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Haven Monahan

Here’s a story that has been kicking around on the Republican rightsphere for awhile, but has now made the leap to the New York Times as Adam Nagourney figures out how to spin it properly:

In U.C.L.A. Debate Over Jewish Student, Echoes on Campus of Old Biases

By ADAM NAGOURNEY MARCH 5, 2015

“Old biases …” UCLA of course is a notorious redoubt of racoon coat-wearing, Stutz Bearcat-driving WASPs, so their legacy of hate apparently lives on.

LOS ANGELES — It seemed like routine business for the student council at the University of California, Los Angeles: confirming the nomination of Rachel Beyda, a second-year economics major who wants to be a lawyer someday, to the council’s Judicial Board.

Until it came time for questions.

“Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community,” Fabienne Roth, a member of the Undergraduate Students Association Council, began, looking at Ms. Beyda at the other end of the room, “how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?”

For the next 40 minutes, after Ms. Beyda was dispatched from the room, the council tangled in a debate about whether her faith and affiliation with Jewish organizations, including her sorority and Hillel, a popular student group, meant she would be biased in dealing with sensitive governance questions that come before the board, which is the campus equivalent of the Supreme Court.

UCLA students

My impression of UCLA student politics when I was there in 1980-82 was that it was basically ethnic politics with training wheels. An Asian named Sam Law was elected student body president, running largely, as I recall, on a platform of being Asian. I mean, what else is there to run on in student council elections?

As far as I can tell, it was always like that. (Keep in mind that UCLA is one of the youngest famous universities in the world, barely existing before the late 1920s and not being officially granted equal status with Berkeley until the 1950s. But its tremendous location next to America’s richest neighborhood in 1960, Beverly Hills, gave it huge advantages not possessed by similar late-comers.)

About 1960, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills for 40 years) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Burbank for 30 years) met up at the UCLA Young Democrats, formed a lifelong alliance, and got 70 years in Congress between them.

But Berman should have gotten reapportioned out in 2002 in favor of a Mexican, but his brother prodigiously gerrymandered the entire state of California to preserve Howard’s seat. He finally got pushed out by reapportionment in 2012, which created a safe Mexican seat in the Valley, pitting Berman, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee v. retail politician extraordinaire Brad Sherman in a battle of two Jewish incumbents for career survival, which Berman lost.

Waxman held on to retire in January, but he was replaced by a Chinese guy. So, since 2012, the Greater Hollywood Hills have gone from being represented by four Jewish Democratic Congressmen down to two (Sherman and Adam Schiff).

So you can see that this Diversity Trend can be worrying, especially at UCLA.

Westwood

The discussion, recorded in written minutes and captured on video, seemed to echo the kind of questions, prejudices and tropes — particularly about divided loyalties — that have plagued Jews across the globe for centuries, students and Jewish leaders said.

The council, in a meeting that took place on Feb. 10, voted first to reject Ms. Beyda’s nomination, with four members against her. Then, at the prodding of a faculty adviser there who pointed out that belonging to Jewish organizations was not a conflict of interest, the students revisited the question and unanimously put her on the board.

Haven Monahan

So this Jewish activist had her approval delayed by other ethnic and ideological activists for 40 minutes, and the other activists have been apologizing ever since … not exactly the Dreyfus Affair.

But in the weeks since, that uncomfortable debate has upended this campus of 29,600 students that has long been central to the identity of Los Angeles. It has set off an anguished discussion of how Jews are treated, particularly in comparison with other groups that are more typically viewed as victims of discrimination, such as African-Americans and gays and lesbians.

Like I’ve been saying …

So, should Jews try to tone down black and gay victimist triumphalism, or try to top it by emphasizing their victimization?

Part of the ongoing liberal crack-up unleashed by the Democratic re-election campaign in 2012 and exposed by the Democratic defeat in 2014 is the increasing anxiety felt by the single most important swing group in the country: ethnocentric liberal Jews.

UCLA students

… The president of the student council, Avinoam Baral, who had nominated Ms. Beyda, appeared stunned at the turn the questioning took at the session and sought at first to rule Ms. Roth’s question out of order. “I don’t feel that’s an appropriate question,” he said.

In an interview, Mr. Baral, who is Jewish, said he “related personally to what Rachel was going through.”

“It’s very problematic to me that students would feel that it was appropriate to ask that kind of questions, especially given the long cultural history of Jews,” he said. “We’ve been questioned all of our history: Are Jews loyal citizens? Don’t they have divided loyalties? All of these anti-Semitic tropes.”

We hear a lot about swing voters, but it’s usually an overblown concept. Some Jews aren’t going to swing: Noam Chomsky won’t. But Jews with a healthy, natural regard for their ethnic group can and have swung before and may do it again as they sense that the winds blowing on the Left are not good for the Jews. Obviously, the number of votes is unimportant, but not money, media influence, and general argumentative intensity.

On the other hand, it’s not hard for Jews to get other Jews worked up into “anguished discussions” over how great-grandma couldn’t get into the snippy WASP sorority and great-grandpa couldn’t get into the Los Angeles Country Club, and the real enemy is, as always, Haven Monahan.

UCLA student council leaders plotting behind closed doors

 

Utah Data Center

From the NYT’s wall-to-wall coverage of The World’s Most Important Place™:

The emails uncovered by the Justice Department included a cartoon portraying President Obama as a chimpanzee and a joke about giving a black woman a crime-prevention award for having an abortion. They were circulated widely, Justice Department officials said, and no discipline has been announced for those who received the emails and said nothing.

Everyone is guilty. Somewhere in the Utah Data Center there’s proof you received an email making fun of the President … and said nothing.

You just haven’t peeved the Justice Department enough, yet.

 

The notion that the President is a “secular Muslim” is an interesting bit of shorthand. I’d expand it to: Obama is a secular Unitarian with Muslim sympathies.

Obama’s white grandparents occasionally attended a Unitarian church in the Seattle suburbs in the 1950s. His grandfather’s brother, a Berkeley Ph.D., was named Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham. His grandmother’s sister was a college professor in a long “Boston marriage” relationship with another lady professor.

Obama spent eight years at Punahou prep school, which was founded by the congregationalist New England missionary Hiram Bingham I (the bad guy in Michener’s “Hawaii,” played by Max von Sydow) under the auspices of what’s now the very liberal United Church of Christ.

So, “secular Unitarian” seems about right.

As for “Muslim sympathies,” Obama’s African side of the family was Muslim. His black grandfather considered both Christianity and Islam and chose Islam as more manly. His stepfather’s Indonesian family, with which his mother remained close even after she broke up with Lolo, is officially Muslim.

Obama was educated for a career like his mother’s as a go-between between the U.S. and non-Arab Islamic cultures such as Indonesia, Pakistan, and sub-Saharan Africa. He’s like the State Department’s old Arabists, except his orientation was toward the non-Arab-speaking parts of the Muslim world.

Even after Obama switched identities in the mid-1980s from multicultural to black, he was attracted to the Islamic aspect of black power. For example, he regularly read the Nation of Islam newspaper put out by Minister Farrakhan, but eventually decided that there was more money in getting white people to put up money for blacks than in Farrakhan’s economic black nationalism. As late as 1994, he attended Farrakhan’s Million Man March in Washington rather than visiting his dying mother, but he seems to have found Farrakhan’s speech embarrassing.

Eventually, he joined Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s megachurch to connect him to the community he hoped to be elected to represent. Obama detailed in his first memoir his thoughts as he joined. His feelings are racial rather than religious.

But, let’s also note that it’s not surprising that Wright had been a Muslim for awhile and that Wright’s church is part of the post-Puritan United Church of Christ, linking Wright to Hiram Bingham I.

So, “secular Unitarian with Muslim sympathies” sounds about right.

 

From today’s Arcadia Weekly, serving the San Gabriel Valley suburb where my cousins grew up and which I’ve frequently cited as an example of various trends:

3 Arcadia High School Students Score Perfect 2400 on SAT’s

By Terry Miller

Delighted but humble 11th graders Titus Wu, Hanah Lee and Jeffrey Wang greeted the media Tuesday afternoon at the school’s library after the official announcement went out that these three students achieved a rare phenomenon. They all scored a perfect 2,400 score, which is rare. In 2012 about 1.6 million SAT tests were taken nationwide with only 360 students reaching perfection (0.0225%). Three at the same high school is extremely rare.

This reminds me that being a Southern California born in the late 1950s, I’ve been observing first hand demographic trends that took decades to reach the rest of the country and that still aren’t taken seriously by an Establishment obsessing over Ferguson, MO.

In particular, the popular assumption that race/diversity consists overwhelmingly of black v. white always seemed to me as an Angeleno in the 1970s to be already out of date. I was aware from an early age that it was a big world out there, much of it Asian, and once you brought Asians into the picture, the usual terms of the black and white conventional wisdom were exposed as dubious. The 1980s notion of a “Pacific Rim” was already evident to me from my vacation in Hawaii in 1969.

You know who was even more exposed to the same influences and evidence, what with being three years younger than me, born and educated in Hawaii, and having lived for four years in Southeast Asia, having a half-Asian half-sister, and a largely Asian social circle up through age 24?

Yeah, Mr. Story of Race and Inheritance himself. Up through age 24, Barck Obama was seen by his friends and by his handful of African-American acquaintances as “international” or “multicultural” or “just another mixed kid.” As he told biographer David Maraniss, he seemed destined by background and education to a career in the Foreign Service or at an international NGO.

Then in 1985 he moved to Chicago and tried on a new identity as an African-American. This tactic proved wildly enthralling to American elites.

 

The state of New York passed a law decades ago banning quotas / affirmative action in admissions to New York City’s eight elite “test-only” high schools, such as the Stuyvesant STEM school (which is now 72% Asian). The De Blasio folks have complained about how few blacks and Hispanics get in, because the only way in is to score high on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. Perhaps “holistic” rather than “test-only” admission would solve this problem?

From the New York Post:

Tossing tests won’t increase diversity at elite NYC high schools: study

By Aaron Short March 5, 2015 | 2:22pm

Tossing the high-stakes admission exam for the city’s elite high schools in favor of broader criteria won’t lead to a more diverse student body, according to a study issued Thursday.

Critics of the exam to get into Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and other eight specialized high schools say the test discriminates against blacks and Hispanics, who comprised just 12 percent of the class of 2014 even though they made up 70 percent of eighth graders that year.

The critics say using course grades, state test scores and attendance to determine who gets in would boost the dismal numbers.

But that’s not what NYU researchers found.

“Students who are offered admission in specialized high schools are by and large the same students who would be admitted under other criteria,” said Sean Corcoran, the study’s author. “In that respect the exam must be doing a fairly good job of identifying high-achieving students.”

Of the 5,096 students accepted by the city’s eight specialized schools in 2014, 5 percent were black and 7 percent were Hispanic. .

Using the substitute criteria, the researchers said, would result in slightly more white students being admitted, a 4 to 13 percent decline in Asians, and almost no change for blacks. Under one scenario, the number of black students would actually “decline from current levels,” the researchers said.

Latino students would increase “modestly.”

It doesn’t seem like a bad idea for New York City to try to hang on harder to its not-quite rich white families: the people who can’t afford $80,000 to send their two kids to private schools, but can afford a house in a nice NYC suburb with “good schools.” But many of these parents are averse to doing massive Tiger Mothering to get their kids into Stuyvesant.

But of course, if the Elite Eight public high schools shifted from using the current high stakes Stuyvesant test to the current low stakes state tests used to see if schools are doing well, the Tiger Mothers would just refocus on the latter because those would instantly become high stakes tests.

In general, we need to rethink our tests to make them less vulnerable to Tiger Mothering.

About 15 years ago, many championship golf courses, such as Augusta National, underwent “Tiger-proofing” to try to keep Tiger Woods from shooting humiliatingly low scores on them. We need as a society to think about how “Tiger Mother-proofing” our high stakes tests would work.

But that topic is pretty much something that is only discussed behind closed doors because the only possible public discussion is about how to make tests less discriminatory against blacks.

 

There’s a certain Darkness at Noon vibe to the Justice Department’s jihad against Ferguson over its history of more blacks than whites getting in trouble with the cops (to make up for the fact that Holder’s Department couldn’t figure out any plausible justification for subjecting Darren Wilson to double jeopardy to please the outgoing boss).

But if everyone is guilty, then the Justice Department can just hammer any town they feel like?

Here’s the NYT’s graph based on the supposedly damning statistics in the Justice Department’s report:

Screenshot 2015-03-05 01.04.19

Okay, but is everyone guilty? Can any municipality in America produce a graph where blacks don’t get in trouble with the law more than whites? The existence of equal numbers of White Malefactors somewhere or other is presumed, but can anybody identify the actual place?

If there is one, my guess would be that it would be in a white part of the country next to a big Air Force base, where most of the blacks came to town because they were eligible to join the Air Force. (These days, you have to score at close to the 50th percentile on the heavily g-loaded AFQT enlistment cognitive test to get into the Air Force.) Off the top of my head, Minot, North Dakota sounds like the best hope for a town where blacks don’t get arrested more often than whites.

So, does anybody know of crime statistics by race in Minot? (You’d need to drill down by age and sex to get an apples to apples comparison.)

Obama’s Honolulu, a Navy town, might be another candidate. Perhaps Hilo?

Another possibility would be a municipality where most of the blacks are elite immigrants. For example, Eric Holder himself grew up in a “West Indian enclave.” But that was in New York, where the cops hassle African-Americans constantly. Houston has a lot of educated Africans attracted by the oil industry and Akeem Olajuwon’s fame. But New York and Houston are big cities with lots of American blacks.

Does anybody have any suggestions?

By the way, the chorus chord progression (2:01) from this 2009 song is pretty much “Money” by Pink Floyd.

It’s tough being a band these days because it’s all been done before.

In fact, wasn’t “It’s All Been Done Before” a hit in the previous millenium?

And if I play the same three chords,
Will you just yawn and say

It’s all been done
It’s all been done
It’s all been done before

 

With Jeb Bush much in the news, it’s worth recalling how central to the Bush Dynasty has been the goal of integrating Mexico into the North American economy ever since 1953 when George H.W. Bush co-founded the Zapata Corporation. (It’s not surprising that George W. Bush named his little oil company Arbusto, or Bush in Spanish.)

At least from 1960, when Bush hired Jorge Diaz Serrano to be his front man for offshore oil drilling in Mexican waters because foreign oil companies have not been allowed to operate in Mexico since 1938, the Bush family has been interested in knocking down the barriers dividing America and Mexico.

The Bushes do have a point: Mexico is one of the biggest underachievers in the world, considering its excellent real estate and prime location adjacent to the United States.

Former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castaneda suggested in his recent book Manana Forever? that Mexican mediocrity — which includes high accident rates — is encouraged by traditional anti-Americanism. America is the obvious example of an advanced country for Mexicans. But to avoid being turned into a banana republic by Guatemala or Honduras, Mexican elites since the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 have typically backed anti-American attitudes. But, according to Castaneda, anti-Americanism inculcates lackadaisical backwardness in Mexicans.

The Bushes have been very accommodating to the sensitivities of Mexican elites, including being enthusiastic about taking surplus Mexican nonelites off their hands.

Really, isn’t this whole border thing, not to mention separate country thing, Bad for Business?

American businessmen were welcome in Mexico during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz, but he was driven into exile by the Mexican Revolution of 1911. The American ambassador’s meddling worsened the political situation, bringing to power new leaders who repeatedly invaded America in 1915-1916, leading Germany to send the notorious Zimmerman Telegram inviting Mexico to reconquer Texas. It’s publication on March 1, 1917 (my father’s birthday) was a major step toward the U.S. declaring war on Germany a month later.

Then in 1938 the government of Mexico expropriated all the foreign oil companies and set up Pemex as a government owned oil monopoly.

One of the major planned accomplishments of the elder Bush’s administration was the NAFTA agreement.

George W. Bush came to office in 2001 and immediately focused intently on making deals over immigration and other matters with the new pro-business president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, until 9/11 came along.

Jeb is married to a Mexican lady and used to vacation at the ranch of the brother of President Salinas before he was sent to prison in the murder of his ex-brother-in-law, who had been caught being unfaithful to the Salinas sister with a man. As David Frum has noted, facilitating Mexican immigration is the topic closest to Jeb’s heart.

The one elected official in the next generation of Bushes is George P. Bush, who led the delegates to the 1988 Republican convention in the Pledge of Allegiance:

The Bushes want to elect a new people to keep on electing Bushes.

 

Screenshot 2015-03-04 20.15.21

 

Charlotte Allen has been writing a series of fine in-depth articles in the Weekly Standard in which she takes ideas that — while they might seem familiar to you or me (if I do say so myself) — are not familiar to 99.9% of the country. But then she leaves the house and does some actual shoe leather reporting.

For example, she attended the White Privilege Conference and wrote about the cupidity of Morris Dees’ Southern Poverty Law Center.

Now the Weekly Standard has Charlotte’s “The Transgender Triumph.”

 

From the NYT:

‘American Crime,’ John Ridley’s New Series on ABC
By KATHRYN SHATTUCK MARCH 3, 2015

A father receives a call in the middle of the night that his son is dead. Killed.

He wails with grief in a bathroom.

“They think it might be a Hispanic kid,” he tells his former wife.

She responds reflexively: “Some illegal?”

Then a teenager cries out to his father for help as he’s placed under arrest.

Those moments from a commercial for “American Crime” telegraph the impression that ABC wants to convey of its latest foray into the prestigious limited-series game. This is an intense and provocative show, punctuated with moments of raw emotion. It’s not too surprising that it’s the creation of John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “12 Years a Slave.”

Granted, Ridley’s Oscar-winning script for 12 Years a Slave was pretty dire because he stuck so closely to the style of the source material by the Victorian amateur ghostwriter. Everybody makes fun of Brad Pitt’s lines in the movie, but that’s because they are afraid of making fun of the black characters’ comparably bad lines.

Still, I suspect Ridley is a thoughtful, talented guy, so I have reason for hoping the show isn’t as awful as the rest of this promotional piece by the nice white lady critic makes it sound:

The 11-episode series is a trenchant, sorrowful exploration of race, faith, gender, class and addiction centered on a violent home invasion in Modesto, Calif. …

Race, and the friction it can lead to, is one of the main themes of “American Crime.” And it’s in the character of Barb Hanlon, Russ’s former wife, that we see that discomfort come to a head in a way that feels downright shocking and even repugnant. As Barb, Ms. Huffman portrays perhaps the series’ most unlikable character: a mother seeking justice for her son. Her motives are understandable, but are undercut by her sometimes casual, sometimes direct bigotry.

Mr. Ridley was adamant about not creating what he called “straw people,” particularly in Barb’s case, “because I had an opportunity to write a white woman who may have viewpoints that are exceptionally different from mine, but they’re coming from a place that she believes is real,” he said.

He excelled, Ms. Huffman said, at shaping a nuanced survivor whose parched inner life and adversarial relationship to the world have given rise to prejudices that she explains away as pragmatism.

“We’re past the broad, sweeping generalizations of ‘those people are inferior, those people are this, those people are that,’ ” Ms. Huffman said. “Which is why people think, ‘Oh, aren’t we done with racism?’ And you go, ‘No, no, there’s a whole new face of racism.’ And I think that’s possibly Barb.”

Mr. Ridley knows he has created an ugly person on his show. And he hopes she does her job. “There may be people who believe what Barb believes,” he said. “And to a degree I want them to go, ‘O.K., good, you go, girl.’ But then they’re going to have to take that same journey that Barb is taking. And if they do, are they ready to come along for the ride and see all of the ramifications?”

The real problem with crime in America today is that the mothers of murdered children often are racist.

 

From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

It has become a press custom to ask Republican presidential hopefuls, such as Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, whether they believe in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. The intention is to trap the politicians between their Biblical literalist supporters and the prestige of Science with a capital S.

Still, Darwin’s ascension in recent decades to his current role as the saint of secularism might raise obvious questions about liberal dogmas, such as the impossibility of hereditary differences having evolved among human races. But those seldom come up, because progressivism has evolved a bizarre yet apparently reassuring theodicy reminiscent of Zoroastrian dualism, in which Ahura Mazda represents all that is good and Angra Mainyu all that is bad.

Read the whole thing there.

 

From the NYT:

House Approves Security Budget, Without String s
By ASHLEY PARKER MARCH 3, 2015

WASHINGTON — The fight over funding the Department of Homeland Security that began with Republicans thundering about a lawless president abusing power to change immigration policy ended with a quiet capitulation Tuesday when the House voted to fund the agency and avert a partial shutdown.

In the end, Speaker John A. Boehner was forced to build a majority on Democratic votes to pass the bill, 257 to 167, with just 75 Republican supporters. But although the uprising among conservatives burned hot into the week, there was no suggestion that Mr. Boehner’s leadership was imperiled. Instead, many Republicans expressed a sense of resigned relief.

The bill, which President Obama will sign, dealt only with an appropriation for the department. Republicans agreed to drop their push for provisions that would have gutted Mr. Obama’s executive actions on immigration. …

The timing of the vote was auspicious, and strategic. By bringing up the legislation on the day that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addressed a joint meeting of Congress, Mr. Boehner capitalized on the spectacle and the political cushion from his members, who were pleased with the way he stood up to the White House in inviting Mr. Netanyahu to speak.

Republicans have outsourced patriotism to Israel.

 

The topic of campus rape is beloved by the molders of the conventional wisdom because it’s so amorphous, thus allowing them to stamp their hatreds upon it.

To bring clarity to the subject, it’s important to try to draw distinctions along multiple dimensions, such as:

- Between actual and nonexistent cases.

- Between rape and regret

- Between cases where the woman never consented to any sex acts and ones in which she enthusiastically consented to some acts, but maybe not to some others, and definitely not to some others, but it seems prurient to inquire too closely about exactly what.

And so forth and so on.

One distinction that I haven’t seen made is the potential legal distinction in university responsibility between the actions of run-of-the-mill male students admitted en masse and of large, strong, aggressive athletes personally recruited by the university’s highest paid employees under lowered academic and behavioral standards.

What the media wants is to crucify the Haven Monahans lurking under every bed, but instead it keeps coming up with real scandals involving black jocks.

For example, consider the case of basketball player Brandon Austin *, who was suspended for a year from the Providence’s basketball team after being accused of sexual assault. Austin was immediately recruited by U. of Oregon basketball coach Dana Altman, who has a seven year contract with the U. of Nike paying almost $2 million per year.

But a few weeks after showing up at the Oregon campus, Austin was accused of sexual assault again.

The accuser in the second case is suing the university and the coach, which seems pretty reasonable. The coach’s lawyers say nobody told him what specifically the athlete was suspended for. Austin’s mom says it was for an altercation with another student.

Some time after that, a grand jury in Rhode Island declined to indict Austin in the first case.

And who knows if a grand jury will indict in the second case? It’s the usual drunken freshman coed with black jocks debauch that doesn’t make all that much sense. First the three basketball players gang rape her at a party, then (from the lawsuit):

The three UO basketball players then took Plaintiff back to one of their UO off-campus housing apartments where they continued to gang rape Plaintiff, at one point trying to get additional students in the building to rape Plaintiff.

The phrase “took Plaintiff back” raises a lot of questions.

But, assuming this U. of Oregon coed, Jane Doe, is white, this seems to reflect a pretty common pattern of sheltered white freshmen coeds getting to college, and then alcohol, I Am Curious, Black fantasies, and Big Time Sports Charisma combine disastrously, while black jocks engage in solidarity-building gang bangs, with the interracial element adding to the fun.

This appears to be a pretty common pattern.

* By the way, there is another basketball player named Brandon Austin, a highly recruited high school star in Alabama, so try not to get them confused when the younger one starts showing up on ESPN highlight reels in the future.

 

Screenshot 2015-03-03 16.06.28From the New York Times:

Justice Department Finds Pattern of Police Bias and Excessive Force in Ferguson
By MATT APUZZO MARCH 3, 2015

WASHINGTON — Police officers in Ferguson, Mo., have routinely violated the constitutional rights of the city’s black residents, the Justice Department has concluded in a scathing report that accuses the officers of using excessive force and making unjustified traffic stops for years.

The Justice Department, which opened its investigation after a white Ferguson police officer shot and killed a black teenager last summer, says the discrimination was fueled in part by racial stereotypes held by city officials. Investigators say the officials made racist jokes about blacks on their city email accounts.

Ferguson is a largely black city with a government and a police force that are mostly white. After the shooting of the teenager, Michael Brown, the city erupted in angry, sometimes violent protests and looting. Since then, Ferguson has been at the center of a national debate over race and policing that has drawn in President Obama, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.

The report’s findings were summarized by a federal law enforcement official. The full report is expected to be released on Wednesday. A separate report is expected to clear the officer, Darren Wilson, of any civil rights violations in the shooting of Mr. Brown.

Justice Department’s crack disparate impact-finding process in action

Spite.

Note that the Obama Administration could conduct the exact same show trial of any town in America that displeases and produce a similar graph.

Ferguson officials now face the choice of either negotiating a settlement with the Justice Department or potentially being sued by it on charges of violating the Constitution.

In compiling the report, federal investigators conducted hundreds of interviews, reviewed 35,000 pages of police records and analyzed race data compiled for every police stop. They concluded that, over the past two years, African-Americans — who make up about two-thirds of the city’s population — accounted for 85 percent of traffic stops, 90 percent of citations, 93 percent of arrests and 88 percent of cases in which the police used force.

And how does this pattern differ from any other place in America? Can the Justice Department find just two municipalities in America where blacks don’t get in trouble with the law disproportionate to their share of the population? There might be one town somewhere in America where that isn’t true, although I’ve never heard of it, but are there two?

In particular, note that the white population of Ferguson is largely older homeowners, the kind of people who don’t get themselves in trouble with the police. This was due to the relative amicability of race relations in Ferguson before the Eye of Sauron turned its attention on that place. For decades, blacks had been choosing to move to white-dominated Ferguson (while fleeing black-ruled places like East St. Louis. But in the past, the black newcomers had tended to be respectable people, often looking to get away from black slums. Older white empty nesters typically stayed but their children would choose other places with “better schools” as Ferguson’s local schools became black dominated.

The findings reinforce what the city’s African-American residents have been saying publicly for the past year: that years of discrimination and mistrust created the volatile environment that erupted after Mr. Brown’s shooting.

In other words, this graph justifies the two rounds of undocumented shopping.

Thanks, Eric Holder!

 

From the L.A. Times:

Alleged Chinese ‘maternity tourism’ operations raided in California

By VICTORIA KIM AND FRANK SHYONG

Asia Crime

Federal agents raided about 20 locations in three Southern California counties early Tuesday as part of an investigation targeting “birth tourism” schemes in which pregnant Chinese women travel to the United States on fraudulent visas so that their children will be born U.S. citizens.

Search warrants were served at the homes of people federal authorities suspect of running the operations as well as at apartment complexes in Irvine, Rancho Cucamonga, Rowland Heights and Walnut where pregnant women were allegedly being housed.

According to affidavits unsealed Tuesday, operators charged expectant Chinese mothers tens of thousands of dollars for services that guided the women through obtaining tourist visas, coached them on successfully making their way into the country and housed them for months as they awaited giving birth.

The raids represent a rare federal crackdown against a widespread practice of foreign nationals giving birth in the U.S.

Many agencies openly advertise services called “maternity hotels” or “birthing centers,” offering assistance in getting their newborns a U.S. passport and extolling the benefits that come with American citizenship, including public education and immigration benefits for parents. Taiwanese, Korean and Turkish mothers are also known to engage in birth tourism, which isn’t necessarily illegal.

Those behind the operations targeted in Tuesday’s raids, however, are suspected of engaging in visa fraud and conspiracy by helping women falsify records for their visa screening and coaching them to falsely claim that they are traveling to the U.S. as tourists, according to affidavits filed in support of the search warrants.

No arrests were expected Tuesday, but authorities said Homeland Security and Internal Revenue Service investigators would be seizing possible evidence and interviewing the mothers for potential criminal charges against scheme operators. …

In a few weeks, Wu said, she will have a daughter. With American citizenship, her daughter will have “very big, very happy” future, she said. …

… One affidavit quoted a law review article estimating that about 40,000 of 300,000 children born to foreign citizens in the U.S. each year were the product of birth tourism.

… In the Irvine case, an undercover agent posed as an expectant mother and contacted a representative of “You Win USA.” The agency helped her come up with a bogus Chinese employer, a false proof of income and a fake college diploma to bolster the appearance that she was likely to return to China after a brief visit, according to the affidavit. …

Agents also wrote that the scheme defrauded hospitals at which the women gave birth. Even though the mothers paid birth tourism operators between $15,000 and $50,000 for the service, they paid local hospitals nothing or a reduced sum for uninsured, low-income patients, according to the affidavit.

More than 400 women associated with the Irvine location have given birth at one Orange County hospital since 2013, agents wrote in the affidavit. One of the women paid $4,080 out of $28,845 in hospital bills when her bank account showed charges at Wynn Las Vegas and purchases made at Rolex and Louis Vuitton stores, the affidavit said.

For more news, follow @vicjkim and @frankshyong

 

Screenshot 2015-03-03 15.55.42Back in 2011 in VDARE.com, I had one of these Chinese birth tourism ads plugged into Google Translate to obtain its long list of financial advantages accruing from having a baby on American soil.

Of course, that was four years ago …

How can we expect the rising Chinese superpower to respect the United States of America when we’re such patsies? That’s an “immigration security” linkage between immigration policy and foreign policy that ought to be emphasized: us exhibiting simple self-respect would teach potential bad guys that we aren’t pathetic losers ripe for a fall who can be pushed around by the Chinese?

 

A new study reveals: American college students sometimes have problems understanding the accents of instructors with Asian surnames, white people to blame.

Accent on Bias

March 2, 2015
By Scott Jaschik

Rate My Professors is a student evaluation site that frustrates many professors, who say that the nonscientific standards leave faculty members open to unfair ratings.

… Now a new study looks at how students on Rate My Professors rate instructors who have Asian-sounding last names, and the results suggest that these instructors are getting significantly lower scores than those with other last names in Rate My Professors’ categories of clarity and helpfulness.

The author of the study, who also examined comments students make about the instructors, said that his findings raise questions about whether American colleges and universities are as international in outlook at they boast of being — and whether Asian instructors are being reviewed fairly. The study — “She Does Have an Accent But” — has just been published in the journal Language in Society (abstract available here). …

Over all, he found that instructors with “American” last names received clarity scores that were 0.60 to 0.80 points higher than did those with Asian names (on a five-point scale), and that they received scores 0.16 to 0.40 points higher on the helpfulness scale.

… Subtirelu then looked at the comments students post, and noticed a pattern in which many students introduce remarks (frequently praise) by saying than an instructor “has an accent, but.” He also noted cases where students remarked positively about language, but seemed to view that as a surprise or as something that needed to be shared about someone with an Asian last name. “Her English is perfect” is an example of such a comment. These comments — seemingly positive — suggest a focus of students on Asian instructors’ language skills in evaluating them.

The findings suggest to Subtirelu that there are serious issues facing American colleges and universities that rely on Asian teaching assistants, but his view of the issues is not that American students are being poorly taught. He acknowledges that there may be some individual instructors who are difficult to understand because of their accents or speaking abilities. But Subtirelu is working on another research project in which he’s sitting in on classes led by Asian instructors.

Many have accents, he said. But they are not actually difficult to understand if one makes a little effort. He said that he is concerned that simply having an accent is being viewed as negative. Students appear to be “pushing back against this extra labor of interacting with their instructor, to overcome this extra difficulty that they face with someone who doesn’t share their background.” He added that “this is a big problem for an institution that wants to be an international university.”

But it’s not a big problem for the students who can’t understand what their instructor is saying. Or it should not be. And aren’t “ought” and “is” the same thing? So, man up, white students! (Is that sexist? No, because it’s racist. Or, I mean, no, because it’s anti-racist.)

Your incomprehensible professor is the victim of your bias, you’re not the victim of his incomprehensibility. The point of going to college is not to learn math or whatever, it’s to develop an infallible, automatic instinct for who has more victimism Pokemon points in any situation.

 

In recent years, the Administrative-Media Narrative Generation Complex has chosen a number of test cases that have blown up in their faces. But they are still in charge of the commanding heights of law enforcement and the press, so they get to practice Conservation of Narrative: They devise face-saving fallbacks and have them trumpeted as the Big News.

From the New York Times:

Justice Department to Fault Ferguson Police, Seeing Racial Bias in Traffic Stops

By MATT APUZZO MARCH 1, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has nearly completed a highly critical report accusing the police in Ferguson, Mo., of making discriminatory traffic stops of African-Americans that created years of racial animosity leading up to an officer’s shooting of a black teenager last summer, law enforcement officials said.

Granted, Michael Brown appears to have been a pedestrian rather than a motorist, but if he were a motorist, how else could he have responded to this pattern of disparate impact in traffic stops than by stealing a box of cigars, roughing up the tiny Asian shopkeeper, walking down the middle of the street, then trying to kill the cop who told him to get on the sidewalk?

According to several officials who have been briefed on the report’s conclusions, the report criticizes the city for disproportionately ticketing and arresting African-Americans and relying on the fines to balance the city’s budget. The report, which is expected to be released as early as this week, will force Ferguson officials to either negotiate a settlement with the Justice Department or face being sued by it on civil rights charges.

It’s kind of like if in France in 1905, the anti-Dreyfusards had responded to the proof of the innocence of poor Major Dreyfus, whom they had locked up on Devil’s Island and then repeatedly doubled down on his guilt, by changing the subject to building code violations in French synagogues.

Either way, the result is likely to be significant changes inside the Ferguson Police Department, which is at the center of a national debate over race and policing.

Because there is nothing more central than Ferguson, Missouri, the world’s most famous place.

Ferguson erupted into angry, sometimes violent protests after a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in August. The Justice Department investigated that shooting, and officials have said they will clear the officer of civil rights charges. That finding is also expected soon.

Disparate Impact made me steal these cigars.

… Blacks accounted for 86 percent of traffic stops in 2013 but make up 63 percent of the population, according to the most recent data published by the Missouri attorney general. …

Investigators do not need to prove that Ferguson’s policies are racially motivated or that the police intentionally singled out minorities. They need to show only that police tactics had a “disparate impact” on African-Americans and that this was avoidable. Nevertheless, the Justice Department’s report is expected to include a reference to a racist joke that was circulated by email among city officials, according to several law enforcement officials.

Proof!

 

Ron has been writing new code to make Unz.com perform even better. For example, now you can hit the email button on a post and send out not just a link to the post, but the entire formatted post in the email. Or as like to call to call it In Your Face mode. Ron writes:

Over the last few days I’ve made some major enhancements to the processing code of the Emailing Module, which now transforms a webpage into fully-emailable HTML several times faster than had previously been the case. Also, our server hosting company has increased our daily limit of outgoing Emails to 10,000 from the 1,000 default, so everyone should be able to use the new emailing feature to their heart’s content. Just as before, the Email button is located near the top of every page and article.

Let us know in the comments if you have any technical problems or suggestions.

I’ve also made some major enhancements to the internal caching system used by the website, so visitors may notice that the response time is much snappier than before and the website can also bear much greater traffic loads before performance becomes noticeably degraded. These were merely the first set of such caching additions, and they do not even apply to the Mobile version, so as I implement the remainder in the next day or two, visitors may expect further improvements.

Major changes in the code, especially with regard to caching, always risk breaking things, so please notify me in the comments below if you suddenly notice any problems with the system.

The price of caching can be that changes in content may not show up as instantly on your screen as before. So let us know if you find any problems caused by that.

A topic we haven’t much looked into is Search Engine Optimization (despite countless emails from no doubt reputable sources offering to solve all our SEO problems for a low, low fee). When my iSteve blog was on Google’s Blogspot, Google gave it a home-field advantage in Google search results, but no more. So, any thoughts on reasonable ways to raise our profile in search results would be appreciated.

 

From the New York Times:

Netanyahu’s Visit Bringing Uninvited Problems for Jewish Democrats
By JONATHAN WEISMAN MARCH 1, 2015

WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner’s unilateral invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to address Congress on Tuesday has turned a foreign policy issue that has had near unanimous support in both parties — Israel — into a bruising political showdown. …

“I went out to play golf — I never play golf — with three of my Jewish buddies,” recalled Representative Alan Lowenthal, a Jewish Democrat from Southern California who only this weekend decided he will attend Mr. Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress. “One said, ‘You must go,’ one said, ‘You definitely should not go,’ and one said, ‘I’m in the middle.’ That literally reflects the American Jewish community.”

It’s time for American Jews such as Rep. Lowenthal to finally come out of the closet and admit, without shame or any further attempt to shirk the question, that they like golf.

 

A strange film from highbrow horror director David Cronenberg (The Fly) that tries to combine movie industry self-satire with multigenerational incest-driven “Greek tragedy” (in Cronenberg’s words) in the manner of Sophocles and Aeschylus.

There is a lot of talent in the movie, although the casting isn’t always perfect. Cronenberg originally intended the role of the family patriarch who, like Agamemnon, sacrifices his daughter for his main man Viggo Mortensen. But scheduling got in the way, and the role went instead to John Cusack, whose aging boyishness doesn’t add much.

On the other hand, Mia Wasikowska in the Clytemnestra – Cassandra – Electra role is good.

Maps to the Stars doesn’t succeed as satire. Screenwriter Bruce Wagner (Scenes From the Class War in Beverly Hills) has dusted off a script he wrote in the 1990s, so the Hollywood Hills culture topical jokes, such as they are, are old. The staleness of the script isn’t terrible, though, because we mentally update it for the filmmakers: like with the white dress-blue dress thingie, our brains simply assume that the film’s spoof of Macaulay Culkin must really be about Justin Bieber, etc.

Wagner contends, with some justification, that he’s dealing in archetypes. Still, satires on the entertainment industry are so common that themes get stale fast.

Nor does Maps to the Stars work as tragedy for the Aristotle 101 reason that catharsis requires the downfall of somebody great, and all the Hollywood figures in the movie are little worms.

Julianne Moore, for example, dives into the degradation of her washed-up actress character with her usual gusto (somebody should make up a list of all the movies Moore has been in where she hasn’t had a sex scene or two — it might be a surprisingly short list).

But the writing is too on the nose for tragedy. For example, the actress’s archrival for being cast in a remake of a classic film made famous by her mother, a movie legend who died in a fire, has to drop out because her little boy has drowned in a swimming pool. So, Moore jumps up and down for 15 seconds in celebration. Characters in tragedies don’t behave that childishly.

Another problem is that Cronenberg is the wrong man to direct Wagner’s screenplay, which has an interesting prehistoric anti-rational logic involving ritual appeasement of the furies for the taboo-breaking of past generations. There are constant fire and water references, with the occasional shout-out to earth and air:

Also, in Wagner’s universe, Victorian anthropologist James Fraser’s concept of “sympathetic magic” is operative. Or at least the creative-type characters in the movie believe in systems of cause and effect that are more magical than scientific, which may amount to more or less the same thing, since the reason they can afford to live in Beverly Hills is because they have tended to get their way in life.

From Fraser’s The Golden Bough:

If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed.

But movies kind of work like that, so one of Maps to the Stars basic plotlines isn’t wholly absurd:

- Julianne Moore’s character’s mother starred in a movie, Stolen Waters, about a girl locked up in an asylum because she starts fires;

- The legendary actress died in a fire; the cause of that fire isn’t explicated, but Julianne Moore has a lot of unresolved issues regarding her mother’s death.

- Julianne Moore hires as a personal assistant a girl (Mia W.) who was disfigured in a fire — she feels a personal connection on an intuitive level

- The girl’s favorite movie is Stolen Waters, the remake of which Moore is trying to be cast in

- The fire that disfigured the girl wasn’t an accident

Wagner’s approach might have worked well in the hands of David Lynch at his Mulholland Drive peak. Wagner is a mystic who was long involved in the Carlos Castaneda Teachings of Don Juan cult. (This notion that Wagner and Lynch might be on similar wavelengths is not a new one: Wagner’s 1993 miniseries Wild Palms (produced by Oliver Stone) was promoted as the next big thing after Lynch’s Twin Peaks.)

Cronenberg, in contrast, comes from a Man-of-Science it’s-all-in-your-(diseased)-head standpoint.

But, at least, the old Canadian director is still an expert at creeping you the hell out. I’ve often talked about how one test of how well a director did his job is how long and how intensely you feel like you are still in the world of the movie after you come out of the theater. (For example, I came out of Christopher Nolan’s amnesia movie Memento convinced I’d never be able to remember where I had parked. The Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men left me feeling for two nights as if I were being hunted by an implacable killer.)

We walked from the theater to the Chipotle next door, and never have I eaten in a more disturbing, alienating, Kafkaesque Chipotle. It seemed like it would be the favorite casual dining establishment of Gregor Samsa. So Maps to the Stars has that going for it, which isn’t nice, but it is something.

• Tags: Movies 
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
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?