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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, traditional instruments version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners worldwide, from your euphoniously genial host John Derbyshire.
I am sorry to report that this week's podcast will be mostly about politics. It can't be helped, I'm afraid.
Politics is, as you have no doubt heard said, downstream from culture. I'd much rather be upstream writing about culture — upstream where the water is cool and clear. From time to time, though, commentarial due diligence obliges me to wade into the murky, malodorous waters downstream, to report on the hideous misshapen creatures that dwell there among the ooze and effluvia.
It's a disagreeable duty; but we journalists are hardy souls, sworn to duty. So let's wade in; let's take a look at what's been happening in the halls of Congress this week.
02 — Republican Congress passes anti-Trump budget. This week Congress passed a budget. It's a blockbuster — 1.3 trillion dollars, or around four thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.A.
The budget is extraordinary in several ways. Basically it is a compound made up of (a) anything leftist Democrats could wish for, and (b) anything that the Jeb Bush wing of the Republican Party, and that wing's big-business donors (but I repeat myself), could wish for.
How about the things that sixty-three million of us voted for in 2016, awarding the Presidency to Donald Trump? Border control, firm enforcement of immigration law, an end to missionary wars and the World Policeman role, economic and population policies that favor Americans rather than foreigners?
There has to be some of that in such a colossal budget, doesn't there? After all, Donald Trump is President, isn't he? He has to sign off on this thing, doesn't he?
Well, to be perfectly fair, if you apply a microscope to the budget bill's two thousand-odd pages, you can find a teeny-tiny sort-of concession to Trumpism hidden in there among the gov-speranto.
There is, for example, 1.6 billion dollars — one-eighth of one percent of the total budget — for border security, probably the single issue more than any other that brought voters out for Trump in 2016.
How will that 1.6 billion be spent? Congressional Republicans have told us it will be spent on, quote, "replacement (of existing barriers), bollards, and levee improvements," end quote. Congressional Democrats have told us that the money will not be used for any new concrete wall.
So no wall, then. Those "prototypes" our President was inspecting in the southwestern desert the other day were merely what the late Senator Pat Moynihan called "boob bait for the bubbas." Got it. Probably those prototypes will still be standing out there in the desert a thousand years from now, testifying to the suicide of our nation, while round about them, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.
Twiddling the knobs on my microscope a little more, I see that there's funding for DHS to hire 351 new Customs and Border Protection agents. Not 350, please note, nor 352: just precisely 351. Let no-one accuse the Congressional drafting committees of imprecision.
Customs and Border Protection are the guys at our airports, seaports, and border posts. CBP has 60,000 employees, according to their website, so that 351 additional is better than a half of one percent. Don't you feel safer already?
And what about ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the guys who do the intelligence and muscle work — interior enforcement, workplace compliance, and deportation of illegals? Do they get 351 more agents? Or perhaps 263, or 155? "Barely 100" is the best number I can find in the news reports.
It is now in fact fashionable on the political left to call for the abolition of ICE.
This is quite a recent development, which bears watching. The old commies at The Nation magazine got the ball rolling earlier this month with an article calling ICE, quote, "incompatible with democracy and human rights." Now the cry is being raised all over the CultMarx-o-sphere: "Abolish ICE!" If the Democrats pull off a congressional sweep in November, abolition of ICE will likely be high on their agenda, and that will be the end for interior enforcement of our immigration laws.
Immigration-wise, in fact, the budget Congress just passed is on balance a big negative for patriotic reform. It includes an expansion of the H-2B guest-worker program, undoubtedly with the approval of Republican congressvermin cucking to their donors. That's more cheap labor for the business donors, fewer jobs for low-skill Americans. (H-2B is the low-skill equivalent of the H-1B).
The budget also further extends the EB-5 investor-visa program, which lets wealthy foreigners buy themselves green cards, and which we at VDARE.com have been railing against for years. It's not just us Dissident Right crazies, either: Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa recently opined that the EB-5 has been, quote, "hijacked by big moneyed New York City real estate interests," end quote.
So much for the immigration components of the budget bill — which, once again, let me repeat, was not thrown out with howls of outrage from the Republican-majority House and Senate: they passed the filthy thing.
Immigration aside, does the bill go any way towards winding down our World Policeman role, with our troops stationed in, or covertly active in, 177 nations? Remember candidate Trump telling the South Koreans to nuke up and take care of their own defenses? Any help for that in the budget bill?
Not at all. The bill in fact includes a 61 billion dollar increase in defense spending over last year, a bigger than eight percent increase.
So I guess we shall keep those 39,000 troops in Japan, those 35,000 troops in Germany, and those 12,000 in Italy, just in case WW2 flares up again. You remember WW2. That was the one your grandfather fought in, the one that ended 73 years ago. I guess we'll keep our 23,000 troops in South Korea, too, since that nation is obviously incapable of defending itself against North Korea, in spite of having twice the North's population and fifty times its GDP.
I wonder: Do our troops in, say, Djibouti, or Thailand, or Jordan ever wonder what the heck they're doing there to the advantage of the U.S.A.? Or do they get together and sing the song the war-weary Tommies sang in WW1:
[Clip: We're here because we're here,
This budget bill is, in short, a middle finger to President Trump. What does this mean, and how will the President react? Next segment.
03 — Populism no match for the Deep State. The large message of this budget bill is that populism is no match for the Deep State. The contest is an unequal one. It's almost cruel the way the congresscritters — Chuck Ryan and Paul Schumer, Nancy McConnell and Mitch Pelosi — it's almost cruel the way they are grinning and chuckling and high-fiving among themselves over how easy it's been to kick sand in the President's face.
We can now see that the populist victories of two years ago that filled us with so much hope were in fact a false dawn, a mirage. For all its spirit and vigor and successes, the populist movement is amateurish and uncoordinated. It's no match for the seasoned, hardened operatives of the Deep State, with their decades of experience at gaming Western democratic systems.
It's the same across the Pond. The second great populist victory of 2016 — second, I mean, to the election of Donald Trump — was the Brexit vote in Britain, to leave the European Union and restore Britain's national sovereignty.
The Brexit vote was in June 2016, nearly two years ago now. Britain and the EU are still engaged in talks about talks. In theory Britain will leave the EU a year from now, March 29th 2019, but there is no certainty this will actually happen.
On the optimistic assumption that it does happen, there will still be a two-year "transition period" during which free movement of people from Europe — including Albanian gangsters and Romanian gypsies — will continue. It'll be 2021 before Britain can control European immigration; and given their utter failure to control non-EU immigration, I wouldn't rest much hope in things changing even then, five years after the Brexit vote.
The Deep State, in short, can take care of itself pretty well, and is ingenious in finding ways to thwart the populist will.
It doesn't help that the chief representative of populist will in the U.S.A. is President Trump.
I know, I know, a lot of Trump voters don't want to hear criticism of our President. When I posted the Z-man's remarks three weeks ago, calling Trump, quote from the Z-man, "just a stupid bullshitter who got very lucky," I received some angry emails from listeners. "Hey," they were saying, "you stuck-up metrocons with your Gucci loafers and designer glasses and imported cheese, you may be abandoning our guy, but we real Americans are still loyal!"
That's what I was getting. People were cutting me out of their wills.
All right; but I'm a commentator. I have to call things as I see them. What I see is, that President Trump is not a very reliable friend of Trumpism.
Here for example was the President's tweet at 8:55 Friday morning, tweet:
I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded.
Well, it's nice that he grumbled about not getting the border wall, but his first grumble was about nigh-on a million illegal aliens not getting amnesty.
Elsewhere he gloated over the extravagant increase in military funding — taxpayer money that will be piddled away in chasing bandits futilely around the Hindu Kush and sparing the Japanese, Koreans, and Europeans from having to manage their own defenses for, presumably, another 73 years.
I see Trump there on my TV screen, in my newspaper, on my Twitter feed; but I don't see Trumpism. Where is it?
A friend of mine, with political inclinations very similar to mine, has an adjective he deploys to describe Trump: "anticompetent." A merely in-competent ruler, my friend says — like the child rulers who sometimes took the throne in old dynastic monarchies — could skate along without doing much harm by relying on advisors. Trump goes beyond that to anti-competent, sabotaging himself at every turn, taking advice from Deep Staters who sneer at him behind his back and detest the people who voted for him.
Trump signed the wretched budget bill anyway — another surrender to the Deep State. Chuck Schumer is delighted.
A few weeks ago I nostalged about the 1970s management fad for "zero-based budgeting." The idea was that instead of making up this year's budget by pulling out last year's and tweaking a percentage point here and there, you throw out last year's budget, sit down and think hard about what you need to do and need to spend for furtherance of your organization's goals. It's amazing how different the results can be.
I dream of our federal legislators doing that. Do we need that mohair subsidy, those 12,000 troops in Italy, that Head Start program that no-one, in its fifty-odd years of operation, has been able to prove accomplishes anything at all? No? Then defund them.
That's a dream, of course. It's even possible that a truly populist President, in this day and age, would splash money around even more incontinently than the Deep State does. Perhaps, in our over-stimulated times, a taciturn, green-eyeshade-type President like Calvin Coolidge just wouldn't be able to get our attention. Perhaps populism had to bring forth an anticompetent chief executive.
If that's the case, then so much the worse for us. So much the worse for populism; so much the better for Chuck, Nancy, Paul, and Mitch, and all their lobbyists, donors, and flunkies — the Deep State.
04 — Confessions of a bitter clinger. I got a smile or two out of this March 14th piece in Scientific American, title: Why Are White Men Stockpiling Guns? Subtitle: "Research suggests it's largely because they're anxious about their ability to protect their families, insecure about their place in the job market and beset by racial fears."
Scientific American is impeccably CultMarx-compliant, so I wasn't very surprised to find them telling me that keen interest in guns is a white-guy thing, quote, "rooted in fear and vulnerability" end quote; and, further quote, "racial anxiety."
Uh-huh. While I was smiling, though, I couldn't help thinking that the author, for all his PC sociobabble and the dubious "studies" he cites, is likely on to something. Two very distinctive things about the U.S.A. among other Western nations are, one, lots of us are really keen to own guns, and two, we have a big old sub-population of blacks. Might not the two things be connected?
If you are a gun-lover, you can speak for yourself. I'm one, and I'll speak for my-self. Possibly I'm a lone eccentric, a demographic of one, but here goes anyway.
I don't have a lot of faith in the stability and permanence of our civilization. Perhaps I have less faith than most. In my formative years I read a lot of science fiction, including post-apocalyptic stories about the world following a nuclear holocaust, a great plague, a worldwide famine, a catastrophic earthquake … You name it. For making your adolescent flesh crawl, there was nothing like mid-20th-century post-apocalyptic sci-fi.
It didn't help that one of my schoolmasters, a teacher of English with an enthusiasm for Anglo-Saxon verse, introduced us to that poem where the poet finds himself among the ruins of a Roman town and wonders what the heck happened to it all.
So I live at a level of anxiety — a low level: I'm not neurotic about it, not enough to be a real Prepper — that I could wake up one morning to find the fragile fabric of civilization turned to dust overnight like Tutankhamun's shroud.
I'd like to think that if that happened I could survive long enough to get myself and my family to some friendly group dedicated to collective survival. I'll be looking for a community I can join for mutual protection. Lone Preppers, it seems to me, are going to be easy targets.
Targets for whom? Well, if we collapse into a state of nature, a lot of people will be doing what I'm doing: Looking for a community to join, for the safety of me and my family. Some other people, however, will go feral. They'll be looking to survive too, and their preferred method will be to kill me and take whatever I've got.
If I spot a group of strangers on the post-apocalyptic road, how will I know which category they fall into — folk like myself looking for safety in numbers, or feral predators?
It's a sad thing to say, and disagree if you like, but I think race will be a major clue. We know how inner-city blacks behave among themselves. We know the statistics of Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis. We know about Nat Turner's uprising and the massacres in Haiti. When blacks confront whites in a state of nature, race vengeance is on the table.
You may say race vengeance is justified, given the cruelties and indignities of the past. Probably you are right. I'm looking to survive, though. When some feral black has a knife to my child's throat, the fact that he may have some historical justification for his feelings will not be a factor in my decision-making. If I'm armed, I'll shoot the guy. If I'm not armed, I'm out of luck, and so is the kid.
I'm exploring the dark depths of the white American psyche here. Or possibly they're just the dark depths of my psyche, I don't know. By all means email in and tell me.
I do believe, and the Scientific American article, in its guarded, condescending, and roundabout way I think confirms, that one reason we white Americans love our guns so much is fear of blacks, and of what might ensue if the restraints of law and civilization were to fall away.
05 — Law, truth, and hysteria. Most listeners have, I am sure, heard the news stories about law professor Amy Wax, who is now being subjected to a second Two Minutes Hate by the forces of ideological orthodoxy.
Amy Wax is a tenured Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an extremely smart person. Her first choice of career was medicine, in pursuit of which she was awarded an M.D. cum laude by Harvard Medical School, after studies at Yale and the University of Oxford. She then switched to law, got a J.D. from Columbia, served as editor at The Columbia Law Review and ended up arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
I should say — having some slight acquaintance with the lady, of which more in a moment — that Prof. Wax is a formidable person to take on in combat, not only intellectually but also in personality. I classify her in my own mind with those feisty Jewish women in the Old Testament. I doubt Prof. Wax has ever decapitated anyone, as Judith did, or hammered a tent-pin through anyone's skull like Jael, but if you're looking for a fight, she'll give you one.
A lot of people went looking for a fight after Prof. Wax, jointly with Prof. Lawrence Alexander of the University of San Diego, published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer last August. In the op-ed Profs. Wax and Alexander spoke in favor of bourgeois values: get married, stay married, raise kids, get as much education as you can take, work hard, be patriotic, and so on.
That led to shrieking and swooning among goodthinkers everywhere. The authors, it was said, were calling for the restoration of Jim Crow, for women to get back in the kitchen, for homosexuals to be jailed, and so on. I covered the hysteria in my August 18th and September 1st podcasts. You can find transcripts of what I said at the Radio Derb tab here on VDARE.com.
I concluded the latter of those podcasts with the prediction that the administrators at U. Penn. law school would cave to the witch-hunters. Prof. Wax, being tenured, can't be fired, but I predicted she would lose some of her classes.
I thought that was an easy call. The administrators at our colleges and universities are bred on a ranch hidden somewhere in the mountain West to be exceptionally compliant with Cultural Marxist orthodoxy, and to have no spinal matter at all.
In this case, however, I underestimated Prof. Wax. She returned all the obloquy with courage and spirit, and held on stubbornly to her classes.
Forward to the present. Now the lady is in trouble again. After last August's kerfuffle she did one of those Bloggingheads interviews with Economics Professor Glenn Loury, a black guy, from Brown University … or possibly a brown guy from Black University: it's hard to keep these things straight.
This was that same month, last August. The two professors discussed, in a not-particularly-controversial way, the under-performance of blacks at law school. Prof. Wax said, amongst other things, quote:
I don't think I've ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely in the top half.
A few days ago some witch-hunters dug up this Bloggingheads exchange from last year. More shrieking and swooning. The dean of U. Penn. Law school, an invertebrate named Ted Ruger, flatly contradicted Prof. Wax, quote:
Black students have graduated in the top of the class at Penn Law.
He did not, however, provide any evidence for his assertion, nor any definition of his term "top of the class." Top half? Top ninety-five percent? Who knows?
The Dean was actually puffing out this squid ink from behind a high protective wall of administrative protocol: The performance of different races at U. Penn Law is a closely guarded secret.
For making a factual statement based on her own experience, a statement no-one has produced facts to contradict, Prof. Wax is now undergoing another Two Minutes Hate. This time she has actually suffered academic consequences. Dean Ruger, fortified by an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, has had her removed from her duties teaching first-year students.
Since Dean Ruger has called Prof. Wax a liar in print, and dishonored her by removing her first-year class, some of Prof. Wax's friends have suggested she file a grievance with the American Association of University Professors. Whether such a filing would come to any conclusive result is uncertain; but there would likely be one of those processes lawyers call "discovery," in which the law school would have to open its files on student achievement by race. Then we'd know who was telling the truth about black students … as if we don't know already.
That Prof. Wax should be hounded like this for some simple observations of fact, tells you how deep our academic culture has sunk. The lady is not even, to the best of my knowledge, a race realist. She was at any rate not a race realist eight years ago: I can state that with some authority.
Here's my authority. In 2009 Prof. Wax published a book titled Race, Wrongs, and Remedies.
Within the larger sphere of jurisprudence there is a specialty area called the Law of Remedies. Suppose I hit you with my car and break both your legs. Now you're on crutches. The law — the Law of Remedies — says I have to recompense you: Pay your medical bills, lost wages, and so on.
There comes a point, however, when I have discharged my obligations under the Law of Remedies. If you are still on crutches at that point, it's now up to you to put forth some effort and get walking again. I am no longer under any obligation; I can go about my own business.
Prof. Wax's 2009 book made an analogy with the situation of blacks in today's America. What can reasonably be done to atone for past cruelty and injustice, she argued, has been done. Now blacks have to put forth some effort and get off their crutches, if they are to attain statistical parity with other races in America.
The book is thoughtful, literate, and rigorously argued, as you'd expect from someone whose IQ is very likely a four-digit number. It caused much unhappiness at U. Penn law school, though. Prof. Wax was called to a meeting of the Black Law Students' Association to explain herself.
At the meeting, Prof. Wax gave as good as she got, so the offended parties left dissatisfied. They called for a bigger event: a public debate between Prof. Wax and some black legal academics. They chivalrously allowed that Prof. Wax might have someone to second her on the debate platform.
It happened that I had published my book We Are Doomed at the same time Prof. Wax published hers. She had read my book and emailed me about it. We had exchanged a few more emails in a spirit of friendly discussion.
So when this platform debate in front of the Black Law Students' Association was being arranged, Prof. Wax suggested they invite me in to be her second. The Association emailed me with an invite. I emailed back, explaining my own opinions as a race realist. Contra Prof. Wax, I don't think blacks can attain statistical parity with other races, however much effort they put forth. Biology makes it impossible.
The black law students, to their credit, invited me anyway. I went down to Philly, gave a ten-minute address, fielded Q&A, and socialized with Prof. Wax and the black law students afterwards. The whole thing, including my address, can be read about on my website johnderbyshire.com. In the box at top right go to "Opinion," then "Human Sciences," and the write-up is there dated April 5th, 2010.
As can be seen from that transcript, I gave them straight race realism on the rocks. Again to their credit, I was received cordially and thoughtfully, confirming Jared Taylor's observation that blacks, or some large subset of them, are fascinated to hear a white person speak honestly about race. Why wouldn't they be? Things that are extremely rare are naturally fascinating.
The only discordant note was one of the audience members, a black guy, telling me my views were, quote, "old." I was of course much too polite to riposte that belief in the sphericity of the Earth is even older — around twenty-six hundred years old — but is generally held to be true notwithstanding.
That was eight years ago, before the Antifa got themselves organized. My views, which I explained very frankly to the Black Law Students' Association beforehand, and which did not deter them from inviting me, have not changed.
It is a measure of how fast our Cultural Revolution is proceeding that such acceptance would be unthinkable now; or that, if somehow I were invited to speak, I would be able to make myself heard above the Antifa chanting and the sound of breaking glass.
I offer my sympathies to Prof. Wax in her current travails; and I hope — it's a dwindling hope, but I hope it anyway — that one day sanity and respect for reasoned discourse will be restored to our universities and law schools.
06 — Signoff. Ladies and gents, I have this week gotten more than usually carried away by the sound of my own voice, and have reached my time limit. I must therefore forgo the usual closing miscellany of brief items and proceed directly to some signoff music. Thank you all for listening, and please forgive me for having varied from our time-honored format.
Tuesday this week, March 20th, marked the 101st birthday of Dame Vera Lynn, famous when I was a child in England as the Forces' Sweetheart of WW2. I marked the lady's hundredth birthday last year by playing one of her songs. I shall continue to do so every year until either Dame Vera falls off the perch or I do.
Here is this year's selection. Happy birthday, Ma'am, and many more to come!
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Vera Lynn, "There'll Be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover."]