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 TeasersFred Reed Blogview

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Vi and I have just returned from Chengdu, a Chinese village of seventeen million and the gateway to Tibet. Since China is of some interest to the US these days, I thought a description of sorts, actually more in the nature of a disordered travelogue, might be of interest. I hadn’t been to the country for twelve years and, before that, not since living in Taiwan in the mid-Seventies. Each time, the changes were astonishing. Herewith some notes:

A caveat: we never got more than three hundred miles from the city and do not pretend to describe the country beyond what we saw.

Despite Trump’s trade war we had no problems in getting visas in Guadalajara or getting through customs in Chengdu. Nobody showed us the slightest hostility. Although China is assuredly a dictatorship and vigorously represses dissent, we saw virtually no police. A friend who lived in Chengdu for several years until recently asserts that there is close to zero street crime. (White collar crime is a very different matter, he said, and seems built into Chinese culture. There are books on this.)

China is often described as a developing country. Well, sort of. Chengdu is decidedly of the First World, modern, muscular, appearing to have been recently built because it was. The downtown is beautiful, at least as cities go, and livable. In many hours of walking aimlessly we encountered everything from elegant high-end stores selling upscale Western bands to noodle shops. It is not a poor city. A considerable number of people wear worn clothes and clearly are not overly prosperous, but nobody looked hungry and most appeared middle class. We saw no beggars or homeless people of the sort common in the US. Whether this is because there aren’t any, or because the government doesn’t allow them on the streets, I do not know.

For anyone who knows what China was before Deng Xiaoping took over in 1978, after Mao made his greatest contribution to his country–he died–the growth of prosperity astounds. Many criticisms may be made of the Chinese government, some of them valid, but no other government has lifted so many people out of poverty so fast.

When I lived in Taiwan, I wondered why the Chinese, especially the mainlanders, were so backward. They seemed to have been so almost forever, certainly since well before Legation days. At the time Taiwan had a Five Year Plan for development, but so did all sorts of dirtball counties, mostly consisting of a patch of jungle, a colonel, and a torture chamber.

I noted, though, if the reader will forgive me a digression: Taiwan was actually meeting its Plan. In the Third World of the time, this was a novel idea. The Jin Shan reactors were going in, the new port, the steel mill, the highway. I interviewed the head of the nuclear program for the Far Eastern Economic Review–Harvard guy. Other officials were from MIT. Idi Amin they were not.

Young and dumb as I was–the two being barely distinguishable–I thought Hong Kong looked like Manhattan with slanted eyes, hardball financial turf, and I knew Taiwanese students in America were excelling in science courses. I concluded that Mousy Dung was the greatest American patriot who ever lived since, if he ever stopped holding these people back, what has happened might.

But back to Chengdu.

A perfectly stunning number of clusters of apartment buildings like these swarm on the horizon. The only round–eye  I met who lived in one said that her apartment was quite nice.
A perfectly stunning number of clusters of apartment buildings like these swarm on the horizon. The only round–eye I met who lived in one said that her apartment was quite nice.

The first thing we noticed in the city was the enormous scale of everything. Buildings downtown were huge. The elevated highways everywhere were huge. The numbers of people were huge. There were literally hundreds of hugely tall apartment buildings. The principle seemed to be that if you have too many people to spread them out, stack them up. Said a Chinese guide we hired, they weren’t there twenty years ago.

Conspicuous to both Violeta and me was evidence of Intelligent Design. Chengdu clearly did not evolve randomly as cities do in the West. Somebody thought about things beforehand. The overhead highways kept heavy traffic flowing. Very wide sidewalks downtown made pedestrianism pleasant. The subway was nothing special but well designed to be easy to use even if you don’t know how. (Well, it does have sliding glass doors to keep you away from the tracks until the train comes. This way, you can’t throw things onto the tracks, such as your mother-in-law.)

A characteristic of the Chinese is that there are lots of them. The photo is deceptive since only in a few old, narrow-streeted market regions do you see this. But I liked the picture, so you have to look at it. (Due to a camera missetting, I got video, but it seemed descriptive, so I kept it.)

In a country that thinks it is communist, or pretends it is to save face in case you notice that it isn’t, you might expect horrible architecture. You know, like the awful Stalin Gothic of Moscow. Or Franco’s mausoleum that looks to have been designed by someone channeling Albert Speer. Actually no. (Except maybe sorta for the huge apartment buildings, mentioned above, that cluster together in sometimes groups of twelve that could hold the population of Guatemala).

Thing is, the Chinese have a well-developed aesthetic sense, at least in the visual realm (not so hot musically, and Beijing opera is a crime against humanity). Somebody, which means the government, said that considerable green space would be left, and it was. Planters with (unsurprisingly) plants in them are everywhere, and patches of what look like manicured forest. The result is curious. You can sit in cool shady woods a few yards from an enormous overhead highway.

Communism, which China once had, pretty much forbids religion, so I wondered what we would find in the faith line. Buddhists. We visited Buddhist temples, meticulously maintained, with worshipers, mostly women, obviously worshiping. How was this, I asked my round-eyed friend. Well, he said, Christianity was strongly disapproved as being Western, but the government was nervous about public reaction to a crackdown on Buddhism. So they decided that Buddhism wasn’t a religion, see, but Chinese culture, and thus OK. I don’t know whether this is true, but thought it a nicely practical waffle.

Huge. Here we go again. Chengdu has what it says is the world’s largest building, 1.5 million square meters. This is the Global Center. It is the damndest thing I have ever seen, maybe. I suspect it was built to overcome an international short-man’s complex. I bet it did, too. It was like going into the VAB at Canaveral, unlimited space, with hotels, stores, offices, wide open space. But–the aesthetic thing again–it was wonderfully colorful and just–“gorgeous” comes to mind. It was not designed by corporate in New Jersey.

The Chinese conception of wide-screen video, at the Global Center. Note the man just to the left of the video button. I am not sure why the blonde is there. I think it a good idea, though. Violeta thinks it has to do with Victoria’s Secret. It isn’t clear where she could hide more than a very small secret.

• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: China, China/America 
I’d Rather Be Ruled by Autistic Hamsters
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The United States seems to be contemplating war with Russia, Iran, China, or all three. Washington pushes NATO ever closer to Russia, leaves the nuclear-missile treaty and tries to destroy both countries and China economically. Why the push for war?

Simple. Asia is awakening. China (from which I have just returned) grows economically at a scorching pace–and all power rests on economic power. China is a large country, America a medium-sized one. America’s roughly two hundred million whites do virtually all of the scientific work on which national power depends. China has a billion increasingly educated Han Chinese, a five-to-one advantage. China’s stated aim is to united Eurasia among other places in one vast commercial union. Washington’s pugnacity has pushed China, Iran, and Russia together. The chain of nations, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey all totter between looking east and looking west. If Washington doesn’t stop this growth, the American Empire will be marginalized within decades.

This doesn’t threaten the Amercan public. It threatens the Empire and Israel.

What would a war with Russia look like, even assuming that it didn’t go nuclear? A great military thinker–me, actually–once said that military stupidity comes in three levels: normally stupid; really really stupid; and invading Russia. From Chuck XII to Adolf I it has proved a poor career move.

The US military has not won a war since 1945, with the exception of the First Gulf War, which the LAPD could have won. It lost decisively in Vietnam. It got run out of Lebanon with 241 dead Marines as its only accomplishment. After seventeen years it shows no signs of defeating barely armed Afghan peasants. Iraq has been a complete botch, achieving none of its goals, control of the oil, permanent bases, and a puppet government. Just now the military is losing in Syria.

Nothing short of genius can account for losing so consistently given the enormous resources available to American forces. In light of this very low level of military competence, maybe wars are not our best choice of hobby.

What sort of war is envisaged? The United States cannot fight a sizable land war. Iran can. Russia can. The American military means air power and little else. The Army hasn’t fought a serious war since 1973, the fleet since 1945. In long periods of inaction, things deteriorate because they do not seem important. Crucial supplies cease to exist, spare parts aren’t there, the logistics train quietly becomes inoperable. Money goes instead to pricey weapons of little practical use.

The Army recruits from a soft millennial population. America is no longer a country of tough rural kids. Social engineering has rotted the ranks. The military has suffered years of feminization, SJW appeasement, affirmative action, lowered physical standards, and LGBTQ insertion. Conscription is politically impossible. The Army cannot defeat Afghans even with the advantages of unlimited air power, artillery, gun ships, medevac, helicopters, and drones, It would last a very short time if it had to fight the Afghans or Iranians, on even terms. Muslims are more virile than today’s Americans and have proven tenacious.

A military that never fights a war that it has to win, that never encounters an enemy that can dangerously hit back, inevitably deteriorates.

Militaries come to believe their own propaganda. So, apparently, do the feral mollycoddles in the White House and New York. The American military’s normal procedure is to overestimate American power, underestimate the enemy, and misunderstand the kind of war it is getting into. Should Washington decide on war with Iran, or Russia (unless by a surprise nuclear strike) there will be the usual talk of the most powerful, best trained, best equipped etc., and how the Ivans and towel-heads will melt away in days, a cakewalk. Bet me.

Militaries have a very poor record of predicting outcomes of wars. This might provoke thought. The American Civil War was expected to be over in an afternoon; this was wrong by 650,000 dead and four years. When Napoleon invaded Russia, he did not expect Russians to occupy Paris. Germany thought that WWI would be a war of movement over in weeks; in fact a ghastly war of attrition lasting four years. When Japan attacked Pearl, it was not intentionally inviting GIs to the geisha houses of Tokyo. When Germany invaded Poland, occupation of Germany by Russia and America was low on its list of expectations. When France re-invaded Vietnam, it did not foresee Dien Bien and utter defeat by les jaunes. When America invaded Vietnam, it did not expect a decade-long losing war. When Russia invaded Afghanistan it did not expect to lose to Afghans in sandals. When America invaded Afghanistan, having seen what had happened to Russia, it did not expect the same result.

We do not know what a war with Iran, or Russia, or China would look like or what the Iranians might do. An overconfident military and an inexperienced government in Washington will predictably predict a short war and speak of precision weapons and surgical strikes. The Navy will guarantee that it can keep the Straits open, and speak of its advanced technology. The expectation will be that there will be nothing unexpected. The white House will believe that Iran will lie there and be bombed without response. Russia? The nukes will fall on the European countries from which the attack came. Germany might ponder this carefully.

America could of course destroy much of Iran and kill millions of the defenseless. This is what America now calls “war.” It would be amusing to see what would happen if the Air Force had to fight an enemy that could fight back, but this would mean only Russia or, perhaps, just possibly, barely, to some extent, China. It is a coward’s way of war and, to judge by South Vietnam and Afghanistan, not very effective. Killing lots of people and winning a war are not the same thing.

What if Iran did stop petroleum traffic in the Persian Gulf with, say, missiles mounted on pickup trucks. Is this possible? I don’t know. Neither, I suspect, does the Navy–which will insist that it can handle mere pickup trucks with its superb this and that, its best trained, best equipped, the only hyperpower, and so on. But tankers are not going to run even a small risk of going up in flames.

How long would the Straits have to be closed with the world screaming for oil before Washington, desperate, its vanity bruised, full of huge egos, would have to do something stupid to save face?

Further, American leadership is of dangerously low quality. An essentially absentee Congress, the sordidness and criminality of the Clintons, Trump’s utter crassness and shady past, the submission to Israel, the widespread and never punished corruption. In this sorry brew no one seems interested in the well-being of the county, only unseemly grasping at benefits for the arms industry, big oil, Wall Street, Tel Aviv, and the Empire. Note that wars generate huge profits for the arms makers and the longer the war can be kept going, neither winning nor losing, the greater the profits. War against Iran would be a magnificent profit center. Since American casualties are extremely low , permanent war has few downsides.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, China, Neocons, Russia 
College Boys in KKK Robes Chant “Hitler! Hitler! Hitler!”
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Oh God. Oh God. Is there no surcease? I know, silly question. Squalling protesters: Half of the country seems fifteen years younger than its chronological age. Staged ire. Sordid passion of the herd. Hysteria. Irrationality. Weird accusations. Savage feminists. As per custom, it is all about how horrible men are.

One of the sillier sillinesses of feminists regarding us men, of whom they seem to know little, is that we hate women, scorn them, want to abuse and hurt them and, most especially, gang-rape them. See, men view rape casually. It’s just something to do in a moment of boredom. Like scratching, or wondering where we left our keys. It’s because of our misogyny. The Sisterhood seems to love misogyny, pray for misogyny, invent misogyny because without it life would be bleak and devoid of meaning.

What is wrong with these baffled ditz-rabbits? Men hate women? By and large, our mothers have been women. Yes, check it out. Also our wives and girlfriends, grandmothers, granddaughters, daughters and–this will astonish the more ardent among feminists–even many of our friends. And, often, our collies.

As for regarding rape causally: If some dirtball raped anywoman close to me, I would favor subjecting him to a sex change with a propane torch, knee-capping him as a mobility-reduction measure, giving him a beating of the sort popular with dentists who want Porsches, and putting him in Leavenworth for thirty years. Sensitive readers will suggest that I am a psycho for proposing such effective and extremely meritorious measures. Admittedly they run counter to the trade winds of American jurisprudence. But a great many men will quietly say, “Right on, Fred.”

But: Rape is a crime. The standard is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As well as I can see, the Kavanaugh charges do not even meet the civil standard of preponderance of the evidence, since there seems to be little evidence to preponder. The accuser doesn’t remember when it was, or where it was, or just who was there, and those she thinks were there don’t remember the party.

It would be uncharitable of me to note that she sure did pop up at a politically convenient time. So I won’t note it, as I am very charitable. Anyway, such is the nobility of our democracy that no one would make phony rape charges to derail a judgeship. In Guatemala, yes, but not in America. Heaven forfend.

Since I am actually in a mood for noting things, I will note that any girl in my high school class–King George High, class of 1964–could accuse me of raping her at a party, and do it with similar evidence: none. Equally with Kavanaugh, I would have no way to defend myself. How could I prove what I hadn’t done at a party nobody remembered after 55 years? This would be no defense against the presumption of guilt. Girls I dated would report that I had no such inclinations. Surviving teachers would remember–well, perhaps imperfect behavior, but nothing lubricious. This would prove nothing.

However, this first accusation against Kavanaugh has the virtue that it could have happened, since there is no proof that it didn’t happen. The same could be said of course of the charge that I raped whoever some girl might say that I had. Ah, but now we come to the gang-rape business. We have:

“Swetnick, who attended High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, swore under oath that she attended at least 10 parties where she says she witnessed Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, and others “cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.” She added that she has a “firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,”

First, “cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented.” This displays a common theme among feminists, painting girls as helpless, easily manipulated victims, having no will of their own. Is this not truly insulting to girls? “He didn’t tell me beer had alcohol in it and I didn’t know boys were interested in sex, I thought it was just us girls….”

But, just as the problem with the first story is no witness, the problem with the gang rape is too many witnesses. “At least ten parties….” Since it is unlikely that a girl would come back to be gang-raped a second time, this implies at least ten victims. While it is true that a rape victim often will not come forward because of embarrassment, it is curious that not one of the violated multitude said anything, even though everyone at the party would have seen the line-up. None of the other girls at the party said anything either, even though this was a frequent occurrence. Is it not odd that the author of this story, seeing long lines of boys engaging in rape, at party after party after party, saw no particular reason for reporting it? That the many other girls witnessing this also said nothing? This is a song sounding mightily of fabrication. Which must be obvious to senators who, though morally challenged, are not stupid.

With this many victims, perpetrators, and witnesses, it is impossible that the FBI will not find proof. If Kavanaugh, and other boys, did it, they belong in jail. Bill Cosby went to the slam for proven rape committed many years ago So can Kavanaugh. But if they did not, perjury charges against the accusers would be salutary, or at the very least civil actions for libel. Given the immense hardship and often irremediable consequence of being falsely accused, the penalty for false charges should also be harsh.

False accusations of rape are not uncommon. A few gain national attention. Most do not. A few: Tawana Brawley, a black woman, was gang-raped by four white (of course) men, except that she wasn’t. Next there is the Duke Lacrosse case, Then at Rolling Stone a feminist writer and a magazine not greatly given to fact checking published the story of rape at the University of Virginia, also discredited. It cost them a libel settlement. And so on.

Again, if the accused men and boys had been guilty, long prison terms would have been a good idea. But they weren’t. The presumption of guilt for men and innocence for women are convenient for those who want to prevent confirmation of a judge but do not reflect reality. People, assuredly to include women, use what power they have to get what they want.

The editor of a major paper once told me that he never allowed a woman into his office unless the door was open and a third person present. Why? If a disgruntled reporter says, “He groped me,” it will go viral. (Joyful headline headline in competing paper: “Editor of Daily Blatt allegedly….”) Months of furor will ensue. He will have large legal bills. The suspicion arising from that “allegedly” will never die. The paper’s board may well decide that regardless of guilt he is having too serious an affect on the advertisers. He will be permitted to resign, never to get a similar job. The Daily Blatt will settle as quietly as possible for a quarter million.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Feminism, Political Correctness 
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I am sorry. I admit it: I am a bad person. I promise I will never write about this again. Well, sort of never. It’s just too much fun. Anyway, it’s not my fault. My childhood makes me do it. Maybe I ate lead paint.

Science is supposed to be objective study of nature, impelled by a willingness to follow the evidence impartially wherever it leads. For the most part it works this way. In the case of emotionally charged topics, it does not. For example, racial intelligence, cognitive differences between the sexes, and weaknesses in Darwinian evolution. Scientists who do perfectly good research in these fields, but arrive at forbidden conclusions, will be hounded out of their fields, fired from academic and research positions, blackballed from employment, and have their careers destroyed.

A prime example is Richard Sternberg, a Ph.D. in biology (Molecular Evolution) from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in Systems Science (Theoretical Biology) from Binghamton University. He is not a lightweight. From 2001-2007 he was staff scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2001-2007 a Research Associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Hell broke loose when he authorized in 2004 the publication, in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, an organ of the Smithsonian Institution, of a peer-reviewed article, The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher taxonomic Categories by Stephen Meyer. It dealt with the possibility of intelligent design as an explanation of aspects of Darwinism not explainable by the conventional theory. This is a serious no-no among the guardians of conventional Darwinism, the political correctness of science.

At the Smithsonian, he was demoted, denied access to specimens he needed in his work, transferred to work under a hostile supervisor, and lost his office space. In the ensuring storm of hatred, two separate federal investigations concluded that he had been made the target of malicious treatment.

Predictably, the establishment dismisses Meyer’s idea ass “pseudoscience”:

Wikipedia: The Sternberg peer review controversy concerns the conflict arising from the publication of an article supporting the pseudo-scientific concept of intelligent design in a scientific journal, and the subsequent questions of whether proper editorial procedures had been followed and whether it was properly peer reviewed.

Pseudoscience? Does not Darwinism itself qualify as pseudoscience? It is firmly based on no evidence. For most readers this assertion will seem as delusional as saying that the sun revolves around the earth. This is because we have been indoctrinated since birth in the Darwinian myth. But look at the facts.

We are told that life arose by chance in the primeval oceans. Do we know of what those oceans consisted? (Know, not speculate, hope, it stands to reason, must have been, everybody says so). No, we do not. Do we know of what those oceans would have had to consist to bring about life? No. Do we even know what we think evolved? No. Has the chance appearance of life been replicated in the laboratory? No. Has a metabolizing, reproducing chemical complex been constructed in the laboratory, showing that it might be possible? No. Can the chance appearance be shown to be mathematically probable? No. Can Darwinism explain the existence of irreducibly complex structures? No. Does the fossil record, particularly of the Ediacaran and Cambrian, support Darwin? No.

Darwinism was a clever metaphysical idea formed when almost nothing was known about the matter, and imposed by impassioned supporters on a near-total lack of evidence. Should not intensely believing in something that you cannot support by observation or experiment be called pseudoscience?

The ardent of evolution, like Christians, base their creation myth from a sacred book, The Origin of Species, both resting on about as much evidence. Thereafter they assume what is to be proved. Since Darwinists posit the unchallengeable truth of their version of creation, no reason exists for questioning it. If you know it happened, then obviously it was mathematically possible. The math can be discovered later. If you know that life originated in ancient seas, then how it originated becomes a mere detail. If you know the theory is correct, then anyone who doubts must necessarily be at least wrong, and thus ignorable, and perhaps a crank or fool or lunatic.

A classic example of starting from certainty is Darwinism’s reaction to the apparent irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum, though hundreds of others could be adduced. This is an immensely complex cellular organelle which would cease to function of any of its parts were removed. It could not have evolved by Darwin’s gradual changes. The Darwinians say, “Well, we aren’t sure just at the moment, but is possible that we will figure out later how it could have happened.” Yes, and it is possible that I will win three Irish Sweepstakes in a row. They are, again, saying that they know that Darwinism is correct, and therefore the evidence will be forthcoming. This is called “faith,” the belief in the unestablishable.

As a friend has written in another context, “When utterly astonishing claims of an extremely controversial nature are made over a period of many years by numerous seemingly reputable academics and other experts, and they are entirely ignored or suppressed but never effectively refuted, reasonable conclusions seem to point in an obvious direction.”

Just so. A lot of highly credentialed researchers express doubts about doctrinaire Darwinism, asserting that it cannot explain many aspects of nature. What does explain them is a separate question. Why is wondering about this a firing offense?

A difficulty in conveying doubts about Neo-Darwinism (the correct name of the current theory) is that very few people, including the highly intelligent, know anything about the issue. The world is full of esoteric specialities from the decipherment of ancient Sumerian inscriptions to the neural anatomy of squids. Few will have chosen Darwin’s defects for careful study.

This is convenient for Darwinists as the dim will believe whatever they hear on television and the bright usually have other things to do with their brains. As the case of Mr. Sternberg shows, scientists who doubt Darwin–again, there are many–know better than to say anything.

The fury is telling. If the Darwinists could prove the many highly credentialed proponents of ID wrong, they would do so, and that would be that. If they could prove their own propositions correct, they would, and that would also be that. But they can’t (or they would have).

If you follow the controversy, you quickly see patterns. One is that the Darwinists are fiercely defensive, suggesying doubt of their own position. People seldom become infuriated at doubts of something that they believe with genuine certainty. If a physicist at CalTech expressed doubts about general relativity, he would certainly be challenged to prove his theory. He would not be hounded, belittled, forced to resign, charged with pseudoscience, and banned from publication.

Will Implement Thoughtful and Reasonable Measures
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I have no choice. I must don the mantle of greatness and take the reins of the country. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I will run for the office of dictator, or President in American parlance.

Readers may ask, “But Fred, what makes you think you are qualified to be President?” To which I respond, “Nothing. But have you seen what we have now? You want a White House with John Bolton in it?”

You see.

I append here a few of the enlightened policies which I will effect. Hold your applause until the end. Interspersed for perusal are a few slogans that I may use to incite your fervor.

One: I will end all policies hostile to Cuba. I will not make life difficult for eleven million perfectly good people to please a ratpack of phony Cubans afflicting Miami. In fact, I will offer Havana a twenty-billion-dollar loan if they will take the bastards back. Cuba poses no danger to anyone. They have good cigars. They should be left alone to live as they please and drink mojitos. If nutcake Republicans protest my policy, I will have them stuffed into an abandoned oil well. Along with the pseudo-Cubans.

Two: Elizabeth Warren will be required to take a DNA test to see whether she is a wild Indian. If she is, she will have to wear feathers. Otherwise, to see a psychiatrist.

We have nothing to be afred of but Fred hisself! Has a classic ring, don’t you think?

Three: I will end the Afghan war in an afternoon, relying on use the exit strategy proposed by James P. Coyne, the Sun Tsu of our age:

“OK, on the plane. Now.”

If Lindsey Graham complains that we need to kill more puzzled goatherds, I will have him inserted into the oil well on top of the Republicans and pseudo-Cubans, with Oprah tamped down on top as a sort of cork. There is nothing in Afghanistan that Americans need or want, except opium products, and private enterprise now provides these in abundance. Check the nearest street corner, or ask your kids.

Four: I will make membership in AIPAC a felony, and remind its members that I could have Oprah temporarily removed from the oil well to make more room. Aipackers can act as they please in their own country–I will not meddle in foreign affairs–but leave ours alone.

Fred! Ahhhhhh…. This has a nicely orgasmic quality that will appeal to the younger demographic. It represents the satisfaction that my rule will bring to the entire country.

Five: I will end all sanctions against Iran. Then I will sell those Persian rascals airplanes and cars and electronic stuff and towel softener and lock them into the American economic system. This will make Boeing and AT&T and Intel love me with the deep sweet love that never dies, at least as long as the money flows, and there will be lots of jobs in Seattle.

Six: I will bring charges of treason against the contents of the Great Double Wide on Pennsylvania Avenue. The evidence is incontrovertible. The first rule of empire is Don’t Let Your Enemies Unite. Everybody who has an empire knows this. Except us. Inside the White House a bunch of apparently brain-damaged political mostly left-overs, suffering from Beltway Bubble Syndrome, push China, Russia, and Iran together like some kind of international spaghetti-grope LGTBQRSTUV threesome. Who are our dismal leaders really working for? China?

A Fred in Every Pot This makes no sense, you may say. No, but we are doing politics. It is almost iambic pentameter, like Shakespeare. It will lend class to my campaign.

Seven: I will keep the F-35 program. It provides a lot of jobs. However, I will but get rid of the airplane. Isn’t this brilliant? Instead of building the thing, workers will dig holes and fill them in, but keep their current salaries. It will improve their health, and make America safer. The fewer dangerous things the children in the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel have, the less trouble it can cause.

Better Fred than Dead! Some readers will dispute this. What do they know?

Eight: I have been urged to end affirmative action on the grounds that things should be done by people who can actually do them. This is racist. I will have nothing to do with it. Instead I will make affirmative action democratic and inclusive. Everyone will qualify for it. Special privilege should not be restricted to a minority. It isn’t the American way.

Fred! Good as Any, Better’n Some. Good thinking.

Nine: I will abolish NATO. America should find a cheaper way to control the vassals. There is of course the bedtime story that NATO exists to confront the Russkies, and only incidentally provides a compulsory market for American armament. Nuts. Russia cannot seem dangerous to anyone who wasn’t dropped on his head at some formative juncture in life. Smallish population, low military budget.

Likewise South Korea, which has twice the population and forty times the economy of the North. If it wants to defend itself, it has my blessing. If it doesn’t, it isn’t our problem.

Tippecanoe and Frederick Too! This may require exhumation, but for this we have backhoes.

Ten: I will make a modest reduction in the military budget, say seventy-five percent. To keep the soldiers happy I will invest in high-throughput roller coasters, a shooting range with BB guns, and really loud speaker systems that say Va roooom and Bangbangbang and fzzzzzzzzboom. These will provide psychic emoluments of martial life without the murder.

Eleven: The money thus saved I will use on pressing domestic problems. LA has 68,000 homeless people on the streets, San Francisco loses conventions because of so many homeless defecating on the sidewalks, Portland has homeless riots,. The lower primates in Antifa and BLM rend such social fabric as any longer exists. Dams are aging. Our trains are out of of the Fifties. And we spend a trillion a year on goddam aircraft carriers?

Fred? Well, Got a Better Idea?

Twelve: As an educational reform, I will have the Department of Education filled with linoleum cement, the occupants being left inside. This will raise the national IQ by at least three points. I will pass an amendment to the fragments of the Constitution saying, “No federal entity or person shall say, think, suggest, or do anything whatever regarding schooling on pain of garroting.” Part of the savings from lowering the military budget will go to purchasing garrotes. The duration, content, and nature of the schools shall be left to localities without exception.

Thirteen: The father of any girl subjected to genital mutilation will be awarded a free gender reassignment operation, preferably with tin-snips. Genital mutilation should be inclusive. The father will then be placed for two weeks in the bottom of a public latrine in Uganda. If this doesn’t suffice to deter the practice, I may be forced to adopt extreme measures. A country that allows such treatment of daughters deserves to go to hell. And seems to be.

Fourteen: I will impose a literacy test for voting. People too dim to find their way home should not be permitted to influence policies they have never heard of and can’t spell. Yes, this might be called illiberal. If so, it will doubtless be the only example of illiberalism in this meritorious list.

Fifteen: In higher education, I will prescribe horse whipping for anyone saying microaggression, white privilege, whiteness, patriarchy, safe space, people of color, racism, any kind of phobia, or “Resist” in a squalling voice with an exclamation point. No curriculum containing the word “Studies” will be permitted.

Sixteen: Anyone prescribing Ritalin for children under twenty-one will be thrown from a helicopter.

In conclusion, I say to my yearning public, There, you, see, there is hope. Together we can do this. See you at the polls.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Presidents 
Recollectons of the Social Cryogenian
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The big roads were safe then, or we thought they were. Many of us, the more adventurous, poured onto the highways, just going, moving, looking. We were devotees of the long-haul thumb, crossing and recrossing the continent, dropping into Mexico, whatever.

A camaraderie held. There were rules. On an onramp it was first come first served, no butting in line and anybody with his thumb out was taken as a friend, or at least friendly. “Hey, man, got any shit?” was a common question. This meant grass, pot, ganja, herb, and good manners was to share.

A theme of the age was that “Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.” This makes more sense than might seem today.

It was wild to be alone in the sun and clarity of the southwestern deserts, trucks howling by, a blast of wind and shining of tires, and it was just you and the whole desert stretching in sand and cactus to the horizon. You might end up sleeping in an arroyo and if there was a gas station in sight there might be a bottle of Triple Jack.

The song that caught the era was Born to be Wild, Steppenwolf, and at my local biker bar in Mexico it still produces an electric shiver and a sadness for things gone. Someone once said, “The symphony ain’t been wrote that matches the lope of a Harley, potatopotatopotato.” Could be.

There were black holes that you could hitch into but not out of, where despite traffic or the lack of it you could spend days without getting a ride. One was in Canada–I swear it was called Wa Wa or something like that–that had a buddy of mine and I contemplating homesteading. On an obscure onramp in California someone had carved into the post of a stop sign, “Day 13. We killed John yesterday and ate him.”

Once in Berkeley, on Telegraph Road, Hill, Avenue, or whatever it is, a friend, a depressive Irishman, was in a phone booth calling back East. The connection was bad. “Plattsburgh. No, Platts–no, P as in psilocybin….” She understood him. Such were the times.

One afternoon after crossing the continent from DC my ride dropped me on on the Riverside exit in California. I was looking for my friend Jimmy Auld, who later killed himself by swimming out into the Rappahannock River at two a.m. in mid-January. But that’s another story. The day was sunny and I felt good after a long haul and in the distance I heard Carmina Burana.

That would be Jimmy. He was a music freak and had a Fisher tube-amp that he managed to carry with him everywhere.

So I reached the house on the main vein through town and there in the living room was Jimmy sitting on one of maybe five pink porcelain toilets, connected to nothing. Just there, in a sort of ring. I asked him why toilets.

“I stole them,” he said, clearly thinking this a reasonable explanation. It seemed he had worked in a hardware store.

“Oh,” I said. “But why toilets?”

“They watched everything else.”

It made as much sense as anything else in those years. It was an age of hunting and gathering.

One thing we all noticed on the road: The less a car cost, the more likely it was to pick you up. Caddies? Forget it. Thing was, people in old cars had probably been down on their luck. They knew what it was. So they pulled over. A crumbling ten-year-old pickup covered in Bondo and pop-rivets would usually stop.

Another thing we noticed was that in the South people were friendlier and more charitable. As you went from DC south, there was a sort of social thermocline at Fredericksburg, a sharp increase in warmth and courtesy. . You could feel that you somehow belonged in Fredericksburg. In the north, you were always just passing through, and usually under suspicion.

I once got dropped off in Boone, North Carolina, almost dead broke. Mountains loomed green and gorgeous and the towns thereabouts had the feel on having been there since at least the Civil War. I went into a local eatery, Dixie Lee’s of something with Dixie in its name I think, to spend my last buck on a coke. The owner could sort of see what was going on and she gave me a burger on the house and offered to let me wash dishes until I found something better. A construction worker, hearing this, put me up on his floor if I needed it. I did.

A lot of kids, late teens, early twenties, were in Brownian motions then, drifting from coast to coast, city to city. Since we seldom had anywhere to stay while in transit, we learned to forage for accomodation. One insight was that if you go ten feet off the sidewalks even in a crowded city, and lie down in tall grass, you no longer exist. In Waverly, New Jersey, hoping for a train south, I spend several nights in a clump of bushes not a yard from a sidewalk and maybe fifty feet from a Puerto Rican bar. Nobody Noticed.

One summer night in one year or another a friend and I–it was Jimmy Auld–had climbed into the Pot Yards–the Potomac Yards in Virginia just outside of DC–planning to hop a freight to New York. I say climbed: The yards were protected by one of those nine-feet-high chain-link fences with the Y-l’shaped out-leading barbed wire.

Why these are thought to provide security, I don’t know. A wiry stripling jumps as high as he can and grables the fence. The gaps provide a toe-hold. He then tests the outleaning Y-piece to be sure it will hold his weight, very carefully throws a leg over, and the other, leaving him inside the Y, and reverses the process down the other side. This might take thirty seconds.

The only sounds were the diesel yowl and the shuddering clangsbangbang of couples hitting each other.

Anyway, we hid under some bushies at the edge of the yards and watched the yard mules making a train to head North, where we wanted to go. The yard crews didn’t really care if you hopped trains, but it was better not to make them decide.

We heard but couldn’t see someone approaching. It was an old black guy–both “old” and “black” were obvious from his voice–with a couple of gallon jugs of water. We said hey, what’s up, nice night. Once it is clear that no one is threatening anyone, people in such circumstance feel pretty much at home with each other, or close enough.

It turned out that he had nowhere to live and was staying in a shelter of some sort that he had put together out of sight and had to go for drinking water. A hell of a way to end your life. Then as now America was killing large numbers of people in foreign countries and then, as now, I wondered why they couldn’t give this old fellow a few C-rations. He gave us some hints as to which trains stopped where. We said goodbye and he walked slowly away with his water. I don’t think his joints worked too welol. The diesels were still howling as mournfully as ever.

There was then in Austin a sort of outdoor beenhall called the Armadillo World Headquarters where various bands played, such as the Greezy Wheels. Austin was where corn-fed blond guys and gals met Haight Ashbury and engaged in joyous syncretism. The presence of the University of Texas did nothing to inhibit this. The result was a rich country-music scene fueled by forbidden substances. At places with names like the Soap Creek Saloon, with girls danced on the tables for the sheer fun of it while a beer-drinking contest raged about them A deeply conservative Texas was properly horrified.

At the Dillo, as it was called, as in Alice’s Restaurant, you could get anything you wanted. The freaks would holler, “Waiter, LSD,” and it would come in mugs.

Lone Star Draft

Today the roads are empty. I’m glad they weren’t when they weren’t.


Introducing The Fredian Occasional Latin Tour Guide!

• Category: History 
Not Up There with Marco Polo, But the Best We Can Do
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Today, nothing shocking. You won’t need your fibrillator. Some not-too-coherent thoughts from south of the border:

In Guadalajara near the US Consulate there is the Estación de Lulio, an open walled restaurant, cafe and wine bar sort of place with unencrypted Wifi. Early on I could never remember the name and so began calling it the Libélua, or Dragonfly, and so it has remained for us. It is a hangout for students and people who want to do things with laptops or sit for a few hours over coffee or a glass of Merlot and read without being pressured to buy, buy, buy. An advantage is its being about a block from one of the city’s better bookstores, the Librería José Luis Martínez.

When Vi takes the CRV to Honda for its prescribed meals of grease and oil, she typically wanders around the the José Luis a bit, buys something to read, and ensconces herself for a few hours in the Libélula. I stay home and write lies and distortion.

She has a nerdy streak, last time acquiring Descartes’ Discurso del Método, something by Cicero and something else on Zen.

I think that reading philosophy is a sign of mental disorder. It seems to consist of very powerful minds spinning their wheels since they don’t really have anywhere to start. (“I think, therefore I am.” Oh. Rocks don’t think, therefore they aren’t. Or rocks are, therefore they think. I’d rather have a beer and watch old videos of Annette Funicello in a swim suit.)

Anyhow she is a scorched-earth reader, going through everything she can find by an author, Aristotle, the Pre-Socratics, the Apocrypha-all of the Apocrypha. My head hurts at the idea. After my recent eye surgery we have been hanging out in the Libélula after check-ups. We could do worse. Like much of Mexico, the neighborhood has a pleasant European feel. This discovery should not cause heart attacks since Spain after all is in Europe.

I am not sure why anyone would want to look at the outside of a book store. It is a massive place of two storeys, and contains everything ever written. I swear it. Everything. Though almost nothing in English. I throw it in because visiting Americans, the conservative ones anyway, are astonished and perhaps disappointed by unfulfilled expectations. They expect a decent illiteracy, as is proper in Latin countries.
I am not sure why anyone would want to look at the outside of a book store. It is a massive place of two storeys, and contains everything ever written. I swear it. Everything. Though almost nothing in English. I throw it in because visiting Americans, the conservative ones anyway, are astonished and perhaps disappointed by unfulfilled expectations. They expect a decent illiteracy, as is proper in Latin countries.
The Ion Horse, a few miles from us. It is the world’s first physics biker bar. Customers drink free. Only the particles are charged. Slightly out of focus, a common cndition on leaving the Horse.
The Ion Horse, a few miles from us. It is the world’s first physics biker bar. Customers drink free. Only the particles are charged. Slightly out of focus, a common cndition on leaving the Horse.


People sometimes ask me why I live here. Various reasons. One is that Mexico is stubbornly itself. It is not conformist, not homogenized, not designed at corporate and imposed on the whole country by remote accountants in Jersey or somewhere. Entering a pueblo you do not encounter a mall with JC Penney’s and Cracker Barrel and Ruby Tuesday’s and Taco Bell, the horrors that make America into one extended prolific center. Downtown in Guad there are McDonald’s, Burger Kings, maybe Dunkin Donuts, all the stations on the road to coronary occlusion. In towns the bars and eateries are one-off and entirely local, each with its own flavor. I like that. It keeps all places from being the same place.

The towns all have their plaza, usually with a church, but these are all different, idiosyncratic, though usually with a central kiosko–used a a bandstand during celebrations.

One afternoon Vi and I set forth with no destination in mind, just driving. The day was sunny but not hot, we had nothing pressing to do, so we drove along the lake to its western end, turned south, and set forth along country roads. Encountering signs to Concepión de Buenos Aires, or Concha la Pedora as its people call it among themselves, we followed them. The land thereabouts is open, with sparse vegetation in understated greens and browns that for some reason I like. It is not excessively manicured.

Concha is low and level, buildings of an older style, with the common layout There is in these towns a sense of time, of calm and permanence. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since 1517. You can feel it. Yet the kids peck at telephones, soccer plays on big screens, and the young listen to international bands on wifi. An odd mix.

We parked and walked. Few people were out, most being at work, chiefly in agriculture. The quiet contrasted with the bustle and traffic of Guadalajara. Concepción is untouched by expats. I may have been the only American to visit in a month, or many months.

Plaza, or part of it, at San Antonio Tlayacapan, near us.
Plaza, or part of it, at San Antonio Tlayacapan, near us.

From the arcade on one side of the plaza came music, José José, who might be called the Mexican Sinatra. On the other hand, Sinatra might be called the American José José. It was the only sound. We wandered over and found a small restaurant selling tacos and hamburgers. We sat.

The music came from the rocola, a jukebox, in one corner. The only customer sat at a table in front of it, a fellow of perhaps thirty, with his back to the world and a beer in front of him. He paid us no attention. The proprietor, as I took her to be, a brown woman in her mid-forties who looked tired, came to take our order, in my case a burger and a Corona, and chatted a bit. Where were we from? Ajijic, we said, on the lake. She knew it well and asked whether we liked it. Yes, I said, not mentioning that it now has the traffic of an LA freeway at rush hour and that the huge expat population has turned it into Mexico by Disney.

Half a dozen songs, and then again, the man with the beer rising each time to put more coins in the jukebox. We liked his taste. Finally we were about to pay and leave when the tired woman brought us another round of beers, courtesy of the feeder of the juke. We thanked him, spoke briefly of this and that, whereupon he went back to his beer. When strangers buy you a drink there is always danger that they want more company than one wants to supply, but not in this case. We finished the beers and rose. He came to shake hands with us and said Que les vaya bien, which is courteous, and we left.

America is obsessed by race. Mexico is not. If you look like a derelict you will not be permitted in elegant restaurants, but it is economic distaste. Being of one race, or close, Mexicans do not hate each other as we do, or spend all their time honking about racism. There is–not a color line, but a color blur with the lighter-skinned being at the top in prestige, but compared to the US it barely exists. It declines as more kids of darker complexion go to university and come out as doctors and engineers.

While the country is not a nomoculture, it is held together by a common Christianiy, practically interpreted (never mind the parts about adultery and fornication) so you don’t have to watch your neighborhoods when walking.

Americans come to Mexico sometimes thinking to see short, squatty Indians wearing funny clothes. There are still some of these, but usually they are old, and their kids, much taller, peck at cell phones.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Mexico 
by Fred Gibbon
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I am not sure why people write columns. Partly from boredom, I suppose, or lack of anything better to do. Partly from exasperation. Yet partly from the hope that if enough people collectively become aware of problems, they might, just maybe, do something about them. I can’t believe this any longer. Today’s crimes, lunacies, and decays are too many, profitable, and intractable. We are racing out of control toward some as yet dimly limned catastrophe. Hang on and take the ride.

To begin with, America is no longer a country. It is a set of special interests occupying the same place: Corporations, races, ethnicities, faiths, ideologies, foreign agents pretending to be Americans, all at each other’s throats. No cure is possible.

Racial relations are a disaster. Blacks, fourteen percent of the country, are congenitally furious at whites. They neither assimilate nor want to. Whether they should doesn’t matter since it will not happen.

They give their children strange names to differentiate them from whites, maintain a separate language sometimes called Ebonics–blacks in other countries learn to speak normally–and concentrate in huge all-black Sowetos: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Newark, Trenton, Camden, Atlanta, Milwaukee, East St. Louis, New Orleans. And many others. Horrific crime and horrific schools produce each year a large cohort who, barely literate, will for fifty years be unable to fit into the economy or into white (or Hispanic) society. This will not change. If it were going to, it would have.

Hispanics, seventeen percent of the population, have a much higher likelihood of assimilating, and are doing so, but it will not happen overnight and will never be complete. They face intense hostility from much of the white population. Add Somalis, North Africans, Jews, Asians, and various Muslims and you have more than a third of the country. Their interests are their own interests. This cannot be changed.

Americans no longer have a shared identity, a common culture to hold them together. In 1950 America was overwhelmingly white, European, and Christian. How deeply one believed was not the point. Christianity was a matrix binding all, as Catholicism is in Latin America. Today Christianity is like marijuana–tolerated, barely legal, but better not to get caught. Whites are reviled by those of lesser capacity and, weirdly, by themselves. What do we now have in common? Almost nothing. This will not change before some strange looming denouement befalls us.

Government has changed irrevocably, and changes yet. It no longer consists of executive, judicial, and legislative branches. In practice the branches are now the Presidency, Wall Street, the corporations, AIPAC, and the media, with overlap and interlocking directors. Elections are play toys to occupy the public. The levers of governance are no longer accessible to the populace. Governments gain power. They do not give it up. This will not change.

“American” corporations no longer are. When Charlie Wilson said, “What’s good for General Motors is good for the USA,” it was. Today’s corporations are free-floating entities spread over the globe, putting down tentacles in countries of convenience and loyal only to their profits. They are too powerful to be reined in. The prime examples are offshoring and encouraged immigration from Latin America, but many others exist. This cannot be remedied: the corporations needing change own those who might change them.

Wild thought: Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are owned by the government. Ours is a system in which the means of production own the government. Congressmen are commodities and Washington a Coke machine: insert your coins, choose your law, and pull the lever. Voila.

Demographics have consequences. Only whites and East Asians, mostly men, display talent for engineering, mathematics, scientific research, or organization on a large scale. Affirmative action does not put landers on Mars nor program computers. By now it must be obvious that racial gaps in achievement are intractable. Argument over causes changes nothing. The country depends increasingly on a declining number of white brains. The attacks on both whites and brains will continue.

The country crumbles politically. The Constitution has been interpreted into near impotence, a trend that continues. Congress has abdicated most of its important powers and become a passive bribery receptacle. Trump is close to being our first real dictator. At best you could say that America is an oligarchy with Hulk Trump fronting for the corporations in general, the military industry in particular, and the Israelis. At will he imposes sanctions, threatens war, turns much of the world into enemies, sends troops to Africa–Africa?–breaks treaties, discards environmental protections. None dare tell him no, in America or, as yet, abroad. America cannot be brought back.

Democracy, to the extent that it ever existed, doesn’t. Americans have no influence over what their children are taught, where Christmas carols can be sung, over war and peace, whether they can legally choose their neighbors, who they must hire. All of these things are dictated from far away. This cannot be changed. If you disagree, tell me how.

Social control intensifies. Saying the wrong things about blacks, Jews, feminists or homosexuals has in many places become a firing offense–very Soviet, this. The mainstream media, utterly dishonest, are committed mouthpieces for those who rule. This will not change. Who could change it?

The social media, also organs of government, censor us. The CEOs of Google and Facebook, unelected, both of them Jewish, control what almost the entire world is permitted to see. Is this not astonishing? Twitter is now in the same category, and all are censoring both covertly and actively. The silenced may win an occasional lawsuit, but the censoring will not stop., It will grow.

The times approach the oozing last years of Rome. We have mixed martial arts, football, boxing, and now legal bare-knuckle. The country throws national tantrums over who can use what bathrooms. Drug use is high from middle school up. A child who can use a keyboard can watch any conceivable sort of pornography. Twenty percent of America thinks the sun moves around the earth. In rotting societies sexual curiosities come forth. Northwestern University, I think it was, offers a course in sadomasochism. paralleling the dominance of a known torturess heading the CIA.

Schooling has declined badly. Genuine education is now regarded as an elitist imposition by dead white men. The young do not recognize the extent of the deterioration as they have known nothing else. Over twenty years ago I went into a middle school in Arlington, Virginia, an upscale white suburb of Washington, and saw a student’s project honoring Italian contributions to science. Below a photo of Fermi it spoke of his work in “Nucler Phisicts.” In letters six inches high. Uncorrected. The academic content, if so it can be called, of instruction is heavy, heavy, heavy, on social-justice propaganda. This cannot be changed.

Would you dare say anything racially incorrect to your daughter who might tell her teacher? We are approaching what might be called the Soviet Union by Disney.

Universities for the most part are no better. We suffer from an odd sort of civilizational autoimmune disease, eating ourselves. Shakespeare is racist, Mozart elitist, grammar a means of oppression. Two and a half millennia of Western civilization, forgotten by a sea of gilded peasants with no retirement plans. Monkeys chattering over the ruins of a forgotten society. Once the chain of culture is broken, it cannot easily be restored. Anyway, a literate population might cause trouble. We will not have one.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Blacks, Censorship, Political Correctness 
Applicants Must Supply Own Pliers
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By now I suppose that everybody and his dog knows (well, actually, I haven’t asked my dog) that the New York Times has hired, and defended, one Sarah Jeong, an avowedly racist, sexist, mouthy, and apparently kinky twitess as tech writer. “Kinky” is the polite term for people who enjoy cruelty. Which, she says, she does. Anyhow, among her eructations:

“Dumbass f****** white people marking up the internet like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”


“Oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.”

Wow! What are her rates, I wonder? Does guttersnipe language cost more? She is right, though, it is at least kind of sick. And astonishing that the Times would be so candid about its politics by hiring her. Even David Duke has never said that he wanted to hurt blacks. Sez me, the foul-mouthed little monster doesn’t need a job. She needs a psychiatrist or an internship with Gina Haspel. Or a spanking.

Ever genteel, Sarah also opined, “White men are bullshit.” The latter is boilerplate Left, the normal yowling of the sexually disturbed and racially hostile. Sarah is not exactly an argument for diversity and makes white nationalism look reasonable.

If in my newspapering days I had written, “Gook women are bullshit”–unlikely since, when I lived in various Asian countries, I really liked the women, as white men usually do–I would have been fired. The Times is perfectly happy with her though. Different rules for different people.

But suppose that she had said, “black men are bullshit,” or that she “enjoyed hurting old Jewish men” (presumably not a career-enhancing move at a Jewish paper). She would have been hove out the door on her delicate round sit-down, thump, the door perhaps not having been opened beforehand Which would make sense. When you live in a country where everyone hates everybody else like poison, arguably a newspaper should not publish name-callinglikely to inflame the hatreds for no reason. Or, worse, take sides with some groups against others. Which the Times did: Enjoying the suffering of whites is fine.

So why did the Times, the national school marm, bloated with goodness, give her a pass? Me, I figure it’s because she is a protected twofer, a feminist, and “of color.” (Every time I see that phrase, I want to load my Strunk and White with hollow point and let fly, but never mind.) I guess that if she were found to be grinding white orphans into dog food, the Times would say something about her legacy of colonialism and how getting a job at the Times showed discrimination against women and that she was oppressed and making a political statement and anyway it was only a few orphans. Well, unless they were orphans of color. That would be genocide.

I believe I might say to her as follows regarding old white men:, which I happen to be one of:

Now see here, Sweet Potato. I’ve got nothing against bile and bitchiness and bad manners and ill-breeding, though I suspect they could be cured by application of a baseball bat. Maybe you should see somebody about this. Sort of, you know, therapy. I understand that we can’t all be ladies (though I get the impression that a lot of men in New York are), and feminists traditionally have the the appeal of the underside of a theater seat. This is usual and as the Good Lord intended. I cannot complain. What bothers me, Sweet Pea, is your lack of gratitude.

Look around you, Thistle Down. Take your time. Get some binoculars and look out the window. Unscrew the lid on your computer, if you can find a screwdriver with the instructions on the handle. Contemplate at leisure. Reflect. And tell me:

Do you see anything invented by a Korean feminist?

Now, Buckwheat, I don’t want to seem other than gallant and gracious. That’s just how I am. Urbane and mannered. No one can doubt it. So I would never suggest–even think of suggesting–that old white men have provided everything that keeps you fed and comfortable while you piss and moan.

I would never say that. My mother taught me to be considerate to women, or approximations. But in a minor vein–a capillary, so to speak–I will note that if it weren’t for us old white men, vile though we be, and patriarchal, and probably cannibals, you and the sisterhood would be in grass huts, picking lice out of each other’s hair.

You are welcome.

Further, Moonflower, if I were a curmudgeon–which I assuredly am not–I might say rude, uncouth things such as that you seem to be a confection of mass-market drivel, elegant as a truss ad, and could be replaced by a DO-loop .This is true, but I won’t say it. It wouldn’t be gentlemanly.

But just out of curiosity: Have you ever flushed a toilet in plumbing that was not designed, built, and maintained by men? Been in a building that wasn’t built by men? Yes, yes, we guys are a sorry lot, and dim, and sinners all, but when your car makes a funny sort of, you know, chinalank and then a grinding noise, and the light on the thingamajig starts flashing, who do you take it too? Gloria Steinem?

Just asking.

What I think, Maple Syrup, is live and let live. There’s a place in this big world for everybody. This may be a design flaw, but it is what we have. Since consistency is a virtue, the New York Times would seem about right for you. Soul mates, sort of. Still, since you are a tech writer, I wonder what, without the inventions of men, mostly white, you would have to write about? Buffalo hides? Pointed sticks?

But here we come to deep philosophical waters, specifically relations between the sexes. The truth is that most men like women. You may find this offensive, but I assure you that it is true. I hope you will not hold this affection against us. Our mothers were women. Also our sisters, wives, grandmothers, daughters and girlfriends. We even have female friends. We think women are peaches, often being smart and funny and feminine–I’m sure the Times has an online dictionary–and really good at neat stuff like biochemiswtry. There are no substitutes. Most women are slightly crazy, yes, but then they don’t get into bar fights.

So, Marmalade, when we run tinto what seems to be a woman but with the personality of a menopausing rattlesnake, we are taken aback. It jangles our neves because it isn’t what we are used to, or weren’t until recently, and we don’t know what to do. Remedial drowning comes to mind. Often, though, we are not near a body of water. (Why am I thinking of the East River?)

Tell you what, Sugar Beet, I just don’t know what to think. I live in Mexico, which is sexually dimorphic, so you can understand my confusion in the US. Here women manage to do things without becoming venomous. Up North, I guess, this would be a whole new idea. Mexicanas go into law, medicine, dentistry in volume–it is hard to find a male dentist, here assuming one had a reason for looking–and nobody seems to give a damn.

These women are civil, (try the dictionary again), good at what they do, and of exceedingly muted crocodilian impulses. (My theory is that Mexicans have never interbred with reptiles and so do not act like them. No year of the Dragon and all that.) When a Mexican woman becomes a doctor, she thinks she is a Mexican doctor. She is not full of snot and bile and racial animosity and misandry and kinky urges. You, Sweet Pea, are. That the New York Times fronts for you says something about how far gone the US is.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Political Correctness 
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Recently I wrote a column about the theory of Intelligent Design, which holds that that life, both in its origins and its changes over time, are the result of design instead of chance. Several hundred comments and emails arrived, more than I could read. This was not surprising as there seems to be considerable public interest in the question, while a virulent political correctness prevents discussion in most forums. In particular the major media prevent mention of Intelligent Design except in derogatory terms.

Interesting to me at any rate was that the tone of response was much more civil and thoughtful than it was say, a decade ago.

A fair few respondents quoted the Bible. I wondered why the Bible and not the Koran or Bhagavad Gita. The Bible seems to me the chaotic literature of a barbaric tribe and characterized by morally unpleasant stories. Why it is thought to have any relevance to abiogenesis is not clear to me.

Some readers, quoting Carl Sagan, said approximately, “Fred, an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence to support it.” I don’t disagree. The claim that ocean water will in time produce Manhattan seems to me sufficiently extraordinary to require extraordinary evidence. So far, there is none. Evolutionists have not shown that sea water can produce any life at all, much less the New York Philharmonic.

Other readers insist that Intelligent Design is not scientific. If not, so what? The question should be not whether it is scientific but whether it is true. What an ideological group calling themselves scientists believe is not a valid test of truth. When I was in the eighth grade, I watched Crusader Rabbit on television. This is not science, yet it is true.

If science deals with the reproducible, then paleontology is not science, as neither is the chance creation of life, which has not proved reproducible. If science must make predictions, then physiology is not science, being entirely descriptive. If science is the study of the quantifiable, then evolution isn’t. What is the unit of selective pressure?

Much of evolutionary theory assumes what is to be proved. Many readers did just this.

Consider the spontaneous generation of life from seawater. Do we know of what the primeval seas consisted? Know, as distinct from think, suspect, theorize, wish, or desperately hope.

No, we do not. Remember that chemical reactions, assuredly including organic and biochemical, depend crucially of such things as a pH, temperature, concentrations, radiation, half-lives of intermediate, and presence or absence of other compounds that may or may not inhibit desired reactions.

If we do not know what seas existed, do we at least know what sorts of sea would be necessary for the spontaneous appearance? Again, know. We do not. The question is made more difficult since we do not know just what it is that we think evolved. The event has not been reproduced in the laboratory or even convincingly demonstrated on paper.

You see: Life evolved because the necessary conditions existed. We know the necessary conditons existed, because life evolved. Uh….

Readers asked, “If life was designed, who designed the Designer?”

Consider the following three questions: “Who designed the Designer?” From a five-year-old, “But Mommy, where did God come from?” From a freshman in a dorm room, “What came before the Big Bang?”

These questions are equivalent. Designer, God, or Bang, the human mind cannot handle questions of ultimate origins. No matter to what we attribute life or the universe, the question of what came before will remain unanswered. This is as true of evolutionism as it is of Intelligent Design. The solution sometimes offered, that the universe is eternal and has neither beginning nor end, can equally be applied to Designer, Yahweh, or Shiva.

A problem afflicting evolutionism all through the living world, which I am not sure I conveyed clearly, is that of multiple simultaneous mutations, sometimes called irreducible complexity. These refer to complicated systems which cannot work at all unless all parts appear simultaneously. When the individual parts have no value, which is usually the case, there is no reason for them to stay in the gene pool.

Consider the horn of the rhinoceros. At the forlorn level of National Geographic or NPR, there is nothing mysterious here. The horn obviously evolved so that the rhino could defend itself against lions. (“So that” raises questions of purpose, which run through evolutionism, but we will here let it drop.) All right, that makes sense. Except that it doesn’t.

The Wikipedia will tell you that the horn is not of bone, but of keratin, and thus evolved from hair. Well, who could doubt it–but just how did this happen? Did a mutation occur that caused hair to clump together into a hard substance? Would one mutation do this? Why laterally centered on the forehead instead of, say, on a hind leg? After the hair-stick’’em-together mutation did another occur to make the hard patch a cleanly limited ovoid? Next, was there a grow-really-fast mutation to make the hard patch get longer, or long at all, accompanied by a grow-faster-in-middle mutation to make it pointed–at which time finally, it would be ready for poking lions. So what kept it in the gene pool all that time when it had as yet no function.kl?(Actually the horn is more complex, and therefore even less likely.)

To judge by my mail, I suspect that many people, thanks to popular television, think of mutations as major changes that just happen, such perhaps as the rhino’s horn appearing all at once . In fact mutations are changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA that may produce a new protein. The mathematical likelihood of getting multiple mutations that just happen to engender a complex result is essentially zero. The mathematics is clear but not easily explained to a television audience, no matter how intelligent.

In many years of of writing columns, I have learned that the tenacity of attachment to emotionally important ideas is nearly infinite. This is as true of evolutionists as it is of Christians, the politically ardent, or the rabidly patriotic. Things that do not fit the belief are just ignored, forbidden, or explained away by wishful thinking.

Consider evolution and male homosexuality. This condition would seem to have very strong selective pressures against it. You do not increase your rate of reproduction by not reproducing. While some homosexuals have children, they do so at a rate far, far below that of normal men. The condition should have long since gone out of existence. Yet homosexuals are still with us, apparently no less commonly than in Greek and Roman times.

This is not a trivial matter.for evolutionism. If no reason can be found, then there exists a clear case of anti-Darwinian descent. To avoid this, evolutionists say that a virus causes homosexuality. There is no evidence for this. People do not have a slight fever and turn into homosexuals. Such a virus has not been found. Evolutionists just know that it exists because if it didn’t, homosexuals could not exist. Here again, the theory is taken for granted and the existence of supporting causes imagined.

• Category: Science • Tags: Creationism, Darwinism 
Fred Reed
About Fred Reed

Fred, a keyboard mercenary with a disorganized past, has worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times.

He has been published in Playboy, Soldier of Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Harper's, National Review, Signal, Air&Space, and suchlike. He has worked as a police writer, technology editor, military specialist, and authority on mercenary soldiers.

Personal Classics
Not What Tom Jefferson Had in Mind
Sounds Like A Low-Ranked American University To Me
Very Long, Will Bore Hell Out Of Most People, But I Felt Like Doing It
It's Not A Job. It's An Adventure.
Cloudy, With Possible Tidal Wave