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[Music clip: A Salvation Army choir, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," to the tune Forest Green.]
01 — Intro. One of my favorites, and one of the first Christmas carols I learned, way back somewhere in the Truman administration. That was a Salvation Army choir singing a lovely American hymn to a lovely English tune: "O Little Town of Bethlehem" to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Yes, I know, we sing it to a different tune over here; but that's the one I learned in the Old Country.
Christmas greetings to one and all from Radio Derb! This is of course your seasonally genial host John Derbyshire.
I don't precisely have tidings of comfort and joy for you. That would be out of character. I shall put as much lipstick on the pig as I can, though, in hopes of not spoiling your festive mood.
So, what's been happening?
02 — Religion, politics, and witchcraft. Christmas is of course a Christian festival: the main one for Protestants (in spite of Oliver Cromwell), the second one for Roman Catholics. I'm not sure where Eastern Orthodox Christians stand with Christmas, though they seem to have partied it up some in War and Peace — on a slightly different date, of course.
I have the impression there's been some falling-off in enthusiasm for Christmas in the U.S.A., perhaps in the Christian West in general. It's just an impression, and perhaps not a reliable one. My kids are grown up and I'm a little world-weary, so I may be just projecting my inner state onto the world outside.
Are people grumbling more than formerly about the Christmas carols being played all day long in department stores? Are more people than before telling me they find Christmas cards, Christmas trees, and Christmas lights to be tiresome chores? Or am I just noticing these things more?
For sure institutional Christianity is in a sorry state. There's still a lot of personal Christianity about; but it doesn't have the same social force, and won't be sufficient to prop up a major social tradition as a Christian tradition.
I suppose we might hold on to Christmas by retconning it back into a pagan midwinter festival, which it always partly was anyway. We may even get a new pagan religion.
We may in fact already have gotten one. Headline from the London Daily Telegraph, December 21st: Witchcraft moves to the mainstream in America as Christianity declines — and has Trump in its sights.
As the body of the article tells us, quote:
Witchcraft is thriving in the U.S., with an estimated 1.5 million Americans now identifying as witches — more than the total number of Presbyterians.
End quote. The human mind is what it is. It contains religious modules that respond strongly to stories about powerful invisible beings, intangible personalized forces, miracles and magic. If Christianity falls away, those modules will turn elsewhere for their stimulation.
Notice the presence of President Trump in that headline. It's a cliché, but true, that a lot of the passion that once directed itself at religion now goes into politics.
And our political religions definitely have a pagan cast to them. As Steve Sailer has commented, the dominant social Narrative of the Western world today — the Narrative of "discrimination," "privilege," "oppression," "racism," and so on — bears a strong resemblance to the folk beliefs of primitives.
My evil intentions, without you being directly aware of them, can hex you, causing you to stumble and fall. The stereotype lurking in my cerebral cortex causes you to flunk algebra. "Bad schools" cause students to misbehave, apparently via invisible noxious vapors seeping out from their brickwork. The Magic Dirt of the suburbs will turn Central American gangbangers into model citizens … and so on.
Further quote from that article, edited:
Dakota Bracciale, a 29-year-old transgender/queer witch … is pleased with the outcome of the ritual hex placed on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in October …
End inner quote, end quote.
All the lunacy of our age is there; and there are more people in the U.S.A. who believe this stuff than there are Presbyterians.
03 — The civil rights tyranny. "If you want a picture of the future," O'Brien tells Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, "imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever."
Under the style of totalitarianism currently settling in across the U.S.A., a more accurate picture of the future would be of a court of law prosecuting inconvenient dissidents — forever.
By way of illustration, I give you Jack Phillips of Lakewood, Colorado.
Mr Phillips is a baker, proprietor of the Masterpiece Cakeshop. Six years ago two homosexuals came into the shop and asked him to make a wedding cake for them. Mr Phillips politely declined, telling them he was a devout Christian with conscientious objections to same-sex marriage.
The homosexuals sued and got a judgment. Phillips, with the assistance of a religious-liberty nonprofit, appealed. The case went up to the U.S. Supreme Court, who ruled 7 to 2 in Mr Phillips' favor this summer. In the interim Mr Phillips had been subjected to death threats and his shop had been vandalized.
Those of us who followed the case saw this summer's SCOTUS ruling as a victory for Freedom of Association. The two homosexuals had, after all, with no difficulty at all found a different baker to bake a cake for them. Nobody had been deprived of anything; no-one suffered any loss.
When, in June of 2017, SCOTUS had announced it would consider Phillips' appeal, the CultMarx activists decided to double down, just in case the Court ruled for Mr Phillips — as they did a year later.
That very day — June 26th 2017 — a Denver attorney named Autumn Scardina went to Masterpiece Cakeshop and asked Mr Phillips to make xer a cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside, to celebrate xer change of sex from male to female.
Mr Phillips of course refused, so now he's in court again.
The villain in this case is the Colorado Civil Rights Division, a state regulatory agency, Director Aubrey Elenis, a young-looking white lady. "Civil rights work is a life-long passion of mine," says Ms Elenis.
Ah, civil rights — what evil is done in thy name! The ongoing persecution of Masterpiece Cakeshop illustrates once again, if it needed further illustration, that you can have a civil rights enforcement bureaucracy, or you can have our traditional liberties — including freedom of association — but you can't have both.
Merry Christmas, Mr Phillips!
04 — Judge awards permanent residence to deportees. It is now known to every sentient being in Central America that if you show up at a U.S. border post claiming to have been sexually abused, kidnapped, or beaten up in your home country, you have a good shot at being given permanent residence in the U.S.A. under our asylum laws.
One very natural consequence of this widespread knowledge is that multitudes of people from Central America have been showing up at our border posts making such claims. A general knowledge of human nature tells us that while some of the stories may be true, most are probably false.
If I were running our immigration system I'd want some clear, indisputable evidence to support the claim. If I were making this nation's laws, I would not make a law so easily gamed by unscrupulous foreign liars and would-be philosopher-kings in our judiciary; and if such a law existed, I'd hasten to repeal it.
Ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was of the same kidney as myself. He ruled that asylum should be only for those who have "a legitimate fear of persecution on the basis of their race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group," which is what U.S. law actually says.
Quote from Jeff, speaking back in June: "The vast majority of the current asylum claims are not valid."
That was then, this is now. Jeff's policy was challenged by twelve Central Americans who'd been deported under it. It would, I am sure, be more precise to say that the policy was challenged by American open-borders legal activists using the twelve Central Americans as a front.
Wednesday this week a federal judge ruled in the plaintiffs' favor. He compounded the outrage by ordering that the plaintiffs — who, remember, had been deported — be returned to the U.S.A.
At this point in the game I wouldn't have been the least surprised to hear that the judge also awarded each of the plaintiffs a million dollars damages, a beach house in Malibu, and a gold-plated Cadillac … but so far I haven't seen that in the news stories.
This is the same judge, by the way, who, the day before that ruling, accused former national security adviser Michael Flynn of treason for factual errors in an informal conversation with FBI agents — a conversation obviously set up by the FBI for purposes of entrapment.
The judge here is Emmet Sullivan, a quadroon from the look of him, originally nominated to the U.S. District Court in D.C. by Bill Clinton. Quote from him:
It is the will of Congress — not the whims of the Executive — that determines the standard for expedited removal.
End quote. That's a nice turn of phrase: "the whim of the Executive." I wonder if Judge Sullivan thinks Barack Obama's DACA order of 2012 suspending deportation for a huge class of illegal aliens falls under that same heading, "a whim of the Executive."
05 — What is the Wall worth? And then the Wall, the Wall.
I cheered on the Wall when Trump put it at the front of his campaign in 2016; and of course we should have a secure barrier to separate us from the semi-barbarous nations to our south, most of which are not so much nations as criminal enterprises.
Still, I'm starting to worry that Trump's need for a Wall — and he really does need it, if he's not to be thrown out of office in 2020 to jeers of derision and hoots of contempt — I'm worrying that this Wall obsession is crowding out real patriotic immigration reform.
Last week I expressed my fear that the enemy — I mean, the open-borders nation-killers in Congress, the courts, and the media — might calculate that it would be worth giving Trump a wall, and maybe even four more years in the White House, if, in return, they got a total amnesty for twenty or thirty million illegal aliens, perhaps with expedited citizenship, and big expansions of guest-worker programs, chain migration, refugee settlement, and so on.
I want to see a wall, but not at that price. In fact, looking through the other end of the telescope, I'm asking myself what price I personally would accept for dropping all talk of a wall.
Would I give up on a wall in return for universal compulsory E-Verify with severe sanctions on offending employers? Yes, I would.
Would I give up on a wall in return for a full moratorium on legal immigration, some tiny categories like spouses and dependent children of citizens excluded? I think I might.
Would I give up on a wall in return for an end to birthright citizenship, the green card lottery, refugee settlement, and asylum — again with a handful of Solzhenitsyn-level exceptions on asylum? Maybe.
That's just me opinionating, of course. President Trump doesn't have the option of giving up on the Wall. He's too committed to it.
Those of us pushing for patriotic immigration reform do need to keep these other issues in play, though, and not let discussion of them get drowned out by Wall talk. A Wall would be great; but it wouldn't restore our national sovereignty or demographic stability by itself.
Immigration is a difficult topic to discuss … The reason it is so difficult is that it has, more I think than any other aspect of U.S. policy, been moralized, in fact hyper-moralized.
We saw an illustration of that the other day when Nancy Pelosi said on national TV that a border wall would be, her actual word, "immoral."
There is, however, a moral aspect to immigration policy that Pelosi and the other moralizers seem not to want to discuss. That is our strip-mining of poor countries for their most talented people.
Headline: There are more Ethiopian doctors in Chicago than in Ethiopia. That's from an Ethiopian-emigré website, and the date, I should say, is 2010.
I'm going to post a slight skepticism on that one. The original source seems to be lefty British politician Glenys Kinnock, speaking in the European Parliament in 2006 (and wrongly identified as Gladys Kinnock in most of the secondary references). As a lefty, Ms Kinnock was I suppose trying to make a point about the wickedness of the First World, i.e. of white people. How does she square her point, I wonder, with lefty enthusiasm for uncontrolled immigration?
The fact as stated is not implausible, though. The brain drain from poor countries to rich ones has been a talking-point among development economists for decades.
It ties in with Smart Fraction Theory, which argues that for national flourishing you need a certain minimum proportion of high-IQ citizens.
If Smart Fraction Theory is correct then regions like sub-Saharan Africa, with low mean IQ, while they undoubtedly have some smart people, may not have enough for stability and prosperity. And then rich-world immigration policies vacuum up most of the smart people they do have …
How is this moral?
Headline, this one more current: Romania's brain drain: Half of Romania's doctors left the country between 2009 and 2015. That's dated 2017, from an English-language Romanian website, which actually gives the numbers.
Romania's not even Third World, just bottom-tier First World — annual per capita GDP $25,000 — better than Mexico. Still the lure of North American or West European salaries and standard of living is enough to entice away half the country's trained doctors.
So how come the immigration moralizers never talk about this? I've watched a lot of immigration chat on TV this past few weeks; I don't recall the topic coming up at all. To the contrary, what does come up a lot is Republican politicians telling us we should be more choosy about who we admit — only the brightest, best-educated, most accomplished!
Don't those people's home countries need their bright, educated, accomplished citizens way more than we do? Could someone please ask moralist-in-chief Nancy Pelosi about this?
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Stop the presses — Congress actually did something this week!
What they did was kind of dubious. It reformed some aspects of the federal prison system.
This was the FIRST STEP Act. The what Act? FIRST STEP — it's one of those stupid acronyms the congressninnies like to stick on legislation: F-I-R-S-T S-T-E-P stands for Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person. Got that? There'll be a quiz period afterwards.
I'd like to tell you more about the FIRST STEP Act, but to be perfectly honest, I can't be bothered to read up the details.
For one thing, federal inmates are only six percent of the total inmate population, the rest of course being in state prisons and local lock-ups.
For another thing I have trouble settling on a definite philosophy of incarceration. My gut feeling is strongly anti-criminal. I think all inmates in all systems should be fed dry bread and water and made to break rocks all day long. I hate criminals.
But then, just as I've settled comfortably into that position, I read some account of how capricious and irrational our criminal-justice system is. Prosecutors who are over-zealous or politically ambitious; glib attorneys and dimwitted jurors; judges out of lefty law schools, like the one in the James Fields case I reported on last week, telling the jury that the accused's intentions were plain to see, so presumably didn't need proving, which removed the entire point of having a trial.
There's a high component of randomness, incompetence, malice, and fakery in our justice system. Read Dorothy Rabinowitz's book on the child-abuse hysteria of the 1990s. Innocent people served years in jail on charges no reasonable person could believe.
I have no idea what to do about any of that, no constructive suggestion to offer. End item.
Well, a lot has changed since August. December 2nd there were elections for the regional parliament in Andalusia, just across the Straits of Gibraltar from North Africa. Andalusia is the most populous and the second-biggest by area of Spain's regions. It's been ruled by the Socialist Party for 36 years.
In the December 2nd elections a national-conservative, immigration-restrictionist party called Vox unexpectedly won twelve seats. Pollsters had predicted five.
There are 109 seats in the parliament altogether, but winning twelve is still darn good for a new party. Vox is so new it hadn't made it into the tabulated "List of active nationalist parties in Europe" on the Wikipedia page of that title when I looked this afternoon, though Wikipedia had squinched a brief text note about them.
Good luck to Vox, and to the people of Spain in the fight for national sovereignty, demographic integrity, and independence!
Item: Related good news from Europe — and with a tenuous historical connection to the previous item — is the resignation of the left-liberal Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium on Tuesday.
What's the tenuous historical connection? Well, Belgium was once known as the Spanish Netherlands. Wake up there in the back row!
Prime Minister Michel's government had actually fallen apart two weeks ago. It was one of those coalition governments, and the biggest member of the coalition had withdrawn support when Mr Michel declared he would sign the U.N.'s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which commits First World signatories to take in more Third World immigrants, both legal and illegal — the Compact doesn't differentiate.
That brought thousands of protestors out into the streets of Belgium's capital, Brussels — which is also the de facto capital of the European Union. Things are really looking up over there.
Our own James Kirkpatrick covered the event on Tuesday with his usual vigor and insight.
The Standard was, as James wrote, the flagship of neoconservatism. Cousin Peter, whose memory for these things goes back further than mine, tells me that from its very beginning in 1995 — a few weeks after Peter unleashed his book Alien Nation on an unsuspecting world — the magazine was strong for amnesty and open borders.
That put them on the other side from us. Their continuing support for George W. Bush and Barack Obama's missionary wars in the Middle East, long after the American people at large, and most Americans of a conservative temperament in particular, had turned against the folly and waste of those wars, didn't help their sales.
So no patriot should shed any tears for the Standard. With any luck, the closing of the magazine presages the complete end of neoconservatism as a force in our nation's political life.
Item: Finally, a shout-out to two Steves.
The first is to Stephen Miller, the most articulate and impressive White House spokesman for Trumpism and for national conservatism.
Miller was interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. It was a great performance. He chewed Blitzer up and spat him out. I just hope our President realizes what a great asset Miller is in confrontations like this.
The second Steve is our own Steve Sailer, who turned sixty on Thursday.
I've been in awe of Steve for as long as I've known him — almost twenty years now. At one point I nursed the ambition to be Sailer's Bulldog, like Thomas Huxley for Charles Darwin, but I couldn't keep up with the flow of ideas and insights issuing from Steve's remarkable brain.
I settled for an effusive tribute to him in the "Acknowledgments" at the end of We Are Doomed. Quote from there:
In a sane republic, Steve would have some highly-paid position advising the government, or a professorship in social science at some prestigious university. In the nation we actually live in, Steve can only be a guerrilla intellectual, emerging from the maquis now and then to take a few sniping shots at what George Orwell — Steve's greatest hero, and mine — called "the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls."
End quote. Happy birthday, Steve!
08 — Signoff. And that's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and a very merry Christmas to all of you, with all the joys and treats of the season!
Just one housekeeping note before I sign off. The Dissident Right vlogger Ramzpaul is running a two-hour special of his Happy Homelands show on YouTube this Saturday afternoon, December 22nd. It starts at two p.m. Eastern Standard Time, one p.m. Central Time.
He's invited me and other Dissident Right types to call in when we feel inclined, and I shall do so, not least for the pleasure of sharing a screen with Paul's enchanting Finnish co-host Tiina. That's "Tiina" with a double "i." I hope my Finnish pronunciation is sound.
OK, here is John McCormack to sing us out. There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: John McCormack "Adeste fideles."]