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    From the L.A. Times: Mystery parent paid $6.5 million to get kids into top universities as part of admissions scandal By RICHARD WINTON MAR 24, 2019 | 9:40 AM ... Of the many outrageous allegations revealed by federal prosecutors in the college cheating scandal, one stands out. Someone paid $6.5 million to get his or...
  • @Steve Sailer
    Can you endow your own chair? If you won the lottery could you endow your own professorship?

    Lol. “Steve Sailer, Steve Sailer professor of race, class, gender and sexuality, Pomona College.”

  • From my new movie review in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there.
  • By far the funniest part of Vice was hearing the liberal NY middle-aged couple behind me continually curse and gasp in horror at reliving all the horrors of the Bush administration (Halliburton! Valerie Plame!). If only McKay had managed to tie in Katrina and stem cell research…

  • "The Favourite" is a period comedy about the palace connivings among the two rival best friends forever of Queen Anne of England (reigned 1702-1714): the domineering Sarah Churchill (played by Rachel Weisz), the first Duchess of Marlborough and ancestress of Winston Churchill and Princess Di, and Sarah's impoverished cousin Abigail Hill (Emma Stone). The movie...
  • The politics of Bolingbroke engineering Marlborough’s public disgrace and the treaty with France, only to flee to the continent after the death of Anne, were actually pretty interesting and dramatic, at least in Churchill’s telling in his Marlborough biography.

  • There are some fairly good reasons in favor of Russia's decision to intervene in Syria, which is why I have always been modestly if unenthusiastically supportive of it: It is basically a giant and continuous live training exercise for Russian pilots and generals, making it almost "free" in financial terms. The value of the Khmeimim...
  • @Ron Unz

    Just a note that the Unz.com commenter Art Deco is a lying scumbag.

    I have made a grand total of about a dozen comments on MR, most or all of which went through so far as I know.
     
    Actually, I'm pretty sure he's a fanatic Jewish-activist type, though working very hard to conceal his motives.

    Basically, he provides a vast quantity of comments, the overwhelming majority "moderate", and "mainstream," generally disputing any deviations from the Official Narrative, but in a cautious and restrained manner, often buttressed by detailed factual citations. But every now and then something about Israel or Jews may come up, and he begins making all sorts of extreme statements, much like the most extreme WashPost Neocon. You can see this if you browse his archive:

    http://www.unz.com/comments/all/?commenterfilter=Art+Deco

    My guess is his nasty and dishonest attacks on AK are because of that SPLC denunciation a few weeks ago.

    I also strongly suspect that the "moderate/mainstream" tone of the overwhelming majority of his comments are simply intended to establish his credibility for his periodic comments on Jews/Israel.

    Given the massive volume of his comments, over 500K words, it really wouldn't surprise me if he's some sort of disinfo agent. After all, all sorts of "extremists" comment here because they've been banned everywhere else, but why would a "mainstream" fellow write 500K words of mostly "mainstream" comments here unless he was being paid to do so?...

    This is extremely silly. Art Deco posts high-quality and thought-provoking comments on a variety of websites, left and right, mainstream and obscure, and his views on Israel are no more extreme or less worthwhile than anything else he talks about.

  • From my latest column in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there.
  • Christopher Buckley’s novel “Little Green Men” involves a government agency tasked with occasionally faking alien encounters (from UFO flybys to actual abductions). The original purpose was to scare the Soviets into thinking US may have alien support, but then gradually morphed, as bureaucracies do, into goosing domestic support for NASA. Wikipedia notes, bizarrely, the Whit Stillman was at one point attached to an abortive film adaptation.

  • I saw the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi movie on Thursday. Any thoughts on the movie? Feel free to divulge spoilers in the comments.
  • Roger Deakin makes a beautiful movie, as usual, but this is just an empty exercise in style. Gosling can’t carry a dull story. As usual these days, ends up as just a long advertisement for sequels.

    • Replies: @jim jones
    This is one of those movies where you need to watch in 4K, UHD copy protection has been cracked now so I will wait until it appears on the specialist 4K boards.
  • Michelle Goldberg. Here's a sample of Michelle Goldberg's output, from iSteve:
  • @Jack D
    My favorite was this (alluded to but not fully explained in the link) - Mary Jackson's supportive boss in real life was Polish (Catholic) -American engineer Kazimierz Czarnecki. In the movie he is renamed Karl Zielinski and made into a Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivor so he can give a speech about beating impossible odds.

    Meanwhile, the Nazis really responsible for the space program (the Redstone was just an upgraded V-2) are absent from the movie.

    In real life, Jews seem strangely absent from the space program - not from any prejudice that I am aware of. Just seems to be not their thing. Jews seem to be mostly absent from aeronautical engineering and indeed all transportation engineering, though there are some prominent Jews in chemical and electrical engineering and computer science. For some reason Jewish brains don't seem to run in that particular groove - I have no explanation. Jews were present on the financial and distribution side of the development of modern transportation but not much on the engineering side. Maybe Jews are better at dealing with the abstract than the concrete. In fact maybe the best in dealing with the highly abstract, invisible world so they leave the visible and concrete to others?

    My Jewish engineer grandfather helped design space capsules for NASA

  • From the New York Times: What Did Neanderthals Leave to Modern Humans? Some Surprises Claudia Dreifus A CONVERSATION WITH JAN. 20, 2017 Geneticists tell us that somewhere between 1 and 5 percent of the genome of modern Europeans and Asians consists of DNA inherited from Neanderthals, our prehistoric cousins. At Vanderbilt University, John Anthony Capra,...
  • Bizarre that they don’t ask him about Bruce Lahn’s research…

  • Charles Murray posted his "social bubble" quiz from Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 on PBS.com to find the zip code most insulated from white working class zip code in America. While his sample sizes aren't enormous, the winner seems pretty plausible: Zip code 10023 As seen above from Central Park, this zip...
  • Greatest neighborhood in the world.

  • From the Washington Post: Wow, this sounds like scary Children of Men stuff. (Note: Salvadoran public health officials may not be the most trustworthy final authorities on the scientific implications.) Are there any insecticides that could blast these particular kinds of mos
  • The Children of Men would have been much stronger if it hadn’t jettisoned so much of the novel’s Christianity; this First Thing’s review makes the point well: http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2008/11/sacramone-children-of-men

  • From my new column in Taki's Magazine: Diversity vs. Solidarity by Steve Sailer January 20, 2016 The upcoming GOP primary donnybrook between the establishment right and the antiestablishment right has had a foreshadowing in Polish politics over the past dozen years in the war between Poland’s two dominant parties, both conservative. If you want to...
  • “Polish behavior toward women tends to be polite and romantic, more Chopin than Borat”

    A running theme of the great Polish national epics written by Nobel Prize winner Sienkiewicz is well-behaved Polish knights wearing themselves out protecting their women from Cossack bandits and Tatar slavers.

    • Replies: @njguy73
    OK, so who's gonna comment, "See! I told you! That's why Poland is dying! It's a country of white-knighting, ho-saving beta males!"

    That train's never late.
  • From the Washington Post: A lot of effort has been put into stuffing the UVA - Rolling Stone gang rape on broken glass hate hoax down the Memory Hole by making the scandal seem as boring and technical as imaginable: mistakes were made in following proper journalistic procedures. Nothing else to remember here, move along....
  • From my new column in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there.
  • The blogger Helian (helian.net/blog) has written a great deal about Robert Ardrey and his unjust neglect. Ardrey appears to have been a fairly influential figure in keeping sociobiology alive in the post-war ‘nurture uber alles’ climate. The other interesting forgotten thinker I learned about from Helian was Edvard Westermarck, a Finnish sociologist who did a lot of now forgotten early work in naturalizing and Darwinizing our understanding of human behavior.

  • Creed is a worthy (if almost too respectful) addition to the canon of Rocky movies. The basic pitch by writer-director Ryan Coogler (who has the name of a white quarterback, but is black) was that his star from Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan, should play Adonis Creed, a heretofore unknown son of Rocky Balboa's Muhammad...
  • Apollo Creed’s cynical, tongue-in-cheek embrace of American patriotic pageantry was pretty funny:

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    You can't refer to that without including James Brown's great song 'Living in America'. Even Rocky is embarrassed. It's a patriotic classic, of course.

    https://youtu.be/UzDDJm27vmc
  • Commenter Abe writes: But, of course, if post-Puritan whites actually do let this get out-of-hand, isn’t there something darkly comical in some of the most valuable brands in the world (and a Harvard BA is probably still barely just beating a Stanford BA for most valuable brand on the planet right now) going into the...
  • @Steve Sailer
    One thing I've noticed that is different between French and American literary culture is the number of interviews of high end sci-fi writers like Houellebecq and Stephenson. I've read maybe a dozen interviews with Houellebecq versus only one with Stephenson. They were both great at giving interviews. But how many people in the American interviewing business even get where Stephenson is coming from well enough to ask him intelligent questions?

    One difference is career trajectory. If you start out in literary fiction, its a lot easier to maintain your prestige even if you then write a lot of sci-fi (look at Margaret Atwood, or Doris Lessing). On the other hand, if you start out writing science-fiction, you’re more or less permanently ghettoized as far as the elite lit-fic world is concerned. Furthermore, Stephenson’s sci-fi has a lot more of the classic genre elements than Houellebecq’s more literary, highbrow work. I mean, try to imagine Houellebecq taking time off to work on a sword-fighting video-game…

  • From my column in Taki's Magazine: Reactionary author Michel Houellebecq’s novel about an Islamic takeover of France, Submission, was published the day of the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo. In fact, the satirical publication’s cover that bloody morning was a cartoon of the notoriously decrepit-looking Houellebecq prophesying, “In 2015, I lose my teeth. In 2022, I...
  • This might be Houellebecq’s laziest book (what exactly happens to the National Front after the election?) but it packs a heck of a punch.

    • Replies: @This Is Our Home

    what exactly happens to the National Front after the election
     
    They did the next best thing and converted to Islam.

    Although the author does clearly outline a plan for how nativist elements might initiate a military coup but then he doesn't run with it. I suppose it is intended as a helpful suggestion rather than a warning.

  • One of the little-noticed patterns of the cultural world is that a striking fraction of the most influential figures, especially in the comic arts, are conservatives if not reactionaries. Michael Lewis of New Orleans, the most obvious journalistic / literary successor of Tom Wolfe of Richmond, writes a good-humored analysis of Wolfe's origins for Vanity...
  • Lewis acts like it’s a big coup to have discovered that Wolfe stole an invitation to Bernstein’s party, but I’m almost positive that story has been told a few times already…

    • Replies: @cthulhu
    Wolfe himself has written the story of how he stole the invitation to Lenny Bernstein's party, but also emphasizes that he used his name (not Jock Whitney's) in the RSVP, and that his notebook and pencil were on prominent display all night. I don't care; if there were ever something where the ends justified the means, Radical Chic is it.
    , @manton
    Yes, he has told it many times. He even told it to me in answering a letter I wrote him in 1995.
    , @Grumpy
    Yes. I had the same reaction: "I already know this."

    Wolfe's explanation of having found Halberstam's invitation has been online since at least 2005:
    http://eddriscoll.com/archives/006612.php

    But it was fresh in my mind thanks to this 2014 interview:
    http://nieman.harvard.edu/stories/annotation-tuesday-tom-wolfe-and-radical-chic/
  • From an op-ed in the New York Times: By the way, some of these Census Bureau ancestry figures, where respondents are asked to identify with a single European nationality, rise and fall due to fashion. Choosing "German" has been rising and "English" has been falling, but I doubt if the underlying genetics are changing very...
  • I’ve often wondered how Mencken would have turned out if he hadn’t been a member of a culturally oppressed minority. It probably helped curb his natural conceit, although if he saw today what had replaced the anglo-saxon culture he professed to despise, I wonder how he’d react.

  • From my new column in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there.
  • Instead of ‘black bodies’, this time we get prison as the ‘grey wastes’, a corny comic-book formulation.

  • From the NYT, a follow-up article expanding upon a point I made last week that recent genetic ancestry tests upon descendants of Warren Harding didn't find any support for the rumor spread by Democrats in 1920 that the GOP nominee was part black: You have 16 great-great-grandparents and 32 great-great-great-grandparents. So I think what they...
  • Gamaliel is president in Ada, a choice Nabokov seems to have made solely due to the exotic sound of the name.

  • From The Weekly Standard: Civil Whites Why are critics so deferential to the radicalism of Ta-Nehisi Coates? AUG 17, 2015, VOL. 20, NO. 46 • BY CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL Maybe “Culture Belongs to Everyone,” as they say at New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park shows, but the works of Atlantic essayist and blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates...
  • Caldwell’s review is incredible.

    • Replies: @Alden
    Indeed, I feel the need to sit with it in order to ensure the testimony is respected.
  • From The Atlantic: Okay ... I dunno, the condition of TNC's body looks kind of meh to me. But if you share TNC's obsession with his body, you can have his body come orate to your group for a speaker's honorarium ranging from "$10,700 – $16,800 based on 3 fee reports."
  • Surely 5 figures is a steal when the speaker is, according to Noah Smith, better than Tolstoy: https://twitter.com/Noahpinion/status/617800804477571072

    • Replies: @5371
    Everyone assumes this Noah Smith is intelligent because of his ethnicity, his education and because he gets photographed in profile, but he's actually stupider than a bag of rocks.
    , @Trumped
    Wow. Better than Tolstoy? Why do these SJW types all appear to be cast members of Revenge of the Nerds?
  • Amazingly enough, it turns out that when the government and billionaire-funded foundations actively promote the kind of long-term contraception methods that poor women of color find easy to use effectively, it actually cuts the birthrate of children who wouldn't get a good start in life. Who could possibly have imagined this to be true? The...
  • Is Sabrina Tavernise the best reporter at the NYTimes? Half the time, when I look at the byline for an interesting article, it’s her name there.

  • David Frum writes in The Atlantic: Closing Europe’s Harbors The urgent case for stopping the flow of illegal migrants across the Mediterranean DAVID FRUM JULY/AUGUST 2015 ISSUE Illegal migration across the Mediterranean has tripled since the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 opened the ports of Libya to human smuggling on an unprecedented scale. Some...
  • I wonder how the death rates on those Mediterranean crossings compare with death rates on Atlantic crossings on slave ships in the 18th century

    • Replies: @syonredux

    I wonder how the death rates on those Mediterranean crossings compare with death rates on Atlantic crossings on slave ships in the 18th century
     
    Some figures:

    In The Slave Trade, Hugh Thomas estimates that 13M left African ports, and 11,328,000 arrived. Here are a few other numbers from Thomas:

    No year-by-year stats, but by piecing together scattered decade stats, I figure that 5M slaves were shipped in the 18th Century.
    Shipboard mortality among slaves:
    Mercado in 1569 estimated an average shipboard mortality of 20%
    Brazilian historians: 15-20% in 16th C; 10% in 19th C.
    English trade:
    1680s: 24%
    early 18th C: 10%
    1780s: 5.65%
    Hugh Thomas: 9% reasonable est. for 18th C.
    19th C
    Cliffe: 35%
    House of Commons: 9.1%
    Thomson: 9%
    Hotham: 5%
     
    http://necrometrics.com/pre1700b.htm
  • There are some issues that raise deep passions, that drive the best minds of our age to profound reflections upon the ultimate basis of human society. And one of those, apparently, is New York City's rent control laws. As a character in Bonfire of the Vanities remarks, "Nobody in Sicily hates anybody as much as...
  • Eviction proceedings against Thomas Disch after the death of his partner probably played a role in his suicide.

  • Here's a fun New Yorker article by Tad Friend, "Tomorrow's Advance Man," about former Netscape guy Marc Andreessen of the big Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Something that's not mentioned but that I always find interesting is that his partner Ben Horowitz is the son of famous writer David Horowitz. Andreessen has lots...
  • Andreessen’s long-held resentments against his family for being normal people don’t do him a lot of credit.

    • Replies: @MW
    I don't know if the article is fair to Andreessen or not, but I've run into this personality type fairly often in Silicon Valley. The excitement over "changing the world" is really about sticking it to those idiots out in Whereversville who made their childhood miserable. Putting all the taxi-drivers or tax accountants out of work is a feature, not a bug.
  • Any comments? Can you understand Tom Hardy speaking through yet another mask?
  • I had a good time, but Armond White is right, once you’ve seen the trailer you don’t really need to see the movie.

    Tom Hardy is an astonishingly magnetic actor.

  • A few days ago I wrote about "Progressives' Increasing Infatuation with Antiquarianism:" Today, the New York Times Editorial Board illustrates my theme for me at great length: How Racism Doomed Baltimore By THE EDITORIAL BOARD MAY 9, 2015 The Baltimore riots threw a spotlight on the poverty and isolation of the African-American community where the...
  • Writing of Baltimore just last month, Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, argued that “the distressed condition of African-American working- and lower-middle-class families” in Maryland’s largest city and elsewhere “is almost entirely attributable to federal policy that prohibited black families from accumulating housing equity during the suburban boom that moved white families into single-family homes from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s — and thus from bequeathing that wealth to their children and grandchildren, as white suburbanites have done.

    Does this strike anybody as a remotely plausible explanation?

    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    I am calling BS on this right now.

    In the first place, just two years ago the Washington Post ran a series of articles about how large numbers of black residents (and homeowners) in DC were being dehoused. What happens is that the homeowner, who is usually old, senile, and inattentive, receives a minor property tax bill. If it is not paid promptly, then the penalties escalate into the thousands in short order, and if it is not paid at that point -- and usually at that point it cannot be paid -- the house is put on the auction block by the City and is snapped up -- one of the stories profiled the Florida based attorney who was involved in these activities -- by lawyers who are scavenging for these properties. The end result is that nobody gets nothin'.

    Part of Ta Nehisi Coates' problem is that he knows about these things, and he knows that black homeowners in Chicago and elsewhere were effectively ripped off on their housing loans, if not their houses themselves. But if you "blame the victim" that doesn't solve the problem of the black poor. Unfortunately our economy, while it has numerous safety nets, cannot protect people from making their own stupid decisions.

    The second point I would make is that this idea that white folks are passing all kinds of equity down to their children is nonsense. There are lots of white people who inherited nothing from their grandparents and parents, except the random keepsakes and genealogical materials which are themselves worth more than a house or an inheritance. By the same token there are a lot of white people who did inherit a house or some money from their grandparents and parents, but who blew through it in a few years. The idea that white folks as a group are constantly building on the wealth of previous generations is just false, at least in terms of material wealth: in terms of intellectual or cultural wealth, well, that's another story, and there's nothing stopping black folks from doing that, as well. All it requires is a focus on self-discipline and family continuity.
    , @Days of Broken Arrows
    I don't think the issue is here is whether it's plausible. I think the issue is that the writer has deliberately framed this argument in such a way that he's lying by omission.

    He's conveniently leaving out the entire immigrant experience and making like all white people descend from the Mayflower and were being passed down wealth. That's not true for a large segment of the population.

    Large swaths of immigrant families also didn't own property and were not able to "bequeath that wealth to their children and grandchildren, as white suburbanites have done."

    I come from Italian-American stock. Out of the big extended family, almost no one owned homes before 1970. We'd been over here (both sides of the family) since around 1900. There was no wealth being "bequeathed." Most of the men worked as peddlers or in low-level manufacturing jobs 1900-1960.

    It was only the second generation that came of age in the '60s who bought property later on -- and they were the first ones to do so. I can't speak for the Irish and Germans who came over just before the Italians but I saw Jews doing much the same thing.

    By the 1980s, I knew Korean and Vietnamese kids whose parents came to the US. None of them were passing down houses from the get-go.

    Writers from the New York Times should know that viewing the American experience as black vs. white isn't really accurate. It's not that simple, and this writer is being dishonest in pretending that it is.

    , @HHSIII
    Yeah, this was on NPR the other day. It used Levittown as an example. Whites could build cheap equity in the 'burbs and blacks couldn't in the inner city. And now that there is integration all housing is too expensive (an isteve talking point, but so is the easy credit housing boom-bust).

    Of course this ignores the fact white hipsters aren't driving up the prices of houses in Levittown, but in Harlem and Spike Lee's old 'hood, Ft. Greene.

    Nope, the problem must be that we haven't done enough to help minorities build up some equity in housing the last 100 years. Or last 15 years. Oh, that and predatory lenders. Damn easy credit.
    , @HHSIII
    No, it isn't plausible.
    , @Merema
    Yes, it is plausible. i have white friends in long island who have inherited property from their parents and grand parents that is no prime property. To be fair, they did loose some of the property when the parents got very ill to pay for medical bills that medicare would not cover. If Blacks were not able to easily obtain credit to buy property during the 50s and 60s, sure it is a major disadvantage for the present generation.

    On the other hand, I see a lot of homes that used to be owned by the black middle or working class such as in places like Teneack, NJ, Mount Vernon, NY, now being transferred to Hispanics. Sadly, what is typical is an old Black lady living in a house she bought in the 50s and 60s with money she earned cleaning White peoples homes and such. Living with her are her alcoholic and/or pot smoking unemployable loser sons, who upon her death, loose the house for non tax payment, and the home is sold to an energetic handy Hispanic who renovates it and moves his family in, while renting the upper floor out.
  • From Marginal Revolution: There’s been a real upsurge in antiquarianism among liberals / progressives who are embarrassed to admit that
  • @Dave Pinsen
    Up there with Melissa Harris-Perry?

    ouch

  • Tyler Cowen may not be the most productive economist, but he produces one of the best blogs ever. As a public intellectual he’s gotta rank pretty high up there.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Up there with Melissa Harris-Perry?
  • From The New Yorker: High school ... the one I remember the most clearly is this conversation between Connie, Clifford, and the Irish writer Michaelis: “I find I can’t marry an Englishwoman, not even an Irishwoman…” “ Try an American,” said Clifford. “Oh, American!” He laughed a hollow laugh. “No, I’ve asked my man if...
  • imaginatively projecting myself into the character most suitable for imaginative projection

    I’ve never understood this. Is this really how people read? Why would you imagine yourself to be one of the characters in the book you’re reading?

    • Replies: @Nathan Wartooth
    I can confirm that this is not how I read either.
    , @CK
    It's better than imagining you are living the life you are living. When I read books I imagined what it would be like to be the hero. Maybe if I were younger I would read books and image how many ways I can be the victim. Whatever is the most profitable for the soul n'est pas?
    , @Steve Sailer
    A lot of literature exists for children to try out different lives.
    , @C. Van Carter
    Robert Louis Stevenson explained it:

    Let us try to remember how fancy works in children; with what selective partiality it reads, leaving often the bulk of the book unrealised, but fixing on the rest and living it; and what a passionate impotence it shows - what power of adoption, what weakness to create. It seems to be not much otherwise with uneducated readers. They long, not to enter into the lives of others, but to behold themselves in changed situations, ardently but impotently preconceived. The imagination (save the mark!) of the popular author here comes to the rescue, supplies some body of circumstance to these phantom aspirations, and conducts the readers where they will. Where they will: that's the point; elsewhere they will not follow. When I was a child, if I came on a book in which the characters wore armour, it fell from my hand; I had no criterion of merit, simply that one decisive taste, that my fancy refused to linger in the middle ages. And the mind of the uneducated reader is mailed with similar restrictions. So it is that we must account for a thing otherwise unaccountable: the popularity of some of these great ones of the dust. In defect of any other gift, they have instinctive sympathy with the popular mind. They can thus supply to the shop-girl and the shoe-black vesture cut to the pattern of their naked fancies, and furnish them with welcome scenery and properties for autobiographical romancing. Even in readers of an upper class, we may perceive the traces of a similar hesitation; even for them a writer may be too exotic. The villain, even the heroine, may be a Feejee islander, but only on condition the hero is one of ourselves.
     
  • Commenter FredR points to 1914 book by Edward Alsworth Ross entitled The Old World in the New: The Significance of Past and Present Immigration in which an old-fashioned Progressive makes some predictions about the long-term impact of the mass unskilled immigration that was eventually moderated in the 1920s. It's interesting to compare the effects he...
  • @Ron Unz

    Moreover, the US immigration happening in 1914 was highly eugenic, whitening and yellowing a light beige 97IQ America with 100IQ Slavs and Italians, 105 IQ NE Asians, and 115IQ Ashkenazi.
     
    That's just totally ignorant nonsense. All of the IQ tests given at the time demonstrated that almost the Southern and Eastern European immigrants Ross is discussing had IQs in the 80-85 range, or even lower. Not just one "biased" test, but *all* of them. Go back and read the primary sources from that era, or at least the section of my long Race/IQ article that discusses this:

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-iq-and-wealth/#questioning-the-strong-iq-hypothesis

    Even Jewish IQ scores were often well below 100 during that period, and even a generation later all the fourteen Jewish IQ studies performed during 1920-1937 averaged a very unimpressive 101.5:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/raceiq-super-flynn-effects-in-germans-jews-and-hispanics/

    The only exception were Chinese and Japanese immigrants, who from the earliest were always at or slightly above 100.

    You can personally believe all the Italian immigrants were actually IQ=100, but all the tests given at the time put them down at about IQ=78.


    On a different matter, it's very good to see that people are finally rediscovering the great work of E.A. Ross, one of America's finest early social scientists, and I'd like to think that some of my comments about him may have slightly contributed to this. Also, nearly a hundred of his articles and books are now available in my UNZ.org system:

    http://www.unz.org/Author/RossEdwardAlsworth/

    All the chapters of the immigration book linked originally ran in The Century Magazine, one of America's most prestigious intellectual publications, and here's a link to the readable articles:

    http://www.unz.org/Author/RossEdwardAlsworth/?PublicationID=Century

    It was indeed your discussion of Ross that led me to him.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    That's very nice to hear. It's great that the outstanding work of Ross and others is now finally being rediscovered. I've repeatedly cited him in some of my own major articles in the last couple of years but I'd guess that virtually none of my readers had ever heard of him.

    I've been working on my content-archiving system for years and one very surprising discovery was the enormously superior quality of social science and history articles back then to what has been published in modern times, almost like the difference between the great composers of the past and rap music.

    I also think I might know the main reason for this, but individuals will have to puzzle it out for themselves by exploring the archives.
  • Nicholas Kristof writes in the New York Times: Blue-Eyed Privilege is clearly to blame for the top of this list being dominated, Japan excepted, by countries whose founding stocks tend to have much fairer eyes than the world average.
  • E.A. Ross on comparing US social progress to other countries:

    The continuance of depressive immigration will lead to nothing catastrophic. Riots and labor strife will oftener break out, but the country will certainly not weaken nor collapse. Of patriotism of the military type there will be no lack. Scientific and technical advance will go on the same. The spread of business organization and efficiency will continue. The only thing that will happen will be a mysterious slackening in social progress. The mass will give signs of sluggishness, and the social procession will be strung out.

    We are engaged in a generous rivalry with the West Europeans and the Australians to see which can do the most to lift the plane of life of the masses. Presently we shall be dismayed by the sense of falling behind. We shall be amazed to find the Swiss or the Danes or the New Zealanders making strides we cannot match. Stung with mortification at losing our erstwhile lead in the advancement of the common people, we shall cast about for someone to blame. Ultimate causes, of course, will be overlooked; only proximate causes will be noticed. There will be a loud outcry that mothers, or teachers, or clergymen, or editors, or social workers are not doing their duty. Our public schools, solely responsible as they obviously are for the intellectual and moral characteristics of the people, will be roundly denounced; and it will be argued that church schools must take their place. There will be trying of this and trying of that, together with much ingenious legislation.

    • Replies: @Jim
    I suppose the US will become increasingly like Mexico or other South American countries. But the effects may be greater than Ross seems to think. I would guess that the US spends much more on welfare and governmental programs than Mexico. Also we have an aging population which will be dependent on governmental support and whose health care costs will be increasingly burdensome.
    In addition I assume we have much more military spending than Mexico. I doubt we can sustain our standard of living or our status as a world power.

    The good news is that immigration into the US will cease when our standard of living falls sufficiently. That may come about sooner than most people realize.
  • The cars-go-zoom-bombs-go-boom movie Furious 7 opened with, by far, the record first weekend for an April release, bringing in $147 million domestically, and lots more abroad, without even China, Japan, and Russia checking in yet. From the Hollywood Reporter: The Fast & Furious franchise are fine movies for dumb people, who deserve to be entertained...
  • @syonredux

    The peaks of the F&F series were character expressed through action, which went beyond (while still requiring) good stunt work.
     
    Cardboard character expressed through action....

    There are fewer,
     
    Slightly above zero, I would say

    simpler ideas,
     
    More like simplistic ideas....

    but that’s why they’re lowbrow movies.
     
    Lowest of the lowbrow.It makes one long for the days of Jaws....

    Certainly they’re much healthier than whatever Nolan thought he was doing with those Batman movies.
     
    Expressing the ethos of noblesse oblige....Something that is in quite short supply these days

    Hard to imagine anybody watching the Batman movies and coming out inspired by ‘noblesse oblige,’ something that Nolan tried and failed to express, ending up in nihilism despite his best (i.e. not very competent) efforts. His pretentious, tortured themes are much, much sillier than the uncomplicated multiracial camaraderie of the F&F movies.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    Hard to imagine anybody watching the Batman movies and coming out inspired by ‘noblesse oblige
     
    I was.

    They're my second favorite of the superhero movies to Iron Man. Also liked the Hellboys and several others I'm forgetting. They all manage to smuggle in values that are far closer to my beliefs and experiences (and, when it comes up, actual history) than what gets taught in the AP curriculum and college classrooms that have replaced the pulpit and dinner table.

    Birdman I think winks at that reality a bit in making its own statement that I'm also pretty down with as well.
    , @syonredux

    Hard to imagine anybody watching the Batman movies and coming out inspired by ‘noblesse oblige,’ something that Nolan tried and failed to express, ending up in nihilism despite his best (i.e. not very competent) efforts.
     
    Dear fellow, the true lesson of conservatism is that everything ultimately ends in failure. The noble soul fights even though he knows that the cause is lost.Hence, the lesson of Nolan's Batman: it is his duty to fight a battle that cannot be truly won.

    His pretentious, tortured themes are much, much sillier than the uncomplicated multiracial camaraderie of the F&F movies.
     
    Films which seek to make Americans happy about the Hispanic invasion of America....It is hard to imagine anything more vile
  • @syonredux

    but there’s some good stuff in the series.
     
    It has some good stunt work

    I’d say it’s a better series than, for instance, the overrated Nolan Batman movies.
     
    No, it's far inferior to the Nolan Batman series.Those films actually contained some quasi-serious ideas.The Furious films are braindead

    The peaks of the F&F series were character expressed through action, which went beyond (while still requiring) good stunt work.

    There are fewer, simpler ideas, but that’s why they’re lowbrow movies. Certainly they’re much healthier than whatever Nolan thought he was doing with those Batman movies.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    The peaks of the F&F series were character expressed through action, which went beyond (while still requiring) good stunt work.
     
    Cardboard character expressed through action....

    There are fewer,
     
    Slightly above zero, I would say

    simpler ideas,
     
    More like simplistic ideas....

    but that’s why they’re lowbrow movies.
     
    Lowest of the lowbrow.It makes one long for the days of Jaws....

    Certainly they’re much healthier than whatever Nolan thought he was doing with those Batman movies.
     
    Expressing the ethos of noblesse oblige....Something that is in quite short supply these days
  • @syonredux

    but there’s some good stuff in the series.
     
    It has some good stunt work

    I’d say it’s a better series than, for instance, the overrated Nolan Batman movies.
     
    No, it's far inferior to the Nolan Batman series.Those films actually contained some quasi-serious ideas.The Furious films are braindead

    “Those films actually contained some quasi-serious ideas.”

    Good god.

  • “The Fast & Furious franchise are fine movies for dumb people, who deserve to be entertained in accordance with their tastes and capabilities in return for their dollars.”

    Even smart people with taste can appreciate lowbrow art on its own merits. This latest movie wasn’t particularly good (apart from the moving tribute to Paul Walker), but there’s some good stuff in the series. I’d say it’s a better series than, for instance, the overrated Nolan Batman movies.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    but there’s some good stuff in the series.
     
    It has some good stunt work

    I’d say it’s a better series than, for instance, the overrated Nolan Batman movies.
     
    No, it's far inferior to the Nolan Batman series.Those films actually contained some quasi-serious ideas.The Furious films are braindead
  • The seventh installment in the Fast & Furious movie franchise with Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker as brothers-in-law who lead a heist outfit who drive fast cars and steal from bad guys meets all reasonable fan expectations. Judging by how jammed the Plant Theater in Van Nuys was late on Thursday evening, this...
  • ” In particular, the filmed hand to hand fights are overly-stylized”

    James Wan has turned out to be a much tackier director than Justin Lin, who did a great job with the series.

  • @syonredux
    RE: The much discussed Paul Walker,

    Can't say that he made much of an impression on me. I've watched roughly five and half* of his films all the way through: Furious 1 and 2, The Skulls, Flags of Our Fathers, Pleasantville, and Into The Blue.And he really didn't stand out in any of them.

    *The half would be Into The Blue.Which is to say, I watched the portions where Jessica Alba's shapely form was on display and ignored the rest.

    You should watch Hours, one of his last movies. It gives you a sense of the kind of actor he was growing into.

  • With another Fast & Furious car movie coming out, I have finally thought of something to say about the franchise's co-star Paul Walker, who died (pretty awesomely) in 2013 when his agent crashed a brand new Porsche at 100 mph with Walker in the passenger seat. That got me thinking: Do movie stars tend to...
  • I think the more interesting treatment/selection issue was how much the actors of the franchise endorsed in real life the camaraderie of the movies. Vin Diesel even named his daughter Pauline. I guess it’s pretty common for actors to turn movie emotional bonds into real ones (all those actors who start dating after making a movie where their characters are dating) but is this because they always would have had chemistry together, which is why they’re cast together, or because they’ve built chemistry from pretending to have chemistry.

  • Woody Allen makes an immense number of movies in part due to his tremendous work ethic, decisiveness, organizational abilities, and adamantine self-confidence (in other words, he's not actually very much like the Woody Allen Character he plays on screen). But another reason he can afford to make a movie per year is that rich Jews...
  • @Steve Sailer
    Thanks. So if I were to read one book by Baltzell, should it be "“Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia?"

    I think so. I think you’d find it fits in pretty well with iSteve themes about plutocracy, immigration, ethnic conflict, hierarchy vs. egalitarianism, etc:

    egalitarian ideals and ethnic heterogeneity are mutually reinforcing factors in history that tend to produce materialistic plutocracies, as we Americans should surely understand in our day; authoritarian and deference values militate against the growth of pure plutocracies. Money has always talked in all societies, but aristocratic societies also exhibit deference to class manners and culture; plutocracies are subservient to moneyed elements alone.

  • We learned from the police report on Jackie's Haven Monahan hoax at the U. of Virginia that Jackie didn't set it into official motion until a half year after she'd tried it out on poor Ryan to make him jealous. A half year later, Jackie dredged up her rape fantasy as an excuse when she...
  • I bet if you examined everybody’s academic records, these kinds of bizarre excuses would crop up all the time.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    A college friend of mine transferred to my big state university from a small private school -- Franklin & Marshall, if memory serves. His GPA dropped from 3.5 or whatever at his small school to 2.6 or something after his first semester taking hard sciences in 400 person lecture halls. That lit a fire under his ass. He decided to go premed and that kind of performance wouldn't fly.

    He identified as a proud Greek ethnically and culturally, though one of his parents was a wealthy, white Latin American. After he decided he wanted to go to medical school, he immediately joined the Latino Students organization.

    The reason your comment reminded me of him, though, was a couple of the excuses he used to get out of tests he wasn't prepared for. Once, when a test was on a Jewish holiday, he claimed to be Jewish. Another time, he made himself sick by drinking milk (he was lactose intolerant), and then went to a college infirmary and got doctor's note getting out of the test.

    He ended up graduating with an impressive GPA and an internship at some prestigious lab, and got accepted to medical school. But the summer before he would have started med school he got hit by a bus while riding a moped in the Caribbean and was killed.

    At the memorial for him, a few months later, a Latino dean had tears in his eyes as he recalled how proud the guy was of his Latino ancestry. I think my friend's parents and I were the only ones there who knew how deluded that dean was.
  • From the New York Times: Police Find No Evidence of Rape at UVA Fraternity By OWEN ROBINSON and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG MARCH 23, 2015 CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The police here said Monday that they had found no evidence that a woman was gang raped at a University of Virginia fraternity house in 2012 and that...
  • i can’t wait for the Eric Holder report about how the real villain in all this is UVA’s mysogynistic practice of charging library late fees.

    • Replies: @ic1000
    That's because UVa's librarians are cowards. Cowards.
  • Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, creators of the outstanding "30 Rock" sitcom, have written a new sitcom, with the first thirteen episodes available on Netflix, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." It's a good combination of "30 Rock" and Nahnatchka Khan's intermittently brilliant ABC sitcom "Don't Trust the Bitch in Apt. 23" that was canceled a couple of...
  • The big appeal of 30 rock was Baldwin and Tina Fey bouncing off each other. Tracy Morgan is a funny guy but they rarely used him well (the jokes they gave him were usually too random), and the rest of the supporting characters were pretty dull. To compare Jack Breyer’s fairly tedious hillbilly nonsense to Cosmo Kramer or something seems insane to me.

    • Replies: @whorefinder

    The big appeal of 30 rock was Baldwin and Tina Fey bouncing off each other.
     
    What "big appeal" are you talking about? That show never got beyond 69th in the ratings, and for literally half of it's existence it wasn't in the top 100 (!). The idea that that piece of crap show was a hit is because Fey and her hacks played up to Obama-voting critic's personal tastes.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghey might be the best combination of actor and character in sitcom history. And I think you're right that his character's best moments were playing off Tina Fey as the straight woman.
  • From Crisis Magazine, an article on the 100th anniversary of G.K. Chesterton's novel The Flying Inn that sounds a bit like Michel Houellebecq's current bestseller about France voting Islamists into power to keep out the National Front, Submission: Chesterton, a convert to Catholicism and not exactly a man of ascetic, self-denying temperament (he was so...
  • @Priss Factor
    "Anthony Burgess also wrote a book where England goes Islamic, 1985."

    Has anyone thought of the idea of a novel where a Western Nation goes Jewish-and-Homo-elite-ruled?

    I know it sounds far-fetched, but just imagine an America where the National Cathedral flies the 'gay flag', where the federal government forces 'gay marriage' on all 50 states, where courts shuts down bakeries and flower shops that won't cater to 'gay weddings, where the media celebrate a black guy with a blonde wig as a 'woman', where Congress invites the president of Israel to give a speech to 40 standing ovations, where so many prominent politicians are obsessed with destroying Iran that has no nukes, and starting a 'new cold war' with Russia over.... uh... no 'gay marriage' there or... something about Ukraine?

    I know it sounds crazy, but we need funny stuff once in awhile cuz humor is good for our souls.

    “Has anyone thought of the idea of a novel where a Western Nation goes Jewish-and-Homo-elite-ruled?”

    Burgess wrote a book, The Wanting Seed, where the ruling class turns gay (“It’s sapiens to be homo”) but I don’t remember any Jews in it.

  • Anthony Burgess also wrote a book where England goes Islamic, 1985.

  • Nicholas Wade reports in the New York Times: Biologists Call for Ban on Gene Editing Technique in Humans By NICHOLAS WADE MARCH 19, 2015 A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome editing technique to change human DNA in a way that would permanently affect...
  • Would be nice if I could ensure any potential daughters don’t inherit my BRCA1 mutation.

  • In response to my Taki's Magazine column about campus BDS politics with its headline derived from the old Sarah Silverman joke, "Are Jews Losing Control of the Media?," commenter ABN writes: Is there much evidence that the last is too implausible for moderns? "Protective stupidity" is a pretty common tendency. Or it could be that...
  • “I can only hope that portends a rift between Jews and the Victimhood Coalition among young people. ”

    Dream on.

  • A strange film from highbrow horror director David Cronenberg (The Fly) that tries to combine movie industry self-satire with multigenerational incest-driven "Greek tragedy" (in Cronenberg's words) in the manner of Sophocles and Aeschylus. There is a lot of talent in the movie, although the casting isn't always perfect. Cronenberg originally intended the role of the...
  • It’s the same with literature. After reading Naipaul or Bellow for an extended period, I find myself thinking like them.

  • From my new column in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there.
  • Hard to believe there aren’t statistics available on this question.

  • From Box Office Mojo: Weekend Report: 'Jupiter Ascending' Crushed By Super 'SpongeBob' by Ray Subers February 8, 2015 ... The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water opened to a massive $55.4 million, which is one of the best debuts ever in the month of February. The other new releases weren't so hot: the Wachowskis' Jupiter...
  • @Ann one
    "Speed Racer" is underrated but frothy (it's one of the most visually interesting movies ever made) and was effectively made as Lana crossed over (she came out right after the movie did).

    "Cloud Atlas" was strange, but I assume that's from the source material. They're definitely still talented at making the kind of films they make.

    Agreed on Speed Racer.

  • Francis Fukuyama reviews in The American Interest a book by philosophy professor Arthur Melzer that I reviewed last year in Taki's Magazine about the evidence for Leo Strauss's theory of esoteric writing. Fukuyama writes: Why assume that esoteric writing is a lost art? The ancient Greek philosophers took pains to not make it too obvious...
  • @bigred
    well, the satire becomes pretty apparent by the time Socrates proposes a sex lottery in Book V, as well as public daycare where the babies are handed out to blindfolded mothers at feeding time (to prevent any mother from identifying or bonding with their own children... ) But I can't really convince you here. Buy a copy of Allan Bloom's translation of the Republic, and read the dialogue along with his commentary.

    “where the babies are handed out to blindfolded mothers at feeding time (to prevent any mother from identifying or bonding with their own children… ) ”

    In The Masque of Africa, Naipaul reports that this was a common practice in traditional Ashanti harems.

  • Here's part of an interview with the President in Vox that is pretty much along the lines of one of my "Core v. Fringe" election strategy articles, just discussed from the opposite partisan point of view. Obama tells Ezra Klein that he's not worried about a backlash against Democrats over attacks on whites such as...
  • In 2001 the great science fiction writer Thomas Disch wrote a hilarious story called “After Postville”:

    “This town was dying, you know, when we came here,” the rebbe went on. “It was
    moribund, almost bankrupt. Only the taxes we paid kept it alive. Our taxes
    kept the schools open, though our children don’t attend them.”

    “And how did you vote on the bond issues?”

    “Oh, we were against more money for your football teams and uniforms and the
    computers and hockey rink. You wrang all that out of us. Then, once the
    Mexicans were here in force–Vloosh! the school budget soared into outer space
    like a rocketship. There was no stopping the progress of Education then.”

    “And who brought the Mexicans to Postville? Whose slaughterhouse gave them
    jobs? Who built their trailer camps?”

    The rebbe shrugged. “Who else? But who else, my little Eagle Scout, would do
    the work? The jobs were there, but no one who grew up in Postville was hungry
    enough to stoop so low. Eight dollars an hour wouldn’t do for a white man. But
    Mexicans are very hungry, and there are millions of them. Do you think your
    goyish meat-packers pay better wages?”

    “You enjoyed it. You enjoyed turning Postville into a third-world barrio.”

    “Is that a question? Then the answer is yes. Poetic justice is always
    enjoyable–for those not on the receiving end. Have the good citizens of
    Postville merited a kinder fate by their love and charity, by the splendor of
    their civilization, by the beauty and dignity of their public buildings? When
    your ancestors took these lands from the Winnebagos or whatever tribe of
    savages first lived here, was there a solemn pact to guarantee that their
    children would hold these acreages forever and ever?”

  • From the NYT op-ed page: Slavery is a very Muslim thing. Thomas Jefferson sent the Marines
  • @Steve Sailer
    Isn’t it very time-consuming to moderate all these comments (116 so far under this topic)?

    Yes.

    Do you get help for this chore?

    No.

    I think Ta-Nehisi Coates deputized commentators he liked to help him moderate, which seemed to work out well for him.

  • One of the Academy Award frontrunners is "Boyhood," a semi-autobiographical movie directed by Richard Linklater ("Dazed and Confused") about growing up in Texas. It was shot a few days at a time over a dozen years, with the cast aging naturally. It's a cute concept and a nice movie, even if one lacking in incident....
  • @Steve Sailer
    Have the Wachowski Siblings made a good movie since they stopped being the Wachowski Brothers?

    I enjoyed Speed Racer, which wikipedia tells me they made as Lana was transitioning.

  • The New York Times says it's baffled why nobody got worked up over the gang rape on the Vanderbilt campus. The article doesn't mention "Virginia," much less "Haven Monahan," but of course that's the background. Hey, Virginia, Vanderbilt, they are all racist Southern colleges that begin with V. How can you blame the NYT for...
  • @Luke Lea
    Not a big story precisely because the alleged perpetrators are not only not white but so obviously guilty. Better they were white, better yet if they are not so obviously guilty, best of all if they are probably not guilty but the public doesn't know it.

    “Better they were white, better yet if they are not so obviously guilty, best of all if they are probably not guilty but the public doesn’t know it.”

    A lot has been written here about why the big crime cases the media chooses to emphasize always turn out to be so equivocal (if not actual hoaxes), but I can’t recall if anybody has pointed out that a big thing the media looks for in these cases is not just a white male villain and minority victim, but also complicity from the local powers-that-be. But it turns out if the local police/college/authority figures aren’t that interested in pursuing the case, it’s probably because there isn’t much of a case there. It’s the media demand for a juicy cover-up story that makes them take positions that will end up embarrassing them (if they were capable of embarrassment).

    • Replies: @tokugawa
    a big thing the media looks for in these cases is not just a white male villain and minority victim, but also complicity from the local powers-that-be. But it turns out if the local police/college/authority figures aren’t that interested in pursuing the case, it’s probably because there isn’t much of a case there. It’s the media demand for a juicy cover-up story that makes them take positions that will end up embarrassing them (if they were capable of embarrassment).

    Very true. I would add that the Great White Defendant needs to be a man in some kind of position of power (e.g. police officer) or a man of above average socioeconomic status. Working class brutes need not apply.

    A couple of rednecks in Alabama getting drunk and then shooting each other is of no interest to the national media. On the other hand, a white Wall Street banker allegedly raping a black woman and then not being charged by the police would be the biggest story of all time.

  • Over at Lion of the Blogosphere's place, commenter Fiddlesticks found an online archive of my ancient Rice U. college newspaper journalism from 1978-1980. There is nothing too exciting, but for completists, I'll start running them here to make them more accessible. My wife asks if anybody could find the video of my 1971 appearance on...
  • His autobiography is really, really good, although it doesn’t read as particularly reliable.

  • Marilynne Robinson writes in the New York Review of Books: Poe’s mind was by no means commonplace. In the last year of his life [1848] he wrote a prose poem, Eureka, which would have established this fact beyond doubt—if it had not been so full of intuitive insight that neither his contemporaries nor subsequent generations,...
  • The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym is an astonishingly good novella, although I think Robinson is being a little too clever in implying that its odd setting and plot shifts indicate a kind of anti-racism and white guilt in Poe.

  • In the early 21st Century, Chinese-language movies, with worldwide hits such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, looked on their way to becoming credible contenders at the global box office. Thus, when Hollywood filmed Memoirs of a Geisha a decade ago, it cast three Chinese actresses as the Japanese leads because the Chinese stars...
  • The Grandmaster was a gorgeous movie.

    • Replies: @Anon
    "The Grandmaster was a gorgeous movie."

    It not egg. It not young. It just Fu.
    , @Steve Sailer
    I was a big Wong Kar-wai fan a decade ago. I liked "2046," a crazy self-indulgent sci-fi movie about erotic nostalgia, kind of like if Sinatra had sung "When I Was Seventeen" about all the beautiful Chinese android girls he'd romanced during the 2030s.
  • I finally went through my list of links in the right hand column of this page. They're further down on the right than on previous iSteve pages, below the recent comments, but they are still there, so check them out. For 2015, I've deleted the dead or private blogs, put ones that haven't been active...
  • Poetry as Socio-Proctology is the best blog missing from your list.

    http://socioproctology.blogspot.com/

  • The terrorist slaughter of the staff of a satirical magazine featuring on its cover this week novelist Michel Houellebecq occurred on the day of publication in France of Houllebecq new novel Submission. Here's a synopsis of the novel, which is scheduled for publication in English translation in the fall. Back in 2002, Houellebecq had been...
  • “Could a book in the US about the Reconquista get published”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almanac_of_the_Dead

  • At The New Yorker, former Our Woman in Moscow Masha Gessen, Establishment spokesperson for turning World War G into World War 3, worries about whether Caucasian jurors in Boston will be biased against the surviving Bomb Brother for being Caucasian: What Will Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Jury Look Like? BY MASHA GESSEN ... Very few of the...
  • “Dzhokar looks like Neil Gaiman.”

    Could explain why Gaiman’s wife, Amanda Palmer, wrote such an odd poem about Dzhokhar. She definitely has a type: http://blog.amandapalmer.net/20130421/

  • In Wild, Reese Witherspoon plays memoirist Cheryl Strayed who decided to backpack a chunk of the Pacific Crest Trail to, it appears, atone for her life of whoring and heroin. Her desire to mortify the flesh via an arduous journey seems to be essentially the same as that of medieval pilgrims, such as in Canterbury...
  • “Reese Witherspoon used to be called America’s sweetheart until an incident she had with a police officer where she was drunk as hell and played the “Do you have any idea who the hell I am ?” card that is so common from the 1 percent.”

    For most other women, video of acting like a drunk, entitled jerk would be damaging, but actually I think Reese Witherspoon is way too adorable in that video for it to have really hurt her.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Well what about making movies about pulling trains in alleyways? Not sure you can maintain a sweetheart image after that.
  • Here's a question about the analogy of the Rape Culture Hysteria of 2014 to the Satanic Daycare Hysteria of the 1980s: Wasn't the 1980s frenzy more of a Bottom Up affair? My vague recollection is that the previous madness was promoted by, say, local prosecutors, disparate media outlets, and maybe some ambitious ministers rather than...
  • “We would be fired if we joked about the rumors. ” I don’t see how I would be able to resist making jokes about the satanic client.

  • The New York Times routinely runs articles about how the Obama Administration isn't encouraging rioting and illegal immigration enough. These are obvious media set-ups with the Administration to justify the Administration moving even further to the left. Here's the latest: Obama's life story remains
  • A classic ‘Pull the Tregroes, Negroes” scenario:

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    Nice blast from the past.

    For folks who need a little background

    Sacrilege #6: JOAN BAEZ ...

    http://illfolks.blogspot.com/2007/06/sacrilege-6-joan-baez-pull-triggers.html

    Here's Joan protesting in 1965 (James Baldwin with the barefoot Baez) and in 2005 (re. the execution of "reformed" ex-crip Tookie Williams). But in 1972 the National Lampoon protested her, via parody.

    Oh, the sacrilege!

    How could they fug with such a well-meaning folkie?

    First thing they had to do was avoid using the inflammatory title "Pull the Triggers, NXXXXXX." They didn't need no stinkin' Sharpton to tell 'em not to be that rude. The Lampoon's "Radio Dinner" song was punningly if not cunningly titled "Pull the Tregroes." But the N-word was sung on that black vinyl of black humor.

    Written by Tony "Going too Far" Hendra, and performed by a Baez soundalike named Diana Reed, the song references George Jackson. In 1970 Jackson and two other inmates killed a prison guard. As one of the "Soledad Brothers" he wrote a few books and joined rivals Eldridge Cleaver and Black Panther Huey Newton as a pet of white liberals, the kind who condoned violence as long as it was "just across the bay."
    Liberals with the same perceived Baez bias against law enforcement probably admired Jackson's brother, who later in 1970 stormed into a Marin County courtroom and seized Judge Harold Haley as a hostage. Haley's face was blown off during the getaway, and Jackson was killed as well.

    In 1971, after receiving a gun smuggled to him by a well-meaning white guy, George Jackson shot prison guard Jere Graham in the head, execution-style, exclaiming, "Let's see if this works." Two more guards as well as two white prisoners bled to death before Jackson was gunned down and the prison riot brought under control.

    While it was actually Joan's ex-boyfriend Bob Dylan who came out of protest-song retirement to release a single called "George Jackson," the Lampoon gang mocked Baez instead.
    The mock Joan sings: "Just because I can't be there doesn't mean I don't care. So next time, Brother, off a pig for me." The chorus: "Pull the triggers, xxxxxxx, we're with you all the way, just across the bay."

    Later in the song Joan is crucified for being sanctimonious ("I'm the world's Madonna...I'm needed from Belfast to Bangladesh"). She confesses to trying to right "grievous wrongs" by writing "tedious songs." All these years later, Joan Baez is still singing her heart out, and sometimes wearing it on her sleeve.

    Pull the trigger on this download.
     
    Later parodied by National Lampoon in their show Lemmings as

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Lampoon_Lemmings

  • With the Establishment media suffering humiliating blows to their worldviews over the last few weeks in controversies that they chose to inflate into national crises -- Ferguson and the Rolling Stone fraternity gang rape text -- it's important to avoid two different forms of over-confidence: - Assume any kind of permanent progress has been achieved....
  • “It really, really helps to have a team”

    Could serve as a good one-sentence summary of Randall Collins’ magisterial history “The Sociology of Philosophies.”

  • In Bloomberg View, econ blogger Noah Smith writes: Economics Is a Dismal Science for Women Noah Smith 19 NOV 21, 2014 3:06 PM EST By Noah Smith British physicist Matt Taylor, who was involved with the Rosetta comet landing, recently found himself in the middle of a controversy about sexism and bad taste, after he...
  • “We can disagree with him, but ought to stay civil to a very bright potential dark enlightenment recruit.”

    LOL

  • Over the years I've realized that since I regularly verbally bludgeon readers people think I'm a severe and overly serious person. Apparently the headshot which I have on Twitter also seems a bit dickish (it was taken in Florence in 2010). To compensate for that I had a friend take this picture of me recently....
  • Survey needs less questions about science and public policy, and more questions about aesthetic tastes.

  • From the NYT: The problem is that the U.S. is supposed to use Shi'ite Iraqis as troops, who have a pretty terrible track record. On the other ha
  • It’s actually kind of interesting to speculate about Bob Dylan’s politics. His early left-wing reputation was revealed to be an aesthetic pose (playing some kind of Woody Guthrie man of the people) by the way he quickly abandoned it when it got boring, and since then, he’s been (deliberately) very hard to pin down.

    I’ve seen him a few times over the last decade and he was always pretty disappointing live. That said, I’m just crazy about his last few albums. Songs like “Thunder on the Mountain”, while maybe not hitting the peak he established earlier in his career, are still really really good.

    • Replies: @David
    I think Dylan's most political record after his earliest career is Infidels. Three songs in particular, Neighborhood Bully, License to Kill and Union Sundown express sympathy with, in order, Israel, environmentalism and protectionism. On his next record, Empire Burlesque, the title of which says a lot, there is Clean Cut Kid, which has annoyed a number of marines I know. Last, I view the lines from High Water (2001), "George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew/ 'You can’t open your mind, boys/ To every conceivable point of view'" as expressing sympathy with a conservative world view.
  • I always liked the writing on “Desire.” Each song is like a pretty good short story.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Isis" is an adventure story in the tradition of "The Man Who Would Be King" and "King Solomon's Mines." You can't beat the line: "pyramids embedded in ice" for exoticism. Are there any pyramids in cold places? Where are these pyramids? Egypt as the name Isis suggests? But it appears to be an Old West cowboy story judging from the diction, so are these pyramids in Mexico? Or somewhere undiscovered in the American West?
  • One of my favorite Homer Simpson lines is: Homer does have a point. Eskimos sound about as implausible as abominable snowmen: the latter supposedly live at extreme altitudes, the former at extreme latitudes. I have to admit as well to not really believing in beavers. Or at least not that beavers build huge dams. Granted,...
  • It’s spelled Esquimaux.

  • The lefty Jacobin has a long article on gentrification in Washington DC: Or they can move to the boring suburbs and commute. Some people commute all the way from the exurbs in West Virginia (West Virginia!). That would assuage all of Mr. Mueller's sensitivities about not Displacing the Urban Poor, but then he'd have to...
  • “Their main hope of staying there is through a combination of violence and politics tinged with the threat of criminal and mob violence”

    Sounds like the basis of every black political achievement for the past 50 years.

    James Baldwin, although himself obviously not a very threatening man, gained a great deal of cultural currency by glowering at white men and telling them his co-ethnics would “burn your cities down.” http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-styron.html

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Kennedy Brothers called James Baldwin "Martin Luther Queen." They'd fall over laughing each time one of them said it. Then they'd have the White House operator call up Cary Grant just to hear him talk. Good times, good times ...
  • Over at my Taki Magazine's column on the predictions of The Bell Curve after 20 years, commenter erik_ny notes: I gave an all-day deposition once in a corporate lawsui
  • As a 20 something, this description does not fit my experience with my peers.

  • From YNetNews in Israel: Critics of Israel often argue that it operate
  • The liberal response to Ebola (instead of not accepting flights from infected countries, we have to send soldiers and doctors to those countries until they’ve eradicated the infection) seems bizarrely similar to the neocon response to Iraq. It’s Invade the World, Invite the World all over again.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Invade the world, invite the world, infect the world.
  • Political scientist Philip Tetlock has spent decades quantitatively studying who has and who hasn't the ability to forecast world events better than random guesses. I've been intermittently following his spook-funded Good Judgement Project in which people volunteer to compete for 12 months at answering questions like this one from last year: A participant who has...
  • I was so disappointed in my performance I waived the honorarium.

  • Ross Douthat in the NYT riffs on the topic of esoteric knowledge (which I discussed recently in Taki's Magazine): The Cult Deficit SEPT. 27, 2014 ... From the 1970s through the 1990s, from Jonestown to Heaven’s Gate, frightening fringe groups and their charismatic leaders seemed like an essential element of the American religious landscape. Yet...
  • “Assert that a tiny percentage of humanity (i.e., your followers) are the descendants of a supersmart alien race, and that this poor minority has always been oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers.”

    The author of the blog below has been arguing for years that he and his fellow neanderthals have spent thousands of years being “oppressed and victimized by the human majority for their secret superpowers,” and yet he seems to be doomed to obscurity. Are his radical views just waiting for the right salesman to come along?

    http://vault-co.blogspot.com/

  • From the MacArthur Foundation: A few mathematicians and a whole lot of unintentional self-parody ... From Urban Dictionary:
  • “false to her father’s memory and to the characteristics of the household in which they’d grown up.”

    This New Yorker article has some good details on that issue. It turns out neither of her brothers considers her account remotely accurate. On the other hand I think a lot of siblings come out of childhood with very different memories and impressions. The funniest thing about the New Yorker article is how lukewarm Bechdel’s mother is about her work, as compared to, say, the MacArthur Foundation.

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/04/23/drawn-from-life

  • Buckaroo Banzai used to say: "No matter where you go, there you are." In contrast, the reigning dogma is that integration causes assimilation automatically: cultural osmosis. For example, plunk a lot of Somalis down in mild-mannered Minneapolis via refugee programs and soon the only thing they'll get passionate over is icefishing. From the NYT:
  • Emerson said: “I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from”

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    Well, yes, but the point is that individuals don't immigrate. Communities do. And in this case, they are black, and will assimilate into the US black community and adopt their norms. White immigrants assimilate into local white norms. Hispanics and Asians will....I don't know what they will do. The smarter Hispanics will become honorary whites. But the Indian masses? I don't know. Asians are coming over in large enough numbers to form a separate caste. This will be a problem.
  • Gregory Clark's recent book tracking social mobility rates via surnames, The Son Also Rises, got mostly lost in the Piketty shuffle. But now in Foreign Affairs Clark makes explicit one of the key implications of his research showing that social mobility over the generations tends to be lower everywhere than we imagine. As I pointed...
  • Clark’s come a long way since “A Farewell to Alms”:

    “… the only policy the West could pursue that will ensure gains for at least some of the poor of the Third World is to liberalize immigration from these countries. We know a good deal about the economic consequences for migrants from the historical record of countries like Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, which had large flows of immigrants in the modern era. That record shows that migrants, particularly those from very-low-income countries, have been able to achieve enormous income gains through migration. Aid to the Third World may disappear into the pockets of Western consultants and the corrupt rulers of these societies. But each extra migrant admitted to the emerald cities of the advanced world is one more person guaranteed a better material lifestyle.”

    • Replies: @Sean
    “… the only policy the West could pursue that will ensure gains for at least some of the poor of the Third World is to liberalize immigration from these countries. "

    Clark is wrong. That argument ignores the effect of qualified migrants leaving for the West. Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century by development economist Paul Collier makes clear that unless immigration policies are made less liberal the migrants' homelands are going to degenerate. The net effect will be more poor people.

    "migrants, particularly those from very-low-income countries, have been able to achieve enormous income gains through migration."

    That is absolutely true the migrants are the ones who gain not the societies they leave behind or the ones they go to. The exception is when people go abroad to study and return home.

  • As we all know, the Republicans are the party of the angry and ignorant, while the Democrats are the party of the intelligentsia and the classy, such as Senator Michael Bennet (D-Co) (son of a diplomat and a head of NPR, Wesleyan, Yale, investment banking, brother of head of The Atlantic). Bennet heads the Democrats'...
  • He looks like Piketty in that picture.

  • Woody Allen makes an immense number of movies in part due to his tremendous work ethic, decisiveness, organizational abilities, and adamantine self-confidence (in other words, he's not actually very much like the Woody Allen Character he plays on screen). But another reason he can afford to make a movie per year is that rich Jews...
  • “What? Barcelona is the worst thing he’s done. So off-key. It starts out okay, but the political stuff just doesn’t go together with the light comic stuff. And it is so self-pitying with the guy getting shot, having War and Peace read to him(!!!!!), and springing back to life and being the same old self again. Totally bogus.”

    Don’t know what to tell you. I was amazed at the way he managed to incorporate romance, friendship, politics, and terroristic violence into one seamless whole.

  • As long as we’re talking about Baltzell, I think it’s amazing the way his late-career conservative critique of plutocratic and libertine post-60s America has been totally forgotten. The only book of his people read is The Protestant Establishment. By the time he got around to writing “Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia,” his thinking had, to my mind, become much more profound.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks. So if I were to read one book by Baltzell, should it be "“Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia?"
  • Everything he’s done is great, but Barcelona in particular is an astonishingly good movie.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    That's his best, IMO. Great movie.
    , @Priss Factor
    "Barcelona in particular is an astonishingly good movie."

    What? Barcelona is the worst thing he's done. So off-key. It starts out okay, but the political stuff just doesn't go together with the light comic stuff. And it is so self-pitying with the guy getting shot, having War and Peace read to him(!!!!!), and springing back to life and being the same old self again. Totally bogus.

    Stillman's universe is very narrow and limited, and he should keep it that way, which is why METRO, DISCO, and DAMSELS work so well. I like DISCO most but DAMSELS is pure gem. I can see how he took so long to finish it. It's picture-and-word perfect.

    Ross Douthat is such an idiot for failing to appreciate DAMSELS. He compared it with TREE OF LIFE when the sensibility behind DAMSELS was the very opposite. Malick just indulged and spilled himself all over the place, as if his life and imagination are the milky way galaxy. Stillman took a piece of rough diamond and cut it to make it shine with perfection.

    But then, Douthat is the kind of coward who caves into 'gay marriage' and whose idea of 'courage' is screaming at the screening of BREAKING DAWN to ward off Edward from Bella. What a dufus.

    , @Percy Gryce

    Everything he’s done is great, but Barcelona in particular is an astonishingly good movie.
     
    Indeed. As someone who was an Ivy Leaguer and then served in the U.S. military in Western Europe during the late 1980s ("the last decade of the Cold War"), I cherish Barcelona as the only movie I've ever seen that depicts and speaks directly to my experience.
  • Forbes has a somewhat breathless but informative article "The Invisible Force Behind College Admissions" on the Noel-Levitz consulting firm that advises hundreds of colleges on what to offer in financial aid to maximize their tuition income. Twenty-two elite colleges used to get their Overlap Committee together in a hotel conference room every year to fix...
  • “Economic theory suggests that the ultimate goal of any monopolist would be “perfect price discrimination” in which each customer is charged the maximum they would possibly pay. To ensure they know exactly how much that is, student by student, colleges require parents of applicants to perform a financial colonoscopy upon themselves via the federal FAFSA form, accompanied by signed 1040 forms.”

    I once asked a group of PhD economics students why we allowed higher education institutions to practice perfect price discrimination. The answer they come up with is “total surplus is maximized under those conditions.”

    • Replies: @International Jew
    I once asked a group of PhD economics students why we allowed higher education institutions to practice perfect price discrimination. The answer they come up with is “total surplus is maximized under those conditions.”

    That's correct, but those economists could also tell you that 100% of that surplus is captured by the seller (ie the college).
  • The Marvel comic book comedy, Guardians of the Galaxy, with Chris Pratt starring as a deep space freebooter named Peter Quill, is basically a Star Wars movie with Han Solo as the central character and the famous cantina scene as the central inspiration. This is a good idea competently executed, and the movie is making...
  • “Indeed, the only MARVEL films that have held to the allegedly normative Hollywood pattern are the IRON MAN films, which pair up the very fair Paltrow with RDJ.”

    Not sure if it’s a coincidence or not, but those are also the only marvel movies that managed to develop any romantic spark at all.

  • “I’m going to assume that you were being ironic.”

    Not at all. There’s nothing like it out there. Look at how much tension, momentum, and humor Bay packs into 4 minutes of a meaningless car chase:

    • Replies: @syonredux
    "Not at all. There’s nothing like it out there. Look at how much tension, momentum, and humor Bay packs into 4 minutes of a meaningless car chase:"


    We must have very different tastes. Watching that scene, I saw a dearth of tension, momentum, and humor. Indeed, the only thing that I felt while watching that scene was an overwhelming sense of boredom...
  • “One could advance the argument that “They Live” was entirely the wrong kind of movie, in danger of opening people’s eyes.”

    One could, if one believed that aliens were secretly brainwashing us into buying nice things and making babies.

    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    I have been reliably informed that the aliens were David Icke stand-ins for Jews, and that thus the movie was hideously anti-Semitic.

    Hey, everything else seems to be . . . .
  • “On the other hand, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was a hell of a lot better than the last 4 TRANSFORMERS movies, ”

    Guardians didn’t even come close to Transformers 3, which one day will be recognized as the pinnacle of early 21st century blockbuster filmmaking.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    "Guardians didn’t even come close to Transformers 3, which one day will be recognized as the pinnacle of early 21st century blockbuster filmmaking."

    Given that TRANSFORMERS:DARK OF THE MOON was one of the most boring films ever made, I'm going to assume that you were being ironic.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Transformers 3 is the only one of the four I saw, and I quite enjoyed it.
  • The best scene was Chris Pratt dancing during the opening credits. After the great job he does carrying this movie, it seems pretty clear he’s got a good career ahead of him.

  • From the Washington Post: Dog-whistle. The congressman went on to condemn those who say the Republican position on immigration is dooming the party by alienating Latinos. “This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party,” Brooks said. “And the way in which they’re launching this war is by...
  • @Art Deco
    “In America today, for obvious reasons, half-jews seem to more often embrace the jewish side of their identity.”

    'Embrace' is an odd way to put it. See the complaints about J Street: that it's staffed with and reflects the viewpoint of inter-married Jews and their children.

    “‘Embrace’ is an odd way to put it. See the complaints about J Street: that it’s staffed with and reflects the viewpoint of inter-married Jews and their children.”

    I’m not sure what you mean. That J Street and the newest generation of american jews and part-jews are more liberal on Israeli issues than previous generations doesn’t say much about whether or not they identify as Jewish. Working at a lobbying group devoted solely to issues surrounding Israel seems like something you do when you’re pretty serious about your Jewish identity. Or maybe I misunderstood the point.

  • @Art Deco
    “In America today, for obvious reasons, half-jews seem to more often embrace the jewish side of their identity.”

    'Embrace' is an odd way to put it. See the complaints about J Street: that it's staffed with and reflects the viewpoint of inter-married Jews and their children.

    “‘Embrace’ is an odd way to put it. See the complaints about J Street: that it’s staffed with and reflects the viewpoint of inter-married Jews and their children.”

    I’m not sure what you mean. That J Street and the newest generation of american jews and part-jews are more liberal on Israeli issues than previous generations doesn’t say much about whether or not they identify as Jewish. Working at a lobbying group devoted solely to issues surrounding Israel seems like something you do when you’re pretty serious about your Jewish identity. Or maybe I misunderstood the point.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    That J Street and the newest generation of american jews and part-jews are more liberal on Israeli issues than previous generations doesn’t say much about whether or not they identify as Jewish.

    Oh yes it does. Here you have a bunch of people with gentile parents, commonly with little or nothing in the way of religious affiliation, running a lobby which works against the interests of Israel and chronically misconceives Israel's political dilemmas in ways you'd expect of liberal squisheads from the BosWash corridor.
  • In The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell explains that black crime today is just like the old Italian Mafia: The big difference, according to Malcolm, between the good old days of the Mafia and black crime is that there has been too much law enforcement since 1960, which is what is keeping black criminals from becoming...
  • @nope
    "I’m sorry, but that is a ludicrous assertion. To find a fairly group of people with a relatively clean record, you would need to look to history’s losers."


    Not true. Look at Iceland, and Scandinavia in general.

    Even in the colony age, they had hardly any colonies, all of small size, and they were the first to give them up, in large part because all the Scandinavian colonies were so unprofitable. Last time these guys were being real assholes was back in the Viking age.

    Nowadays, they're known for not being assholes, and for quiet prosperity and rationalism. They've been known for this for a century +. That, and for being brain-washable lefty suckers, of course.

    “Last time these guys were being real assholes was back in the Viking age.”

    I feel like it was kind of jerky for the Swedes to invade half of Europe in the 17th century.

  • From the Washington Post: Dog-whistle. The congressman went on to condemn those who say the Republican position on immigration is dooming the party by alienating Latinos. “This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party,” Brooks said. “And the way in which they’re launching this war is by...
  • In America today, for obvious reasons, half-jews seem to more often embrace the jewish side of their identity.

  • “So is he saying that Blacks in the U.S will eventually culturally assimilate into mainstream America like the Italians and no longer be associated with high rates of crime ?”

    His argument is that they would assimilate and prosper if we would only take a more lax attitude towards their criminal behavior, as he believes we treated the italians (glossing over, among other things, that time 11 of them were lynched in New Orleans in response to the murder of a police officer).

  • This kind of willful ignorance in the service of a barely concealed ethnic agenda never fails to shock me. You should see how, in the latest New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell decides we shouldn’t be so hard on black criminality. After all, his argument goes, italian mobsters used to murder people, and that wasn’t so bad, was it?

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/11/crooked-ladder.

  • Back in the 1950s, impresarios tried all sorts of upgrades to get people to stop watching free TV at home and pay to sit in a movie theater, such as color movies, widescreen formats, 3D, and Smell-o-Vision. That's all coming back, although American theaters are lagging. One reason for those huge overseas boxoffice totals this...
  • I recently went to one of those theaters where you have a pod and a waiter comes over to serve you food and alcohol. I wasn’t super into it but I could see that taking off.

  • From Vaux on Twitter: From SALONdotcom on Twitter:
  • From my new Taki's Magazine column: Read the whole thing there.
  • The thought experiment aspect of Camp of the Saints is in imagining what it would be like if all of this immigration that’s been occurring over several decades happened at exactly the same time, thereby clarifying the event (and the choices available to the West) in a way that can’t be obfuscated or ignored.

  • Events at the American border, as well as in the Mediterranean, are reminiscent of French novelist Jean Raspail's prophetic 1973 novel The Camp of the Saints. Raspail's preface from the translation by Norman Shapiro: THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS By Jean Raspail Translated by Norman Shapiro Originally published in French as Le Camp Des Saints,...
  • Camp of the Saints is pretty good for the science fiction genre, and the central conceit is obviously genius, but there’s way too much French intellectual ranting and cardboard characterization for it to be a great novel.

    • Replies: @peterike
    "but there’s way too much French intellectual ranting and cardboard characterization for it to be a great novel."

    It isn't really a novel at all. It's a meditation. As such it is wonderful. Some bits:

    "In war, the real enemy is always behind the lines. Never in front of you, never among you. Always at your back."

    "When freedom expands to mean freedom of instinct and social destruction, then freedom is dead."

    "The Western heart, deep down, is all sham. In any event, they'll have lost the strength and the will to say no! Now, multiply that by a million mindless themes, applauded by a million milksop fathers, and you get some idea of the climate of total decay."

    "They've gelded his will of its instinct for self-preservation."
  • From my new Taki's Magazine column: Read the whole thing there.
  • It is bizarrely similar to Raspail’s thought experiment in Camp of the Saints.