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From Newsday:

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush on Saturday rebutted Donald Trump’s relentless mocking of him as a “low-energy” candidate, telling congregants of a Westhampton Beach synagogue of 16-hour campaign days crisscrossing the country.

“If you’ve been following the campaign, there’s a candidate that says that some candidates are idiots and some candidates are this and some candidates are that,” Bush said at the Hampton Synagogue. “I’ve been apparently the candidate that has low energy. So I’ll just give you a little taste of the low-energy candidate’s life this week.”

Bush recited a long list of cities he’s visited in the past six days, boasted of a “physical therapy workout” Friday with former Navy SEALs and said he would be jetting to North Carolina after his speech.

“The low-energy candidate this week has only been six days, 16 hours a day, campaigning with joy in my heart,” the former Florida governor said.

A friend of mine who knows a lot more about political campaigning than I do pays close attention to where the multitudinous GOP candidates are based out of because convenient travel is expensive and airline travel is tiring. The worst is probably California, which may explain why Carly Fiorina has relocated to Alexandria, VA.

From the WSJ:

The Sleepless Elite
Why Some People Can Run on Little Sleep and Get So Much Done
By MELINDA BECK
Updated April 5, 2011 12:01 a.m. ET

For a small group of people—perhaps just 1% to 3% of the population—sleep is a waste of time.

Natural “short sleepers,” as they’re officially known, are night owls and early birds simultaneously. They typically turn in well after midnight, then get up just a few hours later and barrel through the day without needing to take naps or load up on caffeine.

They are also energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious, according to the few researchers who have studied them. The pattern sometimes starts in childhood and often runs in families.

While it’s unclear if all short sleepers are high achievers, they do have more time in the day to do things, and keep finding more interesting things to do than sleep, often doing several things at once.

Nobody knows how many natural short sleepers are out there. “There aren’t nearly as many as there are people who think they’re short sleepers,” says Daniel J. Buysse, a psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a professional group.

Out of every 100 people who believe they only need five or six hours of sleep a night, only about five people really do, Dr. Buysse says. The rest end up chronically sleep deprived, part of the one-third of U.S. adults who get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, according to a report last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

I do best on about 8.25 to 8.5 hours of sleep per night (or per day, since my combination of being a night person and being on Pacific Time means I’m probably sawing Z’s while you are at work, unless you are my Hawaiian reader.) I think I need about 15 minutes more than a decade ago.

To date, only a handful of small studies have looked at short sleepers—in part because they’re hard to find. They rarely go to sleep clinics and don’t think they have a disorder.

A few studies have suggested that some short sleepers may have hypomania, a mild form of mania with racing thoughts and few inhibitions. “These people talk fast. They never stop. They’re always on the up side of life,” says Dr. Buysse. He was one of the authors of a 2001 study that had 12 confirmed short sleepers and 12 control subjects keep diaries and complete numerous questionnaires about their work, sleep and living habits.One survey dubbed “Attitude for Life” that was actually a test for hypomania. The natural short sleepers scored twice as high as the controls.

I’ve never seen anybody explain a downside to hypomania other than that you get on everybody else’s nerves. Also, the decline in popularity of the word “bully” as an all purpose term of approbation since Teddy Roosevelt’s day has deprived hypomanics of their ideal word, but still …

There is currently no way people can teach themselves to be short sleepers. …

Christopher Jones, a University of Utah neurologist and sleep scientist who oversees the recruiting, says there is one question that is more revealing than anything else: When people do have a chance to sleep longer, on weekends or vacation, do they still sleep only five or six hours a night? People who sleep more when they can are not true short sleepers, he says.

Sleep deprivation makes most people grumpy. It’s sometimes used as a form of torture. Oddly enough, it can also bring on temporary euphoria, according to a study in the journal Neuroscience last month.

Yeah, I’ve seen that. The crash can be pretty hard, though.

To date, Dr. Jones says he has identified only about 20 true short sleepers, and he says they share some fascinating characteristics. Not only are their circadian rhythms different from most people, so are their moods (very upbeat) and their metabolism (they’re thinner than average, even though sleep deprivation usually raises the risk of obesity). They also seem to have a high tolerance for physical pain and psychological setbacks.

“They encounter obstacles, they just pick themselves up and try again,” Dr. Jones says.

Some short sleepers say their sleep patterns go back to childhood and some see the same patterns starting in their own kids, such as giving up naps by age 2. As adults, they gravitate to different fields, but whatever they do, they do full bore, Dr. Jones says.

“Typically, at the end of a long, structured phone interview, they will admit that they’ve been texting and surfing the Internet and doing the crossword puzzle at the same time, all on less than six hours of sleep,” says Dr. Jones. “There is some sort of psychological and physiological energy to them that we don’t understand.”

Drs. Jones and Fu stress that there is no genetic test for short sleeping. Ultimately, they expect to find that many different genes play a role, which may in turn reveal more about the complex systems that regulate sleep in humans.

Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Leonardo da Vinci were too busy to sleep much, according to historical accounts. Winston Churchill and Thomas Edison came close but they were also fond of taking naps, which may disqualify them as true short sleepers.

I suspect that the ability to take naps correlates with high achievement, especially in management-type positions that require a lot of travel.

Pat Buchanan’s recent memoir, The Greatest Comeback, on being an aide to Richard Nixon during the campaigns of 1966 to 1968 emphasizes that Nixon could always fall asleep soon after taking his seat on the airplane. It’s hard to get important work done on an airplane since the planes are typically pressurized to the 8,000 foot level, and the rapid change leaves most people groggy (the new carbon fiber Boeing 787 is intended to be pressurized at the 6,000 foot level so business travelers can accomplish more onboard).

So the best thing to do on a plane is to nap. But it takes me, for example, a long time to fall asleep and a long time to fully wake up, so I never sleep on flights shorter than cross-country: Chicago-L.A., for instance, isn’t long enough for me to sleep. My impression is that CEO-types, however, tend to be guys who nod off rapidly and wake up instantly.

Nowadays, some short sleepers gravitate to fields like blogging, videogame design and social media, where their sleep habits come in handy.

Actually, blogging of the type I do where I try to come up with some idea that is true, new, interesting, and funny (in declining order of priority) is a pretty good test of how much sleep you need.

 

An anonymous commenter suggests:

The backward focus of Western progressives also obscures the massive land grab in Africa today. Industrial agriculture and logging, both chinese and western, displace subsistence peoples into urban slums. But *this* neo-colonialism serves the interests of the economic upper stratum and is rarely reported upon as such. The american left, useful idiots that they are, see only the rear-view mirror of history and their own navels.

I’d also suggest the immigration pressure on Europe is an effort to redomicile this excess population (in service of the same economic interests).

That’s a pretty interesting idea.

It’s not uncommon down through history to have a farm population scratching out a marginal living using traditional means off land that a few bright guys then figure out can more profitably be repurposed for other uses. The peasants are driven to emigrate by insiders cashing in on the value of the land. The most famous example were the Enclosures in Britain, but NAFTA’s destruction of small corn farmers in Mexico is a more recent instance.

Africa is an enormous amount of land that traditionally wasn’t fully exploited. Francis Galton suggested 142 years ago that the Chinese would make far more off African land than Africans would.

But now there are a billion Africans, so they have to be redomiciled somewhere if the Africa is to be most profitably exploited.

 

The literary neurologist Oliver Sacks has died at 82. I first heard of him around 1986, the Year of the Olivers (Stone, North, Sacks), from reading his book of case studies of patients with curious maladies, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Next, my wife and I read Awakenings, which was soon made into a movie with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams (although it probably would have been better if the stars had switched roles), and finally A Leg to Stand On, a memoir about all the remarkable psychosomatic problems Sacks conjured up for himself after hurting his leg while hiking.

I started referring to A Leg to Stand On as Me and My Leg in reference to Sacks’ self-absorption. The more I read his memoir, the more he reminded me of a benevolent version of Nabokov’s narcissistic and megalomaniacal anti-hero Charles Kinbote in Pale Fire:

- the extraordinary verbal talent (around that time I glanced at a biography of W.H. Auden [1907-1973] and saw the young Sacks listed in Auden’s New York coterie);

- the obsessive self-regard;

- and the comically macho homosexuality. Not until his 2015 memoir did Sacks actually mention he was gay (and that he’d once been a Muscle Beach bodybuilder and black leather biker). But I had figured much of that out from noticing what Sacks had left out of Me and My Leg.

Kinbote, a professor of literature at a Cornell-like college who claims to be Charles the Beloved, exiled king of Zembla, is usually thought of as a pathetic impostor. On the other hand, I always found him pretty awesome. Maybe he’s not really the rightful king of a nonexistent Northern country deposed by Soviet subversion, maybe he’s just an exiled college professor, but what literary gifts!

Sacks, not surprisingly, sometimes used Nabokov to illustrate various cognitive curiosities. Nabokov and Sacks were similar in that they had tremendous mental talents combined with striking mental deficiencies. For example, Nabokov enjoyed synesthesia (associating colors with letters) and of course ranked with Updike for the ability to translate visual experiences into detailed prose, but Nabokov could not hear music at all. Similarly, Sacks had lots of mental talents (mentioned at length in A Leg to Stand On) but couldn’t recognize faces.

This sounds kind of like Sherlock Holmes’ theory of cognition — Arthur Conan-Doyle’s character refused to pay attention to whether the earth orbited the sun or vice-versa because it would take up space in his brain that he could otherwise devote to memorizing different kinds of cigar ash for use in detection.

This Sherlock Holmes theory of trade-offs in intelligences sounds plausible: Nabokov, for example, had a large cranium, but it was still finite, so it only makes sense that to achieve Nabokovian brilliance in, say, visual processing and memory you’d have to sacrifice brain space most people would devote to something else, such as enjoying music.

But the evidence for this theory is surprisingly scanty. Cognitive skills tend to be positively correlated. (Nabokov, by the way, was convinced he was well above average at everything he cared about doing.)

Arthur Jensen (The g Factor) and Howard Gardner (the Theory of Multiple Intelligences) kicked this around in the 1990s and eventually decided that Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences kick in largely above 120 IQ. In Sacks’ books, most of his patients appear to have very high IQs, although I would suspect he lent some of his own enormous intelligence to them.

Bill Murray parodied Sacks in The Royal Tennenbaums:

which sounds amusing, but like most Wes Anderson conceptions, isn’t really.

 
Screenshot 2015-08-29 20.15.45

Federal NAEP reading scores 12th graders 2013

A general assumption of the moderate conventional wisdom over the last half century is that average black performance is dragged down by specific impediments, such as poverty, crime, culture of poverty, parental taciturnity, lead paint, or whatever. One would therefore expect blacks without those impediments to score equal with whites.

But a close inspection of the social science data suggests that the world doesn’t really look like that. For example, above is the 2013 federal National Assessment of Educational Progress scores for 12th graders in Reading. Blacks who are the children of college graduates average 274, which is the same as whites who are the children of high school dropouts.

The Math Gap is the same:

Screenshot 2015-08-29 20.34.33

At the high school dropout level, The Gap in math is 16 points, but at the college graduate level, The Gap is twice as large: 32 points. That’s the opposite of what the conventional wisdom would imply.

So, basically, there are two theories left to account for this. How do we choose between them?

In the past, Western civilization tried to follow Occam’s Razor, which implies the Bell Curve theory of regression toward different means would be most likely.

But the term “Western civilization” is exclusionary and makes people feel bad. These days, we know that the highest form of thought is not using Occam’s Razor but shouting “Occam’s racist!”

So the only viable explanation is the Conspiracy Theory Theory of Pervasive Racism: people who think they are white are constantly destroying black bodies by saying words like “field” and “swing.” Or something. It doesn’t really matter what the specifics of the Conspiracy Theory Theory are since the more unfalsifiable the better.

Because Science.

 

The real threat: zombie Catholics

As you may have noticed, Europe is currently under siege from huge numbers of Middle Easterners and Africans trying to move in so they can become the parents of Europe’s next generation of car-be-que youths and kosher supermarket shooter-uppers. But that’s not the real problem, the real problem is that some natives, whose ancestors thought of Europe as “Christendom,” are not happy about this.

From The Guardian, an article about the new bestselling book Who Is Charlie? by French historian Emmanuel Todd, an expert on how family structures historically varied across Christendom, in which he sniffs out hereditary blood guilt among pro-Charlie Hebdo demonstrators in favor of secularism.

Emmanuel Todd: the French thinker who won’t toe the Charlie Hebdo line

After the horror of the Paris attacks, everyone agreed that the ensuing street rallies were the best of France. Then a leftwing historian called them a totalitarian sham – and his critique of ‘zombie Catholicism’ has outraged a nation

Angelique Chrisafis Friday 28 August 2015

… Since then, the so-called “spirit of 11 January” – the date of the street rallies – has been seized upon by politicians as shorthand for all that is best and still great about France.

While the aftermath of the attacks has been bitterly contested, no one questioned the street rallies themselves, which were seen as sacrosanct: the one positive sign in one of France’s grimmest hours.

But then a leading French intellectual, the leftwing historian and sociologist Emmanuel Todd, lobbed what he called his own “magnificently crafted Exocet missile” at the nation, with a book arguing that the street rallies were a giant lie. The rallies, he argued, were not what they claimed to be – an admirable coming-together of people from different ethnic, religious and social backgrounds standing up for tolerance – but an odious display of middle-class domination, prejudice and Islamophobia. To Todd, they represented “a sudden glimpse of totalitarianism”. These “sham” demonstrations, he claimed, were made up of a one-sided elite who wanted to spit on Islam, the religion of a weak minority in France.

It’s fascinating how the reigning philosophical discourse in the 21st Century has become simply:

1. Puncher-downers … bad.

2. Puncher-uppers … good, even when they punch-up with AK47s against cartoonists and shoppers.

3. Don’t you dare question our definitions of who are the puncher-uppers and who are the puncher-downers, you racist puncher-downer, you. We know who should be the who and who should be the whom, and if you question us, you deserve to wind up a whom.

Sarah Waters in Times Higher Education sums up Todd’s message:

The Charlie Hebdo demonstration was not a great democratic rally, he says, but a moment of collective hysteria driven by xenophobic, authoritarian and nationalist impulses.

My understanding of French history (e.g., 1792) is that xenophobic, authoritarian, and nationalist ~ democratic.

Those who took to the streets came primarily from the privileged middle classes, taking advantage of the emotional shock that followed the killings in order to reaffirm their position of social domination and privilege.

Back to The Guardian:

The working class and the children of immigrants had been notably absent, he said. The most enthusiastic demonstrations, he decided, had occurred in the country’s most historically Catholic and reactionary regions, an affirmation of the middle class’s moral superiority and domination, and their Islamophobic quest for a scapegoat.

Well, sure, these French folks were demonstrating in favor of the aggressively secular Republic formalized by law in 1905, but the important point is that some of their great-grandparents had been against Col. Dreyfus and thus were on the losing side in 1905. You don’t wash out that kind of hereditary taint in just 110 years by giving up your religion and accepting your rivals’ ideology. You still have anti-Dreyfus genes in there somewhere. Corruption of blood can’t be atoned for that fast.

Todd’s massively contested and controversial book, Who is Charlie? – which is published in English next week – instantly became a bestseller and caused one of the biggest intellectual slanging matches of recent years, even by bruising French standards. …

Todd in turn likened Valls’s blind optimism about France to that of Marshal Pétain, the leader of France’s collaborationist Vichy regime in the 1940s. Who is Charlie? is now being published across the world with a preface warning that in all western societies “a Charlie lies slumbering” – a horrific event that cleaves society apart and sees the highly educated and well-off stick their heads in the sand. …

The furious row surrounding Todd’s book comes amid a wider soul-searching in France. After a fresh round of terror attacks in France – including a beheading and attempt to blow up a chemical plant near Lyon, and last week’s shooting on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris – the question of what remains of that spirit of 11 January haunts the country.

Has France moved on? Or is it still in thrall to the unsettling fears that Charlie Hebdo’s attackers, the Kouachi brothers, ignited, despite the repeated breastbeating of politicians from the far-left to the far-right of the strength of the republican, secular ideal? As France came to terms with its national trauma, it was easier for politicians to focus on 11 January as one day of unity than the three fraught days between 7 and 9 January when two brothers who were once wards of the republic in children’s homes massacred some of the country’s best-known cartoonists as well as a Muslim policeman before finally being shot dead by police after a hostage-taking at a printer’s outside Paris. Their target, Charlie Hebdo, had long been under police protection after death threats over its caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.

The febrile atmosphere worsened when the brothers’ accomplice, Amedy Coulibaly, also French born and bred, touched the rawest of nerves by killing four people in a siege of a Paris kosher grocery store days after shooting dead a policewoman while reportedly on his way to attack a Jewish school.

The slogan “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) became a worldwide rallying cry but proved complex, and to some extent, excluding.

It didn’t fit with those who utterly condemned the shooting, but didn’t agree with the magazine’s caricatures of Muhammad. Scores of disrupted minute’s silences in schools, particularly in the restive banlieues, or suburbs, appeared to highlight the uneasy relationship between teenagers, often from immigrant minorities, and their teachers.\

Amid this, the French government cracked down on speech “deemed to glorify terrorism”. A series of cases rushed through the courts resulted in heavy prison sentences, some handed down to people who were drunk. …

It was against that background that Todd launched his Exocet. He hadn’t gone on the 11 January rallies himself, although he knew the economist Bernard Maris, who was killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack.

But he said that when he opened the newspaper the next day and saw the maps of where rallies had taken place, he saw a pattern that infuriated him.

“Here was clear fraud. The street demonstrations were the self-glorification of the French middle class. That made me explode.”

He saw it as France refusing to look at the economic stagnation and deep inequality that might have led to the horror of the attacks.

Todd’s central argument is that there are fundamentally two Frances. There is a “central” France, including Paris and Marseille and the Mediterranean, where there is equality on the family level and a deep-rooted attachment to secular values of the French revolution and the republic.

I.e., the Good French.

Then there is a France of the periphery, for example, the west or cities such as Lyon, which has stayed true to the old Catholic bedrock, where people may no longer be practising Catholics, but they’re still infused with all the social conservatism of that Catholicism, its hierarchies and inequality.

More zombie Catholics

I.e., the Bad French.

He calls this “zombie Catholicism”. Infuriating his critics, Todd maintains that the post-attack rallies represented zombie Catholicism on the march.

The Bad French are Zombie Catholics. Sure, they aren’t very Catholic anymore, but blood will tell.

Despite the row, he stands by the idea. “France is always double,” he says. “That’s why you never know if it will collapse or get back on its feet.” Todd, who comes from a cosmopolitan family of writers and is distantly related to the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss,

Oh, okay, that explains a lot. As Todd always says (about other people), family ties explain a lot.

came to fame for predicting the fall of the Soviet Union in 1976 and more recently for suggesting the US is an empire in decline. He has long argued that family structures explain why people adhere to certain ideologies, and has pleaded for France to leave the euro. …

One of his key concerns is “the wave of Islamophobia” in France, which he says is echoed across the west. …

The maternal side of Todd’s family is Jewish. “This is probably the first time in my life that I’ve written a book as a Jew,” he said.

Todd is an expert about how traditional family ties in Christendom explain current political views, but similar analysis of Jews is basically not done.

For example, the triple bankshot ideologies of Todd’s kinsman Levi-Strauss, along with those of Marx and Freud, were subjected to an intentionally New York Jewish intellectual-style analysis in the 1974 book The Ordeal of Civility by Irish-American New York academic John Murray Cuddihy.

But you’ve probably never heard of that book because a gentile analyzing hugely influential Jews qua Jews is unimaginable. Jewish intellectuals very much do not like their own tools of analysis being applied to themselves. Turnabout may be fair play, but it’s also, to be frank, zombie Catholicism.

A huge amount of intellectualizing consists of triple bankshots made up by Jewish intellectuals to rationalize primal emotions they feel. Their triple bankshots (bomb Libya abroad, lay down to Muslim inundation at home, or whatever) frequently don’t make much sense in non-emotional terms, but they very much do not like gentiles applying Occam’s Razor to their triple bankshots.

When a young gunman Mohamed Merah opened fire outside a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, killing four, Todd put the antisemitic element to the back of his mind; likewise when a French gunman killed four at the Jewish museum in Brussels last year. But with the attack on the kosher grocery store, which he feels has been overshadowed by the Charlie Hebdo killings, he said antisemitism was clearly at crisis point.

All of these were massacres of Jews perpetrated by Muslims. But the point is the massacrers were puncher-uppers, and the important thing is to sniff out the would-be puncher-downers, who, oddly enough, so often turn out to be one’s hereditary enemies, and punish them for the sins of their great-grandfathers.

His theory is that the rise in Islamophobia is in turn stoking antisemitism in run-down suburbs, and that antisemitism is growing in the middle class.

Then again, a more disinterested observer might suggest that anti-Semitic Muslim massacres in Europe are stoking Islamophobia among average people.

But average people — zombie Catholics — and their latent, hereditary anti-Semitism are the Real Danger.

“Two Women,” 1960

In the mid-20th Century, European elites occasionally used Muslims as shock troops against other Europeans to spread terror. General Franco used Moroccans to shatter the morale of the Spanish Left in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. And the Allies used French-commanded Moroccans to finally dislodge the Germans from strategic Monte Cassino in Italy. The French Allied general promised his Muslim troops that if they succeeded in driving the Germans off of the mountain, they would get 50 hours to rape Italian civilian women with impunity. (Sophia Loren won her Oscar for a movie about this, but since then it appears to have disappeared down the memory hole outside of Italy.)

Personally, I think Europeans should try harder to get along with each other rather than import Muslims to spread terror and rape in Europe for partisan advantage in intra-European squabbles.

But then I’m some kind of wacko extremist, so I would say that, wouldn’t I?

 

Ross Douthat writes in his NYT column:

Donald Trump, Traitor to His Class
AUG. 29, 2015 Ross Douthat

THE Donald Trump phenomenon is a great gift to pundits because it can be analyzed and criticized in so many different ways. But two shorthands seem particularly useful. First, Trump is essentially using the Republican primary to run a third-party campaign, not a right-wing insurgency. Second, Trump’s appeal is oddly like that of Franklin Roosevelt, in the sense that he’s a rich, well-connected figure — a rich New Yorker, at that — who’s campaigning as a traitor to his class. …

Nor does it mean that elites always get their way, even where there is bipartisan agreement. If they did, the Simpson-Bowles entitlement plan and comprehensive immigration reform would have passed many years ago.

But it does mean certain ideologies and worldviews get marginalized in national political debate. The libertarian who wants to cut defense spending, the anti-abortion voter who favors a bigger welfare state, the immigration skeptic who wants to keep Social Security exactly as it is … all these voters and many others choose the lesser of two evils every November, because neither party’s leadership has any interest in representing their entire worldview. …

But it has been more than four decades since the last such reorientation, and two decades since the last time a third-party candidate saw his ideas even co-opted by the major parties. …

Which is where Trump comes in. So far he’s running against the Republican establishment in a more profound way than the Tea Party, challenging not just deviations from official conservative principle but the entire post-Reagan conservative matrix. He can wax right wing on immigration one moment and promise to tax hedge fund managers the next. He’ll attack political correctness and then pledge to protect entitlements. He can sound like Pat Buchanan on trade and Bernie Sanders on health care. He regularly attacks the entire Iraq misadventure, in its Bush-era and Obama-era manifestations alike, in a way that neither mainstream Republicans nor Hillary Clinton can plausibly manage.

And he’s coming at all these issues, crucially, from a vantage point of privilege — which his critics keep highlighting as though it discredits him, when in reality it lends his populism a deeper credibility. He’s the Acela Corridor billionaire (albeit tackier than most) who promises to reveal what the elites are really up to, the crony capitalist who can tell you just how corrupt D.C. really is, the financier who’ll tell you that high finance can afford higher taxes. It’s precisely because he isn’t a blue collar outsider that he may seem like a credible change agent: Because he knows Wall Street, and because he doesn’t need its money to campaign, it seems like he could actually fight his fellow elites and win.

He won’t, of course, but it matters a great deal how he loses. In a healthy two-party system, the G.O.P. would treat Trump’s strange success as evidence that the party’s basic orientation may need to change substantially, so that it looks less like a tool of moneyed interests and more like a vehicle for middle American discontent.

In an unhealthy system, the kind I suspect we inhabit, the Republicans will find a way to crush Trump without adapting to his message. In which case the pressure the Donald has tapped will continue to build — and when it bursts, the G.O.P. as we know it may go with it.

By the way, I called Trump a “class traitor” in passing in my review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ effusion back in July. And from a couple of Taki’s Magazine columns ago:

Candidates who aren’t entertaining enough to get themselves free airtime are beholden to wealthy donors. And one of the strongest forces in the world in recent decades has also been one of the least discussed: class solidarity among billionaires.

Now, you might think that having a billion dollars would free you to indulge in a Trump-like blast of a good time telling unwelcome truths. But in reality, we largely have a highly disciplined class of the extremely rich, who gather frequently in Davos and Aspen to be informed of the latest talking points about why any resistance to them is racist.

While the rich and powerful used to gloomily plot together in secret Bilderberg confabs, the current generation finds it more effective to invite the media to their conferences on how to fight nativist bigotry (and, by the way, high wages) by flooding working-class neighborhoods with Third Worlders. Thus, billionaires and journalists have become coconspirators against the public weal. That’s a tough tag team to beat.

Over the past two months, Trump has caused a sensation by violating billionaire class solidarity by criticizing mass immigration, the single most unifying political issue for plutocrats.

 

From the New York Post:

The comments that became a reporter’s death sentence

By Marisa Schultz and Frank Rosario August 28, 2015 | 1:01am

ROANOKE, Va. — The words are a part of everyday conversation — “swinging” by an address and going out in the “field.”

But in the twisted mind of Virginia gunman Vester Lee Flanagan II, they were pure racism — and saying them became a death sentence for Alison Parker.

The 24-year-old white reporter, who was murdered on live TV along with her cameraman, used the phrases as an intern at ­WDBJ TV in Roanoke in 2012, according to an internal complaint filed by Flanagan, who was black.

“One was something about ‘swinging’ by some place; the other was out in the ‘field,’ ” said the Jan. 21 report by assistant news director Greg Baldwin, which refers to Parker as Alison Bailey (her middle name).

Parker was never disciplined over the remarks, but Flanagan never forgot them.

Hours after gunning her and Adam Ward down during their broadcast Wednesday, Flanagan revealed in tweets that the comments were still fresh in his mind.

“Alison made racist comments,” Flanagan posted while he was on the run from cops.

“They hired her after that??” he wrote.

But colleagues said that it was all in Flanagan’s head and that Parker was as far from racist as they come.

“That’s how that guy’s mind worked. Just crazy, left-field assumptions like that,” Ryan Fuqua, a video editor at WDBJ, told The Post.

“[Those words are] just common, everyday talk. [But] that was his MO — to start s- -t,” Fuqua ­explained. …

Flanagan made the accusations a month before he was fired in February 2013. The document was part of his unsuccessful discrimination lawsuit against the television station.

Trevor Fair, a 33-year-old cameraman at WDBJ for six years, said that the words Parker used are commonplace but that they would routinely set Flanagan off.

“We would say stuff like, ‘The reporter’s out in the field.’ And he would look at us and say, ‘What are you saying, cotton fields? That’s racist,’ ” Fair recounted.

“We’d be like, ‘What?’ We all know what that means, but he took it as cotton fields, and therefore we’re all racists.”

“This guy was a nightmare,” Fair said. “Management’s worst nightmare.”

Flanagan assumed everything was a jab at his race, even when a manager brought in watermelon for all employees.

“Of course, he thought that was racist. He was like, ‘You’re doing that because of me.’ No, the general manager brought in watermelon for the entire news team. He’s like, ‘Nope, this is out for me. You guys are calling me out because I’m black.’ ”

Flanagan even declared that ­7-Eleven was racist because it sold watermelon-flavored Slurpees.

“It’s not a coincidence, they’re racist,” he allegedly told Fair.

This is a little reminiscent of the 543-page police reported that exonerated Omar Thornton’s eight victims of being racist. From Reuters via WHNT:

No proof of racism at site of 2010 shooting rampage: police
Zach Howard
Reuters
May 13, 2011

CONWAY, Mass (Reuters) – There is no proof of systemic racism at a Connecticut beer distributor where a gunman shot dead eight people last year because he said African-Americans were treated badly, a police probe concluded.

Omar Thornton, 34, a driver at Hartford Distributors, a family-owned beer wholesaler 10 miles east of the state capital in Manchester, shot eight people before killing himself in August 2010.

Minutes before the frenzy took place, Thornton, who was black, was fired at a disciplinary meeting for having stolen beer and empty kegs from the company.

Manchester police on Thursday released a 543-page report on its investigation into the killing …

Police Chief Marc Montminy told a press conference that there had been allegations that Thornton had photographic evidence of racial slurs against him on his cell phone. But Montminy said forensic analysis of the phone showed that “that is not true.”

“We also interviewed the other minorities that worked at the facility to see if there was systemic racism within the building, and not only did they not agree with Omar’s position but they found quite the contrary,” Montminy said. …

 

From the NYT Op-Ed Page:

The Opinion Pages | CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER

The Virginia Shooter Wanted Fame. Let’s Not Give It to Him.

Zeynep Tufekci

A BRUTAL attack takes place on live television; the on-air reporter and cameraman are fatally shot while at work on an early morning story.

The resulting footage — essentially a stomach-churning snuff film — aired on cable news, and was embedded in online news reports.

In a further grotesque twist, the killer filmed the episode and posted his first-person shooter video on social media. “See Facebook,” he tweeted, directing readers to the video that he also posted on Twitter, and which auto-played on many streams as people shared the posts.

This is probably exactly what the shooter, who took two lives and then his own on Wednesday in Virginia, was hoping for in his engineering of mass media and viral infamy. And he is not the only one. Studies show a rise in public mass shootings in the years since the 1999 killings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

These incidents are often followed by discussions of the availability of guns, and about mental health support. Those are crucial issues. But there is something else going on, too: Many of these shooters are seeking a twisted form of notoriety. The killers’ success in obtaining the distorted fame they seek is helping inspire the next troubled person.

We need to understand the copycat aspect of these killings so that we can start dampening this effect.

I am sympathetic to this line of argument in general. I reported upon a post-Columbine copycat school shooting in 2001 and felt like my presence (and the presence of 31 different media outlets’ satellite camera trucks) was just encouraging the next little creep. (Oddly enough, however, classic school shootings largely halted after the one I covered.)

Of course, the media didn’t seem to have any qualms about rewarding with fame the white South Carolina shooter who murdered those black churchgoers. Indeed, that little bastard’s crime seems almost perfectly calibrated to get his name repeated in the prestige press in endless thinkpieces about how the terrible racial injustices of the past are still rampant in the Evil South. The most plausible explanation for his choice of victims was to ensure his notoriety.

Now, a black gay Virginia shooter all hyped up by mainstream media’s constant identity politics hatemongering, a mediacrity himself, murders two straight white people. So now it’s time to hush up about the killer’s amply documented motivations …

 
• Category: Ideology, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Crime

From the NYT business section:

Business Group Assails Donald Trump for Urging Higher Taxes on Some Companies

His political platform is based largely on his business acumen, but Donald J. Trump is making a habit of rankling the business world with his ideas on trade and taxes.

On Wednesday, the conservative Club for Growth took issue with Mr. Trump’s proposal to increase taxes on companies such as Ford when they source parts or make cars in countries like Mexico. The billionaire real estate developer suggested imposing a 35 percent tax on the carmaker as a penalty for such behavior.

“It should thrill liberals and Democrats everywhere that Trump wants to create new taxes and start a trade war to force American companies to work where he demands,” said David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth. “Instead of lowering corporate taxes, cutting unnecessary regulations and fostering a more profitable environment in the U.S., as some Republican candidates have proposed, Trump wants to unilaterally threaten a major U.S. manufacturer with higher taxes.”

Mr. Trump has also been critical of hedge fund managers and the favorable tax treatment they receive. Calling them “paper pushers” who he says often just get lucky in making their money, Mr. Trump said last weekend that their taxes should be higher while the middle class should have their taxes reduced.

Hedge funds are not the only business groups that Mr. Trump has singled out. This month he lamented corporate “inversions” — when an American company acquires an international company so it can relocate its headquarters to a country with a lower tax rate.

“They have no loyalty to this country,” Mr. Trump told NBC. “And we have to do something.”

Similarly, Trump rejects the usual Republican candidate panacea of the flat tax. He says he’s for simplifying the income tax, but he’s not for imposing the same marginal tax rate on everybody, presumably because he believes billionaire guys like him can afford to pay more than the rest of us can, even though hedge fund guys currently seem to pay a lower tax rate than pillars of the community-types.

Also from the NYT, Tom Friedman (has his father-in-law regained his billionaireness yet that he lost in the unfortunate events of 2008?) blames Trump for whatever it is the stock market is doing:

Bonfire of the Assets, With Trump Lighting Matches
AUG. 26, 2015

Thomas L. Friedman

Normally, when your main geopolitical rivals are shooting themselves in both feet, the military manual says step back and enjoy the show. But I take little comfort in watching China burning money and Russia burning food, because in today’s interdependent world we’re all affected.

I also find no joy in it because we Americans, too, have started burning our most important source of competitive advantage — our pluralism. One of our two political parties has gone nuts and started following a pied piper of intolerance, named Donald Trump. …

And now we have Trump shamelessly exploiting this issue even more. He’s calling for an end to the 14th Amendment’s birthright principle, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born here, and also for a government program to round up all 11 million illegal immigrants and send them home — an utterly lunatic idea that Trump dismisses as a mere “management” problem. Like lemmings, many of the other G.O.P. presidential hopefuls just followed Trump over that cliff.

This is not funny anymore. This is not entertaining. Donald Trump is not cute. His ugly nativism shamefully plays on people’s fears and ignorance. It ignores bipartisan solutions already on the table, undermines the civic ideals that make our melting pot work in ways no European or Asian country can match (try to become a Japanese) and tampers with the very secret of our sauce — pluralism, that out of many we make one.

Every era spews up a Joe McCarthy type who tries to thrive by dividing and frightening us, and today his name is Donald Trump.

Okay, Tom …

One meta-idea I’ve been trying to push is:

Times change.

Due to diminishing marginal returns, a successful policy philosophy in one era can run out of gas in another era.

Forty years ago, for example, capitalism was on the defensive and capitalists were depressed. The Dow Jones average began 1975 at 652.

Friedmanism, whether Milton’s or even Tom’s, was a response to the problems of the time. And the various kinds of Friedmanism were not unreasonably successful in their own time in dealing with the problems of their times.

But when one set of problems gets partially fixed, that tends to make a different type of problem more salient. That seems pretty obvious in the abstract, but it’s hard for Americans to moderate their past views to deal more realistically with current realities because they feel like that would be admitting the other guy was right back then. (Perhaps this stasis has a little bit to do with the endless domination of Baby Boomers?)

But that hardly is inevitably true? Why? Because times change.

If in 1975 hedge fund guys were feeling depressed and unloved, policies that made them feel more encouraged and optimistic made sense.

But that doesn’t mean we have to keep on cutting hedge fund guys’ taxes forever.

Similarly, it’s not 1955 forever when it comes to race, but liberals try to get us to mentally live in the past to justify their More of the Same policies.

I tended to be on the winning side of policy debates in the years after 1975, and the policies I had advocated mostly worked out well, often (e.g., standing up to the Russians) extraordinarily well.

But that doesn’t mean the lesson ought to be More of the Same Forever.

Trump, with his life-long study of getting on free TV by saying things that are current and interesting, has picked up on the fact that there has now emerged a reasonably coherent counter-philosophy to the Clinton-Bush bipartisan globalist consensus haze:

 

Commenter black sea observes:

The narrative has already been set. The Charleston shooting was about the persistence of virulent white racism in America, particularly in the South. This shooting is about the need for greater restriction on gun ownership.

If the MSM feel bold enough, they will soon argue that — while nothing justifies the Virginia shooting — it is further evidence of how living in a pervasively racist society drives blacks into an understandable state of rage. This is a trickier ploy, as it’s a sort of “he shouldn’t have done it, but he had his reasons” argument.

My Facebook “friends” absolutely follow the MSM narrative. After Charleston, they were going nuts with posts about the depths of white racism. After this shooting, only a couple of posts, both about how this is a story about guns and the need for greater gun control. People really are sheep when their point of view is dictated primarily by the desire to be well thought of by their peers, not to mention their betters.

It’s sort of bizarre to do a Google search and find:

Screenshot 2015-08-27 01.24.43

And that’s all very logical about the horrible Charleston massacre, a terrorist hate crime, but Charleston’s not in Virginia.

If you substitute “Roanoke” for “Virginia,” you get:

Screenshot 2015-08-27 01.24.12

But then again it’s sort of not bizarre because this kind of thing happens all the time. Narrative Control is our highest value these days.

If the SAT ever brings back analogy questions, it would be interesting to see if Americans still score the same at reasoning analogically. It feels like people are getting worse at noticing analogies, but hopefully that’s just happening in public affairs, not in the business of daily living.

 
Screenshot 2015-08-27 02.31.00

Chicken or egg?

And now we reach the end of the iSteve August fundraiser.

It’s been a good month. Thank you very much.

Now, for anybody who wants to kick in but hasn’t got around to it, below is how to do it, one last time.

By the way, the tax deductible VDARE method is back online.

Screenshot 2015-08-27 02.34.55Just remember to check to “Make Contribution to Author” and “Steve Sailer” like in this screen cap:

As I said a few days ago, the iSteve Moneyback offer remains in operation through the end of August, 2015. If you decide anytime through next Monday, August 31, that you have been imprudently generous this month, what with the end of the financial world or transmission problems or whatever, let me know via email and you can have your money back.

We’re in this for the long run, so this is the least I can do.

Granted, it’s been a very long run over the last decade and a half, during which I’ve put forward what seem to me to be common-sense ideas about how the government, according to the Preamble to the Constitution, was ordained to promote the general welfare of ourselves and our posterity.

And for my efforts over the last 15 years or so, I’ve been denounced as some kind of extremist nutcase who doesn’t understand that the unquestionable basis for America’s freedom and prosperity, as anybody who reads The Economist or the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page would know, are the lyrics to John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

But, all of a sudden (after all these years), Preamblism is the hottest new idea sweeping the country: that the United States government was established less for the benefit of Somalis and Hondurans than for the good of the American people.

I’m going to take a few days off because we have a houseguest coming and I have a long list of major household chores that I’ve been meaning to do but always seemed to write instead.

Here’s how you too can help:

- First: You can use PayPal (non-tax deductible) by going to the page on my old blog here. PayPal accepts most credit cards. Contributions can be either one-time only, monthly, or annual.

- Second: You can mail a non-tax deductible donation to:

Steve Sailer
P.O Box 4142
Valley Village, CA 91617-0142

- Third: You can make a tax deductible contribution via VDARE by clicking here. (Paypal and credit cards accepted, including recurring “subscription” donations.) Note: the VDARE site goes up and down on its own schedule, so if this link stops working, please let me know.

- Fourth: You can use Bitcoin:

I’m using Coinbase as a sort of PayPal for Bitcoins.

The IRS has issued instructions regarding Bitcoins. I’m having Coinbase immediately turn all Bitcoins I receive into U.S. dollars and deposit them in my bank account. At the end of the year, Coinbase will presumably send me a 1099 form for filing my taxes.

Payments are not tax deductible.

Below are links to two Coinbase pages of mine. This first is if you want to enter a U.S. dollar-denominated amount to pay me.

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in U.S. Dollars)

This second is if you want to enter a Bitcoin-denominated amount. (Remember one Bitcoin is currently worth many U.S. dollars.)

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in Bitcoins)

- Fifth: if you have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can transfer money to my Wells Fargo bank account (with no fees) via Wells Fargo SurePay. Just tell WF SurePay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address steveslrAT aol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with PayPal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.

- Sixth: if you have a Chase bank account (or even other bank accounts), you can transfer money to my Chase bank account (with no fees) via Chase QuickPay (FAQ). Just tell Chase QuickPay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address (steveslrATaol.com — replace the AT with the usual @). If Chase asks for the name on my account, it’s StevenSailer with an n at the end of Steven. (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with PayPal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.

- Seventh: send money via the Paypal-like Google Wallet to my Gmail address (that’s isteveslrATgmail .com — replace the AT with a @). (Non-tax deductible.) The rest of the Google Wallet instructions are below the fold:

Here’s the Google Wallet FAQ. From it: “You will need to have (or sign up for) Google Wallet to send or receive money. If you have ever purchased anything on Google Play, then you most likely already have a Google Wallet. If you do not yet have a Google Wallet, don’t worry, the process is simple: go to wallet.google.com and follow the steps.” You probably already have a Google ID and password, which Google Wallet uses, so signing up Wallet is pretty painless.

You can put money into your Google Wallet Balance from your bank account and send it with no service fee.

Or you can send money via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover) with the industry-standard 2.9% fee. (You don’t need to put money into your Google Wallet Balance to do this.)

Google Wallet works from both a website and a smartphone
app (Android and iPhone — the Google Wallet app is currently available only in the U.S., but the Google Wallet website can be used in 160 countries).

Or, once you sign up with Google Wallet, you can simply send money via credit card, bank transfer, or Wallet Balance as an attachment from Google’s free Gmail email service. Here’s how to do it.

(Non-tax deductible.)

Thanks!

 

Jeb was right to point out Asian culpability in ripping off American citizens via birth tourism to get their children American citizenship. As I pointed out in VDARE in 2011, this ad for pregnant Chinese women who pay to give birth in Southern California itemizes the advantages of having an anchor baby:

Helpfully, ChineseBabyCare.com itemizes the eight major benefits of paying them to make your baby a fake American:

The bad translations in italics are by Google Translate:

1. Your children born in the United States immediately with American identity, the enjoyment of civil rights; 21 years of age, parents can apply for dependents of permanent green card, without waiting for the quota, provide conditions for future immigrants.

Notice that the most relevant civil right that the Chinese baby will enjoy in the United States is the right to”provide conditions for future immigrants.” In other words, from a mainland Chinese perspective, civil right Number One is the right to chain migration. This “civil right” doesn`t just help the anchor babies’ children, but also their parents and siblings. …

2. You are to the environment, education, the United States is the world’s most powerful countries, children are entitled to attend the next U.S. public elementary school to high school, completely free tuition.

… How much is thirteen years of free schooling worth, in the better sort of San Gabriel Valley public school districts? The minimum estimate of annual expenditures per student runs from $8,000 to over $10,000. Multiplied by 13 years, that`s $104,000-$135,000 in American taxpayer dollars. But that badly underestimates total taxpayer expenditures because it leaves much out, especially capital investments. …

As a parent in the adjoining San Fernando Valley, I`ve been involved in many discussions of exactly what is the market value of being able to send a child to an exclusive San Gabriel public school versus a private school. I would guesstimate the going rate of 13 years of top suburban public education would now begin approaching a total of $200,000.

But, wait, ChineseBabyCare.com wants you to know! There`s more!

3. Your children`s future public universities, research institutes tuition as long as 10% of foreign students, easy access to well-known universities

In other words, the University of California.

How much is this worth?

Public UCLA doesn`t like to use the word “tuition”. But UCLA’s in-state “registration fees” for 2011-2012 will be $11,602. That’s not per semester—that`s for the entire year. In contrast, private USC’s tuition and mandatory fees will be $42,818. Over four years, the difference between USC’s and UCLA’s tuition adds up to about $125,000.

But that`s not all!

4. You can apply for the future of American children U.S. citizens can enjoy the scholarships, student loans low interest rate of 1%

In other words, financial aid for college. This is a biggie. You can get financial aid (both tuition discounts and taxpayer-subsidized federal loans) for American colleges, private and public, much more readily as a birth fraud citizen than as an honest foreigner.

This is not well understood within the United States. But it is increasingly well known among the billions abroad.

Most American colleges’ financial aid applications ask if the applicant is an American citizen. The applications make clear that less aid is available for foreigners without green cards.

For example, Stanford is one of the wealthiest colleges in the world. But it still expects most of its international students to pay its full list price tuition of $40,050 per year. …

5. Your child unconditionally leave the future of the United States in high-income jobs (average wage of 37,363 U.S. dollars per person per year), be given priority as the U.S. government, government agencies and large enterprises important leading positions

Americans are indoctrinated to think that the reason we are, on average and by global standards,comfortable—is because of our “propositions” or “diversity” or “immigration” or whatever. But the main reason, of course, is that there weren`t enough American Indians to stop us from taking America away from them.

The Chinese get it. Do we?

The latter part of ChineseBabyCare.com’s selling proposition refers to the hiring preferences given American citizens for many government and big corporate jobs, such as, say, defense contractors.

Of course, those preferences are based on obsolete nativist paranoia! From Klaus Fuchs on down, when has a foreign-raised defense worker ever caused a security breach? …

6. Your children`s future diplomatic relations with more than 180 countries enjoy visa-free entry, the best to facilitate the entry and exit

Finally, we get to passports! It’s true, of course, that it can sometimes be easier to visit a foreign country as a tourist or a business traveler if you are an American citizen. Some countries are more likely to give the fish eye to Chinese nationals than to American citizens. Why? Because you already have the right to live in the U.S. —so why would you want to illegally immigrate to their overcrowded country?

ChineseBabyCare.com’ continues:

7. Your child`s future with the U.S. Social Security card, to enjoy various social welfare measures, the United States and medical equipment

Self-explanatory, I hope (or fear).

8. Your children face the future place of residence if the war, the United States citizenship are entitled to protect the evacuation of U.S. government

For example, if your Chinese kid is working for a Chinese oil company in some Middle Eastern oil country, and suddenly the place turns into a real life Mad Max movie, the Pentagon will airlift him out …

Benjamin Franklin pointed out in the 1750s that Americans lived better than Europeans because there were fewer of them relative to the continent’s available resources. The Preamble to the Constitution makes clear that the main purpose of the federal government`s existence: to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” (How come the 55-word Preamble is seldom listed as one of the propositions?

Yet the reigning dogmas promulgated today is the more, the merrier! We Americans should be proud and happy that tens of millions of foreigners are conniving their way in. The more immigrants that jostle us, the more awesome we know we must be.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

 

Just asking …

 

From the New York Times:

Violence Gone Viral, in a Well-Planned Rollout on Social Media
AUG. 26, 2015
Farhad Manjoo

In one sad sense there was nothing new, or even very unusual, about the televised killing of two journalists in Virginia Wednesday morning.

I’ll put the rest under the fold in case you want to perform amusing CTRL-F text searches upon it, such as for “hate crime:”

Death on TV has occurred with frightening regularity ever since the advent of the medium; like Jack Ruby’s shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and the Sept. 11, 2001, fall of the World Trade Center. The prospect of death appearing suddenly on our screens is as common as it is ghoulish.

Yet in another way, the video of the Virginia shootings posted by Bryce Williams, whose real name is Vester Lee Flanagan and who is thought to be the gunman who killed two of his former co-workers at the television station WDBJ, is a frightful twist in an age of online sharing and ubiquitous video documentation.

The killings appear to have been skillfully engineered for maximum distribution, and to sow maximum dread, over Twitter, Facebook and mobile phones. The video Mr. Williams shows is an up-close, first-person execution. It was posted only after his social media accounts had become widely known, while the police were in pursuit of the killer. And unlike previous televised deaths, these were not merely broadcast, but widely and virally distributed, playing out with the complicity of thousands, perhaps millions, of social networking users who could not help but watch and share.

The horror was the dawning realization, as the video spread across the networks, that the killer had anticipated the moves — that he had been counting on the mechanics of these services and on our inability to resist passing on what he had posted. For many, that realization came too late. On these services, the killer knew, you often hit retweet, like or share before you realize just quite what you have done.

Twitter and Facebook moved quickly to suspend the accounts of Mr. Williams. But not quickly enough. By the time his social presence had come down, his videos had been shared widely by journalists and ordinary users, jumping beyond the Internet onto morning TV broadcasts, and downloaded and reposted across the Internet — where, with some rudimentary searching, they will most likely remain accessible indefinitely.

Also found after the killings was a demo reel posted to YouTube, showing that Mr. Williams had aspirations to become a television star. It is unsurprising, given his familiarity with the subject, that he appeared well versed with what has become the media ritual of killing.

He seems to have known, for instance, that in a nation in which tens of thousands of people are killed by firearms every year, the shooting of two people would not become international news if it was not filmed: as is commonly said online, “Pics, or it didn’t happen.” So he waited until WDBJ’s cameras were broadcasting live before he acted.

But as a newshound, he seems also to have understood the morbid irresistibility of the citizen-produced video — the shaky, point-of-view, ground level, continuously looped recording of any incident that has become a commonplace spectacle on television news. Thus, he made sure to produce his own video as well. In the practice of our mobile age, he held his camera vertically, in one hand, allowing him to hold his gun in the other.

He might have anticipated, too, that in any widely covered shooting, reporters now rush to do an Internet search on the killer as soon as a name leaks out. Mr. Williams was ready, his social accounts prepared with a professional picture and childhood photos. Then, as soon as his name began to be mentioned online, he appeared to have logged in to Twitter and Facebook to begin posting the outlines of a defense and an explanation, as well as his own clip of the killings.

There was initially some doubt on Twitter about the authenticity of the killer’s account — justified skepticism, because the quickly pulled-together profile of a shooter has also become a hallmark of the ritual in which these incidents are covered. But then the killer’s account, @bryce_williams7, began updating live, erasing all doubt.

Over the course of 20 minutes on Twitter, the shooter updated his status a half-dozen times, culminating in a post showing the video of the killings. He quickly amassed a following of thousands, the sort of rapturous social media welcoming that is usually reserved for pop stars and heads of state.

There was uncertainty in the sharing. Users expressed reservations as they passed on the gunman’s profile and his tweets. People were calling on Twitter and Facebook to act quickly to pull down his accounts. There were questions about the journalistic ethics of posting WDBJ’s live shot and the killer’s own document of the shooting, given that it was exactly what he had been expecting.

But these questions didn’t really slow anything down, a testament to the power of these networks to tap into each of our subconscious, automatic desire to witness and to share. The videos got out widely, forging a new path for nihilists to gain a moment in the media spotlight: an example that, given its success at garnering wide publicity, will most likely be followed by others.

Email: farhad.manjoo@nytimes.com; Twitter: @fmanjoo

 

Commenter candid_observer observes candidly:

The best thing about Trump’s rise is that he serves as a model for how to deal with the Perpetual Grievance Society: every time they act as if Trump has said something so outrageous he can’t possibly survive, and he better kneel and apologize if he ever wants to be allowed back in this town again, he just thumbs his nose at them, and watches his poll numbers rise.

This presents a really very dangerous prospect for the SJWs–and they are all SJWs. Suppose people catch on that brazening it out after flouting political correctness is the path to popularity and respectability among the masses. What then? Especially, what if other politicians and other public figures see how this works?

What’s left of the career opportunities for an SJW if that’s what Trump proves?

Of course, it helps to be rich and self-employed. Still, Trump has shown more moral courage when his net worth is targeted than almost anybody in this money-obsessed century.

 

Try to guess which excerpt is from the New York Times and which is from the Daily Mail:

Bryce Williams, Virginia Shooting Suspect, Dies

By HAWES SPENCER, KATIE ROGERS, ALAN BLINDER and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA AUG. 26, 2015

BEDFORD, Va. — A former reporter who was fired by a Virginia television station shot and killed two of the station’s journalists as they broadcast live on Wednesday morning, officials said, recording the act on video himself, and then posting the video online. He later took his own life, officials said.

The shooting and the graphic images that resulted marked a horrific turn in the national intersection of video, violence and social media. The gunman’s own 56-second video showed him deliberately waiting until the journalists were on air before raising a handgun and firing at point-blank range, ensuring that it would be seen, live or recorded, by thousands.

A reporter, Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, a cameraman, were killed, according to their station, WDBJ, while the person they were interviewing, Vicki Gardner, was wounded and underwent surgery. She was listed in stable condition.

The police and WDBJ identified the gunman as Bryce Williams, whose real name is Vester Lee Flanagan. Mr. Williams had aired grievances against the station and other employees there before and after he was dismissed two years ago.

Shortly after the shooting, a post to Mr. Williams’ Twitter account said, “I filmed the shooting see Facebook,” and a shocking video recording from the gunman’s point of view was posted to his Facebook page. Both accounts were quickly shut down.

The Twitter account of Mr. Williams, who is black, referred to a complaint he had filed against the station with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He claimed to have been subjected to racist comments in the workplace.

Jeffrey A. Marks, president and general manager of the station, confirmed that the complaint had been filed, but said it was dismissed as baseless. Of the racist comments, “none of them could be corroborated by anyone,” he said. “We think they were fabricated.”

A spokeswoman for the agency, Kimberly Smith-Brown, said federal law prohibited her from confirming whether the agency had received a complaint.

In contrast:

Revenge race murder: Bitter black reporter who gunned down white ex-colleagues live on air and posted the video online blames Charleston shootings and anti-gay harassment in manifesto

 

Screenshot 2015-08-26 02.23.24

In the U.S. it’s considered a racist conspiracy to ask would-be voters to show some photo ID to prove they’re not, say, my late father (whose name I haven’t succeeded in getting taken off the voter rolls in the three years since he died at age 95). But in the Philippines, the watchword is “No Bio, No Boto:” if you don’t register some biometric ID you can’t vote. A friend took this picture today in Davao, where hundreds of Filipinos were lined up to get biometrically recorded so they can vote in 2016.

‘No Bio, No Boto’: Voters reminded to have biometrics

ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 08/08/2015 9:59 AM

MANILA – Registered voters are again reminded to have their biometrics taken, as the period of validation (up until October 31, 2015) is coming down to its last two months.

The Mandatory Biometrics Registration Act (Republic Act No. 10367), signed into law in 2013, requires registered voters to have their biometrics captured, or otherwise be deactivated.

Data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) show that over 4 million registered voters have not undergone biometrics yet, as of June 2015.

Checking the status of one’s biometrics is possible through the Comelec website, but simpler, in this time of mobile technology, through the Comelec Halalan 2016 mobile app. …

If the Biometrics part says “not available,” then it’s time for you to have your biometrics in the nearest available area. …

The Comelec’s satellite registration centers in malls are open every weekend. Click here for the full schedule for this month.

The law says biometrics refers to information that positively identify a person through his or her voice, photograph, fingerprint, signature, iris and/or such other identifiable features.

The Comelec stresses that the “No Bio, No Boto” rule is one of their steps to ensure a clean and honest election in 2016 and the coming years.

Third World countries seem, in general, to have better voting systems than America, which hasn’t done much to upgrade since, roughly, Boss Tweed’s downfall and the introduction of the Australian ballot.

By the way, how long until sophisticated sentiment turns against the Australian (i.e., secret) ballot? Anybody who shows up to vote should of course be allowed to vote without a single request for identification, but who they vote for, well, that’s a whole different matter … Shouldn’t the NSA be checking up on whether Americans are pulling the curtain on the voting booth and then abusing that privacy by voting for some inappropriate candidate? Would Donald Trump even be a contender if voting had to be done in the appropriate modern American way: by sharing selfies with the world on Facebook and Twitter of yourself casting your vote for the Clinton or Bush of your choice?

(In case you are wondering what “Munchtown” is, it’s a diner in Davao.)

 

Half a month ago, poor old Bernie Sanders was feebly left speechless in Seattle by two fat angry black women who screamed him off his own stage:

Tuesday, in contrast, Donald Trump decisively responded to an ethnic grievance monger trying to take control of the Donald’s news conference by having a tall security guard escort the puny interloper out of the room until the man calmed down:

Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist, blogs:

Trump, that magnificent bastard, made his enemy do the perp walk on International TV while appearing 100% in charge of the situation.

In contrast, most of the English language news media in America — finding Mexicans tedious except in the abstract — is shocked that Trump would be insensitive to some poor nonwhite immigrant.

But you know and I know the race man who wouldn’t stop talking wasn’t just some BLM nobody like in Seattle, he was Haim Saban’s blue-eyed boy, Jorge Ramos, anchorman of the Spanish-language Univision network.

Here’s my 2004 VDARE book review of Ramos’ The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Will Elect the Next American President. I wrote 11 years ago:

Ramos is a stealth superstar. If you don`t speak Spanish—or read VDARE.com —you`ve probably never heard of him. …

Ramos is a man with a mission: keeping Latinos from fully assimilating into the American mainstream. He writes:

“I’m not one of those people who thinks that the common bond that unites those of us who live in the United States is the English language. No, I believe that this country’s two main characteristics are its acceptance of immigrants and its tolerance for diversity. These things are what bind us together; we’re here thanks to these unifying principles. That’s what it means to be an American. Not your ability to speak English. Talk to me in Spanish … or at least try. I sometimes go entire days without having to speak a single word of English…”

Of course, if Americans be persuaded that English is no longer the nation’s common bond, Hispanics can continue watching Univision’s Spanish-language broadcasts.

Mr. Perenchio [the Italian-American previous owner of Univision and Ron Unz's arch-enemy during the Prop. 227 battle over bilingual education in California] must be pleased to have such a loyal lackey. Reading this book, I lost track of how many times Ramos argues that various politicians doomed their campaigns by not buying enough spots on Univision. …

Whether or not it’s bad for America, it’s good for his bank account.

Besides, what does he care? He remains a Mexican citizen even after 21 years in the U.S.

Since Ramos wrote The Latino Wave in Spanish for his Spanish-speaking fans (it was translated by Ezra E. Fitz), he can be franker than mass immigration apologists usually are when addressing an English-speaking audience. He gloats:

“But while no fighting is taking place on the military or legal fronts, there is fighting going on culturally. It’s the Reconquest. Latinos are culturally reconquering lands that once were part of the Spanish empire…”

Accordingly, much of Ramos` argument will be more familiar to readers of VDARE.com than to the gullible readers of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. Thus while Ramos pays lip service to “proposition nation” ideology to con non-Hispanics into allowing unlimited immigration into their country, he clearly believes that ethnicity and demographics matter. And he wants his ethnic group to win.

In 2007 Jerry Perenchio sold Univision to a consortium led by Haim Saban, who has been perhaps the biggest single contributor to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns over the years.

Of course, Trump is well aware of all these convoluted personal interests at play. Chuck Ross wrote for the Daily Caller in June:

Donald Trump’s Camp Questions If Univision Owner’s Ties To Hillary Clinton Are Behind Pageant Decision

With Univision’s decision to sever ties with the Miss Universe pageant — which is controlled in part by Donald Trump — the Republican presidential candidate and his camp are questioning the Hispanic media outlet’s move, saying that the company was reacting to pressure from Mexico and its owner, Haim Saban, who is a big Hillary Clinton supporter.

“[Univision is] put under a lot of pressure, in my opinion, by the Mexican government to get [me] to not talk about trade and the southern border,” Trump told The Daily Caller on Thursday.

“The biggest people in Univision, they’re all supporting Hillary,” he added. “I think that had a lot to do with it. They see how I’m doing in the polls,” the real estate billionaire continued, citing a recent poll from Suffolk University which shows him in second place in New Hampshire behind Jeb Bush.

“They know that I’ll beat [Clinton] if I run against her,” Trump said.

The Trump campaign is like 14 years of iSteve blogging about the behind-the-scenes interests playing out in real time.

Thirty years ago, I would have felt that emphasizing the Hillary-Haim-Jorge connection was unseemly. What matters is not the grubby little conspiracies, but the principles at stake!

A commenter submitted a very interesting quote from Trump about what changed when the Cold War was won. I haven’t been able to dig it up, so I’ll just riff off my vague memory. Trump argued that during the Cold War, long-term strategizing was highly important. But in the post-Cold War era, Trump’s skill set of tactical negotiating strengths has risen in relative value.

Like everything Trump says, this was self-interested. But it’s also interesting. Trump is sort of the anti-Reagan in the sense that Reagan was, for an ex-actor, surprisingly impersonal, more interested in enduring principles than in current personalities. (It drove Reagan’s kids crazy that he seemed less interested in their troubles than in the country’s.) Movie audiences tended to responded to him most when he could play to his natural strong suit as a high-minded idealist, such as in Reagan’s big 1951 hit Bedtime for Bonzo.

Trump, in contrast, is quick to point out his opponents’ mercenary biases. When Trump bothers to enunciate principles, as in the brilliant opening to his immigration position paper, they’re generally sensible. But he seems more aware than anybody else that we’re living in Fukuyama’s End of History when history hasn’t ended, just ideological sincerity. Political actors now are motivated less by economic theories than by whatever are the personal or identity group scams they happen to be working.

 

Screenshot 2015-08-26 03.42.49From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

A Tale of Two Suburbs

Two of the better movies of 2015 are weirdly similar musical biopics about bands from Los Angeles’ south suburbs. Last June’s Love & Mercy profiled Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, who came from Hawthorne, Calif., while gangsta rappers N.W.A, who helped spread the South Central L.A. crack-dealer lifestyle nationally in the late 1980s, are lauded in the overly long but still entertaining Straight Outta Compton. Paul Giamatti even plays virtually identical roles in each movie as the crooked Jewish manager.

While the exquisite Love & Mercy topped out at $12 million in box office, Straight Outta Compton is already up to $111 million and will surpass the Johnny Cash movie I Walk the Line to become the highest-grossing musical biopic ever.

The Academy had better hope that some other Oscar candidates emerge in the fall to divert attention away from what so far looks like a battle for Best Picture between the superb white rock movie and the not-bad black rap movie. …

Granted, comparing Straight Outta Compton to Love & Mercy on aesthetics is like contrasting “F*** tha Police” and “No Vaseline” to “God Only Knows” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” …

The expertise of both the Beach Boys and N.W.A at mythologizing extended to their suburban hometowns, which lie southeast of Los Angeles International Airport. The Wilson brothers grew up five miles inland from LAX in Hawthorne, while Compton, birthplace of Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, is eight miles farther east.

In the Beach Boys’ songs, their nondescript hometown seemed a paradise, while N.W.A glamorized the physically similar Compton as the capital of mindless black-on-black violence.

Read the whole thing there.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Movies, Music

As a child, Donald Trump attended Norman Vincent Peale’s church in Manhattan, which was part of the Reformed Church of America, which is, I think, kind of like Presbyterian but a little more liberal.

Peale (1898-1993) was associated with Protestant business leaders such as Thomas Watson of IBM and Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the author of the huge self-help bestseller The Power of Positive Thinking.

Democrats absolutely loathed the Rev. Peale. Democrats couldn’t get enough of highbrow scholar-statesman Adlai Stevenson saying, “I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the Apostle Peale appalling.” That joke slew them every time they heard it. Back then, everybody sophisticated knew that psychology should be left to scientists like Freud.

One interesting aspect is that Trump comes out of this pro-business power of positive thinking Protestant background, but without the Ned Flanders-style nicey-niceness that often goes with it. Romney was kind of dragged down by his related Mormon nicey-niceness, and George H.W. Bush had to struggle with his.

An anonymous commenters adds:

Trump and his family attended First Presbyterian in Jamaica, Queens before going to Peale’s Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan.

Peale’s positive thinking is definitely evident in Trump’s attitude and speaking style and presentation. Trump is relentless in applying positive thinking. Everything he says about himself and his projects and goals is unequivocally positive.

The positive thinking “philosophy” was very much a part of bourgeois, pro-business, Protestant American mainstream culture, but now largely persists among some evangelicals e.g. Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” and in a non-Christian, New Age context. The self-help tropes about having a positive attitude, thinking positive, waking up in the morning and staring at the mirror while repeating positive mantras about yourself to yourself every day, etc., derives from positive thinking. Mainline Protestants today find it declasse and are sort of embarrassed by it.

Part of the Ned Flanders nicey-niceness comes from positive thinking philosophy, whereby being effusively positive towards other people is believed to lead to positive outcomes, just as thinking and speaking positively about yourself is. Trump’s brashness and ego however adds a twist to this formula, and he won’t speak positively to or about someone and will put someone down if it leads to himself thinking, feeling, and looking more positive.

 
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.


Past
Classics
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?