04:21 Immigration craziness. (Municipal, national, international.)
18:43 Black lady takes offense. (Lubrication fail.)
24:43 Chinese prospects. (And a contrast with Taiwan.)
33:10 AILA: a modest proposal. (Cheap foreign labor!)
36:02 Forgetting the name of Christ. (England’s loss.)
39:23 Bum Bum Cream! (Smooths and tightens…)
40:22 Signoff. (With a Cockney rocker.)
01—Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your chronically genial host John Derbyshire, here with some news and opinions from the last few days.
My first duty this week is to apologize to the citizens of Mongolia for having failed to note last week that Thursday, November 24th, was The Day of Mongolian Pride.
I have been reaching out the hand of friendship to Mongolia for a year and a half now after noting their commendable lack of collective guilt over alleged misdeeds by their great ancestor Genghis Khan.
So a kind listener emailed in to alert me to The Day of Mongolian Pride last Thursday. As usual, however, I was far behind on my email and did not read that one until the November 25th podcast was already on the airwaves.
Couldn't I just mark an entry in my desk diary for November 24th? you may ask. Alas, that wouldn't work. The Day of Mongolian Pride commemorates the birth of Genghis Khan in a.d. 1162. That birthday has, however, traditionally been commemorated on the lunar calendar, so that on our solar calendar it is a movable feast.
Cynics may surmise that with our dear friend and sponsor Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov no longer President of Turkmenistan, having stepped down last year, Radio Derb is angling for new sponsors and donors in Central Asia. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Our concern to improve the climate of international friendship and understanding is on behalf of humanity at large—perfectly unselfish, not sullied or besmirched by any grubby commercial issues.
On the same topic, let me take this opportunity to deny the rumors you may have heard alleging that Radio Derb has a financial interest in the Mongolian government's new cryptocurrency venture, GenghisCoin.
Yes, I have heard these allegations, and I know who the alligators are. They are the enemies of Radio Derb, envious of our success as a premier online news outlet.
Those enemies are legion, but they shall not prevail. Truth! Justice! The American way! And congratulations to the noble people of Mongolia! Long live the blessed memory of their great founder, Genghis Khan! [Clip: Mongolian National Anthem.]
02—Immigration craziness. Just when you're thinking things couldn't get any crazier on the immigration front, … they get crazier.
In last week's podcast I noted the lavish benefits being showered on illegal aliens by New York City politicians—at the generous expense of New York taxpayers, of course.
And yes, it's gotten crazier. I'll just read a couple of paragraphs from the story in Wednesday's New York Post. Quote:
A pair of Albany Democrats from New York City want taxpayers to pick up as much as $300 million in legal fees to help illegal immigrants fight deportation—despite worries it could also help potentially "dangerous people" stay in the country.
[Inner quote.] "We have a moral obligation to make sure that new Americans have legal representation. Otherwise, the odds are without a lawyer they'll be sent back to their country of origin and could face dire circumstances, including death," [end inner quote] state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) said of legislation he is sponsoring alongside Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens).
Legislators estimate the effort would cost $300 million once fully funded, with supporters pushing for a $55 million down payment next year.
"Moral obligation"? State Sen. Brad Hoylman is a sanctimonious weasel. The moral obligations of State Senators and State Assemblycritters are, one, to safeguard and further the interests of citizens and, two, to show proper respect for the people's laws, and to ensure that people who wantonly violate those laws are apprehended and suitably punished.
Illegal aliens are, one, not citizens and two, law-breakers by definition. They should be punished, not rewarded
If there is a single pothole unfilled in the streets of New York City—and, believe me, there is more than one—then the spending of New Yorkers' money to the advantage of foreign scofflaws is a shameful dereliction of duty on the part of our state legislators, spitting in the faces of law-abiding citizens.
That's illegal aliens. What's going on with legal ones? More craziness, that's what.
This is at the national, not municipal level. It concerns the so-called EAGLE Act of 2022, which will come up before Congress when that body reassembles after the Thanksgiving recess.
EAGLE stands for Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment. I know, I know, there should be a "C" in there somewhere: EAG-CLE. If it helps your memory, just think of EAGLE as standing for Equal Access to Goodies for Lawyers and Employers.
EAGLE basically imposes a complete overhaul of the 1990 Immigration Act, relaxing various restrictions. For example:
There's more, but you get the idea. EAGLE is a frontal assault on the livelihoods of American workers, especially middle-class tech workers.
Who is bringing this monstrosity to Congress? Well, the EAGLE Act of 2022 is being introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from, duh, California. In common with well-nigh every other Democrat in the House, Ms. Lofgren is a NumbersUSA "F-minus" on immigration legislation. The lady really hates Americans.
Who else we got? Oh look: Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican from Minnesota, the third highest ranking Republican in the House and just elected House majority whip for the next Congress.
Mr Emmer is a NumbersUSA "B-plus" on immigration, so I don't know why he's helping all those F-minus Democrats to launch this EAGLE on American workers to peck their guts out.
I guess the extra burden of responsibility he's acquired as House majority whip has caused him to revise his opinions. EAGLE does, the news reports tell us, have bipartisan support; so perhaps Rep. Emmer wants to show a good bipartisan spirit. Or perhaps he just got a big fat donation from AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers' Association, who will be cheering and high-fiving when this EAGLE has landed.
The word "Uniparty" mean anything?
And then there's the rest of the world—that part of the world, I mean, that anyone actually wants to live in.
Wait, no, correction: that part of the world that (a) anyone wants to live in and (b) whose native inhabitants are so careless of their nation's demographic stability that they allow tens of thousands of foreigners every year to enter unchecked. So not Japan, for example, or Australia.
Greece last week apprehended one of the largest individual shipments of illegal aliens to land there in many years: a boat packed with 483 illegals, only nineteen of them female. The illegals come mostly from Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Palestine, and Sudan.
That brings total arrivals to Greece this year up to near sixteen thousand, an increase from nine thousand and some last year—almost double.
Italy same. The numbers of illegal boat people are more than ninety-four thousand so far this year, up from sixty-seven thousand last year.
Italy's new Prime Minister Giorgia Pippalina has been talking a good game, although it's a bit early to judge results; she's only been in office five weeks. Her main achievement so far—a very worthwhile one—has been to stir up uncontrolled rage among the NGOs who are enabling the illegals.
"NGO" stands for "Non-Governmental Organization." They don't mind if you call them "charities," although you should do so with big extra-bold inverted commas.
The Prime Minister hinted in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday that the NGOs are in cahoots with the people-smugglers. From what I know about Italian public affairs, and considering the huge fortunes being made by the smugglers, I wouldn't be at all surprised, but the NGOs feigned horrified outrage none the less.
They were already mad at Ms. Pippalina even before she became Prime Minister for suggesting that NGO ships assisting the smugglers should be sunk. One journalist fronting for the NGOs called her a, quote, "bastard," end quote, responsible for the deaths of children. Our heroine sued him for criminal defamation and the trial is still under way.
These south-to-north Mediterranean crossings by boatloads of illegals have surged this year, up 74 percent on last year. They're heading back fast to the peak years of 2015 and 2016.
And back then the Mediterranean countries could take a more relaxed attitude. They knew that few of the invaders wanted to live in Greece, Italy, or Spain. They had their eyes on the richer, softer welfare states of Northern Europe: Germany, Britain, Sweden. So the Mediterranean countries could just shunt them northwards.
Now, with the North European countries slowly stirring awake from their multicultural fantasies, the Mediterraneans may find themselves stuck with hundreds of thousands—in a few more years, millions—of illegals, most of them poorly-educated young men.
I can't leave the immigration topic without noting this story about the rudder guys.
In case you missed it: An oil tanker flying a Maltese flag sailed from Lagos in Nigeria to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. That's more than 3,100 miles, from the deep West African bight west and north up around the bulge almost to Spain, to which the Canary Islands belong. Total travel time: eleven days.
When the tanker arrived at Las Palmas harbor security found three stowaways, apparently Nigerians, sitting on the ship's rudder. There's just enough of a platform on top of the rudder for three guys to sit, along with a crawl space above the rudder where one man can sleep. For eleven days …
This isn't a one-off, either. The BBC report says there have been several cases of these rudder riders. More generally, quote:
The number of migrants crossing on boats from west Africa to the Spanish-owned Canary Islands has risen significantly in recent years.
Because the Canaries are Spanish territory, you see, if you can survive the trip there, you're in Europe. You're home and dry … although in the case of the rudder riders, perhaps not dry.
03—Black lady takes offense. Here's a thing that happens to me a lot, average about once a week.
I'm engaging with a fellow American, in a store or office. He—more commonly she, for some reason—says: "I love your accent. Where are you from?"
My standard reply is: "I'm from Long Island." I'm not trying to be obnoxious there, just having a little fun. The other party always takes it in that spirit, with a smile. "OK, but where are you from originally?"
I tell him I'm originally from England, and we get into a brief conversation about places he knows in England, which soccer team I support, what exactly are crumpets, and so on. It's not Socrates and Protagoras, just idle banter to lubricate a minor social exchange.
Thence to this week's storm in a teacup. The dramatis personae here are Ngozi Fulani, a 61-year-old black female, and 83-year-old Lady Susan Hussey. They met at an event held at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to raise awareness about violence against women.
Ms. Fulani is a social worker. She has a university degree in … let me see … what's her degree in? … computer science? … mechanical engineering? … geomorphology? … Oh no, here it is: African Studies.
Lady Susan Hussey is a courtier on the staff of Buckingham Palace. She was a lady-in-waiting to the late Queen's mother and a lady of the bedchamber to the late Queen herself. She is also a godmother to Prince William, the Prince of Wales.
So Lady Susan is milling around in the crowd of women at this event when she spots Ms. Fulani. Ms. Fulani was hard to miss: she was wearing what looks like a leopard-skin dress, her hair in a tangle of braids, and a necklace of what looks like shark's teeth.
Lady Susan goes over and the following conversation takes place, at any rate according to Ms. Fulani. "She" here is Lady Susan, "me" is Ms. Fulani.
She: Where are you from?
Me: Sistah Space. [That's the name of her social-work outfit.]
She: No, where do you come from?
Me: We're based in Hackney. [That's a region of North London.]
She: No, what part of Africa are you from?
Me: I don't know. They didn't leave any records.
She: Well, you must know where you're from. I spent time in France. Where are you from?
Me: Here, U.K.
She: No, but what nationality are you?
Me: I am born here and am British.
She: No, but where do you really come from? Where do your people come from?
Me: "My people," lady? What is this?
She: Oh, I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you're from. When did you first come here?
Me: Lady! I am a British national. My parents came here in the 50s when …
She: Oh, I knew we'd get there in the end. You're Caribbean.
Me: No lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent, and British nationality.
She: Oh, so you're from …
And that's as much of the conversation as Ms. Fulani tweeted. She described it as, quote "an insulting conversation," end quote. When it went public a Buckingham Palace spokes-bot told the press that, quote, "unacceptable and deeply regrettable comments," end quote, had been made. Lady Susan resigned on Wednesday, with an apology.
What do we learn from this, Comrades?
What we learn is that if you're thinking to lubricate a minor social exchange with an African Studies major in full war paint … think again.
04—Chinese prospects. I'm sure you've seen pictures and footage of the demonstrations in China over Zero Covid lockdowns.
Mrs. Derbyshire tells me the general level of dissent went up mightily during the soccer World Cup, which was at first widely televised in China. When Chinese viewers saw throngs of maskless people in the World Cup stadiums, they realized that the rest of the world had shrugged off what for them was still a crisis of the first magnitude, and blamed their government.
Now ChiCom state TV is no longer showing the crowds in the stadiums, just keeping their cameras fixed on the field.
Will these demonstrations bring down the Communist Party? No, they won't. The communists would kill a hundred million of their own citizens to maintain power, and the Chinese people know it. A hundred million? Heck, they'd kill a billion. Power is everything to them. They're communists.
All right, but will it perhaps lead to a change of direction for communist rule, as the 1989 demonstrations did?
Just to remind you: When the communists had crushed the 1989 demonstrations and the dust had settled, China went into a period of comparative openness. They'd been inching that way before the demonstrations, but after them they threw caution to the winds.
Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping did not say "to get rich is glorious," but he clearly endorsed the idea; and he did say that, quote: "It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white—so long as it catches mice." End quote. Not the words of a dogmatic ideologue.
A key player in Deng's program was General Secretary of the Party Jiang Zemin. Jiang attained that position as a result of the 1989 demonstrations. The General Secretary prior to the riots was a different guy, Zhao Ziyang; but he came out in sympathy with the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.
Deng Xiaoping thought that was an opening-up too far, so Zhao was dismissed and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. He was of course totally canceled; very few Chinese citizens under the age of fifty know his name. He died in 2005.
So Jiang Zemin was installed as a replacement for Zhao as General Secretary in 1989. Four years later he got himself declared President, a meaningless title so far as domestic Chinese politics is concerned, but one that simplifies diplomatic exchanges.
Jiang went on being Supreme Leader through the nineties until 2002, when he was 76 years old. After that he stepped down, and gradually relinquished his job titles though the mid-2000s. He died on Wednesday this week at age 96.
In these 20 years he somehow maintained his influence. You will hear it said that there is a tension in ChiCom politics between political control and economic openness. That's not true: Since the departure of Zhao Ziyang—the guy Jiang Zemin replaced—in 1989 there has been no significant voice for political reform in China. Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Xi Jinping: they are all one hundred percent totalitarian.
While there is no difference of opinion about politics, though, there does seem to have been economic disagreement. Jiang Zemin was more of a let-it-rip guy, so long of course as political control remained total. Xi Jinping seems not to be like that. He wants more Party control of the economy. Corruption is a major point of difference. Jiang Zemin let that rip, too; Xi is more of a puritan.
In this last twenty years since Jiang stepped down his influence has continued. There has been a Jiang clique in the senior Party ranks. They've been discreet and skillful, not confronting Xi Jinping openly; but if things go badly awry—as a result of these latest demonstrations, perhaps—they may gather enough support to oust Xi.
Across the water in Taiwan, meanwhile, there has been politics of a familiar sort—of a truly democratic sort.
The two big parties in Taiwan are the KMT, Chiang Kai-shek's old party, and the DPP, more of a home-grown Taiwanese party. I told you the difference between them in my July 2016 Diary when I was visiting Taiwan. Quote:
The young Saint Augustine asked the Lord to give him chastity and continence, "but not yet" (sed noli modo). Taiwan's approach to its National Question is Augustinian in that sense.
One of the big two political parties, the KMT, favors union with the mainland—but not yet! The other, the DPP, favors Taiwan becoming an independent nation—but not yet!
The current President of Taiwan, a DPP lady named Tsai Ing-wen, was elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020, so she's halfway through her second term. Mid-term, though, they have local elections for mayors, district magistrates, and such.
Ms. Tsai's party did badly in those elections last week; so on Saturday, November 26th, Ms. Tsai resigned as leader of the DPP. She apparently intends to serve out her term as President.
Just a little snapshot of civilized politics to stand in contrast to the homicidal gangsters who rule on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.
05—Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Back there I mentioned AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers' Association. Here's a thing I have sometimes found myself pondering. I offer it here as a public-spirited suggestion—a way to improve life in the U.S.A.
AILA is of course a major driving force behind the importation of cheap Third World labor to displace American workers, especially in tech fields like software development—what back in my salad days we called "computer programming."
As it happens, I have spent time in the Third World. Here's a thing I can tell you about it.
Go to any big Third World city—to the small-business quarter of little retail stores and hole-in-the-wall offices. Stroll up and down some of those streets. You won't stroll very long before you see a shingle hanging out over some doorway or a notice in some window advertising help with U.S. immigration law.
For reasons you can easily figure out, a great many Third Worlders are keen to get a U.S. visa and triple keen to get U.S. permanent residence. They're glad to pay these side-street, hole-in-the-wall businesses for help. Of course, you don't have to pay anything like as much for this help in Dar es Salaam or Bangkok as you'd pay in the U.S.A. It's cheap.
So here's my question. Instead of bringing in cheap workers from the Third World to cut code for Disney and Amazon, displacing native programmers, why not bring in a few thousand of these cheap lawyers from the Third World to do immigration-related legal work, displacing all those overpriced AILA lawyers? They have all the necessary expertise and they're cheap.
Sure, these cheap Third World attorneys might be even better at working the system to the advantage of their own compatriots than the AILA guys are; but just think how sweet the revenge would be!
Item: This story from Associated Press, November 29th, got a sigh out of me. Christians, it says, are now a minority in England and Wales, less than half the population.
A lot of that is due to immigration: Muslims are 6½ percent, Hindus 1.7 percent. A lot more, though is just loss of faith. More than 37 percent of census respondents said they had no religion. That's up from 25 percent in 2011.
Where the Church of England is concerned, there's nothing to lament. They've traded in the Gospels for Critical Race Theory and Jesus Christ for Ibram X. Kendi. Serve them damn well right.
The loss of Christianity in a more general sense is a real, serious, cultural loss, though. George Orwell nailed it eighty years ago. Quote:
The common people are without definite religious belief, and have been so for centuries. The Anglican Church never had a real hold on them, it was simply a preserve of the landed gentry, and the Nonconformist sects only influenced minorities. And yet they have retained a deep tinge of Christian feeling, while almost forgetting the name of Christ.
English people of my generation know exactly what he meant. Here's a story from my own life.
My Dad, an Englishman born in 1899, was a stone atheist. He thought religion was just a racket.
Home from my first year at college, I got a job working construction in the summer vacation. It was very well-paid for unskilled manual labor, and I was pleased with myself for having got it.
I boasted to Dad about my wages—more than £25 a week! Said Dad: "You should give your mother five pounds, pay for your keep."
A normal self-centered teenager feeling even more pleased with myself than normal, I protested. "Why should I give any to Mum? They're my wages. I've earned them."
"Why?" said Dad. "Because it's better to give than to receive, that's why."
Item: Finally, Radio Derb may have found a new sponsor. In the "Beauty & Personal Care" listings at Amazon.com, a friend has directed me to the page for Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. Forty-five dollars and sixty cents for a 240 ml jar. "Smooths and tightens skin's texture," promises the page.
My only question is: If I buy this Bum Bum Cream, try it, and it works, shall I have made a perfect ass of myself?
06—Signoff. That's all for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your time and attention. Thanks also to Peter and Lydia Brimelow for their hospitality at the VDARE castle earlier this week; and major, maximum thanks to those of you whose donations helped to make Giving Tuesday a great success.
Normally at this point I swing right off into the signout music. This week, however, before doing so I want to mention one more news story.
It may not actually count as a news story. I spotted it on Twitter, which—I'm sure Elon Musk would agree—is not meant to be a news outlet so much as an opinion and discussion forum. Anyway: there it was, it got my attention, and it inspired my signout music.
The topic here is: the decline of the Cockney.
A tweeter known as Pete, not known to me, was lamenting this on Tuesday. Apparently Cockneys are well-nigh extinct. One of the commenters on Pete's tweet thread opines that they have been, quote: "Squeezed out of existence between yuppification & immigration." Some other commenters, however, say that the Cockneys have just moved out of London. I don't know who's right.
Cockneys, just to remind you, are—or were—working-class inhabitants of east-central London. There is actually a precise definition. On the Bow Road leading east out of London towards Essex there is a fine old church called Bow Church. It's the traditional English style of church—fourteenth century in parts, I think—with a church tower and a full set of bells. A Cockney is defined to be someone who was born within the sound of Bow Bells.
Cockneys speak, or spoke, the English language with an accent all their own. It's not easy to imitate, as Dick Van Dyke found when he tried to play the part of a Cockney chimney sweep in the movie Mary Poppins. Poor Dick's spent the last sixty years apologizing to Brits in general, and Cockneys in particular, for having mangled their accent.
A singular feature of Cockney speech is rhyming slang. You take a commonplace word and replace it with a phrase that it rhymes with. For full effect, you can drop the rhyme at the end of the phrase.
The word "head," for example, becomes "loaf of bread," and then just "loaf." When a Cockney wants you to think a bit harder he says: "Use yer loaf!" And I have to issue a word of warning here. Please don't confuse "loaf of bread" with "brown bread," which has a totally different meaning.
I very occasionally slip into rhyming slang. Back in 2005 I caused some controversy of the minor sort by referring to Jennifer Aniston's bristols. I am not a Cockney, though, so that was cultural appropriation on my part. Shame on me!
Tommy Steele was Britain's first home-grown rock'n'roll star. I remember my sister having a teen crush on him around 1956.
I don't know if Tommy is a Cockney on the precise technical definition, but he's as near Cockney as makes no difference. Here he is with an old Cockney classic, a song about a bloke named Jimmy Bean who had an exceptionally large mouth—which is to say, north and south.
In hopes that you might be able to figure out what's going on in the song, I'll just read you the first few lines. Here we go.
Oh, Jimmy Bean was a funny looking fellow
If he had a bigger mouth, you'd've took it for a cellar
But his mouth queered him
From winning a beauty show
Oh, it was like a steam boat funnel
Or a railway arch, or the Blackwall tunnel
And you can't see Jim
When he opens his mouth, you know
And as old Jim goes a-walkin' about
You can 'ear the kids all 'ollerin' out:
What a mouth, what a mouth, what a North and South
Blimey, what a mouth he's got …
Over to Tommy. There will be more from Radio Derb next bubble and squeak.
[Music clip: Tommy Steele, "Wot a marf."]