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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, listeners, this is your invariably genial host John Derbyshire once again bringing you news from the social, political, and cultural frontiers.
Also judicial. Trials have been much in the news this week. Trials, I mean, in courtrooms, with judges and juries and such. The Jussie Smollett trial in Chicago was the big headliner, with proceedings against Ghislaine Maxwell here in New York not far behind in news coverage. And then on Wednesday we had opening arguments in the Minneapolis trial of former cop Kim Potter for fatally shooting Daunte Wright back in April.
I had better confess up front that I come to these stories about trials with my cynicism control set to max. Let me start by explaining that.
02 — Approximate justice. My faith in the integrity of courtroom justice was holed below the waterline twenty-some years ago, when I followed the child sex-abuse hysterias of the 1980s and 1990s.
Those were shameful injustices, travesties of justice. Decent, harmless citizens like Gerald Amirault and his family — there were many, many others — were convicted and given double-digit sentences on charges no sensible person could credit, and for which there was no physical evidence.
Ambitious, unscrupulous prosecutors; dim-witted juries; avaricious and/or ideological attorneys; bought-and-paid-for judges; all were on plain display there back in the nineties.
And our country then was more sane than it is now! It still had a stabilizing ballast of older citizens with memories of war and depression, of reality biting hard. Today we are more frivolous, more stupid, more detached from reality.
So my expectations that today's judicial system will consistently deliver anything resembling justice, could not be lower. When it does so, as in the Rittenhouse trial last month, I am quietly astonished.
Much more common, and more in line with my cynical expectations, was the appalling miscarriage of justice in the Arbery case, also of last month, where three decent, public-spirited citizens had their lives and the lives of their families destroyed by the determined efforts of an antiwhite cabal of prosecutors, politicians, activists, and media bloodsuckers.
The Arbery case illustrates an important point about the random and approximate nature of our justice system: that it is at its most random, most approximate when dealing with cases that snap easily into the cherished, beloved Narrative of working-class whites — especially Southerners — being beastly to blacks.
That Narrative is so deep-imbedded in our collective psyche, it is now unusual to find a person — even a normal, non-ideological person — whose world-view is not infected by it.
Regular listeners know that I get my first daily infusion of news from a paper delivery of The New York Post, which I read over my breakfast oatmeal. The Post has a "Letters" column, which I have always thought pretty well-balanced, with opinions on both sides of issues fairly reflecting what I'd guess to be the distribution among center-right New Yorkers. I'm speaking here, I should say, from some intimate acquaintance, having once been a regular contributor to the "Letters" column.
Well, when I got to the "Letters" column in my New York Post the Saturday before last, there were three letters from readers about the Arbery verdict. Every one of them praised it.
First letter, opening sentence:
I'm grateful to the jury for their service and for a verdict that says Ahmaud Arbery's life mattered.
Second letter in its entirety:
Thank God a jury of 11 whites and one black found all three murderers of Arbery guilty. I call for the trio's life imprisonment for this evil, modern-day lynching
Third letter in its entirety:
Arbery should be alive and celebrating Thanksgiving with his family. May the verdict in this case provide consolation for those who loved this man. May it serve as a lesson for those inclined to shoot those who don't look like them on grounds of suspicion.
I don't think any crazy wokesters read the Post. Those letter-writers are probably people you or I, on a personal acquaintance, would judge to be normal. If there was any significant balance of readers writing in with a contrary point of view — a point of vew based on truth and reality — I believe the Post would have included them.
That is the power of the Narrative: mighty and irresistible.
OK, let's look at some actual trials.
03 — Injustice for Jussie. The Jussie Smollett trial did not snap neatly into the Narrative, although Jussie did his best to make it do so. The white perps Jussie accused of having assaulted him back in January 2019 could never be located.
The only other human beings involved in the incident who could be located were the Osundairo brothers from Nigeria. My own cynicism kicked in from the very start, like many other peoples' — including, I am sure, the Chicago police officers assigned to investigate the so-called crime. I doubt there were ever so many eyes rolling simultaneously as when a roomful of seasoned big-city street cops were given that assignment. Jussie's story was all so obviously phoney … unless, of course, you have sold your soul to the Narrative.
How cynical was I? Well, when I first saw that stock picture of the Osundairo brothers, as black and as jacked as it is possible to be, my first thought was: "Oh, so those are the guys Jussie was paying to bugger him." On the courtroom testimony, that was not precisely the case; but I think I got the main idea of the relationships there.
Laying cynicism aside, I am now going to annoy some listeners, I'm sure, by saying that I don't think Jussie should have been brought to trial, any more than the three defendants in the Arbery case should have been. This, and that, were wastes of public time and resources for reasons ultimately political.
Remember the early stages of this case. January 2019, Jussie claimed he was attacked. February that year, state attorney Kim Foxx stepped away from the case, handing it to her assistant Joseph Magats to pursue, while also asking the FBI to take an interest. In March Jussie was indicted for a false report … but then, three weeks later, all charges were dropped.
Why? Well, Assistant D.A. Magats had cut a deal with Jussie's attorneys. The deal was, they would drop the charges provided Jussie performed sixteen hours of community service and forfeited his ten-thousand-dollar bond.
That seems pretty fair to me for what was surely a trivial offense by a guy with no criminal background. To proceed would definitely have been trespassing into the zone of wasting public resources. So late March 2019 should have been the end of the matter.
Why wasn't it? Well, Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, and Eddie Johnson, his police chief were mad as hell about the charges being dropped. Emanuel's term as Mayor ended in May; Lori Lightfoot took over. She didn't seem inclined to pursue the Smollett case, but chief Johnson was still steamed.
Chief Johnson had given over three thousand man-hours to investigating the damn thing, he protested. To which a sensible response would have been: "Well then, let's not waste any more resources on it." That wasn't the response he got, though.
And on the national political scene, Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, with their eyes of course fixed on the following year's presidential election, were pushing to have lynching made a federal hate crime. The Smollett story, which both senators pretended to believe, was helpful to them and needed to be kept alive.
Plus the FBI had gotten involved on Kim Foxx's urging. So what with one political thing and another political thing, the Jussie Smollett case stayed alive when it should have died peacefully in late March 2019. A Special Prosecutor was assigned, Jussie was re-indicted, and we were on our way to this dumb, pointless trial.
I apologize to Jussie Smollett on behalf of all citizens who believe in swift, clean, proportionate, and un-political justice.
You're an idiot, Jussie, and a deeply unattractive human being. Neither thing is against the law, though. You've been unfairly treated. Ten thousand dollars and sixteen hours of community service looks proportionate to me. It's not your fault the media is full of gullible, Narrative-soaked nitwits. I'd like to see them in court.
04 — Maxwell-Epstein mysteries. And then, this Maxwell trial. It got under way two weeks ago. The federal prosecutors told us on Tuesday that they'd rest their case today, Friday, at latest. However, a key attorney has taken ill, so now the prosecution may not rest until next week.
Ms Maxwell is charged with procuring underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein, the super-rich guy who passed away under mysterious circumstances in August 2019, and the precise source of whose wealth is also mysterious, at any rate to me. All Epstein's on record as having done for a living is managing the financial affairs of other people — very seriously rich people, to be sure; but I can't see that he got as much as he seems to have gotten just from that.
Whatever: Epstein was very rich, Ms Maxwell and he were some kind of an item; and prosecutors claim she helped procure jailbait for him and his rich friends.
Ms Maxwell is the daughter of British media mogul Robert Maxwell, who also died a mysterious death — drowned, either by suicide or otherwise, after falling from his luxury yacht in 1991.
Robert Maxwell was a piece of work. Born to a poor Jewish family in 1920s Czechoslovakia, he got out of Nazi-occupied Europe, joined the British Army, and had a good war. Postwar he went into publishing, got modestly rich, and was a Labour Party Member of Parliament for six years in the 1960s. The seventies and eighties he spent getting richer from media takeovers.
After his death it turned out he'd been looting his business enterprises to the degree that they soon collapsed. He was also a spy of some kind, with links to Britain's MI6, the Soviet Union's KGB, and Israel's Mossad. He was either a double or a triple agent, no-one seems to know for sure.
And he and Jeffrey Epstein were pals back in the day — in the 1980s, that is, when Robert Maxwell was coming under increasing suspicion of financial shenanigans and Epstein himself was a player in Towers Financial Corporation which later — after Epstein had left the firm — turned out to have been a massive Ponzi scheme. Birds of a feather.
Was Epstein, like Maxwell, working with Israeli intelligence at some level? It's not improbable. Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown published a book this summer delving into some of the mysteries and ambiguities of Epstein's life and death. I refer you to the book, title Perversion of Justice.
Most to the point here, when Robert Maxwell's businesses collapsed following his death in 1991, his daughter Ghislaine, youngest of his nine children, was not quite thirty. The whole family was in distress, having gotten used to living high. Ghislaine moved to New York, where she met Epstein. He seems to have given the family considerable help, in return for which Ghislaine shared not only her intimate favors but also her contacts among Britain's rich elite, apparently including Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's second son.
It's all a strange and tangled tale, and still today getting stranger and tangleder. Observers of the current trial tell us that the prosecution hasn't been trying very hard, are just going through the motions. There are murmurs that rich and powerful people — ex-presidents even — wish it so.
No opinion from me on any of that. I haven't done enough of the necessary reading to form a judgment. There's an awful lot of it to do: politics, both British and American, and likely Israeli, too; high finance; the royals; international espionage; two mysterious deaths; and — surprise! — middle-aged rich guys wanting sexual favors from underage girls.
If the complete story of Epstein and the Maxwells is ever written out in full and published between hard covers, the Amazon delivery driver will need a hand truck to get it to your front door.
Ms Potter was a police officer on the force of Brooklyn Center, an inner suburb of Minneapolis. Back in April she and a fellow officer pulled over a car for a technical violation. In the car were 20-year-old Daunte Wright and his girlfriend. The cops ran Wright's ID through their computer: turned out there was a warrant out for his arrest.
They went back to his car and told him to step out. Officer Potter's colleague started to cuff him; but Wright pulled away and got back into the car, plainly intending to drive away. The colleague tried to pull him back out of the car while Officer Potter pulled out her weapon and yelled "I'll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!" Unfortunately she'd pulled out her revolver by mistake.
It fired; the car rolled a few yards, then hit another car and stopped. Daunte Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.
It's all on video and it's plain that Officer Potter knew at once that she'd pulled the wrong weapon, and was distraught over the result. She's since resigned from the force.
In the trial that got under way this week she faces two charges: first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter. Neither implies an intent to kill, only different degrees of carelessness with a weapon.
Ms Potter is white, though, while Daunte Wright was black, or at any rate black-ish — a quadroon, would be my guess.
So this one is a good fit for the Narrative. Not the Narrative about tobacco-chewing good ol' boys lynching black field hands, but the related secondary narrative of white city cops shooting young black men every chance they get.
And this in Minneapolis, remember, or near enough; the very city from which the Holy Blessed Martyr George Floyd ascended to Heaven on a golden cloud. The show trial of Derek Chauvin was in fact under way nearby when this whole incident occurred.
Being such a good fit for that Narrative, on the Derbyshire Principle we can reasonably expect a mockery of justice here. Standard sentences for those two manslaughter charges are seven years and four, maximums 15 years and ten. Ms Potter will likely get the maximums, to run consecutively. And then the feds will pile on with the "civil rights" buncombe; although that will not, absolutely not, constitute double jeopardy — not, no way, never! Don't even think it's double jeopardy!
The jury, twelve seated and two alternates, is seven men, seven women. Two of the women are Asian, one is black; all the other jurors are white.
Naturally the demonstrators are out in force. The police probably not so much. After last year's ructions and the ritual sacrifice of Officer Chauvin, it's amazing there are any cops left in Minneapolis.
One stomach-turning aspect of all these wretched stories is the fawning coverage given to the deceased. Sure, I understand de mortuis nil nisi bonum, "ask not for whom the bell tolls," and so on; but you can take the eulogies too far. Here's The New York Times, December 8th, quote:
Daunte Wright has been remembered by friends as upbeat and gregarious, someone who loved to play basketball and was a supportive father to his son, Daunte Jr., who was a year old when Mr Wright, 20, was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop.
And that's nothing compared to the coverage Wright got from the BBC back in April when the story was new. Edited quotes:
Mr Mason [one of Wright's schoolteachers] told Associated Press that Mr Wright was [inner quote] "a charismatic kid … one of those kids that everybody looked up to." [End inner quote.]
There is actually a George Floyd connection, the BBC told us. Courteney Ross, billed here as George Floyd's girlfriend, was at one point Daunte Wright's teacher. She testified that, quote:
It's enough that Floyd is gone, but for one of my youths to be gone as well. He was just a wonderful, beautiful boy.
As my old Dad was wont to say: "Where are all the bad people buried?"
Daunte Wright was in fact quite seriously bad. Back in December 2019 he was charged with aggravated robbery after he threatened with a gun a woman who had given him hospitality. He demanded she hand over $820 in cash he knew she had stashed in her bra.
There's a thing that we normal people wonder all the time: Why are these martyrs and victims of the Black Lives Matter pantheon all such scuzzy antisocial unemployable lowlifes? Daunte Wright, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, … These are your heroes? These are your martyrs? Yeccch!
If, as the BLM types keep telling us, cops and vigilantes shoot young black men opportunistically, at random, how come they never hit a young chess wizard or even just a trainee accountant?
06 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The greatest folly in our foreign policy this past thirty years — and yes, that's a crowded field — has surely been our antagonizing Russia.
Why did we do that? I'm durned if I can figure it out. The Russians dumped communism and fantasies of world conquest, dismantled the Warsaw Pact, and threw themselves open for trade. Why didn't we offer to help any way we could? Russia is a longstanding member of Western civilization, with impressive achievements in science and culture. Russians in general like the U.S.A. — or did, before we set to vexing them in every way we could think of.
Now this Ukraine fuss. It would be nice for the Ukrainians to keep self-government; although it would be a lot nicer if they hadn't made such a dog's breakfast of it this past thirty years. I can't see it's any interest of ours, though.
If the Europeans are worried about Russian expansion, let them do something about it. They have three times Russia's population and ten times Russia's GDP. Also nuclear weapons, courtesy of France. It's their neighborhood, let them deal with it. We have our own problems.
Item: What's up with the Antipodes? I just saw this news story about New Zealand planning a total ban on cigarette smoking. That's on top of all the stuff we've been hearing about Australia putting unvaccinated citizens into concentration camps.
What happened to the Jolly Swagman and the Cheery Kiwi? In my British imagination, our Antipodean cousins were happy-go-lucky types, carefree and not much fond of taking orders. The Australian ideal was to sit around by the billabong drinking Foster's beer and making rude jokes about those sissy Poms (which is to say, Brits).
Forty years ago in London, I worked in an office with some Kiwis: hearty young fellows, all of whom seemed to play at least two different sports with gusto. One of them threw a beach party in his apartment. For beach he bought several bags of sand and poured it all over the floor.
When did these nations of lively, insubordinate, fun-loving people turn into meek serfs bowing their heads to rule by schoolmarms and petty tyrants? What's happening to the world?
Oh wait, all is not lost. I just spotted this in the Daily Mail, December 2nd. Headline: Australia is officially the DRUNKEST country in the world. Sample quotes:
Australians were among more than 32,000 participants from 22 countries who took part in the Global Drug Survey.
So perhaps this new passivity is not so much a failure of national spirit as an excess of … spirits.
Item: Just when I'm thinking things couldn't get crazier I see something like this. It's actually a December 6th tweet from Mark Perry, Professor Emeritus of economics at the University of Michigan. Tweet:
Just out today: Ohio State University has a small army of 132 "diversicrats" at an average salary of $77,000 and total estimated payroll cost of $13.4m, which would cover in-state tuition for 1,120 students.
End tweet … except that Prof. Perry includes in his tweet an image of the complete list, all 132 of them. It starts off with Keesha Mitchell, Associate Vice President, Office of Institutional Equity, salary $289,600. Then it works its way down through the ranks to, at the bottom, Ashley Van Hesteren and Mary Robinson, both listed as Program Assistant, Diversity and Inclusion, although at very different salaries: $36,840 for Ms Van Hesteren and only $26,490 for Ms Robinson. I'm sure there's a good reason for that. Perhaps Ms Robinson is not, in her person, as diverse and inclusive as Ms Van Hesteren.
What on earth do they all do the livelong day? Well, here's a clue: they set up events similar to this one. From Daily Caller. December 9th, quote:
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) shelled out nearly $45,000 for an evening with Boston College professor and "anti-racist scholar" Ibram X. Kendi, according to public records obtained by The Federalist … Kendi was paid $30,000 for a 60-minute event conversation, $5,000 for a 45-minute meet-and-greet with UWM student leaders, $5,000 for a 60-minute professional development session with select UWM faculty and staff, and an additional $3,500 for airfare and meals for two people, according to public records requests.
Pretty nice. I don't blame Kendi for milking the rubes. My question is: Is there a chamber of Hell hot enough for the college bureaucrats who subject their students to this poisonous dreck under the pretense it is a form of high learning?
Item: A listener has corrected my pronunciation. The Wisconsin city I referred to in a recent Radio Derb is pronounced by locals as WAU-kee-SHAW, as opposed to my attempt, which was something like wau-KEE-shuh.
My listener also chides me for having described WAU-kee-SHAW as "a suburb of Milwaukee." Its proximity notwithstanding, he protests indignantly, WAU-kee-SHAW was founded as a city contemporaneously with its now-larger neighbor, Milwaukee.
I consider myself well-chidden on the matter of pronunciation, and shall try to say it right in future. On the other point, however, I'm afraid that if two adjacent towns develop differently, one staying small while the other swells into a mighty city, people are inevitably, with no disrespect intended, going to refer to the first as a suburb of the second. I'm all for municipal pride; but like nil nisi bonum it can be taken too far.
Why was I talking about WAU-kee-SHAW, anyway? Did something happen there recently? I don't recall anything. Let me just check my news sources. Hold on … [keyboard clicking] … No, nothing there. Funny …
Item: Finally, as VDARE.com's resident math nerd, it falls to me to record the passing of a fine French mathematician, Jacques Tits. Prof. Tits passed away December 5th at age 91. May he rest in peace.
His main achievement were in algebra. To quote from his biography at the math history website of St Andrew's University, edited quote:
Tits created a new and highly influential vision of groups as geometric objects. He introduced what is now known as a Tits building, which encodes in geometric terms the algebraic structure of linear groups … He also established the celebrated "Tits alternative": every finitely generated linear group is either virtually solvable or contains a copy of the free group on two generators.
Impressive stuff. I'd explain further what that means, but I'm afraid I haven't really kept abreast of modern developments in algebra …
07 — Signoff. That's all for this week, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening; and it's two weeks to Christmas Eve, so get wrapping those presents.
Something new for signout music. A couple of weeks ago I had a brief, very friendly encounter with The White Art Collective, WAC for short. They describe themselves as, quote:
A community of artists of European descent whose mission is to preserve, promote, celebrate and expand upon our shared European culture.
As far as I can figure from my encounter and from some internet browsing, WAC are a bunch — please, not a "community" — of lively young white Americans pushing back with good-natured wit and high spirits against the antiwhite dogmas that have taken over establishment culture. Good luck to them!
Exercising their white privilege, WAC held a pop concert this summer, WACfest 2021. I've been listening to some of the music therefrom. It's fun stuff.
Here's a sample from a WAC music group called the Mamas and the Pepes. That's "Pepes" as in "Pepe the Alt-Right frog," geddit? This little number is called "Hate Crime Hoax," and I hereby dedicate it to Jessie Smollett.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: The Mamas and the Pepes, "Hate Crime Hoax."]