[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, piano'n'kazoo version]01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your judiciously genial host John Derbyshire, here with some titbits from the week's news, garnished with commentary from a National Conservative point of view.It's been one of those unfortunate weeks when big headline news items have concerned law and the Constitution. I say "unfortunate" because I myself have no training in the law, and I am aware that this puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage when commenting on these issues.When my awareness of that fact slips it usually gets put back firmly in place by one of my many friends who do have legal training.I was at dinner with such a one recently. I raised the issue of sanctuary cities, the federal defunding thereof, which I had supposed was a pretty straightforward exercise of the executive power.To the contrary, replied my dinner companion. There is a very contentious legal doctrine of "unconstitutional conditions," relating to when the executive may and may not withhold its blessings from subordinate powers. My companion, who actually teaches constitutional law, proceeded to give me a professorial summary of that doctrine and the numerous arguments around it. My eyes glazed over about thirty seconds in, but I got the point: There is more here than meets the layman's eye.Contrary to all that, the law is not higher mathematics, that can be chuckled over by a tiny clique of experts but safely ignored by the rest of us. It's a human and a social thing that concerns us all, and that in its large principles ought to be understandable by any thoughtful citizen.Here was Charles the First at his trial in 1649, quote:
I do not know the forms of law; I do know law and reason, though I am no lawyer professed: but I know as much law as any gentleman in England, and therefore, under favour, I do plead for the liberties of the people of England more than you do; and therefore if I should impose a belief upon any man without reasons given for it, it were unreasonable … The Commons of England was never a Court of Judicature; I would know how they came to be so.End quote. Much good that did poor Chuck, of course. I'm with him in spirit, though. Like him, I am no lawyer professed: but I know as much law as any gentleman in America.I therefore cast aside the damp cloak of humility and sally forth into the thickets of constitutional jurisprudence. It may bring me some mocking emails from legal eagles, but at least I won't be getting my head chopped off. quote: "Following the law as they find it, and without respect to their personal political beliefs," end quote. He told us that, further quote: "A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands," end quote.I would have been spraying bourbon out through my nose in reaction to that, but for the fact that I have long since passed right through mere cynicism to the other side; to a grim resignation as to human weakness, and a calm toleration of the ceremonial idealism with which our public figures believe they are obliged to wrap their ambition, partisanship, and occasional cupidity.Judge Gorsuch's platitudes are the secular equivalent of the ceremonial deism that obliges a yuppie agnostic like Barack Obama to call on God for blessings on our republic. These are agreeable and customary forms of words, that citizens like to hear, but with little bearing on real motives and actions.It follows that the judiciary is not, and should not be, immune from partisan barbs and rancor. It never has been. Thomas Jefferson, Andy Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt have most famously shown scorn for the judicial power at some point, on some particular issue; but those are only the most famous cases. Have we had any President, other than poor William Henry Harrison, who did not at some point deliver a kick to the groin, or at least a rap on the knuckles, to the federal judiciary? I doubt it. That's our system. It's politics all the way down.In all fairness, in fact, the federal judiciary should actually expect more vituperation than the other branches. An unsatisfactory congressman can be voted out after two years; an unsatisfactory President after four; an unsatisfactory Senator after six; but a federal judgeship is for life.The only way to get rid of a federal judge is by getting Congress to impeach and then convict him for high crimes and misdemeanors: a cumbersome process, also of course a very political one, and furthermore one that congresscritters, presidents, and senators are also liable to.Ballotpedia says that, quote, "Fifteen federal judges have been impeached. Of those fifteen: eight were convicted by the Senate, four were acquitted by the Senate, and three resigned before an outcome at trial." End quote.Functionaries in the other two branches are in double jeopardy: they can be voted out of office, and they can be impeached. Federal judges are in a much safer space: they can only be impeached, and hardly ever are — we have seen fewer than four convictions per century.It follows, according to me, that a federal judge should reasonably expect double the load of vituperation that our President and elected legislators have to endure.It further follows that the squealing and facepalming of this past few days over President Trump's disagreements with Judge Robart of Washington State and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over Trump's January 27th executive order, is just political theater.The federal courts are not a zone of lofty intellectual purity, floating high above the dust cloud of political conflict. They are down there in the dust cloud, kicking and scratching with the rest, and working with an advantage the other combatants don't have — lifetime tenure.If some federal judge can't bear the thought of a politician's fist connecting with his teeth, he should find another line of work.
03 — How sound is Judge Gorsuch? I mentioned Judge Neil Gorsuch there, President Trump's pick for the vacant Supreme Court seat. Commenting last week on the nomination, I said that on a first look he seems like a, quote, "pretty good egg." I then awarded him some preliminary favor points for (a) being a Protestant, White, Anglo-Saxon, Heterosexual Male and (b) standing up to the trial lawyers' [ker-ching] "employment discrimination" rackets and "disability" scams.It's possible my heart was too soon made glad. The last few days have seen a trickle of skeptical commentary from the Right about Judge Gorsuch. Is he really, reliably, one of us?Exhibit A is Joel Joseph's Wednesday column in the congressional newsletter The Hill.Joseph starts by giving us a run-down of Supreme Court Justices who confounded the expectations of the presidents who nominated them. Most of these were nominated by Republican presidents — Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush 41 — but turned left once settled in on the court.Byron White, appointed by President Kennedy, is given as an instance of the converse thing, a justice nominated by a Democrat president who then turned right. I'm not altogether convinced by that one. If JFK were in the Senate today, he'd be to the right of most Republicans, never mind Democrats. Well, discuss among yourselves.Joel Joseph goes on to list some warning signs about Judge Gorsuch. For one thing, he lives in Boulder, Colorado, than which very few places in the known universe, possibly none, are more liberal. Quote:
He also teaches at the University of Colorado's law school, also a progressive bastion, and is supported … by most of the faculty and students there.End quote. That reminds us of another point to bear in mind about the federal judiciary: It's a subsidiary branch of the academic-intellectual complex, which is so far out left you can barely see it from the coast of California. Sure, there are a few independent spirits, even in our law schools. Still, Judge Gorsuch could be regarded by his academic colleagues as Literally Hitler, yet still be well to the left of Barney Frank. That he is in fact regarded by them as a kindred spirit should be, to use the establishment's favorite cant word, "troubling" to National Conservatives.And then there's his church, at which he serves as an usher. It's Episcopalian and very liberal. A spokesman told the Washington Post that the congregation is, quote "vibrant," and, quote, "diverse," and, quote, "does a lot of social justice and advocacy." Uh-oh.The church's vicar is female. An Episcopalian website tells us that every minute she can spare from her pastoral duties finds her biking, hiking, skiing, and … golfing. Another uh-oh.I frame no hypotheses here, and of course wish the reverend lady no ill. I shall only say that should I learn that she rides a motorbike to ladies' softball games, I would not be flabbergasted.Our other data point on Gorsuch this week was the remarks he reputedly made to Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal that President Trump's verbal attacks on federal judges were "demoralizing" and "disheartening."Assuming Senator Blumenthal's truthfulness here — a thing that, as the President pointed out, you should not necessarily assume — those could be either virtue signaling to the Senate Judiciary Committee, or the pained response of a jurist who really does see the federal judiciary through an idealistic prism, or just professional amour propre.I'm going to try to look on the bright side in regard to Judge Gorsuch. As I've said, judges carry political biases around with them just as the rest of us do. There is, though, such a thing as the intensity of one's biases. Some people, we know, are all bias: they can't order a pizza without passing a remark on the state of the nation. Some other people's biases are more feeble, and jostle in their minds with other emotions and dispositions — humility, collegiality, religious faith, self-respect.My very vague impression so far is that Judge Gorsuch's biases, whatever they are, are at a low level of intensity, and that there's some element of genuine idealism in his view of the judiciary's role.I hope that's right. We shall find out. In the meantime, Judge Gorsuch is only one of President Trump's two most important choices — the two that mean far more for the National Question than all the others put together. Let's turn to the other one. who stood outside a polling station in the 2008 election wearing paramilitary outfits and carrying billy clubs to scare away nonblack voters.One of the Justice Department's own prosecutors had testified to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission about an anti-white culture at Justice under Obama and Holder, with the failure to pursue the Philadelphia case as illustrative.When this was brought up to Holder by the congressional committee, he reacted indignantly, quote:
When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia — which was inappropriate, certainly that …to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people.The Panthers were never prosecuted for what was obviously an effort at voter intimidation.Eric Holder went on taking care of His People for another four years, after which he was succeeded by Loretta Lynch, another Mulatto Mafia graduate of late 20th century college grievance culture. Eric Holder's people were also Her People. Attorney General Lynch was also one of Mrs Clinton's people, spotted having a private confab with Mr Clinton in her Justice Department plane on the tarmac at Phoenix airport last June, receiving instructions on how to further obstruct Justice investigations into Mrs Clinton's emails.The Justice Department has been like that — anti-white and corrupt — for so long it was beginning to seem natural.Then, on Wednesday this week, nature changed course. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama — another Protestant, White, Anglo-Saxon, Heterosexual Male! — was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General by the full Senate. Excuse me for a moment …
[Clip: from the Hallelujah Chorus.]Sessions' confirmation generated a lot of confirmation theater. Senator Elizabeth Warren emerged from her wigwam in full war paint to unload heap plenty delaying tactics on the Senate floor, until silenced by the presiding officer just as she was winding up to perform the Ghost Dance of Her People.Senator Chuck Schumer told the Reverend Rachel Maddow that, quote, "When Jeff Sessions was passed, it turned my stomach," end quote. He further told xer that Sessions is, quote, "anti-immigrant." I guess I should be shaking in my sneakers, then, since I myself am an immigrant.I'm not shaking, of course. In CultMarx Newspeak, "anti-immigrant" means "wishing for immigration laws to be enforced." That's a thing you can stick on Jeff Sessions, as his work on the Senate Judiciary Committee amply showed. Yes, he wants the people's government to enforce the people's laws.That turns Chuck Schumer's stomach; though not as much as Schumer's smirking visage turns mine, with his spectacles wobbling on the end of his nose like that. A word in your ear, Senator: "varifocals."The commentariat has not been slow in recommending actions our new Attorney General might take to improve the quality of justice. Daniel Horowitz, back in mid-November, published a handy list of seven priority items:
05 — Affinity Asymmetry. The answer to the question I closed the previous segment with is surely "No." It's simply inconceivable in today's U.S.A. that any white member of the federal Executive would show the same favoritism to his fellow whites as the Mulatto Mafia showed quite unashamedly to Their People.There is a glaring asymmetry in our attitudes to (a) white people who discriminate on behalf of their fellow whites, and (b) nonwhites who discriminate on behalf of Their People. If you want to get alliterative about it, you could call this our Affinity Asymmetry.A Cultural Marxist would explain that it is right and natural that this should be so. Until Black Lives Matter came up the week before last, he will tell you, we whites contrived to keep nonwhites penned up in urban ghettos, failing schools, and jails, while we lived off the fat of the land. To bring that shameful regime to an end, of course whites should forgo their privileges, including the privilege to favor each other over nonwhites.There are some questions that come to mind in response to that. I'd like to know, for example, how the white privilege of my two grandfathers manifested itself as they toiled deep underground in dirt, darkness, and danger, digging coal for starvation wages.I'll leave that for another time, though. Here I just want to ruminate for a moment on that Affinity Asymmetry.Of course no-one expects Jeff Sessions to show the same partiality to whites that Obama, Holder, and Lynch showed to blacks. Sessions seems like a fair-minded sort of bloke, and I am sure that fair-minded is what the overwhelming majority of whites want him to be. That won't satisfy nonwhites, who have gotten accustomed to federal agencies showing them preference; but it'll make us palefaces happy.We don't, most of us, want the U.S. Attorney General to be pro-white; we want him to be anti-anti-white. We don't want him to reverse the Affinity Asymmetry; we want him to eliminate it.Total elimination is not likely to happen, although I am looking forward to some steps in the right direction from the new General.The reason total elimination of the Affinity Asymmetry is not likely to happen lies deep in the modern psyche, and in the origins of the Cold Civil War we've been fighting these many long years, the war between Goodwhite gentry liberals and what one of them, Bill Kristol, once referred to as Yahoos.Jonathan Haidt dug some of the causative factors out in his researches into moral psychology, written up in his 2012 book The Righteous Mind. The space in which self-identifying conservatives locate their moral positions, Haidt found, has six dimensions; the corresponding space for liberals has only four.The blogger who calls himself Audacious Epigone — my favorite quantitative blogger, after of course our own Steve Sailer — Audacious presented this very neatly in a post the other day. Quote from Audacious:
I've challenged several [Goodwhites], as a thought experiment, to the following:On some issue, I'll write down my position on it and what I think your position on it is. You'll do the same. Neither of us will communicate with one another until we're both finished writing our own positions and our best guess as to the other person's position.I'm confident that my version of your position will be closer to your actual position, as stated, than your version of my position will be to my actual position, as stated.End quote. I think Audacious' confidence is entirely justified. We understand them much better than they understand us.Some of that asymmetry arises from the blunt fact that we live in their world and have to know how to navigate around it. They don't live in our world. They are The Man. When they bar us from their campus or cancel our hotel bookings, they are speaking Power to Truth.Some other of it, though, is surely rooted in that dimensional asymmetry that Jonathan Haidt found. As the cliché says: We think they're wrong, but they think we're evil.
06 — The next French Revolution. Having mentioned Steve Sailer there, I'd like to help with the publicity for Steve's very striking article at Taki's Magazine on Wednesday about the demographics of France.The question Steve's exploring is: Just how Third World has France become? We've all heard the stories about how central Paris, once a byword for urban beauty, has degenerated into a littered slum populated by milling mobs of blacks and Muslims.Just yesterday came news that the Eiffel Tower is to be protected from terror attacks — attacks, that is, from fanatical Muslims — by having an eight-foot glass wall built around its base, rather pointedly making the case that if you don't have good strong walls around your country, you'd better start building them around your national monuments, and anything else in the interior you want to protect.So how bad is it — the demography, I mean? How Third World has France become? Official demographic statistics aren't much help, as France doesn't collect the necessary data.Steve found a novel way to tackle this question. The French government, he tells us, has recently started a neonatal screening process for babies at risk of inheriting sickle-cell anemia. That is a very Third World disease, characteristic of tropical areas like West Africa that are plagued with malaria-carrying mosquitoes.Steve is not totally confident of his methodology, and invites readers to offer criticism of it. That, just by itself, makes him a more conscientious analyst than two-thirds of Social Science academics. The methodology actually looks pretty good to me.What does it tell us? That babies born in France to parents both from the Global South — from areas rife with sickle-cell anemia — went from twenty-five percent in 2005 to forty percent in 2015. That's nationwide, for all of France. For Paris, the percentage went from fifty-four to seventy-three percent.If that's right, France is toast. What we see in the streets of Paris is a mere shadow of what is to be seen in the ob-gyn units of French hospitals.One of Steve's commenters has turned up some supporting data from the names registered for French newborns in France's ninety-odd Départements — administrative districts. The eight Départements that make up the Île-de-France region, basically Paris and its surroundings, average twenty-seven percent Arab or Muslim names, he says. One of the eight is at 43 percent.Steve is hoping someone will translate his article into French. If someone does, and it's widely read in France, it may have an effect on the upcoming French election. The nationalist Marine Le Pen looks set fair to win the first round of voting on April 23rd; but then, supporters of the other four candidates will likely consolidate the vote against her in the two-candidate runoff two weeks later.Nationalist Conservatives should take encouragement from Ms Le Pen's strong showing anyway. Also from French history, which proceeds by what evolutionary biologists call "punctuated equilibrium." Everything cruises along in stability for a few decades, then the barricades go up and there is revolutionary change.As Professor of French history Robert Tombs points out in the current issue of The Spectator, quote:
France in its modern history has worn out five monarchies, five republics and 16 constitutions.What the French can't accomplish by voting, they will force to an issue by revolutionary action. If Steve's got his numbers right, the next French Revolution will have an interesting demographic coloring. 84 Lumber aired a heartstring-tugging short narrative about a Mexican woman and her child trekking through the desert to get to the U.S.A. only to find their way barred by a high wall.This looked awfully like a plug for illegal immigration. No, no, protested the firm when patriots complained. Quotes from them:
There's a door in the wall, see? Just like Trump said! We like Trump! … The journey of the mother and daughter symbolizes grit, dedication and sacrifice! Characteristics that we look for in our people at 84 Lumber.End quote. Characteristics they are apparently not looking for are ability to speak English, and marketable skills. The little girl in the add is certainly cute, but if she has any marketable skills, my name is Speedy Gonzalez.Then Budweiser aired an ad showing their founder, Adolphus Busch, arriving in the U.S.A. from Germany in 1857 and persevering against nativist prejudice to attain success. I guess that makes some kind of case for immigration from Germany in the 19th century.Perhaps for next year's Superbowl, Budweiser, or some other firm, will produce an ad making the case for immigration from Somalia, or El Salvador, or Haiti, in the 21st century.These were picayune controversies, though. A much bigger one concerned one of the warm-up events, aired on Fox News before the Superbowl game This was an interview President Trump had recorded with Bill O'Reilly of that network.This deserves a segment to itself. quote from Scott:
I can't think of any reason Russia and the United States should be considered natural enemies. Both countries want to defeat ISIS. Both countries want peace and prosperity. Neither claims ownership of any of the other's territory. I see the prospect of good relations with Russia as a way to make some money for both countries and defeat ISIS too. That doesn't seem so bad.I totally agree. Our Russia policy has been seriously stupid since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Sure, Putin's a homicidal thug. We don't have to love him, we just have to get along with him. Stalin was more homicidal by several orders of magnitude, but we got along with him when we had to.You don't have to love national leaders, or even like them, to get along with them. There is nothing you could do to make me like the Chinese Communist Party. I know them quite intimately well: they are the biggest gang of amoral kleptocrats on the planet. I don't see why we shouldn't get along with them, though.What: You're going to tell me that Russia is a military threat to Europe? Europe has half a billion people and big First-World economies. If they can't defend themselves against flat-broke, demographically-cratering Russia and its rusty tanks and drunken soldiers, so much the worse for them.To judge from my previous segment, in any case, Europe has way more pressing problems than a Russian invasion.I do believe that when President Trump is listening to Radio Derb during his Saturday morning massage, as I know he does, he will be nodding along in agreement to this segment. That he understands the stupidity of the neocons' anti-Russian obsessions is far more important than the fact that his words don't always come out right when he's speaking unscripted.At his age, which is very nearly my age, I doubt Trump is ever going to get any more articulate than he currently is. That's a pity, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Trump's heart is in the right place, I feel pretty sure, even if his tongue isn't always. On Russia, and most other big issues, he has better policies than his opponents. I'll settle for that. Imprimis: Just going right back to the constitutional-jurisprudential thread for a moment: a couple of listeners reacted to last week's Radio Derb quoting Heather Mac Donald quoting a Berkeley professor on the riot there that, quote: "no one in the crowd got hurt," end quote. People did so get hurt, my listeners say.Sure: I just didn't feel the need to say that since (a) this was a Berkeley prof speaking, and so presumptively a lying idiot, and (b) it was a quote of a quote. When quoting someone who's quoting someone, I'm not upon oath.The Berkeley riot did come to mind again when I was reading Seth Lipsky's Thursday column in the New York Post, though.Seth was actually writing about the immigration issue; but along the way he mentioned the Obligation Clauses in the U.S. Constitution.Our Constitution of course lists things the government can do, and things the government can't do. In one section, though, it lists some things the government must do. These are the Obligation Clauses.Here's the entire Section: United States Constitution, Article IV, Section 4, quote:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.End quote. If what we saw at Berkeley the other day was not "domestic violence," I don't know what it was. Why did the State of California not suppress it; or, if they could not do so, call on the federal government to suppress it, as the Constitution would then require?Item: Reading up on Jeff Sessions, I see that among his manifold other accomplishments, he was an Eagle Scout.That was, of course, long before our Cultural Marxists set out to destroy the Boy Scouts by making them an organization that no sane parents would want their kids to belong to.That project of destruction is well along now. Last Tuesday night Pack 20 of the Boy Scouts in Essex County, New Jersey, admitted the first transgender scout, nine-year-old Joe Maldonado, who was born a girl but who somehow or other — I'd much rather not know — in the subsequent nine years, became a boy.Joe's mother declared herself "proud." His father isn't mentioned in the news stories. Why am I not surprised by that?Also not mentioned is any estimate of the number of normal parents who would have been glad for their sons to join the Boy Scouts, but were put off by sick stunts like this.Item: Headline of the week, from the London Guardian, February 6th, headline: Robots could replace 250,000 UK public sector workers. Machines would be more efficient for much public-sector work, says the story.No doubt many who saw that story had the same subversive thought I had, recalling my last engagement with a government department: What, you mean they haven't already replaced the people with robots?Item: Finally, congratulations to Betty Windsor of Buckingham Palace, London, the U.K. on attaining the 65th anniversary of her accession to the British throne — the first monarch to do so since the monarchy got properly airborne under Alfred the Great back in the ninth century.I am no longer one of your subjects, Ma'am, having absolutely and entirely renounced and abjured all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty when I took the Oath of Naturalization to become an American citizen.Furthermore, I regret you did not speak out, when you could have done, against the mass Third World immigration that has laid waste large parts of your kingdom, and may yet bring about its destruction. I don't believe there was any malice on your part towards the native population of your islands, only a misplaced imperial — and then post-imperial — paternalism.Still, I have fond sentimental memories of your coronation, and you have behaved yourself well. And perhaps even your voice would have been to no avail against the suicidal tide of national self-destruction that threatens to engulf the European peoples. Or perhaps it's not yet too late: last year's Brexit vote was a hopeful sign.If your nation survives, you'll be fondly remembered, I'm sure. Congratulations, Ma'am.
10 — Signoff. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening; and if your heart, or some significant part of it, belongs to another person, don't forget that next Tuesday is St Valentine's Day.Let's have some romantic music to get us in the St Valentine's Day mood. The Great American Songbook is pretty reliable in this zone. Not only are the tunes lovely, the lyrics are witty and grown-up. They are often in fact more grown-up than you'd expect from the decades before the Sexual Revolution.Here's an example from the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical Pal Joey, sung by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. One commenter on the YouTube version calls it "probably the best non-operatic performance of the last century." He may be right.There will be more from Radio Derb next week.