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[Music clip: John Potter & Lucie Skeaping, "Rule Britannia."]
01 — Intro. I always thought that should have been Britain's national anthem. It's way more fun to sing than God Save the Queen (no offense to Her Majesty — and by the way: Happy Birthday, Ma'am!); and I love that bumptious 18th-century nationalism. Here's what they were singing, if you didn't catch the words:
The Muses, still with freedom found,
And those are not even the most bumptious lines. Ah, the old sod …
Yes, ladies and gents, Radio Derb is on the air; and this is your bumptiously genial host John Derbyshire with a round-up of the week's events.
As I assume we all know by now, the Brits had their referendum on leaving the European Union, and they voted to leave. This is a victory for nationalism. As a temperamental nationalist myself, podcasting on a nationalist website, I am of course delighted. As an ex-Brit, I'm double delighted.
When you look closely at the vote and its likely consequences, there are some negative aspects to be noted. In my customary role as a pessimist bearing a wet blanket, I shall note some of them later in the podcast. First and foremost, though, this is a victory for the fundamental principles of nationalism: for national sovereignty, secure borders, rational immigration rules, and demographic stability.
I'll get to the qualifying factors in due course. For the moment, as Winston Churchill said on V-E Day, quote: "We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing."
02 — Nationalism wins one. I'm glad for the Brits, and I think we all should be; but what does this mean for the rest of the world? For the United States, for example?
I can't disagree with the general opinion that this is a boost, if only a minor one, to the Trump campaign. It's clear that some of the motives for Americans to go to the polls and vote for Trump in this primary season are the same as what drove Brits to turn out and vote for Brexit in such numbers. As Trump supporter Judge Jeanine Pirro expressed it very pithily Friday morning on Fox and Friends: "People want a nation-state … they want borders."
Here at VDARE.com we've been telling you for years that the great ideological divide in today's world is not capitalism versus socialism. That is so twentieth century.
Everybody nowadays wants a healthy and productive business sector — well, everybody outside a few hell-holes like North Korea, Venezuela, and the latest Bernie Sanders rally. Everybody wants a welfare state, with public provision for citizens who are old, sick, unemployed, or helpless.
We can, and we should, argue about the size of government, and whether this or that function should be privatized or socialized; but that's just tinkering and adjusting. Capitalism and socialism are both here to stay. Ideology-wise, at least, Francis Fukuyama got it right: That phase of history has ended.
The major ideological divide today is over the role of the nation-state. Who gets to live in Britain, or the U.S.A., or Europe? Should anybody be able to? Are national borders obsolete? There are powerful voices that say so: a big slice of the Economics profession, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the German Chancellor …
And then the complementary question: What is the proper scope and role of supranational organizations? For example, major decisions about the numbers and origins of people granted settlement rights in the U.S.A. are made by bureaucrats at the United Nations. Are Americans OK with that? Did anyone ever ask them?
That's today's ideological divide: nationalism versus globalism. Donald Trump has made it clear he's on the nationalist side. The Brexit vote is a vote for nationalism, a kick in the teeth for globalism. It's bound to help Trump.
Nationalism got a bad rap in the twentieth century because of the rise of despotic nationalism in Germany, Japan, and Italy. Yes, despotic nationalism was a very bad thing; but not because nationalism is a bad thing, because despotism is a bad thing. Despotic monarchy is a bad thing, too: think of John Lackland or Ivan the Terrible. Constitutional monarchy, however, is just fine: it works very well in modern Scandinavia, Britain, Japan.
That people look askance at nationalism and feel embarrassed to describe themselves as nationalists, is just the after-shadow of mid-20th-century despotic nationalism — "Hitler's revenge," Peter Brimelow calls it. There is nothing wrong with constitutional nationalism, any more than with constitutional monarchy.
The Brexit vote helps to reinstate nationalism as a reasonable and healthy attitude to politics and society. That can only be good, for the U.S.A. and elsewhere.
Are we to be proud citizens of distinctive nations, managing our affairs in ways that suit us, ways we've inherited from our ancestors; or are we to be an undifferentiated mass of faceless economic units, a sort of global peasantry, herded and supervised and milked by globalist elites?
The Brits have voted to go through Door Number One. We should all thank them for it.
03 — Imperialism takes it in the teeth. Donald Trump himself was in Scotland on Friday morning when the result of the Brexit referendum was announced. He was there for business, not political reasons — to cut the ribbon at his new luxury resort and golf course at Turnberry in Ayrshire, a few miles south of where Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, was born.
I'd like to think that Trump, who after all bears the name of three kings of Scotland, plans to take time to visit the Burns birthplace, but perhaps one shouldn't expect too much of one's candidates. I'll hazard a guess that poetry is not high up on Trump's list of enthusiasms. And that's OK; I'll take him as is.
In the matter of prose, at least, he was in good form at an open-air presser on Friday morning after the Brexit result was announced. We've been hearing a lot of stuff about how Trump should resist the impulse to speak impromptu, how he should read his speeches off a teleprompter like a real politician, how much better he sounds when he does use a teleprompter, and so on.
Well, I must say, I watched the whole thing Friday morning, more than 40 minutes of Trump speaking impromptu and fielding provocative questions from the press, and I thought he did well. I'll grant that he's not a genius at this. I mean, it wasn't the Gettysburg address; but he was clear and good-humored, said sensible things, and hit all the right notes on the main issue at hand. Sample quote:
They want to take their country back …you're going to let people that you want into your country, and people that you don't want, or people that you don't think are going to be appropriate for your country, or good for your country, you're not going to have to take.
To the listening ears of a committed Cultural Marxist, that is of course Hitler talk. Here's one such: reporter Chris Cillizza at the feverishly anti-Trump Washington Post. Cillizza posted a partial transcript of Trump's presser with annotations by himself. Here's his annotation for the clip I just quoted. Quote from Cillizza:
Can there be a collective "you" in a country as diverse as Britain or the U.S.? And who gets to be the person who claims to be the one who channels the collective sentiments of the country?
I've read that comment three or four times, and it still looks to me like an argument against representative government.
This, according to Cillizza, is the fruit of diversity: That there is no longer a collective "us" to express collective sentiments or arrive at collective decisions about anything.
The horrible thing is, he may be right.
There is the national model, where people of common ancestry, common culture, common language, and common understandings can arrive at collective decisions and implement them through elected representatives. Then there is the imperial model, where an almighty executive power maintains itself by divide-and-rule over a population of diverse groups who have little in common and can't agree on anything much.
I favor the national model, and so does Donald Trump. Chris Cillizza and his bosses at the Washington Post, along with all the rest of the cosmopolitan elites in the media, the academy, the churches, and the big corporations, prefer the imperial model.
Well, the imperialists just took it in the teeth today, and I'm smiling.
04 — Britannia est divisa in partes tres. If you listened with attention to my opening music clip, you'll have heard them sing: "Britons never, never, never will be slaves."
Here's a tiny linguistic oddity about that: to an Englishman's ear, it sounds wrong. Not the general sentiment, which of course is fine and sound, but the word "will." An English person much more naturally says "shall" in that context.
In fact, when English people sing "Rule Britannia," which they don't do anything like often enough, they instinctively sing: "Britons never, never, never shall be slaves." I venture to say, although I don't have time to run the experiment, that if you go to YouTube and bring up several recorded versions of the song, some — possibly even a majority — of them will substitute "shall" for "will."
What's that all about? Just this: James Thomson, the chap who wrote the lyrics to "Rule Britannia," was a Scot, not an Englishman; and Scots usage prefers "will" over "shall" for a plain future tense. It's just one of those things that the English and the Scots differ about.
Here's another thing they differ about: Brexit. The United Kingdom as a whole — England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland — voted 52 to 48 for Brexit. In Scotland, however, the vote went 62 to 38 for staying in the EU.
There are a couple of things going on there. One of them is the resentment that small, weak nations naturally feel towards domination by bigger, more powerful neighbors.
Ireland is the poster child here; and although the Brexit referendum of course wasn't conducted in the Republic of Ireland, the Irish at large are much more Europhile than the English.
Northern Ireland as a whole voted against Brexit, 56 percent to 44. Since Protestants are still a majority in the province, that 56 percent means that this was at least not a vote on strictly sectarian lines, which I guess we should be thankful for. It is none the less the case that the most heavily Protestant areas, with the exception of Belfast, wanted Brexit.
You see the same thing in Wales. The Principality as a whole went for Brexit, rather to my surprise: 52½ percent to 47½, only a bit less enthusiastically than England. However, the most distinctively Welsh parts of Wales — Cardigan, Caernavon, and Merioneth — wanted to stay in the EU. I did a lot of hiking in that region in my youth, and let me tell you, in the little mountain villages up there around Cader Idris, you sometimes couldn't find a person willing to speak English to you.
If you belong to one of these fringe countries jammed up against a big, bossy neighbor, you'll have some frustrations to vent; and your sentiments will leapfrog over that neighbor to seek alliances and friendship from other countries further away. That's natural.
But what happens now, when Britain has left the EU? Will the Scots and Northern Irish leave with them? Or will they declare their own independence from Britain and stay with the EU?
The Scots are making noises about independence. They actually had a referendum on it two years ago, but the independence faction lost, 45 percent to 55. Now Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's most powerful politician, is calling for another referendum.
Whether that will happen, and how Scotland will vote if it does, depends on how choppy the waters get as Britain takes her actual exit from the EU. My guess is that the exit will not be very painful, and that the Scots will swallow their frustrations and stay with Britain again. Scotland's a small nation that doesn't have much going for it. What it mainly has going for it, in fact, is North Sea oil, now trading at half the price it was at when the last independence referendum was held. Some skilful diplomacy by the Brits, and an appeal to economic interests, and perhaps a bribe or two, should keep Scotland in the Union.
There are upsides even if Scotland does leave. The center of gravity of Scottish politics is well to the left of Britain's as a whole. Nicola Sturgeon herself would, if she were American, be a staffer on Bernie Sanders' campaign. A Scottish exit from the U.K. — a Scexit, I guess — would leave Britain more conservative. What's not to like?
It certainly wouldn't be a disaster. Norway left its union with Sweden in 1905, and the sky didn't fall. Both have been solid, happy nations ever since.
So I don't believe this is something we should lose sleep over, one way or another.
Ireland is trickier. Ireland always is. I've been watching the Irish Troubles for most of my life, and I've always thought that ethnic cleansing would be the best solution for the place. Let the Republic have the western three of Northern Ireland's six counties, and establish the eastern three as a Unionist state, with an oath of loyalty to the Queen as a condition of citizenship.
Is that going to happen? Not soon; but we may have taken the first step to it on Thursday last.
05 — Brexit and Brimmigration. Another factor driving regional differences in the Brexit vote was Third World immigration.
This has had an impact all over the U.K. If you add up Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis, that's five percent of the population of the U.K. overall, much more in lower age groups. Five percent overall: the corresponding figure for Scotland is 1.6 percent.
It's the same with blacks: three percent of the U.K. population overall: in Scotland, only 0.7 percent.
Not only the proportions, but the numbers make a difference all by themselves. Bottom line here: Third World minorities — especially including the minorities most difficult to assimilate, which are Muslims and blacks — these minorities are much less in evidence in Scotland than in England and Wales.
So, you may ask, what? What's that got to do with Brexit, which is about relations with other European countries? Some Alt-Right types — Richard Spencer, for example — have argued against Brexit on the grounds that white European people should stick together and unite against the hordes from the south.
And yes, mass Third World immigration into the U.K. has been happening independent of the country's relations with Europe. It was already a big issue in 1968, when Enoch Powell made his "Rivers of Blood" speech — five years before Britain entered the European community. It only really got going big-time under the Blair government of the late 1990s; but that too was all under Britain's control — or, to describe the process more accurately, lack of control — nothing to do with Europe.
So yes, Britain's immigration catastrophe was nobody's fault but Britain's. Post-imperial sentimentality; Hitler's revenge as described previously; a feudal readiness to be told what's good for them by their social betters; the softening effects of prosperity leading to a loss of native turbulence; and a tradition of easygoing Christian decency that too easily slopped over into pathological altruism; these have been the causes leading to a state of affairs in which, for example, the name "Mohammed" in its various spellings is now the most popular name for male babies in England and Wales.
So again, what does it have to do with Brexit? Well, cast your mind back a couple of years to the first great surges of African and Middle Eastern flash mobs across the Mediterranean into Greece and Italy; then Angela Merkel's throwing the door wide open to the mobs last summer. It was suddenly and dramatically clear that for all its grand buildings, its innumerable bureaucrats, and its pompous ukases, the European Union would not lift a finger to protect Europe's borders against an invasion from the Third World.
At that point, or shortly after, Third World immigration and European membership merged into a single issue in British minds.
To frame it as a question: Would the Brits have voted for Brexit if this referendum had been held before the trans-Mediterranean flash mobs started up? I seriously doubt it.
A more interesting question is: When Britain is at last out of the EU, will her leaders finally get control over Third World immigration?
It's by no means certain that they will. Following the announcement by Prime Minister Cameron that he will resign, there is speculation that he'll be replaced by Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London, who campaigned for Brexit.
Well, it's nice that Johnson helped to make Brexit happen, but on immigration in general, he favors open borders. When Mayor of London he made gushing speeches about what a gorgeous ethnic tapestry the city has become.
And the factors I listed above, that brought Britain to her present multicultural state, are all still in play — fortified now by the coming to age of the great immigration surge of the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown years.
In summary: The Brits voted for Brexit in part because of concerns over Third World immigration. That issue, though, has always been independent of relations with Europe, and Brexit will do nothing to fix it. If the Brits want to remain British, they need to tackle the immigration issue, in or out of Europe.
06 — Frexit, Dexit, and Swexit. If it's true, as I've just been arguing, that Brexit and Britain's immigration issues — Brexit and Brimmigration, if you like — if it's true that these are orthogonal issues for the Brits, it is also true that the Brexit vote could have mighty repercussions in Europe.
As I'm sure Radio Derb listeners know, all the European countries now have significant nativist parties. I'm using the word "nativist" here as a term of approval, to indicate political parties that believe a nation's government should dedicate itself to the interests of the country's citizens, with the interests of foreigners placed a distant second. CultMarx types use "nativist" as a curse word, an insult; but I think this is definitely a case where we should own the insult. What's wrong with favoring your own natives, your own citizens?
The Brexit vote was watched with keen interest by these parties. Last week, days before the referendum, Marine Le Pen, who heads the French nativist party, said the following thing on French TV, quote:
France has 1000 more reasons to leave the EU, because we are subjected to Schengen and the Euro.
The Schengen zone is those EU countries that totally abolished border controls between themselves. Britain does not belong to the zone; nor does she belong to the euro, a bankers' ramp run mainly by German financiers.
In the Netherlands there's a general election coming up next Spring. Geert Wilders, who leads the nativist party there, is polling well and may get to form a government. Quote from him, following the Brexit vote:
We want to be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy … As quickly as possible the Dutch need to get the opportunity to have their say about Dutch membership of the European Union.
Mateo Salvini, head of Italy's nativist Northern League, tweeted, quote:
Perché gli altri popoli possono votare sui temi europei e la nostra costituzione non ce lo permette?
Here's where all those years of reading opera libretti pay off. Translation by me, quote:
Why the other people can vote their items European and the our constitution not here it allows?
I tell you, you get an education listening to Radio Derb.
It's the same all over. Greeks want a Grexit, Swedes want a Swexit; Germans want a Dexit; and Danes want a … wait, "Dexit" is taken … a Danxit? Not all of them, of course; but significant blocs in those countries would like the chance to vote on the issue as the Brits just did.
Germany is a special case because of its dominant position in the EU, and because of modern Germany's terror of being thought to be nationally self-assertive. A poll among Germans this week showed 79 percent wanting to remain in the EU, only 17 percent for leaving.
Germany has a nativist party of its own: the AfD, the Alternative for Germany; but even members of that party only favor a Dexit by 63 percent. Frauke Petry, who heads up the AfD, tweeted after the Brexit vote that, quote: "Die Zeit ist reif für ein neues Europa" — the time is ripe for a new Europe.
Her party colleague Beatrix von Storch — what a name! right out of a James Bond novel! — who is a member of the European Parliament, was less restrained, telling a local broadcaster that she cried with joy on hearing the result of the British referendum. She then turned her smile to a stern Germanic frown, which she directed at European Commission President Juncker and European Parliament President Schulz, telling them that they, quote, "must accept responsibility and resign because their project has failed," end quote. That's about as far as Euroskepticism can go in Germany; but hey, baby steps.
So the Brexit vote is making waves all across Europe, and fortifying the rise of nationalism in European countries.
You may say that European nationalism isn't really something we should wish for, based on historical experience.
It depends how you read the historical experience. As I argued in a previous segment, that despotic nationalism is a bad thing does not prove that nationalism is a bad thing, any more than poison ivy is an argument against ivy. Europe's worst historical experiences — with Stalin, Hitler, Napoleon, and Philip of Spain — were anyway imperialist: dictators trying to extinguish everyone else's nationalism but their own.
A sensible, constitutional, co-operative, mutually respectful nationalism would, I believe, be a great boon to Europe: a great advance on the anarcho-tyranny of the EU, with its record of arrogant bossiness on little things while being perfectly useless on big things.
The Brits have led the way. I hope the other Europeans will follow.
07 — Remember not the sins of my youth. I said up there at the beginning that there were some things about the Brexit vote and its possible consequences that should qualify our joy.
I've mentioned some of those negatives: the possible fracturing of Britain itself, and the fact that the Brits may feel that by voting Brexit they've done something decisive about immigration, when in fact they really haven't.
Here's another possible negative.
The Brexit vote was a geezer vote. Well, that's somewhat of an exaggeration; but according to exit polls there was a big difference of opinion, as expressed in the vote, between different age groups.
The youngest cohort of voters, ages 18 to 24, voted 75 percent against Brexit. The oldest cohort, 65 plus, went 61 percent for Brexit. Intermediate age groups followed the trend, with 50 percent support at around age 50.
There are a number of ways you can look at that. The most pessimistic way, to which I am naturally inclined, is to observe how thorough the indoctrination into Cultural Marxism now is over there, in schools and colleges. Here's just one random data point on that.
One of the great hero figures of traditional Britain has been Florence Nightingale, who founded the profession of nursing in its modern form back in the mid-19th century, tending to wounded soldiers in the Crimean War — the war that featured the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Florence Nightingale is a particular heroine of mine, in part because my mother, a dedicated professional nurse herself, worshiped her; but also because I'm a math geek, and Ms Nightingale was a significant mathematician as well as being a nursing pioneer. She was the first woman to be elected to be a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and she has a page at the math biographies website maintained by the University of St Andrews.
Well, Florence Nightingale established a school to train nurses in her methods at St Thomas's hospital in London. St Thomas's is still in business, and they're planning to unveil next month an eight-foot tall bronze statue of a nursing pioneer outside the hospital, looking across the river Thames to the Houses of Parliament. Cost of statue: half a million pounds.
So that nursing pioneer would be Florence Nightingale, right? Wrong! There is a public statue of Ms Nightingale, but it's in Pall Mall, a mile away, and it's not as big or conspicuous as this new one.
So who is this heroine of nursing that outranks Florence Nightingale? Mary Seacole is the name. Who she? Well, she went to the Crimean War too. She set up a sort of refreshment center for officers, selling them wine and snacks. She visited wounded soldiers and, quote, "sold them comforting items such as a 'cooling drink, a little broth, some homely cake, or a dish of jelly or blancmange'," end quote. On one occasion after a battle, quote, "she is known to have carried some wounded off the field, and helped to dress injuries," end quote.
So, really not in Florence Nightingale's league, then; and so far as I know, no direct connection to St Thomas's at all.
In which case, why is Ms Seacole getting this huge, expensive statue in her honor, in such a prominent location? Why do you think? She was black — or at any rate black-ish, I think quadroon.
Ms Seacole seems to have been commendable enough in her own way; just not very important, talented, or influential. She is, in other words, a British equivalent of Harriet Tubman. British schoolchildren who couldn't tell you a thing about Isaac Newton or the Duke of Wellington, are given hours of instruction in Ms Seacole's meager achievements. Because she was black.
Quote from Major William Curtis of the Crimean War Research Society:
The hype that has been built up surrounding this otherwise worthy woman is a disgrace to the serious study of history.
That's the atmosphere young people grow up in over there: massive, relentless anti-British, anti-white indoctrination. Cultural Marxists can salve their wounds from the Brexit vote by muttering to each other that once all the old nativist geezers have died off, this bright-eyed new generation they've raised will cast aside these antique superstitions about the importance of nations, throw open the borders to our brothers and sisters in the Third World, and usher in a new era of global harmony.
Possibly they're right that today's young people will keep the multicultural faith. On the other hand, it may continue to be the case that human beings learn from experience as they grow older — learn to have more respect for reality. As the old quip goes: If you're not liberal at twenty, you have no heart. If you're still liberal at fifty, you have no brain. I myself was left-liberal when I was in that 18-to-24 cohort.
As Tim Stanley remarked in Friday's Daily Telegraph, referring to Britain's previous referendum on continuing EU membership 41 years ago, quote:
The young may have overwhelmingly voted Remain … but, hey, they will grow older someday. The young who voted Remain in 1975 overwhelmingly voted Leave in 2016.
08 — The rising tide of color. Possible negatives, continued. Here's another one.
If Britain survives the younger cohorts replacing the older ones, it may yet not survive the dark cohorts replacing the pale ones.
I'm looking at the website of veteran British pollster Lord Ashcroft. His Lordship surveyed more than 12,000 people after they'd voted. Sample result, quote:
White voters voted to leave the EU by 53 percent to 47. Two thirds of those describing themselves as Asian voted to remain, as did three quarters of black voters. Nearly six in ten of those describing themselves as Christian voted to leave; seven out of ten Muslims voted to remain.
When you figure the higher birthrates of nonwhite voters, especially Muslims, and the effect of that on future demographics, and the continuing lack of any evidence of willingness to tackle Third World immigration, those are the most depressing figures to come out of the exit polling so far.
It's possible things have gone too far already: that the sheer numbers have reached some kind of tipping point, and that those numbers, together with the squealing terror that white British people feel at the thought that anyone might call them racist, will together work to destroy traditional Britain over the next generation or two.
I hope that's not the case in the nation as a whole. It already is the case in London, though, where you can walk through entire districts without seeing a white British face, or a woman's face at all; and where the police know that to tackle nonwhite crime is to risk wrecking their careers on the reefs of racism, so that they prefer to while away their working hours in harassing elderly white men on dubious decades-old charges of child molestation.
So while the Brexit referendum delivered a splendid result, it may yet be seen from the future not as a shout of liberation, but as the death-croak of a once-great nation.
And then last in the negativities, but by no means least probable, there are the deepest, darkest depths of cynicism plumbed by comment thread contributors like this one, at Steve Sailer's blog. Edited quote, posted before the result was announced:
Simply won't be permitted. Too many already filthy-rich fingers in the pie …
Now that is cynical. It's a good working principle of political commentary, though, that you can never be cynical enough. Indeed, I believe that the Euro elites, which include most of the British political class, all parties, might do an Andy Jackson on their people: "The voters have made their decision, now let them enforce it." A handy little financial crisis would certainly make this easier. I wouldn't put anything past these people.
So my advice to the Brits at this juncture would be: Eternal vigilance! And for heavens' sake do something about your borders.
09 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: After Brexit, what's next in the line of small polities asserting their independence from big bullying megastates?
Texit! — that's what. Last Sunday The Guardian, Britain's biggest Cultural Marxist propaganda outlet, ran a story about the Texas Nationalist Movement, TNM for short. Headline: "Why not Texit?": Texas nationalists look to the Brexit vote for inspiration.
Jeff Sadighi, a TNM backer, wants "Texas solutions" on hot-button issues such as gun rights, marriage equality [that's Newspeak for same-sex marriage], and, perhaps above all, immigration and border control. [Then they quote Mr Sadighi, inner quote]: "The bottom line is, the federal government due to their legal structures can only offer one size fits all solutions, … People in Massachusetts aren't going to approach challenges the same way we are."
End quote, end quote.
I feel Mr Sadighi's pain; but hasn't Texas already done plenty of seceding? They seceded from from Mexico in 1836; then they joined the U.S.A. ten years later, which was kind of seceding from themselves; then they seceded from the U.S.A. in 1861 (against the advice of Sam Houston).
I know you're a proud and feisty people down there — except in Austin, which is a Cultural Marxist rat-hole — but for goodness' sake, please, Texans, make up your minds.
Item: While we featherless bipeds scurry around on the Earth's crust pretending that our petty squabbles are of cosmic importance, Mother Nature may be preparing something nasty for us — a reminder that one random belch from her can cause more destruction than all the terrorists yet born.
So this week we heard reports from California of ten medium-scale earthquakes — that's magnitude three and above — in the past couple of weeks. The U.S. Geological survey says we're overdue for a big one.
And then from Iceland we hear that experts believe the Hekla volcano is about to blow. Hekla used to erupt regularly, but she's been quiet for 16 years, so geologists fear she's building up for a mega outburst.
"She"? I'm a little shaky (shaky, get it?) on noun genders in Icelandic, but that terminal "a" suggests a female. And speaking as an old married guy, "she" just comes more naturally when speaking of volcanos.
Whatever; it's been a quiet few decades for natural disasters — so it seems to me. Compare the 50-year stretch from the Carrington solar storm in 1859 to the Tunguska meteor in 1908, with Krakatoa, the Galveston hurricane, and the San Francisco earthquake along the way. This last fifty years, which I remember pretty clearly, in a much more densely populated world, the only big one was the Japanese earthquake five years ago: 16,000 dead.
That may be a U.S.A.-centric viewpoint, though. No offense to surviving relatives of victims from the 1964 Alaska earthquake or the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980, aggregate death toll around 200, but those huge events fortunately happened where not many people live. Hurricane Katrina was bad, 2,000 dead; but that's still fewer than died in San Francisco in 1906, and way fewer than the Krakatoa toll, which may have been over a hundred thousand.
So yes, maybe we're due. There's not a darn thing we can do, of course, so it's pointless to worry. We can hope, though: hope first that the experts are wrong, and hope second that if they're right, we still have enough charity and social solidarity to help our fellow citizens in distress.
Item: There's a curious minor genre of news stories that pops up now and then: what I think of as Nork porn. That is, some foreigner gets into North Korea and manages to take photographs of everyday life there.
Here's a specimen in MailOnline. Some Russian blogger travelled along the frontier on the Chinese side and took photographs with I guess a telephoto lens. We see decrepit factories, bleak villages, people washing their clothes in a polluted river.
I think of this as porn because it seems mildly immoral to look at it. Those poor people in that crappy country have little enough dignity as it is; you feel you're subtracting more from that little by gawping at them.
There's nothing we can do about North Korea; or rather, there are things we might do, but hardly anyone, and you can include me here, wants us to do them.
There are things that China and/or South Korea might more plausibly do, but they're both terrified of a flood of refugees if the regime falls. Russia might stop supplying them with food and fuel, in violation of U.N. sanctions, but the Russians just laugh if you bring it up.
So the poor North Koreans go on suffering under the horrible Kim despotism: 71 years and counting. And we go on peeping at Nork porn. Well, you can if you like. I'm giving it up.
Item: Finally: new frontiers in anti-white racial whining.
Here's a blogger with the very euphonious name of Ranier Maningding. Didn't he feature in one of Chuck Berry's songs? "She told me not to play with Maningding-a-ling …"?
Whatever. Mr Maningding seems, on the evidence of some YouTube clips I turned up, to be East Asian. He really, really likes black people, though — especially, if those clips are anything to go by, black girls. Possibly this is one of those cases where Asian males, the least popular males searched for on dating websites, and black females, the least popular females, do the logical thing and find consolation in each other's arms. More likely he just hates white people.
Well, here was Mr Maningding writing for Huffington Post the other day about the recent incidents involving gorillas, alligators, and little kids at Cincinnati zoo and Disney world.
Executive summary: The news reporting on these incidents was, according to Mr Maningding, all slanted by white supremacist reporters to show blacks in a bad light. "By doing this …" I'm actually quoting from Mr Maningding here, "By doing this, we validate our legacy of oppression towards Black people," end quote.
White people are mortified about this 2-year-old being eaten alive by an alligator yet, during slavery, white people fed the local alligators Black babies.
I bet you didn't know that. I sure didn't. There's no supporting link: but this is Huffington Post, a respectable website, so I'm sure they must have fact-checked.
Meanwhile, any lonely black girls out there: Put on your best bling, get your hips a-swing, and go out for a fling with Mr Maningding. He'll really appreciate it.
10 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening, and I hope I covered all bases there on the Brexit vote.
This was a single-issue podcast; but I believe that in the world-wide, or at least civilization-wide, struggle between nationalism and globalism, the Brexit vote was a significant victory for our side.
Next week's show will revert to the usual pot-pourri format.
Meanwhile, having deprived you of that great Anglophile Franz Joseph Haydn at the front of the podcast, here he is bringing up the rear.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]