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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, from your positively genial host John Derbyshire this last weekend of August 2021.
This week's news headlines have of course all been about Afghanistan, a no-account place in Central Asia of zero strategic or economic importance to the U.S.A.
Thursday this week some Muslim fanatics there killed 13 of our uniformed military and some unknown number of civilians. We still seem to be on schedule to be altogether out of the filthy place by next Wednesday; but that's enough time for further horrors, so let's just hope we're spared.
The exit has of course been shamefully ill-managed in all sorts of ways. Thirty-eight billion dollars worth of military hardware just left behind?
Trump's deal with the Taliban was signed in February 2020. A whole year of his administration and more than three months of this one — counting to May 1st, the exit date according to that deal — and we couldn't move all that stuff out? And then, when the date was extended for another four months, we still couldn't?
It's all been gross incompetence. Our ruling classes are hopeless. They couldn't boil an egg.
In a few short days, though, barring unforeseen catastrophes, we shall be out of the place for good. What will be in the future?
First, domestic political considerations.
02 — The politics of defeat. With the huge fuss over Afghanistan currently roiling the media, it may seem an odd thing to say, but I doubt our loss will have much lasting political effect.
In last week's podcast I discussed parallels between the fall of Saigon in April 1975 and the fall of Kabul this past few days. Well, a year and a half after the fall of Saigon we had a presidential election.
Given all the futility and national humiliation attending the loss of Vietnam — fortified of course, although not as much then as now, by the partisan bias of the mainstream media — that election should have been a rout of the deeply un-charismatic incumbent, Republican Gerry Ford, by the folksy and clean-handed challenger, Democrat Jimmy Carter.
Nah-uh. Sure, Ford lost, but it was a squeaker: He got 48 percent of the popular vote to Carter's 50. Ford actually took more states than Carter: 27 to 23.
Moral of the story: Voters don't care that much about foreign policy, even when many years of bad, misguided policies end with a catastrophic military debacle.
The U.S.A. has mighty oceans to east and west and unthreatening neighbors to north and south. This is not France, Poland, or Israel. It's not even the British Isles. There is no existential reason we should be bothered about the rest of the world. They're not going to invade and occupy us … well, not in any organized military way.
Speaking of the British Isles, you might want to discount some of that for the fact of my being an Englishman by birth. Memorable quote from George Orwell about the English national character. This is from an essay written in 1941, quote:
In England all the boasting and flag-wagging, the "Rule Britannia" stuff, is done by small minorities. The patriotism of the common people is not vocal or even conscious. They do not retain among their historical memories the name of a single military victory. English literature, like other literatures, is full of battle-poems, but it is worth noticing that the ones that have won for themselves a kind of popularity are always a tale of disasters and retreats. There is no popular poem about Trafalgar or Waterloo, for instance. Sir John Moore's army at Corunna, fighting a desperate rear-guard action before escaping overseas (just like Dunkirk!) has more appeal than a brilliant victory. The most stirring battle-poem in English is about a brigade of cavalry which charged in the wrong direction. And of the last war, the four names which have really engraved themselves on the popular memory are Mons, Ypres, Gallipoli and Passchendaele, every time a disaster. The names of the great battles that finally broke the German armies are simply unknown to the general public.
03 — A glimpse of the future. Those great crowds of Afghans trying to get in to Kabul airport of course make a very pathetic sight. It may sound a callous thing to say, but it's probably a sight we should get used to.
Afghan refugees are by no means a new thing. After the Soviets left and their puppet government, three years later, finally collapsed, Afghanistan underwent a nasty spell of tribal warfare all through the mid-1990s. The Taliban took control in 1996; but their policies, together with a major drought, drove untold numbers of Afghans out.
Well, not altogether untold. According to OCHA, the U.N. humanitarian agency, quote:
At the end of 2000, some 3.6 million Afghans were living as refugees in other countries.
That, to remind you, was twenty-one years ago — before 9/11. Most of that 3.6 million were in Pakistan and Iran; but Europe got a share, and so did we. There's nothing new about Afghan refugees.
Why is there nothing new about them? Well, here are some more numbers for you.
Population of Afghanistan: 37½ million, ranked in between Morocco and Canada. Total Fertility Rate: 4.72, tied with Guinea-Bissau in the world rankings, between Nigeria and Liberia. There are 28 nations with Total Fertility Rate greater than four: only two of them are not in sub-Saharan Africa. (The other one, if you're curious, is Timor-Leste, a tiny breakaway bit of Indonesia.)
So Afghanistan is pretty populous and very seriously philoprogenitive. That's why I'm telling you that scenes like the ones we've been seeing at Kabul airport are something we should get used to.
There are many, many nations just as tribal as Afghanistan. Yesterday I was writing something for my August Diary. It was some commentary on a novel I'd been reading, nothing to do with Afghanistan. I needed to look up the languages spoken in Mali, south of Algeria. Quote from Wikipedia.
Mali has 12 national languages beside French and Bambara, namely Bomu, Tieyaxo Bozo, Toro So Dogon, Maasina Fulfulde, Hassaniya Arabic, Mamara Senoufo, Kita Maninkakan, Soninke, Koyraboro Senni, Syenara Senoufo, Tamasheq and Xaasongaxango.
Mali, by the way, ranks fourth in the world by Total Fertility Rate: 5.63, in between Chad and the Congo.
Yes, there are many nations like that; and most of them are poor, ungovernable, fertile, and susceptible to climatic disasters. Probably later in this decade, and certainly no later than the next decade, the desire of these nations' people to get out of their poop-hole countries into the prosperity and security of the civilized world, will be the major issue in international affairs.
Their numbers won't be in the thousands and tens of thousands, as we are hearing in regard to Afghanistan. They will be in the millions and tens of millions — staring out at us pitifully from our screens, clamoring to get on a plane, any plane, out of their corrupt, starving hell-holes.
That's why I'm telling you we'd better get used to the sight. Although if, as is likely the case, fertility is the main push factor, the faces of those people will differ in one key respect from Afghan faces.
So … If you think I'm being cold-hearted about these refugees, stick around. While you're waiting, feel free to look up references to the phrase "lifeboat ethics."
04 — Small victories on immigration. On immigration, there have been some small victories for common sense this month. First, though, the bad news.
You probably saw the reports that encounters on our southern border — encounters, that is, between agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and foreigners trying to enter our country illegally — these encounters hit a record number in July: over 210,000.
That number is the more striking because in normal years fewer and fewer illegals attempt the crossing in these hot summer months. Now that trend has reversed: the July figure is up eleven percent from the June number. The year-to-date figure is over a million.
CBP estimates that over and above the 210,000 aliens encountered, a further 37,000 illegals reportedly evaded Border Patrol entirely. Nobody can tell me how they get that number, and experts, like Todd Bensman at the Center for Immigration Studies, think it is, quote from Todd, "likely a significant undercount," end quote.
So, 210,000 encounters in July. What happens to the people who are encountered? Well, some become apprehensions, the rest become expulsions.
It used to be that the great majority of encounters led to expulsions: 85 percent for Donald Trump's last full month in office. Eighty-five percent of illegal border crossers were expelled.
You will not be staggered to learn that the proportion of expulsions has declined dramatically under Biden. For the month of July it was down to 47 percent — the first time it has ever been less than half.
Most expulsions are done under Title 42, an order out of CDC, the Centers for Disease Control, issued in March last year, when the COVID pandemic was getting up steam. Title 42 is hated hated hated by the open-borders lobbies.
In fact, doing a Google search on "Title 42," as I just did, opens your eyes to how many open-borders lobbies there are, toiling away tirelessly on behalf of immigration scofflaws.
There may be more of these open-borders lobbying groups than there are illegals violating the borders.
Well, some good news on Title 42: The CDC is holding the line. They announced August 2nd that they'd keep it in place with a review every 60 days (so the next review is October 1st).
All right, that's expulsions, what about apprehensions? I mentioned that in July, for the first time, there were more apprehensions than expulsions. What happens if an illegal is apprehended?
What happens is, the illegal is taken into custody by CBP and held awaiting some kind of ruling. Well, that's the theory. In practice, the numbers now are far too great for proper adjudication, so a lot of them just get released.
One way to get yourself into the adjudication process is to claim asylum. Again, the numbers claiming asylum are way greater than can be adjudicated in any timely fashion, so they're given a card with a date when they're supposed to appear, and released.
In the matter of asylum, there was a positive development this week. The development concerned MPP, the Migrant Protection Protocol.
MPP — informally known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy — was another Trump initiative. It came into force via a Department of Homeland Security order in January 2019. MPP allowed border officials to send asylum claimants back to Mexico while they waited for an adjudication in the U.S.A.
All that mighty host of open-borders lobbyists of course hated MPP as much as they hate Title 42. There were legal and judicial battles, rulings and appeals. Then in February this year Biden ended MPP, letting the asylum claimants come flooding in.
That got us off to the judicial races again. In April the states of Texas and Missouri sued the administration on the grounds that ending MPP had started a flood of illegal aliens that was imposing costs on those states.
In June DHS Secretary Mayorkas doubled down by issuing an order formally ending MPP.
Forward to this month, August. Two weeks ago a federal judge in Texas ordered MPP to be reinstated, saying the administration hadn't gone through the right procedures to annul Trump's order.
The administration asked for a stay to block the reinstatement while it appealed; but the stay was denied first by the court of appeals for Texas and then — Hallelulia! — this Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court.
So: We still have Title 42 and we again have MPP. Small victories, but encouraging none the less.
05 — The real longest war. What is much less encouraging is the failure of democratic processes to make much of a dent in elite enthusiasm for mass immigration.
I feel this more than the average American, having spent my early years in Britain. In my teens — late 1950s, early 1960s — I was already listening to my working-class relatives grumbling about the numbers coming into Britain from the Caribbean and South Asia.
The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils.
It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.
Powell's speech made him a hero to most Brits. Edited quote from Chapter 11 of Simon Heffer's biography of Powell:
At the end of April, Gallup had undertaken a survey that showed beyond question that Powell had spoken for Britain. Of those questioned, 74 percent agreed with what he had said and only 15 percent disagreed … An already significant 75 percent of those questioned had, before the speech, felt immigration controls were not strict enough; after it, that figure rose to 83 percent.
A reasonable person, seeing the polls and the demonstrations in Powell's support, or just talking to ordinary Brits, would have predicted that mass immigration into Britain would thenceforth be a dead letter.
That was 53 years ago. What's the situation now?
Quotes from an August 13th report out of Migration Watch, a rough British equivalent of the Center for Immigration Studies. Quotes:
About half of births in key cities are to mothers born overseas … In the period from 1980 to 2000 immigration by non-UK nationals was running at a net level of about 80,000 per year. However, under successive governments since then it has averaged around 300,000 a year …
In these 53 years Britain has been utterly transformed. Migration Watch estimates that on current trends, ethnically English children will be a minority in England's primary and secondary schools within 20 years. Population replacement accomplished!
This is a complete failure of democracy. The only section of British society that wanted this was a subset of the elite classes: gentry types addled with post-imperial guilt, university progressives keen to show their moral superiority to the unwashed masses, plutocrats looking for cheap workers. Most people didn't want it, but … it happened anyway.
And it's still happening. The smuggling of illegals across the English Channel is now a huge criminal enterprise, with the smugglers making as much as a million dollars from a boat crammed with forty people. That's a fee of twenty thousand dollars or more per passenger, so these are not the wretched of the earth. They are middle-class types from poop-hole countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Britain's government does basically nothing to stop them. Eleven thousand have come this year.
Over there, just as over here, elite determination to replace their own legacy population is a mighty force, much stronger than can be held back by any democratic restraints. It surges on forward, indifferent to public opinion.
You've been hearing a lot recently about how Afghanistan has been America's longest war. No: This has been our longest war, ours and Britain's. From Powell's speech to today: 53 years. From the Hart-Celler Immigration Act to today: 56 years. These have been our longest wars.
06 — New York State turns left! A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that my state, the state of New York, would soon be losing its governor, Andrew Cuomo. I opined that whoever replaces him will likely be even more radical than Cuomo.
It looks as though I was right. Cuomo has been replaced by his Lieutenant Governor, a Nice White Lady named Kathy Hochul — who I see, looking her up, has her 63rd birthday today. Happy birthday, Ma'am!
Ms Hochul is a progressive of course — this is New York State — but she's a Boomer progressive, like Cuomo, and so not as crazy-woke as the millennial progressives. At one point, running for a seat in rural upstate New York back in 2012, she got an endorsement from the NRA. All right, all right, that's a good strategic move in a district like that; but at least she didn't reject it. (Although she lost the race.) Allowing for all that, she's still a Nice White Lady with Boomer-progressive instincts.
She showed us this on Thursday. Since she has ascended to the governorship, we're missing a Lieutenant Governor. The state constitution requires that we have one, so Ms Hochul appointed one. It was of course a black guy, Democratic State Senator Brian Benjamin.
This was either a brilliant and stunningly imaginative affirmation of Diversity and Inclusion or else a drearily predictable Boomer-progressive reflex, depending on how cynical you are. I don't think I need to spell out where I stand, or slouch, on that spectrum.
So: The Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New York State politics now are a Nice White Lady and a black guy. I didn't think my expectations could possibly be lower.
Then I read Betsy McCaughey's piece in this morning's New York Post. Betsy has caught a fact that had escaped me. On Tuesday this week, she says, our new Governess announced that one of her top priorities is to speed up cash benefits to illegal aliens under the state's Excluded Workers Fund program.
"Excluded Workers Fund program"? What's that?
Well, it's an item in the state budget, approved back in April in the state legislature after some angry debates. It budgets $2.1 billion to be disbursed, as straight cash, to illegal aliens who have suffered a fifty percent drop in earnings because of the COVID pandemic. They are "excluded" because they are, you know, present in our country unlawfully. The payout per individual is $15,600.
The substance of those angry debates was, that legislators who supported the item said that those who didn't were racists. Opponents of the item said: "So's your old man!" …
Since an illegal alien works off the books and doesn't file tax returns, how can he prove he's lost fifty percent of his income? That awkward little point has been holding up the disbursements.
Radicals in the state legislature, the ones who think you're racist if you don't want to give money to illegal aliens, want the state to bypass the paperwork and just dole out the money on the honor principle. Heck, if you can't trust an illegal alien, who can you trust?
That seems to be the point on which the Governess has turned. She's with the radicals now. Quote from her, referring to the illegal aliens, quote:
They're hurting, and they're part of the New York family, and I'm going to make that very clear.
I guess it would be unjustified, uncalled for, unfair and unbecoming of me to observe that if these illegal trespassers actually are "hurting" here in the U.S.A., there is a clear and obvious remedy for their pain. They could go back to the countries of which they are lawful citizens. For $15,600 we could fly them back first class, with caviar and champagne thrown in.
Well, that's our new governor. The old one, Andrew Cuomo, paused while stepping down from office to issue a commutation to David Gilbert, a radical anarchist serving 75-to-life for three counts of second-degree murder. "Commutation" means that Gilbert will be eligible for release at his next parole hearing.
The crime that got him 75-to-life was the Brink's Robbery of October 1981. That was when, here in New York State, the robbery of a Brink's truck was organized by radicals from the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground — the 1981 equivalents of BLM and Antifa, close enough. Two police officers and a Brink's guard were killed.
Gilbert is the father of Chesa Boudin, the current turn'em'loose District Attorney of San Francisco.
Chesa Boudin's Mom, Kathy Boudin, was a member of the same radical sect, but she plea-bargained her way out of a really appropriate sentence [gunshot] and served only twenty years before being paroled.
That's as much up-to-date info as I have on Gilbert, Boudin, and Boudin. Latest I have on Sgt. Edward O'Grady, Officer Waverly Brown and Peter Paige, the aforementioned police officers and Brink's guard, is that they are still dead.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Speaking of BLM: In Washington, D.C. on Monday, Enrique Tarrio, a leader of the patriotic and anti-anti-white Proud Boys movement, was sentenced to five months in jail for burning a BLM flag.
I had heard about that from a friend; but when I looked up the story in The Washington Post the story said he was sentenced for two crimes. What was the other crime? I read on down.
Ah, here we are. Quote from the Post, August 23rd, quote:
Police stopped a car in which Tarrio was riding shortly after it entered Washington. While taking him into custody, they said, they searched his book bag and found two high-capacity ammunition magazines bearing Proud Boys symbols.
So that was the other crime: Tarrio had two empty gun magazines in his car.
Back to the main charge: According to the Post, in a December 12th demonstration against the rigged election that gave us Joe Biden, Tarrio somehow acquired a banner of the terrorist, anti-white Black Lives Matter group that was hanging in a church in downtown Washington. He set fire to it on a street corner. He claims he didn't know it had been taken from a church, and he wasn't charged with theft.
All things considered, though, Tarrio got off lightly. Regular VDARE.com readers will recall the sad story of Adolfo Martinez, aged 30, of Ames, Iowa, who back in December 2019 was sentenced to 16 years for taking and burning a rainbow homosexual-pride flag, also from a church. As we remarked at the time, he should have burned an American flag.
Wait a minute. Five months for burning a BLM flag; sixteen years for burning a gay-pride flag? Sixteen times twelve is 192 … divide by five is 38.4 … Are the authorities trying to tell us that one homosexual is worth 38.4 black people? Where is the equity?
You may have seen us refer to Rushton's Rule of Three. This rule says, to quote our own Steve Sailer, that, quote:
On a wide variety of quantifiable measures … the averages for blacks and East Asians wound up at opposite ends with whites in the mediocre middle.
Rushton, who died in 2012 at the too-young age of 68, was a social psychologist whose research interests were summed up in the title of his 1994 book Race, Evolution, and Behavior. He was a good-natured and polite man, not afraid to discuss his ideas with anyone.
Now, not quite nine years after his death, Rushton is being unpersoned. The magazine Psychological Reports retracted two of his articles last December on the grounds that they were, quote "unethical, scientifically flawed, and based on racist ideas and agenda."
This week we learn that the magazine, burrowing deeper — no effort should be spared when investigating thoughtcrime! — found three more of Rushton's papers from twenty-odd years ago, and has retracted them for the same reasons.
If you would like to perform a small act of defiance against these pompous, cowardly, innumerate, and obscurantist fools, go to Amazon.com and purchase a copy of Race, Evolution, and Behavior. If you've already got a copy, buy another one anyway and give it to a friend.
Item: Finally, this week we lost two big names from the golden age of rock'n'roll: Don Everly of the Everly Brothers, and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones.
The other half of the Everly Brothers, Don's two-years-younger brother Phil, died in 2014. They both were of the Silent Generation, the one before the Boomers, as I am myself, so I feel some affinity on those grounds. Mostly, though, I remember them for their late-1950s hits, which my own two-years-older sister played incessantly on her record player.
Charlie Watts' partners in melody, The Rolling Stones, are still performing. They are in fact going ahead with their "No Filter" tour this fall, commencing September 26th in St. Louis. Goodness knows how they do it. Mick is now 78, Keef is 77, Bill Wyman, bless him, is 84.
But we've lost Charlie, and we've lost Don Everly. Shakespeare gave us the words appropriate:
Golden lads and girls all must,
08 — Signoff. That's all I have, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening; and keep your fingers crossed, like mine, that we make it through to August 31st without any more calamities.
Some music to see us out. Here's a clip from an old favorite of mine. The genre is bel canto, the composer is Bellini, the opera is I puritani, "The Puritans."
This is one of those operas that gives opera plots a bad name. It's the English Civil War. The hero's a Royalist, the heroine's Dad is a Puritan. Dad has been persuaded to let her marry the hero regardless; but politics soon gets in the way and there are reversals of fortune: then re-reversals, re-re-reversals, and so on. The heroine loses her sanity, but then regains it; then she loses it again, then regains it again. You don't go to the opera for storylines that make sense.
Here's the man himself, the late Luciano Pavarotti, in the first act. He's just found out that her Dad's permitted the marriage, and he's really, really happy:
In the glory of such a beautiful hour
You might want to put away your glassware before proceeding: Our man hits some seriously high notes here.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Pavarotti, A te, o cara.]