Radio Derb: Under The Southern Cross, Corruption, And Florida Bans Math Textbooks For Not Being About Math, Etc.
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01:42  Under the Southern Cross.  (Mostly water.)

05:05  Dreaming of
Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-o-tamatea-turi-pukaka-piki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu.  (It's a place.)

08:55  The Southern Hemisphere's Jimmy Carter?  (Hoist by my own conundrum.)

16:06  Billionaire bolt-holes.  (Peter Thiel's taken citizenship.)

23:16  The Solomons do an unwise thing.  (Australia needs regional allies.)

30:12  A worthy candidate for the Senate.  (In New South Wales.)

33:20  Response to a demography critic.  (Russia-Ukraine is a new thing.)

38:05  Florida bans math textbooks.  (For not being about math.)

41:18  Invasion of Europe heats up.  (Boiling a frog is easy.)

45:14  Signoff.  (With the Singing Sergeants.)

01 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from the castle in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, whither I have decamped in order to attend this weekend's conference.

I can't give you any kind of report on the conference as it doesn't actually get under way until tomorrow morning, Saturday. We're all looking forward to it, most especially to the prospect of pouring boiling oil from the battlements on any Antifa types that show up. I'll have more to say about the conference next week.

Longtime listeners will know that Radio Derb sometimes has a theme. This is one of those times. Probably I'll exhaust the theme halfway through the podcast and wander off in other directions; but I none the less like to think that listeners will come away with the theme humming away at the front of their minds.

So what is this week's theme? See if you can figure it out.


02 — Under the Southern Cross.     What do the following nations all have in common? China, Russia, India, Japan, Britain, France, Germany … let's just say all the European nations. Continuing my list: MENA (that's the Middle East and North Africa, all those nations), then the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico.

Yes, that's a lot of nations, containing most of the world's people. So what do they have in common?

Give up? They are all entirely in the Northern Hemisphere, that's what.

The Southern hemisphere takes up very little space in our thinking about current affairs, or in the pages of our news media. That is perfectly understandable. As I just said, there are not many people down there.

Not much land, either. If you have a globe of the world on your desk, just turn it upside down and look, staring directly at the South Pole. Other than Antarctica, pretty much everything else you see is just … water. The only continent making a respectable showing is South America: most of Brazil and Ecuador, all of Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Agentina, and Uruguay.

There's a fair-sized piece of sub-Saharan Africa; there are Australia and New Zealand and a good piece of Indonesia, and … that's about it, except for all those itty-bitty island nations and some microscopic outposts of Northern Hemisphere countries, like the Falkland Islands and American Samoa.

So it's not surprising that the Southern Hemisphere isn't newsy. If you haven't given a moment's thought this past week to anything going on down there, don't feel bad: it's normal and reasonable.

Stuff does happen in those watery wastes, though. A commentator isn't casting his net world-wide if he leaves them out. He's not being thorough.

In a spirit of commentarial thoroughness, therefore, here are some items from under the Southern Cross. First, with a segment each, the only two Southern Hemisphere nations I am at all mentally engaged with: New Zealand and Uruguay. The engagement is, in both cases, entirely sentimental. I have never been to either place.


03 — Dreaming of Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-o-tamatea-turi-pukaka-piki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu.     My father spent what I am pretty sure were the happiest years of his life in New Zealand around 1930. My half-brother Noel, who died six years ago at age 86, was born there. I grew up hearing Dad's nostalgia-drenched stories about New Zealand and his exhortations to head out to the Antipodes first chance I got: "Australia and New Zealand, the future of the world!"

(If you try that line out on an Antipodean of the cynical sort, which I have, he is liable to reply: "That's right, we're the future of the world … and we always will be.")

I did actually try to get to New Zealand once. I'll read you the story from a piece I posted at National Review Online in December 2009. Longish quote from myself:

After graduating college and working a couple of years, I decided to give New Zealand a try. I went to New Zealand House in London. There was a guy at a desk in the lobby. I approached him and stated my purpose. He pushed a printed sheet of paper at me. It was a list of occupations, most of them skilled manual trades — carpenters, electricians, and an astonishing number of things to do with sheep. "You in any of those occupations?" asked the Kiwi. Me: "No. I'm a computer programmer." He took back the sheet and scrutinized it. "Nope. Don't see it. I guess we've got all we need. Sorry!"

I never did get to see New Zealand. I did, though, walk out of New Zealand House with a grudging respect for the clarity and rationality of their immigration procedures. (Forty years on, they maintain those high standards. They recently denied a settlement visa to a British woman on the grounds that she was too fat.)

End quote.

That was me twelve years ago writing about me fifty-some years ago. Since then New Zealand has followed the rest of the Anglosphere down into the foul, fetid, dark pit of Wokeness. They have even allowed settlement by Somalis, a sure sign of collective national insanity.

The candle lit by my Dad still burns faintly, though, and I still dream of seeing Timaru, Wanganui, Christchurch, and Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-o-tamatea-turi-pukaka-piki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu before I die.


04 — The Southern Hemisphere's Jimmy Carter?     And then, Uruguay. I have even less excuse for sentimentality about Uruguay than is the case with New Zealand. I've never been there and have no family connection with the place. To the best of my recollection I've met only one Uruguayan in person, and that was a fleeting encounter.

Still, it looks to me that Uruguay has a lot going for it. It's a good manageable size for a country: 68 thousand square miles, a tad smaller than Missouri. The climate is good and the population is homogenous — 88 percent white European. It's modestly prosperous and politically stable. It minds its own national business, and it's hard to see why anyone would want to attack or invade it.

Whenever I have enthused about Uruguay in these tones in my internet commentary I have received two kinds of emails from the place in response.

The more usual kind thanks me for my flattering words and affirms that, yes, Uruguay's a good place to live, if you don't mind nothing much happening from one year's end to the next. I actually don't, so these emails don't tarnish my enthusiasm.

The other kind of incoming email is from Uruguayans telling me to shut the hell up. They fear that I might incite a wave of immigration and they don't want that. "We have all the people we need!" they tell me. Well, yes, Radio Derb does have tremendous worldwide influence, so perhaps I should mute my enthusiasm a bit. To those of us with great power there comes great responsibility.

Although in fact the South American news service Infobae reported just this week that applications for residency in Uruguay have been surging this past two years. Sample quote:

2021 ended for the country with a record number of applications for residency before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

End quote.

Ah, the power of Radio Derb!

I don't have any other news to report from Uruguay, but I may have some walking-back to do.

The main theme in last week's podcast was corruption. Along the way there I noted that political corruption comes with an imbedded conundrum. I used the example of Jimmy Carter for illustration. Quote from self:

So far as I know, there has never been any plausible charge of corruption against Carter: not before his presidency, not during it, not after it. He is squeaky clean. He was, however, by common agreement and the judgment of voters, a simply terrible president.

So there's a conundrum. Who will you vote into the presidency — or the governorship, or the mayoralty, or the House or Senate seat, or the county executive — the squeaky-clean doofus with a head full of dumb ideas, or the slightly-tarnished playah with impressive skill at getting useful things done?

End quote.

Right after that segment I had one on Uruguay; specifically, on José Mujica, who was president of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015. I noted that he was exceptionally honest, no trace of corruption, and with a very frugal lifestyle. In his youth, I observed, he was a Castroite guerrilla and he spent a lot of time in jail; but wisdom and tolerance seem to have come with age.

That brought in an email from an Argentinian listener. Argentina shares a border with Uruguay. I'll just read the email to you as I got it. Quote:

Regarding your comment about corruption and Uruguay, let me help you get real.

Mujica's vice president was Raul Sendic. He resigned on proven charges of corruption in 2017.

He is the son of the founder of the Tupamaros guerillas, Raul Sendic Sr., Mujica's former boss.

As for Mujica, he is, no doubt, not corrupt. But the argument you made about Jimmy Carter applies. His presidency was a bad one, and corruption, although minor, was widespread.

As per the general Uruguay atmosphere in this sense, you are right: me being from Argentina, where corruption is rife, the lack of it in the general Uruguayan society is very, very noticeable.

End quote.

I'm a big fan of reality and true facts, so I'm always glad to be put back on the straight and narrow when I've gone astray, as I may have done with Mujica. Thank you, Sir.

I am also glad, of course, to have been right about the relatively high standard of political conduct in Uruguay. I shall continue to think happy thoughts about the place, when not dreaming of Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-o-tamatea-turi-pukaka-piki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu.


05 — Billionaire bolt-holes.     Back to the Southern Hemisphere at large. Among its other charms, that half of the world's surface has no nuclear weapon states. No doubt Northern Hemisphere missile submarines armed with nukes lurk under the surface down there, but no Southern Hemisphere nation has nukes.

This has not always been the case. White-run South Africa had a nuke program and actually built six nukes, but they were dismantled in 1991, when it was plain blacks would take charge of the country. This, said the government of the time, was in order to make a significant contribution toward regional stability and peace.

Not everyone believed them about their motive there. Quote from Wikipedia, slightly edited:

In 1993, Bill Keller of The New York Times reported that popular suspicion in Southern African nations held that the timing of disarmament indicated a desire to prevent a nuclear arsenal from falling into the hands of a native African and Coloured government with the collapse of the Apartheid system … [South Africa's white president Frederik] De Klerk denied such a motivation when asked about this in a 2017 interview.

End quote.

Some people can be so cynical, can't they? Why would anyone be worried about nuclear weapons in the hands of, oh, say Jacob Zuma?

At any rate, no Southern Hemisphere nation has nukes. All the nuke-equipped nations are in the Northern Hemisphere. Well in: There's hardly any nuclearity below the Tropic of Cancer: just half of India and a sliver of China.

Having nukes isn't just a northern thing; zone-wise it's a northern-temperate, northern-subtropical, and northern-frigid thing. Perhaps, up above the tropics here, there's a deep, unconscious belief that nukes might warm us up a bit. Which, of course, indeed they would … until Nuclear Winter set in.

Now that Mr Putin has got us all thinking about a possible great-power nuclear exchange, the Southern Hemisphere is looking more attractive than ever. A real all-out annihilating exchange would be massively destructive in the Northern Hemisphere; but it's hard to see why anyone would bother nuking New Zealand, Chile, or Madagascar.

If you've read some Cold War-era nuclear-armageddon fiction — novels like Nevil Shute's On the Beach or David Graham's Down to a Sunless Sea — you'll know that a major nuclear war would lead eventually to the atmosphere of the entire Earth being polluted with radioactivity.

It would take a while before Southern Hemisphere air was really bad, though; time enough perhaps to get a survival plan going. There would be far less immediate physical destruction south of the equator, perhaps none at all. Civilization might survive down there.

Nowhere on Earth will life be easygoing fun after an all-out nuclear war; but the Southern Hemisphere will fare better than the Northern. That's where you'd want to be.

And that is where the world's smartest people do in fact want to be. They've thought it through as I just did.

Five years ago in my monthly diary I posted a link to this story in one of the British newspapers. Headline: APOCALYPSE WARNING: Billionaires buy up land in NEW ZEALAND as they look for safe haven.

Sample quote: "Silicon Valley tech leaders are snapping up property in Australasia as they believe that the apocalypse is near." End quote. Peter Thiel, who is a very smart person indeed, has gone to the length of taking out New Zealand citizenship.

Wait, though; this is all fantasy, isn't it? Our leaders wouldn't be so crazy as to embark on Mutual Assured Destruction, would they?

If you'd asked me a year ago I would have laughed and said "Probably not." I'm not laughing now, though: not with the U.S. president mumbling about "white supremacy" and shaking hands with an invisible friend, not with Vladmir Putin telling his people that Ukraine, which has a Jewish president and which was horribly ravaged by Germany in WW2, is full of Nazis, not with Xi Jinping sealing his citizens up in their apartment buildings without food just to stop a flu outbreak.

And these are the relatively sane players. Pakistan has nukes. North Korea has nukes, Heaven help us!

Civilization got started up here in the Northern Hemisphere five thousand years ago. Perhaps we're coming to the end of that story. If there is still civilization five thousand years on from now, it may be under the Southern Cross.


06 — China's long imperial arm.     No nukes in the Southern Hemisphere? Wait: I may have spoken too soon.

Wednesday this week the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands announced that his government had signed a comprehensive security arrangement with Communist China. We don't know the precise terms of the agreement; but what was claimed to be a draft version leaked last month seems to include a possible ChiCom military base in the islands.

Let me fill in some background here. The Solomon Islands is one of those itty-bitty island nations I mentioned a couple of segments ago, population less than seven hundred thousand.

It's in the Southern Hemisphere, just barely: the biggest island, Guadalcanal — a name very familiar to Americans, I think — is about six hundred miles south of the equator.

The nearest big land mass is Papua New Guinea, "PNG" for short, a poor and violent sinkhole of a place populated mainly by low-IQ Melanesian aborigines who believe in magic. Random quote from the Wikipedia article on PNG, quote:

An estimated 50-150 alleged witches are killed each year in Papua New Guinea.

End quote.

Australia's not far away to the south and the Aussies try to keep down the general level of disorder in PNG, but it's a thankless job.

The Solomon Islands, although an independent nation, is racially and culturally an annex of PNG, so you can imagine how things are there. The small amount of commerce is managed by overseas Chinese immigrants, against whom the locals are of course resentful.

There are anti-Chinese riots from time to time, when the different Solomon Islands sub-ethnicities aren't rioting against each other. Just this last November there was a major riot both against the government and against the Chinese; a lot of the capital city's Chinatown district was burned out. That draft version of this week's agreement apparently allows the ChiComs to use troops to defend local Chinese.

In short, this agreement gives the ChiComs a toe-hold in the place — in the South Pacific — with the ability to expand the toehold to a big fat footprint, probably including naval, land, and air bases. The nearest point of Chinese territory to the Solomons is almost four thousand miles away, so the ChiComs are putting out a long imperial arm here.

Australia, which is much closer — just a few hundred miles away across the Coral Sea — is understandably not happy about this. Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, reacted to this week's agreement by vowing that his country would not have a, quote, "submissive relationship" with China. Further quote: "We've always stood up to China because it's in our interests."

What is Australia to do? If a serious China-Australia conflict breaks out, the odds against Australia look pretty forbidding. Population of Australia: 26 million. Population of China: 1.4 billion. Strewth!

I seriously doubt that the ChiComs have any notion of invading and occupying Australia. Nineteenth-century pith-helmet imperialism isn't their game, and anyway they don't have the manpower. Their game is commercial domination — the whole world paying rent to them.

Trade follows the flag: The purpose of those air and naval bases they're building wherever they can is to protect the flow of rent payments, with the option to exert a little … physical control when it looks excusable to do so, for example to protect overseas-Chinese communities.

Whether I'm right about this or wrong, the solution for Australia is the same. It's the same solution that has applied throughout history to all smaller nations up against an overbearing big one, the same that I've prescribed to the Europeans.

Australia needs to unite in a common defense alliance — both military and commercial — with the other free nations of her region, the word "free" here having the strictly limited meaning "not yet under any measure of ChiCom control."

Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, some of the other Southeast Asian countries, and yes, those itty-bitty island nations: together, as an alliance, they should be able to stand up to the ChiComs.

Should Taiwan be included in the list? That's for the alliance to decide. Speaking as an American and an isolationist I'll say what the kids say: Not my circus, not my monkey.


07 — Australia goes to the polls.     Australian politics, yes.'s tax status prevents us from endorsing political candidates in the U.S.A., but I'm pretty sure — though I shall confirm with the boss — that we can endorse candidates in other countries.

Well, there is a federal election in Australia next month, May 21st, four weekends from now. A friend of mine is running for one of the senate seats for the state of New South Wales. (Australia is divided into six states; each state elects twelve senators.)

My pal has asked me to put out a word on his behalf to my listeners and readers in Australia. I'm glad to help.

The candidate's name is William Laing, L-A-I-N-G. He's running, as I said, for one of the New South Wales senate seats; and he's running as an independent. He declares his three lead policies to be:

  • Freedom of speech. In the U.S.A., says Laing, he would be very near to being a First Amendment absolutist.

  • Opposition to Climate Change hysteria. Australia signed on last year to the Glasgow Climate Pact, although in a half-hearted way that left climate activists dissatisfied. Laing thinks even that was giving too much to the climate nuts. Australia, he tells me, is shutting down her coal-fired power plants, leaving Australia at the mercy of the ChiComs for solar panels, batteries, and wind turbines. His slogan, he says, is: "Energy Production in the democracies."

  • Old-Age Care reform and spending.

Australian listeners who are voters in New South Wales, please give William Laing a look. He's running as an independent, so without the resources of the established parties behind him. He's smart, honest, and patriotic, though; and those three lead policies — once again: freedom of speech, sanity on climate change and energy, and aged care — are all worthwhile causes.


08 — Demographic modernity at war.     A listener has chidden me about my observation that Russia-Ukraine is the first war of any significance to be fought between nations in demographic modernity: low fertility, declining workforce, swelling number of geezers. Nonsense, he says: the nations that fought WW2 went into it with low levels of fertility.

There is something to that. Young-male death rates in WW1 had serious effects on fertility, especially in France. So did the Depression.

France's total fertility rate actually went below replacement, bottoming out at 1.7 in 1920. (Replacement level, remember, is 2.1 children per woman.) By 1925, however, it was back up to 2.44. When the Depression hit in the thirties it went back down all the way to 2.1 — precisely replacement level — in 1940. It went back up after the war, peaked in 1950, and has been sliding downards since. France has now been below replacement level since the late 1970s. That's the demographic modernity I'm talking about.

Germany similar. There was a fertility plunge all the way through the early 20th century, dropping below replacement in the late 1920s. By the time WW2 started in earnest, though, in 1940, fertility was well above replacement level.

Britain, I'll allow, was below replacement through the thirties and WW2, bottoming out around 1.8. That was after a long dive through the late-19th, early-20th centuries, much like Germany.

Japan? Fuhgeddaboutit. Total Fertility Rate was above 4 when they hit Pearl Harbor. It didn't drop below 3 until 1955.

The U.S.A.? Total Fertility Rate fell through the Depression, bottomed out at 2.06 in 1940, then rose all through the war and up to 1960, when it hit 3.58 — yep, the Baby Boom. It's been downhill ever since, below replacement since the early seventies.

For comparison once again, and keeping the replacement figure of 2.1 in mind: Today's Russia is at 1.8, Ukraine at 1.23. That's demographic modernity. Leading up ro WW2, fertility rates occasionally and briefly dropped to 1.8, but 1.23 was totally unknown.

Well, in fact, that's one part of demographic modernity. Another part is all those unemployable geezers I mentioned — fast-swelling numbers of them in all developed nations, to be cared for and paid for. Fertility may have taken a dip in the 1930s but not many people were living past eighty. Now half of us do.

So with all proper respect to my listener, I repeat my claim that we are seeing a new thing: war between two nations in demographic modernity.


09 — Miscellany.     And now, our closing miscellany of brief items. Just a couple this week as I'm over my time budget.

Imprimis:  Florida banned a whole slew of math textbooks last week on the grounds that they included topics that didn't belong in math instruction.

Reading about that, we all naturally thought of Critical Race Theory. In idle moments, in fact, I amused myself by thinking up CRT-themed math problems. Sample:

Harmless jogger Snaptavious is lynched by a white mob numbering 150 people. All are of course White Supremacists and Donald Trump voters. Fifty-six percent are active members of the Klan, twenty-two percent collect Nazi memorabilia, fourteen percent are both Klan members and collectors of Nazi memorabilia. How many are neither Klan members nor Nazi-memorabilia collectors?

End sample.

Hey, I can do this stuff! Maybe I can write another math textbook!

If the April 22nd New York Times can be believed, however — and I'll allow that's a big flashing red "if" — CRT isn't much of the problem. They reviewed 21 of the offending books and tell us that, quote:

In most of the books, there was little that touched on race, never mind an academic framework like critical race theory.

End quote.

So what did the Florida Department of Education find objectionable in these books? "Social-Emotional Learning," that's what. Basically, using math class to teach the kiddies about feelings, wo wo wo feelings.

I'd actually rather it was Critical Race Theory. You can at least work some actual math into that, as I just did. You can't get much math out of the girly emoting on display in the examples the Times offers.

Best of all, of course, would be to limit the content of math textbooks to inanimate objects. You can count things, measure things, and deduce conclusions from statements about counting and measuring, without any reference to human emotions at all. It's called math, and it's beautiful.


ItemThe Camp of the Saints is getting closer by the day. Actually by the year: this is classic frog-boiling.

Breitbart reported this week that the number of attempts by Third Worlders to break into EU countries has risen to its highest level since 2016.

They say that excludes refugees from Ukraine, which is not a Third World country, although Vladimir Putin seems intent on making it one. But then they quote a French parliamentarian telling us that, quote from him:

A third of the refugees who pass through Ukraine who do not come from Ukraine, but … from sub-Saharan Africa in particular … who use this new migratory route to come to Europe.

End quote.

You ain't seen nothin' yet. Black African fertility remains firmly, with only slight and slow declines, at sensational levels. Niger 6.8, Congo 5.6, Somalia 5.3, Nigeria 4.6, … Breitbart reports migrant numbers in thousands and tens of thousands. A few more years, likely very few, it'll be hundreds of thousands and millions.

The astounding thing is that politicians in Europe's biggest, most important nations have no idea what to do about it. In this weekend's French presidential election it has been discussed, but only in careful, timid terms; and the less timid of the two candidates immigration-wise, Marine Le Pen, is trailing in polls. In a list of key election issues by the Euronews service, immigration is fourth, behind inflation, the environment, and COVID.

Britain's even worse. The Prime Minister there, Boris Johnson, has no interest at all in controlling immigration. He's had to be dragged kicking and screaming to even say anything about it. His scheme to ship illegals to Rwanda will, as I explained last week, come to nothing, and I'm sure Johnson knows that, and knew it when he came up with the idea.

And that is Britain's Conservative Party. The opposition Labour Party, which will likely take charge after the next election (due sometime in the next two years), is heartily, vocally in favor of unlimited mass immigration.

Britain's politics, like America's, is dominated by two parties neither of whom is interested in controlling immigration.

It's really astonishing, although more astonishing in Europe, which has Africa's population bomb ticking away a couple of short boat rides from its south. I guess boiling frogs is easier than you'd think.


10 — Signoff.     That's all I have, ladies and gents. Thank you for your time and attention, and for your many interesting, informative, and argumentative emails.

Tuesday this week was something of a milestone for me. It was on April 19th 2002 that I acquired U.S. citizenship. That's the date on my naturalization certificate. So Tuesday was my 20th anniversary.

Thank you, America, for taking me in. Thank you for the pleasant and comfortable home you gave to me and my family, for useful work to do, for beautiful vistas, for security and prosperity and the liberty to say out loud what I believe to be true. I have tried to give something back, and shall keep trying.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.


[Music clip: USAF Band and the Singing Sergeants, "This Land Is Your Land."]

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