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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, listeners worldwide, this is your platonically genial host John Derbyshire with news of the hour.
All is quiet here on our private island in the sun-kissed Aegean. A little too quiet, come to think of it. Er, Mandy, where are the other girls? [Mandy: "Up on the roof sunbathing."] Oh … OK, I guess. They know not to move around up there when I'm recording, right? [Mandy: "Whatever."]
[Sotto voce]: Between you and me, listeners, I think I detect a little residual attitude from my having imposed Level Three discipline after the shenanegans while I was away. Ah, the burdens of management!
OK, let's see what's been happening.
02 — Memorializing foolishness. Next week, May 21st actually, sees the opening of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. The New York papers have been giving previews of the museum contents.
There are fragments of the planes that were flown into the Twin Towers. There is the wreck of Ladder Company Three's fire truck, whose entire crew of eleven died in the Towers. There are office workers' desk objects, battered and burned. There are photographs of victims, of the hijackers, of people leaping to their deaths, and so on.
I really can't say I'm on board with any of this. I've vented about this before, on the anniversaries of the event. There is something mawkish and unhealthy about us, as a nation, dwelling on these horrors.
The bereaved should of course grieve for their lost loved ones, and the rest of us should pause when the date comes around to honor the memories of those who died doing their duty. All that aside, I nurse a lurking suspicion that all this emoting about the event is a consolation for us not having had the guts to actually do some of the things that 9/11 rather dramatically showed us need doing.
Steve Cuozzo in the New York Post, for example, reviewing the museum, said, quote: "It holds back nothing in its message to every visitor: Never forget."
Never forget what? Never forget how stupid we were to allow misfits and lunatics from the Third World to settle in our country? Never forget how the George W. Bush administration took a stern line against racial profiling at airports just a few months before 9/11? Never forget how we have continued to bring in tens of thousands of young Muslims from Pakistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, creating security headaches we don't need to have?
Some things you just need to say once. Here's what I said on Radio Derb last September 14. I had just reminded listeners that immediately after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush showed up at a mosque to assure us that Islam is a religion of peace. Then I said the following thing:
Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but here is a fact as indisputable as Mount Rushmore: If we had never permitted mass settlement of Muslims in Western countries, many thousands of American, British, and European people would have lived out their lives in peace, instead of dying in agony and terror at the hands of Muslim fanatics.
03 — Sanctuary much! The comment threads on news stories are interesting to read.
You have to take them with a grain of salt, of course. For one thing, most sites have moderators who exclude the most deeply unsuitable comments, along perhaps with some other subset that offends their personal views. For another thing, the website itself carries some partisan bias. Commenters on the New York Times blog are more likely to be urban liberals; commenters on American Renaissance are mostly race realists, and so on.
Any public forum like that attracts disproportionate numbers of cranks and monomaniacs. Before there were comment threads there were Letters to the Editor. Back in my newspaper days I knew the fellow whose job was to sift through those on a London broadsheet newspaper, to see which were print-worthy. "Of course," he told me once, "a lot of letters are from lunatics."
I pressed him on that point. "What's 'a lot'? What proportion is from lunatics?" He thought about this for a moment, then said: "Around a quarter." Good grief!
He also told me, though, that if mail on some topic ran in proportions two pro to one con, he'd print two of the pros and one of the cons to reflect the balance of reader opinion.
I'm going to assume, perhaps optimistically, that some of that sense of responsibility applies to online comment threads. If it does, huge numbers of Americans are at odds with our ruling classes.
Take this story from Reuters, May 14th, headline: Mexican immigrant seeks refuge from deportation in Arizona church. Note that he's just an "immigrant" in the headline.
The "immigrant" turns out to be an illegal infiltrator. He came here illegally 14 years ago with his wife and they've been living la vida undocumentica ever since. They have a son, 13 years old, born here and so, by our crazy rules, a U.S. citizen. Mr. Ruiz — that's his name — was pulled over for a traffic violation, found to have no papers, and sent a notice to report for deportation. Instead he headed for this Tucson church and claimed sanctuary. The church pastor is aiding and abetting Mr. Ruiz in his shameless violation of U.S. laws, to which Mr. Ruiz no doubt responds with a hearty "Sanctuary much!"
Reuters writes this up in the usual way as a sob story. "I'll do anything it takes to stay with my family," weeps Mr. Ruiz. Anything it takes, huh? I guess that would include taking the wife and kid back to Mexico with you, where you all belong.
The main point of interest, though, is the comment thread. There were over twelve hundred comments when I looked. I trawled through the first few dozen and I couldn't find one that had any sympathy for this guy. Every single commenter wanted him deported, along with his family.
This is a Reuters report on Yahoo.com, so I doubt there's much partisan bias there. All the panjandrums of our society — all the media talking heads, all the college professors, all the race hucksters, all the fat, smug businessmen like Sheldon Adelson, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Koch brothers, and of course all the Washington, D.C. parasites, the congressreptiles and Supreme Court judges, Obama and Holder and Sotomayor and Schumer and Boehner and Pelosi and Rand Paul and the rest of the filthy crew — all of them want Mr. Ruiz to stay here, and no doubt they'll get their way.
Meanwhile hundreds of ordinary powerless Americans, reading the story, are shouting back: "¡No más!" It'll do no good, of course. Our well-cushioned elites will get what they want, and us working stiffs will have three more mouths to feed, educate, and heal. Democracy? Don't make me laugh.
04 — Dying to get into Europe. I was actually down in Tucson a few days ago. I got talking in the airport bar with a resident of Sierra Vista, a modest town of 40,000 people down there on the border. He told me some of what goes on down there: about coming out of his house one day in a quiet suburban street to encounter "thirty or forty" illegals running down the street in a crowd, laughing and hooting, with a couple of Border Patrol agents in pursuit. "I'm sure most of them got away," he said. He also told me the smugglers' latest trick is lighting fires along the border. The Border Patrol has to go help put them out, so some stretch of border has no protection. "The Border Patrol will get on top of that," explained my drinking buddy, "then the smugglers will think of something else. It's an arms race."
Hey, if it's an arms race they're wanting, let's show them some real arms. Do we not still have stocks of napalm? How about Daisy Cutter bombs, have we decommissioned those? Arms race? — I'd give 'em arms race.
I just wish I could see some sense of urgency about controlling our borders.
In Europe it's even worse. The newspapers over there today have gruesome pictures of dead Africans washed up on the shores of Libya after their boat sank and many of them drowned. The boat was actually a smugglers' boat, trying to get these Africans into Europe. Hundreds of thousands more are gathered on the North African shore hoping to get into Europe.
Why? Obviously because there is no kind of life in their own countries. Sub-Saharan Africa is overpopulated, violent, poor, corrupt, and chaotic. Who wants to live in a place like that?
Why are those countries like that, though? It doesn't help to say that poverty causes their problems. At the time of its independence in 1957, Ghana, which was then the wealthiest nation in Sub-Saharan Africa, had a per capita income almost equal to that of South Korea: US$490 against US$491 in 1980 dollars. Ghana's per capita GDP for 2013 was $3,500; South Korea's was $33,200, nine and a half times Ghana's. And in 1957, remember, much of South Korea was in ruins from the Korean War. Remember too that Ghana is one of the more peaceful, better-run nations in Africa.
Maybe it was colonialism. Was it, though? Parts of Ghana were under British colonial rule for ninety years, though other parts never were. British rule ended in 1957. Hong Kong, by contrast, was a British colony for 150 years, until 1997. It has no natural resources, it's just a bare rock sticking out of the sea, with seven million people clinging to it. GDP per capita: over $55,000, sixteen times Ghana's. Mean life expectancy in Hong Kong is 84; in Ghana it's 66. Perhaps colonialism isn't so bad.
At last apologists for these failed countries start to sound like they're just making excuses. At that point you bring out Occam's Razor and say: Yeah, well, maybe these African places are so poor and messed-up because the people who live there make them that way.
And then the next thought you have is, that if European nations let great numbers of these people in for settlement, they'll turn European countries — or at least parts of them — into the same kind of mess.
Mostly North European countries, actually. Life for an African illegal in Spain, Italy, or Greece isn't that great. If they hike up to Germany, or Britain, or Scandinavia, though, they've got it made, with lax welfare systems to loot and lots of guilty liberals to appeal to.
So the incentive for the southern European countries is not so much to stop these illegals as to keep them moving north. That's why nothing much is getting done. The north European countries are so addled with Protestant liberal guilt, they've incapacitated themselves from dealing with the problem.
05 — Noitacude fo Draob Akepot v. Nworb. Here is kind of the same story over again.
This is from the Associated Press, May 15th. Headline: Segregation Gains 60 Years After Brown. The essence of the story is that schooling in the U.S.A. now is as racially segregated as it was when the U.S. Supreme Court decided Brown v. Topeka Board of Education back in 1954.
Quote: "Around the country, only 23 percent of black students attended white-majority schools in 2011." End quote.
Quote: "In New York, California and Texas, more than half of Latino students are enrolled in schools that are 90 percent minority or more." End quote.
The nation's actually going backwards, the report tells us, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education going into reverse. That would be "Noitacude fo Draob Akepot v. Nworb," I think … but don't quote me on that.
This is actually an old song. Listeners who have committed to memory my world-bestriding 2009 bestseller We Are Doomed — which I'll assume is most of you — will recall that into my chapter on education I incorporated many facts about educational segregation taken from lefty Jonathan Kozol's 2006 book The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, which laments the same lamentable reality and recommends a massive federal program of forced busing to remedy it.
OK, permit Radio Derb to limp up and explain it once more.
I could add a couple more points, but I think that's enough reality for one Radio Derb broadcast. I do try to measure it out in small doses.
So as long as we have our freedoms — which, if the Jonathan Kozols of the world have their way, won't be much longer — you'll get these patterns of residential and educational segregation. They are natural and normal. They are what people want.
Well, of course, they're not what all people want. Some blacks and Hispanics would like to go live in quieter, more peaceful neighborhoods with high proportions of smart, well-behaved kids in the schools.
That's why I said this segment is a replay of the previous one. The motive force here is the same as the one driving Africans out of Mali, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The Africans look at the prosperous, peaceful societies of Europe, compare them with the poor, chaotic, and corrupt countries they live in, and say: "Hey, I want to be in Sweden." Next thing they're in a boat trying to get across the Mediterranean. The ghetto dwellers of America look at our quiet, safe, clean, leafy suburbs, compare them with the filthy, crime-haunted streets they live in, and say: "Hey, I want to be in Scarsdale." Next thing they're lobbying for low-income housing in the suburbs.
Here's another quote from that AP report. It's from a young lady who's come to Washington, D.C. to lobby in support of public education, quote: "Many blame the schools for failing, or teachers, but they never blame the bad policies put in place in schools." End quote.
Go to Google Images and bring up pictures of American urban schools a hundred years ago. They are not remotely up to the standard of the schools in Kansas City, Missouri, where, a few years ago, under a judge's order, the district spent more than two billion dollars on Olympic-size swimming pools, language labs, a planetarium, lessons in fencing, violin, ballet, drama, theater, … Kansas City did all the things that young lady wants, but it didn't make a scrap of difference.
The students of 100 years ago built the mighty U.S.A. of the mid-20th century, the nation that put men on the Moon. Penniless Chinese and Vietnamese kids attend the worst schools we have, and graduate on to Princeton and Yale. It's not the schools; it's not the teachers; it's not the policies; It's. The. Students.
06 — We'll go no more a-Roving. Here is some news of the Clintons … but first, an erratum.
In last week's broadcast I passed some comments about Monica Lewinsky resurfacing. The lady had declared that following her spell of fame she had turned down many lucrative offers because, in her words, "they didn't feel like the right thing to do." I expressed skepticism, saying that, quote from myself: "Ms. Lewinsky did in fact submit to a prime-time interview with Barbara Walters, for which I presume she was paid."
Following that I got an email from a person with some insider knowledge of the Walters interview. It is true, my informant tells me, that Ms. Lewinsky was not paid for the interview, though she might have got a little from the overseas rights. It's also true that she could have made a lot of money on the talk circuit, but chose not to because she believed people would think better of her for not taking the money. Of course people just assumed she'd taken money anyway; and given the lady's recorded moral lapses, it was reasonable of them to think so. Truth is truth, though, and I'm glad to be able to make the correction.
OK, the Clinton news. This is all about Hillary Clinton running for President in 2016, of course. Will she? Won't she? Should she?
I can't even believe we're talking about it. The President has to run the federal government. Mrs. Clinton's run nothing but the State Department, and didn't exactly distinguish herself there. There are 320 million people in this country, and this is the best we can come up with? For goodness sake!
We are talking about it, though; and in particular Karl Rove is talking about it. Here's what he said, in reference to a fall and concussion Mrs. Clinton suffered a year and a half ago, at which point she was 65 years old. The official diagnosis was that the fall caused a blood clot on her brain. Here's Karl Rove, quote:
Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she's wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what's up with that.
End quote. Now, if you want to tell me Karl Rove is a loathsome reptile, I won't necessarily disagree with you. He does know a thing or two about getting people elected to high office, though. He got George W. Bush elected twice, and that was no mean feat, if you catch my meaning.
I don't know which 2016 Republican hopeful has Rove on a $40m retainer this time around, but it looks like he's going to get his money's worth, whoever it is. Personally, I won't vote for anyone Karl Rove is promoting, and I won't vote for Hillary. Enough of the Karl Rove glove puppets; enough of the horrible Clintons. Jeff Sessions for President!
07 — That missing plane has military implications. I know, I know: Out there in listener-land, youse all think I get my material for Radio Derb from the New York and London tabloids, don't you?
Just to prove you wrong, here's something where I'm reaching a bit deeper.
The topic here is that missing plane, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. My source is the Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute. You can't get more respectable than that!
The actual content here is Norm Friedman's monthly column in the Proceedings. Norm is a friend of mine, and a seasoned military intelligence expert with decades of experience in the field. He describes himself as a "defender of oppressed navies everywhere."
In his May column Norm looks at the disappearance of MH370 from a military-intelligence perspective. He points out, for example, the limits of satellite technology at telling us what's happening on the surface of the Earth. Satellites close enough to give good detail can't stay over one spot; they just whizz by. Geostationary satellites, which do hang over one spot, are 22,000 miles up, too far for good detailed tracking.
Norm covers all the issues relating to the plane's disappearance, weighing the probabilities. He doesn't reach any firm conclusion, but his closing paragraph is worth quoting, quote:
A four-hour gap in the story would leave time for an airplane to land and refuel, or to land and be destroyed (hence not to be visible on later satellite pictures of airfields around the Indian Ocean). Perhaps our picture of the world is not so complete as we normally imagine — with huge implications for military capabilities.
08 — Not the Good Humor Man's fault. This whole business about the n-word is getting out of hand. Over in Britain a disk jockey at a local BBC radio station has been fired for playing a 1932 song titled "The Sun Has Got His Hat On." The song contains the lines, quote: "He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu, / Now he's coming back to do the same to you," end quote. One listener — one — complained, and the DJ was fired.
For goodness sake: Are blacks such delicate little flowers they have nervous breakdowns when they hear the word our grandfathers used for them? My guess is that they're not, and that the complaint came from some prissy white liberal, awarding himself moral status points for being offended on blacks' behalf.
Just to show solidarity with the sacked DJ, who I note is the same age as myself, and also to express my own fed-upness at all this swooning, squealing schoolmarmery, I'm going to play you a song that's even worse than "The Sun Has Got His Hat On." This needs a little background explanation.
There are a certain number of tunes that go back so far nobody really knows who composed them. Most of them seem to be originally Irish. Here's the tune "Garryowen," for example [clip]. "Lilliburlero's" another one: [clip]. Some of these tunes were taken up as regimental marches in Britain and America: "Garryowen" was I believe the signature march of George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry.
Well, in among these tunes is one called "Turkey in the Straw." It goes like this: [clip.] Yep, you know it: It's the tune played by ice cream vans, at any rate in the U.S.A.
Nice old American tune, right? Well, imagine the horror felt by Theodore R. Johnson, III, an editor at National Public Radio — just let me say that again for emphasis: an editor at National Public Radio — imagine Mr. Johnson's anguish and distress at learning that this familiar old ice-cream-van song once had words put to it that made fun of black people!
I'll play you a snippet of the song, which was recorded in 1916. You're not going to understand much, but I'll give you the words right after. Here you go: [clip].
Got that? Here's what the singer's singing, quote:
Nigger love a watermelon ha ha, ha ha!
Poor Mr. Theodore R. Johnson, III was thrown into moralistic agonies on learning of this. What should he do now, when he hears an ice-cream truck approaching playing this tune tainted with racism and his kids come running to him for money to buy ice cream? Quote from his article:
Do I empower them with the history of our country, or encourage the youthful exuberance induced by the ice cream truck? Is it my responsibility to foul the sweet taste of ice cream with their first taste of racism?
The dilemmas faced by a bleeding-heart liberal the third! I should say that to his credit, Mr. Johnson tells us he just gives his kids the money, and puts off explaining what a wicked country America is until another day.
09 — Miscellany. And now, Radio Derb's closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Bananageddon. That's the word of the week. Bananageddon. An incurable fungus disease is afflicting the banana crop in Africa. If the disease spreads to South America, that could be curtains for the poor banana.
That would be a very sad thing. Possibly you don't care a whole bunch, but I like bananas. I slice one into my breakfast oatmeal every morning. Someone once told me, though I've never bothered to check, that bananas are nutritionally complete: You could live just on bananas, if you have a supply of water.
So let's rally to save the bananas! After all, if it hadn't been for bananas, we'd never have heard of Harry Belafonte. [Clip: "Banana Boat Song."]
Item: The celebration of freakishness and the marginalization of the normal took another step forward last weekend when the Eurovision Song Contest was won by a chap named Tom who had for some reason dressed up as a woman, while keeping his beard.
This isn't as peculiar as it sounds. The Eurovision Song Contest was already camp back in the 1970s, when the Monty Python show was making fun of it. Not very surprising that forty years on it's a whole lot camper.
The thing that snagged my attention was Tom's chosen stage name: Conchita Wurst. Excuse me? "Conchita" is Spanish for "little clam"; "Wurst" is German for "sausage." So we have a sausage and a little clam — a bearded clam? Hoo boy. Can pop culture get any lower?
Item: Finalmente, following up on last week's report about Procol Harum kidnapping schoolgirls in Nigeria to convert them to Islam, it seems that they've started a trend. This week we learned that Jefferson Airplane have kidnapped several youngsters in Nevada, demanding they all become acid heads, the Bee Gees have kidnapped some Aboriginal schoolgirls in Australia with the intention of turning them into disco dancers, the Village People have kidnapped a group of schoolboys for reasons unknown, and Gerry and the Pacemakers have hijacked a ferry.
It's a fallen world, all right. If you see a bunch of aging rockers cruising around the streets of your town, lock up your kids.
10 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. To see us out, let's hear a little more of "Turkey in the Straw." I never used to like it much, but now it's growing on me for some reason. Fact, I've decided to make it my new cell phone ring tone. I was getting tired of "Dixie" …
More from Radio Derb next week. Here's the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Take it away, guys.
[Music clip: Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, "Turkey In The Straw."]