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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, dobro guitar version]
01 — Intro. And The Radio Derb is on the air!
Did you catch the "The" there? A running theme here on Radio Derb is my intense dislike of the "The" we're supposed to include in the names of too many countries: The Netherlands, The Czech Republic, and so on. The hell with it, I've been saying: It's "Holland" and "Czechia."
Well, a sympathetic listener emailed in with the following suggestion, edited quote:
It's time for you to slay the "The" beast with sarcasm and an assertion of quasi-national sovereignty … I propose that for at least one Radio Derb segment, you "rebrand" … as "The Radio Derb."
An excellent idea. So welcome to The Radio Derb. This is your articulately genial host John Derbyshire, podcasting to you from the top right-hand corner of the U.S.A., more properly known as "America."
Let's see what's been happening this week in the world, the Solar System, the Galaxy, the Local Group, the Virgo Supercluster, the universe …
02 — Kushner's immigration plan. News report from Reuters, Tuesday this week, quote:
President Donald Trump and aides on Tuesday briefed a group of Republican senators on a merit-based immigration plan that would let more highly-skilled workers into the United States and fewer low-skilled workers, a senior administration official said.
This is the plan that has Jared Kushner's name attached to it — that's Ivanka's husband, the President's son-in-law.
The fact of the plan being associated with Kushner has raised a lot of negativity from immigration patriots. Kushner has no track record as an immigration patriot; indeed, no track record of being interested in immigration at all, or of knowing any of the key facts about it. We're bound to suspect that into a mental vacuum like that will get sucked all the feelgood fallacies of the immigration boosters: "nation of immigrants!" "huddled masses!" "jobs Americans won't do!" "save Social Security!" etc., etc.
We have to suspect also that Kushner's business background makes his ears receptive to the whisperings of Wall Street and Chamber of Commerce types, who are all big immigration boosters. Kushner's well-padded upbringing didn't give him much acquaintance with flyover folk or deplorables. Didn't his father-in-law's 2016 populism make Jared wince?
I'm a bit more charitable than the average here. Kushner was very active on Trump's behalf in the 2016 campaign; so if he was wincing at Trump's populism, he must have been keeping his winces well out of sight.
And he's been consulting with Stephen Miller on these immigration proposals, so presumably he's been getting an education in the realities. True, he's also been consulting with Kevin Hassett, Trump's chief economic advisor and a big-time immigration booster; but Stephen Miller is well-informed, forceful, and articulate. Kushner's an intelligent guy; we can hope that Miller's arguments prevailed over Hassett's at least some of the time.
And indeed the proposals don't seem as bad as we might have feared. I have to say "seem" because the proposals are still half-baked, and reports from Tuesday's briefing don't make much clear.
There's been positive reaction from some encouraging quarters, none the less. Immigration hawk Ryan Girdusky over at the One America news network has been saying approving things about the Kushner plan. Sample tweet:
The Kushner bill is going to have a lot of good in it: builds the wall, fixes asylum laws, e-verify, & massively reduces chain migration w/o an amnesty.
Also on the positive — or at least, non-negative — side: Among the senators being briefed by Trump on Tuesday were Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, both immigration hawks. Cotton came out of the briefing upbeat, telling reporters that things are, quote: "moving in the right direction."
Perdue was more reserved, but allowed that the proposals as sketched by the President borrowed usefully from the RAISE Act that Perdue and Cotton had put before the Senate in 2017, although Perdue frowned that Tuesday's briefing kept legal immigration numbers over a million a year while the RAISE Act would have halved them.
We'll have to hold off serious judgment on Kushner's efforts until full details come out. We can say with fair certainty, however, that even on the most optimistic assumption about those details, the Kushner plan is lukewarm stuff by comparison with what is needed, and what we here at VDARE.com promote, and indeed what Trump talked up on the campaign trail and well into his Presidency.
There seems to be no acknowledgment in Kushner's plan of the fact we and others have amply documented: the fact that immigration, both legal and illegal, is first and foremost a cheap-labor racket dressed up in romantic and moralistic flim-flam. It is a conspiracy against working Americans.
On the illegal side, mass deportation of illegal aliens seems not to be on the table, which is another disappointment: although if Ryan Girdusky is right that compulsory E-verify is in there, self-deportation would kick in.
I suppose that Kushner would say that politics is the art of the possible; that the best is the enemy of the good; that with the Congress we have, lukewarm is all we can realistically hope for; that, as Tom Cotton said, this is at least a move in the right direction.
Eh, maybe. I'd reply that given the rhetoric of Democrats, even these lukewarm proposals stand no chance of being enacted. I'm not even talking about the crazy Democrats like Beto O'Rourke and Alexandria Whats-her-name. Listen to Nancy Pelosi; listen to Chuck Schumer. Their party is totally locked in to open borders, mass amnesty, immigration romanticism, and an endless flow of cheap labor to crush citizen workers. So, of course, is a good segment of the Republican Party.
So there's an element of unreality about the whole Kushner effort. Given that, I'd rather the administration had gone full-bore immigration-patriotic: No more guest-worker visas, no more student visas, no more refugees, mass deportation of illegals. Of course, that wouldn't get through Congress either; but the public conversation about immigration would have gotten a big jolt of realism.
03 — Numbers are of the essence. An ongoing permanent frustration for immigration restrictionists is the widespread inability to think about big numbers.
"Numbers are of the essence," said the great British immigration patriot Enoch Powell. Yes they are; but to get people thinking about the numbers is uphill work. To most people, most of the time, immigration means the nice Mexican gardener, the pleasant Indian couple down the street, great-grandad going through Ellis Island, Albert Einstein and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's personal and social, not arithmetical.
But with modern communications and cheap international travel, it has in reality been getting seriously arithmetical really fast in recent decades.
Sample headline: Daily Caller, May 3rd, headline: Nearly Forty Percent of Guatemalans Want to Leave the Country, Poll Finds.
Guatemala's population is 17.3 million. Forty percent of that is seven million. Seven million, from just one small country, want to leave; most want to come here to America.
Another sample headline: Gallup poll, December 10th 2018, headline: More Than 750 Million Worldwide Would Migrate If They Could. Here we have an actual number for those who would come specifically to America. Gallup asked the question. Answer: 158 million want to come to the U.S.A.
And that's just adult respondents. Gallup doesn't talk about how many kids they'd bring with them. Nor do they consider the chain migration factor — that is, people who'd come because they know, or are related to, someone else who's come. CIS did a full analysis and came up with 703 million people in total.
That's the actual meaning of open borders: a tripling of our country's population, from the current 330 million to over a billion. That's what open borders means. That's what one of our two big political parties insists on and most of the other big party shrugs at.
When you look at the cold numbers like that, the sheer wack-a-doodle craziness of the open-borders position is plain.
I know, I know: You've heard these arguments from me and others, many times over. It's good to hear them again from time to time, though; to bring to mind the utter innumerate insanity of the opposition.
04 — Yet another school shooting. Another school shooting, another hero.
This shooting happened on Tuesday at a high school in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado — just twenty miles from Columbine, where thirteen people were murdered by crazy shooters in a high school almost exactly twenty years ago.
In this Tuesday's incident two students, aged 18 and 16, went into a classroom carrying handguns. The 18-year-old started shooting; I'm not clear what part the 16-year-old played. Three of the students rushed the shooter, taking him down. One of the three, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, died. Eight students were injured.
All the words of praise I offered last week in tribute to Riley Howell of North Carolina, who was killed taking down the gunman in that April 30th classroom shooting in Charlotte, of course apply equally to Kendrick Castillo. He was an extraordinarily brave young man who did a heroic thing. Those other students who charged with him should likewise be honored for their courage and swift resolution.
I've been holding off on recording this segment all day Friday because the two shooters had a court appearance scheduled for mid-afternoon Friday my local time. I hoped to follow reports of that in the Denver online media, to find out more about what took place. However, the court appearance has been re-scheduled to Wednesday the 15th, so we still don't have many details.
We do have the shooters' names. The 16-year-old is Maya McKinney, a biological female who is "transitioning" to male, and prefers to be known by the name Alec. So there is some weirdness in here, a style of weirdness much encouraged by the zeitgeist.
You get weirdness vibes from the older perp, too, name of Devon Erickson. He came to his May 9th court appearance with one half of his much-too-long hair dyed bright purple. His Facebook page expresses support for the far-left Occupy movement, along with, actual quote: "You know what I hate? All these Christians who hate gays," end quote.
So, definitely some 2019-style weirdness there; but we'll know more next week.
And I should say that our lack of knowledge here is due in part to the "no notoriety" meme going round. That's the idea, being promoted by law-enforcement authorities, parents of shooting victims, and supporters in the media, that one motivating factor for these shooters is their desire for fame, the desire to be somebody. Deprive them of that fame, says the meme, and you reduce the motive behind the deed.
That's not implausible; and the more I think about it, the more sympathetic to it I am. Since the perps' names are out there, I may as well report them; but I'll practice a decent retraint on any further details that come out, and direct your main attention, as I did last week, to the young heroes who brought down the shooters.
05 — Are we getting crazier? A question you can't avoid when incidents like that come up in conversation is: Are we going crazy? More precisely: Is there more craziness around today than twenty, or fifty, years ago?
It's a hard question to answer, perhaps an impossible one. Quantifying craziness presents big problems right away. Social science researchers are all over the place on it.
Hoping for something definitive, at least about school shootings, I typed into Google's search box the question "Are school shootings getting more common?"
Centers for Disease Control, January 2019, edited quote: "Single-victim homicide rates remained stable overall during 1994-2016 … Multiple-victim incidence rates increased significantly from July 2009 to June 2018." End quote. So it looks like they're getting worse.
There's a serious quantification issue here, and problems of definition. If ghetto gang warfare spills over into some crummy ghetto school, that's a different kind of event from mentally-disturbed suburban white kids working out anger or taking revenge for having been bullied or rejected.
If the social-science research is ambiguous, we can fall back on our own impressions; but then all our cognitive biases kick in. I was actually around and following the news twenty years ago, and also fifty years ago; but in summoning up recollections for comparison purposes, of course my own cognitive biases kick in, and I have to try to disentangle them.
Doing my honest best with that I'd say that yes, there is more open craziness around now than there used to be.
Politics is crazier for sure, and the reason for that is in plain sight. The overclass who do most of the decision-making and opinion-forming in the media, the academy, the bureaucracy, and politics, are at much more of a distance from the working and lower-middle classes than they used to be.
They are also way more numerous. The expansion of higher education and proliferation of media has opened up a lot of jobs for bookish conformists with mediocre intellects. Fifty years ago the faculty of an average college included self-identifying conservatives at a healthy percentage — not often a majority, but twenty or thirty percent wasn't unusual. Now the percentage is often in low single digits, heading to zero.
Feeling their numbers and their power, these goodwhite mediocrities have dropped their inhibitions. They are open about the contempt and loathing they feel towards conservatives, Christians, small-town and country folk, patriots and nationalists. They are openly angry at us, and we are angry back.
The first few months I lived in the U.S.A., 1973-74, the news was full of Richard Nixon's troubles. The overclass was out to get him, and of course they duly got him. The overclass campaign against Nixon was nasty and unprincipled; but it was a mere faint shadow of the current anti-Trump campaign. Looking back on it, in fact, it was quite genteel by comparison.
Now we are coarser and more angry. One small index of how much coarser we are is the normalization of the f-word that I commented on in my January diary. I hear it all the time now, from well-dressed respectable people.
But cuss-words live in the reptilian brain stem. People whose brains have been damaged so they can't speak in sentences can still cuss.
Crazy people cuss a lot. If we are cussing more, and more openly, we are to some degree crazier.
So yes, I say there is more craziness around.
06 — Drifting towards the Singularity. Are there other factors driving the rise in craziness, assuming I'm right that it's happening? I'm sure there are.
A lot of people will say: Well, we institutionalize far fewer crazy people than we used to.
I have mixed feelings about that, expressed in my April 26th podcast. Leaving my mixed feelings aside, though, the big push for de-institutionalization was in the late 1970s, early 1980s. That was forty years ago. Craziness, it seems to me, has been rising this last twenty years, when de-institutionalization has long been baked in. So I don't see de-institutionalization as a factor, or not much of one.
Technology has something to do with it, I'm sure. We've been de-humanizing ourselves. There are indicators of this all over.
If you browse in news sources much I'm sure you've seen one of those stories about the decline of sex. Sample at random, this from the Daily Mail online, May 8th, quote:
Startling new research suggests we're having sex less and less frequently. The statistics published yesterday found that among Britons aged 16 to 44, only 41 per cent are having sex at least once a week — while almost a third, 29 per cent, had no sex in the past month at all.
The writers blame smartphones, tablets, and Netflix. We like that endless, endlessly varied stream of visual stimulation more than we like physical coupling, apparently. Hey, it has fewer complications.
Another factor is what I vaguely think of as the lack of ballast. Life can be a bumpy ride. You need ballast — something solid and heavy to keep you upright. Religious faith is good for that; so is any other kind of social certitude — I mean, inner assurance that the future won't be too wildly different from the past.
Take that second perp in Tuesday's Colorado shooting, the 16-year-old girl who's "transitioning" to be a boy. Who on earth thinks this is a good idea? At age sixteen? The answer is of course that a mighty host of opinion-formers and cultural panjandrums think it's a good idea — so good an idea that if you oppose it, you must be a twisted bigot filled with hate.
But if the matter of which sex you are is fluid, and its fluidity enjoys the approval of cultural authorities, then everything is fluid. There is no certitude, no ballast.
Remember all the talk about the Singularity — the point at which our machines are smarter than we are, giving less and less point to our continued existence? It sometimes seems to me that we've internalized that idea. We're shuffling gradually into position, ready for the Singularity when it comes.
If you de-humanize humanity like this, you're left with a skittering, aimless creature, who might as well be crazy as sane. Sanity, reason, logic — that's for the machines. They'll take care of managing reality; we can sink into fantasy, into craziness.
07 — Mired in boredom. I'm putting this in a segment of its own because I can't quite figure how it contributes to that previous segment, about rising craziness. I feel instinctively that it does, I just can't figure how.
The survey in that headline was carried out for Bowlero, a chain of bowling alleys. The survey asked Americans how bored they are. What precisely they asked was, how many boring days a year we endure, with a boring day defined as one that involved simply no fun at all.
They found that average-average, Americans experience 131 boring days a year — that's 36 percent of the year.
Boredom seems to be increasing. Quote: "Over 20 percent said 2018 was less fun overall than the previous three years," end quote.
There are legitimate doubts you can raise about the objectivity of this survey. If I were running a chain of bowling alleys, I'd want some talking points to get people out bowling on my lanes.
With due allowance for that, though, and watching people gazing away for hours into their smartphones and iPads, there is definitely something passive about today's fun.
Back in the 1970s I used to go bowling twice a week. It was fun. We drank and smoked and boasted and flirted as we bowled. After bowling there was a wee disco attached to the lanes where you could drink and flirt more, and ogle the wives and girlfriends of your fellow bowlers.
It was fun — not as much fun as skydiving or partying with Charlie Sheen in Vegas, but way more fun than sitting in bed watching Netflix.
So yes, we are overstimulated by our gadgets, but not in a good way: in a way that de-activates, de-socializes, and de-humanizes us.
On the de-socializing point, it's a neat coincidence that a classic study on this was Robert Putnam's 2001 book Bowling Alone. Putnam followed up with a famous 2006 study on ethnic diversity, which I covered in detail in Chapter 2 of We Are Doomed. Ethnic diversity, Putnam found, correlates negatively with social capital. Quote from my book:
In places with more ethnic diversity, people have fewer friends, watch more TV, are less inclined to vote, trust local government less, and rate their personal happiness lower.
Not surprising they're bored. Bored, and alienated.
This is world-wide. Headline, from Voice of Europe, May 7th: Austrians say they're "feeling like foreigners" inside of their own country. Headline, from Breitbart, May 2nd: Ireland: Politicians Back Globalism, But People Fear Country "Changing Too Quickly". I could pull half a dozen headlines like that from any week's news.
Now I confess I'm feeling smug. I'm hardly ever bored. I just wish there were more hours in the day for all the things I want to do: catch up on reading, ride my bike round the local state park, home repairs, visiting, entertaining, fiddling with computer code, family stuff, … I have to struggle to remember the last time I was bored.
Is that merely personal, or generational? No idea: but I don't have a smartphone or an iPad, and my computer is my slave, not my master.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Speaking of crazy people: One variety of lunatic we get in New York City is the Subway Shover. This is the person who picks a random stranger on the subway platform and shoves them into the path of an arriving subway train.
Here's one of them: 33-year-old Melanie Liverpool. Back in November of 2016 Ms Liverpool shoved 49-year-old Connie Watton into the path of a train, causing her death. Just a month ago Ms Liverpool was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for that. Early Wednesday she was found dead in her jail cell, apparently a suicide.
Ms Liverpool, the shover, was black. Mrs Watton, the shovee, was East Asian. This, it seems to me from years of reading these stories, is a common pattern. I should dearly like to see statistics on perp and victim for subway shoving, broken down by race on both sides. I'd guess that black shover of Asian shovee is far the commonest situation.
Of course, if anyone has collected such statistics, they would never dare publicize the data. That would be hateful and wrong.
Let's divide that 116 million into three categories: private-sector workers on wages or salaries, government workers, and self-employed workers like your genial host. The percentage breakdown is private-sector 76 percent, government 16 percent, self-employed 8 percent.
So one in six of us works for a government, federal, state, or local.
Which group does best on salary? Go on: see if you can guess. It's government workers, of course. Median earnings 52½ thousand. That's six percent higher than the self-employed and fourteen percent higher than the poor shlubs toiling away in the private sector.
If you break down government workers into two further categories, state and local workers in category one, federal workers in category two, which does better?
Again, which did you think? Federal workers are way out ahead, median earnings 66 thousand. Even state and local government workers are ahead of us private-sector and self-employed losers, though.
Moral of the story: Get a government job! — federal for strong preference.
Item: There's a new royal baby over there in the mother country, Queen Elizabeth's eighth great-grandchild, to be named Archie Harrison.
I can't summon up much interest, I'll admit, but I did sympathize with BBC Radio host Danny Baker, a collateral casualty of the event.
Mr Baker, who is 61 years old and so not as thoroughly indoctrinated in racial protocols as a goodthinking citizen should be in the current year, Mr Baker tweeted an old stock photograph of a bourgeois-looking couple from I think the 1920s standing on each side of a cute little chimp dressed up like a gentleman of the time — he's even wearing spats. Mr Baker tagged it with the caption: "Royal baby leaves hospital."
For that, Mr Baker was fired by the BBC. The royal mother of this new royal baby, you see, is a quadroon.
All right, Mr Baker's joke wasn't in the best of taste. It was still a joke, though — hey, I smiled at it — and you have to suspect that it was its being a joke that the Beeb really objected to.
Humor is subversive, and subverting racial orthodoxy is the worst kind of thoughtcrime. I'm surprised Mr Baker hasn't been arrested.
09 — Signoff. That's all for this week, ladies and gents. Thank you for your time and attention; and any listeners who will be attending the American Renaissance conference next weekend, I look forward to meeting you there.
Kind listeners often email in with suggestions for sign-off music. I'm a bit backed up on these, I'm afraid, so if you are one of those emailers, please be patient.
Here is one I couldn't resist. It's a Welsh choir singing a lovely old Welsh hymn Gâd i'r ddaear droi: "Let the Earth turn, let the river run." Thanks to the listener who sent this in.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week — from Tennessee!
[Music clip: Chamber Orchestra of Wales, "Gâd i'r ddaear droi."]