Radio Derb: SOTU Report, Flying Illegal Aliens In, The Sam Melia Case, And Multiculturalism, The Destroyer Of Worlds, Etc.
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01:32  Looking forward to the SOTU.  (From Thursday afternoon.)

11:26  SOTU!  (From an old-fashioned guy.)

20:31  Flying illegal aliens in.  (And a pooh-pooh fail.)

28:46  The destroyer of nations.  (Free speech in decline.)

37:16  Merrick Garland on voter ID.  (This isn’t 1954.)

39:35  A good week for Trump.  (But they’re not finished with him yet.)

42:26  Shed a tear for Haiti.  (Then watch them fly in.)

44:18  Signoff.  (With Bellini.)

01 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! That was the fife'n'drum version of Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2 and this is your steadfastly genial host John Derbyshire with some morsels from the week's news.

Heading up the political news this week was the State of the Union speech on Thursday evening, which is to say yesterday as I speak.

At the risk of causing confusion and bafflement, I am going to lead off this week's podcast with a segment I recorded yesterday, before the State of the Union speech.

Once again, just to clarify so that you don't lose your bearings, this podcast is being recorded on Friday as usual, except for the one segment immediately following this one, which I recorded yesterday.

Oh, come on: I'm only taking liberties with one of the four dimensions of spacetime.


02 — Looking forward to the SOTU.     Listeners, I'm going to cheat. In fact, I'm going to double-cheat.

First cheat: Radio Derb — every syllable, every snarl and sneeze of it — is usually recorded on Friday. So will most of this podcast be. You'll be hearing my voice speaking on Friday, March 8th.

Except for this one segment, which I'm recording ahead of time, actually on Thursday afternoon, March 7th.

Why? Here comes my second cheat.

At nine o'clock this evening President Biden will deliver his State of the Union speech. Normally I preface my report on the speech by giving you an opinion about State-of-the-Union speeches in general. Because my opinion hasn't changed since I wrote it out in full for my 2009 world-sundering bestseller We Are Doomed, I give you extracts from what I wrote there.

This year, right now, to save myself the trouble of selecting out extracts, I'm going to give you the entire opinion, plucked from Chapter 3 of We Are Doomed. I may make this an annual Radio Derb tradition.

Here we go, long quote.

To anyone of a republican (small "r") sensibility, American politics frequently throws up disgusting spectacles. It throws up one most years in January: the State of the Union speech.

You know how it goes. We're shown the House chamber, where the nation's highest civilian and military officials wait in gathering expectation. The Sergeant at Arms announces the President's arrival. The great man appears at last. In his progress through the chamber, legislators jostle and maneuver to catch his eye and receive the favor of a presidential greeting.

On the podium at last, the President offers up preposterously grandiose assurances of protection, provision, and moral guidance from his government, these declarations of benevolent omnipotence punctuated by standing ovations and cheers from legislators of his own party, and often from the others too, after every declarative clause.

Included in the audience in recent years have been citizens, or foreign visitors, who represent some quality the President will call on us to admire and emulate — selflessness, achievement, or support for U.S. ideals abroad. (The model citizens in these displays are known collectively as "Lenny Skutniks" after the first of them, showcased in President Reagan's 1982 address. You even hear political wonks use this as a verb: [Inner quote] "Karzai's going to be Lenny Skutniked this year …" [End inner quote.])

This Stalinesque extravaganza has sprouted from a tiny seed: the requirement in Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution that the President [inner quote] "shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." [End inner quote.]

Practically all of the development from acorn to mighty oak occurred during the twentieth century, with the most objectionable trends accelerating during the last quarter of that century.

The "annual message" (as it was called until 1945) was not in fact a speech at all for most of the republic's history. Washington and John Adams made a speech of it, but Jefferson — correctly, of course — thought this too monarchical. The annual message was thereafter delivered in writing to Congress until Woodrow Wilson reverted to speech mode in 1913. There was partial re-reversion to the written presentation by the more modest presidents of the immediate post-Wilson era (Harding, Coolidge, Hoover), and then occasionally since (Truman's first and last, Eisenhower's last, Carter's last, and Nixon's 4th), but for most of this past three-quarters of a century the President has delivered a speech.

End quote.

All right, I'm through cheating. This is still Thursday afternoon, with the 2024 State of the Union speech four hours in the future.

I normally sit down to watch the thing with weary resignation. This evening's speech, however, promises to have some entertainment value — although entertainment of the cruder sort, like watching the village idiot trying to count his change.

How coherent will the President be? Will he get up and down from the podium without mishap? How big and brazen will be the lies that he tells: Inflation's under control? Congress won't give him the powers he needs to close the border? Urban crime levels are down?

So for a change there'll be things of interest to watch out for. I'm actually quite looking forward to the State of the Union speech. I never thought I'd hear myself saying that.

Going back to that long quote I gave you, though, there's a serious question in my mind.

As I told you, the majority of State of the Union addresses from President to Congress have been written reports, not live speeches. Thomas Jefferson was right: a written report is the proper, modest way to do it in a constitutional republic.

Trying this out in conversation I find that a great many citizens agree with me. I doubt that any significant portion of the U.S. population would be disappointed, vexed, or angry if our President were to forgo the grandiose imperial spectacle and just mail the darn thing in.

So here's my question. Assuming that's true, why doesn't Joe Biden mail it in? Given all that could go wrong, perhaps catastrophically wrong, with this evening's show, why put on a show when, constitutionally, he doesn't have to?

The President himself may be consumed with vanity, false confidence, and delusions of capability, but why didn't his staff, or his family, sit him down and explain to him that there is no need for him to take the chance that he's taking?

Well: by the time you hear this, the 2024 State of the Union address will be history. Let's hope, for the sake of our nation's dignity, it's not one of those bits of history that causes people to howl with laughter, or despair, when they recall it.


03 — SOTU report.     OK, here we are on Friday, the day after the State of the Union speech.

I watched the first forty minutes of the filthy thing. That was as much as I could take. Past the half-hour mark, in fact, I was only watching because I didn't want to miss the moment when the President fell down, or started frothing at the mouth and speaking in tongues, or mistook Kamala Harris for his wife.

At the forty-minute mark, even the hope of something like that — something I could at least laugh at — wasn't sufficient to keep me in my seat. I brushed my teeth and went to bed.

Reading news reports of the speech this morning, I'm glad to see there wasn't any dramatic fiasco — no falling-down or frothing, no hair-sniffing or shaking hands with invisible friends.

I'm glad on my own account — glad that I didn't miss the fun because there wasn't any fun — but I'm also glad on my country's account. This repulsive low-grade political festival is already enough of an insult to the sensibilities of free citizens in a constitutional republic. Adding a laugh track would just make it worse.

Climbing the stairs to bed I found myself reduced — temporarily, I do believe — to the following mood. I would vote for any candidate of any party or persuasion not frankly totalitarian — Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Anarchist, Progressive, Reactionary — any politician who would vow publicly to mail in his State of the Union addresses.

Was there anything at all in the content of the President's speech that I thought worthy of comment? Only that it was delivered in a strikingly old-fashioned key.

Biden's party, the Democratic Party, was, he kept assuring us, the party of the little guy. Rich people are smug in their mansions, all the richer for the generous tax breaks that the person Biden only referred to as "my predecessor" had gifted to them. Business corporations and the wealthy should pay their fair share!

Meanwhile John and Suzy Citizen are struggling to make ends meet under the burdens of student loan debt.

What a load of rubbish! College is way more expensive than it needs to be because the colleges have loaded themselves up with administrators. Quote from Forbes magazine, August 28th 2023, quote:

There are now 3 times as many administrators and other professionals (not including university hospitals staff), as there are faculty (on a per student basis) at the leading schools in [the] country.

End quote.

And how do they vote, the people staffing those bloated college-administrator payrolls: the Administrative Assistants for Institutional Equity, the Assistant Vice Provosts for Equity, Inclusion, and Academic Affairs, the Directors of the Offices for Multicultural Learning? You know damn well how they vote, every blessed one of them.

The President may have had a point about over-priced pharmaceuticals. I can speak with authority here. Every day I take a pill with a market price of over four hundred dollars — about one dollar per milligram.

It doesn't cost me anything, though; my wife's employee healthcare plan covers it. Sure, the healthcare deductions from Mrs Derbyshire's paycheck leave us with less disposable income than we'd otherwise have, but that's how welfare states work. And sure: if she loses her job we lose the coverage; but I have Medicare to fall back on.

We live in a welfare state. That welfare state was built largely by people who thought the way Joe Biden still thinks: rich man in his castle, poor man at his gate, the rich man voting Republican, the poor man voting Democrat.

That was the mid-twentieth-century alignment, more or less. It worked pretty well, as things will when a majority of citizens feel themselves to be bonded in a common national enterprise to advance the common good under a fair system of law and justice. The poor man got his welfare state; the rich man kept most of his wealth; nobody starved, nobody got guillotined.

Our nation today has a different political shape. The rich man in his castle has morphed into a gentry liberal with a head full of luxury beliefs — beliefs of a kind that his grandfather would have thought bizarrely radical. Better-off and better-educated citizens divide humanity into oppressors and oppressed, categories defined by race, nationality, and sex.

White heterosexuals — especially males — in prosperous nations are oppressors; nonwhites, people in poor nations, and female or sexually confused persons are oppressed. Since a great many of those who hold these beliefs are white heterosexual U.S. citizens, there is a mighty load of guilt to be assuaged.

All of this — the luxury beliefs, the guilt — are embraced by today's Democratic Party.

It is therefore not surprising that white heterosexual Americans who are not rich and have not much education are voting Republican.

They are, however, not particularly welcome in the Republican Party. Senior figures of that party are still, just like Joe Biden, mentally trapped in the mid-20th century, looking kindly on Wall Street and the international alliances formed seventy or eighty years ago when they made some sense.

Our big political parties really need to be pulled down and rebuilt, like old buildings that have become unsafe. Term limits for congressmen and senators would probably help. Joe Biden makes the case for term limits all by himself.

Having just pledged my troth to candidates who promise to mail in their State of the Union reports, I hereby pledge it all over again to those supporting congressional term limits.

Where are there such candidates, though? Where are they? Hello? … Is anybody there? …


04 — Flying illegal aliens in.     If, like the younger cohorts of the Democratic Party, you embrace those luxury beliefs, you will likely think that all the wretched of the Earth deserve our guilt and reparations.

If, in addition, you are innumerate and do not understand that the wretched of the Earth outnumber U.S. citizens by more than twenty to one, you will see no objection to us bringing in for settlement as many as wish to come.

Since our currently dominant political party is strongly of that description, and a fair portion of its main competitor party likewise, in flow the wretched of the Earth, in their millions.

We are well aware of this, of course. We've been seeing the footage from our southern border. We've been hearing the shrieks of outrage from jurisdictions nationwide at the welfare burdens being imposed on them when their luxury beliefs about huddled masses yearning to breathe free collide with their own fool policies of sanctuary and universal provision.

On Monday this week, however, we learned of a program that spares the wretched of the Earth all the inconvenience of trudging through the Darien Gap and the expense and danger of engaging with people-smugglers. The wretched can just buy a plane ticket and fly in.

It's not quite the wretched of all the Earth that are eligible, only persons from nine countries: Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, and Ecuador.

There are also some thin requirements to be met. You have to have a valid passport; you have to supply some biometric data to Customs and Border Protection; and you have to have some kind of sponsor — a family member or, quote, "an organization, business, or other entity," end quote.

I guess the scope of that quote includes all those churchy-sounding Voluntary Agencies that Ann Corcoran used to warn us about: Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Catholic Charities, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and the rest.

Then, further quote:

Upon receiving authorization from Washington, they buy air passage to U.S. international airports where CBP personnel process them for release in short order. All are said to be responsible for paying for their own airfare. [Government Admission: Biden Parole Flights Create Security 'Vulnerabilities' at U.S. Airports by Todd Bensman;, March 4, 2024]

End quote.

I took those quotes from an article posted Monday at the CIS website — that's the Center for Immigration Studies — by veteran immigration reporter Todd Bensman. The article is based on data CIS got from an inquiry under the Freedom of Information Act.

These flights are all under the administration's hugely inflated interpretation of the immigration parole system.

According to our written laws, parole should only be granted, quote, "for emergent reasons or for reasons deemed strictly in the public interest," end quote. Ignoring the law, our current administration gives parole to well-nigh anyone who asks for it.

So the numbers being flown in from those nine countries are huge: an estimated 320,000 last year.

Where are they being flown to? Forty-three regular civilian airports. Which ones? That we are not allowed to know. The government is withholding the names of the receiving airports because, further quote from that CIS report:

Those hundreds of thousands of CBP-authorized arrivals have created such "operational vulnerabilities" at airports that "bad actors" could undermine law enforcement efforts to "secure the United States border" if they knew the volume of CBP One traffic processed at each port of entry.

End quote.

You know who those "bad actors" are, don't you? They are those snarling, thin-lipped, gun-toting white-supremacist xenophobes that Biden and his regime media warn the nation about. They are in fact us here at VDARE.

Hold on a minute, I need to practice my snarl. [Snarl.]

As a footnote here, I should add that Todd Bensman's Monday article has generated some ripples, mainly because Donald Trump made reference to it Tuesday night in his victory remarks following the Super Tuesday primaries.

In reaction to that, several regime media outlets — CNNABC News  U.S. News & World Report,  and others — published pieces pooh-poohing Bensman, or at any rate purporting to.

To judge by the ones I looked at, none was very convincing. The best-crafted of these efforts was one on Wednesday from the lefty outlet Associated Press, title: Claims Biden administration is secretly flying migrants into the country are unfounded.

That one was done with such guile that Bensman on Thursday posted a 1,200-word debunking of it, title: Fact Checking the Fact Check: CIS Reporting Stands.

Far as I can tell, Bensman remains un-pooh-poohed.


05 — The destroyer of nations.     Two items here on free speech in the Anglosphere, the decline thereof. First, Canada.

To your mental list of Indians and Pakistanis who have risen to positions of high power in Anglosphere nations — Rishi Sunak the U.K. Prime Minister, Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London, Humza Yousaf the First Minister of Scotland, Leo Varadkar the Prime Minister of Ireland, and I'm sure others I have forgotten — to that mental list you can add, if he's not already on it, Arif Virani, a Gujarati Muslim who serves as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for Canada, our friendly neighbor to the North.

Mr Virani is currently championing the Online Harms Bill, a law to greatly increase penalties for so-called "hate speech" online.

At that point when I'm reading a news story — I mean, the point where the phrase "hate speech" shows up — I wander off down through the news story looking for their definition of "hate speech."

Aha! Got it. CTV News, March 6th, quote:

In both its human-rights legislation and the Criminal Code, the government is now seeking to define hate speech as [inner quote] "content that expresses detestation or vilification." [End inner quote.]

End quote.

That's actually a toned-down definition. An earlier version of the Bill defined "hate speech" as, quote, "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt on the basis of their race, gender, religion or other prohibited ground of discrimination," end quote.

Seems to me that on that earlier definition you could find yourself behind bars for an off-color online joke about Jews or blacks. That would rule out about half the stuff online that I find funny; also much of the stuff that Jews and blacks find funny.

Even with that toning-down, though, the Bill will still get you life imprisonment for, quote, "advocating genocide," end quote, and five years porridge for, quote, "hate propaganda," end quote. I couldn't find a definition for either of those terms, but I'm betting there's room in them for plenty of judicial mischief to further erode freedom of speech.

I promised you two items here on free speech in the Anglosphere. Here's the second one, from my mother country.

In Britain there is an organization called Patriotic Alternative, standing up for the legacy population of the country and against mass Third World immigration. I have only just heard about them so I can't tell you much other than they have a nifty website.

Up front on that website, if you scroll down a page or two, is a big clear display of numbers. When I looked just now it was headed with a big number 27. Underneath that, left to right, were the numbers: 19, 13, 308, 41.

You have to read the numbers in reverse order. Patriotic Alternative did some demographic research and came up with the precise instant when white British people will fall below fifty percent of the country's population.

It will be at some point in the year 2066. The precise point is given by those numbers, read in reverse order: 41 years, 308 days, 13 hours, 19 minutes and 27 seconds from when I glanced at the screen. Cute.

Thirty-four-year-old Samuel Melia is a regional organiser for Patriotic Alternative. As a side activity he set up a group called the Hundred Handers on a social media platform, winning himself more than 3,500 subscribers. These subscribers could download and print white nationalist stickers.

What did these stickers say? They said things like: "Reject white guilt,"  "Nationalism is nurture,"  "We will be a minority in our homeland by 2066"  and  "Diversity — designed to fail, built to replace."

Hateful stuff, eh? On March 1st Mr Melia was sentenced to two years in prison for the offense of, quote, "Publishing or distributing material intending to stir up racial hatred," end quote; and another two years, to run concurrently, for, quote, "Encouraging or assisting the commission of the offence of racially aggravated criminal damage," end quote.

I don't know what the criminal damage was in that second charge. Since it got Mr Melia the same two-year sentence as the first offense, "Publishing or distributing material intending to stir up racial hatred," I guess it didn't involve anything very destructive.

That's the state of free speech in Britain today.

Both these free-speech items record the poison fruit of multiculturalism, without which legislation like Canada's Online Harms Bill and whichever law Mr Melia broke by printing a sticker saying "Reject white guilt" would have no reason for existing.

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds," said Robert Oppenheimer, quoting Hindu scripture, as he watched the first atomic explosion. Reading stories like these about free speech I find myself murmuring: "Now I have become multiculturalism, the destroyer of nations."


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

Imprimis:  The ideas I promote here on Radio Derb seem to me like plain common sense.

A constitutional requirement that the President should "from time to time" report to Congress on the state of the Union should not be made an excuse for an expensive and time-consuming pageant of emperor-worship. People should not be able to spend their entire working lives as legislators. And so on.

Here's another proposition of plain common sense: Voters should have to identify themselves unambiguously before casting a vote in our elections.

Any citizen can, with very little effort or cost, obtain photo ID he can present when voting. Why would anyone not see the plain common sense here?

You'd better ask that question of Merrick Garland, our current U.S. Attorney General. In a speech he delivered last Sunday in Alabama Comrade Garland denounced voter ID laws as, quote, "discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary," end quote.

The supposition here is that voter ID laws are tools of white supremacy, that they are crafted to make it difficult for blacks to vote.

If that is indeed the case, Comrade, can you please produce for us an actual black citizen who tried but failed to procure photo ID for himself? And I don't mean in 1954, I mean today: this year, last year, any year this century.


Item:  In a unanimous ruling on Monday the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an attempt by authorities in Colorado, including that state's Supreme Court, to disqualify Donald Trump from appearing on this year's presidential ballot.

The jurisprudential crux of the matter was Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment which specifies, very windily, when a person can be prevented from holding federal or state office because of actions he's engaged in against federal or state authority.

The Supremes concluded on Monday that, quote:

States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency.

End quote.

So a state can disqualify Trump from running for state office and the feds — actually, I think, Congress — can disqualify him from running for federal office; but a state can't disqualify from federal. That makes sense.

And of course, that interpretation has inspired some die-hard Trump-haters among congressional Democrats to push Congress to do what is necessary. Representatives Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Eric Swalwell of California are working on it. They allow, however, that with Republicans controlling the House, it's very unlikely their efforts will bear fruit.

So with that decision from SCOTUS and then Tuesday night's great primary results and Nikki Haley bailing out, it's been a good week for the Donald.

The Deep State hasn't done with him yet, though. Stay alert, Sir; stay vigilant. Look both ways carefully before crossing the road; and get yourself a food taster if you don't already have one. A bullet-proof undershirt might be a good investment, too …


Item:  Finally, shed a tear for Haiti, which is a strong contender for the title Worst Country in the World. Last weekend gangsters attacked the nation's two largest prisons, releasing all the prisoners other than some they killed. Now the gangs control the capital.

There are no elected officials in power and there have been no elections in almost a decade. Ariel Henry, the 74-year-old Prime Minister, has been Haiti's nominal leader since the President was assassinated in 2021. He was abroad when the gangs struck; he hasn't been able to return because they've shot up the airport and left it unusable.

Nothing else works either. Water and food in the capital are scarce. Only one hospital is still functioning; but they are overwhelmed and running low on blood.

You may recall that Haiti is one of the nine nations whose citizens can, as I reported a couple of segments ago, fly to the U.S.A. on easy terms. Right now Haitians can't do that as the gangs have trashed their only airport.

Not to worry, though: I bet our State Department will have a team over there to get the airport back in working order real soon.


07 — Signoff.     That's it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your time and attention, for your emails and goodwill.

Particular thanks to readers of my February Diary, in which I asked for opinions about physical therapy. I got a big email bag on that, breaking about 80-20 in favor of physical therapy. The emails are still coming in — one just a few minutes ago. I shall have more to say in my March Diary.

For signoff music this week, I note I haven't given you any bel canto for a while — not since June of last year. It's high time.

Here's a lovely piece from Bellini's La Straniera, the end of Act One. The heroine thinks she's caused her lover to drown. She laments:

Un grido io sento …
Suonar per l'onda …
Egli è un lamento
Di lui che muor.
"I hear a cry …
Coming from the waves …
It is a groan
From the dying man.

Truly dedicated Derbians will recognize this as the song that opens Chapter 45 of Fire from the Sun. The singer here is Lucia Aliberti in a recording from 1990.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.


[Music clip: Lucia Aliberti, "Un grido io sento" from Bellini's La straniera.]

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