detained until the process is complete, although they can be paroled and released into the interior of the U.S.A. on a case-by-case basis that was, when the law was written, intended to be very exceptional.
Since the relevant laws were passed back in the 1990s, though, the number of "asylum-seekers" showing up at our southern border has soared into the hundreds of thousands, way more than DHS has detention facilities for.
Congress could appropriate funds to build more facilities; but that's just one of a great many things Congress could do to give us an orderly, sensible immigration system that benefits our citizens, and Congress doesn't want to do any of them. One of the parties in Congress wants a complete demographic transformation of the U.S.A.; the other is bought and paid for by business lobbies hungry for cheap labor.
So what to do with these floods of "asylum-seekers"? Up to the beginning of 2019 the answer was: parole them into the U.S.A. Then the Trump administration implemented a program called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which said that "asylum-seekers" could be returned into Mexico while their cases were adjudicated.
The Biden administration of course canceled that program. A Texas judge ruled that cancellation improper; an appeals court upheld his ruling; the Biden people protested those rulings; and we ended up in the Supreme Court, which yesterday issued their ruling.
The ruling was that yes, the administration could cancel Trump's MPP program. So now, since Congress will of course not take any effective action, we are back to mass release of these bogus "asylum-seekers" into our towns and cities.
This was a five-to-four ruling, or more accurately a five-and-a-half-to-three-and-a-half, since Amy Coney Barrett actually agreed with the majority but thought the Supremes should have left the case for lower courts to decide. The three full dissenters were Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch.
Scanning through the opinions — no, I didn't read 'em all, I just read summaries in the big news outlets — the ruling doesn't seem to me to be patently insane, like the original Roe v. Wade. The majority makes a fair case on the legalities, which is all they are obliged to consider.
From the perspective of our national interest, though, the ruling stinks. It leaves our mad, chaotic, nation-killing system of immigration a wee bit more mad, chaotic, and nation-killing than it was before.
The solution is, as it has always been, for the congresscritters to pass appropriate laws at peril of losing their seats if they don't, and for the Executive to enforce those laws at peril of impeachment if they fail to.
That's how our governmental system is supposed to work. Unfortunately it has long since stopped working. The constitutional machinery is all rusted and jammed.
So we are left waiting hopefully on the decisions of a handful of unelected lawyers, chosen not for their wisdom or patriotism but for their acceptability to powerful political factions.
The Founders intended the judiciary to be the weakest of the three branches of our government. How is it, then, that we are left hanging desperately on the Supreme Court's every word?
03 — Our borders not yet open enough! The temper of immigration patriots like myself and my colleagues at VDARE was not improved by the news that Comrade Merrick Garland's Department of Justice has been ridding itself of immigration judges who are insufficiently accommodating to illegal aliens. Judges appointed by the Trump administration have of course been the principal targets.
The Washington Times broke this news last week, telling us that at least six judges have been fired, or let go on thin and implausible pretexts.
It's not just judges, either. These immigration courts are supervised by the Executive Office of Immigration Review, an agency within the Justice Department run by career administrators; and four of this agency's top officials have been dismissed.
One of that four was the agency's actual Director; and this was the first time in the agency's history that a Director has been removed involuntarily.
One of the judges now out of a job, name of Matthew O'Brien, who'd presided over an immigration court in Arlington, Virginia, told the tale on Laura Ingraham's show last week. Quote from him:
The immigration courts are supposed to give people who are seeking to remain in the United States or have violated the immigration law a fair review of any claims they have made. The Biden administration is trying to turn the immigration court into, essentially, a free candy store, so that anyone who appears in front of the immigration court winds up getting some kind of benefit or being allowed to stay in the United States. And that's not what the courts were designed to do.
In all fairness to Comrade Garland, it isn't just naked political spite that's driving these dismissals. There has developed a huge and unsightly backlog of cases waiting for review. The Biden administration has decided to deal with that backlog by just dismissing most cases on sight.
Judge O'Brien has told us that a normal workload would be "many dozens of cases each month," but that in his last couple of months on the job he'd only presided over two or three with any substance.
He told The Washington Times that the Executive Office of Immigration Review is now, to all intents and purposes, owned by AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association. That's a bit like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms being a joint operation of Johnnie Walker, Philip Morris, and Smith & Wesson.
I am as far from being a fan of Mitch McConnell as it is possible to be without nursing homicidal thoughts, but I'll give credit where it's due: At least McConnell spared us from having Comrade Garland on the Supreme Court.
04 — Bring on the bourgeois revolution! In their next session, beginning this October, the Supreme Court will, they have told us, hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging race preferences in college admissions, specifically at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. That will be interesting.
That race preferences are a major factor in admissions to prestigious colleges is old news. Ron Unz gave us the definitive analysis ten years ago. There's a hardcover version of that analysis in Ron's 2016 book The Myth of American Meritocracy, which, if you don't have a copy, you really ought.
The favoritism is not just by race, apparently. A young white man named Daniel Schmidt has been making a name for himself this past couple of weeks by telling the world that his college, the University of Chicago, is particularly biased against middle-class white kids.
I was shocked by the complete lack of representation of middle-class white kids in the student body. To date, I haven't met a single middle-class white student who was admitted through the standard admissions process (and not through athletics).
That comes under the heading of "Stuff We All Kind Of Knew But Thought It Hazardous To Talk About In Public."
Daniel Schmidt himself, The College Fix tells us, quote, "lived in a single-mother household in a small Tennessee town for most of [his] life," end quote; so this is plain observation, not middle-class resentment.
When you live in a communist country the Party Secretary of your work unit tells you with a barely-repressed sneer that the American Revolution wasn't a real revolution like theirs, only a bourgeois revolution.
Stories like this one make me think that maybe it's time for another bourgeois revolution, before the American middle class is crushed out of existence between the two millstones of elite arrogance and mass Third World immigration.
And I can't leave the subject of college education without a mention of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' address earlier this week at Hillsborough Community College in that state.
Mention? Heck, I'll give you the man himself. Over to you, Governor.
[Clip. There aren't very many places that you can go and get a credible four-year degree and pay six thousand, sixty-five hundred dollars, er, sixty-eight hundred dollars for tuition.
Note the symmetry here, listeners. I started and ended this segment with guys named Ron. And people say there is no longer any rhetorical virtuosity in online commentary!
05 — Equality under the law … some day. Some law-enforcement-related news items here.
First item. We are coming up to the fifth anniversary of the fatal shooting in Minneapolis of 40-year-old yoga teacher Justine Damond. Justine was killed on July 15, 2017 — just weeks before her wedding day — by a Minneapolis cop named Mohamed Noor, a Somali immigrant then 33 years old.
Ms Damond was unarmed, perfectly sober, and presented no threat to Officer Noor. She had called 911 to report a possible disturbance in the alley behind her home and was just waiting for Law Enforcement to arrive.
We still don't really understand why Officer Noor shot her. Apparently a random noise on the cop-car radio spooked him, so when Ms Damond approached the car Officer Noor leaned over across his partner and shot her.
The mean IQ in Somalia, on the latest figures I can find is 68. But hey: diversity in our law-enforcement officers is really important, isn't it?
Three years ago, in June 2019, Officer Noor was sentenced to 12½ years in prison. Last October, however, one of the charges was overturned on appeal and his sentence was reduced to 4¾ years. At that point he had already served 2¼ years, so he had only 2½ years left to serve.
The rule in Minnesota, however, is that a defendant with good behavior will serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison and the rest on parole. Two-thirds of 4¾ is 3⅙, so Noor was released this week.
Please don't panic, though, Minnesotans. Ex-Officer Noor will be under the watchful eye of parole officers until January of 2024, so you are perfectly safe at least for the next year and a half.
Second item, also from the North Star State — also, in fact, from Minneapolis.
There is news about the cops who were restraining junkie street criminal George Floyd when he died in May 2020.
All the cops on the scene have of course been hit with both state and federal charges.
State-wise, Officer Chauvin was convicted last year of second-degree murder and sentenced to 22½ years. Officer Thomas Lane accepted a plea deal in May to a charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. He hasn't yet been sentenced. Officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng turned down plea deals. They'll go on trial in October. Charges: aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
That's just the state prosecutions. It's also important, if full justice is to be done, for these officers to be hit with federal charges for violating Floyd's civil rights. And this is not — absolutely not! no way! it's racist of you to even think it! — an instance of double jeopardy.
(Strange to say, I can find no record of Mohamed Noor being similarly charged in the death of Justine Damond. I'm sure that is just an oversight on behalf of the feds that Comrade Garland will rectify any day now.)
So the officers in the Floyd case are facing a federal District Judge. All four police officers have been convicted on the civil-rights charges. Which, I repeat, is not, totally NOT! double jeopardy.
The convictions having come down, the arm-wrestling now is all about sentencing.
Derek Chauvin seems to have settled for a 20- to 25-year sentence, although the actual sentence is not yet official. The federal prosecutors are asking for 5¼ to 6½ years for Officer Lane and something, quote, "substantially higher," end quote, for the other two.
Third item, from our nation's capital. You may recall that a 35-year-old white woman named Ashli Babbitt was shot dead by a black Capitol Hill police officer, Michael Byrd, during the January 6th protests last year.
Officer Byrd shot Ms Babbitt without challenge or warning, very much as Officer Noor shot Justine Damond. Ms Babbitt was unarmed. She stood 5 ft. 2 in. and weighed 115 lb.
So what is the latest news on that? There isn't any. What do you think the memory hole is for? [Whoosh.] That's my sound effect for the memory hole.
06 — The evergreen Emmett Till story. Before there was George Floyd there was Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black lad from Chicago who, way back in 1955, went to visit relatives in the Mississippi Delta without first having taken a study course in mid-20th-century Southern black racial manners.
In a village store he committed serious local etiquette offenses against the proprietor's wife, a white lady named Carolyn Bryant Donham.
The lady's outraged husband and his half-brother kidnapped Till, tortured him, shot him, and tossed his body into the Tallahatchie River. At trial they were acquitted by an all-white jury, but a few months later they confessed to the deed. They lived as outcasts for the rest of their lives, but never did do any jail time for the killing.
It's a cruel and horrible story. Much more to the social point, it fits with exceptional precision into the cherished American narrative of evil low-class white men being beastly to blacks.
Plenty of other stories from the last seventy years are equally cruel and horrible, if not more so — think of the December 2000 Wichita Horror, the January 2007 Knoxville Horror, or any of the innumerable other black-on-white atrocities logged by our own Paul Kersey, Nicholas Stix, or the late Colin Flaherty.
None of those is any kind of a fit for the beloved narrative, though. They mostly contradict it, in fact. So … [whoosh] down the memory hole with them!
Well, there's some Emmett Till news this week. People who really, really love the narrative have spent the past 67 years hunting for evidence relating to the case. Last week, The New York Times reports, they came up with a doozy: a document that has been yellowing away all these years in the basement of a courthouse in Greenwood, Mississippi.
The document is an arrest warrant from 1955 for the two killers, but also for Ms Donham. It identifies all three of them as wanted for thr kidnapping of Emmett Till. Apparently Ms. Donham wasn't arrested because she was out of the county at the time.
The lady is still alive, although today well along in her eighties. Will she be arrested? Experts in criminal law consulted by the Times say it's very improbable.
I wouldn't be so sure. The day after the news came out an informant of mine in the Department of Justice told me on a private, secure email link that Comrade Merrick Garland's eyes were glowing bright red …
07 — Poetry Corner. Now, a poetry note … or actually, more of an anti-poetry note.
You may recall the name Amanda Gorman. That was the 22-year-old black lady chosen to read one of her poems at Joe Biden's inauguration. Ms Gorman was, and to the best of my knowledge still is, our National Youth Poet Laureate.
I forget whether or not I passed comment on her poem at the time. I do remember noting that by the world-famous Derbyshire Trilemma Standard for determining whether a written or spoken production constitutes genuine poetry, her poem was not a poem at all.
(Just to remind you of the Derbyshire Trilemma Standard. To qualify as poetry the production should possess a minimum two of the following three properties: it rhymes, it scans, it makes sense.)
Well, Ms Gorman was apparently angry with last week's Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. She vented her anger in a tweet very much in the style of her inaugural non-poem. Tweet:
We will not be delayed.
That contains some rhymes, I'll allow; but to not in any regular or interesting pattern. Nor is there any proper scansion.
As for sense: Well, let's just take that third line: "To the tale of a handmade." That's "tale," t-a-l-e, and "handmade," h-a-n-d-m-a-d-e. So the line means: "To the story of a handmade."
But wait: "handmade" is an adjective. You can't have "a handmade" any more than you can have "a gorgeous" or "a corrugated" or "a microscopic."
Just to make sure, I checked with Webster's Third. Whoa: they do allow it as a noun, quote:
something that is handmade; esp. a handmade fabric or dress.
So some unspecified entity that is handmade has a tale, a story. May we not know what the entity is?
At this point I bailed out. When I want to engage with empty illiterate gibberish, I can always log in to the Congressional Record.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Senior members of the Democratic Party are showing signs of anxiety about November 5th, 2024. They know Joe Biden won't be able to stay upright that long, and a Kamala Harris candidacy doesn't bear thinking about.
So … who've they got? Correction: Who've they got that will be less than eighty years old on Election Day?
The search committees are out combing the land, sea to shining sea. But what's that strange noise they keep hearing in the distance? [Hillary cackle.]
That's a lot. And it showed up the same week that Joe Biden announced we are going to increase our military forces across Europe with more land, sea and air deployments because, you know, those European countries are way too poor and thinly populated to provide for their own collective defenses.
Why don't young Americans want to join the military? Could it be they don't want to be bossed around by men in women's dresses, or pestered by homosexual officers? Nah, that can't be it. Shame on me for thinking of it.
Item: Also on the military beat: You've heard about these hypersonic weapons that skim along at low level at stupendous speeds to avoid radar and anti-missile defenses then show up at the target with a nuclear or massive non-nuclear payload.
China successfully tested one last year. It went all the way round the world, then hit its target. Russia has them and has deployed them in Ukraine, although they seem to have underperformed in the matter of accuracy.
So how are we doing with hypersonic missiles? What have I got here? Oh yes, Bloomberg, June 30th, headline: US Hypersonic Missile Fails in Test in Fresh Setback for Program.
Too bad. Still, what we can't accomplish with advanced missile technology we can make up for by our superiority in sheer manpower, right?
09 — Signoff. That's all I have for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening, and a very happy July Fourth weekend to one and all!
Please note also that Monday, the actual Fourth, marks the 150th birthday of Calvin Coolidge, one of our nation's greatest presidents. Pause to offer up a moment of silence in memory of Dear old President Cal, who rather liked silence.
Going somewhat further back in history: two weeks ago I made passing mention of the Great Northern War of the early 18th century, fought mainly between Peter the Great's Russia and Charles XII's Sweden.
I did not know until a listener informed me that 1970s British folk-rock singer-songwriter Al Stewart wrote and recorded a song about the Great Northern War — one of many historical subjects he covered. The song, my listener tells me, follows precisely the rhythms of a famous 19th-century Swedish poem about Charles XII.
That's humbling but also depressing. Humbling because I get regular emails like that one from listeners and readers who know far more than I do about topics on which I'd thought I myself sufficiently well-informed. Depressing because it's hard to imagine a successful young singer-songwriter of today being that deeply engaged with history and literature in foreign languages.
So here to play us out is Al Stewart — who, by the way, is still with us and still performing — singing his song "The Coldest Winter," about Charles' march on Moscow in 1708-1709. Everyone remember, please, Field-Marshal Bernard Montgomery's Two Rules of War.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Al Stewart, "The Coldest Winter."]