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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your securely genial host John Derbyshire.
This week's podcast is coming to you from Montgomery Bell State Park in Tennessee, where I have joined several dozen other dissidents for the annual conference of American Renaissance, our country's leading white advocacy and race realist group.
Our conference may be livelier than usual this year. Arriving at the conference center in Montgomery Bell State Park, I saw that the place is thick with armed security personnel. It's a state park, so these must be law enforcement officers of the state. There was in fact a big truck parked near the conference center with TENNESSEE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION painted on the side. Really? I knew there is a Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, but I didn't know states have them too.
A little way further towards the conference center there was a road block at which I had to stop and identify myself. Next to it was a big sign listing things that are not allowed in the "protest area."
Arriving at the entrance to the conference center I had to go through a bag search and a body scan before they'd let me in.
This is all new. I've been coming to the AmRen conference at this same conference center for years. They never had anything like this level of security before. There wasn't really any security at all.
Prior to last year the only protestors were a little group of a dozen or so of the usual types — guys with neckbeards and women with weight problems — kept restricted to a little plot of grass fifty yards from the entrance to the center, watched by a couple of cops.
Then last year there had been some lawsuit and the cops had to allow protestors right down to the conference center, though not inside it. We had to walk right past them to go in, though police made sure there was no physical contact.
Now this year there's this huge security effort. I guess there have been threats, and the Tennessee state authorities are taking them seriously. I haven't seen any protestors yet; but it's only Friday evening, conference attendees still arriving, with a reception at six o'clock followed by some informal socializing.
The conference proper — lectures, then an evening banquet — is tomorrow, Saturday. I guess that's when the protestors will show up. I shall report on that via Twitter, if you don't mind. Radio Derb gets filed around midnight tonight, Friday, and I'll be darned if I'll change my routine for a bunch of Trotskyists and cat ladies.
So, from a lovely state park in the beautiful state of Tennessee, here's your weekly ration of Radio Derb.
02 — Where are the grownups? Following on from that intro: The need for all this security illustrates a deep systemic problem in present-day American society. The problem is a failure of authority.
"Authoritarianism" is a dirty word in the political lexicon, and it should be. I don't want to live in a Latin-American-style authoritarian state run by some caudillo or generalissimo and his clique of yes-men, tossing people in prison without due process, putting big fat thumbs on the scales of business success to favor their relatives and cronies. Certainly it would be a disaster if these united states came to that, after being founded on the highest principles of personal liberty and governmental restraint.
The fact of "authoritarianism" being a dirty word, however, doesn't mean that "authority" is another one. You can't have a healthy, stable society — any more than a healthy, stable family — without some degree of authority. A British Prime Minister used to speak of "the smack of firm government." You need to hear that smack now and again. The judicious administering of that smack doesn't make your government authoritarian.
The sound of that smack is what's missing at so many levels of our society.
Here at VDARE we've been reporting on the case of the anti-Trump protestors arrested on January 20th 2017, the day of President Trump's inauguration. There were originally 230 of these arrestees, pulled from mobs who had rampaged through the streets of Washington, DC with masks over their faces, breaking windows, setting cars on fire, and skirmishing with police. They faced hefty fines and prison sentences.
Those fines and sentences never happened. The case against the anarchists was quashed by a federal judge whose sympathies plainly lay with masked rioters.
Hence all the security here at Montgomery Bell State Park. A few exemplary prosecutions of the leftist fanatics at the Inauguration, and of their comrades at Charlottesville last summer, would have damped down the antifa mobs. Instead they are encouraged. They feel themselves invulnerable. They are invulnerable while federal and state courts are under the control of politicized leftist judges.
AmRen conferences are civilized affairs. Men wear jackets and ties, women sober dresses or pant suits. We listen attentively to lectures from the podium, then have a Q&A where we joust politely with the lecturer on points of disagreement. There's socializing and a banquet where we make new friends and exchange points of view. You won't hear a single four-letter word all weekend.
Meanwhile, in the protest area outside, barbarism is on display. The anarchists, some of them very bizarrely groomed and dressed, shriek and curse and shake their fists and brandish signs calling us Nazis.
Yo, Neckbeard: Members of my family, persons known to me intimately, suffered and fought to defeat the Nazis. Call me Nazi to my face, you uncouth ignoramus.
That's what I'd like to say to them. On police orders, though, we're not allowed to engage with them, not even verbally.
If they're making threats against well-behaved people having a civilized conference, though, it's high time someone engaged with them — someone in authority.
Where are the grown-ups?
03 — Wanted: the smack of firm government. Those remarks apply to much more than our little conference here.
There is for example this business of the "caravan" of people from Central America, mostly from Honduras, coming up through Mexico to our border, where they plan to claim asylum in the U.S.A. Under current federal law their asylum claims have to be considered and processed. We don't have the detention facilities to hold them while the considering and processing goes on, so they'll just be released and merged into the ever-swelling population of illegal aliens here.
This is a highly undesirable situation. The asylum claims are bogus; and even if they weren't, Mexico offers asylum to people claiming it. These people are coming to the U.S.A. because it's a way nicer place to live then Mexico, and a much better place to be an illegal alien.
So who's at fault here? Certainly leftist judges are in play. Any attempt to control these invaders under existing laws would be quashed by such judges.
The people mostly at fault, though, are our congressmen and senators. They should tighten up the asylum laws to exclude false claims; they should allocate funds so claimants can be kept in detention while their cases are processed; they could legislate strict universal E-verify with serious penalties for employers hiring illegal aliens; and they could legislate against birthright citizenship to stop the anchor baby scam. That last one may need a constitutional amendment; but we won't find out unless Congress first attempts legislation.
I've ranted before about the impotence of Congress, calling it the Halls of Uselessness. In the terms I've been using here, this is a failure of authority. Under our Constitution Congress has tremendous authority — including over the judiciary, by the way, but mainly the authority to legislate — but it shows no inclination to use it. Failure of authority.
It's the same — notoriously the same — in our colleges. Speakers are shouted down and assaulted by the anarchist mobs, and college administrators look on passively. Failure of authority. Where are the grownups?
Did you see the video clip of Fresno State College English Professor Randa Jarrar calling for violence against Richard Spencer, a law-abiding citizen?
[Clip: Like, why is [Richard] Spencer's house still standing? Like, it needs to be fucking broken into, people need to fucking throw grenades into it … I don't give a fuck.]
Aren't there laws in California against open public incitement to violence? If there aren't, there should be. And whether there are or not, how on earth is this obscene creature a college professor? People don't talk like this at an AmRen conference; yet we are the haters?
I guarantee there are people here at the conference this weekend, thoughtful well-educated people, who I would way rather have teaching English literature to my kids than Randa Jarrar. Yet we are in the wrong; we are outside the respectable pale; we need the protection of state police; while she is a college professor?
Again, where are the college authorities? Where are the grownups? Where is the smack of firm government?
04 — Is it 4-D chess after all? All right, let's turn to some national affairs here.
Those of us who voted for Donald Trump a year and a half ago have now separated out into three broad groups of attitude towards the Trump Presidency. I'll describe the three from top to bottom, from most to least optimistic.
At the top are the 4-D chess faction, call them the 4DCs. These are die-hard Trump loyalists who believe that all is going according to plan — to a deep, subtle strategy the President is pursuing. This strategy, say the 4DCs, will at last deliver all or most of what we voted for in 2016; but it will get there by a devious path whose direction will sometimes look to be opposite the one we might expect.
Second are the trench warriors. These are Trump supporters with an open mind about how much we'll get of what we voted for, but who think the President is locked in a WW1-style stalemate, political trench warfare. We underestimated the strength of the Swamp, these people say. It is strong enough to hold its line against anything the President throws at it — perhaps, as was the case with WW1, for four years. Our hope for advance lies in dogged persistence and steady attrition of the enemy's strength. The President understands this. He will persist, and may yet prevail.
At the bottom of the optimism scale are what Ann Coulter calls Former Trumpers: Trump voters who have given up on him. It's not that we underestimated the Swamp, this faction argues, it's that we over-estimated the Donald. We got no wall; we still have huge military establishments in foreign countries; Obamacare staggers on forward; Congress spends our money not for the national good, but to appease noisy lobbyists, donors, and cultural power brokers. Nothing has changed; the President is out of his depth and impotent.
Those are the three groups that Trump voters have now separated into: 4DCs, trench warriors, and Former Trumpers.
I'd put myself mostly in the trench warrior group there, tugged down into the Former Trumpers now and then when the President does something that seems to me to be sensationally dumb, like bombing Syria.
I'll listen to anyone's case, though, and I'm not immune to hope. In that spirit, I draw your attention to the case for a 4DC position — the case that our President is playing 4-dimensional chess, at least in foreign policy.
Exhibit A here, an article making the 4DC case, is a post dated April 19th at FrontPageMag.com. Title of the post: Trump's Art of the Deal in North Korea, Israel, and Syria. The author is Daniel Greenfield, who also blogs as Sultan Knish. He's one of the smartest and most prolific commenters on the Trumpish Right, if you don't mind some occasional Zionist triumphalism.
In this April 19th piece, Greenfield speculates that Trump's forward strategy in these three cases — calling North Korea's nuclear bluff, moving our Israel embassy to Jerusalem, bombing Syria — is, in all cases, a ploy to concentrate the other side (the Norks, the Palestinians, Assad) on dealing with their local antagonists (South Korea, Israel, Sunni Arabs) so that we, the U.S.A., can disengage.
First, Trump pressures the most intransigent and hostile side in the conflict. Second, he divests the United States from the conflict leaving the relevant parties to find a way to work it out.
An instinctive negotiator, Trump's realpolitik genius lay not in ideology, but in grasping the core negotiating strategy of the enemy and then negating it by taking away its reason not to make a deal.
Trump's Art of the International Deal identifies the roadblocks to previous agreements, breaks them down, puts the local players in the driver's seat and then makes fixing the problem into their problem.
You have to read the whole thing for the full effect.
Exhibit B, talking just about Syria, and at an anti-Trump outlet, is Kori Schake's April 16th article at The Atlantic, title: Trump's Syria Strategy Actually Makes Sense.
This is nothing like as good as Daniel Greenfield's piece, but she makes a similar case. Sample quote:
[Trump] does have a strategy for Syria and the broader Middle East. His strategy is to limit American involvement, to push responsibility for outcomes in the region back onto states in the region, and to let power determine outcomes.
Which is pretty much what Daniel Greenfield said, although Ms Schake seasons it with globalist hand-wringing about how Trump, quote, "does not appear to believe in democracy promotion … He does not believe in nation building," end quote.
Is Greenfield right? Is it the case that, far from being a blundering doofus — in the words of Z-man, a bullshitter who just got lucky — Trump is a brilliant instinctive negotiator, playing 4-D chess by the seat of his pants?
I want to believe this. I so want to believe it.
05 — Negrolatry: the weird case of Stephen Lawrence. Here's a story from across the pond, a story about negrolatry.
Don't reach for your dictionary; I just made that word up. And yes, to you pedants: I mixed Latin and Greek together. So sue me.
You get the idea, anyway. Here I'm working the late Larry Auster's theme that to guilty white liberals, blacks are sacred objects. The periodic bouts of public weeping and gushing over violent punks like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown make the point.
Over in Britain things are way worse, if you can imagine that. The poster boy here is Stephen Lawrence, a black British man of Jamaican parentage who was murdered in 1993 at age 18. Lawrence was stabbed to death in a London street one evening by a gang of white teenagers.
That is of course awful. You'd want the perps brought to justice and punished. Unfortunately none of the witnesses could give much identifying information on the perps. As usual, though, people in the neighborhood knew who among them were rough and dangerous. They gave the police names of some local low-lifes, and arrests were made. There wasn't enough evidence to proceed to a trial, though, so charges were dropped.
That's sad, but not dramatically unusual. A lot of murders go unsolved for want of evidence strong enough to send someone to jail for life. Lawrence's parents attempted a private prosecution; but that too went nowhere for lack of evidence.
By this time, though, anti-racist agitators had gotten their teeth into the story and were raising the usual hue and cry about police racism. They got a boost in 1997 when a Labour government was voted in, and long-time hard-left extremist Jack Straw became Home Secretary (the British equivalent of Attorney General).
Straw set up a special inquiry into just this one murder. Senior officers of London's police force snapped into line with the new regime and groveled before the inquiry. A report was published, the Macpherson Report, charging the police with institutional racism and recommending that ancient English rights to freedom of speech and assembly be curtailed — further curtailed, as Race Relations Acts of the 1960s and 1970s had already left traditional rights and liberties severely reduced.
Most dramatically the Macpherson Report recommended dropping the legal principle of double jeopardy, which forbids a person being tried twice for the same crime. The double jeopardy principle goes all the way back to Anglo-Saxon law; it's enshrined in U.S. law by the Fifth Amendment.
That was in 1999, six years on from the murder. The Macpherson Report was a very big deal. Most of its recommendations were adopted, including the dropping of double jeopardy — a jurisprudential revolution.
All this, just to remind you, was in response to one murder in 1993 — just one of the roughly six hundred homicides in England and Wales that year. Homicide is a dreadful thing; but was this one really so much, so sensationally more dreadful than all the hundreds of others committed in 1993?
It got worse. There were further official reports, newspaper and TV campaigns. At last, at the end of 2011, two of the local roughs originally fingered for the crime were brought to trial. A few weeks later they were found guilty of murder. Both got life sentences.
So that was the end of the story, right? Wrong! The investigation — searching for new evidence, trying to identify new suspects — is still ongoing, using up unknown quantities of police time and manpower.
And Stephen Lawrence has been raised to secular sainthood.
A huge modernist building, the Stephen Lawrence Centre, designed by a prize-winning architect, was opened in 2008 in South-Central London. The purpose of this grand structure is described on its website as to, quote, "deliver innovative and impactful programmes that 'transform the lives of Young People and achieve real social change,'" end quote.
There have been plays performed, TV documentaries, memorials. Doreen Lawrence, Stephen's mother — a pleasant lower-middle-class lady of no significant abilities or accomplishments — has been elevated to the peerage. She is now Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon. She sits in the House of Lords — for the Labour Party, of course — voting on legislation before parliament, without ever having to stand for election like a commoner.
Now forward to last weekend. Sunday, April 22nd was the 25th anniversary of St Stephen's murder, and commemoration was unrestrained. A memorial service was held in London, attended by the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, members of the Royal Family, London's police commissioner, and numerous other notables.
At this commemoration service Britain's clueless, worthless Prime Minister Theresa May told the hushed congregation that April 22nd would henceforth be known as Stephen Lawrence Day.
The following day, April 23rd, is traditionally St George's Day, honoring the patron saint of England, as Shakespeare fans know. [Clip: Cry God for Harry, England, and St George!] It's also taken to be Shakespeare's birthday, though no-one knows for sure; and it's definitely the day on which the Swan of Avon died 52 years later.
So April 23rd is a very English date. Well, no more of that white supremacist nonsense! The 23rd now dwells in the shadow of the 22nd, Stephen Lawrence Day.
In last week's podcast I mentioned the Social Justice Warriors' campaign to remove Admiral Nelson from his column in Trafalgar Square. Who better to replace him than St Stephen Lawrence, a real British hero? I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that someone has suggested this, in all earnestness.
Perhaps London will be renamed Lawrence. Or why not the entire nation? "United Kingdom" is kind of clunky; "Lawrencia" is much smoother.
My point here is not to belittle Stephen Lawrence, who seems to have been an amiable and well-behaved young man. I'm only pointing up the preposterous way this one homicide of 25 years ago has been inflated by white race guilt into a colossal national event.
Homicide is a terrible thing; but there are several hundred instances of it in Britain every year, with black suspects committing way more than their share — about four times more, on government statistics. What on earth is the matter with the Brits, that they have elevated this one regrettable but insignificant killing into a great holy martyrdom?
There is no clearer illustration of the mass psychopathology afflicting white people than the beatification of Stephen Lawrence.
06 — A tale of two cuties. Here's another Brit-centric story. In honor of great 19th-century Brit novelist Charles Dickens, I'm going to call it a tale of two cuties.
Here's the first cutie: A baby boy born on Monday to William, the Queen's second grandson. I am told by a source here in the Derbyshire household that he is a cutie, and I'm taking it on faith. You don't get to see much of someone else's newborn baby, unless you're actually in the delivery room, and the little you do see looks just like every other newborn, far as I can tell. That's just my opinion, though. I'm told he's cute, and I defer to my source.
This child was born on St George's Day, April 23rd, as I just mentioned in the previous segment. The temptation for the royal parents to name him George would therefore have been overwhelming, but for the fact that they already have a son named George.
The bookmakers over there were doing brisk business all week with punters betting on what the child would be named. Favorites for some reason were all at the top of the alphabet: Arthur, Albert, Alexander, Alfred, … In the event he has at last been named Louis after Louis Mountbatten, who was a favorite great-uncle of the baby's grandfather, Prince Charles.
This child is fifth in line to the English throne, behind his grandad Charles, his dad William, his brother George, and his sister Charlotte. Sixth through tenth in line after him are his uncle Harry, his great-uncle Andrew, Andrew's two daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, then the baby's other great-uncle Edward.
My own ranking in the succession line is a number so large it has thus far defied computation; but I stand ready to ascend the throne should the call come.
And if you're wondering why the baby's sister Charlotte at number four follows right behind her brother George at number three, while Prince Charles, who is of course number one in line to the throne, has a sister Anne who is way back at number thirteen … Well, it's complicated. In short, they changed the rules a few years ago; google "Perth Agreement."
That's cutie number one. Long life and good health to him.
Cutie number two is less fortunate. This is little Alfie Evans of Liverpool, not quite two years old. When he was just six months old Alfie was found to suffer from some unspecified neurological condition causing him to have spasms and very irregular brain activity.
A year and a half later we still have no clear diagnosis. Doctors who've examined the poor tot are unanimous that his brain has been well-nigh destroyed without hope of recovery.
Alfie's parents, however, still hope. Their hope is not unreasonable. Doctors are not infallible, certainly not when they have no firm diagnosis to work from. And the brain is a highly peculiar organ. There are well-documented cases of people living normal lives with ninety percent of their brain missing. We have X-rays of the heads of such people showing a skull mostly filled with fluid, just a thin rind of brain matter around the margin; yet the subject lives more or less normally.
For sure the hospital that's been treating little Alfie is not going to win any prizes for public relations. They wanted to cut off Alfie's life support back in December. When Alfie's parents refused, the hospital went to court, arguing that keeping Alfie alive was, quote, "not in the child's best interests."
Say what? Can it be in my best interests to die? Well, I can imagine circumstances where I might think it was — an extremity of unremitting pain, perhaps. That would be my decision, though. In the case of a toddler like Alfie, the decision should be the parents'.
Then, when the parents wanted to take Alfie to a hospital in Rome, the Liverpool hospital refused to let Alfie be moved, saying the journey might kill him. I suppose it might; but according to the hospital's previous statement, that would be in his best interests, wouldn't it?
I understand that parents' right are not limitless. If the parents belong to some religious cult that forbids them giving life-saving medicine to a child, the courts need to step in. This just doesn't seem like one of those cases. It's the hospital that wants to give up on treating Alfie; the parents would like to keep trying.
The hospital should release Alfie into his parents' care, or resume caring for him themselves.
The signal characteristic of this case, as of so many stories from Britain, is the moon-booted clumsiness of the authorities: hospital, police, courts.
The police are especially charmless. Wednesday this week the local constabulary put up a warning on its Facebook page against anyone posting, quote, "malicious communications" against the hospital. That's in a country where the police don't even bother to investigate the majority of house burglaries.
All that said, I smile to read opinion pieces in conservative outlets on this side of the Atlantic jeering at Britain's socialized health system, and telling me how much better our free-market health-care is. Free-market my leucocytes: If you add up Medicare, Medicaid, tax breaks for health insurance and hospitals, most of our healthcare is socialized, too — just very inefficiently and expensively.
As usual at this point I offer my customary challenge: Name a significant lobby in any civilized country arguing for a U.S.-style healthcare system. You can't; there isn't one.
07 — Signoff. That's all I can offer you this week, ladies and gents, operating as I am in road-warrior mode. Thank you for listening, and please check my twitter feed @DissidentRight for updates on the progress of the AmRen conference and the security situation here.
There will of course be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]