Radio Derb: Pirates Defeated In Iceland, Eleven Million For Ever, Hungary Resisting, And Germany Still Not A Free Country, Etc.
06/21/2024
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01:10  Immigration: Pirates defeated!  (Iceland firms up.)

05:57  Eleven million forever!  (Mayorkas says so.)

10:12  Anouk Aimée RIP.  (Our V.P. should have listened.)

13:37  Revenge of the males.  (A record-breaker? Eh…)

18:26  Talpra Magyar!  (Understanding Orbán.)

22:26  Germany seething.  (Don't mention the Muslims!)

30:49  A handy mnemonic.  (For Louisiana.)

32:45  Signoff. (With a lied.)

01— Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Welcome, listeners, from your ineluctably genial host John Derbyshire, here with VDARE.com's weekly glance at the passing charivari.

This week's glance will be shorter than usual, I'm afraid. As glances go, the appropriate adjective may even be "fleeting." I have been consumed with personal distractions and so unable to devote the time I ought to scrutinizing the news outlets and assembling penetrating thoughts about what I have read. I hope to be back to normal next week.

First up this week: Iceland.

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02— Immigration: Pirates defeated!     We don't get much news out of Iceland. It's another one of those un-newsworthy places, like Uruguay or New Zealand, slumbering in quiet, contented prosperity away from the noise and fuss that prevails elsewhere. When we do get news out of Iceland it's usually generated by Mother Nature, not by Her human children: a volcanic eruption or an earthquake.

So it's good to see that when the Icelanders themselves generate news, it's news of a happy sort, at any rate from the National Conservative point of view.

So it was this week. More precisely, last week: on June 13th Iceland's parliament, the Althing, passed an immigration bill that mainly targets asylum seekers.

I should say, just to clarify, that the phrase "asylum seekers" here is not being used in the loose way we've become accustomed to from our own media, to refer to anyone at all who wanders into your country without going through proper immigration procedures, whether or not they bother actually to seek asylum. Here it means illegal border-crossers who really do claim asylum, truly or falsely, on the grounds they were persecuted back home.

This bill that was just passed decrees that if an alien's asylum claim is rejected, he will lose all access to benefits— housing, healthcare, and so on— after thirty days.

That sounds fair to me. This report I'm reading, however, says that, quote:

Human rights organisations in Iceland have strongly opposed the bill, including the Red Cross, UNICEF, and Amnesty International.

End quote.

Reading that makes the bill sound even better.

Iceland has one of those parliamentary systems in which different parties, in this case three different parties, form a coalition to legislate and govern. All the members of parliament from all three of the coalition parties voted for this bill.

I was amused to see that one of the lesser parties voting against the bill was the Pirate Party, which holds six seats in the Althing and is apparently libertarian. The Pirates submitted more than twenty amendments to the bill, but only one was approved.

One of the Pirate Party MPS sputtered angrily that, quote:

This issue confirms the stance I've held for a long time, which is that this government is hostile to refugees.

End quote.

One reason this bill came forward was that Iceland has been brisk about deportations of failed asylum seekers, including in recent years an Iraqi man in a wheelchair and an Albanian woman in her ninth month of pregnancy. The human-rights people raised protests; the politicians figured the law needed firming up.

A rather nifty YouTube video I discovered when browsing tells me that the main source countries for immigrants to Iceland are currently, in order: Poland (way out ahead), Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, the Philippines, Norway, Romania, Thailand, the U.K., Latvia, Portugal, and the U.S.A.

I dunno: Seems to me that where Iceland's immigration policy is concerned, there's a lot to like.

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03— Eleven million for ever.     Also on the immigration front: In last week's podcast I fulminated about the obvious and extravagant under-estimates we get from regime media about the number of illegal aliens settled here in the U.S.A. Edited quote from myself, quote:

Around the turn of the century the number eleven million somehow floated up to the surface of our collective consciousness …

In the years that followed, the first decade of this century, the number eleven million somehow got stuck in the not-very-capacious minds of politicians and their media shills. It got really stuck: I still sometimes hear it. I'm pretty sure I can remember hearing Marco Rubio use it a few months ago.

End quote.

A couple of points about that. First point: I did Senator Rubio an injustice— an injustice that was corrected by my VDARE.com editor when he posted a text version of that audio segment. What I had mis-remembered was Rubio rebutting an NBC bimbo who threw the eleven million number at him last month. My sincere apologies to Senator Rubio, and my equally sincere thanks to that editor for his correction.

Second point: In an idle moment earlier this week I just did some googling with the phrase "eleven million." Hoo boy! It's all over, and my hits include many recent ones.

Here for example is a long piece from the very prestigious Forbes magazine, dated May 2nd this year. Headline: Trump's Plan To Deport 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants Impossible. Sample text, quote:

There is a saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And the weakest link in Trump's chain of thinking on immigration is precisely this plan to round up 11 million undocumented immigrants.

End quote.

The most audacious example, however, came from— can you believe it?— the Department of Homeland Security back in April this year. Headline: Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2018—January 2022. Sample text, quote:

In summary, the Office of Homeland Security Statistics (OHSS) estimates 11.0 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States on January 1, 2022, down from 11.6 million in 2010 and up from 10.5 million in January 2020.

End quote.

There you are: not just a coarse "eleven million," a precise "11.0 million" one year into the Biden presidency.

What, you don't believe it? You think Secretary Mayorkas' Office of Homeland Security Statistics would lie to us? Shame on you!

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04— Anouk Aimée, R.i.P.     One of my all-time favorite movie lines is spoken near the beginning of the 1962 Robert Aldrich production Sodom and Gomorrah. A young woman is traveling across the desert when she encounters a nomadic tribesman. He warns the lady, quote: "Watch out for Sodomite patrols!"

Unforgettable. The female lead in that movie was French actress Anouk Aimée. I went along for many years mis-remembering that episode, thinking that Mlle Aimée was the recipient of the tribesman's warning. I used that false memory at least once in written commentary.

Reading up on the movie just now I think that the tribesman's warning was in fact directed to a supporting performer, most likely the Italian actress Scilla Gabel, better known in the 20th-century movie world as Sophia Loren's body double.

Whether or not I have that right at last, Anouk Aimée died in Paris on Tuesday aged 92. Reading that, and then conducting this morning's researches, I am naturally feeling guilty at the fact that her name, for all these years, every time I saw it, brought to my mind that silly warning: "Watch out for Sodomite patrols!"

 

The negativity does not in any way reflect on Mlle Aimée, who was a beautiful woman and a gifted actress to whose memory I intend no disrespect. All it reflects on is my own juvenile sense of humor. May the lady rest in peace.

Although, mind you, the injunction to watch out for Sodomite patrols is not bad advice. I took it to heart myself early in life and I urge younger Radio Derb listeners to follow my example.

I would urge our nation's current Vice President Kamala Harris to do likewise, but I am too late. Not only has the Vice President failed to watch out for the sodomite patrols, on Tuesday this week she invited one of those patrols to the White House.

These were creators and cast from the TV reality show Queer Eye. One of them, with a fabulous head of hair, held a mock press conference from the White House briefing room.

Let no-one say that the Biden administration has failed to uphold the dignified gravity of our nation's highest federal office.

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05— Revenge of the males.     Anouk Aimé's ninety-two is a pretty respectable age, even today when seventy is the new forty. It doesn't break any longevity records, though.

This one may. Quote from the Daily Mail, June 18th, quote:

A woman believed to be the oldest in the world is set to celebrate her upcoming 124th birthday in Brazil, as state officials plan her a party to mark the occasion.

Amantina os Santos Duvirgem, also known as Dona Julia, is said to have been born on June 22, 1900,— exactly six months before the death of Queen Victoria— according to her pension records. This would make her the oldest living person in the world.

End quote.

The story then gives us some facts about Dona Julia's diet, lifestyle choices, attitudes, and so on. I read all that thinking to myself: "Uh-huh." Setting aside accidents, wars, and the nastier kinds of infectious diseases, longevity is, I am sure, 95 percent genetic.

And when you get up there into the 120 zone, some skepticism is called for. For the longest time we were told that a French lady named Jeanne Calment held the all-time record for longevity, dying in 1997 at age 122½. (Mme Calment also held the world record for cigarette smoking; she quit at age 117.)

There was, however, a cloud of doubt hanging over Mme Calment's case. Some Russian mathematicians argued that 122½ violated the principles of statistics, being too far out on the right-hand tail of the longevity bell curve to be plausible. There were also some contradictions in Mme Calment's documentation and recorded interviews.

Current opinion among the experts seems to be that Mme Calment really did live to be 122½. That cloud of doubt has not totally dispersed, though, and the issues raised in Mme Calment's case are now being applied to Dona Julia's.

There is the statistical issue, for example, Dona Julia being a year and a half even further out on the bell curve than Mme Calment. There is also some uncertainty about her birth certificate. I don't know, but I can imagine, the level of reliability we should accord to bureaucratic record-keeping in Brazil 124 years ago, especially since Dona Julia was apparently a street urchin.

On account of these doubts the Guinness Book of World Records will not be listing Dona Julia as the current Oldest Person Alive. That title remains in the hands— probably a bit shaky— of American-born Spanish lady Maria Branyas Morera, who turned 117 on March 4th this year.

The people we're talking about here, I'm sure you have noticed, are all female. [Aside]:  Are we still allowed to say "female" [Pause]: We are? Thanks.

Which brings to mind one of the late P.J. O'Rourke's quips. Quote from memory, I can't find it online. Quote:

Women live longer than we men do. That's our revenge.

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06— Talpra Magyar!     Another follow-up on last week's podcast. I noted the colossal fines levied on Hungary by the Eurocrats for not complying with EU rules on so-called "asylum." The way the fines are being applied is, the EU is just holding back payments that would normally be made to Hungary out of the EU's budget.

In further developments there, chief Eurocrat Ursula von der Leyen clarified, when asked, why those payments are being withheld. Two reasons, she replied: One, Hungary doesn't allow mass settlement of illegal aliens. Two: Hungary doesn't let citizens change their sex from what was recorded on their birth certificates.

Interviewed on Hungarian TV, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán responded with his customary forthright vigor. Quote, in translation:

There is not enough money in the world to force us to let migrants in. And there is not enough money in the world for which we would put our children and grandchildren in the hands of LGBTQ activists. That's impossible.

End quote.

Good sturdy stuff. If you follow the Euro news, though, Viktor Orbán's policies on immigration and the Prouds are only two of the three issues causing trouble between Hungary and the EU, and they are the lesser two of the three. Much more important is Hungary's refusal to go along with EU support for Ukraine in the war with Russia.

As best I can figure there are two reasons why Viktor Orbán seems to be favoring Russia over Ukraine in the war: one coldly practical reason, one very Hungarian reason.

The practical reason is that Hungary is heavily dependant on Russia for its energy supply, more so that any of the West European countries that decide EU policy.

The very Hungarian reason is to do with Hungarian national identity. I've written about this at length: see for example my monthly Diary for April 2003, or my review of Miklós Bánffy's Transylvanian Trilogy.

Suffice it to say here that

  • Hungary once had much more territory than it has today, leaving legacy Hungarian minorities in neighboring countries, including Ukraine; that

  • Hungary is fiercely protective of those minorities; that

  • The more extreme forms of Hungarian nationalism make the more extreme forms of anyone else's nationalism look pale and watery by comparison; and that

  • Viktor Orbán is attentive to those extremes as part of his voter base.

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07— Germany seething.     "For goodness' sake, Derb," I hear you muttering. "Iceland, Hungary, … what's this thing you have for small, inconsequential countries? How about somewhere important?"

OK, how about Germany? Most populous country in Europe, with the continent's biggest economy— third largest in the world by Gross Domestic Product. Important enough for you?

And psychologically important way out of proportion to its size. Germany's the Hitler country, a great big dark blot on the Western world's 20th-century copybook.

A hundred million dimwits and midwits who couldn't tell you who first flew solo across the Atlantic, or which country Chiang Kai-shek ruled, or which U.S. President resigned over Watergate, will tell you correctly, with confidence, the name of Adolf Hitler's dog. Let your foot slip a millimeter or two off the straight and narrow path of Political Correctness— perhaps by murmuring that men and women may perhaps, after all, differ biologically— you are sure to be called a Nazi.

So yes, I have news from Germany. First, though, let me play you a brief music clip.

[Clip]:  from L'amour Toujours.

For those of you not as clued-in to popular culture as your genial host here, that was from L'amour Toujours, a dance hit of the early 2000s, and very multicultural: French title but English lyrics, sung by an Italian, Gigi D'Agostino.

L'amour Toujours should have faded away gracefully twenty years ago, as most pop music does. The tune, however, has recently found a second life. Listen.

[Clip]:  Ausländer raus, Ausländer raus, Deutschland den Deutschen, Ausländer raus, …

Sorry about the sound quality there; the audio clip I was seeking is hard to find, for reasons that will become apparent very shortly.

That latter clip was a host of young Germans appropriating the tune of L'amour Toujours to sing "Ausländer raus, Ausländer raus, Deutschland den Deutschen, Ausländer raus." Translation: "Foreigners out! Foreigners out! Germany for Germans! Foreigners out!" It's not just a one-off: those words, to that tune, have been heard a lot in Germany this past few months.

The authorities in Germany are not happy about this. They are so unhappy they have banned the tune of L'amour Toujours from this year's Oktoberfest.

From the noun "authority" we of course derive the adjective "authoritarian." Do the Germans still know how to be authoritarian? They certainly do.

Meet Marie-Thérèse Kaiser. Three years ago this lady— who, by the way … or actually not so much by the way, is a member of Germany's National-Conservative AfD Party— posted on social media that Muslim immigrants figured disproportionally in convictions for gang rape. In support of that statement Frau Kaiser quoted official government statistics.

For that Frau Kaiser was convicted and fined last year for inciting hatred. She appealed, but last month the conviction was upheld. The case has received wide attention. No less a person than Elon Musk has passed comment on it, quote:

Are you saying the penalty was imposed for repeating accurate government statistics?

Was there anything wrong with what she said?

End quote.

The German authorities are in fact unscrupulous in protecting their Muslim immigrants and concealing their criminality. I just learned the other day from a February article on Quillette the following sneaky thing they do.

There are of course anti-semitic hate crimes in Germany— attacks on synagogues, vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, and so on. Who commits them? The authorities very much want you to believe that it is German nationalists like the AfD. Quote from the Quillette piece:

Under a controversial and much-criticized policy implemented in 2001, the BKA [that's the Geman equivalent of the FBI] by default classifies all unsolved antisemitic incidents as being perpetrated by [inner quote] "extreme-right" [end inner quote] actors. Most antisemitic incidents are never solved (only 42 percent of politically motivated crimes, including antisemitic hate crimes, were solved in 2022). This means that, for the majority of antisemitic crimes classified as right-wing, the authorities have no evidence at all to back up this conclusion.

End quote.

So if some jihadi nut lobs a bomb through the window of a synagogue but that crime ends up in the 58 percent "unsolved" category, it goes down in the statistics as having been committed by right-wing Germans.

Thank goodness our own scrupulously lawful FBI would never stoop to such deceptions!

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08— Miscellany.     And now, our closing miscellany of brief items. Er, make that "item"; I can only manage one this week. So …

Imprimis:  Having ventured into Biblical territory back there— the territory of Sodom and Gomorrah, I mean— I may as well note this new law just passed on Wednesday by the state legislature of Louisiana, and signed by the Governor, requiring a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities.

Opponents of the law are promising to challenge it on constitutional grounds. Perhaps they'll succeed; I don't know. My only contribution here is to observe that if they do succeed, there will once again be a need for the young scholars of Louisiana to memorize the handy mnemonic that I was taught for the Ten Commandments, thus:

One idle damn Sunday, Dad killed cheating thief and lied to cover it.

All right, it depends on a couple of word-plays: "i-d-l-e" for "i-d-o-l,"  and "cover it" for "c-o-v-e-t."

It's served me well, though, and I commend it to the educational and parental authorities of the Pelican State. You're welcome!

 

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09— Signoff.     There you have it, ladies and gents. Thank you as always for your time and attention, your encouragement and support.

I signed off the May 31st podcast with a fragment from one of Robert Schumann's string quartets, promising you that I'd have more to say about Schumann in my May Diary. I kept my promise, with a long segment about Schumann in that Diary.

That stirred up the Schumann fans. They particularly wanted me to know that where vocal music is concerned, while Schumann's one opera was indeed a flop, he wrote beautiful lieder.

Lieder are art songs; that is to say, good-quality poems set to music. A friend sent me links to a particularly lovely one of Schumann's. It's Number Four in a series— the Minnespiel series— of eight lieder that Schumann composed in 1849, based on poems by contemporary German poet Friedrich Rückert.

This particular song is Mein schöner Stern. The opening lines translate as:

My lovely star!
I beg of you,
O do not let
Your serene radiance
Be dimmed by
Dark clouds in me.

The singer here is Anne Sofie von Otter, with Bengt Forsberg on the piano.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.

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[Music clip: Sofie von Otter, Mein schöner stern.]

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