Radio Derb: NY’s Looting Of Trump, Bloodbath And Wetwork, and Stalinist Elections, There And Here, Etc.
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02:47  NY State’s looting of Trump.  (What happens on Monday?)

12:52  Careless with metaphors.  (Trump, Carville.)

20:58  Stalinist elections.  (There and here.)

27:17  Should illegal aliens be armed?  (Judge says yes.)

31:03  Ireland’s referendum fallout.  (Varadkar falls out.)

33:13  The Nork dynastic succession.  (Potential for palace intrigue.)

36:07  Look up!  (A twofer in the sky.)

38:38  Signoff.  (With a favorite of Mum’s.)


01—Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Welcome to the show, listeners. That was Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2 and this is your reasonably genial host John Derbyshire with's weekly survey of the news.

Surveying the news is pretty depressing lately. Settling in the U.S.A. in my forties, I brought with me from the Mother Country some preconceptions.

Foremost was the U.S.A. I'd seen from a distance while growing up: a great can-do nation, victorious in two huge wars, a popular culture bubbling with vitality, technological leadership culminating in … a Moon landing!

Reading and listening, I got some historical background: a group of colonies maturing into a nation under the guidance of well-read, broad-minded Enlightenment scholars; the civilizing of great Western spaces inhabited by stone-age nomads; the Civil War (presented as high idealism in action); the steady businesslike advance to modernity.

The American story, extracted in outline from history like that, is a wonderful one: uplifting, encouraging.

But then today I open my newspaper and read about current events which have not a trace of uplift or encouragement about them: illegal aliens swarming in across the southern border, property rights surrendered to squatters, lawlessness unpunished, merit abandoned in favor of ideological posturing.

And then, the lawfare against Donald Trump. That may come to some kind of a head next week, so let's start with that.


02—NY State's looting of Trump.     This coming Monday, March 25th, is the deadline for The Trump Organization to post a bond.

Why do they need to post a bond? Because on February 16th New York State was awarded a half-billion-dollar judgment against the Organization on grounds of civil fraud. March 25th was the deadline for them to pay up.

The Trump Organization has appealed the judgment. They can of course do so, and we'll see how the appeal goes when it finally gets to some judge's desk.

The best reason for hoping that it goes in Trump's favor is the protection offered by the 8th Amendment against excessive bail and excessive fines. Does that protection apply to state judgments as well as federal ones?

Yes it does: That was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on a 9-0 vote in a landmark case five years ago. Numerous pundits—including, just today, Vivek Ramaswamy—have predicted that Trump's fines will be annulled on 8th Amendment grounds.

As excessive as the February judgment surely is, however, until higher courts can ponder and annul it, the Trump Organization still has to post a bond in lieu of payment.

Finding a bondsman able and willing to write a check for half a billion dollars is not easy, though. In fact it has proven impossible. So come Monday the Trump Organization will be in default on the February judgment.

That will give the plaintiff in February's lawsuit the right to seize the organization's assets. The plaintiff is New York State, so it all sounds coolly impersonal: a state as plaintiff, a business organization as defendant.

In fact that's just legal cosmetics. Driving the prosecution is State Attorney General Letitia James. The Trump Organization is Donald Trump and his family members.

Letitia James ran for the office of Attorney General in 2018, during the Trump presidency. A key theme of her campaign was hatred of Trump, whose presidency she declared "illegitimate." She made an oft-repeated vow that if elected she would strive to destroy Trump. This lawsuit was in fulfilment of that vow.

This is law personalized. In pre-modern Britain there was a legislative process called a "bill of attainder." This was a bill, passed through the nation's legislature, declaring some specific person to be guilty of a crime, usually treason or some other capital crime. There was no trial, no judicial process, just a law declaring that person to be guilty.

This hounding of Trump is not a bill of attainder in that strict sense. It can't be, as our Constitution forbids such legislation.

It's mighty close, though. Letitia James is not the only radical Progressive in the government of my state. The state legislature is thick with them. Probably there is a hard core of state legislators meeting in back rooms up there in Albany to see if they can't find some way round the Constitutional ban.

And even without a full Constitution-dodging bill of attainder, major damage is being done here, and not just to Trump and his businesses.

I mentioned that it has proven impossible for them to find a bondsman able and willing to write a check for half a billion dollars by Monday. Why impossible? Surely there is plenty of collateral there, with all Trump's property holdings?

Yes; but the only possible candidates for bondsman there are big financial institutions, insurance companies and such. They reasonably fear that if they stand with Trump, they will be next on the Attorney General's enemy list.

I used the phrase "radical Progressive" just then to describe Letitia James. Here at we often call these people "communists," causing some readers and listeners to accuse us of absurdly exaggerating.

Is it really such a stretch to use the word "communist" for New York's Attorney General and her friends in the legislature and judiciary? Here was Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, commenting on the February court judgment against Trump, quote:

This tells us so much about the politicization of our justice system, the weaponization of our system and it's so dangerous because it will mean that business people are not going to want to run for office because they know if they run for office, partisans are going to go after them, investigate them, figure out some way of getting them like overvaluating.

End quote.

To Letitia James and her ilk, entrepreneurial capitalism is a strange and dark thing. It might be tolerated for purposes of raising tax revenues for them to spend on their ideologically-inspired projects, but its practitioners should, they believe, be kept well away from the levers of political power.

That isn't precisely communism—it is in fact closer to fascism as classically defined—but … po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

Donald Trump is a successful capitalist, and already was when, at age 69, he declared himself a candidate for the Presidency. He didn't seek office as a way to get rich, as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did. He didn't need to; he was already rich. It was an act of patriotism.

It is of course possible that Letitia James and her allies in the judiciary—creatures like that Judge Engoron who handed down the February judgment—it is possible that they are also, in their own way, entrepreneurs, looking to enrich themselves.

We have been speculating along these lines here at The James/Engoron process of enrichment, we speculate, has nothing to do with generating profits by supplying their fellow citizens with useful or attractive goods and services. It is rather a matter of manipulating law, justice, and popular opinion with the end in mind of weakening private property rights to the point where property can be looted with impunity by agents of state power.

If, on Monday, our Attorney General reacts to Trump's failure to post bond by seizing his properties, she will of course be placing them in ownership not of her private self but of New York State. That will, however, be merely a chess move.

New York State has an executive, a legislature, and a judiciary well-packed with clones of Letitia James. Should some of the wealth the state acquires through lawfare against Trump and his family end up in private bank accounts, it will be no surprise.


03—Careless with metaphors.     Colorful rhetoric was in the news this week, the color being red.

Campaigning in Ohio for a Republican Senate candidate in Tuesday's primary, Trump had words to say about automobiles being imported from China. The actual words were, quote:

We're going to put a 100 percent tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you're not going to be able to sell those guys if I get elected. Now, if I don't get elected, it's going to be a bloodbath for the whole. That's going to be the least of it. It's going to be a bloodbath for the country, that'll be the least of it. But they're not going to sell those cars, they're building massive factories.

End quote.

The regime media easily parsed that as Trump threatening a violent, bloody uprising if he is not elected President in November. Their shrieks of simulated outrage soon drowned out the few calm voices pointing out that most dictionaries allow the word "bloodbath" as a metaphor for, to quote the website, quote: "a period of disastrous loss or reversal," end quote.

This little episode—I suppose someone somewhere has already called it "Bloodbath-gate," may that person rot in Hell—goes into the file of Trump verbal stumbles along with the 2015 warning about illegal border-crossers from Mexico, quote:

They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

End quote.

And then, two years later, at a presser following the Charlottesville demonstration against taking down a Robert E. Lee statue, when a reporter said the demonstrators were neo-Nazis, quote from Trump:

You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.

End quote.

So: Rapists-gate, Fine-people-gate, and now Bloodbath-gate. You may call Donald Trump a sloppy speaker. When you do as much public speaking as he does, though, and when an almost uniformly hostile media is keenly looking out for every possible opportunity to mis-represent his words, these gates are what you're bound to get.

I do approximately zero-point-zero-zero-one times as much public speaking as the Donald, but I can easily recall things I've said that would be just as easy to mis-represent as Bloodbath-gate et cetera.

The other specimen of colorful—in fact blood-colored—rhetoric that caught my eye this week came from old Clinton warrior James Carville in an interview this Wednesday night at CNN.

At one point in the interview Carville told Anderson Cooper that, quote:

To be candid Anderson, President Biden is not the best attack politician I've ever seen in my life and hopefully leave it at that. But they are a lot of people to do what I call quote, the wetwork, unquote.

End quote.

Anderson Cooper remarked, smiling, quote: "It sounds like a mob hit," end quote.

Carville replied that, quote:

Kind of, but it's paid TV and stuff like that. But yes, it's a CIA term to take a guy out.

End quote.

That had the reverse effect to Bloodbath-gate. It brought out Trump supporters alleging that Carville was proposing the assassination of Trump.

I doubt that's what Carville meant. Like Trump in Ohio, he was just being careless with his metaphors.

There has, though, for some time been an undercurrent of speculation that the regime might indeed try to take Trump out Sicilian style. That undercurrent came to the surface last summer in Trump's interview with Tucker Carlson.

Here was Tucker at 7m11s into the interview, quote:

I'm looking at the trajectory since 2015, when you got into politics for real, and then won. It started with protests against you, massive protests, organized protests by the Left, and then it moved to impeachment twice …

And now indictment. I mean, the next stage is violence. Are you worried that they're going to try and kill you? Why wouldn't they try and kill you? Honestly?

End quote.

Trump gave a long-winded indirect answer. If he has thought about the possibility of being assassinated, he doesn't want to share his thoughts in public.

It isn't just Tucker Carlson who'd like to know. A Trump assassination comes up in private conversation a lot.

A few weeks ago, chatting with a friend who follows developments in military technology much more closely than I do, my friend expressed surprise—genuine, so far as I could tell—that no political assassination has yet been carried out by drone.

Those gadgets can apparently do facial recognition, greatly reducing the probability of error. Said my friend, shaking his head, quote: "It's only a matter of time." End quote.

My advice to Donald Trump would be (a) to hire in to his security detail someone who knows all there is to know about counter-drone defenses, if there are any, and (b) stay indoors as much as possible,


04—Stalinist elections, there and here.     Tucker Carlson was also on hand to comment after Joe Biden's State of the Union address March 7th.

Joe Biden can't win a fair election, said Tucker. Therefore they will do all they can to make our November election un-fair.

In support of that, Tucker pointed to the remarks delivered March 3rd in Alabama by Comrade Merrick Garland, our current U.S. Attorney General.

I noted those remarks myself in my March 8th podcast, so now I can just quote myself. Quote:

In a speech he delivered last Sunday in Alabama Comrade Garland denounced voter ID laws as, [inner quote], "discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary," [end inner 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.

End quote.

I think I can identify Comrade Garland's main inspiration here. Joseph Stalin is supposed to have remarked once that, quote: "It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes." End quote.

I'm sure that quote, if it is a quote, is a favorite of Comrade Garland's, and that he is energetically propagating it around the headquarters of our own Democratic Party.

Whether it is from the mouth of Stalin or not, it received further confirmation last weekend in the place Stalin ruled for 29 years—Russia.

Yes, the Russians had an election … I'm sorry, I should have said, quote, "The Russians had an [inner quote] 'election' [end inner quote]," end quote.

The voting was met with resistance all over, to the point of being messy and dangerous in many places. Sample quotes from the Washington Post, reporting on just the first day of the three-day election, quotes:

Russian voters expressed their anger in stunning individual protests across the country …

Russian election chief Ella Pamfilova … reported a massive hacking effort, with more than 10,000 cyberattacks by 5 p.m. Friday.

Many Russians spoiled their ballot papers or marked their votes against Putin.

Some wrote the name of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died recently in prison. Others scrawled slogans protesting Putin's move to cling to power for a fifth term or calling for Russian soldiers to be demobilized, with the war against Ukraine now in its third year and continuing to result in heavy casualties, according to photographs of ballot papers that were posted on independent Russian Telegram channels.

Two people in Moscow and the surrounding region set polling booths on fire, according to Russian media, while another woman attempted to do so in the town of Kogalym, in the Khanty-Mansi region. An elderly woman in Ivanovo also set fire to a polling booth in a school, local media reported.

A 21-year-old woman in St Petersburg threw a Molotov cocktail outside a polling station, according to Fontanka, a local media outlet.

Six people in regions across the country poured green antiseptic fluid or dye into ballot boxes, with another case reported in occupied Crimea, Ukraine—one of the five Ukrainian regions that Russia illegally claims to have annexed, and where Russia is holding elections.

Alexander Kynev, an independent political analyst and former professor in the political science faculty of Moscow's Higher School of Economics, who lives outside of Russia, said the attacks undermined the picture Russian authorities had hoped to create of a smooth election.

End quotes.

Defying the hackers, firebugs, antiseptic fluid, and Molotov cocktails, Vladimir Putin won the election by a landslide—88 percent of the vote.

Somewhere in Hell, Joseph Stalin is applauding. Meanwhile, somewhere in DNC headquarters, under the watchful eye of Comrade Merrick Garland, Joe Biden's election strategists were following the Russian election results with keen interest.


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

Imprimis:  Here's a question I had not seen or heard discussed until a news item I came across last weekend. Question: Should illegal aliens be permitted lawful ownership of firearms?

My own answer would be: Illegal aliens, when identified, should be placed in detention awaiting deportation. That is federal law, isn't it?

So the question is moot. Of course they shouldn't have firearms. All they should have is a ticket home, with three hots and a cot until that can be arranged, all under careful supervision.

A federal judge begs to differ. Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, who presides at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, ruled March 8th that illegal aliens do have the right to keep and bear arms, every bit as much as we citizens do.

This case is late fallout from the race riots of mid-2020. Umberto Carbajal-Flores was an illegal alien living in Chicago at the time. He had a gun. I don't know what kind of gun, but I'm guessing it was a handgun.

During the riots he fired the gun at passing cars. Arrested, he claimed that police had warned him of looters targeting his neighborhood. The gun, he said, was for self-protection.

Carbajal-Flores' case plodded round the appeals-court circuits for a couple of years, during which time—in June of 2022—the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a different, unrelated case: the case named in the law books after Kevin Bruen, who was then Superintendent of New York State Police but since resigned after some … workplace irregularities.

The Bruen case led to some liberalization of the rules on carrying a handgun. Influenced by that, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, when the Carbajal-Flores case landed on her desk after umpety-ump appeals, ruled that merely breaking immigration laws is no longer sufficient justification to strip somebody of their Second Amendment rights.

So those thousands of illegals swarming in across our border every day can, once settled here, arm themselves. They will of course do so only in self-defense against assaults by us unruly natives.

You happy with this? Of course you are!


Item:  Last week's Radio Derb led off with a segment about Ireland. There had been a referendum on amending Ireland's Constitution. The idea of the amendments was to make that document more woke in matters relating to marriage and the family.

In a serious blow to the cause of universal wokeness, Ireland's voters had decisively rejected the proposed amendments.

Those amendments had had the whole-hearted support of Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Following their rejection by the voting public, Varadkar resigned on Wednesday this week.

This is a parliamentary system on the British model; Varadkar's main qualification to be Prime Minister was that he was the leader of Fine Gael, one of the Republic's oldest parties, currently controlling the lower house of the parliament in coalition with the equally old Fine Fáil party and the much newer … wait for it … Green party.

I can't tell you, and I don't think anyone else can, who will be the new Prime Minister. It's for the coalition parties to sort out among themselves, and will be decided over the Easter break.

The key thing to look for, as an indicator of the political direction of Ireland in particular, and of European nations in general, will be whether the new Prime Minister will be less woke than Varadkar, or equally woke. I don't think he or she could be more woke.


Item:  The two greatest political horrors that can befall a nation are:

  1. too little order—anarchy, and

  2. too much order—totalitarian control.

With this latest collapse in Haiti it is Number One that's at the front of our minds right now. Let's not totally neglect Number Two, though, for which the poster nation is, as it has been for more than seventy years now, North Korea.

Not only is North Korea just as great a horror as Haiti, although in a different way, it is a far greater danger than Haiti is.

If we could fence off Haiti from the rest of the world with an impenetrable fence, all that would happen would be that the Haitians would kill, cook, and eat each other. There were rumors recently that they have already embarked on this, but fact-checkers are pooh-poohing those rumors.

North Korea actually has fenced itself off for years at a time. The result: nuclear weapons, and intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them.

The Norks are currently in a less-fenced-off phase, with busy commerce—weapons and ammunition out, food in—at least with Russia and China.

Dictator Kim Jong-un, apparently full of confidence for the future of his dynasty, seems now to be promoting his daughter, Kim Ju Ae, as his designated successor. The young lady is somewhere between 10 and 12 years old.

The thing everyone wants to know is: What does Kim's sister, Ice Princess Kim Yo Jung, think about this?

There is great potential here for some good medieval-style palace intrigue and bloodletting. In North Korea, a nation with nuclear weapons.


Item:  If you find the affairs of the world too depressing, lift up your eyes to the heavens. Things are happening up there, too—things far beyond the power of we poor creatures to hinder or hasten.

First thing: 12P/Pons-Brooks. That's the name of a comet, currently only to be seen with a pair of good binoculars or a telescope but by the end of this month likely visible, tail and all, to the naked eye near the western horizon of the northern hemisphere in the constellation Aries.

12P/Pons-Brooks is currently heading through the inner Solar System on, of course, an elliptical orbit towards the Sun, to which it will make its closest approach April 21st. It will then head on back to the outer Solar System, although then only visible from the Southern hemisphere.

At the far end of its orbit the comet will be more than three billion miles from the Sun, out beyond the orbit of Neptune. It will then start falling back towards the inner Solar System again, reappearing in our sky sometime in the year 2095. Make a note in your diary!

Lather, rinse repeat … unless the thing breaks up, which sometimes happens.

12P/Pons-Brooks may be visible during the total solar eclipse on April 8th. That would make for a memorable twofer.

Mrs Derbyshire and I were planning a trip to Texas to see the eclipse until we discovered that half the population of the U.S.A. nursed the same plan.

We may drive to upstate New York to see it, but it looks as though we'll have to sleep in our car by the roadside somewhere. You need to plan these things long in advance, and … we didn't.

Our ancestors thought that heavenly events of this kind portended great disturbances in human affairs. We shall see.


06—Signoff.     There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: another week slipping away into the shadowy vault of History. Thank you for listening to my observations and reflections. I apologize if they seem somewhat more subdued than usual.

One of the reasons for that is that today, March 22nd, is my mother's birthday. The dear lady left us a quarter of a century ago, but of course she has never left my heart. Here is one of her favorites: Kathleen Ferrier singing Blow the Wind Southerly.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.


[Music clip: Kathleen Ferrier, "Blow the Wind Southerly."]


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