01:42 Repeal the 1964 Civil Rights Act. (Jim Snow justice.)
09:40 Muslim terrorism redux? (Are we back in the 1990s?)
17:38 An abattoir of opinion. (Sam Harris lets it all out.)
32:57 Congressional spend-o-rama. (Print, borrow, or tax?)
35:21 Girls just wanna have fun. (Even Prime Ministers.)
37:13 Gloating over Liz Cheney. (She doesn't care.)
39:20 Russia-Ukraine at six months. (Can't we make a deal?)
41:01 Japs aren't boozing. (It's a problem.)
42:44 Signoff. (Remembering the King.)
01—Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners. This is of course your deferentially genial host John Derbyshire, here to survey the passing charivari on behalf of VDARE.com.
Charivari-wise it's been a busy week. Because it's my podcast and I can do as I please, I'm going to devote a disproportionate segment of it to one particular small incident which I think contains a wealth of insights into our nation's current condition.
Before I get to that, however, I do have a major news story I want to cover; and before that I have a follow-up on last week's podcast.
So: first, a follow-up on last week. Then, a headliner from the news. Then an unusually long segment from a corner of the internet I have not visited before. After that, as much of the rest of the news as I can pack in to my allotted time.
Here we go.
02—Repeal the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Last week's podcast opened with a long indignant rant about the federal sentences handed down on the Brunswick Three: the three white male residents of Brunswick, Georgia who attempted a lawful citizen's arrest on a black man named Ahmaud Arbery, and got two life sentences apiece for their trouble, one state and one federal.
I got some dissenting emails about that. The defendants had no business chasing the poor guy down like that, said one. No, Sir. Since the citizen's-arrest law was on the books—it's since been taken off, of course—they did have business—lawful business—pursuing and trying to stop him.
They should have let the cops handle it, said another. Well, that's what they wanted to do: detain Arbery until the cops arrived. But the last time you called the cops in a sleepy suburb, how long did it take for them to show up? In my own sleepy suburb it's between a quarter and half an hour. Or you could ask the parents of Uvalde, Texas …
Alexis de Tocqueville, visiting the young U.S.A., marveled at how, when something needed doing, Americans just got together and did it. He contrasted that with Europeans, who much more often just waited passively for the authorities to act.
There was a last guttering flicker of that old American spirit in the Brunswick Three attempting a lawful—I repeat, lawful—citizen's arrest on Arbery.
Well, there'll be no more of that in 21st-century America! You'll wait for the authorities, comrades, if you know what's good for you.
If you live in a communist country you notice how, when someone suffers an assault or a misfortune in public—a traffic accident, perhaps—passers-by cross over to the other side, even when the person affected is lying in the roadway groaning in agony. In countries like that, it's a rational course of action. If you do get involved, the authorities will likely frame you up as having caused the incident, just to make their clearance rates look good.
That's where we're headed. In fact if you are white and the affected person is black, we're pretty much there. You could ask Roddie Bryan.
Well, that's all to do with the incident itself. If you want a refresher on that I direct your attention, as before, to Jared Taylor's excellent VDARE posts from January and last November.
What I was mainly ranting about on last week's podcast was the federal sentences that had just come down. Having already been tried, found guilty, and sentenced to life imprisonment in state courts, the Brunswick Three were then prosecuted by the federal government on charges of violating Arbery's civil rights. They were found guilty again, and got three more life sentences.
What was the purpose of this federal prosecution? That was the main point of last week's rant, channeling Christopher Caldwell's book The Age of Entitlement.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act had been passed for purposes good and reasonable at the time. There had been some grave injustices. All-white juries in local courts had acquitted white killers of blacks and civil rights volunteers. The Civil Rights Act gave the feds a tool to right those injustices.
Sure, it violated the constitutional prohibition of double jeopardy; but that was thought a small price to pay for justice, and some legalistic word salad was devised to counter complaints on that score.
Forward 58 years to the Brunswick Three case. Whatever you think of the state trial—I've made my own opinion plain—you can't say it resulted in unjust acquittals. There weren't any acquittals at all. The Brunswick Three were all found guilty.
So what was the point of a federal civil rights prosecution? These guys were already going to prison for life (effectively).
Yes, they might have had their state sentences reduced on appeal. Given that state appeals-court judges come out of the same lefty, anti-white, affirmative-action-loaded law schools as the trial prosecutors, it's not likely. Even if it happened, the feds could then swoop in with a civil rights prosecution.
So what was the point of the federal prosecution? From a legal point of view, there wasn't any. It was just vindictive—as I said last week, it was prosecutorial spite.
It was also monitory: a reminder to nonblack Americans that blacks are privileged above us and that offenses against blacks will be double prosecuted. Equal justice under the law? It is to laugh.
Or if this is not so, when shall we see federal civil rights charges against blacks accused of crimes against nonblacks?
This is life, this is "justice"—mockery quotes there, please, Mr Editor—in Jim Snow America.
03—Muslim terrorism redux? OK, that was my follow-up on last week's Radio Derb. Now, as promised, some thoughts on a headline from the week's news. Following this will come the monster segment I warned you about.
The news headline I want to pass comment on is the assault on author Salman Rushdie in Chautauqua, New York last Friday.
The assailant was a 24-year-old American native of Arab parentage named Hadi Matar. We're told that Matar's parents came here from South Lebanon, so it's a fair bet they are Shi'ite Muslims, with fond affection for the clerical Shi'ite government of Iran.
That government it was that, in 1989, issued a fatwa—a sentence of death in absentia—against Salman Rushdie for having written unflattering things about the prophet Mohamed in his novel The Satanic Verses.
Iranian leaders have backed off some from the official fatwa but there is still a price on Rushdie's head from various Muslim-fundamentalist organizations—three million dollars from one of them.
Well, this American-born son of Arab parents, now 24 years old, attacked Rushdie last Friday at a public event in Chautauqua. He attacked with a knife, stabbing Rushdie several times, causing severe injuries. Last I've heard, the 75-year-old Rushdie is off the ventilator, on the mend, and in good spirits, although he's probably going to lose an eye.
A couple of interesting points here.
First point. As my colleague Eugene Gant noted at VDARE.com on Monday, the perp here, Hadi Matar, is an instance of absimilation.
I've been trying to get this word into general circulation since I coined it in my spacetime-sundering bestseller We Are Doomed back in 2009. Hope springs eternal, so here I am trying again. Quote from Chapter Ten of We Are Doomed:
The English word "assimilation" derives from the Latin prefix ad-, which indicates a moving towards something, and the same language's verb simulare, "to cause a person or thing to resemble another." You can make a precisely opposite word using the prefix ab-, which marks a moving away from something. Many immigrants of course assimilate to American society. I think I have. I hope I have; I've tried to. Many others, however, especially in the second and following generations, absimilate.
Second point: a thought-provoking opinion column in Tuesday's New York Post by a chap named Jonathan Schanzer, previously unknown to me.
The byline says he is senior vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. I am vaguely aware of that foundation as a hardcore neocon outfit, and this column of Schanzer's has some neocon coloring, but it makes an interesting point none the less.
Here's the point. The Soviet Union went in to Afghanistan at the end of 1979 with the idea to impose a government and social system there more to their liking. After ten years grinding away, they gave up and pulled out in May 1989.
Schanzer argues, with supporting evidence, that the Soviet failure gave a huge morale boost to Islamic fundamentalism all over: Sudan, Tunisia, Jordan, Palestine, Pakistan, and the Muslim diaspora in Europe and the U.S.A. He then asks, quote:
Could the President Biden administration's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan last year create a similar domino effect? Could the propaganda victory the Taliban achieved in 2021 encourage Islamic extremism in other nations just like it did 32 years ago?
Schanzer thinks it could. He offers some reasons for thinking so, one of them being this assault on Salman Rushdie.
I'm not a fan of neoconnery in general, but this guy may have a point.
I think I had a point, too, when I said the following thing back in 2016, quote:
The most astonishing statistic of our age—astonishing and, to me and many others, baffling and infuriating—is that our country has admitted more Muslims for settlement in the fifteen years since 2001 than we did in the fifteen years prior.
And then I read that the number of illegals arrested at our southern border is on course to exceed two million for this fiscal year, the most ever. That's just the number arrested, mind. Who knows how many have snuck in un-arrested?
I read; I reflect; I wonder.
04—An abattoir of opinion. Sam Harris is a public intellectual. He makes a living from his opinions.
Harris is one of the more science-y public intellectuals, with degrees in philosophy and cognitive neuroscience. That raises him in my estimation. If you're going to opine about mind, matter, and spirit, a doctorate in cognitive neuroscience adds a lot of credibility to what you say.
Back in 2004 I reviewed Harris's first book, title The End of Faith. I gave the book a mixed review: positive on the whole, but irritated by Harris's dogmatic atheism and lack of respect for human nature in that regard.
That one review aside, I haven't actually engaged much with Harris's work … hardly at all, really. I'm sure I must have read opinion pieces of his in periodicals or on websites, but I've never read any of the eight other books he's published since then.
He got my attention this week, though. He got a lot of other people's attention, too.
This was in a video conversation on a YouTube channel named TRIGGERnometry, posted August 17th. I'd never heard of TRIGGERnometry until this came up. It's an enterprise sponsored by The Epoch Times newspaper, with two young guys—names Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster—sitting on a sofa across from some public intellectual—in this case Sam Harris—talking about issues of the day.
Well, they got Harris talking about Donald Trump. It turns out Harris has a really bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. A really bad case.
That wandered off into talk about Hunter Biden's laptop, and the suppression, by nearly the entire media Establishment, of all discussion of the laptop just days before the 2020 election.
Sam, with remarkable frankness, took the side of the Establishment. If they hadn't suppressed news of the laptop, he said, we could have got four more years of Trump, which doesn't bear thinking about. So they were right to suppress!
That was a bit too much for Kisin and Foster, and they protested.
The entire interview is an hour and thirty-six minutes. You can watch it on YouTube if you feel inclined; just go to the TRIGGERnometry channel and scan down a bit.
I'm going to play you a clip of Sam Harris defending his position on the cover-up of Hunter Biden's laptop. The clip itself is rather long by Radio Derb standards—precisely six minutes. I'm giving it to you to illustrate the thought processes of the more demented kind of Never Trumper.
I think there are some insights here. Remember, this is a well-known public intellectual speaking, a first-class mind.
[Clip SH: It's like a coin toss for me, the Hunter Biden laptop thing, because I do understand how corrosive it is for an institution like The New York Times to show obvious bias and inconsistency and dishonesty in how they …
It's like, they couldn't even frame it honestly. [Laughter from the sofa.] It's not like … It's like … The way I would frame it is, er, "Listen, I don't care what's in Hunter Biden's l …"
Hunter Biden … I mean, at that point Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement. I would not have cared, right? So I guess there's nothing …
First of all, it's Hunter Biden, right? It's like … It's not Joe Biden. But even if Joe Biden, even … Whatever the scope of Joe Biden's corruption is, like, if we could just go down that rabbit hole honestly and understand that he's getting kickbacks from Hunter Biden's deals in Ukraine and wherever else, right? Or China. It is infinitesimal compared to the corruption we know Trump is involved in.
It's like, it's like a firefly to the Sun, right? I mean … like … there's just … It doesn't even stack up against Trump University, right? Trump University as a story is worse than anything that could be in Hunter Biden's laptop, in my view, right?
Now that's not, that doesn't answer the people who say it's still completely unfair to not have looked at the laptop in a timely way and to have shut down, you know, The New York Post's Twitter account. Like, that … that's just a conspir … that's a leftwing conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump.
Absolutely it was, absolutely! Right? But I think it was warranted, right? And again, it's a coin toss as to whether or not …
KK: Sam, I'm really sorry, I'm really sorry. I was the one that said we should move on, but you've just said something I really struggle with there. Which is …
SH: The kids in the basement? [Laughter.]
KK: No, no, fuck the kids in the basement. I'm interested in democracy. You're saying you're content with a leftwing conspiracy to prevent somebody being democratically re-elected as president.
SH: Well, no, I'm, I'm cont … So it's … But the thing is, it's just not leftwing. Liz Cheney is not leftwing. All right? Liz Cheney is doing everything in her power …
KK: You're content with a conspiracy to prevent someone being democratically elected.
SH: No, but … It's not a conspiracy … but there's nothing … conspiracy … It was a conspiracy out in the open.
But it doesn't matter … It doesn't matter what part's conspiracy, what part's out in the open. I mean … I think … It's like … If people get together and talk about what shall we do with … about this phenomenon … You know …
It's like, if there was an asteroid hurtling toward Earth and we got in a room together with all of our friends and had a conversation about what we could do to deflect its course, right? Is that a conspiracy? Y'know, like, some of that conversation would be in public, some of it would be in private …
We have a massive problem. We have an existential threat, right? Politically speaking I consider Trump an existential threat to our democracy, right? Now, he's not going to destroy the world, very likely …
KK: If you destroy democracy in the process of defending democracy …
SH: No, that … but that doesn't destroy it. No. Our … our … I'm not … what I'm not suggesting … at no point was I suggesting we should stuff ballots, or … or …
KK: No, no, …
SH: … or actually break the machinery of democracy, but the … all … political opinion is already being just completely inundated with misinformation, biased takes, half truths, and outright lies, right?
KK: Mm-hm … yeah …
SH: If I can end … or just the amplification of bad or misleading information based on, you know, the algorithm, right? So, it's like … It's already just an abattoir of opinion, right?
And now the question is, you know, what can you do with your own biases and your own the … the … to get the outcome you think is actually better—not just for yourself personally but for the world, right?
So I have to, like, it is … I'm completely unconflicted in … in the claim that a Tr … that a s … that a first Trump term was bad and a second Trump term would be bad, and … It literally doesn't matter what was … what else was on the menu. Like, literally.
Pick a random American: better than Trump in the Oval Office! Like, the likelihood that you're going to get someone who's worse than Trump, given … given what I consider the … is bad about Trump, is … I mean, it's on the order of one in a million, right?
Like, you're just not, you're not going to get, you're not going to get worse than Trump if you pick at random. And, you know, Hillary Clinton, for all of her flaws, was not worse than Trump. Joe Biden, for all … Joe Biden: we could have known Joe Biden was going to be, just, comatose in office—not worse than Trump, right? Kamala Harris, not worse … Like, like it's all …
And again, it's not just a marginal call, it's just … These are people who are normal politicians, who are so much more constrained by predictable machinery, right? There's … there's, like … There's, there's such less of an opportunity there to destroy institutions that we have to rely on. Right?
With … with any of those people in charge, including a random person in charge—a random person who's going to be terrified at the responsibility of the office and default to expert opinion, you know, across the board—um …
Again, Trump is an Alex Jones level figure for me …
SH: You know, it's analogous … A smaller problem is to just, for some billionaire to buy The New York Times and give it to Alex Jones to run, right? That would be an enorm … that would be a catastrophic loss and mistake; but that's a smaller problem than getting Trump re-elected.]
As I said, there are a lot of insights there into the mentality of our ruling-class Tutsis.
Harris thinks that, quote, "a random person who's going to be terrified at the responsibility of the office and default to expert opinion," end quote, would be better than Trump. I think he means "defer," not "default," but let that pass.
"Expert opinion" … right.
Thank goodness we once again have a government that defers, or defaults, to expert opinion!
And then Harris's praise for, quote, "normal politicians, who are so much more constrained by predictable machinery," end quote.
If "predictable machinery" refers to our laws, our constitution, and our established legislative procedures, how "constrained" is the ruling party of today, with their willful refusal to enforce the laws, racialized defiance of the Equal Protection clause, and happy chatter about abolishing the Electoral College, packing the Supreme Court, and ending the Senate filibuster rule?
And, contra Harris's presentation of himself as a cool rationalist, this is all driven by hot emotion. How does he feel about Trump? He hates hates HATES him!
How does he feel about the 74 million of us who voted for Trump? I'm not sure he hates us quite that much. Probably he regards us as pathetic ignorant Hutus whose puny brains have been poisoned by "misinformation."
Under the fundamental principles of representative democracy, though, shouldn't we, the 74 million, have the right to elect as president someone whose policies appeal to us, if we can attain a majority in the Electoral College? No! Not if some way—however conspiratorial—can be devised to thwart us.
This is the crudest kind of class arrogance. "We know best," Harris is saying. "We want our people in power, and we'll make it happen by any means necessary. If you try to stop us, we'll crush you."
That's what this guy, this public intellectual, is saying. There is nothing American about it. It's not American at all, it's the other thing: It's Leninism.
05—Miscellany. As was foreseen, I have no time left for any more full segments; so here now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The Inflation Reduction Act was sure enough passed by the House last Friday and signed by the very lifelike Joe Biden bot on Tuesday.
Strange to say—or perhaps not so strange under this administration—the Congressional Budget Office had still not finished costing the bill when the president signed it. The CBO normally gives an overall cost for bills before they are voted on, never mind signed.
That's emblematic of the administration's carefree way with money. "Hey, we can always print more, or borrow more, or raise more in taxes!"
Well, yes, but there are downsides all over. If you print more, you get inflation, the national currency losing its value. If you borrow more you have to pay more interest on the debt. We're paying $400 billion this year, but that's rising fast—to up over a trillion in the early 2030s.
So they're going to raise taxes, right? No no no! they insist; only on a few billionaires, maybe.
I don't believe that. Of way more general interest, the Congressional Budget Office doesn't believe it either. They've estimated that Americans earning less than $400,000 a year will pay $20 billion more in taxes through fiscal year 2031.
Don't be alarmed, though, citizens. Back of all this is Modern Monetary Theory, worked out by the same brilliant people that gave us Critical Race Theory. Money is not real, it's just a social construct. Down with systemic thriftiness! …
Item: [Clip: Cindy Lauper, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."]
Yes they do, even girls who are the Prime Ministers of quite large European countries. That would be Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, 36 years old, trim and pretty.
Madam Prime Minister was doing some wild partying at a Helsinki nightclub on Saturday, August 6th. Some video just escaped showing her having a very good time indeed: clearly well pickled, she was singing along with Black Eyed Peas, throwing her arms in the air, and dancing close and personal with three unknown men, none of them the one she is currently married to.
Ms Marin has been defending herself sturdily and denying any illicit substances were involved. Quote:
We just partied, also in a boisterous way. I danced and sang. I've danced, sung and partied and done perfectly legal things.
Good for you, lady. People who are distressed to see a pretty young woman having fun either don't like pretty young women or don't like fun. I like both, so snooks to the critics.
Just be sure to tell me when the sauna pictures come out.
Item: Sam Harris mentioned Liz Cheney back there. The lady was in the news this week, losing the primary for her House seat on Tuesday to a Trump-endorsed candidate by a landslide. More than a landslide, in fact; an extinction-level event. We America Firsters have been enjoying a good hearty gloat.
Don't worry about Ms Cheney, though. She won't be missing any meals.
I throw around expressions like "the ruling class," "the Establishment," "the regime," "elites," and "Tutsis." Liz Cheney is very solidly imbedded in that social layer.
Here's an illustration, something I found out just the other day from my New York Post, America's newspaper of record: Liz Cheney's husband Philip Perry is a partner at the law firm representing Hunter Biden. That would be Latham & Watkins, one of the biggest and richest law firms in the world.
Philip Perry does not himself represent Hunter; a different Latham & Watkins associate has that portfolio. Still the connection is impressive.
When your Dad's a Washington, D.C. lifer who's never done any work outside politics, your hubby's in the law firm representing the president's wayward son, and you yourself have never been out of hailing distance from a Deputy Assistant Secretary of something-or-other, you're not just Tutsi, you're high Tutsi.
Item: The Russia-Ukraine war will pass its six-month anniversary next Wednesday. Is anything much happening there? I stopped paying attention around the three-month mark.
Putin must be getting fed up. What are his options? He keeps hinting he might use nukes, but it's hard to believe he's serious.
Seems to me that an America First administration could offer a nice deal here. Deal: We'll pull out of NATO and leave the Euros to manage their own defense. In return, Russia pulls out of Ukraine and leaves them alone.
The Russians probably wouldn't accept it as stated; they really like having those pockets of territory in Southeast Ukraine and would want to keep them. That's what deal-making is all about, though: give and take. That's the art of the deal. Some guy wrote a book about it.
"Okay, you can keep Crimea and some of Southeast Ukraine if we can field a team in the NATO curling championship," something like that.
Hey, what do we pay diplomats for? There's a deal to be made there somewhere, I feel sure.
Item: Finally, the government of Japan wants its young people to drink more alcohol.
Apparently younger Japanese, whose numbers are dwindling anyway, aren't knocking back enough of the sake, especially since their social life took a hit from coronavirus. That's led to a slump in tax revenues. Quote from the Daily Mail:
In 2020, people were drinking 16 gallons of alcohol a year, while in 1995, 22 gallons a year were consumed. This has led to a slump in alcohol tax, making up just 1.7 per cent of total revenue in 2020 compared to five per cent in 1980.
This comes after years of reading about how young Japanese people have given up sex. The girls aren't interested; the boys are having virtual love affairs with their smartphone avatars. Japan's national fertility rate is on a steep dive, down below 1.4 children per woman.
The solution seems plain. Send a delegation of Finns over there headed by the Prime Minister, to show them how to party.
06—Signoff. That's all I have, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your time and trouble and for your often informative and entertaining emails.
Tuesday this week was forty-five years on from the death of the King, the one and only King: King then, King now, King for ever. Who that was alive and sentient will ever forget where he was and what he was doing when he heard the news?
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.