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 TeasersJohn Derbyshire Blogview

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[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]

Earlier, by Steve Sailer: What If Wokeness Is A Russian Conspiracy To Ruin America?

I’m starting to be irritated by the word “Wokeness,” I’m not sure why. When “Woke” and “Wokeness” first came up, I thought they were sort of cute.

Since the 1980s, if not earlier, we had been using the cumbersome phrase “Politically Correct” to describe the idiocies of linguistic puritanism about race and sex. “Woke” was a big improvement: it replaced a two-word seven-syllable adjectival phrase with a concise one-syllable adjective. What’s not to like?

The derivative terms—”Wokeness,” “the Wokerati,” “the Great Awokening,” et cetera were likewise cute and handy. My favorite derivative is “Wokefishing.” That’s when cynical young males pretend to be Woke in order to lure Woke young women into sexual engagement. I suspect my 26-year-old son of having practiced Wokefishing, but he denies it.

It’s also been satisfying to know that we stole the word “Woke” from antiwhite Progressives. So says Wikipedia, anyway. Quote from it, referring to the phrase “stay Woke”:

Following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, the phrase was popularized by Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists seeking to raise awareness about police shootings of African Americans [Accessed January 21, 2022]

You can’t get much more Woke than Wikipedia, so I’m going to trust it on the origins of the word

Even with all that going for it, though, I can’t escape the feeling that the words “Woke” and “Wokeness” have worn out their welcome. Wokeness—Wokeness the thing—is a very serious matter. It’s poisoning our culture and destroying our educational system. Yet it sounds kind of frivolous. I dunno, I just wish we had something with a bit more…weight.

I’ve tried coining replacement words, but haven’t come up with anything that works. In Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell called the state ideology “IngSoc,” presumably short for “English Socialism.” Along those lines I thought of “AuthProg” for our state ideology, short for “Authoritarian Progressivism.” Not bad; but I can’t get a one-syllable adjective out of it.

Research continues.

After all that commentary on the word, here are three points on the thing suggested by recent news items.

  • First point about Wokeness: It really is killing academe.

I have to confess I am not closely engaged with Jordan Peterson. That’s a bit embarrassing for me because I get regular emails from Radio Derb listeners who are thus engaged, and who urge me to watch this or that YouTube clip of Peterson talking about something or other.

Plainly those listeners think that Peterson and I are on the same page somehow. Well, to a degree we are. We both detest, loathe, and deplore Wokeness. We both think it’s all a lie, and a huge social and cultural negative.

So far so good; but while I nod along in agreement with much of what Peterson says, we differ on a key point of psychology. Peterson believes in what 19th-century scholar Adolf Bastian called “the psychic unity of mankind.” I don’t; I think that observed differences in social outcomes between races and sexes arise from innate biological differences.

Since Peterson is a trained academic psychologist and I’m not, I guess this is naively presumptuous of me; but there you are.

All that aside, I applaud and admire Peterson as a fearless warrior against Wokeness. I have been applauding and admiring all the more this week because on Thursday, in Canada’s National Post newspaper, he fired off a splendid broadside against the “appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture” [ Jordan Peterson: Why I am no longer a tenured professor at the University of Toronto, January 19, 2022 ]

Peterson, he tells us, has recently, at the age of 59, retired from his position as full tenured professor at the University of Toronto. What has driven him out is the university’s obsession with DIE. That’s D-I-E, Peterson’s (and Steve Sailer’s) preferred ordering of the Woke Holy Trinity: Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

DIE, says Peterson in the National Post Op-Ed, means that

(a) “qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students” stand no chance of getting research positions in the university, while

(b) there aren’t enough qualified BIPOC people—that’s black, indigenous and people of color—to meet the diversity targets, so the research positions go to people not qualified for them

Peterson’s summary:

That, combined with the death of objective testing, has compromised the universities so badly that it can hardly be overstated. And what happens in the universities eventually colors everything. As we have discovered.

Peterson cites a gem of a comment—quite a long one, over three hundred words—by Vladimir Putin, pouring scorn on Social Justice dogma and comparing it with Bolshevism:

It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already … The destruction of age-old values, religion, and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones—all this was proclaimed progress … By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than theirs. [ Russia’s New ‘Conservative’ Ideology To Counter Liberalism, MEMRI.org, January 11, 2022]

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Academia, American Media, Political Correctness 

[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]

The great 18th-century satirist Jonathan Swift, the chap who wrote Gulliver’s Travels, also wrote his own epitaph, as people sometimes do. “Here he lies,” says the epitaph in Latin, “ubi sæva indignatio ulterius cor lacerare nequit“—”where savage indignation can no longer lacerate his heart.”

I am nothing like as much of a misanthrope as Swift, thank goodness. As Radio Derb listeners well know, I cultivate geniality. Still, I am not a total stranger to savage indignation. There are times, blessedly few and far between, when I boil and seethe with righteous anger at the stupidity and cruelty of my fellow human beings.

This is one of those times.

Savage indignation, yes. That was my reaction to the sentencing last Friday of Gregory McMichael, his son Travis, and their neighbor Roddie Bryan in the show trial over the death of Ahmaud Arbery two years ago.

The two McMichaels were both sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Bryan will be eligible for parole but only after he serves the mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison. He is 52 years old, so good luck there, guy.

These were three honest, hard-working citizens, none of whom had any criminal record. Both the McMichaels had in fact served in law enforcement. Their intentions in confronting Arbery were plain: to defend their neighborhood against a likely thief who, whether or not they knew it, did have a criminal record.

Travis McMichael shot Arbery in plain self-defense when Arbery was trying to wrestle away his gun. Gregory McMichael didn’t shoot anybody—he was trying to call the police. Roddie Bryan wasn’t even armed.

Now their lives have been brutally destroyed, along with the lives of Mrs. McMichael (who has cancer), her daughter, Travis’ five-year-old son, and Roddie Bryan’s fiancée and their two children.

I can’t think of any other way to see this monstrous act of state cruelty other than the way I saw it when the trial was under way back in October: as a ritual sacrifice to the dark gods revered in our weird, sick state religion of white self-hatred. I said back then, following a reference to the Aztecs, that when we offer up our sacrifices, we stage a show trial modeled on the actual trials that used to be conducted before our justice system was taken over by ideological fanatics. The verdict is of course a foregone conclusion.

Then we lock up our sacrificial victim for decades in a place of humiliation and despair, parted forever from his home, his family, and his work.

This is far more cruel than anything the Aztecs would have contemplated.

The McMichaels and Roddie Bryan were sentenced for being white. It couldn’t be more obvious. Does anyone—does anyone —think that sentences like this would have been handed down if they had been black petty criminals and Ahmaud Arbery a white mechanic?

The spectacle is made even uglier by the sight of the usual hyenas hovering around. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton showed up at the trial, and a posse of rifle-toting black anarchists stood watch outside the courthouse.

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother was dabbing her eyes as she told us what a lovely person her son was, apparently having forgotten that she was so scared of him she’d called the cops at least once. His father Marcus showed up, although whether he had played any part in raising Ahmaud we have not been told.

Who cares? The Ghetto Lottery is the prize now—cash from civil lawsuits. Benjamin Crump is involved somehow, looking forward to his share no doubt. [Ker-ching!] For this, half a dozen white lives have been destroyed.

Not the least depressing thing about this case is that such a monstrous injustice has been protested by nobody at all of any prominence in the media or politics. Tucker Carlson, to the best of my knowledge, has not mentioned it. Fox News’s Greg Gutfeld seems to have approved the verdict[‘The Five’ compare trial of Kyle Rittenhouse and Ahmaud Arbery case in which jury found defendants guilty of murder, Fox News, November 24, 2021]. Someone told me Laura Ingraham has expressed approval too, although I can’t find an online link and would be glad to know it’s not true.

Republican op-ed writers, congresscritters and ex-presidents? [Crickets.]

 

[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]

Professor Amy Wax is speaking unspeakable truths out loud again. With the usual results

Professor Wax—she is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School—has come to our attention before.

To refresh your memory:

So Prof. Amy Wax has a track record of kicking the stone. As best I can figure she’s not a race realist; but she takes the next best thing—what I have called “hard culturism“—as far as it can be taken without bringing in biology.

OK, so what’s she in trouble for now? Well, on December 20th she was in public discussion with Glenn Loury again.

This is a lady not easily deterred.

They discussed immigration. Prof. Wax said she thought mass immigration from Asia was unwise. Sample:

[We] have to distinguish mass-immigration, which we’re getting from the Hispanics, south of the border, which I think poses different questions and challenges from the Asian elites that we’re getting … It doesn’t mean that the influx of Asian elites is unproblematic. I actually think it’s problematic. I think it’s because there’s this danger of the dominance of an Asian elite in this country, and what does that mean? What is that going to mean to change the culture?

‘Racist’ Penn Law Prof Makes Disturbing Claim U.S. Is ‘Better Off With Fewer Asians’, by Brooke Leigh Howard, Daily Beast, January 3, 2022

VDARE.com note: The young woman who wrote this hit piece, Brooke Leigh Howard [Twitter/Email] is a very light-skinned woman of color who is “a reporter focusing on race and identity for The Daily Beast” and whose pinned Tweet says “Black women matter”.

Below, left, her Twitter profile pic, and right, her Daily Beast profile pic, giving a very different impression.

This is an easy one for me. I’ve been arguing against mass immigration from Asia for years here at VDARE.com, so I can just quote myself.

Here I was in December 2017, for example, a post titled Time To Stop Importing An Immigrant Overclass:

The first time America imported an overclass, we did so accidentally. When that Great Wave of Ashkenazi Jews came in after 1881, we had only the vaguest ideas about population differentials in intelligence and personality. Psychometry as a quantitative science was just getting started.

Now we understand much more, and can make better decisions. If we import a new overclass today, we’ll be doing it deliberately. We know enough to not do it.

And here I was a couple of weeks later, on the same theme but from a different angle. The title here was: OF COURSE Harvard Discriminates Against Asians. But Maybe That’s Good For Americans? In that post, I pointed out that

Immigration patriots in the early 20th century strove to keep out East Asian immigrants, not because they “hated” them, as the infantile language of our current discourse would tell you, or because they thought them an inferior race, but because they feared mass immigration of East Asians would produce an overclass, generating discontent and resentment among legacy Americans.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Asians, Immigration 

My pistol-packin’ county

That would be Suffolk County, New York — the eastern two-thirds of Long Island. I offered some socio-cultural notes about Suffolk County on Radio Derb back in June.

So … “pistol-packin'”? What’s that about?

What it’s about is, the latest chapter in the saga of me and my handguns. Brief refresher:

  • Back in August 2019 on Radio Derb, I reported having fallen victim to New York State’s “red flag” laws. Through no fault of my own I had to surrender the county pistol license I had held without incident since 2000, along with my two handguns.
  • The county pistol license is good for ten years. I’d renewed it in 2010. I should have renewed it again in 2020, but no longer had the permit in my wallet to remind me. It had been surrendered the previous year with my handguns.
  • So in September 2020 my pistol license was canceled. I pleaded for consideration, but to no avail. Couldn’t they have sent me a reminder? I asked. “We don’t do that,” was the brisk reply. That’s cop-speak for: “We don’t extend such simple, elementary courtesies to the law-abiding middle-class suckers who fund our extravagant salaries and gold-plated pensions.”
  • They told me I should just apply for a new license. That’s a pile of paperwork, though, and involves asking friends and neighbors for notarized character references — a violation of one of the social rules I learned in my English childhood: “Don’t impose!”
  • So I dithered for months …

… until at the end of November 2021 I got a letter from the Police Department Property Section. My handguns had been declared lost property. If I didn’t claim them within three months, they would be destroyed. (Probably cop-speak for: “Some cop will take them home.” I have been told that police Property Sections are … leaky.)

Unwilling to say farewell to my handguns, I was moved to action. I did the paperwork, hustled up the character references, and took it all down to Police Headquarters. A friendly, rather pretty young policegal checked it in, took my fee, and then told me that they’d be in touch … but it would take a while. Approximately how long? I asked.

“Well, we’re currently about a year and a half behind.”

A year and a half ? I was flabbergasted. My original license back in 2000 had come through in a few weeks. Why such a long delay?

“We’re totally overwhelmed. There are about six thousand applications ahead of yours. Everybody wants a pistol license nowadays.”

I hiked over to the Property Section where I was greeted by yet another personable young copette. I couldn’t claim my guns without a pistol license; the license would be a year and a half arriving; the Property Section would “destroy” my guns in three months. What to do?

“If you know someone with a license, we can transfer your guns to that person.” She gave me a form to fill out and get notarized.

So: more paperwork, another imposition. And apparently my fellow residents in Suffolk County are getting armed to the teeth. I wonder why.

Postscript: After I aired that year-and-a-half delay on the December 17th Radio Derb I heard from a friend who served many years as a clerk in New York State courts before retiring. He told me that this is, in fact, illegal: “The original NY Supreme Court decision gave police exactly 183 days (1/2 year) to show why a permit should not be granted, or grant it.”

We agreed, however, that if I were to raise this point with the Pistol Licensing Bureau, they would swiftly find a way to reject my license application. There would be some “i” I hadn’t dotted or some “t” I hadn’t crossed; or they would just say that I am too dangerously antisocial to be a permit holder.

Empire State reflections

At times like this I ask myself: Why do I live in New York State? That’s just a rhetorical question, though … if something you ask yourself can be rhetorical.

Some 319,020 residents fled New York state between July 2020 and July 2021, according to US Census Bureau data released last week — a 1.6 percent year-over-year loss that made New York the nation’s leading state for population decline. [Why New Yorkers are fleeing to Texas and Florida in droves by Zachary Kussin; New York Post, December 27th 2021.]

Tell me about it.

My next-door neighbor, with whom I have enjoyed many an evening commiserating about the state of the nation over cigars and beer out on my backyard deck (he’s a keen Trump supporter), is selling up and moving to Florida. My VDARE colleague Barton Cockey, whose hospitality we have enjoyed at his refurbished farmhouse in upstate New York, has bought a house in Texas.

So … Why don’t I follow suit? What keeps me here?

I actually like living where I live, when not having to engage with the authorities. We shall have lived in this house for thirty years next March 22nd, so sheer inertia is a big factor. We like our village, ten minutes walk away. We like our quiet, leafy neighborhood. We like our neighbors, some of whom we have known for all thirty of those years, and whose kids have grown up from infancy with our kids. We don’t mind a four-mile drive to a mall and the big chain stores.

Mrs. Derbyshire has put much labor and TLC into her garden: flowers, shrubs, fruit trees. I’ve made improvements so that the house suits me: I have two book-lined studies (fiction, nonfiction), and of course the home gym. Neither of us has the least desire to go live somewhere else.

The kids were born and raised here; neither lives here any more but they regard the house with nostalgic affection. Two sweet loving dogs are buried under the trees out back. (Along with Hilbert in an unmarked grave.)

American suburban life really is an idyll. As perhaps is always the case with idylls, it blurs and softens our acquaintance with reality. I flatter myself I had experienced sufficient reality before settling here at age 46; likewise Mrs Derbyshire, who grew up amid the chaos and cruelty of China’s Great Cultural Revolution. If you have never known anything but the suburban idyll, you have likely never felt reality bite.

That, I surmise, explains those college-educated suburban women we read about who form the most loyal, but most reality-averse, base of the Democratic Party — the ones whose front yards I pass when walking my dog, front yards with ostentatious signs saying HATE HAS NO HOME HERE or NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL.

 
• Category: Ideology 

[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]

The only way to get rid of a temptation, said Oscar Wilde, is to yield to it. I shall therefore begin with some ruminations on the year that has gone. Then I shall turn and speculate about the year that is arriving. As Robert Burns told the mouse:

Och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!

The year 2021 certainly provided Prospects Drear for us to gaze upon. All too many, in fact. I’ll pick a handful:

  • Covid

As I’ve made abundantly clear, I am in an advanced state of Covid fatigue. I’m sick of hearing about the damn thing. Let’s make proper provision for those most vulnerable—elderly citizens, mainly—and get on with our lives.

There’s a special place in Hell for those who have used Covid to destroy the structure of our children’s lives by shutting down schools. Children need that structure for proper socialization. Parents need it, too, to give them time to do adult things while professionals mind their kids.

(No offense intended to home-schoolers, who I know pay attention to socialization with playgroups, sport teams and such. They have way more free time than the average, though, if they’re doing the job properly. Looking back at my own kids’ childhood, I don’t see how we could have managed it).

And maximum offense intended to the Teachers’ Unions, whose leaders should be tossed into pits of boiling oil for pushing this scam.

  • Afghanistan

What a fiasco! After dithering about futilely for twenty years—twenty years!—and spending north of two trillion dollars, we just dumped all our stuff—tens of billions of dollars’ worth—and left.

I don’t hold any exaggerated opinion of my own geostrategic insight; but even I could see what a monstrous waste of lives and money that always was. I’ve been saying so here at Radio Derb for most of those twenty years.

Who’s to blame for this catastrophe? Our military Chiefs, mostly. Sure, I know, they’re under civilian command. And yes, I know: the George W. Bush administration was full of neocon war hawks who thought they could make the world a nice place by dropping bombs all over.

The Chiefs were fine with it, though. If you’re senior military, war is good for your career prospects. Dubya was too dumb to resist. Then we had Obama and Trump, neither of whom is dumb. The problem was, both of them are sufficiently self-aware to realize that they don’t know diddly about military stuff, so they deferred to the generals.

It’s now plain to all of us, I think, that our most senior military people are all fools and lunatics.

There are two things we could do about this:

  1. we could cashier the lot of them; or
  2. we could wait for our next confrontation with a serious military power, and the disaster that will surely follow.

I’d vote for option one myself. But I feel sure we shall in fact go through Door Two.

  • Critical Race Theory

Yes, this was the year that we all found out about Critical Race Theory, and about how our Ruling Class has been quietly enforcing it on our schools, colleges, corporations, and government departments.

What actually is Critical Race Theory? What it actually is the terminus of the Race Denialism bus.

Race differences in social outcomes are plain to the naked eye. Your local college Computer Science department is full of East Asians; your local jail is full of blacks, and so on. What explains this?

Until about sixty years ago, everyone assumed it was just biology, of the kind that shows up when you breed dogs or farm animals. Then our elites declared biology out of bounds. That meant they had to come up with an alternative explanation for group differences. They came up with Culturism: It was nothing to do with biology, it was Culture. We’re all the same! Just get the Culture right, anyone can be Einstein!

That was halfway plausible for a while; but as decades passed, the plausibility drained away. The statistics were stubborn. Black kids from stable middle-class homes continued to perform less well than white and Asian kids from same. (That even has a name: the Shaker Heights Effect [Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb: A Study of Academic Disengagement, by Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Journal of College Student Development, January 2003] Affluent young blacks went on being incarcerated at higher rates than poor white kids [Data Shows Affluent Black Kids Are More Likely to Be Incarcerated Than Poor White Kids, EJI.org, April 29, 2016].

And while every social reform anyone could think of was failing to shift the differences, news was seeping in from advances in the human sciences, especially genetics, and the news was all race-realist.

So Culturism got a makeover. It got Marx-ified. It wasn’t Culture; it wasn’t that differences in outcome arose from people over here living like this because of history and tradition, while people over there, of equal moral standing, lived like that. It was that one group of people—bad, bad people—were maliciously oppressing another group of good, good people. Moral inferiors were oppressing their moral superiors!

 

[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]

Mandatory upbeat story for the upcoming New Year: Americans are pushing back against the antiwhite radicals in the political, media, judicial and medical Establishments.

You’ll recall Sandmann as the then-16-year-old student from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky who participated in the 2019 March for Life in Washington, D.C. At the Lincoln Memorial after the march Sandmann and his group—many of whom, including Nicholas, were wearing MAGA caps—were confronted by some hostiles.

A party from some outfit called the Black Hebrew Israelites were shouting insults at them, and an American aborigine named Nathan Phillips was beating a drum and chanting at them in some aboriginal language.

Phillips came right up to Sandmann, chanting and drumming right in his face. Sandmann stood dead still and smiled.

That, the media instructed us, was white supremacist.

It was plain to anyone of sense that the kid was just trying to be polite and non-confrontational, but the media commies presented him as the villain of the incident. By the time the story faded Nicholas Sandmann had been fixed in the public mind as this generation’s Bull Connor. In addition to the emotional distress this has caused to Sandmann and his family, the young man’s reputation and career prospects have obviously suffered.

But he has been suing the media outlets energetically. Last year he got settlements from CNN and The Washington Post [Sandmann announces \$250M lawsuit settled with Washington Post, FOX19, July 24, 2020]. This latest one is from NBC. Still on Sandmann’s list: ABC, CBS, The Guardian, HuffPost, NPR, Slate, The Hill, and Gannett (which owns USA Today and a lot of local outlets).

We don’t know the size of these settlements, but The New York Post quotes a civil-litigation expert that the CNN deal was worth “at least seven figures.” Sandmann’s original filing against NBC asked for \$275 million. By the time it’s all over, Nicholas Sandmann should be set up for life.

I cheer that prospect. And may Nicholas Sandmann use his settlements, along with his native good sense, smarts, and patriotism, for the public benefit.

Merry Christmas, Nicholas!

  • Second exhibit: There is speculation that Kyle Rittenhouse, acquitted last month of shooting two terrorists and wounding a third, may have some civil lawsuits of his own in mind.

I don’t know enough about the law to estimate Rittenhouse’s prospects, but while I’ve cheered his acquittal and wish him all the luck in the world, it seems to me that his case for damages is different from Sandmann’s in important ways. He did actually shoot people. Sure, it was justifiable self-defense; but that’s a lot different than just standing there grinning, which is all Sandmann did.

Meanwhile young Kyle got a standing ovation at the Turning Point USA conference in Phoenix on Monday [Kyle Rittenhouse gets standing ovation from conservatives, says he may sue media outlets, by Timothy Bella, Washington Post, December 26, 2021] It was, said one TV anchorperson, “a rock star reception.”

Eighteen-year-old Kyle is in fact something like a rock star to the young patriots at TPUSA. He has, The Washington Post’s Bella tells us, “been embraced by conservatives in the weeks after he was acquitted.”

That’s great. But with rock stars in mind, I’d advise young Kyle to be discriminating about who precisely embraces him.

Remember what your Mom told you about going out on a winter’s day without a scarf, Kyle: you might catch something.

  • Third exhibit: Also in the file of Americans pushing back against the Antiwhite radicals, here’s an encouraging story related to the Waukesha Christmas Massacre.

You may not remember the Waukesha Christmas Parade massacre. It was only five weeks ago, but the Regime Media has deep-sixed it to the best of their ability, because the perp was black and the victims all white, making it not at all newsworthy.

Not at all! Where are the proofs for that latest story about Emmett Till?

So just to refresh your memory: The Waukesha Christmas Parade massacre was the incident on Sunday November 21st when a white-hating black man drove his SUV into a festival parade, killing six and injuring sixty-two, many seriously.

One of those killed was an eight-year-old child. Most of the rest were older citizens, the oldest 81.

 

See also: JOHN DERBYSHIRE: America Is Becoming A Lawless Society and JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Smollett, Maxwell, Potter—Another Bad Week For The U.S. Justice System

I’ve been banging on recently about how we have become a lawless society. Here are some random updates on that.

  • When I got my Suffolk County NY pistol permit back in 2000 there was a three-month wait between applying and getting the permit. I just learned this week that the current wait time is a year and a half.

How did wait time for approval of a pistol permit go from three months to six times as long? I asked the police spokeslady. She replied: “We’re hopelessly backed up. Everyone wants a pistol permit nowadays.”

I think that’s what financial analysts call “a leading indicator.”

  • There’s a meme going round—I think it’s a meme—from which I am deriving much quiet pleasure: Black Lives Matter corporate sycophants getting their comeuppance.

Pedro Gonzalez of Chronicles Magazine offered it on Twitter the other day.

Pedro started from a letter dated December 9th to the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives in D.C.: Schumer, McConnell, Pelosi, and McCarthy.

The letter is signed by 21 members of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, representing big chain retailers like Best Buy, Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Target, CVS, Walgreens, and so on. These retailers beg the congressfolk to do something or other about the current outbreak of flagrant looting that is mostly going unpunished.

Above the link to that letter Pedro tweets the following, tweet:

Virtually every CEO here supported Black Lives Matter amid last year’s riots while people got killed and small businesses got ruined.

A June 2020 sample from one recent looting victim:

So they *deserve* to have their stores wrecked. These looters are just giving CEOs what they deserve, good and hard.

See also “Be Brave, Do Something”—Ashley Rae Goldenberg’s List Of Corporations That Support The Riots And Want You Dead, June 8, 2020.

As I said: much quiet pleasure.

Yes: all those affluent liberals in 90210, like the inhabitants of my own humble suburban New York county, are arming up.

They feel terrible about it, of course. Or not so much terrible as in denial: the New York Post quotes Vera Markowitz, a former 1960s radical who was a member of Students for a Democratic Society, a far-Left group, before moving to Beverly Hills:

I think I’m still radical, but I’m radical in the middle. I’m just not on the extreme of anything. I’ve always believed that when you believe in something, you fight for whatever it is.

Yeah, whatever, Vera. Just make sure to plant your feet in a good firm stance before taking aim.

  • Here’s a different kind of lawlessness—the lawlessness of high government officials in Washington, D.C.

As we all know, many of the January 6th Mostly Peaceful Protestors are still in jail after almost a year, in spite of not having been convicted of anything, or even brought to trial. The precise jail they are in is the Washington, D.C. Central Detention Facility, the CDF. Deputy Warden of the CDF is one Kathleen Landerkin, a fifty-something white lady.

Ms. Landerkin, it has turned out, is a raging, screeching Leftist with a very advanced case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. She has a Twitter trail of crude, savage attacks on Trump supporters, such as “I can’t wait until you’re all extinct.” [More… Unhinged Deputy Warden Kathleen Landerkin of the DC Prison Wants White Republicans Extinct, BreakingNews.exchange, December 13, 2021]

She had such a Twitter trail, I should say: Ms. Landerkin has now deleted her Twitter account.

Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and thirteen other Republicans have sent a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser calling for the immediate termination of Ms. Landerkin [Greene, GOP colleagues call for firing of DC Corrections official who ‘despises’ Trump and supporters, by Brad Dress, The Hill, December 16, 2021].

This is the same Mayor who, following the death of lowlife junkie hoodlum George Floyd in Minneapolis last year, declared her support for Black Lives Matter terrorism, and who actually ordered the words BLACK LIVES MATTER painted in huge yellow letters all across 16th Street near the Trump White House [‘Black Lives Matter’: In giant yellow letters, D.C. mayor sends message to Trump, by Fenit Nirappil , Julie Zauzmer Weil and Rachel Chason, Washington Post, June 5, 2020].

So I doubt the letter from MTG & Co. will have any effect. But it’s good to see our congresscritters taking a stand for what’s right.

 

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

My faith in the integrity of courtroom justice was holed below the waterline twenty-some years ago, when I followed the child sex-abuse hysterias of the 1980s and 1990s.

Those were shameful injustices, travesties of justice. Decent, harmless citizens like Gerald Amirault and his family—there were many, many others—were convicted and given double-digit sentences on charges no sensible person could credit, and for which there was no physical evidence.

Ambitious, unscrupulous prosecutors; dim-witted juries; avaricious and/or ideological attorneys; bought-and-paid-for judges; all were on plain display there back in the nineties.

And our country then was more sane than it is now! It still had a stabilizing ballast of older citizens with memories of war and Depression, of reality biting hard. Today we are more frivolous, more stupid, more detached from reality.

So my expectations that today’s judicial system will consistently deliver anything resembling justice, could not be lower. When it does so, as in the Rittenhouse trial last month, I am quietly astonished.

Much more common, and more in line with my cynical expectations, was the appalling miscarriage of justice in the Arbery case, also of last month, where three decent, public-spirited citizens had their lives and the lives of their families destroyed by the determined efforts of an antiwhite cabal of prosecutors, politicians, activists, and media bloodsuckers.

The Arbery case illustrates an important point about the random and approximate nature of our justice system: that it is at its most random, most approximate when dealing with cases that snap easily into the cherished, beloved Narrative of working-class whites—especially Southerners—being beastly to blacks.

That Narrative is so deep-imbedded in our collective psyche, it is now unusual to find a person—even a normal, non-ideological person—whose worldview is not infected by it.

This week’s cases:

  • Jussie Smollett

This did not snap neatly into the Narrative, although Jussie did his best to make it do so. The white perps Jussie accused of having assaulted him back in January 2019 could never be located.

The only other human beings involved in the incident who could be located were the Osundairo brothers from Nigeria. My own cynicism kicked in from the very start, like many other peoples’—including, I am sure, the Chicago police officers assigned to investigate the so-called crime. I doubt there were ever so many eyes rolling simultaneously as when a roomful of seasoned big-city street cops were given that assignment. Jussie’s story was all so obviously phony … unless, of course, you have sold your soul to the Narrative.

How cynical was I? Well, when I first saw that stock picture of the Osundairo brothers, as black and as jacked as it is possible to be, my first thought was: “Oh, so those are the guys Jussie was paying to bugger him.”

On the courtroom testimony, that was not precisely the case; but I think I got the main idea of the relationships there.

Laying cynicism aside, I am now going to annoy some readers, I’m sure, by saying that I don’t think Jussie should have been brought to trial, any more than the three defendants in the Arbery case should have been. This, and that, were wastes of public time and resources for reasons ultimately political.

Remember the early stages of this case. January 2019, Jussie claimed he was attacked. February that year, state attorney Kim Foxx stepped away from the case, handing it to her assistant Joseph Magats to pursue, while also asking the FBI to take an interest. In March Jussie was indicted for a false report … but then, three weeks later, all charges were dropped.

Why? Well, Assistant D.A. Magats had cut a deal with Jussie’s attorneys. The deal was, they would drop the charges provided Jussie performed sixteen hours of community service and forfeited his ten-thousand-dollar bond.

That seems pretty fair to me for what was surely a trivial offense by a guy with no criminal background.

Why wasn’t it? Well, Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, and Eddie Johnson, his police chief were mad as hell about the charges being dropped. Chief Johnson had given over three thousand man-hours to investigating the damn thing, he protested. To which a sensible response would have been: “Well then, let’s not waste any more resources on it.” That wasn’t the response he got, though.

And on the national political scene, Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, with their eyes of course fixed on the following year’s presidential election, were pushing to have lynching made a federal hate crime. The Smollett story, which both senators pretended to believe, was helpful to them and needed to be kept alive.

Plus the FBI had gotten involved on Kim Foxx’s urging. So what with one political thing and another political thing, the Jussie Smollett case stayed alive when it should have died peacefully in late March 2019.

I apologize to Jussie Smollett on behalf of all citizens who believe in swift, clean, proportionate, and un-political justice.

 

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

Earlier by Michelle Malkin: Amnesia of the Anarcho-Tyrannists

You’ve seen the video clips and read the news stories. Gangs of looters spent the Thanksgiving weekend looting retail stores in our cities: Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Home Depot, Best Buy, Apple, pharmacies, jewelry stores, … Not all of these were big chain stores. Some, especially the jewelry stores, were single-outlet family enterprises. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “Black Friday.”

Cops made a few half-hearted arrests here and there, but no perps were detained for long. After Thanksgiving Day lootings in Los Angeles the LAPD made fourteen arrests. Reporting on this a week later, the LA Times said “none of the 14 suspects remains in custody.” One was a juvenile, the others were all bailed out or released without bail [ LAPD announces 14 arrests in connection with recent smash-and-grab robberies , by Gregory Yee, Brittny Mejia, LA Times, December 2, 2021].

So far as we have been permitted to see, the looters are all black. No surprise there: To a fair first approximation, all crime in the U.S.A. is committed by blacks.

Hence the cautious, hands-off approach by police and prosecutors. If black looters were held indefinitely in jail the way those white January 6th protestors have been—except of course, I mean, for the one shot dead by a black cop—the city’s crime stats would not display equity.

That would be terrible—plain evidence of white supremacy!

Our underclass is taking the concept of free stuff to a whole new level. Welcome to Jim Snow America.

President Biden’s spokes-bot, the very lifelike Jen Psaki, was asked about the causes of all this looting at a presser just yesterday. The person asking was Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.

The automaton first blamed Donald Trump. He hadn’t supplied enough federal funding to local police departments, you see? Joe Biden is going to be much more generous!

Hoo-kay. Doocy followed up with: “Does the president still think that crime is up because of the pandemic?” The bot evaded that, now blaming the Second Amendment somehow. Doocy pressed the question: Did Ms. Psaki think the pandemic caused the looting? Yes, she finally told us, she did [Jen Psaki says COVID-19 is the root cause of looting in US, by TK, NY Post, December 2, 2021].

So that’s the administration’s explanation for the looting. Nothing to do with looney-tunes prosecutors obsessed with “equity” in arrests and incarcerations.

You see how she’s been programmed? Whatever calamity she’s asked about, she’ll first blame it on Trump, then on the Second Amendment, then on Covid.

Doocy didn’t pursue the matter further. If he had, Ms. Psaki would have fallen back on climate change. I could have coded up her responses myself in COBOL.

This is the rule, not the exception. But even before black looting became de facto legalized, we were quite comprehensively lawless in another major area of national policy: immigration.

If you wanted a pictorial illustration of the word “lawless,” you couldn’t do better than those battalions of Haitians walking into the U.S.A. in September, in defiance of our laws.

That’s just the visible tip of the illegal-alien iceberg, though. Unknown millions of foreigners—very likely tens of millions—live in our country without ever having been given authorization to do so. Border jumpers and visa overstayers live and work here, using our publicly-funded systems for health, education, and policing, bringing forth children—does anyone even have an estimate of how many? —who are automatically given citizenship.

That birthright citizenship is at least legal under the currently prevailing interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, Section One. It’s none the less crazy for all that, and would not be legal if either of our big political parties had enough of a spine to challenge it.

This Biden administration has declared openly, brazenly that it will not permit enforcement of the people’s laws on immigration in a long and not exhaustive list of “protected areas,” loosely defined.

You want “loosely defined”? I got “loosely defined.” Quote from DHS directive

Schools, such as known and licensed daycares, pre-schools, and other early learning programs; primary schools; secondary schools; post-secondary schools up to and including colleges and universities; as well as scholastic or education-related activities or events.

Secretary Mayorkas Issues New Guidance for Enforcement Action at Protected Areas, Homeland Security, October 27, 2021

“This isn’t a booze party, Mr. ICE officer, this is an education-related activity. Hey, take your hands off me! Lawsuit!”

There should be impeachment of Biden and Mayorkas for failing faithfully to execute the laws, as they promised to do in their oaths of office. Again, though, we come up against the congressional spine deficiency.

In all this lawlessness, I’m happy—not thrilled or delighted, but happy—to report the administration having taken one small step back towards respect for the law.

 

China’s Second Cultural Revolution

In last month’s diary I passed some remarks about the rise of xenophobia in China since I visited in 2019 and enjoyed such warm hospitality from the likes of college presidents.

I should have made it clear—I vaguely knew, and several Chinese friends have removed the vagueness for me—that late 2019 was actually the tail end of the “open” China of the early 21st century.

In September 2019 a short-stay visitor could be warmly welcomed, even by people in authority. However, the government had already made it difficult-to-impossible for foreigners to live in China, unless very well connected and obediently enthusiastic about Xi Jinping’s leadership.

We have witness to this from vloggers Winston Sterzel (“SerpentZA”) and Matthew Tye (“Laowhy86”) below.

Both lived for many years in China without much trouble: Sterzel for 14 years, Tye for 10. Both speak fluent Chinese and know the country very well. Both left earlier in 2019—before my trip, I mean. Tye seems to have got out just in time, with the secret police on his heels. They tell their stories here (Sterzel) and here, here, and here (Tye).

The ice sheets were already advancing well before I showed up two years ago. The early years of this century—up to Xi Jinping’s re-election as General Secretary in 2017, as best I can judge—were an interglacial period.

The curse of crappy websites

I had the idea to buy some bitcoin using my PayPal account. I logged in to Coinbase and set up the buy. Coinbase obediently logged me into PayPal, which sent me this windowon which nothing worked. The controls were all utterly inert. When I clicked on them, nothing happened.

After ten minutes of fiddling, I got a PayPal employee on the phone. He took all my details. “Ah,” he said, “yours is a business account.” Yes, so what? “We don’t allow crypto purchases from business accounts.” Oh.

I’m sure that makes sense, although I can’t be bothered to figure out why (and am not much interested in knowing); but why did I have to go to all the time-wasting trouble of getting a featherless biped on the phone in order to learn it?

I spent thirty years in programming and systems design back in the mainframe era. In the systems I coded and supervised, if a user did something he shouldn’t have, the system let him know by means of an E-R-R-O-R M-E-S-S-A-G-E, pronounced [‘erə ‘mesɪʤ].

Apparently this is an unknown concept to the code jockeys of 2021, even those who can speak English.

Crappy websites are a constant minor irritant to me. Sure, there was bad code in the mainframe days, too, but proportionally much less. Why? Because we cut our teeth when most code was for batch processing. Bad code would crash the night cycle and get you an angry phone call from the data center at 3 a.m. We tried really hard to avoid that, and carried that discipline forward into the online era.

Some big-name companies have crappy websites. For our trip to Berkeley Springs last month we rented a car. The Derbmobile—we are a one-car family—is getting long in the tooth (camshaft, whatever) and we didn’t want to depend on it for a six-hour drive. I left ordering the rental car too late, though, and Enterprise, the nearest and most convenient firm, had nothing available.

I went online and tried Hertz … and tried … and tried. I made selections and got something different from what I’d selected. I got stuck in loops, going round three or four windows and back to the one I’d started at. Buttons didn’t work, or sent me somewhere unrelated to what was on the button.

The hell with it. I tried the Avis website: got a rental set up and booked in less than two minutes. They really do try harder.

Crappy websites: a 21st-century bane. I just hope the coders in charge of our national defense systems are better than those at PayPal and Hertz.

And Coinbase. Just a couple of days ago I got an email from Coinbase. The email told me joyfully that: “John Derbyshire has invited you to join Coinbase!” (their exclamation mark).

Well, isn’t that special. I have had a Coinbase account since 2013. If I run into John Derbyshire I’ll be sure to tell him that.

Nose tales

My nasal adventures brought in a surprising amount of email from readers. I didn’t know people were that interested in noses. But hey, we’ve all got one … well, unless we’ve suffered some Tycho Brahe– type misfortune.

I have learned from one reader that Nikolai Gogol was not the only person to write a short story about a nose. The Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892–1927, “Akutagawa” the family name) wrote one too. You can read the story in English translation here.

With all proper respect to the grand literary tradition of Mother Russia, Akutagawa’s story makes more sense than Gogol’s…although that’s a low bar.

And having mentioned Gogol again, I cannot forbear retelling the awful, awfully nasal story of his death, told in the very first pages of the biography by Vladimir Nabokov. (Nabokov describes Gogol’s birth in the last paragraph of the book’s last page—Nabokov at his most Nabokovian.)

This is Moscow, 1852, when doctors were more likely to kill you than cure you. (A thing that remained true until well within living memory, according to Lewis Thomas.) They still practiced bloodletting, in this case using leeches for the purpose.

Nabokov, somewhat edited:

 
• Category: History • Tags: 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.