The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
July 18, 2018 • 96 Comments

From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

What’s Your Type?
by Steve Sailer

July 18, 2018

… Ever since the Starbucks bathroom crisis in April, America has been going through a media moral panic in which a white man (or, more often, a white woman) who commits a Type I error at the expense of a black person may be fired and permanently keelhauled in the press. …

It’s particularly noteworthy that white women are the designated villains in many of these media morality plays. You might think that in the #MeToo era, women’s worries about their personal security would be viewed at least somewhat sympathetically.

Instead, white women are finding themselves pretty far down the intersectional totem pole. For instance, The New York Times has printed the racial slur “Becky” three times over the past five weeks while demeaning white women.

July 18, 2018 • 57 Comments

From The Independent (UK):

Home Office had information on Rotherham grooming gangs in 2002 but failed to act, review finds

‘How many lives could have been protected if swift action had been taken a decade before the Jay report?’ MP asks

Lizzie Dearden Home Affairs Correspondent
11 hours ago

The government received information detailing the extent of grooming gang activity in Rotherham as far back as 2002 but failed to properly act on it, a review has found.

The National Crime Agency’s ongoing investigation has revealed that more than 1,500 girls and young women may have been abused in the Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.

A report by Alexis Jay exposed “blatant” failures by police and the Labour-run local council, where officials feared racism accusations at the time.

The independent inquiry said an unpublished Home Office research report from 2002 described the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and a series of criticisms over the response “that should have raised concern”.

But a large-scale inquiry was not launched until after a Times report on the scale of grooming provoked a national scandal a decade later. …

Actually, it took a dozen years, until 2014, for Rotherham to surface in the press. There had plenty of evidence of a general pattern in English cities before the Rotherham report came out. I’d written about the pervasive disgrace in 2013.

Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, said it was “clear that the Home Office knew about child sexual exploitation in Rotherham from 2002”.

“Why, when so many in authority knew the scale and severity of this crime, did it take until 2014, with the publication of the Jay report, for a large-scale investigation to occur?” she asked. “How many lives could have been protected if swift action had been taken a decade before?”

Of course, it’s taken 4 years for this inquiry to accomplish anything. It’s almost as if the British Establishment isn’t...

July 18, 2018 • 27 Comments

From Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan, a scene in the Pacific kingdom of Tonga, c. 1978:

The girls who worked in the guesthouse were having their fortunes told. Tupo, a sleepy-eyed, broken-toothed teenager in a striped shirt, dealt the cards. Jacks went across the top. The jacks represented, Tupo explained, the four races of husbands: palagi, Tongan, Japanese, Samoan. Each time Tupo drew a card, she matched it by suit with a jack, tapped it significantly, and declared, “You know!” The other girls, huddled around a kerosene lamp, listened to her with eyes wide and breath bated. …

To me, Tupo explained, “Girls who are fat and lazy will get Tongan husbands, who only allow them to cook and wash. Girls who are thin and beautiful and work hard will get palagis, who will wear watches, and drive them around in cars to moving pictures, and look, look, look at everything. Girls who marry Japanese will go to Japan’s land and live very well, smoking cigarettes and only sometimes mopping, but their husbands will become angry with their laziness and one day come home and carve them up with a knife. Girls who marry Samoans will go to Samoa and live like we Tongans do, except they may see TV.”

One of the girls sighed, “In Pago Pago I see television. Very beautiful!”

By the way, David Pinsen finally nails down the pun that’s been been nagging at me all week:

He must have been tempted to title that book Finnegans Wave.

Indeed, Finnegan mentions that he took a class on Joyce’s Finnegans Wake from Norman O. “Nobby” Brown at UC Santa Cruz. Nobby was a friend of Marcuse and a fellow big deal in Sixties New Left & hippy highbrow circles with his mix of Marx and Freud. Finnegan writes:

On this question [of adulthood], my professors weren’t always a help. I was in awe of Norman O. Brown, a gentle, formidably erudite classical scholar turned social philosopher who took on minor figures...

July 16, 2018 • 268 Comments

Was Robert D. Putnam’s long self-suppressed study that diverse places have less social capital on average wrong?

A new study in Brazil finds that all-black towns tend to be worse than part-black towns, much as homogeneous East St. Louis is even worse than heterogeneous St. Louis:

Ethnoracial Homogeneity and Public Outcomes: The (Non)effects of Diversity

ALEXANDER KUSTOV (a1) and GIULIANA PARDELLI (a1)

Published online: 19 June 2018

Abstract

How does ethnoracial demography relate to public goods provision? Many studies find support for the hypothesis that diversity is related to inefficient outcomes by comparing diverse and homogeneous communities. We distinguish between homogeneity of dominant and disadvantaged groups and argue that it is often impossible to identify the effects of diversity due to its collinearity with the share of disadvantaged groups. To disentangle the effects of these variables, we study new data from Brazilian municipalities. While it is possible to interpret the prima facie negative correlation between diversity and public goods as supportive of the prominent “deficit” hypothesis, a closer analysis reveals that, in fact, more homogeneous Afro-descendant communities have lower provision. While we cannot rule out that diversity is consequential in other contexts, our results cast doubt on the reliability of previous findings related to the benefits of local ethnoracial homogeneity for public outcomes.

Of course, “diversity” is one of those auto-antonym words, like “cleave,” with opposite meanings.

For example, there are lots of complaints about the NFL quarterback position not being diverse enough, even though it’s reasonably representative of the white-black division in the American population. In contrast, you never hear respectable pundits claiming that the all-black position of NFL cornerback isn’t diverse enough, even though nobody but blacks has started at one of the 64 positions for the...

July 16, 2018 • 165 Comments

From WABC7 News in Chicago:

Father of 43 children found beaten in West Side home

John Hearring — known as Nicholas — was discovered with head trauma in his upstairs apartment in the South Austin neighborhood.

My inlaws lived in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood until 1970. Look at all the vibrancy they missed out on by moving to a dilapidated farm without indoor plumbing for the first couple of years they were there.

Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:31PM

CHICAGO (WLS) — A 63-year-old father of 43 children was found beaten to death Sunday afternoon in his home on Chicago’s West Side.

The body of John Hearring — known as Nicholas — was discovered with head trauma in his upstairs apartment in the 1000-block of North Leamington Avenue in the South Austin neighborhood.

Multiple family members confirmed that he had 43 children.

J.S. Bach had 20 children.

July 16, 2018 • 243 Comments

Whaddaya think?

July 16, 2018 • 121 Comments

From The New Yorker:

The French World Cup Win and the Glories of Immigration

By Adam Gopnik 11:55 A.M.

In their victory on Sunday, the multiple, polyglot Les Bleus acted as the living refutation of one of the least sportsmanlike people on earth, Donald Trump.

… one can add the pleasure of having your favorite sporting team also act as the living refutation to one of the least sportsmanlike people on earth. I am referring, of course, to Donald Trump, whose views on immigration and Europe, loudly brayed out last week on his visit to the U.K., were neatly devastated by the excellence and the teamwork of the diverse French squad.

The French team, now the finest in the world’s most popular sport, is entirely dependent for its greatness on immigration, on the extraordinary things that only a cosmopolitan civilization can achieve.

For example, could the boring white-bread Frenchmen who built Chartres have put on a proper victory riot?

Well, yeah, actually they could. That’s a funny thing about Diversity Worship in 2018. We seem to have hit diminishing marginal returns about actually cool new things that diversity facilitates, such as New Orleans jazz in 1900, and our now down to old-fashioned lowest common denominator mass market things like soccer.

The hybrid nature of the roster is already famous: the great and absurdly entertaining teen-ager Kylian Mbappé, who at various moments seemed to be playing another game at another pace from everyone else, comes from a mixed Algerian and Cameroonian background.

… And, of course, this group is only the latest edition of the multiple, polyglot team that has been so dominant in the past twenty years—exactly since the rise of the immigrant stars, with the great Zidane, whose parents came from Algeria, the greatest of all. It is no accident that the French team got great when it got cosmopolitan and not unfair to say that it got great even in the face of the French suspicion of cosmopolitanism. (The senior...

July 15, 2018 • 322 Comments

July 17, 2018 • 92 Comments

Approximately 100,000 Russians took part in the remembrance march marking the centenary of the murder of the Romanov family.

Just for context, this now seemingly remote event, in a regional city with 10% of the population of Moscow, drew as many people as did the very largest protests of the Putin era.

It is also a fundamentally good sign, signifying as it does the retreat of Soviet historiographic smears about Russia’s last legitimate ruler.

Another encouraging sign is that sovok retrogrades have been getting pushed back by public pressure. For instance, a redactor at Channel One, Timofey Erkamov, wrote “Glory to Peter Voykov” on his Vkontakte page, accompanied by a cartoon exhorting people to “Not Forget to Congratulate Monarchists with July 16″ illustrated with the corpse of Nicholas II (see right). Voykov was one of the chief executioners of the Romanovs, who was himself later assassinated by a White hero when Voykov was Soviet ambassador to Poland in 1927.

Incidentally, this follows yet another public expression of Russian civil society – if not how neoliberalism.txt imagines it – a few weeks ago. A PR manager at home improvement chain Leroy Merlin, Galina Panina, made up a story on her Facebook profile about a woman who was torched to death by Russian football fans and condemned the atmosphere of jingoism this supposedly reflected.

When people called her out on her improbable and fake story, she dug in deeper, condemning them as vatniks (cotton-wool jacket, or Russian equivalents of rednecks) and threatening them with prosecution. Eventually, the public scandal reached such proportions that Leroy Merlin said Panina was going on administrative leave, and then she announced she was leaving the company outright, and is now looking for another job. Meanwhile, in a laudable example of laudable viral marketing, competing home improvement store Petrovich announced they would be starting to sell cotton-wool jackets.

This...

July 16, 2018 • 185 Comments

As I suspected, Trump’s meeting with Putin did indeed turn out to be a damp squib, at least relative to the unrealistic expectations that all sorts of strongly ideological camps had built up around it.

Putin repeated his insistence that Russia did not meddle in the US elections, congratulated Trump on North Korea, acknowledged that the two countries need to be responsible about nuclear weapons, voiced his disagreement with the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, and repeated his customary boilerplate about how the Ukrainians need to stick with the Minsk Agreement. Trump, for his part, said that it was a productive meeting, congratulated Putin on a successful FIFA World Cup and on “bombing the hell out of ISIS”, and promised there would be further meetings.

So, all really banal stuff, really – even if the “Resistance” was in heavier than usual “zrada” mode about its denunciations of Trump as a traitor, as a puppet of Putler, and so forth.

However, the American Deep State let its feelings be known with actions, not just words: “Russian National Charged in Conspiracy to Act as an Agent of the Russian Federation Within the United States.”

A criminal complaint was unsealed today in the District of Columbia charging a Russian national with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Maria Butina, 29, a Russian citizen residing in Washington D.C., was arrested on July 15, 2018, in Washington, D.C., and made her initial appearance this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was ordered held pending a hearing set for...

July 15, 2018 • 46 Comments

Q: Is it true that there is freedom of speech in the United Kingdom, just like in the USA?

A: In principle, yes. In the USA, you can stand in front of the White House in Washington, DC, and yell, “Down with Trump!”, and you will not be punished. Equally, you can also stand in front of the US Embassy in London and yell, “Down with Trump!”, and you will not be punished.

July 14, 2018 • 256 Comments

So I know everyone is in a GET HYPE mood for this, fueled by loony interpretations ranging from THE RESISTANCE’s idea that Trump is going there to receive his annual performance review from DARK LORD OF THE KREMLIN, to Trump having chosen Helsinki specifically for Finland’s symbolic value as having played a role in the collapse of both the Russian Empire and the USSR (yes, I have seen this particular theory trotted out on my Facebook feed) – and everything in between.

Reality is that this is almost certainly going to be a damp squib.

There is talk that Trump is going to make concessions on sanctions and/or the Ukraine in return for Russia pressuring the Iranians out of Syria, which Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have been advocating for.

Yeah, I don’t think so.

Apart from irrelevant ethical considerations, Russia can’t throw Iran in Syria for the simple reason that it provides much of the Syrian government’s budget (~$10 billion per annum), and a large percentage of its most combat-capable units.

To replace the Iranians there, Russia will have to cough up the money itself, and escalate its military involvement on the ground beyond deniable mercenaries. This would be idiotic and ruinous at the best of times. These are not the best of times. Putin’s net approval rating has just plummeted to close to its all-time nadir in 2011 in the wake of the pensions reform. He most certainly does not want the visual of Russian taxpayer money going to “our Syrian bratushki” at this time.

The critical point is that concessions on either sanctions or the Ukraine are not Trump’s to give.

Recognition of Crimea as Russian is out of the question, given that Congress has overwhelmingly declared it part of Ukraine in the CAATSA law and committed to “never” recognizing the annexation.

Any sanctions removal would also have to go through Congress, which would also make this a firm no-go. Indeed, even with the best...

July 14, 2018 • 97 Comments

Good to find a place where Pluto is still a strong, independent planet.

Been a long time since we had a proper Open Thread. Reminder that all footballing discussions should go to the other Open Thread.

Future Meetups

Several people here have expressed an interest in an informal meetup [discussion: 1, 2]. I am open to this idea, and will make a note to start putting interested parties in touch with each other.

To everyone interested – please let me in this thread know if the emails you use to comment with are legitimate, or if you feel uncomfortable doing that, contact me directly using the contact email on my website: http://akarlin.com/ (don’t forget to mention your handle here!).

Administrivia

RO-Poast (Romania) has been delayed due to issues beyond my control. I’ll almost certainly write it (if not publish it) within the next week. There will also be another Kholmogorov translation.

Polish Perspective asked about making it possible to reply to several people at once. I am skeptical, but will make sure to ask Ron when we next exchange emails.

***

Featured News

* Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, Toby Ord (2018): Dissolving the Fermi Paradox. Discussion on Scott Alexander’s blog.

* Mark Feygin, one of Pussy Riot’s lawyers [from hell], had his family destroyed when he dated a lesbian activist. Why this random fact? She’s now a council member where one of my friends lives.

***

Russia

* Egor Kholmogorov: Reds Cannot Be Russia’s Main Heroes [in Russian]. Incidentally, this is going to be the next Kholmogorov translation on this blog.

* Russian civic society in action: “Liberast PR-manager of a French retail company was fired after producing fake news, trolling Russian patriots on her Facebook page” – Keverich. I view this as a very welcome example of Americanization.

* Comment: Polish Perspective on Russian interest rates.

* Glenn Greenwald (RT): I came to Russia to combat US’ toxic view on the country

*...

July 13, 2018 • 248 Comments

This is hopefully the last football thread for the next two years. Please try to keep all footballing talk to this thread in the next few days.

I suspect that Belgium will beat England to take third place during the penalties, while France will beat Croatia by 2-1 or something like that.

At this point, I’m no longer invested in the results one way or the other.

My predictions: That Russia would beat Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and lose to Uruguay, all panned out; that it would lose to Spain – wrong (though mitigated by it being on penalties); that it would lose to Croatia – correct (though mitigated by it being on penalties). I also predicted that England would beat Croatia, which didn’t happen, and in a reasonably decisive manner (the Croats dominated from the second half). So that’s 4/6 – not impressive, but hardly catastrophic, even if I do say so myself.

Most powerful takes:

BTW, just a customary reminder that BBG, RFERL’s parent organization, gets close to a billion dollars of American taxpayer money every year. This is the sort of content they produce with your money.

Comments zaqan to Hendler’s piece:

Well this article didn’t age too well. The white Russian team whupped several mixed teams. In fact many mixed teams fell out quickly. Ultimately, Russia was dropped in the last 8 by an even whiter team, which went on to defeat the half African English team and will face the barely French, mostly Arab and African team in the finals. While all this cheering about Europe being darkened and diversity working in futbol, what would’ve been great squads from Ivory coast, Cameroon, Nigeria, Congo, Ghana, etc, have been cannibalized and may never see the Knockouts...

July 11, 2018 • 155 Comments

So as I said I’m supporting Perfidious Albion over the Ustaše today, but convinced by Marko Marjanović’s apologetics, I will settle back into neutrality once the Finals roll by.

I have a feeling that the Eternal Anglo will win today, anyway (and yes, I wrote this sentence before their goal at 5 minutes). But at this level it’s just a roll of the dice, anyway.

This will also hopefully be my second to last thread on this damnable sport for the next two years.

PS. A British 16 year old football fan makes some videos about how life in Russia is actually rather nice. You are a (self-proclaimed) leader of Russian (pseudo-)democratic opposition.

How do you react?

By furiously attacking him for his contemptible lack of Russophobia, of course:

Twitter account of Navalny’s political organization: “Russian propaganda once again entertains a fake blogger. The British blogger Theo, who debunked myths about Russia in his video, turned out to be the son of a non-executive director of Volga Gas and the top manager of several other Russian companies.

Creepy whackjob Vladimir Milov, with his beady eyes: “You love Russia??? You praise a mafia dictatorship which seized our country. I hope instant karma gets you rather sooner than later for this.

Demonstration #892,937 of why the Russian liberals have margin of error like approval ratings.

July 11, 2018 • 172 Comments

In a little-noticed milestone, US crude oil production in March-April 2018 exceeded previous all-time monthly peak of 310 million barrels October 1970.

It is also extremely likely that production during 2018 will exceed the record year of 1970.

So much for #peakoil.

In all fairness, it’s not so much that their models were flawed – the actual mathematics of Hubbert’s Peak are solid – as that they didn’t account for technology. Even those models that did tended to have production stretching out into a plateau on the right, as opposed to crashing. But almost none of the peakists projected that the technology would be so powerful as to basically invert the graph.

Note that reserves in the US are fairly limited; it has almost an order of magnitude fewer reserves than Saudi Arabia. So if the US could engineer this turnaround – even accounting for its unique combination of loose regulatory environmental, technological finesse, and financial depth – much the same goes for the world at large, should higher future demand for oil necessitate major step ups in production.

Reminder that we are also waiting for the shale producers to all go bankrupt due to their inability to recoup costs on sunk wells, something that bears have been predicting since the early 2000s.

Results:

1. Peak oil is dead. Speculations about future Peak Gas are even more dead.

2. Strategic situation of the US, with its withdrawal from Iraq and much greater level of hydrocarbons self-sufficiency, is in many ways stronger than in 2008.