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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 1, organ version]
01 — Intro. The cry goes up round the chancelleries: What was that, Derb? Permit me to explain.
Since April of 2005 I have been using a snippet from Franz Joseph Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2 for intro music. That is, as its name suggests, the second march — the second of just two, actually — that Haydn wrote for the Derbyshire Cavalry regiment in 1795. Well, I thought that after fourteen years it is high time I gave you a bit of the first march, and there it was.
Just like the snippet of No. 2 that you've been hearing since the second George W. Bush administration got under way, this rendering of No. 1 is played on the fine old organ, the Compton organ, of Derby cathedral, Derby of course being the capital of Derbyshire. The organist on both pieces is Peter Gould.
There now: Never let it be said that Derb is a stick-in-the-mud hostile to all innovation. Not at all!
So this your adventurously genial host John Derbyshire with VDARE.com's summary of the week's news.
02 — Horrors, numbers, biases. The week's headliners were two mass shootings: one in El Paso, Texas last Saturday morning, followed in the small hours of Sunday morning by another in Dayton, Ohio. The El Paso shooter killed 22 people; the second killed nine. The El Paso guy is in custody; the Dayton one was killed by police.
I can never think of anything to say about horrors like this. Horrors is what they are; no argument from me about that. People are going peacefully about their business, shopping or night-clubbing, when suddenly a lunatic appears out of nowhere and shoots them down. I'm as shocked and saddened by that as anyone. Sincere condolences from Radio Derb to the wounded and bereaved.
This is a nation of a third of a billion people, though, and ghastly things will happen — some of them by human agency, some by natural catastrophes.
I guess my attitude is just fatalistic. Of the public reactions to these two events, the only one that really returned an echo from my bosom was the one by TV astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tweeted Tyson on Sunday, tweet:
In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.
I can't claim much engagement with Tyson. I've never read one of his books or watched one of his TV programs. That's not from any antipathy; I know next to nothing about the guy. The only pop-science books I read are ones editors send me for review, and it just happens that no-one's sent me one of Tyson's books. I don't watch much TV — some conservative commentary, currently Tucker Carlson, and now and then a sitcom that tickles my fancy.
So I've totally missed Tyson, without prejudice. (Except that, like everyone else not thoroughly brainwashed, I assume by reflex that any black person doing science on TV is an affirmative-action hire. Reflexes like that are among the evil consequences of affirmative action, and I don't think tell us anything important about either the subject or the object.)
I'm with Tyson on this one, anyway. I'm a numbers guy, and plainly so is he. With news events like this all sorts of cognitive biases kick in. You could start your googling with the phrase "salience bias." That especially applies when politicians and their media stooges amp up the salience for all they're worth.
Sorry, but I prefer the cooler numerical approach. Hey, Mr Tyson: You ever in Long Island? I'll buy you a drink. I'm an astronomy buff from way back; my high school had a 12-inch reflector …
03 — Milking the horrors. And of course the politicians and pundits milked the killings for all they were worth. Since competitive politics right now is mostly among contenders for next year's Democratic Presidential nomination, and pundits break about nine to one Democrat, most of the commentary blamed the events on President Trump and the 63 million deplorables who, in violation of all the laws of nature, voted for him in 2016.
Squeezing political points out of the El Paso and Dayton horrors wasn't easy, though.
It looked at first as if it was going to be easy. Both the shooters were white, so the media could freely portray them as psychopathic monsters. Well, they are — or in the Dayton guy's case, were — psychopathic monsters; but then, so are the black murderers who commit most of our mass shootings but get way less media coverage and generate very little interest among politicians.
And then, the El Paso killer had posted a manifesto online. It's 2,400 words — which is fairly brief, as these things go. The manifesto of 2011 Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik ran to half a million words.
There was enough in those 2,400 words, though, for the CultMarx mob to argue that the killer was inspired by President Trump, even though the killer himself, in the manifesto, told us he'd formed his ideas before Trump showed up.
The main point that got the mob's attention was the killer writing that, quote:
This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas … I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.
With a hundred thousand people a month coming in across our southern border without permission, terms like "invasion" and "ethnic replacement" don't seem hyperbolic to me. And yes, some of Donald Trump's past statements indicate similar lines of thinking; although in two and a half years as Chief Executive he hasn't actually done anything to defend our nation's demographic stability.
Other notions expressed in the El Paso guy's manifesto are un-Trumpian or actually anti-Trumpian; he grumbles about corporate greed and the degradation of the environment, for instance.
So the guy has a lot of different beefs he was working off, some of them approximately Trumpian. The way he worked them off was by murdering 22 random strangers in a Walmart store. That was insane; and yes, the guy is a psychopathic monster.
Crazy people get their inspiration the way the rest of us do, from listening, reading, and personal experience. What they then do with their inspiration tells you nothing about the content of the source material.
Fifty years ago today — August 9th 1969 — Charlie Manson and his gang murdered Sharon Tate and four other people in Beverly Hills. Manson claimed a Beatles song, "Helter Skelter," as his inspiration. This tells you absolutely nothing about the Beatles, or about their music, or about people who like their music.
Crazy people do crazy stuff for reasons that make sense to no-one but themselves. They're crazy.
Milking last weekend's horrors for CultMarx talking points got even more difficult — or, as the progressives say, "problematic" — when it turned out that the Dayton killer was Antifa. He didn't leave a manifesto behind, but he did leave a long trail on social media that left no doubt where his sympathies lay.
The Dayton Daily News in fact reported on Tuesday that the killer had been present at a May 25th rally protesting the KKK. He had showed up in full Antifa gear, complete with face bandanna, sunglasses, and a gun, possibly the same gun he used last weekend.
This has of course proved deeply uninteresting to the Democratic candidates and their media shills. Here's a random headline, this one from CNN, dated Wednesday — the day after the Dayton Daily News report. Headline: Dayton shooter had an obsession with violence and mass shootings, police say.
You have to read 300 words into the report before the word "Antifa" shows up.
04 — Boob bait for progressive bubbas. Just a couple of sidebar issues from the shootings.
While the political content of these psychopaths' heads should be of no interest to anyone, and most of what politicians say about incidents like these is cynical, self-serving b-s, there may none the less be political consequences.
We've been hearing a lot this week, for example, about Red Flag laws. These are laws, so far only at the state level, that allow a judge to rule that some person is too unstable to be a gun owner. If the judge so rules, police can confiscate that person's guns.
Depending on which state's law you're looking at, the judge's ruling can come from above — that is, from state law-enforcement or mental-health authorities — or from below, via a petition by relatives or acquaintances of the subject, or both.
Red Flag laws have come up in just the past twenty years. At least 17 states currently have them, including my own state of New York. More on that in the next segment.
There's not much evidence that Red Flag laws have done anything to reduce homicides, although they do seem to have reduced the numbers of suicides. These laws do, however, have an obvious appeal to totalitarian power freaks who think we deplorables have way too many liberties.
It would be nice to report that President Trump is not one of those people, but the evidence suggests otherwise.
We got a big fat slab of that evidence back in February last year in that disastrous televised meeting with congresscritters at the White house to discuss gun control. Remember that? Money quote from Trump: "Take the firearms first, and then go to court … take the guns first, go through due process second."
In case we thought that was a one-time aberration, on Monday this week, speaking from the White House, the President called for Red Flag laws nationwide.
So if that cranky old cat lady three doors down thinks you don't mow your lawn often enough, she can petition some lefty judge to strip you of your Second Amendment rights, and Trump will be fine with it. Indeed, on the evidence of last year's meeting, he'd be pressing the cops to "take the guns first, go through due process second."
To compound the offense, the President extruded a couple yards of fluent CultMarx diction. Sample quotes:
In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated … Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.
That's boob bait for the progressive bubbas. The portmanteau phrase "racism, bigotry, and white supremacy" just means any kind of self-assertion on the part of white people, any slightest resistance to the constant belittling and insulting of whites. Nancy Pelosi couldn't have phrased it better. In fact she would have phrased it precisely the same, and probably has.
And Trump's usage of the word "hate" there is pure CultMarx cant. If you prefer people to stay mainly in their own countries and leave you alone in yours, you can do so without hating them.
The people of China and Japan don't hate whites, or blacks, or Indians. They allow us to live in their countries, in limited numbers, and treat us with full courtesy when we do so. Sometimes they even marry us.
However, if tens of millions of us wanted to go settle in China and Japan, we should meet a polite refusal. Numbers, numbers.
And one more sidebar issue. While I doubt there are any direct political causes for events like these, there may very well be deeper social causes.
In between news stories about those mass killings last weekend, my eye fell upon this unrelated item. Headline from the Daily Mail: A Quarter of Millennials Say They Have no Friends, Study Finds.
Hmm. The Dayton killer — the Antifa guy — was a millennial, 24 years old.
On the strict definition, the El Paso guy was just post-millennial, 21 years old. "Generation Z," the post-millennials are sometimes called. So how are they doing?
Different headline, this one from VoiceOfEurope: Gen Z Crisis: "9 in 10 young Brits think their lives are meaningless".
Just a couple more data points on this theme. First data point: The sister of the Dayton shooter, who was one of those killed in the shooting, identified as a guy. Her birth name was Megan, but to a close circle of friends she was Jordan.
Second data point: That Dayton shooter participated as vocalist in a fringe music scene called "pornogrind." Two of the bands he performed with bore the names Menstrual Munchies and Putrid Liquid. I really, really don't want to know any more about pornogrind, but by all means look it up if you have the stomach for it.
I have no comment of my own on those two data points, but I'll borrow one from Carson Robison: [Clip: Carson Robison, "There's something cockeyed somewhere."]
05 — From under the Red Flag. Here's a personal story related to the issue of Red Flag laws.
Our son lives here with us, working for a college degree at a local university. He's 24 years old, large, muscular, and fearless. Weekends he sometimes goes to local bars with his buddies.
Back in the Spring he got into some kind of shoving match in one of these bars, as young guys will. I don't think any physical damage was done to persons or property; but Junior's not the type to back down in a situation like that, and the party of the second part was sufficiently intimidated to file a complaint with the town police. The cops took down Junior's address, which is also of course my address.
Now, I am a handgun owner, with a proper up-to-date pistol license, all correctly registered at county police headquarters, according to local ordinances. A complaint like the one filed against Junior apparently triggers some automatic computer search against the database of pistol license holders. So my name came up, and I got a letter from police HQ demanding I surrender my handguns.
I complied, of course, though I made the buggers work for it. I was supposed to drive twenty miles over to county police HQ and surrender my handguns, but I thought, "the hell with that." Instead I called the local station house, told them I am a decrepit geezer in poor health, would they mind sending an officer round that I could surrender my weapons to?
Two cops duly arrived on my doorstep. I gave them my handguns and license; they gave me receipts. They were, I should say, very courteous and professional.
(As they should be for what we pay them. A friend who's retired from the New York City police force tells me that among his colleagues, the cops of our leafy outer-suburban county were known as "the money boys." Comes time to sign up for the county police exam, there's a line three miles long of applicants wanting to get into the force.)
That was back in April. The suspension is for as long as it takes to resolve the complaint. Best guess is that sometime this Fall I get my handguns back … if they still have them. A friend with personal experience in this zone tells me that, quote: "The Police Property Clerk loses an amazing percentage of weapons impounded … especially the expensive ones." End quote.
I shall probably end up hiring a lawyer to get my guns back, and probably fail even then, after spending several hundred dollars.
Meanwhile I still have my long guns for home defense. Should I hear an intruder in the middle of the night, I can pull out my trusty Mossberg. The upside there is, when I cycle the pump action, the sound is unmistakeable [pump action] and scary, probably enough to get the intruder diving headfirst out the window just by itself.
The downsides are: One, a shotgun is an unwieldy thing to maneuver in household corridors and doorways. And two: If the situation went critical and I had to press the trigger, the result at the intruder end would be a lot messier with a shotgun than with a handgun.
All because of a shoving match in a bar, that I wasn't even involved in. I don't blame Junior. On the contrary, I'm glad to know he stands up for himself, as a man should, and is intimidating enough to send some weasel opponent running to the cops.
But if anyone wants to try telling me that my neck of the woods needs more gun laws, well … [pump action].
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Back in June we posted here at VDARE.com the op-ed that Jared Taylor wrote for CNN on their suggestion. CNN of course spiked it as unsuitable.
The closing sentences of Jared's op-ed may be pertinent to last weekend's events, I don't know. See what you think. Here are those sentences, quote:
It is true that some people with nationalist ideas have committed horrific murderous acts. Why? Because when people have a voice, they speak. When they are hated, silenced, and their deeply felt values driven underground by self-righteous media censors, they may act in unspeakable ways.
Item: I've been missing the manosphere blogger who called himself "Heartiste." He used to have a blog on WordPress, but they deplatformed him for misogyny, vulgarity, and nineteen other kinds of political incorrectness. He even made me wince sometimes; but he had a way with words that was occasionally memorable.
Searching around, I've found him on Gab, which is a sort of Twitter for Badwhites. I'm glad to see that Heartiste is just as crude and unprintable as ever.
Much of what he posts at Gab is reposts, which it seems to me should be called "regabs," but apparently aren't. They're well selected, though. Here's one of Heartiste's reposts from a Gabber named BostonDave. Gab:
Item: Hell, I may as well go for the trifecta here.
This one is from Twitter. [Boo …] The tweeter here is Stefan Molyneux, who for reasons I cannot fathom has not yet been banished to Gab. Tweet:
Constantly referring to whites as "white nationalists" is just about the ultimate self-fulfilling prophesy.
From our point of view — from the point of view of people whose commentary concentrates on the National Question — Johnson's a very strange person to be leading the Brexit charge.
The Brexit vote in June 2016 has correctly been yoked with the election of Donald Trump later that same year. Both were victories of the red over the blue: of the provincial over the metropolitan, of the communitarian over the cosmopolitan.
Both were expressions of the wish, held by many millions in both countries, for more attention to national sovereignty and demographic stability, with correspondingly fewer foreign entanglements and less immigration.
So Boris Johnson, this doughty champion of Brexit, is with us on the National Question, right?
Wrong! In the eight years he was Mayor of London, 2008-2016 — by which point self-identifying white British were already a minority in Britain's capital — Johnson spoke blithely about the vibrant diversity of the city.
On becoming Prime Minister two weeks ago, one of his first acts was to propose an amnesty for half a million illegal aliens. He also declared that he was scrapping the promise by the outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May to limit immigration to less than a hundred thousand a year.
(It's true that Mrs May's promise was make in utter insincerity and taken seriously by no-one, but at least it was something she could be confronted with.)
So: Boris Johnson, Brexit warrior? Apparently so. Boris Johnson, strong on the National Question? Far from it.
That's going to be an interesting circle to square.
Item: Radio Derb's dear friend and sometime business colleague President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov of Turkmenistan had been causing concern to his innumerable admirers. He dropped out of sight on July 5th and remained thus for four weeks.
A leader so universally adored by his own people and respected and admired all over the world could not likely have fallen victim to treacherous elements in his own government; but we feared that perhaps he was suffering some kind of health crisis.
We therefore rejoiced, earlier this week, to see President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov back in the news, as vigorous and fearless as ever.
Vigorous? State TV showed President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov ten-pin bowling, a sport at which he excels. On the video clip he bowled three strikes in a row.
Fearless? One of the many striking natural features of Turkmenistan is the Darvaza gas crater: a crater, of course, located in the Karakum Desert, 200 feet across and a hundred feet deep, from whose interior walls there seeps natural gas, kept permanently burning since 1971. The crater's appearance can be judged from its colloquial name: the Gates of Hell.
Well, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, fresh from his triumph at the bowling lanes, got into a stock car, drove it out into the Karakum Desert, and executed some sensational wheelies around the Darvaza crater.
We at Radio Derb are glad to know that our dear friend is in good health and as energetic as ever. Long live President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov! Long live the noble republic of Turkmenistan! [Turkmen national anthem.]
Item: Finally, I note with interest this new social trend: ungardening.
Quote from Yahoo News, August 5th, quote:
Well-manicured grass lawns have long been associated with the American Dream, but a growing "rewilding" movement now seeks to reclaim yard space for nature.
Three years ago Radio Derb told you about the Unschooling movement. Unschooling is kind of like homeschooling, except that you don't actually make the kids do anything, just leave them to find out things for themselves by random reading, browsing the internet, and socializing with friends. Unschooling has been getting quite a good press.
Now we have ungardening. Speaking personally, as a very reluctant and incompetent gardener — I am in point of fact an Angel of Death to the vegetable kingdom — I welcome the ungardening trend.
I can't help wondering, though, how much further we shall go in disengaging from reality.
When automation and Artificial Intelligence have advanced to the point where there is not much for human beings usefully to do, shall we all take up unworking?
I don't see why not. To judge from the statistics on fertility, the advanced nations have already turned to unbreeding.
07 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening; in a moment you may commence unlistening.
First, though, for the sake of symmetry, and as a concession to seriously conservative listeners who may have been disoriented by my changing the intro music, please take in a little piece of Derbyshire March No.2.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No.2.]