03m33s Not even the midterms. (Despair and jubilation.)
08m03s Virginia, New Jersey. (The two big ones.)
14m29s A win-win for the Uniparty? (But some skillful politicking.)
20m17s The Garland Archipelago. (They're after you.)
28m30s Can China change course? (Can we?)
34m16s Is psychology a science? (No, it's a social justice campaign.)
36m33s Biden on the road. (Wants more foreign oil.)
38m09s Philadelphia abolishes crime. (Out of sight, out of mind.)
40m53s An attorney speculates. (Is today as strange as the 1970s?)
42m46s Signoff. (A country classic.)
Particular greetings to Indian listeners, and perhaps listeners in India, today being, I think, the fifth day of the Diwali festival. Diwali ni mubarak and Happy New Year!
Today, November 5th, also strikes a chord with British and ex-British people like myself, with our childhood memories of bonfires and rockets.
Please to remember
The fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason, and plot!
As an American citizen for coming up to twenty years now, I do my best to celebrate Halloween, as a good immigrant should; but my heart still belongs to Guy Fawkes Night. Perhaps it's no longer celebrated over there the way I remember it. Most likely it's been declared politically incorrect somehow—transphobic, white supremacist, or some such. I'd rather not know, and just cherish my memories.
So this is your sentimentally genial host John Derbyshire with a November 5th edition of Radio Derb—only the second such, in our 17½ years on the air.
In the first, back in 2010, I chewed over the results of that year's midterms, when the Republican Party won the House of Representatives but Democrats held on to the Senate. Sample quote from Radio Derb, November 5th 2010:
[Clip: Well, we got the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi's out, John Boehner's in. It could hardly help but be an improvement, but if you find John Boehner inspirational, all I can say is, you inspire easy.]
The GOP then continued to hold the House for eight years. For the last two of those eight years, 2017 and 2018, they held the Senate and the White House, too.
Now there's a contrast of sweet and sour: sweet childhood memories of Guy Fawkes Night, sour memories of GOP uselessness.
This year, 2021, was not a year for midterms; but there is some electioneering going on any November, so let's take a look.
The loudest noises were wailing and shrieking from Democrats over their losses, and corresponding shouts of jubilation from Republicans.
On the wailing-and-shrieking front, the noise actually started on Tuesday as the results were coming in. MSNBC hostesses Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid and Nicole Wallace were providing joint commentary on-air.
Critical Race Theory is "not a real thing," said Maddow. Republicans are "dangerous," said Reid. Full quote: "They're dangerous to our national security, because stoking that kind of soft white nationalism eventually leads to the hard-core stuff." End quote. Ms Wallace told viewers that the Republican candidate in Virginia was promoting, quote, "disgusting, flagrant-out racism."
So yes: The etymology of the word "hysteria" was in plain sight.
For shouts of jubilation from the other side I opened up my Thursday New York Post. By that time most of the results were in, and the Post, which takes an Establishment-Republican line, could let loose.
Coverage of the elections inside the paper started with a two-page spread under the headline, spread across both pages, FED-UP VOTERS STICK IT TO JOE. Four other pages of election news followed, mainly of the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races and local New York results.
Concerning those local results, I'm proud to report that both Long Island counties outside New York City, Nassau County and my own Suffolk County, elected Republican District Attorneys to replace Democrats, probably a backlash against the pro-criminal policies of our state legislature.
Even New York City felt tremors. The 51-member City Council had just three Republican members going into the election; it looks as though there will be six in January. Yeah, yeah, from three to six in a 51-member council is not really up there with storming the Bastille; but this is New York City, Pyongyang on the Hudson. I'll take what I can get.
And yes, shape-shifting Eric Adams, the guy who takes bubble baths with roses, will be the next Mayor of New York, as predicted by Radio Derb last week. The keynote of the voting here, as also predicted last week, was apathy: Voter turnout for these city positions was less than 22 percent.
So: despair for the Dems, jubilation for the GOP. Let me just take a closer look at those two governors' races.
Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states that elect a Governor the year after a presidential election, so they always get a lot of attention as indicators of how entire big statesful of people feel about a President early in his term, especially of course when it's his first term.
Virginia's state constitution doesn't allow a Governor to serve consecutive terms; so with Virginia there is always the added interest of there being no incumbent in the contest. This year the Democratic candidate was former Governor Terry McAuliffe, who's been a political activist and back-room advisor since the Jimmy Carter years.
McAuliffe faced off against Republican Glenn Youngkin, a political novice. Youngkin had a long career in finance and business consultancy, including a couple of years in the early nineties when his employment résumé overlapped with mine. We both worked for investment bank First Boston, although in different departments. He was Mergers & Acquisitions—this was before First Boston got merged and acquired itself by Credit Suisse—while I was in Credit and Risk Management. I don't recall ever meeting him, but that may be just because my memory is shot. To be on the safe side: Hey, Glenn, how's it going?
Republican Youngkin won the Governor's race on Tuesday by better than two percent. In last year's presidential election, Joe Biden won Virginia by ten percent. Virginians also elected a Republican Lieutenant Governor: a black female named Winsome Sears, a Marine Corps veteran and Second Amendment enthusiast, originally an immigrant from Jamaica.
New Jersey does allow two consecutive terms, and this year there was an incumbent running, Democrat Phil Murphy. Murphy won his second term by a whisker against Republican Jack Ciattarelli, who is a veteran of state politics and a successful businessman.
Murphy's a straight-ticket Progressive. He likes teacher unions, high taxes, and criminals, especially illegal aliens. He doesn't like fossil fuels, secure voting, or the Second Amendment.
As I told you last week, he has openly admitted he wants New Jersey to be the California of the East. In his four years as Governor he has gone a long way towards accomplishing that, driving out New Jersey's middle class and so ensuring his re-election even in a political season as dire for Democrats as this one.
And it was dire even in New Jersey, Murphy's whisker-thin victory notwithstanding. Republicans took particular consolation from the triumph of their candidate Edward Durr over Democrat Stephen Sweeney in New Jersey's 3rd Legislative District, down in the state's southwest corner.
The contest here was for a seat in New Jersey's state senate. Sweeney isn't just an incumbent state senator, he's the current President of the New Jersey Senate, and a major political power in his state. He's served in the state senate for twenty years.
Fifty-eight-year-old Edward Durr, the Republican who defeated Sweeney on Tuesday is a total political novice—a truck driver for a furniture company. He's telling the media he only spent $153 on his election campaign. That seems to have just been pocket expenses, though. The New York Times looked at all the relevant financial disclosure reports and found a total $2,200. This isn't dishonesty on Mr Durr's part, they're just talking about slightly different things.
Two thousand two hundred dollars is still impressively little. We haven't been told how much Sweeney spent this time around, but back in 2017 Politico told us that his campaign for the state senate seat that year may have been, quote, "the most expensive legislative race in U.S. history … Sweeney and his allies collectively spent $13.8 million …" end quote.
So Tuesday's results look righteous for Republicans, dire for Democrats. What do they all mean, though?
The Z-man, for example, posting on Tuesday about the Virginia race, said the following, longish quote:
As with all elections, the result is set in advance. In this case, a win by the Democrat will be sold as a triumph over Trumpism. It will also be a warning to the GOP that they better cuck harder if they ever hope to win another election. On the other hand, if the Republican wins, then it is proof that eschewing Trumpism is the ticket to success for the Republican Party. In other words, no matter the result, it is proof that your superiors are right, and you should shut up and obey.
So Z is saying that the Virginia contest was from the start a win-win for the Uniparty. The state was going to end up either with one of the less-crazy variety of Democrat or a Chamber of Commerce Republican cuck.
I take Z's point, and my expectations of Youngkin couldn't be lower. At the same time, I can't help admiring the candidate's skillful navigation in some very tricky political waters.
The key feature of those waters is serious divisions within both parties. The Democrats are divided between Moderates and Lunatics. Republicans are of course divided over Donald Trump: some love him, some hate him.
That creates serious navigational problems for candidates from both parties. A Democrat has to smile indulgently on the crazies, who have lots of energy, not to mention lots of [ker-ching] from George Soros and software billionaires, while at the same time conveying to moderate, old-line party-of-the-little-guy white-ethnic-union-card Democrats that he doesn't take the crazies too seriously.
Meanwhile, a Republican candidate has to pull off a similar trick, keeping us Trumpists on board without alarming the old-line good-manners-good-government Reaganite voters. That was Youngkin's strategy: Make occasional polite and friendly references to the Orange Guy, but keep him well away from campaign events.
Huge numbers of American voters on both sides crave stability and normality above all else. That's what the 2020 election was all about.
The media had spent four years screaming that Donald Trump was not running a stable administration and was not himself mentally stable. It was all nonsense, of course. Trump didn't really rock many boats in D.C., and his personality is that of a realistic, deal-making, results-seeking businessman. Still, four years of the media blizzard, along with some targeted vote manipulation, worked their magic last November.
Joe Biden by contrast was presented as Mr Normal, a mid-20th-century moderate Democrat—Hubert Humphrey or Walter Mondale. No way he'd sign on to those crazy-left schemes of throwing open the borders, defunding police, extravagant new social policies. The fact that Biden has signed on with the crazy wing of his party accounts for much of this week's Democrat debacle.
For National Conservatives like myself, yearning for Trumpism but preferably from someone more focused and determined than Trump, there's not much comfort to be taken from these not-very-consequential elections.
I am, however, glad to see that open anti-whitism and sex denialism have taken a beating, at least in Virginia schools. This may be just a momentary stumble in the onward march of our Cultural Revolution, or it may be the beginning of a turn back to truth and sanity. Time will tell.
The topic of the article is of course the appalling treatment of the January 6th protesters by the Washington, D.C. Department of Corrections. And "Garland" there is U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the nastiest piece of work to hold cabinet rank for many a long year.
Gelernter's article is based on a long letter—over two thousand words—by Nathan DeGrave, one of the January 6th protesters now incarcerated in D.C. The letter describes conditions in the D.C. jail. It was published last week by DeGrave's attorney. You can read it at the Conservative Treehouse blog.
Regime-supporting websites like DailyKos have pooh-poohed the claims made in the letter, and I have no way of knowing what proportion of them are true. Even for a reader sympathetic to the protesters—a reader like me—some the claims are eyebrow-raising.
For example, Nathan DeGrave writes, quote:
The guards are mostly liberal migrants from Africa who have been conditioned to hate us, and hate America.
I don't have the slightest problem believing that one of the motivations for the persecution of these protesters is elite loathing of Badwhites. This is, after all, the Cold Civil War, Goodwhites versus Badwhites. If the Goodwhites could recruit black auxiliaries from Africa and condition them to torment Badwhite prisoners, I'm sure they would.
Have they, though? Why not just use black Americans, many of whom hate white people without any conditioning required? I have a fair experience of black Africans. They are much less anti-white in the generality than are black Americans. I doubt there is any school or college anywhere in black Africa teaching Critical Race Theory.
Are there any public statistics on D.C. corrections officers? How many are immigrants from Africa?
So I have some reservations here. It can't be denied, though, whatever the conditions in that jail are, that these protesters are still in jail after nine months or more without, in most cases, having been brought to trial: a gross violation of their right to a speedy and public trial, as promised by the Sixth Amendment.
And as Roger Kimball argued in a brilliant lecture at Hillsdale College on September 20th, this fuss raised by the regime and its media shills over the January 6th so-called "insurrection" is of a pattern with the whole "Russian collusion" hoax of 2015-2020.
The January 6th persecutions are, in other words, another high-level hoax. As with "Russian collusion," harmless people guilty of, if anything at all, petty offenses like trespass, are having their lives destroyed, as Michael Flynn's life was destroyed. And as with "Russian collusion," persons with really serious offenses to answer for—James Comey, Michael Byrd—skip away free.
Also as with "Russian collusion," the January 6th protests have been pumped full of hysteria by regime spokesmen and their media allies. The January protests were:
In this age we're going through, a good part of the public sphere is dominated by these hoaxes and the accompanying hysteria.
I would add to the "Russian collusion" hoax and the "insurrection" hoax a third one, although with a more fragmentary form: the periodic show trials in which non-elite whites are hit with extravagant charges on ambiguous evidence, then have their lives destroyed by highly questionable judicial proceedings.
James Fields, Michael Slager, and Derek Chauvin; none of them malicious psychopaths, but all portrayed as such for purposes of fortifying the regime narrative. The Brunswick Three and Kyle Rittenhouse will serve that same purpose, and their prospects of ever again enjoying freedom are surely not good.
What is it all about, this madness? Here are two perceptive observers to tell us.
The first is Dan Gelernter, author of the American Greatness article I started this segment with. Here is the title he gave to that article: "The Injustices Facing J6 Protesters Are Warnings to You."
And here is the closing paragraph of Roger Kimball's Hillsdale College speech, quote:
Another lesson was perfectly expressed by Donald Trump when he reflected on the unremitting tsunami of hostility that he faced as President. [Inner quote] "They're after you," he more than once told his supporters. "I'm just in the way." [End inner quote.]
First: Several people have pointed me to the article by the analyst who bylines as "N.S. Lyons" at the Palladium website on October 11th. Title: "The Triumph and Terror of Wang Huning."
The subject, Wang Huning, is a Chinese intellectual who has thought and written deeply about both their national culture and ours. He is also one of the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, and so a very powerful person indeed.
I must confess I had never heard of Wang Huning. I flatter myself that I'm decently well-informed on Chinese history and literary culture, but I'm not your go-to guy for insights into power relations among the ChiCom leaders.
According to Lyons, Wang has been a key player in Xi Jinping's current effort to steer the ship of state away from its former course of free-wheeling entrepreneurship, hedonism, openness to foreigners, and demographic collapse to something sterner, more egalitarian, less welcoming, and more fertile.
It's a fascinating piece with good insights into what is currently going on over there. The question it leaves you with is: Can that huge ship in fact be steered onto a really quite different course, even with all the power of one-party authoritarianism at the wheel?
And what about us, with our plague of opioid deaths, homeless camps in the main streets of our cities, vast military commitments left over from the 1940s, out-of-control security agencies, endless racial rancor, enstupidation of our schools and colleges, and the rest of our failings? Couldn't we use some course correction, too? Is our system capable of it?
It's a great article, even if you're not that interested in China.
Second: Last weekend, actually Sunday-Monday-Tuesday, saw the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Florida, with speeches and debates from an impressive cast of names, many of them familiar to VDARE.com readers.
Not that any of us was on the speaker list. Good Heavens, no! This was respectable conservatives only. That said, they cast their net quite wide, with some borderline dissident types in there among the neocons: Michael Anton, Peter Thiel, Carol Swain, …
The main China interest here was a debate between David Goldman of Asia Times, who I quote a lot, mostly with approval, Michael Anton of Hillsdale College, the "Flight 93 Election" guy, and Michael Pillsbury, a China strategist at the Hudson Institute.
The topic of the debate was war with China: the possibility thereof and the likely outcome. David Goldman frames it as an exchange between himself and Michael Anton on the one side and, quote, "war-hawk Michael Pillsbury," end quote, on the other.
It looks to have been a very spirited exchange. Goldman has posted an edited transcript of the debate at Asia Times under the title Sleepwalkers in the South China Sea. He prefaces that transcript with this, quote:
It would have been unseemly to have a polite exchange in a hotel ballroom a few miles from Disney World about the desirability of killing millions of people in a nuclear exchange. So I wasn't polite.
The transcript defies condensation and I'm anyway running out of time, but I commend it to your attention. Goldman tells us that video of the debate will be posted at the National Conservatism YouTube channel, but I haven't seen it there yet.
Latest on that: The American Psychological Association has done a full race grovel, issuing a public statement about how ashamed they are for being white. I don't have the stomach to read the whole thing, but here's a snippet from the CNN report, November 1st. Grovel:
The American Psychological Association failed in its role leading the discipline of psychology, was complicit in contributing to systemic inequities, and hurt many through racism, racial discrimination, and denigration of people of color, thereby falling short on its mission to benefit society and improve lives.
The APA was established in 1892 when it was perfectly mainstream to write about improving humanity through eugenics and speculating on race differences in psychology. That apparently is what has the APA keening their guilt and flagellating themselves.
Well, at least this settles the question of whether psychology is really a science, which is to say a disinterested quest for truth. No: As instantiated in the APA it is a social-service movement with a, quote, "mission to benefit society and improve lives," end quote. Glad we got that clear at last.
Joe's main contribution was to complain that Russia and Saudi Arabia aren't producing enough oil, causing our gas prices to go up.
Whoa there, Mr President. Weren't we self-sufficient in energy until you shut down the Keystone XL oil pipeline and suspended extraction leases on federal land?
Not pausing to reply, Joe jetted off to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 conference on climate change. Up on the podium there Tuesday night he stayed awake long enough to scold Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping for not attending.
Yeah, right on, Joe. I mean, what's the matter with those guys? They don't want to party with Prince Charles and Leonardo DiCaprio and that moon-faced Swedish dwarf? Have they no respect for fashion?
What to do? Well, I think I have told before an experience I had way back in my single days.
I was dating a lady with small children, one of them a girl four or five years old. Come Christmas, the kids were putting up decorations. The little girl was fixing little Christmas stockings on the shelf over the fireplace. They were supposed to stick, but one of them wouldn't. She pressed it in place as hard as she could, then stepped away. The thing fell down. She picked it up and tried again: press, step away. It fell down again.
After a couple more failures she hit on a solution. She pressed the stocking in place. Then, still pressing, she turned away so she wouldn't see it fall. She let go. It fell, but she didn't see it, just scampered off into the next room.
That's our solution to those Great Unmentionables: Just reorganize things so we don't see them. Low average intelligence? Stop giving tests of cognitive ability! High rates of criminality? Stop policing crimes, except the most serious ones.
That's what the city of Philadelphia is doing. The headline from the Daily Mail, November 1st, tells it all. Headline: Philadelphia becomes the first major city to ban cops from making traffic stops for minor violations after data showed 72 percent of their stops were on black drivers.
Out of sight, out of mind. See: We moan and obsess about these problems when they are so easy to solve.
Item: That was a very striking post on Thursday evening at VDARE.com from a correspondent who describes himself just as "An Anonymous Legal Professional." In case you missed it, the key lines are:
It's not beyond the bounds of possibility. As our correspondent notes, Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew were elected President and Vice-President respectively in November 1972. Ten months into his term, Agnew was gone; ten months after that, Nixon was gone.
When the next presidential election rolled round in 1976 the incumbents were Gerry Ford and Nelson Rockefeller. Ford was a seasoned congresscritter, but Rockefeller had never been elected to any federal office.
These are strange times in politics. Stranger even than the 1970s? Maybe.
For signout music, how about some classic country? Here's an old favorite of mine: a lovely song sung by a great voice.
Did this song's title come to mind while I was reading that post from "Anonymous Legal Professional"? Am I perhaps dropping a hint to the good folk at the Democratic National Committee?
Certainly not! Perish the thought! I would never be so shamelessly obvious …
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Jim Reeves, He'll Have To Go.]