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From the Hollywood Reporter, here’s yet another 2015 example of an ethnocentric Jewish liberal getting worried about trends that he has played a role in bringing about:

Harvey Weinstein Urges Jews to Take on Anti-Semites: “Kick These Guys in the Ass”

11:49 PM PDT 3/24/2015 by Scott Feinberg, Tina Daunt

“We’re gonna have to get as organized as the mafia,” the mogul told the audience at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s national tribute dinner, where he was introduced by friend and competitor Jeffrey Katzenberg as “a really nice Jewish boy.”

Like I said in my Taki’s Magazine article about the growth of the anti-Israeli BDS movement on California campuses — “Are Jews Losing Control of the Media?” — ethnocentric liberal Jews are on the fault line in 2015.

Their public ideology of Diversity and Immigration Uber Alles has never combined terribly logically with their Jewish ethnocentrism, but the contradiction wasn’t a big deal when all that mattered was guilt-tripping nice white gentiles into not noticing. But now that America and Europe are filling up with immigrants from non-guilt cultures, many of them traditionally anti-Semitic, and some of them fanatically anti-Israel, the future looks more worrisome.

“We better stand up and kick these guys in the ass,” movie mogul Harvey Weinstein said about present-day anti-Semites as he accepted the Humanitarian Award at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s National Tribute Dinner on Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton. “We’re gonna have to get as organized as the mafia,” he continued. “We just can’t take it anymore [from] these crazy bastards.” …

Weinstein, 63, then went off-script to speak about his father, who was a sergeant stationed in Cairo during World War II. The elder Weinstein aided the Haganah (the precursor to the IDF before Israel was a state) and later taught his sons about anti-Semitism. Weinstein emphasized his concern about anti-Semitism around the world, which Wiesenthal Center studies indicate is at its highest levels since the end of World War II.

“I’m upset when I read The Atlantic Monthly’s headline that says, ‘Should the Jews leave Europe?’ — a resounding ‘no’ on my end — and [New York Times columnist] David Brooks today talking about how to combat anti-Semitism,” Weinstein said. “It’s like, here we go again, we’re right back where we were [before the Holocaust]. And the lessons of the past are we better stand up and kick these guys in the ass.”

The co-head of The Weinstein Company continued, “I think it’s time that we, as Jews, get together with the Muslims who are honorable and peaceful — but we [also] have to go and protect ourselves. We have to build, once again, back into the breach. There’s a quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s book The Sirens of Titan and it always was the motto of Miramax and now The Weinstein Company. It says, ‘Good can triumph over evil if the angels are as organized as the mafia.’ That’s how we built our company! And, unfortunately, we [Jews] are gonna have to get as organized as the mafia. We just can’t take it anymore. We just can’t take these things. There’s gotta be a way to fight back.”

“While we must be understanding of our Arab brothers and our Islamic brothers,” he added, “we also have to understand that these crazy bastards [Arab and Islamic extremists] are also killing their own — they’re killing neighbors, they’re killing people from all sorts of different races. And, unlike World War II, when we didn’t act right away and we paid the price, we better start acting now. Trust me, I’m the last guy who wants to do anything about it, but I realize if we don’t, we will perish. We can’t allow the bad guys to win. So, as they say in The Godfather, ‘back to the mattresses,’ and back to the idea that we will not ever forget what happened to us.”

I had never heard the phrase “back to the mattresses” before and figured Weinstein was getting it confused with the wrestling phrase “take it to the mat.” But, no, it’s an old Italian figure of speech for going to war with a rival clan or region. Here’s Tom Hanks explaining “go to the mattresses” to Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail:”

[Actor Christoph] Waltz handled the actual presentation of Weinstein’s award. Calling Weinstein a man with “a heart of gold,” Waltz pointed out that the honoree has handled the distribution of a great number of films connected to Jews, Nazis and/or the Holocaust — not just Basterds, but also The Truce, Life Is Beautiful, The Reader, Sarah’s Key, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Imitation Game and the upcoming Woman in Gold. (He then introduced a clip from Woman in Gold — a film about an elderly Jewish woman seeking the return of artwork stolen from her family by Nazis — which opens next week.) …

This year’s gathering took on a particular somber tone in the wake of the ongoing unrest in the Middle East. …

Tuesday’s gala featured the surprise announcement that an additional $50 million has been raised toward construction of a sprawling Museum of Tolerance complex in Jerusalem.

Katzenberg said the $50 million includes “a gift of $26 million — the largest gift in the history of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — from Dawn Arnall to name the building in memory of her late husband, Roland,” the billionaire businessman and former U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and L.A.’s Museum of Tolerance were co-founded by the late subprime mortgage robber baron Roland Arnall, who got extra rich talking Latino immigrants into taking on high interest mortgages they couldn’t afford. I give Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide and Kerry Killinger of Washington Mutual a lot of grief, but they were really quality businessmen who were slowly seduced over to the dark side by their greed, their ambition, and modern America’s diversity mindset. In contrast, Arnall, as far as I can tell, was a pirate, the worst of the worst in making subprime mortgages into a national catastrophe.

The other bequests include “a gift of $10 million from the world-renowned philanthropist and chairman of the Milken Institute, along with his wife, Michael and Lori Milken … The building will be surrounded by the Tikkun Olam Garden of approximately 24,000 square feet …

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with more than 400,000 member families in the United States. Its Museum of Tolerance on Pico Blvd. hosts more than 350,000 people annually, including 130,000 students. Its “Tools for Tolerance” programs have been the recipients of many awards, including the United Nations Peace and Tolerance Award. The museum also is a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and part of their Immigration and Civil Rights Network Southwest Region Immigration Training Project.

So you can see the dilemma. Much of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s money originated in Roland Arnall tricking immigrant peons into ruinous loans, so immigration is good because it brings in Fresh Meat; but immigration into Europe is getting Jews murdered, so immigration is bad for the Jews.

This is hardly an insoluble dilemma, but it is disquieting to ethnocentric Jewish liberals in the media, few of whom had thought analytically about immigration until 2015. With their “huddled masses” schmaltz they’ve largely succeeded in demonizing skepticism about immigration, shifting the Overton Window so far that sensible thinking about immigration security seems like Hitlerism to today’s youth of color.

But maybe media moguls have gone a little too far in hate-mongering against immigration restrictionists? Perhaps it would be more prudent to hedge their bets, to diversify their portfolios so that if it turns out that immigration needs to be restricted, they’ll have somebody to deal with.

You can see the problem in France after the anti-Semitic massacres in January, where Jewish journalists, like Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic article cited by Weinstein, have had to make Strange New Respect pilgrimages to Marine Le Pen because the National Front is the only party that has dared to have practical policy proposals.

Anyway, Harvey’s demand that Jews “are gonna have to get as organized as the mafia” reminds me of the year when the mafia got as organized as the Anti-Defamation League. From Wikipedia:

The Italian-American Civil Rights League was formed as a political group in and around New York City in the early 1970s. Its stated goal was to combat pejorative stereotypes about Italian-Americans.

The group began as the Italian American Anti-Defamation League on April 30, 1970, when approximately 30 Italian-Americans, led by Joseph Colombo, picketed the Manhattan headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They were there to protest the recent arrest of Colombo’s son, Joseph Colombo Jr., on a charge of conspiracy to melt down old U.S. silver coins … Prior to this, the senior Colombo had complained of unfair harassment of him and his family by various federal law-enforcement authorities, who alleged that Colombo was the boss of one of New York City’s five Mafia families — a charge he repeatedly denied.

The 30 demonstrators who appeared at the FBI building were joined by others in successive days, and ultimately their number grew to more than 5,000. The group then adopted the name “Italian-American Civil Rights League” after Colombo’s attorney, Barry Slotnick, had suggested it. …

Within two months, the organization claimed 45,000 dues-paying members, and held a large rally in Columbus Circle on June 28, 1970. The league gained further momentum when Frank Sinatra held a benefit concert in its honor at Madison Square Garden in November of that year.

The group then turned its attention to what it perceived as cultural slights against Italian-Americans, using boycott threats to force Alka-Seltzer and The Ford Motor Company to withdraw television commercials the league objected to, and also got United States Attorney General John Mitchell to order the United States Justice Department to stop using the word “Mafia” in official documents and press releases. The league also secured an agreement from Al Ruddy, the producer of The Godfather, to omit the terms “Mafia” and “Cosa Nostra” from the film’s dialogue, and succeeded in having Macy’s stop selling a board game called The Godfather Game. The IACRL boycotted the Ford Motor Company because of its sponsorship of the television show The F.B.I. and its negative references to Italian-Americans as gangsters. Alka Seltzer was boycotted for its “Dat’s a Spicy Meatball” ad campaign. …

On June 28, 1971, the league held another rally in Columbus Circle. At the rally, Colombo was shot three times in the head by a man who was then immediately shot and killed himself; the blast left Colombo in a coma from which he would never recover (he died on May 22, 1978). Theories abounded as to the motive for the shooting; the most commonly held belief was that other Mafia bosses in New York ordered the hit because they did not like the media attention Colombo and the group were receiving. The organization, at that time believed to number more than 100,000, had effectively disappeared within a year after the shooting.

 

From the NYT:

Prosecutors Scrutinize Minority Borrowers‘ Auto Loans
By MICHAEL CORKERY and JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG MARCH 30, 2015

Minority borrowers were once starved for credit through redlining — banks’ refusal to provide mortgages in their communities.

Now the booming auto industry has turned that historic wrong on its head, government authorities say, singling out minority borrowers and extending them the costliest car loans, a development that threatens to exacerbate the economic distress in some black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

The practice, known as reverse-redlining, is presenting new challenges for government authorities trying to shield the most vulnerable Americans from predatory lending. Prosecutors from the Justice Department and top officials with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are grappling with how to root out the practice in a fractured industry, where some of the least regulated players, the auto dealers, wield the most power and where virtually no national data exists to quantify the problem.

“In every facet of the auto lending market, combating discrimination is a top priority for the Civil Rights Division,” Vanita Gupta, acting assistant attorney general for the division, said in an interview. Ms. Gupta joined the Justice Department in October from the American Civil Liberties Union, where she was deputy legal director and headed its Center for Justice.

That reminds me. What exactly is the ACLU up to these days? You used to hear about it all the time, but now it seems to maintain a much lower profile. It seems to now be on the side of government, as Ms. Gupta’s career path suggests.

The latest push against auto dealers comes as previous efforts aimed solely at lenders have faced challenges, including intense resistance from the industry. One prominent action taken by the federal authorities against a large lender, Ally Financial, has been fraught with complications.

More than a year ago, Ally agreed to pay $80 million to auto buyers as part of a broader settlement over accusations that it charged minority customers higher interest rates. But none of that money has been paid out, according to several people briefed on the settlement.

One reason for the delay, the people said, is that federal authorities have found it complicated to determine which Ally customers are minorities who might have suffered harm. Before sending out the checks, the regulators wanted to make sure that none were sent to white borrowers, the people said. Another wrinkle is that information about the settlement is being sent in six languages.

So, it’s illegal to trick an innumerate illegal alien into an exploitive loan, but it’s okay to trick an innumerate white American citizen into the same loan? Perhaps we should experiment instead with this crazy idea called the equal protection of the law?

… Neither auto dealers nor lenders are required to collect information about a borrower’s race or ethnicity. The mortgage market is different. After the redlining scandals in housing, Congress in 1975 passed the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which required lenders to detail their mortgage lending by race, ethnicity and ZIP code.

Tino pointed out the giant federal online database of mortgages by race/ethnicity to me in 2008, which demonstrated that the Housing Bubble / Bust was intimately tied to massive expansion in lending to Hispanics.

Faced with a dearth of data in auto lending, the government authorities created a method that analyzes borrowers’ surnames and addresses to determine their race.

That’s like what race/history/evolution notes does with the Forbes 400.

… Using proxies in their auto lending investigation into Ally, the federal authorities calculated that roughly 235,000 minority borrowers paid higher interest rates than white ones from April 2011 to December 2013. …

Part of the problem in the eyes of the federal authorities, the people said, is “dealer markups,” in which dealers tack additional interest onto a borrower’s loan. The markups can be used, the people said, to charge minority borrowers higher rates than white ones with similar credit profiles.

Logically, Eric Holder’s Justice Department is arguing that car dealers are charging white customers less out of the goodness of their hearts, because, after all, car dealers are famously nice and unmaterialistic.

… At some dealerships, the Justice Department is taking aim at discriminatory practices that go beyond markups.

In February, the department resolved a case against two dealerships in Charlotte, N.C., for intentionally targeting African-American borrowers with unfair and predatory practices in the financing of used-car purchases.

To lure the borrowers, the department said, the dealerships were situated in overwhelmingly African-American neighborhoods.

That reminds me that in both Chicago and Los Angeles, I’ve been discriminated against in Toyota dealerships. I’ve several times been ignored by salesmen who don’t want to deal with an intelligent-looking white guy who no doubt has looked up on the Internet what the dealer’s cost of the car is.

 

Former Our Person in Moscow Masha Gessen has published her book on the Tsarnaev Brothers, the Chechen wild men who murdered all those people in Boston.

Michiko Kakutani reviews The Brothers in the New York Times and finds it pretty useless.

But, at least we get to see a new publicity shot of Masha.

 

From the NYT:

Review: ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’ Delves Into Infamy in the Age of Social Media
MARCH 29, 2015

By JANET MASLIN

[Jon Ronson's] overall point is something we already understand: Public shaming in the age of social media has the kind of power that no form of shaming ever had before. …

Less well-known, really shocking parts of the book tell of two guys making dumb jokes at a conference for tech developers. One of them made a nerdy, techy joke with sexual overtones, at which point a woman in front of him stood up, turned around and took his picture. She posted it on Twitter and was very proud of herself. (“Yesterday the future of programming was on the line and I made myself heard.”) He lost his job. He posted an apology that included the fact that he had three children to support, and the woman demanded that he remove that information. Who suffered more? He was out of work; she remained smug; but she became subject to vicious sexual comments on the web bulletin board 4chan/b/. …

So what does he learn? That even the toughest advocates of old-fashioned shaming techniques think their tactics pale beside social media. And that social media has made people afraid, Mr. Ronson thinks, to speak freely, lest they inadvertently become targets for some crazy reason. Its anonymity magnifies groupthink, and it lets us forget one victim as we move on to the next.

SO YOU’VE BEEN PUBLICLY SHAMED
By Jon Ronson
290 pages. Riverhead Books. $27.95.

 

By Pete Townshend, Black Sea, and iSteve:

“Lie Generation”

People try to put us d-down,
Just because we’re safe and sound.
Things they do look microaggressive.
I’d better lie to sound progressive.

This is Lie Generation,
This is Lie Generation, maybe?

Why don’t we all alert the Dean
That cisgenders’ views are just too obscene?
I will not debate, you privileged primate,
I’m just talkin’ ’bout our campus climate.

This is Lie Generation,
This is Lie Generation, maybe?

Straight white males hurt our comfort zone,
So we’ll break your collarbone.
Words you say are so insensitive;
College can’t be argumentative.

This is Lie Generation,
This is Lie Generation, maybe?

Talkin’ ’bout Lie Generation
Squawkin’ ’bout evil Caucasian
Talkin’ ’bout Latin and Asian
Squawkin’ ’bout ‘gression equation
Talkin’ ’bout race conversation
Squawkin’ ’bout white male narration

Talking ’bout Lie Generation …

Suggestions from anyone with an actual sense of rhythm would be appreciated. Here are the original lyrics.

 

A week ago, the NYT ran an opinion piece by Judith Shulevitz making fun of the “safe space” movement on college campuses

In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas

… keeping college-level discussions “safe” may feel good to the hypersensitive, it’s bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled. What will they do when they hear opinions they’ve learned to shrink from? If they want to change the world, how will they learn to persuade people to join them?

Only a few of the students want stronger anti-hate-speech codes. Mostly they ask for things like mandatory training sessions and stricter enforcement of existing rules. Still, it’s disconcerting to see students clamor for a kind of intrusive supervision that would have outraged students a few generations ago. But those were hardier souls. Now students’ needs are anticipated by a small army of service professionals — mental health counselors, student-life deans and the like. This new bureaucracy may be exacerbating students’ “self-infantilization,” as Judith Shapiro, the former president of Barnard College, suggested in an essay for Inside Higher Ed.

This week the NYT ran eight letters in response. Here’s one that I thought at first had to be a prank because it’s such a perfect piece of Obama Era demagoguery:

To the Editor:

Judith Shulevitz’s article about safe spaces on college campuses is a direct assault on my generation and what we find important. My generation has embraced the ideas of safe spaces and safe language. Without these, many victims of trauma or discrimination would be excluded from campus discussions that seek to cultivate and strengthen campus intellectual life. Truly open-minded intellectual growth desperately needs the participation of these groups.

Not all ideas are created equal. Some ought to be unreservedly condemned; consideration of such ideas is not at all helpful in bolstering campus intellectual life. The current generation of college students has denied validity to the failed ideas of the past. We have embraced the knowledge and empathy of the present. We are shaping the wisdom of the future.

ANDREW MEERWARTH
Stony Brook, N.Y.

The writer is a senior at Stony Brook University.

Watch your back, Uncle Tim Wise, there’s a new sheriff in town: Andrew Meerwarth. That letter is pretty awesome even if, as it appears, young Mr. Meerwarth is sadly sincere.

Anyway, this just shows that the White Male Menace will never go away. Just as we have brogrammers, now we have a bropagandist. Some white guy can be a total true believer in Multicult propaganda, and still make the Unprivileged look bad by being better at extruding Diversity Demagoguery than they are.

Also, here’s an updating of the 1965 song “Lie Generation” by The Whom.

 

Screenshot 2015-03-29 22.06.58

Shutterstock.com is a vendor of stock photos for editorial purposes. You can search their vast library of copyrighted pictures, find the one you want, and pay them to get the image without the “Shutterstock” watermark.

A friend points out that if you go to Shutterstock.com and search for “American family,” the top choices are all black families. Above is a screenshot of the top 15, but they go on like this for hundreds and hundreds of pictures of black families. After a couple of hundred black (or mixed race) families (most of them fairly light-skinned), there is finally a picture of a white guy and his Asian wife and Eurasian baby.

I presumed that this was some kind of technical search glitch caused by the phrase “African American.” But Shutterstock lets you refine your search to just one ethnicity, so if you specify “Caucasian (white)” and search for “American family” you get … pretty much the same thing: overwhelmingly black. Not until the 19th photo do you get a picture of an all white family. So I don’t know what’s going on.

 

From the New York Times:

Jeb Bush and Scott Walker Point G.O.P. to Contrary Paths
By JONATHAN MARTIN MARCH 29, 2015

HUDSON, N.H. — As Jeb Bush mingled with Hispanic workers on a company tour a few weeks ago on his first trip here as an all-but-declared candidate for president, he was able to guess the region in Colombia where one woman was born just from hearing her accent.

That night, he told Republicans that their party had to “go out and reach out to people of every walk of life, not with a divisive message but one that is unifying.” …

The first votes of the primary season will not be cast until the Iowa caucuses next February, but Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, and Mr. Walker are fast becoming the most prominent exponents of two dueling visions of how the Republican Party can retake the White House in 2016 — by extending its reach, or by energizing more of the sorts of people who have sided with Republicans in the past.

The two men share many policy positions, but offer strikingly divergent messages and are pursuing very different electoral strategies. And their political approaches seem inextricably linked to their biographies.

Mr. Bush, a privileged scion who married a Mexican woman and boasts of being bicultural, reflects his polyglot adopted hometown, Miami, and state. He is telling Republicans, in effect, that they must accept a changing country: that the path to the presidency will be found through appealing to voters who may not look like them, and with a standard-bearer whose state and immediate family resemble tomorrow’s America.

Which, coincidentally enough, can be ruled over by a fourth Bush, George P.

 

From FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:

Ithaca College’s Microaggressions Bill Labels Students ‘Oppressors’ for ‘Belittling’ Speech
By Will Creeley March 26, 2015

Early last week, the Ithaca College Student Government Association passed a resolution to create an anonymous, online system for students to report “microaggressions” on campus. FIRE has closely monitored the bill’s progress, as its language presents obvious problems for freedom of expression at the private New York college.

First, the measure resolves to create a “school-wide online system to report microaggressions”—but does not define the term “microaggressions.”

This glaring lack of clarity is deeply troubling. Without a stable understanding of what a microaggression is or is not, students run the risk of being reported for speech that crosses an invisible line, drawn by and known only to the offended listener.

Well, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

Of course, the inherent subjectivity of microaggressions is an even bigger problem, and the squirrely elasticity of the term makes the lack of clear definition all but unavoidable. One student’s microaggression is another’s earnest attempt to discuss different life experiences. The chill on student speech would be severe. In fact, chilling speech appears to be the point; as one supporter of the bill told The Ithacan student newspaper, “Just like any other resolution that we want to pass with microaggression and diversity in the institution, what it does is it helps to make people think a little more before they do or say something.”

If the bill had included a definition, the threat to free expression would likely be clearer still. In an interview with The Ithaca Voice, one of the bill’s authors defined microaggressions as “statements by a person from a privileged group that belittles or isolates a member of an unprivileged group, as it relates to race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability and more.” This is an unequivocal attempt to police speech, and it only prompts more questions: What groups are privileged or unprivileged? Who decides? What makes a statement “belittling” or “isolating”? Who decides? What other class statuses might make a student a member of an unprivileged group? Who decides?

Surprisingly, in practice there’s not all that much uncertainty over Victimization Pokemon Points, since the unspoken but apparent engine is anti-Core Americanism.

1. The less you are like, say, George Washington, the more points you have.

2. Further, the benefit of the doubt goes to those asserting victim status. For example, Barack Obama might seem to have a lot in common with George Washington in terms of power and privilege, what with both of them being Presidents and all. But the President had the good sense to assert his blackness, so he gets to be an official victim while some unemployed white guy in West Virginia is just a loser.

3. Moreover, the more power and privilege a self-identified victim has, the less you’d better publicly doubt his Pokemon Points.

Again, the inescapable subjectivity of the term means that student expression is only as safe as the most sensitive student on campus allows it to be, however unreasonable his or her determination.

… The resolution further states that “the system will be set up to not identify individuals who choose to report by name but will note the demographics of people who report and the demographics of oppressors based on a coding system.” As explained by one of the bill’s authors, the bill would record the “gender, race, age and school within the college and year of both the person reporting the microaggression and the person being reported.”

In other words, the class status of student speakers (“oppressors”) who are deemed to have “belittled” or “isolated” a student member of an “unprivileged group” would be recorded. Presumably, the reporting student would be empowered to determine the oppressor’s gender, race, and age …

The Ithacan reports that the sponsors’ desire to go further by requiring that the names of the “oppressors” be recorded, too, was quelled only by “possible legal barriers.” Apparently, those barriers are currently being reviewed by college lawyers. Publicly labelling a student an “oppressor” solely on the basis of an anonymous report about speech that caused subjective offense? What could possibly go wrong?

FIRE, which is complaining about this microaggressions initiative, was founded in 1999 by civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate, age 72, and U. Penn intellectual history professor Alan Charles Kors, 71.

Professor Kors, who specializes in the Enlightenment, is, despite his Bugs Bunny accent, perhaps the technically best lecturer of all the many fine lecturers whose tapes are published by the Teaching Company. He’s a master at pacing and clarifying his lectures so that you can follow his complex ideas while driving or doing housework. I’ve listened to his series of lectures on Voltaire while commuting on the freeway and I never had to hit rewind, even after changing lanes.

Kors and Silverglate are representative of a once powerful tradition of Jewish civil libertarianism that felt that it was good for the Jews that universal rules of freedom of expression applied to everybody. Jazz critic Nat Hentoff, now 89, is another example. (Here’s Hentoff interviewing martyred Jewish comic Lenny Bruce.) A society in which people are not formally punished for being verbally aggressive seemed like it would be good for the Jews.

In recent decades, however, Who? Whom? thinking has become more popular. Why put up with a lot of guff when you have the power and privilege to award yourself plenty of Victimization Pokemon Points? Instead of a Single Standard, why not have a Double Standard? A Single Standard was appealing in Lenny Bruce’s day, but in Jon Stewart’s day, it’s more fun to ruin the career of Rick Sanchez for pointing out that Stewart isn’t a minority victim.

But successful as that has been in the short run, in the long run, will that kind of thinking be good for the Jews? Or will aggressive newcomers, like those University of California student politicians, use the Jewish tendency toward verbal aggressiveness to take down the current top dogs, using the widespread distaste for Israel in the rest of the world as an opening wedge for dislodging American Jews from their positions of power and privilege?

Perhaps the Kors-Silverglate-Hentoff theory of a Single Standard of liberty and objective fairness might be more prudent for Jews in the long run?

 

For years, I had been pointing out that two world-beating sectors of the American economy, Silicon Valley and Hollywood, paid relatively little attention to the panoply of anti-discrimination regulations that weigh down the performance of America’s less globally competitive sectors, such as Detroit.

Recently, however, the Eye of Sauron has finally turned in the direction of Silicon Valley, with glances at Hollywood, too. In the New York Times, reporter / feminist crusader Claire Cain Miller explains that what Silicon Valley needs to cure it of its disease of entrepreneurial men innovating rapidly is lots of stifling bureaucracy. Silicon Valley needs to become more like Detroit.

What Silicon Valley Learned From the Kleiner Perkins Case
MARCH 27, 2015
Claire Cain Miller

Kleiner Perkins’s victory Friday in the gender discrimination part of the lawsuit brought by Ellen Pao could be seen as an affirmation of the Silicon Valley old boys club. But venture capitalists said that the trial had already put the tech industry on notice: It can no longer operate as a band of outsiders, often oblivious to rules that govern the modern workplace — even if that has been a key to its success.

Silicon Valley has always prided itself on doing business differently. Forget bureaucracy and the traditions of bigger, older companies, the thinking goes. Instead, wear jeans to work, bring your dog, don’t ask permission to try something new, and embrace failure. That nimble approach has helped create more world-changing ideas and wealth than any other industry in recent years.

But it can have a flip side — a sometimes blatant disregard for the policies that apply to big businesses, whether it’s obeying regulations, paying taxes or treating employees fairly. The broad themes of the trial extended far beyond Silicon Valley’s casual workplaces.

Just as Anita Hill once helped shine a light on overt sexual harassment, Ms. Pao, in suing Kleiner Perkins, may do the same for subtle sexism. The trial was riveting in part because many women could relate to the slights described on the witness stand, like men interrupting women in meetings or assuming they were too preoccupied for a big role because they had children. …

Yet as heretical as it might sound in Silicon Valley, bureaucracy serves a purpose. Studies have found that women generally perform better in companies with more formal processes, and that women in science have better prospects for employment at start-ups that are more bureaucratic. …

If tech companies want to remain a band of risk-taking, fast-moving outsiders, the biggest risk they could take might be hiring more women and then creating company cultures where they can succeed.

Let’s make Silicon Valley more like General Motors and make Hollywood more like the Los Angeles Unified School District. What could possibly go wrong with our balance of trade?

 

Psychiatrist Scott Alexander, who blogs at SlateStarCodex.com, attends a psychiatry conference:

I managed to take some notes about what’s going on in the wider psychiatric world, including:

– The newest breakthrough in ensuring schizophrenic people take their medication (a hard problem!) is bundling the pills with an ingestible computer chip that transmits data from the patient’s stomach. It’s a bold plan, somewhat complicated by the fact that one of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia is the paranoid fear that somebody has implanted a chip in your body to monitor you. Can you imagine being a schizophrenic guy who has to explain to your new doctor that your old doctor put computer chips in your pills to monitor you? Yikes. …

– The same team is working on a smartphone app to detect schizophrenic relapses. The system uses GPS to monitor location, accelerometer to detect movements, and microphone to check tone of voice and speaking pattern, then throws it into a machine learning system that tries to differentiate psychotic from normal behavior (for example, psychotic people might speak faster, or rock back and forth a lot). Again, interesting idea. But again, one of the most common paranoid schizophrenic delusions is that their electronic devices are monitoring everything they do.

If you make every one of a psychotic person’s delusions come true, such that they no longer have any beliefs that do not correspond to reality, does that technically mean you’ve cured them?

Utah Data Center: Curing paranoid schizophrenics of their delusions since May 2014

 

From the NYT:

Amanda Knox Acquitted of 2007 Murder by Italy’s Highest Court

It turns out that the real killer was … the black street criminal. What kind of Law & Order episode would that be? Dick Wolf made a fortune putting on countless “Law & Order” episodes in which the killer turned out not to be the Rudy Guede-like thug, like most of the time in real life, but actually an affluent white person. Life would be so much more entertaining if well-to-do, good-looking white people like Amanda Knox, Haven Monahan, and John Doer were going around murdering, raping, and discriminating all the time.

So, we need a new term: Great White Defendant Privilege. The definition of Great White Defendant Privilege is that when the wheels of the justice system finally get done grinding, it often turns out that the Great White Defendant tried and convicted in the press didn’t actually do it (or, as in the case of the Night of Broken Glass fraternity gang rape at UVA, didn’t actually exist), and the justice system lets them go just because they are innocent (or nonexistent).

I’m not very good at spreading memes, but one that I’ve had a tiny bit of success with is getting people to remember Tom Wolfe’s riff on Captain Ahab’s obsession in Moby Dick: “the hunt for the Great White Defendant.” Because I refer to it so much because it’s so useful for describing things that seem like news but turn out not to b), I posted the full length version of the passage from Wolfe’s 1987 novel The Bonfire of the Vanities here during the George Zimmerman whoop-tee-doo. But here’s a more tightly edited version:

An assistant D.A. in Major Offenses has started calling [D.A.] Abe Weiss “Captain Ahab,” and now they all did. Weiss was notorious in his obsession for publicity, even among a breed, the district attorney, that was publicity-mad by nature. …

Every assistant D.A. in the Bronx … shared Captain Ahab’s mania for the Great White Defendant. For a start, it was not pleasant to go through life telling yourself, “What I do for a living is, I pack blacks and Latins off to jail.” …

It wasn’t that it was morally wrong … It was that it was in bad taste. So it made the boys uneasy, this eternal prosecution of the blacks and Latins. …

Not that they weren’t guilty. … But the poor bastards behind the wire mesh barely deserved the term criminal if by criminal you had in mind the romantic notion of someone who has a goal and seeks to achieve it through some desperate way outside the law. No, they were simple-minded incompetents, most of them, and they did unbelievably stupid, vile things. …

The press couldn’t even see these cases. It was just poor people killing poor people. …

Captain Ahab wasn’t so ridiculous, after all. Press coverage! Ray and Jimmy could laugh all they wanted, but Weiss had made sure the entire city knew his name. Weiss had an election coming up, and the Bronx was 70 percent black and Latin, and he was going to make sure the name Abe Weiss was pumped out to them on every channel that existed. He might not do much else, but he was going to do that.

Commenter Martin observes:

Off topic, but I couldn’t help but notice while watching last night’s [NCAA basketball] game between undefeated No. 1 seed Kentucky and No. 5 seed West Virginia that it was a rare test case for your debate with Malcolm Gladwell about whether the full court press is really an underutilized weapon for underdogs to win at basketball.

The origin of Gladwell’s most recent bestseller David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants was his 2009 New Yorker article “How David Beats Goliath:
When underdogs break the rules.” Gladwell organized his long article around the theme that the way for less talented basketball teams to win is to use the full court press (playing defense the entire length of the floor rather than just within 30 feet of the basket you are defending). Martin goes on:

Gladwell’s theory hasn’t been tested often because coaches don’t believe it. Underdogs think that pressing against a team with more speed, skill, and size (like Calipari’s future NBAers at Kentucky) is a good way to get your mug shot in the bottom of a poster.

When John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins won ten NCAA titles in 1964-1975 they full court pressed much of the time because they were Goliath, and it’s rational for Goliath to maximize the sample size of athletic incidents in each game to reduce the other’s team’s chance to win by luck.

But Bob Huggins’ solid West Virginia squad (nicknamed “Press Virginia”) had used the full court press all year on almost every possession. It was the only way they knew how to play and they had just ridden it into the Sweet 16 against a decent Maryland team. As senior West Virginia guard Juwan Staten said about the press before the Kentucky game, “Why wouldn’t it (work)?” “We’ve been playing this way all year, we’ve had success against everybody no matter what style or what type of players they have. That’s the only way we play and it’s just up to us to make it work.”

So, what happened yesterday in this empirical test of the basketball theories of Malcolm Gladwell v. John Wooden?

Kentucky 78 – West Virginia 39

My vague impression from flipping through it in the book store is that Gladwell’s David and Goliath book actually left out the full court press advice, presumably because the Internet response to the full court press idea in his magazine article had been so withering.

So, say not the struggle nought availeth!

In general, David and Goliath seemed humbler than Gladwell’s earlier bestsellers. It seemed to be more explicitly inspirational rather than pretend empirical-analytical. Gladwell is a good storyteller, so it’s reasonable for him to make money off a collection of stories that underdogs could use to psych themselves up by remembering vivid cases of underdogs winning. You just shouldn’t rely on Malcolm Gladwell to tell you how to beat the overdog.

It seems like David Brooks is also moving in the direction of being mostly an inspirational rather than an analytical writer.

 

I had an idea once for a recurring sketch comedy bit called “Korean Mother-in-Law” about a nice white liberal guy who has to live with his Korean mother-in-law who cackles mercilessly at all his nice white liberal delusions.

The late Lee Kuan Yew, founder of the Singaporean state, was like the world’s Korean mother-in-law, if the Korean mother-in-law was male, hyper-intelligent, a native English-speaker, and an extraordinarily successful statesman.

On the other hand, I’ve never been to Singapore, or to anywhere in Asia outside the Turkish Riviera, and so I’m not terribly familiar with the place, and don’t feel well enough informed to offer a general assessment of Lee’s accomplishments and shortcomings.

I, personally, wouldn’t have wanted to be a Singaporean. Lee perfected the use of libel lawsuits to shut down journalists. To adapt Johnny Rotten’s explanation for why he was an anti-Communist, it’s guys like me who’d be sued first.

Unz Review blogger Anatoly Karlin offers an interesting perspective in “Lee Kuan Yew’s Flawed Utopia.” The comments defending Lee are highly informative as well.

 

From Tech Crunch:

The Jury Rules Against Pao On All Four Claims In Ellen Pao Vs. Kleiner Perkins

Updated: After several days of deliberations, a San Francisco Superior Court jury has come to a conclusion in Ellen Pao Vs. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the gender discrimination trial that began with a lawsuit filed in May 2012 and has culminated this past month in a closely watched five-week-long courtroom trial.

The jury has ruled “no” on all four claims Pao leveled against Kleiner Perkins. This is a unequivocal finding in favor of Kleiner Perkins.

Update: Or maybe not … see below.

This was always an obvious piece of garbage case that had been promoted by the national press, especially Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times, into The Trial of Silicon Valley Sexism. Will Cain Miller take the slightest career hit for helping blow up this nuisance lawsuit into the Day of Reckoning for Evil Brogrammer Billionaires?

Don’t count on it.

By the way, what’s the national media’s won-loss record lately when its pet cases (Pao, Ferguson, Trayvon, Duke Lacrosse, etc.) finally get into the traditional justice process?

Congratulations to the jury for seeing that justice was done.

Tough luck, Buddy. You can go back to being gay now so you can sue somebody for homophobia next.

Update: Commenter Robother points out:

Looks like the 4th count (her firing was retaliation for specific communications) is still under consideration, since 9 jurors didn’t vote No on that one (8 did). As that great jurist, Y. Berra said, “it ain’t over till it’s over.” And I know litigators who’ll tell you it ain’t over even then–it’s only over when no one has any more money to pay attorney’s fees.

Up-update: Claire Cain Miller is spinning already.

 

Searching airliner wreckage for clues

Every few years during my father’s 40 years as a stress engineer at Lockheed, he’d get a call in the middle of the night that a Lockheed airliner had gone down (a Constellation in Italy in 1959, an L-1011 in the Everglades in 1972, etc.) and he’d leave at dawn for the crash site. You walk around for days looking for pieces of the plane to reassemble like a giant jigsaw puzzle on the floor of a hangar to figure out why all these people were dead.

One question, for example, would be: was it your personal fault? My father wasn’t a genius designer. His job was to worry about how to keep the visionary engineers’ brainstorms from crashing.

My dad never talked about it, but I assume you also stumble upon pieces of the passengers.

Being a stress engineer was, I presume, stressful.

In the 1959 and 1972 crashes, it turned out that operating personnel had screwed up. In 1959 somebody forgot to screw the fuel tank cap back on after refueling; in 1972 the flight crew became obsessed with a burnt-out light bulb and flew the plane into the ground.

But maybe you, as an engineer, should have anticipated and forestalled these user mistakes? Maybe that sounds unfair to you while you are trudging around picking up pieces, but that’s one way airplanes have gotten much safer.

The good news is that after all these decades of engineers laboriously figuring out why airliners crash, the rate of catastrophes has declined so much that lately a not insignificant fraction of crashes appear to be pilots murdering their passengers en masse. The bad news is that we can’t tell if this always happened at this rate or, if like Sandy Hook and other post-1966 mass shootings, this is now a Thing.

 

Audacious Epigone correlates the results of the ten question vocabulary test in the latest General Social Survey with who voted for whom in 2012:

The 2014 GSS data are out. Converting wordsum results to IQ scores with an average wordsum of 6.11 and a standard deviation of 1.83 wordsum points, the mean IQ of 2012 presidential election voters by who they voted for (n = 988):

Voted for IQ
Obama 99.0
Romney 100.8
3rd party 105.3

But can Democrats salve their pride among Whites Only? To find out, you’ll have to check out the IQ scores there.

 

Jeb Bush moved from Houston to Miami in late 1980, right after his father’s election as Vice President assured him he’d be very welcome in business circles in the capital of Latin America. Jeb explained his move three years later: “I want to be very wealthy, and I’ll be glad to tell you when I’ve accomplished that goal.”

Nonetheless, it was a strange move since Houston real estate was still booming due to high oil prices. Granted, Miami was also booming, but why? Not from something as straightforward as oil and gas: Miami was already notorious as the cocaine capital of the world.

So, how exactly was a newcomer to town supposed to know whether some well-heeled Latin American who wanted to be in business with the Veep’s son was legit or was a cocaine baron?

Maybe Poppy could have the CIA run a check?

Of course, the VP had lots of dicey Latin connections himself, such as his old Mexican front man Jorge Diaz Serrano, now head of Pemex, whose corruption was so notorious he was one of the three PRI officials that the new PRI president sent to prison in 1983. Over time, Bush the Elder was making new friends south of the border, with the help of his Spanish-speaking son. Jeb helped cement the Bush family’s relationship with the family of Carlos Salinas, who stole the 1988 Mexican election, by vacationing several times on the ranch of brother Raul, who went to prison for having his ex-brother-in-law murdered. (Another Salinas brother was found murdered in his car.) From Julie Reynold’s 2001 article “Los Amigos de Bush” in El Andar:

George Bush Sr. began his family’s relationship with Mexico in the 1960s, when his Zapata Offshore Oil Company was partner in a border-region oil company called Perforaciones Marinas del Golfo (Permargo), with Jorge Díaz Serrano.

In 1988, the financial newspaper Barron’s reported that the two Jorges — Bush and Díaz Serrano — used prestanombres (“name-lenders”) to hide Bush’s investment in Permargo from the Mexican government, skirting Mexican foreign-ownership laws. Barron’s also accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of destroying related documents after Bush became vice president in 1981.

Bush Sr. met Carlos Salinas’s father, Raúl Salinas Lozano, back when the latter was Mexico’s commerce secretary. The families’ friendship has continued through the years. Raúl Salinas, the president’s brother, has told investigators that Jeb and Columba Bush joined him three times for vacations at his hacienda Las Mendocinas. It was the same estate where he reportedly hosted an infamous 1990 party for the cream of Mexico’s drug cartels, which Jeb and Columba did not attend.

On the other hand, despite all the rivers of untraceable cash flowing through Miami in the 1980s and 1990s and despite his 1983 profession of vaulting material ambition, Jeb, whether out of fastidiousness or ineptitude, didn’t seem to get terribly rich: if we can trust this article, he entered office as governor of Florida in 1998 worth $2 million and left in 2006 worth $1.3 million.

So why did Jeb move to Miami anyway? Probably mostly to please his wife, Columba, a Mexican worker’s daughter who is uncomfortable in English-speaking America. Her sister and mother had already moved there when her sister married an American too. Decades later he converted to her Catholicism.

Henpeckedness seems like an odd personality trait for a President.

 

The venerable physicist Freeman Dyson writes in the NY Review of Books:

Scientist, Spy, Genius: Who Was Bruno Pontecorvo?

Freeman Dyson

MARCH 5, 2015 ISSUE
Half-Life: The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy
by Frank Close

… What do we learn from spy stories like this one? If Pontecorvo was a spy, the main effect of his spying was to advance the building of a nuclear reactor in the Soviet Union by a few years. The Canadian reactor may have provided some information that was useful for Soviet bomb designers, but the overall effect of Pontecorvo’s information could not have been militarily important. With or without Pontecorvo, the Soviet Union had enough competent bomb designers to produce all the bombs that it needed. Other technical spies, Klaus Fuchs and Ted Hall, were inside Los Alamos and gave up-to-date information about bomb designs to their Soviet contacts. But this information too had only a minor effect on the history of Soviet weapons development. Perhaps the spies accelerated the production of the first Soviet bombs by two or three years, but those bombs soon became obsolete and were superseded by new designs invented without the help of spies.

Technical spies were unimportant because the Soviet Union had plenty of first-rate scientists working in the relevant areas of nuclear physics. In 1939, immediately after the discovery of fission, the first paper describing in detail the possibilities for nuclear power reactors was published in the open Soviet literature by Yakov Zeldovich and Yulii Khariton. Fifteen years later, Khariton was director of the Soviet bomb laboratory at Sarov, and Zeldovich was a member of his team of brilliant theoreticians, working with Andrei Sakharov to design hydrogen bombs.

You can read about Zeldovich, Khariton and other little known Soviet greats in Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists by Istvan Hargittai.

If a country has this kind of home-grown technical talent, it does not need technical spies to make progress. If a country does not have this kind of talent, technical spies will not be an effective substitute. In either case, the contribution of technical spies will be marginal. Science is a collective enterprise, and needs a community of active participants to succeed in any large venture.

The public vastly overrates the importance of technical spies such as Klaus Fuchs, because the same word “spy” is used for technical spies and for tactical spies. The archetype of the tactical spy is Judas Iscariot, the secret enemy betraying his master and directly causing his master’s death. For two thousand years, the story of Judas has been linked with the image of a spy in the cultures of Europe. Another tactical spy, not quite as notorious as Judas, was Kim Philby, a British intelligence officer who held high positions in the British diplomatic service. He gave his Soviet contacts lists of names of undercover agents operating in various countries, so that Soviet authorities could quickly eliminate them. He was directly responsible for many disappearances. Tactical spies are rightly condemned by public opinion and by the traditional rules of war. They have immediate effects on the life and death of fellow citizens. They are fair game for any soldier to kill, with or without a legal trial. But technical spies are different. Technical spies are more concerned with things than with people.

Perhaps, although I wonder if Dyson is doing some special pleading for his buddy T ed Hall, the teenage Manhattan Project prodigy / spy who was never prosecuted, but was implicated when the Venona transcripts were released in 1995.

 

When my son was about 24 months old, he’d watch over and over a VHS tape with 9 music videos devoted to different NBA stars. This was the best video.

 
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 unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
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?
But is it even a friend?
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?