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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is back on the air, after that short summer break. This is of course your irrepressibly genial host John Derbyshire, ready once again with observations on the passing charivari.
The Mrs and I, with Toby — of whom more later — enjoyed a very relaxing weekend in the forest primeval north of Albany, in upstate New York. Many, many thanks to our friends for their hospitality, and apologies to them for my townie ignorance in not being able to tell a goose from a duck. In my partial defense, I should say that while I can't tell the difference between these two critters on sight, I do know the words for them in Cantonese. "Duck" is ngáap; "goose" is ngó. I did not make that up.
Having mentioned Albany there, the capital of my state, let me start off with a story about a resident of that town: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
02 — Democrats' existential anxiety. Cuomo was speaking in Manhattan on Wednesday, signing a bill to make sex trafficking in New York a felony. Just a word about that.
Kidnapping vulnerable young girls and renting them out for sex is a flourishing business down among the urban underclass. The Pakistani pimps of Rotherham and other English cities are the best-known cases, but plenty of it goes on here in the U.S.A., too. As in England, it's very much an ethnic affair here, although news reports tie themselves in pretzels trying to obscure the fact. There's an immigration angle, too; a lot of the women being trafficked here are illegal aliens from Mexico, Central America, and Asia.
So, it's a problem in New York, and our legislators figured we need a new law to deal with it. I find it hard to believe that the laws we already have on kidnapping, prostitution, and abuse of minors are not adequate to deal with the issue; but hey, it's an election year, Cuomo's up for re-election as governor, and signing a new law is good show business.
So there was Cuomo doing the soft-shoe shuffle in Manhattan on Wednesday. Our Governor is a sort of grandee of the Democratic Party: son of a former three-term Governor, ex-husband of a Kennedy gal.
The phrase "Democratic Party" in my last sentence refers, I should say, to the old Democratic Party, the party of FDR, JFK, Bill Clinton and John Kerry. Andrew Cuomo, like those other names, is a white guy of European ancestry. Like other white guys in his party, Cuomo has the uncomfortable feeling that the ground is moving under his feet — that the Democratic Party is turning into something different from what it has been though his, and my, lifetime.
So the Governor is nursing some serious political insecurities. Is the Democratic Party still a party for him, for white guys? Or is it on its way to being a party for women, blacks, mestizos, and sexual eccentrics? Naturally the guy is nervous. He is, as I said, up for re-election in the fall; and before that, next month, he faces off in a Democratic primary against TV actress Cynthia Nixon.
Nobody thinks Ms Nixon has much of a chance of becoming the Democrat nominee for Governor in the fall, but that's not really the point. The point is that in Andrew Cuomo's eyes, and the eyes of old white male heterosexual Democrats like him, Cynthia Nixon looks like the future while he looks like the past. Ms Nixon is female, homosexual, and wa-a-a-ay out on the political left. She makes our poor governor feel like a relic.
Don't place any bets against Cuomo. He's a skillful politician with the state party in his pocket. He'll get the nomination, then he'll win re-election in November. Our state is mostly Republican; but the wee bit that isn't includes New York City, which has close to half the state's population … enough said.
Still the guy's nervous. He was also a little rattled, earlier this week — before the Wednesday bill-signing event — he was a little rattled by President Trump having been in the state on Monday, at a fundraiser for the state Republican Party. At that event our President speculated that maybe Cuomo wants to run for President in 2020. "Please do it, please," said the President mockingly. The Governor doesn't like to be mocked, any more than you or I do.
So when Cuomo stepped up on Wednesday to sign this bill against sex trafficking, he was both suffering from chronic existential anxiety about the direction of his party and rattled by Trump's Monday remark. Under those stresses, his self-control slipped, and he spoke unwisely.
What he actually said was, quote:
We're not going to make America great again. It was never that great. We have not reached greatness, we will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged, we will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone and every woman's full potential is realized and unleashed and every woman is making her full contribution.
End quote. Now, taken on face value, that's gibberish. Men and women are biologically different; they are never going to exhibit identical profiles on every kind of behavior, achievement, or social outcome. As for "discrimination": Well, someone should ask the governor why, if women are "51 percent of our population," they are 56 percent of college students but less than seven percent of federal prison inmates.
But that's giving the Governor's words more respect than they deserve. He's not making observations about real things in the real world; he's a politician sending out signals to likely voters. The signal there was: "I'm not a part of that rotten old patriarchy trying to keep women down. I am cool and up-to-date with the new Democratic Party, which is absolutely not a party of straight old white guys."
He just went a bit too far, saying that America "was never that great." It's a logical thing for a Progressive to think. American society in the past had imperfections and injustices; therefore we shouldn't talk about it having been great; that's the Progressive mentality.
What it misses is, that all societies everywhere have imperfections and injustices, and this will always be so. The U.S.A. was, and is, great because it had, and has, fewer imperfections and injustices than other nations. That's why so many people — so many millions, tens of millions of people — wanted, and want, to come and live here.
I got to know the U.S.A. during its Golden Age — the third quarter of the 20th century — and mostly from outside: I grew up in England, didn't actually get here until 1973. Boy, America was great! — free, rich, victorious, generous, creative … Britain was in imperial decline, half of Europe was under the Soviet yoke, Africa was sinking into post-colonial chaos, India and Pakistan were at loggerheads, South America was run by buffoons like Juan Perón, and in China tens of millions were starving to death under the crudest, cruellest kind of totalitarian dictatorship.
America was great — with very restricted immigration and men mostly running things. We had imperfections, sure; but by comparison with any other country at that time … Well, there was no comparison. We were the greatest.
The Progressive vision is narrow, provincial, and present-centric. The past, according to them, was bad; the present is just tolerable; the future will be radiant.
That is no basis for policy. There are good reasons to think that if we don't get a grip on mass immigration, America's future will be Venezuela. There are good reasons to think that if the insulting and belittling of men under labels like "toxic masculinity" keeps going, the things that men do better than women — leadership, risk-taking, science, engineering — won't get done, or will get done elsewhere, not in America.
Whether Andrew Cuomo understands any of that, I don't know. He has to pretend not to understand it because of the threat from his left — from people like Cynthia Nixon, who surely don't understand it. That is the dilemma of the Democratic Party today.
03 — Kansas brings forth a hero. This week has a hero — also a state Governor, but one who makes a cheering contrast to the sly, cynical, triangulating, entitled Andrew Cuomo.
This is not heroism of the dramatic sort. This guy did not charge an enemy machine-gun nest, or return again and again into a burning building to bring people out, or pilot a plane down safely onto the Hudson River. This is a political hero, one who behaved in defeat with grace, good humor, and full responsibility to the people he served.
Name of the guy: Jeff Colyer, Republican Governor of Kansas. A surgeon by training, Colyer was Lieutenant Governor of Kansas under Sam Brownback for seven years. January this year Brownback resigned to take a post in the Trump administration, so Colyer became Governor.
Naturally Colyer hoped to run for a full term of his own as Governor in the election this fall. However, he faced a Republican primary challenge from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. In that primary, week before last, the vote count was so close it went to a recount.
The recount went nip and tuck, with Kobach leading sometimes by just a few dozen votes. At last, on Tuesday evening this week, with votes still to be counted, Governor Colyer conceded.
Let me just say that as a matter of cold politics, I'm glad Kris Kobach won this primary. Kobach is a real immigration patriot, one of the handful of people in our nation's public life that gets the national question, and understands what continuing mass immigration means for our children and grandchildren, for the harmony of our society and the continuity of our culture. I wish President Trump had put him in charge of the DHS, as Ann Coulter urged.
So heartfelt congratulations here from Radio Derb to Kris Kobach, and all strength to you and your campaign for Governor in the fall.
Back to Governor Jeff Colyer and his concession speech. I can't comment on Governor Colyer's politics because I don't know anything about them, and there doesn't seem much point in finding out now. What I will say is that his concession speech was a gem. It was gracious, good-natured, and gentlemanly in the highest degree. Here's a clip:
[Clip: As Governor, I try to serve you every day, and even do the right thing when nobody is looking. It is my responsibility as leader of this great state to ensure the integrity of our most fundamental right, and I am exercising that responsibility for the citizens of Kansas as you would expect every leader to do for the citizens of our state tonight.
Now that's a hero in my book. A lesser man would have litigated that recount down to the crack of doom, people of Kansas be damned. Colyer did the right thing, with a smile and a wave and full respect to the will of the voters. In political defeat, he is the anti-Hillary.
In fact, going back to my remarks about the direction of the Democratic Party, he is the anti-New Democrat: white, male, heterosexual, Christian … If he and Cynthia Nixon were in the same room together it would be like matter and anti-matter: they would mutually annihilate in a blaze of gamma rays.
Watching his concession speech, I was having a naughty thought, which I may as well confess. My naughty thought was: This guy is so WHITE.
Now, I am not going to say that there is no black or Latino guy (or gal), nor any gay or transgender or other identity type, anywhere in the U.S.A. capable of acting with equal maturity and grace. I'm sure such Americans exist. I am going to say, though, that behavior of this very high standard would be much more surprising coming from one of them, than it was coming from this legacy American gentleman.
Thank you, Governor Colyer, for setting that high standard. All best wishes for success to you in your future endeavors, whatever they are. And once again — not over and above all that, just precisely beside it — congratulations to Kris Kobach.
OK, Kansas: You've given us one hero in Jeff Colyer, now give us another — Kris Kobach for Governor!
04 — Small setback for the Polar Alliance. On the subject of politicians mis-speaking — I mean, as in Andrew Cuomo's gaffe — here's a nasty case from the other end of the Anglosphere.
Tuesday this week a bloke named Fraser Anning said the following thing in the upper house of Australia's parliament, where he sits as a senator. Quote:
We as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominately reflect the historic European-Christian composition of society and embrace our language, culture and values as a people … The final solution to the immigration problem, of course, is a popular vote.
End quote. The background to that is mass immigration of Muslims into Australia, which a lot of legacy Australians resent. As in other countries, including our own, while some Muslims have assimilated just fine, some others have caused a disproportionate amount of trouble — enough to leave a lot of people wondering what the point of the policy was.
The deeper background is that until 1973 Australia allowed settlement only of white Europeans. That was the White Australia Policy, still fondly remembered by older Australians — including probably Senator Anning, who is 68.
I don't know how the White Australia Policy dealt with Muslims, lots of whom are of course white. Muslim immigration seems not to have been much of an issue until the last twenty years or so, when they began flooding in, bringing with them the kinds of problems plaguing Britain, Sweden, France, and Germany.
Mass Muslim immigration into non-Muslim nations is a seriously dumb policy. You have to wonder how it ever got any purchase. A little salt in the stew, OK; but why import Muslims in such numbers they will form ethnic enclaves, where the troublemakers can lurk and plot undetected?
You can't even argue that it's charitable, doing a humanitarian favor to Muslims unhappy in their home countries. There are fifty-odd majority-Muslim countries in the world. Any Muslim who wants to change his country is spoiled for choice. There's no reason for Christian countries to open themselves up.
That is Senator Anning's position. When he made those remarks on Tuesday he was speaking in support of a national referendum on banning further settlement by Muslims. His position is a reasonable and democratic one.
It's also a popular one. The latest polling I can find, from last October, shows that, quote:
On Muslim immigration, 48 per cent [of Australians] supported a partial ban, a quarter opposed a ban and 27 per cent neither supported or opposed it.
So Senator Anning's call for a referendum is not wildly eccentric, not far out of the mainstream. It seems likely that a referendum would in fact approve the ban he wants. His position on Muslim immigration is smack dab in the middle of the Australian mainstream.
The problem was, of course, the Senator's choice of words: "The final solution to the immigration problem …" The mass killing of European Jews carried out by the Germans in WW2 was referred to by them as "the final solution of the Jewish Question." So by expressing himself like that, Senator Anning put himself in Hitlerly-Hitlery-Hitler territory, for the open-borders globalists to jump all over him as a would-be mass murderer, even though all he'd called for was a referendum.
Politically, it was pretty dumb. Bob Katter, the leader of Anning's party, said Anning was unfamiliar with the German usage of "final solution." As sympathetic as I am to the Senator, I find that hard to believe. At age 68 he had the same kind of education and cultural exposure as I did, and "final solution" would have been hard to miss.
I'm not saying he used the term deliberately or provocatively. "Final" and "solution" are ordinary English words anyone might utter, not thinking of the sinister connotation even if he knew it. Most likely that's what happened here. Skillful politicians know to avoid stepping on these little land-mines; Fraser Anning isn't very skillful; that's the long and short of it, most probably.
To the degree that this sets back Australia having a sensible immigration policy, if it does, this is a small negative for the Polar Alliance.
The only bit of silver lining I could find in the story was a flourish of good old blunt Australian diction from Anning's party leader, the aforementioned Bob Katter. Quote from him, responding to the screeching about Nazis and genocide, quote: "You lily-pad lefties come at us with some absolutely ridiculous technicalities," end quote.
"Lily-pad lefties." I'm not sure why I like that so much, but I really like it. I have stored it away in the Radio Derb memory banks for use in future vituperation.
05 — Hungary shows the way. This is one of those weeks when I get to air my Hungarophilia. I'm a big fan of Hungary and have been expressing my enthusiasm for as long as I've been blogging — back at least as far as 2002.
Here is a new occasion to celebrate the Magyars — two occasions, in fact.
First occasion: George Soros is outta there. Back in June the Hungarian parliament passed a "Stop Soros" law making it a felony to assist illegal entry into Hungary. That was apparently the last straw for Soros. Thursday this week he announced that his Open Society Foundation, which finances the Antifa rioters and open-borders lobbies in North America as well as in Europe, would cease all operations in Hungary by the end of August and would close all its offices there.
They'll open up elsewhere, no doubt — in Berlin, according to one of their operatives — but there is at least one Soros-free zone in Europe, and that is worth celebrating.
Second occasion: The Hungarian government has shut down Gender Studies departments in state-run universities. Quote from a government spokesman, quote:
There is no economic rationale for studies such as these. A degree in the field does not furnish students with skills that can be readily and directly converted on the labour market … State universities operated from public funds must take these factors into consideration since the purpose of these institutions of higher education is to meet genuine social and labour market needs.
End quote. I bet that sounds positively musical in Hungarian. It sounds pretty damn good in English translation.
In matters of public policy, the two things that get me hot under the collar and breathing hard are, one, uncontrolled immigration, and two, the education rackets.
I'm perfectly fine with people giving over four years of their life to Gender Studies, or Critical Race Theory, or Queer Legal Theory. Go to it, and jolly good luck to you! What angers me is the idea that public moneys, ripped from the pockets of working taxpayers by force of law, should be used to subsidize these extravagancies.
Medicine (including genetics)? Absolutely. Engineering? Definitely. Computer Science? Oh yeah. The pure sciences and math? Totally. The Human sciences — psychology, sociology, anthropology, history? If properly quantitative and carefully supervised, yes. Law and Business? Okay. Fine arts? Sure.
You can make a case for public subsidies to those fields. I can't see any case for public subsidies to Raza Studies or Post-Colonialist Theory — not, I mean, any case above the level of keeping troublesome people off the streets.
And when I talk to people who actually teach in our universities, as I was last weekend — people who teach, I mean, real subjects, not garbage like Gender Studies — what I hear is stories of academics struggling to carry out their professorial duties in the teeth of constant harassment from the huge, bloated Diversity and Inclusion bureaucracies that control most of the college administrations.
To judge from those stories, the academic atmosphere is Soviet. A dozen or so 160-IQ physicists, mathematicians, historians, or law professors have to spend an hour of their time on a weekday afternoon in a conference room with some 90-IQ apparatchik from Diversity and Inclusion instructing them in the latest Party line. It's not just a waste of time and talent, it's humiliating.
But, of course, it's meant to be. Multiculturalism — the Diversity and Inclusion ideology — is about power, about making sure you academic drudges know who's boss.
As badly as we need a moratorium on immigration, we need a great purge of higher education. A good start would be a thorough, green-eyeshade audit and review of every public dollar, every cent, going into the Academy. What is the return, for our economy and our society?
Hungary has shown the way. Why don't we follow?
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Here's another recurrent theme of mine: real-estate nationalism.
As foretold here on Radio Derb last fall, New Zealand has put strict limits on foreigners buying real estate in their country. There are some exceptions: resident aliens are exempt from the ban, as are Australians and Singaporeans.
This is fair and reasonable. If you want to build a house or a factory, you need land; and the thing about land is, as Mark Twain pointed out, that they stopped making it. The land that defines a physical nation belongs first and foremost to that nation's citizens. When young citizens can't afford to buy a house because wealthy foreigners have jacked up the price of land by buying too much of it, government needs to act. San Francisco, Seattle, please take note.
Item: Another item on New Zealand, making two in one podcast — a record for Radio Derb, I'm pretty sure.
The mode here is sad-but-also-funny. First the sad side.
Canadian patriots Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern were booked for speaking engagements in New Zealand at the beginning of August. Molyneux is a popular vidcaster; Southern is an anti-anti-white and anti-anti-male activist — I think that fairly describes her positions. Both are thoughtful, well-spoken and well-educated persons who reject prevailing orthodoxies. Neither advocates violence.
Well, by the time Molyneux and Southern arrived in New Zealand, the public venue at which they were to speak had canceled on them. They set up a private venue; but then he canceled on them, too.
Their consolation prize — a big one, in my opinion — was a joint televised interview for Newshub, a news outlet down there. The interviewer was a local chap named Patrick Gower. He was hostile, but very stupid. Molyneux and Southern ran rings around him.
If you have 13m46s to spare, I urge you to pour yourself a drink and watch that interview — it's hilarious. That's what I meant by this story having a funny side.
It's double hilarious if you know something about antipodean culture. New Zealand is so remote and inconsequential that the only people who have any stereotype of New Zealanders are Australians, across the other side of the Tasman Sea. The Australian stereotype of Kiwis is that they are dimwitted country cousins who misbehave with sheep.
I can't say how well grounded that stereotype is where Kiwis in the generality are concerned, but that interviewer, Patrick Gower, fits it to a T. Well, except for the part about sheep, which is nobody's business but his own … and the sheep's, I guess. [Baa-aa.]
Item: You may have heard that the city of Austin, Texas, is considering renaming itself. Stephen Fuller Austin, after whom the city is named, owned slaves and sanctioned the bringing of slaves into Texas. [Scream.]
Blogger Daniel Greenfield picked that up and ran with it. New York? Quote:
The city is named after King James II whose Royal African Company branded thousands of slaves with DY for the Duke of York.
Virginia (and West Virginia) are named after Elizabeth I, who authorized a trade in slaves and at least one of whose ships carried slaves.
It's named after Chief Seattle, an American-Indian leader, environmentalist icon and a slave owner.
Berkeley, California? Quote:
Berkeley is named after the Irish empiricist George Berkeley. Berkeley was not only a slave owner, but a vigorous advocate for the enslavement of Africans and Indians.
Pennsylvania? Gotta be safe there, right? Quakers and such? Uh-uh. Quote:
William Penn, the Quaker and liberal role model after whom Pennsylvania is named, owned slaves.
And then, Greenfield points out, there is America itself, named after Amerigo Vespucci, who took and sold slaves.
As Greenfield says, final quote: "Either we stop the left's assault on history or we lose our country."
Losing our country is of course just what the Progressives have in mind. Thay don't trouble to hide it. We saw them on our TV screens last weekend, marching through Washington, D.C. chanting: "NO BORDERS, NO WALL, NO MORE U.S.A. AT ALL." That's the plan.
07 — Signoff. That's your ration for this week, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and for your patience while I took a break last weekend.
This week's signoff music relates to Toby, Hound of the Derbyshires. Poor old Toby is fading away, but very slowly. As a wise friend said to Mrs Derbyshire the other day, quote: "He's just not ready to leave you yet," end quote. He can barely eat anything, and you can count his ribs. There's a little function still in his hind legs, but not much.
At night he sleeps in our unfinished basement. He has a bed down there. The floor's a rough concrete he can get some purchase on and move around on for exercise, better than the polished-wood floors elsewhere in the house; and there's a fixture we can tether him to so he doesn't crawl away and get stuck under furniture. We leave one light bulb on for him; but being unfinished and all, the basement is a bit of a dungeon.
My first job in the morning is to go down to the basement and bring Toby up into the light. For morning exercise I carry him out into the back yard, up to the top of the lawn, from whence he can make his way down to the house and the doggie door; then we reward him with breakfast.
Opera lovers will know where I'm going with this. In Beethoven's Fidelio the heroine's husband is prisoner in the castle dungeons of a wicked official. The heroine makes friends with the jailer. She persuades him to let the prisoners out of their dungeons for a while to enjoy the castle's beautiful gardens.
The prisoners come up out of the dungeons, blinking in the sunlight, and sing a famous chorus: O welche Lust, in freier Luft / Den Atem leicht zu heben! — "Oh what joy, in the open air / Freely to breathe again!"
I'd like to tell you that's the song I'm singing to Toby as I bring him up out of the basement into the garden. That wouldn't be exactly truthful, though. For one thing, O welche Lust doesn't lend itself easily to solo singing; for another, I can't sing. It is, though, the music playing on my skull phonograph as we come up, and it's very beautiful. Heck, this is Beethoven.
Here's a version from the New York Met, recorded eighteen years ago.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Met chorus "O Welche Lust."]