Radio Derb: Sessions Vs. Sanctuaries, Hard Brexit, Annapolis Snubs Jim Webb, Etc.


01m25s — Brexit:  the end of the beginning. (It took nine months to write a letter.)

08m14s — Two cheers for globalism. (Finding the middle way.)

12m50s — We didn’t vote for lame. (Let’s see some fight.)

19m59s — Sessions speaks, scofflaws shriek. (That’s more like it!)

26m43s — CultMarx never forgets. (Until you go full cuck.)

36m44s — Art insults a holy martyr. (Cultural appropriation, or blasphemy?)

44m36s — The black gay Santa. (A spoof?  Nowadays, how can you tell?)

45m59s — Speechless on Putingate. (But Goad says it all.)

47m16s — Another Samaritan story. (Gotta write a book.)

48m42s — Nukes: a listener grumbles. (How I came to stop worrying and love the bomb.)

50m33s — Impersonating Einstein. (It’s relatively easy.)

52m22s — Signoff. (And a benediction.)

[Music clip: From Haydn’s Derbyshire Marches, piano version]

01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your facetiously genial host John Derbyshire, bringing you VDARE.com’s weekly roundup of news from far, wide, and deep.

I shall get to the facetiousness later; though I may as well pause here for a spot quiz. The adjective “facetious” contains all the five vowels in order. Which other common English adjective has this quality? And: Can you come up with an English word that has them in reverse order? Solutions to me care of VDARE.com. First prize, a week in Philadelphia; second prize, two weeks in Phildelphia.

Let us proceed.

02 — Brexit: the end of the beginning. The big international news this week was Britain’s formal notice of withdrawal from the European Union, the EU. On Wednesday Britain’s ambassador to the EU handed a formal letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council (which is a sort of Governor’s Conference of EU national leaders).

What took them so long, you may ask? Didn’t the Brits vote to leave the EU last June? What, it took them nine months to write a letter?

Basically, yes. After the referendum in June there was a spell of chaos, with no-one quite sure how to proceed. This spell was punctuated by, first, a contest for the position of Prime Minister, David Cameron having resigned after the referendum, and then by Parliament’s summer vacation, when politics slows down and the big political parties have their annual conferences.

By last fall, when minds were starting to concentrate again, two schools of thought had developed: “hard” Brexit and “soft” Brexit.

This distinction goes to the heart of ordinary British people’s disgruntlement with the EU. Entry into the EU was sold to them in the first place as a purely economic arrangement. The EU was known at that time, the early 1970s, as the “Common Market.” It was a free trade area. That’s how it was sold to the British.

Over the decades the EU became much more of a project for constitutional union, with common laws and even a common currency. Brits — large numbers of them — didn’t want that. They didn’t see why they couldn’t be in a free trade area without continental bureaucrats impinging on Britain’s national sovereignty and laws.

That’s the ideal of “soft” Brexit: to keep the favorable trading agreements but withdraw from all the legal and constitutional treaties.

“Hard” Brexit means scrapping everything, going right back to 1973: separate British tariffs, passports, and laws.

Also by last fall, some issues relating to Britain’s own constitution had come up. Was a mere referendum result actually binding on the government? What about Parliament, the national legislature? Shouldn’t such a major change be encoded in legislation, passed by Parliament? Two months ago Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that yes, Parliament had to pass a law.

Two weeks ago Parliament passed that law. So now the Brits have formally told the EU they want to leave.

If nobody does anything at all now, Britain’s membership of the EU will be automatically terminated in two years’ time. That will be a “hard” Brexit, with Britain losing all trade preferences in the EU and the EU losing any authority over British laws and regulations.

That’s if nobody does anything. British businesses aren’t keen on that; and the business sector is a big backer of the Conservative Party, which has the majority in Parliament and so runs the government.

So it will definitely not be a case of nobody doing anything for two years, followed by a “hard” Brexit. The Brits will be negotiating with the EU to get the best deal they can, with “best” defined to mean, whatever makes Britain’s business sector happiest. A “hard” Brexit, for example, would reset import-export arrangements between Britain and Europe back to basic World Trade Organization standards. Britain’s businessmen would hope for something better than that.

The Brits are not without leverage on their side of the dealmaking. The Brits can, for example, cut back on security co-operation with European countries. Britain’s security services are better than Europe’s, so that would be a loss for Europe. Treatment of resident aliens is another point of leverage: Over three million Europeans live in Britain, whereas less than a million Brits live in Europe.

There is also hard cash at stake. The EU wants sixty billion dollars from Britain to cover outstanding budget commitments. The Brits can haggle over that; or, in the extreme, just refuse to pay anything.

And then there are some minor issues of jurisdiction that interested parties will blow up into major stumbling blocks: the status of Gibraltar, the Irish border.

So this next two years is going to see some heavy negotiating across the Channel. Here’s my suggestion to the British side in those negotiations. There is a very good book titled The Art of the Deal. I forget the author’s name, but you can find the book on Amazon, I’m sure …

03 — Two cheers for globalism. The Brexit decision, and the wider resurgence of nationalism in Europe and the U.S.A., get written about in the frame of nationalism versus globalism. That’s an over-simplification, though, as Britain’s experience with Europe shows.

I think most people understand that globalism has in many respects been a good thing as well as a bad thing. Good thing: First-Worlders can buy things made cheap in countries with lots of people but low living standards. Bad thing: First-World factory workers lost jobs.

Economists explain patiently that net-net, the good outweighs the bad. Possibly they are right. Ordinary people, though — non-economists, I mean — ask why the benefits can’t be managed without First Worlders losing their national sovereignty, which people rather like.

Brits wonder why the blessings of globalization can’t be had without German and French bureaucrats bossing them around and overruling their laws. Americans wonder why the blessings of globalization can’t be had without some U.N. busybody planting flocks of fake “refugees” in their home towns.

Citizens in both places wonder why the blessings of globalization can’t be had while preserving demographic stability and strict control over who gets to settle in our countries. We especially wonder this latter thing when actual First World countries like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, and candidate First World countries like China, actually do pay careful attention to demographic stability while fully participating in globalized commerce.

The problem of our time is not a King Kong versus Godzilla struggle between nationalism and globalism; it’s how to rein in globalism enough but not too much: enough that people’s preference for national sovereignty has room to breathe, not so much as to kill off international commerce.

The war we are in, in which Brexit and Donald Trump’s election were battle victories, is a war to restrain extremist, fanatical, ideological globalism — a dogma fueled by, one, an abstract economic algebra that ignores key facts about human nature, including simply biological facts; two, by race and class rivalries, mostly what I call the Cold Civil War — two big groups of white people who can’t stand the sight of each other — and three, by an offshoot of European romanticism, the cult of feelings.

Globalism’s not bad per se. Most people, if you press them, will admit to having benefited from it. There’s just a widespread feeling that it’s gotten out of hand and needs reining in.

That’s not fascism, whatever Rachel Maddow tells you; it’s just an assertion of people’s wish to live in familiar nations, among people not too unlike themselves, with shared history, language, and culture.

So I’ll raise two cheers for globalism. Not three, just two. It’s not bad in itself, but there needs to be a correction.

04 — We didn’t vote for lame. It’s early days yet in the Trump presidency, but there’s a general feeling it’s not going very well.

Even partisan types are generally willing to cut a new president some slack — the so-called “honeymoon.” Nope: Ten weeks in, Trump is graded F by a third of voters and his approval rating is down from a month ago.

You can discount that some for the relentless media hostility to the President and the high temperature of the Cold Civil War after eight years of far left government. That isn’t all of it, though.

I’m a Trump supporter myself, and a Trump voter. I was out there on March 4th in a freezing wind demonstrating my support. And sure, government isn’t easy. And yes, we should go down on our knees daily to thank whatever supernatural powers there be that Mrs Clinton isn’t in charge of the executive branch.

Still I’m tasting disappointment. I was looking for something bolder, more vigorous. I was looking for some fighting spirit.

Why are the so-called “Dreamers” — illegal aliens — still allowed to sign up for their benefits? Why aren’t they just deported? What, we can’t separate families? Fine: deport the families, too. I was looking for a firm re-establishment of the rule of law. I’m getting … nothing much.

Speaking of the rule of law, when did it become the case that some circuit court judge could set the nation’s immigration policy? Why didn’t the executive just slap the guy down Andy Jackson-style, and tell government employees to follow the President’s order?

What, those employees would then be arrested? By whom? Whom do you call to arrest federal law-enforcement agents?

Or, if it’s very punctilious adherence to the letter of the law that’s wanted, let’s start arresting big-city mayors and college presidents who harbor illegal aliens, and the principals of firms who knowingly employ them.

And what about some action on legal immigration? Two congresscritters, one Democrat and one Republican, have introduced a bill that, quote from the GOP-critter “protects American workers by preventing bad actors from abusing the system in order to offshore jobs.” This is supposed to address the abuse of H-1B visas, most famously at the Disney company, more recently at the University of California — organizations replacing American IT workers with cheaper foreigners.

In fact, as NumbersUSA has pointed out, the bill does diddly to address H-1B abuse. Probably it was just dictated to the congresscritters by their donors from the cheap-labor lobby without passing through the critters’ brains, assuming they have any. How about we just abolish H-1B, Mr President. Hello? Mr President? …

And then there are the President’s new military deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. What’s up with that? Why are Iraq and Afghanistan still our business? Has Trump just been buffaloed by his generals? Is there something we didn’t try during sixteen years chasing jihadis around Afghanistan, something that two hundred new guys will be able to accomplish?

Sure, I know Trump promised on the campaign trail to defeat ISIS. I assumed he meant by proxy, leaving the wet work to the Russians, Syrians, Israelis, and Iranians. I thought perhaps we might be entering a new era of cold self-interest towards foreign groups and nations that annoy or harm us: Nuke ’em, bribe ’em, or leave ’em alone. I guess I was naive.

The fiasco over the healthcare bill didn’t help. It was mainly the failure of the President’s party in Congress, and I’m still hoping it moved the balance of power some from Congress to the Presidency; but what’s the use of that if the President won’t fight?

Then on Wednesday this week I read that President Trump is addressing the plague of opioid addiction that he promised on the campaign trail to deal with. So what’s he going to do? Ratchet up sentences for dealers? Open new treatment centers for addicts? Put troops on the Mexican border?

No: He’s appointed a commission under open-borders shill Chris Christie.

I guess it’s fair enough to give Christie a job after he came out early for Trump; but really, Mr President. Appoint a commission? This is lame. We didn’t vote for lame.

The hungry sheep look up and are not fed, Mr President. Grab a shillelagh and lay about you. Chase the money-changers from the temple. Brandish your saber and charge the enemy. I’m running out of metaphors, but you get the idea. You’re a believer: take Longfellow’s advice:

Act, — act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

05 — Sessions speaks, scofflaws shriek. Amid those doubts and worries, it was wonderful to see U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions declare on Monday that sanctuary cities are going to pay a price for defying federal law.

The Attorney General’s speech was mostly hortatory, urging jurisdictions to comply with the relevant federal law, which he helpfully named by section and paragraph. He showed a glimpse of iron fist inside the velvet glove, though, asserting that Justice will claw back grants from jurisdictions that defy the law, and make future grants conditional on compliance with the law.

Sample quote:

[Clip: The American people want and deserve a lawful system of immigration that keeps us safe, and one that serves the national interest. This expectation is reasonable, just, and our government has the duty to meet it, and we will meet it.]

Now that’s more like it: Good plain speaking from an immigration patriot.

Sessions doubled down on that in an appearance on the O’Reilly show Thursday evening, hinting that the administration would deploy further measures against scofflaw jurisdictions. He didn’t specify what those further measures might be, but I assume Sessions has figured that there are other monies the government might withhold — other than DOJ grants — without colliding with the doctrine of “unconstitutional conditions.”

The A-G’s Monday speech threw the scofflaws into shrieking fits. Here’s one of them, name of Bill Ong Hing, billed as a law professor and expert in immigration law at the University of San Francisco. Once again, just to press it home, the speaker here is a professor of law. Quote from him:

Sanctuary cities are saying, “We want every member of the community to trust us, and that can be only if we’re not viewed as partners of ICE.”

End quote. So this law professor is telling us it would be wrong for municipal authorities to be seen as partners of federal law enforcement. The person best known for making that argument was the late George Wallace, as I recall.

Professor Hing’s faculty biography tells us that, quote, “Throughout his career, Professor Bill Ong Hing pursued social justice,” end quote. Well, I guess that’s being up front about it, at least.

Here’s another legal eagle, although this time just a lawyer, not a law professor. This is Joseph Cotchett, who is representing the city of Richmond, California in a lawsuit challenging the legality of President Trump’s January 25th executive order on sanctuary cities. Says Mr Cotchett, quote:

This is all politics, aiming to divide people.

End quote. Well, yes, the executive order seeks to divide law-abiding persons from non-law-abiding persons. That’s not politics, though: that’s law enforcement.

Another sound bite we’ve been hearing after Jeff Sessions’ speech is that crime in sanctuary cities is actually lower than in non-sanctuary cities. That’s the conclusion in a report out of the University of California San Diego. The author of the report, Political Science Assistant Professor Tom Wong — lot of monosyllabic names in this zone, apparently — the author claims to have found that crime in sanctuary cities is actually lower than in non-sanctuary cities.

I haven’t been able to find Professor Wong’s report on the internet, but I’m not impressed with the statement as quoted. The great iron law of crime statistics is that blacks are way, way more criminal than other groups. So if sanctuary cities have fewer blacks than non-sanctuary cities, which is very likely the case, the result will follow. Did Professor Wong allow for that? If I can find the report, I’ll tell you; but I think I know the answer already.

As Ann Coulter has pointed out tirelessly in her books and columns, the acceptable number of crimes committed by illegal aliens — or for that matter by legal ones — is zero. That they have lower crime rates than some other subgroup is not interesting. We shouldn’t be importing criminals, much less allowing criminals to import themselves, without our permission.

So all hail Attorney General Sessions! I’ve cheered myself up from that previous segment just by writing about him. If the General won’t mind me recycling an ancient joke: Sanctuary much!

06 — CultMarx never forgets. I think every person that hates political correctness — which is to say every person with a functioning cerebral cortex — can identify some point at which he realized that things have passed from being merely objectionable or wrong-headed into the realm of unreason, into a zone of sheer gibbering insanity.

For me, that point was reached when I read three or four years ago that the U.S. Navy will put women in combat submarines.

As a former sea cadet, proud holder of a Certificate of Naval Proficiency, and occasional dinner companion of naval weaponry expert Norm Friedman, I think my pronouncements on naval matters can be taken as authoritative, definitive, and dispositive.

In that spirit, I register my outrage at the various statements by graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy concerning Jim Webb.

Jim Webb graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 and went on to win a chestful of medals for valorous service in the Vietnam War. He was subsequently Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, then later served as a U.S. senator from Virginia, then still later — in 2015, in fact — competed briefly for the Democratic presidential nomination.

So this year the Naval Academy put Webb up for a Distinguished Graduate award. That’s what brought protests from some Academy graduates.

Why would they protest? Jim Webb surely is distinguished: for courage in combat, for service to his country, and for writing ten books, including bestselling Vietnam War novel Fields of Fire and a nonfiction bestseller titled Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.

Ah, but back in 1979 — thirty-eight years ago, folks — Webb wrote a good spirited piece for Washingtonian magazine about the folly of putting women in combat positions. Sample quote:

There is a place for women in our military, but not in combat. And their presence at institutions dedicated to the preparation of men for combat command is poisoning that preparation.

End quote. So far as the U.S. Navy is concerned, the truth of that statement is confirmed regularly by reports about the sensational numbers of female sailors who have to be relieved of their shipboard deployments because of pregnancy. Sample, from the Daily Caller, March 1st this year, quote:

In January 2015, 3,335 women were pregnant aboard military vessels, representing about 14 percent of the 23,735 women then serving such duty …

But by August 2016 that number reached nearly 16 percent, an all-time high. The Navy reported 3,840 of the 24,259 women sailors who were aboard Navy ships were pregnant.

End quote. How those numbers can be squared with anything I can recognize as military disciplne, is a mystery to me. Jim Webb foretold it all in 1979, and he was dead-on right.

The sailorettes of course disagree. One of them, retired Navy Cmdr. Laureen Miklos emailed the Naval Academy to say that giving an award to Jim Webb was, quote, “a hit to the gut.” Poor thing! She recalled that when she taught at the Academy seventeen years ago there were still people who, apparently under the influence of Webb’s article, thought women didn’t belong there. She remembered an upperclassman ordering a female classmate to stand at attention at meals and shout, “I am not a horny woman, Sir.” Oh the humanity!

So far as I can discover the Naval Academy itself did not take a position on the anti-Webb protests of these crybabies; but on his own website Tuesday Webb said he had decided not to accept the award because he didn’t want to be the cause of unseemly ructions at his alma mater — an honorable position to take.

It’s true, Webb cucked on immigration issues in his brief campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2015, as noted by Radio Derb at the time. It’s also true that before turning down the award on Tuesday, he had made a guarded partial recantation of his 1979 views in Capital Gazette, quote:

If I had been a more mature individual, there are things that I would not have said in that magazine article. To the extent that this article subjected women at the academy or the armed forces to undue hardship, I remain profoundly sorry.

End quote. That’s where we are, listeners: At a place where seasoned, decorated military veterans can speak of some girl’s hurt feelings as “undue hardship.”

I’m going to give Jim Webb the benefit of the doubt, though, as a brave warrior and distinguished American, and one of the very few Democrats I don’t regard with loathing and contempt. He’s tired, and worn down by the spirit of the times; but I believe his declining this award was motivated by honor, not cuckery.

I’ll add the following: Even if the Naval Academy didn’t prompt Webb’s refusal, they are at fault for not speaking out loud and clear against the whining feminists and their precious girly feelings.

And then I’ll further add this, which you can take, if you like, as the moral of the story.

If you don’t do a full cuck — if you don’t fall precisely into line with whatever the CultMarx dogma is this week — then nothing you ever said or did, even thirty-eight years ago, will be forgotten or forgiven.

Let’s cast our minds back to 1979. What was 33-year-old Bill Clinton’s opinion on public displays of the Confederate flag back then? What did 29-year-old Chuck Schumer think about homosexual marriage? What did 39-year-old Nancy Pelosi think about unisex restrooms? What did 37-year-old Joe Biden think about the name of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner?

Who cares? These are good compliant elite mouthpieces of PC dogma. It doesn’t matter what they thought, said, or wrote in 1979. Why would anyone care? It’s hateful of you even to bring it up. That’s not who we are! What kind of person are you, anyway? Hateful, hateful, hate-hate-hateful! You are literally Hitler! Hitlery-hitlery-hitlery-hitler! …

07 — Art insults a holy martyr. If that’s how bad things have gotten in the austere halls of the military, imagine what they’re like in the precious little world of modern art.

To help you imagine, here’s a story from that world.

A key event in the world of modern art is the Whitney Biennial, held at the Whitney art gallery in downtown Manhattan once every two years. The seventy-eighth Whitney Biennial opened March 17th this year, and runs through to June 11th. It features, I’ll just quote from the prospectus here, quote, “sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design,” end quote.

In case the word “activism” threw you there, please don’t imagine that any VDARE.com writers or any of Richard Spencer’s acolytes will be exhibiting at the Biennial. “Activism” means anti-white, anti-male, and anti-American propaganda, nothing else. You probably already knew that, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.

The background here is the murder of 14-year-old black American Emmett Till by two white hooligans way back in 1955. The two killers were acquitted at trial on evidentiary grounds, though they later confessed they’d done the deed.

It was a nasty business, though not as nasty as the killings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom by blacks in Knoxville, 2007, or the massacre of four whites by two blacks in Wichita, 2000, or a thousand other black-on-white atrocities.

The Emmett Till murder caught the spirit of the age, though, and Till became an emblem of the Civil Rights movement of sixty years ago.

That movement has long since aged and matured into a quasi-religious cult of anti-whiteness, with Till as one of its holy martyrs. The priests of this cult especially like to speak, with husky cracking voices, of the spectacle of Till in his coffin, which was left open at his mother’s request so that mourners could view his wounds.

Till’s mother gave permission for a photograph of the open coffin to be taken, showing the boy’s battered face. Copies of this photograph were passed around reverently by Civil Rights activists.

Most recently the Emmett Till cult seems to have been incorporated into the Black Lives Matter movement and raised as a battle standard in the Cold Civil War. We reported last summer that no less than three Emmett Till movies are in production. No doubt schools, highways, libraries, perhaps entire municipalities all over the U.S.A. have been named after Till. I wouldn’t be very surprised to open my newspaper one morning and learn that our nation’s capital had been renamed after him. After all, George Washington was a slave-owner, you know.

If the Till cult survives for a few hundred years (which also wouldn’t surprise me) there will be churches built around priceless gold reliquaries containing Till’s finger bones or shoelaces. We are in the mental atmosphere of martyrs, saints, and relics here.

Well, that’s the background. Here is the art angle.

One of the items on display at the March 17th opening of the Whitney Biennial is a cubist painting based on that photograph of Till in his coffin. The painting is titled, with leaden lack of imagination, “Open Casket.” Here’s the thing, though: the artist, name of Dana Schutz is — you might want to steady yourself by holding on to something solid here — the artist is white, [Scream.]

Yes, folks, we have an exceptionally nasty case of cultural appropriation here — actually, from the point of view of anti-white cultists, a case of blasphemy.

There has been a terrific fuss: protests, demonstrations, indignant articles on CultMarx websites deploring Ms Schutz’s shameless intrusion into black grief, demands for the painting to be not merely withdrawn from the exhibition but destroyed, and of course a Twitterstorm.

Here’s a sample objection from a British-born black artist named, aptly enough, Hannah Black, currently working in Berlin, where I guess she is known as Fräulein Schwarz. Ms Black’s own work — I quote from a review — “concerns bodies, or the condition of being bodied,” end quote. Over to her, commenting at her facebook page on Ms Schutz’s Emmett Till painting, quote:

The subject matter is not Schutz’s. White free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights. The painting must go … contemporary art is a fundamentally white supremacist institution despite all our nice friends.

End quote. Ms Black’s opinion was cosigned by more than thirty other nonwhite artists, the New York Times tells us.

These are the passions and controversies of our age, listeners. These are the cultural heirs of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Turner. This is our civilization today.

08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.

Imprimis: We all know Santa, the jolly old white guy who brings us our presents at Christmas. Well, there’s a new book coming our from a bigfoot publisher, Harper’s, titled Santa’s Husband.

Quote from Time magazine, quote:

The book … goes on sale Oct. 10 and tells the story of a black Santa Claus and his white husband who both live in the North Pole … Harper Design said the book is meant for all ages.

End quote. So, a black homosexual Santa Claus. I guess it was only a matter of time.

Two questions come to my mind — honest questions that I’d like to know the answers to.

One: Is this just a spoof? The author is a writer for one of those late-night smirky TV comics, Stephen Colbert.

Two: If it is a spoof, does Harper’s know that it is?

Item: I keep thinking I should say something more about the endless fuss over Russian interference in last year’s election.

Concerning whether that interference, supposing there was any, actually mattered, I expressed my feeling in the March 3rd podcast, by urging President Trump to issue an executive order announcing that from henceforth, the Russian ambassador will be an honored guest at all cabinet meetings. So far the President has not taken up my suggestion, I am sorry to say.

If I could think of anything to add, I’d add it, but I can’t. Fortunately Jim Goad over at Taki’s magazine has relieved me of any further obligations in this matter by writing, in his March 27th column titled “The Russian Deflection,” the definitive commentary on Putingate.

So now I need only urge you to go to TakiMag and read Jim’s column.

Item: Here’s another Samaritan story — one for that book I really must write describing the misfortunes that befall people who try to act the Good Samaritan to blacks.

This one’s from Topeka, Kansas, March 30th. A man, race unknown, a volunteer firefighter driving a pickup truck, stopped to help a black woman whose car had caught fire. He allowed the woman, name of Erien Knox, to sit in his truck while he put the fire out.

Ms Knox thereupon drove off in the truck. A trooper from Kansas Highway Patrol spotted the truck, chased it down, and arrested Ms Knox.

I really should write that book. Book? At the rate these things show up in my inbox it could end up a trilogy.

Item: A listener has chid me for my cavalier attitude to nuclear proliferation two weeks ago.

I had said, quote:

Personally I’m fine with everyone having nukes, just so long as we have way more than anyone else. Deterrence has worked my entire lifetime; let’s keep it going. Sure, some fool might miscalculate. Stuff happens. The Sun might explode; Whoopi Goldberg might move in next door. It’s a dangerous universe: there are no safe spaces.

End quote. That, said my listener, was statistically illiterate. A nuclear miscalculation is far more likely than a solar explosion. I should strive to maintain my high standards of precision and accuracy, she scolded.

I’m sure she’s right about the relative probabilities there; but can’t I season my precision with a little facetiousness now and then?

As low as is the probability of the Sun exploding, or Whoopi Goldberg showing up with a truck full of furniture, the probability of anything actually being done about nuclear proliferation is smaller. As I said, if we didn’t do anything to stop Pakistan and North Korea getting nukes, we’re not going to stop anyone.

So what else is there to do about nukes but shrug, cling to the hope of continued deterrence, make facetious quips, and press our politicians to ensure we have far more of the horrible things than anyone else?

Item: Finally: We all know about Elvis impersonators, and those who remember the Rat Race movie will remember the coach full of Lucy impersonators.

Well, here’s some news from the impersonation front. I’ll quote it from an item in the Forward, March 28th, quote:

Four hundred and four Einstein enthusiasts in Toronto just broke the Guinness World Record for largest group of people dressed as Albert Einstein.

On Tuesday … the crowd of Einsteins, each of whom wore a disheveled white wig and bushy white mustache, assembled to overcome the previous record in that category, a comparatively paltry ninety-nine.

End quote. That was sent to me by a friend who wondered, in his accompanying email, whether we could perhaps get a similar gathering together in honor of Max Planck, the originator of Quantum Theory, which was the other great revolution in 20th-century physics.

I replied that I’d be OK with it so long as the Max Planck disguises — you’d need a bald wig, mustache, and granny glasses — so long as the disguises were delivered in small discrete packages.

That’s a physics joke …

09 — Signoff. That’s it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and for the many emails I got on last week’s podcast.

Concerning those emails, the usual apology applies: Everything nonabusive gets read and pondered, and where suitable plagiarized; but time forbids my answering any but a random fraction with the care they deserve.

As Jim Webb said, there is surely a place in the military, including the Navy, for women who want to serve. All honor and respect to them. They just don’t belong in combat roles.

Here, to play us out, are some female naval personnel, with male comrades, singing one of the loveliest of all hymns, the Navy Hymn: “Eternal Father, strong to save.” This is the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters performing at Arlington National Cemetery in July 2012.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.

[Music clip: The Navy Hymn.]