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Screenshot 2015-09-02 22.54.18

This place looks nice (except for the tank)

There’s much discussion in the press about where it would be best for Arab refugees from Syria to settle: Would they be best off in Munich? London? Reykjavik? Or Minneapolis? Which white people most need the blessings of diversity provided by Sunnis and Shi’ites? (Obviously, Syrian Arabs couldn’t go to other Arab countries like Qatar. Don’t be silly.)

The sophisticated reasoning of 2015 is that if you and your countrymen blow up your own country through your sheer mutual bloodymindedness, you therefore have an unassailable moral claim to inhabit the nicest countries on other continents. If you are a young fellow in your prime, why should you have to settle for a refugee camp in neighboring Turkey when there are Swedish girls unmolested in Malmo and English girls unpimped in Rotherham?

Think of the children!

The children

Granted, most of the other times the West has imported lots of Muslims, we just wound up with dead cartoonists and gang-raped 12-year-old girls all over the place.

But, that’s irrelevant, because This Time Will Be Different!

Why?

Because. Just because.

Or maybe just because you shouldn’t mention the other times. It’s not nice.

Yet, it only now occurred to me that there is a place that would be ideal for Syrian refugees. I’ve never heard it discussed in the press as a natural refuge for Syrians, but:

- It has great views.

- It has a lovely sunny climate

- Yet the temperatures are mild and there is good rainfall for agriculture due to the moderately high altitude (about 1,000 meters on average).

- This place even has a ski resort! (It doesn’t, however, seem to have any golf courses, but as the picture at the top shows, it has lots of rolling open land ideal for golf.)

- It’s quite under-populated relative to its carrying capacity. It’s hard to find exact numbers, but this region appears to be about 500 square miles in size with a present day population of somewhere around 40,000.

- The population today seems to be less than half of what it was a half century ago.

- It’s conveniently, even extremely close to Syria.

- And yet, this region is an island of peace and law & order under a strong, sophisticated government in a state with a prosperous economy.

- If there is any government in the world hardnosed enough to keep Syrian Sunnis and Shi’ites from killing each other, it’s this government.

- In fact, a fair number of Syrians are descended from people who used to live there. Some of the middle-aged and elderly Syrian refugees even lived here themselves before being driven out.

- Indeed, this place is still recognized as Syria’s own national territory by almost all the countries of the world.

Where is it?

Why, the Golan Heights, of course.

But, for some reason, the American press never seems to bring up the Golan Heights as a natural destination for Syrian refugees.

Instead, Syrians should all move to Europe. Or maybe to America.

It’s inevitable. There is no stopping them.

Except they seem to be completely stopped from moving to the Golan Heights.

 

Audacious Epigone points out:

We’re told from as early as elementary school that voting is our civic duty. The Establishment collectively laments low voter turnout. Outfits like Rock the Vote don’t have any specific interest in increasing voter participation rates because the most marginally committed voters tend to vote for the left, of course! No, no, they just want to make sure everybody exercises their civic duty!

Well then, Donald Trump should surely be receiving kudos far and wide for increasing public interest in the 2016 election cycle so much. The [above] graph shows Google search inputs for the five–Google Trends’ maximum number of terms that can be gauged simultaneously–most queried presidential aspirants over the last few months.

This isn’t a measure of news story mentions or opinion polling outcomes, it’s a measure of search terms inputted by Google users across the US. People want to read, hear, and talk about Trump. He creates more interest than the rest of the field by a long shot. On the Republican side, Donald Trump has garnered more searches than the other 15 GOP presidential candidates combined have over the last three months. And it’s not as though there is non-political celebrity noise artificially boosting the apparent level of interest in Trump here, either. As the graph shows, prior to his announcement that he was running, he didn’t generate any search interest at all.

The Republican party is undeservedly fortunate to be able to attach its name to Trump, not the other way around.

Right now, Trump is American democratic citizenship in action. And that’s why he elicits so much hatred from the powerful.

 

And repurpose the $260 billion being spent on stadium construction in Qatar for shelter for refugee Arabs.

It’s the least the Arabs could do for their fellow Arabs.

Why should these poor Arabs have to live under the oppressive thumb of white racist Europeans when their Arab brothers have plenty of money to put them up in the Arab world?

Even after writing off the bribes to Sepp Blatter and his FIFA pals for assigning the World Cup to Qatar, there’d probably be $258 billion, maybe $259 billion left over

A single small Arab country has over a quarter of a trillion dollars to spend on an absurd vanity project, but Europeans must take in every Arab in the world who wants to move to Europe (and, in time, all their kinsmen)?

Really?

$260,000,000,000.00

 

Emergency all-staff meeting over how to respond to Trump’s “barbarities” at the Florida Campaign HQ of ¡Jeb!

Yesterday, a big headline in the Washington Post read:

Jeb Bush slams Donald Trump in Spanish over his ‘barbarities’

But something seems off about that headline. The word “barbarities” seems over-the-top, plus it makes Jeb seem effete, like a decadent Late Roman Empire princeling who can’t hold off the barbarians anymore the way his sterner ancestors could.

And maybe the word “barbarities” is self-defeating from the point of view of Jeb arguing that Trump can’t win: after all California voters twice elected governor another large blond businessman / performer, one who had become world famous playing a barbarian.

But here’s the thing: Jeb never said the English world “barbarities.” That’s just how the Washington Post chose to translate, literally, the word Jeb used in Spanish: “barbaridades.”

I don’t speak Spanish, so I can’t tell you if “barbarities” is an ideal translation, but I do know that there are a lot of similar words in English and Spanish with identical Greek or Latin roots that, over the centuries, developed slightly different connotations.

Commenter 5371 suggests a better translation for Bush’s complaints about Trump’s attacks on him than “barbarities” would be “absurdities.” The Miami Herald comes up with a third translation:

Bush told reporters at La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Little Havana * that he decided to hit Trump “because he attacks me every day with barbaridades” — atrocious insults.

Commenter Hubbard adds a fourth interpretation:

In Spanish, ¡Que barbaridad!, though it literally translates to “how barbaric,” usually means something along the lines of “lame, but what can you do?” For example, being stuck in traffic an extra 15 minutes or getting called for jury duty would be a ¡Que barbaridad! moment.

¡Jeb! was trying to call Trump lame in Spanish, but it looks like a misunderstanding of idioms made him sound like a flaming drama queen to English speakers.

So, it’s too bad for ¡Jeb! that the Washington Post’s weak command of Spanish made him sound like Heliogabalus complaining about uncouth Teutons, but it’s his own damn fault for campaigning for President of the United States in a foreign language.

And the more general point is that translation is hard and far from foolproof. Thus, campaigning in two languages, as ¡Jeb! has repeatedly chosen to do, inevitably reduces comprehension and increases misconceptions on the part of the voters, the media, and the candidates. Campaigning in multiple languages is not only divisive, it makes us more ignorant.

* By the way, while I realize that Jeb has $100 million worth of crack campaign consultants, so who am I to doubt their tactical genius? But was having Jeb launch his new offensive against the populist American Trump at “La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Little Havana” really the smartest possible use of symbolism?

 

From the New York Times:

A day after taking steps to warm relations with Hispanics, Donald J. Trump may have taken a step backward Wednesday when he suggested that Jeb Bush was setting a bad example by speaking Spanish.

“He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States,” Mr. Trump told Breitbart News in an interview.

This week, at an event in Miami, Mr. Bush said, “El hombre no es conservador,” making the case that Mr. Trump is not a conservative. The remark was part of Mr. Bush’s broader effort to aggressively confront Mr. Trump after months of weathering criticism from the billionaire tycoon.

Mr. Bush’s campaign manager, Danny Diaz, took to Twitter on Wednesday to scold Mr. Trump for being against the Spanish language and to accuse him of trying to destroy the Republican Party with his divisive language.

Jeb dividing his campaigning up into two separate languages is, of course, not divisive, it’s diverse! As we all known, divisive and diversity are antonyms. Therefore, people like Trump who encourage unity of the American political information sphere are divisive, while Jeb addressing different audiences in different languages brings us together by making it harder for us to monitor what he’s saying. Diversity enables divide and conquer, so diversity is therefore Good; while unifying the public to resist conquest is divisive and therefore Bad.

 

From an interview in Breitbart:

“I like Jeb,” Trump said. “He’s a nice man. But he should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States.”

I’d add that Presidential candidates should engage in public discussions in the national language* of the voters so all his cards are conveniently on the table. You’ll notice that liberals are constantly accusing Donald Trump of “dog whistling” in secret formulations that they can’t quite put their fingers on but they are sure that only white racist brains can pick up. Obviously, Trump is the frankest candidate in decades, so there is a huge amount of projection going on here.

But the principle that Presidential campaign discourse should be public and accessible to the vast majority of voters is a good one. And that’s why ¡Jeb! shouldn’t be running an English-language campaign and a Spanish-language campaign. Politicians are two-faced enough without letting them be two-tongued as well.

* If a candidate wants to ride a mule down to the bottom of the Havasupai Canyon and address indigenous Indian voters in Havasupai, that’s fine, but immigrants are supposed to be able to pass an English test to get citizenship and the vote. If they obtained citizenship fraudulently due to a lack of English ability and thus can’t follow what, say, their husband, the former frontrunner, is saying in English, well, too bad.

 

Swedish Communist journalist Stieg Larsson dropped dead walking up a staircase before he could cash in on his The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and move to a better building with a reliable elevator. Now, after an ugly legal battle with Steig’s common-law widow, his blood relatives have employed a hired pen author to add a fourth book to the series. To celebrate, here’s an excerpt from my 2011 review in Taki’s Magazine of David Fincher’s American movie version of the original novel:

Although Larsson was a long-time supporter of the Communist Workers League, his politics seldom got in the way of his lust for Apple products. The Aspergery author penned such undying literary effusions as:

Unsurprisingly she set her sights on the best available alternative: the new Apple PowerBook G4/1.0 GHz in an aluminum case with a PowerPC 7451 processor with an AltiVec Velocity Engine, 960 MB RAM and a 60 GB hard drive.

You may have somehow garnered the impression that Sweden is a politically correct social democracy where the main problems women face (qua women) are oppression and rape at the hands of Muslim immigrants whose traditional misogyny is sometimes excused in the name of multicultural sensitivity. …

But readers of Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, which has sold nearly 30 million books, know better. Larsson fearlessly exposed the true plagues menacing contemporary Sweden: rich Nazis, Christian male chauvinists, rapist legal officials, and two generations of billionaire serial killers—the first preying on Jewish women, the second on immigrant women.

Fortunately, two human beings dare stand up to this fascist tsunami engulfing Sweden. One is a middle-aged leftist journalist (in other words, Larsson’s sockpuppet). Although persecuted (and possessing no discernible personality), he’s still dynamite with the ladies.

The second is his young research assistant, Lisbeth Salander, who comes equipped with every add-on that turned on geeky former sci-fi fanzine editors such as Larsson in female fantasy figures back in the 1990s.

Think Trinity in The Matrix, but with even more attitude. Lisbeth has genius computer-hacking skills, a black wardrobe and a black motorcycle, hand-to-hand combat techniques that let her deal out cruel vengeance upon men twice her 100 pounds, piercings, a mohawk, and lesbianism (until she’s exposed to the journalist hero’s recessive charm).

But this isn’t the 1990s anymore, so the appeal of such dusty clichés has drifted up the age range.

Very few Americans go to subtitled foreign films anymore; thus, the Swedish adaptations of Larsson’s books were the three top foreign-language box-office films of 2010. I was at the local art-house cinema in 2010 when the third thriller debuted, and it looked like Twilight for the elderly. The lobby was jammed with shuffling octogenarians. The restroom lines were moving so slowly that I fear many Larsson fans may have missed their favorite sexual torture and sadistic revenge scenes.

Now, though, they can catch up because Hollywood has handed ace director David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club) somewhere between $90 and $125 million to remake The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. …

Despite Fincher’s expertise, his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo winds up being The Da Vinci Code of the 2010s, only with more anal rape.

 

Back in 2002, I wrote about the push to refer to the Eskimos as the Inuit, even though the Yup’ik Eskimos of Alaska consider the name “Inuit” to be cultural imperialism by the Inuit Eskimos of Canada:

A prominent example of ethnic name-changing involves the preferred term for Americans of African descent: first “Negro,” then “black,” and most recently, “African-American.”

This trend spread to other groups. “Orientals” became “Asians” (even though there are hundreds of millions of people native to Asia — such as Armenians and Arabs — who are not included in the grouping for “Asians”).

The Gypsies are now to be called “Roma,” and the reindeer-herding Lapps of Northern Scandinavia are the “Saami.” Similarly, some now claim the Iroquois Indians should be called the “Haudenosaunee” and the Cherokee the “Tsalagi” (which, like so many tribal names, means “the true people”).

Most of these name-changing groups, however, lack the public relations firepower of African-Americans. When Jesse Jackson announced that he wanted “African-American” used instead of “black,” the world took notice.

When less-prominent ethnic groups try name changes, however, ignorance is at least as likely to ensue as enlightenment. Entire library shelves of books become obsolete.

Millions of people permanently lose the thread. Unlike academic specialists, they have other, more personally important things to think about than the changing names of distant ethnic groups. Thus, they never make the mental connection that the mysterious new Inuit their children are studying in school are actually those Eskimos that they liked reading about when they were the same age, or that these new-fangled Roma aren’t Romans or Romanians, but are actually the Gypsies who play that wonderful violin music.

In attempts to create a new name unburdened by old prejudices, the name game can end up dissipating the goodwill built up toward the old one. …

The fashion of renaming the Bushmen of Southwestern Africa as the “San” exemplifies many of the problems with the name game. University of Utah anthropologist Henry Harpending, who has lived with the famous tongue-clicking hunter-gatherers, said, “In the 1970s the name ‘San’ spread in Europe and America because it seemed to be politically correct, while ‘Bushmen’ sounded derogatory and sexist.”

Unfortunately, the hunter-gatherers never actually had a collective name for themselves in any of their own languages. “San” was actually the insulting word that the herding Khoi people called the Bushmen. (“Khoi” is the term used by those who were labeled “Hottentots” by the Dutch. As you can probably guess by now, “Khoi” means “the real people.”)

Harpending noted, “The problem was that in the Kalahari, ‘San’ has all the baggage that the ‘N-word’ has in America. Bushmen kids are graduating from school, reading the academic literature, and are outraged that we call them ‘San.’”

“I knew very well,” he said, “That one did not call someone a San to his face. I continued to use Bushman, and I was publicly corrected several times by the righteous. It quickly became a badge among Western academics: If you say ‘San’ and I say ‘San,’ then we signal each other that we are on the fashionable side, politically. It had nothing to do with respect. I think most politically correct talk follows these dynamics.”

But at least it’s better than dynamiting monuments. Similarly, blowing up Mt. Rushmore for celebrating only white men seems excessive when slave owner Thomas Jefferson could easily be transitioned to commemorating Caitlyn Jenner with merely a few hundred million dollars of cosmetic granite surgery.

 

Donald Trump’s heresies have The Atlantic so worked up that it’s not even bothering to try to make sense anymore:

The Problem with Challenging Birthright Citizenship

If the Fourteenth Amendment means that the children of undocumented immigrants are not citizens, as Donald Trump suggests, then they are also not subject to American laws.

GARRETT EPPS 11:04 AM ET

Imagine the moon rising majestically over the Tonto National Forest, highlighting the stark desert scenery along the Superstition Freeway just west of Morristown, Arizona. The sheriff of Maricopa County sips coffee from his thermos and checks that his radar gun is on the ready. A lot of lawmen wouldn’t have bothered to send officers out at night on such a lonely stretch of road, much less taken the night shift themselves. But America’s Toughest Sheriff sets a good example for his deputies. As long as he’s the sheriff, at least, the rule of law—and the original intent of the Constitution—will be enforced by the working end of a nightstick.

Suddenly a car rockets by, going 100 miles an hour by the gun. Siren ululating, the sheriff heads west after the speeder. The blue Corolla smoothly pulls over to the shoulder. The sheriff sees the driver’s side window roll down. Cautiously he approaches.

“License and registration,” he says.

But the driver simply grins at him. “I’m sorry, Sheriff,” he replies. “I don’t have to do that.”

“You’re not from around here, are you?” the sheriff says between clenched teeth. “You better not make me ask you again.”

“I was born here—just a few miles from Organ Pipe, actually,” the driver says. “But, you see, my parents—well, they’re undocumented immigrants. In fact, they are right here in the back seat and they can show you their lack of papers if you want. And since they’re undocumented, and I’m their child, well, I’m not—“

The lawman feels sick. “Then you’re not subject to my jurisdiction,” he says.

“That’s right, sheriff! I don’t have to follow state law—not subject to the state’s prescriptive jurisdiction. I don’t have to obey your lawful orders—not subject to the sheriff’s enforcement jurisdiction. I don’t have to appear in court—not subject to the state courts’ adjudicative jurisdiction. I can drive 125 miles per hour backwards down the white line flipping you the bird and there’s not a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it—except complain to the government of the country my parents came from 45 years ago. So if you got a problem with me, go call the embassy.”

Then the stranger winks. “And sheriff?” he said. “You be sure to have a nice night.”

The sheriff walks back to his Charger. There’s something wrong with this state of affairs, he thinks. Damn the Fourteenth Amendment and its true original intent.

That little counterfactual is inspired by the latest toad leaping from the mouth of Donald Trump. During a stop in Iowa, he gave voice to the stubborn myth that the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause does not provide birthright citizenship to the children of undocumented aliens.

And that’s the Constitutional reason why foreign-born tourists visiting the United States are allowed to drive like this:

Sure, driving like a drunk Russian may look illegal to you or me, but visitors from abroad aren’t American citizens so they’re not subject to American laws; the cops’ hands are tied.

That’s why rich tourists flock to America for “Finally, Above the Law” vacations in which they drive 125 mph through school zones while snorting cocaine from the thighs of child prostitutes. Maybe, on the whole, that’s not a good thing (although, you have to admit, it’s good for the economy), but it’s in the Constitution, so whaddaya whaddaya?

Also, if you tell a cop you are a Sovereign Citizen, he can’t give you a ticket. Try it!

 

I understand why Jeb Bush would assume that his campaigning in Spanish about how Donald Trump isn’t a true conservative makes Jeb look cool. After all, his wife only speaks Spanish, and who is cooler than Columba Bush?

What Jeb doesn’t comprehend is that speaking Spanish isn’t very cool these days even to Spanish-speakers everywhere in the U.S. except Miami. Jeb lives in South Florida where there are a lot of rich, stylish upper crust folks from Latin America, so he gets a distorted picture. Sure, Jeb’s world is full of Ferrari-driving Spanish-speakers who are worried that Trump might undermine the carried interest deduction for hedge funds. But Jeb attacking Trump in Spanish for not being a true blue Republican reflects the peculiar demographics of Jeb’s daily world.

The current uncoolness of Spanish in the rest of the country can be seen in the lack of demand in America for current pop culture products dubbed into Spanish. For example, even in Southern California, blockbuster movies are seldom released dubbed into Spanish. I could drive today to the City of Commerce to see Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation with Spanish subtitles, but I can’t find any evidence that the Tom Cruise movie is playing dubbed into Spanish anywhere in Southern California. At the City of Commerce theater, eight of the 14 films are showing with Spanish subtitles, but none are dubbed.

Here in the San Fernando Valley, home to 700,000 Latinos, Mission Impossible doesn’t appear to be playing even with Spanish subtitles anywhere. At the Plant 16 (owned by the same chain as the City of Commerce theater) in largely Hispanic Van Nuys, a working class but not impoverished part of the San Fernando Valley, none of the current 16 screens are showing Spanish subtitles, much less using Spanish dubbing. (Later this week an animated film from Mexico in Spanish will be debuting there, however.)

This isn’t part of a conspiracy by Hollywood to assimilate young Latinos into speaking English. If there was much demand, the industry would be happy to meet it. For example, when searching Google for a general article about dubbing movies into Spanish for release in America, the most recent one I found was this one from 1986 about how Steven Spielberg was experimenting with having films he produced like E.T. and American Tail released in Los Angeles dubbed into Spanish.

But that hasn’t much caught on over the last 29 years. Why? One reason is because young people in Van Nuys associate speaking Spanish with talking to their grandmothers. In contrast, when they go out on the town, they want to hear Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Chris Pratt or Adam Sandler speaking English, because English is cool. Spanish isn’t.

 

- In Spanish

- Self-pityingly

- With no sense of humor

With the $100 million rich guys have given Jeb, you might think he could afford to hire somebody to write Donald Trump Jokes for him. Trump Jokes have been a popular genre of comedy for about 30 years now, but Jeb seems unaware of the concept of retaliating against Donald Trump by making him an object of laughter. To Jeb, Trump is simply that mean man who says he doesn’t have energy.

From the Washington Post:

Jeb Bush slams Donald Trump in Spanish over his ‘barbarities’

By Ed O’Keefe September 1 at 12:10 PM

MIAMI — Jeb Bush is “en el ataque.”

That’s Spanish for “on the attack” — and the former Florida governor certainly is, as he confronted and mocked businessman Donald Trump in English and Spanish on Tuesday.

Trump now enjoys a commanding lead over rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, while recent polls suggest that Bush is on a precipitous decline in Iowa — where he sits in the single digits — and in New Hampshire. A Granite State poll released on Tuesday showed Bush slipping into the single digits there for the first time.

… After a town hall meeting at a Presbyterian school here, Bush explained his decision to go on the offensive, using explanations he’s voiced before in English. But in Spanish, in response to questions from Spanish-speaking reporters, his tone and choice of words was sharper.

“He attacks me every day. He attacks me every day with barbarities,” Bush said in Spanish in response to a question. “They’re not true. What we did today was to put out in his words to show that he’s not conservative. He supports people like Nancy Pelosi. He’s given money to Hillary Clinton. He was a Democrat longer than Republican. He’s said that he’s more comfortable being a Democrat. He doesn’t have a record, because he hasn’t been a person who has served like me, who served for eight years as governor. He’s not a conservative. That’s my point.”

“He’s not conservative. He doesn’t have a career that you could say is conservative,” Bush said later in Spanish. “And beyond that, he personalizes everything. If you’re not totally in agreement with him, you’re an idiot, or stupid, or you don’t have energy or ‘blah blah blah.’ That’s what he does. That doesn’t work – there are millions of people who today are thinking that their future isn’t the way it should be.”

Trump has repeatedly mocked Bush at campaign rallies and on Twitter as a “low-energy” candidate.

When an English-speaking reporter asked Bush why the Trump-Bush feud has become more personal, he said: “It’s all personal for him, sure. Mischaracterizations of my long-standing views. I’ve written a book about it, if he was interested in actually knowing my views, he could read the book and he would know that I’m for border security in a practical way that won’t cost billions of dollars.”

In other words, border security isn’t worth spending billions of dollars for.

[Update]: I looked at the video of Jeb speaking and I think the Washington Post got this part wrong: I believe Jeb says “hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Two students asked about immigration reform. In Spanish, one senior asked him whether the children of undocumented immigrants should be able to receive financial aid and what might happen to them as the debate roils on.

“El clima politico es dificil en esto sentido,” he said in Spanish — the political climate is difficult on this issue. But he assured the students, “Yo tengo mi manera de ver las cosas” — I have my way of seeing things, and he said he will stick to them.

 

From The New Yorker:

Our Far-Flung Correspondents

AUGUST 31, 2015 ISSUE

The Other France
Are the suburbs of Paris incubators of terrorism?

BY GEORGE PACKER

Although the alienated, impoverished immigrant communities outside Paris are increasingly prone to anti-Semitism, the profiles of French jihadists don’t track closely with class. Many of them have come from bourgeois families.

This is one of those immensely long New Yorkery articles that aren’t really worth reading unless your dentist is running way behind, but the overall impression conveyed of France’s Middle Eastern and black African neighborhoods is dismal and alarming.

Some attention is given to blaming the poor performance of blacks and Arabs in France on France’s revolutionary traditions of secular, individualist Republicanism, not to mention the Algerian uprising of 1954-1962, although no effort is made to determine if France does better or worse with these populations than other European countries with other traditions and other histories.

But of course the most striking omission is any reference to the current Camp of the Saints. The mainstream media’s conventional wisdom is that countries like France should take in more, much, much more of the hair of the dog that bit them.

Reading Packer’s article, it would be virtually impossible to think that a wise course of action. On the other hand, dissenters are punished.

So the issue of the hour is simply ignored in this piece.

 

Madison, WI is one of the more famously liberal cities in America. I can’t find how the city of Madison voted in 2012, but Dane County, including Madison’s suburbs and exurbs, voted for Obama 71-27 over Romney.

But even in progressive Madison, where the state government and the University of Wisconsin dominate ideology, the virus of white racism has yet to be wholly eradicated. From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Analysis: Blacks in Madison arrested at more than 10 times rate of whites

16 hours ago • By Nico Savidge | Wisconsin State Journal

A black person in Madison is over 10 times more likely than a white person to be arrested, according to data analyzed by the State Journal that showed African-Americans — who make up about 7 percent of the city’s population — account for 45 percent of arrests.

The vastly different rates of arrest are the latest statistical measure of racial disparities in Wisconsin’s capital city, a place where, data have shown, blacks are much more likely than whites to struggle in school, live in poverty and be arrested and incarcerated.

A State Journal review of two years of Madison Police Department arrests found authorities arrested whites at a rate of 2.6 arrests per 100 white residents annually.

African-Americans, meanwhile, wound up in handcuffs at a rate of 27.6 arrests per 100 residents each year — more than 10 times the rate of whites. Hispanics were also more likely than whites to be arrested. …

Disparity far wider than national average

Madison is far from the only city in which African-Americans make up a disproportionate share of those arrested. The difference here, however, is just how large the gap is between black and white arrest rates.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, African-Americans nationally were arrested at a rate of 7.9 arrests per 100 people in 2012, the most recent year for which data were available, compared to a white rate of 3.4 arrests per 100 people.

The data the State Journal analyzed — which covered every Madison Police Department arrest from 2013 and 2014 — showed the city’s black arrest rate was more than three times higher than it is nationally.

The national numbers are not directly comparable to the rates of arrest the State Journal found, as they do not take into account arrests of people who are of Hispanic origin — a distinction of ethnicity, not of race.

Most Hispanics are instead counted as white in the national data.

In Madison, Hispanics were arrested at an annual rate of 4.3 arrests per 100 residents, meaning they were 1.65 times more likely than whites to be arrested.

A city’s arrest rate can be affected by several factors, such as people who are arrested more than once or residents of other cities who are arrested there.

While Madison’s difference in arrest rates is large, Nelson said it was not particularly surprising given the gaps between white and black Dane County residents showcased in the Race to Equity project’s influential 2013 report.

I blogged about this report in 2013: “Which KKK-infested county is this?

Department data showed that nearly all of the incidents MPD officers respond to are the result of calls from the public for police services, Koval said. Officers self-initiate less than 2 percent of incidents, he said.

Not a lot of proactive policing in this capital of liberalism. Funny how blacks tend to get in trouble more under liberal cultures than under more conservative cultures.

 

One of the most common propaganda gambits for inducing Europeans to submit to the inundation of Europe by Middle Easterners and Africans is: Resistance Is Futile. Be realistic: it’s impossible for any government to stop the Camp of the Saints. You Europeans must lay back and try to enjoy it as best you can because nothing else is technically feasible. Are you somehow under the impression that European governments own, say, naval vessels?

And yet, countries such as Israel and Australia have shown that’s not true. From the Daily Telegraph of Australia last month.

Operation Sovereign Borders breaks people smugglers: Not one boat has reached Australia in the past year
August 6, 2015 7:00am
Daniel Meers The Daily Telegraph

The success of Operation Sovereign Borders has forced Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to adopt the policy as an “option” for the next election

20 boats have been turned back since December 2013

‘If boats had got through, more would have tried the journey’

AUSTRALIA has gone an ­entire year without a single people-smuggling boat successfully reaching land.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton yesterday confirmed the milestone, revealing 20 boats, with more than 600 people on board, had successfully been turned around since December 2013.

All boats were sent back to their country of origin.

“We have been able to stare down these evil people smugglers that would trade in bringing people to our country and under Operation Sovereign Borders not to have had a successful people-smuggling venture for 12 months is a very significant outcome,’’ Mr Dutton said.

Last month a Vietnamese boat with more than 40 asylum seekers on board was turned around off the West Australian coast.

Mr Dutton said, had the 20 boats got through, it might have led to up to 2000 boats trying to make the deadly journey, which saw about 1200 people drown at sea under the previous government.

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton.
“It’s why (Sovereign Borders) will remain because we are not going to allow the deaths at sea to recommence,” Mr Dutton said.

“I’m not going to allow detention centres to be refilled by new children arriving on boats — 2000 children were in detention under Labor.”

Under Labor more than 50,000 people arrived illegally on about 800 boats.

The success of Operation Sovereign Borders has forced Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to adopt the policy as an “option” for the next election.

The move split the party at Labor’s national conference last month when deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, senate leader Penny Wong and leadership rival Anthony Albanese opposed the move being written into the policy platform.

Mr Dutton said the split made it questionable whether Labor would turn back boats.

 

From the New York Times:

Screenshot 2015-09-01 00.25.21

Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities

By MONICA DAVEY and MITCH SMITH AUG. 31, 2015

MILWAUKEE — Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year — after 86 homicides in all of 2014.

More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ago. In New Orleans, 120 people had been killed by late August, compared with 98 during the same period a year earlier. In Baltimore, homicides had hit 215, up from 138 at the same point in 2014. In Washington, the toll was 105, compared with 73 people a year ago. And in St. Louis, 136 people had been killed this year, a 60 percent rise from the 85 murders the city had by the same time last year.

Law enforcement experts say disparate factors are at play in different cities, though no one is claiming to know for sure why murder rates are climbing. Some officials say intense national scrutiny of the use of force by the police has made officers less aggressive and emboldened criminals, though many experts dispute that theory.

What do these five cities with fast growing homicide rates in 2015 v. 2014 have in common: Milwaukee, New Orleans, Baltimore, Washington, and St. Louis?

They are all cities where the vast majority of homicides are committed by blacks, and these tend to be particularly troubled black communities. The problems of Wisconsin blacks are a long-time iSteve focus, while David Simon has devoted much of his TV career to the problems of Baltimore and New Orleans blacks. And the St. Louis and Baltimore areas have of course had the Eye of Soros upon them.

So, one possibility is that when the Obama Administration encourages blacks to feel aggrieved toward whites, cops, and white cops, blacks in the worst black slums respond to their leadership’s urgings by murdering each other in even larger numbers than normal. That, of course, is exactly what happened after the triumph of liberalism in the 1960s.

Heckuva job, Obammie!

 

From The Week:

The appeal of Trump: Why immigration may be the defining issue of the 21st century

Michael Brendan Dougherty
August 31, 2015

There was once a fanciful idea that the internet and all its attendant technologies of cheap communication would reverse the pattern of urbanization in developed countries. Some people still believe this: People could telecommute to work while enjoying the comforts of the small towns and country roads of their childhood. A few people, in fact, do this. But the for the most part the opposite phenomenon is playing out. The information age is the age of moving people. And if that’s true, Donald Trump is just the first manifestation of a new era in global politics.

The information age makes it very easy for a small town kid to find an apartment, a job, and a social network in the big cities and growth areas. It also allows him to stay connected with friends at home. In other words, it lowers the price of moving and the cost of leaving. It reduces the feeling of disorientation in new places, while allowing people to still belong, in some sense, to where they came from. New York, Los Angeles, D.C., Silicon Valley, Portland, and Austin have all benefited from these trends.

And the truth is that this is a global phenomenon. It’s easier than ever to establish social, commercial, and employment relationships in places thousands of miles away from you. So why not go there? …

Social media, which largely consists of bragging about how awesome your life is, encourages mass migration. Some guy in Ghana is barraged by his cousins in Europe posting cellphone photos of their amazing lives, so he spends $5k to sneak into Europe. There he finds that maybe his life isn’t quite as wonderful as he’d expected, but he can still brag to the naive folks back home. Which is nice.

It’s not a coincidence that Trump is surging ahead because of his anti-immigration views in America, while Europe is roiled by debates over how to handle migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

This, incidentally, is why I am convinced that there was no way that the GOP could have precluded the Donald Trump moment in American politics by passing comprehensive immigration reform two years ago. The movement of people from country to the city, from poor nations to richer nations, from the Global South to the Global North, may be the great political problem of the next age in global development. ….

Trump says that Mexico is exporting its problems to the U.S. But the truth is that, along with some problems, the Global South (particularly Africa) is sending its prodigies abroad, many of them never to return.

But, keep in mind, below the Academy Award-winning film director/cinematographer level, Mexico sends very few prodigies to the U.S. Mexico is a huge country and the vast majority of Mexico’s most talented make a nice living in Mexico, and that has become nicer over time. Thirty years ago, the future of Mexico City, for example, looked Blade Runner horrific (see NYT Mexico correspondent Alan Riding’s bestseller Distant Neighbors) as its population was expected to grow from 18 million to 30 million.

But that didn’t happen because surplus peasants from the countryside moved to the United States instead of Mexico City, relieving pressure on Mexico City elites and their lifestyles.

 

From Newsday:

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

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

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

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

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

From the WSJ:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I suspect that the ability to take naps correlates with high achievement, especially in management-type positions that require a lot of travel. Napping may not work as well with careers that require long stretches of concentration, but it’s probably a big help for big shots who need to meet lots of people in lots of different places.

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

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

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

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

 

An anonymous commenter suggests:

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

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

That’s a pretty interesting idea.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

- the obsessive self-regard;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Murray parodied Sacks in The Royal Tennenbaums:

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

 
Screenshot 2015-08-29 20.15.45

Federal NAEP reading scores 12th graders 2013

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

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

The Math Gap is the same:

Screenshot 2015-08-29 20.34.33

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

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

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

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

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

Because Science.

 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

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


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