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[Music clip: Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings from your hastily genial host John Derbyshire, here with some morsels of news from the past few days.
And yes, hastily; and yes, just morsels. We have a family event today. I shall say nothing further about it, only apologize that it leaves me shorter than usual of time for podcasting. I don't feel too bad about this as last week's podcast was exceptionally long. It all averages out, you see?
And so, hastily on with a somewhat abbreviated Radio Derb.
02 — Pride Month. My Google desk calendar tells me that Wednesday this week was the First Day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
I don't mind sexually eccentric people having a month of their own to do … whatever it is that identitarians do when their identity gets a month. Well, I mind a bit because I think identitarianism is childish altogether, and a social negative; but that bit of minding is general, not specific to sexual eccentrics.
What I do mind is our society's utter failure to come up with terminology in this area that normal people can use without wincing, groaning, or giggling. My own descriptor, "sexually eccentric people," is precise and, so far as I can see, inoffensive, but a bit cumbersome. "LGBTQ+" … say what?
What's the "Q" for? I looked it up: it's for either "queer" or "questioning."
I get "queer" all right. That's "owning the insult," like bogtrotting Irish Catholic peasant outlaws giving their name to Britain's Tory party, or cattle-rustlers from the Anglo-Scottish border doing likewise for the Whigs. Owning the insult is bold and clever. I think it's a pity it's gone out of style. Why don't we have a party actually named the White Supremacist Party, or one named the Crazy Anti-American Radical Party? People nowadays have no imagination.
So I'm good with "queer," but what is "questioning"? According to the website I looked up, quote: "This term describes someone who is questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity," end quote.
Eh? If you're not sure whether you're hetero or homo, wouldn't that mean you are bisexual? And if not sure about your gender identity, wouldn't you be transsexual? So in either case already be included under "LGBT"?
There seems in fact to be steady pressure to lengthen "LGBTQ." Spoofs aside, I see extensions all the way up to LGBTQIA2S+, with that trailing plus sign indicating more to come. For goodness' sake!
I spent the first half of my life surrounded by the attitudes to sexual oddity that were well-nigh universal in the West until forty years ago. Male homosexuality was comical but kind of disgusting; the female variety was comical but a bit sad. Bisexuality and transsexualism barely registered. The "Q," the "I," the "A," the "2," the "S, and the "+" did not register at all.
Why did things get so all-fired complicated?
And then there's that word "pride." You can get into metaphysical squabbles about whether or not it's legitimate to feel pride in something you can't help, which sexually eccentric people all tell you is the case with their eccentricity. British writer Douglas Murray, who is homosexual, got into just such a squabble on Twitter the other day.
Murray actually tweeted that, tweet:
Oh no — it's pride month …. So, as I find myself pointing out every year, if there's something you shouldn't feel shame for then you shouldn't feel pride for it either. Being gay is a morally neutral fact. Neither pride nor shame. Just being. Like everybody else.
That got a lot of disagreement, much of it well-reasoned — you can read the Twitter thread for yourself.
I come out on the same side as Murray, though with qualifications. It is, I believe, psychologically and socially OK — in fact healthy — to feel proud of some things you can't help. There's a lot of pride in patriotism, for example, even though most people can't help where they were born.
I just don't think that sexual oddity is one of those things. It's too close to sexual boasting, which has been a no-no in all civilized societies. Sex is private.
I also object to the kidnapping of old, solidly-established words like "pride" by small interest groups to monopolize for their own purposes. It weakens our language.
Steve Sailer wrote somewhere that there must be youngsters in the U.S.A. who, hearing for the first time about that fine old movie The Pride of the Yankees, responded in all innocence by saying: "I didn't know Lou Gehrig was gay."
I don't mind the harmless varieties of sexual eccentricity, but I do mind their activists doing things to our common language that make it coarser and less comprehensible.
03 — Russia-Ukraine 100 days in. June 2nd, according to The New York Times, was the 100th day of the Russia-Ukraine war — you know, the war between the world's two most corrupt white nations. The military balance seems to be shifting in Russia's favor.
I'll take grim satisfaction in having called the result early. Here was Radio Derb on February 25th, edited quote:
How is this going to play out? — my guess is as good as yours. The correlation of forces of course favors Russia, which is way bigger and has more stuff: 28 times the land area of Ukraine, 3½ times the population. …
My sympathies were, and are, with the Ukrainians, although somewhat diluted by the levels of corruption they've been tolerating the past thirty years. But then, over on the other side of Eurasia, my sympathies are with the Tibetans and the Uighurs.
It's tough being a small, weak nation right adjacent to a big imperial-despotic power. The case of Finland shows that careful, wise leadership, along with a reputation for military toughness, can keep you independent; but you're living on a knife-edge. Sympathy is appropriate.
As Pat Buchanan keeps reminding us, though, we were sympathetic to the East European and Baltic nations when they were under the Soviet heel; but we didn't let our sympathy take us to war with a nuclear power.
Is our current administration as wise in restraint as those of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush 41? On recent evidence the answer is no.
04 — The gun-grabbers of D.C. Commentators all over are still chewing on the May 24th school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Federal legislators — senators and congressfolk — are talking about new nationwide gun laws, especially so-called "red flag" laws to identify possible shooters by their psychological or social-media profiles.
As Daniel Horowitz argued very persuasively in a June 1st article at The Blaze, this is a terrible idea. The federal government is currently in the hands of political commissars who believe that anyone who disagrees with their ideology is mentally ill. In the old Soviet Union the commissars could confine you in a mental hospital if you spoke or wrote against state dogma; that is the power that our own apparatchiks yearn for.
Garland is the guy who instructed the FBI to deal with parents speaking out against Critical Race Theory in school board meetings as "terrorists." Mayorkas in February posted a bulletin citing, quote, "the proliferation of false or misleading narratives," end quote, as a key threat to national security.
As Daniel Horowitz says, quote:
Does anyone think that a federal program to "deal with" mental illness and red flags would not be turned against us? Consider the number of conservative veterans they can easily suggest suffer from PTSD and use these new programs and policies to flag their public statements as looming threats. They can use their political statements as pretext to not only confiscate their guns but even to commit them to mental institutions.
As readers of my monthly diaries know, I have personal issues with "red flag" laws. That's a matter of my local state laws, which is bad enough. The thought of such idiocies on a federal level horrifies me.
Mental health, fiddlesticks: these people — Garland, Mayorkas, and yes, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, Rick Scott, all the Swamp creatures of Washington D.C., Democrats and Republicans both — they want our guns. When they've got them, they'll feel safe putting us dissidents in asylums.
That's what they want, make no mistake about it. Gun-owners of America, stand firm!
05 — A case for bow and arrow control? A footnote to the school shooting issue. In my March Diary I noted having read the book and seen the movie of We Need to Talk About Kevin, which is about a school shooting seen from the perspective of the shooter's mother.
Kevin, however, who is of course the shooter in that book and movie, did not use a gun for his rampage; he used a bow and arrows. That's left me idly wondering whether there has in fact ever been a bow-and-arrow school massacre.
Checking around, I couldn't locate one. I did, though, turn up a story from Norway last October. In the little town of Kongsberg, forty miles from Oslo, a man wandered around the shopping district firing at people with a bow and arrow. He killed five and seriously wounded two.
So bow-and-arrow mass killings are not a thing in the U.S.A., at any rate since the end of the Indian Wars, but they do happen. Let's hope that none of our juvenile psychopaths get inspired by that Kevin movie.
06 — The death graph of Britain. As a former subject of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, one graph I keep returning to in anger and despair is the one that shows up at the Daily Mail website from time to time, the one headed "Number of Migrants Crossing the Channel on Small Boats."
That's the English Channel, of course; and "migrants" is government-speak for "illegal entrants." The thing that fascinates me about this graph is the way they have to keep adjusting the vertical scale.
If you're not familiar with this graph, the horizontal scale, along the bottom, just shows the months of the year, January to December. The vertical scale, up the left-hand side, shows, quote, "Number of Migrants Crossing." That's a cumulative number: so the number shown for April, for example, is the total number that year up to the end of April.
Then, in the body of the graph itself are colored lines: a yellow line for the year 2019, an orange one for 2020, a red one for 2021, and a blue one for 2022.
The yellow line, for 2019, creeps hesitantly up through its year from zero to a year-end total a bit short of 2,000. The 2020 line is steeper, ending that year above 8,000. Then we're off to the races: 2021 ends with 28,526; and the 2022 line, which of course only goes as far as the end of May, is already steeper than last year's. This year's number will be way more than 28,000; some guesses say over 50,000. Time to adjust that vertical scale again …
Yes: the invasion of Britain by Third World opportunists is now at Camp of the Saints levels. Things have gotten so bad that even the worthless, useless British government, which would much rather just let the invasion happen, even these flabby impotent seat-warmers feel obliged to do something — or, more precisely, to look as though they're doing something.
Their latest gesture in that direction has been a scheme to send the illegals to the African nation of Rwanda to have their asylum claims processed. The first batch of illegals to be thus processed have been identified and notified for shipping out next month.
It's all theater. For one thing, the number to be shipped next month is 100; so even if that can be done every month to the end of the year, the total will be only 700. That's out of the likely forty or fifty thousand illegals arriving in Britain this year, not to mention the similar number already here from those previous three years.
And Britain has a large and busy cadre of so-called "human rights lawyers," all geared up to stop the deportations with rulings and injunctions that will take years to go through the justice system. They are supported by woke activists ready to lie down on the airport runways to prevent deportation planes from taking off.
British immigration patriots had been assuming that the deported illegals would be put in camps in Rwanda; but that's not at all what the British government has in mind. The illegals, it's been revealed, are to be installed in Rwanda's luxury hotels, complete with swimming pools, outside bars and restaurants, and spa facilities. Also free WIFI, tennis courts, gyms and golf courses. The rooms have private bathrooms and showers.
In the annals of immigration lunacy, this is a record-breaker. And this, remember, is under a Conservative Party government. Britain's other big political parties are even more devoted to wide-open national borders … although they would object to the word "national" as a hateful vestige of imperialist white supremacy.
Poor Britain; poor, poor old Britain. It used to be a lovely country. I remember it well.
07 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: Just continuing from the last segment, sort of: One of my childhood memories from England is sitting in front of a coal fire.
Growing up there, we had no central heating. Our only heat came from a coal fire in the living-room. I used to love just sitting there watching the coal burn; imagining, as only children can, that there were tiny fire-creatures living there in the glowing red caves between the coals, scurrying out of the way when the fire settled.
There was an entire coal culture. We got the stuff delivered in big blocks and slabs that my Dad broke up with a hammer. To make a fire, you scrunched up some old newspaper, placed wooden kindling on it, then strategically laid coal pieces among the kindling and lit the paper.
First household task the next morning was to scoop out the ash, often still warm, and dump it in a special ash bucket next to the trash bins.
Well, no more of that. This year, 2022, is the last year that domestic burning of coal will be legal in Britain. The Economist back in November published a touching, actually quite lyrical, article about this in their Obituaries section.
So there goes another piece of my childhood, scrubbed away. Is there a worldwide conspiracy to make me feel old? I sometimes suspect there is.
Item: Am I going to comment on the Johnny Depp verdict? No.
For one thing, it's beneath my dignity. Show business people are, as we used to say back in Shakespeare's time, vagabonds and strumpets. The men are rascals and the women are sluts. I won't lower myself to pay attention to their delinquencies.
And for another thing, in areas of the culture that I'm not very familiar with, I look to Steve Sailer as my guide. Not even Steve could get more than forty words out of the Depp saga (not counting a quote). What chance do I have?
Twi I know about. Back in my college days I hung out with some Ghanaians, and Twi was one of their languages. So I thought I'd try out Google Translate's powers with Twi.
OK, Google: What is the Twi for: "My hovercraft is full of eels."?
Google replied: "Eel ahyε me hyεn no mu ma." There are no tone marks, though, and Twi is of course a tonal language, so my rendering probably wouldn't sound right to a native Twi-speaker. One does one's best: or, as they say in Ghana, "meyε nea metumi biara."
That should take some of the fun out of November's midterm elections …
Item: Have you properly absorbed and internalized the ideas that a woman can have a penis and a man can give birth? Then you should have no trouble with this one: bees, according to California's Appellate Court in a May 31st ruling, bees are fish.
Yes: that's "bees" as in buzz, buzz, honey, busy as, which would you rather bee or a wasp? …… bees.
It seems that only bumble bees are being thus re-classified. Bumble bees are facing extinction because of farmers' pesticides. They don't come under the scope of the state's Endangered Species Act as written, though. To take care of that, the Appellate justices just declared them to be fish, which are explicitly protected.
Quote from one justice in his written opinion, quote:
We generally give words their usual and ordinary meaning. Where, however, the Legislature has provided a technical definition of a word, we construe the term of art in accordance with the technical meaning. In performing this function, we are tasked with liberally construing the Act to effectuate its remedial purpose.
I think Humpty Dumpty said it better in Alice in Wonderland, quote:
When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean.
08 — Signoff. And there you have it, ladies and gents. As I warned you, a somewhat abbreviated podcast today. I hope you found something instructive or amusing in it none the less, to carry you through to next weekend.
I am going to use my signoff music, as I often do, in hopes of getting rid of an earworm. This stupid ditty has been playing in my head all day long for reasons I cannot fathom. It was actually the intro music for a TV crime series back around 1960. Why it's come back to me after all these decades, I have no clue, but I'd dearly like to deport it back whence it came.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Intro music for 77 Sunset Strip.]