02m43s The budget. (Eternal recurrence.)
10m19s Only a trillion. (The Asimov Principle.)
13m47s Budget details. (Killing off immigration enforcement.)
23m02s Law enforcement notes. (EFTA rising.)
31m18s Joe meets Boris. (You can buy a T-shirt.)
33m35s Mountain madness. (Colorado renames a peak.)
35m08s White progressives' Pet of the Year. (Modern minstrelsy.)
38m20s Kritarchy latest. (Don't discriminate against criminals!)
40m13s Signoff. (With Lilliburlero.)
[Music clip: from Purcell's Lilliburlero]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Live this week, I'm glad to say; this is actually Friday evening, October 1st, and this is your winningly genial host John Derbyshire with another edition of Radio Derb.
What was that on the intro, though? Well, that was a snippet from Henry Purcell's wonderful march Lilliburlero, played by the band of the Royal Corps of Transport. This is in honor of Ulster Day, September 28th. Absolutely no offense intended to my Jacobite listeners; on some future occasion I shall play youse The White Cockade, I promise.
A clever Frenchman once said that: "Military justice is to justice what military music is to music," except of course that he said it in French. It's a nice quip; but personally, I must say, I'm rather partial to a bit of military music. There are some grand old tunes in there, Lilliburlero one of the best.
And if you're reading this in transcript form and would like to take issue with the way I spell "Lilliburlero," by all means do so, but don't expect me to change my mind. There are more ways to spell that name than there are ways to make an Irishman angry. I've used the spelling that Ulsterman Sam Keery used for the title of his 1995 novel, which I liked very much.
As well as Tuesday this week having been Ulster Day, today, Friday, is Communist China's National Day. Much more relevant to me and my stateside listeners, it is the first day of the U.S.A. federal government's Fiscal Year 2022.
Yes: By this day, all the details of the U.S. federal budget for the next twelve months are supposed to have been voted through by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. Has that actually been done? Let's take a look.
02 — The budget: eternal recurrence. Short answer: No, it hasn't. The news on Friday, the first day of Fiscal Year 2022, is that Congress last night passed a continuing resolution to keep the feddle gubmint operations funded through December 3rd.
That's not all the continuing resolution does. It also has funding for hurricane disaster relief, and, quote from the White House release, "to help us resettle Afghan allies in the United States," end quote.
That second one caused a spot of bother in the Senate yesterday. By way of resettling those Afghans, we are going to give them everything short of immediate citizenship: housing, food and medical aid with no expiration date, driver licenses and Real ID cards so they can, you know, enrol in flight school and such. All this without the usual need to provide supporting documentation.
That was too much even for the Wuss Party. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas put forward an amendment to curtail some of the bennies and all 50 GOP Senators voted for it. That wasn't enough, of course, so the amendment failed. It was nice to see congressional Republicans show some spine for a change, though.
Meanwhile the argy-bargy about the budget proper — about how much the feds actually will spend over the next twelve months — continues.
All that barely rates as news. Where financing the federal government is concerned, a continuing resolution is pretty much standard operating procedure. Here was Radio Derb podcasting back on September 28th 2013:
The way things are supposed to work is, the President proposes a budget for the coming fiscal year in January or February. The House and the Senate debate the President's proposals and come up with their own; they get together and nail down a final congressional budget resolution; and then they pass the necessary appropriations bills based on the resolution. That should all be done by the time the fiscal year opens in October.
Things haven't actually happened like that for many years. Congress hasn't even produced a budget resolution since 2009. It's always been a contentious business, of course, except when the President's party also controls both houses of Congress, which doesn't happen much — four out of the last 17 Congresses, so around a quarter of the time in recent decades. When Congress is divided, House and Senate controlled by different parties, as has been the case since the Tea Party revolution of 2010, things are especially fraught.
While the process has always been contentious, though, a lot of us think that the wheels have really been starting to come off in recent years.
Be that as it may, here we are in the last days of the fiscal year, and there is no federal budget — no proper authorization for the federal government to spend money doing all the wonderful things it does. Not a big problem: Congress just has to pass a short-term authorization, technically called a "continuing resolution," authorizing spending to go on at current levels for some period. The House works up a bill, the Senate passes it, and everything's tickety-boo for a while. Lather, rinse, repeat.
And that's what happened …
A-a-a-and that's what just happened again last night, a continuing resolution.
There are of course some differences between 2013 and today — i.e., in this context, between Fiscal Year 2014 and Fiscal Year 2022. In Fiscal 2014 the feds spent $3½ trillion, of which a bit less than half a trillion had to be borrowed. For Fiscal 2022 the feds are looking to spend over six trillion, of which nearly two trillion will have to be borrowed.
And political differences too. In September 2013 the Democrats had the White House and a majority in the Senate — although not a filibuster-proof majority — under their Senate leader, a chap named Joe Biden; but Republicans held the House. Today Democrats have the presidency and the House while the Senate is famously tied, 50-50.
I'm just putting things into perspective here. Eight years ago: $3½ trillion, of which half a trillion was debt. Today's proposal: six trillion, nearly two trillion of it borrowed.
And if you've been reading about something called the Debt Ceiling, that figure for borrowing in the Fiscal Year budget is only indirectly related to the Debt Ceiling. The Debt Ceiling is a ceiling on our total National Debt, the cumulative federal debt — which is to say all our outstanding obligations, including those incurred by previous years' deficits under previous administrations.
The Debt Ceiling is currently $28.4 trillion. The national debt now stands at $28.43 trillion, which is kind of embarrassing.
I'll take a look at the actual budget the administration would like to pass in just a moment. First, please allow me just a brief personal detour.
03 — Only a trillion. At age fifteen I was already a science geek. I was most particularly a fan of Isaac Asimov's monthly science-fact column in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Asimov always had something interesting and instructive to say. In fact, at the risk of generating howls of outrage from his fans, I always liked Asimov's science fact writing better than his science fiction.
So there I was in 1960, a fifteen-year-old science geek at a good English boys' school. I wasn't a really outstanding scholar, but I did well enough that year to win a prize for the school's annual Prize-Giving Day.
We were allowed to choose our prize, but it had to be a book. We would have worked much harder at our studies if, for our prize, we were allowed our pick of the students at the local girls' school; but we were limited to books.
I chose a book Isaac Asimov had published a couple of years previously. It was one of his pot-boilers: just a dozen of those monthly columns from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction gathered together in one book. I can't remember why I chose this particular pot-boiler, but I guess its title must have appealed to me. Title: Only a Trillion.
Asimov explained the title in his introduction. Quote:
After considerable computation one day recently I said to my long-suffering wife: "Do you know how rare astatine-215 is? If you inspected all of North and South America to a depth of ten miles, atom by atom, do you know how many atoms of astatine-215 you would find?"
My wife said, "No. How many?"
To which I replied, "Practically none. Only a trillion."
That seems to be the main spirit animating our budget debates: "Hey, it's only a trillion."
I suppose that book is long out of print. Still, a thorough trawl through second-hand book websites might locate enough copies to place one on the desk of every senator and congressman who's expressed a willingness to vote for Joe Biden's six-trillion-dollar budget.
04 — What's in the budget. Listeners with acute hearing will have noticed that in the segment before last I gave the current Debt Ceiling as $28.4 trillion, and the current National Debt as $28.43 trillion. Doesn't that mean that Uncle Sam is technically thirty billion dollars in default?
Yes, technically it does. We've been in default since July. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has being doing a sort of three-card monty with the fed's account ledgers to keep it technical (as opposed to indisputable), but her ability to do that will be exhausted around the end of October. At that point, financial analysts tell us, if the Debt Ceiling hasn't been raised, all hell will break loose in the bond markets and the Earth will crash into the Sun.
You probably shouldn't lose any sleep over that. Because the Debt Ceiling is a ceiling on cumulative debt, debt accumulated by past administrations of both parties, there's a general understanding in Congress that coping with it is a bipartisan responsibility. You can be sure the congresscritters will find a way to avoid the end-of-October apocalypse.
Debt Ceiling aside, what's in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal? You can find detailed accounts all over the internet. I'm working from the one at the NCSL website, the National Conference of State Legislatures.
If I were to go through the whole thing passing comment, the podcast would run all weekend. I'm just going to cherry-pick a handful of items.
The word "increase" is prominent.
And so on. That decrease for ICE operations stands out, but it's not quite the only decrease in funding. There is that decrease for the Army Corps of Engineers, I'm not sure what's up with that; and then there is actually a proposal to totally zero out one government program.
That's under the Justice Department heading. Quote: "Zeroes out the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program," end quote. What's that? Quote from the Bureau of Justice Assistance website, quote:
Under SCAAP, the Office of Justice Programs makes payments to "states" and "units of local government" that incur certain types of costs due to "incarceration" of "undocumented criminal aliens" during a specific 12-month "reporting period."
So the feds have been helping states and cities with the costs of coping with criminal illegal aliens. Well, no more of that in Fiscal Year 2022! The entire concept of "criminal illegal alien" is a white-supremacist social construct, don't you know.
Also under the heading "Justice Department," a new hundred-million-dollar program for Community Based Alternatives to Youth Incarceration, and a 77 percent increase in funding for Juvenile Justice Programs. That sounds to me like free money for BLM-type activist groups in the ghetto; but then, I am a shameless cynic.
So … Increases for everything except immigration law enforcement, and handouts for activist lobbies. That's the six-trillion-plus budget proposal.
What the feds actually end up spending over the next twelve months is all mixed up with the arm-wrestling over Bernie Sanders' $3½-trillion social-justice spend-a-palooza, which has been passed by the House but not yet the Senate, and Rep. DeFazio's $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which has passed the Senate, but not yet the House.
The first one there is being held up by Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who swears he won't vote for anything costing more than $1.5 trillion; the second is being held up by factional feuding among House Democrats, the most progressive of whom swear they won't vote for it until the Senate's approved Bernie Sanders' bill.
So, fun and games up there on Capitol Hill. Last night's continuing resolution keeps the government funded and gives the congresscritters time to sort it all out.
At the end you may be sure there will be goodies for all the anti-white, anti-law-enforcement and anti-American lobbies, more goodies for the public-sector employee lobbies — who have the impudence to call themselves "unions" — but higher taxes for the rest of us.
Higher prices, too, as the Treasury speeds up the printing presses. Brrrr brrrrr … There they go.
This was prompted by a story in Thursday's New York Post. The protagonist here is one Evan Wexler, 56 years old, of Fort Lee in New Jersey.
Mr Wexler's done well in life. Starting as an ordinary butcher, he is now a high-end wholesaler of meat to supermarket chains, and lives in a mansion in a tony district overlooking the Hudson River. He likes exotic sports cars, and has a collection of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Mercedes, and such.
That has attracted the attention of thieves and joyriders. Mr Wexler has been plagued by them for the past two years. Last August, in just one instance, thieves stole from his driveway a rare Lamborghini worth more than half a million dollars, one of only ten in in the U.S.A. It was found a week later in Newark, twenty miles away, with $80,000 worth of damage.
He's called the police a couple of dozen times, he told the Post, but only once did they apprehend a perp.
Then, in March last year, they got their man. In the small hours of the morning Mr Wexler heard a thief at work. He leapt out of bed naked, grabbed a rifle, ran out of the house, and fired off a shot.
The thief wasn't hit, but he ran off. Police showed up, I suppose in response to the sound of the shot, and made an arrest. Yes, they got their man — Mr Wexler!
They charged Mr Wexler with something or other, and he was sentenced to two years probation. He also had to sell all his guns. "Now all I have for protection is a dog," he says.
We've all heard stories like this. The late British novelist Kingsley Amis identified the source of the trouble as a world-wide secret society he called EFTA: E-F-T-A, stands for "the Easier For Them Association."
For cops, arresting and booking a middle-aged white citizen who incautiously fired off a gun at a criminal, without hitting him or anyone else, is way easier — Easier For Them — than tracking down and arresting that criminal. If that criminal is black, as 47 percent of Newark residents were in 2018, it is also way less hazardous to your career and your liberty.
In the U.S.A., EFTA and the race lobbies are a mutual-support unit. The IRS will kick down my door and cuff me if I fail to declare that $100 lottery win; but if Al Sharpton gets a couple of million behind on his taxes, he's politely called in and given a deal. It's Easier For Them.
Similarly with the flap the other day about Border Patrol agents on horseback trying to round up illegal border-crossers. The agents were white: the invaders were black: the agents' reins were flying loose: and when the pictures came out, so were the tongues of prominent persons in our government, who were mistaking the reins for whips, or pretending to.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told us that those images, quote, "conjured up such a dark past," end quote. Senate panjandrum Chuck Schumer told us that, quote, "The images turn your stomach," end quote.
Representative-for-life Maxine Waters told us that, quote, "What we witnessed takes us back hundreds of years. What we witnessed was worse than what we witnessed in slavery," end quote. Vice President and Border Maharani Kamala Harris declared herself outraged and deeply troubled.
The President himself felt moved to address the issue. "They will pay," he declared with his angry face on — referring to the mounted agents, of course, not to the criminals they were trying to apprehend.
More and more in our society it is the case that criminals don't have to pay anything for their crimes. It's law enforcement and the law-abiding who pay.
I predict that next time a photographer snaps border agents in action against wetbacks, the agents will arrest the photographer. It'll be Easier For Them.
You can't blame the cops and agents for signing up with EFTA. If you're not entrepreneurial and didn't fancy wasting four years and two hundred thousand dollars on a college degree, law enforcement is interesting and well-paid work with great benefits and early retirement. It is also, though, work that of its nature can't always be done in a gentle and restrained manner.
Yet key power centers in our society, insist that it must be done in a gentle and restrained manner, most especially so when law enforcement is white and the perp is black; and there are cameras everywhere nowadays.
So what's a law-enforcement officer to do? Go ahead and make the arrest, with a chance of finding himself the next Derek Chauvin? Or heed the advice of the instructor at his last EFTA seminar and arrest the nearby 70-year-old white citizen he saw dropping litter on the sidewalk?
EFTA, the hidden force behind those rising crime statistics you've been hearing about. EFTA, E-F-T-A, the Easier For Them Association.
While the Prime Minister was halfway through answering a question from the press corps present, Biden's handlers suddenly started shouting at the journalists and ordering them to leave. The press people accordingly left.
What was that all about? I have no idea. Mrs Derbyshire, however, follows WeChat, the main Chinese-language social-media playground. She was soon telling me that the story going round gleefully in China, on WeChat, was that the President had had an unscheduled bowel movement. The handlers had immediately detected this, and thought it best to empty the room before the press got wind of it … so to speak.
That was when I first heard this particular meme. Whether it originated in China, I can't say. It was soon all over Twitter; and before that week was out you could buy Biden-pooped-in-his-pants T-shirts for $15.99.
No, I didn't buy one. Biden is of course a disaster. With all the follies and blunders of this administration, though, I still nurse some residual respect for the office of the Chief Executive. It's a shame that office has to be occupied by a corrupt and senile buffoon; but let's try to hold on to some shreds of our collective dignity as a nation. In China they're still laughing about it.
Item: An onomastic note. A peak in the Rockies named Squaw Mountain, thirty miles west of Denver, is to be renamed Mestaa'ehehe [mess-taw-hay] Mountain. Quote from Associated Press:
The name honors an influential Cheyenne translator known as Owl Woman, who facilitated relations between white settlers and Native American tribes in the early 1800s, The Colorado Sun reported.
When AmRen reposted that, readers quickly offered alternative renamings for Squaw Mountain. Among them: Virtue Signal Mountain, Big Rock Candy Mountain, YoBitch Mountain, Peckerwood Mountain, Stupidity Heights, and, duh, Owl Woman Mountain.
Item: Amanda Gorman is the young black woman who did a reading at the Biden inauguration in January. The reading was of something she had written herself, which she and the press covering the event referred to as a poem.
Speaking as a life-long poetry lover, I can't agree that it actually is a poem, just a randomly-spaced collection of sonorous but meaningless phrases. Sample, quote:
When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade.
Uh, if day has come, won't the shade have ended? And you can wade a river or a pond, but you can't wade a sea. This is vapid gibberish.
That aside, I deplore the promoting of this young woman as the bearer of talents she does not in fact possess. Yeah, she seems to enjoy the fuss; but it still looks to me like a kind of exploitation.
Ms Gorman appears to be of above-average intelligence — she graduated from Harvard; only in Sociology, to be sure, but I don't think Harvard gives even sociology degrees to dimwits. She should be settling in to a remunerative and fulfilling middle-class career doing something useful, not making an embarrassment of herself performing for guilt-addled white progressives.
And it's gone to her head. The September 20th Wall Street Journal ran a piece about her under the heading Poet Amanda Gorman Dreams of Becoming the President.
Well, hey, log cabin to White House, I guess. I still think there is something improper about telling the young lady she is something she isn't, and indulging her fantasies of being something she is highly unlikely ever to be.
I'm sorry to have to break it to you, Ms Gorman, and of course I wish you no ill, but you are only ruling-class progressives' Pet of the Year. They'll soon be fawning over someone else. The word "minstrelsy" comes to mind.
Item: Judicial outrage of the past fortnight has been U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom striking down key parts of a Florida law that would ban sanctuary cities. The law, she said, was adopted with intent to discriminate.
Well, sort of: The law was adopted with the intent to prevent jurisdictions not discriminating against illegal aliens.
Illegal aliens are doing something illegal: living in our country without having followed lawful procedures to do so. They should be discriminated against. A sanctuary jurisdition is declaring that it will not do something that, if it held the people's laws in proper respect, it ought to do.
Judge Bloom also objected to the Florida law because among those who influenced the drafting of the law was Floridians for Immigration Enforcement, a group which, she wrote in her judgment, quote, "has been labeled as an anti-immigrant racialist group." Really? "Has been labeled"? By whom? See if you can guess.
To play us out, here's a little more Lilliburlero from the Band of the Royal Corps of Transport. Let's bring the brass section in, shall we?
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: from Purcell's Lilliburlero]