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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, listeners, from your dutifully genial host John Derbyshire, here to bring you a view of the week's news as seen from out here on the Dissident Right.
This being election season, I should start off with a look at the presidential campaign. What's been happening?
Short answer: not much. That's to be expected. This is mid-August, traditionally the Silly Season in journalism. Current newspaper headlines, to pick some actual examples, run to celebrity divorces, former Congresscritter Anthony Weiner's latest adventures in texting, the Olympics of course, and — Oh My God! — Gwyneth Paltrow giving up her lifestyle website, which, I'm sure my clued-in trend-setting listeners already know, is called Goop.com.
Politics-wise, we're anyway in sort of a breathing space. It's six weeks, plus a day or two, to the first debate on September 26th. Then it's another six weeks to the actual vote on November 8th. Anything that happens this week in the presidential contest, short of Mrs Clinton doing backflips in the middle of a speech or Donald Trump announcing his conversion to Rastafarianism, will be a dwindling speck in the rearview mirror by September 26th and utterly forgotten by November 8th.
Under these circumstances, it's almost not worth while bothering with political news at all. Don't think I'm not tempted … but duty calls; so here to begin with are a couple of campaign-related segments.
02 — Avert the Clintocalypse! Question for discussion: How critical is this election?
There's a current of opinion on the more thoughtful, intellectually serious conservative websites — websites like this one, for instance — there's a current of opinion that it is very critical indeed.
I am floating right along with that current. Yes, it's critical. A victory for Mrs Clinton in November would be a catastrophe for the constitutional republic. It would be a Clintocalypse.
There are two main points I'd bring forward in support of that.
Point One: the Supreme Court. The passing of Justice Scalia has of course left one seat to be filled. Assuming that whoever we elect President in November serves a full four-year term through to January 2021, on that date Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be coming up to her 88th birthday, Justice Anthony Kennedy will be 84, Stephen Breyer will be 82, Clarence Thomas will be 72.
It's not likely that all four of those justices will still be in situ four and a half years from now. The betting has to be on two or three of them stepping down. If it's three, together with Scalia's seat, a victory for Mrs Clinton in November could see four Clintonian justices on the court, caucusing with the two Social Justice Justices planted there by Barack Obama — wise Latina Sotomayor and ladies' softball champion Eleanor Kagan.
We'd then be looking at a whole generation of Social Justice rulings from the court, stretching into the 2030s and 2040s. By the end of it, what little still remains of our freedom of association would be gone, and freedom of speech would be gone with it. You think trained legal minds, flushed with power, could not come up with a constitutional justification for the suppression of "hate speech"? I bet they could — with "hate speech" of course defined to mean anything displeasing or distressing to types like Clinton, Obama, Sotomayor, and the other Clinton justices.
And don't tell me that a Clintonian replacement for Justice Ginsburg would be a wash, since Ginsburg is already as far Left as a Justice can be.
When Cultural Marxism came to full bloom in the 1970s and 1980s, Ginsburg was already middle-aged. She's an old-line New York Jewish lefty: not something I personally find simpatico, but more rational and tough-minded than the casual totalitarianism and identity narcissism of the younger Cultural Marxists. I don't like Ginsburg's politics, but she doesn't scare me.
Apparently she didn't scare Justice Scalia, either. They were good friends. I have no problem understanding that. I usually get on well with old-style lefties. They're wrong about a lot of things, of course; but they're grown-up, often very brave, and haven't altogether lost their grip on reality.
This newer generation of smiley-face ideologues who have taken over our universities and law schools do scare me. They'll bring down the temple on our heads — laughing gleefully as they do so, believing they are doing a wise and just thing.
That's Point One, the Supreme Court. Point Two is the demographics of our nation. A defining feature of our time, noted often here on Radio Derb, is the great movements of people from failed nations and cultures in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East into the stable, comfortable, prosperous, well-governed nations of northwest Europe and the Anglosphere.
This can't end well. The numbers are potentially overwhelming. This is especially true for Africa. Steve Sailer's been promoting what he calls "The World's Most Important Graph," one showing U.N. population projections for Africa versus Europe. Europe's population is already flatlining around seven hundred million; the U.N. projection shows a slight decline to the end of the century. The projections for Africa are up, up, and up: already over a billion, two billion by 2040, three billion by 2070, over four billion at century's end.
Projections for the Middle East, South and Central America, and South Asia aren't that dramatic, but they're startling enough. Without radical changes to our immigration policies — ideally, a moratorium on further settlement and serious efforts to deport illegals — we're facing demographic revolution.
Mrs Clinton is totally happy with that. She has promised to send an "immigration reform" bill to Congress in her first 100 days. By "immigration reform" she means of course amnesty for illegals, the further throwing open of our borders, displacement of American workers by cheaper foreign hires, and more mass settlement of bogus "refugees".
Four years of further huge inflows and the rolling naturalization of illegals will put the kibosh on the U.S.A. as it was founded and developed over its first 200 years: a nation of white European settlers with a small black minority and smaller Indigenous and Asian minorities, all assimilating into Anglo-Saxon legal culture. That nation will be destroyed, replaced by a Third World model — arrogant, callous elites who feel no connection to the mass of their fellow citizens, riding herd on a polyglot mass of serfs engaged in constant tribal war for crumbs from the elite dinner-table.
Among the legacy populations of the western world there is a slow awakening to what's happening. You see this in the growing strength of nationalist parties in Europe. We saw it in the Brexit vote back in June. We're seeing it in the rise of Donald Trump.
The awakening is slow, though, and time is short. The Brexit vote was narrow; a Trump victory in November will be even narrower. The worst possible future is a too-late awakening — a realization of what should have been done, when it's too late to do it without major societal upheaval.
The old political truth stares us in the face: If essential reform can't be accomplished peacefully, it will sooner or later be carried out violently.
May we be spared from that! Let's elect Donald Trump, and do what needs to be done peacefully, constitutionally. The alternative is Clintocalypse. Yes, this is critical.
03 — Should Trump release his tax returns? A side issue that keeps surfacing, mostly in Mrs Clinton's campaign propaganda, is that of Donald Trump's tax returns. Should he release them for public scrutiny? Why wouldn't he?
I'll admit I hadn't given a whole lot of thought to this issue prior to reading Betsy McCaughey's column on it in the August 3rd New York Post. (August 2nd in the online version.)
Ms McCaughey is a former Lieutenant Governor of New York State, and last week got appointed to Trump's panel of economic advisers, to sputtering outrage from media lefties. However, the column on Trump and his tax returns pre-dated that appointment. Quite likely, it inspired it.
Ms McCaughey — hang on: I like this piece so much, I'm going to go with "Betsy," if the lady doesn't mind — Betsy gives a spirited — and to my mind thoroughly convincing — case for why Trump shouldn't release his tax returns.
What she calls "tax-shaming" is, Betsy explains, a key weapon in the Democratic Party's class-warfare arsenal. Rich people — guess what? — take advantage of every legal opportunity to hold on to as much as they can of the money they've made. That translates into class-warfare jargon as "not paying your fair share."
Who gets to define "fair share," though? Well, Congress does. Our elected representatives do, when they pass tax legislation. If you don't agree with the definition, elect some new representatives and have them pass some new laws.
That's much too coolly rational for the political sphere. Mitt Romney actually did release his tax returns in 2012, and the Democrats made hay with them. Obama ran TV ads criticizing Romney for using, quote, "every trick in the book" to lower his tax rate down to 15.4 percent. The key word there is "trick," which has the color of something sleazy or underhand. In fact Romney just did whatever the law allows him to do — just as we all do come tax time, just as I do and you do.
Knowing how this game works, Trump is quite right to withhold his tax returns from public scrutiny.
Betsy really gets into her stride, though, when she compares Donald Trump the taxpayer with Hillary Clinton the tax-eater. I'll give you a long quote:
Voters can get a clear picture of the choice between Clinton and Trump by looking at the financial disclosures they're legally required to release. Hillary's is a mere 11 pages — almost all speaking fees and royalties from books she wrote about herself. She's in the self-promotion business.
End quote, and pow! The braggart versus the builder, tax-eater versus taxpayer.
The real money quote in Betsy McCaughey's piece comes not from her but from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Like Trump, Bloomberg refused to make his tax returns public. The other candidates, all tax-eating career politicians, made their tax returns public. When the press tackled Bloomberg on that, he replied, money quote: "That's fine. They don't make anything."
Trump's smart not to play the enemy's game on this one. He was even smarter to hire in Betsy McCaughey as an adviser.
04 — The fruits of Midwestern Nice. I have a lot of fun here at Radio Derb mocking the appalling niceness of Midwesterners. Midwestern Nice will, according to me, drag our nation down to perdition, if we don't find a way to curtail it.
Well, this week we saw some of the fruits of Midwestern Nice on display. By a pleasant concinnity, the scene for this story is Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District, right up against Wisconsin's 1st, where Paul Ryan, the Dark Lord of Midwestern Nice, crushed his enemies in last week's primary.
Those two Congressional Districts are, I should say, considerably different. They differ demographically, for instance. District 1, Paul Ryan's district, is 91 percent white, less than five percent black. District 4, which I shall talk about in this segment, is only 55 percent white, more than 33 percent black. By contrast with Paul Ryan, whose darkness is entirely spiritual, District 4 actually has a black representative, six-termer Gwen Moore — the first black congresscritter from Wisconsin ever when she was first elected in 2004.
The main reason for District 4's blackness is that it includes the city of Milwaukee, which is forty percent black. That's where this week's news event occurred. Last weekend an armed black criminal resisting arrest was shot by a black cop. A black riot ensued, with cars and businesses burned, and of course much looting.
In my first segment back there, the one on the Clintocalypse, I mentioned the eagerness of Mrs Clinton and her Social Justice Warriors to bring in great masses of poor Third Worlders to enhance our nation's diversity. A thoughtful observer might question the wisdom of this in light of our failure to make any progress coping with the diversity we already have.
Fifty years — two entire human generations — and still they riot. Fifty years of fretting and fussing, of nagging and shaming, of affirmative action and contracting set-asides; fifty years of jobs programs, food programs, billion-dollar overhauls of school systems. Fifty years of pushing role models, black doctors and detectives in movies and TV, black athletes as culture heroes, black actors playing God. Fifty years of Martin Luther King Days, Black History Months, and Kwanzaas. Fifty years of black mayors, black police chiefs, black Attorneys General, a black President, … And still they riot.
Wouldn't prudence suggest that we hold off on importing more diversity until we've made some progress in getting blacks to stop rioting? I guess Prudence doesn't live here any more.
That's parenthetical, though. What's the riot got to do with Midwestern Nice?
It has a lot to do with it. One manifestation of Midwestern Nice has been the Midwest's pioneering of the welfare state.
This is straightforwardly cultural. The first modern welfare state in any consequential country was the one Bismarck created in Germany in the 1870s. The mid-20th-century exemplars of welfare statism were the Scandinavian nations. Well, guess where the Midwest's white population is largely descended from: from Germans and Scandinavians, duh. History buffs will recall that the banner of socialism was raised in the 1924 election by Robert La Follette, a/k/a "Fightin' Bob," the progressive Republican senator from Wisconsin.
In the later 20th century Wisconsin had some of the most generous welfare provisions in the country. This was, however, just the point at which low-level factory employment drifted off to Asia; and what didn't drift off was colonized by immigrants from Mexico and Central America, who were easier to manage than blacks and worked for lower wages. Blacks who'd come up in the Great Migration of mid-century, now with no work they could do, fell back on those generous welfare programs.
Midwesterners are all aware of this, and in fact the Midwest has in recent decades put a lot of effort into scaling back their welfare generosity under governors like Tommy Thompson. The damage was done, though, and Milwaukee now has this sullen mass of unemployable, disaffected blacks, just waiting for an opportunity to riot.
05 — Why we can't have nice things any more. Matter of fact, it wasn't just Milwaukee where black rioters turned, snarling, on nice Midwesterners last Saturday.
Here's a report from Cedar Rapids, 200 miles west of Milwaukee. I'm taking it from the Cedar Rapids Defender, August 14th, headline: Gang War Erupts at Sweet Corn Festival!
This one goes into the file labeled "Why We Can't Have Nice Things Any More." The nice thing in this case is the Sweet Corn Festival, an annual state-fair-type event you get all over the Midwest towards the end of the school summer vacation. Farmers and artisans set up stalls selling sweet corn, of course, and paintings and handicrafts and tchotchkes. Mom and Dad take the kids along. You meet neighbors, eat some nice corn on the cob, buy a nice jar of pickles and a nice landscape painting for Grandma, and everyone has a good time soaking in all the niceness.
That's what's supposed to happen. What actually happened in Cedar Rapids last Saturday was, quote from the Cedar Rapids Defender:
… described as a nightmare and pure chaos by those at the scene. The event attracted mass hordes of teenagers, some claiming to be from Black Lives Matter, loitering about, bickering with rival gangs and threatening violence …
End quote. The Defender notes, by the way, that this was, quote, "the third year in a row the Sweet Corn Festival has been disrupted by violence," end quote.
And I should say, in defense of the Defender, that they were at least honest enough to mention the blackness of the rioters, if only obliquely. The indispensible Colin Flaherty, writing up the incident for American Thinker, tells us that, quote:
The rest of the media in Cedar Rapids stuck to the usual script of "groups of racially ambiguous children doing all sorts of bad things for no reason whatsoever, other than that is just kids blowing off some steam."
End quote. Since video clips of these events now show up on YouTube within a couple of hours, making it perfectly plain who's doing the rioting, you have to wonder why the reporters cling so doggedly to their narrative about raceless "teens," "youths," and, in the case of that TV station, "children."
But that's Midwestern Niceness for you. Rampaging Blacks Shut Down Nice White Festival would be a more honest headline; but it wouldn't be nice.
06 — What causes riots? When these riots happen, you get a lot of thumb-sucking pieces about why they happen, what causes them. Well, what does cause them?
You're asking me? Well, I'm a race realist, so I'll give you an answer in that vein. Then, in scrupulous fairness, I'll give you some of the other hypotheses on offer, and compare and contrast them with mine.
OK. Different races — different local varieties of Homo sap., that have followed different paths through evolutionary space for many, many generations, end up with different distributions on most heritable traits. That includes traits of intelligence, behavior, and personality.
So in a multiracial society that rewards certain traits and penalizes others, different races will precipitate out, average-average, at different social levels. American blacks, for example, with low average IQ, low average impulse control, and high average inclinations to antisocial behavior, will tend to pool at the bottom of society, in slums and prisons and criminal gangs.
The blacks thus pooled, being too dimwitted to understand anything about biology or statistics, will attribute their sorry plight to the malice of hostile agents. They'll develop a lot of anger against those agents, the anger occasionally breaking out in riots.
Their attributing their crappy life outcomes to the machinations of evil agents is itself a hypothesis of course, one that you can set down on the table next to mine. It's Hypothesis Two.
Here's one black guy expounding Hypothesis Two last Saturday, one of the Milwaukee rioters.
[Clip: It's sad, because, you know, this what happen because they not helping the black community. They, like, you know … The rich people, they got all this money, and they not, like, you know, trying to give us none …]
I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate that when that man says "rich people" he doesn't have Oprah Winfrey in mind, or Kanye West, or Magic Johnson, or Barack Obama, or Morgan Freeman, … But that's just me speculating.
Here's a third hypothesis, offered by The New York Times. This one must be serious stuff, backed by rock-ribbed deep social analysis, to be aired in such a prestigious outlet. What does it say?
Tackling the root causes of crime would be the most effective way to make the community safer and calm tensions, [Mr Moore] said. "I think it's a matter of having a dual conversation about what justice needs to look like in this particular situation, but also the broader conversation of what a just community looks like," Mr. Moore said.
Brilliant! Tackle the root causes of crime! Have a conversation! — a dual conversation! And then a broader conversation!
With a penetrating intellect like Mr Moore's on the job, we should have the problem solved in no time. How can it be that, in these fifty years since the long hot summer of 1967, how can it be that no-one ever thought we need to tackle the root causes of crime? And have a conversation? It's so simple!
So there you are: three hypotheses about what causes riots. Hypothesis One: cranky old Derb with his stupid, bigoted, so-called "race realism." Hypothesis Two: It's the fault of rich people not giving money to the black community. Hypothesis Three: It's our failure to tackle the root causes of crime and to have conversations.
Take your pick.
07 — The Moomba riot. The Social Justice Warriors will protest at that last segment. I haven't taken account of history, they'll say, wagging their fingers at me — of the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. That's what underlies the anger, the resentment, the failure.
Is it, though? Let's look at a different black riot, and see which hypothesis bets fits the case, my race-realist one or the one from history.
When scanning the Western world for stories about race and diversity, I always like to take in the Antipodes. For one thing, I have some slight family connections with that zone. For another, the issues they're having with diversity down under shed interesting light on our own troubles.
And then, I just hate to see the Aussies and Kiwis left out. They were stalwart allies in WW2. One of my very first VDARE.com pieces was about Australia; and I'm pretty sure I'm the only contributor to have written an entire full-length column about diversity in New Zealand, albeit on a different website.
One blogger I follow is the one who calls himself Oz Conservative. He's very much on my wavelength, or I'm on his.
Well, reading Oz Conservative the other day I caught a reference to the Apex gang, which I'd quite forgotten about.
Who they? They a criminal gang in Melbourne, Australia, who staged a nasty riot of their own back on March 12 this year, the so-called Moomba riot.
There seems not to have been any particular cause for the Moomba riot. The only thing the news reports are all agreed on is that it was nothing to do with race. Absolutely nothing, I tell you! The Melbourne Herald-Sun, April 10th, quote:
A four-week police probe has ruled out race as being a motivation for the violence.
End quote. Again, this one a headline from a different local newspaper, The Age, April 11th, headline: Moomba riots: Police rule out race as a motive.
So if you think the Moomba riots had anything whatever to do with race, you are a very bad person, and you should go wash your mouth out with soap and water.
Strange to say, though, when you look at video clips of the riot, what you see is mostly black guys. Perhaps we should raise a subscription to send Colin Flaherty down to Australia.
Yes, there are white people around here and there in the videos; but that's because Moomba, like Sweet Corn, is the name of a family festival, with rides and stalls and musicians and floats, and a fireworks display at night. Someone better tell the Aussies they can't have nice things any more either, not if they're going to climb on the Diversity wagon.
The Moomba riot seems in fact to have been a gang rumble, with the major gang involved being this Apex gang, most of whose members are black.
These are not indigenous Australian blacks, mind. They don't cause much trouble. Like our own indigenes, they live mostly out of sight on remote reservations, peacefully drinking themselves to death. No, the Apex gang is made up of South Sudanese, who flooded into Australia in quantity in the middle years of the last decade. These are black Africans.
Apex have been fortifying their numbers in recent years by recruiting from PIs. That's Antipodes-slang for "Pacific Islanders" — Polynesian peoples from the islands of the South Pacific, who have settled in Australia and New Zealand in great numbers over the past few decades. I mentioned in that New Zealand article Richard Lynn's estimate for the mean IQ of PIs is 85, same as the mean IQ of black Americans.
Further from that article, quote:
While of course there is much variation, as there is in any large group, Polynesian New Zealanders as a whole are underachievers … Polynesians … are way over-represented among high school dropouts. PIs are unemployed at twice the national rate …
End quotes. So this mayhem in Melbourne fits pretty well with my race realism hypothesis.
I can't see that it fits at all with the historical hypothesis. There was no plantation slavery in Australia, and no hundred years of Jim Crow. Practically none of the Sudanese have been in Australia even twenty years. Some of the PIs would have been there longer, but they weren't there in any quantity before the 1970s; and of course they arrived voluntarily, as did the Sudanese.
Yet there they are in Melbourne: racially distinct groups with depressed mean IQ and presumably corresponding statistical differences in heritable patterns of behavior and personality. And they're doing just what the blacks in Milwaukee and Cedar Rapids do. Call me smug [You're smug!] but I'm going to mark up one for race realism here.
08 — The end of sex? Enough of that; let's talk about sex. First, though, a short note on usage.
I have a strong inner resistance to using the word "gender" the way we're supposed to use it nowadays, as the default term for anything to do with differences between men and women. "'Gender' is a purely grammatical term," I snarl when I hear someone do this. "The German word for 'girl' has neuter gender; the French word for 'vagina' has masculine gender. Go back to your desk and write out a hundred times, 'I must not confuse sex with gender.'"
Still, I have to admit, though very grudgingly, that there is a case for using "gender" as a biological marker. Jotting down notes for this podcast, one of my notes said: "Sex at the Olympics." Then later, when I sat down at the microphone and looked at the note, I couldn't remember what I'd intended to say. "Sex at the Olympics"? All that came to mind was two athletes, a pole-vaulter and a beach-volleyballer perhaps, making the beast with two backs in some stuffy Olympic Village apartment.
That's not what I'd meant, though. What I'd meant, I remembered after a minute or two, was this business about the South African runner Caster Semenya, who looks like a guy, and who indeed married a young woman last December, but who competes as a female.
That would have been easier to remember if my jotted note had said "Gender in the Olympics."
All right, but what about this Caster Semenya person competing as a woman? She is apparently an actual hermaphrodite, which is a person with both ovaries and testes. It happens, and of course it's not her fault it happened to her. Life's tough enough without having a cross like that to bear, so the proper emotion here is sympathy.
I think some sympathy is also due, though, to the normal girls she's competing against. There's no right to compete in the Olympics, and Ms Semenya has an unfair advantage over normal girls.
I think hermaphrodites should be politely and apologetically excluded from the Games. Either that or there should be a whole third category of events just for hermaphrodites. That would be worth doing just for the fun of watching the TV networks squirm about how to cover those events.
And then, just one more on sex: Are we coming to the end of it?
That thought was inspired by Eva Wiseman's rather touching piece in the August 14th Guardian. Title: Goodbye to sex: a short and heartfelt eulogy.
Well, a great many people have spoken that eulogy, sad to say. Taking the long view, I suppose we all do sooner or later.
Ms Wiseman is not speaking personally, though — at any rate, I don't think so. She is commenting on those studies, which appear every so often in the press, about how young people are losing interest in sex.
As it happens, BBC TV showed a report the very next day telling us that the easy availability of online porn is making a lot of young men impotent — virtual reality just being so much more stimulating than real reality.
I have turned my plow into this field myself. Quote from Chapter Five of We Are Doomed, actual quote: "It sometimes seems that sexual intercourse itself is on the way out," end quote. I also wrote a column back in 2011 showing how the Japanese are leading the way here, title of column: "No Sex Please, We're Japanese."
To a person of my generation, it's all rather strange. For example, human beings on average now are more attractive than they were fifty years ago. Take it from me, I was there. Gym rats and exercise buffs were a small minority of males and a vanishingly small minority of females back in the early 1960s. Working-class English people took a bath once a week. The diet was loaded with starch. Halitosis was rampant, even among the small demographic that did not smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. No-one had heard of dental floss or Brazilian wax.
Yet we thought about sex constantly and did it at every opportunity. The whole atmosphere was electric with sex! — not just for us youngsters, everyone was at it. It was like it had just been discovered. "Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three," the poet Philip Larkin famously wrote, and that was really what it seemed like.
And now here is this new breed of humans, fifty-three years later, healthy and handsome, perfect dentition, smooth depilated bodies all fragrant and toned, and they can't be bothered. It's strange.
Presumably, after a couple more generations of technological advance in virtual reality and sexbots, interest will fade out completely. Good grief! What's going to become of us?
09 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Clint Eastwood, to this fellow senior citizen who was once a teenage TV addict, will always be Rowdy Yates. Clint is 86 years old now, bless him, but he can still stir it up.
That's what he was doing in an interview at Esquire magazine the other day. Speaking of Donald Trump, who he supports, Clint said, quote:
He's on to something because secretly everybody's getting tired of political correctness, kissing up.
End quote. You can visualize your genial host here rising from his chair and giving a fist-bump at that.
For bonus satisfaction points, you can then imagine all the Hollywood lefties squealing, clutching their pearls, and fainting at the shameful audacity of Clint's remarks.
It's a pity the federal government doesn't have a Secretary for Culture, as European countries do. That would be a great job for Clint in the Trump cabinet.
Item: Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. It's beastly hot here on Long Island; and by one of those inexplicable sudden life changes, I find I have become a martyr to small biting insects.
It's petty to complain about any of that, though, when fellow citizens of mine are in real hardship from the weather. Over on the West Coast north of San Bernardino, wildfires have brought evacuation orders to 82,000 people — not all of whom will necessarily obey — and burned fifty square miles.
No data yet on how many Californians have been burned out of their homes, but the news reports agree it's "many."
And then, down in Louisiana, these dreadful floods, with at least 13 people dead, upward of twenty thousand homeless, and untold numbers of homes destroyed. Donald Trump is down there as I speak; although the Democratic Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, apparently isn't going to meet him. If that's right, it looks spiteful to me. Barack Obama is on vacation, playing golf.
All sympathy to our fellow citizens in distress down there. If you want to help them, there are any number of ways to do so: just google "help louisiana flood victims." Same for the California folk: google "help blue cut fire victims." That's what the wildfire is called officially: the Blue Cut Fire.
Do what you can to help, and may all come right at last for our fellow citizens in distress.
There seems not to be any expert consensus about the reason. Explanations on offer range from, of course, Global Warming, to the fact that everyone has a smart phone nowadays so we just get lots more people looking and taking pictures.
The real shark news this week, though — to be strictly correct, last week — is that one variety of shark, the Greenland shark, is now officially known to be the longest-lived of all vertebrates. This critter lives an average 400 years, scientists have discovered. There are likely sharks up there in the Arctic doing their slow sharky thing that saw the world when Bill Shakespeare was still living in it.
That's pretty impressive; but as a Long Islander and occasional beachgoer, I'd rather those guys stayed up in Greenland.
10 — Signoff. That's our roundup for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening, and may your air-conditioning not fail you in these hot, heavy days.
Concerning which, here's a twofer to play us out. By a twofer I mean a music clip relevant to not one but two of the themes in this week's podcast.
In a couple of items I touched on the havoc being wrought by our misbehaving climate; and then I had an entire half-segment on the decline of sex. The signout music clip well-nigh selects itself.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: Ella Fitzgerald, "Too Darn Hot."]