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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your self-referentially genial host John Derbyshire, recording here on January 7th — our first podcast of 2022.
The day before January 7th is of course January 6th. [Scream.] Yes, January 6th: a date that will live in infamy — the date of an attack on our country as grave as Pearl Harbor and 9/11, according to Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday.
The Vice President was not alone in hyperbole. In the halls of our federal government, the whole day was like that. There were melodramatic speeches from Biden, Pelosi, and their ghoulish apparatchik Merrick Garland, who I keep thinking has wandered in from some remake of The Addams Family. There was a prayer vigil — a prayer vigil!
There was a performance out of that deeply mediocre stage musical "Hamilton" — you know, that show none of whose songs has ever been spontaneously sung, whistled, or hummed by anyone you ever met.
Watching these proceedings, I came over all anthropological. I felt that I was watching the rituals of some arcane cult, or some aboriginal ceremony — the Ghost Dance of the Sioux, something like that.
Is there anything plain, sensible, down-to-earth to be said about January 6th? Well, I'll try.
02 — A noisy, unruly protest. One key prop of representative democracy is loser's consent.. There's an election: one party wins, the others lose. The losers have to smile and take it in a sporting spirit.
In a nation the size of the U.S.A., with a constitution prescribing an indirect method of voting for president, and also leaving the actual manner of voting to be decided by state legislatures, there are so many plausible objections you can make to any nationwide vote that when the margin of victory is small it's tempting for losers to withhold consent, and double tempting when popular vote and electoral college vote say different things.
That's even the case in an age when there's a dominant social ethic of gentlemanly restraint, as in 1876. It's way more the case in an age like ours, when there isn't — when gentlemanly restraint is regarded as white-supremacist toxic masculinity.
We've seen this in the last two presidential elections. Sure, I know Mrs Clinton conceded defeat the day following the 2016 election, after a call from Barack Obama telling her she should. Given her subsequent maneuverings, though, and the effort she put into creating and sustaining the Russian-collusion hoax, you have to think her concession was not sincere. I bet the old witch still believes to this day that she was cheated of victory.
It took Donald Trump two months to offer up loser's consent after the 2020 election. He did so, in fact, precisely a year ago today, January 7th 2021. In fairness to Trump, there were some reasonable grounds for doubt about the result. In part because of panic over the covid virus, and in part just opportunistically, voting procedures in some key states had been loosened up, and there was circumstantial evidence of hanky-panky in some of the vote counting.
All that would have been easier to bear if there hadn't been some big fat thumbs on the scales in the run-up to the election: the media and social media all collaborating to suppress news of Hunter Biden's laptop, Pfizer suspending work on its vaccine until after the election, and so on.
If Big Tech, Big Pharma, and the media had given Trump a fair shake in the election campaign, he would likely have won, even if there were some minor voting shenanigans by the Democrats. So he had good reason to be aggrieved about the result — much better reason than Mrs Clinton had in 2016, when the entire elite establishment was promoting her and badmouthing her opponent.
Trump's supporters had good reason to be aggrieved, too. Hence the January 6th protests.
Concerning the protests themselves, and the lies that have been spun about them by the regime media, I can't improve on Peter Brimelow's summary here at VDARE.com on Wednesday.
The facts of the case are that several hundred angry citizens, working-class white people for the most part, believed, on reasonable grounds, that the ruling class had stolen the election. They wanted to protest this in the ruling class's own citadel. Very few wanted to do so violently, and some of those few seem to have belonged to the ruling regime's enforcement groups: Antifa, BLM, the FBI.
None of the protestors was armed; none set any fires or committed any vandalism worse than broken panes of glass, none assaulted any senators or representatives, or even threatened to do so. To call this an insurrection is preposterous. In damage and injuries inflicted, it didn't even amount to a riot. It was a noisy, unruly protest, that's all.
03 — Two cheers for Ed West. All this wild hyperbole; all this inflating of an inconsequential protest into a threat to the nation and the Constitution; all this drama and ceremony; what's it actually about?
It's about what most of our public life is about nowadays: the Cold Civil War. It's about goodwhites asserting their moral superiority over badwhites.
With all the passion and resolve that Pelosi, Harris, and Biden are putting into it, you have to wonder if the Cold Civil War could turn hot. I've generally pooh-poohed this notion. Our lives are too good, I've said; we're too fat and lazy; we have too much stuff. The actual Civil War was fought by wiry young manual laborers from two-room cabins who hadn't worn shoes in summer until their teens.
Well, maybe. I've just been reading an article that left me thinking I could be wrong, that the Cold Civil War might indeed turn hot.
The article is by British journalist and historian Ed West, who I have referred to often before. Ed nowadays has a Substack account. Midweek he posted an opinion piece titled America's road to January 6, subtitle: "What do the US, Lebanon, Bosnia and Northern Ireland have in common?"
Not to keep you in suspense: What they have in common, says Ed, is demographic instability. Sample quote:
Things can change very quickly. Northern Ireland in the 1960s may have been the most peaceful society in human history; in 1963 and 1964 its homicide rate was 0.07 per 100,000, about a quarter of that of today's Japan or Singapore, the two least violent … countries. By the end of that decade, it was in a state of near-civil war, showing how it only takes a small number of dedicated partisans to turn life into hell for everyone.
So what happened to turn Northern Ireland from almost perfect peace to something like civil war? What happened was, the Protestant Unionists of the place — that is, those who favored continuing the union with Britain — saw their demographic majority slipping away because of higher Catholic birthrates.
Similarly with the Serbs in 1990s Bosnia and the Christians in post-independence Lebanon. Demographic stability is a precious but delicate thing. That used to be common knowledge. Senator Edward Kennedy, promoting the 1965 Immigration Bill in the U.S. Senate, quote:
Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.
Whether Kennedy was sincere or not, form your own opinion; but he knew he had to say that because he knew that no significant proportion of his listeners — no significant proportion of Americans — wanted the ethnic mix upset. Who on earth would want that? You'd have to be crazy, or utterly ignorant of all human history.
Punch line from Ed, quote:
Soon the U.S. will become the latest state in which the largest group has lost its supermajority, following Lebanon and Northern Ireland. That the country's commentariat greet this change with wild-eyed joy is perhaps testimony to the great optimism that built the country. Or perhaps it is naivety.
Optimism? Naivety? Sorry, Ed, I don't think it's either. I think it's goodwhite strategy for victory in the Cold Civil War — victory over the despised and hated badwhites.
That's what's missing from Ed's piece, which I none the less commend to your attention. What's missing is how much one half of America's white population hates hates hates the other half. It's that hatred that's driving events: a hatred just as strong as the religious, ethnic, or racial hatred that was in play in Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Zanzibar, or the other examples Ed gives. It's as strong as the sectional hatred that split our own country 160 years ago … and may actually be the same thing.
Today's U.S.A. is not much like 1960s Northern Ireland. It's more like 1990s Rwanda.
But by carrying out this Great Replacement strategy — by bringing in a million Guatemalans here, a million Haitians there, a million Indians to take middle-class jobs, until whites are a minority, won't goodwhites then be a subset of a minority? That's not like Northern Ireland or Lebanon, is it?
Yes, they will; and no, it's not. I think that like the scorpion in Aesop, the goodwhites can't help themselves.
Or perhaps, in their fantasies, they see themselves as an aristocratic elite ruling over a population of passive, obedient serfs. That, at least, from their point of view, would be optimism.
04 — Oops, she did it again. Following on neatly from that, here comes Professor Amy Wax, speaking unspeakable truths out loud again.
Professor Wax — she is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School — has come to our attention before. To refresh your memory:
So, Prof. Amy Wax has a track record of kicking the stone. As best I can figure she's not a race realist; but she takes the next best thing — what I have called "hard culturism" — as far as it can be taken without bringing in biology.
OK, so what's she in trouble for now? Well, on December 20th she was in public discussion with Glenn Loury again. This is a lady not easily deterred.
They discussed immigration. Prof. Wax said she thought mass immigration from Asia was unwise. Sample quote:
[We] have to distinguish mass-immigration, which we're getting from the Hispanics, south of the border, which I think poses different questions and challenges from the Asian elites that we're getting … It doesn't mean that the influx of Asian elites is unproblematic. I actually think it's problematic. I think it's because there's this danger of the dominance of an Asian elite in this country, and what does that mean? What is that going to mean to change the culture?
This is an easy one for me. I've been arguing against mass immigration from Asia for years here at VDARE.com, so I can just quote myself.
Here I was in December 2017, for example, a post titled: Time To Stop Importing An Immigrant Overclass. Sample quote:
The first time America imported an overclass, we did so accidentally. When that Great Wave of Ashkenazi Jews came in after 1881, we had only the vaguest ideas about population differentials in intelligence and personality. Psychometry as a quantitative science was just getting started.
And here I was a couple of weeks later, on the same theme but from a different angle. The title here was: OF COURSE Harvard Discriminates Against Asians. But Maybe That's Good For Americans? In that post I pointed out that, quote:
Immigration patriots in the early 20th century strove to keep out East Asian immigrants, not because they "hated" them, as the infantile language of our current discourse would tell you, or because they thought them an inferior race, but because they feared mass immigration of East Asians would produce an overclass, generating discontent and resentment among legacy Americans.
I love this. At this point in my career as a bloviator I've passed opinions on everything I know about. All I have to do is sit back and direct your attention to people saying the same true and obvious things I've been saying.
05 — George Soros takes Manhattan. You have read, I am sure, about those District Attorneys elected with the aid of huge cash gifts from George Soros, who are obsessed with equity.
Equity, just to remind you, is the notion that since all human races are exactly the same, with no biological differences whatsoever affecting their behavior, intelligence, and personality, it must follow that when different races exhibit different social outcomes, that can only be because wicked people are manipulating society to make those outcomes unequal.
Equity is closely related to the concept of Disparate Impact. So far as I can understand, the difference is mainly one of usage: social scientists favor "inequity" for the undesirable thing, while lawyers, who always prefer more syllables, favor "disparate impact."
So these Soros-funded DAs look at the criminal-justice system and see black Americans being arrested, convicted, and jailed in massively disproportionate numbers. This can only be a consequence of systemic racism. How to rectify things? How to make those numbers proportionate? How to attain equity?
They have come up with a straightforward solution: Stop arresting, convicting, and jailing blacks. Simple!
You may think that is incredibly dumb, dumb beyond anything the vocabulary of dumbness can supply; but shut up, racist. In the U.S. justice system, money talks, and George Soros has a lot, a lot of money.
Well, now the borough of Manhattan in New York City, which is technically New York County, has one of those DAs: forty-eight-year-old Alvin Bragg, a black man. Elected last fall, Bragg took office January 1st.
His first act as DA was to issue a staff memo ordering his prosecutors to go easy on criminals. Armed robbery, for example, should no longer be charged as a felony. "Carceral sentences," the memo said, meaning sentences to time in jail, carceral sentences should be sought only for homicide and a small handful of other cases: domestic violence felonies, some sex crimes, public corruption.
Quote from the memo, quote:
This rule may be excepted only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts, criminal history, victim's input (particularly in cases of violence or trauma), and any other information available.
You know where you are right away when that word "holistic" shows up. As Andrew Ferguson taught us in the matter of college admissions, quote from him: "A more practical and accurate term for holistic admissions is 'completely subjective'." End quote.
Yes: Manhattan has gotten itself a turn-'em-loose DA, bringing Gotham in line with Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. I'm sure this will work out great for Manhattan, just as it has for those other cities.
This isn't actually much of a revolution for Manhattan. Alvin Bragg succeeds Cyrus Vance, Jr. as DA. Vance served twelve years in the job, retiring last year. Vance is a stereotypical limousine liberal with turn-'em-loose tendencies of his own. It looks like Alvin Bragg is going to take it to the next level, though.
And Vance, those tendencies notwithstanding, came from an old WASP family: his Dad was Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State. Educated at Buckley and Groton, then Yale and Georgetown, he maintained some shreds of the old WASP-ascendancy noblesse oblige and responsibility. Woke? Not really.
It might occur to you to wonder how, at a time when everyone is talking about rising crime, such people manage to get a majority of the vote. Answer: they don't. There are a bit north of a million voters in Manhattan. Bragg was elected by 183 thousand of them — and that was in a total turnout of 220 thousand. So less than 22 percent of voters bothered to show up.
You may say: Well, a win for the Democrats is a foregone conclusion in Manhattan, with limousine liberals down here, blacks and Puerto Ricans up there. So people figure there's not much point in voting.
That doesn't explain it. You get roughly the same percentages in the primary elections that precede the general. Which party wins the general can be written off as a foregone conclusion; which candidate wins the primary can't.
Could we please try compulsory voting like they have in Australia, with fines for defaulters? It's a sad sort of democracy where four people out of five don't bother to vote — sad, and all too easily manipulated.
06 — New slogan needed. Just a footnote to the previous segment. Regular Radio Derb listeners will be familiar with my own judicial philosophy, which I call "One Strike and You're Dead." Capital punishment for all crimes, that's my idea. It would sweep criminality right out of the gene pool.
To illustrate this policy I have sometimes tried to popularize the slogan: "Jump a subway turnstile, go to the chair!"
Well, somewhere up there on Mount Olympus there is a Radio Derb listener. One of the gods has decided to give my One Strike and You're Dead policy a helping hand, in the blithely hamfisted way those gods have.
On January 2nd a New York City man, 28-year-old Christopher De La Cruz attempted to jump a subway turnstile at the Forest Hills-71st Avenue train station in the borough of Queens. He miscalculated, though, lost his balance, and went flying over the barrier head first, landing on his head and breaking his neck. Mr De La Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene. You can see surveillance video of the incident at the New York Post website, if you have the stomach for it.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. I shall continue to promote the One Strike and You're Dead policy; but out of respect to the late Mr De La Cruz and those mourning him, I shall henceforth use a different slogan.
07 — Ten years of Kim Jong Un. This December 17th just passed three weeks ago marks ten years in power for Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader. Pyongyang-watchers like the experts at the 38 North website have been ruminating over those ten years: What they have meant for North Koreans, how Kim's been doing, and what the future may hold.
I try to keep up with North Korea. For one thing, one of my earliest ventures into geopolitical commentary, 38 years ago, was about the place, at that time under the rule of Kim Jong Un's grandfather Kim Il Sung.
For another, I have been there, although only technically. The border between China and North Korea runs across the top of a mountain in Mrs Derbyshire's home province. Visiting China in 2001, I and my family went to that summit.
There were no border guards or any kind of barrier up there, only some badly weather-beaten sign boards. I and my son, then six years old, boldly trespassed beyond the sign boards into the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, at that time under the wise and beneficent rule of the second Kim, Kim Jong Un's Dad.
Having been reminded last week about Kim Jong Un's tenth anniversary in power, I thought I'd check to see what I'd said about his accession ten years ago. Yes, there it was in the Radio Derb archives: December 23rd, 2011, sample quote:
Whether Kim Jong Un will actually have any power is an open question. This situation is not to be compared with 1994, when Kim Il Sung died and Kim Jong Il took over.
That turned out to be wishful thinking. To my surprise — and, being fair to myself, to the surprise, I think, of all the credentialed North Korea watchers — Kim Jong Un proved to be smart and resourceful.
That uncle of his, who the experts told us would be running the show, two years later was either shot or placed under permanent house arrest (depending on which expert you read). Some more lurid reports in the South Korean tabloids say that he was not shot but was eaten alive by wild dogs and his entire family killed, one of them by flame thrower. Nobody really knows.
So, how is North Korea doing? Not well.
The headline in the December 18th issue of The Economist nicely sums up expert opinion, headline: Ten years into Kim Jong Un's rule, North Korea is more North Korean than ever. Subtitle: "Diplomatic failure and covid-19 have prompted unprecedented self-isolation."
There were some signs of reform in Kim's early years; but when he saw that reform of any kind would mean a weakening of his totalitarian power, Kim decided that the ways of his father and grandfather were best, and he reverted to them.
The economy is a disaster: the Norks' only significant trading partner is China. When covid showed up in China, Kim shut down his borders, and he's kept them firmly shut. There has been a trickle of inward trade from China, but exports are basically at zero. There is widespread under-nourishment and probably famine in remote areas, we don't really know.
The only sector of the Norks' economy showing any promise of returns is cyber-crime, especially ransomware attacks and cryptocurrency theft. Should your bank account get emptied out by cyber criminals at some point in the next few years, there's a good chance North Korea is behind it.
So count your blessings, listeners. The underclass may be looting your local Best Buy while an imported overclass from South Asia takes your job; Merrick Garland may have arrested your neighbor and put him in jail for twelve months without trial; prices for food and gas may be going through the roof; but you're still way better off than you would be in North Korea. Cheer up!
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
The total fertility rate in the U.S.A. has declined from 2.12 in 2007 to 1.64 in 2020.
No surprise to me on that last. I get regular news flashes from my wife, after some e-chat with an old high-school or college girl friend in China, that the girl friend was lamenting how her prospects of ever having any grandchildren were dwindling. Her son or daughter just wasn't interested in having kids. "Too much trouble! Can't afford it!"
It just seems like yesterday — it was actually twenty or thirty years ago — that India was a byword for out-of-control population growth. According to the Wall Street Journal, December 23rd, quote: "India's total fertility rate, the average number of children a woman will bear during her lifetime, has fallen to 2 — below the replacement level of 2.1 for the first time."
Hey, there's always Africa, right?
Always? Check back with me in twenty or thirty years.
Yep: population pyramids are inverting all over, although some way ahead of others.
I wouldn't be bothered, but I was looking at this stuff right after re-reading Lance Welton's 2017 piece about Mousetopia. If you don't know about Mousetopia, look it up. Then, if you want to avoid a spell of deep despair, don't read any articles about fertility for a while.
Item: We all know that blackface is totally out of the question in dramatic productions nowadays. How about Jewface, though?
British movie actress Dame Helen Mirren — just to remind you: "Dame" is the female equivalent of "Sir" in the British system of honorific titles — Dame Helen Mirren, who is not Jewish, has played the part of late Israeli prime minister Golda Meir in a recent movie, title Golda.
This has caused a fuss of the minor sort over there. A different theatrical Dame, Dame Maureen Lipman, who is Jewish, said Dame Helen should not have been cast in the role. They should have cast a Jew, she told the Jewish Chronicle. Dame Maureen's complaint lost some of its edge when people pointed out that she had played the part of a Church of England minister in a TV comedy.
I don't know how much more ridiculous this identity business can get. Somebody must by now have compiled a list of gentiles who have played Jewish roles in movies. Charlton Heston comes to mind …
And after watching her marvellous performance in The Leisure Seeker, I'll fight anyone who says a word against Dame Helen, even if it's another Dame.
Item: Also on the showbiz beat, I'm as sorry as everyone else to have lost Betty White, who made major contributions to the public stock of harmless pleasure across many decades.
Betty's death is the more sad because it came just seventeen days short of her hundredth birthday. Some news outlets, including my own New York Post, had jumped the gun with celebratory stories about the upcoming centenary. It's journalism; that happens. Rest in peace, Betty.
George Burns was luckier. He died just seven weeks after his hundredth birthday — still wisecracking by all reports. That was in 1996. I saw him on Johnny Carson's show when he was already ninety-something. Did he have any advice for people in their nineties? Johnny asked him. "Yes," said George. "Don't buy green bananas."
God bless the people who make us laugh!
Item: Finally, just going back to the new Manhattan DA, I was in conversation with a friend about related matters a few days ago. What, we got to wondering, what would happen to our big cities when out-of-control crime and woke DAs had driven all the normal people out of them? What would happen to New York City?
After a spell of cogitation, my friend came back to me with an answer. The hoodlums, he said, would declare independence from the rest of the country, the way they did in Seattle last year. They'd declare an autonomous zone.
With a rather odd look on his face, as if trying hard not to smile, he added: "They could call it the New York Gotham Autonomous Zone."
"Yes," I said, "that's sounds right. Maybe I'll use it in my podcast. I'll credit you by name, of course."
"No!" he roared. "Do not credit me by name. Please." Then he abruptly got up and left.
I'm still trying to figure out what he was upset about …
09 — Signoff. That's all I have, ladies and gents. Thank you very much for listening; and if you didn't take your Christmas decorations down on Thursday, the Feast of the Epiphany, by tradition you have to leave them up until Candlemas, which I think is February 2nd. Hey, it's tradition. This is a conservative podcast.
Note please that none of the following words occurred in the main body of this podcast: vaccine, booster, mask, lockdown, omicron, variant, quarantine. I am thoroughly fed up with the whole damn fool business. Could we just get on with our normal lives, please?
I acknowledge that I am somewhat of an outlier here. Even in non-pandemical times, I have almost no interest in matters of healthcare and medicine except when forced to have some. Fretting about one's health seems to me a low, ignoble kind of activity. I've tried to re-float the old word "valetudinarian" for people who do so fret.
I'm likewise impatient of those who cater to the fretters. I always try to catch Tucker Carlson's show at Fox News; but the pleasure of listening to Tucker and his guests is diminished a little by all those ads for patent medicines in the commercial breaks.
Those ads in fact always bring to mind a silly song from the 1960s. Here it is in all its cheerful silliness, sung by the Irish Rovers. Appropriately for the season: today, January 7th, is the centenary of the Dáil (which is to say, the Irish Parliament) signing the Anglo-Irish Treaty which led ultimately to Irish independence. Hey, any excuse for a silly song.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: The Irish Rovers, "Lily the Pink."]