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In my January 10, 2018 Taki’s Magazine column “President Trump’s Murder Report Card,” I did a quick and dirty estimate that the number of homicides in America’s 51 biggest cities fell 2.2% from 2016 to 2017. (Most newspapers publish year-end local homicide trend articles, so it’s mostly just a matter of aggregating the reports.)

USA Today has now repeated my analysis and found much the same:

Baltimore is the nation’s most dangerous city

Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY Published 6:00 a.m. ET Feb. 19, 2018 |

The collective homicide toll for America’s 50 biggest cities dipped slightly in 2017, a USA TODAY analysis of crime data found.

The FBI won’t publish its annual comprehensive crime report until later this year, but an early review of police department crime data shows that killings decreased by at least 1% in large jurisdictions compared with 2016.

The modest decrease in killings comes after FBI data showed back-to-back years in which homicides rose sharply in large cities. (Homicides in cities with 250,000 or more residents rose by about 15.2% from 2014 to 2015, and 8.2% from 2015 to 2016.)

There were 5,738 homicides in the nation’s 50 biggest cities in 2017 compared with 5,863 homicides in 2016, a roughly 2.3% reduction.

Las Vegas Police reported 141 homicides for 2017 in its official tally but did not include the Oct. 1 mass shooting at an outdoor country music concert that left 58 dead. If those deaths were included in the department’s tally, the national big city homicide toll fell by 1.1%, the USA TODAY review found.

I went on to the biggest 51 cities rather than stopping at 50 because #51 Cleveland’s data was easily discoverable.

So Trump and Sessions deserve some credit for the stopping the Late Obama Age Collapse from getting even worse, but murders remain much higher than they were Before Ferguson.

 
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John Derbyshire mentions in passing Edward Alsworth Ross (1866-1951), an old leftist professor of sociology who had a tumultuous public life that would be incomprehensible to today’s left. From Wikipedia:

In Stanford’s “first academic freedom controversy,” Ross was fired from Stanford because of his political views on eugenics. He objected to Chinese immigrant labor (on both economic and racial grounds: he was an early supporter of the “Race Suicide” doctrine and expressed his hatred of other races in strong and crude language in public speeches[citation needed]) and Japanese immigration altogether. …

In response, Jane Stanford called for his resignation. … The position was at odds with the university’s founding family, the Stanfords, who had made their fortune in Western rail construction, a major employer of coolie laborers.

Ross had also made critical remarks about the railroad industry in his classes: “A railroad deal is a railroad steal.” This was too much for Jane Stanford, Leland Stanford’s widow, who was on the board of trustees of the university. Numerous professors at Stanford resigned after protests of his dismissal, sparking “a national debate… concerning the freedom of expression and control of universities by private interests.” The American Association of University Professors was founded largely in response to this incident.

Indeed, that’s what the AAUP website says.

Ross visited Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. He endorsed the revolution even as he acknowledged its bloody origins. He was subsequently a leading advocate of US recognition of the Soviet Union. However, he later served on the Dewey Commission, which cleared Leon Trotsky of the charges made against him by the Soviet government during the Moscow Trials.

From 1900 to the 1920s, Ross supported the alcohol Prohibition movement as well as continuing to support eugenics and immigration restriction. By 1930, he had moved away from those views, however.

In the 1930s, he was a supporter of the New Deal programs of President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1940, he became chairman of the national committee of the American Civil Liberties Union, serving until 1950.

 
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A half decade ago, Harvard-Stanford economist Raj Chetty got his hands on hundreds of millions of your income tax returns from the IRS and has been publishing results ever since that have been pretty interesting if you know how to think about modern realities.

Now Mark Zuckerberg is going to give your * Facebook data to Chetty:

* Excuse me, the Facebook IP legal department has just informed me that your Facebook data is not, legalistically speaking, your Facebook data. Remember that little box you clicked?

It is Mr. Zuckerberg’s data.

Facebook’s next project: American inequality

A Stanford economist is using the company’s vast store of personal data to study why so many in the U.S. are stuck in place economically.

By NANCY SCOLA 02/19/2018 07:13 AM EST

The new research is the latest sign of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to grapple with the aftershocks of the 2016 election

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is quietly cracking open his company’s vast trove of user data for a study on economic inequality in the U.S. — the latest sign of his efforts to reckon with divisions in American society that the social network is accused of making worse.

The study, which hasn’t previously been reported, is mining the social connections among Facebook’s American users to shed light on the growing income disparity in the U.S., where the top 1 percent of households is said to control 40 percent of the country’s wealth. Facebook is an incomparably rich source of information for that kind of research: By one estimate, about three of five American adults use the social network.

Now the company is making the user data available to a team led by Stanford economist Raj Chetty, a favorite among tech elites for his focus on data-driven solutions to the nation’s social and economic problems. …

Facebook and Chetty declined to talk about the full scope of the research, but veterans of Washington’s domestic policy debates say the social network’s involvement could turbo-charge efforts to map out how geography and social connections play into economic inequality.

For example, consider a youth named, say, Mark Z. His friend Sean P. explained to him how geography and social connections play into economic inequality by asking him, more or less: Why are you wasting your life in a Nowheresville like Cambridge? Don’t you know that to be somebody in cyberspace, you have to physically be in Palo Alto?

Professor Chetty recently took Sean Parker’s advice and left Harvard for Stanford.

Chetty, in a brief interview following a January speech in Washington, said he and his collaborators — who include researchers from Stanford and New York University — have been working on the inequality study for at least six months.

“We’re using social networks, and measuring interactions there, to understand the role of social capital much better than we’ve been able to,” he said.

Researchers say they see Facebook’s enormous cache of data as a remarkable resource, offering an unprecedentedly detailed and sweeping look at American society. That store of information contains both details that a user might tell Facebook — their age, hometown, schooling, family relationships — and insights that the company has picked up along the way, such as the interest groups they’ve joined and geographic distribution of who they call a “friend.”

I love the quotes around “friend.”

According to a Stanford University source familiar with Chetty’s study, the Facebook account data used in the research has been stripped of any details that could be used to identify users. …

… Muñoz said it makes her nervous that Facebook can hand out that much data to researchers, but said she’s reassured it’s in Chetty’s hands. She said the professor “had a lot of fans” in the Obama White House, who admired his work using Internal Revenue Service tax records to show how Americans’ hometowns strongly predict their future wealth.

… During a 2016 Stanford conference co-hosted by the Obama White House and Zuckerberg’s philanthropic foundation, Chetty said he’d like to use Facebook data to figure out “whether you can network yourself out of poverty.”

If you can afford the rent in Palo Alto, perhaps.

… “Raj Chetty is doing unbelievably good work,” said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, whose 2000 book “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” is oft-cited for its examination of the value of social relationships. “Mostly, it’s because he’s been able to get access to data that nobody else was able to get access to.“

 
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Audacious Epigone mines the long-running General Social Survey for fertility by an IQ proxy (score on a ten-word vocabulary test included in the survey):

The smarter Mormons have a lot of kids, while the smarter blacks don’t. (This is probably a big issue in why African-Americans don’t make much progress.) Also, on the GSS, the smarter Jews also have more children, although Jewish fertility is fairly low overall.

 
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From the Chicago Sun-Times:

At major Northwest Side bakery, labor issues pit blacks vs. Hispanics Frank Main and Dan Mihalopoulos

A major bakery on the Northwest Side [of Chicago] once known for making Little Debbie snack cakes was sold earlier this month after an immigration audit cost the company about a third of its workers.

About 800 employees of the main Cloverhill Bakery on the Northwest Side and the company’s bakeries in Cicero and Romeoville lost their jobs when the audit found many were hired after presenting fake or stolen IDs. …

Aryzta bought Cloverhill in 2014. At the time, according to bakery employees and community organizers, most of the employees were natives of Mexico, most who’d been hired through Labor Network, a temporary-employment agency.

But many of those workers weren’t temporary in the dictionary sense of the word. Most were so-called “permatemps” — temp workers who actually were permanently employed at Cloverhill. Most had been there for years, at least, and some for decades.

Maybe Robert Mueller, after nailing small-time identity theft grifter Richard Pinedo, could pay attention to this kind of massive identity scam?

In 2015, under the Obama administration, ICE inspected the documentation of Labor Network’s employees at Cloverhill. In May 2017, the Trump administration sent letters to about 800 employees, saying they weren’t authorized to work in the United States, records examined by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

Those Hispanic employees didn’t return to work, leaving the bakery desperate to fill their jobs. So the company turned to another placement agency, Metro Staff Inc., and it provided Cloverhill with workers screened through the government’s “E-Verification” program. Most of those new employees are African American.

Ed French, owner of Elgin-based Metro Staff Inc., says his company became the main provider of workers for the bakery and that about 80 percent of them are black. …

According to a former consultant to the bakery, MSI paid the black workers $14 an hour, versus the $10 an hour the Mexican workers were making through Labor Network.

The consultant, Felix Okwusa, says the bakery offered its remaining Hispanic workers a $1-an-hour premium to train the black replacement workers.

But Okwusa says Cloverhill soon ran into problems. In a memo to the company, Okwusa, who is African American, wrote that the black workers “displayed a higher turnover rate of over 40 percent and a lower efficiency rate than their Hispanic co-workers.” …

Lynne Lane, a union steward at Cloverhill, says there are tensions as the two groups work side by side. Lane, who is black, says it was black workers at the bakery who called a government hotline to report the Mexican workers to immigration authorities.

“It was [African American] workers in the plant that saw, you know, like I said, that had been treated unfairly and treated like secondary-class citizens” by Hispanic workers, Lane says. “So it was a whole lot of employees in the company. Well, they was given a number, as far as I know. They was given a number to call … to call Immigration.”

 
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A fungus likely transmitted by scientists studying frogs. Greg Cochran writes in West Hunter:

Plague of Frogs

… It took some time for herpetologists to admit that this chytrid fungus is the main culprit – some are still resisting. First, it was a lot like how doctors resisted Semmelweiss’ discoveries about the cause of puerperal fever – since doctors were the main method of transmission. How did this fungus get to the cloud forests of Costa Rica? On the boots of herpetologists, of course.

It’s also possible that psychiatrists spread mental disease germs.

 
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Commenter Pat Boyle writes:

Ah, Herb Caen. I haven’t thought about him in years but at the time I thought about him every day. Everybody did. Part of it was that The San Francisco Chronicle was such a lousy newspaper. Everyone read his column because no one bothered with reading the editorial page.

Caen was known to everyone including the police. I know this because one night I was driving home to my apartment on Russian Hill and I was rear ended (mildly) while stopped at a stop sign. I was completely innocent and the guy who hit me was completely and irrefutably at fault.

Unfortunately he was some kind of big wig in the SF police department. Several street cops drove up and I knew I was in trouble when all of them saluted this guy and said ‘sir’ a lot.

So the guy who ran into me was let go and I was arrested. It seems I had an overdue parking ticket from a year ago in Daly City (a nearby suburb) . That’s how I ended up staying most of the night at the police station. The cops wouldn’t take a check or a credit card and I didn’t have enough cash on me. I was truly stuck.

Then I hit on the solution. I made the preposterous claim that I was Herb Caen’s nephew and if not immediately released everyone would read about this whole embarrassing incident tomorrow morning in my uncle’s column.

Never doubt the power of the press. I was let go and spent the rest of the night at home in my own bed. Thanks, Herb.

Herb Caen was really famous for a local columnist, almost as famous as Mike Royko in Chicago. He is said to have coined the term “beatnik” and made “hippie” famous.

Caen did kind of a pointillistic column of gossip and offhand observations, six days per week, 25 or so items totaling a thousand words per day for roughly ever: 1938 to 1996, approximately. Something like 17 million words.

 
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From AP:

Biden, in public and private, tiptoes toward a 2020 run

By JOSH LEDERMAN

1 hour ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is tiptoeing toward a potential run in 2020, even broaching the possibility during a recent gathering of longtime foreign policy aides.

Huddled in his newly opened office steps from the U.S. Capitol, Biden began a planning meeting for his new diplomacy center by addressing the elephant in the room. He said he was keeping his 2020 options open, considering it a real possibility. He insisted he had made no decision, and didn’t need to yet, according to five people who either attended the meeting or were briefed on it by those who did.

Biden also expressed interest in bringing those in the room onto his team if he decides to launch a campaign.

Biden is reportedly considering the campaign slogan: “Joe Is the One and Only: A Democrat and a Normal White Guy.”

Biden will turn 78 a couple of weeks after the 2020 election.

Do the Democrats have a shortage of white politicians below 70? It sure seems that way among California politicians. For example, the Dems’ House leader Nancy Pelosi will be 78 next month. Jerry Brown will turn 80 in April. Senator Diane Feinstein is running for a sixth term in 2018, when she will be 85 on election day.

This seems like one of the more overlooked aspects of why the Democrats have become such extremists on immigration: since the newcomers and their children aren’t all that politically talented on average (with the exception of the occasional specially-bred hybrid rarity like Obama or Kamala), they provide votes but relatively few challenges to senior white Democrats, who wind up staying in office forever. What’s not to like about this if you are an elderly white Democratic bigshot?

 
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From the Los Angeles Times:

Who is the California man who just pleaded guilty to unwittingly aiding Russian interference in the 2016 election?

By MATT HAMILTON, JAMES QUEALLY and MICHAEL LIVINGSTON
FEB 16, 2018 | 6:10 PM
| SANTA PAULA, CALIF.

A California man who pleaded guilty to identity theft as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was a self-described digital marketing strategist who once ran a website that helped people get around security measures for online marketplaces such as Amazon and EBay.

Richard Pinedo, 28, of Santa Paula, pleaded guilty this month to one count of identity fraud as part of the investigation, according to court documents made public Friday by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. …

According to court documents, Pinedo operated an online auction service called Auction Essistance that “offered a variety of services designed to circumvent the security features of large online digital payment companies.” The company’s LinkedIn page touts Auction Essistance as a haven for users who have been unfairly banned from Amazon or EBay because of negative reviews or false allegations.

“More and more people have found out that EBay has suspended their accounts or have sided with buyers for ridiculous claims that these buyers have filed…. One negative comment or feedback on your Amazon seller account and you are banned,” the company’s online biography reads. “We are committed to helping you to get back to selling or begin to sell for first timers.”

Through the company, Pinedo sold bank account numbers to users, according to court documents. He often purchased stolen bank information over the internet before selling it to his clients.

Pinedo confessed to selling some stolen accounts to users outside the United States, including those the special counsel’s office accused of being involved in the plot to swing the election.

While the criminal charge against Pinedo says he knowingly dealt with people outside the U.S. — both in buying and selling account numbers — a law enforcement official told The Times there is no evidence that he knew he was dealing with a Russian intelligence operation.

He profited “tens of thousands of dollars” from the sale of banking information online through Auction Essistance, according to court documents.

Dr. Evil time …

Lessem said Pinedo had dealings with some of the defendants listed in the indictment, but stressed that those interactions represented a small piece of his client’s overall business.

So, a small fraction of Pinedo’s “tens of thousands of dollars” came from Russians?

Pinedo was the only employee of Auction Essistance, according to documents filed with the California secretary of state’s office.

“It’s not as if everyone he was working with was part of this overall scheme. This was not the typical client of his online enterprise,” Lessem said. …

A photo on the LinkedIn page shows him with a wide smile and dark, slick-backed hair.

His LinkedIn page says he worked at Auction Essistance from 2012 to 2014, but federal court documents say his time with the company lasted until 2017. The company was registered with the California secretary of state’s office in 2013, based at what appears to be Pinedo’s home address in Santa Paula.

Santa Paula is an 80% Hispanic farm town that claims to be the “Citrus Capital of the World.” David Spade’s 2001 movie Joe Dirt was filmed there.

Pinedo also had a brief stint as a sales associate at LA Fitness

The Special Prosecutor released this video of Pinedo’s entry into the world of international intelligence operations while working at LA Fitness:

, and his online resume said he attended Ventura College, earning a computer science associate’s degree in 2009.

 
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From Intelligence:

Investigating the right tail of wealth: Education, cognitive ability, giving, network power, gender, ethnicity, leadership, and other characteristics

Jonathan Wai, Talent IdentificationProgram,DukeUniversity

David Lincoln, Wealth-X

Accepted 4 November 2015

The extent to which people in the right tail of wealth are highly educated and cognitively able was examined in a sample of 18,245 ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals with net worth’s of USD $30 million plus. How education and ability related to religion, ethnicity, political affiliation, relationship status, country, industry, leadership, gender, net worth, giving, and network power was assessed. And whether gender, religion, ethnicity, or network power differences existed in the right tail of wealth was examined. Overall, these people were highly educated and cognitively able, and smarter (more educated) people were wealthier, gave more, and had more powerful social networks (but when controlling for multiple confounds the association between education/ ability and wealth was found to be quite small). Females were underrepresented, and female CEOs needed to be more select to reach the top of a company. Males and billionaires gave the most, but females and UHNW individuals gave more of what they had. U.S. Blacks and self-made females had the highest network power. U.S. Blacks and Caucasians were similarly educated and cognitively able. Democrats had a higher education and cognitive ability level than Republicans. Married people dominated and were the most educated and cognitively able, but least likely to have inherited their money and give. The finance, banking, investment, and internet sectors dominated. Jewish individuals were overrepresented by a factor of about 234. Today, the typical UHNW individual profile includes U.S. married (Christian and Jewish) men who are largely Chairman and CEO, Republican, and earned their money in finance, banking and investments. This study provides evidence for the clustering of brains, wealth and power, and suggests that elite education may matter in the trajectory of developing expertise in wealth and power generation.

The jaw-dropping sentence “Jewish individuals were overrepresented by a factor of about 234″ among individuals with a net worth of $30 million or higher is relative to the whole world’s population, where Jews make up roughly 1/500th of the world, not the U.S. population where they make up roughly 1/50th.

A very large fraction of the database of individuals with net worths of at least $30 million in this list of 18,245 are unidentified as to religion (10,365 globally). Among religions, identified Christians (including Catholics but not the 25 Mormons) are #1 globally at 1753 individuals around the world, identified Jews are #2 at 1690 individuals, and Muslims are #3 at 1302. Hindus are 4th at 401 and Buddhists 5th at 142.

In the U.S. subset, unknowns are most prevalent at 4,680. Among identified religions, Jews are #1 at 1278, followed by Christians (including Catholics) at 1196, with Hindus at 55 and Muslims at 51.

 
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We went to see Black Panther, but that was sold out until 10:45 pm (front row only), so we went down the street to the $3 Theater, which is now the $3.50 Theater due to the success of Trumponomics, and saw the mystery hit movie The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman as a singing and dancing P.T. Barnum.

Nobody could imagine a straight-to-the-screen P.T. Barnum musical would be a hit in 2017-18, but after taking in less than $9 million its opening weekend and receiving dismissive reviews, it just kept going and going and will break $150 million by Friday.

This is what the public wants.

The Greatest Showman is not the same show as the 1980 Broadway musical hit Barnum with Jim Dale as the circus impresario and Glenn Close as Mrs. Barnum, but the storyline is pretty much the same: Barnum becomes a big success with his freak show, but then in 1850 falls in love with Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale, but then returns to Mrs. Barnum (played by Michelle Williams in the movie).

At the $3.50 theater, the black ladies in the audience were particularly emphatic in their distaste for the wily snare laid for our hero’s affections by Jenny Lind: “Homewrecker!” one observed. “Ummphhhh!” another pointedly noted.

The secret of this PG-rated movie’s popularity is that it will make a popular high school (or middle school) musical in the near future.

The choreography is energetic dubstep that doesn’t require much skill to dance. The dialogue won’t confuse too many people.

The kids will not have to be funny in their acting, just super-sincere. Personally, I’ve always kind of gotten P.T. Barnum confused with W.C. Fields. Besides the initials, Barnum was famous for saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute” (although he probably didn’t say it), while Fields said, “Never give a sucker an even break.” Fields frequently played a Barnumesque character, such as the carnival barker displaying two normal-sized twins:

The Punkwat twins! Brentwood is the world’s smallest giant, whilst his brother, Elwood, is the largest midget in the world. They baffle science.

(Is W.C. Fields the most forgotten of the comedy giants?)

But in this movie, Barnum never says anything cynical. He’s just very earnest as he leads the struggle for Freak Awareness.

There are two supporting roles for fat kids in the future school production as the Bearded Lady and the World’s Fattest Man.

The lead roles appeared designed to cut down on the kind of audition feuds that recently sank the Ithaca High School production of Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Greatest Showman has three roughly equal leading lady roles, which is a good idea since probably nothing is more of a pain to high school teachers than dealing with the fallout from not casting ambitious drama queens in the main female role.

And if you are a handsome boy who tries out for the Hugh Jackman role and doesn’t get it, you can still get the Zac Efron role as Barnum’s junior business partner, which is almost identical to the title role, just smaller.

Zac Efron’s character is in The Greatest Showman presumably because Zac was in High School Musical and that’s pretty much the theme of the new movie: this would make a good high school musical.

A lot of the old time musicals that high schools put on are way too sophisticated for today’s youth, so why not create a new musical that doesn’t have complex George Bernard Shaw dialogue like My Fair Lady or high quality Frank Loesser songs like Guys and Dolls.

The songs are by the guys who wrote La La Land’s lyrics, but not that movie’s music, unfortunately. I went to a UCLA football game last fall at the Rose Bowl and the UCLA marching band gave a concert afterwards. Marching bands are always looking for current popular hits that would be semi-okay when orchestrated for 200 horns. In “Another Day of Sun,” (the opening freeway song in La La Land), the UCLA band has a spectacularly orchestrated new jazz number that will likely become a standard for them.

As you may recall awhile ago there was a giant Sex Discrimination scandal because when Kevin Spacey got replaced by Christopher Plummer at the last moment in All the Money in the World, Michelle Williams redid her scenes for union scale, while Mark Wahlberg’s shark-like agent got his client $1.5 million to redo his scenes. Clearly, the producers just gave $1.5 million to Wahlberg because of his Male Privilege.

Well, no, actually. The reason Wahlberg’s contract gave him co-star approval while Williams did not is because Wahlberg has Star Privilege while practically nobody can recognize Michelle Williams. She’s fine in the nice mom lady role in this movie, just as she’s always pretty good, but she has a forgettable name and face. That’s not fair, but who said being a movie star was a matter of fairness?

 
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From the Associated Press:

Kept out: How banks block people of color from homeownership
AARON GLANTZ

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Fifty years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending, African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts.

By the way, if blacks and browns are People of Color, but whites and Asians are not, then what color are Asians?

Invisible color?

This modern-day redlining persisted in 61 metro areas even when controlling for applicants’ income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to millions of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act records analyzed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

The yearlong analysis, based on 31 million records, relied on techniques used by leading academics, the Federal Reserve and Department of Justice to identify lending disparities.

It found a pattern of troubling denials for people of color across the country, including in major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Antonio. African Americans faced the most resistance in Southern cities – Mobile, Alabama; Greenville, North Carolina; and Gainesville, Florida – and Latinos in Iowa City, Iowa.

No matter their location, loan applicants told similar stories, describing an uphill battle with loan officers who they said seemed to be fishing for a reason to say no.

“I had a fair amount of savings and still had so much trouble just left and right,” said Rachelle Faroul, a 33-year-old black woman who was rejected twice by lenders when she tried to buy a brick row house close to Malcolm X Park in Philadelphia, where African Americans were 2.7 times as likely as whites to be denied a conventional mortgage.

In the 1930s, surveyors with the federal Home Owners’ Loan Corporation drew lines on maps and colored some neighborhoods red, deeming them “hazardous” for bank lending because of the presence of African Americans or European immigrants, especially Jews.

Redlining has been outlawed for half a century. And for the last 40 years, banks have had a legal obligation under the Community Reinvestment Act to solicit clients – borrowers and depositors – from all segments of their communities.

But in many places, Reveal found the law hasn’t made much difference.

The analysis – independently reviewed and confirmed by The Associated Press – showed black applicants were turned away at significantly higher rates than whites in 48 cities, Latinos in 25, Asians in nine and Native Americans in three. In Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, Reveal found all four groups were significantly more likely to be denied a home loan than whites. …

The latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show the median net worth for an African American family is now $9,000, compared with $132,000 for a white family. Latino families did not fare much better at $12,000.

Obviously, the solution for blacks and Latinos being bad at saving money is for them to go more into debt. Why didn’t anybody ever think of this idea before (except for George W. Bush, Henry Cisneros, Angelo Mozilo, Kerry Killinger, Dick Fuld, etc.)?

Lenders and their trade organizations do not dispute the fact that they turn away people of color at rates far greater than whites. But they maintain that the disparity can be explained by two factors the industry has fought to keep hidden: the prospective borrowers’ credit history and overall debt-to-income ratio. They singled out the three-digit credit score – which banks use to determine whether a borrower is likely to repay a loan – as especially important in lending decisions. …

Credit score was not included because that information is not publicly available.

From a recent Taki’s Magazine column by me:

A recent academic study, “Immigrants and Mortgage Delinquency” by Zhenguo Lin, Yingchun Liu, and Jia Xie, found that in the crucial year 2009 Brooks’ dynamic, morally superior immigrants defaulted 3.6 times as often on their mortgages as us deplorable natives. American elites, such as George W. Bush and financier Angelo Mozilo, simply trusted immigrants too much.

Perhaps a dozen academic studies have come up with fairly similar results (e.g., nonwhites had much higher default rates than whites) about the Housing Bubble/Bust, but virtually nobody knows this about this huge event of the 21st Century. In fact, probably far more people consider it inconceivable.

 
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From Haaretz in Israel:

Opinion: The Link Between Jews and Money Is No Longer Taboo

After years of focusing on anti-Semitism, more and more historians are daring to deal with a subject long considered untouchable

Ofri Ilany Feb 14, 2018 9:35 PM

… This anecdote exemplifies the centuries-old stereotype according to which the Jews have an innate knack for dealing with money. It’s an image that clung to the Jews even when they were paupers.

The original title for the blockbuster Fiddler on the Roof showstopper song “If I Were a Rich Man” was “If I Were a Rothschild.” After Fiddler, Harnick and Bock created the musical The Rothschilds, which was something of a hit at the time around 1970 but has mostly been forgotten.

Evidently, you could make a lot more money telling Jews they were poor than telling Jews they were rich.

… But today it is perfectly clear that the “Jew and money” stereotype is almost as potent as it was a century ago. Suffice it to recall President Donald Trump’s remark to Jewish leaders during the election campaign, “You’re not going to support me, because I don’t want your money.”

Considering the dark history of the subject of the connection between Jews and money, the actual economic history of the Jews is a highly sensitive issue. Jewish history has been described as “a head without a body.” As the historian Jonathan Karp notes, the character of Shylock – the notorious usurer in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” – has cast “a long shadow of defensiveness over Jewish self-perceptions.” Nevertheless, over the past decade, historians have been increasingly focusing on the economic life of the Jews and trying to dispel the mystery and the myths that envelop the subject. Karp has termed this an “economic turn” in the field of Jewish studies.

Until not long ago, most historians preferred to delve deeply into the history of anti-Semitism, or to study the origins of kabbala or analyze Jewish philosophy – and not dwell, for example, on the story of the Jewish trading and banking empires. That subject was largely neglected by Jewish historians themselves; they left it for thinkers who possessed anti-Semitic inclinations.

A striking example is German sociologist Werner Sombart, who in 1911 published the influential book “The Jews and Modern Capitalism” (English edition, 2001, translated by M. Epstein). In response to sociologist Max Weber, Sombart argued that it was the Jews, not the Protestants, who invented capitalism. The Jews’ compatibility with capitalism, he thought, was related to substantive traits in Judaism, which, from the dawn of history, trained the Jews in “the subjugation of the merely animal instincts in man.” …

Actually, Jewish scholars have often sought to emphasize the socialist elements of their culture, a tendency that was consistent with the leftist bent of many Jewish intellectuals in the mid-20th century. But that situation seems to be changing. Not a few contemporary Jewish intellectuals have embraced capitalism as a legitimate economic approach, and are not ashamed of it. As such, they are proud to present their co-religionists as pioneers of capitalism.

One of the latter group is the historian Jerry Z. Muller. In his 2010 book “Capitalism and the Jews,” Muller homes in on the Jewish financiers who established the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank. A similar approach is taken in “The Chosen Few” (2012), by Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein. Their book describes usurious moneylending as a Jewish trade, one in which Jews specialized of their own volition, in order to exploit their relative advantages over the uneducated general population. In this way, the authors maintain, the Jews brought prosperity to the countries in which they were active.

The past decade has also seen the publication of many studies that promote less sweeping claims, but describe global networks of commerce in which the Jews played a crucial role throughout the modern era. …

UC Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine’s book The Jewish Century, which springs from his mother’s side of the family’s experience working for the Bolshevik state, argues that Jews were attracted to Marxism because they were discriminated against because of religion, nationality, and that they were good at capitalism. So, get rid of religion, nations, and capitalism and no more discrimination against Jews! What could possibly go wrong?

 
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From the NY Times oped page, a pretty good illustration of my observation that contemporary ideological conventional wisdom has jettisoned all attempts at thinking in terms of objective principles and has moved on to pure Stalin-citing-Lenin Who-Whomism.

Trump Wants to Make America White Again
By STEVE PHILLIPS FEB. 15, 2018

Steve Phillips, the founder of Democracy in Color and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, is the author of “Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority .”

The White House is assertively working to make America white again, and Democrats are too afraid to speak that truth. The aggressive pace of deportations of immigrants of color, the elimination of the DACA program protecting immigrant children and the proposals propounded by the anti-immigration voices in the administration will all have the undeniable effect of slowing the rapid racial diversification of the United States population. Despite this sweeping attempt at racial social engineering, few voices in progressive and Democratic circles are responding with the kinds of outrage that one would expect.

Trump is engaging in a “sweeping attempt at racial social engineering!”

… It should be no surprise, then, that the immigration policies championed by the White House would all have the effect of reducing the number of people of color coming into the country. A recent study by The Washington Post found that the administration’s proposals to curtail legal immigration by limiting family reunification would slightly delay the date when whites become a minority.

… “Decades ahead,” he added, “many fewer of us would be nonwhite or have nonwhite people in our families.”

The administration’s focus is not random. Nor is it illogical, if one’s goal is to maximize the influence of white people. Since the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, the chromatic composition of the country’s population has undergone a fundamental transformation. People of color used to make up 12 percent of the United States population in 1965, and that percentage has more than tripled over the past several decades to the point where nonwhite people are nearly 39 percent of the residents of the United States (it is no accident that the country’s first African-American president was elected when he was elected). Mr. Trump’s team understands that the specific laws it seeks to eliminate have played a significant role in that demographic revolution.

As distasteful as many people find unapologetic advocacy for public policies that favor white people, the truth of the matter is that immigration laws have been among the longest-standing and most strongly defended cornerstones of our government. The very first immigration law passed, the Naturalization Act of 1790, declared that to become a citizen, one had to be a “free white person.”

… The big-picture reality of this moment is that Mr. Trump is too late. His attempts to make America whiter are doomed to fail because the demographic revolution is now irreversible. The driving force of the browning of America is no longer immigration but birth and death rates. A majority of babies being born are of color, and a majority of people dying are white. …

Perhaps understanding the math of the matter can inspire Democrats to carry themselves with courage and the confidence that resisting Mr. Trump’s pro-white public policies is not only morally right but also squarely places them on the right side of history.

From Amazon, here’s Mr. Phillips’ description of his own book:

* NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER * Despite the abundant evidence from Obama’s victories proving that the U.S. population has fundamentally changed, many progressives and Democrats continue to waste millions of dollars chasing white swing voters. Explosive population growth of people of color in America over the past fifty years has laid the foundation for a New American Majority consisting of progressive people of color (23 percent of all eligible voters) and progressive whites (28 percent of all eligible voters). These two groups make up 51 percent of all eligible voters in America right now, and that majority is growing larger every day. Failing to properly appreciate this reality, progressives are at risk of missing this moment in history–and losing.

A leader in national politics for thirty years, Steve Phillips has had a front-row seat to these extraordinary political changes. A civil rights lawyer and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Phillips draws on his extensive political experience to unveil exactly how people of color and progressive whites add up to a new majority, and what this means for U.S. politics and policy. A book brimming with urgency and hope, Brown Is the New White exposes how far behind the curve Democrats are in investing in communities of color–while illuminating a path forward to seize the opportunity created by the demographic revolution.

The Bolsheviks formalized the Who-Whom concept to justify the proletariat inflicting a transitive verb upon the bourgeoisie. From Wikipedia:

Who, whom? (Russian: кто кого?, Kto kovo?) is a Bolshevist principle or slogan which was formulated by Lenin in 1921. …

Leon Trotsky used the shortened “who whom” formulation in his 1925 article, “Towards Capitalism or Towards Socialism?” …

The shortened form was invoked by Joseph Stalin in 1929, in a speech to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which also gave the formula its “aura of hard-line coercion” (while Lenin’s phrase indicated a willingness to embrace economic competition):

“‘The fact is, we live according to Lenin’s formula: Kto-Kogo?: will we knock them, the capitalists, flat and give them (as Lenin expresses it) the final, decisive battle, or will they knock us flat?’”.

Of course, today the Whom is seldom “capitalists” but instead Cisgender Straight White Males.

 
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From a Public Radio International portrait of Obama’s portrait “painter”/outsourcer:

Kehinde Wiley reimagines old portraits because ‘if Black Lives Matter, they deserve to be in paintings’
PRI’s The World

November 02, 2016 · 3:30 PM EDT
By William Troop

… Wiley says the reaction at the opening of his show in Paris last month was profound.

“I’ve never had so many museum guards walk up to me like they did in Paris, where they said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never seen this many black bodies in a public space,’” says Wiley.

The oeuvre of Ta-Nehisi Coates is evidently big among Paris museum guards, who apparently talk like Woke Valley Girls.

By the way, Wiley’s full body of work goes beyond religious iconography. It includes a series of projects he calls, “The World Stage.” Each project focuses on a different country around the globe, always with a black or brown body at the center of each portrait. …

For example, here’s Wiley’s 2010 knockoff of Rubens’ Philip II with Michael Jackson’s face replacing the Habsburg monarch’s.

But … doesn’t all this “black bodies” rhetoric sound a little … dehumanizing?

His current exhibit at the Petit Palais in Paris runs through January 2017. Wiley acknowledges that this is a delicate time for his work to be exhibited in France. Far-right politicians there have seen a surge in support because of concerns that too many refugees and immigrants are coming into the country.

“I think that it’s obviously something that we see here in America,” he says. “We see it in the Brexit. We also see it in France. And all of those black and brown bodies that are in places [like the recently dismantled migrant camp in Calais] called the Jungle … [those places] have to be remembered as places that were once places of refuge for Eastern Europeans, Jews and homosexuals.”

Wiley’s conclusion? “Europe has been a place of refuge. Why should it stop with black and brown bodies?”

Twenty years from now when the average woke CEO has learned to refer to “black bodies” in speeches, then the black studies majors will switch to something like the “souls of black folk” like W.E.B. Du Bois used, and lucratively shame Whitey once again for his racism in referring to blacks as “bodies,” as if they didn’t have a spark of human spirit in them. In 2038, you’ll be fired from your job at Google for standing up at an Anti-White Privilege struggle session and saying, “Google must hire more black bodies” because by then the only appropriate term will be “Google must hire more Negro Essences.” (Google’s engineering work force at that point will be 80% Asian, 14% white, 4% Hispanic, and still only 2% black, and its stock market valuation will be $100 trillion, but that’s not the point.)

This will go on until 2058 at which point “bodies” will become de rigueur once again, leading to even more grants and diversity hires.

It’s the SJW Circle of Life.

 
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South Africa’s clownish Zulu president Jacob Zuma has been pushed out of office by his African National Congress, purportedly on charges of corruption for feathering his kraal, and replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa, a former labor leader whose net worth is said to be $450 million.

Zuma had recently brought international opprobrium down on his head for his anti-white racist critique of “white monopoly capital.” As we all know, it’s very, very evil to criticize “white monopoly capital” in South Africa while it’s very, very good to demonize “white privilege” in America. Insulting “white monopoly capital” hurts the feelings of white monopoly capitalists in South Africa, while insulting white privilege in the U.S. merely insults losers like Darren Wilson, George Zimmerman, and Haven Monohan.

I don’t pretend to understand South Africa, which I wrote about in Taki’s Magazine last week. My vague impression of South African history, however, going back to Cecil Rhodes devoting his initial will to the creation of (in Rhodes’ words) a “secret society,” a sort of Anglophilic Jesuits, to promote the domination of the world by the British Empire, suggests that if there is any place worth conspiring over, it’s South Africa with its diamonds and gold. But don’t ask me who are the main conspirators in South Africa.

 
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Screenshot 2018-02-14 17.15.37

Huh …

The average British person’s DNA is now 40% non-European? Who knew? So in a little while, the average British person’s DNA will be 51% non-European … ergo Brexit is good?

I’m a little baffled by the logic of post-Cheddar Man British genomic spin.

Alastair Campbell, by the way, is likely the inspiration for Peter Capaldi’s spin-meister Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It and In the Loop:

 
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From Social Science Quarterly:

The Long Road to Equality: A Meta-Regression Analysis of Changes in the Black Test Score Gap Over Time*

Authors: Nick Huntington-Klein (Prof. of Economics, Cal State-Fullerton), Elizabeth Ackert (U. of Texas)
First published: 12 February 2018

Abstract
Objective
We analyze changes in test score gaps between black students and their peers from 1979 to 2010 and examine how observable factors contribute to the gap.

Methods
Using meta-regression, we examine the relationship between African-American racial status and achievement in U.S. K–12 education in 165 published studies.

Results
The absolute relationship between black status and achievement decreased during the 1980s and early 1990s, but was stagnant from the late 1990s through 2010. Socioeconomic status explained more than half of the gap, and the influence of socioeconomic status on the gap did not change significantly over time. Schooling characteristics explained relatively little of the gap, but school-level factors increased in importance over time.

Conclusion
Black test score gap closure stagnated in an era when federal education policy sought to close racial achievement gaps. Observable factors explain more of the gap than has been previously recognized.

 
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Looking at the repeated elements in the leaves, they might have some tiny variation, which would imply, I think, that they were handpainted on top of a Photoshop mocked up image.

 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


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