01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! That was one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches played on fife and drum; and here is your consonantly genial host John Derbyshire with some reflections on the past week's sturm und drang … to go with the fife and drum, you see?
It will be short measure this week, I'm afraid, listeners. I have to get up very early Saturday morning so that I can go and massacre peasants in Pennsylvania. I therefore have to put the podcast to bed earlier than usual.
If that leaves you hankering for more of the Derbish nectar, I urge you to sample my monthly diary, the November edition of which was posted at VDARE.com and unz.com, with many cheerful facts about U.S. history, nuclear physics, national character, Chinese orthography, Hebrew numerology, …
Excuse me, the producer's talking into my earpiece … Oh, did I? … OK … Sure …
Er, apparently I mis-spoke. I'm going to massacre pheasants in Pennsylvania, not peasants. Sorry about that.
Although, should any unruly peasants cross my path while I'm armed and loaded out there, and fail to accord me the dignity and respect to which I am accustomed, I shall not be responsible for the consequences.
Shortly before 10 a.m. Monday a Somali immigrant, a student at the university, deliberately drove his car into a group of people, injuring several. Then he got out and started stabbing bystanders with a butcher knife.
Fortunately a campus cop was nearby. He shot the Muslim dead.
There were thirteen victims altogether: three with broken bones, one with possible internal injuries, the rest listed as having moderate or minor injuries. Could have been worse.
The terrorist was identified as Abdul Artan. His age was given as 18, but that's obviously a lie. In photographs he looks to be at least thirty, with a well-developed case of male-pattern baldness.
The incident is mainly noteworthy for illustrating the utter absence of any sense or reason in our immigration and so-called "refugee" policies.
Before proceeding, let me justify that adjective "so-called."
Abdul Artan moved with his family from Somalia to Pakistan in 2007. Seven years after that, in 2014, he was admitted to the U.S.A. as a refugee and was granted legal permanent residency.
So after seven years in Pakistan, how was he a refugee? Is Pakistan a country people need refuge from? A country Muslims need refuge from? If it is, we're in trouble. The population of Pakistan is 202 million. If any significant portion of them need refugee status, that's millions of people.
In fact there is no reason to grant refugee status to anyone from Pakistan. Sure, the place is dirt-poor and politically corrupt, but there's no civil war or famine. Nor is there any threat of Pakistan being destroyed by external agency: it's a nuclear power, for crying out loud. So in what sense were Artan's family, resident there seven years, in what sense were they refugees?
People often say, concerning genuine Muslim refugees, driven from their homes in places like Syria, that their brother Muslim nations should take them in. Well, in the case of the Artans, assuming they genuinely were fleeing from something or other in Somalia — a questionable assumption in itself, given the history of fraud in these cases — even assuming that, Muslim Pakistan did indeed step up and take them in. How did they then become America's responsibility?
The answer is that the U.S.A. has an insatiable appetite for Somali immigrants. Ann Corcoran has dug out the numbers over at Refugee Resettlement Watch. We've taken in eight thousand Somalis so far this year. Last year it was nine thousand. Year 2014 it was also nine thousand. Clicking back through the years from there: eight thousand, five thousand, three thousand, five thousand, four thousand, two and a half thousand.
That last low number was for 2008, when family reunification was suspended after the State Department tried out a DNA testing program that exposed widespread fraud — strangers claiming to be family members. The suspension was annulled in 2009, with no further effort to reduce fraud, after the Obama administration came in.
Continuing to scan backwards, 2007 we took in seven thousand Somalis, the previous year ten thousand, then ten thousand, thirteen thousand, two thousand, 242, …
Whoa, what happened there? Only 242? Oh, that was 2002, the year after 9/11. Yes, incredibly, we actually cut back on importing Somali Muslims the year after 9/11. The cutback only lasted a few months, though.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: the most astounding statistic of the 21st century is, that the U.S.A. has taken in more Muslims for settlement in the 15 years since 9/11 than it did in the 15 years before.
Not that we were exactly slack before, certainly not in the case of Somali Muslims. Ann's numbers show that during the Clinton administration we took in 36,000 Somalis.
And these are Somalis: the group, of all Muslim groups, with the highest proportion of swivel-eyed fanatics and the lowest proportion of persons with any useful skill or literate in anything but Islamic mumbo-jumbo. Yet, as those numbers show, the U.S.A. has an insatiable appetite for more and more of them.
When I say "the U.S.A.," of course, I don't mean the ordinary people of America. Nobody cares what they want. The appetite belongs in the first place to the refugee importers, the so-called Voluntary Agencies, who get vast grants of federal money to aid them in their efforts, and who pay their executives grand salaries; and in the second place to Midwestern meatpacking and food-processing companies wanting cheap labor.
It's all a nice little money racket dressed up in humanitarian language.
The precise Voluntary Agency involved in Artan's case was Catholic Charities of Dallas. They will not, of course, be held responsible for the actions of their protegee. Nor will anyone be called on to explain how the mass importation of African Muslims helps the mission of the Catholic Church.
Monday's attack also brought out the sanctimonious non-judgmentalism of our Goodwhite elites. One of those more seriously hurt was 68-year-old emeritus professor of engineering William Clark. Quote from him, speaking the day after the attack, quote:
Before I pass judgment on this young man, I would like to see exactly what the circumstances are and exactly why he took the course of action that he chose.
End quote. The circumstances! The root causes! It wasn't Mr Artan's will, his agency, that brought about those injuries and his own death, you see; it was those pesky circumstances. Members of victim groups have no agency. They are the helpless playthings of circumstance.
I haven't so far seen anyone quoted as saying that as horrific as this attack was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, that would be worse. However, I've no doubt that somebody, somewhere, has said it.
This particular bit of news would have been even better if we'd heard that the tyrant had died slowly, screaming in agony, like so many of his victims; but one shouldn't hope for too much. Let's just be glad the old gangster is gone.
Reactions were predictable. Cubans who had fled from Castro's communist dictatorship to the U.S.A. were dancing in the streets. Our own communists — people like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who honeymooned in Castro's Cuba — along with those useful idiots kindly disposed towards communism, like Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau, expressed various levels of regret.
What's predictable is not generally very interesting, though. It's the un-predictable that always gets my attention. In that category I'd give pride of place to the article by Katie Hopkins in Tuesday's Daily Mail.
Katie's a sort of British Ann Coulter, only not quite so aggressive or intelligent. She's argumentative, nationalist, contrarian, and irreverent towards PC pieties.
She went to Cuba to attend Castro's funeral. She stood in line for hours, all through the night, with Cubans waiting to pay their respects, to walk past Castro's memorial in Revolution Square.
She's smart enough to know that events like this are stage-managed in a dictatorship, and that some people attend out of fear that not attending would bring punishment. She's frank about the poverty, the lies, the fear, that pollute life under communism.
Still she is honest enough to see some genuine sorrow and pride. Quote:
Patriotism — manifest in their flag draped around shoulders, and precious currency — young women selling cakes, keen I take the notes home with me, to remind me of their country when I leave. Pride — in a small island, the David to America's Goliath — who fearlessly prevails, against the odds.
And a strong sense of family, where people stand together, stay together, keep strong for each other to make things better.
There are a number of ways a human being can react to finding himself a native of one of these fly-blown Caribbean slum nations. One way — it would probably be my way — is to get the hell out of there to somewhere civilized. Another way, almost invariably futile, and quite likely fatal, too, is to take up the banner of freedom and justice and try to improve the place into a prosperous and open society.
And another is to adopt an attitude of indifference to what happens politically and flaunt a defiant patriotic pride that anything native is at least better than foreign domination. The canonical expression of this attitude was the Greek in Byron's poem, living under Ottoman Turkish rule, and fondly remembering the ancient Greek ruler Polycrates, quote:
A tyrant; but our masters then
Were still, at least, our countrymen.
It's good to be reminded that human nature is not totally in thrall to the Pleasure Principle. I learnt this early. My childhood was spent among adults who couldn't stop talking wistfully, nostalgically about World War Two, when they'd lived on starvation rations, their civil liberties severely curtailed, while fleets of enemy planes dropped bombs on their cities every night and their menfolk were shipped to the killing fields overseas.
They remembered those days so fondly! "There was none of this political bickering," they'd say. "We were a real country then, all pulling together …"
So yes: Castro was a monster of cruelty and depravity, who murdered thousands, including some who thought they were his friends; who lived high on the hog while his people went hungry; whose hatred of America almost caused a nuclear war. Good riddance to the swine.
There is more to be said, though. In human affairs, there is always more to be said. Thanks to Katie Hopkins for saying it.
On the subject of AIDS in general, I really ought to feel more common sympathy than I do. Like people with AIDS, I myself suffer from an incurable disease of the immune system, kept at bay to date by the vigilant care of doctors and the background work of pharmaceutical researchers, to all of whom I am profoundly grateful.
What dilutes my sympathy for AIDS sufferers is that my disease has never, like theirs, been elevated to an emblem of victimhood and its sufferers celebrated as sanctified martyrs.
This is particularly unfair, by comparison not only with my own diagnosis but with most other diseases of comparable malignancy, in that these other diseases arise mainly through random changes of unknown cause in the metabolism, while AIDS arises mainly as a result of promiscuous homosexual buggery — behavior which, whatever you may think about it from an esthetic point of view, is easily avoided.
AIDS is none the less a sacrament in the weird pseudo-religion of Cultural Marxism. As such it is of course vulnerable to the hostility of infidels — people like, oh, to take a random example, Donald Trump.
Fortunately there are brave believers ready to defend the sacred flame. One such is my new pal Steven Thrasher of BuzzFeed. Mr Thrasher is a proud recipient of the 2012 Journalist of the Year award from the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. I subjected you to a sample of his hysterical thrashing in our November 11th podcast, when he referred to the election result as, quote, "a terrifying moment for America."
Here he is this week warning us that, actual headline: Under Donald Trump, the scourge of HIV/AIDS is going to get worse.
This piece is Thrasher at his thrashiest. He thrashes, for example, over Trump not having mentioned AIDS in his healthcare policy statements. Well, Trump didn't mention my disease, either. You could make a list of all the particular diseases he didn't mention; though that would be quite a task, as there would be several thousand items on the list. Why, particularly, should he have mentioned AIDS? Oh, right: because it's a CultMarx sacrament.
Trump is also, thrashes Thrasher, quote, "generally anti-science."
I seriously doubt that. Trump made his fortune by putting up tall buildings. You can't do that unless you have a strong respect for science.
Within the science of physics, for example, it's dynamics, the study of things that are moving, that hogs all the glamor; but statics, the study of forces in stationary systems, is essential to creating large stable structures. Statics has charms of its own, and some nifty equations too.
(In parentheses here: I'm sorry, but I can't help recalling a chapter heading in my high school applied math textbook that was a much-quoted favorite with myself and all my male teen classmates, quote: "Impulsive Motions of a Rigid Body." I bet that was Steven Thrasher's favorite, too. Close parentheses.)
Immediately after those assertions, we get this about The Donald from The Thrasher, quote:
I am terrified that two of his most important picks — vice-president elect Mike Pence and Health and Human Services secretary nominee Tom Price — know exactly how to harm Americans (disproportionately black and/or LGBT Americans) by way of HIV/AIDS.
End quote. So Thrasher is terrified again, as he was by the election result. This guy spends a lot of time being terrified, or posing as being terrified.
This time he's terrified because he thinks Pence and Price, quote, "know how to harm Americans," end quote, especially black and homosexual Americans. So does he think they will act on this knowledge? If he doesn't think so, why is he terrified?
That's a pretty potent accusation Thrasher is making there. Pence and Price "know how to harm Americans." This is a guy whose opinions get published in major broadsheet newspapers — in this case, The Guardian.
As so often when faced with liberal opinionating nowadays, you feel you are in the realm of psychopathology.
The basic position of homosexual activists like Thrasher is, that they should be able to do anything they want to do; and that if dire consequences ensue, it's someone else's fault and the rest of us should pay for it.
Thrasher is plain and clear about this. Listen to him tell us, for example, about the moment he decided to vote for Mrs Clinton. Quote:
The moment I picked was when she boldly denounced the criminalization of HIV, whereby individuals can be prosecuted for exposing someone else to the virus … Her finest moment, to me …
End quote. You got that? Mrs Clinton's finest moment, to Thrasher, was when she said you shouldn't be prosecuted for giving AIDS to someone.
I'd actually agree that if you give a communicable disease to someone unknowingly you shouldn't be prosecuted. There's no crime without intent.
Thrasher doesn't make that distinction, though. He thinks that any prosecution for AIDS transmission is, quote, "the criminalization of HIV"; and that Mrs Clinton's speaking out against what she called "HIV criminalization laws" was "her finest moment." Good grief!
AIDS is in most cases a behavioral disease, like lung cancer, morbid obesity, or cirrhosis of the liver. The role of government in suppressing such diseases is putting forth public-information campaigns to discourage the causative behaviors. If the disease is communicable, like AIDS, it's also entirely proper to have laws against willful transmission.
This is common sense, a commodity not much prized among homosexual activists.
05 — Who's a white supremacist? Columbia linguistics professor John McWhorter is a specimen of that very rare creature, a rational liberal. Prof McWhorter had an article in Time magazine, November 29th, chewing over the use and misuse of the term "white supremacist."
I'm going to leave you to read the article for yourselves — it's on the internet at time.com. Here in this segment I'm just going to indulge myself in a short rumination on that same term, "white supremacist."
Ngram says that the phrase "white supremacist" was unknown until the 1940s, then underwent a leisurely rise in frequency through to the mid-1980s, then took off like a rocket and is still climbing fast.
I've always been annoyed by the term because of its ambiguity. What is a white supremacist supposed to be, actually? I know a lot of people who regularly get called "white supremacists," and they believe different things.
So here's what I'll do. I'll take a stroll along the spectrum of opinions the holding of which will get you called a "white supremacist" by somebody, somewhere. Ready to stroll? Let's stroll.
The least racialistic of those opinions just argues, with no prejudice to any other race, that the U.S.A. has all the people it needs, and should have a complete moratorium on immigration until the huge intakes of the past fifty years have been assimilated into a common American identity.
The accurate term for such a person would be "strong immigration restrictionist"; but Rachel Maddow, Jamelle Bouie, probably the New York Times, and likely the Wall Street Journal too, would call him (or her) a "white supremacist."
Proceeding along the spectrum, there are people who deduce from basic principles of biology, perhaps falsely, that localized groups of humans that have bred mostly among themselves for many, many generations will have distinctive group characteristics on heritable traits. That would include traits like intelligence and the various dimensions of personality, which are all heritable to some degree.
These people get called "white supremacists," too, even though few of them — none at all, to my knowledge — think that white Europeans cornered all the most desirable traits. If you ask them about intelligence, for example, they'll tell you that East Asians come out on top, with Whites next, West and South Asians next, then Amerindians, then Africans, then Australian aborigines.
A better descriptor for these people would be the one I tried to float in We Are Doomed: biologians.
There's a subset in that group that I think fairly can be called "white supremacists." Those are people who argue that, yes, East Asians may come out best on raw smarts, but they are short on some of the personality traits that help people cohere into stable, free societies. Whites, these folk argue, are in a "Goldilocks" position: enough smarts to build modern civilizations, and the right mix of personality traits to keep them open and free, at least most of the time, or at very least more of the time than is the case with other races.
For this "Goldilocks" view, I think "white supremacist" is not an unfair descriptor. It loses some of its vituperative power in this case, though, because the "Goldilocks" view belongs to the category of things that might be true. We don't know anything like enough about the underlying science to say whether or not it is true, but it's not illogical or preposterous.
Believing things in that category doesn't make you a bad person, though it may turn out that you are honestly mistaken.
Some other people will eschew biology, or have no interest in it, but just appeal to simple empirical observation. At the present stage of human development, they'll say, nations that are established, mostly populated, and mostly run by people of white-European extraction are the best nations to live in.
This opinion is "white supremacist" at least implicitly. The problem here is that it is an opinion very widely held by nonwhites. Those boatloads of black Africans and brown west and south Asians heading north across the Mediterranean all seem to believe it, on the Revealed Preference principle. Likewise American blacks, vanishingly few of whom display any desire to flee from the horrid racism of U.S. society to Haiti, or Ghana, or Chad.
A lot of East Asians believe it, too. The current issue of The Economist has an article on the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to shut down so-called "international schools": that is, private high schools teaching an international curriculum for kids planning to study abroad.
The angle is of course that these schools are poisoning the minds of Chinese youngsters with Western liberalism. The problem for the government campaign against them is that they are very popular with China's big and fast-growing middle class. Quote from The Economist:
It is not just the super-rich who have the aspiration or means to send their offspring abroad to attend university. Some 57 percent of Chinese parents would like to do so if they could afford it, according to the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
End quote. As always in matters of race, the level of hypocrisy here is very high. The next sentence is this one, quote:
Even [Chinese President Xi Jinping] sent his daughter to Harvard, where she studied under a pseudonym.
If you head out further along the spectrum of opinions that regularly get called "white supremacist" you get to people who, without necessarily holding any opinions at all about the distribution of traits in different races, would just like freedom of association restored so they could live among their own kind, without being forced by law into contact with other races. I can't see any necessary notion of supremacy in that. "White separatist" would be the better term.
Then there are people who are fed up with Western society beating up on white people all the time and blaming them for all the world's ills. Like white separatists, they don't necessarily hold any negative views of other races; they're just tired of hearing their own race insulted. That's white advocacy, not "white supremacy."
Further out on the spectrum you meet people who want a homeland for white people, with other races excluded. The definition of "other races" needs a lot of lawyering there. Jews? Muslims? How about Christian Arabs? … etc., etc.
Leaving the lawyering aside, we're talking here about white nationalists. They want a white nation. They're white nationalists. That's what it means. I can't see any logic in calling them "white supremacists."
And then way further out on the spectrum you get to people who actually wish ill to nonwhites, who would oppress, enslave, or massacre them if in power. These are generally called Neo-Nazis, although that's not very accurate as the actual Nazis counted a lot of whites — notably Jews and Slavs — among the outgroups to be oppressed, etc.
In the fevered imaginations of liberals, all the groups I've worked my way through here nurse malice towards nonwhites. A liberal who's listened to this segment of the podcast probably thinks I do, notwithstanding I've been married for thirty years to a nonwhite; but that just shows you how stupid and immune to reason most liberals are.
Is it fair to call this last, most extreme group "white supremacist"? I'll grudgingly allow that it might be; grudgingly, because I've already passed the phrase as a descriptor for other groups who don't wish any ill to nonwhites. We really need a separate term here. I suggest "white dominationists" for whites who want to boss other races around, or worse.
The opinion categories I've been enumerating are not mutually exclusive. We all hold lots of opinions. An individual might, without contradiction, be both a strong immigration restrictionist and a white separatist; or both a white advocate and a white dominationist. The common thread is that holding any of these opinions will, in today's America, get you tagged as a "white supremacist," whether or not you also hold any of the others.
Well, those are my ruminations — the ruminations of a guy who, like Prof McWhorter, loves language and cares about the precise meaning of words. Hi there, Prof. Do you feel as lonely as I do?
Imprimis: The excellent quantitative blogger who calls himself Audacious Epigone has constructed the following Jeopardy exchange between evergreen Jeopardy host Alex Trebek and bright green contestant Pepe the Frog.
Trebek: For $1000, blacks, liberals, and Democrats were more likely to vote for Donald Trump and less likely to vote for Hillary Clinton than this group of people.
Pepe the Frog: Who are residents of Washington DC?
Trebek: That is correct.
That's the exchange, and Pepe is indeed correct. Nationwide, blacks went 89 percent for Mrs Clinton, eight percent for Trump. Residents of Washington, DC, however, went ninety-three percent for the lady, only four percent for the Trump. That's all DC voters, all races.
Likewise, people who identify as liberals nationwide went 84 percent for Clinton, ten percent for Trump. The DC numbers — once again, all DC voters — were 93 and four.
Democrats nationwide went 89 percent to eight, Clinton over Trump. The DC numbers, one more time, all voters: 93 to four.
Washington, DC, our nation's capital, is further left than any significant demographic you can name, with the possible exceptions of social science academics and mainstream media journalists.
Mr Trump is going to need all the help and encouragement he can get in draining that swamp.
Item: Buzz Aldrin, the second human being to walk on the Moon, was taken ill while on a tourist trip to the South Pole this week. He was evacuated from the Pole to McMurdo Station on the coast, and I think is now in New Zealand.
Aldrin is 86 years old, the oldest of the seven remaining Moonwalkers. As well as being the second person to walk on the Moon, he was the first person to eat anything on the Moon — it was a Communion wafer — and the first person to urinate on the Moon, although not of course actually on the Moon.
The youngest of those surviving seven Moonwalkers, Harrison Schmitt, turned 81 in October. Soon they will all be gone: the last participants in the human race's most astonishing, most audacious, most wonderfully inspirational adventure to date.
Gone with them will be the memory of a U.S.A. that could accomplish such marvels, in those last years of heroic national vigor, before we turned our energies to guilt and rancor and divisive social crusades, and to persuading ourselves and each other that in the human sphere, everything is equal to everything else.
Best wishes to Buzz for a speedy recovery from whatever ails him. Best wishes to our country for a revival of the spirit that sent him and his comrades on such a tremendous enterprise.
Not much. Here he was speaking on the campaign trail in September.
[Clip: The word Christmas … I love Christmas. I love Christmas. You go to stores, you don't see the word Christmas. It says "Happy Holidays all over." I say, "Where's Christmas?" I tell my wife, "Don't go to those stores." I want to see Christmas. I want to see Christmas. Other people can have their holidays but Christmas is Christmas. I want to see "Merry Christmas". Remember the expression "Merry Christmas"? You don't see it anymore! You're going to see it if I get elected, I can tell you right now.]
I'm not sure Presidential authority extends to telling people how to greet each other. As so often with Mr Trump, though, it's the attitude one approves — the attitude, in this case, of defiance to the anti-Christian, anti-traditional multiculti commissars. All strength to him!
We don't get many news stories from Antarctica. That snippet at the end there may be our first on Radio Derb; I haven't checked.
Whether it is or not, it's an excellent opportunity to air a clip from Ralph Vaughan Williams' Antarctic Symphony, a striking example of representational music. It actually sounds chilly. You might just want to pause the podcast and go turn up the thermostat.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week!
[Music clip: From Vaughan Williams' Antarctic Symphony.]