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stark-russian-rendezvous

Robert Stark recorded this podcast a couple of weeks ago, in which the German nationalist Constantin von Hoffmeister also participated.

You can listen to it here: https://www.starktruthradio.com/?p=8049

Topics discussed:

The State of The Altsphere
Moscow’s Demographics
Hate speech in Russia
The great chain of privilege in Russia
Putin’s stance on immigration from Central Asia
Putin’s economic policies
Inequality in human capital between Moscow and the rest of Russia
Russia welcomes South African refugees
German migration into Eastern Europe in response to the immigration crisis
The brain drain from countries that are rivals but culturally similar
Limits to Cognitive Elitism
The global baby bust and the future of fertility

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Podcast, Russia, The AK 
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macron

Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values. – Emmanuel Macron (2018).

charles-de-gaulle

He who does not love his mother more than other mothers and his country more than other countries, loves neither his mother nor his country. -Charles de Gaulle (1913).

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Emmanuel Macron, France, Nationalism, Patriotism 
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Best Books

While I have read quite a few books on WW1, only a couple really “stand out”:

Niall Ferguson (1998) – The Pity of War: Explaining World War I [download] does justice to its subtitle, boldly reinterpreting most of the standard narrative through vivid statistical argumentation.

For instance, the claims that there was widespread enthusiasm for the conflict at the outset seems to be pretty much false. This was also the book that introduced me to the work of Dupuy et al., who have calculated that the Germans were consistently much more combat effective than the Anglo-French forces; conversely, he also very effectively shows why the war was lost for Germany after the end of the Spring Offensive.

One need not always buy into his arguments – ironically, I am rather skeptical of his “Anglophobic” thesis that it was England most at fault for making WW1 into the carnage it was – but his counterintuitive takes strike home sufficiently frequently to justify this as a must-read in addition to the more conventional histories.

Barbara Tuchman (1962) – The Guns of August [download] may not be the most groundbreaking WW1 book, but it may well be the best from a literary perspective. Seriously, just read her opening paragraph:

So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration. In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. After them came five heirs apparent, forty more imperial or royal highnesses, seven queens – four dowager and three regnant – and a scattering of special ambassadors from uncrowned countries. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.

Whether one agrees with her thesis that it was Germany that was overwhelmingly culpable or not – though I suppose it helps that I do – her skill at bringing the increasingly agitated diplomatic activity in the buildup to the war and the military maneuvers in its first few months is unrivalled. This is history that reads like fiction, and I mean that in a good sense.

Articles

I haven’t written too much about WW1, but here a couple of the more notable posts:

***

Biggest Winner

The US. And Romania.

Biggest Loser

Russia:

“Surely to no nation has Fate been more malignant than to Russia. Her ship went down in sight of port. She had actually weathered the storm when all was cast away. Every sacrifice had been made; the toil was achieved. Despair and Treachery usurped command at the very moment when the task was done.” – Winston Churchill

Today’s Relevance

Mostly irrelevant, actually. There’s no comparable webs of alliances. The relative importance of gross industrial production (vs. technology) is far, far lower. Nationalism is now mostly exclusionist, not expansionist.

However, one thing that is still relevant is that globalization is no guarantee that there will be no war (an argument frequently made re-the US and China). World trade was comparable as a percentage of GDP in 1914 to today’s levels.

 
• Category: History • Tags: Books, Military, Review, World War I 
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Latest via Alexander Gabuev, who is one of the best Russian China watchers.

Highlights include: Sanctions busting trade & investment innovations; manufacturing, inc. civil aircraft (CR929) and heavy lift helicopters; Glonass/Beidou integration; experience exchange in AI, surveillance, social credit; replacing US as China’s soybeans supplier, with investment in agriculture in the Russian Far East.

Russia becomes more immune to US sanctions, China gets to test out financial aspects of future Sinosphere on a large scale.

gabuev-china-russia-update

 
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whitaker-lift

The guy who temporarily replaces him is a powerlifting PC gamer.

POWERFUL nomination!

https://twitter.com/MattWhitaker46/status/601371359998906368

Instead of this gay drug war we can now get down to the really important issues, such as criminalizing in-game microtransactions.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Politics, United States 
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putler-hears-all

From a recent report by the arch-neocon Henry Jackson Society:

As well as assassinations, Russia’s agencies are engaged in all manner of activities associated with active measures – the subversive, political warfare originally employed by the KgB during the cold War. This includes espionage. According to well-placed intelligence sources, Russia has as many as 200 case officers in the uK, handling upwards of 500 agents. in addition, the agencies can call upon informants; these are found within the Russian expatriate community, which is estimated to number up to 150,000 people in London alone, as well as within British society as a whole.

Those Russian informants would presumably be the 52% of Russians in Britain who voted for Puter in 2018. Congratulations to the Dark Lord of the Kremlin, Who Sees and Hears All, on raising this percentage from 28% in 2012.

This was sarcasm, BTW.

You would struggle to find a more oppositionist community of ethnic Russians anywhere in the world relative to British Russians. Though as Paul Robinson points out in his dissection of the report, this may indeed be how the people interviewed for the report think. Bill Browder, for instance, considers anyone who questions or doubts his version of events to be an FSB agent.

That said, the days when I concerned myself with “Russophobia” are long past.

In reality, Russophobia is a very good thing, and I hope it stays high and even increases further in the West. It’s good for Russia, disincentivizing offshorization, potentially reversing brain drain, etc. This goes double for the UK, which is particularly favored as a destination for Russia’s rich, including many who earned it dubiously. In this sense, I agree with commenter Dmitry, who also argues that some moderate level of background anti-Semitism in Europe is good for Israeli demographics.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Espionage, Russia, Russophobes, United Kingdom 
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What do the current legal travails of a Russian “oligarch” (he has zero power) in Monaco actually have to do with him having gotten involved in a real estate transaction (“money laundering”) with Bad Orange Man a decade ago?

A Russian billionaire who purchased a mansion from President Trump in 2008 in a business deal that is now being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller was detained Tuesday in Monaco and questioned related to an ongoing corruption probe.

Dmitri Rybolovlev, president of AS Monaco, was detained voluntarily by authorities in Monaco on Tuesday and is under investigation for charges of corruption and influence peddling according to French news service Le Monde. …

Rybolovlev was the purchaser of a Florida mansion from Trump in 2008 for $95 million, a sharp increase from the $41 million Trump had paid for the property just four years earlier. Never living in the mansion, Rybolovlev instead divided the property into three parcels, two of which he has sold so far for a combined $71 million, according to The New York Times.

Let’s have a look at housing prices in Florida: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FLSTHPI

As one can see, they did indeed come close to doubling between 2002 and the peak at 2006, before starting to plummet in late 2007. I assume the uptick in elite property prices was even larger.

True, the actual transactions happened two years later in both cases, but (1) deals of such value take time to go through, and (2) as a Russian, it’s rather doubtful that Rybolovlev was reading Calculated Risk and had a good handle on the US property market.

It’s worth noting that Rybolovlev has quite an impressive history of making very bad luxury goods investments, having been fleeced of a significant portion of his $2 billion in art purchases in the Bouvier Affair.

Furthermore, the Florida sale closely preceded acrimonious divorce proceedings, so profit margins may not have been a priority at that time next to the need to quickly spread out his assets. Though in the event, it seems that he didn’t get burned so badly in the end ($71 million out of $95 million, with one parcel left to go).

In the past few years, Rybolovlev has divested himself of his Russian assets and has tried to recraft his image as that of a respectacle Western businessman and philanthropist. This included continuing his art collection hobby. I know that he was actively recruiting high-paid assistants to help out with that as little as a few months ago.

In Monaco, Rybolovlev has been under investigation ever since text messages surfaced revealing that his lawyer was regularly in contact with top law enforcement officials in Monaco, enticing them with event tickets and other perks, according to the Times. No charges have yet been filed.

Philippe Narmino, Monaco’s justice minister, resigned last year over the scandal after it was revealed that he had thanked Rybolovlev through the Russian’s attorney for a helicopter trip to Rybolovlev’s ski resort.

But while you can take the boorish oligarch out of the ex-USSR, you can’t take the ex-USSR out of the boorish oligarch.

So there’s two theories:

1. This is yet another jigsaw piece in the interuniversal Russiagate conspiracy.

Rybolovlev, having psychic knowledge of his Presidency in ten years’ time, bought influence with Drumpf to bring him even further under the influence of his lord and master Putler.

2. Foreign oligarch with poor understanding of American housing market in a failing marriage buying American property close to its peak from an American oligarch with decades of experience in said market.

 
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Now that the midterms have panned out as the predictions market expected, here’s what we can now expect:

***

Good Things:

1. It was mostly GOPe cucks getting slaughtered, not Trumpist nationalists (e.g. Steve King stayed, though on a razor thin margin). At least this means that nationalism has real staying power.

2. Cabinet picks and SCOTUS nominations will now glide through.

3. May finally put these Based Black Guy/#Blexit fantasies to rest. (Just kidding).

***

Bad Things:

1. Legislative gridlock means no immigration reform (GOP having spent their political capital on tax cuts and Obamacare).

2. I assume the Wall is dead. (Sure, it’s not that relevant, but its symbolically powerful).

3. More censorship (obv. no regulating Twitter like a utility now).

4. Endless Trump investigations as House gains subpoena powers.

5. Neocons may end up going off the reservation, bolstered by the CIA Democrats and an increasingly cornered Trump.

***

One more good thing is that the administration’s cold war on Iran and China will continue.

Indeed, it’s worth noting that many of the newly elected Democrats are well on board with the trade war on China.

This means that Russia is not going to be too isolated (stand together or fall separately) when US sanctions on Russia will be ramped up closer to the extreme levels provided for in already existing legislation.

I have always been skeptical about Europe and now there are even more reasons for that.

SWIFT kicked out Iranian banks on Nov 5, when the US sanctions went into effect. All that the EU managed in response was to mutter that it was “regrettable”, dousing any faint hopes that its willingness to resist US demands is more than just rhetorical. But what can you really expect when the US is the heart of a globe-spanning empire that can directly threaten European central bankers with prison for helping Iran avoid sanctions (as suggested in Soros-financed Project Syndicate, not on some marginal “conspiracy” site).

***

While I’m aware that you can’t judge Presidential elections on midterms results – after all, the GOP lost big in 1982, but Reagan won in a landslide two years later – it’s hard to be optimistic.

There are incipient signs of recession, which I think will begin at least months before the 2020 elections. (JPMorgan agrees).

That will cancel Trump’s advantage of incumbency.

Meanwhile, this will be after two years of House-initiated investigations, Trump’s senility will be even more obvious, there’s be more minorities, the Florida felons will be voting, and Trump’s nationalist base will be even more demoralized with no wall and no immigration reform in sight. And this is also not taking into account the risk of a neocon war or two.

I suspect almost anyone will beat Trump in 2020, short of the Dems wheeling out Hillary’s husk or an outright white genocide proponent.

 
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Odds of Republicans winning according to:

House Senate
FiveThirtyEight 13.0% 84.2%
PredictWise 34% 78%
Hypermind 20% 92%
Oddschecker 33%
PredictIt 36% 88%
Augur 36% 82%
Good Judgment Open 23% 83%
Metaculus 32%

I quote the “classic” scenario from FiveThirtyEight (Nate Silver’s site), which includes polls and “fundamentals” but no expert assessments. PredictWise is based on predictions markets, polling, and fundamentals.

Hypermind is a predictions market that uses experts.

Oddschecker averages the implied probabilities from numerous betting sites. PredictIt is by far the most popular predictions market, where you need to pay to play.

Augur is a cryptocurrency based predictions market.

Good Judgment Open and Metaculus are open to anyone and don’t require money.

While it’s tempting to listen to the people who put their money where their mouths are, the gamblers also gave Le Pen a ~33% chance of victory before the first round of the French Presidential elections last year. That was always going to be nonsense.

I’ll make the safe prediction that Republicans will keep the Senate but lose the House.

Otherwise, I agree with James Jatras’ gloomy presentiments. The Dem campaign to impeach Trump will kick into high gear, censorship will increase, and the neocons will be going off the reservation.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Elections, Happening, Prediction, United States 
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Gwern in a review of Bradshaw’s Cat Sense:

…Thus, the widespread adoption of early neutering by the most responsible cat owners risks pushing the domestic cat’s genetics back gradually toward the wild, away from their current domesticated state.

A study that I conducted in 1999 suggests that such extrapolation cannot be dismissed as science fiction. 15 [John W. S. Bradshaw, Giles F. Horsfield, John A. Allen, and Ian H. Robinson, "Feral Cats: Their Role in the Population Dynamics of Felis catus," Applied Animal Behaviour Science 65 (1999): 273-83. https://www.gwern.net/docs/catnip/1999-bradshaw.pdf ] In one area of Southampton (UK), we found that more than 98% of pet cat population had been neutered. So few kittens were being born that potential cat owners had to travel outside the city to obtain their cats. This situation had clearly existed for some time: from talking to the owners of the older cats, we calculated that the cat population in that area had last been self-sustaining some ten years previously, in the late 1980s.

We located ten female pets in the area that were still being allowed to breed and tested the temperament of their kittens after homing, when the kittens were six months old. Our hypothesis was that feral males must have fathered many of these kittens, since so few intact males were being kept as pets in the area, and all of these were young and unlikely to compete effectively with the more wily ferals. We found that on average, the kittens in those ten litters were much less willing to settle on their owners’ laps than kittens born in another area of the city that still had a significant number of undoctored pet tomcats. There was no systematic difference in the way these two groups of kittens had been socialized, and the mother cats in the two areas were indistinguishable in temperament. We therefore deduced that even if only one of the two parents comes from a long line of ferals, the kittens will be less easy to socialize than if both parents are pets. The study was too small to draw any firm conclusions, but in the years since it was carried out, blanket neutering has become more widespread, and so the cumulative effects of this on the temperament of kittens should be becoming more obvious. Neutering is an extremely powerful selection pressure, the effects of which have been given little consideration. At present, it is the only humane way of ensuring that there are as few unwanted cats as possible, and it is unlikely ever to become so widely adopted that the house cat population begins to shrink. However, over time it will likely have unintended consequences.

It’s interesting how millennia of rigorous and often rather cruel selection is getting reversed in the blink of an eye, across multiple species.

Hopefully they’re not getting bigger. 20 kg feral cats would be legitimately dangerous predators to children.

On the other hand, I wonder if feral cats are also getting more intelligent, to better navigate complex urban environments. This may be happening with respect to Moscow’s dogs, some of whom have figured out how to use the subway.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Cats, Dysgenic 
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moscow-street

Blogging

October has been an exceedingly successful. While September was my all time record month (thanks largely to my post on The Idiocy of the Average), with 46,000 unique visits and 154,000 pageviews, this past month came close despite the absence of any viral posts – 37,000 visits and 145,000 pageviews. I am now consistently running at above 1,000 visits per day since early October.

The blog has well more than 50% as many pageviews as in the entirety of 2017, and if I manage to keep pace, we might just come close to a doubling.

You can help increase the chances of that happening here: http://akarlin.com/donations/

Moderation

I am thinking of updating moderation guidelines. For all intents and purposes, they don’t currently exist – as of today a grand total of one person is banned (Wally, for spamming).

That is going to stay constant – on 90% of posts.

However, I also produce the occasional “effortpost” that I want to be citable. I am thinking of explicitly marking them as such, and deleting low-quality comments there, but not anywhere else.

In effect, there will be a moderated, infrequent “K-selected” blog, and an unmoderated “r-selected” blog that is updated daily as today. Let me know what you make of this plan.

***

Featured

* Twitter free speech alternative Gab potentially facing criminal charges because Pittsburgh shooter happened to comment there

* James Thompson: Scientific Racism. Excellent summary.

* Iran sanctions kick in Nov 5 over lack of capitulation. Seems like China has bent the knee to the US (or is looking to extract a better deal from Iran)

* Alpha Centauri Dreams: Could highly unusual ‘Oumuamua asteroid be debris from a technological civilization?

***

Russia

* Ben Aris: Russia preparing wide-ranging Ukraine sanctions in retaliation for incoming US sanctions this autumn

* Russian Arctic sea route shipping more than quadruples in 5 years

* AP on Ukrainian Orthodoxy

* Two thirds of Kazakhstan’s remaining Russians want to leave due to country’s language policies and worsening inter-ethnic relations

* Mikhail Kofman: Russia’s sole aircraft carrier out of commission after deadly accident during repair work

* Latvia passes language law limiting Russian instruction in schools

* POWERFUL TAKE: Representative of Constantinople Patriarch (and reserve officer of the Turkish Army) “threatens” Russian Orthodox Church with revocation of its autocephaly.

* Matfey Shaheen: Schismatic head of Ukrainian Church Folaret blessed a mural with nationalist symbols, SS runes, a priest with an uncanny resemblance to Filaret himself, and St. George slaying a double-headed eagle – the symbol of the Byzantine Empire, you know, the one whose Patriarch recently declared their autocephaly.

***

World

* Rapoza: What to expect from Bolsonaro’s First 100 Days: Privatizations, 20% flat tax, public pensions reform

* New poll of American undergrads reveals more than half afraid to disagree with classmates’ political views, 17% want to repeal First Amendment

* Israel cheerleader Jennifer Rubin claims nationalism seen in Hungary, Poland, Italy is implicitly anti-Semitic

* Iraq’s Christian population plummeted from 1.5 million to just 250,000 since US invasion in 2003

* NYT believes that Bad Orange Man has misplaced priorities:

* Italian gov’t to reward families expecting third child with free land in the south

* Mark Ames: Bellingcat “experts” and US neocons promoted “most influential” recruiter for genocidal Islamic State on Twitter

* MBS in trouble? Power struggle in Saudi Arabia to heat up as younger brother of King Salman returns with US/UK security guarantees

* Venezuela launches sales of “Petro” cryptocurrency

* China produced 108,000 industrial robots in Jan-Sep 2018 – that’s one third of entire US stock of industrial robots

* China cordons off large area of ocean to test robotic warships

* ASPI: Long read: Chinese military sponsored more than 2,500 scientists to study in the West

***

Science & Culture

* Scott Alexander: Sort By Controversial

* Computer neural networks also fooled by optiCal illusions just like humans

* IQ 101:

***

Culture War

* Steve Sailer: As best we know not a single anti-Semitic hate crime has been committed by a right-winger in New York since Trump’s election

* Julia Ioffe is very good at hearing dog whistles.

https://twitter.com/V4Analysis/status/1056377510127067137

* GQ magazine journalist literally says anyone who has ever said anything about Soros has “blood on their hands.”

* UN pushing “migration compact” calling to defund media that promotes “xenophobia” and enforce pro-immigrant tone in elections campaigns

* NYT writer calls on American voters to “replace” white nationalists in coming midterms

* Swedish municipality wants public to host immigrants in their own houses

* New UK thinktank report ascribes Islamophobia to Russian trolls

* London police to hire 200 anti-racist “community assessors” as homicide rates in UK capital overtake NY’s

* Study: Brexit supporters prefer realistic art

***

 
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There’s a few theories that I push over and over again when discussions on European social trends come up:

  1. Communism was a “deep freezer” that conserved antediluvian (“based” in our lingvo) social attitudes in Eastern Europe, at least relative to countries under the American sphere of influence.
  2. These attitudes express themselves particularly strongly on LGBT, immigration, and nationalism.
  3. Russia is an organic part of this East European space (so a corollary is that any long-term democratic successor to Putin will be a right-wing populist in the mold of Orban or Netanyahu).
  4. The deep freezer broke down with the fall of Communism, with the subsequent thaw bringing “conserved” nationalist sentiments (or Islamist ones) to the surface.
  5. Consequent integration into the Euro-Atlantic information space – if to variable degrees – has promoted progressive views (“GloboHomo” in our lingvo) in Eastern Europe.
  6. There is now a race between new conversions to GloboHomo and the rate at which it is vindicated or discredited in its American and West European “early adopters.”

The latest PEW poll on social attitudes in Europe provides some of the strongest evidence for points #1-#3

map-europe-islam-marriage

Clear west-east gradient on openness to marrying into Muslim families.

Note that Russia is basically equivalent to Poland, so that puts the kibosh on any Eurasianist fantasies about merging with Central Asia.

poll-marriage-jews-islam

Curiously, there is relatively less openness amongst Russians in the 18-34 y/0 bracket to marrying Jews than the average for Eastern Europe, even though they are also more philo-Semitic than everyone there except Czechs, Estonians, and Latvians.

map-europe-gay-marriage

Support for gay marriage displays an even starker east-west gradient.

The big exception is East Germany and Czechia, which are explained by local cultural quirks (e.g. Prague had a reputation for being a gay friendly city even during the late Soviet period); as well as Greece in the Western sphere (which, however, is still more progressive than its Balkan neighbors).

Incidentally, the Ukraine used to be more homophobic than Russia even just 5 years ago (at least as proxied by support for gay marriage). Now it’s visibly more LGBT friendly, four years after the Maidan. Belorussians have always been more liberal on this question.

poll-europe-religion

Eastern Europe, especially the f.USSR, is the only region where Christianity has actually made concrete gains (more people currently Christian than raised as Christian).

Western Europe has undergone a deChristianization that the League of Militant Atheists could only dream of.

poll-europe-religion-2

Most of Eastern Europe professes at least as much religiosity now as the most stereotypically religious nations of Western Europe, such as Italy and Ireland.

poll-europe-nationalism

Rather unsurprising that the Scandinavians give the highest priority to “respecting institutions/laws” as a condition of sharing a national identity. Notable that only 62% of Ukrainians and 54% of Belorussians consider “ability to speak the national language” as important. That’s relative to 86% in Russia.

In contrast, all East Europeans do put a very high premium on ancestry, while Sweden Yes is conspicuously at the very bottom.

Commenter Polish Perspective has also commented on these polls.

Yes, we can see that the Hajnal Line explanations do play a substantial role – e.g., Portugal, Italy, and especially Greece are rather conservative relative to Western Europe – but these effects are swamped by the effects of the Iron Curtain, as well as local effects (e.g. Poland vs. Czechia on religiosity, whose roots may stretch back to more than half a millennium). To which JayMan would rejoinder, “But where does Communism come from?” (Answer: From where the Red Army met the US Army in 1945).

 
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Hot on the heels of the Center for Immigration Studies report comes a study from the PEW polling organization, which estimates that there were 250,000 births to illegal immigrants in the US in 2016.

usa-births-illegals-2016

Given the vast challenges in estimating births to illegals, the degree of agreement between the two organizations – which have rather different “reputations” – is rather impressive:

  • PEW, respected sociological research institute: 250,000 anchor babies
  • Center for Immigration Studies, SPLC designated hate group: 300,000 anchor babies

The situation has gotten better since 2007, when births to illegals peaked at 390,000. This would mean the number has since fallen by 36%.

However, this would be partly mitigated by a 9% fall in the number of total US births during the same period.

At any rate, it’s also vastly most than the 30,000 births to illegals that were observed in 1980.

 
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The Center for Immigration Studies appears to have had a rather productive October.

Apart from their report on illegal immigrant births, they have also produced a report on general immigration to the US as of 2016.

usa-immigration-2000-2016

As of 2016, immigration was at its highest level since 1999, when it peaked at 1.797 million.

immigration-2000-2016-by-source

What’s striking, though, is the collapse of Mexican emigration, though Central America has increased its share.

immigration-2000-2016-by-source-table

Here are the numbers in table format.

Unfortunately, there’s no detailed breakdown, so it’s impossible to say how many Russians are coming in (given that this is what the Blue Cheqmarks are raging about as the latest Caravan trundles up).

immigration-2000-2016-table

But we can estimate.

There are 5 million European immigrants in the US, of whom 400,000 are Russians, or 8% of the total (so 4x less per capita than Britons, and 2x less than Germans). Russians did increase their total numbers between 2010 and 2017 marginally more so than the Euros, so let’s assume they made up 10% of recent European arrivals. Referring to the previous graph, about 150,000 Europeans have been arriving to the US in recent years. That translates to perhaps 15,000 Russians.

In my article from a couple of years on Russian brain drain (or how it has largely abated), I noted that the US gave out 10,000 Permanent Resident permits to Russians in 2013. So the figures match well.

China sent 171,000 new immigrants to the US in 2016; India sent 194,000. This would make those demographic giants equivalent to Russia in per capita terms. Despite an almost threefold decline since 2000, Mexico still sent almost 200,000 – that’s about 20x Russia’s rate per capita. Meanwhile, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua sent 126,000 between them – out of a combined population of 30 million. That’s 0.5% of their population in any one year (or 50x Russia’s/China’s rate).

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration, United States 
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A recent Center for Immigration Studies report estimates that 297,073 of the 3,971,146 births in the US in 2014 accrued to illegal immigrants, or 7.5% of the total.

This is a primarily Latino phenomenon. This is obvious just from the five states which, at more than 10%, have the highest percentage of births accruing to illegals: Nevada, California, Texas, New Jersey, Arizona. Or from the five major metro areas where births to illegals account for more than 15% of the total: LA, Las Vegas, San Jose/Sunnyvale, Dallas, and Houston.

In contrast, only 40,000 births (or 1% of the total) accrues to what is called “birth tourism” – people who come to the US for the express purpose of giving their newborn a US citizenship (with all the associated future tax obligations, though in all fairness I don’t see how the IRS can enforce them).

China accounts for perhaps a third of this number, while Russians number no more than 1,000.

Not only Russian, but even Chinese birth tourism is basically irrelevant next to the anchor baby phenomenon, which exceeds all birth tourism combined by an order of magnitude.

Birth tourism is rather expensive – the standard package for Eastern Europe costs around $20,000, which is equivalent to about 3 years of the official median Russian salary. So the people practicing this are almost all going to be rich Americanophiles. Rich, educated, and (almost by definition) unpatriotic. Almost certainly a majority of them are liberals who speak English, dislike PUTLER, vote for pro-Western candidates, etc. Moreover, 99% of these Chinese (Russians, etc.) birth tourists will promptly leave the US, saddling their unwitting offspring with restrictions on employment in Russian state institutions and tax obligations to Uncle Sam.

Finally, there’s also the banal fact that birth tourism is legal, while illegal immigration is… well, it’s there in the name. And I don’t seem to recall any “pleading the belly” law as relates to immigration status.

To recap:

  • Anchor babies to illegals: ~7.5% of US births
  • Legal birth tourists: ~1% of US births
  • Russian births at Bad Orange Man’s hotels: <0.025% of US births

Now guess which of the two the MSM are obsessed with as The Caravan approaches the borders.

russians-birthing-at-drumpf-hotels

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Fertility, Immigration, Russia, United States 
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wb-doing-business-2019

The World Bank has just released its Ease of Doing Business report [PDF] for 2018. You can also look at the global rankings and download the historical data [excel].

I have written about why this index is pretty useful:

First, elites pay a lot of attention to it. Several countries – including Russia, Kazakhstan, and India – have made climbing up the Doing Business rankings a matter of national economic planning.

Second, all else equal, more economic freedom really is “better” than less economic freedom. You do not need to be some kind of neoliberal hypercapitalist to appreciate that having more layers of bureaucracy, more hops you need to jump through to start a business or enforce a contract, as benefitting anyone other than the bureaucrats who create these rules in the first place. Indeed, when adjusted for differing GDP per capita levels, there is a strong correlation between a country’s place on the Doing Business rankings and its reported incidences of bribery/corruption, presumably because the more regulations you have the more opportunities bureaucrats have to shake businesses down. …

It is also highly objective. You look at the legal documents, count the number of steps and/or days required to set up a business or enforce a contract, and tally the whole thing. Necessarily more subjective assessments of the degree of corruption or the prevalence of the rule of law – important, but prone to bias – don’t enter the equation.

Regulations have been falling and ease of business has been improving throughout the entire world, as can be confirmed by looking at the historical data. The pace of change is rapid and there is nary an exception, which may explain a parallel, little rarely noticed collapse in business corruption.

To be fair, this isn’t the full story. To some extent, these rankings can be gamed – e.g. India does this – and the quality of bureaucrats also matters – e.g., Chinese bureaucrats are much easier to work with than Russian ones, even though China is lower in the rankings:

He said he had visited Vladivostok regularly since the early 1990s and could not fathom why Russia had lagged so far behind China in building its economy. “It feels like a developing country here. This is how China was decades ago,” he said. He added that he had tried to set up a small business in Vladivostok but had despaired at all the red tape: “What you can do in a day in China takes weeks here.”

But still, fewer regulations are almost always good. At the very least, it reduces the number of spokes bureaucrats can put in the wheels of commerce.

***

wb-doing-business-2019-russia

PS. Speaking of Russia, it has continued improving in the rankings, and now occupies 31st position out of 190 countries, wedged in between Spain and France – and up from 120/183 in 2012. when Putin started his 3rd term..

As we can see, Russia is now fully within the “range” of First World – not as business-friendly as the United States, with its age-old reputation for free-wheeling commerce, but more so than Italy, with its reputation for bureaucratic tyranny. It’s the best performer amongst the BRICS, and one of the best in East-Central Europe.

But otherwise, this is the sort of quiet but very real “reform” that Russia needs at the micro level, but that remarkably few of Putin’s liberal critics seem to notice.

In my last article, I noted that despite these improvements, Putin had formally failed to fulfill his ambitious 2012 election promise of climbing into 20th position on this ranking by 2018. However, one commenter on Facebook noted that the 2018 survey really referred to the year 2017. Well, this year’s survey, the 2019 one, refers to data for 2018, so we can now conclusively that he failed. Still, rising from 120th to 31st in the world within six years is so impressive that the failure to do even better shouldn’t be held against him.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Business, Russia 
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I wrote about upcoming changes to Russian immigration policy a few days ago.

Its main point boiled down to creating simplified naturalization procedures for people facing political persecution, with a clear eye to the Ukraine, as well as for highly qualified foreigners.

I had two criticisms.

First, simplified naturalization for “humanitarian reasons” doesn’t do anything for Russians in places like Belorussia and Central Asia, let alone promote Ukrainian and Belorussian immigration.

Second, it could also potentially ignite a virtue signalling-fueled #RefugeesWelcome situation sometime in the future.

Fortunately, PUTLER personally reads my blog, so both these issues are being addressed.

According to the latest report from Kommersant, the desirability of increasing labor immigration from the Ukraine and Belorussia has been explicitly specified. According to an anonymous official, the next legislative change could involve the cancelation of Russian language requirements for citizens of those countries for obtaining Russian citizenship: “They all speak Russian there anyway,” notes the official in question. There will likely be further deregulation of naturalization procedures for highly qualified specialists and people who finished university with flying colors.

This is highly congruent with my suggestions to systemically stripmine the Ukraine of human capital, which will (peacefully) benefit Russia while weakening a hostile state.

Furthermore, at the 7th Congress of Russian Communities yesterday, PUTLER managed to overcome his multinational programming and explicitly identify Russia with Russians:

We are interested that our young countrymen living abroad not lose their roots, their [ethnic] “Russianness” so to speak, their ties to the homeland.

That is, it is precisely the Russianness that makes Russian countrymen, countrymen. Implicitly, Russia is the homeland of Russians, as opposed to its official vision of itself as a multinational soup.

In all fairness, Putin has a well-known habit of telling people what they want to hear, and the 7th Congress of Russian Communities is a rather self-selected audience.

Still, it’s an encouraging note.

To date, the sovok bureaucrats who rule over Russia have studiously avoided applying ethnocultural filters in considering immigration policy. As a result, officially sanctioned outlook varied from making birth in the USSR a key criterion (which promised Russia millions of Gastarbeiters with Russian passports), or the fact of having had “ancestors in the territories of the Russian Federation” (which cut off most of the inhabitants of the Ukraine and Belorussia from Russian citizenship, despite the centuries of close connections between them and many of them identifying as Russians).

This centering of “Russianness” clears out the ideological underbrush and opens up the way to reconstructing the “Russia Great, United & Undivided” that the Whites fought for in the Civil War.

For instance, as Kholmogorov has recently suggested, one powerful way this ideological reformulation – if indeed it is to be taken seriously – can be implemented is in the Donbass, which is ripe for mass distributions of Russian passports. Furthermore, Putin explicitly mentioned the long-suffering Donbass in his speech, alluding to their struggle to preserve their national roots and traditions. But if Russians are henceforth to be defined by their Russianness, and the Donbass is fighting to preserve its Russianness, then it becomes ridiculous to continue portraying the War in the Donbass as an internal Ukrainian affair, as Kremlin propaganda has been doing since the end of the abortive “Russian Spring” in 2014.

Hopefully Putin can continue reading my blog and moving from putlet into PUTLER mode.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration, Law, Russia 
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Guillaume Durocher has an English language write-up of the disquieting conclusions reached by researchers at the nationalist French website Fdesouche.

france-belgium-muslim-newborns

These assertions are based on the percentage of Muslim first names granted at birth, statistics for which can be downloaded from INSEE (France) and Statbel (Belgium).

Here are the original articles:

The most obvious objection is that some Muslim names are also French names, but they tried to account for that – see the methodology section in the first article.

Incidentally, Fdesouche is also the same website that revealed that one third of newborns in France were being tested for sickle-cell disease, a procedure usually done if the infant is of African or Middle Eastern origin. Steve Sailer wrote about it in English in 2015.

Anyhow, here is a graph for France from the end of WW2 from the Fdesource writeup on France:

france-muslim-names

As we can see, the percentage of Muslim first names amongst newborns went up from essentially nothing, to 5% by the 1980s, where they stagnated until they began to soar inexorably in the late 1990s.

And here is a map of Muslim names in France as of 2017:

map-france-muslim-names

They speculate that they could might even have undercounted Muslim names, since INSEE does not publish “rare” names (less than three cases per department) for privacy reasons. The state that rare names are relatively more frequent amongst Muslims.

In contrast to France, the growth in the incidence of Muslim names in Belgium has actually greatly slowed down since the early 2000s.

Moreover, in the capital Brussels, it hasn’t budged since the mid-2000s, even though it has settled at a much higher rate (44%) than the Île-de-France (28%).

belgium-muslim-names

This is probably a function of Brussels stepping into its role as the EU’s Washington D.C. The rising cost of living is ejecting low income people into Flanders and especially Wallonia, while the city itself sucks up human capital from the entire EU.

The resulting equilibrium may well be surprisingly stable. As Durocher notes:

We ought to be cognizant of the fact that the “global cities” appear to be quite economically and socially viable for the foreseeable future. The most intelligent of our people, indeed of the entire planet’s population, are moving to Silicon Valley, New York, London, Paris, Brussels, and so on. The functionality of these cognitive elites seems to more than make up for the masses of low-quality immigrants. There is a working modus vivendi whereby the rich Whites and foreigners drive out dysfunctional minorities through rising property prices, inflicting them on the hapless White middle and working classes in the suburbs.

The surveillance/welfare state is largely capable of jailing/baby-sitting minorities as necessary, as we see in Michael Bloomberg’s New York and across Western Europe. Each city becomes more or less residentially segregated quite naturally, with the metropolitan Whites generally moving beside fellow Whites despite their “anti-racist” sentiments (see the situation in New York and London). Furthermore, the foreign ethnic groups generally form no single ethnic and/or religious, but are themselves divided into innumerable ethno-religious groups: this limits political conflict insofar as no single group is large enough to have undisputed power. Where only two or three ethnic groups can credibly vie for power, this tends to be a major cause for ethnic civil war. Our “global cities,” while being forces for dysgenic reproduction and ethnic entropy, appear quite sustainable for the time being.

Possibly things may come to a head in 60 years time, when Durocher estimates that an Islamic majority in births could happen in France.

Non-Whites may become a majority of the total population of France a few years earlier.

On the other hand, the French were also the first people in the world to undergo the demographic transition; their “breeders” have been increasing their share of the population longer than any other people, which possibly explains why the French now have the highest fertility rate (even adjusting for Muslims) of any major European people. In contrast, the Arabs and Africans who have arrived in France were in the midst of and the start of their peoples’ demographic transitions, respectively. It’s plausible that the ethnic share of the French population will instead trough, and then start rising again.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Belgium, Demographics, France, Islam 
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estonia-gay-marriage-russians-estonians

This graph shows support for gay marriage in Estonia by age group and language (blue – Russian; red – Estonian).

The older people lived in one homophobic country.

Amongst younger people, Estonians tuned into Estonian language media, which I imagine is highly Europeanized, or even went straight to the source (English language media). Russians tuned into Russian media, which turned in an anti-LGBT direction in the late 2000s.

People are products of their media environment.

A similar process played out after WW2 in Europe with social and cultural trends in the west becoming synced with American developments while the Iron Curtain acted as a kind of ideological “deep freezer.” This variable development between Estonians and Russians within Estonia is that but in miniature.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Estonia, Gay Marriage, LGBT, Opinion Poll, Russia, Society 
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Here are some basic things worth bearing in amidst the various powerful takes floating around.

Campaign rhetoric is one thing – the reality of navigating international geopolitics is another. It is worth noting that while Americanophilia started off high at the start of many Brazilian right-wing administrations, it never consistently stayed high – not even under the junta, which gradually floated back to neutrality (and which apparently gets a much worse rap than it deserves). Our Brazilian commenter Alin has much to say about this (his comment is reprinted below).

With no ensuing freebies from the Americans – Trump isn’t exactly the giving type – Bolsonaro’s Brazil can be expected to drift back into the BRICS multilateralism framework.

One possible model for future developments would be the evolution of US-Indian relations since the ascent of Modi, which started off with WaPo describing it as a “partnership for the 21st century” to Trump threatening sanctions for buying Russian S-400′s.

Talk of Bolsonaro being a Wall Street stooge, or a CIA asset, or whatever, is complete leftist nonsense. Brazil might not be the most K-selected country, but with the world’s third largest population of white people after the US and Russia, it’s hardly a banana republic either. It produces more vehicles than France, has a strong indigenous financial sector, and a successful aerospace industry (Embraer). It’s not the sort of place where the US can just sweep in and buy up the elites en masse. And as Duterte shows, even CIA assets in countries much closer to banana republic level have a habit of going maverick.

Bolsonaro was elected not because of a CIA/Russian plot, but because of Brazilian domestic affairs, such as economic mismanagement, crime, and weariness with corruption.

Bolsonaro’s economic program involving moderate privatization, a 20% flat tax, and pensions reform (pensions are expected to consume the entire Brazilian budget by 2022-24 if nothing is done) seems to be in line with what Brazil’s over regulated economy needs (125/190 on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking).

The tough on crime and gun freedoms policy must be appreciated in the context of a crime situation that is out of control thanks to SJW activists (e.g. “If you are underage, no matter the crime you commit, you only go to a rehabilitation center until you’re 18 and then you’re set free WITH A CLEAN RECORD. We have plenty of cases of drug dealers of 17 years and 364 days of age killing, say, girlfriends they suspected of cheating them, then walking scot free, with a clean record, the very next day.“)

While Bolsonaro formally remains a Catholic, he is associated with and associates with evangelicals. This is something that doesn’t sit well with many people, the more so since it is usually associated with Israel worship (and indeed, he has said that Palestine isn’t a country and wants to move the Embassy to Jerusalem). However, as Lance Welton writes at VDARE, pentecostalism has developed deep and genuine roots in Brazil in the past half century. This is not some marginal American import (such as the Baptism of former Ukrainian interim President Turchynov in 2014). However, as another Brazilian commenter Dumbo points out, it is Catholicism that screwed up by embracing liberation theology in the 1970s-80s, with the result that the poor embraced socially conservative evangelicalism instead.

So in short I don’t buy into the doom-mongering going on amongst some lefty anti-imperialists over how Brazil has become an American colony or whatever.

***

Alin on Bolsonaro’s FP:

On Bolsonaro’s pro-Americanism, the issue is quite complex. Let me again type a loooong comment on this.

(1) Brazil traditionally had excellent relations with the United States from independence to the mid-20th century. American historian Bradford Burns named his book about it “The Unwritten Alliance”. Just to exemplify, since I guess these are facts few people know: (a) Secretary of State Seward asked the Brazilian Emperor to offer his mediation between the federal government and the seceding states in 1861, just before Fort Sumter. Emperor Pedro II wisely declined [Brazil was an Empire under the House of Braganza-Hapsburg, 1822-1889]; (b) the first ever visit abroad of a sitting American Secretary of State was that of Elihu Root to Rio de Janeiro in 1903; (c) Brazil entered both world wars in support of the U.S. In WWII, we sent 30,000 men to the Italian front, and would have sent 150,000 if the war hadn’t ended too soon; (d) the original configuration of the United Nations Security Council, as prepared by President Roosevelt, had Brazil as a permanent member. It came to nought because of Soviet strong opposition to the idea, British milder opposition and, above all, Roosevelt’s death before the issue was decided.

(2) All this meant that Brazil had very high expectations about how the relationship would be after victory in WWII. We imagined it would go on as before, with America as our friend and interested in our affairs, supporting our development plans. Of course, by now the U.S. was a world empire and Latin America just one region of the world, far from the stratetic hotspots, and home to no credible threat to America. When the Marshall Plan was implemented, Brazil expected to receive something like it as well – and, of course, didn’t.

(3) During the Cold War, as expected, the Brazilian right was pro-American and the left pro-Soviet, so the net result was a tendency towards a neutralism slightly tilted towards the US. But the Brazilian right continued to pine after the “lost good years” of close relationship with America and hope it could be restored. Of course, it was disappointed every time. When the military took over in 1964, they turned Brazil strongly towards the U.S. Hopes dashed, they turned again toward neutralism after 1967, even more strongly after 1974. After democracy returned in 1985, again we hoped for stronger American support (those were the years of the Latin American external debt crisis), and again this didn’t come. When a mild programme of liberalization was implemented in the 1990s, new hopes, again dashed. When Brazil then suffered a currency crisis and needed an IMF bailout (January 1999), the US was unconcerned, just a few months after strongly intervening to bailout Yeltsin’s Russia. (I remember reading a newspaper account that the Brazilian negotiator asked his American counterpart why the US was being so unhelpful, and heard the answer “because unlike the Russians you don’t have nuclear warheads aimed at our cities”).

So the track record of Brazilian right or rightish governments is to pin high hopes on the US, fail, and then correct course. I believe Bolsonaro will repeat this cycle once again. My guess is that he hopes/expects that his general anti-establishment stance will open doors for Brazil in Trump’s Washington and that he’ll have U.S. support for his agenda, especially on the economic front. So his pro-Americanism is really genuine, within the old tradition of the Brazilian right, particularly now that Trump is president. But since Latin America continues to barely register in Washington and since Brazil continues to have no nuclear warheads, Bolsonaro is sure – IMHO – to be disappointed. Then he’ll turn the country back towards a more neutral position, give a higher profile to the BRICS, etc. We’ll see.

.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Brazil, Geopolitics, Jair Bolsonaro, Russia 
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.