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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, podcastees, this is your sedulously genial host John Derbyshire with another broadcast of the thinking reactionary's guide to world events.
I am glad to say that the studio is back in order following last week's commemorative festivities. In regard to Radio Derb's tenth anniversary, however, there is an apology to be made.
Several readers have reminded me to my chagrin that some months ago I mentioned, in regard to the then-upcoming tenth anniversary, that we should celebrate it by posting transcripts of all ten years of broadcasts.
I did indeed hope to accomplish that, and had my research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy working on it. I am sorry to say, however, that the hedonistic languor of life here in the balmy Aegean has sapped their vitality and eroded their work ethic, so that we are far behind in the project. I still hope to accomplish it, and should at least be posting the transcripts for 2004 sometime this summer.
I hope that will appease disappointed listeners. Meanwhile, there is always the current news to alarm, anger, and amuse us. Let's take a look.
02 — Afghanistan: please make it stop. Big story of the week was the prisoner trade, in which we gave five Gitmo inmates to the Taliban and they gave us U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, whom they'd taken prisoner five years ago.
Or had they? Sgt. Bergdahl was deployed as a machine-gunner in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. His comrades have said, and a 2010 Pentagon inquiry confirmed, that he had walked off the base of his own free will in company with some Afghans. This was three days after emailing his parents that, quote:
I am sorry for everything here. These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing … I am ashamed to be an American, and the title of U.S. soldier is just the lie of fools … The horror that is America is disgusting.
The ambiguity wasn't helped by Sgt. Bergdahl's father Bob, a UPS deliveryman. Bergdahl, Sr. seems to have gone native, growing a Taliban-style neckbeard, learning the Pashto language, and sending the following tweet to a Taliban spokesman a few days before his son's release, quote: "I am still working to free all Guantánamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child. Ameen." End quote. "Ameen" is the Muslim equivalent of "Amen."
I don't want to be too hard on the father here. He's been under awful stress this five years, knowing his son was with the Taliban in some cave in Pakistan. Still, he could have just kept his mouth shut and his neck shaven. You have to suspect there's a streak of ethnomasochism in the family there.
The other side of the deal was the five Gitmo terrorists released to Qatar, where they are now being feted as heroes, like the Lockerbie bomber when he was returned to Libya. I'm sure they'll all have cabinet-level positions in the Taliban government that takes over in Afghanistan about a week after we leave next year.
A lot of people are angry with Obama and his people for making such a bogus show of this; especially with National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who flat-out lied to TV interviewers on the Sunday talk shows, telling them that Sgt. Bergdahl had served with honor and distinction and been captured on the battlefield, neither of which was the case. Longtime Radio Derb listeners will recognise Ms. Rice as one of the Three Horsegirls of the Human Rights apocalypse along with Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power. These are the ladies who deposed a useful, bribable dictator in Libya and replaced him by a seething clique of Islamic gangsters.
I'd like to tell you I share the anger; but to tell the truth, in respect to the war in Afghanistan, I'm all angered out. You can only fume about insane policies for so long. And let's remember that the policies weren't originally Obama's but George W. Bush's.
Same with the Gitmo farce. All those prisoners should have been handed over to the puppet government we'd installed. What's a puppet government for, for crying out loud? Or, if we didn't trust Karzai not to release them, we should have given them to the Pakis or to some rival tribe that hated them — there's always one of those in the Third World. Failing any of that, they should have been summarily executed, after we'd got what information we could from them. Since they weren't in uniform, we wouldn't even have been violating the Geneva Convention.
Instead we had to pose as Doctor Livingstone, bringing light to the heathen — paying any price, bearing any burden, meeting any hardship, all the sanctimonious Boomer flapdoodle that Vietnam should have cured us of; the very stuff Sgt. Bergdahl seems to have fallen for in his whimpering that "These people need help."
The Afghans never needed our help and never wanted it. What they needed was a short, terrible lesson in what happens to a nation that harbors and assists enemies of the United States. The lesson taught, we had no further business in the stinking place.
A little background here. At the time UCL was founded in 1826, the word "university" in England meant Oxford or Cambridge, both of them yoked to the Church of England. UCL was founded by Enlightenment freethinkers who wanted to cut the tie between a university education and the established Church. It was to be a place where, for example, Welsh Methodists could go without compromising their principles. We were told that the place was founded by, quote, "Jews and Welshmen," although in fact the founders were mostly Scottish. Anyway, because of this anti-clerical motivation, UCL was called "the godless institution on Gower Street."
The current news item about UCL concerns the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose name, readers of my seminal bestseller We Are Doomed will recall, is an anagram of Criticized fresh hen. People have in fact had a lot of fun with Nietzsche's name. The more erudite among my listeners may recall the old boy's name being linked with a different philosopher in the lines
OK, enough digression, here's the news item. Some students at UCL wanted to form a club in his name, The Nietzsche Club. The club would discuss Nietzsche and his works, and also other philosophers thought to be sympathetic to him: Martin Heidegger and Julius Evola.
In case you're not familiar with the names: Heidegger is the guy who said that the word "nothing" is actually the present participle of a verb "to noth," and that what nothing does is, it noths. Heidegger actually said it in German where it sounds a little better, though not much, quote: "Das Nichts nichtet."
Julius Evola was an Italian reactionary philosopher who wrote a book titled Fascism Viewed from the Right — not such a wacky idea if you think about it. Mussolini went into politics as a socialist, after all; and the German variety of fascism called itself National Socialism.
Well, so these students at UCL wanted to start up a Nietzsche society to discuss the great man's works, bandy reactionary ideas about, and perhaps try to figure out what it means to say that Nothing noths. Good harmless fun, you might think.
The students' union did not think so. In a vote by the student union council this March 11th the Nietzsche Club was banned from holding meetings on campus. One of the council members who proposed the ban, a chap named Timur Dautov told the Daily Beast that, quote: "Far-right racists, sexists, and homophobes trying to organize on campus is a direct threat to the student body," end quote.
You ready for the punch line? Here it comes: Mr. Dautov is president of the UCL Marxist Society.
You remember Karl Marx. He was the inspiration for international communism, which according to the very well-researched Black Book of Communism killed off almost 100 million people in the last century. Has anyone claimed that Nietzsche inspired 100 million murders? If they have, I missed it.
For the benefit of the UCL student council, here is a quote from Nietzsche, quote: "The surest way to corrupt a young person is to train him to give higher respect to those who think alike than to those who think differently."
04 — Thank you for your service. General Eric Shinseki resigned his position as Secretary for Veterans' Affairs May 30th, following an Inspector General's report, released last week, exposing administrative hanky-panky in the Department.
For example: The salaries and annual bonuses of VA bureaucrats depend in part on their success in keeping down waiting time for treatment. The VA in Phoenix, Arizona had been cooking the books on that, keeping hundreds of vets on secret waiting lists.
Shabby stuff, but deeply un-surprising to me. The Department of Veterans' Affairs, formerly the Veterans' Administration, has been a disgrace for as long as I've been aware of it — a period of time I can quantify fairly precisely: 38 years, short a few weeks.
Thirty-eight years gets you back to the summer of 1976. That was when Ron Kovic's book Born on the Fourth of July came out. At that time I was working as a computer programmer in the New York suburbs. One of my colleagues had been in the U.S. Marines, in the same unit as Kovic, and knew him personally. He told me about the book, so I bought and read it.
Kovic was shot through the spine in Vietnam and left a paraplegic. Back stateside he spent time in VA hospitals. He does not give the VA hospital system a good press. Sample quote:
The wards are filthy. The men in my room throw breadcrumbs under the radiator to keep the rats from chewing on our numb legs during the nights. We tuck our bodies in with the sheets wrapped around us. There are never enough aides to go around on the wards, and constantly there is complaining by the men. The most severely injured are totally dependent on the aides to turn them. They suffer the most and break down with sores. These are the voices that can be heard screaming in the night for help that never comes. Urine bags are constantly overflowing onto the floors while the aides play poker on the toilet bowls in the enema room. The sheets are never changed enough and many of the men stink from not being properly bathed.
End quote. So nothing much changes in the VA.
When Kovic's book came out several commentators wondered why we even have VA hospitals. We don't have VA colleges, do we? Veterans go to the college of their choice on the G.I. Bill. Why can't they just go to the hospital of their choice on some equivalent program?
The question was being asked forty years ago, but nothing got done. Nothing sensible ever gets done by the federal government.
05 — Zuck doubles down. This one comes under the heading "triumph of hope over experience." Or possibly under the heading "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook billionaire, has pledged $120 million to help schools near Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, northern California.
Hm, why would they need helping? Let's take a look at some of those schools. As always in these cases, I look up the breakdowns for the student body given on the GreatSchools.org website. Let's see.
Am I seeing a pattern here? Where are all the white kids in Menlo Park? Why are U.S. taxpayers educating half the population of Mexico?
The triumph-of-hope-over-experience angle here is that four years ago Zuckerberg gave $100 million to the public-school system of Newark, New Jersey, following appeals by charismatic Magic Negro Corey Booker, then-Mayor of Newark. Now, four years on, Zuck's hundred million has all disappeared into the pockets of consultants and teacher union officials, with no detectable improvement in Newark's schools. This was all reported on at length in New Yorker magazine back in mid-May this year, and more briefly by myself here at Taki's Magazine a few days later. Corey Booker, in case you're wondering, is now a U.S. Senator.
The old wives' tale got it right, Zuck: You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. There aren't any bad schools, only bad students. Show me the worst school in the country, allow me to swap out the student body for an equal number of white kids from Idaho and Utah, seasoned perhaps with a few off-the-boat immigrants from Vietnam and Korea, and pretty soon the test scores will be going through the roof and recruiters from Stanford and Yale will be banging on the doors.
At this point a very dark thought occurs to me, a very dark thought. I wonder what the proportion of blacks and Mexicans is among Facebook employees? Would it be impertinent of me to guess that it's not very high?
I don't know the actual numbers for Facebook, but I do know them for Google, down the road, because the New York Times published them on May 28th. Quote from them, concerning Google:
Of its United States employees, 61 percent are white, 2 percent are black and 3 percent are Hispanic … Of Google's technical staff, 60 percent are white, 1 percent are black, 2 percent are Hispanic, 34 percent are Asian.
End quote. The Times further notes, concerning the Advanced Placement exam in computer science last year, that, quote, "in eight states, no Hispanic students took the test and in 12 states, no black students took it."
I'm sure that is all the fault of white men somehow; but leaving that aside, suppose Facebook is similarly structured. And suppose Zuckerberg is consumed with guilt about this — or with fear that the EEOC might raid his offices and stick him with fines and embarrassing publicity. What better way to erect some defenses than to throw $120 million at schools whose student bodies are zero, one, zero, and zero percent white?
Sure, the money will all get sucked up by ed-biz parasites, leaving the kids no better off, just as happened in Newark. So what? If it keeps the equal-employment commissars at bay, isn't it worth it?
As I said, a dark thought. No doubt I am being much too cynical. No doubt Zuck is motivated entirely by heartfelt concern for the underprivileged kiddies of Menlo Park. I'm sure that must be it. No doubt.
Reporting on this is thankless work. There's a rich crop of headlines every week. Africans and Muslims gather in the hundreds of thousands along the south shore of the Mediterranean, waiting to be smuggled across to Europe; or the same groups camp around the channel ports in Northern France, trying to get to Britain where the authorities are most gullible, the natives most docile, and the benefits easiest to get; or illiterate Mexican and Central American peasants stream in unhindered across our own southern border.
Yet nothing gets done; no-one but us patriots on the fringes speaks out about it. The reasons are well-enough known, at least to the few who pay attention. Business likes illegal immigration because it depresses wages. Labor likes illegal immigration because labor, in its politically organized form, nowadays means mostly public-sector employee lobbies keen to acquire new clients. (We don't say "unions" here on Radio Derb. These are not unions seeking a fair share of profits, they are lobbies seeking a bigger slice of the public fisc.)
And over all the discourse about this hangs the thick choking fog of ideological correctness. The state ideology of the Western world is utopian egalitarianism: the dogma that the fate of nations in no way depends on the group characteristics of the inhabitants. To stand against this dogma is seriously antisocial, as if you were an outspoken atheist in the Massachusetts Bay colony, or a proselytizing Christian in present-day Saudi Arabia, or a campaigner for constitutional democracy in Stalin's U.S.S.R.
Since the people flooding into Western countries are overwhelmingly Muslim and/or nonwhite, to talk about the rising flood in a critical way violates the dogma. That's why Western electorates are so reluctant to press their politicians on mass immigration, and why our politicians, even when not thoroughly bought by the lobbyists, are so shy of taking initiatives.
Here is an illustrative story from the past few days. This is from Fox News, June 3rd, headline: White House seeks extra $1.4B to address surge in children crossing southern border. The story here is the swelling numbers of minors, including some very young children, crossing into the U.S.A. from the south.
The numbers are really impressive. Quote, much interrupted by me:
Between 2008 and 2011, the number of children landing in the custody of Refugee Resettlement fluctuated between 6,000 and 7,500 per year …
Just hold those numbers in your mind, listeners: Up to three years ago, six to seven and a half thousand a year. Quote continues:
In 2012 border agents apprehended 13,625 unaccompanied children …
So in one year the number doubled. Quote continues:
… and that number surged even more — to 24,668 — last year …
So that's another doubling in one year. Quote continues:
The total is expected to exceed 60,000 this year.
End quote. That's more than a doubling. From last year's number to more than sixty thousand is a two-and-a-halfing.
Remember that story your middle-school math teacher told the class, about the wily courtier who persuaded his foolish king to promise him a chessboad full of rice grains, with one grain on the first chessboard square, two on the second, four on the third, and so on, doubling each time? If the dumb king had had the sense to keep a mathematician on the court payroll he would have known in advance what he was committing to: a total 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains of rice, or about 363 billion tons of the stuff — around 600 times the entire world annual production.
With numbers doubling every year, we're in for something similar. What will the likely consequence be? Next segment.
07 — Why can't we have a secure border? Further quote from that Fox report, quote:
More than 90 percent of those sheltered by the government are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, many driven north by pervasive violence and poverty in their home countries.
End quote. Why are their home countries so violent and poor? Our state ideology allows no agency to nonwhite peoples. They are mere helpless pawns; anything bad that happens to them is the fault of white people somehow. That's what you'll hear from the newspapers and TV talking heads.
If the first theory is true — the one suggested by utopian egalitarianism — then the least we can do is allow 60 thousand, or 120 thousand, or 240 thousand of these people to settle in our country every year. That is the actual position of our ruling classes.
If the second theory is true, then admitting such numbers of Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Salvadorans for settlement in the U.S.A. will make the U.S.A., or parts of it, as violent and poor as Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Which is pretty much what we see, those of us not blinded by ideology or money interest.
What's the reaction of the administration to these swelling flows? As the Fox headline tells us, the reaction is to ask Congress for more money. No, not more money to stop the flows — that would be wrong — but money to make the new arrivals comfortable when they get here. It will cost, quote:
…more than $2.28 billion to house, feed and transport the children to shelters or reunite them with relatives already living in the United States. The new estimate is about $1.4 billion more than the government asked for in Obama's budget request sent to Congress earlier this year.
End quote. Our southern border is roughly two thousand miles long. Divide $2.28 billion by two thousand, you get a million dollars and change per mile. This is for one year, remember.
Could we not fully secure the southern border and keep it secure for a million dollars a mile per year? Of course we could. The Israelis secure their border for far less than that, including their border across the Negev desert, which is at least as inhospitable as our Southwest.
Suppose for example we had permanently-manned border posts every ten miles along the entire length: five-man occupancy, rotating on six-hour shifts. That's two hundred posts, twenty border patrolmen each post, total four thousand guys. Figure current cost per patrolman of $150,000 per annum with benefits, training, and so on, you're talking annual cost 600 million dollars — what in Congressional budget negotiations is known as "dinner and a movie." You could throw in fulltime drone surveillance and rapid-response teams for attempted crossings, and still have a lot of change from $2.28 billion.
Why don't we just do this? For the aforementioned reasons: Our politicians are bought and sold by business and public-sector labor lobbies, and they — and all the rest of us — are cowed and silenced by a stupid and false ideology.
And so a great nation crumbles.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Two weeks ago I commented on the tackiness and poor taste on display in the 9/11 museum.
Somehow my commentary omitted the adjective "cheesy." It really should have been in there. Quote from the New York Post, May 30th, quote:
A piece of questionable kitsch has been removed from the taste-challenged 9/11 museum gift store, officials said Thursday. The tacky keepsake — a cheese platter shaped like the contiguous United States with heart symbols marking where hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001 — had been on store shelves Wednesday but was gone by Thursday morning.
End quote. So: In the interests of good taste, you won't be serving your Brie and Gorgonzola on a 9/11 commemorative cheese platter. You'll just have to keep making do with the JFK assassination cheese platter — the one in the shape of Dealey Plaza, with a replica Grassy Knoll for the horseradish dip.
Don't be disheartened, though. You can still buy a New York Fire Department vest for your dog and Twin Towers key chain. Hurry, while supplies last …
Item: Many and strange are the way different abilities sort themselves out among different races and nationalities.
Here's one of the strangest, it seems to me. The Scripps National Spelling Bee was won on May 29th by 14-year-old Sriram Hathwar, of Painted Post, NY, and 13-year-old Ansun Sujoe, of Fort Worth, TX. Both these young men are of Indian ancestry — subcontinental Indian, Help Center not casino.
Hathwar nailed his victory by correctly spelling "stichomythia." Sujoe attained his co-winner position with "feuilleton." The closest any non-Indian got was 15-year-old Jacob Williamson of Florida, who correctly spelled "rhadamanthine" and "carcharodont," but stumbled and fell on "kabarogoya" — which, I'm sure I don't need to tell Radio Derb listeners, is a large aquatic lizard.
Associated Press reports that all of the past eight winners and 13 of the past 17 have been of Indian descent, a run that began in 1999. What's up with that? A wrinkle of behavioral or cognitive genetics? Or just a thing Indian families egg on each other to do?
I have no idea, but congratulations to the two winners anyway, and may your feuilletons never descend into stichomythia.
Item: Here is one side-product of the Islamification of Europe. I'll read you the headline, after first telling you that halal is the Muslim equivalent of "kosher." Headline: A Dutch online shop selling halal sex products announced on Wednesday an alliance with Germany's largest erotic retailer to tap into the lucrative Muslim market, potentially worth billions of euros. End headline. That's from Agence France-Presse, June 4th.
Actually some of us are a bit more knowledgeable than that. Those of us who satisfied adolescent curiosity by exploring the world's erotic literature encountered Sir Richard Burton's translation of the Arabic classic The Perfumed Garden. So we know, for example, that the way to increase the size of the male member is to, quote from chapter 17, "anoint it with a mixture of honey and ginger, rubbing it in sedulously."
So yes, there's an erotic tradition there. Why not make some money by marketing to it?
Mind you, this Dutch-German collaboration isn't going to be marketing the kinds of things infidel sex-shoppers go for. Quote from one of the principals: "The products we're putting on the market have nothing to do with blow-up dolls or vibrators. It's not about the sex act, it's what's going on around it. Our products increase the atmosphere and heighten feelings of sensuality." End quote.
Dismissing from my mind as quickly as I can the image of a blow-up camel, I'm going to wish these entrepreneurs lots of luck with their coming together in this joint venture.
Yes, I'm actually in favor of this. With any luck it'll make the Islamic world as sex-obsessed and culturally decadent as we are, with a corresponding reduction in the inclination to go on jihad. What's not to like about that?
09 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Another week sinks in the West. Or is it the West that's sinking? … Let's hope not.
I had better confess, before slinking out of here, that I've had several tries at Nietzsche, including the 24-lecture set from the Great Courses company, but I've never been able to make out what he was talking about. This may be my fault, not his; or it may be that Bertie Wooster's manservant Jeeves got it right when he warned Bertie that Nietzsche's teachings are, quote, "fundamentally unsound." Whatever the case, he inspired a stirring piece of music.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Karl Böhm & the Berlin Philharmonic, "Also Sprach Zarathustra"]