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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 1, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, folks, this is your cosmopolitanly genial host John Derbyshire, back in the recording studio after three weeks' wandering in far Cathay.
For full details of my peregrinations I refer you to my VDARE.com September Diary, posted here on Thursday this week. Suffice it to say here that I was totally off the grid, disconnected from any news sources, and very happy to be so. Most news is depressing, when it's not merely propaganda lies. Life is more cheerful when you just ignore it.
But while we may not be interested in the news, the news is interested in us. We have to sacrifice some of our cheerfulness to avoid unpleasant surprises. So here goes with a look at what's been happening recently.
02 — Politics, China and America. There is no visible politics in China. Political struggles in that country take place in secret; the political news offered for public consumption is "news" in inverted commas, mostly upbeat stories about steady progress towards a radiant future.
For what it's worth, the only two of my friends in China who I regard as savvy about their country's politics both told me that Xi Jinping is in trouble. He's made too many enemies in the Party, they say, and the knives are out for him.
This could be wishful thinking, I don't know. If it's true, whoever comes after Xi may be worse — I mean, more anti-American. I don't know that, either. That's all I can offer you on Chinese politics.
Here in the States the political brawling is out in the open. The big current issue is of course impeachment of President Trump by the House of Representatives.
The next thing I was going to say was, "It's hard to take this seriously." What I am actually going to say is, "It's impossible to take this seriously." There are just too many layers of stupidity and dishonesty here.
For one thing, everyone knows that while the House might vote impeachment, the chance that the Senate will convict is zero. So the best result Trump's enemies can hope for, after all their sound and fury, is to leave the President with a minor bruise on his record, like the one Bill Clinton got twenty years ago. Is the result really commensurate with the effort here?
For another thing, foreign influence on our elections? For goodness' sake! Washington, D.C. is crawling with lobbyists for foreign nations, all of them earning very nice salaries for influencing our elections. They influence our politics and we influence theirs if we can. It's S.O.P., and has been since Ben Franklin was palling around with French revolutionaries.
And these lesser stupidities are imbedded in the greater, over-arching stupidity of treating Russia as an enemy. Why am I supposed to think Russia is an enemy? What evil designs does Russia have on the U.S.A. or any of our interests? How does hostility to Russia advance America's interests?
If China's politics were as open to view as ours are, they wouldn't present a very pretty sight. I have trouble believing, though, that we'd see the extraordinary levels of self-destructive idiocy in Peking that we see in Washington, D.C.
03 — Democrats debate. I of course missed the Democratic candidates' debate on September 12th. Given the time difference, I was scarfing down breakfast in Manchuria while they debated; and to judge by the news reports afterwards, I was better employed doing that than sitting for three hours watching Elizabeth Warren brag about having been a public-school teacher — hey, I was a public-school teacher, too, should I run for President? — or seeing Andrew Yang say, quote, "I am Asian and so I know a lot of doctors," or having Joe Biden tell me to put the record-player on, or hear Peter Buttigieg complain that Presidential debates are unwatchable.
Buttigieg nailed it. I haven't seen the viewing figures, but it's hard to imagine very many Americans sat through all three hours of this sludge.
The thing we all want to know about the Democrats is: Will Joe Biden step down before the spring primaries? And if he does, will some outsider step in to fill the hole Joe leaves behind?
Around New York people are talking of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg or current governor Andrew Cuomo as possible hole-fillers. Perhaps other names are being floated elsewhere, I'm not up to speed.
Bloomberg was a good mayor, and he's not a bad fellow altogether. See for example his September 15th opinion piece on free speech; he's for it. Bloomie is, however, an old-line Jewish immigration romantic from Central Casting. He'd throw the borders wide open — even wider open than they currently are.
Cuomo is a leftist ideologue. He'd give us open borders and gun confiscation and lefty judges and more federal "hate crime" laws and nationwide compulsory transgender bathrooms and reparations for slavery and free speech clampdowns … Trust me, as a New Yorker, you really don't want Cuomo running the country.
Given the demographics of key states like Texas, and the united anti-Trump hostility of the media, and Trump Disappointment Syndrome among 2016 Trump voters, and what the current polls tell us, this election is still the Democrats' to lose. With the present field of candidates, they might lose it. The question at this point is: Will their nominee actually be one of the present field?
04 — Diversity is our weakness. One of my occasional themes in my commentary is that, the famous Flynn Effect notwithstanding, we are collectively stupider than we used to be. Common sense was more widespread fifty or sixty years ago than it is today.
It used to be understood by everybody, for example, that racial and ethnic diversity was a burden. Back in the day, when people read about anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia, or Indians being chased out of Uganda, or terrorism in Northern Ireland, they shrugged and said, "What can you expect? Oil and water …"
Nobody wanted their nation's demography upended. Teddy Kennedy, moving the 1965 Immigration Bill through Congress, assured us that, quote, "the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset." You can argue about whether he was lying or just stupid — I'm for stupid — but he was expressing the common sense of his time. Why would anyone want the ethnic mix of their country upset?
Now we're all supposed to want it, in fact to celebrate it. Diversity is our strength!
It isn't, of course. To the contrary, it's the cause of endless wrangling, discord, and litigation. Most recent example: The lawsuit against Harvard University for discriminating against Asians in their admissions policy.
We got a ruling on the case this week from a federal court in Massachusetts. The ruling was in favor of Harvard.
The district judge who produced the ruling, name of Allison Burroughs, is an Obama appointee, a young female Social Justice Warrior type. Her ruling, which runs to 130 pages — count 'em, 130 — contains a spirited defense of race preferences. Sample quotes:
It was always intended that affirmative action programs be limited in duration. In 2003, the Supreme Court articulated its expectation that in twenty-five years, it would not be necessary to use racial preferences to achieve a diverse student body … As time marches on and the effects of entrenched racism and unequal opportunity remain obvious, this goal might be optimistic and may need to change …
Executive summary: Race preferences now, race preferences tomorrow, race preferences for ever!
There are all sorts of things to be said about the Harvard ruling. Shouldn't a private college be able to admit students in any way it likes? Will the case be appealed to the Supreme Court? If it is, will the Court accept it for review? Non-Hispanic whites are 38 percent of Harvard admissions; isn't that under-representation, too? And so on. Bloggers and tweeters have been kicking these issues around all week.
My only point here, influenced no doubt by having just spent three weeks in a nation with a racial supermajority that intends to keep itself that way, my only point is that by making ourselves even more diverse than we were in 1965, we have loaded ourselves up with problems we need not have had.
The judge in this case, Allison Burroughs, is a smart lady whose talents might be put to good use improving our country. Instead she has been busy composing 130 pages of race-denialist gibberish. And she is of course only one of legions of Americans employed, often at high salaries, in defending nonsense and sowing discord.
We're stuck with this now, and must cope the best we can with the mess we've gotten ourselves into. A good first step would be to just stop lying to ourselves. Diversity is not a strength. It's a weakness; possibly, for our nation, a fatal one.
05 — Our corrupt city high schools. Harvard University is of course up at the top of the ed-biz hierarchy, but lower down that hierarchy, things are just as dubious.
Case in point: Maspeth High School in Queens, New York. The New York Post has been running a series of exposés about Maspeth of which you can get the flavor if I just read off some of the headlines.
September 14th, headline: Teachers reveal top high school's secret to high pass rates: cheating
September 16th, headline: DA reviewing grade-fix allegations at Maspeth High School
September 17th, headline: 'The Maspeth Minimum': More fake diplomas the city never checked
September 21st, headline: Maspeth High School alum's shocking admission about school's 'no fail' policy
That one's a doozy. This Maspeth alumnus admits he spent most of his junior and senior years at the school drunk and stoned out of his mind, often asleep in the school library. He rarely attended classes and completed no homework assignments his senior year. So … The school promoted him to the head of the class and let him graduate six months early.
September 28th, headline: I quit Maspeth HS because I didn't want to be complicit in corruption: teacher
And so on. GreatSchools.net gives the proportion of Maspeth students from low-income families as 67 percent, which is not actually that bad for the city. This is not a slum school. Racially the student demographics are 43 percent Hispanic, 36 white, 17 Asian, only two percent black.
Indeed, you have to wonder how, if corruption is so bad at an average-ish urban school, what it's like down in the slums.
Actually, you don't have to wonder. This series of stories about Maspeth has brought forth a flood of complaints about similar shenanigans all over. Samples, from New York city teachers. Sample 1, quote:
Have I been told in a staff meeting, by a Superintendent who is now an Executive Superintendent, that "You'd better not fail any of those children?" Absolutely. Did she mean pass kids who had terrible attendance and hadn't mastered the curriculum? Absolutely.
Sample 2, quote:
Can someone name a school not doing this type of so-called cheating? This is what the city wants principals to do.
Sample 3, quote:
We can't give zeros to students who plagiarize an assignment or who don't turn it in. They have to be given 55 … Our principal brags about the graduation rate going up to 70 percent … as long as you have the numbers, that's all that matters to the Department of Education.
Regular listeners will know that I called this one long ago: ten years ago, in fact, in the education chapter of We Are Doomed, quote:
Education is a vast sea of lies, waste, corruption, crackpot theorizing, and careerist logrolling.
Nothing has changed since 2009; and the fundamental reason for all the follies and corruption in education, from Harvard to Maspeth and on down, is the denial of human nature. Some individuals are, personally, less educable than others. Some races are, statistically, less educable than others.
That's reality … but we've trained ourselves to hate reality.
06 — The numbers on interracial crime. The NCVS data for 2018 came out last month. That's the National Crime Victimization Survey, a huge nationwide survey done every year by the U.S. Census Bureau asking people if they were the victim of a crime that year.
The NCVS is a great data source on crime because, for one thing, the survey sample is huge — 243,000 respondents in 2018 — and for another, it counts victim reports whether or not a crime was reported to the police.
You need to download and unzip the data tables from the Bureau of Justice Statistics website to get to grips with the interesting stuff. I can't do that for annoying technical reasons, so I'm just going to quote people who have.
Heather Mac Donald over at City Journal has been on the case of course. She notes a curious thing about interracial crime. As I reported here at VDARE.com back in 2012, quote from me:
Exact numbers vary year to year, but of single-offender interracial (black-white) crimes of violence, excluding homicide, 80 to 85 percent have a black perp.
Well, says Heather, that number is changing. Quote from her:
There were 593,598 interracial violent victimizations (excluding homicide) between blacks and whites last year, including white-on-black and black-on-white attacks. Blacks committed 537,204 of those interracial felonies, or 90 percent, and whites committed 56,394 of them, or less than 10 percent. That ratio is becoming more skewed, despite the Democratic claim of Trump-inspired white violence. In 2012-13, blacks committed 85 percent of all interracial victimizations between blacks and whites; whites committed 15 percent. From 2015 to 2018, the total number of white victims and the incidence of white victimization have grown as well.
Just savor that for a minute. Black on white violence has always been far more common than white on black; and the disproportion is getting worse. And remember, this is by victim reports, not arrests or convictions.
As Heather says, this reality is utterly at odds with the official narrative of vicious "white supremacists" hunting down and assaulting helpless black bodies.
And then there may be an issue with Hispanic crime rates. The blogger Inductivist notes that the percentage of Hispanics who report having been victimized by serious crime is 2.1, and for blacks the number is the same, 2.1. For whites it's 1.6.
If you use this victimization rate as a proxy for crime rates by race, and even allowing for the fact that blacks likely assault Hispanics more than Hispanics do blacks, those numbers cast doubt on Ron Unz's argument that the Hispanic crime rate isn't much different from the white rate.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Speaking of interracial crime and the denial of reality, New York City's extremely progressive mayor Bill de Blasio has been steadfast in the assertion that antisemitism is strictly a white supremacist thing.
In fact, as New Yorkers know and video clips regularly testify, assaults on Jews in Mayor de Blasio's city are overwhelmingly committed by blacks.
Hizzoner seems recently to have been visited by some glimmerings of reality. At a press conference September 19th ahead of the Jewish New Year, the mayor allowed that in New York — though not in the country as a whole — anti-Jewish crimes are committed by "youth" and mentally ill people.
So if you're a Jew in New York City, watch out for "youth." Outside the municipal boundaries, though, it's still those white supremacists you need to fear.
I don't really have any very pertinent commentary to make on this. I just like saying the word "knickers."
This wasn't just on one occasion, either; Mr Cool blacked up at least three times, the most recent in 2001 (although technically that was brownface, at an Arabian Nights-themed party).
Nobody was much bothered about blackface twenty or thirty years ago, and I can't personally see any reason we should be bothered about it now. A lot of people are, though, especially progressive types; and it's hard not to enjoy the spectacle of a model progressive being caught out having violated progressive sensibilities. I'm certainly enjoying it.
Item: Finally, did I quote from We Are Doomed back there? I think I did. Well, here was Ann Coulter being interviewed by the New York Post, September 22nd.
The main point of the interview was to find out how Lady Ann finds living in New York. She seems OK with it. Then, at the end, they ask her about Trump. Quote from the Post:
Coulter remains cool on the man, who she has laced into in recent months over lack of progress on his long-promised border wall and other issues.
Eh, I knew I should have trademarked that title.
08 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and for keeping the faith these past three weeks while I disported myself in the fleshpots of far Asia.
If you read my September Diary you will have caught some frustrated remarks about my getting lost in China's railroad system. Do I have a song to go with that? Of course I do. I have a song to go with anything. I should only explain that Crewe, C-R-E-W-E, is a town in northwest England that was a major hub for the railroad system there. Perhaps it still is; I haven't kept up.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Norah Blaney, "Oh Mister Porter."]