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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 1, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your erratically genial host John Derbyshire, bringing you another edition of Radio Derb.
And yes, as my modifying adverb there hinted, I have some errata to report. Two errata, to be precise: a tiny one and a gross one. Both errata concern the April 2nd podcast.
The tiny one was, that I introduced that as the 785th edition of the show. It was in fact the 786th. I had been negligent about updating my podcast log. So last week's podcast was number 787, and this one is number 788. Number 800 will emerge sometime in mid-July, God willing an' the Creek don't rise.
That's the tiny erratum. The gross erratum was, that the first real segment in that April 2nd podcast got replaced somehow by a repeat of my introductory remarks. So instead of intro, first segment, second segment, third segment, we went: intro, intro again, second segment, third segment.
Sniveling apologies for those blunders, and earnest resolution that today's edition will be error-free.
So … On with the motley. [Pavarotti clip: Vesti la giubba.]
02 — Asymmetry of indulgence. Here's a phrase due for an airing: "asymmetry of indulgence."
That phrase was coined, so far as I know, by conservative British journalist Ferdinand Mount. He was writing about how leftist politicians get a pass, an indulgence, when they speak in the globalist-universalist diction of Karl Marx and Mao Tse-tung; but when a conservative dares to murmur that perhaps rampant multiculturalism is not a great idea, he is denounced as literally Hitler.
Plainly we have an asymmetry of indulgence in regard to police shooting of civilians. The asymmetry was in exceptionally plain sight this week, after the shooting of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb.
The tiny minority of us whose memories stretch all the way back to early January could not help contrasting this shooting and its consequences with the death of Ashli Babbitt.
As Steve Sailer noted, the "Who, whom?" principle doesn't get any more in-your-face than that.
There is more to be said, though. There are always two ways to correct an imbalance: You can add some weight on the light side of the balance arm, or you can subtract some weight from the heavier side.
So there's a small faction here on the Dissident Right — I've occasionally glimpsed them in the comment threads — arguing that it was right to shoot Ashli Babbitt, and that the real wrong here has been not shooting a whole lot more people — the rioters, arsonists, and looters of Antifa and BLM. If Ms Babbitt had been shot, and a few dozen rioters also, we'd be in balance — no more asymmetry of indulgence!
What does Radio Derb think of this argument?
I'm not totally unsympathetic. It is shameful and outrageous that the public authorities in Minnesota tolerate the mass disorder, violence, and destruction that we've been seeing this week … again. I have a strong preference for living in an orderly society that deals with anarchists swiftly and firmly.
In my darker moods, when I'm watching coverage of the Minnesota riots, my thoughts drift to flamethrowers, helicopter gunships, and napalm. Rubber bullets? What's wrong with real bullets? The name "Pinochet" keeps bobbing to the surface.
On calm reflection, though, my sympathies come out more mixed. On the matter of looting, for example, it certainly is heartbreaking to think of Joe and Sally Citizen starting up a little business in Main Street — a liquor store, perhaps — investing their life savings in it, only to see it looted and burned by street predators.
But contrariwise, it's hard to summon up tears for big chain retailers like Foot Locker and Target, when their corporate spokesmen have expressed solidarity with the rioters. Foot Locker has actually donated $200 million to BLM this past year. Loot 'em again!
And on the other side of the balance, I have more than once spoken up for some measured turbulence against ruling-class targets. It's good and healthy for our smug, pampered elites to have a few of their windows broken now and then. Perhaps it'll concentrate their minds, those few of them who have any minds.
So, what's the bottom line here, Derb? Enough of this on-the-one-hand, on-the-other equivocation. Did Ashli Babbitt get what was coming to her, or what? Should we shoot more street rioters, or what?
Yes, I think we should shoot more rioters. Looters? Definitely; although with looters of big woke corporate retailers a low priority. Guys capering on the roofs of police cars? Sure, if you can get a decently horizontal line of sight. If you shoot up at the bastard and miss, your bullet might end up in someone's living-room a hundred yards away. Window-breakers? Eh, now and then, for salutary purposes.
But no, Ashli Babbitt did not get what was coming to her. What was coming to her was a challenge, a warning, and some physical restraint by the cops she was surrounded by. And yes, I'd say the same of the looters. Give them plenty of warning before shooting.
That's professional law-enforcement. What happened to Ms Babbitt was a shameful travesty of law enforcement, and the silence on it enforced by the regime and its media lackeys is outrageous.
To cycle round to where I started, the contrast between the two deaths — Ashli Babbitt's, Daunte Wright's — tells us all too plainly where we are.
Where are we? Not in any realm of reason and considered seeking for a proper point of balance, as I have just there been trying to do. Even as I was trying, I was reflecting on the futility of trying.
I was trained in math, the realm of reason and logic. I was trained to prove theorems. In the arena of public commentary and mass belief today, there are no theorems, no logic, no reason. There are only dark shadows, delusions, jungle superstitions, screeched emotions, innumerate assumptions, and indifference to naked contradictions. Logic? Reason? Theorems? White supremacist stuff!
We have, as the late Larry Auster told us, descended into an ersatz religion, with black people as the sacred objects. The emblematic image of our time is Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, a white man, kneeling in reverent supplication before the gilded casket of black street thug George Floyd.
White people are bad; black people are good. You didn't know that? The rising generations know it: it's taught to them in kindergarten. You may say that's entirely appropriate for such an infantile set of ideas, but it sticks. In the world of the mid-21st century, if the U.S.A. is still around — which I increasingly doubt — most Americans will stand on it as the foundation of their social outlook.
I'm sorry to have started off on such a low note. For those of us raised in a different time, learning from books in classrooms under strict discipline, all the madness and stupidity of current discourse is deeply depressing. We feel — we honestly feel — that we are living in an asylum.
I have my personal comforts: the love of a close family, the literature of the past, theorems to prove. The rest of you must cope as best you can. God help us all!
03 — State governors don't want illegal infants. Casting around for some good news to tell you, to cheer you up after all that negativity, I found this. It's actually from last week's news, and so should have been in last week's podcast, but I missed it.
Associated Press, April 8th, headline: Iowa governor declines to help house migrant children.
The governor there is actually a governess: Republican Kim Reynolds. She has rejected a request from the federal government to accept illegal-alien children for settlement in her state. Quote from her:
This is not our problem. This is the president's problem. He's the one that has opened the border and he needs to be responsible for this and he needs to stop it.
Be still, my heart! Mind you, that news item is, as I said, from Associated Press, a lefty outfit fronting for the anti-white, anti-American establishment. They make sure to snark up the story, pointing out that two years ago, when President Trump signed an executive order giving states the right to refuse to take so-called "refugees," Governor Reynolds declared that she was willing to take them and so would not exercise this new right.
For a sturdier report on the same story, read Gabe Kaminsky writing at The Federalist, April 13th. Sample quote from him:
Reynolds is reacting in a commonsense way to incentivize the Biden White House to discourage illegal migration used to weaken the United States by international criminal cartels and foreign adversaries such as China. The Biden administration has opened 11 facilities in states along the border to fly minors because of its policy failings.
I think that's the northern border Kaminsky is referring to there. To make the problem of these border-jumpers appear as small as possible, the administration is flying them all over the U.S.A., with preference for states as far as possible from Mexico, and I'd guess double preference for states like Iowa with a reputation as Midwestern Nice.
So Governor Reynolds has really poked a finger in the administration's eye there. Good for her!
It's not just Iowa, either. Monday this week South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order directing his state's Department of Social Services to prevent federal officials from housing unaccompanied minors. Joe Biden knows about executive orders, right? Right.
The next day, Tuesday, Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska told the feds he won't be taking any foreign trespassers, either. Wednesday, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem chimed in, quote from her: "My message to illegal immigrants … call me when you're an American," end quote.
It's a Thing: Republican governors, even ones like Kristi Noem, who've been cucking on other issues, are balking at being flooded with illegal alien children.
Oh, and going back to that Gabe Kaminsky column at The Federalist, he notes another thing I'd missed: Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen saying last month on Fox News that his state has no room to house illegal aliens. Good for him!
I think Montana's too far west to count as Midwest, but as surnames go, you can't get much more Midwestern Nice than "Knudsen," oh yeah. He's a Republican, like Montana's Governor, and also like all the other governors I've mentioned.
Not that Republican states are all trending sane. Tennessee has a GOP governor and state legislature, two Republican senators, and seven out of nine Republican congressmen. So why am I reading this from the Tennessee Conservative, April 15th, headline: Flood Of Migrant Children Dumped Into Struggling Tennessee Schools?
That's what's happening, and conservatives in Tennessee are mad as hell about it. The villain here seems to be the school district of Hamilton County, the county containing Chattanooga, and some church groups. Senator Bill Hagerty has issued a rather bland statement condemning the influx, but I can't find anything from the governor.
Hold on a minute, though. No offense to South Carolina, but those other states I mentioned before Tennessee distracted me: Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, maybe Montana. Is something happening here? Are progressives losing the Midwestern Nice vote? If so, "Fighting Bob" La Follette must be turning in his grave.
News from the Midwest isn't all good, mind. Over in Michigan, under the steely gaze of strict governess Gretchen Whitmer, up to 240 illegal alien children will be housed in the town of Albion. This news came out just as the strict governess was telling Michigan schools they should shut down for another two weeks; the state's going through a nasty spike in covid cases.
I'd never heard of Albion, so I looked it up. There it is: fifty miles west of Detroit. Looks like a pretty nice place.
It's naughty of me, I know, but I can't help wishing the facility was fifty miles further east, in the Detroit ghetto. One good look at the American inner city, those kiddies would be scampering back to the peace and safety of Guatemala as fast as their little legs could carry them.
Bad thoughts? I got worse. Next segment.
04 — Chicago in flames! … not. Another cop shooting has been in the news, belatedly. This one took place in the early hours of March 29th in Little Village, a heavily Mexican neighborhood of Chicago. A white cop shot a 13-year-old Mexican boy, Adam Toledo.
The cop was one of two responding to gunfire picked up by that ShotSpotter technology that I think all big-city forces use now. Eight shots had been fired, and the two cops headed for that location.
The boy was plainly a delinquent. He'd just returned home the night before after going missing for several days. He was also one of two on his side of the shooting drama, the other an adult male he was with, 21 years old.
Well, the two cops saw the two shooters and went after them. One of the cops seems to have been faster than the other: He caught the 21-year-old, handed him off to his partner, then took off after the 13-year-old, Adam Toledo.
The kid dropped his gun behind a fence and raised his hands; the cop shot him. The dropping and the hand-raising all happened in less than a second, in poor light. Probably the cop just didn't see the kid drop the gun.
This all happened, as I said, in the wee hours March 29th. The video footage was released to the public yesterday afternoon, Thursday, around 2:30. So then, says this report in the Chicago Sun-Times, "Protestors took to the streets …" Uh-oh.
Mass looting? Police stations set alight? Out-of-control mobs of angry Mexicans dancing on top of police cars?
Actually, no. Around fifty protestors marched through the city to a park, shouting slogans. One protestor, name of Jose Herrera, claiming to be a cousin of Adam Toledo, drove around blasting Banda music (whatever that is) and waving a Mexican flag. He later claimed that a cop snatched his flag away and broke the shaft. Oh, dear.
By comparison with the Minneapolis ructions, it all sounds a bit lame. What came to my mind at this point was David Cole.
If you don't know the name, David Cole is a Dissident Right columnist over at Taki's Magazine, and a pretty good one. He is a Jewish white guy living in Los Angeles.
I think David and the issues he raises deserve a segment of their own.
05 — Where did all the blacks go? David Cole attended majority-black Los Angeles public schools in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including Alexander Hamilton High School, which at that time, he tells us, was 85 percent black. What was a nice Jewish boy doing in an 85-percent-black high school? He explains that in his March 30th column, which I'll leave you to read for yourself.
Main point: That 85 percent black school is today only 26 percent black. Hispanics are 52 percent.
That's a running theme of Cole's: the replacement of blacks by Hispanics. He's not crazy about so many Hispanics settling in his state, but he sees their replacing the blacks as an improvement. Quote from his March 16th column:
Is there crime in Hispanic underclass neighborhoods? Absolutely. Southern California will never be Reykjavik (it never was). However, Hispanic crime lacks the predatory antiwhite hate-driven hostility of black crime. The best deal? No. But a better deal than 1980s black L.A., and I say that from experience. Plus, there's the issue of offsets. To an extent, Mexican underclass criminality is offset by the value of Mexican labor. There was no such offset in black L.A. You got just the crime, but not the dishwashers and drywallers.
I think Cole overstates his case. A lot of Los Angeles blacks in 1985 must have been doing some kind of useful work. I don't know about L.A. or drywallers, but dishwashers? I was a dishwasher in New York City, 1973-4, and worked alongside many black guys.
The demographic truth Cole's stating is there in the statistics, though. "The black population in East and West Oakland and South Central Los Angeles — places where they held the majority for decades — has greatly decreased," says Wikipedia.
Where did they go? To Georgia, says Cole. Quote: "Blacks account for nearly half of the Georgia electorate's growth since 2000." End quote. Wikipedia just says "to the South," which I guess encompasses Georgia. They also say, however, that, quote, "the black middle class has relocated to nearby suburbs," end quote.
If you were to ask Steve Sailer, who's done some deep diving in this pond, Steve would likely tell you that unscrupulous property developers, in cahoots with local politicians, have moved blacks out of cities like St Louis and Milwaukee to Section Eight housing in small towns like Ferguson, Missouri and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Presumably that's happened with L.A., too.
A part of the answer seems to be — surprise! — Minnesota. In the 20 years from 1990 to 2010, the black population of the state went from 2.2 percent to 5.2 percent, from one in 45 to almost one in twenty. For the city of Minneapolis across the same 20 years, the percentage black went from 13 percent to almost 19 percent.
Some of that was refugee settlement from Somalia and Liberia, but not as much of it as you'd think. Wikipedia again:
Minnesota's black population nearly tripled in less than two decades, a large fraction hailing from cities such as Chicago and Gary, Indiana. Black migrants were drawn to Minneapolis … by its abundance of jobs, good schools, and relatively safe neighborhoods.
End quote; and yes, I'm smiling.
That theme of David Cole's — the theme that, while having your city acquire a Hispanic slum isn't great, it's way better than having a black slum— is one I've heard from other Californians. Ron Unz, the proprietor of The Unz Review, where some of my VDARE.com articles get cross-posted, is also a Californian. In some of his articles on race and ethnicity, Ron's left me with the impression that he's on the same page as David Cole. If that's wrong, I'm sure Ron will correct me, and I'll post his correction.
These are all, of course, disgracefully bad thoughts: Mine, David Cole's, and according to me, Ron Unz's. I'm mildly surprised that I'm still allowed to voice them out loud, and find myself wondering … [prolonged beep noise].
06 — Donald J. Biden. Meanwhile, there's some funny stuff going on in the Biden administration. Funny-peculiar, I mean, not funny-ha-ha. What all the funny stuff shares in common is, it's weirdly Trumpish.
The big one here is Afghanistan. Biden, or whoever is pulling Biden's strings, has announced that all our troops, along with those of other NATO countries, will be pulled out of Afghanistan by September 11th this year.
That's not quite as Trumpish as May 1st, the date Trump himself negotiated, but it's still a Trumpish improvement on the date preferred by the military-industrial-neocon complex, which is: never.
I'm not yet clear how the September 11th decision is going over with the woke wing of Biden's party. Given that everyone understands perfectly well that the Taliban will take over about 45 minutes after the last U.S. chopper takes off from our Kabul embassy roof, I'd assume there must be some degree of chagrin that the grand plan to make Afghanistan a bastion of feminism to rival Sweden, will be swept away very shortly thereafter; and that Susan Rice's hopes of getting transgender Afghans into buzkashi teams will likewise be dashed. We haven't heard yet, though.
And then, this week came news about the EB-5 investor visa program. This is the program that tells foreigners: Invest a sum of money in projects approved by the federal government, projects providing employment to Americans, and we will grant green cards — permanent residence — to you and your family members.
The program has long been riddled with fraud and scandal. Last year the Trump administration, in its waning days, raised the minimum investment from $500,000 to $900,000. The order was challenged in court on a technicality, and it looked as though litigation might drag on for years. This week, however, Biden's DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made the lawsuit void and announced that the increase will go ahead.
With any luck this will kill off the EB-5 visa program altogether. It's been on its last legs for some time, thanks to tightening of the rules by USCIS. Imagine: A visa program killed off by the Biden administration! All right: The initiative to raise the minimum investment was Trump's. Biden's people are following through, though.
As if all that isn't sufficiently amazing, it looks as though the Biden administration may resume building Trump's wall along our southern border. At any rate, the feds are acquiring land along the border by eminent domain just where there needs to be wall. Again, the Trump administration started the legal process, but the Biden administration is now pushing it forward — successfully, in one case decided Tuesday this week by a federal district court in Texas.
And then there are the refugee numbers. A headline I never thought I'd see over at Ann Corcoran's Refugee Resettlement Watch, April 15th: Biden is on Track to Admit Fewer Refugees Than Trump. Ann quotes from a Washington Post story from the day before, headline on that: Biden's delay on refugees baffles and frustrates allies. Says the Post, edited quote:
President Biden … in February … pledged an eightfold-plus increase in the annual cap on refugees set during the Trump administration, saying he would aim for a "down payment" on that promise "as soon as possible."
Ann's guess was that Biden doesn't want to look too pro-immigration as the southern border is being overrun. That's as good an explanation as any …
Oops. On that last one I'm afraid my heart was too soon made glad. Just as I had gotten through jotting notes for this segment up to that point, I saw this in The Hill, date-stamped 5:30 Friday afternoon. Headline: White House reverses course on refugee cap after Democratic eruption.
From the text of the story, quote:
Following a day of blowback from Democrats, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced Biden would set a new, higher ceiling in May after initially saying it would keep the current 15,000 limit.
Apparently Ilhan Omar threatened to suicide-bomb the White House if Biden didn't raise the refugee numbers, and the president caved.
Shall our hopes on the Afghanistan date, the EB-5 program, and the border wall likewise be dashed? I wouldn't be terrifically surprised, but let's wait and see.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Low blow of the week, and repulsively disgusting even for the British Broadcasting Corporation, which God knows is saying something, was this one concerning Prince Philip's funeral tomorrow. You need to know that attendance at the funeral has been limited to thirty because of pandemic restrictions.
Some reptile named Jeremy Vine was conducting a chat show on BBC's Channel 5 with a guest, a Brit radio personality named Shay Grewal, a lady of Indian ancestry. The reptile asked Ms Grewal a question. Question, quote:
We are going to see a group of 30 people at this very restricted funeral, and I imagine it will be 30 people who are white. I'm just trying to think whether there's anybody of color in there and I don't think so.
Ms Grewal replied that, no, she didn't think it was a problem because, quote: "At the end of the day, the Royal Family are a family."
When I was a kid in England the BBC was an institution we respected. We looked to it for entertainment and information. Now it's the domain of pond scum like this Jeremy Vine. What a falling off was there!
Item: It's not just the British royals. Here's something else that's racist: cheese.
Yes, cheese is racist. That's according to another Brit: Alison Palmer, a self-styled environmentalist in the city of Brighton and Hove, on Britain's south coast. At a meeting of the city council last month, Ms Palmer told the councillors that city events should serve only plant-based food. Dairy products, she said, are racist because 65 per cent of the world's population is lactose intolerant.
At this point in the lunacy spiral, it might help if some authority could publicize a list of things that are not racist. That would, I feel sure, be a very short list.
Item: That list would, at any rate, include future world championship Scrabble competitions.
Believe it or not, there is a world governing body for Scrabble competitions: WESPA, W-E-S-P-A. That's the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association. The manufacturers of the game, toy megacorporation Mattel, has forced WESPA to ban from competition play all words that might be construed as racial slurs: four hundred of them.
Various slurs against black, Pakistani, Irish and white people have been axed but some offensive terms against Australian aboriginal communities are still valid.
Australian aborigines, huh. How many offensive slurs against Australian aborigines are there? I guess I could ask a Drongo.
Should you drop by at the Derbs for a game of Scrabble in the parlor here, we are now playing by slightly different rules. Words that can be construed as racial slurs score double.
Item: George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Blair, wrote that it took him thirty years to come to terms with having been named "Eric."
There must be a lot of people who don't much like their given names. Here's a morsel of consolation for all of them.
An Indonesian chap, name of Slamet Wahyudi, 38 years old, of the Indonesian province of Central Java, works at the local Department of Statistical Communication. In December Mr Wahyudi and his wife were blessed with a newborn, a son. By mutual agreement between husband and wife, it was left to Mr Wahyudi to give his son a name. Mr Wahyudi loves his job so much, he decided to name the child Dinas Komunikasi Informatika Statistik. That's the Indonesian for "Department of Statistical Communication."
Hey, look, it could be worse. At least Mr Wahyudi doesn't work for Sanitation or Pest Control.
Item: Just one more on language silliness. Look, I'm a writer. Language is to me what teeth are to dentists. I'm interested.
Here we go. The Associated Press stylebook advises wordsmiths not to use the term "mistress" to describe, quote, "a woman who is in a long-term sexual relationship with, and is financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else," end quote. Preferred alternatives are "companion," "friend," or "lover."
Hoo-kay. I'm sorry to smirk, but this brings back a schoolboy joke from long, long ago — when I was a schoolboy. Brace yourselves!
Q. Where do you find a mistress?
08 — Signoff. And that's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and apologies once again for my April 2nd sloppiness. Note to self: Drink after putting podcast together.
For signoff, I thought we'd have a Civil War song. No, not the War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression, or whatever your preference is. I mean the English Civil War. I bet you didn't know there were English Civil War songs, and people still singing them. Well, there were and there are.
Here's Martin Wyndham-Read and the Druids with "When the King Enjoys His Own Again." It's a Royalist song, as I'm sure you have figured out. Remember the basic history here: the Royalists were Wrong but Wromantic, the Parliamentarians were Right but Repulsive. Isn't that always the way …
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Martin Wyndham-Read and the Druids, "When the King Enjoys His Own Again."]