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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, fif'n'drum version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, this is your gratefully genial host John Derbyshire, giving thanks for another year of broadcasting, courtesy of Taki's Magazine and our noble propietor Taki Theodoracopulos, may his tribe increase!
A quiet Thanksgiving here on the island. We managed to obtain a turkey from a specialty store on the mainland, though we've had to refer to it by the Greek word, galopoula, as if you say "turkey" it sounds like the Greek word for Turkey the country, not a big favorite here among these conservative islanders.
The bird came to us live; Nikki Nicolaides down at the goatburger joint, who has wide and deep experience with livestock, despatched it to Turkey Heaven; and the girls got busy plucking. Then they said they needed stuffing, so I helped out with that.
All in all a most enjoyable holiday. I hope yours was the same, family ties were renewed, and old friends remembered.
And now, let's see what's been happening in the world this week.
02 — Sleepwalking into war. Biggest news story of the week was the agreement reached in Geneva between Iran on the one side, and six interested nations on the other. The six nations are America, Russia, China, and the biggest three European powers. The deal eases sanctions on Iran in return for Iran promising to freeze key parts of its nuclear development and allowing some inspections.
What you think of the deal depends on what you think about Iran's intentions. Some very respectable analysts don't think Iran intends to build nuclear weapons. On the other hand we know that they're working hard at ballistic missile technology — one of their generals was boasting of it just last week. There's not much point to ballistic missiles without nukes.
And then there's the Sunni-Shia split that drives much of West Asian politics. Pakistan, which is Sunni, has the bomb. Iran, which is Shia, and Iraq, which is Shia-dominated, and Syria, whose ruling faction is sort-of-Shia, do not. It wouldn't be surprising if the Iranians were looking for a little equivalence.
You can't blame the Saudis for fearing the worst, with the three Shia or sort-of-Shia nations lined up along the north of them. You can't blame the Israelis, either. Iran's Supreme Leader made a speech November 20th calling Israelis, quote, "rabid dogs." Jews of all people know not to take that kind of talk lightly.
Nor is it very surprising that this agreement, which gives the Iranians a lot in return for not much, has generated some grumbling in the U.S. Congress. Money drives Congressional politics, and Israel and the Saudis are two of the biggest political spenders.
Do the Iranians want a bomb? I'm guessing they do. I certainly would, in their position. Is that a threat to the world? Of course it is. Any nuclear proliferation is a threat to the world. For one thing, the more nations have the bomb, the more likely becomes a terrorist nuke. There are more nations to hand off a bomb to the terrorists, and there's less chance of figuring out who did so.
More to the point, the more nations have nukes, the more chance there is we'll blunder into a nuclear war. We're coming up to the centenary of WW1, a war so catastrophic in its consequences, it might as well have been nuclear. Twenty million dead from a world population of two billion, four great empires destroyed, the horrors of totalitarianism unleashed on the world. Yet if you read up on the origins of that war, none of the players expected any of that when it started. They just sleepwalked into it.
Sooner or later, you may be sure, some similar chain of miscalculation will unwind in West Asia, or East Asia, or Latin America, or Africa. If, when it happens, the nations involved all have nukes, then … Katy bar the door.
03 — The pussy civilization. There's another factor here, too, visible in some of the commentary on the Iran deal. This is the perception of weakness on the part of the West.
It's hard not to notice that aside from the Iranians, who are of course pleased to have gotten a lot for very little, the nations most pleased on the other side of the deal are Russia and China, both anti-Western. The four Western nations in the deal — America, Britain, France, and Germany — are left looking like pussies, pathetically grateful to have a bit of paper to wave at their electorates to prove how skillful they are at diplomacy.
This, I mean this perception, happens a lot. If you read the news carefully every day, you frequently find yourself thinking how soft, how cowardly, how decadent Western civilization has become.
Example from this week: Last Sunday a great mob of Mexicans stormed over the border into California, yelling insults and throwing rocks and bottles at Border Patrol agents. The agents defended themselves with pepper spray, and the Mexicans retreated. Now the Border Patrol is being accused of using unnecessary violence.
Unnecessary violence? Pepper spray? We should be defending our nation's borders with machine guns and flame throwers; but of course we're too pussified to do that. We're too pussified even to deport interlopers. Attitudes towards our national sovereignty have in fact advanced, or decayed, to the point where great numbers of us think that any kind of border control is immoral and unkind. It's the same in Britain and Europe. We are a pussy civilization, a civilization of girls and girly-men.
And the people running the show don't want to hear what you think about it. When the Los Angeles Times first ran that San Ysidro story, it quickly generated hundreds of angry comments from Americans who want the nation's borders vigorously defended. However, when I went looking for the story a few days later to post a link in my Radio Derb transcript, the number of comments had been pared down to … two by the L.A. Times editors.
And don't be looking to the military for manliness. Barack Obama, the Girlyman-in-Chief, has been busily purging the military of officers who show any tendency to stand up to the tide of pussification washing over the services, to homosexual dating in barracks and women in submarines. If we get into any kind of a war with a serious nation, we'll be in the situation Stalin was in in 1941, when the Germans attacked just as Stalin had spent four years purging disloyal officers from his military.
Obama's been given eight years to do the job. We are already at the point where a Pershing or a Patton would not last a week in the U.S. Military. Next development: The replacement of all munitions with pepper spray.
Is there a road back from pussification? There may be. Any given society may be soft and decadent at one time, then a few decades later cross to the other side, or vice versa. In that context, and speaking of generals, here is a story about the Civil War general Philip Sheridan, from which you may draw whatever conclusions you like.
Sheridan was in charge of the scorched-earth campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, destroying crops, livestock, and infrastructure to deny them to the enemy, a precursor to Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas. Sheridan was heard to remark, quote: "If a crow wants to fly down the Shenandoah, he must carry his provisions with him." Not a pussy.
Some years later Sheridan was sent by President Grant to be an observer, embedded with the Prussian leadership, in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Bismarck, the Prussian Chancellor, took a liking to Sheridan, and they often dined together. At one of these dinners Sheridan repeated his scorched-earth philosophy to the company, quote: "The people must be left nothing but their eyes to weep with over the war."
Bismarck seems to have approved, but elsewhere in the Prussian high command there were some who thought that while this policy might be all very well on the wild American frontier, it was too heartless for a civilized people like the Germans.
04 — Kids say the darnedest things. Ninety percent of the time I'm a law'n'order guy. I want criminals hunted down and locked up — preferably in solitary confinement for the duration of their sentences. I don't see why convicted criminals should be allowed to socialize. I want the worst ones killed. Machine-guns and flame-throwers on the Mexican border? You bet!
That's ninety percent of the time. The other ten percent I'm reading about or reflecting upon the shenanigans that police, district attorneys, jurors and judges get up to when they've decided they want to convict someone of something. Hoo boy.
The canonical text here is Dorothy Rabinowitz's book No Crueler Tyrannies, which is about the child sex abuse hysteria of the 1980s and 1990s. Little children were browbeaten by fanatically anti-family psychologist ideologues to tell tales of horrific stories of physical abuse for which there was no evidence. Zealous prosecutors like Janet Reno threatened terrified witnesses with jail time. DAs rode the hysteria to political office, like Democrat Scott Harshbarger in Massachusetts, who got elected state Attorney General and came within a whisker of being Governor, and his odious Republican counterpart Jane Swift, who actually did become Acting Governor. Bogus "experts" told whopping lies to credulous juries, who sat there with their gap-toothed fool mouths hanging open, taking it all in. The media of course piled on.
By the time Ms. Rabinowitz's book came out in 2004 it was obvious to any thinking person that the whole thing had been a ghastly modern witch-hunt, a shocking episode of mass hysteria.
The category "thinking persons" does not include anyone in the DA's office of Travis County down in Austin, Texas. Two victims of the hysteria were Fran and Dan Keller, who ran a small daycare center in the Austin suburbs. In 1992 the Kellers were sent to prison for 48 years each for practicing ritual Satanic abuse on children in their care. The evidence was at best flimsy, at worst preposterous. Quote: "The children recalled several plane trips, including one to Mexico, where they were sexually abused by soldiers before returning to Austin in time to meet their parents at the day care." Uh-huh. There was of course no physical evidence or adult eye-witness account of these plane trips.
The one tiny piece of physical evidence was retracted by the medical officer concerned at an appeal hearing in August this year. He had misunderstood what he saw, he explained. Oh. There was no other physical evidence, only testimony from pre-school children coached by crank psychologists reporting to ambitious prosecutors and egged on by credulous halfwit parents. The Kellers got 48 years apiece anyway.
This Tuesday Fran Keller was released after a long and heroic pro bono campaign by her lawyer. She's 63 years old, been in prison for 21 years. Dan Keller, who is 72, will be released maybe next week, we are told. Why he can't be released this week with his wife, to spend Thanksgiving with their several children, we are not told. Prosecutorial spite, would be my guess.
This doesn't mean that the Kellers have been pardoned and are free to start lawsuits against the cranks, fools, and neurotics who destroyed their lives. District Attorneys don't confess to malpractice, and in law the Kellers remain guilty. Probably a condition of the releases is that there be no lawsuits.
Which is a pity if so. Justice in this case would be if the Kellers were able to spend their few remaining years on Earth in the lap of luxury, paid for by stripping every last penny of assets from the prosecutors, judges, jurors, witnesses, and parents who got them locked up.
05 — Outbreaks of honesty in Britain. I just want to qualify something I said back there about the pussification of Western Civ. being just as bad in Britain and Europe.
That's true so far as official attitudes and state propaganda is concerned. In many European countries it's actually illegal to express opinions contrary to the state ideology. Yet these are old countries with a strong sense of nationhood that isn't going to go gentle into that multicultural good night.
Hence the occasional outbreaks of truth-telling you get over there. The authorities and their media shills stomp hard on them when they happen, but they still keep happening.
Here are some cases in point from Britain in just the last few days.
Case one: On Wednesday Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, delivered the annual Margaret Thatcher speech to the Center for Policy Studies, a conservative think-tank over there. His speech included the following, quote:
I am afraid that violent economic centrifuge is operating on human beings who are already very far from equal in raw ability, if not spiritual worth.
End quote. Johnson goes on to propose policies to help those who are naturally able to rise more easily. But good heavens! he's talking about natural ability, "god-given talent," and, oh my God, IQ! Doesn't he know that these are mere social constructs, throwbacks to an elitist past, figments of our collective imagination?
If London's Mayor were to disappear for a while into a re-education camp in the Shetland Islands, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.
Case two: Paul Collier, Professor of Economics at Oxford University, last week published a piece in the left-wing New Statesman magazine. The New Statesman used to be called the New Statesman and Nation, and is still referred to by some older Fleet Street hands as the Staggers and Naggers. It has reliably kept the red flag flying over there for precisely a hundred years — it was founded in 1913.
Professor Collier's piece concerned immigration. It's not as far off the liberal plantation as Boris Johnson's remarks about ability, is in fact padded out with leftist clichés, but it's striking enough in a leftist magazine. Sample:
Around 40 per cent of the population of poor countries say that they would emigrate if they could … If migration happened on anything approaching this scale, the host societies would suffer substantial reductions in living standards. Hence, in attractive countries, immigration controls are essential.
Most immigrants prefer to retain their own culture and hence to cluster together … Absorption is slower with multicultural policies than with assimilative policies.
Poor countries have political and social systems that are less functional than those in rich ones. Their dysfunctional systems persist in part because they are embedded in the identities and narratives of local cultures. Migrants are escaping the consequences of their systems but usually bring their culture with them.
In Europe, which attracts many low-skilled migrants, the indigenous poor probably lose out through competition for social housing, welfare, training and work.
As diversity increases, the additional benefits of variety get smaller, whereas the risks to co-operation and generosity get greater.
The control of immigration is a human right. The group instinct to defend territory is common throughout the animal kingdom; it is likely to be even more fundamental than the individual right to property. The right to control immigration is asserted by all societies.
Migration is not an inevitable consequence of globalisation.
If you strip out the lefty CYA boilerplate, this could almost have appeared on VDARE.com. Perhaps we could merge with the Staggers and Naggers — the Staggers, Naggers, and … Vaggers? Perhaps not.
Case three: England and Wales, like the United States, has an Attorney General. Britain's A-G doesn't have quite as wide a scope as ours, as law enforcement is out of his bailiwick, in the Home Office. He's also a politician, a Member of Parliament. It's a very important position, though; the country's senior law officer and legal advisor to the government.
The current holder of that position is a chap named Dominic Grieve. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph last weekend, Mr. Grieve unbosomed himself of the following reflection, quote:
The problem [of maintaining the rule of law, democratic institutions and stemming corruption] is growing because some minority communities come from backgrounds where corruption is endemic. We as politicians have to wake to up to it.
End quote. Mr. Grieve went on to cite the South Asian communities, and the Pakistani community in particular, as suffering from that endemic corruption. Many immigrants, he explained, quote, "come from societies where they have been brought up to believe you can only get certain things through a favour culture," end quote.
Well, yes. Transparency International ranks Pakistan number 139 out of 174 countries in 2012 on their corruption index, just below Nigeria. Let me say that again: Pakistan is more corrupt than Nigeria. Good grief! Or in this case, Good Grieve, for saying out loud what is, to quote Basil Fawlty, bleeding obvious: that Britain's 1.2 million Pakistanis did not suddenly drop their ingrained political habits when they stepped off the boat.
Mr. Grieve has of course been getting grief for saying the obvious even though, like Professor Collier, he padded it out with some PC platitudes. A baying mob of people with q's in their names are calling for his resignation. Given the way politics is conducted in Pakistan, I'd advise him to get one of those mirrors on a long handle for checking under his car.
So, many little outbursts of truth. Let's hope for more, and for the chance to sit back and watch the Cultural Marxist commissars play whack-a-mole with outspoken politicians and academics daring to say the bleeding obvious out loud.
06 — Grammar an spelin be raciss! Microaggression of the week was committed at the University of California in Los Angeles.
UCLA has a Graduate program titled Social Science and Comparative Education, which from the program description seems designed to train bureacrats working for globalist outfits like UNESCO. So you get an undergraduate degree in Education, decide you don't want to be a schoolteacher, and head off to this program to be a globetrotting education specialist without ever having stood up in front of a class.
Leader of the offendees is one Kenjus Watson, a black man, of whom we are told that his research focuses on, quote, "black men and microagressions in higher education." So we have a black guy writing a thesis on black men and microagressions in higher education, complaining about microagressions in his higher education.
Interviewed by the Inside Higher Ed website, Mr. Watson complained that certain unnamed members of the faculty have questioned his research as "too subjective." It's not hard to see their point, but what's the guy supposed to write his thesis on, nuclear physics? That's not important to him. What's important is his own blackness. That's how it was for Michelle Robinson, later Michelle Obama, whose Princeton thesis, you'll recall, was titled "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community." That's two occurrences of "black" in seven words, a keepin'-it-real ratio of 28 percent. And look where black solipsism got her!
The UCLA microaggressors don't all go unnamed. The chief microaggressor, the Emmanuel Goldstein if you like, is Professor Emeritus Val Rust, an elderly white guy. Professor Rust has committed at least two microaggressions, leading to the aforementioned sit-in by Kenjus Watson and his fellow victims.
Microaggression one: Professor Rust corrected the grammar and style of papers submitted by black students. In one specific example we are given, the student had spelt the word "indigenous," as in "indigenous peoples" — you know: Eskimos, Red Indians, and such — with a capital "I." Professor Rust changed all occurrences to lower-case "i." This, the student complained, was ideologically motivated.
Microaggression two: A white female student was promoting feminist theory in class. A black student told her she had no right to claim victim status. They had an argument about it, which — here comes the microaggression — Professor Rust did not stop. The blacks took this to mean the Prof. wasn't supporting them.
I'm a bit surprised at Professor Rust there. Whether to take the side of the brothers or the sisters in an argument over victimhood can be tricky, for example if you're a black female. For whites, though, it's a no-brainer: race trumps sex. The right of blacks to claim the mantle of Most Oppressed People Ever must not be challenged! The professor should have known that.
I can't improve on the comment left by Bob Werler on the Daily Caller report of this incident. Quote: "What I like about being a racist is, it is so damn easy. I really don't have to do anything." End quote. That's right, Bob. Although if you were to do anything, that would be racist too.
So much for the particular. Permit me please to expatiate a while upon the general.
07 — The fractal nature of offense-taking. The thing to notice here is that this whole business of taking offense at microaggressions is what mathematicians call fractal, which is to say, the same at all scales.
The classic example of fractality is the British coastline. On a map scaled at a thousand miles to the inch, the coastline looks jagged and wrinkly. On a map scaled at a hundred miles to the inch, or ten miles to the inch, or one mile, or a tenth of a mile, it's still jagged and wrinkly. It's jagged and wrinkly at all scales. It's a fractal. If you want a more sophisticated example, ask YouTube to show you the Mandelbrot set.
So it's not really precise to refer to these incidents as "microaggressions." The offense is the same at all scales, so there is no "micro." It's fractal. The offense taken is equal at all scales of aggression.
The Warren Court back in the '50s abolished segregation in public schooling, which had given much offense. The offense-takers didn't stop being offended; they turned their offense on other types of segregation — separate drinking fountains and such. Those were shamed out of existence, but the offense-takers went on being offended by terms like "Negro" and "colored," so we all sighed wearily and started saying "African American." By this time other groups were on the offense-taking bandwagon: we had to stop calling people "orientals"; we had to say "he or she" instead of just "he" for the generic pronoun; we had call homosexuals "gay," as if they spent their spare time with flowers in their hair dancing around maypoles. Well, possibly some of them do, and there is of course nothing wrong with it …
Where was I? Oh yes, the fractal nature of diversity offense-taking. Other groups aside, blacks led the way, or rather the white liberals who had adopted blacks as their pets led the way. With all legal and verbal offenses removed, statistics began to offend. Not enough blacks in universities! In advertisements! In firehouses! So they got race preferences in college admissions and we threw out firefighter exams.
Still the offense goes on, at the same level. These nitwits at UCLA are just as offended at having their punctuation corrected as their great-grandfathers were at lynchings. It never ends. Playing the social victim is like being on some narcotic drug: so pleasurable you get addicted.
Not just pleasurable, but profitable. Concerning Kenjus Watson, the leader of that sit-in: What kind of a job are you going to get with a Master's in "black men and microagressions in higher education"? Why, the same kind of job Michelle Obama got: a job in the diversity industry! It sure beats teaching schoolkids.
Kenjus might in fact have a career path at UCLA. The university has an Office of Diversity and Faculty Development and a big diversity-monitoring establishment. They have a web page celebrating the fact, decorated with the usual photographs of dreadlocked Negresses and homosexual mestizos.
The diversity effort is spearheaded — am I allowed to say "spearheaded"? I mean, someone might think I'm referring to people who ought to be carrying spears — OK, the overseers of the diversity effort … No, wait a minute … The chiefs of the effort … Oh, the hell with it: the thing is run by a Council on Diversity and Inclusion, CODI, C-O-D-I, with its own separate web page. This CODI has 24 members with titles like Assistant Provost and Associate Dean, all busily on the lookout for un-diverse and non-inclusive incidents, behavior, dress, speech, and thoughts. These are the people Professor Rust will have to explain himself to when he gets back from China, where he's guest-lecturing this week.
When they're not prowling the campus looking for thought criminals, the Assistant Provosts and Associate Deans are handing out awards. Yes, you can get a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award of $2,000 for, quote, "furthering a diverse, impartial, and inclusive academic environment at UCLA." Two thousand dollars of California State taxpayers' money for kissing up to the diversity racketeers.
So nobody can say that UCLA isn't trying hard to appease the offense-takers. It's just that the thing can't be done. When you remove a larger aggression, they'll find a smaller one, and get equally indignant about that. It's fractal.
I wish Kenjus Watson good luck in his future career as Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Better he should be employed thus, I suppose, than teaching eighth-graders to hate their ancestors.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Anyone who pays attention knows by this point that wellnigh every news story about someone being insulted on diversity grounds is a hoax. The story of the lesbian waitress therefore came as no surprise.
Twenty-two-year-old Dayna Morales, a former Marine and an obvious-at-a-glance lesbian, served a family of four at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Branchburg, New Jersey. Instead of leaving a tip, Ms. Morales claimed they wrote on the restaurant receipt, quote: "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I don't agree with your lifestyle."
Ms. Morales reported this to some homosexual activist group. Pretty soon it was all over the internet, and lesbians from everywhere in the Garden State were heading over to the restaurant with softball bats and pipe wrenches strapped to their motorbikes to assert their rights.
Then the offending customers produced their copy of the bill, showing a twenty percent tip, and backed it up with their credit card statement. Then wellnigh everyone who had ever known Ms. Morales came out of the woodwork calling her a chronic liar.
A word to Ms. Morales: Next time, lady, try the thing with the noose. It has a better track record.
Item: Here's an old joke. Listen to the sound effects and tell me what you're hearing. Ready? [Clip: Horse's hooves, then gunshot.] What was that? It was of course an Amish drive-by shooting.
Well, life imitated art last Tuesday. Quote from Reuters:
A horse pulling a buggy with an Amish family aboard in rural Pennsylvania was struck by a bullet fired from a moving car and later died.
End quote. Fortunately no bipeds were hurt in the shooting. The local police chief told Reuters it's not uncommon for passing motorists to throw firecrackers, eggs or other items at them. He speculated that one reason might be the Amish's pacifist beliefs. Quote: "They're an easy target. They can't fight back." End quote.
Ah yes, always that problem with pacifism.
Item: Listeners probably know that the New York City Fire Department is under orders from a liberal judge to get more women and minorities fighting fires. Since non-Asian minorities don't do well on the written tests and women don't do well on the physical requirements, this presents Fire Department brass with a bit of a conundrum.
Recently we saw how they've been handling it: By just graduating the victim groups from the Academy whether they pass the tests or not.
Poster gal here is 31-year-old Wendy Tapia. One of the physical requirements for firefighters is to run 1.5 miles in under 12 minutes. Ms. Tapia just couldn't do it. She tried five times, but couldn't come in under 12 minutes. So … the Fire Department's training academy just graduated her anyway!
Ms. Tapia was then assigned to a fire house in the borough of Queens, but she never worked a shift. After trying the run again and failing again, and more to the point after a story about her appeared in the New York Post to much comment, Ms. Tapia threw in her helmet, or whatever you do when you resign from the Fire Department, and went back to her job with Emergency Medical Services. Don't be surprised if the crazy judge reinstates her.
Item: Costco has offended a lot of people by selling the Holy Bible from shelves labeled Fiction in one of their California stores. They are now apologizing profusely.
There's a nontrivial question of classification here. There's every kind of writing in the Bible. The early Old Testament books are mythology; the later ones are more or less factual history. The prophets are basically opinion journalists like Yours Truly; the Gospels are biographical, the Psalms are poetry, St. Paul's letters are essay format, and the Book of Job is surely fiction. So how on earth (or in Heaven) do you classify the Book?
I just looked up the Dewey Decimal code used by libraries. Dewey classifies the Bible in the 200s, overall heading "Religion." I don't see how you can argue with that. Type up the word "Religion" on a sticky label and put it on a shelf, guys. You're welcome.
Item: Finally, on a somewhat related theme: If you're looking for a fixer-upper, archeologists working outside Jerusalem have found a ten-thousand-year-old house. I bet those gutters need cleaning.
09 — Signoff. That's it, folks.
After my golliwog items in the last two broadcasts, a listener alerted me to the following piece by Claude Debussy. Many thanks to my listener, and I hope to keep the golliwog theme alive for several more broadcasts of Radio Derb. Here then to see us out is Debussy himself, or at any rate a piano roll made from his performance, playing the Golliwog's Cakewalk.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: Debussy's Golliwog Cakewalk]