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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Free Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your independently genial host John Derbyshire, reporting to you from the free republic of Derbistan, here on Long Island's north shore.
I know you're all keen to know how our little experiment in secession is going. Not bad, is the answer, although there hasn't been much worthy of report this week.
My lady is still toiling away at a constitution for our republic, apparently heedless of Napoleon Buonaparte's wise advice that, quote from Boney: "A constitution should be short and vague." Missy had a nice design for a flag worked out, and we all liked it; but it contained a triangle, and we have learned just this week that triangles are hateful — not who we are! Missy has started over with quadrilaterals; we'll see how that goes.
Junior has been doing sterling work guarding the borders of the republic. He has gotten used to the Lee Enfield at last, and not a moment too soon; Mrs Bernstein's cat was down to the last one of his nine lives. Actual death toll on border jumpers so far: four squirrels, two rabbits, and a big mean old raccoon.
I did get some puzzled queries from listeners about our naming of the republic. The brave spirits of Seattle, these listeners noted, had named their new country Chaz, for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Since that was the inspiration for our secession, why didn't we just follow suit and call ourselves Daz, for Derb Autonomous Zone? It's a lot snappier than Derbistan.
We did actually consider Daz, but decided against it at last. I shall enlarge upon the reasons in my next two segments.
02 — Why not "Daz"? As I mentioned in my introductory segment, we decided against renaming our new republic. There were three reasons for this decision and here they are.
03 — Not a dinner party. Ramzpaul was making the point that today's revolutionaries fancy, in their fevered, historically-ignorant imaginations, they fancy that they will cast down the mighty from their seats of power and exalt the meek and lowly. Whereas in point of actual fact, the mighty are comfortably and securely ensconced in their seats of power, looking on with approval and, I am sure, mirth at the anarchists.
For the mighty — the big corporations, the prestigious colleges, the media, the Uniparty that has a stranglehold on our politics, our woke judiciary that has an even tighter death-grip on our jurisprudence — for them, for the mighty in their seats of power, these riots and lootings and vandalism and silencings are all gravy.
And like trained puppies, the mighty know what to do without being told. When the anti-white shakedowns started in earnest forty years ago, when white Americans still had a few vertebrae and a smidgen of testosterone, the shakers — Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Michelle Obama — had to put in a bit of effort to squeeze some blood from the Establishment stone.
They had to actually show up at the corporate headquarters, with a dozen or so mean-looking retainers alongside, and make veiled threats to bring the company's operations to a standstill if they didn't pony up a million or two to Rev'm Al's National Action Network, Rev'm Jesse's Rainbow Push, or Michelle's Public Allies. Nice little hospital you have here. Be a shame if your workers marched off the job to protest discrimination …
No more of that! Now that the mighty know which side of the who-whom game it's the most profitable and the most trouble-free to be on, and which side wins the most media applause — think free advertising — and which side best preserves their power, status, and wealth; now that's all clear, the shakedown artists don't have to do anything. The money flows in automatically, overnight, while Al, Jesse, Michelle, and whoever runs Black Lives Matter are all sleeping — or whatever it is these bloodsuckers do at night.
"You are the Man!" At any rate, the Man has no problem with you, nor any major point of ideological disagreement. The people they do have a problem with are the harassed, underpaid, overtaxed, disillusioned and dispirited, mocked and humiliated, scorned and silenced white middle class.
Will the worm turn at some point? Will middle-class whites discover those missing vertebrae?
I wouldn't bet on it. I'm going to come straight out and confess my darkest, most uncharitable thoughts, though. Here they are. Listeners of tender sensibilities might want to skip the next 1m53s.
If a miracle happens, and middle-class white Americans stand up and start yelling back at the mob, and take charge of things once again, I would look forward to seeing Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai — that's the CEO of Google — Jeff Zucker, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Don Lemon, Bill de Blasio, Dean Baquet, Jay Inslee, Lindsey Graham, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, … How many is that? Am I up to a tumbril-full? This is just the first batch, mind.
If such a miracle were to happen, I'd be thrilled to watch these Establishment parasites headed down Pennsylvania Aveue on a big old tumbril for an appointment with Madame la Guillotine on the White House lawn. Thrilled? I'd stand on line all night to get a front row seat, with the tricoteuses. Sure, I might get blood splashed on my shirt; but a cupfull of Daz easily takes care of that.
That would be revolution — real revolution, not the self-indulgent play-acting of pampered pets.
Jack, Mark, Jeff, Chuck, Nancy: come on, get aboard that tumbril! It only hurts for an instant if it's done right. [Clip: Guillotine sound]
Hey, I told you it was mean-spirited. You didn't have to listen
04 — Practicing disappointment. One of my favorite stories from antiquity concerns the philosopher Diogenes, floruit fourth century b.c.
One of Diogenes' friends was crossing the public square one day when he saw the philosopher apparently trying to have a conversation with a stone statue. The friend went over. As he got closer and could hear Diogenes' words, he realised that Diogenes, who was chronically poor, was actually begging from the statue.
The friend tapped Diogenes on the shoulder. "What on earth are you doing?" he asked. "It's a stone statue. You won't get any alms from that."
Replied Diogenes: "I am practicing disappointment."
That's pretty much what we National Conservatives have been doing these past few decades: practicing disappointment.
Long long ago there was a thing called The Republican Party, widely thought to be on the National Conservative side — our side — of the ideological spectrum. "Yes!" Republican candidates promised, "We shall roll back the almighty federal state! We'll reverse the leftward drift of the judiciary! We'll restore proper respect for our beloved nation's sovereignty and borders! Once again, as before, there will be plenty of room in the middle class for any citizen willing to take in as much education as he can, work hard, get married and stay married, raise children with love for their parents and their nation, obey the people's laws enacted in our democratic assemblies, and strive for self-support, for independence."
We, we National Conservatives, liked all that. We voted for these Republican candidates. What did we get in return? Nothing.
After many years of this there came along a maverick Republican. This man swore he would do all the things previous Republicans, in Congress and the White House, had left undone. Patriotic immigration reform! No more world policeman! A firm hand with crime and disorder! Conservative justices in federal courts!
We were thrilled. We watched him on the debating stage with the limp-wristed, spineless girly-men from the traditional Republican Party. We chuckled with glee at the angry fumings of David Brooks, Bret Stephens, the National Review crowd, and all the rest of the squealing, "by all means beat me with this steel rod, but for pity's sake don't call me 'racist'!" fake conservatives.
So thrilled were we, we voted this maverick Republican through the 2016 Republican primaries, the winner in a large field. Then we voted for him in the general. He won, and went to the White House. We voted for his party too; they kept control of both houses of Congress for two years.
What did we get in return? Nothing. All right, a tax cut, and some inconsequential fiddling around the edges of the immigration issue, easily swatted down by federal courts.
The tax cut barely left a scratch on my personal finances, but Republican Party donors seemed to like it. They liked a whole lot more that the President did nothing to cut off their supply of cheap indentured foreign labor.
Okay; at this point the disappointment is really starting to bite. We had one more shred of hope, though: those conservative justices the President promised us. Another Scalia on the Supreme Court! Another Thomas!
Last week these learned gentlemen decided that the drafters of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, when banning employment discrimination on grounds of sex, intended the word "sex" to encompass every kind of sexual eccentricity. Ladies and gents, I was around and sentient in 1964. I can assure you with absolute certainty, they intended no such thing.
Then this week we got a ruling on the President's attempt to end the so-called DACA program, under which illegal aliens brought here as infants — more precisely, illegal aliens who claim to have been brought here as infants, with supporting fake documents you can have made up for forty bucks in downtown Los Angeles — these illegals have the right to work, attend public schools, and access social services.
The swing vote here was John Roberts, the George W. Bush appointee. His argument was that it made him cry to think of these poor illegals being sent back where they belong. Something like that.
The DACA decision didn't actually say it was wrong of President Trump to end the program; he just didn't do it right, said the Court majority. So now he has to start over, traipsing through another three or four years of litigation, assuming he survives November's election.
Functionally, the Court might as well have ruled that the President has no power to do what he did. The DACA moochers will be middle-aged by the time anything is definitively decided here.
As Michelle Malkin says: It ain't over until the illegal alien wins.
05 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Back in the late 1980s there was a comedy show on British TV called French and Saunders. The principals were two female comedians, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. The quality of the sketches was variable, but they hit a few out of the park.
One sketch I thought was absolutely hilarious was a spoof of that scene in Gone With The Wind where Mammy is strapping Scarlett O'Hara into her corset. I liked that sketch so much, across the years I have several times emailed a link to the YouTube clip of it to friends when Gone With The Wind has come up in our exchanges.
The sketch is not racially indelicate or insulting in any way I can detect. Most of the humor in it is based on the efforts of these two very British comediennes to speak with Southern accents.
Well, the movie came up the other day in an email exchange, and I went to YouTube for the link so I could email it to my counterparty. I couldn't find it. I tried every search string I could think of — no luck. YouTube has scrubbed it.
Not a major loss in the grand scheme of things; but so petty. The big tech companies now all employ legions of vinegary, prune-faced schoolmarms who come to work every day, nine to five, and sit there searching for and flagging for removal anything that might offend narrow-minded, humorless, crabbed, puritanical zealots like themselves.
Item: Anyone who is well-read in the great totalitarian despotisms of the recent past knows about Article 58 of Stalin's criminal code. That article spelled out the punishment to be inflicted on wives and children of Enemies of the People.
If you were found to be an Enemy of the People, you would of course be shot, or shipped off to a forced-labor camp in the remote Arctic to die more slowly of hunger, malnutrition, and overwork. Article 58 decreed that your family members should also be punished: your wife sent to a special category of labor camp, your children to special orphanages.
This wasn't a totally new idea. In the old Germanic societies, including the Anglo-Saxons, the principle of weregild said that if I am murdered or seriously injured by you, the murderer owes blood money to my family; and if he can't pay it, his whole family is liable for the debt. In medieval Germany this lingered on as the system of Sippenhaft, collective punishment.
In imperial China a dissident's whole family would be put to death: "nine generations slain," was the expression, meaning everyone in the generation of the dissident himself — brothers and sisters — along with the four generations older — parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents — and the corresponding four generations younger. It sounds complicated; but what happened in practice was that soldiers would go to the dissident's home district and just kill everybody.
Our current cultural revolution seems to have adopted some similar principle.
This week's Emmett Till re-enactment, as I'm sure you know, concerned the shooting of a black psychopath in Atlanta by a white cop. Rayshard Brooks, who of course has a rap sheet longer than the Book of Jeremiah, was passed out in his car stone drunk when police tried to arrest him. He came to life, wrestled himself out of the cops' control, grabbed one of their tasers, and ran, shooting at them over his shoulder with the taser. Officer Garrett Rolfe reacted by shooting the gentle giant dead.
What did Ms Rolfe do to get herself fired? Her employer claims that she made posts on social media that caused fellow employees to feel "uncomfortable."
Strangely, no-one has been able to produce any of the offending social media posts. Unless and until someone can, the strong suspicion must be that this is a case of Article 58, American version. Ms Rolfe is related to an Enemy of the People. In America today, that'll get you fired. Five or ten years from now, it'll get you a spell in a labor camp on the Aleutian Islands.
I am just glad to know that if the Thought Police come for me, Mrs Derbyshire has the wits and resources to escape to the comparative openness and security of Communist China.
Item: It seems like just yesterday that we could mock the current fad for rewriting history by jeering: "Hey, what are you going to do? Rename our nation's capital? Washington was a slave owner, you know. Ha ha ha ha!"
Mock no more, listeners. We're getting there by leaps and bounds. New York Post, June 16th, headline: 2 CA Schools named for Washington, Jefferson getting renamed after BLM push.
Yes: Wednesday this week the school board of Berkeley Unified School District unanimously endorsed a measure to rename two elementary schools named for those founding fathers.
We don't yet know what new names are under consideration, but you have to bet that George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks are high on the list.
06 — Signoff. That's all I have for you this week, ladies and gents. Short measure, I'm afraid. I've been a tad under the weather: nothing serious, but it seems to take me twice as long to do everything. Thank you for listening, and a happy Father's Day to Dads everywhere.
It was a sad week for Brits, and for expats like your genial host. On Thursday we lost Dame Vera Lynn at the splendid age of 103. Dame Vera's voice was part of the background music of my English childhood. Sixty years later, in 2009, an album of her greatest hits reached Number One on Britain's Top 20 album chart, making her the oldest living artist to attain that distinction.
Dame Vera was a lady, a loving wife and mother, and a fearless patriot. So far as I know, no breath of shame or scandal ever touched her.
Against all the advice of her handlers, in 1944 she went out to Burma, one of the nastiest and most dangerous theaters of the war, and spent three months there entertaining Bill Slim's 14th Army, who were fighting Japan's imperial forces in the jungle. This was the campaign memorialized by George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman books, in his lively and sometimes funny, but mostly grim autobiographical work Quartered Safe Out Here.
I memorialized Dame Vera three years ago, on the occasion of her hundredth birthday. For my signout music back then I played what I think is her loveliest, most evocative song. I shall not apologize for playing it again here today.
Goodnight, sweet lady, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
[Music clip: Vera Lynn, "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square."]