57m58s — Signoff. (For Labor Day.)
Before I proceed to the week's news, permit me please to glance back over the past month, and to make an appeal for your support.
02 — An appeal. Christmas came early for the Southern Poverty Law Center this year. Following the August 12th riot in Charlottesville, Va. — a riot that began when police were stood down so that antifa thugs could freely assault peaceful demonstrators expressing unpopular opinions — donations have been pouring in to the SPLC.From the Washington Free Beacon, August 31st, quote:
Apple CEO Tim Cook told his employees that the company is donating $1 million to the SPLC and would match employee contributions two to one. Cook also placed an SPLC donation button in its iTunes store. The company is additionally providing a $1 million donation to the Anti-Defamation League.End quote. Unknown numbers of other corporations and individuals have been sending money to the SPLC this past three weeks. As I said, an early Christmas for the enemies of "hate."
J.P Morgan Chase vowed to add a $500,000 donation for the group's "work in tracking, exposing, and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations."
Where does all that money go? Well, a lot of it goes to Caribbean tax havens. Further from the Free Beacon:
SPLC transferred $960,000 in cash on Nov. 24, 2014 to Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P, its records show.That's an investment fund in the Cayman Islands. More from the Free Beacon:
On March 1, 2015, SPLC sent $2,200,000 to an entity incorporated in [the] Cayman Islands, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records … Another $2,200,000 cash transfer was made on the same day to another fund whose business is located at the same address as the previous fund in the Cayman Islands, according to SEC records.End quote. As a point of privilege, and with all proper respect to the Washington Free Beacon, the existence of the SPLC's offshore accounts was first reported by our own Patrick Cleburne here on VDARE.com back in 2010 — seven years ago.
These guys have some serious money: on their 2015 tax form, the latest available, they show more than $50 million in contributions and $328 million in net assets.
I guess it's expensive, fighting "hate." They have to provide legal services to oppressed minorities facing racist judges and juries and lying police officers, right? That must cost a ton of money, seeing how much "hate" there is around the country.
Surprising to see, then, that the SPLC's tax returns show an outlay of only $61,000 for legal services. That compares with $20 million in salaries for the staff of 75 lawyers.
How on earth did this cynical money racket win the affections of huge, powerful enterprises like Apple and J.P. Morgan? As rich as the SPLC is, Apple is richer by a couple of orders of magnitude. Couldn't Tim Cook have had his people look into their affairs before sending a million bucks their way?
There are two schools of thought concerning the answers to that question: the Bubble School and the Shakedown School.
The Bubble School notes that Silicon Valley, where Tim Cook and other Apple execs live and work, is an upper-middle-class bubble. There are few blacks — less than two percent, mostly middle-management types — and little crime.
Hispanics are about a third of the population; but they are either software professionals or entrepreneurs running landscaping or home-improvement businesses. MS-13 is not a problem, as it is here on Long Island.
Muslims were a tick over one percent in 2009, mostly software professionals I'd guess; I can't find later figures.
A friend who knows the area well tells me:
Alt-Right people are always talking about the horrific future consequences of white Europeans becoming a minority, but they already became a minority decades ago in Silicon Valley, and these days are probably down to around 30 percent or so. Yet everything is perfectly fine here.(To get to the thirty percent I think he's subtracting out the big East Asian population, most of them working in software.)
No doubt something similar applies to the neighborhoods where J.P. Morgan CEOs live. These people simply do not see the problems working-class Americans see. Absorbed in technical and business issues, they are politically naïve. Their very occasional glances at political news tell them that SPLC are crusaders for truth and justice. That's how Morris Dees' little racket is portrayed by the progressive left who infest the mainstream media.
That's the Bubble School. The Shakedown School argues by contrast that these big software and banking CEOs are just as cynical as the SPLC barons. They pay them off just to ensure they don't end up on an SPLC Hate Map. "Nice little bank you've got here. Be a shame if anything happened to it."
I don't know which school of thought is right. I do know, though, that in taking our stand against the SPLC and their promoters in the mainstream media — a stand for cultural continuity, demographic stability, and the historic American nation — VDARE.com is at a massive financial disadvantage.
The SPLC is a 501(c)(3) corporation, and so are we; but we are David to their Goliath. We do our work in the cluttered back rooms (in my case, actually the attic) of private houses, not in multi-storey office blocks dedicated to the purpose, like the SPLC's grand (and remarkably ugly) headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama. We don't have a salaried staff of dozens, only a dedicated husband-and-wife team, one other full-time editor, and a bench of part-time contributors. None of us knows where the Cayman Islands are.
Yet we pride ourselves that the product we put out is of a quality that compares favorably with much bigger, better-funded webzines. Just compare the sheer number of reference links in an average VDARE.com article with the number you see on a piece at HuffPost or Slate. That's not to mention the SPLC, whose long-form pieces often carry no links at all.
And then some. The proprietors of VDARE.com allow me a monthly diary, where I can write about anything I please, whether or not related to the National Question. In recent months I have contributed remarks on Chinese dissidents, Transylvanian mathematicians, Russian poetry, and baboon metaphysics.
As proud as I am to be associated with Peter Brimelow's efforts to ensure that my children and grandchildren inherit a stable, harmonious nation to live in, I am grateful and flattered that he permits me to sound off on anything that crosses my hopelessly cluttered mind.
All this costs money, though; not money on the SPLC scale, just enough to keep our voice in the public forum, and to help our contributors keep the wolf from the door.
This is more than ever the case in the present wave of hysteria, with huge donations flowing to those like the SPLC who seek to silence us, and online services like PayPal meekly obeying the ukases of those organizations.
We are not going anywhere. We shall stay online, speaking up for the historic American nation, and against the lies, hypocrisy, and violence of those who seek to destroy that nation. Please help us in whatever measure you can. Thank you!
Note the ages there. That age 31 was the ceiling for eligibility when DACA was enacted five years ago. So there are illegal aliens carrying those work permits who are 36 years old. Indeed, given the reliability of Central American birth records, there are very probably DACA recipients in their forties among us.
I mention this because you'd never know it from mainstream-media coverage of DACA, which features winsome little kiddies.
As I've been reporting, if DACA is still with us on September 5th, Attorneys General from ten states will file suit in Texas to have DACA declared unlawful. There is of course no guarantee the court will kill DACA, but there's an excellent fighting chance.
So there's a solution there in the Judiciary. There has always been a solution in the Executive. President Trump could end DACA at any time by order. On the campaign trail he promised to do so on Day One of his presidency.
That's two of the three branches. What about the Legislative Branch?
Believe it or not, the congressroaches are stirring themselves to action. Quote this week from Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, quote: "I believe that this is something Congress has to fix."
Speaker Ryan is a dyed-in-the-wool open-borders guy graded C by NumbersUSA. He never saw an illegal alien he didn't want to give a big warm hug to.
Here's another of the same kidney: Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, also graded C, tweet from him: "Congress needs to take immediate action to protect DACA kids," end tweet. "Kids," please note. Thirty-six-year-old kids.
One more: Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, also graded C by NumbersUSA. Longish quote from him, slightly edited:
I've urged the President not to rescind DACA, an action that would further complicate a system in serious need of a permanent, legislative solution. I've long advocated for tougher enforcement of our existing immigration laws. [Laughter] But we also need a workable, permanent solution … and that solution must come from Congress.End quote. You getting the idea here? The fix is in, with "fix" spelt "a-m-n-e-s-t-y." With Trump's finger hovering over the destruct button and that court in Texas about to suit up, the cheap labor lobbies have been cracking the whip; and when their donors crack the whip, the congressweasels jump. We could be looking at a legislated amnesty here.
That would be shameful enough in itself; but as always with immigration issues you have to think of the numbers.
The actual number of actual DACA recipients is about 800,000; but remember that is the thin end of a mighty wedge. So long as our system of chain migration is in place, Congress would be giving residence rights not only to that 800,000, but to untold millions of their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, … Congress would be legislating for a faster pace of demographic replacement.
I have mixed feelings here. What makes me, and a lot of other Americans, angry about this situation with illegal aliens is the lawlessness of it.
The nation I believe in, the nation I want to live in, is a nation of laws. I want to elect legislators, who make laws, which are then faithfully enforced by officers of the executive.
In regard to immigration, we don't live in that country, and haven't for decades. There are tens of millions of illegal aliens among us, testifying to thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of executive personnel neglecting their sworn duties.
Many key decisions on immigration have been made by the courts: Plyler v. Doe, for instance, the 1982 ruling that ordered states to educate the children of illegals at citizens' expense. Some other key decisions have been made by the White House, like Obama's DACA order.
That's two of the three government branches. What about Congress? Sure, they've passed laws regulating immigration; but the laws haven't been enforced, and Congress hasn't done anything about their not being enforced.
When did you last hear of a businessman going to jail for employing illegals? Or a college president being arrested for harboring illegals, as Janet Napolitano should have been last year when she defied plain federal law in the University of California.
So here are my mixed feelings. It's nice to see Congress stirring from their dogmatic slumbers to take an interest in immigration legislation. On the other hand, if the laws the congressreptiles pass are just dictated to them by their donors from the cheap-labor lobbies, and if the congresscritters can think of no meaning for the phrase "immigration reform" other than amnesty, we're no better off than we were before.
Except, I guess, that we can at least vote the swine out of office. Let's do that. If you care about the country your children and grandchildren will live in, or just about the firm rule of law, don't vote for any congressperson without first checking his immigration scorecard on the NumbersUSA website.
I guess I need to add: "while the internet powers-that-be allow you to access that website" …
And in between elections, if Congress tries to slip through an amnesty, let's do what we did when George W. Bush tried it, and again when Barack Obama tried it: swamp the congressional switchboards and mail boxes. Let them hear us!
04 — Two Minutes Hate at U. Penn. In my August 18th podcast I reported on the flap over two law professors promoting bourgeois values in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed August 9th. Reactions to that op-ed rippled down through the end of the month.Professor Amy Wax, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, has been the main target of hostile commentary. The other author of the op-ed, Prof. Lawrence Alexander of the University of San Diego, seems to be getting off lightly. Perhaps the west coast is still waiting for the Pony Express to deliver that August 9th edition of the Inquirer.
Here's a fuller account of the reactions to that Wax-Alexander op-ed.
Prof. Ruger condemned, quote, "the neo-Nazi, KKK and other white supremacist groups that demonstrated in Charlottesville," but not the antifa anarchists who attacked them, nor the city and state authorities who ordered the police to stand by and allow the attacks, nor the mainstream media who placed sole blame for the violence on the original (i.e. before the antifa showed up), entirely peaceful demonstrators.
He mentioned the Wax-Alexander op-ed of the previous week, and spoke up for freedom of speech, including even "noxious" speech. He then sent up a 100,000-lumens virtue-signaling flare:
While debate continues, it is important that I state my own personal view that as a scholar and educator I reject emphatically any claim that a single cultural tradition is better than all others.Blood-drinking headhunters, Viking marauders, Polynesian cannibalism and infanticide, slave societies, Afghan dancing boys, mid-20th-century Anglo-Protestant bourgeois culture, Norway or North Korea, … It's all the same to Prof. Ruger.
• Three days later something called the IDEAL Council, "representing marginalized graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania," published an open letter with a list of eight demands for the college administration.
Sample demand: "A policy in place to ensure that tenured faculty with a record of discrimination do not sit on hiring, tenure, or student admissions committees." Since Prof. Wax is tenured, they can't get her fired, but they may be able to get her barred from any administrative decision-making.
The IDEAL letter spotted the connection between Prof. Wax and the Charlottesville disturbances.
Prior to teaching at Penn, Wax was a professor at the University of Virginia Law School. On August 12th, White supremacists marched through the University of Virginia carrying torches …Ha! You see? Prof. Wax must be allied to the marchers because she used to teach at the place where they marched! Isn't it obvious?
Wax and Alexander had done no such thing, making dutiful mention of "racial discrimination, limited sex roles, and pockets of anti-Semitism" in the 1950s, but then arguing that "banishing discrimination and expanding opportunity does not require the demise of bourgeois culture." The position of the five critics is basically: "Oh yes it does!"
• As dishonest and wrong-headed as that was, it at least made sense. The following day the Daily Pennsylvanian ran another op-ed, this one from a group of 54 "Penn alumni and current students," that was raw untreated po-mo sociobabble. It called for the college administration "to directly confront Wax and Alexander's op-ed as racist and white supremacist discourse and to push for an investigation into Wax's advocacy for white supremacy."
The thing itself is mostly incoherent, but it's worth going there to read the comments, which are withering. Sample: "Wow, [I] bet this sounded even better in the original Chinese, circa 1966."
As several commenters noted, a remarkably high proportion of the 54 signers there are from the college's Anthropology Department. It's depressing to recall that anthropology once had claims to be a serious science.
Now things are taking a sinister turn. Professor Wax can't be summarily fired because she has tenure. She can, though, be barred from teaching some or even all of her classes; and students can be encouraged, possibly even bribed, to report or invent offensive behavior on Prof. Wax's part. Given that the phrase "offensive behavior" on today's campuses can include well-nigh any behavior at all other than sitting dead still and silent in a chair with a paper bag over your head, Prof. Wax could find herself fighting off lawyers.
You can see the naked totalitarian fist in plain view in an open letter by 33 Penn Law faculty members published this week. Sample:
To our students, we say the following: If your experience at Penn Law falls substantially short of this ideal, something has gone wrong, and we want to know about it.Translation: Come and tell us about any microaggressions Prof. Wax committed against you. We'll see that she pays a price for them.
The same day, this past Wednesday, U. Penn Law School's Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild accused the lady of committing, quote, "an explicit and implicit endorsement of white supremacy," end quote, and asked whether it is, quote, "appropriate" for her to continue teaching her first-year course.
Again the threat, the naked totalitarianism. Also crappy written English. If the endorsement is explicit, what need to say it's also implicit? That's like saying: "I'm going to punch you in the head, but I'm also going to drop a hint that maybe I might punch you in the head."
Prof. Wax actually started out aiming for a medical career, in pursuit of which she studied molecular biology at Yale, graduating summa cum laude. She got her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, cum laude with distinction, specialty neuroscience.
Then she switched to law, getting her J.D. from Columbia University, serving as an editor at at the Columbia Law Review. She went from there to assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, arguing many cases before the Supreme Court.
Reading Prof. Wax's résumé leaves you feeling breathless. That a person of this extraordinary caliber is being harried and insulted by fools, poseurs, and malicious malcontents gibbering their infantile cant about being "targeted" and "marginalized," is a sad — very sad, very depressing — commentary on the depths to which our academic culture has sunk.
It would be nice to think that the administration of U. Penn. will take a firm line against these threats; but our college administrators have not distinguished themselves by firmess of spine these past few years, to state the matter very mildly indeed. Probably they'll cave to the witch-hunters and Prof. Wax will lose some of her classes or end up defending herself in a lawsuit against a battery of Barack Obama-style Social Justice attorneys.
05 — A boost for race realism? I'm going to go out on a limb here and argue that the campaign against Professor Amy Wax at U. Penn. may end up as a net plus for race realism.Here's my argument.
The original Wax-Alexander op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer was perfectly culturist, with not a hint of race realism. (Likewise, by the way, Heather Mac Donald's defenses of it.) All the social outcomes under discussion were caused by culture, culture, culture — this wonderful all-explanatory thing called culture.
That didn't do the authors a bit of good; they're being called "bigots" and "white supremacists" anyway. If not for the fact that Prof. Wax is Jewish, I have no doubt she'd have been called a "Nazi" by now. Perhaps she has been and I just missed it.
After a couple more episodes like this, some other Amy Wax or Larry Alexander or Heather Mac Donald — some credentialed adult with access to mainstream outlets, perhaps one of those actual names — will figure he might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, and serve the cause of Truth.
If you're anyway going to be called a "white supremacist" and have your windows broken, you may as well drop the culturist flim-flam and go straight to race realism.
At this point everyone outside the crazy white left — the baizuo — everyone with half a brain knows that there are innate, intractable statistical differences between the races in behavior, intelligence, and personality: big differences between black Africans and the out-of-Africa races, smaller differences among those races.
Pretending not to know that is just a social courtesy practiced to avoid hurting the feelings of persons too dimwitted to grasp sophisticated statistical concepts like "average" and "variation."
Or possibly, in the case of gentle souls like Prof. Wax and Ms. Mac Donald (I've had no personal acquaintance with Prof. Alexander), it's a case of knowing but not knowing that you know. This is a phenomenon familiar to anyone acquainted with neuroscience: google "blindsight."
Persons with blindsight can see things, but don't know that they're seeing them. They can navigate across a room, avoiding the furniture; but if you ask them, they'll tell you they can't see a thing. Their eyes are working and getting data to the motor control centers of the brain, but it's not being passed on to the conscious executive centers.
Whatever: If the social price of race realism is no higher than the price for mild culturism like that of Wax and Alexander — if every position not straight-ticket Cultural Marxism is Nazi — well, heck, you may as well say out loud what every sane person knows, at some level, to be true.
Sooner or later all this careful culturist side-stepping, and this see-no-biology, hear-no-biology, speak-no-biology in commentary on social issues — sooner or later someone of authority and status is going to say the hell with it, let's talk honestly about the race differences we all know are contributing to some of our social problems.
Professor Wax, in fact, with her background in microbiology and neuroscience, might just be the person to do it.
I'm there in the list of conference participants.
To show you how evil and hate-filled I am, the SPLC says that, quote: "Derbyshire's antipathy towards multi-racial societies stem [sic] from anti-Semitic Jewish conspiracy theories," end quote. To support that they produce a quote from me.
Derb Quote One: "Jewish elites in the media, arts, show business and the intelligentsia [mis-spelt: with $300 million in the bank, the SPLC can't afford a proofreader?] have immensely disproportionate influence in U.S. immigration policy."
The first thing to be said about that is that it states a true and obvious fact. It's not antisemitic unless you think that anything a gentile says about Jews among our elites is antisemitic … which the SPLC ninnies probably do believe.
That quote of mine is from the American Renaissance 2015 conference, from a debate titled: "Can the American political system solve the race problem?" I was on the affirmative side of the debate, along with Peter Brimelow. So Peter and I were arguing that the American political system can solve the race problem.
Part of my argument was that while immigration romanticism among America Jews has exacerbated the race problem by allowing millions of Third Worlders to come in, this may not continue for much longer.
Quote from me, a bit further along in my argument during that debate:
Recently, however, the mass immigration of anti-Semitic Muslims into European countries has convinced many European Jews that multiculturalism may have reached the point of diminishing returns — may no longer be "Good for the Jews."End quote. So I was being uncharacteristically upbeat there. I had cast off that gloomy mask of tragedy to argue that as Muslim atrocities rise, American Jews may swing round to our position, against multiculturalism and mass immigration.
American Jewry is some way behind here, but a couple more Charlie Hebdo-style Islamist atrocities may swing them round.
You'd never know that from the SPLC literature. That whole debate is up on the VDARE.com website, and as a video at the AmRen website; but the SPLC provides no links to either. They don't want you to read what I said; they only want you to read what they said I said.
I'm not going to mince words here: The SPLC are slandering scum.
They have another quote from me in that January report.
Derb Quote Two: "A small cohort of blacks — in my experience, around five percent — is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us."
That's from my infamous 2012 column "The Talk: Nonblack Version." The SPLC uses it a lot. Any time they mention me they trot out that quote.
I'm baffled by this. I've said way more controversial things than that. Why do they think this one is so telling? Isn't it a thing everyone knows, actually?
Black people who hate white people turn up in the news all the time. Here's one from last week. Kansas City Star, Wednesday, August 30th, headline: "Kill all white people": Suspect in killings of five white men made threat in 2014.
The suspect here is 22-year-old Fredrick Demond Scott, who is black. He's believed to have murdered five men by sneaking up behind them as they were out walking and shooting them in the head. All five victims were white, ages 54 to 67. Court records show that in 2014 Scott threatened to shoot up a school and, quote from him, "kill all white people."
Are there white people who hate blacks? There certainly are. There is, for example, Dylan Roof, who shot nine black people dead in a South Carolina church.
I can reveal, however, that I have had a pretty extensive acquaintance with white Americans across several decades, from all classes, ages, and places. Not one of them was a Dylan Roof, not even close. I've known people who looked down on blacks, held contempt for blacks, or just plain disliked blacks and tried to avoid them. I've never known one that I could imagine doing wanton violence to blacks, though.
I haven't had that kind of breadth of acquaintance with American blacks. I've had plenty, though; and I read the newspapers and browse the internet. That's what I based my five percent estimate on, for blacks who hate whites. I think it's a fair estimate.
And in the emails I got after I published that remark, one of the most frequent comments was that five percent is a serious under-estimate. Emailers favored twenty to twenty-five percent.
However, I'm a gentle, charitable soul who strives to think the best of my fellow man. I'll stick with my five percent estimate.
And for an estimate the other way, of whites who hate blacks: again, on a lifetime's acquaintance with white people of all sorts, I'd say it's less, way less than one percent. One in a thousand, perhaps — that's zero point one percent.
Which is what you'd expect from first principles. The arrow of race hatred points from the less capable race to the more capable. Antisemites don't hate Jews because they are a dysfunctional, poverty-stricken minority; they hate them because they are successful. Malays and Indonesians and Filipinos don't hate Chinese merchants because Chinese people are stupid and violent; they hate them because they are smart and successful.
The more capable rarely hate the less capable. They may believe they are dangerous and untrustworthy, and so avoid them. They may feel contempt for them. On the other hand, they may feel paternalistic pity for them. None of those things is "hate," though.
Oh, how stupid of me! Of course those things are hate! Any attitude, any action, any speech about another group that is not totally, celebratorily positive, is "hate." There is only swooning adoration at one extreme and hate hate hate hate at the other — nothing in between.
I had momentarily forgotten that. Now I'll have to go back to re-education camp to get my head put straight …
Imprimis: Great balls of fire: For the past 34 years the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee has shown Gone With the Wind as part of its summer movie series. They screened it this year on Friday, August 11th. That was the day before the antifa riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, though — the event that boosted our new cultural revolution into orbit.
People complained to the movie theater. The theater of course folded. No more Gone With the Wind in the summer show.
So here's the rule. If a movie, or a book, or a song, or a website offends N percent of the population, it will be removed from circulation.
What is the right value for N, the percentage who are offended? News reports on the Memphis banning don't tell us what the actual value is — someone should do a poll — but I doubt it's more than 20 percent.
So the twenty percent get to decide for the other eighty percent; and if the eighty percent complain, the twenty percent say [Clip: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.] Followed perhaps by "fiddle-de-dee."
What if the offended portion were 95 percent? What if only five percent of the population were not offended by an art work? Should they be deprived of the right to savor that art work?
That's a rhetorical question. You know the answer. Where hurt feelings are in play, those with un-hurt feelings better step aside, if they know what's good for them.
Here's one: faint and ambiguous, but none the less welcome. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that Obama's plan to replace hateful bigot Nazi supremacist President Andy Jackson on the $20 with Harriet Tubman is, precise quote from him, "not something I'm focused on at the moment."
That's good to know. On a list of things I want my nation's CFO to be focused on, making cosmetic changes to the currency, other than to make it harder to counterfeit, ranks around number nine thousand.
And even that ranking is higher than the one I'd give to Mrs Tubman as a historical figure significant enough to have her picture on our money. From what I've read she was a tough, brave, and clever lady; but there have been a multitude of those. I can't see that Mrs Tubman stands out.
The thing is of course that she's black. Blacks and goodwhites want a black on the currency, out of fairness. Better yet, she's a twofer: black and female.
I'm not totally unsympathetic — there's a lot to be said for fairness — but you know where this will lead. American Indians will want one of theirs on a bill; then Hispanics and Asian-Americans; then the homosexuals, then the cross-dressers — I nominate Calamity Jane for that spot — and so on. The Fat Acceptance crowd will be lobbying for President Taft on a bill. When you give way on one of these things, there's a landslide.
We only have so many bills. This is a white-majority country, and always has been. Straight white men do most of the nation-building and governing, and always have done. Leave the damn currency alone.
As we reported four weeks ago, President Trump tweeted on July 26th that transgendered people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military. I concluded my report with the words, quote: "I don't know how much authority the President's tweets on this have, but I hope he pushes hard on it," end quote.
Vain are the hopes of men! Tuesday this week Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that the administration was just screwing with us.
The announcement is all in eyeball-freezing bureaucratese. Mattis is going to "develop a study and implementation plan." He will "establish a panel of experts." They will "thoroughly analyze all pertinent data." Excuse me, I need a shot of caffeine here …
Bottom line: the administration has caved. If you have a bad knee, you will continue to be excluded from military service. If you're confused about your sex, you'll continue to be in-cluded.
Mattis seems to have been a damn good soldier, and a very courageous one. So here's another lesson, if we needed one, that battlefield courage and political courage are two very different things, for which our language really needs two different, unrelated words.
I don't have a whole lot to say here. I only mention the poor lady because on my daily trawl through the news outlets I take in the London tabloids, and they are wall-to-wall Diana.
If you're raised in Britain you likely have one of the three or four basic, traditional attitudes to the monarchy. The attitude I acquired was the one that says constitutional monarchy is an excellent form of government. It helps bind a nation, and provides the opportunities for colorful public display that our social nature seems to crave. However, you're not required to be interested in the royals as people.
The actual British royals of today, the Windsors, considered as people, are a dull lot. If you are seriously interested in them, you are badly in need of something substantial to be interested in.
So while it's a sad thing for a healthy young person to be killed in a car crash, to my way of thinking it's sadder when the victim is that kid you watched growing up, who lived at the other end of your street, than when it's a royal princess.
Diana's life doesn't seem to offer any lessons or examples to the rest of us, other than "don't let your family pressure you into marrying a weak-willed nitwit."
And perhaps, that the number of people who are badly in need of something substantial to be interested in, is way, way more than I'd wish it to be.
Item: Finally, congratulations to Alan "Nasty" Nash ("Nasty" is his nickname) on winning his sixth consecutive title as World Toe-Wrestling champion.
In the finals, weekend before last, Mr Nash out-wrestled Doc Toe Scholl for the championship. There was of course a podiatrist on hand to certify the participants as fit to wrestle.
I probably don't need to tell you that the annual toe-wrestling competition takes place in England, in fact in the lovely county of Derbyshire, where presumably one of my remote ancestors toe-wrestled with Vikings or Normans back in the day.
Hang on … Doc Toe Scholl? … why do I suspect that is not the challenger's real name?
08 — Signoff. And that's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and a very happy and relaxed Labor Day to one and all, gathered with family, friends, and neighbors for jokes, songs, and toe-wrestling around the barbecue.Seeing that it's Labor Day weekend, here's a sort of a tribute to my own coal-mining ancestors, from Tennessee Ernie Ford.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Tennessee Ernie Ford, "Sixteen Tons."]