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The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection

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From the New York Times:

In Era of Black Lives Matter, Films Focus on Emmett Till Lynching

… More than six decades later, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the string of controversial killings of black men by the police have given new impetus to efforts to film the story of Till, with at least three screen adaptations in the works.

• Tags: The Megaphone

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass writes:

There is another thing to consider about the differences between August 1991 and now. It isn’t quantifiable; it won’t fit on a mayoral white paper, there are no numbers to it.

But it was reported, with a video, by Tribune journalists Megan Crepeau and Erin Hooley a few days ago under the headline: “Heckling and gunfire as police investigate shooting: ‘We’re just playing.’”

Police were investigating reports of a shooting in bloody Englewood when about 10 young men confronted them, harassed them, mocked them on the street, hurling epithets, angry, defiant.

“Every cop saw that video,” O’Connor said. “One big difference is that now, on the street, there is no fear. Even in the ’90s, with all the killing, the gangs feared the police. When we’d show up, they’d run. But now? Now they don’t run. Now, there is no fear.”

Videophones, social media, the President, the press: all factors have come together to encourage these kind of dominance displays by street thugs.

If the cops whomp a mouthy teen, the video will go global. Hillary will retweet it.

If the cops don’t, the video will go local of the thugs showing off their street cred.

In this video, the cops behave as best they can, engaging in their own dominance display, slowly advancing ominously on the thugs.

But it’s a waste of time and emotional energy when the cops are there to investigate a shooting.

A more subtle effect of these dominance displays is to further terrify witnesses who might help the cops find the shooter. If the cops are barely in control of their own crime scenes, good luck to you when the cops go home and you are left behind with these guys.


From the Chicago Tribune:

August most violent month in Chicago in nearly 20 years

Jeremy Gorner, Peter Nickeas and Elvia Malagon

… Tavon was among more than 400 people shot in Chicago this month. There have been at least 78 homicides, marking August as the most violent month in the city in almost 20 years, according to data provided by the Chicago Police Department. And there are two more days to go.

Chicago has recorded 487 homicides and more than 2,800 people shot so far this year, compared to 491 homicides and 2,988 people shot all of last year, according to Tribune data.

Chicago has a lower homicide rate than many other U.S. cities that are smaller in population. But this year, the city has recorded more homicides and shooting victims than New York City and Los Angeles combined, even though the two cities are larger than Chicago’s population of roughly 2.6 million.

… The gun violence in Chicago has been concentrated on the South and West sides that have lost population over the years as other areas have grown. …

Chicago police officials have cited the constant flow of illegal firearms through dangerous neighborhoods and an intractable gang problem – with some disputes beginning on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter – as strong contributors to the city’s violence. …

Earlier this month, Johnson met with several police chiefs from across the country to discuss the nation’s gun violence problem, noting that over 40 U.S. cities experienced spikes in violence last year after years of decreases in the number of killings.

Cities like Milwaukee and Washington, D.C – both much smaller than Chicago in population – saw homicide spikes that they haven’t experienced in more than two decades.

The surge in violence comes at a tumultuous time for the Chicago Police Department. It is still dealing with the aftermath of the court-ordered release of video showing Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing the teen as he walked away from police with a knife in his hand.

The public furor from the video’s release last November led Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire Garry McCarthy as the superintendent. Murder charges were filed against Van Dyke, the head of the police oversight agency resigned, and the U.S. Department of Justice began a wide-ranging civil rights investigation into the department.

Earlier this year, the Tribune reported a precipitous drop in morale among Chicago police officers, based on interviews with officers.

What’s particularly ironic is that Chicagoans have largely been running the federal government for the last 7.5 years.


Senator John McCain, who turns 80 today, is in a primary tomorrow against Republican challenger Kelli Ward. Recent polls showed McCain in the lead.

One amusing aspect is the challenger’s summary of McCain’s policies:

Establishment John McCain’s national security policy seems to be “Invade the World, Invite the World” as The American Conservative Magazine so memorably put it a few years ago.

I see that the Invade / Invite meme shows up in a lot of the coverage of this race in the conservative press and in some of the coverage by local Arizona outlets, but not in national mainstream press coverage.

I really should have my own Guinness Book record for consistently devising the world’s slowest spreading viral content.


Gene Wilder, one of the more unique big movie stars of the 1970s, has died at age 83.

I saw him once in 1981 in a tennis shop when he was at the peak of his fame: he responded to being pestered by fans with exactly the gracious, if slightly melancholy, good manners you’d expect.

Commenter “For what it’s worth” points out that Wilder, like baseball commissioner Bud Selig, Senator Herb Kohl, and Governor Lee Dreyfus, was an alumnus of Washington HS in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee.

Sherman Park is of course the site of the recent “We Need Our Weaves” BLM riot.

I guess they took the Magic Dirt with them when they left, leaving only Tragic Dirt.


The Hearsts are one of the oldest rich families in the United States, first becoming rich with the Comstock Lode silver strike of 1859. They have tended to elicit a lot of ire over the years (e.g., Citizen Kane).

When I was in high school, the kidnapping of 19-year-old Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army was a huge story.

The SLA was formed through contacts made by a leftist-oriented study group, coordinated by a University of California, Berkeley professor. Its purpose was the tutelage of black inmates, and over time the ethos became increasingly radicalized. Eventually, black convicts were viewed as heroic political prisoners, victimised by a racist American society.[4]

On March 5, 1973, Donald DeFreeze escaped from prison. Radical penal activists and future SLA members, Russell Little and William Wolfe, took DeFreeze to Patricia Soltysik’s house.[5] The SLA was led by DeFreeze, who, after a prison acquaintance named Wheeler left, was the only African American. By the time the group became active most of the members of the tiny group were women, some of whom have, like Soltysik and her roommate Nancy Ling Perry, been described as in lesbian relationships. The members included William and Emily Harris and Angela Atwood.

DeFreeze was suspected by many on the radical left of being a government provocateur, but his race and prison time gave him unquestioned authority in the SLA. He also had sexual dominion over women in the group.[6][7] They acquired resources by burglarizing the homes of leftists in the Bay Area. The first proposed operation, assassinating the head of the state penitentiaries, was cancelled because of possible repercussions for inmates; instead Marcus Foster, a black educator regarded by the SLA as a fascist who had brought police onto school campuses, was targeted and killed.

DeFreeze’s projections of the military strength of the then dozen-strong SLA grouplet were hyperbolic, and he gave himself a concomitantly grandiose title of ‘field marshal’. Soltysik is believed to have created much of the SLA ideological material, which stated the organization was opposed to “racism, sexism, agism, fascism, individualism, competitiveness, possessiveness and all other institutions that have made or sustained capitalism”.[5]

She was locked in closet for a week, raped, and eventually participated in some of their crimes, shooting a gun during a bank robbery. When rescued/arrested after a year and a half, she weighed 87 pounds.

It’s not exactly unknown in human history for abducted young women to fall in love with their captors, Rape of the Sabine Women-style. That’s what they do. For example, here’s a CNN headline from earlier this month:

Escaped Chibok girl: I miss my Boko Haram husband
By Stephanie Busari and Bryony Jones, CNN
Updated 11:30 AM ET, Wed August 17, 2016


Prosecutors, however, were unmerciful, sentencing Hearst to 35 years in prison.

Eventually, more balanced thinking came to predominate. Actor John Wayne, for example, commented after the Jonestown nightmare, “It seems quite odd to me that the American people have immediately accepted the fact that one man can brainwash 900 human beings into mass suicide, but will not accept the fact that a ruthless group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, could brainwash a little girl by torture, degradation and confinement.”

Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence after 22 months served. During his pardoning frenzy on his last day in office, Bill Clinton gave her a pardon.

Shortly after her release from prison, she married her bodyguard. They had two children. She was widowed in 2013.

Now New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin has published American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst to argue against the public’s reconsideration that she was less villainess than victim and that she deserved her original condemnation.

Tyler Cowen recounts Toobin’s final paragraph:

In the end, notwithstanding a surreal detour in the 1970s, Patricia led the life for which she was destined back in Hillsborough. The story of Patty Hearst, as extraordinary as it once was, had a familiar, even predictable ending. She did not turn into a revolutionary. She turned into her mother.


From the New York Times:

A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories

STOCKHOLM — With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue.

The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.

After all, think about how much more peace and prosperity Sweden would have enjoyed over the last 102 years without its debilitating policy of neutrality.

They were all false, but the disinformation had begun spilling into the traditional news media, and as the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.

“People were not used to it, and they got scared, asking what can be believed, what should be believed?” said Marinette Nyh Radebo, Mr. Hultqvist’s spokeswoman.

As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports. But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility.

Speaking of disinformation, you know and I know that the NYT’s sentence about who invaded whom in 2008 is deeply misleading. This is kind of like saying

… undermining Arab nationalism was a centerpiece of the career of Ariel Sharon, who invaded Egypt nine days after Yom Kippur in 1973 largely to forestall that possibility.

But of course we’re all on Putin’s payroll, so we would think that, wouldn’t we?

What’s striking about this is that the NYT itself invested a fair amount of reporting resources in the aftermath of Georgia’s invasion of Russian protectorate South Ossetia to determine who invaded whom, and the Timesconclusion pointed in the opposite direction of what it now so breezily claims happened.

Perhaps, though, Putin employs a mole deep in the Times archives with the Winston Smith-like job of rewriting old Times articles to conform with the Kremlin’s current line about what actually happened way back in 2008?

Similarly, the Bush Administration (and future Obama Administration) Secretary of Defense at the time, Robert Gates, wrote in his memoirs:

On August 7, Georgia launched a massive artillery barrage and incursion to retake the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.

But that just proves that Putin’s Hasbara operations have tentacles deep inside the NYT newsroom and the Pentagon itself.

Seriously, I don’t doubt that the Kremlin currently finances propaganda exercises aimed at the West, just as it did during the Nuclear Freeze era of 35 years ago (even though that has been largely forgotten in the West for not being a convenient part of the Narrative because Russia’s willing collaborators in the West aren’t the Official Bad Guys).

Indeed, Putin’s hasbara efforts are pretty obvious and unsophisticated.

In contrast, as this Georgia disinformation shows, NATO hasbara seems to be quite effective at manipulating the Climate of Opinion without even its agents quite noticing what’s going on.

Not even counting its NATO allies, the U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s biggest employer. It’s hard to find out how much the Pentagon spends on public relations, but it appears to be a lot.

From the late 1960s to the late 1980s, the press was relatively skeptical of the military industrial complex, as shown by the hostile 1971 CBS documentary “The Selling of the Pentagon” on the DoD’s PR efforts. But since victory in the Cold War, 9/11, and especially during the Obama Administration, the once adversarial relationship between the press and the Pentagon has largely faded away.

My guess is that the military-industrial complex has gotten pretty adept at using carrots rather than sticks to help along the careers of cooperative journalists by granting them more access, while more skeptical reporters find that their emails don’t get returned until just after deadline and the like: the little stuff that adds up.

And over the last 8 years, high-level foreign and military policy has been in the hands of people with whom establishment journalists feel culturally comfortable.


In Israel, you are allowed, and even encouraged, to debate population and immigration policies, no holds barred. In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, however, not so much …

From the Jerusalem Post:

Will too many Israeli children lead to demographic disaster?

Overpopulation is pushing Israel over the edge, expert says

An Israeli academic claims the country faces problems if it keeps having too many children.

Two kinds of countries are emerging in the world, claims Prof. Alon Tal. “There will be lands where timid, myopic, or misguided leaders took a path of least resistance and let demographic inertia continue unrestrained,” he writes. In those places, people will become poor and food will prove scarce.

In other places, he claims, “cultural evolution will combine to produce the regulation and self-restraint required for stabilizing population.”

“The fate of civilization may even hang on Israel’s population situation, which, if left unchanged, likely will play an expanding negative role in that nation’s behavior,” write Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich, in a foreword to The Land is Full: Addressing Overpopulation in Israel. The book, written by Tal, who founded the Israel Union for Environmental Defense and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, argues that Orthodox Jews and Arabs should reduce family size, and the country must plan for the future by having fewer children.

He admits that “it is especially difficult to talk about strategies for limiting the number of Jews,” but nevertheless “our thinking must change.”

What follows is a litany of claims that assert how overpopulation is a doomsday scenario for Israel. Tal notes that Israel is “unique among Western countries” in that 73 percent of Israeli women between 45 and 50 have two or more children. By contrast, the rate in Germany is only 51 percent.

Israel is “one of the most crowded nations on the planet,” he writes, adding that it is “1,000 percent more congested on average than other countries in the OECD.” …

But Tal still brings some hope. He notes that many Arab families have reduced family size, in line with the Muslim world in general. “Phenomenal drops to replacement or below-replacement fertility levels were reported in Tunisia, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon,” he notes. Saudis are having fewer children than Jewish women in Israel, and Israel has nine times the population density of the kingdom.

Tal claims people are deterred from addressing demography by “the very virulence of attacks against anyone who challenges such a central principle in the country’s code of ethics.” Those who critique Beduin birthrates, he says, are said to have racist motives, and those who say Jews should have fewer children are accused of being “anti-Zionist.”

He asserts that the sense of “social justice” among “privileged, liberal intellectuals” makes them fear criticizing haredim and Beduin who have large families. Not to mention the constant presence of the Holocaust.

“Some of the world’s leading Jewish environmentalists feel that the normal rules of demographic restraint should be suspended in the case of the Jewish people,” Tal writes, “at the very least until pre-World War II numbers are restored.”

But Tal’s perspective is heavily jaundiced by his own stereotypes about Israel. He describes the arrival of Soviet Jewry as a “human tsunami”; Moroccan Jews, the author concludes, were “less able to contribute economically to Israel”; and he claims that “Israel’s Ethiopians are unable to change their skin color and blend in like immigrants from earlier waves.”

One almost gets the feeling reading this book that if only Jews had all been non-Russian, white Europeans from Germany, then it would have been better to have millions of them. Perhaps it’s not demographics that is the problem, but not having enough white Europeans in Israel?

After all, what did German-speaking Jews ever accomplish historically?

… But the conclusion that Israel is in for a demographic doomsday is misguided. Germany, the supposed model of demographic success, needs migrants because of low fertility. In 2015, when 1.1 million mostly Middle Eastern migrants arrived in Germany, The Los Angeles Times noted that “the nation’s population is shrinking at an alarming rate and it desperately needs” newcomers. The Financial Times wrote that the “country’s aging population is threatening its position as Europe’s largest economy.”

Tal claims Israel needs “enlightened public policies” to keep up with the “intoxicating influence” of Western civilization’s progressive birthrates. But every country that has become wealthy and Western, from Japan to Italy, now needs millions of fertile immigrants from the Middle East to “save” them from demographic decline.

Not only should Israel not go down the path of Germany, but one solution that’s already taken place is the number of Israelis who have emigrated to the US and EU, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. This will relieve population pressures naturally, as in other countries with high population densities.

And why does Israel need a “strategy for limiting the number of Jews,” when Jews are a tiny minority in the world? Let the billions of people in India and China have lower birthrates, Jews can have high birth rates and emigrate.

So while the quality of argument in Israel isn’t necessarily all that high on average, look at the quantity. When it comes to arguments about the future, quantity has a quality all its own.


As part of the big push behind Hillary’s Alt-Right speech, the NYT is rolling out breaking news articles about how nearly a half century ago Trump’s dad, with the young Donald’s assistance, tried to prevent white flight from his apartment complexes in places like Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Forest Hills. As Hillary said on Thursday:

When he was getting his start in business, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants. Their applications would be marked with a ‘C’ – ‘C’ for ‘colored’ – and then rejected. Three years later, the Justice Department took Trump back to court because he hadn’t changed.

This subject has been gone over repeatedly over the years, but one little explored question about this old story however is: Who exactly were these white racist tenants who were renting in Trump properties in Coney, Island, Brighton Beach, and Forest Hills but who would have white-flighted out to Long Island if too many blacks had flooded in to the Trump buildings? The young Jared Taylor? The unborn Richard Spencer? Haven Monahan’s grandpa?

To help the NYT in its investigations into the festering heart of the roots of racism in Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Forest Hills, I’ve found this home movie of David Duke’s upbringing under the Coney Island roller coaster:

Seriously, I explained the answer in passing in Taki’s Magazine a year ago in answer to a Washington Post article taking the opposite tack from the latest round of attacks. Last year’s article denounced Donald for not being like his dad Fred who built for the white middle class. I responded:

The evolution of the Trump brand name in housing over the past two generations strikingly illuminates how race has played a role in American life becoming so much more biased in favor of billionaires.

A recent Washington Post article is headlined “How Donald Trump abandoned his father’s middle-class housing empire for luxury building.” The Post celebrates Fred C. Trump (1905–99) as one of the biggest builders of affordable apartments in the outer boroughs.

But it forgets to mention that Frederick Christ Trump would have been one of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ demons, since he typically built with the help of the Veterans Administration and other government agencies in redlined neighborhoods, such as the 3,800-unit Trump Village in heavily Jewish Coney Island. (Fred sometimes asserted his parents were from Sweden to sidestep his tenants’ prejudices against German-Americans.)

Fred Trump’s company was rewarded for all its contributions to middle-class America by being sued by the Nixon administration in 1973 for violating the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Only 4 percent of its tenants—in places like Forest Hills in Queens and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn—were black. The young Donald fired back, hiring Roy Cohn and arguing that allowing welfare recipients to rent in his father’s complexes would risk “massive fleeing from the city of not only our tenants, but communities as a whole.” Eventually, Donald signed one of those consent decrees with the feds, not admitting to doing anything but promising never to do it again.

Perhaps that episode played a role in the son’s determination to get out of his father’s business of building affordable housing in the outer boroughs, with its constant danger that antidiscrimination laws would trigger white flight to the suburbs among their largely middle-class Jewish customers, and instead follow the new generation of nouveaux riches New Yorkers to Manhattan. In 1983 Donald proved that New York’s 1970s economic malaise was definitely over by opening on Fifth Avenue the gaudy Trump Tower, which has since been home to numerous celebrities such as Jay Z and Beyoncé.

As the saying goes, “Our prices discriminate, so we don’t have to.”


Rhetorical momentum is a massive force for stupidity in our world. Diminishing returns set in rapidly on any policy, but the natural psychology is instead to Double Dumb Down on here-to-fore successful demagogic gambits.

For example, from the Los Angeles Times:

What’s the Alt-Right?

Thomas J. Main

Thomas J. Main is Professor at the School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY. He is writing a book on the Alt-Right and American politics.

Hillary Clinton attacked Donald Trump on Thursday for his cozy relationship with a new political movement, the Alternative Right, or Alt-Right. The Alt-Right rejects American democracy as did the American communists of the 1930s and the New Left of the 1960s. The main challenge to our way of life today now comes not from the radical left, but the Alt-Right. …

But it is the underlying ideology of the Alt-Right, rather than its controversial policy positions, that is truly sinister.

Those evil bastards don’t believe in the Zeroth Amendment to the Bill of Rights, as Founding Father Emma Lazarus carved on the Statue of Liberty in 1787.

Alt-Right thought is based on white nationalism and anti-Americanism.

It’s almost as if the American Revolution had been about Americans demanding “the rights of Englishmen.”

The Alt-Right holds, in essence, that all men are not created equal, and that as racial equality has displaced white dominance, America has declined and no longer merits the allegiance of its white citizens.

Alt-Right leaders, unlike Neo-Nazis or KKK supporters, are intellectually and rhetorically sophisticated. Jared Taylor, editor of the American Renaissance website, holds degrees from Yale and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. …

In the letter, Taylor denies the notion that “the things you love about America…are rooted in certain principles.” Rather, “they are rooted in certain people.” That is, white people: “Germans, Swedes, Irishmen, and Hungarians could come and contribute to the America you love,” Taylor says. “Do you really believe that a future Afro-Hispanic-Caribbean-Asiatic America will be anything like the America your ancestors built?”

That’s pretty much the argument of Federalist Paper #2, but then you can’t get more anti-American than Federalist Paper #2.

White nationalism is more important than inalienable rights because “Even when they violate your principles, white people build good societies. Even when they abide by your principles, non-whites usually don’t.”

It’s almost as if Norway is a better place to live than Zimbabwe.

But to notice that would be wrong.

… The Alt-Right represents the first new philosophical competitor to liberalism, broadly defined, since the fall of Communism.

Is anyone listening to the Alt-Right? Yes: Key Alt-Right websites the American Renaissance and VDARE — named after Virginia Dare, “the first white child of English parentage born in America” — both received more web visits last November than Dissent and Ms. The National Policy Institute and its Radix Journal together had many more visits than the neoconservative policy journal National Affairs.

So the Alt-Right has an audience — and in Trump, it has a candidate. Trump’s rants about Mexican rapists charging across the southern border, his attacks on an American-born judge of Mexican descent, and his calls to ban Muslims from entering the country, are all in line with Alt-Right ideology. Accordingly, Alt-Right organizations made robocalls for Trump in the Iowa, New Hampshire and Utah primaries.

VDARE declared in July: “We are all Donald Trump Now.” And the website’s editor, Peter Brimelow, wrote on Wednesday: “Trump is the best presidential candidate on immigration that we’ve ever had. That’s not saying a lot, goodness knows — but it’s a YUGE advance.”

… All schools of American political thought — and especially mainstream conservatives — must reject this dangerous ideology.

One of the patterns you notice more and more these days is the descendants of Ellis Island huddled masses reasoning, “Boy those stupid WASPs shouldn’t have let us in way back then because, even though they are too stupid to have figured it out yet, we’ve taken over. But eventually they might figure it out … so we’d better punish them now so they can’t ever do anything about it in case they ultimately wake up. Hmmhhhmm … I know let’s rub their noses in diversity by letting in a hundred million or so Muslims! Yeah, then those idiot WASPs will finally notice they are being insulted and humiliated like they deserve. If that’s not enough to finally get their attention, we could let in two hundred million Muslims. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?”


From Reuters:

Exclusive: FBI raids home of ex-College Board official in probe of SAT leak

Federal agents searched the home of a former employee-turned-outspoken critic of the College Board, the standardized testing giant, as part of an investigation into the breach of hundreds of questions from the SAT college entrance exam.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized computers and other material on Friday from Manuel Alfaro, who left his job as executive director of assessment design and development at the College Board in February 2015. The FBI is investigating alleged computer intrusion and theft against an unidentified “victim corporation” involving “confidential or proprietary information,” including tests, test forms and internal emails, according to a search warrant issued in the case.

Alfaro had contacted officials of seven state governments in recent months, accusing the College Board of making false claims about its tests when bidding for public contracts with the states. The College Board, he alleged, misled the states about the process it used to create questions for the new version of the SAT, resulting in an inferior exam. He also aired those allegations publicly, largely through postings on his LinkedIn account.

Lawyers for Alfaro could not be reached for comment. An FBI official confirmed that agents were present at Alfaro’s home in Maryland but declined to elaborate.

College Board spokesman Zach Goldberg said the leak of test questions constituted a crime. “We are pleased that this crime is being pursued aggressively,” he said. He dismissed Alfaro’s criticisms of the SAT test-making process as “patently false.”

The FBI raid comes after Reuters reported earlier this month ( that the news agency had obtained about 400 unpublished questions from the newly redesigned SAT exam, which debuted in March. Some experts said the leak constituted one of the most serious breaches of security ever to come to light in the standardized testing industry.

Reuters reported previously that the SAT ( and its rival, the ACT, ( are being systematically gamed by test-prep operators in Asia. The SAT has proved particularly vulnerable to cheating because of its practice of reusing test questions. Test-preparation companies obtain previously administered questions that are scheduled for reuse and feed those questions to students, who can score higher by practicing on the exam items before the test.

One of my concerns over the last decade is that the high end testing systems in the U.S. are falling apart under the onslaught of millions of Tiger Mothers and their progeny.

I’ve heard that the Emperor of China made high stakes testing for mandarin jobs a necessity in 605 AD, which suggests that the Chinese became obsessed with gaming the test prep system around 606 AD. But Americans haven’t really faced up to the implications of globalization of our elite institutions.

The SAT and ACT are taken by millions of students a year and are major criteria used by U.S. colleges in selecting applicants. The cheating rings and leaks, testing experts say, call into question the fairness and validity of the standardized exams.

Alfaro, who oversaw the development of parts of the new SAT, jolted the staid world of standardized testing in May with a barrage of criticism of the College Board.

In a series of posts on LinkedIn and Twitter, he charged the New York-based not-for-profit with skipping a crucial step in the test development process, which he says resulted in a lower-quality exam. He also alleged in a June 1 post that the shortcut may fail to comply with federal guidance on peer review for state testing programs. …

A member of Congress, meanwhile, has asked federal regulators to look into Alfaro’s allegations. U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland, has “been in touch with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” according to a July 28 letter she wrote to Alfaro.

The College Board, which is the main client of the Educational Testing Service’s SAT, is under the control of David Coleman, formerly chief author of the Common Core. Coleman is by no means stupid, but it’s concerning that America has by default seem to have bet the country on him.

Asked Friday about Alfaro’s criticisms of the new exam, College Board spokesman Goldberg said: “Mr. Alfaro does not speak with any authority about our tests. With the new SAT, we have made an unprecedented commitment to transparency and have published our test specifications, which include the test development process. Any claims that counter the published information are patently false.”

The document cited by Goldberg contains a nine-step process for developing the new SAT and ensuring that exams contain fair and valid questions. It’s the fourth of those steps that Alfaro says the College Board routinely skipped, according to his posts on LinkedIn. That step, known as “external content & fairness reviews prior to pretesting,” relates to the checks that new questions are supposed to undergo before they are included on an actual test.

I’m guessing that this is the step where ethnic activists get paid to complain about regatta-type questions, but Alfaro feels like Coleman didn’t pay up.

According to the College Board document, newly written SAT questions are scrutinized by external, independent reviewers, who look for mistakes and potential bias. After that initial review, the questions are field tested on actual test-takers in an unscored section of a regular SAT exam.

The field testing helps determine whether questions are statistically valid and whether they should be included on a future, scored portion of the exam. After the field test, questions once again go through external reviews before they’re put on a live, scored section of the test.

The external reviews before field testing didn’t always happen, Alfaro alleged.

“The Content Advisory Committee reviewed the items for the first time, not before they were pretested, but after the items were assembled into operational SAT forms,” he wrote in a May 27 post on LinkedIn. In a June 9 post, he added: “We first implemented Step 4 in August of 2014, after thousands of items had already been developed and pretested without this crucial step.”

So I don’t really know what’s going on with the SAT, but this scandal underlines something I’ve been saying for awhile: that American elites need to focus on reforming testing so it isn’t gamed by new forces that a dynamic but naive mid-Century WASP like James Bryant Conant couldn’t have anticipated.

Conant, a chemist, became president of Harvard at age 40 in 1933 and soon plunged into a career of decision-making at the highest levels of importance. Most famously or notoriously, he was central to Harry Truman’s decision to drop the Bomb on Hiroshima. After 20 years at Harvard, Conant became the first ambassador to West Germany and negotiated with Adenauer West Germany rearming and joining NATO.

Were those good decisions? Well, we can safely say that like most of the things Conant was involved in, it was an important decision. Conant was the kind of guy that Presidents of the United States turned to. When the buck stopped here, it was usually after Conant had had his say.

One of the many important decisions Conant made was Harvard starting to use the SAT in 1934 and his sponsoring the creation of the ETS to continue to update it in 1948.

Conant was the son of a skilled tradesman in Dorchester, MA and he resented the Boston Brahmins who had run Harvard forever. For example, from 1869 to 1933, the presidents of Harvard had been named Eliot and Lowell.

One obvious possibility was for Harvard to admit more Jews, which Conant did to some extent. But he was more excited about the notion that there was a Jeffersonian natural aristocracy out there scattered about the hinterlands that could be identified and nurtured through systematic testing.

Nicholas Lemann, author of the 1995 book The Big Test, remarked to PBS in the early 2000s:

First of all, Conant himself, although he was never a card-carrying member of the eugenics movement, clearly believed in the basic theory that intelligence is an innate and sort of biological quality and that it’s the most important human quality. So that’s the starting point. But on a more practical level, when he’s starting the system in the 1930s and 40s, American education is highly various–it’s a big country, you know, air travel and long distance telephony are in their infancy. Schools are just very different from place to place. There’s no national curriculum. So you need a way to perform a straight-up comparison of high school students who have been exposed to very different kinds of education. And to Conant the IQ test or aptitude test is the best way to do that. He was quite insistent on that.

Conant had this kind of idealistic belief in creating a classless society. He was very, very tied to the idea of not favoring people who had been born into a privileged class, which is highly ironic today. So he thought that if you had tests that were achievement tests, or tests of mastery of the high school curriculum, it would be unfair to poor kids because they wouldn’t have gone to good high schools. Anything that would help the rich kids who had been to fancy prep schools in the East Conant was against. So in his meetings with Chauncey about the SAT he would say over and over again, according to Chauncey, “Now are you sure this isn’t an achievement test? Are you sure this is a pure aptitude test, pure intelligence? That’s what I want to measure, because that is the way I think we can give poor boys the best chance and take away the advantage of rich boys.”

What Conant wanted was to take an old elite and substitute for it a new elite. …

Conant believed that a narrow constricted group of wealthy descendents of the early settlers of America – people born into money, privately educated, often in New England boarding schools, usually Episcopalian – had formed a kind of club. They weren’t especially able, to Conant’s mind, and they kind of controlled everything, they had a grip on everything. And they had built a system in which the word meritocracy wasn’t around, but they built a sort of fake meritocracy in which the rules were rigged so only they could win.

Conant’s primary goal, as far as domestic life in America, was to break the hold of this old elite and put in its place, a new elite that would be made up of people from a national group, people from all over the country, people selected on pure intelligence, not on their background. These would be people who he assumed would have come from very modest backgrounds and would have gone to public school rather than private school–people who would be more liberal, ideologically, than the predecessor group.

He wanted to break the old group’s hold, create the new group, and put them in charge of the country. I mean, it’s astonishingly ambitious. …

Well, the fundamental irony of the American meritocracy, the system that Conant set up, is this: people will start madly manipulating the system to their favor and to the favor of their children. And the people who have more money and more power and more sophistication will be able to manipulate it more successfully. So, the sort of the tragedy of Conant’s system is that some of his ideas just seem laughable today. The idea that America would become a classless society through the use of these tests. The idea that the people who score high on these tests would care only about public service and the good of the country and would be indifferent to money and power. The idea that they would be admired by ordinary people in the country. The idea that they would turn social arrangements completely upside down in the country. The idea that they would be enemies of privilege–they wouldn’t want to privilege themselves above others, they would want to wipe out all privilege in America.

I mean, these ideas are appealing but today they just sound impossibly naïve. You can’t set up a system to distribute rank and privilege and assume it won’t be used for that purpose by people and that people won’t eventually figure out how to game the system and use it to pass on advantage. Every conceivable meritocracy, degrades over time into an aristocracy. It just has to happen that way. …

The first group to use this meritocratic system to make it were the Jews. And Jews were rising very fast through the system, particularly in the immediate post-World War II decades.

And then starting around 1980, the action shifted, and the rising group that was outperforming where they were in the society tended to be Asian-Americans–in particular, Chinese-Americans. Now why does that happen? There’s a whole lot of reasons. One reason is just people are hungry and motivated, and they see this as an arena of opportunity.

But there’s a more particular reason which applies in different ways both to Jews and to Asians, which is, given what the system is, given how the system defines merit, it basically defines merit as studiousness, and ability to get good grades in school. And it tremendously glorifies book learning and study. In both Jews and Asians, you have people who come from long cultural traditions that are already in that place that American society got to in the late twentieth century…Within the ethnic culture there’s a tremendous value put on studying, learning, scholarship, in the case of Asian-Americans, specifically on testing.

For well over a thousand years, there’s been in various Asian countries starting with China, systems of distributing prestige and rewards on the basis of how you do on exams. So this stuff is really rooted culturally, and people who grow up in the culture tend to be unusually well-equipped to sort of deal with the American meritocracy.

So, my point is that if you go back 70 or 80 years, the people worried about high stakes testing were serious superstars like Conant, but in recent decades they’ve been West Virginia politicians and McKinsey consultants. For a long time, that wasn’t a problem because we actually had a pretty good system set up by guys like Conant that Americans didn’t much abuse.

But globalization should have wiped out that confidence. This is global tong war over test scores.

But Americans have yet to figure out what’s going on. That would be racist.


From The Washington Examiner:

Paul Wolfowitz calls Donald Trump a security risk, ‘might have to vote for Hillary Clinton’

By KELLY COHEN (@POLITICOHEN_) • 8/26/16 2:56 PM

A top former George W. Bush administration official says he will likely end up voting for Hillary Clinton after calling Donald Trump a security risk.

In an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense under Bush from 2001-2005, said yes when asked if he considers Trump to be a security risk.

When asked why, Wolfowitz, who was a driving force and top policy architect of the Iraq war, cited Trump’s admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

I would think Mr. Wolfowitz and Mrs. Clinton would find they have a lot in common. Both, for example, have close friends with Saudi ties. From Wikipedia:

Wolfowitz’s relationship with Shaha Riza

After President George W. Bush nominated Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, journalists reported that Wolfowitz was involved in a relationship with World Bank Senior Communications Officer (and Acting Manager of External Affairs) for the Middle East and North Africa Regional Office Shaha Ali Riza. According to Richard Leiby, of The Washington Post, Riza is “an Oxford-educated British citizen, was born in Tunisia and grew up in Saudi Arabia. She’s known for her expertise on women’s rights and has been listed on the bank’s Web site as a media contact for Iraq reconstruction issues.” …

When Wolfowitz was considered for head of the CIA after the 2000 election, Clare Wolfowitz [his ex-wife] wrote President-elect George Bush a letter telling him that her husband’s relationship with a foreign national—Riza—posed a national security risk. It has been reported that Scooter Libby intercepted the letter. Sidney Blumenthal also reported on the letter Clare Wolfowitz wrote:

This embittered letter remained a closely guarded secret, although a former high official of the CIA told me about it. Chris Nelson also reported it on April 16 in his widely respected, nonpartisan foreign policy newsletter: “A certain Ms. Riza was even then Wolfowitz’s true love. The problem for the CIA wasn’t just that she was a foreign national, although that was and is today an issue for anyone interested in CIA employment. The problem was that Wolfowitz was married to someone else, and that someone was really angry about it, and she found a way to bring her complaint directly to the President. So when we, with our characteristic innocence, put Wolfowitz on our short-list for CIA, we were instantly told, by a very, very, very senior Republican foreign policy operative, ‘I don’t think so.’ ”

The Daily Mail of London also reported on his wife’s letter when Wolfowitz was appointed president of the World Bank in 2005.

According to the London Sunday Times on March 20, 2005, despite their cultural differences, “Riza, an Arab feminist who confounds portrayals of Wolfowitz as a leader of a ‘Zionist conspiracy’ of Jewish neoconservatives in Washington … [and who] works as the bank’s senior gender co-ordinator for the Middle East and north Africa … not only shares Wolfowitz’s passion for spreading democracy in the Arab world, but is said to have reinforced his determination to remove Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime.”

The relationship created further controversy over Wolfowitz’s nomination to head the World Bank, because the bank’s ethics rules preclude sexual relationships between a manager and a staff member serving under that manager, even if one reports to the other only indirectly through a chain of supervision. Sharon Churcher and Annette Witheridge, in The Daily Mail, quote one World Bank employee’s statement that “Unless Riza gives up her job, this will be an impossible conflict of interest”; the observation of “a Washington insider”: “His womanizing has come home to roost … Paul was a foreign policy hawk long before he met Shaha, but it doesn’t look good to be accused of being under the thumb of your mistress”; and Wolfowitz’s response: “If a personal relationship presents a potential conflict of interest, I will comply with Bank policies to resolve the issue.”

Wolfowitz initially proposed to the World Bank’s Ethics Committee that he recuse himself from personnel matters regarding Riza, but the committee rejected that proposal. Riza was “seconded to the State Department”, or placed on “external assignment,” assigned “a job at the state department under Liz Cheney, the daughter of the vice-president, promoting democracy in the Middle East …” She “was also moved up to a managerial pay grade in compensation for the disruption to her career,” resulting in a raise of over $60,000, as well as guarantees of future increases; “The staff association claims that the pay rise was more than double the amount allowed under employee guidelines.”

So all is well that ends well. Wolfowitz’s Iraq War thing did end well, didn’t it?

Back in 2005, I blogged:

Wolfowitz of Arabia: Neocon’s Secret Motivation Revealed

Is this the face that launched a thousand RPGs?

On the 684th and last page of T.E. Lawrence’s eloquent memoir Seven Pillars of Wisdom comes the stunning statement that Lawrence actually had a secret reason for giving the Arabs their freedom and he’s not going to tell the reader what it is:

“Damascus had not seemed a sheath for my sword, when I landed in Arabia, but its capture disclosed the exhaustion of my main springs of action. The strongest motive throughout had been a personal one, not mentioned here, but present to me, I think, every hour these two years. Active pains and joys might fling up, like towers, among my days: but, refluent as air, this hidden urge re-formed, to be the persisting element of life, till near the end. It was dead, before we reached Damascus.”

The clearest answer Lawrence ever provided was once, when asked why he had fought for Arab independence, he replied, “”Personal: I liked a particular Arab, and I thought that freedom for the race would be an acceptable present.”

This fits with the mysterious dedicatory poem at the beginning of Seven Pillars:

To S. A.

I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky in stars
To earn you Freedom, the seven-pillared worthy house,
that your eyes might be shining for me
When we came…

There are many different theories about who this was but the most plausible seems to be that this particular Arab was Selim Ahmed, nicknamed Dahoum, a teenage waterboy who had lived with Lawrence during his archaeological digs in Syria before the war. He died before Lawrence’s Arab army fought its way into Damascus.

Lawrence + Dahoum = The Arab Uprising of 1917-1918

Wolfowitz + Shaha = The Iraq War of 2003- … Is it over yet?

Clinton + Huma = The Libyan War of 2011-?

(Thanks to commenters Romanian and Dennis Dale for reminding me of this.)

When it comes to Westerners concocting Wars of Choice in the Middle East, Hillary is evidently right on the money with her slogan “Love Trumps Hate.”


In the first half of the 20th Century, well-meaning humanitarians and reformers in America, Canada, and (most notoriously) Australia invested in boarding schools for aboriginal children to help them integrate into the mainstream cultures. Of course, by the late 20th Century those public-spirited people were endlessly denounced by everybody as the perpetrators of The Stolen Generation.

Yet, in the 21st Century, elite opinion has been moving in the same direction in regard to African American children. A study by Hart and Risley was universally seized upon as proving that unlike white toddlers, who are constantly being questioned and encouraged by their mothers, black toddlers grow up in environments of stony silence without verbal stimulation. (Who isn’t familiar with the sheer lack of speech in the ghetto?) The number “32 million” is often bandied about as representing some kind of black word deficit.

What else could possibly be done other than to hire huge numbers of college graduates to verbally stimulate tiny black children?

(Of course, in the late 21st Century there would be the same apologies and condemnations of those who perpetrated the Borrowed Generation, but that’s not the point, the point is to spend a lot of money now.)

On the other hand, a new study suggests that, even without a trillion dollar social program, black adults themselves may have actually responded in recent years to suggestions that they talk more helpfully and interactively with their own children rather than just telling them to shut yo mouf.

It’s almost as if African Americans have free will and can improve their own behavior, although that notion may be too radical to conceive.

From the NYT:

The Good News About Educational Inequality
Gray Matter

When inequality is the topic, it can seem as if all the news is bad. Income inequality continues to rise. Economic segregation is growing. Racial gaps in education, employment and health endure. Our society is not particularly fair.

But here is some good news about educational inequality: The enormous gap in academic performance between high- and low-income children has begun to narrow. Children entering kindergarten today are more equally prepared than they were in the late 1990s.

We know this from information collected over the last two decades by the National Center for Education Statistics. In the fall of 1998 and again in 2010, the N.C.E.S. sent early childhood assessors to roughly 1,000 public and private kindergartens across the United States. They sat down one-on-one with 15 to 25 children in each school to measure their reading and math skills. They asked children to identify shapes and colors, to count, to identify letters and to sound out words. They also surveyed parents to learn about the children’s experiences before entering kindergarten.

Working with the social scientist Ximena Portilla, we used this data to track changes over time in “school readiness gaps” — the differences in academic skills between low-income and high-income children entering kindergarten. What we found is surprising. From 1998 to 2010, the school readiness gap narrowed by 10 percent in math and 16 percent in reading. The gaps that remain are still vast. But even this modest improvement represents a sharp reversal of the trend over the preceding decades.

It’s worth noting that the gap in school readiness narrowed because of relatively rapid improvements in the skills of low-income children, not because the skills of children from high-income families declined. Research one of us did with Scott Latham at the University of Virginia showed that both poor and affluent children entered kindergarten in 2010 with stronger reading and math skills than they did in the late 1990s. School readiness gaps between racial groups have also improved: Both the white-black and white-Hispanic gaps narrowed by roughly 15 percent from 1998 to 2010. …

It is unlikely, however, that preschool enrollment is the primary explanation. Although more poor children today attend preschool than in the 1990s, enrollment rates dipped in 2010, perhaps because of rising unemployment after the Great Recession. …

It may be changes in children’s homes that have mattered most. Tracking the experiences of young children over time, we found that both rich and poor children today have more books and read with their parents more often than they did in the ’90s. They are far more likely to have computers, internet access and computer games focused on reading and math skills. Their parents are more likely to spend time with them, taking them to the library or doing activities at home.

The children of the rich have always had more of these opportunities than poor children. What has changed is that low-income children are now getting more of what the political scientist Robert Putnam calls “ ‘Goodnight Moon’ time” than they did in the 1990s. That’s excellent news.

But here’s the puzzle: In many ways, the lives of rich and poor parents haven’t become more equal — far from it. Among families with school-age children, income inequality grew by roughly 10 percent from 1998 to 2010; economic segregation grew by 20 percent. How is it that the school readiness gap is nonetheless narrowing?

We suspect that in part this happened because of the widespread diffusion of a single powerful idea: that the first few years of a child’s life are the most consequential for cognitive development. …

As encouraging as this new evidence is, we have a long way to go. Poor children still enter kindergarten nearly a year behind their richer peers. Even if school readiness gaps continue to narrow at the rate they did between 1998 and 2010, it would take another 60 to 110 years for them to be completely eliminated.

Changes in parenting are not going to be sufficient to sustain or speed this progress, although more paid leave would help. ….

If we don’t do something about these larger problems, the progress we have made toward equality in early childhood may prove only a brief respite from ever-widening educational inequality. “Goodnight Moon,” for all its charm and power, is no substitute for comprehensive social policy.

So, let’s spend a lot of money anyway.


Screenshot 2016-08-26 02.36.53

Hillary takes skepticism about Muslim immigration very personally. To Hillary, American immigration policy is, first and foremost, all about her Huma.


From PBS:

Why the ‘alt-right’ is coming out of online chat rooms to support Trump
August 25, 2016 at 6:30 PM EDT

Donald Trump is appealing to voters who reject mainstream conservative ideals. These members of the so-called “alt-right” have typically taken their frustrations to the internet, rather than to the polls.

John Yang interviews the Washington Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti and The Washington Post’s David Weigel about the alt-right’s “hierarchical” tendencies and potential impact on conservatism.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Back in this country, both presidential candidates were in full attack mode today. At issue, Republican nominee Donald Trump’s alleged connections to a fringe conservative philosophy.

John Yang has the story.

JOHN YANG: Today, Hillary Clinton debuted a fresh line of attack against Donald Trump.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: That is what I want to make clear today. A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far, dark reaches of the Internet, should never run our government or command our military.


JOHN YANG: This comes a little more than a week after Trump made Steve Bannon his campaign’s CEO.

Bannon is on leave from his job as executive chairman of Breitbart News, a Web site Bannon has called a platform for something called the alt- right. It’s a movement that lives largely online, rejects mainstream conservative politics, and is linked to nationalist and white supremacist sentiments.

Clinton said Trump has echoed alt-right rhetoric.

HILLARY CLINTON: All of this adds up to something we have never seen before. Now, of course, there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, a lot of arising from racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone, until now.

JOHN YANG: Clinton’s campaign backed up their candidate’s message online with this new video that includes a Ku Klux Klan member expressing support for Trump.

MAN: Donald Trump would be best for the job.

QUESTION: For president?

MAN: Yes.

Screenshot 2016-08-25 23.12.18

Hillary’s new ad

MAN: I am a farmer and white nationalist. Support Donald Trump.

This farmer isn’t some obscurity who is only tangentially tied to a candidate, like, say, Rev. Jeremiah Wright happened to be Obama’s “spiritual adviser” for two decades. Nobody dared run ads in 2008 mentioning that Rev. Wright was the hero of a glowing chapter in Obama’s autobiography because that would have been McCarthyite guilt by association.

But this isn’t Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser, this is a farmer. How can we not take seriously the menace posed by Trump in league with his natural henchmen, the farmers? They have pitchforks!

Only Hillary can smash the Farmer-Trump Axis of Evil before it’s too late.

JOHN YANG: Even before Clinton spoke, Trump hit back.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument: You’re racist, you’re racist, you’re racist. They keep saying it. You’re racist.

It’s a tired, disgusting argument. The people of this country who want their laws enforced and respected, and respected by all, and who want their border secured, are not racists.

If you want to have strong borders, so that people come into our country, but they come in legally through a legal process, that doesn’t make you a racist. It makes you smart. It makes you an American.

JOHN YANG: Today’s exchange between the candidates shining a spotlight on a little-known movement.

So, what is the alt-right? And how it is influencing this year’s presidential race?

For that, we are joined by Matthew Continetti, editor in chief of The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news Web site, and from Manchester, New Hampshire, David Weigel, who covers national politics for The Washington Post.

Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us.

Dave, let me start with you and ask you that question. What is alt-right, who’s behind it, where did it come from?

DAVID WEIGEL, The Washington Post: Well, it’s a fairly young movement with fairly old ideas.

I would say what they’re against, which is easier to define, is a philosophy of invite the world, invade the world.

Wow, just wow. I’d never heard before that there were any radical extremists who question the philosophy of “invite the world, invade the world.”

Who are these nuts and why haven’t they been dealt with already?

They are generally anti-intervention and anti-multiculturalism.

And they started to grow in 2007, as the Bush administration was falling to below 30 percent, was seen as discredited, was obviously going to help Democrats win the next election. Ron Paul’s campaign seeded some of this, but it really grew under the presidency of Barack Obama.

And they’re fairly young people. This is, I think, what’s worrying for a lot of progressives and a lot of people on the right, fairly young people, under 25, under 30, who have only known the Republican Party as a disappointment. And they have gravitated to these ideas which are very anti-immigrant, very anti-intervention.

JOHN YANG: And they’re getting a lot of attention, Dave, because of the anti-Semitic and anti-white — or — and white supremacist rhetoric. How central is that to their message and to what they believe in?

DAVID WEIGEL: It’s enabled in a lot of their messaging.

Not every alt-right thinker or activist is a white nationalist, by far, but there’s a sense that political correctness is a bigger problem than racism, and that racism is used as a cudgel for silencing what they want to say, what they want to argue about.

That’s, again, an older idea. Before the alt-right, there were paleoconservatives, like Sam Francis, like Pat Buchanan, who argued this and said, look, what the left wants to do to America, how it wants to import lots of immigrants, decrease the number of traditional white Americans, what they want to do is not popular, and they have to kind of Trojan a horse through culturally, and we’re against that.

JOHN YANG: Matthew, what is your take on this? What would you add to that, to what Dave said?

MATTHEW CONTINETTI, Washington Free Beacon: I think I have a slightly narrower definition of the alt-right than Dave does.


MATTHEW CONTINETTI: It’s true, there has always been this kind of critique of conservatism from the non-interventionist, the non-multicultural view.

I think the alt-right takes it a degree further. And so what you have that unifies a lot of these alt-righters on the Internet is really a disgust at the idea of egalitarianism.

They do believe in hierarchies.

In contrast, Continetti, like all respectable conservatives, hates the very idea of hierarchies. Look at how Continetti’s father-in-law, William Kristol, came up the hard way from the ground up without a privilege in the world, what with being the son of Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, getting hired by Dan Quayle, and having Rupert Murdoch give him millions to start a magazine.

Some of them are racial. They also believe in sexual hierarchies. So, a lot of them kind of wave the banner of the men’s rights movement.

The next thing these pathetic freaks will be telling you is that men and women should ease off waging the War of the Genders against each other because they are happier when they are fraternizing with the enemy.

But that’s just sick.

And so you start off from that political conclusion. And very quickly, when you read the rhetoric, it devolves into just outright racism, outright misogyny. So part of it starts with these ideas of Sam Francis, Joe Sobran, Pat Buchanan, that have been around since the end of the Cold War, really.’

It’s almost as if 25 years ago Sam Francis, Joe Sobran, and Pat Buchanan noticed the Cold War had ended and therefore it was time for some new ideas.

But real Americans know that the eternal enemy is the Czar.

But a lot now of it is now much more visceral, hatred of the mainstream cultural movement for embracing some version of egalitarianism, civil rights, equality of the sexes.

JOHN YANG: And, David, what is the link, or is there a link or is there a connection between the Trump campaign and the alt-right?

DAVID WEIGEL: Well, there always has been. There been alt-right support for Trump mostly manifested online or even sometimes the T-shirts and signs you see at rallies.

There is a big alt-right presence on sites like 4chan and Reddit. And it was good that Matt mentioned the men’s rights movement. You could mention Gamergate. That was kind of a gateway for a lot of activists who consider themselves alt-right.

So, they supported Trump in the first place. The more direction came when Steve Bannon, the CEO of Breitbart, became the CEO of Trump’s campaign. Breitbart, very, I think, in a calculated and then also in a natural way became a forum for alt-right thinking and alt-right coverage, coverage of politics the way that those 4chan and Reddit people wanted it covered.

And that’s when this connection became harder to deny and when I think the Clinton campaign thought it was something to exploit.

JOHN YANG: And, Matthew, what does this mean for the future of the conservative movement?

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: I think it’s one more sign that conservatism as we understand it is coming under great strain during the era of Trump.

And so you have all of these criticisms of the mainstream conservatism represented by William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan. All these critics now feel empowered with the rise of Donald Trump.

Why don’t Americans just shut up and do as they are told? What’s with all this critical thinking lately?

Anyone who had a bone to pick with the George W. Bush administration, with the Republicans in Congress, with the editors of National Review, of The Weekly Standard now says, Trump is our guy. Trump is going to be the agent of change that legitimates our somewhat fringe, marginal ideas.

The little people in the conservative ranks must drop all this fringe, marginal nonsense about “hierarchies” and go back to obeying their betters, like in the good old days when Bill Buckley and Bill Kristol told them what they could think and who they could read, and they didn’t have the impudence to give the Bills any lip.

When the Bills said M.J. Sobran was banned, conservatives let Joe go off and die in poverty.

Now that was respect!

What’s wrong with this country today? Why don’t commoners listen to their natural superiors anymore?

Now, is there a large constituency for these ideas? No. I mean, you can find it on the Internet, but the danger for the conservative mainstream is to say, oh, all of a sudden, since it’s on the Internet, maybe we need to incorporate it into our thinking.

As soon as that happens, I think you’re going to find conservatism itself illegitimated.

Those bastards. Why isn’t there deference anymore toward the legitimate dynasties of Conservatism Inc., the Kristol-Continettis, the Podhoretzes? Why have people stopped reading Commentary? Just because the editor is an ill-tempered idiot shouldn’t stop conservatives from doing their duty and reading his bad magazine. Look, JPod is the editor of Commentary because he’s Norman Podhoretz’s son. Doesn’t that mean anything to you people anymore?

Not letting yourself be bullied by John Podhoretz is like voting for George Washington instead of submitting to King George III.

It’s un-American.

JOHN YANG: You talk about the days of William F. Buckley, when he was sort of the one who said who was a conservative.

A.K.A., the Good Old Days, before all these revolutionaries believed in hierarchies.

Does the conservative movement, do you think, bear any responsibility for the emergence of this sentiment, the alt-right?

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: I think it’s bottom-up, really. So, I don’t think you had the same gatekeepers that you did in the earlier media age, when there were one or two conservative magazines that published biweekly or monthly.

Now we live in the Internet, and it’s the Wild West. Anyone with an opinion, a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, they can express themselves. They can put these opinions into the public sphere. And what we have found, much to the surprise of conservatives like myself, is, there is a large audience for this type of rhetoric, these types of ideas.

Who could have guessed that Republicans might find “the philosophy of invite the world, invade the world” to be imprudent?

Doesn’t anybody believe in Propositions anymore?

I don’t know, I guess this just isn’t the Extended Stay Globomerica that at least some of us grew up in …

And also one thing that needs to be mentioned with the alt-right, they’re kind of cyber-bullies.

When Bill Buckley purged Pat Buchanan, he didn’t do it through cyber-space: instead, he published thousands of words in his magazine about how Pat was a Right-Deviationist Wrecker.

And we saw, with the rise of Trump in 2015, groups of these advocates and activists on Twitter going after in many cases Jewish conservatives and calling them anti-Semitic tropes.

This is something that I think is very ugly. And I worry for the future of conservatism, that it may displace the more traditional mainstream conservatism that most Americans think of when they think conservatism for the last 30 years.

JOHN YANG: We should point out that one of the targets of Breitbart was your father-in-law, William Kristol, who they went after right — in a very…

MATTHEW CONTINETTI: I wouldn’t like them anyway, though.

My father-in-law has a proven record as a forecaster. He said I was going to do well in the pundit business and here I am, on TV, just like he said.

That’s science.



Dave, what’s the future of this movement? You say that they feel like this is their moment, with Donald Trump as the nominee. Regardless of what happens to Donald Trump in November, what’s going to happen to this movement?

DAVID WEIGEL: Well, the light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of Republicans is, they don’t think they’re going to win the election. They think Trump will lose.

And there will be an effort — I don’t think a cynical effort, I think in part a sincere effort — to say the reason he lost is because he embraced a lot of radical ideas that can’t win in America anymore, we need to get rid of those elements.

To key off what Matt was saying, it wasn’t like they were part of the conservative conversation, the mainstream conversation anyway. They weren’t writing for National Review. They weren’t writing for The Weekly Standard.

They were always on the outs, but I think they will be actively ostracized after the election.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Alt Right, American Media, Neocons, NewTop

Among celebrities, Hillary clearly is the favorite of all the humorless dweebs.

But an interesting pattern among the more raffish sort of entertainment figures is the “I’m-not-voting-for-Trump-but” phenomenon. For example, from Mike Powell’s profile of Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover and War Dogs, in The Ringer:

On the inescapable Donald Trump, whom he isn’t voting for but does appreciate in a misanthropic way: “At least he’s a ****ing New Yorker. Everything he’s saying is bullshit. Him finding the Bible — Donald Trump is responsible for more women having abortions than probably every man on this ****ing terrace. He has literally probably paid for more abortions of models in New York in the ’80s than all of us put together, so now he’s anti-abortion? He’s playing a role. Ted Cruz wasn’t playing a role. He was really scary. Donald Trump is a fucking New Yorker. So, worst-case scenario, you’ve got a New Yorker in the White House.”

Sounds like a secret Trump voter.

A paradox of the 2016 election is that Hillary is actually, deep down, kind of witty. It’s just that she’s devoted her entire life to chasing after power by furthering the dominant This Is No Laughing Matter mindset.

Thus her speech today on the Cartoon Frog Menace.

Trump, in contrast, is averse to verbal cleverness, but his career is a grand meta-joke.


Emonahanel Havenstein: artist’s conception based on interviews with J. Coakley, S. Rubin Erdely, & H. Clinton

Big Sister explains why you must join her in the Two-Minutes Hate against Emonahanel Havenstein.

Or something.

I really don’t know what this speech is going to be about.

And I’m definitely not getting out of bed just to watch it.

When is it? 1 pm EDT? Now is it postponed to 2pm EDT? Perhaps they needed more green toads. By the way, whose side is Harambe on?

So tell me what you think.

In the meantime, here’s a pro-Obama video from the 2008 primaries about Hillary wanting to have A Conversation (and by now you know what “a conversation” means):

And here’s Hillary’s new ad featuring Jared Taylor’s frightening, hateful Southern accent and a whole tube of KKKrazy Glue to keep her Coalition of the Fringes from getting loose by giving them shadowy white male demons to hate to keep them tied all together by hate and fear.

Here’s an NYT article from today:

Hillary Clinton to Paint Ominous Portrait of Donald Trump’s Links to ‘Alt-Right’

Hillary Clinton plans to deliver a major address on Thursday denouncing Donald J. Trump’s embrace of the “alt-right” political philosophy, presenting his choice as an especially ominous turn in a presidential election full of them.

The speech, at a community college in Reno, Nev., will come one week after Mr. Trump named Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, as his campaign chief. Mr. Bannon has eagerly described the site as “the platform for the alt-right” — a loosely defined and contested term often associated with white nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Accordingly, one of Mrs. Clinton’s challenges will be explaining the “alt-right” to a national audience that may have little familiarity with it. Her campaign has accused the ideology’s proponents of “embracing extremism and presenting a divisive and dystopian view of America.”

It is the kind of formal address that Mrs. Clinton has often pursued to communicate her general election message. She also set aside specific events to sternly criticize Mr. Trump’s plans for domestic and foreign policy, and took to the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., last month — the site of Abraham Lincoln’s “house divided” speech — to appeal to the country’s better angels.

For his part, Mr. Trump has often appeared to court the alt-right community — sometimes more winkingly than others — and his elevation of Mr. Bannon heartened many who identify with the movement. …

Mr. Trump’s campaign and Breitbart have also reveled recently in conspiracy theories about Mrs. Clinton, suggesting she is in the throes of a health crisis.

From the LA Times:

“This ‘alt right’ brand is embracing extremism and presenting a divisive and dystopian view of America which should concern all Americans, regardless of party,” a campaign statement said.

But the unfamiliarity with the movement of the large share of voters who do not hang out in the depths of Internet chat rooms and immerse themselves in political media gives Clinton a chance to slap her own label on it, and extend it to Trump.

In Nevada, where Clinton will deliver the address, she is locked in a close race with Trump. Her success there will likely hinge on whether she can turn out a large share of Latino voters, and the speech Sunday will may seek to motivate them by linking Trump’s plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and build a giant wall on the Mexican border to white nationalists.

Her campaign is focusing on the alt-right as Trump is vowing an aggressive effort to reach out to blacks and Latinos, from whom he has scant support.

Average Americans, however, seem confused by Hillary’s contention that the All Right is all wrong.

All Right!

By the way, this new All Right movement has a pretty catchy theme song already:

A highlight of today’s speech:

By the way, since Trump is so radioactive to all decent human beings, shouldn’t Mrs. Clinton’s husband have resigned from Trump National Golf Club by now?


Since the Black Lives Matter riot in Milwaukee a week and a half ago, there have been numerous journalistic attempts to explain why blacks perform so badly in Wisconsin.

I offered my explanation in Taki’s Magazine last week:

- Short term, it’s the usual Ferguson Effect of BLM crusading against the police department leading to blacks shooting each other in vast numbers.

- Long term, it’s the result of Wisconsin’s naive experiment with liberal welfare payments in 1970-85 luring in the laziest people from Mississippi and Chicago.

In contrast, here are a couple of attempts since then by the New York Times:

When Police Don’t Live in the City They Serve

MILWAUKEE — The split-second law enforcement decision of when to pull the trigger often comes down to perception. Is that person acting suspiciously? Is he or she a threat?

And so much of the criticism of the police that has roiled the country over the past couple of years has centered on whether officers know the communities they patrol and understand the culture of the people who live in them.

It is a question that residents have been particularly passionate about here since the Wisconsin Supreme Court in June upheld a state law that eliminated a requirement that Milwaukee police officers live in the city.

Some African-American residents worry that eliminating the requirement will only worsen a long-strained relationship between black communities and the police. The fractured relationship has been on display over the past week after the fatal police shooting of an armed black man, Sylville K. Smith, led to explosive street demonstrations.

Keyon Jackson-Malone, a resident of the city’s predominantly black north side, said he feared that without a residency requirement, people would start coming from farther and farther away to serve as Milwaukee police officers. The metropolitan area’s suburbs and exurbs are among the whitest in the country, and some have a rural feel.

“There’s some white people that actually only know black people by what they’ve ever heard,” Mr. Jackson-Malone said. “There’s no experience. There’s no, ‘I went to school with 30 of them.’ ”

Rather, he added: “There’s a lot of: ‘I’m in fear of my life. They’re superhuman. They’re animals. They’re savage.’ A person that’s lived up north all their life has never had to come to the inner city, but he’s going to police this kid. He don’t understand about, Mama may be on drugs. He don’t have no empathy for the situation.” …

As it turns out, the officer involved in the shooting last week was black and lived in Milwaukee, so his residency or understanding of the community might not have been an issue.

Okay … so scratch that attempt.

So then they came back with:

Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation

Why well-off black families end up living in poorer areas
than white families with similar or even lower incomes.


MILWAUKEE — Their daughter was sick and they needed family around to help care for her, so JoAnne and Maanaan Sabir took an unexpected detour.

They had spent years blowing past mileposts: earning advanced degrees and six-figure incomes, buying a 2,500-square-foot Victorian with hardwood floors. Yet here they were, both 37, moving to a corner of town pocked by empty lots, cramming into an apartment above Ms. Sabir’s mother, in the very duplex that Ms. Sabir’s grandparents had bought six decades earlier.

Their new dwelling was in a part of the Lindsay Heights neighborhood where more than one in three families lives in poverty; gunshots were too often a part of the nighttime soundtrack. They planned to leave once their daughter, Ameera, was healthy.

But then, reminding them of why they feel at home in communities like this one, their new neighbors started frequently checking on Ameera: Is she doing O.K.? And on their son, Taj: When’s his next basketball game? Mr. Sabir’s car stalled in the middle of the street one night, and it was the young men too often stereotyped as suspicious who helped him push it home. So many welcoming black faces like their own, they thought.

“It felt like that’s where we should be,” Ms. Sabir said.

Now, two years later, Ameera, 14, is healthy. And the Sabirs have not left. They have, in fact, only strengthened their resolve to stay after a fatal police shooting last weekend led to fiery unrest that was also fueled by frustrations over race and segregation. Rooted where they are, the Sabirs point to a broad yet little explored fact of American segregation: Affluent black families, freed from the restrictions of low income, often end up living in poor and segregated communities anyway.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

We’re always being told that white flight occurred because whites succumb to irrational Stereotypes about blacks being crime prone, so, logically, these black families are saving a bundle by living by in safe yet low rent neighborhoods. You could, for example, save your money on housing and send your kids to private school.

I guess, however, because the NYT describes black neighborhoods as “segregated” it mean it’s a bad thing. “Segregated” is the mirror image of “diverse,” which is a good thing. NFL starting cornerbacks are “diverse,” while East St. Louis is “segregated.”

Well, whatever it is, it’s white people’s fault:

It is a national phenomenon challenging the popular assumption that segregation is more about class than about race, that when black families earn more money, some ideal of post-racial integration will inevitably be reached.

In fact, a New York Times analysis of 2014 census figures shows that income alone cannot explain, nor would it likely end, the segregation that has defined American cities and suburbs for generations.

The choices that black families make today are inevitably constrained by a legacy of racism that prevented their ancestors from buying quality housing and then passing down wealth that might have allowed today’s generation to move into more stable communities.

For example, there’s no quality housing in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago. It’s been falling apart ever since blacks started moving in 49 years ago.

Sure, the original housing stock in Austin wasn’t all that different from across the Austin Avenue in Oak Park, but that’s not what we mean by “quality.” What we mean by “quality” is that the people living in the housing have enough wealth and determination to be able to get away from poor people. The working definition of a poor person in modern America is somebody who can’t afford to get away from other poor people.

In Oak Park, they stayed away from poor people, so that’s “quality.” In Austin they didn’t so that’s “not quality.”

And even when black households try to cross color boundaries, they are not always met with open arms: Studies have shown that white people prefer to live in communities where there are fewer black people, regardless of their income.

The result: Nationally, black and white families of similar incomes still live in separate worlds.

In many of America’s largest metropolitan areas, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, black families making $100,000 or more are more likely to live in poorer neighborhoods than even white households making less than $25,000. This is particularly true in areas with a long history of residential segregation, like metropolitan Milwaukee.

In one neighborhood on Milwaukee’s predominantly black north side, that means the appearance of a new 4,000-square-foot home owned by a black energy executive and her husband, who host political fund-raisers with valet parking. Nearby, a financial adviser and his wife are stuck in the starter home they bought about 10 years ago, because it lost value and they couldn’t sell it. Up the street, there’s an engineer, living with her family, who said she stayed in the city for its amenities and to send the message, “We didn’t want to run away.”

The Sabirs share that mix of civic-minded motivation, and limitations. They are successful small-business owners with college degrees, yet even their choices have been circumscribed. The Victorian home they bought a decade ago, which they are now renting out, is in a majority black neighborhood where poverty has increased, damaging their investment.

In other words, blacks tend to be bad for property values, just like all those horrible racists told my in-laws in the Austin neighborhood in 1967. They didn’t believe them, but when they finally moved out in 1970 after three felonies against their family, losing half their net worth, they admitted that maybe the bigots had had a point.

Their current neighborhood, where the duplex is, has a median household income of just $34,000 a year, or around $20,000 less than what’s typical for the region.

It’s one of many ways that living around people whom they best relate to means wrestling day and night with the cumulative effects of racism.

The burning cars and buildings, the people throwing rocks and bottles at police officers in riot gear — it was all happening last Saturday as Maanaan and JoAnne Sabir were settling in for the night just a few miles down the road.

The 23-year-old man who had been shot by a black officer had ignored orders to drop a gun as he fled on foot after being pulled over in his car, the police said.

As his wife flicked through accounts of the raucous uprising on social media, Mr. Sabir could not help but think that the public response was years in the making. It was Milwaukee’s — America’s — history and maintenance of racist policies, through housing discrimination, divestment of black communities, and policing, all coming to a head.

“You’re asking us to do the impossible, which is to tolerate a systemic demoralization of our own livelihood,” Mr. Sabir said.

Black families in Milwaukee have been confronting hostility for decades. Zeddie Quitman Hyler directly challenged housing segregation in 1955 when he began laying the foundation for a house on an open patch of land in the white western suburb of Wauwatosa.

For the usual reasons, the 48 years since the Fair Housing Act of 1968 aren’t relevant to 2016. The New Deal era is what really counts. America is like a Superman movie. Not much has really changed since FDR’s funeral.

… While Mr. Hyler was branching out, Ms. Sabir’s grandparents found themselves falling into the familiar cycle of segregation. Migrants from the South, they spent about 10 years trying to buy a house at a time when black families were overtly steered to particular blocks. Eventually, a family member who was a real estate agent worked her connections, and they landed the duplex on the corner of North 17th Street and North Avenue in the mid-1950s. The neighborhood was evolving from one that had been flush with synagogues and restaurants selling matzo ball soup.

They were caught in the middle of white flight.

The census tract where Ms. Sabir’s grandparents settled was entirely white in 1950 except for the two people that the census listed as black and the six listed as “other.” By 1960, however, 2,344 black people called the area home, accounting for 65 percent of its population.

White Flight is the main form of ethnic cleansing in which we all agree to blame the victims.

Since the matzo ball soup fans who white flighted were motivated by irrational concerns, clearly they wound up punished by the marketm while the people who moved into the increasingly diverse yet safe and educationally strong neighborhood were rewarded by a big increase in home values.

Oh, wait …

Within a few years, Milwaukee’s economy would start tanking. Tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the city were eliminated. Property values fell, while housing policies made it nearly impossible for black families to obtain loans and move to the suburbs, where many jobs were being relocated.

That same pattern of redlining, in which banks choke off lending to minorities and minority communities, has shaped New York, Chicago and other cities, but the impact in Milwaukee proved especially severe, in part because black migrants began arriving in droves just as the economic structure that was supposed to buoy them was disappearing. The shifts ensured that no enclave for affluent black people was ever developed here.

That’s actually an interesting data point. In contrast, in 1979 I visited a really nice black neighborhood in Houston and in 1981 a really nice black neighborhood in Los Angeles. (I believe both are featured in the Ray Charles biopic Ray as places he’d lived in the 1950s and 1960s.) My guess is that places like that with upscale black neighborhoods tended to have been pioneered by Talented Tenth emigrants from the South fairly early in the 20th Century, while Milwaukee didn’t get many blacks until blue collar workers moved in after WWII, and then it was inundated by welfare mothers in the 1970s.

Black residents and leaders tried to fight back. In 1962, Vel Phillips, the city’s first black alderwoman, proposed a fair housing ordinance. Her colleagues voted unanimously against it four times in the 1960s.

Activists took to the streets in the summer of 1967 for 200 consecutive days of fair housing protests, and were sometimes greeted with racial slurs, eggs and rocks as they crossed the Menomonee River, via the 16th Street Viaduct, into the white South Side.

The Common Council eventually ratified a fair housing law in 1968, weeks after the federal government passed its landmark measure.

Okay, but 1968 was 48 years ago.

The racial dividing lines were already drawn, however, and barriers to black upward mobility remained. Even the neighborhood where the baseball slugger Hank Aaron moved in the late 1950s could not avoid a downward spiral. While the black population in the Rufus King area grew from 0.4 percent in 1960 to 89 percent in 1980, its median home value dropped from 9 percent above the city’s median to 23 percent below it, according to “Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods,” a book by John Gurda.

Those historic dynamics of race and housing have not disappeared, either. As recently as 2006, a city government report found that affluent, nonwhite Milwaukeeans were 2.7 times likelier to be denied home loans than white people with similar incomes.

As we all know, the big problem with home loans in 2006 was too much discrimination against nonwhites. Angelo Mozilo was leaving thousand dollar bills on the sidewalk because he was so bigoted against nonwhites. The few financiers in 2006 who bet on nonwhites to pay back their mortgages got stinking rich, while the skeptics and cynics subsequently lost their shirts. See the movie The Big Short for details.

Milwaukee itself, which is nearly two-thirds nonwhite, has never elected a black mayor.

Whereas cities that elected a long stream of black mayors, like Detroit and New Orleans, have worked out well for blacks.

Taj and Ameera go to a Catholic private school in Milwaukee where most of the students are white, but return to a Muslim household in a neighborhood where most people look like them. Both environments present difficulties.

At school, the Sabir children have heard a teacher play down slavery, and classmates stereotype black neighborhoods as bad and drug infested. On their block, where the sidewalks are cracked and some empty lots have been turned into gardens, they occasionally see drugs and fights.

In other words, the stereotypes are truthful, which just makes them more hateful hate-filled.

Truth Is Hate.

Thus, as our Presidential frontrunner explains in her ongoing Conversation, it is the duty of all good Americans to hate the truth.


With Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) much talked about as a natural for a future Democratic national ticket, it’s possible that Diveroli/Botach/Boteach family history may be furnishing us with material for comic movies ripped from the headlines for decades to come.

From The Forward:

The Bromance Ends: What Split Cory Booker and Shmuley Boteach?
Nathan Guttman April 10, 2016

It was the future U.S. senator from New Jersey’s first Purim party, back at Oxford University in the 1990s. The home video shows a young Cory Booker dancing in circles and carrying on his back a bearded man dressed in a clown suit – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Shmuley Boteach is the uncle of international arms dealer Efraim Diveroli of the Jonah Hill movie War Dogs.

But today, instead of bringing a smile to the faces of those involved, the recent re-emergence of this video has only served to worsen open wounds that have yet to heal.

“It took me back all those years. And it made me incredibly sad,” wrote Boteach in his Jerusalem Post column, stating he feels it is now harder for him to forgive Booker, the junior senator from New Jersey.

The battle waged last summer over the nuclear deal with Iran has left divisions still visible in many parts of the American Jewish and wider pro-Israel community, but nowhere more so than in its impact on the once-tight relationship between the black pol and the Jewish preacher. …

The Booker–Boteach dispute also presents a broader question for the Jewish community: Do years of support, both political and financial, of a politician entail a promise in advance that he will side with the community on key issues with broad national impact? …

Boteach prides himself on having introduced Booker to the Jewish community two and a half decades ago. It’s a role that no one denies he played.

Like I said the day I first heard about this clan:

Overall, it just sounds like a whole family full of self-starters.


From the New York Times:

The Countries Where Women Won More Medals Than Men in Rio

The success of women in Olympic sports can be tied to the opportunities available in their home countries. Women won more total medals than men in 29 countries that participated in the 2016 Rio Games and at least one other Summer Olympics.

American men won more medals than American women for much of the history of the Olympics, but that gap began to narrow in the 1980s. A decade before, in 1972, the federal government had granted women equal access to sports through the education amendment known as Title IX. Women surpassed men in the Summer Games medal count for the first time at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Well, that’s because there weren’t that many medals for women. Nowadays, they’ve not only added reasonable events for women like the 1500 meter run, but sad, freak show events like women’s boxing.

In China, that feat came 20 years earlier. Women in China have performed better than men in their events at the Olympics since 1988, bringing home about 10 more medals each time.

That’s because Communist countries like winning medals so they search out the easiest medals to win, which are usually in women’s events.

I once read a depressing interview with a Chinese lady weightlifter who said she didn’t like weightlifting, but the government had picked her out as a little girl because of her body type. She was hoping that if she won a medal for China the government would finally let her stop lifting weights and go to veterinary school.

First, large parts of the world don’t care much about women’s events, so if a government or a culture decides it wants to win women’s medals, it can usually find a way.

This can lead to the strange situation of a country being a powerhouse in a female sport but not a male sport. American fans like women’s soccer because they don’t know much about how quality soccer ought to be played. European soccer aficionados, in contrast, tend to find women’s soccer distressing. (Similarly, interest in women’s basketball in the U.S. has fizzled over the last 20 years.)

Second, it’s easier to cheat with steroids with women than with men. Men have about an order of magnitude more natural testosterone than women, so women athletes get a bigger bank for their buck of artificial male hormones. A classic test case is that sprinters Ben Johnson and Florence Griffith-Joyner collaborated on training techniques during the winter of 1987-88. Johnson won the men’s 100 meter dash by 0.13 seconds while Flo-Jo won the women’s equivalent by 0.29 seconds. But Benoid got caught by the primitive testing of the time, but Flo-Jo skated. Similarly, the East German women runners won lots of medals in 1976-88, but couldn’t win a men’s medal in the shorter distances.

Third, you can trawl through the villages looking for hermaphrodites you can bully the IOC into accepting as women, as happened recently in the “women’s” 800m run.

Jamaica, a country with fewer than three million people, experienced the emergence of male and female superstars in track and field in 2008: Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Although the country’s female athletes won more medals than men at the Rio Games, Bolt received far more attention.

Being the Fastest Man on Earth is attention-getting.

By the way, I’ve always liked the cheerful Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

The downside of women’s running is that there’s an incentive to cheat with male hormones in one form or another, but the upside is that, I think, running tends to be a fairly natural thing for women to do. And so it attracts reasonably feminine women, at least more than many other sports do.

Here’s a question: will little girls self organize running races? If you put a bunch of ten year old boys out on a field to play by themselves, one thing they might do is have a running race to see who is fastest. Do ten year old girls by themselves do the same? My guess is: less often than boys would, but more than zero times.

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.

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