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A friend explains why Ta-Nehisi Coates flounders rhetorically as “the new James Baldwin.”

Because Baldwin was trained to be a preacher — and one in the fire-and-brimstone style, no less – he could navigate the Old Testament rhetoric when he became a left-wing public intellectual.

Coates can’t. … Thus he says his use of “bodies” actually comes from his atheism: people are no more than their bodies, people don’t have souls or spirits.

Coates was raised an atheist by his 1960s black radical parents (his father was a Black Panther for awhile). So he grew up with a lot of crackpot Afrocentrist books around the house, which aren’t as sturdy a source for a style as the King James Bible.

But because Coates has been called the New Baldwin, he tries, and the attempt, as you said, is embarrassing. He comes across like what he is: a Gen Xer trying to do fire-and-brimstone.

• Tags: Books

From my new book review in Taki’s Magazine of the bestseller Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates:

The First Rule of White Club

“I have found that, in the African-American oral tradition, if the words are enunciated eloquently enough, no one examines the meaning for definitive truth.”

—Biracial novelist Mat Johnson, Loving Day, 2015

America’s foremost public intellectual, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has published a new best-selling minibook, Between the World and Me, that’s interesting for what it reveals about a forbidden subject: the psychological damage done by pervasive black violence to soft, sensitive, bookish souls such as Coates. The Atlantic writer’s black radical parents forced the frightened child to grow up in Baltimore’s black community, where he lived in constant terror of the other boys. Any white person who wrote as intensely about how blacks scared him would be career-crucified out of his job, so it’s striking to read Coates recounting at length how horrible it is to live around poor blacks if you are a timid, retiring sort.

Read the whole thing there.

• Tags: Books

One of the more bizarre murders in Los Angeles this month was the shotgun assassination of a 30 year old white woman walking with her boyfriend in the tourist part of Hollywood. The boyfriend was untouched.

It seemed too horrible to be a random racist hate crime: an execution-style murder of a white woman in a high traffic area would a big step up in Polar Bear Hunting from, say, punching Matthew Yglesias a few times on a lonely street. But it also didn’t seem like some big money organized crime-related thing either.

From CBS News today:

Ezeoma Chigozie Obioha, 31, is charged with one count of murder with the special circumstances of lying in wait and murder for financial gain in the July 5 shooting death of 30-year-old Carrie Melvin, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Obioha has been ordered to remain jailed without bail.

Police say Obioha knew Melvin, whom had reportedly threatened to take Obioha to court to collect several hundred dollars from a check he had previously bounced.

Melvin had a social media company and had agreed to market Obioha’s “hoodfellas” clothing, according to LAPD Lt. John Radke.

Obioha, who was already in custody, was arrested Friday and booked on suspicion of murder at the LAPD’s Olympic Station, Sheriff’s officials said.

The shooting occurred July 5 around 10:10 p.m. as Melvin was walking with her boyfriend near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and McCadden Place when the suspect walked up to them and fired a single shotgun round at Melvin.

Judging from the video of Ezeoma Chigozie Obioha promoting his “hoodfellas” line of hoodies, he has an African-American accent, so he’s not a recent immigrant.

From the Beverly Hills Patch:

Obioha had attended Beverly Hills High School, where he played on the boys’ basketball team and wrote for the newspaper LA Youth.

So, Obioha is clearly a victim of a society that doesn’t spend enough on its students.

By the way, my review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s bestseller Between the World and Me should be up on Takimag tonight or tomorrow.


From an interview in Vox:

Ezra Klein: You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …

Bernie Sanders: Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.

Ezra Klein: Really?

Bernie Sanders: Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …

Ezra Klein: But it would make …

Bernie Sanders: Excuse me …

Ezra Klein: It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?

Bernie Sanders: It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.

You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?

I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.

Ezra Klein: Then what are the responsibilities that we have? Someone who is poor by US standards is quite well off by, say, Malaysian standards, so if the calculation goes so easily to the benefit of the person in the US, how do we think about that responsibility?

We have a nation-state structure. I agree on that. But philosophically, the question is how do you weight it? How do you think about what the foreign aid budget should be? How do you think about poverty abroad?

Bernie Sanders: I do weigh it. As a United States senator in Vermont, my first obligation is to make certain kids in my state and kids all over this country have the ability to go to college, which is why I am supporting tuition-free public colleges and universities. I believe we should create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and ask the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes. I believe we should raise the minimum wage to at least 15 bucks an hour so people in this county are not living in poverty. I think we end the disgrace of some 20 percent of our kids living in poverty in America. Now, how do you do that?

What you do is understand there’s been a huge redistribution of wealth in the last 30 years from the middle class to the top tenth of 1 percent. The other thing that you understand globally is a horrendous imbalance in terms of wealth in the world. As I mentioned earlier, the top 1 percent will own more than the bottom 99 percent in a year or so. That’s absurd. That takes you to programs like the IMF and so forth and so on.

But I think what we need to be doing as a global economy is making sure that people in poor countries have decent-paying jobs, have education, have health care, have nutrition for their people. That is a moral responsibility, but you don’t do that, as some would suggest, by lowering the standard of American workers, which has already gone down very significantly.


From the New York Times:

Push to Scale Back Sentencing Laws Gains Momentum

The House speaker, John A. Boehner, has endorsed a House bill that would change the criminal justice system. Credit Zach Gibson/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — For several years, a handful of lawmakers in Congress have tried to scale back tough sentencing laws that have bloated federal prisons and the cost of running them. But broad-based political will to change those laws remained elusive.

The Speaker’s son-in-law

Now, with a push from President Obama, and perhaps even more significantly a nod from Speaker John A. Boehner, Congress seems poised to revise four decades of federal policy that greatly expanded the number of Americans — to roughly 750 per 100,000 — now incarcerated, by far the highest of any Western nation.

It would be more reassuring if somebody first apologized for cutting imprisonment in the 1960s and unleashing a huge crime wave that went on for a generation.

Perhaps somebody could point out what they have learned from their last epochal mistake so we have some reason to assume they aren’t just going to do it all over again.


From the Washington Post:

Screenshot 2015-07-28 01.45.25

Examples of disadvantaged students whom George Washington University (cost of attendance per year: $64,300) would like to recruit without fear of driving down the test scores it has to report for the USNWR rankings include rich kids who have previously been disadvantaged by being dumb.


In contrast to high testosterone heterosexual middle-aged men of conventionally masculine interests (science fiction, golf, military, economics, computers, etc.) who are used to getting their way who develop an obsessive sexual fetish and demand that everybody address them as, say, Caitlyn, there are also a small number of individuals born with birth defects regarding their genitals that make them feel on the inside different than doctors might guess from inspecting their newborn groins.

Most extremely effeminate male homosexuals are not high achievers, so they don’t get as much press as the even tinier number of highly masculine autogynephiles.

But the existence of women’s sports, where the most fundamental shortcut to winning is to be a man, shines the spotlight on the occasional birth defect in the opposite direction.

For example, slam-dunking 6’8″ baritone-voiced Britney Griner of the WNBA skipped the 2012 Olympics, where women competitors imposed sex testing so they don’t have to compete against crypto-men.

But we live in an age where the interests of the majority, even if they are women, are automatically suspect compared to the interests of an, ideally, microscopic minority.

From the New York Times:

Dutee Chand, Female Sprinter With High Testosterone Level, Wins Right to Compete

The final appeals court for global sports on Monday further blurred the line separating male and female athletes, ruling that a common factor in distinguishing the sexes — the level of natural testosterone in an athlete’s body — is insufficient to bar some women from competing against females.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, based in Switzerland, questioned the athletic advantage of naturally high levels of testosterone in women and therefore immediately suspended the practice of “hyperandrogenism regulation” by track and field’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations. It gave the organization, known as the I.A.A.F., two years to provide more persuasive scientific evidence linking “enhanced testosterone levels and improved athletic performance.”

The court was ruling on a case, involving the Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, that is the latest demonstration that sex is part of a spectrum, not a this-or-that definition easily divided for matters such as sport. It also leaves officials wondering how and where to set the boundaries between male and female competition. …

Chand, an 18-and-under national champion in the 100 meters and an Olympic hopeful, was found to have hyperandrogenism and barred from competing against women in 2014 because her natural levels of testosterone exceeded guidelines for female athletes. Now, Chand and other women who may have similar conditions can participate in international competition, perhaps including next year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. …

Of course, judging by India’s remarkable track record in the Olympics (India’s national sporting motto: Thank Vishnu for Bangladesh!), having the testosterone level of an Indian male probably won’t turn Chand into Flo-Jo.

The panel was ruling specifically on track and field’s regulation, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s wide jurisdiction means its decision is likely to serve as a precedent for other sports around the world. …

In a case more clearly linked to that of Chand, the South African runner Caster Semenya in 2009 was barred from competition and reinstated nearly a year later after a series of sex tests and much publicity. …

Among those who testified in support of the I.A.A.F. policy was the British runner Paula Radcliffe, who holds the world record among women in the marathon. According to the ruling, Radcliffe said that elevated testosterone levels “make the competition unequal in a way greater than simple natural talent and dedication.” She said that other top athletes shared her view.

“The concern remains that their bodies respond in different, stronger ways to training and racing than women with normal testosterone levels, and that this renders the competition fundamentally unfair,” Radcliffe said of such hyperandrogenic athletes.

But the last word in the article doesn’t belong to the majority of women athletes because, while they may be women, they are still the majority, not the minority. Instead:

“I am shocked and heartened by C.A.S.’s decision,” said Katrina Karkazis, of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University, who helped argue Chand’s case. “I didn’t think it was our time. Dutee has made history with her courageous decision to challenge a policy she felt was unfair to her and to all women athletes.

“It’s a victory for women’s equality in sport. And I’m thrilled she can just now run.”

It’s fascinating how people lobbying for individual special interests have mastered the art of using feminist propaganda: “a victory for women’s equality in sport.”


Boston had beaten out L.A., S.F., and D.C. to be the US Olympic Committee’s choice to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, even though nobody could quite figure out where they’d squeeze in all the facilities in a crowded city and it was sold on the laughable promise of no taxpayer dollars needed. Today, however, the mayor of Boston refused to sign a contract, effectively ending Boston’s bid.

So, America’s perpetual Olympics Plan B, Los Angeles, now appears to be the USOC’s Plan A. Southern California has lots and lots of sports facilities, although most are antiques from the democratic middle of the 20th Century and thus are lacking in a full set of skyboxes.

The L.A. Coliseum, most notably, hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics. Since then, however, it has had its Olympic track torn up and stands built closer to USC’s football field. Presumably, that could be modified back without vast expense.

The summer Olympics have a real problem in that stadiums that can accommodate an Olympic 400 m track are bad for viewing soccer or American football. But purpose-built giant track stadiums are white elephants since track can’t attract large crowds anymore outside of the Olympics. It’s stupid to spend a billion dollars on a track stadium that has bad viewing for sports that locals care actually care about during the rest of their lives.

Boston’s plan had been to build giant temporary bleachers on Boston Common, which I guess would have been okay. Look, it’s just a bunch of sporting events, and grandiose surroundings aren’t that important.

Paris built a giant national soccer stadium in the 1990s with the the grandstands on rails so it can be rearranged to host the Olympics. That seems like a pretty good solution: If nobody wants to blow a bundle on building a track stadium, just hold the Olympics in Paris.

Screenshot 2015-07-27 03.29.30

Greg Norman on 9th at Royal, er, Trump Turnberry on his way to 1986 British Open title

… in Scotland, at least, is rebuilding Royal Turnberry (or as he modestly has renamed it, Trump Turnberry), which has been part of the British Open rota since Tom Watson beat Jack Nicklaus in the “Duel in the Sun” in 1977, to actually live up to its nickname of “the Pebble Beach of Scotland.” Reconstruction will start shortly after this week’s Women’s British Open at Trump Turnberry. (Although the men’s tour in the U.S. has been cutting ties with Trump over his unspeakable insults of illegal aliens and John McCain, it would be sexist to call off the Women’s British Open.)

While the men’s Open is always played on linksland near the sea, most of the classic courses don’t even offer even an ocean view, much less bring the coastline into play. Turnberry, with its rocky coastline, has been the exception.

Screenshot 2015-07-27 05.07.33

CGI of 2016′s par 5 10th hole at Trump Turnberry

Still, even Turnberry’s ocean holes were uninspired compared to the greats of the Monterey Peninsula in northern central California. So, Trump’s Scottish golf architects, Mackenzie and Ebert, have come up with a plan to exploit the spectacular site much more fully, turning 9 through 11 into ocean cliff holes almost as impressive as 15-17 at Cypress Point.

While Trump’s early ventures into golf course architecture tended to involve building giant artificial waterfalls, he’s been getting better at using his sites. Analogously, when Trump built a 90 story hotel on the north bank of the Chicago River, he put the main restaurant not at the top, but on the 16th floor. Why? Because the view from supertall buildings is more aerial than elegant. In contrast, the sensational 1920s Art Deco skyscrapers lining the Chicago River top out at 15 to 30 stories, so dining at eye level with their finials is a glorious experience.

On the other hand, there are reasons why Scottish courses aren’t as exposed to the ocean as the best California courses, such as wind and salt spray. So, we’ll see if Trump is over-optimistic.

Amusingly, since the famous lighthouse between the 9th and 10th holes at Turnberry is now fully automated, Trump’s team came up with the idea of tearing down the current hut for snacks near the 10th tee and making the lighthouse itself into what it will surely be the world’s most famous halfway house for having a wee dram before braving the rigors of the back nine.

And besides sprucing up the famous old red and white hotel on the hill above the golf course, Trump will be renting out the second floor of the lighthouse as a suite for golf-crazed zillionaires, such as, to pick a name at random from the ranks of links lovers, Mr. Hillary Clinton himself.

Bill Clinton is infatuated with seaside golf in the British Isles. There are, at last count, two Bill Clinton statues in the world. One is in Pristina, Kosovo, and the other is in downtown Ballybunion, Ireland. Clinton has good taste in golf courses. I’ve been a Ballybunion lifetime member since 1987, although, unlike Bill, I haven’t been back since 1994.

That the buddies Trump and Clinton are very much on the same page over golf may have something to do with why Bill Clinton has still not resigned his membership at his home club, Trump National – Westchester.


Christopher Caldwell writes in The Weekly Standard:

Greece’s euro trouble arose in the wake of the U.S. subprime crisis—and largely because it struck investors as analogous. In both cases a credit system was distorted by an ulterior motive. Depending on whether you like the motive, you could call it idealism or social engineering. In the United States in the 1990s, we were told that the difference in rates of loan approval between neighborhoods was due largely to racism—what the Clinton administration called “redlining.” Once you got over your bigotry, it was as safe to lend to people in the slums as to people at the country club. At about the same time, apostles of the EU convinced Germans (who borrowed at 5 percent) that a currency it shared with Greeks (who borrowed at 18 percent) could be as strong as the deutsche mark they had spent half a century firming up. Once you got over your bigotry, it was as safe to lend to Stavros as to Stefan.

For a while it appeared so. On both continents, lenders took the rhetoric as a sign that the government would make them whole if loans went bad. In America, Fannie Mae and other government-protected lenders could offer loans at a lower rate than nongovernment ones. In Europe, Greek, Irish, Italian, and Portuguese interest rates converged with the German ones. Naturally, borrowers in those countries took advantage of the credit. It is easy to forget that, 20 years ago, consumers did not expect to be preyed upon by financial institutions, as they do now. It had been generations since the last wave of bank runs. To Greeks, those unbelievably cheap loans in Germany’s currency appeared risk-free.

That did not make Greece Germany. Globalization brings prosperity because it brings specialization. Germany specialized in making Mercedes and designing precision machinery. Greece specialized in growing olives and changing tourists’ beds. Southern European countries began running large current-account deficits, which were covered by money borrowed from the north, and in 2010, the system blew up.


A. I don’t have anything against Sandler since I mostly just avoid his movies (although I can think of three I enjoyed). But he’s the bane of people whose job requires them to see every movie that comes out and write 800 words about his latest extrusion. Although American critics have long looked forward to the end of Adam Sandler movies, his secret weapon appears to be that Hispanics identify with him.

Opening on 7,100 screens in 56 markets, Pixels‘ international rollout thus far reps 42% of the total offshore footprint. The movie performed best in Latin America, where Adam Sandler and family films are warmly embraced by auds. In Mexico, Pixels bowed No. 1 to $3.7M from 1,800 screens and tracking ahead of The Lego Movie by 18%. In Brazil, the fight to save Earth from Donkey Kong et al grossed $3.1M for the No. 1 slot at 2.5 times Lego (and 15% below Guardians Of The Galaxy, Sony points out). Argentina with $2.3M from 239 playdates was the 8th highest-grossing opening of all time there + Sony’s best ever, ahead of both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (+129%) and Ant-Man (+117%). Bolivia, Central America, Colombia and Uruguay all ranked tops for the weekend.

Deadline generalizes:

If Latin America holds, that’s a help. Adam Sandler performs there like almost nobody’s business on a consistent basis.

Adam Sandler / Sergio Garcia

The movie tastes of Latin Americans, there and here, are pretty much terra incognita for American cultural commentators.

You might think that they would be a question of some relevance, what with the immigration demographic tidal wave and all that, but the vast majority of white American film critics don’t appear to have ever even considered that Hispanics have likes and dislikes.


From the New York Times:

Feedback on Supreme Court’s Housing-Law Ruling
JULY 24, 2015


Some mortgage lenders are predicting costly repercussions from last month’s Supreme Court decision upholding a longstanding legal tool for challenging housing and lending practices that have a discriminatory effect, if not an obvious discriminatory intent.

The court’s 5-4 vote supporting “disparate impact” claims under the Fair Housing Act “will promote litigation that would itself cause reputational damage, serious business disruption, and extraordinary financial expense — even when a lender eventually prevails,” said Camden R. Fine, the president and chief executive of the Independent Community Bankers of America, in a written statement. …

Rick Roque

But other industry experts say a sky-is-falling response to the decision is overblown and unproductive. Rick Roque, the managing director of retail at MiMutual Mortgage, in Southfield, Mich., said lenders should set aside their “defense mechanisms” concerning the issue, take a serious look at their practices and find ways to go after the large “emerging markets” of blacks and Latinos.

Rick Roque is a great name for a mortgage salesman. I don’t care whether he pronounces it Rick Rock, Rick Roke, or Rick Ro-Kay. It’s all good.

“This presents a tremendous opportunity for banks to expand homeownership to classes that have been left out since the recession,” Mr. Roque said. “It’s not just an underserved market, but it’s also a tremendous financial opportunity that banks are passing on because of perceived risk.”

That perception — that these groups of borrowers are higher-risk — may be grounded in discriminatory thinking, even if lenders aren’t aware of it, he said. As an example, he noted that it was not uncommon for middle-class immigrant or minority borrowers to have two or even three jobs. They may have a solid record of being able to cover their rent and bills. But a mortgage lender may be uncomfortable with someone who isn’t a single-income earner, and not view the multiple jobs as stable or long-term enough to warrant credit.

Another example: Latino borrowers might obtain money from a number of relatives, in the United States or another country, for a down payment. “But if they submit a number of gift letters” explaining where the money came from, “the lender might view it suspiciously,” Mr. Roque said. “Even though culturally, it might be perfectly normal.”

No mortgage salesman in the history of the world has ever before thought of these rationalizations for making more in commissions.

Why not? Because they they were so mentally tied down by racistly redlining black bodies to notice that loosening traditional credits standards in the name of Racial Equality could get them that sweet new Beemer they’ve had their eyes on.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Data collected in 2014 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act showed that of 1.6 million conventional purchase mortgage loans originated the previous year, less than 15 percent went to borrowers of color, according to Nikitra Bailey, an executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending.

I don’t see 2014 statistics anywhere, but the government’s 2013 HMDA numbers show, minorities getting 20% of the these plainest of mortgages, and minorities accounting for 22% of the dollars lent. That’s in contrast to the good old days of 2006 when minorities got 34% of this kind of mortgage and 35% of the dollars lent.

However, the Asian fraction of the minority lending has exploded, from 16% of minorities in 2006 to 42% in 2013. Non-Asian Minorities fell from 29% of simple purchase mortgages and 27% of dollars lent in 2006 to 12% of loans and 11% of dollars in 2013.

“The private market is just ignoring a class of borrowers that it needs to do business with,” she said. She disputed the assertion that the recent decision would raise costs for lenders, noting that the precedent has been in place for more than 40 years, and in that time, “we haven’t seen our courts flooded with litigation.” The lending industry should see this “as an opportunity to ensure that all creditworthy borrowers have access to the credit they deserve,” she said.

So, how did lending all that money to non-Asian minorities in 2006 work out anyway?

Does anybody remember?


With President Obama in Kenya meeting Kenyan supremo Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Jomo Kenyatta, the American newsmedia are full of think pieces on the Meaning of It All, almost none of which mention that Barack Jr.’s dad was the anchor witness in the trial of the hired gunman in the most traumatic assassination plot in Kenya’s history, the murder of Luo statesman and Obama Sr.’s mentor, Tom Mboya, an assassination many Luo believe may have been ordered by Uhuru’s dad.

That would be too interesting.

Although the New York Times has been running essays drawn from Obama’s Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, nobody seems to have noticed a line in the book suggesting that the Obama clan hated Kenyatta.

The African news media has a less constricted view of what’s interesting. The Standard writes:

How Obama’s father witnessed Tom Mboya’s murder

By Silas Nyanchwani Updated Monday, July 20th 2015 at 13:20

Uhuru Kenyatta will meet President Barack Obama. Interestingly, their fathers’ lives were entangled in power play in the 1960s. Back then, both Uhuru and Obama were infants, and so was Kenya as an independent country where the life of Barack Obama Sr (pictured), a bright economist was complicated for three reasons.

One, he criticised the economic policies of President Kenyatta. Two, he openly ranted how he would have made a better governor of Central Bank of Kenya.

Three, and most important but least discussed, Obama Sr witnessed the assassination of Tom Mboya in July 1969. That he even gave police the name of Mboya’s assassin further muddled his image in the eyes of those keen on covering up the murder of the most ambitious politician of his day.

Tom Mboya was America’s guy in Kenya, while Kenyatta had reconciled with the Brits, and Oginga Odinga was cozying up to the Soviets. The youngish Mboya, a Luo, had graciously stepped aside in favor of the old Kenyatta, a Kikuyu, becoming the first president. Many Luos thus felt that Mboya deserved to eventually inherit the presidency. But the Kikuyus around Kenyatta were not pleased by the idea of losing their moneymaking privileges. Obama Sr. was ideologically closer to his fellow Luo Odinga than to Mboya, but Mboya had done him a lot of favors, such as helping him get to Hawaii to study on the Americans’ dime.

In the bio, The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father, published in 2011, Sally Jacobs, informs us that Obama Sr met Mboya at Channi’s Pharmacy on July 5, 1969. Mboya had just returned from a summit in Ethiopia. Obama Sr joked how Mboya had parked the car wrongly and thus risked getting a ticket from the City Council. Mboya laughed and walked into the pharmacy, only to begunned down by Nahashon Isaac Njenga Njoroge, who was later hanged at Kamiti Prison on ‘orders from above’ that saw to it that no priest performed the last rites on him.

Obama Sr told a friend how he gave Njenga’s name and description to the police. During Njeng’as hasty trial, Obama Sr was the final prosecution witness, notes Jacobs. Njenga, who had received military training in Europe was often used as a bodyguard by politicians and when questioned on the murder, he replied: “Why don’t you go after the big man?”

Many Luo think Obama Sr.’s career was sidetracked by the squeeze put on the Luo after the murder of their champion.

Obama Sr obtained a First Class Honours at the University of Hawaii and was awarded a scholarship to pursue a PhD at Harvard. He was later deported for fooling around with white women. …

Or, to be more precise, on suspicions of bigamously marrying a couple of American women while still being married back home in Kenya.

The various connections Obama’s father, mother, and stepfather had to American power abroad is not a subject considered interesting either.


From the New York Times:

ESPN Drops Colin Cowherd After Remarks on Dominicans

Pedro Guerrero, Dominican scholar-athlete, and his big bat

ESPN dropped the radio host Colin Cowherd on Friday, hours after he had clumsily tried to explain comments he made on his show Thursday that seemed to denigrate the intelligence of Dominicans in baseball.

… During his program Thursday, Cowherd questioned those who said baseball was complex. “Like I’ve never bought into that ‘Baseball’s just too complex,’ ” he said. “Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic.”

ESPN initially said the remarks were “inappropriate,” but later Friday it released a new statement saying Cowherd would no longer appear on the network. …

On Friday, Cowherd excoriated the editing of his remarks. On his show, he replayed his remarks in full; they included his statements that the Dominican Republic lacked “world-class academic abilities” and that “a lot of those kids come from rough backgrounds and have not had opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have.”

Then, to explain his position, he offered statistics from reports by the World Bank and other organizations that outlined education problems in the Dominican Republic.

Uh oh, he cited HateStats.

Here’s what Cowherd said in his follow-up:

“For the record, I used the Dominican Republic because they furnish baseball with so many great players. But they do rank 122nd out of 144 countries in primary education according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitive Report.”

Big mistake. You don’t get fired for being wrong, you get fired for being right.

Here’s an article I found from ten years ago on DR’s levels of educational achievement:

SANTO DOMINGO.- Only 50% of the students who enter the first grade in the Dominican Republic reach to complete just four years, 22% complete the eight year elementary cycle and only 10% finish secondary schooling, figures which place Dominican Republic among the countries with the highest school dropout rates.

By the way, here’s Jason Malloy’s meta-analysis on the handful of IQ studies of Dominicans.

But knowing HateStats, must less mentioning them, is unforgivable. And so he’s gone.

It added, “Colin’s on-air response today addressed the importance of making sure his opinions are fact-based and responsible for all people.”

But not too fact-based.

My favorite Dominican ballplayer of all time was L.A. Dodgers 1980s slugger Pedro Guerrero, who got acquitted on a cocaine distribution charge in 2000 by reason of stupidity. The AP reported:

A former major league hitter was acquitted of drug conspiracy charges Tuesday, after his attorney argued that his low IQ prevented him from understanding that he had agreed to a drug deal.

Federal prosecutors argued that Pedro Guerrero, formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals, told an undercover agent and an informant that he would guarantee payment for a $200,000 cocaine shipment.

But Guerrero’s lawyer, Milton Hirsch, told the jury that the four-time National League All-Star and co-MVP of the 1981 World Series was duped by his friend, Adan “Tony” Cruz.

“He really never understood that he was being asked to involve himself in a drug deal,” Hirsch said.

The jury acquitted Guerrero after four hours of deliberation.

Guerrero, 43, retired from baseball in 1992. Hirsch said he dropped out of sixth grade in his native Dominican Republic, and has an IQ of 70, Hirsch said. The Miami resident can not perform simple tasks, such as writing a check or making a bed, and receives a small weekly allowance from his wife, Hirsch said.


Academic historians dislike the concept that history is often made by groups of individuals plotting together in confidence, even though one obvious way to get big things done is to make plans with your friends and allies while keeping your rivals in the dark as long as possible.

One exception is the late Georgetown history professor Carroll Quigley, who in 1949 completed a book rather grandly entitled The Anglo-American Establishment.

Decades later Bill Clinton was an undergrad student of Quigley (he got a B from him). In Clinton’s 1992 acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, he cited Quigley as an inspiration.

In reality, Quigley’s book, which wasn’t published until much later, was only very tangentially related to American institutions such as the Council of Foreign Relations. It actually focused on one group of British establishmentarians, the progressive imperialists who set up the British equivalent of the CFR, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (a.k.a., Chatham House), edited The Times of London for most of the first four decades of the 20th Century, and largely controlled the peculiarly influential All Souls College at Oxford.

Quigley calls them the Milner Group after Alfred Milner (1854-1925), an eminence grise who more or less started the Boer War of 1899-1902, then mentored “Milner’s Kindergarten” of bright young men in running South Africa, and finally popped up again in Lloyd George’s five-man war cabinet in 1917. But Milner mostly served behind the scenes.

Quigley traces the Milner Group back to the far more colorful Cecil Rhodes’ desire to start a “Secret Society” to promote Angl0-American unity and global domination. In the first five wills written by the mining tycoon of southern Africa, Rhodes (1853-1902) called for his estate to fund a secret society to reunify America with Britain and promote Anglo settlement of the world. For example, Rhodes wrote in his first will that he was leaving his fortune:

To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity.

Rhodes hoped his Secret Society would act as the Jesuits of the British Empire:

I look into history and I read the story of the Jesuits I see what they were able to do in a bad cause and I might say under bad leaders.

At the present day I become a member of the Masonic order I see the wealth and power they possess the influence they hold and I think over their ceremonies and I wonder that a large body of men can devote themselves to what at times appear the most ridiculous and absurd rites without an object and without an end.

The idea gleaming and dancing before ones eyes like a will-of-the-wisp at last frames itself into a plan. Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire. …

To forward such a scheme what a splendid help a secret society would be a society not openly acknowledged but who would work in secret for such an object.

I contend that there are at the present moment numbers of the ablest men in the world who would devote their whole lives to it. … There are men now living with I know no other term the [Greek term] of Aristotle but there are not ways for enabling them to serve their Country. They live and die unused unemployed. What has the main cause of the success of the Romish Church? The fact that every enthusiast, call it if you like every madman finds employment in it. Let us form the same kind of society a Church for the extension of the British Empire. A society which should have members in every part of the British Empire working with one object and one idea we should have its members placed at our universities and our schools and should watch the English youth passing through their hands just one perhaps in every thousand would have the mind and feelings for such an object, he should be tried in every way, he should be tested whether he is endurant, possessed of eloquence, disregardful of the petty details of life, and if found to be such, then elected and bound by oath to serve for the rest of his life in his County. He should then be supported if without means by the Society and sent to that part of the Empire where it was felt he was needed. …

Take one more case of the younger son with high thoughts, high aspirations, endowed by nature with all the faculties to make a great man, and with the sole wish in life to serve his Country but he lacks two things the means and the opportunity, ever troubled by a sort of inward deity urging him on to high and noble deeds, he is compelled to pass his time in some occupation which furnishes him with mere existence, he lives unhappily and dies miserably. Such men as these the Society should search out and use for the furtherance of their object.

(In every Colonial legislature the Society should attempt to have its members prepared at all times to vote or speak and advocate the closer union of England and the colonies, to crush all disloyalty and every movement for the severance of our Empire. The Society should inspire and even own portions of the press for the press rules the mind of the people. The Society should always be searching for members who might by their position in the world by their energies or character forward the object but the ballot and test for admittance should be severe)

Once make it common and it fails. Take a man of great wealth who is bereft of his children perhaps having his mind soured by some bitter disappointment who shuts himself up separate from his neighbours and makes up his mind to a miserable existence. To such men as these the society should go gradually disclose the greatness of their scheme and entreat him to throw in his life and property with them for this object. I think that there are thousands now existing who would eagerly grasp at the opportunity. Such are the heads of my scheme.

For fear that death might cut me off before the time for attempting its development I leave all my worldly goods in trust to S. G. Shippard and the Secretary for the Colonies at the time of my death to try to form such a Society with such an object.

In his sixth and seventh wills, Rhodes switched from calling for a Secret Society to the Rhodes Scholarships to promote Anglosphere unity. (Probably the most famous living Rhodes Scholar is Quigley’s old student Bill Clinton.) Wills are legal documents, so it’s hard to keep your Secret Society secret if you put it in your will.

In the early versions of Rhodes’ Secret Society in the 1890s, the finances were to be controlled by Lord Rothschild while the propaganda was to be handled by the titanic newspaper editor William T. Stea d (1849-1912, last seen bobbing alongside John Jacob Astor IV amidst the wreckage of the Titanic). But Stead opposed the Boer War of 1899 and was replaced in Rhodes affections by Milner.

A stumbling block to Rhodes’ plan for an English Cape-to-Cairo railroad through East Africa were the Boer Republics of Afrikaners who had fled the English takeover of Cape Town and established their own countries, where gold had now been discovered. In late 1895, Rhodes and his business partner in De Beers, Alfred Beit, financed (with the foreknowledge of British colonial secretary Joseph Chamberlain) the Jameson Raid out of Rhodesia into the independent Transvaal. The English immigrant miners working there were supposed to violently rise up against the Dutch-speaking government, but largely failed to do so. Rhodes was embarrassed, but attention was distracted from his defeat when Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany sent a telegram to the Boer leader:

I express to you my sincere congratulations that you and your people, without appealing to the help of friendly powers, have succeeded, by your own energetic action against the armed bands which invaded your country as disturbers of the peace, in restoring peace and in maintaining the independence of the country against attack from without.

The Kaiser’s opinion caused enormous indignation in Britain, where Southern Africa was considered to be part of Britain’s sphere of influence. The Jameson Raid / Kruger Telegram are often seen as key early steps in the deterioration of the generally chummy British-German relationships of the 19th Century toward the series of unfortunate events in 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.

Milner, a career government official, was sent out from London in 1897 to run South Africa. He soon engineered the Boer War of 1899, which Britain eventually, after a much harder fight than expected, won in 1902, taking control of the vast mineral deposits that Rhodes and Chamberlain had tried to seize in Jameson’s Raid.

The South African careers of Rhodes and Milner are reminiscent of the Marcher Lord theory propounded recently by Peter Turchin, in which the metropolitan center declines into soft decadence while power shifts to the hard men of the frontiers.

The South African connection is also reminiscent of the large but now largely ignored Jewish role in British Empire politics. Neither Rhodes nor Milner were Jewish, but their allies such as Beit often were. (Current Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, who was born in the British colony of Northern Rhodesia in 1943, is a late example of the Jewish role in southern Africa.)

Milner recruited a variety of competent and idealistic young Brits, such as John Buchan (future author of the famous suspense novel The 39 Steps and Governor-General of Canada) and Geoffrey Dawson (editor of The Times during most of 1912-1941) to serve in Milner’s Kindergarten in South Africa.

British culture of a century ago looked to Periclean Athens for role models (see, for example, Plato’s Symposium), so it was extremely good at inducing warm relations between older men and the most brilliant younger men.

As far as I can tell, Milner was straight, but that wasn’t the kind of thing that was worried about all that much in youth-worshipping Edwardian England.

As the banker father sings in Mary Poppins:

It’s grand to be an Englishman in 1910
King Edward’s on the throne, it’s the age of men

A culture of male self-admiration tended to elicit high male achievement. (In contrast, in today’s culture of male denigration, males tend to live down to society’s expectations.)

Around 1910, most of Milner’s Kindergarten returned to Britain where they played important roles in foreign policy up through the unfortunate events of 1940, and even beyond.

Quigley claims, for example, that Milner actually drafted the famous Balfour Declaration of 1917, a letter from the British government to Lord Rothschild approving Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people . (A more recent author claims it was actually written by Milner’s dynamic protege Leo Amery.)

According to Quigley, Milner’s young men were the low-key, centrist embodiment of the Secret Society dreamed up by Rhodes. They largely took over the Cecil Bloc of Tories assembled in the 19th Century by the masterful Prime Minister Salisbury and then dissipated in the 20th Century by his nephew Prime Minister Balfour, who was too oriented toward philosophy and golf to run a faction.

Quigley wasn’t too perturbed by the Milner Group, although he was annoyed by it’s influence on historiography via its control of many of the best jobs in the history professor business:

I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies, but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.

Did the Milner Group really exist?

Quigley claims that although its existence went unsaid among the upper classes, the reality of the Milner Group as a coherent body can be documented from the sentimental obituaries younger members wrote for deceased members in media institutions they controlled such as the Dictionary of National Biography.

Reading them, I’d say he has a point.

Still, we know a huge amount about the private lives of the British toffs of a century ago, and the lack of follow-up to Quigley’s hypothesis suggests that not much more evidence has surfaced.

But whether you’d call it the Milner Group with a capital G or just a clique or coterie seems to be one of those glass part full or part empty questions. It’s likely that no-drama Milner dispensed with the romantic Mason-inspired silliness that the young Rhodes had come up with in favor of a simple strategy of like-minded friends quietly coordinating for maximum public effectiveness.

As for secrecy, consider the famous Chatham House Rule: if you are invited to a meeting at Chatham House where, say, John Kerry explains the Iran deal, you are allowed to discuss what you learned but not mention the name of whoever you heard it from. That’s a clever way to cut the Gordian Knot of wanting to propagandize without being seen to propagandize.

British institutions such as The Economist continue to utilize anonymity, pseudonyms, and initials to inflate credibility. If, for example, Will Wilkinson signed his names to his columns in The Economist, you’d say, “Oh, that’s just Will Wilkinson’s opinion.” But if he’s identified in The Economist only as W.W. it’s easy to imagine he is some authority.

On the other hand, practically everybody in the British ruling class had social connections to everybody else. The Chamberlain family alone (Joseph, Austen, and Neville) is difficult to disentangle.

In Quigley’s 1949 book, it’s amusing to see 21st Century journalists such as Matt Ridley and Polly Toynbee prefigured by their 19th century kinsman, such as Salisbury’s protege M.W. Ridley, first Viscount Ridley. For example, Milner’s best friend at Oxford and intellectual inspiration was progressive economist Arnold Toynbee (uncle of the once famous historian Arnold J. Toynbee). Margot Asquith, Balfour’s friend in the high brow high society clique of the 1880s, The Souls, was the step-great-grandmother of actress Helena Bonham Carter, whose grandmother Viola, the daughter of PM Asquith, was much disappointed when Winston Churchill didn’t marry her.

(And British all-male institutions tended to create cliques. I’m reading another British history book, Children of the Sun: A Narrative of Decadence in England after 1918. It focuses upon two British literary cliques of young men that emerged after the Great War, the first led by Brian Howard and Harold Acton, whose most famous member proved to be Evelyn Waugh (his memorable gay characters Anthony Blanche in Brideshead Revisited and Ambrose Silk in Put Out More Flags are a combination of Acton’s good characteristics and Howard’s abundant bad ones); the second clique was a few years younger and led by W.H. Auden and included Christopher Isherwood and Stephen Spender.

George Orwell, who was at Eton with Cyril Connolly, but couldn’t afford Oxford, often felt oppressed by these backscratching coteries. Orwell particularly despised the pervasive influence of the rich, American, gay, Jewish, and pro-Stalin Brian Howard. The only way Orwell could have hated Howard more were if Howard had also somehow been Irish Catholic.

Were these Oxford literary cliques conspiracies? Well, if you were off in Burma shooting elephants while your peers were bonding over luncheons and teas at Oxford, they could seem like them.)

And it’s not hugely clear that the Milner Group had tremendous ideological influence, since, via their mouthpiece at The Times, their voice was that of the British Establishment and it’s not that obvious what the British Establishment would have done all that differently if other personnel had been at key chokepoints.

The Establishment’s undeniable massive screw-up was appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s. Lord Astor became the main financier of Milner Group interests, buying The Times in 1922, and he went along with Milner’s view that the time had come to be nice to Germany. Waugh’s Communist cousin Claude Cockburn (father of numerous journalist Cockburns and grandfather of actress Olivia Wilde) deemed Lady Astor’s friends the purportedly treasonous Cliveden Set.

But Quigley emphasizes that the center of gravity of the Milner Group was somewhat less pro-appeasement than Neville Chamberlain’s inner circle. And Quigley underplays how strongly Milner’s most impressive protege Amery (who was half-Jewish) sided with Churchill for rearmament in the 1930s, being the second most important anti-Appeasement voice in the Tories after the death of Austen Chamberlain in 1937. If Churchill hadn’t lived, I can imagine Amery becoming the fierce wartime Prime Minister.

As the Rhodes-Milner faction became less closely associated with South Africa in the 20th Century, it became less Jewish, although Quigley asserts that Isaiah Berlin was a late addition to the outer circle of the Milner Group.

In any case, Quigley’s explanation of the how the Milner Group coordinated Establishment opinion is relevant in the U.S. today:

The Times was to be a paper for the people who are influential, and not for the masses. … By the interaction of these various branches on one another, under the pretense that each branch was an autonomous power, the influence of each branch was increased through a process of mutual reinforcement. The unanimity among the various branches was believed by the outside world to be the result of the influence of a single Truth, while really it was result of a single group. Thus, a statesman (a member of the Group) announces a policy. About the same time, the Royal Institute of International Affairs publishes a study on the subject, and an Oxford don, a Fellow of All Souls (and a member of the Group) also publishes a volume on the subject (probably through a publishing house, like G. Bell and Sons or Faber and Faber, allied to the Group). The statesman’s policy is subjected to critical analysis and final approval in a “leader” in T he Times, while the two books are reviewed (in a single review) in The Times Literary Supplement. Both the “leader” and the review are anonymous but are written by members of the Group. And finally, at about the same time, an anonymous article in The Round Table strongly advocates the same policy. The cumulative effect of such tactics as this, even if each tactical move influences only a small number of important people, is bound to be great. If necessary, the strategy can be carried further, by arranging for the secretary to the Rhodes Trustees to go to America for a series of “informal discussions” with former Rhodes Scholars, while a prominent retired statesman (possibly a former Viceroy of India) is persuaded to say a few words at the unveiling of a plaque in All Souls or New College in honor of some deceased Warden. By a curious coincidence, both the “informal discussions” in America and the unveiling speech at Oxford touch on the same topical subject. …

There is no effort here to contend that the Milner Group ever falsified or even concealed evidence (although this charge could be made against The Times). Rather it propagated its point point of view by interpretation and selection of evidence. In this fashion it directed policy ways that were sometimes disastrous. The Group as a whole was made up of intelligent men who believed sincerely, and usually intensely, in what they advocated, and who knew that their writings were intended for a small minority as intelligent as themselves. In such conditions there could be no value in distorting or concealing evidence. To do so would discredit the instruments they controlled. By giving the facts as they stood, and as completely as could be done in consistency with the interpretation desired, a picture could be construed that would remain convincing for a long time.


Screenshot 2015-07-23 13.02.34

From Bloomberg:

These Are the Top 20 Cities Americans Are Ditching

Soaring costs of living meant residents left New York City and its suburbs in droves
by Erin Roman Wei Lu
July 22, 2015 — 3:00 AM PDT

Some of these cities are just Rust Belt cities in long-term decline, but the others are more interesting:

New York City, Los Angeles, Honolulu: They’re all places you would think would be popular destinations for Americans. So it might come as a surprise that these are among the cities U.S. residents are fleeing in droves.

The map below shows the 20 metropolitan areas that lost the greatest share of local people to other parts of the country between July 2013 and July 2014, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. …

Interestingly, these are also the cities with some of the highest net inflows of people from outside the country. That gives many of these cities a steadily growing population, despite the net exodus of people moving within the U.S.

So what’s going on here? Michael Stoll, a professor of public policy and urban planning at the University of California Los Angeles, has an idea. Soaring home prices are pushing local residents out and scaring away potential new ones from other parts of the country, he said. (Everyone knows how unaffordable the Manhattan area has become.)

And as Americans leave, people from abroad move in to these bustling cities to fill the vacant low-skilled jobs. They are able to do so by living in what Stoll calls “creative housing arrangements” in which they pack six to eight individuals, or two to four families, into one apartment or home. It’s an arrangement that most Americans just aren’t willing to pursue, and even many immigrants decide it’s not for them as time goes by, he said.

This has both a short-term (sojourners) and long-term (clannish cultures) aspect, as I noted in my 2010 review in VDARE of Tory cabinet minister David Willetts’ book The Pinch:

Willetts nicely lays out one reason why the Blair-Brown Bubble in London did so little to alleviate unemployment among young Englishmen in blue collar cities like Liverpool (just as the Bush Bubble in Las Vegas didn’t help American workers in Cleveland, as I pointed out in on July 7, 2006). He writes: “Quite simply, high house prices were one factor sucking in immigrants.”

Willetts observes, “The young man from Liverpool does not see why he should live in more cramped conditions than his family back in Liverpool occupy.” In contrast, the immigrant crams into a house with many others from his country. “His willingness to be under-housed gives him a labour market advantage and it is greater if house prices are higher.” In turn, sucking in immigrants creates a vicious cycle, driving up housing prices, which drives out more natives.

Moreover, remittances sent home from London to Liverpool buy a lot less in Liverpool than remittances sent home to a poor country:

“So it is not that our Liverpudlian is somehow a bad person compared to our Pole. It is that he or she cannot capture similar benefits for their family by under-housing themselves in London.”

Willetts sums up:

“The crucial proposition therefore underlying the economics of immigration in Britain is as follows. The larger the proportion of earnings consumed by housing costs, the greater the benefits of under-housing and the greater the price advantage of immigrant labour. It was not despite the high cost of housing that immigrants came to the house price hotspots in Britain to make a living—it was because of them.”

But, of course, a lot of immigrants who initially assume they’ll just be sojourning in America so they can send home remittances before they make their triumphant return wind up staying here and bringing over their extended families to live with them, crowding out Americans. As I explained:

The [Anglo-American-style] nuclear family is expensive. Each small family wants its own place to live—ideally, a house with a garden. Not surprisingly, the crowded British Isles were long the emigration capital of the world, as people headed out for the emptier lands of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Why don’t Anglo-Saxons like to live in large, noisy My Big Fat Greek Wedding-style homes? Unfortunately, Willetts doesn’t address this. Personally, I don`t see much evidence that people from other cultures get along better with their relatives. They just don’t seem to mind screaming at their cousin-in-laws as much as Anglos would mind. …

This relative lack of nepotism and ethnocentrism makes Anglos simultaneously both successful and at risk of being out-maneuvered by less idealistic groups.

The need for a separate home for each nuclear family can put Anglo-derived cultures at a disadvantage in newly cosmopolitan cities. For example, Los Angeles, strange as it may seem now, was largely built in the 20th Century by civil people from rather bland, trusting places such as Iowa, Illinois (where my father is from) and Minnesota (where my late mother grew up).

This causes them and their descendents problems today, in a very expensive city increasingly dominated by newcomers from the more vibrant cultures of the ex-Soviet Union and the Middle East who don’t as much mind crowding in with their in-laws and cutting corners on their taxes.

Bloomberg concludes:

El Paso, Texas, the city that residents fled from at the fastest pace, also saw a surprisingly small number of foreigners settling in given how close it is to Mexico.

“A lot of young, reasonably educated people are having a hard time finding work there,” Stoll said. “They’re not staying in town after they graduate,” leaving for the faster-growing economies of neighboring metro areas like Dallas and Austin, he said.

This is part of a general pattern that highly Mexican areas in America wind up being too economically stagnant to attract more Mexicans: it’s also seen in the Rio Grande Valley and in New Mexico. And some of Connecticut’s problems are due to Puerto Rican areas stop attracting Puerto Ricans.


Commenter Tim Howells dredges up a quote from a lecture given a long time ago by a Georgetown history professor named Carroll Quigley (1910-1977):

“Conservatives now are telling us that we must curtail government, cut government spending, cut government powers, reduce government personnel for the sake of making individuals more free.

“Liberals, on the other hand, are still telling us, as they have for a long, long time, that in order to make individuals free, we must destroy communities. By communities I mean villages. Ghettos and cities. Ethnic groupings. Religious groupings. Anything which is segregated. We must destroy them. So that all individuals would be, if possible, identical. Including boys and girls.

“But the area of political action … in which you have government, individuals … three others: voluntary associations (which I’ll say no more about), corporations and communities. And if the liberals destroy communities for the sake of the individual, and the conservatives destroy the government for the sake of individuals, you’re going to have an area of political action in which irresponsible, immensely powerful corporations are engaged in opposition to individuals who are socially naked and defenseless.”

I don’t know when this speech was given (obviously, no later than 1977), but the Dow Jones Average was almost certainly below 1,000 at the time, so you’ve got to give him some points for prescience.


From Towson U. News:

It’s not up for debate — TU students are champions…again!

by Sedonia Martin on March 30, 2015

For the second straight time and third overall, the Towson University Debate Team won the CEDA [Cross Examination Debate Association] championship after Kevin Whitley and Troi Thomas defeated the University of Kansas [(Jyleesa Hampton and Quaram Robinson] in the final round on a 6-3 decision. …

The debate resolution this year was, “Resolved: The United States should legalize all or nearly all of the following: marijuana, online gambling, physician-assisted suicide, prostitution, the sale of human organs.”

“Kansas was on the affirmative and Towson was on the negative,” said Kelsie. “Kansas argued that the figure of the prostitute is racialized and stigmatized, and that we should affirm the figure of the prostitute to disrupt respectability politics which hurts sex workers as well as women who are not sex workers but are then slut-shamed and solicited for non-consensual sex.

“Towson argued that the politics of the affirmative was one which tried to normalize stigmatized groups rather than challenging the entire system of normalcy which makes some people stigmatized in the first place,” Kelsie added.

“We challenged the aesthetic politics of the affirmative and argued that instead of focusing on sex work as purely an issue which affects women, we should understand prostitution as an abject position that is powerful in its own right. We called this different kind of politics that rejects normalcy ‘black anality.’”


As Rodney King asked in 1992, “Can we all get along?” Aren’t there enough cishet white men to hate in this world to keep the Coalition of the Fringes from tearing itself apart?

Apparently not. The SJW world is today clawing at itself over the burning issue of steatopygia.

From the New York Times:

Nicki Minaj: Black Women ‘Rarely Rewarded’ for Pop Culture Contributions

The rapper Nicki Minaj reacted on Tuesday to not being nominated for MTV’s coveted Video of the Year award by saying that the cultural contributions of black women are often overlooked, raising the specter of racism in the music industry, and setting off a Twitter debate that drew thousands of people — including Taylor Swift. …

[Minaj's] jungled-themed “Anaconda” video featured curvy women dancing and gyrating in a series of flesh-baring outfits. The video, which samples heavily from Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” put women front-and-center rather than behind a male rapper. It was an instant hit online.

The single’s cover art, which featured Ms. Minaj crouching in a thong, was also a hit, and turned the image into a commodity.

And yet Minaj’s “Anaconda” wasn’t nominated, while Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” was.

The video for Ms. Swift’s “Bad Blood,” a collaboration with the rapper Kendrick Lamar, features the actresses Lena Dunham, Mariska Hargitay and Selena Gomez. It also showcases a bevy of white models whose bodies are considered the standard for beauty in the fashion and lingerie industry: Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge, Martha Hunt and Gigi Hadid. The video features a lot less twerking and only slightly more clothing than “Anaconda.” …

The skinny blonde Taylor Swift jumped in to try to blame men for hogging all the nominations, but that ploy went over about as well with the Twitter mob as prosecutor Marcia Clark’s decision to pack the O.J. jury with black women.

The exchange was quickly seen by the media as a feud, and fans of Ms. Minaj got involved to comment on the broader issue of race in music and to critique Ms. Swift’s response as being indicative of a brand of feminism dominated by white women.

By the way, both Miss Minaj and Miss Swift are savvy businesswomen, so this isn’t morons being moronic; this is clever people following out the dominant logic of the age. Which is, of course, moronic.

Lex at WWTDD explained:

If you start with the premise that the MTV Video Music Awards are as prestigious as medals handed to the fat kid who couldn’t finish the hundred, all arguments over who or who should not be nominated or awarded are necessarily pointless and inane. Nicki Minaj was nominated for two VMAs this year, but not for the Music Video of the Year Award for some music video somebody not her made. She took her anger out on Twitter, the central warehouse for misdirected rage since 2009. She seemed to indicate that girls with fat asses were being excluded. To which Taylor Swift who was nominated and has an ass like your grandma in summer khakis fired back something stupid about girl power. Minaj clarified that her snub was an indication of blacks being kept down in popular music in 2015. I could spend three seconds digging up stats to prove otherwise, but when in the midst of a dummy fight, don’t be the tool who produces facts.

Meanwhile, Marginal Revolution calls attention to Taylor Swift also being in trouble with the Chinese.

It’s like a J.P. Rushton fever dream.


Although the concept of the “disparate impact” has had much effect on American life since the early 1970s, it’s still not a phrase that comes up that often. Most people have to be reminded about its legalistic / bureaucratic existence.

Thus I often get emails in which the spellchecker or the voice recognition software has substituted another word for “disparate.”

My favorites so far include “desperate impact” and “dispirit impact.”

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

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

The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?