Radio Derb: Elections Past And Present, Flag Day, Put Out More Flags, And Above The Law, Etc
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00:53  Elections past and present.  (1924, oh!)

05:30  Flag Day.  (With anthrax brownies.)

11:14  Piling on Alito.  ("Christian nationalism," eek!)

17:37  Above the law.  (Nobody, I tell you, nobody!)

25:02  Who is Deep fine leg?  (Cricketing mysteries.)

29:48  Puerto Ricans are proud, too!  (Of what?)

32:36  Folger Library goes woke.  (Decolonizing the Bard.)

34:55  Macron rolls the dice.  (Euro vote fallout.)

36:42  Eurocrats make war.  (On Hungary.)

38:17  Signoff.  (With Sir Henry.)

01 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your sportingly genial host John Derbyshire, podcasting to you from the Derbyshire estates out here on sun-kissed Long Island.

We are now approaching mid-year, whence our public affairs will grind ineluctably forward to the general election in November. I'll open with a brief reflective segment about that.


02 — Elections past and present.     As things stand here in mid-June, the election campaign is not an encouraging spectacle. Those of us who've been around a while can't help but make comparisons with earlier presidential campaigns when two thoughtful, carefully-speaking middle-aged gents argued their cases with each other.

The last one of those was 2012, Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney, ages 50 and 65 respectively. I didn't much care for either of the candidates, but they were both normal, dull, decently intelligent, reasonably articulate, and unostentatiously patriotic types, and neither wore Depends.

Further back there were big, real, consequential clashes on important principles: Nixon-Kennedy 1960, for instance.

There we had two sharp intelligencies, ages 47 and 43, the Cold War at its coldest, population booming, technology roaring ahead.

Sure, it wasn't a clean election. The media were all in for Kennedy. With their help he finagled the result and Nixon had to not make a fuss, because that's how American gents were supposed to behave in 1960. The campaign was one that grown-ups could follow with interest, though.

Further back still there was 1924. That was way before my time, but I once reviewed a book about it: Garland Tucker's The High Tide of American Conservatism. Here's the opening paragraph of my review, October 2010, quote:

The 1924 presidential election was, on the face of it, a snoozer. The major-party candidates were Calvin Coolidge (Republican) and John W. Davis (Democrat). Both were conservative — sensationally so by today's standards. As Garland Tucker notes in this enjoyable and informative book: [Inner quote.] "There were … very few philosophical differences between Davis and Coolidge." [End inner quote.]

Both men thought that federal power should intrude as little as possible into the life of the nation. Both favored minimal taxation, wanted the states left to conduct their own affairs where the Constitution did not forbid their doing so, saw America's international role in terms of diplomatic sweet nothings, and believed that [Inner quote from Davis] "to tax one person, class or section to provide revenue for another is … robbery" [end inner quote] and that [inner quote from Coolidge] "the chief business of the American people is business" [end inner quote].

End quote, and brush away tears.

Well, we're stuck with what we've got. My prediction remains the same as the last time I uttered it: the Tutsis will somehow replace Biden and Harris with more plausible candidates and then jigger the vote counts to make sure they win. I hope I'm wrong, but that's my best guess.

Meanwhile, let's take a glance at the calendar. Oh, it's Flag Day!


03 — Flag Day.     Yes, June 14th is Flag Day. It is also the birthday of the U.S.Army. My son is an Army veteran, but he seems to have no plans to observe the birthday, being busy building a career for himself. I've had Old Glory out on our front stoop since Memorial Day, so no further action required.

June 14th is also Donald Trump's birthday. Happy birthday, Sir; and don't worry, I'm not going to play the Marilyn Monroe clip.

This coincidence has stirred up some comment in the regime media. A columnist named Nick Reilly at The Washington Post had an opinion piece yesterday under the headline, Since when does Donald Trump own the American flag? Trump and his followers have, says Nick Reilly, pretending to be indignant about it, kidnapped the flag. Sample quote:

For a lot of Americans, the flag has become a symbol of Trump misogyny, Trump bigotry and Trump wannabe president for life. Which means, for Democrats like me, flying an American flag on your house is akin to bringing your neighbors anthrax brownies.

End quote.

Anthrax brownies? That's a little strong, isn't it? The Washington Post is in trouble, though. They lost $77 million last year and laid off 13 percent of their staff, so perhaps dark despair is setting in. I hope so.

The New York Times has an opinion piece this morning on the same theme. Headline: Donald J. Trump, the Man, the Flag. The opinionator here is Vanessa Friedman.

It hadn't occurred to me until I read this piece that Trump dresses himself as the flag: red tie, white shirt,and blue suit. Ms Friedman has a lot to say about this — way more than it deserves. Sample quote:

Mr Trump wore navy suits, red ties and white shirts before entering politics, but his use of the uniform has evolved. The blue of his suits has become brighter in recent months — midnight blue, and closer to what Peter Roberti, the president of the Custom Tailors & Designers Association, called a "Neapolitan blue." Alan Flusser, a tailor to the tycoon set and the author of Dressing the Man, called it "cobalt." It was a relatively uncommon choice among his clients, he said.

End quote.

Ms Friedman, who seems to be working her way up to a Ph.D. thesis on Trump's style choices, has dived deep into the topic. She tells us that for his birthday bash this evening Trump is holding a fundraiser in Palm Beach. The printed invitations, she says, advise ticket holders to wear red, white, and blue. Hoo boy …

So what's this all about? What it's all about is, these regime media hacks want you to know, if you don't know already, that Donald Trump is evil — a nationalist. We all know who else was a nationalist, don't we?

I had a private bet with myself when reading the Washington Post column that if I scrolled down the comment thread, Godwin's Law would kick in before I got bored and quit.

Sure enough, there it was, and I only had to scroll through seven comments to find it. June 14th at 8:51 a.m., quote:

I find myself cringing now when I see an oversized American Flag. Yes. It does remind me of the Nazis.

End quote.

Don't go looking for originality in regime media comment threads.


04 — Put out more flags.     Here, apparently, is another crypto-Nazi: Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Justice Alito has been having flag troubles of his own.

The core problem here is that Justice Alito's wife really enjoys flying flags.

Some people are like that. If you live in a suburban neighborhood like mine, take a walk around it any day of the year: you will almost certainly see at least a couple of flags. The house across the street from me had a full-scale twenty-foot flagpole on the front lawn until the old guy who'd erected it passed away and the house was sold.

So Mrs Alito likes putting out flags. There is a certain defiance in play there. Justice Alito generally rules with the Supreme Court's conservative majority, so he is a hate figure for Progressives. His wife gets some of that hate from neighbors and outsiders; putting up flags is a silent, harmless way she counters the haters.

After the January 6th protests Mrs Alito flew the Stars and Stripes upside down in solidarity and as a poke in the eye to what sound like very obnoxious neighbors. That caused a minor kerfuffle. Two Democrat Senators wrote to Chief Justice John Roberts requesting that Alito recuse himself from a case involving the protests and Trump's claim to immunity. Justice Alito wrote a spirited letter back rejecting the request.

More recently Mrs Alito has been flying the Pine Tree Flag, also known as the Appeal to Heaven flag, that is traditional to New England and has been flown since the American Revolution.

Why would anyone object to that? To understand, you have to keep up with Progessives' addiction to crazy fads. The latest fad on the Looney Left is a whipped-up panic about Christian Nationalism.

I'm not sure why anyone would mind Christian Nationalism. The early settlements that became the U.S.A. were all founded by Christians of various kinds and Christianity is still a strong element of our national culture.

The references to God that we hear on important national occasions — what the political science people call "ceremonial deism" — are all slanted towards Christianity. Even obviously irreligious presidents like Barack Obama make a point of being seen attending church once in a while.

Nationalism is just the strong form of patriotism — the conviction that one's own country is better than others. Not only does some huge proportion of our citizens feel that way; so do untold millions of people in other countries, to judge by the numbers flooding in across our borders. Repeat the phrase after me, please: revealed preference.

So what's wrong with Christian Nationalism? Progressives have somehow got it into their fevered heads that Christian Nationalism is Nazi-adjacent. We all know what ardent church-goers Hitler, Goering, and Goebbels were, right? Right.

No, it doesn't make sense. Nothing in Progressivism makes sense. Mrs Alito flies an old flag signifying an appeal to Heaven, and which apparently was glimpsed among the January 6th protestors. So she's a crypto-Nazi, and so is her husband.

I've been trying to think up some analogous scenario that a crazy conservative might concoct about the Supreme Court's affirmative-action hires, Justices Sotomayor and Jackson. Might one of them have been spotted flying Old Glory upside down in November 2016 after Trump got elected? Or perhaps flying a flag with the Wobblies logo on it, or a Black Lives Matter emblem?

I can't make it work, though. Sure, we have some crazies here on the right — I got stories. There aren't those depths of moral passion that are always seething away among Progressives, though. The old Reaganite catch-phrase still applies: We think they are mistaken; they think we are evil EVIL EVIL.


05 — Above the law.     The Hunter Biden verdict — guilty of lying on a federal firearms application — is a small propaganda triumph for the elites. "See," they're all jeering, "Nobody is above the law!"

Yeah, right. Nobody is above the law … except for the untold millions of foreigners who entered our country illegally and settled here, and the employers who've hired them.

And, by the way, how many millions is it? Around the turn of the century the number eleven million somehow floated up to the surface of our collective consciousness. The late and much-lamented Sam Francis deployed it here at in November 2002, quote:

But the fact is that a nation penetrated every year by some 300,000 illegal aliens and in which some 11 million illegal aliens live permanently is not a nation experiencing "immigration." It is a nation experiencing invasion and conquest — and that's not counting the legal immigrants.

End quote. We miss you, Sam.

In the years that followed, the first decade of this century, the number eleven million somehow got stuck in the not-very-capacious minds of politicians and their media shills. It got really stuck: I still sometimes hear it. I'm pretty sure I can remember hearing Marco Rubio use it a few months ago.

The number eleven million was certainly still current nine years ago when Ann Coulter published her book Adios, America! because she pooh-poohed it, quoting a study by Bear Stearns that, if memory serves — I no longer have Ann's book — put it at thirty million. Ann tweeted about this a year and a half ago, December 2022, tweet:

It's AT LEAST 50 million illegals in the country today. See my book, 'Adios, America!' for the analysis from Pulitzer prize winning reporters and numbers-crunchers from Bear Stearns.

End tweet.

Another year and a half of open borders, that could be another ten million. So sixty million, maybe seventy … who knows?

Sorry, I got diverted there. Even if the number of resident illegal aliens is only fifty million, though, that makes a joke of "Nobody is above the law." There's a lot of daylight between "nobody" and "fifty million souls."

There is another big cohort of people who are above the law, too: all those petty criminals that big-city prosecutors will no longer prosecute for fear George Soros might pull his funding from their election campaigns.

That cohort, like the one of illegal aliens, swells day by day — although there is of course considerable overlap of the two cohorts.

Just a couple of weeks ago I read this story in my New York Post concerning the elected Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu.

Back in March 2019 the local District Attorney, another gyno-American, name of Rachael Rollins, published a much-discussed Policy Memo listing more than a dozen charges she said should not be prosecuted.

The do-not-prosecute list included shoplifting, larceny, disorderly conduct, receiving stolen property, driving with a suspended license, breaking and entering with property damage, wanton and malicious destruction of property, threats, minor in possession of alcohol, marijuana possession, possession with intent to distribute, and non-marijuana drug possession.

DA Rollins was later brought into the Biden administration, but soon had to resign after an ethics probe found that she had committed, quote, "egregious" ethical violations and "abuse of power," end quote.

Mayor Michelle Wu presumably knew that when she was aked whether she agreed with DA Rollins' do-not-prosecute list. Yes, she replied, she agreed with it.

So shoplifters, thieves, burglars, vandals, and so on are above the law in Boston, or soon will be.

What will get you arrested nowadays? Well, on the other coast, over in Spokane, Washington, a 19-year-old man was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail for 1st Degree Malicious Mischief. Two additional suspects (minors) were arrested and booked into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center for the same charge.

What evil did these evil-doers do? Well, the road at a big intersection had been painted all colors to celebrate Pride Month. These perps had ridden scooters over it leaving black scuff marks. News pictures show two of these criminals — both white, of course — already in prison outfits waiting to be locked up. Throw away the Key!

So yes, in all fairness, there is a category of people not above the law. That category just doesn't include alien border-jumpers, Boston shoplifters and burglars, and U.S. Vice Presidents selling their influence to Chinese, Russian, and Ukrainian business moguls.


06 — Who is Deep fine leg?     Cricket has been in the news. No, not the little chirpy insect, nor Buddy Holly's original rock group. This is cricket the British game, played and followed with great enthusiasm not only in Shakespeare's islands but all over the world where British imperialism left its mark.

That includes, in particular, India and Pakistan, both great powers in the cricket world. The news this past few days concerns them, but also our own U.S.A. Yes, we have a national cricket team, too.

So here came the cricket news, two stories.

First story: On Thursday, June 6th in Dallas, Texas, we — the U.S. team — beat Pakistan.

This is T20 cricket, in which the team that gets the most runs in 20 overs wins. As it happened, this match was a tie after 20 overs with 159 runs each, so they played a tie-breaking over. We won the tie-breaker, 19 runs to 13.

Oh, you want to know what an over is? Translated to baseball, it's six pitches, pitcher to hitter — except of course that in cricket it's bowler to one of the batsmen, of whom there are two on the pitch … oh, please, don't make me explain the rules of cricket. It's all very British.

Just to drive that home, here are some of the actual, official names of the fielding positions in cricket: Silly mid off, Backward square leg, Deep fine leg, Short third man, … You're sorry you asked, right?

Well, that was Thursday, June 6th in Dallas. Three days later on Sunday, June 9th, Pakistan played against India here on Long Island. They lost that one, too: India beat Pakistan 119 runs to 113.

Now, you can understand one cricket giant, Pakistan, losing to another cricket giant, India; but how on earth did cricket giant Pakistan lose to cricket dwarf U.S.A.? For an answer to that I refer you to James Fulford's column here at on Thursday the 13th.

Executive summary: the U.S. players were all immigrants from cricketing countries. The captain of the U.S. team that beat Pakistan on June 6th actually bears the surname Patel, which has the same frequency among Gujaratis as "Smith" has among the English.

So no, there hasn't been any recent rising interest in cricket among young legacy Americans. Joe and George and Hank and Sam haven't been jostling to get a place at Silly mid off. It's immigration. Hey, this is VDARE.

Writing about cricket, though, has got my ancestral English blood stirred up. I won't say any more here, but I shall relieve the pressure in my sign-off segment.


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

Imprimis:  It's not just sexually eccentric people who are proud; Puerto Ricans are proud, too. To show us how proud they are the Puerto Ricans in New York City had a huge parade up Fifth Avenue last Sunday, officially the Puerto Rican Pride Day Parade.

OK, I guess, and Heaven forbid I should … you know, rain on their parade. I don't really see what they're proud of, though. If Puerto Rico had fought for and won its independence, that would be an occasion for pride. The place is a colony, though. They're proud to be a colony? Hoo-kay.

Twenty-one years ago I posted a column under the title "Necessary But Impossible." In that column I listed ten things I would like to see done but won't because they are politically impossible. Number nine on my list was "Grant independence to Puerto Rico." Here is what I wrote. Quoting myself:

Who wants Puerto Rico? Well, obviously the Puerto Ricans do. It's their place. Not "their country" because it isn't a country. It's a "commonwealth," which is a fancy way of saying it's a US colony.

What are we doing in the colony business? Isn't this a free republic? Didn't we get started in the first place as an anti-colonial enterprise?

We can't offer Puerto Rico statehood because they have nothing in common with us, not even a language. (And, oh, also because any Senator or Representative who voted for such a measure would be lynched on return to his home district.)

What's that you say? — Puerto Ricans have fought bravely in our country's wars? Great! Let's give U.S. citizenship to those who have done so! God bless them! For the rest — give them back their country.

End quote.


Item:  Speaking of colonies, here's something that needs de-colonizing: the works of Shakespeare.

Yeah, yeah, old news. Progressive schoolmarms and scolds all over the Western world have been grumbling for years about how shamefully white and male and … Western the Bard is.

It isn't some prune-faced provincial librarian in the news today doing it, though: it's Professor Farah Karim-Cooper. Who she? She will, as of October 7th this year, be the new Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. — the most renowned place in the world for the study of Shakespeare and his works.

Quote from the Folger Library's announcement of Prof. Karim-Cooper's appointment, quote:

She is a field leader in examining Shakespeare's plays through the lens of race and social justice.

End quote.

Quote from Prof. Karim-Cooper herself in an essay she published two years ago. Quote:

I note that the construction of Shakespeare as the "Bard" was itself instrumentalized within the British colonial project, as a national poet and as an icon of white heritage and excellence: the conception of the man as Bard is, I argue, endemic to coloniality.

End quote.

A question from me to the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library: Why don't you just burn the place to the ground?


Item:  Elections to the European Parliament went pretty much as I — and every other observer — predicted, with gains for nationalist parties seeking an end to uncontrolled mass immigration, especially of Muslims.

Whether this will have any effect remains to be seen. As I reported last week, the Euro Parliament has no legislative powers. The main importance of these five-yearly elections is that the preferences they reveal about what European voters want will echo back into the politics of member countries.

This time around the echo was particularly loud in France. In last weekend's Euro election the populist-nationalist RN Party won more than double the votes of French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist Renaissance Party.

Macron reacted by dissolving the French Parliament and calling for a snap election at the end of this month.

It's a gamble. Macron is saying to the RN voters: "OK, but do you really want these crazy rightists in charge, or was that just a protest vote?" He and we shall hear the answers two or three weeks from now.


Item:  Not having to bother much with legislative negotiating, senior EU bureaucrats have a pretty free hand to do as they please.

One thing it pleased them to do this week was punish Hungary for being mean to so-called "asylum seekers": putting them in detention, violating their right to appeal, even — oh good Lord! — even deporting them.

The EU-crats have fined Hungary a lump sum of 186 million dollars with, in addition, 930 thousand dollars a day to be paid until Hungary complies with EU "asylum" rules. The money will be automatically subtracted from Hungary's share of the EU budget.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is of course furious. Quote from him, quote:

It seems that illegal migrants are more important to the Brussels bureaucrats than their own European citizens.

End quote.

Yes, Mr Prime Minister: that is indeed how it seems, because that's how it is.


08 — Signoff.     That's all I have, ladies and gentlemen — except that, as promised, I have something cricket-related to see us out. First, though, thank you for your time and attention, for your emails and support.

And a word of sympathy to the good people of Florida, who have been enduring some dangerously heavy rainfall and consequent flooding. May your troubles soon abate!

Now, cricket. Back when Britain was a real country with a worldwide empire, team sports like cricket were thought of as metaphors for other kinds of struggle, especially but not exclusively the military kinds. Conversely war-fighting and other varieties of conflict were often thought of and spoken of with analogies to sport.

One of the finest, noblest expressions of this tendency was the poem "Vitaï Lampada," written in 1892 by Sir Henry Newbolt. The title is Latin for "The Torch of Life." I like this poem so much I have given over a web page to it at my personal website, with an audio clip of me reading it and full explanations for all the obscure references.

In a moment I shall sign off with that audio clip. First, though, a very brief outline for listeners.

The poem has three stanzas, two narrative and one hortatory.

Stanza One describes a cricket match in a boys' school (actually Clifton College near Bristol, and still in business).

Stanza Two describes a battle in a desert somewhere (actually the 1885 Battle of Abu Klea in Sudan).

Stanza Three brings us back to the school. The boys of the school are exhorted to be good sportsmen, and to maintain the sporting spirit through life's successes and failures.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.


[Clip: JD reading "Vitaï Lampada."]

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