[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, listeners, this is your incommensurately genial host John Derbyshire with highlights of the week's news.
Just to update you on events here in the studio: I have solved the nonstop partying problem by applying some strict discipline. It's lights out at ten p.m., beach volleyball privileges severely restricted, and the village is out of bounds until the feast day of the martyr Nymphodora next month. That seems to have taken care of the problem. All is quiet and orderly, which is how I like it. This is the secret of successful personnel management — a firm hand. Right, girls? [Girls: "Whatever."] Right.
Now, without further ado, let's … Oh, sorry, Ethel. [Clip: Ethel Merman, "Let's go on with the show.".]
02 — Playing chess with Putin. News picture of the week was one from Syria: dozens of corpses laid out in white shrouds, said to have been killed by a chemical-weapons attack early Wednesday morning. Many of those killed were children.
Syria's been in a state of civil war for the past two and a half years, the nation's armed forces, under the control of the secular dictator Bashir Assad, versus an opposition of Westernized middle-class reformers, doing most of the talking, and Islamists, doing most of the fighting. Since the pictures of those corpses came out of an opposition-controlled district, presumably the chemical weapons were fired by government forces.
We've been here before, at least those of us whose memories for public events go back further than the last celebrity divorce have. Twenty-five years ago we were getting pictures out of Northern Iraq showing heaps of civilian dead following a chemical-weapons attack by Saddam Hussein — remember him? — on a Kurdish town.
The recollection of those pictures, fifteen years later, helped inspire the George W. Bush administration panic about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction, which led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which led to the loss of four and a half thousand American servicemen and a trillion dollars of American wealth. A lesson learned there, you'd think.
That's what you'd think, I mean, if you believe that U.S. policy-makers are capable of careful, cold, prudent calculations of national interest. If, on the other hand, you believe that U.S. policy-makers are narcissistic ninnies puffed up with a conviction of their own moral superiority, consumed by a missionary zeal to make everything right in the world, and capable of acting only on transient emotions stirred by the last dramatic TV footage they saw, then you would be worried that your government might get involved in the Syrian rat's nest, trying to bring down Assad.
There are definitely people in the administration that want to. With the departure of Hillary Clinton from State, the Three Horsegirls of the Human Rights Apocalypse are down to two: Samantha Power representing us at the U.N. — when she's not representing George Soros, that is — and Susan Rice as National Security Advisor. You can bet they have some kindred spirits in the Obama administration.
After all, the Little Sisters of Mercy did such wonderful work helping overthrow Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. You can understand why they'd want to go for the trifecta. Having the heads of two friendly dictators mounted on your dining-room wall is OK, but three makes a perfect set.
There are some other players in this game, though, and they're not people who listen to NPR or donate to Habitat for Humanity. Vladimir Putin, for example, is a big backer of Assad; so are the Iranians. If it comes to a contest of chess-playing wits and ruthless self-interest between those guys and the bleeding heart cheerleaders of Obamaville, I know who I'll be putting my money on.
It's not just save-the-world Democrats who feel the urge to get involved in Syria, either. There are Republicans, too. There is, for example, John McCain.
03 — John McCain promises a cakewalk. OK, here's my question of the week: Can't anybody do anything about John McCain?
As a not-very-attentive follower of U.S. politics back in the 1990s, I became vaguely aware of McCain as a Senator who drifted in and out of the news. I learned of his military background, and his sufferings as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, all of which naturally excited my admiration and respect.
By the time of the 2000 election campaign, when McCain contested the Republican primaries, I was showing up at National Review editorial meetings. McCain was not popular there. As best I could gather, the reasons for his unpopularity were, one, that he was less reliably conservative than the other main primary contender, George W. Bush; two, that he was too often off the GOP reservation — not a solid party man; and three, that on the testimony of Washington insiders, he was a really nasty person to deal with — rude, arrogant, vindictive, and obstinate.
So we backed George W. Bush, and we got what we wanted, good and hard.
We all know how George W. Bush's conservatism worked out: thousands of dead American servicemen in foolish wars, federal education policy reoriented to conform to egalitarian fantasies, open borders to accommodate cheap-labor lobbies, and a horrible financial crash brought about in large part by a federal campaign against rational credit criteria on the grounds that those criteria were unfair to all the good people flooding in across those open borders to put food on their families.
By 2008, therefore, when he ran for President again, John McCain should have been looking good by comparison with the dismal George W. Bush. In fact, though, McCain had already ticked off conservatives by yoking his name with Edward Kennedy's to push the 2007 amnesty bill. He got the GOP nomination anyway; but faced with Barack Obama's blackness, he went into a full politically-correct cringe posture, refusing to use any of Obama's unsavory and downright subversive associations against him, and going deer-in-the-headlights when the financial crisis hit.
We thus got stuck with an empty-suit President and an administration packed with 1980s college radicals. Thanks a lot, John.
McCain would have done his country a favor if he had retired from public life at that point. No, he's still with us. He was on CNN Thursday, opining that the U.S.A. should go to war against Syria.
It would be totally risk-free, said McCain. Quote:
There would be no boots on the ground. We would use standoff weapons just as the Israelis have four times as they've taken out targets inside Syria. We would not put a single life at risk.
Not a single life! It'd be all over in a week! A cakewalk! And then the Islamists would take over, and they would love us so much because we helped them, and our nation's interests would have been hugely advanced!
The phrase "involuntary commitment" comes to mind. I know you can do it for mental asylums; does it apply to old folks' homes, too? Could someone please find out before we lose another four thousand guys and another trillion dollars?
04 — Not being likely to become an efficient soldier. In case the saga of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan didn't leave you sufficiently disillusioned about the U.S. military, I offer the case of Private Bradley Manning as a backup.
Nidal Hasan is currently being court-martialed on multiple charges of murder. Private Manning was sentenced this week by a court martial for espionage, theft, and numerous lesser violations of the military code.
The two cases in fact have plenty of parallels. In both cases you have a service member who was, obviously and plainly, from the get-go, significantly peculiar. Nidal Hasan's peculiarity consisted of his being a fanatical Muslim looking to bring holy war to the infidels, including his comrades in the Army. Bradley Manning's peculiarity consisted of his being as gay as a maypole, a thing that was observed by all he came into contact with from his first days in basic training.
My mother's father Jack Knowles, a coal miner in the West Midlands of England, enlisted in the British Army during WW1 — while drunk, according to family tradition. He served 211 days with the colors and was then discharged by a certain Major R.F. Knox of the Royal Engineers. I know this because I have the discharge papers. One of the boxes Major Knox was required to fill in on the form began with: "He is discharged in consequence of …" Major Knox completed the box by writing: "Not being likely to become an efficient soldier (on medical grounds)."
Well, Grandad Knowles was 41 when he enlisted, and the country needed coal miners back home digging coal, so there was no disgrace in the discharge. In any case Grandad was definitely not a Muslim; and if he was gay he did a superb job of hiding it, staying married to the same woman for nearly 70 years and fathering 13 children by her.
Still, I think that phrase on Grandad's discharge papers, the phrase "Not being likely to become an efficient soldier," could have applied perfectly well to both Nidal Hasan and Bradley Manning. It was obvious, long before either of them committed his crime, that neither Major Hasan nor Private Manning was likely to become an efficient soldier.
So why did they progress smoothly through their military careers? Hasan served 21 years, starting as an enlisted man and ascending all the way up to Major. For the last six of those 21 years there were numerous reports of him expressing support for Muslim terrorists and referring the the U.S.A. as the "aggressor" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Manning was trained in intelligence, given a top secret clearance, and deployed to Iraq, in spite of being openly homosexual — which was supposed to be contrary to Army rules at the time — and dating civilian men.
"Not being likely to become efficient soldiers"? I would say so. Why weren't these men, both of them obviously unsuited to the military, why weren't they discharged? Major R.F. Knox must have gone to join the Choir Invisible long since, but surely someone could have been found to sign discharge papers?
We know the answer, of course. Neither man was discharged because both belong to Protected Minorities. Hasan was a Muslim, Manning was a homosexual. Both groups are effectively invulnerable in any public U.S. institution, including the military. They can display any kind of eccentricity or break any number of rules, and no-one dare say a word about it, not if he values his military career.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff would appear together butt naked on a reviewing stand before their troops and dance the Watusi rather than breathe a word of criticism of any Protected Minority.
Courage and discipline are the traditional military virtues. I don't doubt that our senior military men have the courage to face enemy fire and the discipline to keep ranks when under assault; but it's a measure of the depth to which our culture has been corrupted by the false, evil doctrines of multiculturalism and political correctness that none of them — not one! — has the courage to speak out against the insanity, and that they are never more disciplined than when upholding doctrines and practices that they know are fatal to the profession of arms.
05 — Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Just a follow-up here to the previous segment.
Bradley Manning's sentence was 35 years, but Manning will probably serve only seven or eight of them, which seems pretty light to me, for committing espionage in a hostile zone abroad where U.S. troops were deployed. Still, the sentence is what it is, and let's assume going forward here that the Army knows what it's doing. [Laughter]
The day after being sentenced, Private Manning made a statement somehow to NBC News in which he declared that, quote:
As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.
End quote. The statement was signed "Chelsea E. Manning."
Wow. There have to be worse ways to embark on a long prison sentence, but I really can't think of one.
All the enforcers of Cultural Marxism hastened to comply with Private Manning's wishes. It was like that scene in Nineteen Eighty-Four when, in the middle of Hate Week, it suddenly becomes known that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia! The London mob runs through the streets tearing down all the anti-Eurasia posters, and poor Winston Smith has to work double shifts correcting the public records to show that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
I checked with Wikipedia, a major Cultural Marxism outlet, just a few hours after I heard the news. Sure enough, when I put "Bradley Manning" into the search box, I found myself looking at a page headed Chelsea Manning … (Redirected from Bradley Manning). All the "Bradleys" had been changed to "Chelseas," and all the male pronouns to female ones. Boy, they must have been burning the midnight oil over at the Ministry of Truth Wednesday night!
Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller website did a much more thorough check Thursday morning, going through all the big media outlets to see which ones had made the switch. The Wall Street Journal, Politico.com, the New York Times, the BBC, CNN, and NPR were still using male pronouns, but Rolling Stone, the Guardian, Gawker.com, and Reason.com were running with "Chelsea," "she," and "her." I hope Jim has passed this information to the Thought Police for corrective action.
I'm going to unmask myself here as one of that dwindling band of old fogeys who believe that objective reality actually exists and ought to be respected. Thinking that you are female, or Japanese, or twelve feet tall, or immortal, or a rutabaga, doesn't make you so. If you have two X chromosomes in your cell nuclei, you're a female; if you have one X and one Y, you're a male. That's it. The discussion stops right there. It certainly should in the Army, anyway.
I realise that this opens me to charges of being bigoted and transphobic. I guess I'm just going to have to live with that … No, wait a minute! If I don't think I'm bigoted and transphobic, then I'm not! Who's going to contradict me?
As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am John Derbyshire. I am a non-bigoted, non-transphobic — "transphilic," I guess — multiculturalist liberal. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to be given a job at Rolling Stone as soon as possible.
06 — Exposing a hate crime hoax. I mentioned the Daily Caller in that last segment. It's a great source for news that the mainstream media would rather you didn't know. Well, they got a real scoop this week, when Chuck Ross, one of their contributors, finally got us the names of the Oberlin College hate crime hoaxers.
To remind you, this is a story from back in February. Oberlin is a private liberal-arts college up there by Cleveland, in northern Ohio. It has a long tradition of support for progressive causes, admitting women and blacks way back in the 19th century, before the Civil War. I'm guessing that I am not on their list of possible invitees to be a Commencement speaker.
OK, so back in February this college was afflicted with a rash of graffiti and posters insulting blacks, Jews, and homosexuals. These events culminated with the sighting, by a female student, in the small hours of March 4th, of a person in a Ku Klux Klan robe on the campus.
Shock and horror echoed around the nation. The college suspended classes, and referred the incidents to the FBI for investigation. (I wish I could have been in the FBI office when that call came in.)
When stories like this come out, the nation divides into two sections. The majority section, which includes all the major media outlets, screams and swoons in horror, demands action by the authorities, and stages demonstrations and protests at which weeping, howling white liberals march through the campus flagellating themselves like medieval monks during a plague outbreak.
The minority section, which includes your humble correspondent here, sighs wearily, mutters Not another damn hate crime hoax, and turns the page in search of something less obviously bogus.
It's not as if there's anything new about these hoaxes. I've been reading about them ever since I arrived here in the mid-1980s, starting with the Columbia and Tawana Brawley race hoaxes in 1987. In 1994 author Laird Wilcox filled a book with stories of hate crime hoaxes: Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America, but of course that only encouraged them. Now they're a regular feature of American life, like the World Series or Florida sinkholes.
The life cycle of a hate crime hoax is as follows.
Well, the Oberlin hoax had exactly that life cycle. The Klansman, it seems, was most probably some student heading to her dorm wrapped in a blanket. It's cold up there by Lake Erie in February. Then, on March 7th, Oberlin police said they had identified two students possibly connected to the graffiti and posters. They wouldn't tell us anything else, though.
The college administration wouldn't tell us anything at all. They instituted a total information lockdown. They wouldn't confirm anything; they wouldn't deny anything; they had nothing to say to anyone about anything. At this point, the college administration surely knew the thing was a hoax; yet college president Marvin Krislov went on CNN and played along with the "hate crime" bogosity.
Word seeped out that the two students had been removed from the campus, but we still couldn't find out anything about them. And at this point, nobody much wanted to. The media had lost interest; indeed, they were doing all they could to help bury the story. By June everyone had forgotten about it.
Except for Chuck Ross at the Daily Caller, bless his soul. Chuck kept poking, and prodding, and digging, and eventually got Oberlin police to release records on those two students. Their names are Dylan Bleier and Matt Alden. Both are left-liberal whites. Bleier had a long record of leftist activism. He was a member of the ACLU, the Green Party, and the Democratic Party. He'd campaigned for Barack Obama. He describes himself on Twitter as, quote, "atheist/pacifist/environmentalist/libertarian socialist/consequentialist."
What. A. Surprise. Worst of all, it turned out that these two leftists had been caught red-handed by Oberlin security officers while stuffing bogus racist fliers under students' doors … on February 27th. That was more than a week before the college president went on CNN still pretending these were hate crimes. What a loathsome creep!
So: another hate crime hoax to add to the pile. You really get the impression that America's left-liberals would lose the will to live if somebody, somewhere, wasn't painting a swastika on a wall or hanging a noose on a door. Since nobody actually is doing those things, they'll do them themselves. Gotta keep the Narrative going.
And it goes without saying that exposure of this latest hate crime hoax will do nothing to discourage the next one. They're like city buses: if you missed that one, there'll be another one along shortly.
It also goes without saying that the next hate crime hoax, like this one, will be exposed at last not by the six-figure-salary stars of the news cable stations nor the solemn, tweedy pontificators of the broadsheet newspapers, but by some obscure Dissident Right web scribbler. Thanks, Chuck.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: There are basically three things you can do about illegal immigrants. First there is what we math geeks call the identity operation, where you just leave everything as it is, i.e. do nothing. Then there is active deportation — rounding 'em up, identifying their probable country of origin, and shipping 'em back there. Then there is workplace enforcement: making it impossible to get jobs so that they'll self-deport.
Of the latter two options, you'd think the second would be the more humane. Not that there is anything deplorably inhumane about deporting an illegal alien. Every other country in the world does it, and the U.N. has no objections. It's a country's sovereign right. Still, with self-deportation, the alien is doing the job himself — going home to his native land. Hard to see anything inhumane about that …
… unless you are Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Quote from him in Boston this week, quote:
Using the word "self-deportation," I mean, that's uh, it's a horrific comment to make. I don't think it has anything to do with our party. When a candidate makes those comments, obviously, it hurts us. And so, I think that's a big deal.
End quote. So the head clown in charge at the Republican Party is on record as believing that depriving illegal aliens of job opportunities so they'll get fed up and go home is, quote, "horrific." How much more evidence do you need that this is an open borders party, dedicated to the destruction of the historic American nation and the impoverishment of our workers by uncontrolled mass immigration?
The GOP may as well just be honest and change its name to the Open Borders Party. No, make that the Other Open Borders Party.
Item: I scandalized a reader from North Dakota two weeks ago by describing Peggy Lee as, quote, "possibly the greatest thing ever to come out of North Dakota" What about Lawrence Welk? seethed my reader.
My total groveling apologies. How could I have forgotten the great bandleader? So I'll add him to the Radio Derb list of eminent North Dakotans. How many have we got now? A-one, a-two … [Groan]
Item: Some notes from the police blotter: There's been a minor outbreak of random killings by teens.In Duncan, Oklahoma last Friday, an exchange student from Australia was randomly killed by two random teens. The student, a keen athlete, was out jogging. The random teens came up behind him in a car driven by a third teen and randomly shot him in the back. He died in the gutter. One of the random teens told police they did it because they were bored.
Then in Spokane, Washington on Thursday, an 88-year-old WW2 veteran, who had fought at the Battle of Okinawa, was randomly stomped to death by two different random teens in the parking lot of an Eagles lodge, apparently while heading from his car to go inside and play pool. Police have released surveillance footage of the killing.
Quote from Spokane Police Major Crimes Detective Lieutenant Mark Griffiths, quote: "It does appear random," end quote. Of course it does, Lieutenant. What else would it appear?
Item: In the strangest story of the week, a Canadian dentist named Michael Zuk purchased one of John Lennon's teeth at auction for $30,000. The tooth came out way back in the 1960s, and Lennon gave it to his housekeeper.
Dr. Zuk is no mere collector of memorabilia He plans to extract Lennon's DNA from the tooth and use it to clone the Beatle. Quote from him: "Many people have thought about cloning famous people and I think John Lennon should be at the top of the heap," end quote.
Hmm. Dr. Zuk is of course entitled to his opinion, but clone-wise, I'm not sure John Lennon would be top of my heap. Note to self: Try to track down Lawrence Welk's dentist …
08 — Signoff. And that's it, folks. Another week of mayhem, gender identity confusion, hate crime bogosity, and random teen homicide here in our little corner of the Solar Syatem.
I was going to play some Lawrence Welk to see us out; but after scanning some YouTube videos, I came to the reluctant conclusion that the great North Dakotan was … let's just say, of his time.
Elvis, of course, was for all time. The King died 36 years ago last Friday. Who that was alive can forget where he was or what he was doing when he heard the news. Ah … cheers, Randy. I hope life worked out OK for you. And this clip is for Private Manning, with congratulations to myself for having resisted the impulse to make puns on the word "private."
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: Elvis, Jailhouse Rock]