01m39s Orbán comes calling. (Might shift the Overton window a bit.)
04m05s De Blasio for President! (Not as dumb as he looks.)
07m19s Jared and the EB-5. (Perhaps he does know something about immigration.)
12m29s Britain's Tories, dead party walking. (When the center-right ignores its base.)
16m03s Franco-New Zealand alliance against "extremism." (Progressive elites span the globe.)
17m53s Nostalgic for creationism. (A blast from the past.)
27m47s Signoff. (With my first love.)
01—Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air. Greetings, ladies and gents. This is your synoptically genial host John Derbyshire with a somewhat truncated version of Radio Derb, your one-stop source for all the news that matters.
The reason for the truncation is, that I am filing the podcast on Thursday this week, not Friday as is usually the case. On Friday I shall be heading down to Tennessee for the American Renaissance conference, to which I shall be giving a talk on Saturday morning. In previous years I have filed from Tennessee on the Friday evening; but for reasons it would be tedious to relate, I can't do that this year.
What follows will therefore be shorter than usual. It will in fact be a miscellany of brief items; although I won't rule out the possibility that I might get carried away and comment on one or two particular topics at normal length. Let's see.
02—Orbán comes calling. As a longstanding Hungarophile I was glad to see our President playing host to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary on Monday. The two guys seem to have gotten along famously, the President referring to Orbán at one point as his twin.
My own sentimental Hungarophilia aside, it's good to see the President being chummy with Orbán because this chumminess might move the Overton window a bit. Orbán's a strong nationalist who's taken a determined stand on keeping Hungary Hungarian. He's fenced his borders to keep out the Middle Eastern and African bogus "refugees" who have been flooding other European countries; and he has promoted strong pro-natalist policies, encouraging Hungarians to have more children.
We can only dream of a U.S. Congress enacting similar policies. Our nation's legislative and judicial elites favor open borders and family size kept down by feminism, low wages, and easy abortion.
Still, for our President to show friendship and hospitality to a leader trying to head his country in the opposite direction—the right direction—is encouraging, and might get people thinking about how wrong-headed our current policies are.
[Clip: "Talpra magyar, hí a haza …"]
03—De Blasio for President! New York City's communist mayor Bill de Blasio has joined the list of people running for next year's Democratic Presidential nomination, to widespread mockery. I think he's number 25 on the list.
De Blasio's a joke even in his own city, whose municipal politics is dominated by wealthy liberals and public-sector workers with extravagant benefits packages.
It's hard to feel sorry for the New Yorkers being milked by these crooks as very few New Yorkers bother to vote in mayoral elections. De Blasio was elected in 2013 on a thirteen percent turnout. When he ran for re-election in 2017 voter interest was higher: turnout was all the way up to eighteen percent.
In New York City, the crooked interests get what they pay for; New Yorkers at large get what they can't be bothered to vote against.
Is de Blasio really so far gone in delusional narcissism he thinks he can be President? I wouldn't say it's impossible. Much more likely, though, he has enough of a grip on reality to know that Presidentially, he's a no-hoper. The point of this campaign is to keep his name in the news as a playah in the Democratic Party, so that in the event a Democrat wins the Presidency next year, de Blasio will be on the lists for jobs in the new administration.
This is America, Land of Opportunity. Heck, if Hillary Clinton can be Secretary of State, I don't see why Bill de Blasio couldn't be … oh, EEOC Commissioner, or Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or some such undemanding sinecure.
Yeah, you may laugh: but do you have a job with an impressive title, a handsome salary, a spacious office among all the movers and shakers of Washington DC, and a lavish expense account? A job where you're not expected to accomplish anything beyond spending boxcar-loads of federal money? A job you can quit after a couple of years to slide into a seven-digit lobbying gig and a lush federal pension? Do you have a job like that? Neither do I.
De Blasio isn't as dumb as he looks. How could he be?
04—Jared and the EB-5. A listener takes issue with my saying last week, in reference to Jared Kushner's plan to change our immigration laws, that, quote: "Kushner has no track record … of being interested in immigration at all, or of knowing any of the key facts about it."
If that's the case, my listener observed, Jared doesn't talk much to his sister Nicole Meyer.
The topic here is the EB-5 visa category, which we have covered at VDARE.com many times over the years. To quote from one of my own pieces about the EB-5, quote:
The "EB" stands for "Employment-Based." The idea of the program is to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to create jobs for Americans by investing in new or troubled businesses here. In return, the entrepreneur—along of course with spouse and children—gets to settle in the U.S.A.
End quote. The EB-5 visa is an open invitation to fraud. The foreign entrepreneurs who buy into it first and foremost want the right to settle themselves and their families in the U.S.A. Wanting to actually make money on the deal comes a distant second.
Quote from a New York Times story about the EB-5, quote:
Although the program was created as a way to finance projects in economically troubled neighborhoods, it has instead turned into a form of cheap financing for luxury real estate developers. Applicants are primarily seeking the visa, so they typically do not seek a significant return on their investment.
End quote. Three-quarters of EB-5 investors come from China.
What would be an example of a luxury real-estate developer gaming this visa program to raise money from foreign investors in return for getting them settlement rights? Well, one example would be Kushner Companies, of which Jared Kushner was CEO until his father-in-law ascended to the Presidency in January 2017.
Just four months after that, Jared's sister ran a road show in China—Beijing and Shanghai—recruiting wealthy Chinese to invest in New Jersey real estate in return for settlement rights here in America for themselves and their families. That's what the New York Times story is about; it's dated May 7th 2017.
Jared had, as I said, removed himself from any hands-on involvement with Kushner Companies' dealings at Trump's inauguration four months previously, but his sister was not shy about dropping appropriate hints to potential Chinese investors. She told the Beijing audience that the real-estate project she was pitching, quote, "means a lot to me and my entire family." Kushner Companies were sufficiently embarrassed about that, one of their spokespeople apologized for it.
It's all depressingly Clintonesque. I'd hoped for better from Trump and his family.
When the Kushner immigration plan is finally revealed to us in all its details, will abolition of the EB-5 visa program be part of it? I'm not holding my breath.
05—Britain's Tories, dead party walking. In Britain the Brexit saga rumbles on. Next month it will be three years since the referendum in which a majority of British voters said they want out of the European Union. The consummation of their wishes seems no closer now than it was back then.
One consequence of these three years' indecision may be the destruction of Britain's Conservative Party. This would be pretty astonishing. The Tories have been around under one name or another since the 17th century. They have produced some of the great names in British politics: Peel and Disraeli, Lord Salisbury, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher.
The party's demise is being widely predicted over there, though. James Delingpole made the case at Breitbart on Wednesday. Quote from James, who is himself a Tory:
Will I be upset to see the party die?
Not really. I've never been a party loyalist. I'm an ideologue. I only ever supported the Conservatives because I thought they were the likeliest delivery mechanism for the things I believe in. But it has been years since the Conservative party was in any way Conservative.
End quote. The party's death is not inconceivable. They performed terribly in the local council elections May 2nd, losing more than thirteen hundred seats nationwide.
An even worse rout is expected in the elections to the European Parliament next Thursday. The Tories are polling at twelve percent. If that's how the actual vote breaks, it will be the Tories' worst result in a nationwide election ever.
Another quote from James Delingpole, quote:
The Conservatives … are now so utterly discredited that only the most radical action can now possibly deliver them from oblivion.
It has come to this:
Either the Conservatives deliver a Brexit so hard that it hurts. Or they die.
End quote. The broader lesson is that a comfortable, complacent, center-right national political party whose heart lies with globalism and open immigration, can be destroyed by the populist nationalism of its base.
Does this lesson have relevance outside Britain? Discuss among yourselves.
The massacres at those Christchurch mosques back in March were terrible, no doubt; but Ms Ardern is plainly using them as a pretext for crushing any kind of dissident right opinionating—not just in her own country, but worldwide.
MailOnline, May 14th, quote:
Jacinda Ardern and Emmanuel Macron will urge world leaders to sign up to a "Christchurch Call" aimed at banning violent, extremist content online at the G7 summit in Paris tomorrow.
End quote. Macron is of course the President of France, a country in northwest Europe. He is currently engaged in trying to suppress his own nation's Yellow Jackets movement, a populist uprising against progressive elites like, well, Ms Ardern and Mr Macron.
"Banning violent, extremist content online." Not hard to guess what counts as "extremist" to those two. I can pretty much hear the Thought Police banging on my door already.
Just some background on Razib. I have known him for more than twenty years, since we were both on Steve Sailer's original Human BioDiversity discussion group. Razib is a geneticist, most particularly a population geneticist, with a wonderfully comprehensive knowledge of how the various peoples of the world differ from each other and how they got to be where they are.
Razib runs the Gene Expression blog at gnxp.com. His May 11th post there on the Uighurs is pretty representative of his interests: history, religion, and population genetics.
Just a word of warning: If you feel you want to comment at that blog, let me tell you that Razib is a serious rival to Greg Cochran for the world championship of Not Suffering Fools Gladly. If you want to challenge him, just make quite sure you know what you're talking about.
Well, on Tuesday Razib published this piece at National Review, title Conservatives Shouldn't Fear Evolutionary Theory. The piece is a polite and non-vituperative but very eloquent defense of the scientific approach in general, and of modern evolutionary biology in particular. Sample quote: "Nature is not wish fulfilment; reality is not constructed by social ideologies." End quote.
As I started by saying, this struck me as a blast from the past; and it stirred a peculiar kind of nostalgia in me. Let me try to explain that.
When I first got involved in writing for conservative outlets in the U.S.A. twenty-some years ago, creationism—which had been rebranded in the 1990s as "Intelligent Design"—was the default position among my colleagues. Bill Buckley, for example, was a creationist; Pat Buchanan I think still is one; Ann Coulter likewise, last time I checked.
I've been a science geek from childhood, and I spoke up for science and against creationism in those conservative outlets I was writing for, to the displeasure of some of my colleagues. National Review, to its credit, let me speak my mind freely, to the displeasure of some of their readers.
One anti-creationism piece I published in their pages, in February 2005, got the attention of the Discovery Institute, which is a creationist think tank in Seattle. They sent a whole squad of people over to New York to try to get the magazine back on the creationist rails, including some of their big guns: Bruce Chapman, George Gilder, Michael Behe. We—that is, me and a couple of National Review editors—met with them in the library. The exchanges were cordial, but of course nobody's mind was changed.
Creationism is still around, but it's faded as an issue among legacy conservatives—what we at VDARE.com call "Conservatism, Inc."—and it's not an issue at all on the Dissident Right, far as I am aware. The Dissident Right is science-friendly. Why wouldn't it be? Everything science turns up reinforces our view of human nature.
What caused creationism to lose market share? Well, it suffered two setbacks, one sudden and one gradual.
The sudden setback was the Kitzmiller decision of later that year, 2005. A Pennsylvania school board had mandated the teaching of creationism; some parents sued, and won their case. The creationists did not come well out of Kitzmiller. The courtroom exchanges shone an unflattering light on their dishonesty and double-talk.
The gradual setback was the rapid advances in genetics that were getting airborne about the same time, as described by Razib in this week's piece. In the last fifteen years we have gotten a much better grip on the actual chemical and biological processes underlying evolutionary change.
Science has greatly improved our understanding. None of the new things we have learned supports creationism; none of them has overthrown orthodox biology, as creationists of the 1990s were promising was about to happen any day.
Meanwhile, as real science has advanced, creationism has stood still, adding nothing to the stock of human knowledge. The science versus creationism match-up has turned out to be no contest.
So Razib's Tuesday article looked a bit quaint. Having been on the side of science all along, believing that truth is better than falsehood, I'm glad that creationism has declined. At the same time, though, I can't help feeling some nostalgia for it.
Creationism was ignorant and unscientific, but it was harmless. It was in fact a remnant of the old, weird America for which people of my generation feel a romantic affection.
Creationism was very American. I suppose we had creationists in England fifty years ago, but they made no noise; nobody paid them any attention. It was one of those quirky American things, like high school proms or affixing "Jr." to your name or eating peanut butter with jam.
If, as is probably the case, ignorant and unscientific attitudes are bound to be widespread in any society, better they should be of the harmless kind like creationism, than that they should be of the persecuting, anti-human, totalitarian kind like the Cultural Marxist ideology now dominant in the West.
Creationism was nutty and wrong, but in a civilized way, a very American way. Now we have a new style of superstitious ignorance, a style that is not civilized at all, nor especially American: a style that is barbarous, violent, cosmopolitan, and crazed with power.
I was never going to be a creationist; but now that creationism is fading, I miss it.
My very strong preference is that youngsters in our schools and colleges be taught true facts about nature, and about human nature. If that's too much to ask, and we're going to teach the kids hogwash, I'd rather it was the harmless, nutty American hogwash of creationism than the evil, poisonous, nation-breaking hogwash of Cultural Marxism.
08—Signoff. And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening, and thanks in advance to American Renaissance for what looks as though it's going to be a splendid, instructive and invigorating, conference down there in Tennessee.
This week we lost movie actress and singer Doris Day. Among her many other accomplishments, Ms Day was the first woman I was ever in love with. That was back in the early 1950s, when at the age of eight I was taken to the local picture palace to see her movie Calamity Jane. I thought I had never seen a girl so pretty, and I yearned for her, in of course the innocent eight-year-old style.
Well, well: "Golden lads and girls all must, / As chimney-sweepers, come to dust." Doris has gone, at the fine hearty age of 97. I got over her at last, and found true love with another; but there is still a faint glow for me around her name and image. Here she was back in 1953, when Cupid's dart first pierced my infant heart.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Doris Day, "Secret Love."]