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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, piano version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your deplorably genial host John Derbyshire with a roundup of this week's outrages.
This is one of those Radio Derb podcasts with a theme. Winston Churchill once complained about a rather bland dessert, quote: "this pudding has no theme." Well, this week's Radio Derb does have a theme.
The keynote for our theme is a story I spotted on CampusReform.com. St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a private liberal arts college, has launched a study group in which white males can examine their privilege. The study group was advertised in a campus-wide email forwarded to all students and faculty, encouraging white people to attend four sessions on privilege so they can, quote, "begin to be self-critical," end quote.
Here's a longer quote from that email, quote:
This is a group where those who most often exhibit racist and sexist behavior — white males — can begin to be self-critical of the very dangerous, brutal, and depraved hierarchical pathologies of superiority, supremacy, and inferiority handed down to us by white Euro-American institutions … The main topic for discussion will be an ongoing one: How do we deal with the depravity of whiteness and the brutality of masculinity? How can we get to the root of this problem?
End quote. That's our theme: the depravity of whiteness and the brutality of masculinity. It's a particularly apt theme just now, for historical reasons I shall get to near the end of the show. First let's look at the week's events.
02 — What do women want? Wednesday this week was International Women's Day. American women from sea to shining sea and across the fruited plain heroically — or perhaps I should say heroine-ically — braved the pitiless brutality of the patriarchy to demonstrate for liberation from the bonds of oppression.
In New York City thirteen demonstratorettes were arrested for blocking traffic. The New York Post reported that, quote:
Around 2 p.m., the group tweeted a photo of the women happily huddled together in an NYPD paddy wagon.
End quote. Oppression, you see?
Many thousands of women went on strike to mark the day. Entire school districts in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland were forced to close. Women in those districts who are not feminists were stuck with the kids at home for the day … but the hell with them, quislings and collaborators!
I — like, I think, most normal people — assumed for the longest time that feminism was just a show put on by middle-aged lesbians to recruit younger women to their lifestyle. That's certainly how feminism got airborne fifty years ago — I'll name one of the flight engineers later in the podcast.
Feminism is mainstream now, though, part of the air we breathe. Truth and logic make no impression on it.
For example: Probably an actual majority of Gyno-Americans believe the story about how women only earn 77 percent of what men earn for the same work. That tale has been debunked countless times, but just gets ever more current. It featured regularly in Mrs Clinton's speeches during last year's election.
As Christina Hoff Sommers points out in a neat six-minute video clip on YouTube: If the story about the sex pay gap were true, entrepreneurs could reduce their wage bill by 23 percent by firing male employees and hiring female ones to replace them. If you think businessmen could never be so ruthlessly callous towards their employees, google "Disney H-1B visas."
Way to kill the stereotype about women holding truth and logic in low esteem, girls!
Feminism has in fact been folded in to the postmodern dogma that in the human world, everything is equal to everything else. Just as there is no such thing as race, so there is no such thing as sex. It's just a figment of your imagination, planted there by malevolent males, probably white ones.
Students are taught this by earnest authority figures in college classrooms. I'm probably behind the times there, in fact: I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's taught in elementary school classrooms nowadays, perhaps in kindergartens, or even pre-K playgroups.
"No such thing as sex" is as logically preposterous as "no such thing as race." In both cases we are told to believe that the plain, obvious visual differences between evolved human groups are the only biological differences: that there are no other differences due to biology, differences that are invisible to the naked eye.
If that were true, it would be a statistical miracle. Biology has engineered some large number of difference between the groups. We are supposed to believe, on pain of social ostracism, that every one of those differences is visible to the unaided eye. There are no others! As I said, a statistical miracle.
We are supposed to believe that if the entire human race were to lose the power of sight next Tuesday, all notions of sex and race would disappear from our understanding. Without intending any impertinence to the afflicted, I wonder what blind people think about that?
There's an inherent contradiction in there somewhere, too. If there is no such thing as sex, how can it be meaningful to talk about "the brutality of masculinity"? Wouldn't we be talking about the brutality of a fiction? So that the brutality itself would be fictional?
Postmodernists have no problem talking their way out of that paper bag. The brutality, they will tell you, comes from "people who think they are men," just as America's leading social philosopher Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about "people who think they are white." There is no reality, you see? It's all in the mind.
[Clip: "Strawberry Fields Forever."]
I should in fairness note that International Women's Day did of course have an international dimension. There are places in the world where the prevailing culture puts women at real, severe social disadvantages.
Whether the giggling activists in that New York paddy wagon did anything to help such women on Wednesday, however, is open to reasonable doubt. And the rest of us should be forgiven for wondering why it's a good idea to bring in hundreds of thousands, millions of people from those cultures into our Western nations — especially as the great majority of those we're bringing in seem to be men … I beg your pardon: people who think they are men.
In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales the Wife of Bath tells a story about one of King Arthur's knights who, to save his life, has to find the answer to the question: "What do women want?"
I'm sure a lot of women in Third World countries, especially Muslim ones, want the freedom, prosperity, and equality that Western women enjoy. Good luck to them. What do our Western women want, that they don't already have?
03 — Alt Right, CultMarx Left: they all hate Charles Murray. Setting aside "the brutality of masculinity," here are a couple of segments on "the depravity of whiteness."
First, the flap over quantitative sociologist Charles Murray being shouted down at a tony college in Vermont.
Given that Vermont is the second whitest state in the Union — 93.8 percent, just a sliver behind Maine, which is 94 — you would expect the depravity of whiteness to be waxing strong up there.
Strangely, not so. So much not so, in fact, the Vermonters have to import the depravity of whiteness. That's what Middlebury College did March 2nd, bringing in Charles Murray to address their students.
What was Murray going to talk about? I assume it was his main theme, the one he's been pursuing for thirty-odd years. This is the theme of social inequality via cognitive stratification, and the reinforcement thereof by government programs.
Smart people, says Murray, have been separating themselves off from dumb people ever more openly these past few decades. They have been marrying other smart people, staying married to them, and having smart kids who they send to expensive colleges like Middlebury (where in fact Murray sent his own daughter) while the lower classes sink into drug addiction, unemployment, and marital dysfunction supported by misguided government programs.
The overall idea is not original with Murray, as he would surely acknowledge. If in fact you had read only one sociology text, Michael Young's book The Rise of the Meritocracy, which came out in 1958, you would have grasped most of Murray's case 59 years ago.
Murray's great contribution has been quantitative, fortifying the case against cognitive stratification with vast masses of data. I once suggested to him that the true object of his intellectual passion is not sociology, or psychology, or psychometry, but statistics. Replied Murray: "If you had said 'data,' you would have been nearer to the truth."
So why were the students at Middlebury College, where a year of study costs their parents north of sixty thousand dollars, why were they shouting down Charles Murray? And why, even more strangely, were the Alt Right cheering them on?
To take those questions in turn: They shouted down Murray because he is open to the idea that there is such a thing as race. He thereby is in violation of equalist dogma; and since Murray himself is white, this exposes him as a vehicle for "the depravity of whiteness."
Murray hasn't made a big thing of this openness. The data that he has immersed himself in for the past thirty years unmistakably shows differences in intelligence and personality between the major human races, and suggests rather strongly — I would say "unmistakably" again, but Murray probably wouldn't — that these differences are biological.
He hasn't, as I said, made a big thing of this. The 1994 book The Bell Curve, which he co-authored with the late Richard Herrnstein, had a few pages on it, all phrased in hesitant, scholarly diction. There is almost nothing of it in his other books, so far as I can recall. His latest book, Coming Apart, restricts itself entirely to discussing white Americans, so that race isn't a confounding factor. Murray isn't much interested in race.
Race is interested in him, though. Not being interested in race is, if you are an academic sociologist, wellnigh a Thought Crime all by itself. Middlebury is a liberal-arts college, not the sort of place where students read books full of numbers, tables, and charts. Data, eiuw! I doubt any of them have engaged with Murray's work. They have heard, though, at second or third or fourth or fifteenth hand, they have heard that Murray may not be perfectly party-line-compliant with the no-such-thing-as-race dogma.
It is then a fair assumption, in the addled minds of these young imbeciles, that Murray burns crosses on black people's lawns, keeps his wife locked in the basement and feeds her dog food, sneaks out at night for a session of queer-bashing with local skinheads, and votes for Donald Trump.
It then follows that shouting Murray down at a college event and roughing up the female professor who was escorting him, is just making a stand for decency and tolerance. That's how totalitarian ideologues think. That's how we educate our kids to think at liberal arts colleges.
On to my second question: Why were the Alt Right cheering on these nitwit students?
Two reasons. One: Charles Murray was until recently an advocate for open borders. Two: He spent last year arguing that Donald Trump is unfit to be President.
The first of those is, or was, ideological. Murray is a libertarian and open borders goes with that territory. He has actually written a book about his libertarianism; I have it on my shelf here. It mentions immigration just once — to apologize for not having mentioned it!
That was in 1997. Recently Murray has modified his position somewhat in the direction of National Conservatism, causing me to reach for the Gospel of St. Luke, quote: "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance," end quote.
Murray's anti-Trump vituperations seem to be personal rather than ideological. Trump stands outside the boundaries of respectable politics, according to Murray. He allows that most politicians are liars and frauds, which is of course true, but that Trump is unacceptably more so. During the election campaign he quoted with approval P.J. O'Rourke's observation that while Mrs Clinton may have been unfit to be president, she was unfit "within normal parameters," but that Trump was unfit outside normal parameters.
Well, it sounds personal to me. I put it down to Midwestern Nice (Murray is from Iowa). Trump is a big-mouthed, braggadocian, rumbustious, shove-you-off-the-sidewalk New Yorker, ya frickin' jackass. It's a style, and I don't mind it myself, having lived for several years in New York City; but it goes together with Midwestern Nice about as well as horseradish sauce with strawberry ice cream.
Whatever: It's made him an enemy of the Alt Right.
And they have a point, one that bears repeating: You can cuck all you like, sincerely or not — and I have no doubt Murray's beliefs are entirely sincere — but if you show a hint of a shadow of a thought that race might be a real thing, Cultural Marxists will strive to destroy you anyway. They may be cultural, but they're still Marxists. Your cucking does you no good with them. They give no credit for partial agreement.
That's the "total" in "totalitarianism": If you don't affirm every word, every letter of the Creed, every damn punctuation mark, you are a loathsome heretic.
I'll just add, on a personal note, that I know Charles Murray slightly. I have stayed at his house, and once borrowed a small sum of money from him in a crisis — a sum which, I hasten to add, I speedily repaid.
I like the man immensely. His Midwestern Niceness, when you encounter it up close, is not of the smug, infuriating kind. He actually puts it to good use by engaging in a collegial, respectful way with academics who disagree with him.
I once attended a debate between Murray and leftist psychometrician James Flynn, of Flynn Effect fame. The two scholars argued cordially, in good faith, with full respect for each other's work. The event was a model of civilized discourse.
The phrase "civilized discourse" is not one that will ever come to my mind in relation to Middlebury College. Indeed, America's liberal arts colleges in general are not hospitable to civilized discourse. They are centers for indoctrination into the state religion — seminaries, basically.
04 — Commissars in the opera house. It's not only in colleges that "the depravity of whiteness" is denounced. Our institutions of high culture are aggressive in the cause, too.
Case in point: Seattle Opera. In the coming season, actually in August this year, Seattle Opera is staging performances of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly. The story of the opera is, that Lieutenant Pinkerton of the Teddy Roosevelt-era U.S. Navy, when visiting Japan, contracts a marriage with a Japanese girl, name of Butterfly. He then sails back to the States, having been told that the Japanese don't take these marriage contracts very seriously.
Butterfly does take it seriously, though. She waits loyally for years until Pinkerton returns. Then, finding that he has meanwhile acquired an American wife, poor Butterfly does the Japanese thing.
In the opera footnotes to my novel Fire from the Sun I wrote that Madame Butterfly is, quote: "Everybody's mother's favorite opera. But mothers know stuff: Butterfly is a masterpiece." End quote.
Of course it is. You're not going to contradict all the world's mothers, are you? For shame!
For the first hundred years or so of its existence, the opera Madame Butterfly was taken at face value as a musical drama on a tragic human story. Then the CultMarx commissars arrived to strap it into their ideological straitjacket.
So now we have this, from the Seattle Opera website. It's 125 words, but I'll quote them all to you, to give you the full flavor of finger-wagging prune-faced sanctimony. Quote:
Inspired by true events, Madame Butterfly is an often painful reminder of racial and cultural injustice found throughout America's history. In July 2017, Seattle Opera is committed to participating in an open dialogue with the community on issues surrounding this work and will host a discussion open to all. Additionally, prior to performances, the lobby areas of McCaw Hall will be used for a large-scale exhibit, allowing audiences to consider the lasting impacts of American imperialism on people of Japanese and Asian ancestry which continued well into the 20th century. A month after Madame Butterfly closes, we will present An American Dream, a story depicting the incarceration of a Japanese American family in the '40s, to provide an essential second perspective for Madame Butterfly audiences.
"American imperialism"? Might we hear a word about Japanese Imperialism? And then perhaps another word about Chinese imperialism? The Japanese and the Chinese actually proclaimed themselves to be empires, for Heaven's sake! Eighty-five years ago, in fact, the Japanese made a strenuous attempt to incorporate big swathes of China into the Japanese Empire, using very brutal methods.
Why isn't that worth a mention? Why? Because it can't be incorporated into a narrative about "the depravity of whiteness," that's why.
As an opera lover, I can't adequately express the hatred and disgust I feel at this invasion of high culture by thin-lipped, moon-booted ideologues. I'd mind less if they would keep themselves and their stupid, empty dogmas penned up in CultMarx seminaries like Middlebury College, where they could virtue-signal to each other all day long, while leaving the rest of us alone with our pleasures.
No: They have to come lumbering into the sanctuary, knocking over the statues, drawing mustaches on the artwork, peeing on the rugs. It makes me mad. The hell with these swine! Damn them all to hell!
Forty years ago, when I was getting acquainted with ancient Chinese poetry, I found it amusing to read what Confucian critics, back in the days of the Chinese, yes, Empire had said about those poems.
There would be, for example, a poem handed down from the remote past that was obviously, when you read it, a lament for thwarted love. Some later Confucian critic, though, would interpret it as the complaint of a loyal minister whose advice had been rejected by his prince.
Reading that kind of thing, I'd reflect on how depressing it must have been to live in a culture where plain human stories about human emotions couldn't be left alone to speak for themselves, but had to be hacked and crushed to fit into the pigeonholes of a state ideology.
Now, forty years on, I'm living in just such a culture. I hate it.
I love the opera and wish no harm to any person. However, if I were to see in tomorrow's news that Seattle Opera had burned to the ground, with the loss of all its properties, costumes, and instruments, I would smile a quiet, glad smile.
05 — SCOTUS begins dismantling of the jury system. Here's a news story that manages to contain elements of both "the depravity of whiteness" and "the brutality of masculinity."
The brutality of masculinity showed itself in May of 2007 when a Hispanic male person entered the ladies' rest-room of a horse-racing track in Colorado. This, I should make clear, was back in the dark days of ten years ago, before we entered the present enlightened age in which it is perfectly fine for men to use women's restrooms — in which, indeed, it would be a scandalous violation of a man's civil rights to try to stop him doing so.
Well, there were three girls in the restroom, ages 14, 15, and 16. The 15-year-old left when the man came in. The man then imposed himself on the other two, trying to stroke and fondle them. They fled and the police were notified. In due course Miguel Angel Peña-Rodriguez, a worker at the racetrack, was identified by the girls as the man they had fled from. Peña-Rodriguez was tried at jury trial, where he produced a witness, also Hispanic, who provided an alibi for him. The jury didn't believe the witness, so Mr Peña-Rodriguez was found guilty on three misdemeanor assault charges, sentenced to two years probation, and registered as a sex offender.
So far, so small-potatoes police-blotter stuff. However, Mr Peña-Rodriguez hung around after the jurors had been dismissed and chatted with them. He heard that one juror, formerly a law-enforcement officer, had opined in the jury room that from his experience, Mexican men believed they could do whatever they wanted with women, that they were chronically aggressive toward women and young girls, and that the alibi witness was an illegal alien and therefore not credible.
That started off a chain of appeals. Colorado, along with other states, has a rule that what happens in the jury room stays in the jury room; that there can't be endless after-the-verdict second-guessing about what went on in jury deliberations, or else the courts would do little else. Rules of this kind are called "no-impeachment rules." The word "impeachment" there has the meaning "calling into question a jury's decision based on testimony about what was said in the jury room."
Mr Peña-Rodriguez argued that this Colorado rule had violated his right to an impartial jury as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.
The Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court slapped him down, but he pressed on. At last the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case, and Monday this week they handed down their judgment. Here it is, actual quote:
When a juror makes a clear statement indicating that he or she relied on racial stereotypes or animus to convict a criminal defendant, the Sixth Amendment requires that the no-impeachment rule give way in order to permit the trial court to consider the evidence of the juror's statement and any resulting denial of the jury trial guarantee.
I know, this sounds like a lot of jurisprudential inside baseball, but look at what SCOTUS did there. Translation into plain English: "Sure, the no-impeachment rule is essential to prevent the legal process gumming up with endless second-guessing of jury decisions based on what one juror thought he heard another juror say in the jury room; but essential as the rule may be, rooting out racial bias is more important!"
The Court has declared a sort of General Casey principle: As horrific as it would be for the courts to seize up under a flood of cases second-guessing jury decisions, if our diversity becomes a casualty, the Supreme Court thinks that would be worse.
I'm even leaving aside here the fact that the alleged statements by the juror in this case referred to Mexicans and illegal aliens, neither of which is a race. Aren't legal minds supposed to use words with fine, scholarly precision? I guess I'm just showing my white privilege there.
This was a 5-3 decision, with Justices Alito, Roberts, and Thomas all dissenting. Justice Alito thought a bad precedent had been set, a watertight seal broken. He was actually quite apocalyptic about it, in his soft-spoken style. Quote: "It is questionable whether our system of trial by jury can endure this attempt to perfect it," end quote. I would love to have heard Antonin Scalia's opinion.
The Court majority were blithe about the consequences. "Not every offhand comment indicating racial bias or hostility will justify" an investigation into jurors' deliberations, Justice Kennedy wrote cheerfully in the majority decision. You wanna bet?
The court's wise Latina stuck to the General Casey principle. Nothing, nothing, not even the destruction of the jury system, could be worse than holding negative opinions about Mexicans and illegals, said Justice Sotomayor. Quote: "There may be cases of juror bias so extreme that, almost by definition, the jury trial right has been abridged," end quote.
So there you are. Racial bias is the worst thing ever in the history of the world. Exposing and suppressing it justifies anything, anything, up to and including the destruction of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. The U.S. Supreme Court says so.
06 — Anti-whites take over the Democratic Party. I have not mentioned, though I should have, the February 25th election of Thomas Perez as chair of the Democratic National Committee. This is a good place to mention it, as Mr. Perez is a clever and determined foe of "the depravity of whiteness."
Put it another way, Mr. Perez is a dedicated Social Justice Warrior, a key enforcer of the Obama administrations' anti-white programs when serving in key positions in the Justice Department and the Department of Labor across almost all of the eight Obama years.
Mr. Perez' election to the DNC chair followed a four-month campaign against a competing candidate, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison. Perez, the U.S.-born son of Dominican immigrants, identifies as Hispanic. Ellison is your basic black law-school intellectual, a junior-league Barack Obama, who converted to Islam in his college years.
After he won that contest, Perez named Ellison his deputy chairman. If you want to read that as another big step by the Democrats to make it clear to everyone that they are the anti-white party, I won't try to dissuade you.
Ellison is just an affirmative-action booby, but Perez strikes me as very intelligent, at least in a political way. He's been a vigorous shill for illegal aliens. Before joining the Obama administration's Justice Department in 2009 he worked in the state government of Maryland, and as president of the board of CASA de Maryland, an ethnocentric Hispanic group lobbying for, of course, the interests of illegal aliens.
At Obama's Justice Department, Perez was a key figure in blocking any action against the New Black Panther Party voter-intimidation case in Philadelphia during the 2008 elections. Following the intervention by Perez and the dropping of charges against the Panthers, one senior Justice Department lawyer resigned in protest. When Perez was proposed for Labor Secretary, that lawyer called him the, quote, "most extreme cabinet nominee" he had ever seen.
Perez is a canny and ruthless crusader for every variety of anti-white activism, a wily and dedicated enemy of the historic American nation. Still, regarding him as a general in the Cold Civil War, you have to wonder how effective he can be, especially with Ellison as his deputy.
The Cold Civil War is, as I keep reminding you, basically like the hot one 150 years ago: a struggle between two groups of whites, with blacks and Hispanics as sluggish auxiliaries. Putting two anti-white minorities in charge of the DNC is a bit like giving command of the Union armies to Frederick Douglass and Chief Sitting Bull. Ethnomasochist whites in the blue states and college towns will of course vote Democrat anyway, but it's hard to see the party recovering its lost appeal to working-class whites.
The previous chair was Donna Brazile, who is black; but she was just a place-holder for a few months. The DNC chairs prior to that were, going backwards in time to 1993: white female, white male, white male, white male, white male, white male, white male, white female (but another place-holder), white male, black male. So this is somewhat of a new departure for the Dems, at least since Bill Clinton's election.
How much it matters depends on how relevant the DNC is to winning elections, which I confess I don't have a good feel for. The party chair is a behind-the-scenes position. I doubt if one American voter in twenty, maybe not one in a hundred, could tell you the names of the party chaircritters at any given time.
If that's right, a wily minority pulling the levers backstage, keeping himself off TV and out of the news while practicing keen obedience to the real power centers — cheap-labor lobbies, public-sector unions, ideological enforcers in the media, and so on — could be very successful.
In short, Thomas Perez worries me. Let's keep a sense of proportion, though. At least this anti-American creep is no longer in government, putting his activist buddies in key positions and sending them to harass police departments and employers over bogus charges of "discrimination."
When it comes to draining that swamp, I bet Jeff Sessions has some work to do getting rid of the activists Perez planted in his four years at the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
Memo to Jeff Sessions: Why does the U.S.A. of 2017 need a Civil Rights Division? Are anyone's civil rights really under threat in out nation today? Perhaps it's time to just shut down the whole racket.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Fifty years ago, give or take a few weeks, subscribers to the quarterly leftist journal Partisan Review were just settling down with the Winter 1967 edition — accompanied, one imagines, by a nice dry martini and a freshly-opened pack of Chesterfields.
That edition of Partisan Review featured a symposium in which sixteen luminaries of the period offered their answers to the question: "What's happening to America?"
Among those luminaries was lefty activist, writer, and lesbian Susan Sontag. Her contribution included the memorable sentiment that, quote: "The white race is the cancer of human history," end quote.
We can therefore say that the modern style of white ethnomasochism was born fifty years ago this Spring, and that Ms. Sontag acted as midwife to the birth. She might, if she had thought ahead a bit, she might have trademarked the phrase "the depravity of whiteness."
Item: In the larger context of saving Western civilization, elections in Europe bear watching.
There's one next Wednesday, March 15th, in the Netherlands. Anti-Muslim crusader Geert Wilders — there's a deft usage of the word "crusader" — is polling strong against current center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
It's unlikely he'll do well enough to become Holland's next Prime Minister. The nation has one of those multi-party setups that make it difficult for anyone to win an outright majority. Whoever comes out ahead on Wednesday will end up in a coalition with others; and no-one wants to be in a coalition with Wilders.
Wilders' campaigning has not been in vain, though. To prevent his voters migrating over to Wilders' party, Prime Minister Rutte has been trying out some mild anti-Muslim rhetoric of his own.
And even some not so mild: On a TV program last year Rutte told Turkish immigrants that they could either assimilate into Dutch society or else pleur op — a low-class expression in the Hague dialect not very far from the English expression "f— off."
Pleur op was then taken up by Rutte's supporters as a campaign slogan, leading one of the Dutch daily newspapers to grumble that Rutte has allowed Wilders to drag him down to Wilders' level.
Politicians will of course say anything to get elected, so whether Mark Rutte remains at Wilders' level after winning this election, supposing he does win it, is open to doubt. We can hope, though.
Item: Finally, just a footnote here to that segment about the Supreme Court case, Peña-Rodriguez v. Colorado.
Reading the write-up on the decision in the New York Times, my attention got snagged on their mention of an earlier case from 1987, Tanner v. United States, a case about mail fraud in Florida. The relevance of that case is that in it, the Supremes declared that even egregious misconduct in the jury room can't be used to challenge a conviction if it would require jurors to testify about what was said there.
Again it sounds like dry law-school stuff, but that jury room back in 1987 sure wasn't dry. Quote from the Times, quote:
The jury had treated the trial as "one big party" fueled by "rampant drug and alcohol abuse," as one juror described it. During recesses, jurors drank pitchers of beer and liters of wine, and they used marijuana and cocaine.
End quote. Wow. That puts jury duty in a whole new light. I can't wait to get my summons from the County Clerk …
08 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening.
Not too difficult to guess what I'll be using for signoff music this week, following that segment about Madam Butterfly.
Here's the bit everyone knows. Poor little Butterfly has been pumped'n'dumped by Lieutenant Pinkerton. He told her he'd come back to her; but he hasn't, and nobody thinks he will. Butterfly's maidservant in particular doesn't think he will. "Oh yes he will," says Butterfly. "He told me he would!" Then she sings this lovely heartbreaking song.
One fine day we'll see
Lieutenant Pinkerton did indeed come back. So shall I, ladies and gents. Yes, there will be more from Radio Derb next week.
Here's Anna Netrebko.
[Music clip: Anna Netrebko, "Un bel di"]