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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, fife'n'drum version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings today from your retrospectively genial host John Derbyshire, out here far from the madding crowd in the sun-kissed Aegean Sea.
The date stamp on today's podcast is June 28th 2014, a memorable anniversary. Let's begin with that.
02 — Europe's first suicide attempt. Precisely 100 years ago today, on Sunday June 28th 1914, a young Slavic nationalist named Gavrilo Princip shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie in the city of Sarajevo, in Bosnia. The Austrians held Serbia responsible; one month later, July 28th, they declared war on Serbia.
Russia mobilized on behalf of their fellow Slavs in Serbia; Germany mobilized on behalf of Austria; Germany moved first to knock out Russia's ally France, violating Belgian neutrality to do so; that brought in Britain, and World War One was under way.
When it ended four years later the Russian, German, Austrian and Turkish empires were swept away, the British and French empires were holed below the waterline, and everyone was in hock to Uncle Sam.
It was a tremendous civilizational catastrophe. It started a hundred years ago today. There are people still alive who can remember it. My own father fought in it as a combat infantryman.
Fifteen million people were killed in World War One, according to Professor Pinker. Gavrilo Princip wasn't one of them. He was arrested, tried, and convicted, but at age 19 was too young for the death penalty under Austrian law. He died in prison from TB in 1918. That reminds us how unfair History often is; but it should also remind us that the participant nations were highly civilized and law-governed, much more so than some of those that succeeded them twenty years later. I say again: A tremendous civilizational catastrophe, sometimes called "Europe's suicide attempt."
Having failed to commit suicide a hundred years ago, Europe's having another try. Let's take a look at that.
03 — The Hun is at the gate. In the first month of the war Rudyard Kipling wrote his poem "For All We Have and Are," calling his countrymen to action against the German armies that were advancing across northern Europe.
The poem was published in the London Times on September 2nd, 1914. Its opening lines go as follows:
For all we have and are,
Seen in historical hindsight, Kipling's poem was somewhat overwrought. Germany in 1914 was, like Austria, a highly civilized nation — the most civilized of all nations, in the opinion of many, with the world's best universities and a prototype of the modern welfare state. They suffered from some insecurities about Russia's growing strength, and a corresponding mistrust of France, Russia's ally; but Germany meant Britain no harm, and had no known intentions against Britain or any of Britain's many possessions. Culturally and ethnically the Germans and the British were very close. The German emperor was first cousin to Britain's king — they were both grandsons of Queen Victoria.
Still, the British, who had some insecurities of their own, felt they were under existential threat, and Kipling's words caught their mood. The Hun is at the gate! … and for the rest of that war British polemicists referred to Germans as "the Hun."
This was very unfair, as the Huns who had invaded Western Europe fifteen hundred years previously were a barbarous, illiterate Turkic tribe from Central Asia, culturally completely alien to the Roman-German-Celtic alliance who faced them at the battle of Châlons in June of 451.
Kipling's lines came to mind when I saw Massimo Sestini's remarkable photograph of an open boat carrying 227 illegal immigrants heading north across the Mediterranean.
The photograph's a real eye-stopper. Check it out: there's a link in the Radio Derb transcript, or go to Google Images and key in "massimo migrants." The photographer is in a helicopter right above the boat. Some of the illegals are looking up at the camera. They're mostly young men, mostly black Africans, but some Middle Easterners too, and some women with Muslim headscarves, one with what looks like an infant in her arms.
That striking photograph is a poster for a great event of our age: Europe's second suicide attempt.
04 — Signor Rosario is very afraid. The illegals in Massimo Sestini's photograph are leaving from the coasts of Libya and Tunisia. Most of them arrive in Italy: not so much the Italian mainland as the Italian islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Lampedusa.
In the first half of this year sixty thousand illegals have arrived on Italian territory. If the flow continues at this rate, this year's total will be 120,000 — twice as many as in 2011, the record year so far. A growing problem? Oh yeah.
I'm very afraid that in July, August and September, the situation will grow and grow. We have some days where we have the navy arriving in three or four different ports at the same time. My volunteers are really, really tired. I'm very afraid.
End quote. Signor Rosario should be afraid. Sicily alone has received 53,000 of those sixty thousand this year. That's more than one percent of Sicily's population.
Should Europe at large be afraid? Sicily's population is one percent of the EU, so you could say: "Eh, one percent of one percent — surely Europe can absorb them."
And what's to be afraid of, anyway? Immigration boosters, Club for Growth types, open-borders libertarians, the Wall Street Journal, and what Steve Sailer calls the NAABP, the National Association for the Advancement of Billionaire People — Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheldon Adelson — They'll all tell you that these are just willing workers whose labor and skills will grow Europe's GDP.
Maybe. But turn to the next page of the Journal and there's an article about self-driving cars. I guess we won't be needing cab drivers much longer, then. How many workers do today's robotized factories need? Are these boatloads of illegals really an economic boon to Europe?
Now that I've mentioned it, I see news stories about robots everywhere. Cornell University's developed a robot that serves ice cream and coffee to your spoken orders. In Japan they have robot museum guides and robot TV newsreaders. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: but my sources in the media assure me that as we go to tape, all radio and TV newsreaders in the U.S.A. are flesh-and-blood humans are flesh-and-blood humans are flesh-and-blood humans are flesh-and-blood humans are flesh-and-blood humans … Sorry, some kind of malfunction there … okay, fixed it.
Does the expression "the 20:80 society" mean anything? That's a society foreseen by a couple of German authors back in the nineties, one in which only twenty percent of the adult population is needed to provide all goods and services. The other eighty percent basically live on welfare. "The 20:80 society": If you haven't heard this expression, trust me, you soon will.
So, back to the question of whether Europe can absorb this swelling flood of illegal immigrants from Islamia and black Africa.
05 — Europe's second suicide attempt. Seeking further insight, let's go back to the news story I've been taking my numbers from. It's in the Guardian, a left-wing but very professional London newspaper, a sort of British equivalent to the New York Times, issue dated June 25th.
They open of course, as the New York Times always does, with a human-interest sob story about one of the illegals. Quote:
With a bandana on her head and a three-month-old baby at her feet, Azeb Brahana stands in the gardens of Catania's train station and looks a little lost. The 25-year-old Eritrean left her country in 2012, aware, she says, that the life she wanted was not possible in a country with mandatory national service.
"National service" is British-speak for the draft. Eritrea is a very poor country in eastern Africa, population 6.4 million, annual per capita GDP $1,200, which ranks Eritrea number 212 in the world, three places below Haiti. As I said, very poor. They do way better in the world rankings by Total Fertility Rate, though: ranked 35, with 4.14 children per woman. And yes, I checked, they have a draft: four years for both men and women … though whether that would apply to a woman with a three-month-old baby, I can't ascertain.
With no ill will to Ms. Brahana, it seems clear to me that what Europe has acquired here is a permanent welfare case. Europe might do better with some of those healthy-looking young men in the boat, but let's face it: If you asked me to list off all the world's peoples ranked by ease of assimilation into Western societies, Middle East Muslims and black Africans would not be at the head of the list. And that's assuming that the West even needs any more people as we head towards the 20:80 society — let alone people with no skills, from places of high fertility and zero civilizational achievement.
I understand the humanitarian factor of course. If I didn't, the lefty newspapers and the National Association for the Advancement of Billionaire People would hasten to remind me of it. These people have lousy lives in stinky countries. They want something better. They have a dream.
Sure enough, the Guardian tells us that Ms. Brahana has a dream, quote: "Somewhere I can live with my baby, happy," end quote. A bit further down the story we meet 16-year-old Adama Bah from Gambia, quote: "Bah wants to be a footballer when he grows up. 'That's my dream,' he says." End quote. When you have one of these stories on your screen you can do Ctrl-F on the word "dream" and be sure to get at least a couple of hits.
Are the native populations of the West allowed to have any dreams? The dream, for example, of living undisturbed in a country full of people like themselves, with plenty of room and plenty of jobs at decent wages, and the prospect of a harmonious society for their kids?
Western Europe's had open borders for so long now, that really is a dream — a fading dream.
Here's a statistic: One in 10 British children under the age of four is Muslim. Were British people dreaming about that fifty years ago — dreaming about the day when one in ten of their country's toddlers would be a Muslim? I don't think so. I actually was a British person fifty years ago, and I don't recall dreaming about that.
So that's the situation in the Old World a hundred years after Sarajevo. In Southern Europe, the Hun is at the gate. In Britain, he's inside the gate.
All in all, it looks to me as though Europe's well along with its second suicide attempt. I predict this one will succeed.
Are things any better here in the states? Let's take a look.
06 — Swamping the lifeboat. Like Europe, we have a big landmass to our south with lots of screwed-up countries in it. A lot of the people down there, tired of living in screwed-up countries, would like to come and live in ours.
The thought might cross your mind that those countries are screwed up, like the nations of Africa and Islamia, because the people who live there made them that way: and if they move en masse to our countries, they'll screw us up too. If that thought did cross your mind you are a very very bad person and should be ashamed of yourself.
When a phenomenon is repeatedly in the news, as mass immigration is, the people who write and broadcast the news develop a special jargon for talking about it, a whole set of key words and phrases to trigger "appropriate" emotions in us consumers of the news. I just a moment ago mentioned how the word "dream" is now compulsory in any story about illegal immigration. This is supposed to get you thinking that illegals aren't scofflaws and moochers but soulful, spiritual types clambering over obstacles in pursuit of a shining vision.
Here's another one of those trigger words: "humanitarian." Now, humanitarianism is by no means a shameful or ignoble impulse. Beastly things go on in the world, and we should help each other when we can.
We should also, however, recognize that humanitarianism can lead to bad results all round. You're in a crowded lifeboat and the sea around you is full of people screaming for help. What's the right course of action? The right course of action is to row like hell out of there and let them drown, or they'll swamp the boat and you'll all drown too. It's not humanitarian, but it's right.
So watch out for that word "humanitarian." It's planted in these news stories to tug at your emotions. As always in life, you need to use your head as well as your heart, figure out the right course of action, which is not necessarily the humanitarian one.
Here for example is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on her way down to Texas Thursday for a first-hand look at the Hun pouring in through the gate. Quote:
The humanitarian crisis unfolding across our nation's southern border demands Congress come together and find thoughtful, compassionate and bipartisan solutions.
End quote. What it actually demands, of course, is a well-manned border fence constructed under Israeli supervision, combined with some stiff sanctions on Mexico, who are obviously aiding and abetting this invasion. That, however, would vex the NAABP and the race lobbies, and so is unthinkable. Better find some weasel words to cover up. "Humanitarian crisis," that should do the trick.
What this actually is, is a law-enforcement crisis, a Congressional accountability crisis, and a crisis of executive delinquency. Don't expect to hear that from Nancy, though.
07 — The great job robbery. Here's a real humanitarian crisis, concerning Americans, not the scofflaw foreigners Nancy Pelosi is rushing to the aid of.
The Center for Immigration Studies, which does good careful research on the effects of immigration, both legal and illegal, has a new report out this week. Title: All Employment Growth Since 2000 Went to Immigrants.
Yep, CIS has crunched the numbers and come up with the following depressing conclusions.
I urge you to read the CIS document on cis.org. It's thirty pages long and full of facts and figures, but it totally destroys key arguments of the immigration lobbies. It is absolutely not the case that immigration increases job opportunities for native workers, for example. Who ever believed this? Was the law of supply and demand repealed?
Quote from the report:
With 58 million working-age natives not working, the Schumer-Rubio bill and similar House measures that would substantially increase the number of foreign workers allowed in the country seem out of touch with the realities of the U.S. labor market.
End quote. I'd say that's putting it very mildly. Fourteen years into the new century, and American workers have been getting shafted by the cheap-labor lobbies every one of those years. That's what I call a humanitarian crisis.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Our dear friend and business partner President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan has come forth with a characteristically creative and imaginative way to boost his nation's tourist trade.
Turkmenistan is home to the Karakum desert, a vast expanse of lifeless sunburned terrain — rather like our own House Speaker. Unlike Rep. Boehner, though, it is not completely devoid of interest. Back in 1971, when Turkmenistan was part of the Soviet Union, Soviet scientist were drilling for natural gas in the desert. They found it, but there was a major subsidence that swallowed their drilling rig.
It also released methane gas into the air, threatening to poison the inhabitants of a nearby village; so the scientists set the gas alight, assuming it would burn off in a few days.
Forty-three years later that sucker is still burning, a huge crater of fire out there in the desert. Local people call it the Door to Hell. That's going to be Turkmenistan's new tourist attraction. You can drive out there, stand on the rim of the fiery crater, and … I don't know, roast marshmallows perhaps — use your imagination.
Good luck with that, Mr. President. You need to find a new name for the thing, though: "Door to Hell" is already taken, at least for those of us who have passed through the U.S. immigration and naturalization process. It was the entrance to the old INS offices at Federal Plaza in downtown Manhattan, where stone-faced bureaucrats kept you waiting four hours to find out you were waiting at the wrong window. Next!
Item: Radio Derb eye-roll of the week goes to FIFA, the body that supervises international soccer tournaments like, yes, the World Cup currently going on in Brazil.
June 21st Germany played a match against Ghana. Some German fans showed up at the stadium in blackface with woolly Afro wigs. Sensitive Millennial snowflakes were swooning, screaming in outrage, and clutching their pearls from one end of the stadium to the other. Complaints reached FIFA, and the Disciplinary Board is carrying out an investigation.
Here's another thing they might want to investigate: Most of the European and South American teams, though majority white, include a couple of Negroes in the true multicultural spirit of vibrant diversity. The African teams, however, like Ghana's, Cameroon's, the Central African Republic's, Ivory Coast's, and Botswana's, are all black guys, wall to wall black. No whites need apply, apparently.
How is this fair? Is there discrimination going on here? I urge FIFA to investigate.
Item: Finally, a story from Germany, actually from Tübingen University in southwest Germany. I can't improve on the opening sentence of the news story so I'll just read it to you, quote: "Firefighters have delivered a U.S. foreign exchange student from a giant stone vagina after the man became stuck when he crawled inside the campus art installation." End quote.
This American student apparently just wanted to take a funny picture of himself in the vagina statue, but he got stuck and they had to call the emergency services. The jokes write themselves here, and most of them are too indelicate for a family show. Forceps, K-Y Gel, yeah, yeah.
We still don't know this student's name. Popular guesses on the comment thread are Richard for his first name and Johnson for his last… but I can't confirm either.
09 — Signoff. And that's it, ladies and gents. Heavy on mass immigration this week; but I won't apologize for that. It's the great issue of the present age, and critical to the survival of our civilization and our kids' future.
Our exit music last week was in Welsh, and the week before that it was in Irish. To make a set, I suppose I could give you something in Scots Gaelic; but it's not that different from Irish, and the tunes aren't that great anyway.
So I'm going to take a different tack. Here's a lovely song in Lallans, that's the dialect of English spoken in the Scottish lowlands, made famous by the poet Robert Burns. This is in fact one of Burns' poems set to music, sung here by Madelaine Cave. In my English schooldays this poem was given to us in English class as an example of the Pathetic Fallacy. That's when you're unhappy and want every living thing in the world to be just as miserable as you are. We all know the feeling.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: Madelaine Cave, "Ye Banks and Braes O' Bonnie Doon"]