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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners. This is your audaciously genial host John Derbyshire with our weekly roundup of the news, courtesy of Hate Central here at VDARE.com.
Call me vain [Chorus: "You're vain!"] but there is extra pleasure in reporting the news when I'm in it. So it has been this week, in the very smallest of ways — not so much the proverbial fifteen minutes of fame, more like fifteen seconds. At this point in life, though, I'll take what I can get.
Just to remind you of the backstory here. On February 14th, that's a week last Sunday, I got an email query asking whether I give talks at colleges. I replied that I do. It turned out that Williams College, a highly-rated private liberal arts college up in Massachusetts, had a student group that wanted me to speak.
I said I was up for it: we negotiated terms: and through midweek there were exchanges between me and them about the time, venue, whether I should use PowerPoint, the usual logistics stuff.
Then on Thursday February 18th the President of Williams College, a chap named Adam Falk, got to hear of the invitation, looked me up, and took to the fainting couch. When he had recovered sufficiently, President Falk disinvited me. Quote from him, speaking of Derb:
Many of his expressions clearly constitute hate speech.
A lot of people, including some of his own faculty, disagreed with President Falk. They said that in spite of my being a hate-filled bigot filled with hate, I should be allowed to speak so that Williams students could see my horns and hooves up close, and confront my hatefulness.
That was it. That was the news story: "Obscure Journalist Disinvited by Tony College." It must have been a slow news week, I guess.
It's about me, though, so I think I can be forgiven for squeezing a segment out of it.
The group that invited me has the name Uncomfortable Learning. Their stated mission is to bring controversial speakers to campus. From the Washington Post story we learned that the principal of this group, or one of the principals, is a Williams sophomore named Zachary R. Wood. Mr Wood is black, and declares himself a Democrat and liberal. He told the Post he was disappointed that President Falk disinvited me.
Zachary Wood further told the Post that he strongly disagrees with much of what I write about, but, quote from the Post reporter, "thinks it's more valuable to debate and disprove ideas with which he disagrees rather than to 'quarantine' them and bar them from campus," end quote.
Zachary Wood explained his point of view at greater length in a post at thefire.org; that's the website of FIRE, F-I-R-E, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Sample quote from Zachary Wood quote:
I would describe myself, in most academic settings, as an intellectual purist. This means that while my identity may naturally affect how I feel and think about certain issues, I try my best to separate the head from the heart in thinking critically about any issue on which people heatedly disagree.
Mr Wood sounds like a smart and open-minded young man, and I'm sorry I didn't get to meet him. The fact of his being black, though, allows me to air some of my pet ideas about these race panics.
Idea number one: the Cold Civil War. The fact of Mr Wood being un-hysterical here, while President Falk is gasping and swooning, illustrates the fact that race hysteria is for the most part a white thing. The race issue in America in fact is an eternal replay of the Civil War: two big groups of white people at loggerheads, with colored folk brought in as auxiliaries now and then to dig trenches and feed the horses.
Not that blacks don't get involved in combat occasionally: but the real passion here, the real hysteria, is from white liberals like President Falk.
I first got wind of this some years ago when I was talking to Jared Taylor, who runs the white-identity group American Renaissance. Back then Jared did a lot of gigs talking to students at colleges, before the Left totally took over and got him banned everywhere. How did black students receive him? I asked. Jared said that what usually happened was, one or two would yell an insult and walk out, but the rest would listen to him politely and ask interested questions afterwards.
My own talk to the Black Law Students Association at the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 was even more eventless than that. An older audience member, a black guy, came up to me as we were getting off the stage and said: "That's old."
I didn't understand, and said so. He clarified: "That stuff you were talking about — race, IQ, evolution — that's old thinking. What people used to think. Nobody thinks like that now."
I thanked him and he walked off. I didn't have the presence of mind — I never do — to come back at him with a smart answer. Something like: "Well, you know, the multiplication tables are really old, but they still work pretty well."
Anyway, that was all the negativity I got at U. Penn six years ago. We all went to a lounge afterwards and stood around drinking coffee. Everyone was very nice.
That's how it is in the Cold Civil War. It's whites against whites. It's mostly the white liberals who scream and shout and swoon. Blacks will put on some kind of show if they're paid to: like the Black Lives Matter movement, which is funded by radical white billionaires like George Soros and oil heiress Leah Hunt-Hendrix. The real passion comes from whites, though — people like those billionaire radicals.
Idea number two: Antiracism as a religion. I aired this one back in the January 29th podcast. My theory is that antiracism draws its emotional energy from the human religious instinct. It's a religion … or a pseudo-religion, or a cult. Blacks are the sacred objects.
If you say or write anything negative about blacks, members of the antiracism cult consider you a blasphemer. The reactions you get from them are just what you'd get in, say, Afghanistan if you bad-mouthed the prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).
Now, a sacred object works best if it is rare and exotic. Williams College is in Williamstown, a modestly prosperous place up there in the rustic top left corner of Massachusetts — median income and house value above the Massachusetts norm. City-data.com gives the population as 2.4 percent black, although I don't know if that includes resident students. Whatever: President Falk isn't seeing too many blacks; and the ones he is seeing are the ones on campus, drawn from the right tail of the IQ distribution. Regarding blacks as holy objects, any criticism of which is a kind of blasphemy, comes easily to President Falk.
Now consider a black person like Zachary Wood. If you're black, then regarding blacks as sacred objects probably seems kind of dumb. Seen from inside your black skin, black people are just … people.
So it's hard for a black person to be a really sincere congregant of the Church of Antiracism. If George Soros pushes a few benjamins your way, you might fake it, to get out of the house and maybe meet some girls, but you're really not in the same place emotionally as President Falk.
So I'm seeing reinforcement here for some of my pet notions: the Cold Civil War, and antiracism as a religion. It's possible that both notions are totally wrong-headed. It's not very likely, given my towering intellect, but it's possible.
Whatever. I appreciate Zachary Wood's open-minded and calm good sense, and I hope to meet him some day to discuss our differences over beer and pizza.
03 — Loose lips sink ships. OK, let's make it one and a half segments. I just have a couple of brief footnotes to add to the preceding.
First footnote. Some people emailed in with expressions of surprise that I get to speak on college campuses at all. Does it happen often? they wanted to know.
No, it doesn't happen often, nothing like as often as I'd wish. I enjoy meeting smart young people and arguing with them.
By chance, though, I had an engagement to speak at another college the week before the scheduled Williams event. In the email exchanges with the Williams group to set up the logistics, I incautiously mentioned this other event. My mention of it apparently leaked out to the journalists who called me to get my reactions to President Falk. They were intensely curious about this other engagement. Where was it? Who invited me?
I declined to answer and explained why. Here's why.
I am old and, thanks to the generosity of our donors, independent. So far as my own account is concerned, I couldn't care less about consequences.
For young people starting out in life it's different. Their lives and careers can be wrecked by the leftist commissars if it's known they've associated with dissidents like myself, or engaged with heterodox ideas. You could ask Jason Richwine about it. So I try not to do anything that might help the witch-hunters.
By carelessly mentioning that other event in my exchanges with the Williams students, I already had helped the Thought Police. I feel bad about this. The exchanges seemed friendly and private, and they lulled me into a false sense of security.
And I really should have known better. In the context of higher education in a society under strong ideological control, I got all the necessary insights thirty-four years ago, teaching college in communist China.
So let's take this as a lesson. With the ideological enforcers always on the prowl, you can't be too careful. Loose lips sink ships. If you want me to talk to your student group, I'll keep shtum about it, I promise.
Second footnote. Many thanks of course to all the people who've supported me in this. Special thanks to my colleague and friend Nicholas Stix, who's been energetic on my behalf on some of the comment threads.
Nicholas, however, said in one of his comments that we shouldn't be too keen to hail Zachary Wood as a hero, because there were things Mr Wood might have done that he didn't do: Set up an event with me outside the college, for example, at a local hall or restaurant, in defiance of that nitwit college President.
With all respect to Nicholas — really: he's one of the last of the old tireless sniff-'em-out shoe-leather crime reporters — I wouldn't be so hard on Mr Wood. He's a sophomore, probably with a lot of studying to do. I'd rather he was doing it. I'm not that big a fan of campus activism, not even when it's on my own behalf. The main business of students should be study.
If I ever get to found a college, I'll make applicants kneel outside the gates in rain and snow for a month, to be sure they really want what I'm offering. Then I'll let 'em in, but put them in stone-walled cells with books and writing materials, just letting them out for meals. That would be Derb college. I might let faculty members be married, though; haven't quite decided on that yet …
And if, going back to the first footnote, if you are worried that Zachary Wood may have his career blighted for taking sides against the enforcers here, relax. He'll be OK. He's black.
OK, enough. I'm thinking of an old New Yorker cartoon of two people, a man and a woman, standing talking at a cocktail party. The man is a large, pompous-looking fellow in a business suit, and he's talking. Caption: "But that's enough about me; now let's talk about me."
I don't want to be that guy. That really is enough about me. I haven't quite finished with the college scene in general, though. Next segment.
Here is a titbit on the campus scene at large. I've taken it from the Campus Reform website, February 25th.
Note first that one of the great weasel words of our time is the word "troubling." When a Social Justice Warrior tells you that such-and-such a thing is "troubling," you're meant to imagine him sitting there with furrowed brow, agonizing over the possibility that whatever it is might hurt the feelings of someone, somewhere.
Given that hurt feelings now blanket the land, and most particularly our college campuses, like edelweiss in an alpine meadow, there is a lot for our moral guardians to find "troubling."
Here is one of those guardians, North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani. His university, like most, has a school song. They've had it since 1908, which is kind of impressive.
President Bresciani has been reading the lyrics of this song, and what he read was not pleasing to him. It was in fact, yes, troubling.
The problem seems to be that only the first stanza of the school song is ever sung. Nobody's looked at the other stanzas since Jack Pershing arrived on the Western Front to trouble the Kaiser's general staff.
You can hear that first stanza sung on YouTube. I must say, I think it's rather a pleasant tune, and not in the least troubling.
What President Bresciani found troubling was the third stanza. I won't attempt to sing it, but here are the lyrics. Prepare to be troubled! Quote:
Hushed upon the boundless prairies
Concerning the phrase "spoilers' bounty," there's been a slight semantic shift this past hundred and eight years: that word "spoiler" is understood to mean "de-spoiler" — someone who loots or pillages. So the red man looted the prairies by killing all the bison, which accounts for their thundering tread being hushed. The Norse, the Celt, and the Saxon are much better at husbandry, and have made the prairies bloom.
It's all a bit of a whitewash. No doubt the Plains Indians would have hunted the bison to extinction if they'd had the technology to do so, but they didn't. To quote the 1889 Hornady Report, quote: "The primary cause of the buffalo's extermination, and the one which embraced all others, was the descent of civilization," end quote.
I suspect that it's not that minor historical inaccuracy that troubled President Bresciani's rest, but the implied superiority as food-providers of the Norse, the Celt, and the Saxon. He doesn't actually tell us that; but what he does tell us is smothered in so much PC babble, it's hard to know what it was that furrowed his brow. Quote:
I've learned that the third stanza contains a variety of cultural and ethnic references (toward both majority and minority populations) which by contemporary standards are troubling …
What should a college president do to ease his troubled mind in such troubling circumstances? President Bresciani did two things, he tells us.
First, he ordered the immediate removal of all but the first stanza from college websites and publications. That's why if you google for that third stanza, some of the links that come up will say "page not found."
Second — and a bit contradictory, it seems to me — he told his Provost and his Vice President for Student Affairs to, quote, "bring together a faculty, staff and student group to study the song and offer recommendations on its appropriateness," end quote. Why? He's already destroyed all vestiges of the song, except for the un-troubling first stanza.
It seems a lot of trouble to go to over words nobody ever sings. Still, the Norse, the Celt, and Saxon must be put in their places. Heaven forbid that the impressionable young minds of Fargo and Bismarck should ever be troubled by the idea that civilization is better than barbarism. That would be really troubling.
Perhaps it would be best to just replace the school song altogether. Here's a suggestion for something totally non-troubling. You'd have to check with the authorities in South Africa, but I believe "Kill the Boer" is out of copyright. [Clip: Jacob Zuma, "Kill the Boer."]
05 — Another mass debate. My usual commentary on presidential candidate debates starts off with a confession that I fell asleep twenty minutes in. I am therefore smug to report that I stayed awake all through Thursday night's CNN debate in Houston. It was entertaining, or at any rate as close to entertaining as politics gets.
The main takeaway is that Donald Trump got knocked about considerably by Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, to the degree he seemed to lose his composure a couple of times. At one point Trump actually yelled out, quote: "I don't repeat myself! I don't repeat myself!" It's not in the Washington Post transcript, but I know I heard it.
Trump also knocked himself about some. He was incoherent on healthcare, for example. What was all that about "the lines around each state"? And, quote:
There is going to be competition among all of the states, and the insurance companies. They're going to have many, many different plans.
None of that — and none of what the other candidates said — gets to the heart of the matter. Which is, that our health is not insurable at the personal level because of pre-existing conditions. The point of insurance is to cover bad things that might possibly happen. A pre-existing condition has already happened. No rational insurance company will issue a policy to the person afflicted. And as we understand more about the human genome, lots of us are going to find out we have pre-existing conditions we didn't know about — genetic dispositions to cancer, heart disease, stroke, and such. Half the population will soon be individually uninsurable on any rational grounds.
Insurance at the personal level doesn't work. It only works with a pool of people being covered, the healthy ones in the pool paying for the sick ones. Most First World countries take the entire population as the pool and have a government department run the coverage. Putting your life in the hands of government bureaucrats isn't optimal; but my English relatives grumble less about their healthcare than we do, so it's not that bad, and it works out way cheaper, with far less annoying paperwork.
Here I issue my usual challenge: Find a lobby of any size at all in any country at all agitating for that country to adopt the U.S. healthcare system.
Sorry, I got sidetracked there. Back to the debate. Trump had a couple of other wince-making moments. He flat-out lied about his 2012 position on self-deportation which Radio Derb reported on last week.
Then, right after that, he actually fell back on the open-borders lobby line about "jobs Americans won't do." Rubio had just accused him of hiring in foreign workers at Trump hotels. Trump, quote:
As far as the people that I've hired in various parts of Florida during the absolute prime season, like Palm Beach and other locations, you could not get help. It's the up season. People didn't want to have part-time jobs. There were part-time jobs, very seasonal, 90-day jobs, 120-day jobs, and you couldn't get … You couldn't get help in those hot, hot sections of Florida.
When an employer says he can't get help, what he means is of course that he can't get help at the wages he's offering.
These, and a couple of other moments, could have been — and I guess some will say should have been — meltdown moments for Trump. They really weren't, though. Why not?
In a word: immigration. Rubio is staggering around with a monkey on his back — actually a great big gorilla: his support of the Schumer-McCain amnesty bill. The more gets revealed about this, the more shameful it gets. Just this week we got a reminder of how shabbily Rubio treated the head of the immigration officers union at meetings about the bill in 2013.
Cruz is very little better, though in Thursday's debate he actually tried to position himself to the right of Trump on illegal immigration. This won't cut much ice with those who know the issue, as Cruz's problems are with legal immigration: his donor-driven eagerness to shower Green Cards on the entire world, so that employers like Disney can replace American workers with cheaper hires.
For those who care about the National Question — about our borders, our sovereignty, our demographic stability, and the living standards of American working people — Trump is still the only choice. He's far from ideal, and might break our hearts; but he gets something important that Rubio and Cruz will never get.
So Trump came out of the debate with a split lip and an eye swollen closed, but there was no knock-out here. Onward and upward, Donald. You'll want to put some ice on that eye …
06 — Best Supporting Actor. Just some footnotes to that.
There were of course a couple of other guys on the stage Thursday night: Ben Carson and John Kasich. They both have a good solid constituency each: Carson has evangelicals and Magic Negro yearners, Kasich has Ohio.
Both guys are hard to dislike — harder than Trump, I'll allow. Kasich seems to have been a capable and conscientious politician, although he'd be more impressive if he'd ever had some life outside politics. Again, though, he's clueless about immigration. How many times do I have to point out that we already have twenty-odd guest-worker programs, and don't need another one? Why don't you listen, Governor? On the National Question, Kasich is an empty space. That disqualifies him for me and tens of millions of other Americans.
Carson, everyone agrees, is a no-hoper, and nobody at this point can figure out why he's still running. Vanity would be the usual answer; but vanity just doesn't fit with Carson's quiet, diffident demeanor.
Carson does give us some light relief, though. I'll declare him Best Supporting Actor in the GOP roadshow. His plaintive cry in Thursday's debate that, quote, "Can somebody attack me, please?" got the most laughter of anything in the event.
I personally also got a chuckle out of his saying, in the context of how he would pick a Supreme Court nominee that, quote: "The fruit salad of their life is what I will look at." I hope it wasn't intended as a microaggression against some possible gay nominee.
Of the people not on stage, I thought Wolf Blitzer did a decent job of herding the cats. I so covet that guy's name. "Wolf Blitzer"! If I get to choose a name for my next life, that's second on my list, right behind Brad Thor.
This lady was from some Spanish-language TV station, so of course all she wanted to talk about was Hispanics. She soon got Marco Rubio tripping over his feet about how he'd rescind Obama's executive orders on Central American illegals, but definitely not in any way that would inconvenience them. Quote: "This is not about deportation." Well, Marco, it should be; and you just lost another ten thousand voters to Trump without him even having to say anything.
Googie then came out with the ethnic appeal, addressing both Rubio and Cruz. Why were they trying to out-tough each other on immigration, instead of, quote, "trying to prove to Latinos who has the best plan, the best platform to help them."
Poor things! — so in need of help! How lucky we white people are: we don't need helping at all. We have our White Privilege, you see. For us life's just one long beach party. Or as Googie would say: "bitch party."
Cruz responded with something about his Dad's underwear. Rubio pulled out his worst line of the night, quote: "We are the party of diversity, not the Democratic party," end quote.
There goes another ten thousand votes, Marco. Everyone in this country who can say the word "diversity" without rolling his eyes, is already going to vote Democrat. The rest of us are up to here with diversity, and want a candidate who's as sick of the diversity rackets as we are. That would be Donald Trump.
Memo to the CNN suits: If you get to host another candidates debate and want to play the Hispanic card, why not cut out the middleman and go straight for Rita Moreno? She's still active, and she'd be way more entertaining than Thursday night's muchacha.
07 — The crisis of our age. I mentioned back there that we live in a society under tight ideological control.
We do indeed. It's good to remember, though, that as things go in the Western world, the U.S.A. is not by any means the worst.
Who is the worst? In which Western country is the ideological control strongest?
I don't know enough about all the countries concerned to make a judgment; but Germany surely has to be a strong contender. A German-reading friend sent me some articles from recent issues of Der Spiegel, Germany's principal news magazine.
Here for example is the January 30th issue, with a cover picture of Donald Trump. Under the picture, in big scary red letters, is the word Wahnsinn, which my Cassell's German Dictionary defines to mean, quote: "madness, insanity, craziness, frenzy." Underneath that in smaller letters is the legend "Amerikas Hetzer Donald Trump." The word "Hetzer" means "agitator."
And it's downhill from there. The accompanying article inside the magazine is very long, nearly seven thousand words. Headline: America's Agitator: Donald Trump Is the World's Most Dangerous Man. I'll just give you some of the section headings for the general flavor.
You get the idea.
Meanwhile, the International Organization on Migration tells us that a hundred thousand illegal immigrants have already entered Europe so far this year — and these are the coldest months, remember. These are much higher numbers than for the corresponding period last year — for those arriving in Greece, 21 times as many.
As the weather warms up, things are going to get acute very fast. This is the crisis of our age.
Back to Germany: Answering a question in the German parliament, the head of the government's migration office revealed that of the 1.1 million illegals who arrived in Germany last year, 400,000 have no meaningful identification. A further 130,000 — one in eight — have just disappeared: either wandered off into other countries or gone underground.
Back to recent issues of Der Spiegel. As rigid as ideological control has been in Germany, cracks are beginning to appear. In their February 13th issue, Spiegel ran a piece titled Lying Press? Germans Lose Faith in the Fourth Estate. Sample quote:
According to polls, 40 percent of Germans believe the media are not credible. And the loudest of them all, people like Tatjana Festerling, an organizer with the anti-immigrant, Islamophobic PEGIDA movement, have even taken to calling on the public to get out the pitchforks to chase journalists out of newspaper offices.
End quote. Pitchforks, eh? Pat Buchanan, call your office.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Remember Cecil the lion? And Walter Palmer, the Minneapolis dentist who shot him on safari in Zimbabwe? We reported the story on Radio Derb last year, July 31st.
Here's a follow-up story that should bring a smile to the face of any cynic worth the name; then a story about the story that might dampen your joy.
The story is that the international fuss over the shooting of Cecil has scared off big-game hunters. Managers of Zimbabwe's biggest wildlife park tell us the result has been a population boom among the lions, to the degree that they are wiping out all the other wildlife. Park authorities are looking to cull two hundred of the beasts.
Law of Unintended Consequences, or what? I can see the smiles spreading already. This old math geek immediately thought of the Lotka-Volterra problem, a classic exercise in the theory of ordinary differential equations, where you calculate the fluctuating populations of predators and prey in a closed ecosystem.
Then I started thinking — always a hazard to one's peace of mind. Looking it up, I see that the gestation period for lions is 105 to 110 days, with two to four cubs per litter, and young lions leaving the pride after three years.
Cecil was killed last July, just barely two gestation cycles ago (assuming lions mate all year round). So something here does not compute.
What's going on? I'd guess that the park is missing the revenue from hunters, and hoping to get them back to help with the cull — for a fee, of course.
Whatever. I rest my faith in mathematics. The Lotka-Volterra equations still apply. In the fulness of time, if the hunters don't return, there really will be a lion baby boom, and all the gazelles, okapi, and wildebeest — not to mention the gnus — will be wiped out by hungry lions. And that is the end of the gnus … Sorry, sorry. Anyway, score one for Mother Nature over dimwit sentimental humans.
Item: Headline from the London Daily Mail: Two more MPs come out as gay to take House of Commons total to 35 — more than any other parliament in the world.
So the Brits now have the world's gayest legislature. Congratulations, guys … I guess.
Over there, as over here, the party official charged with enforcing discipline on his party's legislators is known as a "whip." So now we can adapt Winston Churchill's apothegm about the customs of the Royal Navy to the House of Commons: gin, sodomy, and the whip.
Item: Somewhat related to the previous: After my favorable mention of Uruguay two weeks ago, several listeners with first-hand experience of Uruguay emailed in to assure me that it is indeed a nice place, happy in obscurity. A couple even begged me to say no more about this, for fear I might trigger mass migration into Uruguay of North Americans seeking relief from the burdens of belonging to a big and important country.
One other listener emailed me a video clip from the TV show The Simpsons. Here's the soundtrack, Homer Simpson talking. He's sitting on the couch with his wife and the kids, examining a globe of the world.
[Clip: Hmm, there it is: Aus-tra-li-a. I'll be damned! (spins globe) Heh heh heh heh … Look at this country! U-R-GAY — heh heh heh …]
Homer, I hate to say this, but you're a guy I could never get along with. You're a guy … Uruguay, geddit? [Boo, hiss.] In fact, Homer Simpson and President Falk, that's a pair of guys I could never get along with. Pair o' guys … [Boo, hiss.] Ah, the heck with it. Pearls before swine. Let's wind this up.
09 — Signoff. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening; and if you're going to tell me you didn't chuckle at those closing puns, I'm afraid I'm just going to have to say I don't bolivia. [Laughter.] That's better.
Thanks to the many VDARE.com readers who emailed in with compliments about my Williams College address, which we posted on the website last Sunday. One reader thanked me for shedding light on the business of "British" versus "English," which apparently still confuses a lot of people. You are welcome, Ma'am. Here to shed further light is the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.
More from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: the D'Oyly Carte Company: "He is an Englishman"]