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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, this is your supremely genial host John Derbyshire with titbits from the week's news.
This week finds me somewhat embarrassed, listeners. As I've had occasion to explain before, Radio Derb goes to tape on Thursday evening. It is then packed up and carried by donkey to the boat jetty here on the island, rowed over to the mainland by Stavros the mailman, and put on a flight to New York in time for the weekend broadcast.
That means that if, as is widely expected, the grand jury on the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri announces a verdict on Friday, then you'll all be talking about it on Saturday but it'll be missing from Radio Derb. If that's the case, I'm sorry.
It may not be the case. The grand jury verdict — on whether to indict the police officer who shot Brown — may come on Sunday, or next week, or next month. Nobody really knows. Indications are strong for Friday, though, so I'll just have to sit here gnashing my teeth at not being able to report it.
OK. let's see what else has been going on.
02 — Obama makes his move. Thursday night President Obama gave his long-anticipated speech announcing an executive order to give work permits to five million or so illegal aliens.
The speech itself was mush: bogus statistics long since debunked at websites like cis.org and VDARE.com; fantasies about children being torn from their mothers' arms, a thing nobody has legal authority to do; sentimental pap about meek, fearful people "living in the shadows," when in fact they're marching in the streets waving Mexican flags and screeching demands at us; every cliché in the immigration-cliché book. Obama even threw in a scriptural flourish, as if he has a religious bone in his body.
I'm weary of the whole business. Immigration isn't a hard thing for governments to get right. You secure your coasts with patrols and your borders with high fences; you establish a good visa-control system so you know who's entered, who's left, and who should have left but hasn't; you enforce strict rules on hiring people to make sure foreigners with no right to work here, can't, with an online database employers can check the way retail stores check credit cards; you establish firm, fair, sensible rules on citizenship, which absolutely do not include birthright citizenship. It's really not hard: just routine policing and data management.
As we all know, though, nobody much in the government or Congress wants it done. Democratic politicians don't want it done because they want more clients for the welfare state and more voters for their party. Republican politicians don't want it done because with fewer foreign workers coming in, the business owners who fund the party would have to pay higher wages. That's the politicians all spoken for. Immigration-wise, this is a one-party state.
We all know this and nobody's being fooled. It's been going on too long.
Nobody currently or recently at the top in our nation has any will to move towards that plain, dull, common-sense policy on immigration and citizenship I just sketched out. Nobody: no Democratic President, no Republican President, no Congress, no Supreme Court majority. If anything's going to change, it has to come up from below.
There are signs something is happening down among the people, hopeful signs. The great Central American surge across our border this summer woke up a lot of people. I wrote a column on this theme for VDARE.com this week. Also this summer, the defeat of establishment RINO Eric Cantor in his primary election by a candidate he'd outspent 40 to one — that, I believe, was another straw in the wind.
The worm may be turning. I hope so, I really hope so; because if we don't get a handle on this situation soon, you can kiss the U.S.A. goodbye.
03 — The worm turns in Britain. Across the pond this week there was an illustration of what can be done. The U.K. Independence Party, UKIP, easily won its second seat in Britain's parliament on Thursday. This victory came in a by-election for Rochester, a constituency significantly different from Clacton, which UKIP won last month: more prosperous, younger, better educated.
That means UKIP, which wants to wrest back British sovereignty from the European Union and stop the endless flood of immigrants crowding in to Britain's already very crowded towns and cities, UKIP is a party with broad appeal.
Just as in the U.S., neither of the two big British parties has any desire to stand up for ordinary native British people. Everything is for foreigners; not just wide-open borders, but full welfare benefits, jobs, free housing, citizenship for the asking, massive outlays for foreign aid. Great numbers of British people have had enough of it; hence UKIP's success.
Just how great those numbers are we'll find out next Spring when there'll be a general election over there. I doubt UKIP will win the election outright, but they could win enough seats to force a coalition.
Also just as in the U.S., the big political parties over there are run by arrogant elites who are out of touch with ordinary citizens — Eric Cantor types. There was a nice illustration of this just before the Rochester election.
Both big political parties were desperate to get their voters out in Rochester, to prevent total humiliation by UKIP. They were sending their Members of Parliament down there to encourage their voters. Well, one of these members was a lady named Emily Thornberry, a wealthy limousine liberal who holds a seat in a tony district of London for the Labour Party — a kind of British version of Nancy Pelosi.
Labour, like our own Democratic Party, was once the party of the working class, but has long since been taken over by leftist intellectuals, social-science academics, feminists and blacks and other identity groups, and champagne socialists like Ms. Thornberry.
Well, Ms. Thornberry was driving around Rochester when she saw a house — a small, looks like three bedrooms, working man's row house — with three English flags draped across the front. "I've never seen anything like it!" hooted Ms. Thornberry, and tweeted a picture she took with her cell phone, under the heading: "Image from Rochester."
Politicians are not supposed to show their contempt for the common herd right before a critical election. The Labour Party leader was furious, and Ms. Thornberry's had to grovel.
Yes, interesting things are happening over there. Let's hope some of it seeps across the Atlantic.
04 — The puzzle of white supremacy. Let's change topics here: let's talk about … white supremacy.
Of the two or three million words I have published this past thirty years, few have cause more gasping and swooning among the guardians of social orthodoxy than my comment two years ago that, quote from myself:
White supremacy, in the sense of a society in which key decisions are made by white Europeans, is one of the better arrangements History has come up with. There have of course been some blots on the record, but I don't see how it can be denied that net-net, white Europeans have made a better job of running fair and stable societies than has any other group.
End quote. I'm sorry to be obtuse, but I still don't see how it can be denied. It's a matter of what economists call "revealed preference"; that is, of evaluating people's true beliefs by observing what they do rather than by listening to what they say.
So I'm browsing a newspaper and I read an Op-Ed column about the evils of white supremacy. Uh-huh. Then I flip back through the news pages and see a picture of a boat jammed to the gunwhales with black Africans trying to get across the Mediterranean into Europe to live under … white supremacy. It's all a bit puzzling, isn't it?
To see if we can unravel the puzzle, let's take a look this week at life under black supremacy. In fact, let's take a look at sub-Saharan Africa, where 940 million people live under black supremacy. How's that working out for them?
05 — Zimbabwe's First Shopper. First stop: Zimbabwe, ruled since 1987 — that's 27 years, folks — by President Robert Mugabe. You can in fact fairly make that 34 years, as Mugabe served as Prime Minister for seven years under the country's first black President, Canaan Banana. President Banana held the interesting distinction of being the only national leader since antiquity to have a law passed forbidding citizens to make jokes about his name.
Cap'n Bob Mugabe is now 90 years old and said to be unwell. His 34 years in charge have not been kind to Zimbabwe. The CIA World Factbook gives Zimbabwe's annual per capita GDP as $600, ranking the nation at number 227 out of 228 listed, only the Congo being poorer.
Before you get your hankies out, let me hasten to assure you that not everybody in Zimbabwe is poor. Notable among the non-poor is Robert Mugabe's wife Grace, known to her critics as Gucci Grace for her numerous shopping trips to high-end department stores in London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore, where she particularly favors high-priced designer items. Leaving Singapore on one occasion, the First Shopper was photographed with 15 carts all piled high with luggage.
Mrs Mugabe is the chatelaine of two custom-built palaces, one of them the largest residence in sub-Saharan Africa. That was the venue for her daughter's wedding earlier this year. Four thousand guests were invited, there were untold quantities of champagne and luxury foods, and the bride wore a gown studded with diamonds.
Acquiring the diamonds was not likely much of a problem: Mrs Mugabe controls the diamond mines of Eastern Zimbabwe, and extracts enormous profits from them.
Well, Cap'n Bob is, as I said, 90 years old and unwell. There is a succession issue coming up, and infighting in the ruling party — Zimbabwe is of course a one-party state — has been getting intense.
There are two factions. One is led by matronly Vice-President Joice Mujuru. Ms Mujuru's nickname is "Teurai Ropa," which means "Spill Blood." The other faction is headed by Minister of Justice Emmerson Mnangagwa, the richest man in Zimbabwe, also thanks to control of diamond mines. His nickname is "Ngwena," which means "crocodile."
Mrs Mugabe has apparently allied herself with "Crocodile" Mnangagwa against "Spill Blood" Mujuru. You might want to settle down with popcorn and some soda for this show.
Possibly the First Lady, who is only 49 years old and in fairly good trim, is planning a co-presidency with Mr Mnangagwa. Or possibly she believes she can maneuver herself into the leadership. Who knows? She has at any rate been making ferocious speeches against the other faction, suggesting in one speech that if Vice-President Mujuru were to encounter some fatal calamity, she would not be missed, and that, quote "dogs and fleas would not disturb her carcass."
Whatever her ambitions in Zimbabwe, Mrs Mugabe is hedging her bets. The Mugabes have purchased a $4 million dollar apartment in Hong Kong, presumably as a refuge in case Gucci Grace loses out in the coming power struggle.
So that's the state of play in Zimbabwe 34 years after they freed themselves from the yoke of white supremacy.
06 — Witch doctors v. ebola. Three thousand miles north and west on the Dark Continent we find the nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, currently suffering an outbreak of ebola.
It is of course wicked to mock the afflicted, and I wouldn't wish ebola on anybody; but the local culture of these places doesn't seem to be helping the fight against the disease.
That at any rate is the gist of a Wall Street Journal report last week. Headline: Africa's Village Healers Complicate Ebola Fight.
The problem here is the ignorance and superstition of the local populations. Local healers favor witchcraft and herbal remedies, and regard practitioners of modern medicine as business rivals.
One of these healers put about the rumor that Red Cross health workers were just trying to steal sick people's body organs to sell abroad. This healer herself soon died, probably of ebola. The Journal reports that, quote:
Local women washed her body and some lay on top of the corpse in the hope that her power would transfer to them.
End quote. That led to a local outbreak of ebola. When government health workers showed up to deal with it, villagers still in thrall to the rumors the deceased had been spreading threw rocks at their vehicles, shattering the windshields of two cars.
Faith healing is also a problem. Pastors in Liberia's Pentecostal churches try to cure the sick by laying hands on them. The results of that are predictable. Quote: "In one church just outside the capital of Monrovia, ebola killed a pastor, his wife, an assistant pastor, his wife, and a prayer leader," end quote.
The good news on ebola is that American and European pharmaceutical researchers are hot on the virus's trail. Our own National Institutes of Health are on the case; so are the British and Canadian equivalents; so is pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline; so are several smaller biotech outfits in North America and Europe. The efforts of those private players, supplemented by a couple hundred million dollars of taxpayers' money, should get us a safe and reliable vaccine, if not a cure.
If there's a white supremacist angle to this story, it would be crass, rude, crude, and insensitive of me to point it out, so I won't.
Just a brief public-service addendum to this segment. An acquaintance of mine who's involved in the relief effort tells me that the World Health Organization is about as much use as the local village healers, as one would expect from an outfit reporting to the United Nations.
Anyone who wants to help, my acquaintance tells me, should contribute to Doctors Without Borders, who are doing a much better job. I pass that on to listeners whose sympathies have been stirred by the ebola outbreak.
07 — Up for the Cup. From public health to sports: It's just a few weeks now to the Africa Cup of Nations, the continent's principal soccer tournament, to be held in in January and February next year in Equatorial Guinea. Sixteen nations will compete, and we've just got through the qualifying rounds.
If you're thinking of heading to Equatorial Guinea for the contest, here are some travel tips, from a blogger who knows the territory.
Matches will be played in four of Equatorial Guinea's cities. The stadiums in Malabo and Bata, our blogger assures us, should not pose too much of a problem, quote, "particularly given the probable dearth of fans," end quote. However, Mongomo, in the far east of the country, and Ebebiyín up on the triple border with Cameroon and Gabon, may present difficulties. Quote:
Although Mongomo has a 15,000-capacity stadium … hotels are extremely limited, while getting there necessitates a five-hour drive through the jungle from Bata.
End quote. So you might want to pack a machete for that one. Of the fourth host city, Ebebiyín, our blogger notes that, quote, "hotel accommodation is even more limited and access even harder." Hm. I think I'll just stay home and watch the Africa Cup of Nations on TV.
Believe it or not, there have been rumors of corruption, of match-fixing even, in the tournament. In the last qualifying rounds this week, Ivory Coast qualified for the finals via a goalless tie with Cameroon Wednesday night at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in the Ivorian city of Abidjan. For the last half hour of the game, quote from a match report, quote:
the Ivory Coast players simply passed the ball between their defenders, with the Cameroonians making no effort to even gain possession.
End quote. After the final whistle Ivory Coast fans stormed the pitch and there was a major riot, fans demolishing the goal posts while police swung at them with three-foot batons. Final match score: Police 36, fans 5. Far as I can tell from the news pictures, no white supremacists were involved.
08 — Upper Volta without rockets. Finally in this little cavalcade of Africa news, the people of Burkina Faso now have a government.
Burkina Faso was formerly known as Upper Volta. You may remember some U.S. Presidential candidate or other back in Cold War days joking that the Soviet Union was, quote, "Upper Volta with rockets." Well, Burkina Faso is Upper Volta without rockets.
The place isn't quite as poor as Zimbabwe, but it's poor. Annual per capita GDP is $1,500, i.e. thirty bucks a week. Quote from the Factbook: "About 90 percent of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture and cotton is the main cash crop," end quote. The place is majority Muslim and the Total Fertility Rate is 5.93 children per woman, sixth highest in the world. Half the population is aged under 18.
Until very recently Burkina Faso, like Zimbabwe, had an exceptionally long-serving President, name of Blaise Compaoré. In fact President Compaoré ascended to his nation's Presidency just a few weeks before Robert Mugabe ascended to his, back in 1987. Unfortunately President Compaoré was defenestrated last month after attempting an end-run around the nation's constitution. Hm, interesting.
Anyway, all those 18-year-olds with nothing much to look forward to but a lifetime of picking cotton for thirty bucks a week, they all came out on the streets, some important buildings were burned down — including the country's parliament — and President Compaoré fled to the Ivory Coast … just in time to catch that soccer game, one hopes.
Well, since all that happened the Burkina Fasoans, Upper Voltages, whatever, have been sorting out their political affairs. The news this week was that Burkina Faso now has an interim President, Michel Kafando, and an interim Prime Minister, Army Lt. Col. Isaac Zida, sworn in this week. Congratulations to both. Elections will be held next year.
I'm sure Burkina Faso will then stride forward onto the sunlit uplands of peace, prosperity, and liberty. Whether they do or not, at least they won't be groaning under the iron heel of white supremacy.
Did I mention the name of Burkina Faso's capital? It's Ouagadougou. Ouagadougou. I just like saying it: Ouagadougou. No disrespect; I'm sure the Ouagadougouonians crack up over "Derbyshire." Heck, I've know Americans do so. White Americans.
09 — Miscellany. And now, let's leave the noble continent of Africa, birthplace of our species, and move on to our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The latest thing in cosmetic surgery is voice correction. You've had your chin tuck, your nose job, and your ears pulled back; next up is your vocal chords.
This makes sense to me. In politics, for example, I've long nursed the theory that in the present age, the age of television, no man with a high-pitched voice could get elected President. I was thinking of Newt Gingrich when I first said that; but other cases come to mind on both sides of the Atlantic.
Reading the news story, though, this so far seems to be something that's happening just in East Asia — in China and South Korea. That figures: These are very conformist societies. Recall the racial typology of biologist Carl Linnaeus 300 years ago: Europeans ruled by laws, indigenous Americans ruled by custom, blacks ruled by caprice, East Asians ruled by opinion. He was on to something.
Quote from the news story:
One person who has had the surgery is Lu Xiang, 23, who endured years of being mocked for his "girly" high pitched voice. "For many years, my classmates and colleagues made fun of me because of my voice, calling me a sissy," Lu told Global Times journalists. "I couldn't get a girlfriend either."
You have to feel for the guy, I guess. What do you think, Brandy? [Brandy, very deep voice: "I think it's a great idea if you can afford it."] Uh … I really hope that's a case of laryngitis you've got there, honey.
Item: I occasionally browse in the manosphere for stories and ideas. That's the zone of the internet where guys go for advice on how to pick up women.
It's a cold, cynical place, centered on the idea that women are turned on by a man who's aloof, impregnably confident, and a bit of a bully. The key slogan is: "Chicks dig jerks."
I don't deny there's something to it. A lot of chicks do dig jerks. Or worse: 26-year-old Afton Burton of Los Angeles, a quite attractive young woman, last week announced her intention to marry 80-year-old Charles Manson, currently serving no-parole life sentences for conspiracy to commit multiple murders.
And the manosphere insight isn't exactly new. An ancient English joke — well, it's at least 200 years old — has the wife asking the husband: "Do you love me, Jack?" "Course I do,Peg" Jack replies. "Knock me about a bit then," says Peg.
Women, however, like other living things, come in a wide variety of types, and plenty of them don't dig jerks. They just think jerks are jerkish. If anyone wants my opinion, these are the better kinds of women.
Be that as it may, here's a representative of the manosphere, American dating advisor Julien Blanc, being denied a visa to enter Britain. If you ever wondered why the Brits have a reputation for hypocrisy, ponder this. Muslim immigrants who kidnap and rape hundreds of English girls are not prosecuted — let alone, Heaven forbid! deported — because someone might think it would be racist. Meanwhile an American jerk who wants to show timid guys how to be more jerkish so they can attract susceptible women, is denied a visa because screechy feminists might be offended.
I weep for the country of my birth.
Item: Last week we reported on the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, which successfully landed on a comet. As a footnote to that segment, I jeered at lefty blogger P.Z. Myers, who had suffered an attack of the PC vapors when seeing Project Scientist Matt Taylor in a televised interview wearing a shirt adorned with images of scantily-clad women. Young women who had dreamed of becoming aerospace project scientists themselves would now be hurling themselves from rooftops in despair and humiliation all over the civilized world, Myers predicted.
I naïvely thought it was just P.Z. Myers hyperventilating. Nope: a mighty chorus of feminists piled on. Astrophysicist Katie Mack whinnied that, quote: "A shirt featuring women in lingerie isn't appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in science," end whinny.
The rule for the one being criticized in these situations, the golden rule, is: never apologize! Stare them down; laugh at them; and if they keep pressing the issue, spit in their faces.
Dr. Taylor apparently did not know this. He not only apologized for his shirt, he — quote from the Daily Telegraph, quote: "appeared visibly upset and struggled to speak."
My first thought was: What a pussy! On reflection, I think that may be unkind. Most likely Dr Taylor is just not a very worldly person. Why would he be worldly? He's an astrophysicist.
Item: Finally, bringing up the rear of this week's Radio Derb, our congratulations go out to 22-year-old Indianara Carvalho from the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil, winner of the title Miss BumBum 2014. A panel of experts scrutinized the bottoms of 14 finalists, and judged Senhorita Carvalho's the most perfectly formed.
To the distant sound of Kim Kardashian's teeth grinding, Senhorita Carvalho gushed that, quote: "Whatever happens, I thank God first. Yesterday was a very special night for me and also for all the people who love me end …" No, that's not right, sorry: "… who love me and believe in me," end quote.
I suggested to my research assistant Mandy, who is quite handsomely endowed in that region, that she might enter the Miss BumBum contest next year. "What," she replied, "and make a perfect ass of myself?" Sometimes you just can't get through to people.
10 — Signoff. That's the week's news, andro- and gyno-Americans. Swallow it down, the pain will soon pass.
Just following on from the Burkina Faso segment there: Since Col. Zida is new to the governing business, I wish him good luck in the stewardship of his nation. I hope he won't mind if I pass on some advice from a great African leader, the late much-lamented Idi Amin Dada of Uganda, formerly a lieutenant in the King's Africa Rifles. Here to sing us out is Lt. Amin with the Kampala Glee Club.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: John Bird "Most Amazin' Man"]