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 TeasersiSteve Blog

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From The Algemeiner, a right of center Jewish publication:

The 40 Worst Colleges for Jewish Students, 2017

We undertook the project last year in an effort to shine a spotlight on the concerning state of affairs for Jewish students in this country. Studies show that high percentages of Jewish students say they have witnessed, experienced or heard antisemitism on their campus. To our dismay, this troubling trend does not appear to be slowing down. An Anti-Defamation League report released in early 2018 revealed an astronomical 89 percent rise in antisemitic incidents on campuses between 2016 and 2017. …

1. U. of Michigan, 18%

2. Tufts, 22%

3. Columbia U., 24%

4. U. of Chicago, 14%

5. UC Berkeley, 9%

6. U. of Wisconsin, Madison, 13%

And selected others from their Top 40 Worst for Jews:

11. Wesleyan, 23%

12. Oberlin, 26%

13. Stanford, 8%

15. Vassar, 21%

16. Northwestern, 16%

22. UCLA, 8%

26. NYU, 13%

30. George Washington U., 26%

Generally speaking, the worst colleges for Jews according to The Algemeiner are heavily Jewish, heavily progressive colleges.

The Algemeiner’s 2nd Annual List of the Most Friendly North American Campuses for Jewish Students

1. Touro, 46%

2. Tulane, 41%

3. Yeshiva, 100%

4. Queens CUNY, 25%

5. Emory, 17%

Southern rich kids’ colleges like Emory and Tulane do well on this list.

6. Baruch CUNY, 11%

7. Brandeis, 44%

16. Penn, 17%

20. Cornell, 21%

21. Miami, 18%

31. Harvard, 12%

32. U. of Maryland, College Park, 20%

36. Goucher, 36%

Can’t say how much these lists correlate with reality …

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From the Washington Post, which is personally owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos:

Trump personally pushed postmaster general to double rates on Amazon, other firms

By Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey May 18 Email the author

Progressives were outraged that the sacred American principle of giving a lavish government subsidy to the World’s Richest Man was being questioned:

How dare the President of the United States notice that the World’s Richest Man (net worth $131.2 billion, up $64 billion since 2016) isn’t paying his fair share of postage!

But from deep in Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post coverage of the crisis:

David Vernon, an analyst at Bernstein Research, estimates that Amazon pays the Postal Service roughly $2 per package for each delivery, about half of what Amazon would pay United Parcel Service or FedEx. He based this estimate on broader data released by the Postal Service.

What outrage will be next: Perhaps Trump might even mention Carlos Slim rips off Mexican phone customers?

Where is the respect, the deference owed to the world’s richest monopolists?

Remember all those years when Bezo’s firm didn’t have to pay state sales tax because reasons? That’s the kind of submissiveness to the rich that is the essence of liberal democracy.

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Investigator vs. Investigator

From the New York Times:

F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims

I can’t keep all this Spy vs. Spy stuff straight in my head, but I did observe a two-generation link from the, uh, purported FBI investigator to that pinnacle of American Deep State competence … yes … The Bay of Pigs.

Here’s a 1983 New York Times article by Leslie Gelb that has more:



The New York Times Archives

An operation to collect inside information on Carter Administration foreign policy was run in Ronald Reagan’s campaign headquarters in the 1980 Presidential campaign, according to present and former Reagan Administration officials.

Those sources said they did not know exactly what information the operation produced or whether it was anything beyond the usual grab bag of rumors and published news reports. But they said it involved a number of retired Central Intelligence Agency officials and was highly secretive.

The sources identified Stefan A. Halper, a campaign aide involved in providing 24-hour news updates and policy ideas to the traveling Reagan party, as the person in charge. Mr. Halper, until recently deputy director of the State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs and now chairman of the Palmer National Bank in Washington, was out of town today and could not be reached. But Ray S. Cline, his father-in-law, a former senior Central Intelligence official, rejected the account as a ”romantic fallacy.”

Investigations Under Way

The disclosure of the information-gathering operation added to the furor over revelations that Reagan campaign officials came into possession of Carter debate strategy papers before the candidates’ televised debate.

From Wikipedia:

Ray Steiner Cline (June 4, 1918 – March 16, 1996) was an official at the United States Central Intelligence Agency best known for being the chief CIA analyst during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It looks like the Reagan campaign in 1980 inherited Halper from the GHW Bush campaign.

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From The New Republic:

Business Class

Inside the strange, uniform politics of today’s MBA programs—and what it says about America’s elites
May 14, 2018

… But in truth, MBA programs are not the open forums advertised in admissions brochures. Behind this façade, they are ideological institutions committed to a strict blend of social liberalism and economic conservatism. Though this fusion may be the favorite of American elites—the kinds of people who might repeat that tired line “I’m socially liberal but fiscally conservative”—it takes a strange form in business school. Elite business schooling is tailored to promote two types of solutions to the big problems that arise in society: either greater innovation or freer markets. Proposals other than what’s essentially more business are brushed aside, or else patched over with a type of liberal politics that’s heavy on rhetorical flair but light on relevance outside privileged circles. …

Paired with a conservative approach to the economy is a unified leftward bent on social issues. MBA students may be dealing into the financial system of a New Gilded Age, but our social policy positions reflect a far more progressive era. This consensus is nearly total, even among international students from traditional societies; it’s also more fervently believed than in any institution I’ve seen, even other liberal arts graduate departments. Thus, while it’s difficult to advocate any idea that might disturb shareholder capitalism, it’s near impossible to find students with outspoken conservative views on issues from immigration to transgender bathroom rights.

I came up with the term “marketing major postmodernism” where you believe that some egghead in Europe proved there’s no such thing as truth … so Spin Away!

The uniformity isn’t expressed the way that you might see in one of those breathless, campus-PC-run-amok takes that now keep the likes of David Brooks and Andrew Sullivan counting placards. Rather, it’s targeted to the professional world and therefore fairly tame, couched in appeals to “diversity” and “inclusion,” though equally fixated on the politics of personal identity. The question of how to resolve a political issue, or, more often, of what issues are worth resolving, draws legitimacy from the race, ethnicity, or gender of those implicated in it. None of this is very unique to people in MBA programs, rather the norm for any group of young cosmopolitans in 2018.

What’s striking, however, is that what counts as “progressive” here almost never crosses class lines. Not once have I heard a discussion of unions while in business school. The minimum wage isn’t a hot topic either. Our political concerns instead trend upward and toward the symbolic; equal representation is the lodestar. And where this “representing” is deemed to matter is instructive, because while it’s obvious people want to be represented at the top, our focus is on the highest of the high echelons of American business: The most commonly cited stats are those that show alarming female and minority underrepresentation among Fortune 500 CEOs and in high-paying STEM jobs. These concerns seek to redress serious wrongs and biases, but one can’t escape the sense that the metrics by which MBAs measure “progress” can become totemic: our version of wanting to see more representative Marvel superheroes while forgetting about the extras’ paychecks.

Our total ideology resembles what philosopher John Gray has coined “hyper-liberalism,” a “mixture of bourgeois careerism with virtue-signaling self-righteousness,” which lends its adherents, who mostly pick it up in the cloistered world of academia, “an illusory sense of having a leading role in society.” The personal is political, yes, but we’ve also made it the whole of politics, in large part because we keep depersonalized economic issues off the table. To patch over the problems of shareholder capitalism, we lean on cultural signifiers and hope they justify the role business leaders play in the world.

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From commenter Last Real Calvinist:

[As iSteve wrote:] As everybody know, they are sacred. They are here to save our souls.

You’re getting close, Steve. Immigrants are sacred not because they save us, but because their presence gives us the chance to show how we can save them.

We are the agents; they are helpless and can do nothing without our grace.

Pride, not guilt, lies at the root of this worldview.

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From Nature Communications:

Global genetic differentiation of complex traits shaped by natural selection in humans

Jing Guo, Yang Wu, Zhihong Zhu, Zhili Zheng, Maciej Trzaskowski, Jian Zeng, Matthew R. Robinson, Peter M. Visscher & Jian Yang

Nature Communications volume 9
14 May 2018


There are mean differences in complex traits among global human populations. We hypothesize that part of the phenotypic differentiation is due to natural selection. To address this hypothesis, we assess the differentiation in allele frequencies of trait-associated SNPs among African, Eastern Asian, and European populations for ten complex traits using data of large sample size (up to ~405,000). We show that SNPs associated with height (P=2.46×10−5), waist-to-hip ratio (P=2.77×10−4), and schizophrenia (P=3.96×10−5) are significantly more differentiated among populations than matched “control” SNPs, suggesting that these trait-associated SNPs have undergone natural selection. We further find that SNPs associated with height (P=2.01×10−6) and schizophrenia (P=5.16×10−18) show significantly higher variance in linkage disequilibrium (LD) scores across populations than control SNPs. Our results support the hypothesis that natural selection has shaped the genetic differentiation of complex traits, such as height and schizophrenia, among worldwide populations. …


Many human complex traits, including quantitative traits (e.g., height1) and complex disorders (e.g., cardiovascular diseases2,3), are substantially differentiated among worldwide populations. For example, the mean height in Northern Hemisphere populations generally increases with latitude1,4. European Americans have a lower body mass index (BMI) (~1.3 kg/m2) than African Americans but a higher BMI (1.9–3.2 kg/m2) than Asians, such as Chinese, Indonesians, and Thais for the same body fat percentage5,6. For the mortality rates associated with ischemic heart disease in the UK, African Caribbeans are at a lower risk while South Asians are at a higher risk than Europeans7. While environmental factors certainly play a role, since most complex traits have a genetic component, the question is whether or not the phenotypic differentiation is partly due to genetic differentiation and, if so, whether the genetic differentiation is a consequence of genetic drift or natural selection. …

If drift is the main force, then you probably can’t guess which direction the genes you don’t yet know about are pointing. If selection is the main force, then, according to the Racimo-Piffer hypothesis, the undiscovered genes are probably tending to point in the same direction as the known gene variants.

At least that’s my understanding …

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From the New York Times Opinion section:

It’s Benjamin Netanyahu’s World Now
By Anshel Pfeffer

Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) is a writer for Haaretz and the author of “Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu.”

May 18, 2018

Nearly every day it seems that another dream comes true for Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu: On May 8, when President Trump announced that the United States was pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran, he delivered a speech that could have been written by the Israeli prime minister.

… It wasn’t always like this. …

But explaining Mr. Netanyahu’s foreign policy success just by pointing to Mr. Trump’s arrival in the White House misses the wider picture. On May 9, the morning after the announcement on the Iran deal, Mr. Netanyahu was in Moscow as guest of honor at Russia’s Victory Day, standing beside President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Putin still supports the Iran deal, and is in tacit alliance with Iran, Israel’s deadly adversary. And yet the Russian president presented the Israeli prime minister as his country’s close ally. He has also allowed Israel to attack Iranian bases and weapons depots in Syria, and even to bomb Russian-built antiaircraft batteries.

Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump are not alone. Mr. Netanyahu has recently been feted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Xi Jinping of China, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, as well as a host of leaders of smaller countries — including those with far-right governments like Hungary, Poland and Austria. No less significantly, he has maintained close contacts with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and behind the scenes with the Arab leaders of the Persian Gulf.

Mr. Netanyahu is the toast of the new wave of right-wing, populist and autocrat-like (if not outright autocratic) leaders. They see in him a kindred spirit, even a mentor. He is the leader of a small country who has taken on American presidents and outlasted them. He has successfully defied the Western liberal human rights agenda, focusing instead on trade and security. Israel’s success as a regional economic and military power is proof in their eyes that the illiberal approach can prevail.

He has spent more time than any of them on the geopolitical stage, winning election after election. In many ways, Mr. Netanyahu is the precursor to this new age of “strongmen” who have come to power in different parts of the world. It is the age of Bibi.

That’s what I’ve been saying for a long time: Israel is a quite successful country, and Netanyahu has been a quite successful Israeli politician, being in and out of supreme power since 1996, 22 years ago.

And Israel is rather like Britain in the 19th Century in that a high proportion of its top men go into politics. So being the top politician in Israel is kind of like being the top sprinter in Jamaica or the top soccer player in Argentina: you are probably pretty good at your job.

So, it’s inevitable that Bibi’s example has been influential.

This ought to be obvious but it isn’t widely recognized in America because the conventional wisdom in the US media is that Jews are an oppressed, powerless people at the mercy of anti-Semites like Putin and Trump. The notion that Trump is imitating Netanyahu is unthinkable.

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From the New York Times Opinion section:

Israel Needs to Protect Its Borders. By Whatever Means Necessary.

By Shmuel Rosner

Mr. Rosner is a contributing opinion writer and the political editor at The Jewish Journal.

May 18, 2018

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From the Los Angeles Daily News:

Starbucks investigates after slur demeaning Mexicans is printed on customer’s coffee cups

By BRENDA GAZZAR | [email protected] and BRIAN ROKOS | [email protected] | Daily News
PUBLISHED: May 17, 2018 at 9:33 am | UPDATED: May 17, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Starbucks is investigating after a customer at a La Cañada Flintridge store said he received two coffee cups with the word “Beaner” – a derogatory term for Mexicans – printed on them in place of his name this week.

A term much used on Cheech & Chong albums 45 years ago, although I’m not sure how much since then.

A Starbucks spokeswoman, in a voicemail on Thursday, said that “this kind of mistake is unacceptable” but would not elaborate in a follow-up email on on why she believed it was a mistake. She said the company is taking additional steps to determine what happened and how their employees “can be better.”

… The customer, a Latino immigrant named Pedro, confirmed to the Daily News Thursday that Starbucks spoke with him and asked for forgiveness.

“It’s not good what they did, but they have spoken with me,” he said in Spanish, declining further comment.

Tuesday’s incident comes as Starbucks plans to close more than 8,000 of its company-owned stores across the country on May 29 to conduct “racial-bias” training in an effort to prevent discrimination at its stories. …

But Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Gary Harman indicated the incident may not have been an intentional slur. Employees of the Starbucks in La Cañada Flintridge told authorities that the barista believed a Latino customer had identified himself as “Beaner,” and thus placed the term on his coffee cup Tuesday. …

“It doesn’t appear to us – at first look – that there was any intent,” he said.

It was not immediately clear, however, how the name Pedro could have been mistaken for the word “beaner.”

Maybe the guy translated “Pedro” to “Peter” with a thick accent? Or maybe the barista isn’t very competent with English?

Or maybe it was Spellchecker?

With Tom Wolfe gone, I guess I have to hope Philip Roth comes out of retirement to write a novel about a man whose life is ruined by Spellchecker.

Harman noted that the barista herself is reportedly Latina.

This detail from the original source newspaper isn’t much being mentioned in all the voluminous national coverage.

The barista, after taking the order, entered the name into the computer. The name came out on a receipt that was placed on the cup.

Under the general heading of Hate Hysteria, we can distinguish a couple of categories: Hate Hoaxes and Hate Hypochondria. This incident sounds more like the latter, although it also could be the former.

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Thugs actually hate classical music.

From the L.A. Review of Books:

Bach at the Burger King
By Theodore Gioia

From Theodore Gioia’s website: “Hailing from a line of writers, Theodore has the dubious distinction of being the second best-known writer named Ted Gioia in his family.” The Gioias are like the Therouxs of the 21st Century.

MAY 17, 2018

AT THE CORNER of 8th and Market in San Francisco, by a shuttered subway escalator outside a Burger King, an unusual soundtrack plays. A beige speaker, mounted atop a tall window, blasts Baroque harpsichord at deafening volumes. The music never stops. Night and day, Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi rain down from Burger King rooftops onto empty streets.

Empty streets, however, are the target audience for this concert. The playlist has been selected to repel sidewalk listeners — specifically, the mid-Market homeless who once congregated outside the restaurant doors that served as a neighborhood hub for the indigent. Outside the BART escalator, an encampment of grocery carts, sleeping bags, and plastic tarmacs had evolved into a sidewalk shantytown attracting throngs of squatters and street denizens. “There used to be a mob that would hang out there,” remarked local resident David Allen, “and now there may be just one or two people.” When I passed the corner, the only sign of life I found was a trembling woman crouched on the pavement, head in hand, as classical harpsichord besieged her ears.

… Experts trace the practice’s origins back to a drowsy 7-Eleven in British Columbia in 1985, where some clever Canadian manager played Mozart outside the store to repel parking-lot loiterers. Mozart-in-the-Parking-Lot was so successful at discouraging teenage reprobates that 7-Eleven implemented the program at over 150 stores, becoming the first company to battle vandalism with the viola. Then the idea spread to West Palm Beach, Florida, where in 2001 the police confronted a drug-ridden street corner by installing a loudspeaker booming Beethoven and Mozart. “The officers were amazed when at 10 o’clock at night there was not a soul on the corner,” remarked Detective Dena Kimberlin. Soon other police departments “started calling.” From that point, the tactic — now codified as an official maneuver in the Polite Policeman’s Handbook — exploded in popularity for both private companies and public institutions. Over the last decade, symphonic security has swept across the globe as a standard procedure from Australia to Alaska.

Today, deterrence through classical music is de rigueur for American transit systems. …

Baroque music seems to make the most potent repellant. “[D]espite a few assertive, late-Romantic exceptions like Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff,” notes critic Scott Timberg, “the music used to scatter hoodlums is pre-Romantic, by Baroque or Classical-era composers such as Vivaldi or Mozart.”

Bach, more than anybody else, is the composer of civilization.

… In a strange mutation, classical music devolves from a “universal language of mankind” reminding all people of their common humanity into a sonic border fence protecting privileged areas from common crowds, telling the plebes in auditory code that “you’re not welcome here.”

.. Thus music returns to its oldest evolutionary function: claiming territory. Zoological research suggests that the original function of birdsong was not only attracting mates (as Darwin argued) but also asserting territorial rights. Experiments have demonstrated that birds usually refrain from entering regions where they hear recorded birdsong playing. These aggressive aspects of avian song extended to early humans. Primatologist Thomas Geissman speculates: “[E]arly hominid music may also have served functions resembling those of ape loud calls […] including territorial advertisement; intergroup intimidation and spacing.” The songs have changed, but the melody is the same — Warning: Private Property. Music carves public space into private territory, signaling certain areas are off limits to certain groups through orchestral “intimidation.” And no genre carries more intimidating upper-class associations than classical music.

And so forth and so on.

Anyway, it’s interesting why the better the music the more that lowlifes hate it. My guess is that it’s more than just class markers. I suspect that poor honest workmen don’t mind classical music playing in the background as much as punks loitering with criminal intent can’t stand it.

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This could be you!

The New York Times asks for volunteers for a Struggle Session:

Tell Us About a Time You Judged Someone Based on a Stereotype

By The New York Times

May 16, 2018

At Yale University, a dormitory resident called the campus police on a black student who fell asleep in a common room.

At a Starbucks cafe in Philadelphia, an employee called the police on two black men who were waiting for a business associate.

And at a California Airbnb, a neighbor who thought she was witnessing a burglary called the police on three black guests as they were loading their suitcases into a car. The past few weeks have seen a rash of headlines in which people of color who were simply going about their lives were unjustly accused of wrongdoing, and the police were summoned. …

We Want to Hear From You Tell us what happened. How did it end?

Back in the 1990s, I was watching “Sex and the City” with my wife. I said, “That redhead actress playing Miranda, Cynthia Nixon, is obviously a lesbian.” My wife said she hadn’t noticed anything. I replied, “I can just tell.”

A number of years later, Ms. Nixon, now running for governor of New York, announced she was a lesbian.

What, if anything, would you have done differently?

I would have published my hypothesis about Ms. Nixon back then so you would have reason to believe me now.

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From WNYC, a public radio station in New York:

Trump Administration Sought Negative Information on Haitians

May 16, 2018 · by Beth Fertig

In the spring of 2017, a high level Trump administration official asked for details on how many Haitians with Temporary Protected Status were on public benefits, how many were convicted of “crimes of any kind,” and how many had been in the country unlawfully before being granted TPS.

When told by staffers that this information wasn’t relevant to granting TPS and that the existing data “wasn’t good,” she continued to press ahead. She explained that the Homeland Security Secretary “is going to need this to make a final decision” that spring on whether to extend TPS for Haitians. They were granted the right to stay in the U.S. after a devastating 2010 earthquake.

There’s nothing more wrong that trying to learn facts about immigrants. As everybody know, they are sacred. They are here to save our souls. To ask questions about which immigrants we should let in and which ones we should keep out is evil. You never saw the Bush or Obama administration wanting to know information about immigrants.

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A one-liner:

Why did Germany need Merkel’s million Muslim migrants?

Because assaulting Jews on the street was work Germans would just no longer do.

By the way, I’ve long wondered: why do one-liners have two lines?

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And, of course, now begins a debate about how Trump is inhuman for calling MS-13 gang members “animals.”

The underlying reality is that the media is all worked up over Trump violating one of their unspoken assumptions: that American citizens should have no say in who gets to immigrate because that would be discrimination, and making a choice about whom you prefer is the Worst Thing in the World.

Granted, MS-13 is a r eductio ad absurdum of this logic, but the logic was always absurd and that didn’t stop them previously.

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A PR release via News Wise:

Scientists Analyze First Ancient Human DNA From Southeast Asia
Results reveal three major waves of migration

Released: 16-May-2018 10:35 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Harvard Medical School

In other words, a PR writeup of a paper from David Reich’s high tech graverobbing factory at Harvard.

Newswise — The first whole-genome analyses of ancient human DNA from Southeast Asia reveal that there were at least three major waves of human migration into the region over the last 50,000 years.

The research, published online May 17 in Science, complements what is known from archaeological, historical and linguistic studies of Southeast Asia, defined as the area east of India and south of China. …

An international team led by researchers at HMS and the University of Vienna extracted and analyzed DNA from the remains of 18 people who lived between about 4,100 and 1,700 years ago in what are now Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The team found that the first migration took place about 45,000 years ago, bringing in people who became hunter-gatherers.

Then, during the Neolithic Period, around 4,500 years ago, there was a large-scale influx of people from China who introduced farming practices to Southeast Asia and mixed with the local hunter-gatherers.

People today with this ancestry mix tend to speak Austroasiatic languages, leading the researchers to propose that the farmers who came from the north were early Austroasiatic speakers.

Vietnamese and Khmer in Cambodia are well-known examples of these Austroasiatic languages.

… The research revealed that subsequent waves of migration during the Bronze Age, again from China, arrived in Myanmar by about 3,000 years ago, in Vietnam by 2,000 years ago and in Thailand within the last 1,000 years. These movements introduced ancestry types that are today associated with speakers of different languages.

The identification of three ancestral populations—hunter-gatherers, first farmers and Bronze Age migrants—echoes a pattern first uncovered in ancient DNA studies of Europeans, but with at least one major difference: Much of the ancestral diversity in Europe has faded over time as populations mingled, while Southeast Asian populations have retained far more variation.

One striking aspect of Europeans is how blended genetically they are, suggesting much less marital discrimination historically in Europe than in most other parts of the world. Europeans are constantly derided for discriminating against the handful of historic outlier populations in Europe, such as Jews and Gypsies, but what is unusual about Europeans is how little structure there is within their population due to old social barriers to intermarriage. Even China has many more population isolates than Europe.

The moral panic du jour is the supposed rise in “tribalism” among people of European descent. This is a particularly popular terror at the moment among pundits who are, for example, Brahmins or Members of the Tribe.

But, of course, Europeans have long been less tribal in mating patterns than just about anybody else, which might be why it can be a lucrative niche job today for elites from more tribalist peoples to get paid to berate Europeans for their purported tribalism.

“People who are nearly direct descendants of each of the three source populations are still living in the region today, including people with significant hunter-gatherer ancestry who live in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Andaman Islands,” said Reich, professor of genetics at HMS and co-senior author of the study. “Whereas in Europe, no one living today has more than a small fraction of ancestry from the European hunter-gatherers.”

Not much evidence of a steppe invader influence on southeast Asians, evidently, as there is in Europeans and South Asians. Southeast Asia is a long, long way from the steppe.

Reich hypothesizes that the high diversity of Southeast Asia today can be partly explained by the fact that farmers arrived much more recently than in Europe—around 4,500 years ago compared with 8,000 years ago—leaving less time for populations to mix and genetic variation to even out.

The new findings make it clear that the multiple waves of migration, each of which occurred during a key transition period of Southeast Asian history, shaped the genetics of the region to a remarkable extent.

“The major population turnover that came with the arrival of farmers is unsurprising, but the magnitudes of replacement during the Bronze Age are much higher than many people would have guessed,” said Reich.

• Tags: David Reich 
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From The Guardian:

What do you say to a four-year-old white supremacist?
Race issues

A child’s uncensored racist commentary is a harsh reminder that while society has moved forward, the book on discrimination isn’t closed yet

Lamees El-sadek

Thu 17 May 2018 06.00 EDT Last modified on Thu 17 May 2018 14.13 EDT

‘The issue is that the same four-year-old boy who does not think brown or black skin is marriageable will likely hold other oppressive prejudices.’

I try to be sympathetic, although not accommodating, to the fact that entire generations of Americans were explicitly taught white skin is superior. But it’s difficult to be sympathetic when those beliefs are expressed by a four-year-old.

It was Friday night, 22 February 2015. My friend Nuha (a Sudanese American) and I (an Egyptian American) walked into a restaurant in Jackson, Mississippi. Both of us are different shades of non-white. The scene could have taken place anywhere in America.

The waitress seated us at the corner of the hibachi table, next to a white man who appeared to be in his mid-30s and his two young sons. As I reached to pull my chair away from the table, the youngest boy, the one sitting adjacent to my seat, looked at me and said: “White skin don’t marry brown skin, but it’s OK, you can sit here anyway.”

I stood frozen, hand still on the chair. I looked at Nuha. “Did we just return to the 1960s?” Nuha echoed: “I think we did.” The father, too, sat frozen: fork mid-air, eyes bulging. No one else was at the table other than the five of us.

We didn’t know what to do. No one teaches you this type of dinner table conversation when they teach you to pass the salt with the pepper. We stood agape, until we processed that we hadn’t hallucinated those words.

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From a blog called Everything Studies:

The Nerd as the Norm:

… Using the implied definition in “Field Guide”, here’s a cluster of psychological traits that in my mind make up the nerd pattern:

an interest in things and ideas over people
a concern for correctness over social harmony
a preference for routine and predictability
obliviousness to and/or disregard for social norms and expectations
sensitivity to inconsistency, vagueness and ambiguity
difficulty appreciating the social implications of their actions
subdued emotional expression
a view of conversation as information sharing
a tendency to take statements literally and assume honesty
preference for codified knowledge and rationality over instinct, experience and intuition
strong appreciation for trivia, games and building things
lack of appreciation for appearance, food and exercise

We get the hypothetical anti-nerd personality by reversing this:

an interest in people over things and ideas
a concern for social harmony over correctness
a preference for spontaneity and novelty
sensitivity to social norms and expectations
obliviousness to inconsistency, vagueness and ambiguity
difficulty appreciating the logical implications of their ideas
strong emotional expression
a view of conversation as relationship building and -negotiation
a tendency to take statements as indications of implicit intentions
preference for instinct, experience and intuition over codified knowledge and rationality
strong appreciation for appearance, food and exercise
lack of appreciation for trivia, games and building things

The anti-nerd basically sounds like just about every famous actress ever.

This isn’t just a random bag of traits. Many of them naturally go together and to my eyes these are two coherent clusters. I have no problem matching the anti-nerd pattern to the real world: it describes most people working in media and the arts and to a lesser degree those in social services, education, sales, marketing, PR and politics[1].

“Anti-nerd” is pretty clunky, so I made up another word. I tried to come up with one that sounds right the way “nerd” sounds nerdy (a kind of prickly tenseness). So I guess something with a gooey, shapeless feel? How about “wamb”? Does that sound good?

No. Unless you are Dr. Seuss or Tom Wolfe, nothing you try to make up will ever stick.

I’d say that the opposite of a “nerd” is a “marilyn,” but that won’t stick either.

Nerds are highly male, but they aren’t the only male mode. The Big Man is a very different one. It’s interesting how the Big Man is a mixed bag of nerd and marilyn traits. Go through the two lists with Trump in mind and see what I mean.

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From the New York Times:

Why North Korea Is Angered by ‘Libya Model’ in Nuclear Talks

By Megan Specia and David E. Sanger

May 16, 2018

When North Korea suddenly threw a historic summit meeting with the United States into question on Wednesday, it cited — five times — the fate of another country and another leader, half a world away, as an example of why no one should trust American efforts to disarm another nation.

The country was Libya, and the leader was Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, who made a bad bet that he could swap his nascent nuclear program for economic integration with the West. That deal, executed by the Bush administration nearly 15 years ago, is a footnote to American histories of that era.

But it has always loomed large for the North Koreans. …

What happened in Libya?

In 2003, Colonel Qaddafi saw the American invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein, and may well have concluded that he was next. In a lengthy, secret set of negotiations with Britain and the United States, he agreed to voluntarily hand over the equipment he had purchased from A.Q. Khan, a leader of the Pakistani nuclear program. North Korea and Iran had also been customers of Dr. Khan, who was later placed under house arrest after his activities were exposed.

The Libya material was flown out of the country, much of it placed at an American weapons laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. When President George W. Bush announced the deal, he made a clear reference to North Korea and Iran when he said, “I hope other leaders will find an example” in Libya’s action.

What happened less than a decade later might be at the heart of what Kim Jong-un appears to fear.

The United States and its European allies began a military action against Libya in 2011 to prevent Colonel Qaddafi’s threatened massacre of civilians. President Obama acceded to arguments from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to join the European-led action.

But no one in the Situation Room debated what message the decision to turn on Colonel Qaddafi might send to other countries that the United States was trying to persuade to relinquish their weapons, according to interviews conducted later with more than a half-dozen people engaged in the discussion.

The Libya intervention allowed anti-government rebels to put Colonel Qaddafi on the run, and months later they pulled him from a ditch and killed him. Since then, Libya has devolved into a dysfunctional state. And North Korea has taken notice.

Thank goodness Hillary was the most qualified-to-be-President person ever, or she might really have screwed the pooched back in 2011.

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From Journal of Human Resources:

The Value of Smarter Teachers: International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance*

Eric A. Hanushek, Marc Piopiunik, Simon Wiederhold
March 20, 2018

International differences in teacher quality are commonly hypothesized to be a key determinant of the large international student performance gaps, but lack of consistent quality measures has precluded testing this. We
construct country-level measures of teacher cognitive skills using unique assessment data for 31 countries. We find substantial differences in teacher cognitive skills across countries that are strongly related to student
performance. Results are supported by fixed-effects estimation exploiting within-country between-subject variation in teacher skills. A series of robustness and placebo tests indicate a systematic influence of teacher skills as distinct from overall differences among countries in the level of cognitive skills. Moreover, observed country variations in teacher cognitive skills are significantly related to differences in women’s access to high-skill occupations outside teaching and to salary premiums for teachers. …

All empirical strategies consistently indicate a robust positive relationship between teacher cognitive skills and student performance. In the OLS estimation with the full set of controls, we find that a one standard deviation (SD) increase in teacher cognitive skills is associated with 0.10-0.15 SD higher student performance. To put these estimates into perspective, they imply that roughly one quarter of gaps in mean student performance across our 31 countries would be closed if each of these countries were to raise the median cognitive skills of teachers to the level of Finnish teachers (the most skilled teachers by the PIAAC measures).

To put it in a different perspective, that sounds rather like a coupla IQ points. That’s good, but it also shows you the importance of a prudent immigration policy.

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Here’s my review of the late Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff in the Rice U. Thresher, October 11, 1979 (p. 8):

Tom Wolfe climbs the invisible ziggurat

The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe

Because American novelists haven’t exactly lit up the sky since World War II, journalists have elbowed their way into the literary spotlight. The most celebrated and least understood of the so-called New Journalists, Tom Wolfe, has, after infinite delays, published the book that conclusively renders untenable the misconceptions so many people hold about Wolfe and his achievements.

I once asked Elizabeth Bennett, a feature writer for the Houston Post, what influence Wolfe had on her profession. “Oh, he’s had a tremendous impact,” she said. “He’s made journalism more subjective, allowed the reporter to become the central character in the story, and so on.” T

his is the usual image of Wolfe—an egocentric genius in a white suit who transcribes every EEG jiggle from his beloved cortex straight into psychedelic whizbang prose detailing each nuance of his personal reactions to the events observed.

Wolfe’s immense reputation has often been appropriated to justify volumes of “I Was There (But Was too Cratered on Uncut Siamese Tiger Balls to Remember)” journalism. It’s particularly depressing that a pro like Bennett has fallen for this myth.

Wolfe has almost always written in the third person. Not once in The Right Stuff does the author put in a personal appearance. He couldn’t. This inside account of the seven Mercury astronauts chronicles events that occurred between 1947 and 1964. Wolfe merely (!) extends the traditional boundaries of journalism to include the inner thoughts of the participants. His books may read like fiction, but he is not making it up. He dares to recreate the stream of consciousness musing of real people because he’s interviewed scores of participants for thousands of hours. He’s not only the most knowledgeable authority on the minutiae of American lifestyles (who else memorizes furniture catalogs?) but the hardest working reporter in the business.

The military subject matter of The Right Stuff is a radical departure for Wolfe. He made his reputation chronicling the glorious social anarchy of the 1960′s— among college students his best known work is The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, the story of former novelist Ken Kesey, the Billy Graham of LSD.

As with T. S. Eliot, Wolfe’s revolutionary style temporarily concealed his puritanical morals and right wing political views (his idol is Solzhenitsyn). During the 1970′s it became increasingly hard for him to maintain his objective tone when relating the hypocrisy of our trendy intellectuals; for Wolfe knew better than anyone that a colorful epidemic of freedom, a Turkish bazaar of alternate lifestyles, had been raging across the country during the prosperous post-war years, yet the culturally dominant liberal elites continued to mouth the dreary cliches about America n conformity and repression, while with one voice nervously mocking the tasteless presumptuousness of the working stiff who attempts to assert a little pride in his individuality.

The result of his disgust was the devastating antileft satire of Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter and Vine. One story in that book stood apart from the scathing glosses on the “Me Decade.” It was a magnificent account of two Navy carrier pilots who daily risked their lives over Haiphong and Hanoi, only to suffer venomous assaults from their own countrymen back home. I suspect that while researching “The Truest Sport: Jousting with Sam and Charlie,” Wolfe decided to write a book about the unspoken-of substance that drives disciplined men to perform heroic deeds.

Wolfe discovered, however, that the national hoopla and hysteria that engulfed the Mercury astronauts was no less ludicrous than Leonard Bernstein’s cocktail party for the Black Panthers, which he covered in Radical Chic. In 1962 the American press beat itself into a frenzy asking: What could motivate a man to sit atop 200,000 pounds of exploding liquid oxygen? The anticlimactic answer Wolfe discovered was that these astronauts had nonchalantly survived more ghastly dangers during their years as anonymous military pilots. In one short stretch Gemini astronaut Pete Conrad had attended funerals for eleven of the other nineteen pilots in his training group at Patuxent River Flight Test School.

Wolfe’s major achievement is outlining the unspoken code, the unwritten world view of American military pilots. These young men died like flies trying to prove they possessed the “ineffable quality” that Wolfe somewhat lamely calls the Right Stuff.

It wasn’t mere courage. Any fool could risk his life:

No, the idea here (in the all enclosing fraternity) seemed to be that a man should have the ability to go up in a hurtling piece of machinery and put his hide on the line and then have the moxie, the reflexes, the experience, the coolness, to pull it back in the last yawning moment— and then go up again the next day, and the next day, and every next day, even if the series should prove infinite—and, ultimately, in its best expression, do so in a cause that means something to thousands, to a people, to a nation, to humanity, to God.

And the survivors considered the death of a friend prima facie evidence that the poor roasted stiff lacked the Right Stuff. The Pilots conceived of humanity as an “invisible ziggurat.” Huddled at the bottom were three billion hopeless nobodies—nonpilots. Next came pilots, then jet pilots, then fighter jocks, then combat tempered pilots, then flight test pilots, then Edwards’ AFB test pilots, then the Edwards’ rocket plane jocks, and then the truest brother of the brethren of the Right Stuff, Chuck Yeager.

With the factual material proving less focused than in, say, Wolfe’s dissection of the self destruction of modern art, The Painted Word, this book tends to meander. The real hero is not one of the seven Mercury astronauts, but Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, a Mud River, West Virginia boy so revered by his colleagues that every airline pilot in the U.S. has adopted his down-home drawl. Yeager was ineligible for astronaut training because he lacked a college degree. Not that he would have deigned to apply anyway— “A monkey’s going to make the first flight.”

That was the paradox. The automated Mercury flights seemed to demand about as much of the Right Stuff as it took to fly a Cessna. Yet, the public went berserk over The Seven—feting them with everything from tickertape parades to an intimate Texas=style cocktail party and cattle roast for 5,000 in the bone marrow congealing air conditioning of the Houston Coliseum. This li’l get-together climaxed with a striptease by a septuagenerian Sally Rand: It was electrifying.

It was quite beyond sex, show business, and either the sins or the rigors of the flesh. It was two o’clock in the afternoon on the Fourth of July, and the cows burned on,…and the Venus de Houston shook her fanny in an utterly baffling blessing over it all.

Wolfe contends that a nation terrified by Russian space triumphs exalted the Seven as Single Combat Warriors, our Davids versus their Goliaths (“Our rockets always blow up”).

And single combat warriors traditionally enjoy their rewards in advance. Most of the astronauts (John Glenn being the most stubborn exception) gallantly accepted the adoration of the lovely young astrogroupies who cruised around the rat shack boomtown of Cocoa Beach saying things like, “Well, four down, three to go.” This was never reported, of course, since the press had previously decided to serve them “up inside the biggest slice of Mom’s Pie you could imagine.”

It was as if the press in America, for all its vaunted independence, were a great colonial animal, an animal made up of countless clustered organisms responding to a single nervous system. In the late 1950′s (as in the late 1970′s) the animal seemed determined that in all matters of national importance, the proper emotion, the seemly sentiment, the fitting moral information that muddied the tone and weakened the feeling should simply be thrown down the memory hole.

Wolfe seldom indulges in the Neon Rococo prose style he’s famous for, since the astronauts, with the exception of the stargazing Scott Carpenter, were gruff subject-predicate-object fellows. “If Gus (Grissom) had a telescope, he might use the small end of it to try to whack a turkey joint out of the maw of the Disposall if the thing was stuck, but that would be the end of that.”

Tailoring his prose style to reflect the mental habits of his character s — whether LSD evangelists in Electric Kool-Aid, Upper East Side culturati in Radical Chic, or jive pimps in Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers— has always been one of Wolfe’s extraordinary abilities. After reading, for example, Mau-Mauing you couldn’t think about the billions HEW spends to encourage poverty without a smile and an involuntary urge to check your wallet.

Nothing in this book, except for the Agnew-was-right heresy about the press, has that kind of obvious relevance. Yet, there is something significant in that the man who, for lack of competition, may be our finest living writer has tired of profiling trend-mongers, people who don’t actually do anything, just embody a style, who are important solely because this week everybody agrees they’re important. Wolfe’s astronauts aren’t terribly stylish or lovable, and, by the remarkable standards of their profession, not particularly heroic. They were breathtakingly ambitious, and that is currently considered the greatest sin. All in all, they were clearly unconsciousness-raised throwbacks and it’s encouraging that society has outgrown its childish admiration for them. I fear, however, that Tom Wolfe, the leading subversive of our era, disagrees. — Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

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

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