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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 forensically genial host John Derbyshire, with commentary on the news from a cheerfully reactionary point of view.
I'm going to take a brief glance at the Mother Country's royal family, if you don't mind; then some words about Tuesday's anniversary of George Floyd's passing; then I'll offer some follow-ups to comments I made last week and the week prior on covid and Diversity Hell.
I shall close with our customary miscellany of brief items, then sign off with something hortatory.
Here we go. First, the royals — well, one of them. Two, if you count an ancestor.
02 — Cry God for Harry … If you know any Shakespeare at all, you know the speech that Henry the Fifth gave to rally his troops at the battle of Agincourt. It ends with the words: "Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!" There's another Harry in the British royal family today, but he's not Agincourt material.
Homer nods. Shakespeare places Henry's great speech not at Agincourt but at the siege of Harfleur, a month before. Hey, it was the same campaign …
It seemed in his younger years that he might be. Like young Henry the Fifth, at any rate according to Shakespeare, he did naughty guy-ish stuff: smoking pot, frolicking with loose women, saying rude things about Muslims, …
But then he turned to the dark side and became woke — in fact woker than woke. In a May 13th podcast interview with Dax Shepard he extruded the following reflection, quote:
I don't want to start sort of going down the First Amendment route because that's a huge subject and one in which I don't understand because I've only been here a short period of time.
Ladies and gentlemen, they are not sending their best.
Perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on Harry. He's obviously low-IQ, even by House of Windsor standards, which are not high. And for all we know he might, in a different era, he might have gone the Agincourt route, leading his nation's army into heroic battle.
There just wasn't the opportunity in the era we actually inhabit, and now it's probably too late. Henry the Fifth was only 29 at the Battle of Agincourt; Harry is already 36 — pretty much over the hill, battle-wise. Henry the Fifth never even made it to 36.
So now, having thoroughly alienated his family, Harry faces a few decades in minor-celebrity Purgatory, doing short spots on talk shows when they can't book anyone amusing or interesting, seeing his name in hundred-word filler pieces on obscure web outlets or page 34 of supermarket tabloids, perhaps getting a bit part in a low-budget movie if his wife does the necessary with some Harvey Weinstein type.
Yes: It's a poor, squalid future for Harry. Not materially poor, of course. He's never going to want for food and shelter; just poor in truly princely accomplishments, by comparison with his forebears. Looking back in old age, he will probably wish he had died in some military campaign like his namesake.
Here we are with the old, old question: Does the man make the times, or the times the man? With Henry the Fifth it was somewhat of both. He was leading troops in battle already at age sixteen, and became a forceful and effective head of state. Poor Harry Windsor has been made by his shallow, hedonistic times, without the opportunity to do any making back — to do or be anything historically important.
I skip most of the royal news nowadays; but when I see Harry's picture on my computer screen, I pause for a few seconds to feel sorry for him.
03 — … and Saint George. If we don't have much of a Harry, though, we at least have a Saint George. That would of course be the Holy Blessed Martyr George Floyd, who ascended to glory one year ago this week, to the lamentations of his nation and the enrichment of his baby mommas.
If Harry Windsor's image moves me to sadness, George Floyd's excites only disgust. What a disgrace to our nation, that this brutish, antisocial misfit has been elevated to our pantheon of heroes, canonized in the sick cult of anti-white victimology that dominates our culture.
Say what you like about Harry Windsor, he never stuck a pistol in a woman's belly prior to robbing her house. (Although, to be perfectly fair to Saint George, there's no evidence the woman was pregnant, as is sometimes said.)
Tuesday's feast day of Saint George did, however, at least offer us one of the most hilarious episodes of irony in the annals of video recording. I'm referring of course to those precious clips of TV reporters diving for cover from gunfire in George Floyd Square.
I enjoyed them every bit as much as you did. So did innumerable others, to judge from the YouTube comment threads.
Here's one of those clips — well, the audio of it — from ABC News. The studio presenter here is Diane Macedo, a white lady. She is talking live to a black street reporter, Alex Presha, in George Floyd Square. And in case you don't know, the Square is now part of an autonomous zone, into which police are not allowed. Here's the audio.
So yes, the folk there in George Floyd Square were indeed celebrating the Blessed Martyr's life in an entirely appropriate fashion.
And yes, just as the street reporter told us there, Saint George's family members, latest winners of the Ghetto Lottery, did indeed meet with Joe Biden at the White House just about at the time their co-ethnics opened fire in George Floyd Square. We just have to hope the president knew what was going on, and didn't think it was a cabinet meeting.
There was of course a political angle here. There's a new federal bill before Congress, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which will make it the law of the land that if a juiced-up six-foot-six 240-pound black guy doesn't want to submit to being arrested, he durn well doesn't have to.
The bill is currently stalled in the Senate, but the Floyd family members there in the White House Tuesday took the opportunity to promote it to the reporters present. One of Saint George's brothers, a chap named Philonese Floyd, offered the following argument, quote:
If you can make federal laws to protect the bird, which is the bald eagle, you can make federal laws to protect people of color.
I haven't checked recently to see what the rates of gun violence, consumption of illegal narcotics, and passing of counterfeit currency are in the bald eagle community, but I promise to so when time permits.
04 — The origin of covid (cont.) A follow-up segment here to comments I made in my podcast two weeks ago. The topic is covid, the origin of.
There are, I said, three possibilities in play:
That third possibility, first aired by the ChiComs early on in the pandemic, and argued in detail by Ron Unz in March this year, seems not to have gotten much traction; so while I wouldn't discount it altogether, I'll lay it aside and focus on the other two.
I praised Nicholas Wade's long May 5th article at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for its careful sifting and weighing of the available evidence, and its good argumentative comment thread. That sifting, that weighing, that arguing, I said, is science at its best. Wade showed that the lab-leak theory was stronger than the Wet Market one.
I stand by all that; but the quest for the origins of covid has made it clear how little purchase Wade's scrupulously scientific approach has on humanity at large. Most of the positions taken have been taken for political, not scientific reasons.
We started out a year ago with a quite solid consensus in favor of the Wet Market theory. Why? Partly because, on the scanty evidence we had, Wet Market seemed more probable to the scientists; but also because then-President Trump hinted that he favored the lab-leak theory. If Trump was for that theory, all right-thinking people had to be against it.
Our politics had collapsed into a simplistic Trump/not-Trump dichotomy, Hutus and Tutsis; whatever Trump was for, the ruling class was against. The media, the social media, the academy, they all threw themselves behind the Wet Market theory. Sure, the scientists were favoring it too; but the evidence was so circumstantial, the lab-leak theory couldn't be discarded on scientific grounds.
Scientific grounds be damned! Why, if Trump was for the lab-leak theory, then it was racist, wasn't it? Facebook actually censored posts arguing the lab-leak hypothesis. If you believed it was possible, you were a Hutu — one of the Dirt People, a Deplorable, a white supremacist.
The ChiComs meanwhile were also pushing the Wet Market theory. It didn't make them look particularly good. A lot of people in the West thought it kind of disgusting that Chinese people purchased live animals of exotic species and took them home to kill, cook, and eat.
The lab-leak theory, though, made the ChiComs look really bad. What: Their science labs, of which they are immensely proud, are so poorly supervised they let lethal diseases loose on the world? The ChiComs didn't want that to get any currency.
Some of their outlets promoted the American biowarfare theory. (This was last year, way before Ron Unz got to it.) Others, going with the less damaging to Chinese national pride of the two alternative theories, conceded that the Wet Markets might have had something to do with it. Lab leaks? Certainly not!
That only fortified the disposition on the part of our ruling class to favor the Wet Market theory. There are business opportunities, academic opportunities, travel opportunities, and simple cold cash to be gained by kissing up to the ChiComs. Our Tutsis are by no means averse.
The more that experts looked at the issue, though, and the more bits and pieces of evidence came out, the more plausible the lab-leak hypothesis became. Public-health officials, including at last Anthony Fauci his esteemed self, were murmuring that further investigation was justified. Nicholas Wade's article put the murmuring into the public arena. Quite suddenly, the lab-leak theory was respectable.
It didn't hurt that Nicholas Wade had included details of our own government's involvement in funding research at the Wuhan labs, a thing that wasn't widely known before.
So while the lab-leak hypothesis was still anti-Chinese, and therefore racist, it now had a slight color of anti-Americanism, too. Covid was our fault!
That little frisson of anti-Americanism likely helped make the lab-leak theory acceptable to our Tutsi ruling class. Anti-Americanism, they can relate to. We are guilty! We are all guilty!
My own take on the present situation, with the evidence still mostly circumstantial, I'll state as percentage probabilities.
05 — Diversity Hell (cont.) Another follow-up segment to that podcast of two weeks ago. The topic here: Diversity Hell.
On the subject of policing, I had an interesting email from a listener following what I said about violence between Arabs and Jews in Israel, and the parallels with racial violence in the U.S.A.
I'll just read the email off to you, lightly edited. This is from a listener well-acquainted with Israeli society. Quote:
There is a similarity between policing Muslims in Israel and policing blacks in the US. If policing is hands-off, they complain that the authorities are doing nothing about crime in their communities, but if it is too strict they complain about that.
So, as I said two weeks ago: Diversity Hell.
I conceded last week that, yes, racial and ethnic diversity can work. It depends on the mix, and the strength of historical grievances. With Muslims living as a big minority in a non-Muslim nation, or blacks living as a big minority in a non-black nation, you have to say, looking around the world, that the odds are against it working.
Again I go back to what I said two weeks ago: There is no civilized way out of this, either for us or for the Israelis. When your nation's particular diversity turns into Diversity Hell, you just have to cope as best you can. It's like one of those diseases that can't be cured, only managed.
It's too bad the managing involves destroying the lives of people like Derek Chauvin, who probably thought he was just doing his job.
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Just a footnote to the covid segment.
Several correspondents have asked me what I thought of David Cole's columns on covid origins over at Taki's Magazine. There were two columns, one on May 18th, a follow-up on May 25th.
If you haven't read them, Cole takes a very strong position against the lab-leak theory. In the first article, he's scathing about Nicholas Wade, and jeers that he crushed Wade with a conclusive gotcha.
First off I'd like to register as a major fan of David Cole. I think he's brilliant, and I always read his stuff. The problem here is, what he's brilliant at.
The late Auberon Waugh defined opinion journalism as, quote, "The Vituperative Arts." That's what David Cole is brilliant at. He's one of the great vituperators — a terrific polemicist.
That's fine in its own way. We need people like that, and I appreciate them. Evaluating scientific evidence needs a different skill set, though, and in fact a different temperament.
In his critique of Nicholas Wade, Cole doesn't engage at all with Wade's negative evidence — the absence of any of the tell-tale signs you'd see if there had been animal-to-human transmission. Sure, sure: "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence." When all you've got is circumstantial evidence, though, you have to include it when weighing the probabilities.
What about Cole's gotcha, environmental samples taken at the Wuhan wet market that came back with traces of covid? He doesn't give a link, and I'm not surprised: The source there is Xinhua, the ChiCom news agency.
You should approach any official ChiCom source with the assumption you are being lied to. Every word the ChiComs say is a lie.
(I was going to append the traditional quip: "including 'and' and 'the'"; but the word for "and" in Chinese is hardly used, and the language doesn't have a word for "the" at all.)
I pronounced my position on the probable origin of covid in percentages, lab-leak/Wet Market/American biowarfare, as 60/30/10. David Cole is more of a 0/100/0 guy.
That's the difference between a science geek and a polemicist. Both types have a useful part to play; both can be fun to read and can get you thinking; they're just not the same thing.
Item: Speaking of science geekery, I'm amused to see people talking about UFOs again.
I say "again" because way back in the 1950s, when I was just starting to pay attention to the world beyond my own nose-pickings, UFO talk was all over. My uncle Fred, another science geek — he was in fact an electrician — had George Adamski's 1953 book Flying Saucers Have Landed. I read it with interest, and spent many fruitless hours scanning the foggy skies of England in hopes of seeing extraterrestrial visitors.
There was another flurry of UFO interest twenty years later, inspired I think by the books of Eric von Däniken.
By that time, though, space probes had shown us how barren Mars is and how impossibly hot Venus is, so that the idea of advanced civilization in the Solar System was no longer tenable. If extraterrestrials were visiting us, they were covering stupendous distances to do so. It didn't seem likely they would sacrifice all that time, trouble and expense just to give a momentary glimpse of themselves to a few hillbillies and neurotic housewives.
That's even less probable today, after decades of futile efforts to detect signs of intelligence in space: radio signals, Dyson spheres, Cherenkov radiation, … After all that, no serious person can think we're being visited by space aliens.
That leaves terrestrial origins. Is somebody, either our own military or some other nation's, putting strange new technologies in the air, superfast drones or some such? Well, drones are certainly a thing: the Israelis and the Arabs both use them, and I'm sure we do too.
The drones we know about aren't capable of anything like the amazing feats of speed and agility claimed for UFOs, though. For drones we don't know about to be so capable, there would have to be some major technological advances. Advances like that come out of pure science, though; and there's nothing I know of in the pure science of recent years to herald such feats.
Plus, the images we're given of these things are so poor quality. We have really amazing imaging systems nowadays. They could read the license plate of a vehicle parked on the Moon. Yet all we get from the UFO people are fuzzy blobs. When they have any shape at all, they look like birds with wings outspread.
So I'm a skeptic, and shall continue to be one until either (a) someone tells me why intelligent critters would travel trillions of miles just to tease us, or (b) I read in the science blogs about some amazing new technology, or (c) I see a decent image of something not a bird, a balloon, or a wayward drone.
Item: I try not to be shocked by stuff this new administration does, but sometimes it's just impossible to not be shocked.
That's how I felt about the flying of Black Lives Matter banners by our embassies abroad, apparently with the full approval, if not encouragement, of the State Department.
At our embassy in Athens, the banner was hung to cover the official US embassy seal. An official statement from the embassy included the hashtag "#BlackLivesMatter" and the following text, quote:
We raise this banner in honor of George Floyd, murdered one year ago today, in solidarity with people around the globe seeking a world without racial discrimination and a future with equal opportunity for all.
I guess we have to allow the word "murdered" there, since the Derek Chauvin jury, in fear for their lives, found Chauvin guilty on that charge. What does racial discrimination have to do with it, though? Is there any persuasive evidence that Officer Chauvin would have behaved differently with a non-black suspect as large and refractory as Floyd?
Why is our State Department promoting a violent anarchist movement which wants to destroy our society, beginning with the nuclear family? A rational U.S. government would crush BLM without mercy, to the advantage and safety of all Americans, black and otherwise.
And BLM is, like every other black-identity outfit — like Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH, like Al Sharpton's National Action Network, like Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, fundamentally just a grift. I had just gotten through fuming about our embassies flying BLM banners when, in the same news source, I read this, quote:
The embattled co-founder of Black Lives Matter announced on Thursday that she's resigning as executive director amid criticism over her lavish lifestyle.
That was from Thursday's New York Post. The passage I just quoted includes a link to a report the Post published in February under the headline: "Black Lives Matter foundation received over $90M in donations last year."
The person who's just resigned is 37-year-old Patrisse Cullors. In March Ms Cullors, who describes herself as a Marxist, bought a $1.4 million home in tony Topanga Canyon, a short drive from Malibu. Public records show that she has two other homes in the Los Angeles area. She has also been scouting property at the Albany resort in the Bahamas, close by houses belonging to Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods.
Pretty nice: and I have no sympathy for the fools and suckers who didn't figure out long since that every black-activist movement is a grift. But I'd still like to know why our federal government is endorsing and encouraging these scams.
Item: You've been hearing for years about how this, that, or the other line of work will be automated. Travel agents, warehouse staff, checkout clerks are already extinct or nearly so; soon, we're told, the rising waters of automation will drown radiologists, doctors, and lawyers.
OK, but why not legislators? I smiled to read this in this morning's Daily Mail, quote:
Getting sick of politicians? Well, you're not alone — 31 per cent of Britons and more than half of Europeans would gladly replace their MPs with artificial intelligences.
That's from a survey done by some Spanish university.
You can count me in there with the 31 percent. I mean, really: How could an Artificial Intelligence bot do any worse than Paul Ryan or Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer?
You may object that replacing congresscritters with AI bots would be just handing Congress over to the tech billionaires. To which I'd reply: We already did that, didn't we?
Item: Just as your mother told you, there's always someone worse off than yourself. Australia, for example, is suffering from a plague of mice. Millions, possibly billions of the little rodents have infested Australia's agricultural regions.
The AP report makes gruelling reading. Sample quotes:
The worst comes after dark, when millions of mice that had been hiding and dormant during the day become active …
Sounds awful. One must try to be helpful and constructive, though, so here's me trying, with a word — just a word — to the folk Down Under. Here's the word: Cats.
Item: Just one more, this one passed on by a listener.
Wednesday this week the Huffington Post ran a vicious piece reporting the doxxing of an elementary-school teacher in Massachusetts.
The teacher — he taught English, social studies and computer science — was also a prolific freelance writer, under various pseudonyms, for outlets including, but by no means limited to, American Renaissance. He's a race realist, and an opponent of Critical Race Theory. I get a passing mention in the Huffington Post piece, along with Ann Coulter and VDARE.com.
The actual doxxing of this teacher was done by a communist group called the Anonymous Comrades Collective. They notified the school he was teaching at, and the school promptly fired him. Huffington Post, it goes without saying, heartily approves.
When we take over I shall personally ensure that these swine at Anonymous Comrades Collective and the weasels at HuffPo who applaud them, will be shipped off to new lives in North Korea.
07 — Signoff. That's all, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening; and may you enjoy family cheer mixed with sober reflection on Monday, Memorial Day.
Next Thursday is the birthday of two — count 'em, two — JDs: Jefferson Davis, of course, who would be 213 years old if he were still among us, and your modestly genial host, who will have considerably fewer candles than that on his cake. Celebrate whichever you favor the more; or celebrate both if you like, I don't mind. Neither, I am sure does President Davis.
OK, some signoff music. I haven't offered much in the way of hortatory music — music to hearten and encourage you. If you go to the "Readings" page of my website, there's a whole triplet of hortatory poems there: Longfellow, Arthur Hugh Clough, and of course Kipling. Radio Derb hasn't been giving you any hortatory songs, though.
Time to fix that. Here's the hortatoriest song I can think of, a fine old Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. The singer here is Gerry Marsden, a key figure in the Liverpool Sound of the early 1960s, along with that other group whose name escapes me right now. Liverpudlians liked this recording so much, they made it the tribal song of Liverpool City soccer club; you'll hear it sung at any game.
There will be more from Radio Derb next time. Until then, if things aren't going well, follow Gerry's advice.
[Music clip: Gerry and the Pacemakers, "You'll Never Walk Alone."]