Radio Derb: Higher Ed Chokes, Venezuela Goes Broke, Mastercard Gets Woke, And Somalis Provoke, Etc.
May 03, 2019, 10:21 PM
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01m55s  The higher education racket.  (Our colleges are swilling in money.)

07m50s  Opportunity cost.  (What our government should be obsessing about.)

13m08s  Yale's bureaucratic bloat.  (Need more kultprops!)

21m50s  Glory in Charlotte.  (A young American hero.)

26m15s  Venezuela, zzzz.  (In the Churchill spirit.)

27m13s  Mastercard gets woke.  (Forward to corporate totalitarianism.)

28m39s  A reader chides.  (I stand defiant.)

30m30s  The sharia Cup Final.  (Goodbye, Britain.)

32m48s  Somalis in Switzerland.  (It's the fertility!)

34m30s  Somali cop guilty.  (Midwestern Nice at suicide levels.)

36m35s  Our Somali congressgal lets loose.  (The averages are terrible.)

38m31s  Signoff.  (With Gracie.)

01—Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your irreverently genial host John Derbyshire this May 4th weekend.

Yes, this Saturday is May 4th, the centenary of a great event in the cultural history of modern China, which I shall leave you to read about at length if you feel so inclined. This history website I'm looking at says, quote:

The May Fourth Movement gave a boost to nationalism in China, as well as favoring populist causes rather than a small number of elite intellectuals.

End quote. So, what's not to like?

This Saturday is also one of the three days in the year when the blood of St Januarius should liquefy at his chapel in Naples. Let's hope liquefaction proceeds on schedule. I'm not sure what the consequences are supposed to be if it doesn't, but I feel sure they're not good.

OK; setting aside history and religion, here is some commentary on the current news.

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02—The higher education racket.     There's been a China angle in the news this week related to the college-admissions cheating scandal.

The news is, that a billionaire tycoon from communist China—and I'm sorry, but for an old Cold War baby, I still can't repress a snicker when I say the words "billionaire tycoon from communist China"; but it's a strange world we live in and a whole generation of adults have never known any other so they don't get the joke—so this billionaire tycoon from communist China, surname of Zhao, paid six and a half million to the fixers to get his daughter Molly a place at Stanford.

Half a million of that six and a half seems to have gone to Stanford's sailing program. The fixers told Stanford that Molly was a champion sailor, though she is of course no such thing; and Stanford's former sailing coach—he's been prosecuted for racketeering—was part of the fix. Molly Zhao entered Stanford two years ago; but she vacated her campus housing this March, and her present whereabouts are unknown.

It's a sleazy little story; but higher education in the U.S.A. is a sleazy business, and not a sleazy little business. It's a sleazy huge business. Our colleges and universities are swilling in money.

That's why they can afford all those Administrative Assistants to the Secretary for the Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion. That's why they have Departments of Gibberish Studies where ineducable low-IQ students can play at educating themselves. That's why they have sports coaches on seven-digit salaries.

That's why the colleges and universities are key centers of the multicultural racket that is poisoning our intellectual life and ripping at our social fabric. That's why I go down on my knees by my bedside at night and pray for the Almighty to send us a Henry the Eighth to sweep away the whole rotten stinking mess, the way Henry emptied out the monasteries.

I should say that there are losers in the academic money game, although with all that cash on hand, I'm not clear why there should be. While administrators and sports coaches are drinking champagne and dining on pheasant, most of the actual teaching work is done by research assistants on minimum wage. Possibly this is some remnant of the old idealistic notion of the selfless scholar.

Where does all the money come from? Four sources:

  1. Alumni with fond memories of their salad days, paying to get a plaque with their name on it affixed to some desk in the college library.
  2. Federal, State, and corporate grants and tax breaks paid for by working Americans.
  3. Middle-class American students beggaring themselves all the way to retirement and beyond with huge tuition loans.
  4. Rich foreigners like Molly Zhao paying full ticket.

The system isn't intrinsically corrupt; but with that much moolah sloshing around, the vultures will gather—as, obviously, they have.

The foreign aspect is by no means all of the corruption; Americans were paying the fixers, too; and the fixers themselves in this case are Americans.

The case of Ms Zhao does remind us, though, how far we have drifted from being a traditionally high-trust, north-European society. Other cultures—cultures in which the circle of trust is not much bigger than immediate extended family—expect to acquire social goods by corruption. Corruption for them is routine. Mr Zhao was just doing his best for his daughter. Who would object to that? Nobody in China.

This little story is, in other words, a data point on the graph line we are sliding down from a noble republic with lofty ideals of fairness and equality under the law to just another squalid low-trust kleptocracy.

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03—Opportunity cost.     So I sit down after dinner to watch some political shows on TV. What are they talking about? The Mueller report. Still talking about it, still getting heated about it.

The latest turn of events involves U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who is accused of something-or-other to do with the report in some way I can't be bothered to understand. From the little attention I can be bothered to pay, I'm guessing that Mr Barr, who has a reassuringly ursine look about him, can take care of himself.

I did get to thinking, though, about the opportunity cost of all the anti-Trump passion that is still, after more than two years, roiling our national legislature. We are a big, rich, important nation, with a lot of issues we should be arguing about and legislating about. We're not, though, as long as so much of our political energy is going into this tiresome campaign to find President Trump guilty of something.

The stinking, steaming, fetid mountain of dog poop that is our higher-education system is one of those issues. Nobody much in Washington, DC seems to be interested in it. I watched the YouTube video of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos giving a twenty-minute address at the Manhattan Institute on Wednesday. She hardly said anything about higher education.

She did remind us, though, that her department is just forty years old this coming October. For the first twenty years of the department's existence the Republican Party went into every election campaign with a promise to eliminate it, but of course nothing was done and the promise has now long since been dropped. The Education Department is in fact a star exhibit for how utterly ineffectual the Republican Party has been at resisting the growth of federal power and spending.

Another issue under the heading "Opportunity Cost"—an issue about which nothing is getting done while the congressninnies fret and fume about imaginary conspiracies—is of course immigration. The whole system is falling apart and Congress doesn't seem inclined to do anything about it.

Neither, to be fair to Congress, does our President. Immigration's been a mess for decades; but it's on Trump's watch that is has descended into full chaos. We are now at the point where a smart Third Worlder who wants to settle in the U.S.A. would be a sucker to go to his local consulate, apply for an immigrant visa, and wait a few years until his category comes up. Better choices are either (a) get a tourist visa and just overstay, or (b) fly to Mexico, hike up to the border, and claim asylum.

I'd say, in fact, that these two issues, immigration and higher ed, are the two domestic issues most urgently in need of legislative and/or executive action.

And they are linked, as the case of Molly Zhao illustrates. Where higher education is concerned, we need to think about how to starve the beast. A good, easy starting point would be to stop issuing visas to foreign students. Those full-tuition foreigners are great for the colleges' balance sheets, but they take up classroom seats Americans should be sitting in.

Higher education is a limited national resource. That resource should be for the nation's citizens to use. China has colleges and universities a-plenty—I used to teach at one—and a tradition of scholarship stretching back to the Bronze Age. Let them educate their own people.

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04—Yale's bureaucratic bloat.     Speaking of administrative bloat in higher education, Yale University President Peter Salovey announced last month that Yale is expanding its diversity'n'inclusion office.

The actual name of that office is the Office for Equal Opportunities and Programs, "OEOP" for short. That word "is" might in fact be a "was" at this point, as President Salovey told the university in an open email on April 9th that as well as expanding the office he will also rename it. No word yet on what it's being renamed to. I suggest "Office of Multicultural Inclusivity, Goodwhite Orthodoxy, and Diversity—"OMIGOD" for short.

Anyway, Salovey's email—and here I'm actually quoting from an account of it in the Yale News, April 10th—the email said that the university will, quote, "hire a new deputy secretary who will help implement diversity initiatives across the University campus," end quote.

So apparently Yale University, in the opinion of its President—who, in the photograph that heads up the Yale News story, does not look ursine; more like murine—Yale doesn't have enough people monitoring its diversity, it needs more.

So what precisely will this new deputy secretary do? Quote:

The deputy secretary will supervise specialists who will train student leaders and dean's designees—those who receive student concerns related to alleged discrimination and advise administrators on how to promote diversity—to respond to discrimination and create a healthy, inclusive campus culture. The report also recommended establishing a group to advise senior University administrators on how to respond to sensitive incidents of harassment and discrimination.

End quote.

Good grief! This is the diction in which administrators at a major modern university speak and write. You could put President Salovey's email in a time capsule and bury it so that archeologists of the 31st century will be able to see the depths of insanity our culture sank to before it collapsed completely.

Do you mind if I just pause for a moment? I'm having a rather vivid fantasy I want to share with you.

In my fantasy I have attained total power over the government of the U.S.A. I announce to the nation that after a decent pause to allow evacuation—twenty-four hours should be sufficient—the U.S. Army and Air Force will shell and bomb Yale University to rubble. Then, when the fires have burned out, the Army Corps of Engineers will move in and sow the ground with salt.

There, that's better! OK, to continue with the news story.

This further expansion of Yale's OEOP (or whatever it's being renamed to) this expansion of the office is a delayed result of two incidents last spring—delayed, because those incidents caused the university to hire in a raft of diversity consultants, all on fat fees of course, to study the incidents and come up with recommendations.

Both last year's incidents concerned a white lady named Sarah Braasch, a graduate student in Yale's Philosophy Department. Ms Braasch is seriously smart, with degrees in real subjects—engineering and law—but she seems from her twitter feed to be somewhat … let's say "highly strung."

In both those incidents last spring Ms Braasch called campus police on black people she found herself alone with at night in her dormitory building, people who seemed to have no business there. One was a young black man who got in an elevator with her, rode up to her floor with her, then got out with her, without, as I said, having any obvious business there. The other was a black woman sleeping in the dormitory common room at 1 a.m., against dorm rules.

So both times Ms Braasch called the cops, and the cops came. On her account of what happened I'd say that calling the cops was a prudent thing for a highly-strung young woman to do. The blacks took offense, though, and in no time Ms Braasch was being hounded in the media as a racist. Yale hired in the consultants, they investigated and produced a report, and Mr Salovey's email is the result.

Heather Mac Donald, who is a Yale alumna, published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal April 23rd mocking what she called "this latest accretion of bureaucratic bloat" at her alma mater.

Yale President Salovey responded April 28th with a letter to the Journal pasted together from snippets of multi-culti boilerplate, like a kidnap ransom demand.

"Diversity strengthens Yale" says the President, when obviously it does just the opposite—so much the opposite, he's having to hire more people to keep the lid on all the rancor and mistrust that naturally arises from diversity.

"Our students hail from 123 countries," boasts the President. I'd say that's 122 too many. Yalies who want to acquaint themselves with foreigners and their ways should head off abroad in their summer vacations, as university students in my generation used to do. Their campus time should be spent among other Americans. This is a big country; there's a lot to learn about it.

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05—Glory in Charlotte.     Here at Radio Derb I have fun with the follies and blunders of our public life. There is so much stupidity, so much hypocrisy that cries out to heaven to be mocked, lampooned, and insulted.

There's serious stuff out there too, though, of course: events to which irreverence is not appropriate, to which the proper responses are grave, solemn, humble, and respectful. In that spirit, if you will allow me, I offer up a brief memorial to a brave young American.

Tuesday afternoon there was a shooting at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Twenty-two-year-old Trystan Terrell, a young white man with no obvious mental abnormalities and no motive anyone can figure, walked into a classroom at the university and opened fire on the students with a licensed handgun. Two people were killed and four were wounded.

One of the two killed was 21-year-old Riley Howell of Waynesville. Mr Howell had charged at the gunman, knocking him off his feet but taking a fatal bullet in the process. That was a brave, a heroic thing to do.

Every time there is one of these incidents where a lunatic starts shooting at people, I go through the same mental gyrations. One voice in my head says: "Why didn't someone charge the guy? You're going to get shot anyway, so what the heck." Then the other voice in my head replies: "Hey, Derb: Would you charge a guy with a gun pointed at you? Really? As opposed to just ducking behind the nearest piece of furniture?"

And of course I'm not at all sure I would. You can't know until the stuff happens. I hope I would; but my best guess, to be perfectly honest, looking back at my reactions to some moments of sudden violence in my life, my best guess is that I wouldn't. But, dammit, I still hope I would. Every man hopes so, doesn't he?

And Riley Howell did. For that, his name should live in honor and glory.

On the Remembrance Day service at my school we would all stand facing the memorial tablet with names of those alumni who had died in the World Wars, and hear the reading from the Gospel of John: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

In our safe, peaceful lives we fall into thinking that sentiments like those apply only in wartime. In fact, as what happened at Charlotte on Tuesday shows, that call to sacrifice can come to anyone at any time.

All honor, all glory, all praise to Riley Howell! Heartfelt condolences to his loved ones.

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06—Miscellany.     And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.

Imprimis:  Venezuela has been all over the news. Looking up the place, I was interested to see, a thing I hadn't known, that according to one version of the etymology, Venezuela is named after Venice. Interesting!

I'm afraid my interest in Venezuela runs out right about there, though. I have no clue what is happening down there and my only strong feeling is that whatever it is, I hope we stay the heck out of it.

In regard to Venezuela, I invoke the spirit of Sir Winston Churchill, quote: "I have lived 78 years without hearing of bloody places like Cambodia."

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ItemBuzzfeed reported May 1st that a CultMarx activist group called SumOfUs has forced the credit-card company Mastercard to hold a shareholders' vote on a proposal to cut off Mastercard to political dissidents.

Buzzfeed doesn't tell us how SumOfUs forced this shareholders' vote, and I'd really like to know. I'd assume that shareholder votes for a company like that, with millions of shareholders, come down to zealotocracy. That is, most shareholders don't bother to vote, leaving the company's direction open to manipulation by a tiny number of zealots. I'd guess, also, that SumOfUs is well-supplied with funds and facilities by George Soros.

However it's happened, it's happened: another step forward on the march forward to corporate totalitarianism.

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Item:  I'd like to respond to a listener who emailed in criticizing my March 22nd podcast.

In that podcast I saddled, mounted, and rode off on one of my hobbyhorses, that pesky "the" that we're supposed to stick in front of the names of too many countries: the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and so on. I swore that I would henceforth refer to The Netherlands as Holland.

This listener tried to chide me by observing that of the twelve provinces of the metropolitan Netherlands, only two are called Holland: North Holland, and South Holland.

To which I reply: Fiddle-de-dee.

And I refuse to admit that my defiance is in any way vitiated by the fact that South Holland is also one of the administrative divisions of the English county of Lincolnshire, not far from my birthplace. To the contrary: That just shows that "Holland" is a perfectly good English word, entirely appropriate for English-speaking people to use when referring to that flat, damp, windmill-infested, cheese-producing, tulip-swarming country on the other side of the North Sea.

I say it's Holland, and I say the hell with it.

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Item:  Meanwhile the land of my birth slips ever further into the darkness and silence of multicultural night.

May 18th this year is a great day in the sports calendar over there. That's when the FA Cup Final is played at Wembley Stadium in London. "FA" stands for "Football Association," the football here being of course soccer. The Cup Final is the sort of Superbowl of English soccer. Watford will face Manchester City in this year's cup final on May 18th.

When the match has been played, of course one team has won and the other has lost. For the winning team, bottles of champagne are produced. The corks are popped and the winning players gleefully spray each other with champagne.

Well, not any more they won't. Four of the players in the May 18th line-up are Muslims, and Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol. I don't quite see why spraying champagne over someone counts as consumption, but I'm no Islamic scholar.

Quote from the Daily Mail, April 23rd, quote:

An alcohol-free champagne substitute will instead be given to the victorious club so players can still spray the contents of the bottles over each other in celebration.

Once again, as I have said before: At times like this it is not possible to improve on the words of the boss here, Peter Brimelow, quote: "People should be hung from lampposts—they should be burned alive—for what they've done to Britain."

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Item:  As VDARE.com's designated expert on all matters Somali, I offer some Somali-related items.

First off: The federal government of Switzerland has done a survey of the four thousand or so Somalis living in Switzerland, apparently all refugees. They found that 83.7 percent of them—that's five out of six—are relying on state welfare for all or part of their income.

A spokes-Somali put the blame on Somali fertility, quote:

For example, they work in the hospitality industry, where wages are low. A family that has seven children, for example, cannot live on it.

End quote. Oh, this will end well.

That 83.7 percent makes Somalis far and away the most welfare-dependent of all national groups in Switzerland. Runners-up are Eritreans at 54.7 per cent and Angolans at 54 per cent. Hmm: Somalis, Eritreans, Angolans. There's some common characteristic there … I can't quite put my finger on it …

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Item:  Another Somali item: Tuesday this week the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor concluded. Noor is the Somali cop who shot a young Australian woman, Justine Ruszczyk, back in July 2017.

Ms Ruszczyk had called 911; Noor and his partner were in the squad car that responded, Noor in the passenger seat; as the young woman approached the car from the driver's side, Noor leaned across his partner and shot her through the car window for no very convincing reason.

Tuesday Noor was found guilty of third-degree murder and manslaughter. Sentencing is on June 7th.

The authorities in Minnesota, ramping up their Midwestern Nice to suicidal levels, seem to be terrified that anyone might suppose that Noor is a low-IQ affirmative action hire, put into a police uniform to placate Somali activists. My first guess would be that's exactly the situation here, but that nobody will ever admit it.

My second guess would be that the court will go as easy as they dare on sentencing, for the same placatory reason. Noor could get a max sixteen years, but I doubt he'll get more than ten, or serve more than six.

That second guess will at least be subject to check: I'll report back in June.

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Item:  One more on the Somalis. Also on Tuesday, Somali congressgal Ilhan Omar, at a Black Lives Matter rally outside the Capitol building, let loose on the hateful, racist, genocidal nation that took her family in from the refugee camp they were living in 22 years ago. Speaking of the U.S.A., she told the cheering crowd that, quote:

This is not going to be the country of the xenophobics. This is not going to be the country of white people. This is not going to be the country of the few. This is the country of the many.

End quote. If those statistics from Switzerland are anything to go by, I fear the filthy little ingrate may be right. What fools we are!

Well, don't say I didn't warn you. Quote from self, writing eight years ago in Taki's Magazine, quote:

Any population has a lot of variation, and I have no doubt there are many law-abiding and industrious Somalis. When you take in 4,000, or 16,000, or 100,000, though, the law of averages is going to kick in—as of course it kicks in unmistakeably in Somalia itself. Human-capital-wise, the Somali averages are simply terrible.

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07—Signoff.     That's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and thank you for your emails and donations.

There will of course be more from Radio Derb next week. Here's Gracie.

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[Music clip: Gracie Fields, "Sing As We Go."]

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