JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Biden, Adams Vs. Noboa, Bukele. Which Way America?
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

I started out my January Diary grumbling about New York, the state of which I am a tax-paying resident. Quote from me: ”I love my country but I don’t much like my state.”

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.

Eric Adams blames political woes on race, compares himself to Jesus in racially charged video

’Have you ever seen this much chocolate lead in the city of New York?’ Adams said to an applauding crowd

By Michael Dorgan, Fox News, February 6, 2024

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, Meera C. Joshi.

And before proceeding I cannot forbear telling you my favorite name of all the Mayor’s staffers: Tiffany Raspberry [Tweet her], right, 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 perfectly 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 [Hochul budget proposal includes language to expedite up to 5 prison closures, by Ryan Whalen, Spectrum Local News, January 16, 2024]. 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 [Alleged migrant attack on NYC police sparks political uproar, BBC, February 2, 2024]—five of them without bail [At least 7 arrested, accused of attacking police officers outside New York City migrant shelter,  CNN, February 2, 2024]—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 [Mayor Adams Loses Showdown Over 2 Criminal Justice Bills, by Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Dana Rubinstein, New York Times, January 30, 2024]. 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 [El Salvador says murders fell 70% in 2023 as it cracked down on gangs, Reuters, January 3, 2024].

How did he do that? I told you. Why don’t you listen? Quote from me:

By massively expanding prison capacity then incarcerating anyone cops tagged as a gang member.

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’s Annie Correal, 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.

From Annie Correal’s New York Times story about Ecuador, where the country’s military is helping police with the cleanup:

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.”

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.

Oh, wait…


John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire’s writings at can do so here.


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