Radio Derb: The Age Of Dropped Masks, Immigration Surrender Rumors, And Goodbye Mugabe, Etc.
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02m12s — The Big Cuck? (Rumors roil restrictionist Right.)

13m42s — Goodbye, Cap'n Bob. (The First Shopper miscalculates.)

18m49s — Friends across the race line. (Can't be, says law prof.)

30m23s — The Age of Dropped Masks. (Being woke, or Ekow, means never having to say you're sorry.)

36m07s — Comsymps wallow in nostalgia. (Always with us.)

42m18s — Trump's judges. (Thank you, Sir.)

47m11s — An improbable target for the Red Guards. (Wilt tear down all images?)

50m06s — Blacks thank Trump! (But no good deed goes unpunished.)

52m35s — The bug holocaust. (Apocalypse, whatever.)

54m19s — Signoff. (Most Amazin' Man.)

[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]

01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your indignantly genial host John Derbyshire, bringing you's weekly roundup of all the news you should not hear when a razor blade, a gun, or a noose is within reach.

Before commencing this week's podcast, let me address a very vexing issue that has arisen with respect to my public persona. I refer of course to the allegations of sexual harassment being made against me, which I am sure you have read about in the newspapers.

In case you haven't, the backstory is that my former research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy, who I unfortunately had to let go when I left Taki's magazine in 2015, have been alleging that while working with me on Taki's private island in the Aegean, I made inappropriate and ungentlemanly advances to them, and pressed them, as employees, to perform acts they were unwilling to perform.

I categorically deny these slanders — especially the one about the goat, the badminton racquets, and the vat of olive oil.

I shall have nothing further to say about this very undignified matter. Journalists should address inquiries to my attorneys, the fine old New York firm of Bernstein, Goldberg, and Schwarz.

With that out of the way, let us proceed.


02 — The Big Cuck? Those of us who agitate for patriotic immigration reform — for changes to immigration laws and practices that are positive for American citizens — we live under a dark cloud of foreboding. The name of that cloud, or at any rate the name I shall give it for the duration of this segment, its name is The Big Cuck. I am referring to the fear, that I think we all feel, that our President is going to go renege on all his immigration promises.

That cloud got bigger and darker recently when, as reported last week on Radio Derb, President Trump nominated as his new Secretary of Homeland Security, a near-perfect clone (although female) of Jeb Bush: a lady who, in testimony before a congressional committee, scoffed at the idea of a border wall and as good as promised amnesty to illegal aliens.

This week there was more disturbing news about the administration's erratic and lackadaisical approach to immigration issues. The union of immigration enforcement officers launched a website on Tuesday, the JIC Report, to alert the American public to, quote, "corruption and mismanagement within ICE and the Department of Homeland Security," end quote. ICE is Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency charged with enforcing the people's immigration laws.

The main beef of the ICE agents is that the Trump administration has left too many Obama appointees in management positions. These appointees are doing their best to stymie administration policy on immigration enforcement, and the administration has not responded to agents' complaints about this.

Example, quote here from the Washington Times, November 14th, quote:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement supervisors in Philadelphia banned officers from wearing bulletproof vests during an operation in the dangerous "badlands" section in the city's north for fear of offending the immigrant community.
End quote. Those supervisors are apparently typical of the Obama holdovers the agents are angry about.

Now we're heading into a congressional crisis, and rumors are bubbling.

Some of those rumors were aired on the Axios news website November 12th.

I haven't read more than three or four pieces at Axios and have no feel for it as a reliable outlet. Asking around, people better-informed than I am say that Axios is pretty good for Washington, DC inside baseball, and fairly sound on other topics, with a slight and unobtrusive left-of-center bias.

I did my best to check this, but didn't get far. The manifesto at the Axios website is journo-school boilerplate, about as informative as a college-entrance essay.

The staff, also shown at their website, are a collection of 86 mostly youngish metrosexual types: no-one is fat and only three of the fifty males wear neckties, two of them loosened.

They are of course disproportionately Jewish — 27 percent by my guesses on names and appearance — but not otherwise aggressively diverse: 42 percent female, two blacks, two East Asians, no South Asians, one Hispanic. My gaydar is not very good, so I won't go there.

On that rather sketchy basis I'm going to give Axios the benefit of the doubt and assume that the rumors I mentioned in their November 12th report have some weight. So what does the report say?

Headline: Dems in the driver's seat on DACA. The reporter here is Jonathan Swan, Axios' National Political reporter.

Mr Swan predicts the Big Cuck. The key date, he says, is December 8th — three weeks from today — the date by which Congress must pass a spending bill for the federal government. The last temporary spending bill passed on September 8th and was valid for three months; three months from September 8th is December 8th.

Wouldn't it be nice, you may ask, if Congress could agree a budget for an entire year, instead of hitting a crisis every three months? It sure would, and Radio Derb's been grumbling about this for ever; but until we vote all the congressreptiles out of office and replace them with citizens of patriotism and good sense, this is the system we're stuck with.

So how does this coming December 8th crisis relate to The Big Cuck? Quote from Jonathan Swan, the Axios reporter:

  • Congress must pass a spending bill by December 8. Bernie Sanders and other Democrats expected to run for president in 2020, including Kamala Harris, are effectively threatening to shut down the government over the issue — saying they won't vote for any spending bill unless it protects DACA recipients.
  • Democrats are confident Trump won't have the stomach to let DACA expire.
  • Democrats in leadership think this means that … they will be able to include a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients in that must-pass spending bill.
  • In exchange, they say they may allow modest increases in border security measures. But nothing that could reasonably be described as a "big beautiful wall" along the southern border.
End quote. The end result, says Swan, will be that to avoid a government shutdown, the White House and congressional GOP will agree to amnesty for the illegals — allowing them to bring in millions of their relatives — in return for some trivial and cosmetic changes to border security procedures.

Axios isn't the only outlet retailing this rumor. Ed Kilgore at New York magazine comes to the same conclusion. It's in the air, and all too dismally plausible.

Contra these doomsayers, Paul Ryan has denied that amnesty will be part of the spending bill negotiations; and some congressional analysts doubt the Democrats can raise enough diehards to force the issue.

Color me skeptical on that. Ryan wants open borders; Democrats can smell his weakness, and they see the President's lack of enthusiasm for carrying out his campaign promises on immigration. They will push hard.

This Big Cuck, if it happens, will, Jonathan Swan tells us, quote: "placate both progressives and moderate Republicans," end quote.

I'm sure it will. The progressives will get millions of new Democratic Party voters, which is what they want. Moderate Republicans will keep the campaign funds and paid lecture gigs from their donor groups coming in; and that's what they want. As Swan further tells us, it will be, quote, "a solution that would make Jeb Bush proud," end quote.

The "forgotten man" here is the untold millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump on the strength of his promises of patriotic immigration reform. We have only a small, faint voice in Congress, and only Stephen Miller speaking up for us in the White House.

Does President Trump believe he can betray that base, then make it up to them with a growing economy and a rising stockmarket? If he does believe that, he has fallen into the sin of economism. Voters vote on other issues, too; and social, cultural, and demographic issues are more salient now than they were 25 years ago when James Carville told Bill Clinton that: "It's the economy, stupid."

The tragedy here is that this has all been so unnecessary. If President Trump had canceled DACA on his first day in office, as he promised to do, that dark cloud — The Big Cuck — wouldn't be hanging over us now. That one failure of nerve could end up losing Trump a key major component of his voter base.


03 — Goodbye, Cap'n Bob. Tuesday evening this week the army of Zimbabwe — formerly Rhodesia, and pre-formerly Southern Rhodesia — the army staged a coup.

It was a soft coup, with no killing. In theory it was a coup against Zimbabwe's President-for-life, Robert Mugabe. In fact Cap'n Bob is now 93 years old and unwell, so that all the interest of Zimbabwean politics is in who comes after him.

One candidate, at least in her own mind, was Cap'n Bob's colorful and shopaholic wife Grace, who is a mere 52 years old. The First Shopper, who once spent $120,000 on a weekend shopping trip to Paris, has a supporting faction in the government who have been promoting her to succeed her husband.

The other leading candidate is Emerson Mnangagwa, 75 years old, and Cap'n Bob's Vice President until chased out of the country November 6th by Mrs Mugabe's faction. Apparently the First Shopper failed to notice that Mnangagwa has strong support in the army. Hence the coup.

Mrs Mugabe's present whereabouts are unknown. Some say she's still in the presidential residence; others say she has removed herself to next-door-but-one Namibia, although the Namibian government denies this.

It's all been quite genteel by African standards: no massacres, no looting of the Treasury … Not that there is anything in the Zimbabwean Treasury after a generation of misrule and Mrs Mugabe's shopping sprees. You'd do better to loot Mrs Mugabe's closet, which is said to contain 3,000 pairs of designer shoes.

Still, as coups go, this was a mild one. You might almost imagine that the dreams of fifty years ago might not have been totally at odds with African reality: that Africans, released from the evil yoke of white colonialism, might join the modern world as stable, productive societies.

To be perfectly fair to Africans, some countries have made a better fist of self-government than others. Botswana is in decent shape, mainly due to having a major share of the world's diamonds under its soil. Botswana's per capita GDP is $17,000 — better than China's or Brazil's, twice the figure for the Ukraine.

The overall picture for Africa is pretty dire, though. Nobody down there, not even Botswana, is a challenge to any manufacturing nation. Africa is still the home of diseases: ranked by HIV infection rate, all but four of the top thirty nations are African (and the other four are black Caribbean or Central American). Botswana is number three. Right now East Africa is fighting a nasty outbreak of plague, good old-fashioned plague — the Black Death.

And then there are the sensational fertility rates. Zimbabwe's a middle ranker here at four children per woman, far behind champions like Niger at 6.5 and Angola at 6.2. Still, the Zimbabwe government is having trouble feeding its current population. With a doubling time of 43 years, it's hard to be hopeful about Zimbabwe.

Latest news is that Cap'n Bob was let out of house arrest to attend a college graduation ceremony. The coup leaders are insisting it wasn't a coup and Mugabe is still President; but big anti-Mugabe street protests are planned for this weekend, so things could still get a lot more African.


04 — Friends across the race line. You maybe read or heard about the black law professor who published an op-ed in the New York Times expressing the anguish he claims to feel when teaching his kids, as he feels he should, that white people can't be trusted, and blacks can't be friends with them.

The professor is Ekow N. Yankah. He teaches at Yeshiva University in New York City. To judge from his pictures, he's a full-blood negro. Some commenters, in comment threads to articles about the op-ed, have speculated that the name as published is a pseudonym, on the grounds that "Ekow," that's e-k-o-w, is just a reversal of "woke," which is the word currently used by Cultural Marxists to mean "fully compliant with the latest release of political correctness."

I am wiser than those commenters. I know that in the West African nation of Ghana, it is a common thing for children to be named for the day of the week on which they were born. I was born on a Sunday; had I been Ghanaian, my name would be Kwasi, which means "Sunday". Well, Ekow means "Thursday." Professor Yankah was born on a Thursday; and either he or his parents — or, much less probably, his grandparents — are Ghanaian. Or, just possibly, his parents are native American blacks practising West African onomastics. I have no dispositive information on Prof. Yankah's origins.

Prof. Yankah's op-ed, published November 11th, was widely circulated and generated much comment. Sample quotes from it. Sample:

For many weary minorities, the ridiculous thing was thinking friendship was possible in the first place. It hurts only if you believed friendship could bridge the racial gorge.
Prof. Yankah no longer believes that. Second sample quote:
I do not write this with liberal condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends.
Third sample quote:
For African-Americans, race has become a proxy not just for politics but also for decency. White faces are swept together, ominous anxiety behind every chance encounter at the airport or smiling white cashier. If they are not clearly allies, they will seem unsafe to me.
You get the picture.

My own reaction to the op-ed was a yawn; and the reflection, which also showed up here and there in the comment threads, that if living a, quote, "unsafe" life among whites causes the professor such alienation and angst, and such fears for his offspring, perhaps he'd be happier in his, or his parents', native country — where roughly every seventh person is named "Ekow."

That reaction inspired the further thought, also visible in the comment threads, that while blacks who live in black countries like Ghana are risking their lives and their families' life savings to escape to white countries, blacks who live in white countries express no gratitude for their good fortune. Do the latter blacks ever themselves reflect on this contradiction? I doubt it.

Well, that's all commonplace enough. What made this dreary bit of hypocrisy — the guy is a law professor, for crying out loud: he drives a much better car than I do — what made it Radio Derb-worthy was a personal aspect.

One of the articles about the professor's op-ed was by Rod Dreher in the American Conservative, November 12th.

I had a slight acquaintance with Rod during my early days at National Review. I recall him as a pleasant fellow, somewhat shy, of the type that, in conversation, pauses carefully to digest one's question and think out an answer. Though I didn't grasp it at the time, his writing shows him to be a deeply committed Christian with interesting ideas about the proper role and attitude of such people in developed early-21st-century society. I mean, his ideas are interesting to people who find that kind of thing interesting. I confess I'm not one of those people; but that's not Rod's fault.

What is his fault, and what I herewith register my complaint about, is that in the November 12th article about Prof. Yankah's op-ed, Rod posits an equivalence between that op-ed and my infamous 2012 article in Taki's Magazine titled "The Talk: Nonblack Version" — the article that got me dropped as a contributor by National Review.

Here is Rod's opening paragraph, quote:

Back in 2012, John Derbyshire was fired by National Review for this column in Taki's Magazine in which he listed the things he told his children so that they could protect themselves from black violence.
End quote. I note in passing the inaccuracy there in Rod's saying that I was fired. Since I wasn't an employee of National Review, I could not be fired. That may sound nitpicky, but Rod graduated from journalism school, and journalists are supposed to be punctilious about facts.

That aside, Rod's opening paragraph is not objectionable. I do indeed want my kids to protect themselves from violence; and on all the statistics I know of, blacks are far more violent than nonblacks. It's a thing kids ought to know. How will they know it if their parents don't tell them?

What I object to in Rod's piece is his then equating my article with Prof. Yankah's. Quote from Rod:

[Inner quote, quoting Prof. Yankah.] "Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe." [End inner quote.]

That is the black version of what John Derbyshire said.

End quote. Sorry, but I think that gives a wrong impression. Rod reinforces that impression further on, when he notes that my piece, a white guy warning his kids about blacks, got me dropped, while Prof. Yankah's piece — in a much more prestigious publication — will have no negative consequences for his career.

That's a fair point in itself, and of course true; but it reinforces the equivalence between me and Prof. Yankah — an equivalence I strenuously resent and deny.

Yes, you can match up some of my sentences with some of the professor's; but the overall tone and cast of my article are quite different from his. He tells his kids they should not hope for real friendship with whites.

Here's what I wrote, quoting myself:

In that pool of forty million, there are nonetheless many intelligent and well-socialized blacks. (I'll use IWSB as an ad hoc abbreviation.) You should consciously seek opportunities to make friends with IWSBs. In addition to the ordinary pleasures of friendship, you will gain an amulet against potentially career-destroying accusations of prejudice.
End quote. That not only is not parallel to anything Prof. Yankah wrote, it's the opposite of what he wrote.

Again, while the professor tells his kids to approach whites with wary suspicion, I tell mine the following, quoting myself again:

The default principle in everyday personal encounters is, that as a fellow citizen, with the same rights and obligations as yourself, any individual black is entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to a nonblack citizen.
End quote. I don't know that that's precisely contrary to anything Prof. Yankah wrote, but it surely bespeaks a frame of mind more generous and citizenly than his.

I await Rod's tearful, groveling apology. In the meantime, I am starting a petition to urge Prof. Yankah to return to Ghana, where he and his children can be free at last, free at last from the horrid indignities of white supremacy.


05 — The Age of Dropped Masks. Reading Professor Yankah's op-ed, I had a thought I've had quite a lot recently. Something like this: Where social antagonisms are concerned, we're passing into an age of dropped masks.

What I mean is, the ill feelings of one social group for another — of urbanites for country folk, of women for men, of Democrats for Republicans, of blacks for whites, of Jews for gentiles — used to be expressed publicly in a much lower key than they are today. Prof. Yankah's snarling at whites as untrustworthy hypocrites is an illustration of this. You wouldn't have seen something like that in the New York Times when I started reading it 44 years ago; nor even, I think, ten years ago.

The current jihad against men supposed to have forced themselves on women is another illustration. No doubt women have always been annoyed by the attentions of men they find unattractive, like the porcine Harvey Weinstein; although the depth of that annoyance can be much modified by the appeal to the female id of male status, wealth, and power — depending of course on the woman.

Now all these complexities of the mating game, and the polite hypocrisies used to mask them, have been cast away. It's now frank, open warfare.

Again, I am sure there have always been Jews who loathe and despise gentiles; but until recently it would have been unthinkable for one such to argue, in the pages of the New York Times again, that legacy American gentiles should be deported en masse to make room for Third World immigrants because the latter are more hard-working, law-abiding, smarter, religious, entrepreneurial, and fertile than those nonimmigrant dullards.

It's true Bret Stephens reveals, two thirds of the way through his article, that, quote: "O.K., so I'm jesting about deporting 'real Americans' en masse," end quote. But then he immediately adds, in parentheses, quote: "Who would take them in, anyway?" End quote. Which sort of nullifies the revelation.

Again, the mask has been dropped. Bret Stephens doesn't do masks. He just hates us white Anglo gentiles, and doesn't care who knows it.

That's the key point: He doesn't care who knows it. He's on the right side in our Cultural Revolution. It's fine for blacks to insult whites, for women to insult men, for city slickers to insult flyover hicks, for Jews to insult gentiles.

The converses are not okay, in fact worse than not-okay. For a white to drop the mask of politeness and openly insult blacks — or even, as I found out, to just state true facts about them without malice — is considered an outrage. Likewise for a male to point out that a fair proportion of successful women in showbiz are cheap sluts, or that metropolitan liberals are often crass snobs, or that the percentage of obnoxiously ethnocentric jerks among American Jews is rather high, is the cue for a Two Minutes Hate against the speaker.

These petty resentments and animosities have always been present under the surface, of course. I'm just saying that now, where they are in line with the CultMarx narrative, they can be openly and freely expressed, and used to whip up pogroms against the offender groups: whites, men, gun owners, Trump supporters, gentiles.

I'm sure Chinese students of the mid-1960s often nursed resentments against their teachers, politicians, and other authority figures. Those resentments were kept in check by polite traditional restraints, though, as well as by the enforcers of a totalitarian state; but once Mao Tse-tung let loose the Red Guards, the targets of ordinary social resentment could be humiliated, beaten,and killed.

Our own Cultural Revolution has so far drawn the line at humiliation. I quietly wonder how much longer that will continue to be the case.


06 — Comsymps wallow in nostalgia. The centenary of Lenin's Bolshevik revolution in Russia, November 7th, passed off without much commemorative commentary. Considering it was the most important event of the 20th century, and an inspiration for several of the other big events — for the rises of Hitler and Mao Tse-tung, for example; they both copied Lenin's model of party organization — considering it's huge importance, the neglect of the centenary is mildly surprising.

I grew up in the years after WW2 hearing very little about the Russian revolution. By the time I started taking an interest in such things, in my late teens, I had fallen in with a crowd of young socialists who vaguely regarded Stalin as having gone a bit too far in some respects, but who admired Lenin for having overthrown a reactionary monarchy, and who looked on Stalin's successors as reasonable progressives sometimes goaded into error by American belligerence.

Later, after some reading and traveling, I got a fuller picture. The idea that Stalin had distorted, or even betrayed, Lenin's worthy revolution, was a fable put about by Trotsky and his followers: Lenin was every bit as cruel and ruthless as Stalin.

Bertrand Russell, whose political sympathies were leftist-progressive, was granted an interview with Lenin in 1920. Russell recorded his impression thus, quote:

When I met Lenin, I had much less impression of a great man than I had expected; my most vivid impressions were of bigotry and Mongolian cruelty. When I put a question to him about socialism in agriculture, he explained with glee how he had incited the poorer peasants against the richer ones, [inner quote] "and they soon hanged them from the nearest tree — ha! ha! ha!" [End inner quote.] His guffaw at the thought of those massacred made my blood run cold.
End quote. The Tsarist Russia that Lenin overthrew, on the other hand, was making good social and commercial progress until it got bogged down in WW1. Nikita Khrushchev was a skilled young factory worker at that time — skilled enough to be exempt from military service. In his memoirs he wrote about owning a motorbike — quite a middle-class accoutrement in early 20th-century Europe. A factory worker in the Soviet Union of fifty years later, when Khrushchev was in charge of the show, would have thought well of himself for owning a motorbike.

Tsarist Russia was fast transforming itself into a modern, fairly open state. Lenin and Stalin were monsters; their revolution was a long step backwards into oriental despotism; the post-Stalin USSR was an authoritarian slum in which, as the Russians themselves used to quip, "the factory pretends to pay us and we pretend to work."

The road to that dismal point had passed through mass killings of harmless people, mass conscripton into slave labor, and dreadful artificial famines.

All this is well-documented and not hard to find out. It is in fact better documented than it used to be. After the USSR fell apart in 1991, Soviet archives were for a time made available, and confirmed all the worst of emigres' and survivors' stories.

It's therefore astonishing that you can still find — easily find — well-spoken, well-educated people with kind words for Lenin and his revolution; people who still believe the things that my little circle of provincial English Young Socialists believed fifty-plus years ago. The New York Times has been running a series of commemorative articles telling us that while no doubt mistakes were made, we should appreciate the upside of Soviet power.

For the other side — the side of truth — if you have ten minutes to spare, I recommend the article on Lenin by my colleague Anatoly Karlin in The Unz Review, November 7th, title "The Real Lenin: Traitor, Parasite, Failure." And yes: the true believers are there in the comment thread: still with us, always with us. [Internationale.]


07 — Trump's judges. In my opening segment on The Big Cuck, I was somewhat disparaging of President Trump.

In fairness to the guy I voted for last year, and would still vote for against any conceivable opponent if given the chance, let me put in some balancing remarks about the other side of the Trump ledger.

These remarks are inspired by a November 9th article in the CultMarx magazine Mother Jones. The article, by Kate Harloe, is a long wail of anguish about Trump's judicial appointments. Opening graf, quote:

When Donald Trump took office, he inherited more than 100 federal judicial vacancies. It was a nearly unprecedented number, roughly twice the number that President Barack Obama inherited in 2009. Trump has moved quickly to fill these lifetime appointments with a slate of the most conservative and least diverse nominations since Reagan.
End quote. When I read that, the sun broke through the clouds, birds began to sing, and my spirits soared. If the ironclad progressives at Mother Jones are disconsolate, then I am ebullient.

Since Congress has well-nigh given up on writing laws and left the task of legislating to the judiciary, federal judges are more important than ever. The Supreme Court hears only a tiny fraction of federal cases; the great majority are decided by lower federal courts, presided over by judges like those President Trump has been busily appointing.

Very busily, it seems. Trump inherited over a hundred vacancies on the federal bench. At the time of the article, he had already put forward nominees to 58 of them, over half.

And Trump's nominees are, weeps Ms Harloe, quote: "the most conservative and least diverse nominations since Reagan," end quote. Ninety-one percent of them are white, compared with 65 percent of Obama's nominees. Eighty-one percent are male; Obama's percentage was 58.

The President isn't having things all his own way, mind. His nominations have gotten him involved in so-called "blue slip wars." The President is, by longstanding custom, supposed to negotiate with senators over nominees to judgeships that affect their states. The senators record their su

pport of a nominee by sending signed blue slips to the Senate committee that approves the pick.

Naturally there has been conflict with Democratic senators over some of Trump's choices. That in turn has led to push-back from some Republicans, who argue that since the blue-slip business is just a customary rule, not a law, it could be abandoned.

To try abandoning it would bump up against the forged-steel and reinforced concrete self-esteem of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and of the Senate itself, so I don't see that happening. It's encouraging, though, to know that there are still enough red corpuscles in the congressional Republican Party that Senators have suggested it.

A heartfelt "thank you" to President Trump for his efforts in this area; fie on those Democratic senators using the blue-slip process to thwart him; and nyah-nyah to the lefties at Mother Jones who are fretting about the President's nominees, and his energy in pushing them forward.


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

Imprimis: The Cultural Revolution is of course an international affair. All over the civilized West, the Red Guards are defacing statues and vilifying historical figures who failed somehow to live up to early 21st century progressive ideals.

Some of their victims are more surprising than others, though. Robert E. Lee? OK, I get it. Don't agree, but I get the point.

But Gladstone? The great Liberal British Prime Minister? Say what?

Gladstone was Prime Minister of Britain four times through the last third of the 19th century. The word "Liberal" there has a capital "L"; it was the name of his party, the Liberal Party, now defunct. The Liberals were, generally speaking, the more progressive of the two big British parties, the other party being the Tories.

Gladstone was also as close as he could be to liberal in the modern, small-L sense. He expanded the franchise, opposed colonialism, promoted meritocracy in the civil service, supported working men against capitalists, taxed landowners, and favored independence for Ireland. By the standards of his time, Gladstone was a flaming radical.

Strange, then, to read that students at the university of Liverpool, Gladstone's home town, want the great man's name removed from a university residence building.

Ah, but you see, Gladstone's father had made the family money in part by slave trading, before Britain abolished slavery in its empire in 1833, when Gladstone was 24. For the Red Guards, that's enough. Burn the witch!

Gladstone's contemporary, the British mathematician Augustus de Morgan, liked to make anagrams from the names of famous people. From Gladstone's full name, Willian Ewart Gladstone, he got the anagram: "Wilt tear down all images?" It's a question we could ask of our own Social Justice Warriors.


Item: Three black basketball players from UCLA were arrested for shoplifting in China November 7th, a day ahead of President Trump's arrival in that country. There doesn't seem to be much doubt they were guilty as charged, and the three admitted to the thefts.

The ChiComs impose stiff penalties for this offense — up to ten years in jail; and Chinese jails, unlike ours, are most definitely not run for the benefit of powerful convict gangs and corrections officer unions.

The President prevailed upon ChiCom dictator Xi Jinping to release the three larcenists. They arrived back in the States Tuesday this week.

The following day Trump returned from his 12-day Asia trip. Soon after arriving he tweeted, tweet: "Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!" End tweet.

Thus prompted, the three did indeed express thanks, though through clenched teeth. Two of them thanked Trump by name; the other balked, and only thanked the U.S. government.

The thieves were of course just trying to assure their futures in the very lucrative world of playing basketball. Trump was just being snarky to people who he knows hate him.

Lefties in the media didn't hesitate to spin the incident as Trump-the-racist. Chris Cillizza at CNN, quote:

The image of an older white man in a position of power demanding thanks from three young black men for saving them will set off a lot of alarm bells for people.
End quote. No good deed goes unpunished, I guess, not in CultMarx America.


Item: Finally, I keep meaning to say something more about the Bug Holocaust. The world's bugs are dying off at what some scientists say is an alarming rate.

The science news outlets are now producing a regular stream of stories on this. Here's one from Science — that's the magazine, Science — October 18th, headline: Germany's insects are disappearing.

Insect populations in German nature reserves have plummeted by more than 75 percent in thirty years, the report says. The cause is unknown, although intensive agriculture is suspected.

The ecological consequences may be dire, though I don't have a good handle on how dire. I shall keep an eye on this and report back.

And it's just occurred to me that, this report being about Germany, my choice of the word "holocaust" was not optimal. The magazine itself calls what's happening "the insect crash." Elsewhere I've seen "bug apocalypse."

Whatever you call it, the little critters are perishing by the billions. To those of us who have to smother ourselves in bug spray through the summer months, it sounds good; but for poor old Mother Earth, it may be a calamity. I'll try to find out.


09 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening; and Cap'n Bob, if you tuned in, don't you think at your age, it's time to retire from the dictator business? There are some very nice condos for seniors in Florida.

Posting news items about African despots always gets me humming the Idi Amin song. It's a pity John Bird, whose 81st birthday falls next Wednesday, didn't give us a Robert Mugabe song. Happy birthday anyway, John.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.

[Music clip: John Bird, "Most Amazin' Man."]

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