• Play the sound file
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. Radio Derb is on the air, and this is your intrepidly genial host John Derbyshire with the weekly roundup.
This week's big story was the terrorist attack in Paris. I'll be giving over most of the show to commentary about that. There will, though, I promise you, be a Miss BumBum reference towards the end.
02 — Terrorists and taboos. Another week, another terrorist atrocity by Muslim fanatics in a civilized nation.
This time the nation was France. Shortly before noon on Wednesday three Muslims armed with AK-47 rifles and a grenade launcher attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine with an editorial line on the anarchist Left. The magazine had published jokes and cartoons mocking Islam and Muhammed.
By the time they were through the Muslims had killed twelve people and wounded eleven more. Four of that eleven are in critical condition as Radio Derb goes to tape, so the death toll may end up higher.
The twelve killed comprised three editors of the magazine, four cartoonists, one columnist — she was the only female in the twelve — one visitor, one caretaker, one bodyguard, and a cop, who was himself a Muslim. The bodyguard was a government employee, assigned to protect the magazine's editor after the office was firebombed, also by angry Muslims, three years ago.
In commenting on things like this, one has to begin by laying down some markers. Here are Radio Derb's.
First marker: In the realm of journalism, we are free-speech absolutists. Nobody's a total absolutist here. There are social zones where free speech should not be tolerated — shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater and so on — but you have to concoct artificial situations like that to make the point. There are also libel and slander, but they are pretty well-regulated in most civilized jurisdictions. In journalism, however — in a print magazine, a book, a movie, a website, a broadcast — say what you like.
Second marker: Most French Muslims, and most Muslims elsewhere in the West, are peace-loving citizens. Historian Juan Cole, who knows this territory, has written the following, quote:
France is a country of 66 million, of which about 5 million is of Muslim heritage. But in polling, only a third, less than 2 million, say that they are interested in religion. French Muslims may be the most secular Muslim-heritage population in the world … In Paris, where Muslims tend to be better educated and more religious, the vast majority reject violence and say they are loyal to France.
That dead Muslim policeman reinforces the point.
Third marker: That second marker notwithstanding, allowing settlement by millions of Muslims into non-Muslim nations has been seriously stupid. The minority of Muslims who are violently passionate about their faith cause a disproportionate amount of trouble. Even the most homogenous societies have trouble enough from native criminals and lunatics. To import new kinds of trouble is stupid.
Fourth marker: The cant language of multicultural orthodoxy is hopeless for discussing these issues. That third marker, for example, would be tagged as "hate" by defenders of orthodoxy; but it's possible to believe that Islam is a fine, enriching, and noble religion in its homelands while not wanting it in my homelands.
I don't want koala bears in my living room, but I do not hate koala bears. I'm actually rather fond of them; but I like my living room the way it is.
Fifth marker: Taboos are part of any society, and you can always find intense believers willing to defend the taboos with violence.
In present-day America there are taboos against open discussion of race. In May of 2012 a group of white Americans calling themselves "the 5th Annual White Nationalist Economic Summit" met for lunch at a restaurant in Tinley Park, Illinois, having arranged the event over the internet. A group of twenty or so self-styled "anti-racists," also all white, and armed with hammers, nunchucks, and baseball bats, stormed into the restaurant and attacked diners and staff. Two diners and a restaurant manager ended up in hospital.
Five of the anti-racists were arrested, tried, convicted, and sent to jail for the attack. They were unrepentant. They had defended the taboos!
Everywhere you have taboos, and people willing to defend them with violence. It's not an especially Muslim thing; although again, adding one more group to your society with a whole new set of taboos is stupid.
All right, there are the markers. Now let's see what we can find to say about this.
03 — The price of not putting up with things. The Paris shootings got big headlines, of course, but I'm not optimistic that they will linger in people's minds for very long.
If my saying that bothered you, here's a simple test: Recall please the last two — just the last two — news stories about fatal attacks by Muslim terrorists on the soil of Western nations. To help you out, let me just say that Radio Derb reported at length on both.
OK, time's up. How did you do? Here's the answer sheet.
First there were the attacks in Canada last October, which I'm going to count as one story. A Muslim carried out an intentional automobile hit-and-run on two Canadian soldiers outside a recruiting station in Quebec, killing one of the soldiers. Two days later, a different Muslim shot dead a soldier on guard at Canada's National War Memorial. Then the killer headed for the Parliament building, but was taken down by the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Continuing with the answer sheet, the second story was the café siege in Sydney, Australia just before Christmas.Two people died there at the hands of an Iranian Muslim.
I'm just making the point there that these assaults on Western soil by crazy Muslims are getting to be so routine that they fade from the mind after a few weeks, as I bet the Canadian story had faded from your mind.
It's possible to be insouciant about this. I'm not insouciant myself, I'm just saying it's possible. In the twelve weeks encompassing those four deaths, after all, about eight thousand people died on the roads of the U.S.A.
The general public will put up with carnage on that scale if the price of not putting up with it is high enough. The price of not putting up with thirty thousand road deaths a year would be the cessation of all motor traffic, and that price is way too high. So we put up with it.
What would be the price of not putting up with a terrorist murder by crazy Muslims every few weeks somewhere in the Western world? The price would be, the complete proscription of Islam. Muslims, including native-born citizens, would have to be expelled from all Western nations, or permanently interned. Further entry by Muslims would have to be totally banned.
In the U.S.A. a constitutional amendment would be necessary, as the late Larry Auster pointed out when he was thinking this through.
Could that happen? Next segment.
04 — Sunk deep in the multicultural swamp. If you think the proscription of Islam is a thing that could conceivably happen, you don't appreciate how deep we have sunk into the multicultural swamp.
At Fort Hood in 2009 a crazy Muslim soldier murdered thirteen of his comrades. Three and a half years later he was finally brought to court martial and sentenced to death. A year and a half on from that he's still with us, enjoying three hots and a cot at taxpayer expense, watching cable TV and exchanging love notes with the head of ISIS in Syria.
General George Casey, Chief of Staff of the Army, famously responded to the Fort Hood shooting by saying, on nationwide TV, that, quote: "As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse." The Chief of Staff of the United States Army. Said that. And today, more than five years on, as you listen to this podcast, the murderer is taking a break from channel surfing to check his watch and see if it's chow time.
And you think we're going to proscribe Islam, with mass deportations and a constitutional amendment? [Laughter.]
Back in 2001 a bunch of crazy Muslims hijacked three planes on U.S. soil and murdered three thousand people. Three thousand. How did we react?
We increased Muslim immigration! The Center for Immigration Studies crunched the numbers last September. How many immigrants did we take in from predominantly Muslim countries in the year 2000? One and a half million. How many in 2013? Two and a half million!
[Note added later : I screwed up there. The CIS numbers are for settled immigrants by stock, not annual flows … thank goodness. The numbers are still telling. And Muslim immigration is increasing: "The total number of immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries totaled 295,743 in the period [2010-2013], according to the CIS study. That was up by 13.5 percent …"]
I've said it before and I'll say it again: The mass immigration of Muslims into non-Muslim nations was the worst idea of the 20th century, after communism. A terrible, terrible idea. Also completely unnecessary. As I've also said before, a Muslim who seeks to leave his homeland can go to any of more than fifty Muslim nations. There's no reason he needs to go to the West, to live grinding his teeth among infidels.
We've let this dreadful thing happen, and I can't see the slightest possibility of it un-happening. The toothpaste is out of the tube. Or, as the Chinese say: The wood has been made into a boat. It can't be unmade back into trees.
Widespread, settled attitudes in the West, mightily reinforced by the media, the Academy, the churches, corporations, jurists, and politicians, make the proscription of Islam perfectly impossible. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here.
So, bottom line here: Get used to reading about something like the Paris attack every few weeks. It's something we'll put up with, until the social price of not putting up with it gets too high. And I can't see that ever happening.
Having filled you with despair there, let me walk back a wee bit on some of the points I've been making.
First, while the proscription of Islam is inconceivable, slowing down — maybe even stopping — the inward flood of Muslim immigrants is not.
Second, while these headline stories rapidly fade, they each may leave some residue in the public consciousness, building up a slow cumulative effect with political consequences.
Let me chew over those two walk-backs.
05 — The Yemeni enemy. First let's note that the push factor causing people in Muslim countries to want to emigrate to the West, will likely get stronger.
I note with interest that according to an eyewitness, one of the Paris assailants shouted out, quote: "Tell the media that it is al-Qaeda in Yemen!"
Radio Derb has done some occasional reports on Yemen, most recently last October when an al-Qaeda suicide bomber killed 47 people in the capital's main square.
It's not that Yemen is important. By any rational standards it's deeply un-important. The thing about Yemen is, it is in many ways representative of all of MENA. That's M-E-N-A, the Middle East and North Africa.
Yemen is, to quote from the CIA World Factbook: "highly dependent on declining oil resources for revenue." It has, quote from the same source: "declining water resources, high unemployment, severe food scarcity, and a high population growth rate." It is also the arena for an acute struggle between Sunni and Shia Muslims — a proxy struggle, with Saudi Arabia and Iran stirring the pot.
Well, you can't be gloomy enough about Yemen. David Archibald is very gloomy indeed, and I've just been reading a piece he wrote mid-November for American Thinker.
David is an energy analyst at the Institute of World Politics in DC. Last year I reviewed his book The Twilight of Abundance for Taki's Magazine. David's a gloomster who doesn't think the 21st century is going to be much fun.
Well, here he is in American Thinker last November. Sample quotes:
What is happening in Yemen is symptomatic of the whole [MENA] region. The population was semi-starved until oil production began in the 1980s, when oil production began and wheat imports rose to feed a population doubling every 25 years. The situation now is that oil exports will cease in the next couple of years, the capital is being besieged by rebel groups and Islamists of various types, and groundwater is close to complete depletion …
And you think I'm a pessimist? This is a guy, mind you, who makes his living doing high-level resource analysis.
Does David Archibald have any constructive suggestions for dealing with the Middle East? He sure does. Next segment.
06 — Good minefields make good neighbors. Further quote from David Archibald's November piece in American Thinker, quote:
The border fence between Saudi Arabia and Yemen is the new architectural style of the Middle East. It will be border fences, moats, mine fields, guard towers. Egypt is building one of the more formidable ones to separate it from the troubles of Gaza with a moat filled with seawater.
That would work for me, but it would mean us behaving with forthright unapologetic self-interest.
Mark's thesis in the book is that with regard to Islam we have three options: Submit to Islam, destroy Islam, or reform Islam. He thinks Europe will submit to Islam; that destroying Islam, quote from Mark, "doesn't bear thinking about"; and that it will be up to the U.S.A. to help Islam reform itself.
Well, here's what I said in my review, quote of myself:
Is that original list of options — submit to, destroy, or reform Islam — really exhaustive? How about we just fence it off: Expel our own Muslims, forbid Muslims to enter our countries, proscribe Islam, and deal with Muslim nations commercially at arm's length? (They have to sell their oil to someone, or else starve.) Such actions are, of course, way over the line of politically acceptable discourse today; but in five or ten years, after a couple more jihadist atrocities, they will not be.
End quote from myself.
As you can see, I was more optimistic eight years ago than I am today. Five or ten years? It's been eight, and those actions are still well over the PC line — if anything, more so than before.
Can we at least follow Archibald's recommendation: "Build the border fences, moats, and mine fields to keep them out"? So far as the U.S.A. is concerned, he's speaking figuratively, of course. What's needed is strict border and visa controls. I have doubts about our will to do those things.
On Europe, though, I'm a bit more hopeful.
07 — The world of null-Steyn. You could turn Mark Steyn's argument around, actually. Instead of the future he predicts in America Alone, with Europe swallowed up in the House of Islam and only the U.S.A. standing alone as the refuge of Western civilization — you could turn that around and predict a different future, with America taken over by Islam and the European countries successfully fighting it off.
No, I don't think that's what's going to happen. As opposed as I am to the mass settlement of Muslims in the U.S.A., I see no prospect of them taking over the Republic.
The other side of it, though — Europe successfully fighting off Islam — is a whole lot more possible. The movement to curtail immigration, which is mostly directed against Muslim immigration, is strong there, and getting stronger. The cumulative effect of incidents like the Paris attack is to further strengthen that movement.
There are significant political parties winning elections in Europe on immigration restriction. There are no such parties in the U.S.A.
Radio Derb's been reporting on one of those parties, the Sweden Democrats, who a couple of weeks ago seemed to have brought down the government. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' Party of Freedom has 22 seats in the national parliament, out of 225.
Most impressive is Marine Le Pen's National Front in France, now that country's third largest political party. In Britain, meanwhile, Nigel Farage's UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, won its first seats in the Mother of Parliaments last year.
In Germany the people have been making their feelings known with huge demonstrations in major cities all over the country, beginning with the PEGIDA movement in Dresden. A poll by the German newsmagazine Stern found that 29 percent of respondents, almost one in three, thought the PEGIDA demonstrations justified, quote, "because of the degree of influence that Islam was having on life in Germany." Thirteen percent, that's better than one in eight, said they would join an anti-Islamization march if one was held near their home. That poll was conducted last month, before the Paris attack.
This anti-Islamization sentiment in Germany so far has no real political representation; but the minor party Alternative for Germany — the AfD, "D" being "Deutschland" — seems to be swinging round to join the PEGIDA demonstrators.
So while the Europeans aren't going to proscribe Islam any more than we are, there is the prospect over there of stopping the inward flow of Muslims. The prospect of Europe doing that is better than the prospect for America doing it; but then, they are closer to the source of the problem than we are.
The globalist bureaucrats and business moguls who run Europe aren't happy about any of this, of course, and their political puppets are making disapproving noises. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an angry denunciation of the PEGIDA demonstrations in her New Year's Eve speech to the nation. In Sweden, parliamentarians of Left and Right have sunk their differences to sideline the Sweden Democrats, as reported here last week.
In Britain, Nigel Farage made some remarks about the Paris attack in a TV interview. Here is what he actually said.
[Clip: There is a very strong argument that says that what happened in Paris today is a result — and we've seen it in London too — is a result I'm afraid of now having a fifth column living within these countries.
Those remarks, which strike me as mild statements of the obvious, were met with anger and vituperation from the panjandrums of British politics.
So in Europe, as here, the establishment is rigidly transnationalist and multiculturalist, so the dissident parties have a mountain to climb. It's climbable, though; and every incident like the Paris attacks makes it more so.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Here's the latest in microaggressions; although this one is more of a nanoaggression — perhaps even, according to one commentator, a femto-aggression. That's a billionth of a microaggression.
Princeton University student Newby Parton, writing in the college newspaper, tells us that in the part of Tennessee he comes from, the "w-h" that begins many English words is pronounced /hw/. People make fun of him for this.
Newby says this is a microaggression and he is deeply hurt by it. Quote:
I am afraid because microaggressions aren't harmless — there's research to show that they cause anxiety and binge drinking among the minority students who are targeted.
The article has been much mocked. I refer you to the long comment thread at dailyprincetonian.com. Sample comment, quote: "Congrats, Princeton, you're raising a generation of emotionally crippled whiners," end quote. I almost said "/hw/iners."
Quite a lot of Americans have this oddity of pronunciation. Jared Taylor's friends have been tweaking him for years over the way he says "/hw/ite." Jared doesn't seem to feel microaggressed about this; but he's a Yale graduate, perhaps this is just a Princeton thing.
Item: Municipal boosters have to do the best they can with the data they find. A little sleight of hand never hurts.
Example: The newspapers in Detroit have been running headlines celebrating the decline in homicides in the 2014 data. One headline read, quote: 2014 Detroit homicides fewest in 47 years.
Well, that's nice, and it's even true: The 2014 number was 300, down from 333 the year before. If you do a little math, though, the news isn't quite as good as it seems.
Forty-seven years ago takes you to 1967, when there were 281 homicides in Detroit. In 1967, however, the city's population was 1.6 million. It's now less than 700,000. The actual murder rate in 1967 was 18 per hundred thousand. For 2014 it was 43, two and a half times as many, and nine times the overall national rate.
I guess you can't blame Detroiters for clutching at straws. When the city's totally depopulated, of course, both the homicide number and the homicide rate will stand at zero. That'll really be something to celebrate, except there'll be no-one left to read about it.
Item: The University of Virginia rape story, which caused the university authorities to suspend all fraternity social activities, has been exposed as a hoax.
So the fraternities can resume social activities, right? Nah-uh. University President Teresa Sullivan has told them they can only do so if they first sign on to strict new rules about drinking.
So the whole rape story was completely bogus, but the college is going to use it as an excuse to change the rules anyway.
And to change the rules in the direction of increasing their own power and crushing campus activities independent of that power.
This is pure totalitarianism. "There can only be one sun in the sky," was the slogan of the old oriental despotisms, and UVA authorities feel the same way. In the progressive utopia there is only one permitted way to think and behave. Dissent must be crushed. Campus totalitarianism, advanced by a dumb hoax.
Perhaps that was the whole point of the hoax from the get-go.
Item: Finally, listeners, I know you are hungry for news of the Miss BumBum pageant, so here's a morsel for you.
Quote from the MailOnline, January 5th, quote:
A model whose bottom came second in Brazil's Miss BumBum beauty contest has revealed the terrible harm plastic surgery wreaked on her body.
The friend who emailed me that story added the following comment, quote: "Pity they can't just transfer the excess from American women who want 'buns of steel' to Brazilian women who aren't happy unless they're built like a cello." End quote.
Now that's what I call a constructive suggestion.
09 — Signoff. Time's up, ladies and gents.
I've held off filing the tape here on Friday morning in hopes we'd get some news about the Muslim terrorists being captured or killed. One is in custody but two are still at large, said to be hiding in a wooded area of Picardy, north-east of Paris.
Nothing's happening, though, and I have to sign off. Mention of Picardy does, however, bring a lovely old song to mind. Here's Ol' Blue Eyes to remind us.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Frank Sinatra, "Roses of Picardy."]