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The CRISPR babies

The news that a Chinese scientist has gene-edited human embryos left me neither shaken nor stirred. If you follow this stuff you know that we’ve been able to do this for six years. It was just a matter of someone being audacious enough to actually do it.

Professor He Jiankui may in fact have been a tad too audacious; he seems to be in trouble with his superiors since the news came out.

Diddling with the human genome will certainly be a thing in humanity’s near future with sensational, unforeseeable consequences; I’m not blithe about that. We’re not there yet, though, nor even close. Stories like this will pop up as Page Five items for another ten years, maybe twenty, without radically affecting society.

By mid-century, when my kids are middle-aged, the fun will have started in earnest. By end-century the human world will have been transformed in ways we cannot even imagine and I would not dare try to predict.

Eastern eugenics, Western dysgenics

So the answer to the question, “Are the ChiComs going to breed a master race?” is, “Not any time soon.”

Would they like to, though? Yes, they would. I’ve been writing about this for, according to my archives, at least seventeen years.

“Eugenics” is not a bad word over there. ChiCom social policy has had a consciously eugenic component since the 1980s, in complete contradiction to the metaphysical axioms of orthodox Marxism-Leninism (of which, as I have explained elsewhere, Mao Tse-tung Thought is just a cheap Chinese knock-off). The One Child Policy, for example—now somewhat relaxed—was driven in part by the intention “to reduce dysgenic fertility among rural peasants.”

The ChiComs pursue policies intended to make their population smarter. Genetic diddling will certainly speed that up when we eventually figure out how to do it safely, but they hope that good old selective breeding will deliver results in the meantime.

This is the opposite of our policy here in the West. We—or at any rate our political and cultural elites—are striving to make our population dumber by the mass immigration and sacralization of low-IQ peoples.

The end result would seem to be a foregone conclusion, but you never know. Possibly ChiCom gene-diddling, when they get there, will go disastrously wrong. Possibly the West will get lucky—come up with something we can put into the water supply to give everyone twenty extra IQ points. Who knows? There are many futures.

“He’s on first,” She told You

While we are still—thank goodness!—in the Page Five, “hey, that’s kind of interesting, did you feed the dog?” zone with CRISPR, my attention got snagged on the scientist’s name: 賀建奎, Hè Jiànkúi in the standard pinyin transcription.

Surname comes first in Chinese (though they often flip it round in translated text to confuse us). So this guy’s surname transcribes as “Hè.” The “H” is hard “German” style; the “e” is a schwa—a sort of “uh” vowel. The tone is high-falling, but tone marks are generally dropped when transcribing.

The very pleasant lady from Wuhan who sits behind the counter at my local post office sports the surname “尤,” written in pinyin as “Yóu,” pronounced like street-English “yo!” but with high-rising tone.

“佘” is also a Chinese surname, though not a common one. The pinyin transcription is “Shé” with that same schwa and the high-rising tone again.

So I have this notion of a short story—I doubt you could stretch it to a novel—written in English but with Chinese dramatis personæ surnamed He, You, and She, with the tone marks dropped. The art of the piece would be to make the ambiguity between Chinese surnames and English pronouns as confusing as possible to the reader.

The result, if anyone can pull it off, would not be quite as silly as “Mr Shi eats lions,” but it would be silly enough to send a small brief shaft of light through the horrid fog of po-faced solemnity, preacherish sanctimony, and indignant moralizing that envelops our society today.

Opera buffa at the Derbs’

On the silliness theme, we’ve been going through some opera buffa in the Derb household this month.

My wife Rosie has a sister-in-law back in China, and this lady has a niece 21 or 22 years old. I’ll call her Lulu, which is nothing like her real name.

Lulu started at NYU this fall semester. We knew nothing about her except that she was smart enough to get into NYU and her family rich enough to pay full fees. That was enough, though, to kick Rosie into match-maker mode. She was seized with the notion that Lulu would make a fine wife for our son Danny (23).

When the three of us—Dad, Mom, and Danny—sat down to dinner in the late-October evenings, Rosie would launch into her sales pitch, addressing Danny with: “This girl is smart! She’s rich! You should meet her!” I tried to lighten things up with speculations on Lulu’s appearance, about which we knew nothing: “Perhaps she has buck teeth and weighs 300 pounds …”

Danny wasn’t buying it. For one thing, he has no desire to get married. For another, he thinks Chinese girls are stuck-up. He is too filial to make a fuss; but he rolled his eyes, fended off the sales pitch with sighs and groans, and left the table as soon as he decently could.

Nothing deterred, Rosie invited Lulu to come visit us out on Long Island the first weekend of November on the pretext of seeing the fall colors. I was away that weekend at the H.L. Mencken Club conference, so what follows is hearsay.

Danny resolved matters to his own satisfaction, and his mother’s frustration, by absenting himself from the house for the weekend. Saturday evening Rosie took Lulu on a visit to friends nearby.

These friends are another Chinese lady—I’ll call her Daisy—married to another round-eye male; and they too have a son, the same age as Danny. Lulu and this son got on well; and that hurled Daisy into match-maker mode. The middle-aged Chinese woman seems to be a natural host for the match-making bug.

Driving home with Lulu, Rosie learned that Daisy had invited Lulu to stay with them for Thanksgiving. Rosie was outraged. She took the point of view that Daisy was poaching. As she expressed it to me later: “We saw her first!” (Lulu, I should say, turned out to be very pretty and personable.)

• Category: Science 
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John Derbyshire spoke at the Mencken Club recently (November 3, just before the midterms) and spoke on the subject of anarcho-tyranny.

See earlier Brimelow At Mencken: “Democrats—Party Of Perjury, Party Of Treason, Party Of Hysterical Screeching.”

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here, and thanks to Paul [Gottfried] for what already looks like another very successful conference.

First somewhat of an apology. The title of my talk is misleading. I have the heart and soul of a freelance journalist, and we don’t bother much with titles. Titles to articles in newspapers and magazines were traditionally supplied by subeditors—the people responsible for headlines and photo captions. Where titles are concerned, a freelancer has to take his chances with the subs.

That’s not precisely what happened here. What actually happened was, Paul asked me if I’d join a panel on anarcho-tyranny. I said I’d be delighted. Paul asked if there was any particular subtopic I wanted to focus on. I said: “Nah, just give me a topic and I’ll run with it.” Paul then listed my topic as: “The Breakdown of Order in Late Mass Democracy.”

I tell you this to make it plain that I don’t, from long habit, take titles very seriously; and this is not Paul’s fault.

So I can now tell you that, after pondering the title Paul has supplied me with, I don’t in fact think there will be a breakdown of order in what—yes, I do agree—we can rightly call “late mass democracy.”

Not only do I think there will not be a breakdown of order, I fear the opposite thing: an intensification of order. Let me explain that.

I think the distinguishing characteristic of late mass democracy is the elites getting their mojo back. After a Century of the Common Man, elites are now saying to themselves, in the current popular idiom: “We’ve got this.”

To explain what I mean, let me take a brief historico-literary detour.

When I was getting my secondary education back in England in the early 1960s, a common exercise for sixth formers—that is, high school juniors and seniors—was to read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and then to read Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and to write an essay declaring, with supporting arguments, which of the two books you thought the actual future would more closely resemble.

Both these books presented the reader with a dystopia—a dark view of humanity’s future. The two dystopias were radically different, though.

In Orwell’s vision, as I’m sure is well known, the human spirit had been tamed by terror. A ruling elite, divided into an Inner Party and an Outer Party, maintained itself by fear. Outer Party members, who did the administrative grunt work, were kept under constant vigilance by the Thought Police. Dissidents were hauled away to be tortured and killed. A great sullen mass of proles, with no political rights, were kept pacified by a coarse kind of popular culture and frequent spasms of war fever, and were also under watch by the Thought Police, so that potential troublemakers could be quickly identified and eliminated.

Huxley’s dystopia was altogether different. Huxley’s planet is unified and at peace. Its affairs are managed by ten regional Controllers. Marriage, childbirth, and family life have been abolished, along with all kinds of suffering — even such minor kinds as disappointment and frustration. Also gone are the nation-state, war, religion, ethnicity, and all profound art and literature. Disease has been banished. Old age has been banished too, very nearly: Citizens are healthy, vigorous, and attractive until about age 60, when they decline quickly to death. Everyone lives in a state of contented hedonism, assisted by regular doses of soma, a freely available narcotic with no side- or after-effects. Sex is promiscuous and recreational, with universal free access to contraception and abortion.

The necessary work of Huxley’s society is carried out via a system of castes, with bright and capable Alphas at the top, then betas, gammas, deltas, down to dimwitted Epsilons at the bottom. Caste is determined in the Hatcheries, where good-quality eggs and sperm are mated to produce Alphas. Inferior zygotes are assigned to the lower castes and cloned. The production of well-adjusted citizens is completed in Conditioning units.

All this is accomplished so successfully that society is well-nigh self-regulating. The Controllers, though in theory they’re possessed of despotic powers, in fact have very little to do.

When I got this assignment around age 17, I pondered the matter and came down on the side of Huxley as having given us a more probable picture of the future. I can’t honestly remember my arguments, but I suspect my choice was mainly esthetic. Orwell’s vision was plainly horrible. It even smelled bad: remember how Winston Smith’s apartment building stank of boiled cabbage? Huxley’s world, on the other hand, didn’t sound bad at all. Universal peace; no more diseases; pop a harmless pill if you’re unhappy; guilt-free recreational sex; what’s not to like? When you read Brave New World, you know there’s something badly wrong with it; but it’s surprisingly difficult to say what, exactly, that is. Speaking as a bookish intellectual, I would say that what’s wrong is the stasis, the end of any quest for knowledge, for deeper understanding of the world.

When I look at the trends of our own time, it seems to me that my 1962 judgment was correct, however accidentally. Of course, Huxley’s vision was only very approximately predictive. He got a lot of things wrong. We don’t need a caste of dimwitted Epsilons to do the industrial work, we can have robots do it.

More glaringly, he did not foresee the great explosion in the populations of hopeless people seeking to escape chaotic nations—the crowds we have seen on our TV screens this past few weeks heading up through Mexico; with, looming up behind them, the prospect of—what is the latest UN projection? Four billion, is it?—desperate Africans by the end of this century.

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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

Nationalism is definitely a Thing right now—so much so that National Public Radio on November 14th declared “nationalist” to be the Word of the Year for 2018. [Opinion: 'Nationalist' Arises, With Myriad Connotations, As The Word Of 2018, by Geoffrey Nunberg, November 14, 2018]

A few reasons:

  • At a pre-election campaign rally in Texas, President Trump had declared himself a proud nationalist. Apparently in response to this, at a ceremony in Paris last Sunday to commemorate the Armistice that ended World War One a hundred years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron laid in to nationalism: “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.”
  • That Armistice Day, November 11th, is also, as it happens, Poland‘s National Independence Day, a public holiday—the Polish July Fourth, as it were. This year is the centenary not only of the Armistice, but also of modern Polish independence, which Poles seized as the empires of Russia, Germany, and Austria were disintegrating all around them in 1918.
  • In Britain, the most significant nationalist event of the past few decades was the 2016 vote by referendum to leave the European Union—Brexit. Negotiations between the British government and the EU on the terms of departure have dragged on for two and a half years, but the matter now seems at last to be coming to a head.
  • There is talk of building a new European Army independent of NATO. German Chancellor Angela Merkelchimed in with agreement. We American nationalists would like nothing better than for the U.S.A. to withdraw from NATO. That would be a great boost to ournationalism, American Our nationalist President, however, disagrees: he scoffed at Macron’s idea.
  • Yoram Hazony’s book The Virtue of Nationalism, published in September, has been widely reviewed and discussed.

Nationalism is highly relevant to our mission here at to promote thoughtful, well-informed discussion of the U.S.A.’s National Question, with special attention to issues of demographics and foreign settlement.

I have to say I find Macron deeply unimpressive. None of his recorded remarks has struck me as very intelligent or memorable. The French themselves seem to agree with me: Macron’s party is polling poorly, below twenty percent—behind Marine Le Pen‘s nationalists. [French far-right overtakes Macron in EU parliament election poll, by David Chazan, Financial Times, November 4, 2018]

It’s characteristic of mediocrities like Macron to be in thrall to the shallow clichés of the generation that came before them. For Macron in particular to be in thrall to the generation before him would actually be less surprising than the average, as he is married to a member of that generation. Mrs. Macron’s generation is also mine, more or less—she is eight years younger than I am—so I can speak with authority about those shallow clichés that were in the air during the decades after WW2.

One of those clichés was that while patriotism was good, nationalism was bad. Patriotism, the talking heads all told us in 1960 and 1970, was the warm, loving feeling you have for your country, with no malice or prejudice against anyone else’s country. Where there was such malice—or disdain, or contempt, or aggressive intentions—that was nationalism.

So nationalism was patriotism with attitude.

That was what all Goodthinking people believed through my young adulthood, and Mrs. Macron’s. It’s not hard to figure why we believed that. The aggressor powers in WW2, Germany and Japan, had state ideologies of militaristic imperialism, of which nationalism was undeniably a component. Setting out to conquer Europe and Asia, the Germans and Japanese felt justified in doing so because their nations were best.

Nationalism-wise, there’s a contradiction in there, though. As militaristic imperialists, the Germans and the Japanese had no time for anyone else’s nationalism. They both knew, as imperialists have known since civilization began, that nationalism is the bane of imperialism.

The Germans and Japanese who fought WW2 were not fans of Polish nationalism or Korean nationalism. They strove very mightily and brutally to extinguish those nationalisms. They were imperialists. Nationalist impulses may be harnessed by imperialism, but imperialism is fundamentally anti-nationalist. Ask a Tibetan.

That nationalism can be harnessed to the service of militaristic imperialism is not an argument against nationalism; it’s an argument against militaristic imperialism. The bonds of family loyalty and affection can be harnessed to the service of organized crime, as we see with the Mafia. That’s not an argument against family loyalty and affection.

So the conventional wisdom of 1970—patriotism good, nationalism bad—while it was understandable after the mid-century horrors, left much unsaid.

Now the things then left unsaid are being said. Here am I saying some of them.

So what does distinguish patriotism from nationalism?

One answer: nothing. The words “patriotism” and “nationalism” are synonyms.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Globalism, Nationalism 
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We’re coming up to nationwide elections just as elite hatred of white people—including of course by Goodwhite ethnomasochists—is reaching a new level of intensity.

Just in the past few weeks:

  • Korean-born Sarah Jeong is now happily working away as a member of the New York Times editorial board. Sample quote from her: “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins?” [Sarah Jeong: NY Times stands by 'racist tweets' reporter, August 2, 2018]
  • Also at the New York Times, columnist Michelle Goldberg [Email her] published an October 29th op-ed with the title We Can Replace Them.This is straightforward Cold Civil War propaganda: the “We” in that title are Goodwhites and their nonwhite auxiliaries; the “Them” are Badwhites. Sample quote: “Right now America is tearing itself apart as an embittered white conservative minority clings to power, terrified at being swamped by a new multiracial polyglot majority.”
  • Tuesday this week a mulatto named Don Lemon, who hosts a talk show on one of the Goodwhite cable TV channels, offered the following thought: “We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them.”[CNN’s Don Lemon doesn’t apologize for calling white men ‘biggest terror threat’,November 1, 2018]

Yes, the Establishment’s id has been leaking out of its packaging all over. The hate-whitey forces are now so bold and confident, they feel no need to hide their true feelings of seething hatred towards us Deplorables.

Will this frankness on the part of Goodwhites play into next week’s midterm elections? It was surely a factor in the election of Donald Trump two years ago. As elite contempt for the people they rule over became ever more obvious, it was natural that we peasants, gullible and dimwitted though we are, should start to notice and develop resentment.

Broad public emotions like that Badwhite resentment of the elites have lives of their own, though—ups and downs, fevers and lulls. It’s possible the election of Donald Trump got it out of our system for a while, so that on November 6th we’ll vote on other stuff—health care, taxes.

It’s also possible that Trump’s failure to deliver on some of his key 2016 promises—building a border wall, disentangling us from pointless wars and alliances—has disillusioned many of his 2016 supporters, leaving them less likely to vote.

Contrariwise, it may be that all this anti-white stuff coming out into the open, along with the visuals of thousands of brown people from outhouse countries trying to storm our border, will fire up Badwhites and maybe move some more Goodwhites into the Badwhite camp, reducing the Blue Wave to a mere ripple, perhaps even—who knows?—generating a Red Wave.

We shall find out next week.

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Birds of a feather

Genetics was prominent this month, both privately and publicly.

Privately: I got my own test back from 23andMe. The ancestry data was deeply bor-ing. I am 70 percent “British and Irish,” all the rest some variety of European, mostly northwestern. I was hoping for something exotic I might boast about for virtue points with my liberal acquaintances: a trace of Hmong, perhaps, or Samoyed. Nope: I am shamefully white.

Something interesting came up in my “Relationships,” though. If you give 23andMe permission, they will add your DNA to a database that records genetic relationships of various degrees of closeness. I did this; and down there among the “Third to Fifth Cousins” (scroll down a bit) was … drum roll, please … John Brimelow! That’s Editor Peter’s brother. They are identical twins, so there didn’t seem much point in them both having their DNA scanned, as the results would just be the same.

Alexander Brimelow, Peter’s son, shows up further down.

It’s not actually that surprising. Derbyshires and Brimelows both come from Northwest England: the Derbyshires from Wigan, the Brimelows from Warrington, about twelve miles away. (Indeed, there’s a Brimelow Farm in Wigan. The Brimelow brothers sadly report it was never owned by their family). Our sturdy ancestors thought nothing of hiking twelve miles to find a breeding partner.

Still, it’s taking a while to get used to hearing the boss address me as “Cousin.”

Narrative defenders fighting in the last ditch

On the public front we had the little flap about Elizabeth Warren’s test result.

I admit I can’t summon up any interest in this at all. Of course Senator Warren is a lying hypocrite. She’s a progressive Democrat, isn’t she? And of course Affirmative Action is an anti-white scam, which ambitious people game any way they can for personal advantage. Tell me something new.

I did read with interest New York Times science reporter Amy Harmon’s three articles on the misappropriation of genetic science by hate-filled bigots like me.

The three articles appeared on successive days, as follows:

As you can see from the sample quotes there, Ms. Harmon has no clue what race realists (why does she call that term “coded”? isn’t the plain meaning right there in the words?), “white supremacists,” and “white nationalists” actually believe.

There are so many straw men in those three articles, I feared the New York Times website might burst into flames right there before my eyes. I’ve attended a score of conferences organized by people Ms Harmon would certainly tag as “white nationalist” and so on—Jared Taylor, Paul Gottfried, Peter Brimelow, even Richard Spencer. The topics of racial purity, racial hierarchy, and racial superiority were barely mentioned in those dozens of hours of conference addresses and Q&As.

The white attendees at those events mostly just want white people to be left alone; to not have their countries swamped by foreigners; to not constantly hear their ancestors insulted and belittled; for media and the authorities to stop lying to usand hiding the truth from us, as if we are children (“The attacker is described as about 5-foot-9 and 250 pounds.”)

The two sample quotes for October 17th are particular gems. The first one implies that studying human genetic diversity in, say, the U.S.A. is easier than studying it in, say, Japan. Does anybody believe this? Would any Japanese newspaper feel the need to publish, on three successive days, painfully contorted warnings on the perils of scientific facts about human biology leaking out to the Japanese public?

The second quote has as little semantic content as a sentence can have without being a perfect tautology. “There is no evidence for not-P” tells us nothing useful about the truth value of P. “There is no evidence it will not rain tomorrow.” So … should I pack an umbrella?

The overall impression given by Ms Harmon’s three articles is of someone fighting a desperate rearguard action. Yes, human behavior, intelligence, and personality do have some genetic basis. And yes, there are distinct, er, “genetic ancestry groups” … no, wait: I mean “major population groups” … no, hold on: “geographic ancestry groupings,” that’s it—but THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS RACE, I TELL YOU!”

• Category: Ideology 
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Happy Halloween! Complete with Politically Correct ghouls.

This Megyn Kelly story caught my attention last week. She is (was) the host of a morning talk show on the NBC television channel. I don’t watch morning TV but I dimly remember her from her previous employment at Fox News. As best I can remember, she was a capable interviewer. I can’t recall having any negative impression of her.

But last Tuesday she was chatting with someone on the show hen the subject of Halloween costumes came up—in particular, the matter of white people who put on blackface as part of a Halloween act. Someone said it was racist. To which Megyn responded:

Clip: But what is racist? Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid [JD: Kelly is only 47, and looks younger] that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.

That caused wailing and rending of garments from sea to shining sea and across the fruited plain. Ms. Kelly was denounced from CultMarx pulpits everywhere. Some woman named Roxanne Jones at the CNN website honked that “For me the most revealing part of Kelly’s explosive comments was their illumination of her true face as an out-of-the-closet racist.” [Megyn Kelly's 'blackface' comments show her true face, October 25, 2018] Ms. Jones’s own true face is pictured right.

Ms. Kelly made a grovelling apology but of course it only made things worse.

You must never apologize to these swine; it just further inflames their vindictiveness.

NBC has suspended Ms. Kelly. [Megyn Kelly’s ‘Blackface’ Remarks Leave Her Future at NBC in Doubt, By John Koblin and Michael M. Grynbaum, NYT, October 25, 2018] The fate of her contract, which paid her $69 million for three years’ work, is still unknown.

There are rumors that NBC was unhappy about her poor ratings and looking for an opportunity to drop her. That may be true for all I know. But the media storm of outrage over her Halloween remarks was none the less real.

What struck me about her remarks was their mildness. People are outraged about that?

Yes, a great many people are.

I had a similar reaction recently listening to a talk about sexual harassment. The talker was a female attorney who represents harassed women. She was obviously quite passionately engaged with the issue. She read out some of the depositions she had taken from plaintiffs in harassment cases. Samples from memory:

  • “He made lewd remarks every time I came into his office.”
  • “He put his hand on my rear end.”
  • “He tried to kiss me at a Christmas party.” (I think this was the strongest one):

I was sitting there listening to this, thinking: “That’s it? That’s a case in law? It just sounds to me like everyday office banter.”

I’d better admit I haven’t done full-time office work for nearly twenty years now. In the thirty years I was doing it, I can’t recall a single issue of anything I would call sexual harassment.

Guys were sometimes a nuisance to women, especially at office parties where the punch was flowing, but phrases like: “Oh, grow up, George!” and, “Would you keep your hands to yourself, please, Larry?” were still current back then.

Putting the two things together—Megyn Kelly and that lady attorney—it seems to me we have amped up sensitivity to a point where any kind of relaxed social life will soon become impossible.

When I first heard the word “microaggression,” I laughed. Could people really be serious who used that word? I wondered.

They certainly could; and now they have taken over. The merest shade of a hint of a tinge of a tint of negativity towards blacks, or of sexual suggestiveness to a female co-worker, is now a hanging offense, or at least a career-ending one.

The Swiftian ditty I recalled when microaggressions first came up—I think it was from one of Steve Sailer’s commenters—has come true:

Microaggressions have nanoaggressions
To marginalize and slight ‘em.
And nanoaggressions have picoaggressions;
And so ad infinitum.

This is the end of free banter, the end of workplace conviviality.

It also supplies the answer to the question: Why are comedians not funny any more? Answer: Because they dare not be.

But how did we get here? What or who been driving this dreadful development?

I’ll go with “who” and give you my answer: the Trial Lawyer’s Association.

Back in 2001—boy, I’m really digging into the archives this week—I wrote a column titled Race on Wall Street.” I told the story of the small department where I worked in an investment bank. In the several years I worked there, just three black employees came and went. Two of the three ended up with a lawsuit against the firm for racial discrimination, citing a different boss in the two cases. The firm settled in both cases—these firms always settle out of court. One of the settlements was for $250,000 dollars.

In daily interaction with these people across some two thousand days, I had witnessed nothing—setting aside [a] harmless kind of banter—that struck me as offensive, inflammatory or discriminatory.

But Managing Director of the firm explained the process to me. There is a breed of attorneys, he told me, who seek out black employees at big-money firms and explain to them that by signing a couple of depositions they can make a bundle of money.

The sexual harassment panic is a horse out of the same stable. Predatory trial lawyers seek out neurotic women, coach them on what to say, write up the depositions, and [ker-ching!]

This is the world we live in. Guided by the trial lawyers, and the merchants of racial grievance, we are drifting back to a stiff kind of Puritanism.

I don’t like Puritanism. I like to laugh.

Puritans don’t laugh—except at the sight of a burning witch.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Feminism, Political Correctness 
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The level of political violence in the U.S. is rising. The main reason for this, of course: the license given by our Establishment to the Antifa movement of Communist thugs. But will violence spread from the streets to the soldiers? I know, it sounds crazily apocalyptic. But it’s being discussed in Britain.

Twice recently—in Charlottesville last year, and in Portland, Oregon two weeks ago—we have seen municipal police forces deliberately stood down by their political superiors so that Antifa could control the streets. The Establishment’s media shills either find a way to frame the subsequent violence as someone else’s fault, as at Charlottesville, or else they just ignore it, as in Portland.

That is the context in which to evaluate the clashes in New York City on October 12 between Antifa activists and Gavin McInnes’s Proud Boys.

Gavin, who is a friend of mine,was to speak at the Metropolitan Republican Club on the Upper East Side. A few hours before his appearance, Antifa vandalized the building, breaking a window and spray-painting anarchist symbols. [Republican club on Upper East Side vandalized, by Katherine Lavacca, Larry Celona and Ben Feuerherd, NY Post, October 12, 2018]Gavin showed up and spoke anyway, but his appearance was followed by street fighting between Antifa and Proud Boys.

New York State’s corrupt and cynical Governor Andrew Cuomo, a puppet of the far-Left public-sector unions, blamed it on McInnes, who is just a guy with opinions outside the Narrative.

The New York Times report was bare-faced Establishment propaganda: they report, for instance, that Gavin brandished a sword, without telling their readers it was a plastic sword, a theatrical prop for some point Gavin wanted to make in his talk. [Proud Boys Fight at G.O.P. Club Spurs Calls for Inquiry; Cuomo Blames Trump, by Ashley Southall and Tyler Pager, October 14, 2018]They describe the Proud Boys as, quote, “a far-right group” but Antifa as … what, do you think? “A far-left group”? No, as “anti-fascist activists,” taking them at their own evaluation. They’re fighting fascism, you see? Just like the lads who stormed the Normandy beaches on D-Day.

They even tell us with a straight face that the Proud Boys have been “deemed a hate group” by (yes!) the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Deemed”: that’s one of those words like “espoused” that CultMarx journo-bots have set up as single-key macros.

Details aside, the interesting thing about these scuffles is that the fighting here seems to not have been, or not entirely have been, defensive on the part of the Proud Boys, as was the case with Unite the Right in Charlottesville. The Proud Boys were willing to fight back.

So the question arises: Are we moving into a zone where street fighting between political groups becomes normal?

Antifa have had the streets pretty much to themselves up to now, courtesy of cowardly political leaders. Actions generate reactions, though. It wouldn’t be terrifically surprising to see more groups like the Proud Boys coming up, ready and willing to fight.

The New York Times, which to the best of my knowledge has never printed a single word critical of Antifa, will denounce them as Nazis and appeal to the Southern Poverty Law Center for Hate Group designations. Which is why New York law enforcement is now hunting down and jailing the Proud Boys, while doing nothing whatever about Antifa.

But you can only push people so far before they push back. (You can donate to the Proud Boys legal defense here.)

And back of my question about the forthcoming normalization of political street fighting, is a bigger, darker one.

Suppose these street fights escalate to a serious, major breakdown of public order, serious enough to need the attention of the military. Will the military stand neutral? If not, if they take a side, which side will they take?

I have a news story here for your consideration, a story from across the Pond, from the old country.

Backstory: recently the English Dissident-right activist Tommy Robinson, who I’m sure needs no introduction to, by chance encountered a group of young soldiers, recent recruits, at a freeway service area outside London. The soldiers recognized Tommy—he’s been in the news a lot—and surrounded him, cheering and singing his name.

Robinson took video of the encounter and posted it on the internet.

The British Army was not happy. Honked an Army spokeswoman: “Far-right ideology is completely at odds with the values and ethos of the armed forces.”

One of the soldiers in the video has been discharged from the service. The soldier, claimed the Army, had had previous disciplinary problems and this was the last straw.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Antifa, Political Correctness 
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The tire place

The Derbmobile had a slow leak on its right front tire, so Saturday morning I took it to the tire place.

My little town has a tire place everyone goes to. Perhaps yours does too. Our tire place is squinched in a short street between two bigger streets about to converge—like the bar of an upper-case “A”—in the low-commercial part of town (body shops, dry cleaners, chain drug stores, bodegas). The frontage is only about a hundred feet wide, twenty deep. There are four bays and a service-desk area.

Saturday morning they are super busy. There’s a small army of guys directing you to a parking place on the street or the forecourt, or into a bay. Under their directions, I parked at one side of the forecourt. A guy came out from the building and asked me, in a heavy Spanish accent, what was up. I told him. He jacked up the car, span the wheel, and quickly located a tiny nail imbedded in it. I was not to worry, he assured me, he could feex it, no prob-lem!

He took off the wheel and disappeared with it into a bay. I waited by the car, admiring the wonderful skill with which the choreographers, by gestures and shouting, managed the inward and outward flow of cars and customers. Skill and precision—the tire place guys deserve a mention in Simon Winchester’s book (below). Tolerance: 1 inch.

It seemed to me there must be endless possibilities for fender-benders with so many vehicles in such a small space. Does it ever happen? I asked one of the guys. “Not to my knowledge,” he replied in regular Long Islandish, never taking his eyes off the corps de ballet.

My man came back with the wheel, wet from the puncture bath. He put it back on, dzz dzz dzz, let down the car, and walked me to the service desk. Twelve dollars.

I almost like coming here: everyone working hard but good-natured, everything done so efficiently in such a confined space, fair prices, no fuss. No chicanery, either: They’ve never tried to sell me a new tire when the existing one is feex-able. The tire place is a model of useful everyday commerce.

There’s a serpent lurking in my paradise, though. A couple of streets over there’s a stretch of road where illegal aliens hang out early in the morning, looking for a day’s work. The probability that by having my tire fixed here I am participating in the cheap-labor racket I seethe and fume about on, is very high.

All sorts of questions arise. As a conscientious patriot, shouldn’t I be lobbying ICE to raid the tire place?

Or: Suppose they did raid it while I was lounging there by my car watching the forecourt maneuvers. Suppose they went into the bay where cheerful, efficient José was fixing my tire and brought him out in cuffs. Would I be, like, “Hey, wait a minute, fellers …” If José looked at me, would I look right back at him? What if ICE shut down the tire place and frog-marched the proprietors off to the bridewell?

Damn these moral conundrums! Answers: I am lobbying, in my own way, trying to bring my own particular limited abilities to the issue, writing internet articles deploring our open borders.

And no, I wouldn’t interfere with an ICE operation. You do the crime, you do the time—sorry, pal. It wasn’t me left the border open. Yes, I could meet his eyes. What’s right, is right. Scoffing at our laws is wrong. If ICE shuts down the tire place, there’s one in the next town over.

I do think, though, that after watching José being driven away, I’d feel a strong urge to find the nearest politician and break his jaw on José’s behalf.

Of course ICE didn’t show up. After paying the lady at the service desk, my man was hovering outside expectantly. I gave him an extravagant tip.

Passing on stage

In my September 14th podcast I recorded the passing of Indian public intellectual Rita Jitendra, who died on September 10th while being interviewed on live TV. I commented that: “Somewhere on the internet, I’m sure, there is a list of people who have died in the middle of some public performance.”

Several listeners did the due diligence I should have done, and pointed me to Wikipedia’s “List of entertainers who died during a performance.” There have been more such cases than you’d think. A general favorite with listeners was this one from 1971:

Longevity expert Jerome Rodale had been quoted as saying, “I’m going to live to be 100, unless I’m run over by a sugar-crazed taxi driver.” Soon after, he was a guest on The Dick Cavett Show. After his interview was done, Pete Hamill was being interviewed by Cavettwhen Rodale slumped. Hamill, noticing something was wrong, said in a low voice to Cavett, “This looks bad.” Rodale had died of a heart attack at age 72. The episode was never aired.

I think the case of Jim Fixx beats that for irony, though it doesn’t really belong in the Wikipedia list. Fixx was a leading promoter of the mid-1970s jogging craze, and wrote a best-selling bookadvocating running for health. He died of a heart attack in 1984, aged 52 … while jogging.

If you consider college faculty meetings to be performances, which some of my academic acquaintances surely do, a borderline Wikipedia-worthy case is that of Franz Boas the anthropologist, godfather of the No Such Thing As Racedogma. Boas died of a stroke at a Columbia faculty dinner in the arms of Claude Levi-Strauss, another crank anthropologist (but a much better writer).

My colleague James Fulford remarked on the number of stage performers who have died attempting the Bullet Catch illusion. There is even a book about this giving the precise number: Twelve Have Died.

I’m surprised the number isn’t bigger. Given the Pagliacci-style passions that swirl in the hothouse atmosphere of a troupe of healthy, highly-sexed young adult performers living and working in close quarters, especially on the road, the Bullet Catch illusion must offer irresistible temptations to jealous lovers and cuckolded husbands.

This whole business of dying while performing is fascinating. I’d write more, but I think I should go lie down. There’s this sudden pain … I … can’t breathe … I think … oh … ah …

Little acts of kindness

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration 
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This has, in my opinion, been an unfortunate week in the politics of our republic.

From a partisan political point of view the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Kavanaugh. have ended well, with Kavanaugh being voted through by the committee. The entire Senate will vote on his appointment to the Supreme Court next week.

Goodwhites are fighting a fierce rearguard action, though. A key figure here has been Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Mitt Romney-style open-borders social conservative who is retiring from politics at the end of this year.

Flake announced this morning, Friday, that he would vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate. Then midday he was cornered in an elevator by two shrieking women and apparently lost his nerve: He told the Judiciary Committee when he got out that he’d vote aye to advance the nomination only on condition the full Senate delays their vote for a week. [Trump agrees to FBI probe of Kavanaugh, bows to Flake, Dems, by Lisa Mascaro, Alan Fram and Mary Clare Jalonick, AP, September 27, 2018] Score one for hysterical harpies, score zero for the dignity of Senatorial process.

Favorite books of mine when I was a child were Richmal Crompton’s “William” stories, about a high-spirited suburban English boy named William Brown who did naughty things and got into adventures. William’s nemesis was a little girl named Violet Elizabeth Bott, whose main technique for getting her own way with William and his friends was to announce that if she didn’t get her way, she would scream and scream until she threw up. In British English, with a lisp, her line was: “I’ll thcream and thcream and thcream ’till I’m thick.”

It worked with eleven-year-old William and his pals; clearly it still works with Senator Flake.

Still, unless the opposition can pull off a new stunt between now and next Friday—which can’t be ruled out—failing that, the omens for eventual confirmation don’t look too bad.

The thing people want to know is, what effect will these confirmation hearings have on the mid-term elections?

It’s not easy to figure out. With the Presidency not in play, mid-term races are more local. Property taxes, highway maintenance, and shenanigans in the State Assembly loom larger than relations with China or terrorism or the National Debt. If you don’t know all the local issues and controversies—and I’ll admit I don’t—it makes the mid-terms hard to call.

And then there’s the famous base, the voters who take their politics most seriously. They’re more prominent in mid-term voting than less committed types who will show up every four years to help pick a President but take a political nap in between times. Both big parties have a base, of course.

What makes the effect of the Kavanaugh hearings hard to estimate is that there was something here to please both bases. The mid-terms may hinge on whose base got pleased more.

Prior to these hearings, the phrase being bandied about was “enthusiasm gap.” The Democrats’ base voters were morefired up, pundits told us, their hatred of Trump just more intense after two years’ exposure to him, their ranks fortified by two more annual cohorts of adult voters coming out of our colleges.[ The ‘Enthusiasm Gap’ Could Turn A Democratic Wave Into A Tsunami, By Nate Silver, Five Thirty Eight, March 14, 2018]

Those cohorts of younger voters have been marinated for four years in CultMarx ideology from anti-white, anti-male professors; and they’ve been subjected to careful sculpting of news and commentary by the social-media monopolies whose products they are addicted to.

Contrariwise, the pre-hearings wisdom went, Trump’s base was disheartened and disappointed by Trump’s failure to accomplish the big-ticket items they voted for in 2016: firm enforcement of immigration laws, properly defended borders, disentangling us from military commitments abroad.

It’s nice that the economy’s doing well, we got tax cuts, and our Israeli embassy has been moved to Jerusalem, but those are not things that brought out the Trump voters two years ago. Trump talks a good game, but he’s visibly failing at the one thing above all a President needs to succeed at: getting Congress to turn his proposals into legislation.

So that was the situation pre-hearings. The Tutsis (Goodwhite Democrats) were still fired up by hatred of Trump and indignation at Mrs. Clinton’s losing in 2016—unfairly, they are sure. The Hutus (aka Deplorables) were discontented, their 2016 passion deflated by the President’s failure to move us any real distance away from invade-the-world, invite-the-world neoconnery.

The Kavanaugh hearings were not displeasing to Tutsis. Dr Ford’s testimony, and the whole story she told, reinforced their fantasies of preppy white men having their way, coasting through life on arrogance and privilege, while non-male non-white serfs groan and suffer under the iron heel of oppression. So Tutsis are still fired up. The hearings did nothing to cool their ardor.

The Hutus will, however, I think, have gained more from the proceedings, thereby closing the enthusiasm gap some. There was a lot for a Hutu to like there.

Mainly there was Judge Kavanaugh himself, of course. He was firm and clear, he showed spine, and he gave as good as he got.

He mixed some yin in with the yang, too, some feminine in with the masculine, choking up when he talked about his daughter praying for Dr Ford.

If I am at all representative, Hutu men winced at that. We’d rather a man kept his composure in public. Hutu women, however, really go for that stuff. I doubt the Republican Party lost male Hutu votes on account of Judge Kavanaugh’s tears, but it picked up a few thousand on the distaff side.

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The fuss over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh having allegedly copped a feel from a high-school girl 35 or 36 years ago blew up just after last week’s Radio Derb went to tape. My own first reaction, when I first heard the accuser’s account of what happened, was: “They’re making a fuss about that?” But over and above the particular issue of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, there is a meta-issue. Why are Supreme Court nominations now such central events in our country’s political life?

About my first reaction: We really have bred up a generation of snowflakes; and snowflakery is such an appealing approach to life for some elements of previous generations—in this case, the generation of Kavanaugh and his accuser, which I think classifies as late-Boomer or early-Gen-X—trembling, fearful snowflakery is so appealing to some of these folk, they’ve retconned their own lives to incorporate it.

I can certainly testify that for my generation, the earliest Boomers, the encounter as alleged would not have moved the needle on anybody’s outrage dial. For one thing, a 15-year-old girl attending a house party with no adults present and booze flowing, would have been assumed to be a bit sluttish, so that the normal reserve and respect we accorded to all females would have been diminished somewhat. No, not abandoned, but diminished.

For another thing, I definitely—actually, quite vividly—recall that in my own teen years, my female coevals had sharp little fists that could give you a nasty black eye if you got out of line. Presumably teenage girls suffered some collective atrophy of the muscles in the twenty years between my house-partying and Brett Kavanaugh’s, leaving them defenseless against giggling drunk 17-year-old males trying to grope them.

That was my first reaction. My second reaction: Democrats really know how to play politics, while Republicans really don’t.

The Democrats’ political aim here is to juice up the baizuo vote. Baizuo is a loan-word from Chinese, literally “white left.” It’s used by Chinese bloggers to make fun of our Social Justice Warriors, whom they regard with somewhat baffled amusement. Baizuo has two less syllables than “SJW,” so I use it in a spirit of syllabic conservation.

Mid-term elections are coming up November 6th, six weeks next Tuesday, and Democrats want to energize their base, the baizuo. The most numerous cohort in the baizuo is women; so what better way to energize them than with a sexual-assault scandal, however minute and implausible? That’s really the beginning and end of it; that’s what this business is all about.

As I said, though, I’m impressed with the skill of the Democrats here, especially the timing. It’s really been pretty darn clever.

The Republicans, contrariwise, reveal themselves once again to be the Hopeless Party. Far from being any good at the political game, they’re hardly even bothering to play it. “Well, of course, in all fairness, we have to listen to what she has to say,” they are murmuring.

No, actually you don’t. An out-of-the-blue accusation with no supporting evidence, timed for maximum disruption, against a man who has already been background-checked up the wazoo? The correct response by the Judiciary Committee would have been: “With all proper respect, Ma’am, if you believe you have been wronged, the law has remedies. By all means go ahead and seek those remedies. Meanwhile, we shall proceed with our hearings, as prescribed by the Constitution.”

There is no escaping politics, of course. Still, formal constitutional proceedings should be conducted with a firm dignity and dispatch. They should not allow themselves to be derailed by such transparently political stunts as this one. Does no-one in the Republican Party understand this?

So, the meta-issue: Why are Supreme Court nominations now so important?

We all know the answer to that. SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the United States, has become SLOTUS, the Supreme Legislature of the United States. We look to the Supremes to make our laws. The great transformations in our national life these past few decades—the national legalizing of abortionand buggery, racial preferences, public services for illegal aliens, the radical re-definition of marriage—were effected by the Court, not by Congress.

The foremost characteristic of American government in our age is in fact the utter uselessness of Congress. If the U.S. Capitol fell into a vast sinkhole while Congress was in session, would the national life be changed in any way? For the worse, I mean—hey, come on.

The latest estimate I have seen for the money cost of the wars fought by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama is 5.6 trillion dollars. That’s a mighty lot of dollars. Yet Congress never declared war on anyone, as the Constitution says it should.

Nearly two years ago we elected a president whose signature campaign promise, enjoying very wide public support, was to build a wall along our southern border. Has Congress approved federal funds for that, as the Constitution says they should? Nah. The Senate Majority Leader, stifling a yawn, has said they might do some talking about it after the coming mid-term elections…maybe…possibly…you know, if there’s room in the schedule.

I’m reminded of the late Irish comedian Dermot Kelly, when an interviewer asked him whether the Irish language had any expression equivalent to the Mexican Eh, mañana. “Why, to be sure,” replied Kelly, “we do have such a term; but it doesn’t carry quite the same sense of desperate urgency.”

Congress is a waste of space. Serious legislating is done by the Supreme Court, by SLOTUS. That’s why it’s so all-fired important.

Yet this is not what the Founders intended. The September 15th issue of The Economist laid this out in a brilliant and forceful leader.

Yes, yes, I know: The Economist, cucky globalist Trump-hating open-borders flapdoodle…I have made regular contributions to our feature called “Economist Watch” here at, jeering at The Economist. Yes, yes; but stopped clocks and so on—sometimes they get things right, and they got this right:

The judiciary, wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 78, “may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment … [It] is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power.” For much of American history, politicians saw the Supreme Court as a backwater. John Rutledge, one of the first justices appointed by George Washington, resigned to become chief justice of South Carolina. Not until 1935 did the court have a building of its own. Today it occupies a central and increasingly untenable position in American life …

• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Republican Party, Supreme Court 
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 com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at