»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, February 16th, 2024

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[Music clip: Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, piano version]

01 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings from your blessedly genial host John Derbyshire with a survey of the passing charivari.

Politics is heating up, New York City's in a mess, London's going off the rails, and Pancake Day came and went. There's a show-business birthday to be acknowledged and commemoration of a Saint's day to be noted.

A busy week, then. Off we go!

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02 — A special election.     Your genial host is a resident of New York State's 1st Congressional District — in Suffolk County on Long Island, the outer-outer eastern suburbs of New York City.

A mile and a half west of my house is the county line, running north-to-south down to Cold Spring Harbor. That's the county line, mind, not the city line. There's a whole other big fat county between us and the city. We're out in the sticks here.

If I stroll westwards that mile and a half and cross the county line, I am then in New York State's 3rd Congressional District: still the suburbs, but no longer quite so outer-outer. The district in fact includes a chunk of eastern Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City.

Wikipedia tells me that New York's 3rd is, quote, "the wealthiest congressional district in New York, and in 2022 was the fourth-wealthiest nationally," end quote. Wow. Perhaps the next best thing to being rich is living near rich people. I really should stroll over to the 3rd; some of that prosperity might rub off on me.

New York's 3rd has been famous in recent years on account of its congressional representative George Santos, whose name I am sure you've heard. Santos, a Republican, won his House seat in the 2022 midterms.

He formally took that seat in January last year, but was expelled in December after eleven months of exposures about his sensationally bogus biography and manifold campaign-finance shenanigans. He is the only Republican ever to have been expelled from Congress: there's glory for you!

His expulsion of course necessitated a special election for someone to replace him. That election took place Tuesday this week. It was observed with considerable interest all over.

For one thing, a GOP win would fortify the party's very slim majority in the House, while a loss would make it even slimmer. For another, we wanted to see if it offered any hints as to how this Fall's general election might go.

George Santos's election back in the 2022 midterms was a GOP triumph. For five House terms, which is to say ten years, Democrats had held the seat: Steve Israel for two terms, then Tom Suozzi for three.

Suozzi retired in 2022 to run for Governor, but lost in the Democratic primary. The midterms gave us Santos, a Republican — a midterm poke in the eye to the Biden administration.

It wasn't an altogether sensational upset. Republican Peter King had held the 3rd district for the GOP for twenty years before Steve Israel flipped it in 2012; although, as always with congressional districts, there's been some tweaking of district boundaries, some slight additions and subtractions over the years.

There was, none the less, considerable GOP cheering when Santos won the seat in 2022 — before, of course, his character defects became known. Of New York State's 26 congressional districts, the 3rd is one of only five that voted for Biden in 2020 but elected a Republican in 2022. Go Third!

But it's been Santos that has had to go, yielding to the warm embrace of his attorneys; and, as I said, there was a special election to replace him on Tuesday this week.

The Democratic candidate for the election was Tom Suozzi, the guy who held the 3rd Distict for three terms before retiring to run unsuccessfully for governor. Sixty-one years old, born and raised in the District, well seasoned in local politics, Suozzi is a smart, nimble political operator with many friends and presumably many donors in the district.

As evidence of his nimbleness, I note that Suozzi made it plain, clear and publicly, that he did not want Joe Biden campaigning for him. Quote from Suozzi, eight days before the election, quote:

I can pretty much guarantee the president is not going to be coming to campaign. I don't think it would be helpful, just as I don't think Donald Trump would be helpful to my opponent.

End quote.

The Republican candidate on Tuesday was a newcomer: 45-year-old Mazi Pilip. Ms Pilip is an exotic, there's no denying that.

She was born and spent her childhood in Ethiopia. Her family were Jews, Ethiopian Jews, of whom there were many. They were evacuated to Israel in one of Ethiopia's innumerable civil wars. She served in the Israeli military, then married a Ukrainian-Jewish college classmate.

In her late twenties they immigrated — legally, of course — to the U.S.A. They live in the 3rd District and have seven children.

As if all that wasn't sufficiently exotic, Ms Pilip is a registered Democrat.

What? Wait: didn't I say she was the Republican candidate on Tuesday?

Yes, I did; yes, she was. She also ran as a Republican for a seat in the county legislature three years ago, to which she was elected and then re-elected. But she's still a registered Democrat. I hope you can make sense of that; I can't.

Not to keep you in suspense, listeners, but Tuesday's election went to the Democrat — I mean, the Democrat running on the Democratic ticket, not the Democrat running on the Republican ticket.

Tom Suozzi won the seat by 54 percent of the vote to 46 for Ms Pilip. That's a decisive win, and of course a disappointment for the GOP. It chops their House majority down to six, 219 to 213.

Concerning that result, Peter Brimelow, the boss here at VDARE, posted on X, quote:

Was wondering if GOP knew what it was doing running a black Jewish registered Democrat immigrant in this race (or for that matter expelling Santos).
Guess it didn't.

End quote.

That's worth parsing.

"Black"? Ms Pilip, in common with many Ethiopians, isn't actually very black. Ethiopia's coastline looks across a few miles of water to the Arabian peninsula, and there has been to-ing and fro-ing across that water down through the ages.

If you want the full story I refer you to Carleton Coon's 1965 classic, The Living Races of Man. The people of Ethiopia get a full page and a half in my copy, pages 119 to 121. Sample quote, slightly edited:

The least Negroid peoples of the highlands are the Ethiopians proper … and the Gallas … Both are essentially Caucasoid in body build and facial features.

End quote.

I recall reading somewhere, although not in Coon, that the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie would fly into a rage on hearing that someone had referred to him as black. He insisted that he was white.

(Although I believe that there is now a revisionist school of historians who argue that Haile Selassie was, in fact, only somewhat Selassie …)

I'll allow, though, that American voters would regard Ms Pilip as black. Did that make a difference?

I doubt it. Barack Obama was black and exotic but he won the 3rd District in both his presidential runs. Demographically the District is only three percent black as against 84 percent white and Asian; so plainly the nonblacks there are happy voting for an exotic black.

Jewish? This is New York suburbs, though, and the wealthiest congressional district in the state. I wasn't surprised to learn that it's 13 percent Jewish. I doubt Ms Pilip's Jewishness worked against her.

You may have noticed when I was talking legislative history back there that the two-term congressman for the 3rd District prior to Tom Suozzi's three terms actually bore the surname "Israel."

Nor was I surprised to read that Tom Suozzi has been strong for Israel in the recent Middle East dust-up. He made a point of thanking Jewish voters in his victory speech.

Still parsing: "registered Democrat"? It can't have helped any. Republican voters surely didn't like it; and running on one ticket while registered on the other doesn't exactly advertise political sophistication and competence.

And then: "immigrant"? If the immigration issue was large in the minds of 3rd District voters on Tuesday, Ms Pilip should have won.

Not only is she herself a legal immigrant, she's been loud and strong on border issues; so much so, she was endorsed on February 7th by the National Border Patrol Council, which represents 18,000 Border Patrol agents.

Tom Suozzi, by contrast, was rated a solid F-minus by NumbersUSA on all immigration-related issues through all three of his previous congressional terms, 2017-2022. He was strong in support of the Schumer-Lankford border bill — the one that was so bad even Mitch McConnell had to renounce it at last.

Immigration-wise, there are two ways to look at this result.

Way Number One:  3rd District voters swallowed the tale put out by the Establishment and its media shills. The tale was, that the Schumer-Lankford bill was just the ticket to control the border invasion, but that, in the words of the Washington Post on Wednesday, quote, "Republicans rejected it after Donald Trump urged them to do so," end quote.

Way Number Two:  The immigration issue was not large in the minds of 3rd District voters on Tuesday.

Did some significant number of 3rd District voters voters think Republicans in Congress squashed a good border bill from malice? Or do 3rd District voters just not care that much about the issue?

Neither possibility bodes well for November, but it's hard to say which bodes worse.

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03 — Seeking asylum … from Bukele?     I started out my January diary grumbling about New York, the state of which I am a tax-paying resident. Quote: "I love my country but I don't much like my state." End quote.

Well, as bad as New York State may be, New York City is even worse. That came to mind the other day when I was watching video of New York City Mayor Eric Adams addressing a town hall meeting in Brooklyn at the end of January.

There in the video was Mayor Adams, standing holding a mike, out in front of citizens who'd come to watch him speak. Seated in a long row some way behind him were twenty officers of the city, people Adams had appointed.

Here's a brief sound clip.

[Clip:  Look at this team, folks. Look at this team. Look at my, look at my Deputy Mayors.

First Deputy Mayor: Sheena Wright. Deputy Mayor — Stand up! Stand up! They need to see you.

Deputy Mayor Williams-Isom. Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi. Deputy Mayor Almanzar. Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer. (Applause.)

Have you ever seen this much chocolate leading the city of New York? (Applause.)

And then go down the line — look, look who's here. This is representative of the city! That's why people are hating on me.

You trying to figure out why they're hating on me? They're hating on me because …

How many of you go to church? Man, this is a Matthew 21 and 12 moment. Jesus walked in the temple. He saw them doing wrong in the temple, he did what? (Shouts from the audience.)

I went to City Hall to turn the table over.]

The five Deputy Mayors Adams named there comprise four mulattos or quadroons, two of whom are apparently Hispanic, and one light-skinned Indian lady.

And before proceeding I cannot forbear telling you my favorite name of all the Mayor's staffers: Tiffany Raspberry, his Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, another quadroon, or perhaps an octoroon.

Not only did I get a smile from the lady's name, in fact, I got another one from her job title. "Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs": How can anyone acquainted with old British TV sitcoms not think of Sir Humphrey Appleby and his Department of Administrative Affairs?

Anyway, there was Mayor Adams explaining that the low opinion in which he's held by the people of his city is caused by racism; and then doubling down by comparing himself to Jesus Christ.

So I guess the mayor's low poll ratings are nothing to do with the squalor and lawlessness he presides over. In particular they are nothing to do with the battalions of illegal aliens crowded into city hotels, parks, and schools, or sleeping on the city streets.

To be prefectly fair to Mayor Adams, not all of what ails New York City is his fault. The illegal aliens, seventy thousand last time I checked, are a gift from Biden and Mayorkas, who show no interest in helping Adams out in any serious way.

The lawlessness is the fruit of legal and judicial reforms driven by other elected officials. Big names here are Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and New York State Governor Kathy Hochul. Both are quite strongly opposed to sending anyone to jail for anything at all — anyone, that is, whose name is not "Donald Trump."

Governor Hochul proposes to close five state prisons in the next fiscal year. Prisons are bad, bad places, you see, the inmates disproportionately black because of structural racism.

Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, whom Governor Hochul could dismiss if she wanted to — which of course she doesn't — so favors illegality he made no objection to city courts releasing illegal aliens — five of them without bail — who attacked police officers last month.

Biden, Mayorkas, Bragg, and Hochul are just the big names. Adams is also up against 51 little names: the names of New York City Council members, each elected to represent one of the city's districts.

Paid for by George Soros' money, with voter turnout for their elections barely in two digits and a mean political inclination slightly to the left of Kim Jong Un, these critters thwart even Mayor Adams' half-hearted efforts to fix things.

Or to veto their further screwing-up of things. In December the City Council moved two new criminal-justice bills. One bans solitary confinement in city jails; the other requires city cops to complete elaborate paperwork on every interaction with members of the public, no matter how trivial or inconsequential.

Mayor Adams, who was once a city cop himself, vetoed both bills. The City Council has overridden his vetoes. Adding insult to injury, the police-documentation bill got seven more votes to override Adams' veto than the original bill got.

This past week we've been learning that a lot of the city's swelling population of illegal-alien criminals, including at least some of those involved in last month's assault on our police officers, belong to big organized South and Central American gangs. Two of the named gangs are Tren de Aragua of Venezuela and MS-13 of El Salvador.

El Salvador, eh? Just last week I was congratulating Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele on his landslide win in that country's general election, and on having transformed El Salvador from the most violent state in the world to the safest in all of the Americas.

How did he do that? I told you. Why don't you listen? Quote: "By massively expanding prison capacity then incarcerating anyone cops tagged as a gang member." End quote.

Other Latin American countries are following El Salvador's example. I expect to see more and more headlines like this one from the New York Times, February 7th, headline: Terrorized by Gangs, Ecuador Embraces the Hard-Line 'Noboa Way'. Daniel Noboa is the new President of Ecuador, elected last November.

Daniel Noboa, I note, is 36 years old. Nayib Bukele, the El Salvador savior, is 42. These two young men are building big new prisons and filling them with gangsters. The people of these countries love it. Hence Bukele's landslide election victory last week.

Quote from that New York Times story about Ecuador, where the nation's military is helping police with the clean-up. Quote, with inner quotes:

When people see soldiers pass, many clap or give them a thumbs-up."We applaud the iron fist, we celebrate it," said Guayaquil's mayor, Aquiles Álvarez. "It has helped bring peace."

End quotes.

If I were a gangbanger in one of those countries I'd pack up and head elsewhere. An ideal destination would be some country with elderly clueless leaders that was shutting down prisons and telling its judges to let criminals walk.

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04 — Riding the woke rails.     News here from London. That city has a subway service, locally known as "the Underground" or "the Tube," connecting together the city and some of its inner suburbs.

Here's a little-known fact about the Tube. For most of the first five years it was in service, back in the 1860s, you could ride a Tube train to go watch a hanging — that is, a public execution.

That is absolutely irrelevant to the main point here; I was just yielding to my fascination with odd facts.

The Tube itself is irrelevant, in fact. The news item I'm working from here is about the London Overground. You won't be astounded to hear that the Overground is a surface complement to the Underground, connecting city districts and suburbs.

The Overground's six lines each have a name. Until this month the names were helpfully geographic, although sometimes regrettably clunky: the Highbury & Islington to Clapham Junction/New Cross/Crystal Palace/West Croydon Line, for example, or the Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside Line.

Clunky for sure: but you knew which line would take you where, so at least the names carried forward the old British fondness for practical common sense in everyday matters.

But … "old British fondness"? We'll have no more of that! This is the 21st century, son. We need to celebrate diversity, not foul antiquated supremacist concepts like Britishness.

So the stations are about to be renamed and each is to be given its own distinct color on a new map of the system.

The Mayor of London, a Muslim named Sadiq Khan, said the new names were [inner quote] "honouring and celebrating different parts of London's unique local history and culture." [End inner quote.] So yes: the new names celebrate diversity.

  • That Highbury & Islington to Clapham Junction etc. Line will now be the Windrush Line. It goes through a bunch of black neighborhoods, see. It was a ship named the Empire Windrush that brought the first big group of black Caribbean settlers to Britain in 1948.

  • The Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside Line will be the Suffragette Line. Barking, in the eastern inner suburbs of London, was home to Annie Huggett, an early-20th-century campaigner for female suffrage.

  • The Liverpool Street to Cheshunt/Enfield Town/Chingford Line will be the Weaver Line. It goes through old textile-manufacturing districts first established by Protestant refugees from France persecuted by Louis XIV in the late seventeenth century — "asylum seekers," you see?

  • The Stratford to Richmond/Clapham Junction Line becomes the Mildmay Line, named after a charity clinic in London's East End famous for treating AIDS patients in the panic of the 1980s and -90s. I presume this is a virtue signal to homosexualists, as AIDS was spread mainly by promiscuous homosexual buggery.

  • The Euston to Watford Line will be the Lioness Line in honor of the national women's soccer team who are familiarly known as the Lionesses to the 27 human beings who pay to watch women play soccer.

  • The Romford to Upminster Line will be the Liberty line. In pre-modern times a liberty was an area where some aspects of royal authority didn't apply. This line goes through Havering, which was a liberty from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth. This new name for the Overground line, Mayor Khan tells us, is a reference to the wider freedom that is a, quote, "defining feature of London," end quote.

So yes: a wince-inducing collection of virtue signals there from London's mayor and government. It could have been worse, though, as commenters on social media have had fun pointing out. At least Londoners didn't get a George Floyd Line or a Yasser Arafat Line.

Nor a Caitlyn Jenner Line, come to think of it. There are virtue signals to blacks, feminists, illegal aliens, and gays, but nothing for trannies.

Will His Honour get away with that, or will Londoners confused about their sex be out protesting in the streets for an Overgound line of their own? We shall see.

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05 — Diverse worship.     Just a footnote to that.

I quoted London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaking of, quote, "the wider freedom that is a defining feature of London," end quote.

That freedom apparently does not include the freedom to sing Christian hymns or preach the Christian gospel in London's streets. Just in the past couple of weeks there have been two cases of Metropolitan Police officers threatening to arrest people doing those things.

The first case, two weeks ago, featured a young woman who set up a portable keyboard and sang gospel songs, solo, in central London's Oxford Street. Five police officers showed up and told her to move on.

(That, by the way, is five more than Londoners get when they call in a house burglary. For that, the bobbies just tell you to come to the station house and fill in a form for your insurance company.)

One of the cops told her, quote: "You're not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds." End quote.

That is not in fact true. The young singer was committing no offense. The Metropolitan police authority later apologized to her.

The second case seems to have happened last weekend. A group of Christian missionaries was preaching the gospel on Uxbridge High Street in west London, outside a shopping center.

Again a posse of police showed up. They threatened to arrest the missionaries for "hate speech." After exchanges lasting nine minutes the missionaries packed their gear and left.

One of them filmed the encounter. The video clips have been posted on news and social media outlets; they do not reflect well on the police.

There was no official apology in this second case. A spokesman for the force told the Daily Mail that, quote:

Officers were responding to a report from a member of the public that a group of people were making racist and homophobic comments.

The Met does not tolerate hate crime and officers responded to investigate this.

End quote.

The context here is the regular spectacle of mass worshipping and demonstrating in London streets by radical Muslims while Metropolitan Police officers look on respectfully.

Christian missionary activity is "hate speech": the Muslim equivalent is "diversity." You're not against "diversity," are you? Of course not!

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06 — Miscellany.     And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.

Imprimis:  Where on earth are we going to put these millions of illegals we've allowed in?

Last month I noted a new approach from the state of Massachusetts. The governor of that state — and I still don't understand why I can't say "governess," but everyone assures me I can't — Massachusetts' Governor Maura Healey had appealed for citizens to take illegal aliens into their homes.

Incredibly, people are responding affirmatively to her appeal. An NBC station up there has reported on a Haitian family of illegals who had been sleeping on the floor at Logan Airport. Then their two-year-old daughter got sick and they were lodged somehow at the hospital that was treating her.

Now their troubles are over. They have been taken in by a nice white lady named Lisa.

This is in Brookline, a modestly prosperous little town in central Massachusetts. The Haitian family — Dad, Mom, and little girl —  join the three percent of Brookline's population that is black.

The wife cooks for Lisa, who told the NBC reporter that, quote: "I feel like I have my own personal chef."

Wasn't there a time, not very long ago, when every upper-middle-class American home had a black maid to do the cooking and cleaning? Or did I just dream that …?

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Item:  Back in Shakespeare's Island they're taking a different approach.

The British government has been recruiting private landlords to a scheme in which the landlord gets five years of guaranteed rent paid — from public funds, presumably — if they let their property to an illegal alien family.

The Daily Mail, February 14th, quote:

A stock of 16,000 rental properties for asylum seekers has been put together by the Home Office — even though there is an acute shortage of homes for young Britons and families.

End quote.

Read the comment thread at your own risk.

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Item:  Tuesday the 13th was, as I told you last week, Shrove Tuesday, known to British urchins in my childhood as Pancake Day, because that's what we ate on Shrove Tuesday.

It was also a day for games of football, back in the times before football — any variety of football — was an organized sport. These Shrove Tuesday ball games were an opportunity for sturdy young peasant lads to work off surplus energy. Of which they had a lot: many limbs were broken and there were occasional fatalities.

At least one of these extremely rough ball games has survived: the Atherstone Ball Game, played at the village of Atherstone in the English midlands. There are pictures of Tuesday's game on the internet.

At my age the bones are somewhat fragile, so I certainly wouldn't want to be in that melee. The pictures of it warmed my heart none the less.

Hundreds of healthy-looking young Englishmen jammed together wrestling for a big leather ball — filled with water, if I remember right. Females only visible as spectators at the side. Everyone's white; not a keffiyeh in sight, not an "Allahu akbar!" to be heard. The whole thing looks as it must have looked eight hundred years ago, when the custom originated.

I keep telling you here on Radio Derb how the Mother Country has gone down the tubes. And yes, it's well on its way down, as the previous item illustrated. There are still some small patches of the old vitality, though.

Long live the Atherstone Ball Game!

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Item:  This Sunday, February 18th, is the seventieth birthday of actor-singer-songwriter John Travolta. I offer sincere and hearty best wishes to Mr Travolta on his seventieth.

With no disrespect to any of Travolta's later work, it was his role as Tony Manero in the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever that really got my attention.

Got it, and held it. Reviewing that movie on its thirtieth anniversary in 2007, I got somewhat carried away, referring to it as, quote, "one of the dozen or so best movies of all time," end quote.

My review ended up at 3,700 words. That's about three times the average for even a serious review. Thirty-one books of the Bible are shorter than that.

So once again: Happy birthday, Sir! And many more.

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07 — Signoff.     That's the show, listeners. Thank you for your time and attention, for your emails and your generosity.

Wednesday this week was of course Saint Valentine's Day, offering an obvious song to use for my signoff snippet. I yielded to that temptation once before, five years ago, using Chet Baker's lovely rendering of the song: Rodgers' and Hart's My Funny Valentine.

The song is generally assumed to have been written for a boy singing to a girl. That's Frank Sinatra's fault, as Sinatra's is the version most people know.

In fact, however, Rodgers and Hart wrote the song for a female character in a musical, singing about her man. Valentine was the guy's name.

So to correct the balance here I'll give you the Ella Fitzgerald version, which — unlike Baker's or Sinatra's — comes complete with intro.

That offers another temptation: the temptation to boast — by no means for the first time, I'm sure — that I once saw Ms Fitzgerald perform in the flesh. And yes, there was rather a lot of flesh at that point; but the voice still came down direct from Heaven. Taylor Swift, whoever you are: Eat your heart out.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.

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[Music clip: Ella Fitzgerald, "My Funny Valentine."]