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 TeasersJohn Derbyshire Blogview

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Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at VDARE.com

Health hysteria goes viral. There are screaming headlines all over.

So what is the body count here? Twenty-six as I write this; so far as I can gather, all of them in China, all or most in or near the central city of Wuhan.

Twenty-six dead? In a nation of 1.4 billion? It’s too bad for the loved ones of those twenty-six, of course. Send not to know For whom the bell tolls. There but for the grace of God, … and so on. Proper sympathy and respect. But … twenty-six? In Communist China? Prison guards in Tibet probably clubbed twenty-six Buddhist nuns to death over the same span of time.

So what accounts for all the hysteria? A number of things.

First of course there is the folk memory of great plagues in the past: the Black Death in 14th-century Europe, the Plague of Justinian eight hundred years earlier, which seems to have been even worse, and recurring similar but lesser events down into quite modern times —the great influenza pandemic that followed World War One, and killed more people than the war had.

Bear in mind, too, that “modern times” came later in China than in the West. My wife’s home town in Manchuria was the epicenter of the greatest-ever outbreak of pneumonic plague, a close relative of the Black Death. Tens of thousands died. That was in 1911. There must be people my age in that town who heard all about it from their parents.

All right, all right; but with today’s understandings of disease transmission, and today’s standards of public hygiene—yes, even in China, although perhaps not in San Francisco—is all the hysteria really justified?

My guess would be not. Michael Fumento, who knows this territory better than anyone—he’s the guy who debunked the myth of heterosexual AIDS in a book with that title thirty years ago—has a good scoff piece in today’s New York Post. [Don’t buy the media hype over the new China virus, January 23, 2020]

So, dim folk memories aside, why the hysteria? I think that so far as the Western world is concerned, we have caught it from China. The Chinese are hysterical about it and hysteria, like influenza, is contagious. That’s especially true in an age like ours: a hysterical age, with public media hungry for sensation, and the old human fascination for tales of world-wide catastrophe still strong—think of global warming.

But that just pushes the question back one square. Why are the Chinese so hysterical about it?

For clues, look back to the SARS panic of seventeen years ago. I got an interesting perspective on that event from reading a novel about it by Chinese dissident writer Hu Fayun. I not only read the novel, I reviewed it. Here’s a quote from my review:

SARS was much more a political than a medical event. Only a few hundred people died from the disease. As a character in the novel asks rhetorically: “With all the hundreds of millions of people in China, can you name a cause of death that doesn’t kill more people than SARS?” As that character also points out, though, the management of public panic over SARS offered both great dangers and great career opportunities to government officials, and that was always the aspect of the matter foremost in their minds.

You have to read that in the context of medical care in China, which is different from medical care in Western countries in important ways.

• Category: Science • Tags: American Media, China 
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See, earlier, by James Fulford: Disparate Impact: Legal And Political

Last week’s item about jaywalkers in New York City brought in some emails. It referred to complaints that city cops issue jaywalking tickets disproportionately to Sun People, i.e. blacks and Latinos. Sun People are only 55 percent of New Yorkers, but they get 90 percent of tickets for jaywalking. Obviously New York cops are practicing flagrant racial discrimination.

A listener with long experience working in the city’s courtrooms tells me that summonses are only issued to those who run but can be caught in a foot pursuit. So the statistics factor in the obedience of perps and the relative athleticism of perps and cops. Not sure how that plays out.

Another listener notes that the hateful racism on display in the issuance of jaywalking tickets is also seen in summonses for fare evasion in the city subway system. New York State’s Attorney General (Letitia James, right) a black female radical, wants police to stop enforcing the law on fare-beating.

Meanwhile there have been ructions in one of the city’s school districts. The New York City Schools Chancellor is another far-left radical, a Gringo-hating Latino supremacist named Richard Carranza. (Right. )Noticing that students being disciplined for misbehavior in city schools were disproportionately Sun People, Carranza [Tweet him] has ordered principals to stop traditional disciplinary procedures in favor of “restorative justice.”

“Restorative justice” is the name of a trendy, feminized approach to dealing with misbehavior, not just in schools but in any kind of institutionalized setting—courts and prisons, for example. The main idea: instead of the misbehaving person being slapped with some penalty, they sit around in a group with their victim, witnesses to the misbehavior, authority figures, and psychologists, and everyone talks at length about their feelings (wo wo wo feelings).

The usefulness of “restorative justice” has not stood up to rigorous research [The promise of ‘restorative justice’ starts to falter under rigorous research,. by Jill Barshay, Hechinger Report, May 6, 2019] And by comparison with traditional punitive approaches it wastes enormous amounts of everyone’s time. But Progressives love it anyway.

New York City public-school parents…not so much. When Chancellor Carranza held a town hall meeting at a New York middle school on Thursday last, he was jeered off the stage by parents furious at the lack of discipline in their kids’ schools:

After several unsuccessful attempts to quiet the crowd, Carranza rose and exited the stage as the hooting continued.

Outraged parents jeer DOE head Richard Carranza off the stage at Queens town hall meeting, by Selim Algar, NY Post, January 17, 2020

The common thread to all these stories: “Disparate Impact.” If Sun People are disproportionately being given tickets for jaywalking, or subway fare-beating, or Sun People schoolkids are being disproportionately punished for misbehavior, our ruling ideology insists that the only possible explanation can be malice on the part of Ice People—that’s whites and Asians—towards Sun People.

The malice might be conscious or unconscious; but it is what causes the disproportion in punishments.

This is all in accord with the larger notion of Disparate Impact. Wherever there is a disproportion of Sun People or other favored groups suffering negative outcomes in any situation—mortgage lending, for example—a wrong has been done, and action must be taken to right that wrong.

Disparate Impact Theory is a key principle in our ruling ideology. It has the authority of, for example, the U.S. Supreme Court [U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Fair Housing Disparate Impact Principle, National Low Income Housing Coalition, June 29, 2015]. You might think that these disproportions could possibly be caused by Sun People actually jaywalking, turnstile-jumping, or acting up in class more than Ice People.

But if you do think that, you’d be wise to keep quiet about it. That’s crimethink.

And please note that it’s still crimethink even if you are a race denialist. Speaking as a race realist, I assume that Sun People do misbehave more than Ice People, and that the reasons are ultimately biological. But you can disagree with me on that bit about reasons and still be a thought criminal, though. If you think that Sun People truly do misbehave more, but for non-biological reasons, you’re still a thought criminal.

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See, earlier, by Steve Sailer: The Partition Possibility, November 30, 2003

Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at VDARE.com

Big news of the week: the arm-wrestling bout with Iran. Again, as I said last week, there is no market here for Great Game strategizing. I’d like for us to tip over the chess-board and walk away.

The whole thing just fills me with despair and disgust at the sheer colossal stupidity of American foreign policy. Trillions of dollars, thousands of lives, tens of thousands of maimed and disfigured, for what?

Doesn’t anyone have to answer for it all? Doesn’t anyone at least get reduced to the ranks of ordinary citizens with ordinary jobs, instead of wallowing in extravagant government pensions, corporate directorships, and six-figure speaking fees?

I guess not. They’re the nomenklatura. They can do as they please. I more and more find myself thinking there are tumbrils and guillotines in our future, and not minding the thought very much.

I have a couple of sidebar points about the Iran business, though.

  • First sidebar point. I read with interest that there were mass casualties from a crowd stampede at the funeral for General What’s-his-name, the Iranian bigshot we blew up with a drone last week. Apparently the streets of the general’s home town were too narrow for the crowds to be properly managed.

Quote from the New York Times:

The head of Iran’s emergency medical services said 56 people had died and 213 were injured … as millions of people flooded the streets of Kerman to witness the [funeral] procession.

[Iran Fires on U.S. Forces at 2 Bases in Iraq, Calling It ‘Fierce Revenge,’ by Alissa J. Rubin et al.; January 7, 2020]

For us Cold War babies, that brings to mind Stalin‘s funeral in Moscow, March 1953. Again, crowds overwhelmed the crowd control measures and many people were crushed or trampled to death. [How Stalin’s demise resulted in the deaths of dozens of Soviet citizens, by Oleg Yegorov, Russia Beyond, March 15, 2019] Nobody knows the numbers: estimates start at a few dozen.

So, one for the memo file: If you’re in a totalitarian dictatorship when someone really important dies, stay away from the funeral procession. It’ll be on TV anyway.

(If you’re in a civilized country, the issue doesn’t arise. I followed Winston Churchill’s funeral cortege all through the streets of 1965 London without mishap. But that was when Britain was a civilized country. Nowadays things might be different.)

Stopped clocks are right twice a day, though, and Joe Biden has occasionally been right. I’m looking at the op-ed cosigned by Joe Biden and the late Leslie Gelb, a Council on Foreign Relations panjandrum, back on May 1st, 2006. It makes melancholy reading thirteen years and eight months later:

It is increasingly clear that President Bush does not have a strategy for victory in Iraq. Rather, he hopes to prevent defeat and pass the problem along to his successor. Meanwhile, the frustration of Americans is mounting so fast that Congress might end up mandating a rapid pullout, even at the risk of precipitating chaos and a civil war that becomes a regional war.

Our frustration was mounting so fast! Thirteen years and eight months ago! That’s precisely five thousand days ago this Wednesday, if my calculator has not deceived me. Five thousand days! Imagine how much more frustrated we must be now!

And: “Congress might end up mandating a rapid pullout.” Congress! [Laugh.]

That’s not my main point, though. My main point is a bit further down in Joe and Leslie’s op-ed.

After noting the ineffectual nature of Iraq’s so-called “governments of national unity,” Joe writes, or agrees with Gelb writing, the following:

The alternative path out of this terrible trap has five elements.

The first is to establish three largely autonomous regions with a viable central government in Baghdad. The Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions [See map at right, via the WSJ.]would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security.

[Unity Through Autonomy in Iraq, by Joe Biden and Leslie Gelb; NY Times, May 1, 2006]

Yesssss! Partition!

Iraq is a bogus country. It should be three countries. All right, that’s not precisely what Joe wrote, but he and Gelb were headed in the right direction.

Below, another map of the (rough) divisions that might be negotiated, via an Iraqi blogger:

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iraq 
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Out with the Tens…

Another decade slips away, my second full decade of writing web commentary. Honest thanks are in order to the readers, listeners, and organizations who have supported my work these twenty years — yes, including National Review. Thank you!

Speaking of National Review, here was Kyle Smith, who bylines as “critic-at-large” at that organ, writing in the December 28th New York Post. “Nearly everything right now is actually awesome,” exults Kyle in a column titled Suck it, doomsayers! The past decade was the best ever.

As a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist, I naturally demur. I know Kyle read my 2009 book We Are Doomedhe reviewed it for the magazine. Has he forgotten all my warnings about the folly of optimism?

I will grudgingly allow, however, that things might be worse. Wa-a-ay back in the previous decade, in June of 2003, I reviewed a book by Sir Martin Rees, the British Astronomer Royal, then soon to become President of the Royal Society, and so a heavy hitter in modern science. Sir Martin’s book was titled Our Final Hour. For doom’n’gloom it was hard to beat. Sir Martin wrote:

I staked one thousand dollars on a bet: “That by the year 2020 an instance of bioerror or bioterror will have killed a million people.” Of course, I fervently hope to lose this bet. But I honestly do not expect to …

As I write this there are still a few hours left in 2019, but it looks very much as though Sir Martin will be taking out his checkbook.

So no, things aren’t as bad as Sir Martin feared … although, since his fears included the possible annihilation of spacetime, that’s not saying a lot.

In with the Twenties

And now, the Twenties! To a person of my generation — born 1945 (and so not a Boomer, thanks very much) that phrase “the Twenties” has some color.

For my parents’ cohort, the fortysomethings and fiftysomethings of my childhood, the 1920s were their salad days: youth, vigor, adventure, romance, strongly impressed memories. They talked about the Twenties a lot.

I think this was even more the case for Americans. Those years were, for this country, fun, filled with novelty and incident. Movies! (Still silent, of course.) Jazz! Radio! Automobiles! Colorful gangsters! (Sure, they committed homicide a lot, but mostly on each other.) Broadway musicals! Aviation! Flappers! Sexual liberation! It was fun. Historian Paul Johnson, in his book Modern Times, gives his chapter on 1920s America the heading “The Last Arcadia.”

Britain wasn’t quite like that. The Brits enjoyed those same novelties and shared some of the same thrills, but under darker skies.

The main difference was in national self-esteem. Britain came out of World War 1 diminished; America, strengthened. Britain’s war deaths were proportionally fifteen times America’s: two percent of the population, against 0.13 percent. The war had been longer for Britain — 4.3 years against America’s 1.6 — and more grueling, with food shortages and the first air raids.

Britain was also suffering from her tremendous 19th-century success. Smug in possession of a vast empire, the ruling classes lost their vitality. Industry stuck in the mud with outdated equipment and methods. Unemployment was chronic. Paul Johnson gives the following figures for 1921-29, as a percentage of the labor force: 17.0, 14.3, 11.7, 10.3, 11.3, 12.5, 9.7, 10.8. 10.4. Agriculture had been devastated by cheap imports and misguided reforms: the price of agricultural land was in free fall.

The old class system was under siege, too. The mingling enforced by mass wartime mobilization had stirred discontent. Lower-class youngsters resented a social order that, they felt, unfairly excluded them. Young men of spirit lit out for the colonies, as my own father did in 1926.

Still, on a personal level it’s hard to feel anything but affectionate nostalgia for your salad days. In Britain, as in America, there was fun to be had, of kinds not to be had in previous decades. For my parents’ generation the Twenties had a definite glow, some of which I caught by reflection.

Britain’s Coolidge

The truly wonderful thing about that burst of prosperity and fun in 1920s America is that politics had little to do with it. There was in fact not much politics going on. The nation was self-driving, self-energizing.

The emblematic figure here was of course Calvin Coolidge, President from August 1923 to March 1929. Coolidge wasn’t quite as much of a Taoist as he’s been remembered (or as he himself liked to pose), but he was wonderfully laid-back by today’s standards, and even by comparison with his predecessor Woodrow Wilson (“counting out Harding as a cipher only” — Mencken) and his successor Herbert Hoover. Anyone that knows anything at all about Coolidge is familiar with Will Rogers’ quip (variously quoted): “He did nothing, but that’s what people wanted done.”

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness 
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Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at VDARE.com

Recently , I posted here on some news about the wall being built along our southern border. Yes, said a link I posted, the wall truly is being built, although very slowly: “Miles Built: 93. Miles to be built: 509+.”

As I said, that’s awful slow, even if it’s true—I expressed some doubts. Donald Trump was elected three years ago. He was sworn in as Chief Executive one thousand and sixty-four days ago as I speak. Ninety-three miles divided by 1,064 averages out at 154 yards per day—not very impressive for the can-do nation.

At that rate the remaining 509 miles will take sixteen years, and that’ll still be less than one-third of the total border, which is 1,954 miles.

That post of mine brought in some emails, though, as posts will. One very interesting one came from a doctor who works in a town near the border over in the western sector:

Some of my patients are working on the wall. I see them for physicals and if they get injured. It seems to be a big project.

There is one group of six engineers who live in New Mexico and fly by chartered aircraft in on Sunday evening and out on Thursday. They say that the plane carries six others who live in the same area the opposite way, so work is going on seven days a week.

All of them that I have spoken to are patriots and happy to be hard at work on this. They expect to be employed another year in this zone and then to work in another—depending on the election, of course.

That’s very encouraging, and dispels some of my doubts. Plainly the Trump Administration is trying.

I’d be happier if they’d been trying those first two years, instead of playing patty-cake with congressional Open-Borders Cuckmeister Paul Ryan. Still, I’ll take what I can get.

News reporting on the wall exposes some of the legal and legislative issues that are keeping things slow. Here’s a story from Reuters, December 17th: Trump administration may not hit 2020 border wall goal, official says.

That official is Mark Morgan of Customs and Border Protection, the CBP. So what, according to him, is keeping things slow? Well, some federal judge — a Mexican-American judge appointed by Bill Clinton—has blocked him using military funds for wall construction. Plus, current funding for the wall runs out imminently.

And the CBP’s own figures, according to Reuters, show that 90 of those 93 miles already built replace existing structures.

Commissioner Morgan pushed back on that one, insisting that everything built so far should be considered new. O-kay.

The judge issue and the funding aren’t killer obstacles. An appeals court could overturn that Kritarch’s ruling, and Congress’s spending package allegedly includes wall funds.

Still: Two years of nothing … 154 yards per day … replacing existing structures … judicial obstruction … funding issues… You don’t get an impression of desperate urgency.

And this—the border wall—is just one aspect of one face of the immigration issue. I mean of course the illegal face. What about visa overstayers? What about Employer penalties? What about strategic deportations? Is anything getting done? No, nothing.

Hey, look on the bright side, Derb. If you think of our efforts here at VDARE.com to bring some reason and order to our immigration system, if you think of it as a job, it looks like it’s a job for life. You’re never going to be redundant.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Immigration 
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We have a tag here at VDARE.com with the title Not Reporting Race. Our ruling classes are terrified that we, the Great Unwashed, might notice that blacks are massively over-represented in every category of crime—yes, including white-collar crime. Our news media go into painful contortions to avoid telling us the race of perps and suspects.

This wastes a fair amount of my time. It’s my fault; I shouldn’t let it; but it does.

Like this. I was reading the New York Post over my breakfast cereal Wednesday. This was the print version, whose headlines differ slightly from those online.

OK, page 2, headline: Council might sue one of its own. The story is about New York City Councilman Andy King failing to pay a fine for various low-level misdeeds. His colleagues on the Council are thinking of suing him. The story comes with a picture of Councilman King, who is black.

Right below that is another story about a city functionary abusing his power. This is Erick Green, a supervisor in the city’s Department of Homeless Services. Lieutenant Green—yes, they have military-style ranks in the city bureaucracy—is accused of using his staff like a private taxi service, ordering them to drive him home, to his girlfriend’s house, grocery shopping, and even to the airport.

Minor metropolitan stories, to be sure. That second one, though, carried no picture of Erick Green. The online version had no picture of him, either.

Is he black? The slightly eccentric spelling of “Erick”—E-R-I-C-K—is suggestive. Did the Post think that two pictures of black bureaucrats misbehaving, on the same page, would be one too many?

I tried Google Images for Erick Green. I got about two million pictures of athletes bearing that name, all of them black. I tried some smarter Googling, adding “Department of Homeless Services” to the search string and so on, but the results from Google Images were weird. I got an image of a black guy over that same New York Post headline; but when I clicked on it I got the same dumb story with no picture. Then I got an image of a white guy over the same headline. Same deal: click —no picture!

I still don’t know whether Erick Green is black or not; and while I try not to be paranoid, I’m left with the rather strong impression that Google and the New York Post would rather I not know.

Bored at last, I turned the page of my newspaper. Pages 4 and 5 were a double spread, all about the killings at a kosher market in Jersey City. In six hundred words of reportage, there was no mention of the race of the gunmen, though the whole thing happened at midday in front of numerous witnesses.

All the other media were silent, too, leaving cultural gatekeepers like TV commissar Joy Behar and congresscommie Rashida Tlaib to the default assumption that the killers were white supremacists. In fact, it emerged eventually, they were black, members of a cult called Black Hebrew Israelites.

Frontpaged on this morning’s New York Post is the awful story of an 18-year-old student at Barnard College, adjacent to Columbia University, up there in Harlem. The girl was stabbed to death in broad daylight crossing Morningside Park, a few blocks from her college dorm. This morning’s Post had no description of the killer or killers, although it tells us there is, quote, “a trove of video surveillance footage.”

Checking later today I see that a 13-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with the murder. He lives on Lenox Avenue, we are told, a few blocks from the park. Lenox Avenue actually names a short stretch of what, for most of its length, is called Malcolm X Boulevard. It’s right between Marcus Garvey Park and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.

This late news story says the boy attends, quote, “nearby Middle School 180.” That can’t be right: MS 180 is on Baychester Avenue in the Bronx, eight miles away. The nearby middle school is MS 149 on West 117th Street, student demographics just 2 percent white. On the off-chance they really do mean MS 180 in the Bronx, though, that’s a bit whiter: three percent.

So … plainly another white supremacist atrocity.

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Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at VDARE.com

Here’s an anniversary that, even after the Pensacola (and Pearl Harbor) shootings, doesn’t seem to have been mentioned in the Main Stream Media: the Fort Hood massacre, which occurred just over ten years ago, on November 5th, 2009.

In that incident a crazy Muslim, Army Major Nidal Hasan, the son of Palestinian immigrant parents, murdered thirteen people at Fort Hood Army base in Texas. Subsequently, General George Casey, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, went on Meet the Press and told us—this is an actual quote—

The military benefits from diversity … Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.

I spun an entire angry 37-minute Radio Derb podcast out of that bit of lunacy (November 13, 2009). It was rather dark, I’m afraid. I’ll just replay for you the signoff segment, which gives the general tone of the thing.:

There you have it, listeners. Twilight in the American empire. But let’s look on the bright side: We have our toys, our cell phones, our twitters, and our flat-screen TVs.

And we still have our ideological purity. When that great glowing mushroom cloud rises over some American city to cries of “Allahu Akbar!” from the bombers, we shall be able to reflect that however many casualties there are—ten million, twenty million—at least diversity was not among them.

Yes, they can murder our soldiers, fly planes into our buildings, terrorize our capital with sniper shootings, but they can never call us racist! Reflect on that, citizens, and glow with pride … while waiting for the day when you’ll be glowing with something different.

Still, let’s give thanks for small mercies: At least the killings last Friday, December 6th, at Pensacola Naval Air Station by a native Saudi airman did not prompt any comments from the Joint Chiefs as bone-crushingly stupid as General Casey’s remark ten years ago.

Possibly our Ruling Class learned from that occasion that it is politically unwise to state the articles of their ideological faith out loud on nationwide TV at certain times and places. Better to keep quiet about them right after they have been so obviously exposed as false.

Or possibly not. Whatever caution our rulers may have acquired about airing their ideological dogmas too publicly at inopportune moments, their faith in those dogmas remains unshakeable. Which is why they’ve sent the Fort Hood Massacre down the Memory Hole.

Thus, from the military.com website, Sample quote from the story:

Members of the House Armed Services Committee’s personnel subcommittee told leaders from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps that they fall short when it comes to minorities serving in leadership positions, especially in the senior officer ranks.

“Despite the significant efforts made by the services, there are still areas for improvement, specifically the services must redouble their efforts to improve diversity among the officer corps,” subcommittee ranking member Rep. Trent Kelly, R-Miss., said during the Dec. 10 hearing.

Congress Wants More Diversity In The Ranks Of Military Generals, by Matthew Cox, December 11, 2019

Executive summary: America needs more Major Nidal Hasans!

One more time( I’m going to keep repeating this in the hope that one day it will sink in): Large-scale diversity is not a strength or a blessing: it is a blight and a curse. Anyone whose eyes are properly set opposite the holes in his face can see that plainly.

A little diversity does no harm. It may actually improve things, like salt in your stew. If you dump a whole box of salt into your stew, though, you no longer have stew. You no longer have anything you’d want to eat.

Some countries, like ours, have been cursed with diversity from their founding. As civilized people, we must just do the best we can to accommodate that original diversity, while cleaving firmly to the Prime Directive not to make things worse.

This isn’t hard to see; it isn’t hard to understand…unless, for social or psychological reasons, you are resolutely determined not to see it and not to understand it.

The perp in last Friday’s Pensacola shooting was Royal Saudi Air Force 2d Lt Mohammed Alshamrani. He opened fire in a pilot-training class, killing three classmates and injuring at least eight before being shot dead himself by sheriff’s deputies. The King of Saudi Arabia has expressed his sincere condolences to the bereaved.

There are a number of things to be said about all that.

The first thing, of course:

  • “We’re training Saudi pilots? After what happened on September 11th, 2001? When the people who made it happen were—Hel-LOOOO!

I have been remarking for years, e.g. March 2017, that

The most astonishing statistic of our age is that our country admitted more Muslims for settlement in the fifteen years after 2001 than we did in the fifteen years prior.

I didn’t state the half of it. We haven’t just been admitting them, we’ve been admitting them for pilot training!

That rumbling sound you hear under your feet is Satan and his daemons rolling around on the floor of Hell laughing uncontrollably at our stupidity.

The second thing to be said, although this one’s kind of personal:

  • 2d Lt Alshamrani’s foul deed denies me one more opportunity to float the word “absimilation,” which I coined in my world-wide best-seller We Are Doomed, also ten years ago.
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Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively at VDARE.com

The latest terrorist killings in London got me reading up on Fishmongers’ Hall.

I’ll confess I knew next to nothing about the place, in spite of having been born and raised in England and lived five years in London. The hall existed in my mind, out on the barren, windswept borderlands of my awareness, but I had never been to it and couldn’t have told you anything about it. So I went looking it up on the internet.

It’s a pleasant old building with some fine interior spaces, just at the north end of London Bridge (which is not to be confused with Tower Bridge, although non-Brits chronically do confuse them). This is the heart of the old City of London, equidistant from St Paul’s cathedral and the Tower of London.

Fishmongers’ Hall isn’t actually that old, as buildings go in England—less than 200 years old. The Tower, half a mile away, is nearly a thousand years old; and if you’ve been there you’ll remember there are bits of the Roman wall nearby, a thousand years older than that. London’s an old city.

Fishmongers’ Hall is respectably old, though. It acquired more respectability in WW2, when it was badly damaged by German bombs during the Blitz; and there has been a Fishmongers’ Hall on that same site since the 14th century.

The hall’s proprietor, the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, is even older than that, with misty origins back in the Middle Ages, when practitioners of some trade or craft—in this case, the marketing of fish—banded together in guilds to protect their collective interests and … I don’t know: suppress competition, probably.

Whatever, the Company and its hall are fine mementos of old England, when she was a country inhabited mainly by a distinctive race of people—the Island Race, Sir Winston Churchill called them.

Nowadays England is a multicultural, multiracial slum, its population about as distinctive as the inhabitants of an airport departure lounge. Less than half of Londoners belong to that Island Race Churchill wrote about. [Why have the white British left London?, by Mark Easton, BBC, February 20, 2013].

Change in white British population in London between 2001 and 2011—BBC

When today’s teenagers are middle-aged, less than half of England will be of that Island Race, thanks to mass immigration and differential birthrates. [RIP this Britain: With academic objectivity, Oxford Professor and population expert DAVID COLEMAN says white Britons could be in the minority by the 2060s – or sooner, Daily Mail, May 27, 2016]

And of course this is something the English are supposed to celebrate as positive—the transformation of a stuffy, dull, backward-looking population with chronic class antagonisms and lousy cuisine into a gorgeous mosaic of diversity, an affirmation of human universalism, of the absolute innate equality of all races in all the traits that matter.

If, for example, you go the website of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers and let the wallpaper cycle once or twice, you get a picture of ten fishmongers plying their ancient trade, eight gentlemen and two ladies.

Two of the ten are indistinct; of the other eight, five, including both the ladies, are black or mulatto. Two of the guys are very black, bringing to mind—well, to my mind—what Orwell wrote about the Senegalese troops he saw in French Morocco: “so black that sometimes it is difficult to see whereabouts on their necks the hair begins.”

English people who object to this North Korean level of brainwashing, or who merely notice the downsides—the usual high black crime rate, the Pakistani grooming gangs—are ostracized as cruel and immoral, and fired from their jobs. Sometimes they are jailed.

A recent case:

Expelled student, 22, is jailed for 18 months after calling for Muslims to be ‘wiped off the face of the earth’ in vile 17-minute Facebook video rant

Louis Duxbury issued a ‘call to arms’ during the rant after terror attacks in 2017
The court heard Duxbury was first reported to police about his views aged 15
Duxbury, of York, denied inciting religious hatred but was convicted by a jury

By Sophie Law, Mailonline, December 5, 2019

Wait a minute, Derb, I hear you saying. What’s all this to you? You’ve spent most of your adult life in the U.S.A. You’ve been a citizen for seventeen years. What do you care about the Old Country?

Well, not much above the level of private sentimentality. I read news stories about England in a spirit of calm despair. The place is gone, it’s irrecoverable.

For my American kids, though, and their American kids when they finally get round to having some, I’d like to do what I can to spare this country from sinking into the dark pit that has swallowed England.

We are, as I said on the VDARE.com livestream earlier this week, we are cousin nations. Our politics proceed approximately in sync. The U.K. got principled conservative Margaret Thatcher; America got principled conservative Ronald Reagan. We got cynical grifter Bill Clinton; they got cynical grifter Tony Blair. They got Brexit; we got Trump.

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Blog post of the month

Not actually this month. This blog post is from July 20th. I only just had it brought to my attention. As usual, I’m behind with these things. Was it not from self-awareness that I once wrote under the alias The Straggler? It was.

The blog post’s author, Michael Huemer, is a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado. The heading on the blog post is “Intellectual Conformity Is Adaptive.”[July 20, 2019]

The subject of the post, as best it can be squished down to a single word, is thinking. The link to it was forwarded to me by a friend who said it reminded him of a piece I’d written back in my National Review days, aguing that hardly anybody actually thinks very much in any coherent way.

Sample quote from Prof. Huemer’s blog post, with his footnote:

Intellectuals are a danger to society.* Why people constantly get things wrong when they reason abstractly is a topic for another time. But the evidence is pretty overwhelming that they do. They are then in danger of doing crazy stuff, or convincing other people to do crazy stuff.

(*Not me, though. Fortunately, I, unlike the other intellectuals, am generally right about things. But that is rare. Also, in modern times, people who work in the sciences generally advance useful knowledge. But people who think about the big philosophical, political, and religious issues generally get approximately everything wrong.)

For a professor of philosophy, I think that is an instance of what military types refer to as “calling down fire on your own position.” Prof. Huemer has, though, I think, attained a well-nigh Derbian level of self-awareness. He has no illusions about his role in the grand scheme of things:

Let’s keep up the inaccessible, jargony works that no one reads. Higher education is not teaching much to students or anyone else. But at least it keeps intellectuals off the streets.

I urge you to read and savor the whole thing.

Nonfiction book of the month

Prof. Huemer’s post struck me with more force than it otherwise might have because at the time it was brought to my attention I had just finished reading Michael Rectenwald’s memoir Springtime for Snowflakes.

Rectenwald taught Liberal Studies at New York University until January this year, when he retired. He was in the news, at any rate locally, three years ago, after starting up an anonymous Twitter account [@antipcnyuprof] critical of Political Correctness. Sample tweet:

I’m an NYU prof who’s seen academe become a sham bc of identity pol & liberal totalitarianism. I’ll tell all soon.

He was soon unmasked by the NYU student newspaper. After overcoming some misgivings, he gave them an interview under his real name. Sample:

Frankly, I’m not really anti-pc. My contention is that trigger warning, safe spaces and bias hotline reporting are not politically correct. They are insane.

That got him hauled up for a meeting before the Dean of Liberal Studies and the Director of Human Resources. On Rectenwald’s account (which, to be perfectly fair, they have disputed), these are exactly the kind of shifty enforcers Amy Wax came up against in her own Two Minutes Hate. Let their names be recorded: the Dean is Fred Schwarzbach, [Email him] the Director Shabana Master. [Email her] I can’t find an unambiguous picture of Ms Master, but “Shabana” is most commonly a Pakistani forename.

With the weasely cowardice typical of these academic apparatchiks, instead of having the guts to fire Rectenwald for his dissidence (he did not have tenure), the Dean and the Director simulated earnest concern for his mental health and insisted he take paid medical leave of absence for the remainder of that semester.

Springtime for Snowflakes covers these events in its first fifteen pages. The following ninety pages are memoir, describing Rectenwald’s intellectual journey.

From a working-class background in Pittsburgh he proceeded to a late-1970s apprenticeship with the poet Allen Ginsberg at the Naropa Institute, now Naropa University, a countercultural offshoot of the Beat Generation. Rectenwald: “That Allen Ginsberg was the least bizarre person around should tell you much about Naropa Institute.”

There followed years of accumulating academic credentials in literary and allied fields, leading to a 25-year career teaching Liberal Studies at American universities. Our author thought of himself as a communist, became steeped in postmodern theory, and is lucid at describing how the current “social justice” movement emerged from that intellectual background. Try his 160-word explication of the term “phallogocentrism,” for example (page 68).

For all that lucidity, Rectenwald seems to have been slow on the uptake in matters political.

As a result of the fallout from my outing as the “‘Deplorable’ NYU Prof,” I found myself besieged and attacked by leftists of all stripes. Likewise, I inevitably questioned my political commitments. Could a political isolato such as I had become be a committed communist? The communists that I had known now resembled tyrants more than anything else. I now saw the authoritarianism and embryonic totalitarianism that had been hidden beneath a thin veneer of egalitarian rhetoric. Could I be numbered among a tribe whose members were so monstrous? No, I could not call myself a communist.

Uh …

Well, well: Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. In any case, nobody who declares himself a lover of Tennyson‘s verse can be altogether bad. I’m willing to forgive even communism in a guy who, after forswearing that foul creed, can tell us that “SJW” stands for “Stalin, Just Weirder” (page 126).

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness 
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Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively on VDARE.com

My readers all know about New York City’s Communist mayor Bill de Blasio. Those of you in the great windswept spaces west of the Hudson River are probably much less familiar with Mayor de Blasio’s wife, a black lady named Chirlane McCray.

Ms. McCray is a piece of work. She exhibits all the pathologies of educated black Americans in concentrated form, all the points very highly developed. She is a Communist, of course, like her husband—they took their honeymoon in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. She has been a writer and a poet—Radio Derb actually offered listeners a sample of her poetry back in 2013, when Bill was first running for mayor of New York.

Although I have sampled Ms. McCray’s poetry, I have not ventured into her prose. Since her verse is without rhyme, meter, or even rhythm, and betrays no acquaintance at all with traditional poetic forms—is in fact verse merely in a typographical sense—I wouldn’t expect to find anything in her prose I didn’t find in her poetry.

And Googling around for commentaries about the prose it’s clear that it is indeed just like the verse: semiliterate solipsistic vaporing about her blackness, herself, her blackness, her sexuality, her blackness, her childhood, her blackety-blackety-black-black-blackness. [The Lesbian Past of Bill de Blasio’s Wife, by Hunter Walker, December 5, 2012]

And as I said, McCray ticks all the boxes for educated black American pathology. Along with the foregoing, she has allowed herself to be wafted up on thermals of white guilt into a position where she can make decisions about the disbursal of public funds.

Lots of public funds, in her case: a quarter of a billion—yes, that’s “billion” with a “b”—a quarter of a billion dollars a year. That’s the budget for ThriveNYC, a program to overhaul New York City’s mental-health welfare services, launched four years ago in 2015.

It goes without saying that Ms. McCray was not elected to run ThriveNYC, nor even selected on any kind of meritocratic job-interview basis. She was just appointed by her husband the mayor. She has never in her life managed anything, let alone anything spending a quarter billion a year.

So: four years at a quarter billion a year, that’s a neat billion dollars dragged from the pockets of working and property-owning New Yorkers by force of law. What does the city have to show for it?

Nothing that anyone has been able to identify. The actual situation for mental health issues in New York may actually be worse today than it was four years ago.[ Mental health complaints have soared since ThriveNYC launch, by Nolan Hicks, NY Post, March 14, 2019] Quote from the de-Blasio-friendly New York Times:

The biggest challenge for Mr. de Blasio and Ms. McCray has been to identify concrete results. A spreadsheet of nearly 500 data points tracked by City Hall included almost none related to patient outcomes.

[Chirlane McCray, de Blasio’s Wife, Is Questioned Over His ‘Revolutionary’ $1 Billion Mental Health Plan, by J. David Goodman, March 22, 2019]

So…how was that billion dollars of public money disbursed? Nobody really knows, as no records of spending are kept. [With opaque budget and elusive metrics, $850M ThriveNYC program attempts a reset, by Amanda Eisenberg, NY Post, February 27, 2019 ]


Of course, there was the organizing of the annual conference of ThriveNYC, held on Monday and Tuesday this last week. Two hundred mayors of American cities were invited. Just seven RSVPed in the affirmative, and all but two of them were small local sub-municipalities. [Just seven mayors to attend Chirlane McCray’s annual ThriveNYC conference, by Julia Marsh, NY Post, November 15, 2019]

But think of the postage paid on all those invitations that went straight into mayoral waste-paper bins from sea to shining sea.

Ms. McCray herself opened the conference with a talk about—can you guess?—yes: her own wonderful, ineffable, endlessly fascinating blackety-blackety-blackety-blackety-black-black-blackness.

McCray described to the audience the torment she endured as one of the only black children growing up in Longmeadow, Mass., in the 1960s: Her classmates mocked her skin color, teachers refused to have her in their classrooms, and construction workers spit at her as she rode her bike.

“I didn’t know how to handle all that,” she vividly recalled Monday during her keynote at the Thrive conference at New York Law School.

“I was afraid, I was lonely, I was anxious and so often I just wanted to die,” she said, pausing before continuing her 15-minute address.

[ Chirlane McCray recalls past depression battle: ‘I just wanted to die’ , by Julia Marsh, New York Post, November 18, 2019]

McCray’s family was, according to Wikipedia, only the second black family in the town of Longmeadow, whither her family had moved in 1964 when Ms. McCray was ten years old.

That could very well be true. Even today, Longmeadow is less than 1 percent black.

But I call b-s on the lady’s tales of being mocked and spat on, though.

“Teachers refused to have her in their classrooms”? Please. She’s lying.

For one thing, this was Massachusetts, inhabited by people of earnest northeastern Puritan stock. These people weren’t spitting on ten-year-old black kids, not even in 1964.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Blacks, Political Correctness 
John Derbyshire
About John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.