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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 judiciously genial host John Derbyshire, at the end of what has, in my opinion, been an unfortunate week in the politics of our republic.
I am referring of course to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Kavanaugh. From a partisan political point of view the hearings have ended well, with Judge Kavanaugh being voted through by the committee. The entire Senate will vote on his appointment to the Supreme Court next week.
Goodwhites are fighting a fierce rearguard action, though. A key figure here has been Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Mitt Romney-style open-borders social conservative who is retiring from politics at the end of this year.
Flake announced this morning, Friday, that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate. Then midday he was cornered in an elevator by two shrieking women and apparently lost his nerve: He told the Judiciary Committee when he got out that he'd vote aye to advance the nomination only on condition the full Senate delays their vote for a week and the President asks the FBI to make photocopies of the 800 pages of data they already have on everyone who ever sold Brett Kavanaugh a bag of potato chips. Score one for hysterical harpies, score zero for the dignity of Senatorial process.
Favorite books of mine when I was a child were Richmal Crompton's "William" stories, about a high-spirited suburban English boy named William Brown who did naughty things and got into adventures. William's nemesis was a little girl named Violet Elizabeth Bott, whose main technique for getting her own way with William and his friends was to announce that if she didn't get her way, she would scream and scream until she threw up. In British English, with a lisp, her line was: "I'll thcream and thcream and thcream 'till I'm thick."
It worked with eleven-year-old William and his pals; clearly it still works with Senator Flake.
Still, unless the opposition can pull off a new stunt between now and next Friday — which can't be ruled out, given their demonstrated skill at coming up with bizarre unsubstantiated accusations which then get inflated to newsworthy size by their loyal shills in the media, and given further the spinelessness and stupidity of GOP Senators — failing that, the omens for eventual confirmation don't look too bad.
I none the less think this was an unfortunate week because there was no need for Christine Ford's fuzzy, uncorroborated 36-year-old recollections to be made into an unseemly national spectacle. Dr Ford should have been told to seek remedy in the law, like any other citizen, if she felt herself wronged, while the Senators got on with senatorial business, according to proper congressional procedures.
The unseemliness and impropriety of the thing aside, there was opportunity cost. That's the topic of my first segment, before I comment on the hearings themselves.
02 — Kavanaugh hearings: the opportunity cost. "Opportunity cost" is just an economist's term of art for what you lose by doing one thing rather than another.
The thing you did may have been the right thing to do, with big gains that compensate for those losses, for the opportunity cost. Contrariwise, the gains from your chosen course of action may be small, while the opportunity cost may be huge. Then you did the wrong thing.
Either way, whether you did the right thing or the wrong thing, it can be instructive to look at what you might have gained by doing some other thing.
So we — the nation, and our politicians — just spent two weeks obsessing over whether some teenager was grossly ill-mannnered towards some other teenager 36 years ago, with no evidence forthcoming to determine the facts either way. What might we otherwise have done with our political energies?
A couple of things from the last few days.
Thing One: A study by some academics at Yale University, published September 21st, argues that the number of illegal aliens living in the U.S.A. is way larger than the usual figure quoted, which hovers around eleven million. These scholars claim to show that the true number is surely more than 16 million and is most likely in the region of 22 million.
This new estimate has been challenged by experts who say that we can't possibly be missing that many people. It's not just open-borders shills doing the challenging, either: CIS, the Center for Immigration Studies, which takes a restrictionist line on immigration, has also pooh-poohed this new paper. Steven Camarota posted a short blog to that effect on the CIS.org website, September 22nd. The Migration Policy Institute, which takes a much softer line on immigration generally, published a longer, more detailed critique at their website.
I'm not going to joust with these experts. By all means read their analyses for yourself if you're inclined.
I am, though going to make the following point: It's an astonishing thing, and to my mind a disgraceful thing, that this great nation of ours — which defeated fascism and communism, created a prosperous middle-class society that was the envy of mankind, led the world in cultural and technological advances, and put men on the Moon — this can-do nation for which nothing has been impossible, does not know the number of its inhabitants to the nearest ten million.
Counting the number of people who live in your territories — in the territories you govern and control — is an ancient art, actually one of the very first political arts. Nations have been counting heads since the Bronze Age. One of the books of the Old Testament — one of the earliest books — is named after a census. That would be the Book of Numbers. A census plays a key role in the New Testament, too. It was in order to be registered for census purposes that Joseph and Mary, parents of Jesus, went to Bethlehem.
So tallying your population is not merely not a new thing; it's about as old a thing as a thing can be — a basic function of nationhood, and of tribal identity even before there were nations. That we, the U.S.A. can't do this, that we don't know the number of our inhabitants even to the nearest ten million, is astounding.
That's Thing One. Thing Two: Meet Ramon Escobar, 47 years old, a citizen of El Salvador. Mr Escobar has been arrested on suspicion of homicide in Los Angeles. Precisely: He is suspected of having bludgeoned seven homeless men, three fatally, with a baseball bat and bolt cutters, so that he could then rob them. This was after he had fled to California from Texas, where he was a suspect in the disappearance of two of his relatives.
I guess you know what's coming next. Yup: Mr Escobar is an illegal alien who has been deported back to El Salvador six times, the first time in 1988. He's a habitual criminal who's done jail time in Texas. And, get this, he appealed his last deportation order, in 2016, and his appeal was granted. He was given asylum!
Based on his record, you may think that it is we, U.S. citizens, who need asylum from the likes of Mr Escobar. The U.S. Justice Department disagrees with you.
My point here: There are major, serious problems with our system of immigration and citizenship that urgently need addressing, and that voters want to see addressed.
There are other pressing issues, too, that are going unaddressed while we collectively obsess over teenage fumblings at a house party in 1982. The national debt is at 21 trillion dollars. The U.S. Congress has not written up and voted through a national budget in a timely fashion — its most basic constitutional function — for decades. We are still committed to NATO, a quarter of a century after the Warsaw Pact dissolved.
And so on, and so on, … add your own items to the list. Big, important issues left to fester while our attention is riveted on some vague, unconfirmed and unconfirmable, accusations of teenage bad manners by a judicial nominee. Opportunity cost.
Here's my question: HAVE WE GONE TOTALLY NUTS?
03 — Mid-terms: closing the enthusiasm gap. The thing people want to know is, what effect will these confirmation hearings have on the mid-term elections?
It's not easy to figure out. With the Presidency not in play, mid-term races are more local. Property taxes, highway maintenance, and shenanigans in the State Assembly loom larger than relations with China or terrorism or the National Debt. If you don't know all the local issues and controversies — and I'll admit I don't — it makes the mid-terms hard to call.
And then there's the famous base, the voters who take their politics most seriously. They're more prominent in mid-term voting than less committed types who will show up every four years to help pick a President but take a political nap in between times. Both big parties have a base, of course.
What makes the effect of the Kavanaugh hearings hard to estimate is that there was something here to please both bases. The mid-terms may hinge on whose base got pleased more.
Prior to these hearings, the phrase being bandied about was "enthusiasm gap." The Democrats' base voters were more fired up, pundits told us, their hatred of Trump just more intense after two years' exposure to him, their ranks fortified by two more annual cohorts of adult voters coming out of our colleges.
Those cohorts of younger voters have been marinated for four years in CultMarx ideology from anti-white, anti-male professors; and they've been subjected to careful sculpting of news and commentary by the social-media monopolies whose products they are addicted to.
Contrariwise, the pre-hearings wisdom went, Trump's base was disheartened and disappointed by Trump's failure to accomplish the big-ticket items they voted for in 2016: firm enforcement of immigration laws, properly defended borders, disentangling us from military commitments abroad.
It's nice that the economy's doing well, we got tax cuts, and our Israeli embassy has been moved to Jerusalem, but those are not things that brought out the Trump voters two years ago. Trump talks a good game, but he's visibly failing at the one thing above all a President needs to succeed at: Getting Congress to turn his proposals into legislation.
So that was the situation pre-hearings. The Tutsis were still fired up by hatred of Trump and indignation at Mrs Clinton's losing in 2016 — unfairly, they are sure. The Hutus were discontented, their 2016 passion deflated by the President's failure to move us any real distance away from invade-the-world, invite-the-world neoconnery.
The Kavanaugh hearings were not displeasing to Tutsis. Dr Ford's testimony, and the whole story she told, reinforced their fantasies of preppy white men having their way, coasting through life on arrogance and privilege, while non-male non-white serfs groan and suffer under the iron heel of oppression. So Tutsis are still fired up. The hearings did nothing to cool their ardor.
The Hutus will, however, I think, have gained more from the proceedings, thereby closing the enthusiasm gap some. There was a lot for a Hutu to like there.
Mainly there was Judge Kavanaugh himself, of course. He was firm and clear, he showed spine, and he gave as good as he got.
He mixed some yin in with the yang, too, some feminine in with the masculine, choking up when he talked about his daughter praying for Dr Ford.
If I am at all representative, Hutu men winced at that. We'd rather a man kept his composure in public. Hutu women, however, really go for that stuff. I doubt the Republican Party lost male Hutu votes on account of Judge Kavanaugh's tears, but it picked up a few thousand on the distaff side.
Similarly, though in reverse, with Dr Ford's testimony. Tutsi voters just had confirmed what they already knew: that women are helpless victims of the evil patriarchy; but that a few, possessed of boundless courage, dare to kick against the pricks — that's a Biblical allusion, you folks sniggering in the back row there — and expose the sneering preppy rapist. "Dr Ford, I am in awe of your bravery," swooned Ellen DeGeneres, as if the woman had rescued infants from a burning building.
Hutus watching Dr Ford, on the other hand, got reminders of all the things they dislike about Tutsi women — the kind of women who end up as Professors of Psychology at colleges in Silicon Valley. The glassy frown, the snippy self-righteousness, the vocal fry and rising tones: Hutu teeth were being set on edge from sea to shining sea.
One reason given for Mitt Romney's loss in 2012 was that he reminded us of the CEO whose corporate cutbacks cost us our job. Dr Ford reminded us of the corporate Human Resources Director who scolded us for not showing up at the Diversity and Inclusion seminar.
So net-net there, I'd say there will surely have been a closing of the enthusiasm gap. Tutsis are stewing in righteous indignation just as they were before, perhaps just slightly more. Hutus saw a man take a stand against the mob, throw some of their b-s back in their smug faces. It was heartening, encouraging.
And then there were the Senators themselves.
04 — A boost for Trumpism. You have to think that GOP party bosses have been hearing from their voters this past couple of weeks. I don't know how else to account for Lindsey Graham going off like an air-raid siren the way he did. (And that simile, for the benefit of the back row again, is a pop culture reference.)
On the particular issue of Lindsey Graham I have mixed feelings. It was fun to watch the Senator fume and froth, but I don't want to see his stock rise any higher than it is. On the National Question Graham's been firmly and consistently supportive of the cheap-labor open-borders lobbies, the modern equivalent of the Slave Power. I don't want to see a guy like that have any more authority and influence than he currently has.
It's nice that Senator Graham has found his high dudgeon at last. Now that he's found it, though, how long will it be before he turns it against immigration patriots?
That's a quibble, though. Overall I do believe the Kavanaugh hearings have been a positive for Trumpism. Particular incidents and personalities aside, the hearings have made ever more clear the turn to Leninism among our Tutsi elites, in particular among congressional Democrats. By "Leninism" I mean the pursuit of political power by all means available, clean or dirty, without moral or ethical restraints.
Nothing matters to these people but power: not our institutions, not our laws and customs, not our history, not our Constitution, not truth or falsehood, not science or reason, not decency or respect, only Lenin's who-whom — whose boot is stomping on whose face? They are determined that it shall be their boot, our face; and in their view, every means is legitimate to bring that about.
The U.S. Senate was a last bastion of constitutional collegiality, even into the Trump era. In April last year three Democratic Senators voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. I wouldn't bet on that happening this time around. We are now firmly in an era of smash-mouth politics, of Leninist who-whom.
GOP voters have been waking up to this. That's why they chose Trump in 2016 over a raft of more traditional, gentlemanly, fight-fair Republican candidates — the types we knew would fold like cheap suits any time someone barked "racist!" or "sexist!" at them. Trump, the voters perceived, is not like that. Trump can play the smash-mouth game. That's why we wanted him.
It's also why a lot of us, especially in the older cohorts, have mixed feelings about Trump. Some of that is just a natural fondness for the familiar. The more collegial, well-mannered style of politics is what we grew up with. We hate to see it go; we just don't think there's anything we can do to stop the going.
Geezer nostalgia's only some of it, though. There are good reasons for a thoughtful person of any generation to look with foreboding on this newer, coarser style of politics.
If personal character, decency, and forbearance count for less, while ability to smash mouths counts for more, we shall be heading down towards Third World-style gangster politics. If some smart, conscientious patriot in the gentlemanly George Kennan mould is shut out of public service because he said something unflattering about Mexicans or tried to grope some girl at a high-school party, his place will be taken by someone colder, more ruthless, more selfish, more skilled at lying.
The key word there is of course "gentlemanly." Could any concept be more at odds with the zeitgeist than gentlemanliness? It's hard not to think there's a demographic dimension to this. That older style of courtesy, forbearance, and compromise that used to inform our politics was a white-European thing, perhaps particularly an Anglo-Saxon-Celtic thing.
As that population dwindles while others swell and organize, who-whom takes over, and we view ourselves not as fellow-citizens in a common polity, but as victims and oppressors.
You don't have to like this transformation. I personally prefer the older, more collegial style. The Kavanaugh hearings, however, made it clearer than ever, clear enough for even the least attentive GOP voters to see, that this is our politics today, the only game in town.
If one side is playing smash-mouth, the other side has a plain choice. Either we play smash-mouth too, or we lose all our teeth while the enemy keeps his. In Orwell's stark formulation: "If someone drops a bomb on your mother, go and drop two bombs on his mother."
05 — Pearls before swine at Turtle Bay. Tuesday this week our President addressed the United Nations General Assembly here in New York City.
It was a good spirited address, with a firm defense of national sovereignty. Listen.
[Clip: We are standing up for America and for the American people; and we are also standing up for the world. This is great news for our citizens, and for peace-loving people everywhere.
Good sensible stuff, Mr President — thank you. It's a shame you had to deliver it at the U.N., though, where your words are wasted on the air. At one point they actually laughed at you. Not with you, Sir: at you. You took it in good part, but you really shouldn't have.
The U.N. General Assembly is populated largely by the ripest, plumpest fruits of Third World oligarchy, nepotism, and corruption. This majority population of cynical outhouse-country ne'er-do-wells is supplemented by a corps of worthless seat-warmers from the civilized world: dull-witted functionaries and time-servers to whom political favors were owed by their home governments but who could not be trusted with any work that required intelligence or understanding.
Let me be frank with you, listeners: the U.N. is a racket, a money sink to allow the more bothersome offspring of gangster elites in Trashcanistan and Upper Guano to be shipped stateside with lush expense accounts to keep them here so they won't make trouble at home.
If you doubt this, I refer you to the writings of Matthew Russell Lee at Inner City Press, a blog he runs about the United Nations. Lee — here I'll just quote from a New York Post report about him — Lee has, quote "spent more than a decade covering the international body, haranguing delegates in three languages over global audits, failed peacekeeping and sexual abuse by UN-sponsored soldiers," end quote [How an accredited reporter got a lifetime banishment from the UN by Isabel Vincent; New York Post, September 23rd.]
Matthew Russell Lee was an accredited U.N. reporter with his own office there until this July, when he got banned for life for probing a little too deeply into how the U.N. delegates spend the organization's money — $1.2 billion of which comes from American taxpayers.
So how do they spend it? Take a clue from Mr Lee, quote:
I used to believe in the UN. I used to think it stood for decolonization and existed to help the underdog. Now it's about trading favors, selling access and actively covering up human-rights violations.
It's a disgrace to the noble city of New York that this parasitic excresence, ths tumor, is allowed to deface our skyline. The U.N. building should be emptied out and reduced to rubble. The rubble should then be carted away for landfill and the ground sown with salt. Every noncitizen employed in the place should be deported with a lifetime ban on re-entry.
Personally, Mr President, I liked your Tuesday speech. In that place, though, before those people, it was, as I feel sure you know, pearls before swine.
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The little South Korean island of Jeju has figured in a previous Radio Derb podcast. That was back in our July 6th podcast, when I commented on how the South Korean inhabitants of Jeju — who are of course Ice People — were resisting the settlement of Yemenis seeking asylum on their island.
Well, this week I found out something else about Jeju, which is a popular vacation spot for South Koreans. I was browsing the Daily Telegraph travel section when I saw a headline inviting me to guess what is the world's busiest air route. I'll just quote from the article, quote:
The correct answer will surprise you. The most crowded flight path on Earth, according to aviation analyst OAG, is actually the 280-mile hop from Seoul Gimpo (stop sniggering) to Jeju International. A staggering 13,460,306 passenger journeys were made between the two airports in 2017; by comparison, less than three million travelled between Heathrow and New York's JFK. [The world's busiest air route? You'll never guess by Oliver Smith; Daily Telegraoh, September 13th 2018.]
There's a spot quiz for your next dinner party. No-one will get it … unless they read the Telegraph or listen to Radio Derb.
Item: As an ex-Brit I follow British politics in a desultory way. This week that has involved reading articles about the Labour Party annual conference, which took place last Sunday to Wednesday in Liverpool.
This was instructive in a general, non-Britocentric way — instructive especially about how times have changed.
This is definitely not my Dad's Labour Party. That was a party of working people: coal miners, steelworkers, dockers, factory and railroad employees, truck drivers, nurses, typists, and store assistants.
Today's Labout Party, the Conference made it all too plain, is a party of middle-class metropolitan progressives, neckbeards and spinsters, Muslims and lesbians, college lecturers and Vice Presidents for Diversity and Inclusion.
One of the conference stars was a neckbeard named Sion Rickard, billed as a teaching assistant. Mr Rickard's theme was an extreme version of the "fix the schools!" mantra so beloved by our own progressives. Once we finally get education right, he told a thrilled audience, quote:
If we give them a proper education, we'll empty our prisons, we'll have much less problems with our [National Health Service], social issues … We'll probably not have any Tories because we'll have brought up our kids properly [Teacher tells Labour conference that a "proper education" will mean there will be no more Tories "because we'll have brought our kids up properly" by Tim Sculthorpe; Daily Mail, September 24th 2018.]
So here's my question: Who now represents working-class Brits — the truck drivers and nurses? They really need a Donald Trump over there.
Item: Finally, how could I resist this one, also from across the pond?
There is a city in northeast England named Durham, and Durham has a university. The university has a Philosophy Department, and that department has a journal containing articles about, duh, philosophy.
Until last month the editor of that journal was 24-year-old Angelos Sofocleous. Then he got fired from that editorship. He was also fired from his position as editor of the university's online magazine; and he was forced to resign as president of a college group called Humanist Students, which bills itself as a free speech society.
Plainly Mr Sofocleous did something pretty awful. Sexual harassment? Drunk and disorderly in class? Assault and battery? Stealing college property?
Nothing so picayune. No, here's what he did. He retweeted an article in the London Spectator — a magazine so respectable that I used to write for it — whose headline read, quote, "Is it a crime to say women don't have penises?" End quote.
That, you see, is unacceptably transphobic — certainly well outside the bounds of free speech in the United Cuckdom. Whether it is actually a crime in Durham to say that women don't have penises, is unclear; but it is seriously improper to retweet the question.
Mr Sofocleous, who is originally from Cyprus, seems a bit baffled by all the outrage. Quote from him: "I may be wrong and women might indeed have penises, although I don't believe that to be the case." End quote. [Student editor who retweeted article pointing out that that "women don't have penises" is fired from university journal by Sophie Law; Daily Mail, September 21st 2018.]
We should make allowances for Mr Sofocleous. Probably Cyprus has not yet got the news that the penis is just a social construct with no biological reality. Durham University should send some missionaries out there to enlighten them.
07 — Signoff. There you have it, ladies and gents: a more than normally newsworthy week. Thank you for your time and attention, and a peaceful and relaxing weekend to one and all.
The Kavanaugh confirmation drama is not quite over yet. We must wait and see what the Democrats pull out of their … I mean, out of the, the undergrowth next week.
We have at least finished with the committee hearings, though, and thank goodness for that. There may yet be scenes to be played out in the Senate chamber itself; but so far as the Judiciary Committee hearing rooms are concerned, my signout music is apt.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Eartha Kitt, "The Day the Circus Left Town."]