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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, piano version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, ladies and gentlemen, from your supremely genial host John Derbyshire.
No surprise about the big newsmaker this week. Strength to his arm! May his tribe increase — and his poll numbers, too.
02 — Trump makes a sound policy proposal. How about that Donald Trump, eh? Monday this week the Donald called for, quote, "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." He walked the thing back a little bit the next day, saying that U.S. citizens who are Muslim should of course be allowed back in from overseas trips. Quote: "They're a citizen. That's different." End quote.
Naturally Radio Derb is in total agreement with the general sentiment. It needs breaking down a little, though.
There are three ways a foreigner comes to the U.S.A. He comes on an immigrant visa, or on a nonimmigrant visa, or he comes illegally. Let's ignore the last category there as being just a law-enforcement issue. What about the others?
An immigrant visa confers the right of permanent settlement and ultimately citizenship, unless the immigrant blots his copybook in some serious way. Should we block Muslims from permanent settlement here?
You're asking me? I write for VDARE.com. We want a moratorium on all new permanent settlement! The U.S.A. has as many people as it needs, and some serious problems of assimilation. Let's stop all issuance of immigrant visas for the indefinite future, and get down to assimilating the huge numbers we've let in this past fifty years.
What, exactly, is the case against this? There isn't one. You can't make one; although you can, of course, chant platitudes about huddled masses and "a nation of immigrants." That's not making a case, that's just emoting.
When I first came here forty years ago the U.S.A. had 210 million people, who had somehow just managed to put men on the Moon. I traveled all over that 210 million America — actually drove coast to coast and back in my 1964 Chevy. Let me tell ya, in case you weren't around, 210 million America was a damn nice place.
Now we have 320 million, a 52 percent increase. Is the U.S.A. 52 percent better off for that, discounting for things that would have improved anyway? I can't see it.
The ban on settlement needn't be waterproof. I'm sure most Americans would allow some minimal family unification — spouse and minor children of citizens, subject to basic security checks. Likewise for foreigners with extraordinary talents. If the world's greatest chess player wants to settle in America, I'd say let him. Personally I'd even allow Muslims in both cases, subject to security screening.
That would get you down to a few thousand a year accepted for permanent settlement, of whom a few dozen might be Muslims. The current numbers — well over a million a year, ten percent of them Muslims — are insane. We don't need these people; and with such huge numbers, we can't do proper, thorough background checks.
So a moratorium on immigrant visas, Muslim or otherwise. What about nonimmigrant visas — business travelers, academic exchanges, diplomats, students, guest workers, tourists?
The first thing to be said here is that these nonimmigrant visa categories are all hopelessly corrupted, as spelled out at length by Michelle Malkin and John Miano in their book Sold Out, which I reviewed for VDARE last month. The whole system of nonimmigrant visas needs to be scrapped and rebuilt from scratch, with proper entry-exit tracking to stop visa overstayers.
All right, but that's not going to happen soon. Until it does, should we exclude Muslims, even as tourists?
Yes we should, to the degree we can. It is true of course that most Muslims aren't extremists planning terrorism. Only a tiny minority are. The world has a lot of Muslims, though. What's a tiny minority — 0.1 percent? There are 1.6 billion Muslims. Zero point one percent of 1.6 billion is 1.6 million. Keep 'em out!
All, right, but how?
First we need to scrap the Visa Waiver Program. Oh, you didn't know about that? Citizens of 38 countries can come to the U.S.A. without a visa. These are all First World countries, mostly European; but that's no protection. Britain, France, and Germany are on the list, but they all have big Muslim populations.
The Visa Waiver Program should be scrapped. Any foreigner who wants to enter the U.S.A. for any purpose should have to apply to his local U.S. embassy for a visa and submit to a personal interview and a background check. Visa officers should have total discretion; and they should be instructed not to issue visas to applicants they suspect of being Muslim.
They'd make a few bad calls in both directions, no doubt; but that's no reason not to do what we can. Passport control officers at points of entry are a second line of defence. They already have authority to refuse entry to people on watch lists or who otherwise arouse suspicion. Keeping bad people out is not insuperably difficult.
This is our country. We can admit or exclude anyone we please, without explanation or apology. Right now, with Muslim extremists causing mayhem in Western countries, we obviously have a strong interest in keeping Muslims out.
Again, the ban needn't be totally waterproof. I'd allow diplomats from Muslim countries, for example; and if the King of Jordan wants to pay a visit, I'd issue him a diplomatic visa.
Beyond that, I don't see any need. Most of what business travelers do could be skyped. I can't imagine Muslim tourism is a big sector even of any of our local economies. We admit far too many foreign students; our schools are a finite resource that should be preferentially for our own people. The guest worker visas are just a cheap-labor scam — read Michelle and John's book.
The Trump ban wouldn't solve our Muslim problem. We have stupidly been allowing settlement of tens of thousands of Muslims every year for decades now; and there's a population of native converts, like the boxer Muhammed Ali and the senior beltway sniper.
If the Trump ban won't solve our Muslim problem, though, it'll stop it getting worse. That, it seems to me, is good sound policy.
03 — Our elites come unhinged. It is a measure of how demented, how detached from reality our public life here in the Western world has become, that the Trump ban, which I have just declared to be good sound policy on, I think, calm and reasonable grounds, generated shrieking hysteria among political and media elites here and abroad.
Politicians from both wings of the Democrat-Republican open-borders cartel went into harrumph mode. Jeb Bush took a break from trying to lift his poll numbers up into double digits to tweet that, quote:
Donald Trump is unhinged. His "policy" proposals are not serious.
End quote, with mockery quotes around the word "policy."
Hillary Clinton, also on Twitter, quote:
This is reprehensible, prejudiced, and divisive … This makes us less safe.
I guess continuing to admit 100,000 Muslims a year for settlement makes us more safe.
Marco Rubio honked that, quote:
I disagree with Donald Trump's latest proposal. His habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Americans together.
Lindsey Graham lisped that, quote:
Donald Trump has gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.
The mayor of St Petersburg, Florida tweeted that, quote:
I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St Petersburg until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps.
Perhaps Mayor Kriseman should attend to the beam in his own eye. According to the NeighborhoodScout website, quote:
St Petersburg has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes … One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 16. Within Florida, more than 93 percent of the communities have a lower crime rate than St Petersburg. In fact … NeighborhoodScout found St Petersburg to be one of the top 100 most dangerous cities in the U.S.A.
Where one's personal safety is concerned, being banned from St Petersburg looks like a good deal.
So it went. I didn't read a whole lot of these responses, but I have not the slightest doubt that someone somewhere said: "That's not who we are." It wouldn't be a full-blown outbreak of PC hysteria without that.
The politicians at least tried for a dignified style of disdain. The media lefties were just, if Jeb won't mind my borrowing an adjective from him, unhinged.
The Philadelphia Daily News ran a cover showing Trump with his arm raised and the headline THE NEW FUROR, F-U-R-O-R. Having mixed with tabloid journalists considerably this past thirty years, I assumed the subeditor responsible was too stupid to spell Führer correctly, but apparently they were trying for a pun. That's brilliant, guys.
Comparing Trump with Hitler because of the suggested ban on Muslims is actually a bit odd. Hitler seems to have gotten on well with Muslims. Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem when the Nazis took power, was a big favorite. Al-Husseini had an amicable meeting with Hitler himself in 1941; and one of his most treasured possessions was a photograph of him and Heinrich Himmler smiling sweetly at each other, with a friendly inscription by Himmler, taken in 1943. The common bond there was of course hatred of Jews.
It was the same all over the media playpen. I caught The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Monday night. Bill had his two bimbo lawyers there to discuss Trump's remarks. The first one started in by saying that not granting visas to Muslims would violate the Constitution. That got a smile from the Big Mick. Bill doesn't know squat about immigration but he does know that foreigners in foreign countries don't enjoy the protections of the United States Constitution.
So far as Muslims are concerned, it's not even clear that Constitutional protections apply even in the U.S.A. Religious freedom isn't absolute. The Constitution doesn't protect polygamy, for example. And Islam comes with add-ons that fall outside the scope of Constitutional protections: its own law code, for instance, and extranational loyalties. It's not just a religion.
The Pew Research Center surveyed Muslims in 39 countries, asking them if they thought sharia law should be supreme in their countries. In Afghanistan, ninety-nine percent said it should. Pakistan, 84 percent.
Trump's proposed ban is moderate, sensible, and prudent. The fact that it ignited hysteria among our elites just tells us how unmoored from reality our elites have become. We need some new elites. Electing Donald Trump as President would be a good start.
04 — Bobbies on bicycles … scared to wear uniforms. I mentioned that the hysteria over Trump's remarks was international, at least in the Western world. Here's why.
In his follow-up remarks on Tuesday, Trump said this, quote:
Look at what happened in Paris, the horrible carnage, and frankly, if you look at Paris, and I hate to do this because the Chamber of Commerce is going to go crazy, but Paris is no longer the same city it was.
That drew much indignation from British elites. The country's worthless and ineffectual Prime Minister David Cameron huffed that Trump's remarks were, quote, "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong," end quote. Jeremy Corbyn, the Trotskyite leader of Her Majesty's Opposition said that Trump's comments were, quote, "an affront to humanity." He called for people to, quote, "unite against racism," apparently in the belief that Islam is a race.
The Mayor of London, who fancies himself a wit, said that the only reason he wouldn't go to some parts of New York is, quote, "the real risk of meeting Donald Trump." I shall pause here until you've stopped laughing … right. He added that, quote, "London has a proud history of tolerance and diversity and to suggest there are areas where police officers cannot go because of radicalisation is simply ridiculous."
An official statement from the Metropolitan Police backed him up. Trump couldn't be more wrong, they said.
Narrative collapse set in rather quickly. Newspaper reporters had no difficulty finding actual working police officers who confirmed the truth of Trump's remarks. Here's a headline from the London Daily Express, December 10th, headline: "Trump is right!" Police say parts of Britain are no-go areas due to ISIS radicalisation. Sample quote from the story, quote:
Serving officers in terrorist hotspots including London and Birmingham said that forces are becoming increasingly nervy over the rising threat of Islamic State (ISIS) inspired attacks, with some telling staff not to wear their uniforms in their OWN patrol cars.
In fact, for all the fake indignation from traitorous politicians, anyone who follows British affairs knows that mass Muslim immigration has had a terribly destructive effect on British society and traditional liberties.
Here is a thing that happened recently in England.
In Manchester there is a parochial school, Manchester Islamic School for Girls. The school follows a strict Islamic curriculum and obliges all students to wear full Islamic dress.
Seeing this on the school's website, a 68-year-old English grandmother, name of Rose White, wrote a letter to the school principal, a Muslim lady named Mona Mohammed. Mrs White is a devout Christian of an eccentric sort. Her letter was not at all abusive, nor even angry. The tone was in fact more in sorrow than anger, urging Ms Mohammed to come to Jesus and forsake, quote, "Satan or Mohammed or whatever they call him." Mrs White enclosed some printed pamphlets along the same lines.
I've had far worse stuff from people objecting to things I've written. I, however, don't belong to a designated victim group, with all the privileges that go with that status. I also, thank goodness, don't — or don't yet — live in a country whose native population has been marginalized and cowed by mass immigration of unassimilable peoples.
Ms Mohammed claims to have been "deeply alarmed" by Mrs White's letter and pamphlets. She called the police. The British police, who now no longer investigate burglary and robbery reports for fear that doing so might hurt the feelings of burglars and robbers, leapt into action.
Mrs White was arrested and charged with sending an indecent or grossly offensive letter. At Manchester magistrates court this week she was found guilty, sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid community service and fined $800. Quote from the presiding magistrate, quote: "The court has … determined you have crossed the line between freedom to express your opinions and causing harm to others," end quote. He did not tell us exactly how Ms Mohammed was harmed by Grandma White's little propaganda effort.
Here's another thing that happened in Britain, this one last week. A Member of Parliament had died, so there was an election to replace him. The constituency is an old working-class one, near Manchester as it happens. It has traditionally voted Labour, but there seemed to be a good chance that the U.K. Independence Party, UKIP, could take it. UKIP favors great reductions in immigration.
That didn't happen. Labour held the seat with 62 percent of the votes. UKIP got 23 percent. One factor there: The constituency is 25 percent Muslim.
UKIP has alleged electoral fraud. The winning Labour guy says that's sour grapes, and if UKIP has evidence, they should give it to the police.
That assumes the police wouldn't be too scared to go into a 25 percent Muslim neighborhood. In any case, to judge from the previous story, the police over there are too busy chasing down eccentric English grandmothers sending Christian literature to Muslims.
05 — Long-term thinking. Last week I wondered aloud why politicians make such a show of thinking long-term in the matter of climate change, but seem unable to think long-term on topics just as momentous, like mass immigration.
Radio Derb listeners offered some thoughtful suggestions.
Listener A thought that it was precisely the tribal quality of the climate change business that's the driver on both sides. Warmists and anti-Warmists are both just virtue signaling to their supporters.
Listener B thought that politicians have one eye on their legacy. Since there's a nonzero possibility that global warming may be real and cause major harm in the future, best not to go down in history as having been on the wrong side of that. It's a sort of Pascal's Wager: If warming doesn't happen, your legacy isn't affected. People will just forget what you said about it.
Listener C opined that both Warmist hysteria and open borders dogma are driven by ethnomasochism. Warmism, quote, "allows western elites to flagellate themselves and wallow in guilt for causing the whole thing," end quote. We punish ourselves by turning our countries into Third World hell-holes. Two sides of same coin.
Listener D offered the suggestion that, quote:
In a world where a sort of patriotic nostalgia is taboo, environmentalism is one of very few socially acceptable expressions of the very normal instinct to preserve the world of one's upbringing.
He also pointed out, however, that climate alarmism is a helpful tool for pushing globalism and bureaucracy, which is surely true, independent of whether global warming is actually happening.
Thanks to all who contributed there. On the other side of my question — I mean, why we seem incapable of long-term thinking about demographic issues — it's worth remembering that not all of the First World is so incapable.
The Japanese, for example, have been thinking about demographics for quite a while; perhaps because they have a big population in a resource-poor territory most of which is too mountainous to support high population densities. The Japanese established an Institute of Population Problems as early as 1939. Back then the worry was over-population, and that continued to be the case through a postwar baby boom and into the 1950s. There were policies to discourage population growth.
In the 1960s thinking turned to the problems that might arise from a declining population, beginning it was calculated in the 1990s.
In fact Japan's population peaked in 2008 and is now falling by about a quarter million a year. Fertility rate is low, ranked 211 out of 224 nations. Median age is high at 46.1, tied with Germany for second place in the world, behind Monaco.
Main point here: The Japanese have been doing the long-term thinking about demographics that we haven't been doing; and they've been doing it for 76 years.
What have they concluded from all that thinking? Well, here's a thing they have not concluded: They have not concluded that mass immigration is the solution to their demographic problems. They believe they can keep their standard of living — one of the world's highest — maintain their technological advantages, and manage their national debt, without importing millions of foreign workers. There is no constituency in Japan favoring mass immigration. In Japan, even business moguls are patriotic.
Good luck to them. Nobody knows the future, of course; but I'd wager a modest sum of money that in the world of the middle 21st century the people of Britain, France, Germany, and the U.S.A. will be cursing my generation and the one before it for not following Japan's example.
At the very least the Japanese have spared themselves decades of public lying — of empty and dishonest cant about how "vibrancy" enriches us and "diversity" is a strength, when it is perfectly obvious to everyone that the presence of huge racial and cultural minorities is a source of endless social friction and discontent.
06 — SCOTUS Justice reads a book! As if Donald Trump wasn't doing enough to make goodwhite liberals sputter and swoon, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia set off another spasm of PC outrage on Wednesday this week.
The Supremes were hearing oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas You'll recall that Abigail Fisher, a white lady, sued the University of Texas, claiming she wasn't admitted in 2008 because of affirmative action.
If you're thinking, "Wait a minute, didn't the Supremes hear that case already?" you're right, they did, back in 2012. On that occasion the Supremes sent the case back to the Circuit Court, the Circuit Court again found for the University, Ms Fisher again appealed their decision, so here we are again.
What caused the outrage was some comments Justice Scalia made during these oral arguments. Here's what the man said, quote:
There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to … get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school … a slower-track school where they do well. One of … the briefs pointed out that … most of the black scientists in this country don't come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they're … being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them. I'm just not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer (black students). Maybe it ought to have fewer.
Scalia is likely working here from the 2012 book Mismatch by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, which argued that affirmative action just puts blacks into college programs they can't handle, as evidenced by their high dropout rates and their high failure rate on post-college professional tests like the bar exam.
The book was well reviewed and its ideas are now pretty mainstream. You'd never know that from the reaction to Scalia's mild remarks. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid went straight to the point, calling Justice Scalia "racist" on the floor of the United States Senate. Quote from him:
The idea that African-American students are somehow inherently intellectually inferior from other students is despicable. It's a throwback … to a time that America left behind a half a century ago.
The Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Scalia's comments were, quote, "disgusting, inaccurate and insulting to African Americans. Thousands of black Americans have excelled in top-tier universities." End quote. That of course is neither here nor there since Scalia was speaking in generalities, as were the authors of Mismatch.
The White House itself chimed in. Presidential spokesman Josh Earnest said during a briefing that Obama's own education — he graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School — is an example that refutes Scalia. Of course it doesn't, as again Scalia was addressing generalities.
Nobody denies that there are some extremely intelligent blacks. There just aren't enough to fill up all the affirmative-action slots at the best schools. The best schools make up the difference by putting less smart blacks in the vacant slots.
This has two bad consequences, according to the Mismatch argument. First, those less-smart blacks are out of their depth. Hence the high dropout rates. Hence also, many of us think, all the recent ructions on our campuses, with blacks complaining about lack of respect. They know they're out of their depth and it makes them first uncomfortable, then resentful.
Second, those less-smart blacks sucked up by the top schools are now not available to the second-rank schools, who have to reach further down the ability scale to fill their affirmative-action slots … And so on in a cascade of mismatching all the way down the educational scale.
It's all very plausible, and Scalia's remarks show he's well-informed and up-to-date on the arguments about affirmative action … which you'd want a Supreme Court Justice to be when hearing a case about the topic.
I note by the way that the Mismatch theory can be put forward without any appeal to race realism. Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor in fact did not rest their arguments on race realism. They observed all the genteel proprieties, blaming black underperformance on "failing schools" and so on: You know, those schools whose bricks and mortar and asphalt exude invisible vapors that enstupidate the students.
Whether Justice Scalia is a race realist I can't say. The point is that he doesn't need to be to put forward the Mismatch argument. He could believe that the poor academic performance of blacks is due to absent fathers, or poverty, or the legacy of slavery, or invisible vapors, or witchcraft; and still arive at Mismatch theory.
Still, as always in stories like this, I end up reflecting wistfully on how much more honest, more straighforward our public discourse would be, and what a wealth of intellectual effort — not to mention actual dollar wealth — would be saved, if race differences were openly acknowledged.
Homo sapiens, like any other widely-distributed species, comes in regional variants, that display different statistical profiles on all heritable traits. That includes traits of behavior, intelligence, and personality, all known to be heritable. Get over it!
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
When I first saw this I didn't think it was particularly unreasonable. Person of the Year was never guaranteed to be a good person. Hitler and Stalin both made the cut; so did Ayatollah Khomeini. Chancellor Merkel's insanely stupid throwing open of Europe's borders to all the discontented billions of Africa and the Muslim world was not at the Hitler-Stalin level of despotic wickedness, but it may very well prove more destructive to European civilization than anything those gents tried to do.
So, fair enough, I though: The lady made a major impact on the world.
Then I read some of the text in Time. Sample, quote:
You can agree with her or not, but she is not taking the easy road. Leaders are tested only when people don't want to follow. For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is Time's Person of the Year.
Good grief! They actually like her! I had momentarily forgotten that these big journalistic outlets, like our own broadsheet newspapers and TV channels, are all totally on board with the destruction of the West via massive, relentless Third Worldization. I had forgotten how much the goodwhite gentry of the Western world loathe us badwhites, and how unwaveringly fixated they are on our annihilation.
I shall try not to forget again.
Item: News from the world of technology. The Swedish communications firm Ericsson has done a study on what people are looking forward to from the makers of gadgets. They questioned 100,000 people in Sweden and 39 other countries.
They came up with this rather surprising fact: Half of their respondents believe smartphones will die out within five years. Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality will take up the slack, people thought.
That got a smile from me. I don't have a smartphone, and have been quietly hoping to make it clear through to the grave without ever having to get one. It makes me deeply sad to see people in the street, in restaurants and parks, staring down at their gadgets and twiddling their thumbs over them.
On further reflection, the brave new post-smartphone world may of course be even worse. At least now I can see the silly slack faces of the gadget-tappers. Five years from now those faces may be hidden inside a Virtual Reality headset.
Wait … would that really be worse? I need to think this through some more …
Item: Regular listeners know that one of the recurring themes here at Radio Derb is Jane Austen's observation that one half of the human race cannot understand the pleasures of the other half.
As with pleasures, so with passions. Take for instance the passion for sneakers. I'm looking at a report from MTV News. Yes, Radio Derb goes where other podcasts fear to tread, even in brand-name sneakers.
The report includes a picture taken November 11th of a long line of people huddled in sleeping bags and blankets along an urban sidewalk. They are waiting for a store to bring forth something called Kanyewest Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers.
I'm not clear if that 350 is part of the name of the sneakers, or the quantity that will be on sale. Whatever; these people really, really want those sneakers. November 11th was a Wednesday: the store began selling the sneakers on Saturday the 14th. So the customers were sleeping three more nights out there on the sidewalk.
They may also have been putting their lives at hazard. The actual title of the MTV report is: An Estimated 1,200 Americans Die Every Year Because Of Sneakers.
I like a nice pair of sneakers as much as the next geezer, but I'm having trouble understanding this. It makes the case against consumer capitalism all by itself. I mean, does anyone suppose that the big sneaker companies like Nike and Adidas do not do all they can to encourage these strange passions?
There's nothing new under the Sun, of course. Victorian ladies wore vast dresses made of highly inflammable material in houses full of candles and open fires. The death toll was terrific. It included, for example, the poet Longfellow's wife. Fashion is to die for, and always has been.
And looking at the thing from the grand cosmic point of view, in saecula saeculorum, it may be better for people to kill each other over sneakers than over ideological disagreements. Discuss among yourselves.
Item: Finally, just a headline that caught my eye. This is from the New York Post, America's Newspaper of Record, November 27th, headline: People having sex with horses is on the rise in Switzerland.
I shall leave listeners to supply the customary jokes here: Stable relationships, roll in the hay, puns on the verb "to mount," etc., etc. What struck me was the fact that this is happening in Switzerland.
If it has been Albania, or Montenegro, or … I don't know, New Zealand? I would probably have passed by without noticing, but Switzerland? I guess it gets awful lonely up there in the Alpine valleys.
08 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and get busy setting up that Christmas tree, if you haven't already.
No problem selecting some apt signoff music this week. Saturday, December 12th is the centenary of the birth of Frank Sinatra, the greatest lounge singer of all time.
From an early age — I mean, late teens — I was as susceptible to Sinatra's voice as the rest of the world: to that bold, smoky confidence with, now and then, a glimpse of emotional vulnerability and angry masculine violence. Here's what I mean.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Frank Sinatra, "One for the road."]