»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Saturday, May 9th, 2015


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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, piano version]

01 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! That was one of Franz Joseph Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, and this is your imperiously genial host John Derbyshire with a survey of the passing charivari.

Just a word before we begin about Haydn, the composer of our introductory music. Haydn was an exception to the rule that persons of genius must be eccentric, or obnoxious, or both. He was a cheerful, normal, well-adjusted man with a wide circle of friends and a busy amorous life. Although a lifelong subject of the Austrian Emperor, he loved the English and they loved him back. On his two trips to England in the 1790s he was received like a rock star, and made a pile of money on commissions — including one from the Derbyshire Cavalry Regiment, to write two marches for them.

Here's one of his biographers, Harold Schonberg, commenting on the diary Haydn kept on his first visit to London, quote:

Haydn had a very good time in England. Two of the high points were his award of an honorary doctorate from Oxford, and his romance with Mrs Rebecca Schröter, the widow of a well-know pianist …

This diary makes delightful reading … A very attractive personality comes through. Haydn was insatiably curious, and he loved statistics.

End quote.

So, not only a hell of a nice guy, but a numbers man, too! If there is a composer better suited to write the intro music for Radio Derb, I don't know that composer.

Enough of the culture notes: Let's see what's happening in the world 206 years after Haydn left it.


02 — Baltimore wrap-up.     Prosecutors in Baltimore handed down some charges against six cops in the death of career petty criminal Freddie-poo Gray. The major charges, by cop, were one of murder, three of manslaughter, and two of assault. Three of the cops charged are white males, two are black males, one is a black female.

The legal eagles who've commented on the charges think they can't be made to stick, and that the Maryland State Attorney who announced the charges, a black woman named Marilyn Mosby, was just playing to the mob.

A couple of those commenters wondered why, since all six cops, according to the prosecutors, willed Freddie-poo's death or serious injury, there's no conspiracy charge. Did they all independently, either in series or in parallel, decide to harm the guy? That seems highly implausible; so … where's the conspiracy charge?

I don't have the legal expertise to weigh those arguments. If they're right, and the prosecutors can't get convictions, then I assume the Department of Justice will take over with Civil Rights charges, and we'll have a replay of the years-long circus we had after the Rodney King riots in 1992, no doubt with more riots as accompaniment. It could easily be 2017 by that point, so it'll be Rodney King plus 25 years — an entire human generation. Eternal recurrence.

[Added when archiving:  Three of the cops were found not guilty at trial. Charges against the other three were dropped. The U.S. Department of Justice decided not to bring federal charges. See here.]

There was some residual commentary on the Baltimore riots, but outside the race-realist websites, it all missed the point.

Deroy Murdock, for example, who is a smart middle-class black guy, chided the rioters for making all blacks look bad. Quote from him, addressing the rioters, quote:

Decent, honest, law-abiding blacks have begged for calm and stood protectively between your sorry selves and the police … But, alas, the far more enduring images from Ferguson and Baltimore feature blacks who could not control themselves and turned serious questions about police conduct into mass theft, beatings and arson …

The only winners here are white racists. You hoods have handed them all the ammunition they need to keep preaching their lies: E.g.: "Blacks are genetically savage, violent and dangerous" … You have thrown fresh gasoline on their flames of hate.

End quote.

As I said, missing the point. Murdock is trapped in the cant language of the anti-white left — language that is (a) unproductive, explaining nothing, and (b) deliberately ignorant of known facts in biology and the human sciences, and (c) offensive to thoughtful, civic-minded race realists like myself.

Take that word "hate," for example. There's a kind of person who, if there's a mob assembling to burn down a pharmacy or loot a mall, will eagerly join the mob. Do I hate people like that? Yes, I do. I hate them.

Are there black people like that? Yes there are, and I hate them. Are there white people like that? For sure there are, and I hate them too. Are there East Asian people like that? I have no doubt there are; and yes, I also hate them. I hate them all equally — black, white, yellow: I hate people like that, people who join a mob to loot and riot and destroy.

Here's the thing, though. In a big, concentrated population of blacks, it's very frequently the case that there's enough of those types to get a major riot going. In a big, concentrated population of whites or Asians, it's hardly ever the case. I won't say it's never the case — coming, as I do, from the nation that gave the world the expression "soccer hooligan." It's a much rarer thing, though; and even soccer hooligans don't burn down pharmacies and old folks' homes, and chop the firefighters' hoses.

I'm talking about patterns of human behavior. Race differences in those patterns show up clearly even when you control for factors like poverty and education. As I pointed out last week, they show up in white-collar crime as much as in street crime.

Do I think that, to quote Murdock, "blacks are genetically savage, violent and dangerous"? It depends what he means, which his phrasing doesn't make clear. Which blacks? Do I think that Deroy Murdock, or Michelle Obama, or Ben Carson, or Condoleezza Rice, are "savage, violent and dangerous"? Don't be ridiculous. Do I think that no white people are "savage, violent and dangerous"? Not Charles Manson? Ted Bundy? Lizzie Borden? Ted Kaczynski? Ridiculous again.

Nobody thinks those things. To write as if they do, is to write in an illiterate and irresponsible way. I expect that from the Cultural Marxist crowd, but Deroy Murdock should know better, and he ought to be ashamed of himself.

Here's what I do think. The inclination to behave in a way that's "savage, violent, and dangerous" in any given social situation is differently distributed in different races. That's what you'd expect from the laws of biology and the evolutionary history of our species; and it's what a mass of empirical evidence confirms.

If you're not engaging with those laws, that evolutionary history, and that empirical evidence, you're just puffing out gusts of hot air, just making happy talk to get social approval.

And if you don't even understand words like "distribution" and "frequency" — which I think is the case with a lot of these graduates from college departments of law and humanities — then you really ought to read up some basic statistical theory before you open your ignorant mouth.

In regard to the "decent, honest, law-abiding blacks" Deroy Murdock wrote about, here's an analogy I raised recently in one of my own written columns. Quoting myself:

As always with social topics, it's a question of numbers and proportions.

Think of it like this: A man is walking along dragging a sack behind him. If the man is large and the sack small, it's a nuisance but he can make progress. A small man dragging a large sack is, however, severely encumbered.

White populations of course have members with low scores on behavior, intelligence, and personality, but not so many that the more capable whites can't "carry" them. Smart and well-socialized blacks, by contrast, are numerically far fewer in proportion to the great sullen lumpen-negretariat they drag behind them.

End quote.

Numbers, frequencies, distributions, proportions. Are these really such difficult, rarified concepts?


03 — Jim Snow America.     Following on logically from that, I'd like to put forward the following proposition: That we're not putting enough black men in prison.

I know, I know: The conventional wisdom is the opposite. We put too many blacks in prison, destroying their chances of a normal life and hardening them in their criminality. I know all the arguments. I've read Michelle Alexander's book, and in fact I just got through reading Jeffrey Toobin's article in the May 11th issue of The New Yorker on the Milwaukee experiment. I know the arguments: I just want to put forward the counter-argument for your consideration.

The evening of last Saturday, May 2nd, a New York City cop was shot. This was 25-year-old Brian Moore, a plain-clothes officer who was sitting with his partner in an unmarked car when they spotted a black guy named Demetrius Blackwell, who they knew to be a career criminal with a long rap sheet.

Blackwell was fiddling with something in his waistband. From his seat in the car, Officer Moore asked: "Do you have something in your waist?"

"Yeah, I got something," Blackwell replied. He pulled out a handgun and fired at the cops in their car. Officer Moore was hit in the head; his partner was not hit. Blackwell ran, but was apprehended 90 minutes later and taken into custody.

Officer Moore died on Monday from his gunshot wound.

Demetrius Blackwell is 35 years old. Quote from the New York Post, May 4th, quote:

Blackwell has nine prior arrests and has been in and out of the slammer over the past 20 years, sources said.

He served five years for attempted murder tied to a daylight July 2000 robbery during which he shot several bullets into a man's car.

He got locked up for another 15 months in 2007 for violating his parole.

Blackwell's other arrests include charges of robbery, assault, grand larceny and pot possession, records show.

End quote.

I put this question: Why was Demetrius Blackwell at large, with a record like that? And then this supplementary question: Would a white guy with a record like that have been at large?

I'll pass over the pot possession charge, but really: twenty years of crime? Robbery, assault, grand larceny, attempted murder? Why was this guy out on the street?

In regard to the second question there, please recall the case of white guy Donald Kagan, convicted in 1999 in a non-jury trial of murdering a black man who was trying to rob him. Kagan used an unregistered handgun. He got 15 years to life.

The judge who sentenced him was Frank Barbaro, a white Civil Rights activist from way back, and of course a flaming liberal, as a high proportion of judges are. Judge Barbaro's conscience nagged him for years, though. At last in 2013, now long retired, Judge Barbaro fished out the court transcript of the Kagan case and found, quote:

It was so obvious I had made a mistake. I got sick. Physically sick.

Judge Barbaro did the right thing: He petitioned the state Supreme Court for his own verdict of 14 years previously to be set aside. Further quote from him (I'm taking these quotes from the New York Times, December 12th, 2013), quote:

I believe now that I was seeing this young white fellow as a bigot, as someone who assassinated an African-American. I was prejudiced during the trial.

End quote.

Imagine that — a white liberal admitting to prejudice!

Credit to Judge Barbaro; but alas, this story doesn't end well. The case for the verdict to be overturned came up before state Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson, a black woman. She denied the petition. Quote from her:

This court finds Justice Barbaro's claims of bias and prejudice are mere afterthoughts or second guesses. The court is troubled it took Justice Barbaro 13 years to come forward.

End quote.

Given the rampant leftism in our law schools and the flagrant anti-white prejudices of black law-school graduates like Barack Obama and Eric Holder, it's hard not to think that the Kagan case is the tip of a very large iceberg.

It's likewise hard not to believe that if the courts dealt with black offenders the way they deal with whites, Demetrius Blackwell would not have been at large to murder Officer Brian Moore last week.

In fact, if you look at the matter arithmetically, the fact that blacks commit crime at multiples of the white rate suggests that the best way to get crime rates down would be to lock up way more blacks.

Consider homicide for example. On Department of Justice statistics, quote from their report:

From 1980 through 2008 … blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

End quote.

Put it another way, the pool of black murderers is proportionally seven times bigger than the one for white murderers.

So to get the black homicide rate down to the white homicide rate, we need to lock up six-sevenths of that murderer pool. Which wouldn't be all that difficult. We know who most of them are: people like Demetrius Blackwell.

So I put it to you that we should be locking up way more black people than we currently are, if we want to get our crime rate down to the white level. And in fact, since a lot of white criminals have, like Donald Kagan, been locked up vindictively by black judges like ShawnDya Simpson, or by Social Justice Warrior types like Judge Barbaro, the discrepancy may be even more than I've stated.

People in prison don't commit crimes; at least, not crimes that law-abiding citizens need to worry about. If there's too much crime, we're not locking up enough people. If one group is committing a disproportionate amount of crime, we need to lock up more of that group. QED.


04 — Go join the jihad, please.     Here's another guy who should have been serving a good long sentence breaking rocks, if our law enforcement agencies and courts were not crippled by political correctness: 30-year-old Elton Simpson of Phoenix, Arizona, a black American Muslim.

Last Sunday evening, May 3rd, Simpson and an accomplice, 34-year-old Nadir Soofi, jumped out of a car in Garland, Texas and opened fire with assault rifles at security guards outside an event organized by anti-Muslim activist Pam Geller. Simpson and Soofi wounded one guard in the leg before other guards shot them both dead. Soofi seems to have a Pakistani father and a white American mother. He was born in Texas.

The event where this happened, the event organized by Pam Geller had the official title The Mohammed Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest. It featured among its speakers the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Quote from him: "I don't hate Muslims. I hate Islam." The event also featured a $10,000 prize for the best cartoon depiction of the Prophet.

Given that Muslims are awfully touchy about their religion, and especially about any attempt to make pictures or images of its founder, this was provocative. It was meant to be. In a free society you're allowed to be rude about other people's religion. That's the point Ms Geller was making.

Christians are used to this, and put up with it in a spirit of Christian forbearance — turning the other cheek, as it were. Muslims are a whole lot touchier. The natural result of that is that everyone feels free to make fun of Christianity but not many people venture to take on Islam.

Some of that reluctance is political correctness, the vague feeling that Muslims are a poverty-stricken group of downtrodden Third Worlders. That doesn't make a great deal of sense when you think of places like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, awash in oil money, but it's how liberals think. The driving emotion for liberals is hatred of the wrong kind of white people. Liberals couldn't care less one way or the other about Islam in itself; but if those gap-toothed redneck hillbillies are against Islam, then by golly liberals are for it!

If some of the reluctance to mock Islam is political correctness, though, the rest is plain old cowardice. People are scared to make fun of Islam — with good justification, as Sunday's shootings proved.

All credit to Ms Geller for trying to redress the balance a little. She is plainly not scared. Neither is Geert Wilders, who's been living for years under round-the-clock police protection.

I don't completely agree with what these people say, mind. Unlike Geert Wilders, I don't hate Islam. I'm fine with Islam in its homelands; I just think it's foolish to let masses of Muslims settle in Western countries. Too many of them just don't assimilate well. Oil and water don't mix; but there's nothing wrong with oil, and there's nothing wrong with water. They're both very useful and praiseworthy substances. They just don't mix. I don't know why people find this hard to understand.

Anyway, to the main point: The principal shooter, Elton Simpson, was well known to law enforcement, both local and federal. For years before 2010 he'd been advertising his admiration for Muslim terrorists and declaring his intention to go to Somalia to join al-Shabab. The FBI pulled him in and questioned him about that. Simpson denied having said it; but he'd said it to an informant who was wearing a wire, so the feds charged him with making false statements.

That, you'll recall, is what got Martha Stewart five months in the pen; and her false statements had nothing to do with terrorism. Martha Stewart is white, though, while Elton Simpson is black, and that makes all the difference. Simpson got three years probation.

So again, here's a guy who should have been in jail. Or, better yet, who should have been allowed, in fact encouraged, to go join his spiritual brothers in Somalia, then not been allowed back.


05 — What's wrong with hedonism?     Steven Spielberg is making a TV series out of Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World, according to Hollywood Reporter.

My first thought on reading this was mild surprise that it hasn't been done before. Checking on the Internet Movie Database, I see that in fact it has been done before, at least twice, though neither time at full series length. There was a 1980 TV movie listed as 180 minutes long; and then in 1998 another TV movie listed at 87 minutes.

OK; but I'm still a bit surprised that there's never been an actual movie. Brave New World is a very important book. It's not particularly brilliant in a literary way, not to my way of thinking, anyway; but it's important because it posed, and in fact still poses, some interesting questions about human nature and human society.

If you don't know the book, here's a thumbnail, in fact pinky-nail, synopsis.

It was published in 1932 and deals with a world 600 years in the future in which all human ills and troubles, all causes of unhappiness, have been eliminated by biotechnology. There are a few fenced-off reservations where life goes on in the old way, with passion and violence, old age and sickness. The main character, John the Savage, was raised in one of these reservations. In adult life he comes to the main world; so we see that main future world, a world of pure hedonism, through eyes much like our own.

When I was at school in England around 1960, the standard thing was for us to be given both Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four to read, and then we'd have to write an essay comparing the two imagined futures: Huxley's hedonism and Orwell's totalitarianism. My own schoolmaster told us that Huxley's vision was inspired by 1920s America, Orwell's by Stalin's Russia. I think that was a general opinion.

Which future was more probable? we were asked to discuss. Those being the Cold War years, we all said Orwell's future was more likely to come about — in fact had already come about for hundreds of millions in Russia, China, Cuba.

Nowadays I think most thoughtful people would give the other answer. The Soviet Union's gone. China's still a dictatorship, but they've backed off from Maoist totalitarianism and it's possible to live a fairly normal life there.

The only significant place practicing total Orwellian control by brute force and fear over absolutely every aspect of life is North Korea. Outside a handful of backward hell-holes in Africa and Central Asia, the North Korean model doesn't have much of a following.

The overall trend is more towards hedonism and biotech — a Brave New World future, not a Nineteen Eighty-Four future. That's to speak of the trend, not the destination, which I doubt we'll ever reach. I don't think, in other words, that we'll ever get completely rid of life's discontents, Brave New World-style. Some kind of homeostasis principle will keep discontent bubbling at some level, no matter how many goodies and distractions we have.

The Cowardly Old World has some major problems to confront, too, before we get to the year 632 After Ford — like, for example, the problem currently crossing the Mediterranean by thousands in leaky boats.

And should we want to get to Huxley's world? The great question the book raises is: What's wrong with that world? You know there's something wrong with it, and John the Savage knows it too … but what? Everybody's happy and healthy. Sure, there's no more art or literature or religion or scientific progress; but no-one feels the need for them, so what's been lost?

I've never been able to come up with a thoroughly satisfactory answer to that question. Perhaps Steven Spielberg's TV series will suggest one.

Perhaps at least we'll get to see people playing Riemann Surface Tennis. I've always wondered what that looks like.


06 — Mx-ing it up.     I'll admit I've never felt totally comfortable with "Ms" — you know, "M-s" as the title for a female whose marital status you don't know, or don't want to specify, or which she herself doesn't want specified.

Sure, I use it all the time. For one thing, it's an aid to sloth — like Wikipedia, which I also use but don't really approve of. "Ms" is a token of angry man-hating feminism; Wikipedia is a vehicle for Cultural Marxism. These things I know; but when you can't be bothered to check a marital status, or you just want to know which elements make up saltpeter, "Ms" and Wikipedia are there winking at you and it's hard to resist.

"Ms" is also handy when you're dealing with some angry lesbian type behind the counter at the DMV and you just want to get out of there as fast as you can. Address her as Miss Jackson and you can kiss the rest of your afternoon goodbye. Make a slip of the tongue and say Mrs Jackson, and you can kiss your drivers license goodbye.

Well, now we have a new title to get used to: "M-x" pronounced "mux." That's a title that transsexuals can choose to be addressed by, although how the rest of us are supposed to know whether or not they've chosen it, is a mystery (or a mx-tery) to me. I suppose the main point is to give people one more thing to be offended about.

"Er, excuse me, Ms Jackson …"
"That's Mx Jackson, if you don't mind."
"I'm sorry, Mx. I just need to get my registration transferred …"
"I'm on break. You'll have to get on line at window twelve …"

Here are the basics of human sexual identity. Most of us have two sex chromosomes in our cell nuclei, either two X chromosomes or an X and a Y. XX, you're female; XY, you're male. There are half a dozen sex-chromosome abnormalities that show up very occasionally — roughly once per one thousand live births. The other 99.9 percent of us are definitely, biologically male or female.

So, what should we think about a person who is biologically of one sex but yearns to present himself to the world as being the other?

I'm not sure that we should think anything much. As a live-and-let-live sort of guy, I'm fine with it if Joe wants to dress up as Jane. I'm even fine with it if Joe wants his sex organs surgically changed to fortify the effect, so long as he pays for the operation himself. As mental aberrations go, the delusion that you belong not to your biological sex but to the other one, seems to me pretty harmless.

There are a few small social implications to be thought through. We surely need to work out some basic precautions against men pretending to be women so they can get into showers with young girls. The people who supervise serious sporting events need to do some thinking, too. Wimbledon really isn't going to work if there's a gal at one end of the tennis court and a guy at the other, even if the guy's wearing a tutu.

That's about it so far as thinking goes, far as I can see.

Aside from thinking, there is of course feeling, usually more important in social situations. Normal people feel there's something a bit bizarre, and slightly comical, about transsexuals, and no amount of propaganda is going to expunge that. I don't think I have ever met a woman who thinks she's a man, but I have met half a dozen or so men who think they're women, and my first reaction was the same in every case: "Good grief! That's a bloke in a dress." I mean, really: the jaw, the walk, the voice, the hands … come on, you're a guy!

Still, as I said, in the overall scale of delusional behavior, this one is down at the harmless end, so I can't see any need to politicize it.

So I guess I'm pretty indifferent to the transsexual business. I'm going to put up some resistance to "Mx," though. Who's it for, anyway? If you've stopped presenting yourself as one sex and switched to the other, don't you just go from a Mr to a Ms, or vice versa? When are you a Mx? Like, in the middle?

No, I don't get it. I return to my earlier suspicion: This is just a new way for people to take umbrage. Heaven knows, it seems that modern society can never have enough of those.


07 — Herding cats with Cameron.     As Radio Derb goes to tape, the Brits are voting for a new Parliament, the present one having reached its maximum term of five years. Actually of course Brits don't vote for an entire new Parliament, only for members of the lower house, the House of Commons.

If some party wins a clear majority of seats in the Commons, that party gets to form a government, and the party leader becomes Prime Minister — even if, as has occasionally happened, he himself doesn't have a seat in the Commons.

If no party wins a clear majority, then since a country must be governed somehow, negotiations are entered into and a coalition government is formed of two or more parties.

Those negotiations can take a while. Israel, which also has a parliamentary system, had an election on March 17th this year, and they only just this past Wednesday got a coalition together — fifty days of arguing and bargaining for executive positions. The Israeli coalition has five parties in it.

You've got to admire the stamina of the pols who work this stuff out. "Horse trading" is the usual metaphor, but the idiom "herding cats" is probably more apt. And think of the strain on the face muscles: weeks and weeks of having to smile while being televised alongside possible coalition partners whose guts you hate.

Israel's seven weeks of cat herding was by no means a record. The record is held by Belgium, which had an election in June of 2010 and finally got a coalition worked out in December the following year after 589 days with no government.

The Brits could be in for something similar. Late polls show the two big parties, Conservative and Labour, tied at around a third of the vote each, with lesser parties sharing the other third. It's hard to map that to the parliamentary result, though, because unlike Israel and Belgium, Britain doesn't have a system of proportional representation. You put yourself up for election in a district, and if you get the most votes in that district, you win that seat in Parliament. That works even if you only got ten percent of the district vote, so long as all the other candidates got less than ten percent.

Well, by the time you hear this podcast the numbers will have been counted, so guessing is superfluous here. I can't in any case summon up much interest. Britain's not my country any more. The closest I'll get to emotional engagement when there's an election over there is to pull down my copy of E. Royston Pike's 1968 book Britain's Prime Ministers from Walpole to Wilson and browse it in a spirit of mild historical nostalgia.

There certainly seems to have been a falling-off in quality. Among the Prime Ministers Pike covers, from the early 18th to the middle 20th century, there were of course a few nondescript drones, but there were a surprising number of men of character and accomplishment. A lot of them are very quotable. That first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, for example, was a great cynic, famous for mocking politicians who boasted of their lofty ideals and noble intentions, quote: "All these men have their price." Benjamin Disraeli, 150 years later, struck a note of more refined cynicism, quote: "Damn your principles! Stick to your party."

Then there was Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, who said a thing I've had occasion to say myself more than once when doing social and political commentary, quote:

What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.

End quote.

Yep, things don't change much.

The British Prime Ministers of the past half century have, with the single astonishing exception of Margaret Thatcher, been colorless mediocrities without an interesting thought between them. None of them said anything memorable or did anything important.

In that, they faithfully reflected the character of modern Britain, a nation that doesn't like itself much and is hell-bent on collective suicide. The native British, most of them, have stood by smiling passively as their ancient liberties have been dismantled, dissent crushed by police-state tactics, and their towns and cities swamped by foreigners, including hundreds of thousands from the world's two least assimilable and most violent populations, blacks and Muslims.

There's been some feeble, scattered resistance to the suicide drive, but the only significant political expression of that resistance has been UKIP, the U.K. Independence Party; and even they are milquetoast nationalists, fully signed on to the multicultural agenda — cringing, squirming, and protesting if anyone calls them racist, which of course only encourages people so to call them.

It doesn't look as though UKIP will do very well in this week's elections, but it doesn't really matter whether they do or not. Most Brits, it seems, are happy to watch their nation die, or at least not unhappy enough to do anything much about it.

The Brits have no-one to blame but themselves for the ongoing destruction of their country, and there is no sign that this week's election will do anything to slow the pace of that destruction, let alone reverse it. I watch from a distance in a mood of calm despair.


08 — Miscellany.     And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.

Imprimis:  The determination on the part of the media to keep the extent of black crime hidden from the general public is an evergreen topic for mockery among race realists. We are told that: "The robber was described as a tall man in his thirties"; or else we are told that a convenience store was trashed by a mob of "teens." You know the drill.

There's always a new angle, though. I smiled at this story in the May 7th New York Post.

A man was riding on a subway train with his girlfriend when he got into a staring match with another rider. The staring match was finally resolved when the party of the second part took out a handgun and shot the party of the first part in the arm.

The entire description of the perp is contained in the following paragraph, quote:

The suspect is described as a man with curly hair, wearing a red shirt and black backpack, cops said.

End quote.

So, when riding the New York subway, be careful who you get into a staring match with. Most important, avoid staring at anyone with curly hair.


Item:  I mentioned Israel back there. Here's another story from Israel.

They've had riots. I'm just going to quote from the USA Today report dated May 3rd. Quote:

Several thousand protesters in Tel Aviv clashed Sunday with police as they demonstrated against police brutality toward Israel's Jewish Ethiopian minority … Protesters crossed hands over their heads to symbolize being handcuffed and chanted, "a violent cop should be jailed" … Many in the Ethiopian community complain of racism, lack of opportunity in Israeli society, poverty and police harassment. Although they form just over one percent of the nation's population, Israeli Ethiopians comprise over 30 percent of the population in Israeli jails.

End quote.

It's tempting to leave that quote hanging there and say that commentary is superfluous; but there's more to this than meets the eye.

Those Ethiopian Israelis are Jewish; that's why they were allowed to settle in Israel. They were converted by Jews from Arabia, way back b.c., then stayed Jewish while most Ethiopians became Christians.

Furthermore Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, is a Semitic language, brought over by settlers from the Arabian peninsula who'd crossed the Red Sea even further back b.c. and mingled with the local black Cushites.

So this is a nontrivial problem here. The Ethiopian Jews belong in Israel at least as much as they belong in Ethiopia; at least as much as European Jews belong in Israel.

Just for once I have no helpful suggestions to make, no solutions to offer. I think Israelis should be glad the Ethiopians are a mere one percent of their population, and put up with them.


Item:  I don't have much else for you, just a couple of one-liners.

The Queen of England acquired a new granddaughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, I guess we all heard about that. Congratulations to the proud parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

At the other end of life, in China the Ministry of Culture is cracking down on strip-tease performances at funerals, which is apparently a popular thing over there. I guess nothing says inconsolable grief like a well-endowed young xiao-jie shaking her booty as the casket is carried out.

Finally, at that same end, a man in South Africa has been trampled to death by a giraffe — not an uncommon occurrence down there, we're told. I haven't heard anything about the funeral arrangements, but if relatives of the deceased are looking for an undertaker, I have contacts in China I can put them in touch with.


09 — Signoff.     On that note of characteristically impeccable good taste, ladies and gentlemen, I take my leave.

Let's have a little more Haydn to see us out. If you only know one of Haydn's tunes, it's probably this one.

There's an Anglophile angle here too, if you'll pardon the alliteration. One particular thing Haydn took back to Vienna from his first visit to England is noted by Schonberg, quote:

Haydn had been impressed by the dignity and simplicity of God Save the King, and decided that Austria should have an equivalent.

End quote.

It so happened that Austria got a new Emperor just as Haydn returned from London. Technically he was the Holy Roman Emperor, as the Hapsburg dominions were still trading under that title. His name was also Franz Joseph, but he is known to history just as Franz II, and should not be confused with the later Emperor Franz Joseph, his grandson, one of the great conservatives of history, who ruled for an incredible 68 years, until 1916.

Well, as I said, Haydn came back from London humming God Save the King. He got the whole imperial court humming it. They decided the only way to get rid of this earworm was to have Haydn compose something equivalent for the Emperor. A poet called Leopold Haschka was roped in to write some lyrics, and the result was Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser — "God save Emperor Frank!" Here is a lusty rendering.

More from Radio Derb next week.


[Music clip: Haydn's Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser]

Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,
Unsern guten Kaiser Franz,
Hoch als Herrscher, hoch als Weiser,
Steht er in des Ruhmes Glanz;
Liebe windet Lorbeerreiser
Ihm zum ewig grünen Kranz.
Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,
Unsern guten Kaiser Franz!