The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
NYT: Down with Multicultivarism! Nativism Now!
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

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
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

For plants, that is. From the New York Times opinion page:

The Real Aliens in Our Backyard

The future of this country’s wild spaces may depend on changing the way suburban Americans think about plants.

By Margaret Renkl, Contributing Opinion Writer

March 11, 2019

… This kind of nature isn’t natural. Most of the plants now growing at the back of our lot aren’t native to Middle Tennessee. They’re native to other continents entirely. As aliens, they are poor food sources for our native animals and insects. A landscape populated by nonnative plants is, for wildlife, the equivalent of a desert. Worse, many alien plants are also highly invasive, choking out native plants and sending out their own seeds, some of which will settle and grow in wild places miles away from suburbia.

During summer, the easement behind my house looks as healthy and verdant as any natural place left to its own devices, but it’s nothing of the kind. The invasive plants are far too big for me to dig up, but I do my best to minimize the damage — cutting back buds before they can flower, pulling up seedlings, planting native trees and shrubs where I can. The project often feels Sisyphean.

This reminds me that earlier this month, one of the four giant Moreton Bay fig trees in the old Spanish plaza in downtown Los Angeles (next to Union Station, Olvera Street, and Chinatown) fell over after 140 years of life.

While the palm trees that look like dust mops are a symbol of Southern California to the rest of the world, residents tend to be less appreciative, since they provide negligible shade. They grow so tall so fast that they rapidly turn into the visual equivalent of giant telephone poles. Without craning your neck, it’s hard to see the top of a Los Angeles palm. You probably forget about it except during windstorms when their huge sharp fronds fall from 100 feet out of the sky and threaten to put your eye out.

In contrast, the Moreton Bay fig tree is likely the arboreal symbol of urban Southern California most admired by Southern Californians, since they can grow immensely wide. Kids like to play on their weird aboveground “buttress” roots. For example, on LA Weekly’s list L.A.’s eight most famous trees, two are Morton Bay figs.

The crown of the vast Moreton Bay fig tree in downtown Santa Barbara (above) was measured in the 1990s as 176 feet across. It would be a challenge for an NFL punter to kick a football across the width of the tree. Unfortunately, a couple of generations ago it became a rendezvous spot for the nation’s panhandlers who spread out across northern cities in summer, then meet up with their old pals under the Santa Barbara fig tree for the winter.

The size of a Moreton Bay fig tree seems to be a valid test of the quality of your climate. Santa Barbara has the best climate, so it has the biggest fig tree, and vice-verca.

So I figured that the downtown L.A. Moreton Bay fig tree would simply be replaced by another one to restore the symmetry and the 140 year tradition.

But, the Moreton Bay fig tree is from Australia. It was introduced to Southern California during the, uh, multicultivarism fad around the beginning of the 20th Century. As soon as energetic Americans started to pour into the dusty pueblo of Los Angeles, they tried importing an immense variety of plants, many of which, with enough watering, thrived in the mild climate.

But now multicultivarism is out and nativism is in, so progressive opinion is calling for replacing the dead Moreton Bay fig downtown with a native oak or sycamore. I like those trees too, but still …

 
Hide 121 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:

    Many of the plants associated with North America are in fact foreign imports, even by the time British and Dutch colonists arrived in the 1600s they were seeing a landscape totally altered by Spanish introduction of Eurasian flora. Kentucky bluegrass for example was introduced by the Spanish because they found native grasses to be inconvenient and not nourishing to their cattle and horses. Bluegrass flourished and spread quickly into areas that Europeans hadn’t actually set foot in. When Daniel Boone first laid his eyes on Kentucky blue grass he was seeing a landscape accidentally altered by Europeans.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Lagertha
    , @Dtbb
    , @Anon
  2. trelane says:

    I wonder if Margaret Renkl can really see what she is writing:

    They’re native to other continents entirely. As aliens, they are poor food sources for our native animals and insects. A landscape populated by nonnative plants is, for wildlife, the equivalent of a desert. Worse, many alien plants are also highly invasive, choking out native plants and sending out their own seeds, some of which will settle and grow in wild places miles away from suburbia.

    She is a racist and and antiSemite.

  3. The botanical name is washingtonia robusta, common name Mexican fan palm. I’ve never heard it called a royal palm before.

  4. I had no idea that Palm trees grow so fast. Now, if you can wait 50 to 100 years, Live Oaks are the best, most beautiful big trees I know of. You can walk up the branches onto the tree.

    I had thought that Kudzu would really take over the South, but I don’t think it has. I don’t know if that’s just due to a whole lot of continual work on it.

    • Agree: Federalist
    • Replies: @ben tillman
    , @ben tillman
  5. Anon[341] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s crazy not to replace the Olvera Street tree with a Moreton Bay fig, since the other three corners have the fig trees also. On the other hand, there was a hint in the L.A. Times that the figs take a lot of watering, so that might be a factor in Los Angeles’s dehydrated dystopian future.

    What’s next? Will the worms in the Mexican jumping beans be discovered to be non native?

    Ah, the days when Angelenos had to take a field trip to immerse themselves in Mexican culture. Now it’s right outside your door, inescapable.

    OT

    Charles Murray on Twitter:

    @charlesmurray

    Mar 9

    About 30 seconds ago, I finished the text that I will submit to my publisher fulfilling my contract to produce a manuscript. Clocks in at 399 pages plus bib. It’s only the first of many steps before we get to bound volumes. Still, I think it warrants a celebratory drink.

    I’ve been asked about the title. It’s Human Diversity: Gender, Race, Class, and Genes. The title is way more exciting than the book. It’s exceptionally nerdy. No bombshells.

    Huh? Human Diversity: Gender, Race, Class, and Genes? It’s almost as if he decided to finally write the book that he is falsely accused of having written a quarter of a century ago.

    “Fulfilling my contract to produce a manuscript”: This almost sounds like he is deliberately submitting something he knows the publisher doesn’t want to publish. In the music industry there is a long tradition of such behavior: Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music,” Merle Haggard’s “I’m a White Boy,” the Turtles’ “Elenore,” Nick Lowe’s “Bay City Rollers We Love You,” and so on.

    • Replies: @RationalExpressions
  6. You think that’s planist, do you? Well I have an even darker, more hateful secret than that: The Chicago Area Waterway System’s racist, fishist, murderous electrified fish barrier:

    https://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works-Projects/ANS-Portal/Barrier/

    Asian Carp migrants should be free to experience the Great Lakes’ magic water. Those evil racist and fishist trout, bass, salmon, and perch have no right to their own ecosystem! Diversity is a habitat’s strength!

    Turn off that (electric) wall. It’s not who we are.

  7. J.Ross says: • Website

    Dave Chappelle refuses to apologize for using politically incorrect slang. THIS NEGRO RIGHT HERE

  8. Alice says:

    You’ve done good work on the trends for golf courses, but botanical gardens, once the beautiful inheritance of the work of our forebears did to beat back Mother Nature, are now filled with ugly weeds and devoid of flowers.

    Botanical gardens have been overcome by marxist leftists who considered the white man’s culture appropriation to be enslaving. So now it’s all these native grasses.

    They’ve even put the weeds on college campuses, apparently too stupid and ignorant to realize weed seeds spread and will destroy their commonses.

    We’ve lost everything. But like Venezuela it will take a few years to figure that out.

  9. At least this time we are being lectured by a blond cisnormative married female:

    • Replies: @prosa123
  10. songbird says:
    @Anonymous

    A lot of earthworms supposedly came with Europeans too though it seems difficult to believe.

  11. njguy73 says:

    When these foreign plants start paying taxes and voting, then we’ll give a shit about them.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  12. Lagertha says:

    This post of yours, is hilarious – it has been a tough winter! As a gardener, I kinda’ like the invasive plants (bittersweet, to name one) that take care of some sunless part in the acres of my property. Some invasives are downright pretty for their foliage, berries or flowers; and, with any rules-of-gardening, one has to keep an eye for pruning, dividing, shearing, etc. so the stuff does not takeover.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
    , @Anon
  13. TGGP says: • Website

    I had heard that invasive animal species are often highly successful, even though they didn’t evolve to eat the new food sources. So is it only a minority of possible invaders that manage to eat and become highly successful, and analogously only a minority of native animals will be able to eat these foreign plants?

  14. captflee says:

    My sympathies, Steve.

    I from time to time feel pretty glum about the future of my increasingly purple state, but you poor bastages on the left coast are well and truly up against it.

    Not sure how I, fan of Queensland that I am, missed knowing about that fig. The Moreton Bay Bugs are very tasty, if you have the opportunity, though one should be aware that I have spent some years among coonasses, so may have more toleration for outlandish tucker than is the norm.

  15. Lagertha says:
    @Lagertha

    invasive, AND alien: https://youtu.be/FqrLqg3w6AU

    I was kinda’ scared of America in 1968 when I saw this as a 2nd grader! I thought my parents had taken me to an alien, unstable country 😀

  16. El Dato says:

    Giant Hogweed are quite scary foreigners. You can’t even cut them down w/o wearing hazmat gear.

    Not a golden retriever on stalks, no sir!

    • Replies: @Anon
  17. istevefan says:

    I could have sworn we had a post on this blog a couple years back where the biology community was discussing ending the debate over the relative worth of native and non-native species because it too closely paralleled the debate surrounding human immigration. But if we did discuss it, I can’t find it.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    , @res
  18. Lagertha says:
    @Anonymous

    I actually learned that (origin of Blue Grass), kid you not, in middle school in Jersey in the early 70’s…when education was still very good in public schools. I did a report on Kentucky (and made a project) which was randomly assigned to me for our school’s “state fair” in the gym. I liked horses, so Kentucky was a dream state for me to be exhibiting.

  19. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    All I want to know is, is fig wood worth a shit for guitars? Or anything else?

    And if they are fig trees, are the figs edible?

    I’ve never eaten a fig except for a Fig Newton, which I found disgusting. But they must have been good for eating if nothing else was around at one time, or is this just the Middle Eastern fig and not the Australian Moreton fig?

    The Australian firm of Stuart & Sons makes the most impressive piano in the world and uses several types of Australian woods, but fig isn’t on the list.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @PiltdownMan
    , @Lot
    , @sb
    , @Olorin
  20. Whatever happened to boysenberry yogurt? That was huge 45 years ago, but I haven’t seen it in years.

    Are boysenberries alien, too?

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    , @Lagertha
  21. newrouter says:

    How many proggtards does it take to change a led bulb? Zero: they light candles.

  22. MBlanc46 says:

    Nativism! Mais non! That’s almost as bad as white supremacy.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  23. captflee says:

    Multicultivarism is a pretty good neologism, Steve, though Goolag has two results prior to yours, with one back in 2017 from a Norwegian master’s thesis. Still, out of a billion speakers of English, that’s pretty cutting edge stuff.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
  24. ‘…But now multicultivarism is out and nativism is in, so progressive opinion is calling for replacing the dead Moreton Bay fig downtown with a native oak or sycamore. I like those trees too, but still …’

    This all reminds me of the fetish some people made of for planting ‘California natives’ back before I fled my homeland.

    The thing is, I always suspected the people themselves were aliens — from New York or Chicago or Ohio or wherever.

    • Replies: @Anon
  25. Hhsiii says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Hey, that’s true. I think Dannon made it. Haven’t seen it in years. There was what I thought was a Boysenberry tree in the field behind our house. It was actually a mulberry. The taste is a little insipid, but I liked it as a kid. It needs a little lemon juice to tart it up.

  26. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Whatever happened to boysenberry yogurt? That was huge 45 years ago, but I haven’t seen it in years.

    I always thought boysenberries were proprietary to Knott’s Berry Farm, which we visited in ’69 when I was a kid.

    Is that still a popular vacation destination for tourists? I thought it was OK but Disneyland was way better.

    • Replies: @Anon
  27. The anti-nationalist, “nation of immigrants” program is in conflict with essentially everything else “progressives” claim to value, every other item on their agenda–except building a vote bank to win elections.

    But nowhere–well maybe a tie with jobs\wages\income inequality–is the conflict so stark as between immigrationism and environmentalism. There’s absolutely no piece of the enviromental agenda that isn’t trashed by “more immigration!”

    And yet … crickets. It’s a telling display of who is calling the shots.

    • Agree: ben tillman
    • Replies: @Tiny Duck
    , @Lagertha
    , @Ted Bell
  28. Ted Bell says:

    Up until the mid 90’s the Santa Barbara fig tree even had it’s own mail box. You could literally address a letter to:

    Jimbo
    The Fig Tree
    Santa Barbara, Ca. 93101

    And it would be delivered. Whether or not Jimbo would actually get it was up to whomever got to the mailbox first. There were sometimes dozens of homeless people living in that tree, and HUNDREDS sitting on or in it during the day.

    I forget when, but many years ago the city built a fence around it. It seems that the invasive species needed protection from the locals. Oddly, I can’t think of any native oaks around here with protective fences. Could this be a vision of the future? Government building walls to protect immigrants from the natives? It’s really starting to feel like that’s where we’re headed.

    * I’ve known Jimbo for almost 25 years, and he still lives in the empty lot across the street from the fig tree.

  29. Lagertha says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Dannon yogurt (first yogurt in the USA – I ate it daily for 2 decades+) was started by an Armenian couple. They had no heirs (Armenian holocaust survivors), ergo, the label and product died. But, the boysenberry has an interesting history…in Southern California! Berries are very protected in Europe..and impossible to grow without the right soil and ground – boysenberry was an early “triffid” berry…meaning, not that hard to grow.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Kaganovitch
  30. Tiny Duck says:
    @AnotherDad

    No it isn’t

    People of Color support a progressive agenda more than do white people

    Read Leonard Pitts

  31. Lagertha says:
    @captflee

    capt, Steve is taking a breather. Plus, right now, golf is good. It is basically, “spring break.”

  32. So someone at the NYT actually wrote the following sentence without recognizing the irony of how it applies to their own policy of open borders for human invaders:

    Worse, many alien plants are also highly invasive, choking out native plants and sending out their own seeds, some of which will settle and grow in wild places miles away from suburbia.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
  33. Lagertha says:
    @AnotherDad

    Sierra Club sold out when a billionaire (? – was he just a mere millionaire?) bankster (back in the 90’s ) ” rolled them ” with the stipulation that they never ever talk about overpopulation and out-of-control population, from Africa, South Asia, South America. I dumped Sierra Club after this era.

    • Replies: @Svigor
  34. Ted Bell says:
    @AnotherDad

    I forget her name, but there’s a regular at vdare who’s written extensively about the Sierra Club’s history with immigration. They were reliably anti-immigration until the early 90’s. Then they started caving in to the “RACIST!” screams, and drifted away from their roots. In 2004, David Gelbaum dangled $100 million in their faces, on the condition that they never mention immigration restriction again. Since then, they’ve been nothing more than a generic DNC puppet.

    The best wildlife conservationists this country has left, aside from the Audubon Society, tend to be hunters.

  35. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    Imported Eucalyptus trees are the scourge of California. Their roots slurp up all the water and nutrients. Even worse, their leaves constantly peeling off bark and seeds poison the ground for everything else not just trees, everything.

    So the little eucalyptus buds take root and soon you have a forest of eucalyptus trees. There’s parts of Marin county where the eucalyptus have destroyed everything including the redwoods.

    Magnolias became the city tree of Los Angeles years ago when Mayor Riordan selected it. Parks & streets planted thousands all over town. They’re perfect city street trees.

    1 just one trunk no big side roots so the roots don’t destroy the side walks
    2 massive amounts of shade less expensive air conditioning
    3 massive amounts of converting carbon dioxide to oxygen due to the big leaves
    4 they smell like lemons
    5 beautiful flowers and leaves

    My idea of a perfect city street would be alternating jacarandas and magnolias.

    The only advantage of palms is the one big trunk no side roots to destroy the sidewalks and streets Otherwise they are not attractive no shade and must cost a fortune to sent a tree man 100 feet up to cut off those hideous brown fronds

    I don’t think there were any native trees in coastal S California when the Spanish came Maybe 100 miles inland where the foothills begin. But just 20 miles from the ocean I don’t know

    I’d pick a jaracanda. They’re beautiful when in blossom very attractive when not in bloom and might make the Mexican racist chauvinists happy

  36. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lagertha

    So that’s why Dannon disappeared now it’s replaced by Obama’s Turkish friend Chobani. Boycott Chobani. They’re in Idaho and hire only African Muslim immigrants plus get all the tax and other bribes for locating there.

  37. @Anon

    Moreton Bay fig trees look like giant magnolia trees, although their above ground horizontal roots are crazy.

    Jacarandas are beautiful when in bloom in spring with their purple flowers. But a man who owned one told me he had to rake up under it three times per year: leaves, seeds, and flowers.

    I’ve never seen a street with alternating trees like you propose.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Dtbb
    , @sb
  38. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    I’m shocked, shocked that any NYSlimes writer would stoop so low as to soil
    her patrician hands to pull up
    seedlings and cut off buds

    Doesn’t she have an illegal Indian from a Stone Age village in Honduras for that?

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  39. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    There’s one near chicago. Sheridan road in the north suburbs Wilmette to lake forest.

    Alternating red and yellow maples and pink cherry trees for spring and white apple and pear for late spring then summer green then red and gold maples Some of the trees are in the front gardens some city street.

    Jacarandas are a mess. I’ve slipped on the blossoms often. But they’re beautiful for 6 weeks of the year and that’s all that matters.

  40. Anon[341] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    That Australian newsreader has quite a tan.

  41. Dtbb says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Around here jacarandas bloom twice a year.

  42. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Colin Wright

    I remember that. There was a like 7 year drought and the nurseries madly marketed native plants. idiot liberals went along of course and replaced their tiny little lawns with gravel and native plants

    But what the brainwashed liberals didn’t realize is that native plants grow about 4 feet a year till they get about 18 feet tall. The basic Los Angeles house outside wall is only about 9 feet tall. The gullible fools planted 3 foot native bushes and 3 years later the bushes covered the house and were growing taller that the roof.

    Another thing the nurseries and liberals didn’t know is that California native plats are very dry and full of combustible sap and resin . So when there a fire, one spark will ignite the environmentally correct native bushes covering your house and set everything ablaze.

    The mind of a liberal is an empty sink.

    Mind control central opens the plug, drains out the contents, puts in the plug, turns in the faucet and the empty sink is once again filled with propaganda

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  43. istevefan says:
    @Ted Bell

    Here is the original 2004 LA Times source article on this story, called “The Man Behind the Land”

    He has given more money to conservation causes in California than anyone else. His gifts have helped protect 1,179 square miles of mountain and desert landscapes, an area the size of Yosemite National Park.

    His donations to wilderness education programs have made it possible for 437,000 inner-city schoolchildren to visit the mountains, the desert or the beach — often for the first time.

    Over a decade of steadily growing contributions — including more than $100 million to the Sierra Club — this mathematician turned financial angel has taken great pains to remain anonymous.

    Later on page 2 of this article we get this passage about his linking of aid to the Sierra Club with the Club’s rejection of immigration restriction:

    But he said Pope long had known where he stood on the contentious issue. “I did tell Carl Pope in 1994 or 1995 that if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me.”

    Gelbaum said he was a substantial donor at the time but not yet the club’s largest benefactor. Immigration arose as an issue in 1994 because Proposition 187, which threatened to deny public education and health care to illegal immigrants, was on the state’s ballot.

    He said he was so upset by the idea of “pulling kids out of school” that he donated more than $180,000 to the campaign to oppose Proposition 187. After the measure passed, he said, he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to civil rights lawyers who ultimately got the measure struck down in court.

    Finally on page 3 we get a hint at his motivation for being pro-immigration:

    Gelbaum, who reads the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion and is married to a Mexican American, said his views on immigration were shaped long ago by his grandfather, Abraham, a watchmaker who had come to America to escape persecution of Jews in Ukraine before World War I.

    “I asked, ‘Abe, what do you think about all of these Mexicans coming here?’ ” Gelbaum said. “Abe didn’t speak English that well. He said, ‘I came here. How can I tell them not to come?’

    “I cannot support an organization that is anti-immigration. It would dishonor the memory of my grandparents.”

    And so we must take in the world, the environment be damned.

    • Replies: @donut
    , @Svigor
  44. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dtbb

    Congratulations The Cumberland Gap was the first gateway to west of the Appalachians America.

  45. Figs are yummy.

    The fruit is actually the flower nourished with the carcase of the male fig wasp who fertilized the eggs left by the much wiser female fig wasp.

    (All together now, even it is kind of dumb)

    Go Fig Her

  46. From NHL:

    The NHL is aware of reports that a homophobic slur was used during the Maple Leafs-Lightning game. The League is investigating the incident and will have no further comment until this investigation is completed

    https://mobile.twitter.com/pr_nhl/status/1105313100599828487

  47. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Would Brazilian rosewood trees be good in California? Vintage guitar cunts worship this wood, even though it’s mediocre. It takes a long time to grow to usable sizes for guitarmaking, but if it got popular in California in a few generations th wood would come down in price, plus apparently it is a very sturdy tree.

  48. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Imported Eucalyptus trees are the scourge of California. Their roots slurp up all the water and nutrients. Even worse, their leaves constantly peeling off bark and seeds poison the ground for everything else not just trees, everything.

    So the little eucalyptus buds take root and soon you have a forest of eucalyptus trees. There’s parts of Marin county where the eucalyptus have destroyed everything including the redwoods.

    Couldn’t we import some koalas to eat the eucalyptus? It doesn’t seem like they could do too much damage as an invasive species

    • Agree: International Jew
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    , @dearieme
  49. @James Speaks

    Figs are yummy.

    Figs are delicious both fresh (although they’re quite fragile) and dried.

  50. Figs are delicious both fresh (although they’re quite fragile) and dried.

    Q: Which is your favorite, the white fig or the brown fig.?

    A: The brown fig. No, wait! The white fig. (yiiiieeeeeeeeee)

    (I fig in your general direction.)

  51. @Anon

    I’m shocked, shocked that any NYSlimes writer would stoop so low as to soil
    her patrician hands to pull up
    seedlings and cut off buds

    She was sent to work on the collective farm by her local Red Guard chapter. She made the mistake of surmising out loud.

  52. Too bad we don’t have Moreton Bay bugs. They’re weird-looking and I don’t know anything about what they do to the local communities, but they’re delicious. They can invade and take over as far as I’m concerned. The local species of lobsters make me think of white bread and mayonnaise, and I’m not so sure they support AIPAC.

    https://www.australiantropicalfoods.com/index.php/australian-seafood/moreton-bay-bug/

  53. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    OT:

    The Case for Getting Rid of Borders—Completely
    By Alex Tabarrok
    October 10, 2015

    Is there hope for the future? Closed borders are one of the world’s greatest moral failings but the opening of borders is the world’s greatest economic opportunity. The grandest moral revolutions in history—the abolition of slavery, the securing of religious freedom, the recognition of the rights of women—yielded a world in which virtually everyone was better off. They also demonstrated that the fears that had perpetuated these injustices were unfounded. Similarly, a planet unscarred by iron curtains is not only a world of greater equality and justice. It is a world unafraid of itself.

    Alexander Taghi Tabarrok (born November 11, 1966) is a Canadian-American economist and co-author, with Tyler Cowen, of the economics blog Marginal Revolution. Tabarrok and Cowen have also ventured into online education with Marginal Revolution University.

    Tabarrok is a professor at Virginia’s George Mason University and Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the school’s Mercatus Center. In addition, Tabarrok is director of research for the Oakland, California based think tank the Independent Institute. He is the son of the late mechanical engineering professor Behrooz (Bez) Tabarrok.

    His doctoral studies were done at George Mason University where he received his Ph.D. in 1994.

    He has done work on dominant assurance contracts, law and economics, and health economics. He has two sons named Connor and Max Tabarrok.

    In 2012, ((David Brooks)) called Tabarrok one of the most influential bloggers on the right, writing that he is among those who “start from broadly libertarian premises but do not apply them in a doctrinaire or logical way.”[1]

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anon
  54. Mr. Blank says:

    Moreton Bay fig trees really are one of the nicest things about Southern California. So what if it’s an import? It looks great.

  55. donut says:
    @istevefan

    “I cannot support an organization that is anti-immigration. It would dishonor the memory of my grandparents.” What about our grandparents ?

  56. @Anonymous

    And if they are fig trees, are the figs edible?

    I’ve never eaten a fig except for a Fig Newton, which I found disgusting.

    High quality dried figs are delicious. But you’ll likely find them to be disgusting anyway, after you read how they are pollinated by small wasps. From Wikipedia:

    Though the lives of individual species differ, a pollinating fig wasp life cycle is as follows. In the beginning of the cycle, a mature female pollinator wasp enters the immature “fruit” (actually a stem-like structure known as a syconium) through a small natural opening (the ostiole) and deposits her eggs in the cavity.

    Forcing her way through the ostiole, she often loses her wings and most of her antennae. To facilitate her passage through the ostiole, the underside of the female’s head is covered with short spines that provide purchase on the walls of the ostiole. In depositing her eggs, the female also deposits pollen she picked up from her original host fig. This pollinates some of the female flowers on the inside surface of the fig and allows them to mature. After the female wasp lays her eggs and follows through with pollination, she dies.

    After pollination, there are several species of non-pollinating wasps which deposit their eggs before the figs harden. These wasps act as parasites to either the fig or possibly the pollinating wasps. As the fig develops, the wasp eggs hatch and develop into larvae. After going through the pupal stage, the mature male’s first act is to mate with a female. The males of many species lack wings and are unable to survive outside the fig for a sustained period of time. After mating, a male wasp begins to dig out of the fig, creating a tunnel through which the females escape.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  57. @Anonymous

    He is the son of the late mechanical engineering professor Behrooz (Bez) Tabarrok…

    In 2012, ((David Brooks)) called Tabarrok one of the most influential bloggers on the right,

    Maybe we should write names like )))Behrouz((( and )))Taghi Tabarrok((( thus.

  58. @PiltdownMan

    But you’ll likely find them to be disgusting anyway, after you read how they are pollinated by small wasps.

    At least they’re not pollinated by WASPs.

    This and a recent reference to “bee vomit” (honey) in another comment reminds me of that great day in fifth grade when the teacher told us where gelatin comes from. In the morning. Before lunch. Where they served us Jell-O for dessert.

    A couple of savvy classmates and I made out like bandits. What, maybe four-and-twenty, divided by three? It was glorious.

    The next day, though, everyone had forgotten, and we just had our own Jell-O.

  59. Cortes says:

    Do we have to give up growing tomatoes and potatoes in the new world of native plants? And oranges? In his “The Conquest of New Spain” Bernal Diaz Del Castillo tells a story about how he found the small orange tree saplings from pips sown in Yucatán during an earlier expedition. By way of contrast, the diet of the Native American people among whom Cabeza de Vaca lived during the long overland journey from Florida to Mexico didn’t sound that wonderful. Prickly pears and pine nuts for months at a time. Yumtastic!

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  60. Philip says:

    The state flower of California, the Strelitzia, is a native of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa (my home province).

    • Replies: @utu
  61. J James says:

    “A landscape populated by nonnative plants is, for wildlife, the equivalent of a desert.”
    In general this is totally false. It is true there are some species that have co-evolved alongside specific plants. Many rare butterfly species only reproduce on a certain plant for example. But in general, like ourselves, for most native invertebrates the main requirements are food, water, shelter. For pollinators for example, exotics can usually extend the flowering season and provide more energy from nectar and pollen. I attract a large variety of native bees to my Sydney garden with exotic catmint which they seem to especially love. The garden ecosystem builds up from these invertebrates. Small birds’ primary requirement is shelter to nest, dense prickly shrubbery is needed that larger birds can’t access – they won’t care if its indigenous.

    “Worse, many alien plants are also highly invasive, choking out native plants and sending out their own seeds, some of which will settle and grow in wild places miles away from suburbia.” Well this is sadly true, but also true of ‘native’ species from other parts of the country. I believe the horticultural industry and gardeners are both now very conscious of the potential of garden plants to ‘escape captivity’. Many exotics have long history in cultivation and sterile hybrids can be produced. Any rational discussion of this issue would have to acknowledge that while some imports have been disastrous, some exotics are very useful. I imagine the author doesn’t eat only native plants.

    These ‘native only’ fanatics have been around for decades and have failed to persuade most of us.
    I don’t think they are dominating the current gardening zeitgeist. Acceptance that we are now in a ‘post-wild’ world is pretty widespread.

    Nice to hear Australia has exported our lovely Moreton Bay figs. These, along with the Port Jackson Fig are very popular shade trees here in Sydney. But please, these are for public spaces, not private backyards. It’s a nice contrast to the Eucalyptus that are wreaking havoc across the globe. Although I still can’t help but admire them.

  62. Svigor says:

    Get woke, bigot.

    Sacrifices have to be made.

  63. Svigor says:
    @Lagertha

    David (((Gelbaum))) is the name you’re looking for.

    The sum was $100 million, IIRC, but don’t quote me on that.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
  64. Lot says:
    @Anonymous

    Fresh figs are sold at all large California grocery stores, and many people have trees. Probably sold at Whole Foods nationwide.

  65. Svigor says:
    @istevefan

    Gelbaum, who reads the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion and is married to a Mexican American, said his views on immigration were shaped long ago by his grandfather, Abraham, a watchmaker who had come to America to escape persecution of Jews in Ukraine before World War I.

    “I asked, ‘Abe, what do you think about all of these Mexicans coming here?’ ” Gelbaum said. “Abe didn’t speak English that well. He said, ‘I came here. How can I tell them not to come?’

    “I cannot support an organization that is anti-immigration. It would dishonor the memory of my grandparents.”

    (((OY VEY)))!!!

    Funny how this stuff FUCKING NEVER applies to Israel. You’d think their back yard would be the petri dish of their ostensible politics, but it’s the opposite.

    Meaning, Jewish Supremacy (AKA, anti-whiteism) is the explanation, not leftism.

  66. @Cortes

    Apparently, they only eat cornbread, some kinds of beans and squash, whatever native species they can wildcraft, and venison and fish at the NYT.

  67. “As aliens, they are poor food sources for our native animals and insects. A landscape populated by nonnative plants is, for wildlife, the equivalent of a desert.”

    I guess as a condition of their parole and release into the US, we should require “new arrivals” to bring foreign insects and animals with them.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  68. @Anon

    “The mind of a liberal is an empty sink.”

    No, it is a wealth, energy and intellect sink.

  69. Anon[713] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    That’s right, Knott’s Berry Farm and the required souvenir of boysenberry jam. You went there every umpteenth Disney visit, for variety. That was before Universal Studios, or even Magic Mountain. Of course there was also Busch Gardens, of which my memories are vague.

    I had no idea the history of boysenberries, reading it in Wikipedia now. That would be a very clever way to detect a Southern Californian (of a certain vintage) without his knowing it, since I think most of us have no idea that there is a kind of berry that is more or less limited to Southern California.

  70. MEH 0910 says:
    @Anonymous

    Couldn’t we import some koalas to eat the eucalyptus? It doesn’t seem like they could do too much damage as an invasive species

    Simpsons Invasive Species Clip Bart Vs Australia

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  71. Does anybody remember when the mimosa was an actual tree, with a thick, perpendicular trunk? I remember climbing them when I was a kid. The only mimosa we have in Alabama now are woody weeds that grow in any direction except straight up. They can fill up an open field with their criss-crossed woody stems, making it impossible to walk through it. Is it possible for a plant species to become morally degenerate and lazy, lacking a spine, as it were?

  72. @Anon

    IMO (and the wife’s too) Chobani yoghurt is an inferior tasting product. Luckily here in Austin we have a local dairy (White Mountain) whose yoghurt (plain, no fruit flavors, regular and low-fat) is superb. We saw the 60 Minutes reportage on Chobani, so we tried his yoghurt out of curiosity. It seemed inferior even to Dannon yoghurt. Chobani seems a smarmy despicable fellow who prefers foreigners to work for him rather than home-grown Americans.

  73. sb says:
    @Steve Sailer

    There are some close parallels with imported trees in Australia :

    Pine trees are a major commercial crop but pine forests are an ecological desert for those who care about such things . I’m aware of a couple of redwood forests which while also ecological deserts seem to be minor tourist venues .
    On the other hand elm trees are a well appreciated major urban and park tree without Dutch Elm Disease which has devastated their number elsewhere . Jacarandas are also very popular .

    Most streets everywhere in Australia are tree lined so there is quite a range of both native and imported trees
    Always been impressed with the eucalyptus trees ( Australians call them gum trees ) in California .

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  74. sb says:
    @Anonymous

    The Moreton Bay Fig has nothing (much ) in common with the traditional fig tree. They are native to subtropical Australia and are best known for their huge canopy . Humans don’t eat their fruit .

    Weren’t fig trees -of the Eurasian kind – the first fruit tree to be domesticated ?

    • Replies: @Cortes
  75. dearieme says:
    @Anonymous

    Koalas would Set A Bad Example, being bone idle and prone to the pox.

  76. dearieme says:

    When we lived in Oz there was a flourishing Nazi-like drive to replace vile immigrant European trees and bushes by native species. The fools who made that replacement around their houses exposed themselves to far greater risk of death in bush fires.

  77. Those palms are not Royal Palms, Steve. I believe they are Mexican Fan Palms. They must be attractors of a different kind of non-native invasive species too.

  78. Anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Open borders basically means open U.S. borders, right? They’re not that concerned about whether Americans have the right to wander into China or Japan without a passport, or Russia, whether South Americans can wander across each other’s borders, whether I can fly into Israel or Saudi Arabia and blow off questions from immigration officers and decide to stick around awhile and live off their welfare system? The whole idea is that everyone should be able to come to the U.S. There wouldn’t even be reciprocity requirements or most favored nations policies? I’d guess not, because at this moment I cannot walk into Mexico, get a driver’s licences, go to law school on a scholarship, and pass the bar and work as an attorney, all without any sort of visa; but no open borders supporters seem concerned ahout that.

  79. @The Alarmist

    They already do if you count their varieties of lice and scabies.

  80. @songbird

    I imagine that some European explorers and settlers traveled with potted plants, which may have included earthworms in the pot.

  81. The most magnificient tree in all the earth is the American Elm (ulmus americana) The great tree is almost extinct because of the introduction , in the early 20th century, of an asian beetle pest. The analogy to our own human American culture is obvious.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  82. Currahee says:

    Soon after moving to LA, I happened to be flying over Van Nuys blvd., where I worked daily. Looking down I see palm trees. I was shocked because at ground level these ugly things are indistinguishable from phone poles and just as beautiful.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  83. @Anon

    I thought this was the most famous example of the f u final obligated single (NSFW):

  84. In SoCal, I’ve seen palm fronds detach from the tree, plummet to earth like an iron bomb, and embed themselves in the turf like a lawn dart.

  85. Isn’t fennel another SoCal invasive species choking out native fauna? At least it was a big deal 15 years ago when I visited Catalina Island. They were also cursing the eucalyptus trees, which were the only things giving shade on that desert island.

  86. @Lagertha

    As a food service guy I can tell you that this is not so. Dannon was bought by Danone (French company) around twenty years ago. They are currently the largest yogurt seller in the USA, with almost twice the sales of chobani. Their Greek yogurt product is Oikos. They also sell fit and active and other brands. The Greek yogurt craze is just about played out, probably skyr is next hot item.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    , @Olorin
    , @Lagertha
  87. prosa123 says:
    @Kaganovitch

    Food companies are not sorry to see the decline of Greek yogurt’s popularity. Producing a given quantity of Greek yogurt requires substantially more milk than is the case with other varieties and also involves large amounts of expensive-to-eliminate byproducts.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Olorin
  88. @Ted Bell

    If she’s a regular and writing about the environment, especially in California, that’d be Brenda Walker. I’m pretty sure she lives there. She write posts on the human factor effects of the immigration invasion, about the environment, and lately about automation eliminating lots of jobs, every single one of them calm and civil, unlike, say, some bloggers I could name.

    iSteveFan and others have the scoop on that Gelbaum guy.

  89. Cortes says:
    @sb

    Certainly seem to have featured in the law of Ancient Greece:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sycophant

  90. @Anon

    I guess we can disagree on all sorts of things, even landscape plants! ;-} I can tell you know lots about the subject, but I disagree about the Magnolias. They are a pain in the ass. It’s one thing to have them out in a field or by the highway next to the woods.

    However, if you want the area clean, you’ve to to take 50 wheelbarrows worth of leaves that they drop during the summer, for each mature tree. That is only if you want to be able to walk under it. You can leave the piles of slowly rotting leaves under it, if the wind isn’t gonna blow much. Regarding Magnolias on the city streets of Los Angeles, you may want to talk to the guys that operate the leaf blowers and rakes.

    • Replies: @Anon
  91. @MEH 0910

    Freaking hilariious, all of it – “No, the Walter Mondale; it’s a laundry ship.”

  92. @Currahee

    LaBelle, Florida celebrates the poor, maligned palm tree:

  93. Olorin says:
    @Anonymous

    All I want to know is, is fig wood worth a shit for guitars? Or anything else?

    Which “fig” wood/tree in particular? Lots of variation in Moraceae spp.

  94. @prosa123

    Producing a given quantity of Greek yogurt requires substantially more milk than is the case with other varieties and also involves large amounts of expensive-to-eliminate byproducts.

    I wouldn’t want to be an animal on a Greek dairy farm.

  95. Olorin says:
    @Kaganovitch

    probably skyr is next hot item.

    Home culturing is the next hot item.

  96. Olorin says:
    @prosa123

    Producing a given quantity of Greek yogurt requires substantially more milk than is the case with other varieties and also involves large amounts of expensive-to-eliminate byproducts.

    How can making “Greek” (strained) yogurt “require substantially more milk”? Than what?

    Yogurt is cultured/lacto-fermented milk. A quart of milk, cultured, makes about a quart of yogurt.

    If you start with whole milk, and make whole milk yogurt, you need a higher quality milk on the input end. But you end up with yogurt.

    The Dannon, etc., skim milk stuff isn’t yogurt–it’s cultured dairy by-products, e.g., milk that has had the butterfat removed or other fractions skimmed for other food production. Then the cultured fraction-product is herked up with gums, flavored with sugar and fractions of fruit production, etc. It’s not yogurt at all.

    You can lacto-ferment just about any food. So what are the “large amounts of expensive-to-eliminate byproducts” you refer to?

    “Greek” yogurt is strained yogurt–some of the whey is removed/drained off. Whey isn’t difficult to eliminate. There are non-industrial-scale cheese producers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and elsewhere who run their whey through tanks of plants and fishes and stuff…and groundwater-discharge-safe effluent comes out the other end. (“Living machines.”) One guy I knew siphoned his discharge into a tank, and his dairy cattle loved it. So then he gave them the whey, and they loved it more, though I seem to recall there was some concern about gut flora in ruminants or some such. Can’t recall the resolution of that.

    Of course if you’re running Big Globo’s biggest yogurt factory in Dayton, OH, and straining off sixty gorillion gallons of whey a day, it’s going to be a problem requiring the regular arrival of tanker trucks taking your effluent to a treatment plant before discharging into wherever (IME, municipal waste water treatment, for recycling into urban drinking water).

    All a good argument for dispersing, rather than centralizing, yogurt production. Thermophilic yogurt is easy to produce; mesophilic yogurt even easier.

    Of course if enough people did this, Big Moo would have to jack up the price of milk by 10 times to keep the profits flowing. To them, not farmers. (How small is the farmer/producer fraction of the consumer retail food dollar these days? Around 2004 it was something like 15 cents. All the rest goes to packaging, marketing, transportation, advertising, etc.)

    Commercial yogurt is appalling crap–partial nutritional value, full of sugars and additives, spends god alone knows how much time sitting in plastic, just another nexus of industrial efficiencies posing as “food” and pandering to the latest engineered fashions in consumer taste.

    • Replies: @Anon
  97. utu says:
    @Philip

    No, it’s California poppy.

  98. Incel says:

    Yes, only USA native plants, those here before any humans arrived, should be grown in the USA.
    So no more growing of: wheat, rye, flax, barley, soybeans, cucumbers, lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, onions, garlic, rice, chickpeas, lentils, fava beans, okra, apples, pears, plums, lemons, oranges, cherries, turnips, rutabagas, strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, cabbages, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
    But why stop there certainly then following logically, non native animals should likewise not be raised or consumed.
    So no more cows, pigs, goats, chickens, pheasants, sheep, etc.
    Bon appétit!

  99. Tipsy says:

    I have been fascinated by the efforts, started by Joseph Hooker in the mid-1800s, to terraform Green Mountain on Ascension Island. Before his efforts, the mountain peak was dry and home only to “spiky grasses”. Afterwards, it was a damp cloud forest that was “completely vegetated, including areas of dense trees and bushes, interspersed with some grassy slopes. The variety of plants includes banana, ginger, juniper, raspberry, coffee, ferns, fig trees, Cape Yews, and Norfolk Island pines.”

    In other words, a complete success. Still, in recent articles on the subject, you can hear a tone of lament concerning Hooker’s efforts. Anti-Multicultivarism is now the order of the day.

  100. @RockinSockin

    Fortunately, it was saved by backcrossing with Chinese elms. They are about to release a mostly American elm tree soon.

    • Replies: @Anon
  101. @Achmed E. Newman

    I had no idea that Palm trees grow so fast. Now, if you can wait 50 to 100 years, Live Oaks are the best, most beautiful big trees I know of. You can walk up the branches onto the tree.

    With some oaks you can walk up the trunk and crawl across the canopy, like these next to the Fulton Mansion in Rockport, Texas. :

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  102. @ben tillman

    That’d be a lot of fun, Ben. Pretty cool.

  103. Lagertha says:
    @Kaganovitch

    Dannon disappeared 30 years ago – read my post. It was Armenian. Don’t be an asshole.

  104. Lagertha says:
    @Svigor

    thank you, babe. I have so many names and dates swirling in my head all the time.

  105. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Thanks for the information I had no idea.

  106. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lagertha

    Queen Anne’s lace is a beautiful weed. There are wild sweet peas too. The flowers are smaller and only fuschia color. There are other pretty weeds but I don’t know their names.

  107. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @El Dato

    I see giant hogweed all over. They’re very pretty The leaves are similar to acanthus and the flowers are very pretty. I had no idea they were poisonous

  108. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I forgot to mention those huge rubber indestructible leaves of magnolias.

    But Los Angeles has an excellent streets department and they seem to remove the magnolia leaves as I never see they laying around. Or maybe in Southern California magnolia leaves never die and stay on the trees?? I don’t know.

    Just the fact of no side roots makes them ideal city street trees. There are some in the Huntington gardens that are hurricane barriers. Grab some branches when the saplings are young Bend then down to the ground and out some big bricks on it. The branch will take root. The sign said it’s commonky done in the coastal areas of the south to absorb the wind and water of hurricanes. It’s interesting tall magnolia trees surrounded with like thick sturdy short magnolias

    But in Los Angeles the magnolia leaves aren’t a problem.

  109. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Olorin

    I’m sure you’re right. Here’s another Marvy recipe. Quart plain yogurt read the label to be sure it’s not nasty vanilla or lemon flavor. 4 or 5 cucumbers or 6 or 7 Persian cucumbers. Big bunch cilantro a lemon.

    Peel cucumbers if Persian just cut all but one into several pieces. If regular slice all but one in half length wise and remove all seeds and goo chop in big piece. Remove stems from cilantro.

    Put a big glob of yogurt in blender then some cucumbers then the rest of the cucumbers yogurt and about half the cilantro and juice of one lemon but of salt.

    Blend for a minute till all cucumbers are mushed up. Taste add more cilantro if desired. Chop up the last cucumber and some cilantro. Serve with chopped cucumbers and cilantro on top.

    You could add some mint to make it middle easternish

    It’s really good during heat waves. Read the label try and get the brand with as little gum arabic and gunk as possible

    Another cook some blueberries with sugar when it cools mix with plain yogurt in blender or with a sooon to keep the berries intact

    And never ever never buy chobani Turk immigrant owner African rapist employees plunked down in Idaho with bazillions of tax exemptions and government subsidies

  110. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Oh good. Elms are so beautiful. The wood is somewhat waterproof They used to make barn stable pig sty floors of elm because it’s waterproof

  111. @sb

    ‘…Always been impressed with the eucalyptus trees ( Australians call them gum trees ) in California .’

    Please…take them. The tree from Satan…

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments are moderated by iSteve, at whim.


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution