• Play the sound file
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 1, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, this Labor Day weekend from your strenuously genial host John Derbyshire.
We are now into the countdown for the 2020 Presidential election: nine weeks from last Tuesday, eight weeks from this coming Tuesday. Bear in mind, please, that everything you read about under the week's headlines, everything I comment on at length in this podcast, bears on the election in one way or another.
So what has been in the headlines? Let's take a look.
02 — White folks at war. As I come to the mike here on Friday morning, the news headliner is that Michael Reinoehl was killed yesterday — Thursday — evening in a shoot-out with cops who were trying to arrest him. It seems that no-one else was hurt in the shoot-out; the shoot-out was, as our own inimitable Steve Sailer observes, mostly peaceful.
Reinoehl, 48 years old, was, by his own confession in an interview with Vice published that same day, the person who shot dead an unarmed Trump supporter in Portland last Saturday. The supporter confusingly had two names, Aaron Danielson and Jay Bishop, I don't know why. He was 39 years old.
The New York Times reports that the cops involved in last night's shoot-out belonged to, quote, "a federally led fugitive task force." The death of Mr Reinoehl was reported by the U.S. Marshals Service. To judge from the footage at Andy Ngo's twitter feed, the law-enforcement officers on the scene were all white.
Michael Reinoehl and his victim Aaron Danielson were also both white. Seventeen-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot three anarchists in Kenosha, Wisconsin August 25th, was likewise white. So were all three of the people he shot.
I mention this by way of reminding listeners of my own long-standing interpretation of what's going on in the U.S.A.: a Cold Civil War. To quote myself yet again, it's, quote, "a conflict between two big blocs of white people who can't stand the sight of each other: Goodwhites and Badwhites." End quote.
Blacks are only peripherally involved. They hang around on the outskirts of the battlefield looking to dodge in and do a little looting as opportunity offers. Their drugged-up violent resistance to being arrested and the frequently fatal consequences thereof supply the Goodwhite propaganda machine with video clips they can use to show the cruel beastliness of Badwhites, all cops being assumed to be Badwhite by default — "ACAB," as the graffiti says.
And of course, far away from the battlefields, blacks commit violent crime at sensationally high rates, but almost entirely among themselves, so whites don't care.
That's the context in which I see these recent killings: we are in a Cold Civil War. It's long-running, and — if you'll pardon the expression once again — mostly peaceful. Hence the adjective "cold."
The Cold Civil War sure has been heating up this last few months, though. Why is that?
You know why. It's election year.
03 — Revolution or counter-revolution? I opened last week's podcast with two segments I labeled "Revolution" and "Counter-revolution."
In the first segment I talked about the shooting of Jacob Blake and the ensuing riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I mentioned Abe Greenwald's column in the September issue of Commentary magazine titled: "Yes, This Is a Revolution." I said I agreed with Greenwald that the disturbances of the last few months do indeed amount to a revolution.
In the next segment I told the tale of some marching anarchists being shot at in Bedford, Pa. Then I reported on Kyle Rittenhouse shooting three people in Kenosha. These shootings, I said, mark the beginnings of counter-revolutionary violence.
A thoughtful listener took issue with all that. He emailed in to tell me that I had it the wrong way round. The real revolution had happened in November 2016, he said. What we've been seeing since then, including this year's riots, has been a counter-revolution by established elites, with the anarchist mobs as their foot-soldiers.
Mulling over that these few days, I think my listener has a point. What happened in 2016 was, in a mostly peaceful way, revolutionary. Republican primary voters were offered sixteen candidates from off of the institutional-Republican production line and one maverick outsider arguing for crazy stuff like bringing home our Cold War troops from Europe and stopping illegal immigration. Republican primary voters rejected the institutional-Republican bots and chose the outsider talking crazy.
Then in November that year, offered a choice between an admittedly lackluster Democratic Party candidate mumbling Goodwhite platitudes and the aforementioned maverick on the GOP ticket, 63 million of us chose the maverick, enough to swing the Electoral College.
Here I get to recycle a favorite old quote that faithful listeners will recall. I'm not quoting myself here; I'm quoting Peggy Noonan in her Wall Street Journal column, August 4th 2016. So this was after the Republican nomination was settled but before the general. Quote from Peggy:
From what I've seen there has been zero reflection on the part of Republican leaders on how much the base's views differ from theirs and what to do about it. The GOP is not at all refiguring its stands.
Today, four years further on, the quantity of reflection still just barely moves the needle on the reflection dial, but it's no longer quite zero. Here, to match against that Peggy Noonan quote from four years ago, here is David Brooks, the very epitome of Goodwhite Republicanism, in his New York Times column this Thursday, quote:
According to research done by Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt, 50 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents believe [first inner quote] "the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it." [end inner quote]. Nearly as many believe, [second inner quote] "A time will come when patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands." [End inner quote.]
Those Republicans who think those things are, Brooks has just told us, quote, "a certain kind of Republican," end quote. Well, yes: they are Badwhite Republicans.
Brooks suggests that if the November election result is disputed, these deplorable Trump-supporting Republicans will take to the streets. Then, he further suggests, the only force capable of saving the Republic will be a Goodwhite uprising — a counter-revolution against Trumpism.
That does sound like the voice of an established elite warning against a revolutionary force, doesn't it? Counter-revolutions seek a return to the status quo ante — in David Brooks' case, ante the rise of the Orange Beast and his loathsome followers, those Republicans who believe "the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it."
But wait a minute. Now things are getting really confusing. Aren't those Badwhite Republicans — 50 percent of us, according to the researcher Brooks quoted — aren't those Republicans who are willing to use force to save the traditional American way of life, aren't they reactionaries?
So we have three factions in play here. We have the Goodwhite street-fighting shock troops of the previous segment, who want to tear everything down and build the world anew; we have Trump and his Badwhite voters, who'd like to get us back to a Calvin Coolidge-style commercial republic, minding its own business in the world and maintaining demographic stability; and we have Goodwhites like David Brooks hankering for a return to George W. Bush-style invade-the-world, invite-the-world, Martin-Luther-King-quoting institutional Republicanism.
Of those three factions, who are the revolutionaries, and who the counter-revolutionaries?
04 — Who's helped by the riots? Reading commentators like David Brooks leaves you in not much doubt that to Goodwhite Republicans, Donald Trump is the real enemy. If you corner them on it they will probably say what Chiang Kai-shek said of his two opponents, the Japanese and the communists: the street-fighting anarchists of BLM and Antifa, they will say, are merely a disease of the skin, but Trumpist Badwhites are a disease of the heart.
So what about the remark by that listener in my last segment, that the rioting anarchists are foot-soldiers of a counter-revolution by established elites — including David Brooks-type institutional Republicans — against Trump's populist nationalism?
For sure the rioters have elite support. The passivity of Democrat mayors and governors tells us plainly where the Democratic Party stands. So does the urging by party leaders like Kamala Harris for their followers to contribute to bail funds, so that arrested rioters won't get locked up.
Wealthy donors are in plentiful supply. Jeff Bezos' ex-wife Mackenzie Scott, estimated net worth $36 billion and as woke as it's possible to be, has been writing seven- and eight-digit checks to CultMarx causes, Black Lives Matter surely among them, and I'm not counting the cents digits there.
The media's dogged understating of the damage done — "mostly peaceful," and so on — makes their position plain. Tech moguls are vigilantly purging their outlets of anything that contradicts the pro-rioter, anti-police narrative.
Does that elite support include anti-Trump Republicans? To get to the bottom of that you have to untangle the simply political calculations going on here. Election-wise, who does the rioting help, who does it hurt?
There is a widespread feeling on our side, perhaps shared by the President himself, that it helps Trump, by showing voters what happens when you put Democrats in charge of things. An opposite view, probably common among Democrats and institutional Republicans, is that Trump's failure to do much about the rioting makes him look weak and ineffectual, turning voters off, which of course makes Trump's re-election less likely, thus warming the hearts of those in both parties who hate him.
I don't myself mind Trump's inaction. For one thing, it's grounded in a proper spirit of federalism. For another, the voters of the afflicted states and cities voted for their rioter-friendly governors, mayors, and DAs; let them pay the price of their folly.
The President surely knows that really forceful federal action to quell the rioting would be presented by the media as an authoritarian putsch. David Brooks would be out there at the head of a march.
And such federal action, if undertaken, would meet many difficulties. Kurt Schlichter, writing at townhall.com September 3rd, spells this out very clearly.
Schlichter, after a spell of active duty in the military, spent 23 years in the California Army National Guard, planning and commanding operations in all kinds of civil emergencies, from the L.A. riots of 1992 to the forest fires of 2007. He knows everything there is to know about troops coming in to civilian situations, and spells it all out for you. His bottom line, quote:
Getting mad at Trump because he is not doing something that would turn into the cluster fark [that's "f-a-r-k, fark"] to end all cluster farks is doing exactly what the liberal elite and its media minions want. Let Portland and the rest of the blue cities trash themselves. Let the DOJ, which has already charged dozens of these degenerates with federal beefs, do its thing. And make sure you get out and vote straight Republican if you want any hope of this ever ending.
The problem with that, of course, is that voting "straight Republican" will get you a lot of anti-Trump Goodwhite Republican legislators. If Trump is indisputably victorious in November, they will sap away at undermining his program — I mean, continuing to undermine it, as they have been this past four years. In the event of a disputed result, they will be out there marching with David Brooks to get Trump removed.
In most precincts, though, there isn't much alternative to voting for institutional Republicans, repulsive swine as they are. We just have to hope that a re-elected President Trump will twist enough of their flabby, scaly arms to get some Trumpish legislation enacted.
My best guess is that Goodwhite Republicans don't mind the riots, though they are probably not materially aiding them as Democrats are. They don't mind them because (a) they're not happening in their neighborhoods, and (b) they see at least a good chance they will hurt Trump, leading to the kind of election debacle David Brooks tries so hard to pretend he isn't looking forward to.
05 — March of the Misfits. One more segment here on whether the rioting anarchists of Antifa and Black Lives Matter are true revolutionaries.
I'm pretty sure they are. Yes, they may be in the service of a cynical elite hoping to bring down Trumpism and restore a happier state of affairs for globalist-corporatist-neoliberalism; and they may, like Robespierre and Trotsky, end up under the guillotine themselves; but when I get a glimpse of their actual personalities, they are in the true revolutionary mould, like the Russian and Chinese revolutionaries in the late-19th, early-20th century that I've read about.
We actually have quite a few specimens now of those actual personalities. There is, for example, the guy I started this podcast with, 48-year-old Michael Reinoehl.
Reinoehl was a dedicated supporter of Black Lives Matter, with their clenched-fist symbol tattooed on his neck. He'd been arrested and cited in July for possessing a loaded gun in a public place, interfering with police, and resisting arrest. Before that, in June he got a failure-to-appear warrant issued against him; charges there were driving under the influence of a controlled substance, recklessly endangering another, unlawful possession of a gun and driving while suspended and uninsured.
He claimed to be a professional snowboarder; but the firm he named says they never employed or sponsored him. He claimed to be an Army veteran, but the Army has no record of him. His sister disowned him some time ago.
Then there's 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, the first of the three people shot by Kyle Rittenhouse. He was a convicted child rapist. Court documents from 2002 reproduced on the internet list a range of sex crimes against several boys from the ages of nine to eleven years old, including outright rape. His prison record shows 40 disciplinary infractions for arson, disobeying orders, manufacturing a weapon, refusing to work … This guy was a real no-goodnik.
Anthony Huber, the other guy killed by Kyle Rittenhouse, was only 26, but he already had quite a rap sheet going back to at least 2016: possession of drug paraphernalia, and a whole host of charges under the heading "domestic abuse" — strangulation and suffocation, false imprisonment, battery, disorderly conduct, …
The guy Kyle Rittenhouse shot but didn't kill is Gaige Paul Grosskreutz, also 26. He's been comparatively well-behaved: convicted of a criminal misdemeanor in 2016 for going armed with a firearm while intoxicated, and some nuisance offenses.
So of these four anarchists who chance to have come to our close attention, every one could fairly be described as a misfit. These are not normal, stable people. Revolutionaries hardly ever are. Here's one of them from the 19th century: Sergey Nechaev, Russian, of course, supposed to have been the model for Verkhovensky in Dostoyevsky's novel Demons. Quote from Nechaev:
A revolutionary is a doomed man. He has no private interests, no affairs, sentiments, ties, property nor even a name of his own. His entire being is devoured by one purpose, one thought, one passion — the revolution. Heart and soul, not merely by word but by deed, he has severed every link with the social order and with the entire civilized world; with the laws, good manners, conventions, and morality of that world. He is its merciless enemy and continues to inhabit it with only one purpose — to destroy it.
That's the true revolutionary personality. I don't think any of the four specimens I've mentioned here really come up to Nechaev's standard of pure revolutionary ardor, but they're all well along on the spectrum.
06 — The spreading plague. Back of those revolutionaries and their various levels of nihilistic passion there is of course an ideology. It's not just their ideology, either: It is mighty in the land.
Headline: APA calls for true systemic change in U.S. culture. APA is the American Psychological Association. Sample text from the article:
Today's inequities, psychologists say, are deeply rooted in our past, and the status quo is no longer acceptable. [Inner quote] "Every institution in America is born from the blood of white supremacist ideology and capitalism — and that's the disease," [end inner quote] says Theopia Jackson, Ph.D., president of the Association of Black Psychologists.
Has the Association considered that perhaps "today's inequities" are deeply rooted in biological race differences? Good heavens, no! Get out of here, Nazi!
The APA is on the case, though. In June they launched a series of virtual town halls for their members, with the aim of, quote, "establishing a racially diverse psychology workforce and more efficiently and effectively translating research insights into action." End quote.
You don't get very far into an article of this sort before you come to the guilt section. Yep, quote from APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., also a Ph.D., quote:
APA has a long history of taking a stand on these issues, but we also know that we have our own issues as an association and as a field. We have to look at our role as a discipline in perpetuating some of the things that are being protested. That has to be a part of our commitment.
We are guilty, guilty! We are all guilty!
Here's one from the Yale School of Medicine, the YSM, August 4th, headline: YSM Team Proposes a Novel Approach to Addressing Racism in Medical Education. This proposal appears in a multi-author article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
What does the article say? Key passage from the text, quote:
Many medical schools have made efforts to address pervasive racism in medical education by forming committees and appointing deans focused on diversity and inclusion, adding health equity classes to their curricula, conducting training on implicit bias and microaggressions, and expanding racial and social-economic equity in admissions.
This is a medical school, dammit! We'll have none of that filthy biology here!
The long arm of medical racism even reaches into the grave. Here's a piece from the Washington Post back in June. Headline: Autopsies can uphold white supremacy. Subheading: "They have long provided scientific and medical excuses for white killings of nonwhite people."
The author of this article is history professor Elizabeth Kolsky, author of a book titled Colonial Justice in British India: White Violence and the Rule of Law. The article starts off of course with the death of George Floyd. Quote:
The preliminary findings of the Hennepin County medical examiner's report … used the veneer of scientific respectability to advance the outrageous claim that Floyd was partly responsible for his own death — something we know is untrue, given the subsequent reports.
Hm. I wonder how well that will age?
Then Prof Kolsky rambles off into a long tale about how beastly the colonial Brits were to the people of India, and my eyes glazed over. White people bad, dark people good; OK, got it.
For keening, slobbering, self-flagellating confessions of guilt, the September issue of Scientific American is hard to beat … as it were.
This touches me more than the other examples, as I was once a keen reader of Scientific American. I can still remember the first issue I ever read: January 1960, cover story "The Green Flash." The magazine has long since gone CultMarx, though, and I haven't looked into it for years, except when friends send me links to especially egregious specimens of wokeness. Which a friend just did.
Headline: Reckoning with Our Mistakes. Subheading: "Some of the cringiest articles in Scientific American's history reveal bigger questions about scientific authority."
Well, no, they don't really. The article does, though, reveal how racked with guilt a respectable old magazine has to be, or pretend to be, nowadays if it wants to stay respectable. Sample quote.
During the 19th century, Scientific American published articles that legitimized racism … By 1871 Charles Darwin had concluded that all living humans were descended from the same ancestral stock … But none of that stopped the rise of scientific racism, including false ideas about biological determinism.
Down with biological determinism! Just because you're a fish, that doesn't mean you need to be in water all the time!
And Darwin had a bit more to say about the descent of man than the authors of this Scientific American article let on. In fact he wrote an entire book about it they might care to peruse. Sample quotes:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world …
07 — Miscellany. OK, how'm I doing for time here? … Oh look, here comes my favorite Southern belle, all the way from Dixie. Yes, it's Miss Ellany.
Imprimis: Cast your mind back to May of last year, listeners — May 21st, to be precise. Did you, on that date, feel an odd momentary trembling in the world around you? Did a wineglass fall and shatter in your cocktail cabinet for no apparent reason?
If so, you were witnessing a gravitational wave passing through. It happens now and then: a teeny flexing in the fabric of spacetime. This particular one resulted from the merging of two colossal black holes out in remote space, seven billion light-years away.
No, this item has no connection whatever with the November election. It does, however, offer a reminder, which some listeners might find comforting, of the unimaginably puny part our human affairs play in the grand scheme of things. Something happened seven billion years ago, before our planet even existed; and it just registered on our instruments.
Item: Here's something that does bear on the election, at least indirectly via the current riots in our cities. What? What, Derb?
Mayors, that's what. I mean, what's the matter with America's mayors? Have we ever before had so many unspeakably awful big-city mayors, all at the same time?
Frey in Minneapolis; Wheeler in Portland; Durkan in Seattle; Lightfoot in Chicago; Bowser in D.C.; and, OMG — I can hardly get the name out while holding down my lunch — de Blasio in New York. They are terrible. What are big-city voters thinking of? I could pull one of the servers out from behind the counter at my local Dunkin Donuts and make him Mayor of New York in full confidence he'd do a better job than de Blasio.
Yeah, I know: they're all Democrats. Look, though: Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago in 1968, was a Democrat, too. Quote from him, after riots following the death of Martin Luther King, quote:
I said to [my police chief] very emphatically and very definitely that an order be issued by him immediately to shoot to kill any arsonist or anyone with a Molotov cocktail in his hand, because they're potential murderers, and to shoot to maim or cripple anyone looting.
Why don't we have mayors like that any more? Democratic mayors like that?
Item: The short answer to that last question is, I guess: "Because it's not 1968 any more."
For further evidence of that, note that on Tuesday this week, sitting Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts defeated a Democratic primary challenge by Rep. Joe Kennedy III, grandson of Bobby Kennedy, of whom LBJ remarked that, quote: "When Bobby hates you, you stay hated."
Senator Markey is 74 years old; Congressman Kennedy is a stripling of 39. Go Boomer! So the torch has not been passed to a new generation of Kennedys. I guess dynastic decline happens faster in republics.
Item: I hardly ever go to bars nowadays, so I'm a bit surprised to learn that they are open. Well, some of them are, here on Long Island at least.
Here's one: the Cliffton Bar in Patchogue, Long Island. They've been in the news, at any rate locally, for opening a book on whether Chicago or New York City will see more shootings over this Labor Day weekend.
Apparently — I haven't gone down there to check, I'm reading this from a local news outlet — apparently they have a paper grid hung in the bar so patrons can place bets on the number of shootings in the two cities. The winner will take home an unspecified cash prize.
A spokes-thing for New York State governor Andrew Cuomo honked that, honk:
These reports are repugnant and those responsible for this gambling pool should be ashamed.
OK, pal. How about the bar changes to a book on how many inmates of nursing homes in Cuomo's state will die over the weekend?
Comrade Duch was a senior figure in the Khmer Rouge, communists who controlled Cambodia through the second half of the 1970s. The Khmer Rouge were heart-and-soul revolutionaries in the Nechaev style — or, if you like, the Michael Reinoehl style. They murdered around two million of their own people, a quarter of Cambodia's population. Hundreds of thousands more fled the country.
Comrade Duch ran the Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia's capital. An estimated 20,000 people were brought to Tuol Sleng as prisoners; only twelve are known to have come out alive. There's a book about the place, if you have a strong stomach; I reviewed it for the National Post.
Comrade Duch was tracked down twenty years ago. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012, which I think is absurdly lenient. Never mind: the bastard is dead now, and the world is a better place without him.
08 — Signoff. That's all I have, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and I hope you enjoy a quiet and relaxing weekend with your family. Should there be any listeners on Long Island who are unable to be with their family for some reason, I know a really nice bar in Patchogue where you could kill some time.
For last week's signoff, I played you some lute music. One sly listener emailed in to tell me that, supposing the phrase "lute music" means music to loot by, something from the rap or hip-hop genres would have been more apt. Har de har har, Sir.
For this week's sign-off, here is something from a friend who has blessed us before with software-produced music, but who here is playing the regular piano. The piece he's playing is Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, of course, but he's playing it in the style of the late great jazz pianist Bill Evans — who, I have learned, looking up his Wikipedia page, was half Welsh, half Ruthenian. Now that's melting pot.
My friend wishes this to be known as "Haydn's Derbyshire Ballad — Homage to Bill Evans." There you go, buddy; and thank you.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: "Haydn's Derbyshire Ballad — Homage to Bill Evans."]