The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Topics/Categories Filter?
2008 Election Affirmative Action Art Books Camp Of The Saints Crime Disparate Impact Diversity Economics Education Foreign Policy Genetics Golf Hispanics History Human Biodiversity #IBelieveInHavenMonahan Illegal Immigration Immigration IQ Iraq Late Obama Age Collapse McCain Men With Gold Chains Merkel's Boner Mexico Movies Music NAEP Obama Olympics Panhandling PISA Political Correctness Makes You Stupid Political Economy Politicians Politics Race Race/Ethnicity Real Estate Ricci Sports Terrorism Testing Tests War 2012 Election 2016 Election 9/11 Aaron Sorkin Abortion Academia Access Journalism Acheivement Gap Achievement Gap AEY Affordable Family Formation Africa Agriculture AIDS Alexander Hamilton Allegory Alt Right American-Americans American History American Idol American Jews American Media American Prisons Amnesty Ancient DNA Animal Rights Anthropology Anti-Gentilism Anti-Semitism Apple Arabs Archaic DNA Architecture Arkham's Razor Armand Marie Leroi Aryans Asian Quotas Asians Assimilation Attila The Hun Attractive Nuisance Doctrine Australia Bad Poetry Baltimore Riots Banana Republicans Barack Obama Barbarians Barone Baseball Baseball Statistics Basketball #BasketOfDeplorables #BernieSoWhite Beyond Parody Billionaires Biodiversity Birth Order black Black Crime Black Lives Matter #BlackJobsMatter #BlackLiesMurder #BlackLiesSlaughter BlackLivesMatter Blacks Blog Blogging Blood Libel boats-in-the-water bodybuilding Border Security Brain Scans Brainwash Britain Brown Swan Bush Bush Administration Business Byzantine California Californication Campus Rape Canada Canadian Football League Players Are Slow #Cancel2022WorldCupinQatar Cancer Carlos Slim Carroll Quigley Cars Catfight Cecil Rhodes Charles Murray Charlie Hebdo Checheniest Chechen Of Them All Chechens Chetty Chicagoization China Christmas Songs Civil Liberties Civilization Clash Class Clinton Clock Boy clusterfake Coalition Coalition Of The Fringes Coen Brothers Cold War College Admission Columba Bush Community Reinvestment Act Compton Conflict Of Interest Conquistador-American Conspiracy Theories Constitutional Theory Comparisons Countrywide Cousin Marriage Cover Story Credulity Crimethink Crops crops-rotting-in-the-fields Crying Among The Farmland Ctrl-Left Cuba Culture Damnatio Memoriae Daniel Patrick Moynihan Danube Daren Acemoglu Darwinism David Foster Wallace David Reich De Ploribus Unum Death Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire Deep State Definitions Democratic Party Demographic Transition Demographics Department Of Justice Disney Displaced And Refugees Diversity Before Diversity Diversity Depression Diversity Pokemon Points DNA Dogs Donald Trump Donme Dreams From My Father Drugs Dynasty E-books Edward Gibbon Efraim Diveroli Eisenhower Elizabeth Holmes Environment Erdogan Espionage Ethnic Nepotism EU Eugenics Eurabia Euro Europe European Union Evolutionary Psychology Extreme Vetting Fake News Fake Noose Fame Family Matters Feminism Feminists Ferguson Ferguson Shooting Fertility Film Finland Finnish Content Flight From White Flynn Effect Football Forecasts Foreign Policy France Francis Galton Francis Gary Powers Freakonomics Free Speech Freedom Of Speech Frontlash Funny Fuyou Game Of Nations Gangs Gemayel Clan Genealogy Gentrification George Soros George W. Bush George Zimmerman Germans Germany Gladwell Global Warming Google graduate-degrees Graphs #GreatWhiteDefendantPrivilege Gregory Cochran Guest Workers Haim Saban Halloween Hamilton: An American Musical HammerHate hate Hate Crimes hate-fraud hate-hoax Hate Hoaxes HateStat Health Hegira Height Height Privilege Hereditarianism Heroes Hillary Clinton Hispanic Hispanic Crime hitch Hodgepodge Holder Hollywood Homer Simpson Homicide Homicide Rate Houellebecq Housing Hox Hoxby Huddled Masses Hug Thug Human Genome Humor Hungary Hunt For The Great White Defendant Hypocrisy Ibn Khaldun Ideology Idiocracy immigration-policy-terminology Immigriping Incompetence India Indo-Europeans Inept Smears Inequality Infrastructure Intellectual Discourse Internet Interracial Marriage Intersectionality Invade Invite In Hock Invade The World Invite The World Iran Ireland Is It Good For The Jews? Is Love Colorblind Islam Islamic Jihad Islamophobia Islamophobiaphobia Israel Israel Lobby James Watson Japan Jared Diamond Jared Taylor Jason Richwine ¡Jeb! Jeb Bush Jewish Intellectuals Jews John Updike Jurassic World Kaboom Kerry Killinger Kevin MacDonald Kids These Days KKKrazy Glue Of The Coalition Of The Fringes Kurds LA LA Times Lame Jesse Jackson Imitations Lame News Late Ov Law Of Supply And Demand Lebanon Lèse-diversité Libertarianism Lolita Loooong Books Mad Men Madoff Magic Dirt Magritte Male Delusions Manspreading Marcomentum! Marketing Major Postmodernism Massachusetts Math Matthew Weiner Media Merkel Merkel Youth Mexican Mediocrity Michael Bloomberg Michael Fassbender Michael Jackson Michelle Ma Belle Microaggressions Military Milner Group Missing The Point Moore's Law Mormons Mortgage Moynihan's Law Of The Canadian Border Mozilo Mulatto Elite Muslims Nabokov National Assessment Of Educational Progress National Immigration Safety And Quality Board National Merit National Question Nature Vs. Nurture Ned Flanders Neocons Neoconservatives Nerds New Orleans New York New York City New York Mania Newspeak Neymar Nicholas Wade Nieto Night In The Museum NIMBY Nirvana No Child Left Behind No Proof Bush In League With Lucifer Nobel Prize #NobelsSoWhiteMale #NotOkay Obama Wright Obamanomics Obey Giant! Occam's Butterknife Occam's Razor Occam's Rubber Room Oil Open Borders Orban Orwell Out-of-Africa Palin Partly Inbred Extended Family Peace Personality P&G Philosophy Of Science Pics Or It Didn't Happen Piketty Poetry Poland Political Correctness Political Philosophy Polls Polygamy Poor Reading Skills Population Growth Post-Modernism Prester John Profiling Projection Pronoun Crisis Prudence PSAT Psychology Psychometrics Public Schools Puerto Rico Putnam Pygmies Qatar rabbits rabbits-are-fast Race And Crime Race And Genomics Race And Iq Race/Crime Race Denialism Race Hustlers Race/IQ Racial Profiling Racism Racist Brain Racist Objects Menace Racist Pumpkin Incident Red State Blue State redlining Redneck Dunkirk redundancy Refugee Boy #refugeeswelcome #RefugeesWelcomeInQatar Replicability Replication Republicans Retconning Rice Richard Dawkins RIP Ritholtz Robots Rolling Stone Roman Empire Rome Romney Ron Unz Rove Russian Spies sabermetrics Sabrina Rubin Erdely Sailer's First Law Of Female Journalism Saint Peter Tear Down This Gate! Sammy Sosa Sand States Sapir-Whorf SAT scandals School Science Science Denialism Science Fiction Self-obsession Serbia Sex Differences Shakespeare Silicon Valley Skull And Bones Skunk Works Slavery Reparations Slavoj Zizek Soccer Sotomayor Southern Poverty Law Center SPLC Stabby Somali Stage Standardized Tests Comparisons Statistics Statue Of Liberty Statue Of Libertyism Status Statute Of Diversity Statute Of Immigration Statute Of Liberty Stereotypes Steroids Steve Jobs Steven Spielberg Steve's Rice Thresher Columns Stoppard Stuff White People Like Sub-replacement Fertility Submission Subprime Mortgage Crisis Subrealism Sweden syr T.S. Eliot Ta-Nehisi Coates Taki Ted Kennedy Television Texas The Actual El Guapo The Bell Curve "The Birds" Directed By Alfred Hitchock The Black Autumn The Eight Banditos The Essential Evil Of The Swiss The Gap The Golfocaust The Kissing Billionaire The Lobby The Megaphone The Scramble For America The Simpsons The Zeroth Amendment To The Constitution Theranos Thomas Jefferson Tiger Mom Tiger Woods TIMSS TNC Tom Hanks Tom Wolfe Too Many White People Tragic Dirt Trayvon Martin Trudeau Trump Trump Derangement Syndrome Tsarnaev Turkey Twin Studies Twins Twintuition Unanswerable Questions Unbearable Whiteness Underperformin' Norman Mineta Union unwordly Used Car Dealers Moral Superiority Of Vibrancy Victim-Americans Video Games Vietnam Virginia Tech Vulcan Society Wall Street Warhol Watson Watsoned Waugh Weedparations White Death White Privilege White Supremacy Whiterpeople Who Is The Fairest Of Them All? Who Whom Whooping Cough And Whooping Cranes Why We Can't Have Nice Things Willful Ignorance World Cup World War G World War T Wretched Refuse Wretched Refuseism Writing Yamnaya Yezidis Yogi Berra's Restaurant You Maniacs You Blew It Up
Nothing found
 TeasersiSteve Blog

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
🔊 Listen RSS

From Vox:

Almost all of the actresses who’ve played Cleopatra have been white. But was she?

Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga are rumored to be contenders to play the queen in a new biopic.
By Nadra Nittle Jan 14, 2019, 6:20pm EST

Since meaty roles for women are still too few in Hollywood, landing the character could be the chance of a lifetime for any actress. But the Twitter debate about Cleopatra isn’t so much about which actress most resembles the ancient queen as whether a white woman should be playing her at all.

Historically, white actresses such as Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh, and, most famously, Elizabeth Taylor have portrayed Cleopatra. The thinking during Hollywood’s Golden Age seemed to be that kohl eyeliner and a black wig was all it took to transform any white woman into the Queen of the Nile.

… but the long history of shutting out actresses of color from contention has proven offensive to people of color who believe the queen was not white.

… Historians have long described Cleopatra as ethnically Greek, but during the past decade, that assumption has increasingly been called into question. …

Today, people who consider Cleopatra to be a woman of color have suggested performers as diverse as Jennifer Lopez, Priyanka Chopra, and Rihanna play the Egyptian ruler. …

So it’s disconcerting to see white women like Jolie and Gaga named as the sole contenders for the role, even if their participation in the project is just a rumor for now — especially given all of the discussions that have taken place about Hollywood’s whitewashing of history, be it in newer films like Gods of Egypt, Exodus, or The Prince of Persia, or in classics like Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra.

There really are a lot of people out there reading Vox who sincerely believe: “If Rihanna gets cast as Cleopatra, my life will be better.”

 
🔊 Listen RSS

From the Washington Post opinion section:

Steve King says he was just defending ‘Western Civilization.’ That’s racist, too.

By David Perry and Matthew Gabriele, January 15 at 4:45 PM

After years of making racist statements and promoting racist policies, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) may finally have gone too far. In a recent interview, he told the New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

King says, plausibly, that he was libeled via mispunctuation. He says the dash should come before “Western civilization:” he was complaining that “Western civilization” is now treated as same as “White nationalist, white supremacist.”

The Washington Post authors explain that, yes, they are calling “Western civilization” “white nationalist, white supremacist.”

King’s GOP colleagues have stripped him of his committee assignments, and he faces possible censure. In response, the congressman claims that he was misrepresented — that his fellow Republicans and other observers did not understand his syntax. In a statement, he said he was not defending white supremacy or white nationalism but only “Western Civilization” from those who say the term has become “offensive.”

Given that King has frequently used “Western civilization” as a shorthand for whiteness, his defense is hardly credible, but the attempt is revealing. The term has been used to justify racism since it was coined. When King says, “No one ever sat in a class listening to the merits of white nationalism and white supremacy,” he’s conveniently overlooking this fact — and relying on the similar reluctance of many academics to acknowledge it. That needs to change.

Part of the project of modernity has been to justify itself. During and after the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries, citizens of the monarchical European powers attempted to explain how they got to where they were by looking to their roots. They started from the idea that their world was “better” than what had come before. Europe had supposedly crawled out of the “Dark Ages” and into the light. Those familiar terms — dark and light — mirrored the value judgment behind this investigation of the past, one that selectively privileged white skin.

Uh … the term Dark Ages was applied to the Barbarian Invasions carried out by teutonics into the southern Mediterranean.

These were, after all, countries ruled by rich white men for other rich white men. So in searching for the history of “the West,” they ignored stories they didn’t recognize — stories of people who didn’t act, think or look like them. That was true even when those stories were central to European and Mediterranean history, as was the case with a history of “the West” told in other languages such as Arabic, Turkish and Hebrew; written by women; or enacted by medieval people of color.

Just watch the BBC’s Troy: Fall of a City to find out that Achilles was black:

Although the histories of Europe began as national ones, thinkers in the 18th and 19th centuries looked to 4th-century Germanic tribes as their pure, white ancestors. In alliance with the “scientific” study of the past, scientific racism, the international slave trade and colonialism, this approach began to change the way people understood the past. No longer individual nations — and also no longer simply “Europe” because of the need to include North America — these thinkers used the term “the West” to encompass one (supposedly) common heritage that explained why white men ought to rule the world. …

… Since the late 20th century, however, that premise has been challenged as scholars have begun to incorporate other stories into the tapestry of history. We talk about the role of women, about what gender meant at different moments in the past, about the construction of race as an idea, about the diversity of Europe’s peoples. The research in these areas is original and convincing. …

 
🔊 Listen RSS

From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

The High Price of Affordable L.A.
by Steve Sailer, January 16, 2019

With my hometown of Los Angeles coming back into fashion again, it’s worth wondering whether some of its traditional problems are fixable. Or do urban-planning mistakes tend to be forever?

There’s glib talk these days about the need to build affordable housing, but much of Los Angeles is testimony to the pitfalls of affordability.

Read the whole thing there.

 
🔊 Listen RSS

From the New York Times:

Sacklers Directed Efforts to Mislead Public About OxyContin, New Documents Indicate
A filing in a Massachusetts lawsuit contains dozens of internal Purdue Pharma documents suggesting the family was far more involved than the company has long contended.

… The Sacklers, who own Purdue Pharma, became one of the wealthiest families in the United States in part because of sales of OxyContin.

By Barry Meier, Jan. 15, 2019

… In 1995, when the Food and Drug Administration approved OxyContin, it allowed Purdue Pharma to claim that the opioid’s long-acting formulation was “believed to reduce” its appeal to drug abusers compared with traditional painkillers such as Percocet and Vicodin.

At a gathering shortly afterward to celebrate the drug’s launch, Mr. Sackler boasted that “the launch of OxyContin tablets will be followed by a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition. The prescription blizzard will be so deep, dense, and white,” according to a document cited in the legal complaint.

Company sales representatives told doctors that OxyContin couldn’t be abused and were trained to say that the drug had an addiction risk for patients of “less than one percent,” a claim that had no scientific backing. Within a few years, Purdue Pharma was selling more than $1 billion worth of OxyContin annually.

 
🔊 Listen RSS

One of the weirder religious manifestations of this century is The Cult of Henrietta Lacks’ Cancer Cells that is huge among NPR listeners and the like.

Now, this holiest of miracle-producing relics has its own icon. From CNN:

The Smithsonian unveils a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black farmer whose cells led to medical miracles

By Hollie Silverman, CNN, Updated 7:16 AM ET, Thu May 17, 2018

“The Mother of Modern Medicine” by Kadir Nelson, oil on linen

Notice St. Henrietta’s halo.

(CNN) Her cells are responsible for the polio vaccine, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization to name a few. But for a long time most of the public didn’t know her contribution to modern medicine. Neither did she because her cells were harvested without her consent.

This week, the Smithsonian unveiled a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black tobacco farmer who ended up changing the world.

… Lacks died in 1951 at the age of 31 from an aggressive form of cervical cancer. During her treatment, a surgeon cut cells from her cervix. Those cells became the first human cell line to reproduce outside the body. They came to be known as HeLa cells and became invaluable to medical researchers. …

The New York Times best-selling book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” introduced Lacks — and what she did for medicine — to the world. An HBO film by the same name, starring Oprah Winfrey, helped disseminate her story further.

How long until Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory renames its Watson School of Biological Sciences as the Lacks School of Immortal Biological Holiness? That should be Amy Harmon’s next crusade.

Just about the only people who aren’t in awe of the sacredness of Henrietta Lacks’ Legacy are the various people claiming to be her descendants who are at war with each other over the Oprah money. From the Denver Post:

On the eve of an Oprah movie about Henrietta Lacks, an ugly feud consumes the family

PUBLISHED: March 29, 2017 at 1:02 pm | UPDATED: March 29, 2017 at 7:44 pm

By Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post

BALTIMORE — The e-mail from her sister said “Read Now!” so Veronica Spencer sat right down to open it.

Maybe it was about the soon-to-be released Oprah Winfrey/HBO movie about Spencer’s great-grandmother Henrietta Lacks, the Baltimore cancer patient whose cells were collected by Johns Hopkins researchers without her knowledge. Or about Spencer’s upcoming speech in Indiana, where she would talk to medical students about Henrietta’s role in revolutionizing medicine.

Instead, she learned that her close-knit and increasingly famous family was at war with itself.

The March 2 e-mail contained a link to a college newspaper story about her grandfather and uncle. Lawrence Lacks — Henrietta’s oldest child — and his son, Ron Lacks, had long been unhappy with the family’s portrayal in the best-selling book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and the way some of their relatives continue to profit from it by giving speeches around the country.

Now they were leveling a series of very public charges at the book’s author and publisher, Winfrey, HBO executives, officials at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the National Institutes of Health and other family members, accusing them variously of misrepresentation, exploitation and fraud.

The most explosive allegation was that some family members aren’t family members at all. Her Pop-pop, whom Spencer worshiped from childhood, and her Uncle Ron, who used to give her pony rides on his back, were saying that Veronica and her sister were not really their kin and that they had the DNA tests to prove it.

Ron was quoted in the story saying: “They’re not blood-related to Henrietta. … They’re not family.” …

Last month, Lawrence and Ron Lacks — with the help of a Baltimore publicist willing to make incendiary charges — began a campaign to assert near-total control over the growing endeavors surrounding Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta died in 1951, but her tumor cells have been cultivated to this day. The “HeLa” cell line has been central to the development of vaccines, cloning, gene mapping and billions of dollars in medical breakthroughs.

The story had been largely unknown until Rebecca Skloot, a science writer, and Henrietta’s youngest daughter, Deborah Lacks, spent more than a decade prying the tale from hospital archives. Skloot’s 2010 book was a commercial and critical smash, selling more than 2.5 million copies. A page-turning lesson in ethics, race and family fealty, the book is now assigned reading at hundreds of colleges and medical schools. Oprah secured the movie rights within months and will star as Deborah Lacks when the film airs on HBO April 22.

A cottage family industry has grown up around Henrietta, with multiple Lacks descendants giving speeches and starting foundations of their own. Five served as paid consultants to the movie. Spencer and her cousin, David Lacks Jr., were selected by other family members to serve on an NIH working group that reviews requests from researchers to use the HeLa cells.

None of that has sat well with Lawrence, 82, and Ron, 58, who participated in the endeavors early on but said they are now excluded.

In scores of emails and news releases sent by their publicist, Karen Campbell, they demanded that the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, established and largely funded by Skloot, be transferred to their control; that HBO and Winfrey’s Harpo Films donate $10 million each to a new foundation started in Lawrence’s name, and that a speakers’ agency stop booking other family members for appearances without Lawrence’s approval. They urged NIH to let Lawrence decide which Lacks family members would serve on the HeLa advisory group and to suspend all research funding to Johns Hopkins. They asked Penguin Random House for an advance to write their own book.

 
🔊 Listen RSS

The total number of homicides in Chicago shot upwards from 512 in 2015 to 808 in 2016, following progressives at the ACLU and Obama Administrations taking effective control of the Chicago Police Department after the city finally released video of a cop shooting a black male on 11/23/2015.

Now, you might think that the ACLU would be a little embarrassed about those 296 incremental dead bodies in one city in one year. But instead the ACLU is back with a new report about how the cops in Chicago still aren’t spending enough time in the donut shop. From the Chicago Tribune:

While pedestrian stops by Chicago police plummeted, officers’ traffic stops soared, ACLU says
Jeremy Gorner

Pedestrian stops by Chicago police officers plummeted in number beginning in 2016 after a new state law and an agreement between the ACLU and the Police Department required officers to more thoroughly document and justify the encounters to ease concerns about racial profiling and constitutional violations.

Some even believe the impact contributed to homicides hitting levels in 2016 that had been unseen in two decades.

How about: “Homicides in Chicago rocketed upwards almost immediately. Ultimately, 58% more human beings were murdered in Chicago in 2016 than in 2015.”

But a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says that at the same time pedestrian stops fell so sharply, Chicago police dramatically increased how often they pulled over motorists.

The number of traffic stops more than tripled, rising from 85,965 in 2015 to 187,133 in 2016, then jumping to 285,067 in 2017, the ACLU said.

The latest report also found that Chicago police stopped African-American motorists at a disproportionately higher rate than whites, Hispanics and Asians.

The findings have raised alarms for civil libertarians at a time when the Police Department is attempting to improve trust with minority communities as it nears a federal court agreement meant to ensure widespread reforms are carried out. …

Multiple Chicago police officers who talked to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly said they believe many officers now prefer to pull drivers over rather than stop pedestrians. The documentation they must fill out for traffic stops is much simpler than the lengthy, detailed reports required for pedestrian stops as a result of the department’s agreement with the ACLU, they said. …

The high number of traffic stops came at the same time that officers sharply dropped how often they stopped pedestrians. Those street stops plummeted to just over 107,000 for both 2016 and 2017, down from about 600,000 in 2015, official Police Department statistics show. …

Chicago ended 2016 with more than 4,300 people shot and in excess of 760 killed, the worst violence the city had seen in two decades. In interviews that year with the Tribune, some officers blamed the changes in the pedestrian stops in part for the rise in violence, saying they prevented cops from policing the streets more aggressively.

But crime experts have dismissed that explanation for the spike in violence, while the ACLU has contended that the drastic drop in pedestrian stops likely indicates that the closer review is succeeding in officers making fewer unconstitutional stops.

So, if you read this very lengthy article carefully and critically, it’s clear that the “crime experts” are lying and the ACLU and Obama Administration have a lot of blood on their hands.

But who reads carefully?

Is there any accountability for progressives?

 
🔊 Listen RSS

 
🔊 Listen RSS

Gillette has been a marketing powerhouse for generations. Whether this is another genius Gillette move to get you to spend more is an interesting question.

Uh … “White Man Bad” is usually a good guess at what the message is. Corporate Wokeness usually is not much more intellectually sophisticated than that.

Speaking of Gillette, Mickey Kaus wrote in Slate in 2010:

Mickey’s Assignment Desk–The Gillette Cycle of Despair: Here’s an evergreen story idea I’ve wanted someone to nail down for decades: Why do Gillette’s fancy razors seem to work so well when they are introduced, then gradually get worse and worse until a new, fancier razor is introduced? … The most recent example: When I first bought a Gillette Fusion five- blade razor, I thought it was absurd (and absurdly expensive). But it was fantastic. Best shave ever, etc. And the blades lasted for months. … A couple of years later, however–in an all-too-familiar development–I’ve noticed that the expensive replacement blades for this razor don’t seem to cut as smoothly, and they seen to wear out much faster. Experienced Gillette customers intuitively know what this means: the company is about to introduce a newer, more complex, and even more expensive shaving system. … And sure enough, here it is , the Fusion ProGlide! … Its blades will cost more than $4 apiece, according to the WSJ . And I’m sure they will be fabulous–at least for the first year or so. Then, if my experience is a guide, ProGlide consumers may notice a puzzling dropoff. … This cycle has held true with every Gillette product I’ve ever used, starting with the Techmatic in high school.

My sneaking, completely unproven suspicion, of course, is that the seeming improvement with each newer, fancier, priceier razor has little to do with all the various innovations Gillette advertises (e.g., two blades, three blades, five blades, a “snow plow guard” that prevents hydroplaning, etc.) and a whole lot to do with the quality of the steel that’s used in the blades. The investigative mission, should you decide to accept it, would be to somehow prove that Gillette uses high-quality steel when it introduces a new razor, and then gradually lets the blade quality get degraded, saving the company money until it introduces the next innovative shaving system (the main innovation being that it uses the high quality steel again). … This could all be misguided consumerist paranoia, of course! But if so, it’s a paranoia that resonates widely, I’ve found. …

P.S.: The equally paranoid corollary is that you should never turn down a promotional razor –e.g. the free-sample kind you get in the mail. They use the good steel in those, to hook you! They last forever, or until the day you go out and buy some replacement blades, whichever comes first…

Commenter Simple Song responds:

If I had to guess I would think this is a tooling issue and not a steel issue. That is, I doubt they change up the steel to make the blades crappier but instead they just stop maintaining the tooling.

That is, all the tooling, dies, etc., that are used to precisely sharpen the blades gradually wear out and they stop replacing the tooling when they know they have a new blade coming out. They may or may not be intentionally doing this, but they certainly have plausible deniability.

The degree of precision required for modern manufacturing is actually pretty incredible. For example Lego bricks, I believe if the steel injection mold that the plastic is squirted into is off by more than about ten microns (1 / 100,000 of a meter) then either the Lego can’t be snapped together or can’t be pulled apart. While the hot plastic injected during the molding process is not terribly abrasive, it does cause a tiny bit of wear on the molds and so Lego is constantly having to scrap and re-mill their molds to make sure the quality stays high. It’s also why non-Lego interlocking bricks totally suck–they don’t have the precision.

 
🔊 Listen RSS

From the New York Times:

You’re Not Getting Much Taller, America. But You Are Getting Bigger.

New government data charts some interesting changes in average bodies over recent decades.

By Nicholas Bakalar
Jan. 14, 2019

A lot going on in that paragraph!

For instance, 69.4″ is only approximately “about 5 feet 8 inches.”

Also, I bet the average height of Mexican-American men is a lot taller than 61.5″ (which would be 5’1.5″).

Okay, looking at Table 4 in the original government report, it looks like the average man over 20 is either 69.0 (5’9″) crude or 69.1″ age-adjusted. The latter number is down 0.3″ from 69.4″ in 2001-2002.

Non-Hispanic white men are pretty much the same height (69.8″ or 5’9.8″) since 2001-2002, while non-Hispanic black men have dropped from 69.7″ to 69.1″.

Spotted Toad asks:

How did black men’s height drop more than half an inch in a little more than a decade? Sampling error? Weird mortality/incarceration stuff? African immigrants? It seems a huge drop.

I dunno. Seems odd. The white-black height gap bounces around from survey to survey, but this 0.7″ white advantage is the biggest in the federal report, which goes back to 1999.

Asian men are currently 66.8″ (or 5’6.8″).

Mexican men average 66.5″ (or 5’6.5″).

That 61.5″ is for Mexican-American women, not men.

This really makes me feel confident that the New York Times quoted Steve King accurately and fairly.

 
🔊 Listen RSS

A stunning article in the January 16, 2019 New York Times reveals that geneticist James D. Watson not only has never seen Black Panther, he hasn’t even heard of Wakanda, so it’s no surprise at all that Watson is ignorant about genetics. Plus, Watson only watched Hidden Figures on one of those little screens on an airliner and wasn’t really paying close attention.

Further, Watson wanted to see Hamilton on Broadway, but when he heard a ticket was $475, he decided to wait until it comes to Long Island as a road show. So, how could Watson know that, genetically, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were People of Color?

Also, this bombshell NYT article by Amy Harmon reveals that Watson has never once Googled “American scientists,” so, obviously, Watson knows nothing about science and race.

[Hat tip to iSteve commenter Kibernetika]

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

I asked if there have ever been any examples of a pro-diversity powerful white male resigning a good job, while still in his prime, in favor of a Person of Diversity:

Dennis Dale says:

None come to mind, but I think it’s bound eventually to be something like the new “leaving to spend more time with family” ruse. Why not pick up some brownie points?

It also has great potential as a sort of poison pill–a disgruntled figure announces his retirement to make room for Diversity, putting his former company on the spot.

KL says:

Isaac Barrow resigned the Lucasion chair at Cambridge in favor of Isaac Newton. This gesture is underappreciated due to historical suppression of Newton’s African transwoman identity.

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

That the FBI started investigating Trump after he fired FBI boss James Comey story is much like J. Edgar Hoover’s left-hand man Mark Felt becoming “Deep Throat” in 1972 after Nixon failed to appoint either Felt or J. Edgar’s longtime companion Clyde Tolson as Hoover’s successor.

How dare an elected President disrupt America’s proud tradition of lifetime rule by secret police supremos?

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

A press release:

Coming from Amazon Studios in 2019: the new situation comedy Postmodern Family.

Sofia Vergara stars as gold-digging newscasterette Lauren Santos.

Making his sitcom debut as Lauren’s latest husband, World’s Richest Man Jeff Jorgen, is Kevin Spacey.

And as Lauren’s amiable but intimidatingly immense ex-husband, NFL legend Tony Gonzago, Amazon is proud to welcome The Rock.

In the pilot episode, Jeff becomes jealous when Tony keeps coming by the house to throw the football around with his son, Jeff’s new stepchild, causing Jeff to overdose on his testosterone replacement therapy.

The Washington Post TV critic exclaims: “Postmodern Family, with its billionaire clueless dad, provides the laughs America needs in this mirthless Trump Era! (It is about Trump, right? … What? … Uh-oh … Yes, sir, I’ll clean out my desk, right away.”)

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

It’s an amusing story, but I haven’t thought of anything funny to say about it myself …

Anonymous 264 asks:

What I don’t understand, is how Bezos’ text messages were not kept confidential – considering he’s at the pinnacle of the IT industry and his company apparently stores U.S. government data, presumably of a highly classified nature?

Bezos is CEO of the world’s most profitable Cloud Storage firm.

Irony.

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

Here’s a sentence from Amy Harmon’s New York Times article gloating over putting the boot in on James D. Watson that deserves some attention:

“It is not news when a ninety year old man who has lost cognitive inhibition, and has drifted that way for decades as he aged, speaks from his present mind,” Dr. Wigler wrote in an email.

Note that Watson isn’t accused of crimethinking due to “lost cognitive capacity” but due to “lost cognitive inhibition.”

In the future we’ll need some kind of Logan’s Run-style system for dealing with the tendency of the old to lose “cognitive inhibition” — i.e., Crimestop — and tell unwanted truths. The old are the enemies of the intellectually genteel and thus must be dealt with.

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

Has any publicly pro-diversity white male authority figure ever resigned voluntarily, before retirement age, from a desirable job to promote diversity?

This must have happened, right?

I mean, at least once?

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

Julian Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

Kamala Harris

As I’ve been pointing out since 2010, whenever you hear about how Castro is Presidential Timber because he has sterling executive experience as the mayor of one of America’s ten largest cities, San Antonio, somebody is pulling the wool over your eyes and trying to get you to imagine that being mayor of San Antonio is like being mayor of New York or Chicago.

Instead, being mayor of San Antonio is like being Mayor McCheese in a McDonald’s commercial. San Antonio has a highly paid City Manager who is in charge of the government.

Mayor is merely a ceremonial job who gets paid $20 per city council session to bang the gavel at beginning and end of each meeting.

During Castro’s years as Pretend Mayor, Sheryl Sculley was City Manager and got paid a couple of orders of magnitude more money than Castro did:

Other weird facts about Castro: He can’t speak Spanish and he has an identical twin brother in the House of Representatives.

Weird facts about Harris and Gabbard: too many to itemize.

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

From the Washington Post:

First, a fast-rising female esports star was threatened. Then she quit. Then she didn’t exist.

By Noah Smith January 6

In December, a minor league esports team thought it had signed a fast-rising, highly ranked female player who played under the nickname of Ellie.

In case you are wondering, eSports is watching other people play video games as a spectator sport. Why you would want to is unexplained. And what exactly is the distinction between “minor league esports” and, presumably, major league esports is beyond me.

As the news of the signing reverberated around the Internet, Ellie shared screen captures of threats from online attackers and less than two weeks later, Overwatch Contenders team Second Wind tweeted that she left the team, “due to some unforeseen reactions.” The circumstances only grew more mysterious from there.

After a few days of online rumbling on Reddit, what seemed like yet another case of toxicity and misogyny in gaming turned into something far stranger, and problematic. Ellie was revealed as a fraud, a fake account operated by a male player posing as a female.

“We found that ‘Ellie’ was a fabricated identity … created by a veteran player to obfuscate their identity,” an Overwatch League spokesperson said.

The hoax reveals the unique challenges esports leagues and teams face as they try to move the sport towards mainstream respectability, as well as progress beyond the longstanding instances and accusations of sexism within the gaming community from both players and game-publishing companies.

In other words, guys are constantly inventing dubious new pastimes, such as professional spectator videogaming, then society gets concerned that not enough women are interested and/or good at it, so demand exceeds supply.

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

From iSteve commenter Ty Rade:

Could be a throwback, warped in translation, to Samuel P Huntington’s last book in 2004, ‘Who are we?’ In which he mapped the void that is being left by the overthrow of the dominant white-anglo- saxon glue that has held America together thus far. I’d suggest there is no ‘we’ in ‘it’s not who we are’ at all; and that’s the trouble.

From iSteve commenter Coag:

Saying “This is not who we are” aims to push emotional buttons of shame and guilt, and as a meme is simple, memorable, and infectious. Trump, and all nationalists, should therefore appropriate it and use the phrase incessantly, just like how he appropriated the term “fake news”.

Leaving our front yard wide open and our loved ones undefended from drug smuggling and migrant caravans? That is not who we are.

Allowing illegal immigrants to undercut our fellow American citizens’ wages and livelihoods? That is not who we are as a nation.

Giving lavish attention and prizes to illegal immigrants while neglecting the well-being of our suffering urban and rural areas? That is not who we are.

 
🔊 Listen RSS
 

In the iSteve comments, Ozymandias writes:

Used to be that every historically significant figure eventually got retconned into being secretly gay. Now they all get retconned into being secretly black.

Mr. Anon replies:

Why not both? Why if Alexander Hamilton were alive today…………..he’d be lying dead in Ed Buck’s rumpus room.

 
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.


PastClassics
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?