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The Not So Melancholy Dane

From a new paper by Eugenio Proto and Andrew J. Oswald:

National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration

This paper examines a famous puzzle in social science. Why do some nations report such high happiness? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich nations’ well-being; Great Britain and the US enter further down; France and Italy do relatively poorly. Yet the explanation for this ranking — one that holds even after adjustment for GDP and socio-economic and cultural variables — remains unknown. We explore a new avenue. Using data on 131 countries, we document a range of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that certain nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.

My vague impression from spending a few days in Paris a long time ago is that simple happiness isn’t really the chief goal of Parisians, somewhat like how New Yorkers are more likely to have urges that are difficult to mutually satisfy — e.g., it’s not just that I must win but also that others must lose; and third parties must recognize my triumph and their ignominious defeat. This makes for interesting novels, but not necessarily broadly high levels of happiness.

 
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  1. dearieme
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    Before seeking to explain a phenomenon it would be as well to test whether it really exists.

    I accept that Americans may be unhappy – they keep divorcing each other, murdering each other, killing each other in car crashes, and so on. Anyway, they mostly live in filthy climates. But do the Danes do much better? On climate, obviously. But how about the others, or how about suicide rates, or drunkenness rates say?

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  2. BB753
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    The trick? Low neuroticism and high IQ.

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  3. dearieme
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    I like to check such results against my own experience. As I understand it, genetic studies suggest that the population is more Dane-like in the East of England, less so in the West. The East also has a drier, sunnier climate. Do I find that Easterners seem happier than Westerners? Quite the opposite: dour, taciturn, grumpy buggers, in the East versus cheerier, chattier people in the West. You’ll get the drift just by consulting the stereotype for Yorkshiremen.

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  4. Numinous
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    So Denmark is a homogeneous country. And a happy country. So what? Singapore is not homogeneous, yet it is happy.

    Your entire worldview seems to be built around the recognition and celebration of natural impulses. If people are naturally attracted towards (or trust) members of their tribe, or people who look like them, then that’s the only way human societies ought to organize themselves. Tribally!

    Yet the entire history of civilization has been one of suppressing one’s natural impulses to build larger and larger tents. And guess what; it succeeded. Religion was the first attempt at such “large-tent civilization”, and it’s still the most powerful social force on the planet. Acculturation in any society (as long as it is done with purpose) always breeds trust among its members. The examples you keep bringing up to justify your worldview involve societal breakdowns in response to contingent historical events (like in Yugoslavia and Iraq.) Because people behave in a certain way when they land in trouble does not mean they must behave that way all the time. Unless such behavior (tribal/ethnic solidarity with distrust towards outsiders) is the end you desire.

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  5. The not so melancholy Dane | Reaction Times
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    […] Source: Steve Sailer […]

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  6. Dahlia
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    This one will be good for your European readers.
    My sister’s German fiancé says they have a funny reputation for hauling their campers all over Europe. He’ll laugh himself silly over it.

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  7. Flip
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    O/T-
    James Garner was a quarter Cherokee? (per the NY Times)

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  8. SFG
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    Of course it’s cultural. Since when have the French seen happiness as a goal? If anything it sounds too Anglo-Saxon.

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  9. anony-mouse
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    I’d pay less attention to reported happiness and more to revealed preferences ie this:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_OECD_ countries_by_suicide_rate

    In which case Denmark is only slightly happier than the US-and all other Scandinavians, except Icelanders are unhappier than Americans.

    And I wouldn’t be knocking New Yorkers-by this data they are the happiest of all 50:

    http://www.hopeline.com/pdf/2010-data-by-state.pdf

    (And White males have the highest rate, and its not close.)

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  10. 2Degrees
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    My experience of the French is that the whole nature of their education and employment systems leaves most of them with the permanent feeling that they have failed in life.

    The country is also viciously divided by class (worse than England) and there is a lot of bad blood between the capital and the provinces.

    Other than that, most of France really is a great place to live. La Banlieue du Sud doesn’t count, because none of the people there are French.

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  11. Anonymous
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    “we document a range of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that certain nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.”

    I bet that Danes transplanted into China lose a lot of their predisposition to happiness, while Chinese transplanted into Denmark suddenly become a lot happier.

    Coincidentally, national happiness indexes correlate almost exactly with national corruption perception indexes. Ever notice that?

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  12. Corn
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    “France and Italy do relatively poorly”

    This surprises me. Our cosmopolitan betters are always telling us how relaxed they are.
    As for the Danes, a couple years ago there was a segment on 60 Minutes about how Denmark had been ranked “the world’s happiest country” by some study. The 60 Minutes crew interviewed one Dane who said in his opinion the study was a bit off. He said, “I don’t know if we’re necessarily happy, but we’re content.”

    He said Denmark wasn’t a large country, it would never be an economic or military giant, but nobody in Denmark really minded. After all, they were free, everyone had a roof and a meal.

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  13. Rotfl
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    http://www.pewforum.org/files/2014/07/Views-of-Religious-Groups-full-PDF-for-web.pdf

    Interesting study.

    Christians, especially Evangelicals, love the Jews and dislike Muslims, but American Jews prefer Muslims over Christians, especially over Evangelicals.

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  14. Hepp
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    I doubt there’s a control for physical attractiveness, which is a huge contributor to human happiness.

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  15. Wilkey
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    Totally OT, but I found this interesting: both of the candidates for Lt. Gov. in Florida are Hispanic…actually, Jewish-Hispanic. Yep.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/19/4244356/even-among-opponents-crist-pick.html

    Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, the Democratic candidate, converted to Judaism before meeting her husband, Eric Goldstein. Her father was Italian-American and her mother was Colombian.

    Carlos Lopez-Cantera, the Republican and current (appointed) Lt. Gov., is the son of a Catholic father and Jewish mother.

    The more diverse this country gets, the more our elite looks all alike.

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  16. http://youtu.be/M419D6LsqZU?t=58s

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  17. JI
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    I can imagine the future of the Danish economy – exporting an extract of Danish blood that is isolate of well-being.

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  18. http://youtu.be/-E7ke9AqJ7E

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  19. Sean
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    Nobody gets to win big in Denmark. So no one feels like a loser

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  20. Anon
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    Happiness isn’t just getting what you want, it’s having lower stress levels. If you’re achieving your goals but your stress is through the roof, you’re going to be unhappy. In one sense, happiness is easily attained by simply being unambitious and not caring about it.

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  21. PC machine always accuses us of fear-mongering about black crime, illegal invasion, and etc, but we are really only fact-mongering.

    It’s good to be fact-mongers than false-mongers.

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  22. Skyislander
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    No IQ differences among races but happy-Q okay.

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  23. Svigor
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    So Denmark is a homogeneous country. And a happy country. So what? Singapore is not homogeneous, yet it is happy.

    Your entire worldview seems to be built around the recognition and celebration of natural impulses. If people are naturally attracted towards (or trust) members of their tribe, or people who look like them, then that’s the only way human societies ought to organize themselves. Tribally!

    That’s an interesting take on it. Leftoids demand that no (white) people organize themselves tribally. If you oppose this taboo, then according to leftoids, you demand that everyone organize themselves tribally.

    Straw man, much? Projection, I suppose; leftoids are totalitarians who demand leftoid hegemony, so they project that aspect of themselves onto others.

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  24. Svigor
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    The examples you keep bringing up to justify your worldview involve societal breakdowns in response to contingent historical events (like in Yugoslavia and Iraq.) Because people behave in a certain way when they land in trouble does not mean they must behave that way all the time. Unless such behavior (tribal/ethnic solidarity with distrust towards outsiders) is the end you desire.

    ? You mean contingent historical events like the current demographic disaster befalling the US? Gosh, how could anyone ever see the parallels between America’s likely future, and Yugoslavia or Iraq’s past? Or Rome’s, or Austria-Hungary’s, or…

    What are the rosy examples where multicultism works out well?

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  25. Svigor
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    (And White males have the highest rate, and its not close.)

    I’ve never seen anyone disentangle good suicides from bad ones. Good ones being old guys with terminal diseases who check themselves out under their own steam rather than linger on in pain costing someone huge sums of money. Does that study do so? Such responsibility would seem to be (very) disproportionately the purview of white (and maybe yellow) men.

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  26. Svigor
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    Annette Taddeo-Goldstein

    Any relation to Tonto Bubba Goldstein, of iSteve fame?

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  27. Svigor
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    Sorry, I meant that no (white, non-Jewish) people get to organize themselves tribally. Total tribalism for Jews in their Fatherland in the Levant is of course a Mandate from Heaven.

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  28. Doraemon
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    If you’re a loser (say, of a rugby championship a few years back) in France you get a machete-wielding mob to hack at you.

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/rugby-union/28393792

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  29. e
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    dearieme said, ” Anyway, they mostly live in filthy climates. ”

    Americans? “Mostly”? They do?

    I live in CA (not the LA Basin). The air quality is good and the climate is great. Maybe you can be more specific.

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  30. syon
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    Man does not strive for happiness; only the Englishman does that.”

    ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, Or, How to Philosophize With the Hammer

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  31. helpez
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    Is California bracing for an earthquake or a birthquake?

    With amnesty, birth rates of illegals are going to go sky high.

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  32. Yeahoethjwo
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    Denmark is early 1990s California on the immigration level. The politicians don’t notice because they are working during the week. So the weekends everything becomes very white, but during the weekdays it is very ‘hispanic’ but with Muslims.

    There’s also a sex tourism in the opposite direction with Asian and Latin women going to have sex with white men. I saw so many young Danish men (late teens) with their AMERICAN Asian girlfriends. It was really messed up. Also, in the clubs/bars the AMERICAN Asian women would pick the weakest, nerdiest white male and surround him. I saw it with my own eyes and gave a blow by blow account sports caster style to the people at my table as the Asian women practically offered themselves on a platter for the ‘boy.’

    Spread those legs ladies!!!

    As far as the Asian Asians who live there and aren’t American Asian white Boy hunting Sex Tourists….They are the rudest, most entitled people I have ever seen in my life. Take the most Entitled White Hating Black Woman….Triple that….That is the level of entitlement Asian residents in Denmark have. It’s shocking.

    Danish politicians live in a la la land where they have NO CLUE what is going on in the rest of the world. They truly, ignorantly, and naively think that Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen To Them.
    Their ignorance is not out of malice, but absolute naivety.

    Not a lot of black people, I did feel like it was possible that a black person interrupted a conversation with me and an opposite sex friend to talk to me thinking I was European and therefore a unique specimen to have sex with. Or maybe not? Maybe the person was just rude? Like I said, minority sex tourism.

    The Muslims are just so creepy walking around with their Hoods on, and Grim Reaper outfits….They glare at you as they walk past you in the hallway of your apartment. Then there’s some Muslim women who want to ‘bridge’ the divide and work to unite the two communities—Notice Muslim women not men…those are the ones who want to have sex with you LOL!

    That being said, definitely should take a vacation there. Lots of awesome things to see!

    Oh…Guess what I saw in Copenhagen one night….An American (possibly jewish) female Bitching to a Blonde Danish Girl about How There Were So many white People…..

    The Danish girl said “But we have Arabs?” in a sad attempt to make her ‘friend’ happy…..

    I almost said something, but I had a train to catch.

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  33. Aristippus
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    One of the funny outliers in happiness studies is Bhutan. The people there tend to be among the happiest in world even though it’s relatively poor country high up in the Himalayans that’s probably infested with yetis. Usually this gets attributed to the country’s guiding principle of Buddhist economics and fixation on the gross national happiness (GNH) measures instead of GDP. From what I’ve read about the kingdom, much of their strategy comes from respecting the traditional culture, improving public health, good karma, and protecting the environment. Like Denmark, there’s an acknowledgement that they’re never going to be a superpower, so there’s probably less anxiety as a result.

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  34. syon
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    Britain has the highest divorce rate in the European Union, a survey reveals today.
    The number of divorces throughout the EU is on the increase, with an average of 1.8 divorces for every 1,000 people.
    But in Britain and in Finland the rate is 2.8 divorces per 1,000, compared with just 0.6 per 1,000 in Luxembourg.
    But while the divorce rate slightly increased during the 1990s, the rate of births outside marriage has risen sharply – more than one child in four was born outside marriage in the EU in 1999, compared with fewer than one in five in 1989.
    The figures vary widely between member states – ranging from just 4% of births being outside marriage in Greece to 55% in Sweden. Britain is well above the 26% EU average, at 38.8%.

    (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-52829/Britain-highest-divorce-rate-EU.html)

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  35. fnn
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    86% of Danish population growth is through immigration-they won’t be happy for much longer:

    http://jyllands-posten.dk/indland/ECE6718742/100000-flere-udlaendinge-pa-fem-ar/

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  36. kj
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    There are two kinds of people: Those who get heart attacks and those who inflict heart attacks on others. Germanic countries (Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) have for thousands of years specialized in giving others heart attacks – first the Germanic barbarians attacking the Roman Empire, then the Vikings killing, pillaging, raping, and stealing anything that wasn’t attached, etc, etc through the centuries down to the present time. During World War II the German invasion of Denmark lasted exactly four hours, and in the afternoon the Danes went back to their cafes. The Swedes spent World War II going to the beach and getting filthy rich on lucrative contracts with Nazi Germany

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  37. Luke Lea
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    Completely off topic, but on the Galtonian subject of hereditary genius look at the Noyes family: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noyes

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  38. dearieme
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    Well done; not a single reference to Denmark, or indeed to the USA. …

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  39. Lot
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    Bill Maher has joined the HBD sphere. Lately he’s been on a kick pointing out that we should just let the Shiite and sunni fight it out and how islam is a uniquely awful religion, making his pc liberal guests squirm. If a guest tries to defend Islam as just another fuzzy happy religion, he does not bad down, but instead provides specifics of Islamic barbarity.

    This week he noted there have been 100+ Jewish Nobel winners and 2 Muslims.

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  40. Thehova
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    This seems to be true for most Scandinavian countries.

    Canada is, of course, not a Scandinavian country. But more similar to one than the US. Less hierarchy and social class. More average. Expectations are lower. I live on the Canadian border, and believe this is why my Canadian friends have a little less stress.

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  41. Anonymous
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    Fascinating studying!

    Jews love themselves far more than anybody loves anybody. Not surprising.

    Atheists like me are down there with the Muslims on the popularity scale. Not surprising either… but my assessment of facts is independent of their popularity. Most people wouldn’t like my thoughts on race and IQ, either.

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  42. Lot
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    I was disappointed that son also rises did not have a bunch of cool rankings of English last names, even though he ran the data.

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  43. Svigor
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    Bill Maher has joined the HBD sphere. Lately he’s been on a kick pointing out that we should just let the Shiite and sunni fight it out and how islam is a uniquely awful religion, making his pc liberal guests squirm. If a guest tries to defend Islam as just another fuzzy happy religion, he does not bad down, but instead provides specifics of Islamic barbarity.

    This week he noted there have been 100+ Jewish Nobel winners and 2 Muslims.

    Joined the HBD sphere? Nonsense. He’s just got a different take on what’s good for the Jews. He’s a boilerplate leftoid on everything else.

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  44. The Danish birth rate is well below replacement. And 10% of Denmark is now non-Danish, with 2/3 of those non-Danish being non-Western or non-Scandinavian (and therefore much less likely to ever assimilate). It would seem that this very happy people are slowly committing national suicide. If this is truly a genetic phenomenon, perhaps we should be restricting native Danish immigration, for our own protection.

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  45. Jefferson
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    “Christians, especially Evangelicals, love the Jews and dislike Muslims, but American Jews prefer Muslims over Christians, especially over Evangelicals.”

    Israeli Jews hate Muslims, so Israeli Jews are the extreme opposite of their Jewish American brothers and sisters.

    Israeli Jews know that the biggest threat to their existence as a people is no longer blond haired and blue eyed German nazis, it’s those swarthier and Browner Islamic extremists that are a much bigger threat to the Jewish people.

    Most Americans Jews however are still stuck in 1945.

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  46. syon
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    dearieme:”Well done; not a single reference to Denmark, or indeed to the USA. …”

    I owe it all to the DAILY MAIL.

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  47. syon
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    Lot:”This week he noted there have been 100+ Jewish Nobel winners and 2 Muslims.”

    It would be far more interesting if he pointed out how Mexico only has 3 Nobel winners while Canada has 23. And it would be even more interesting if he pointed out the long-term consequences of letting in millions of Mexicans into the USA….

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  48. syon
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    Wiley:”Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, the Democratic candidate, converted to Judaism before meeting her husband, Eric Goldstein. Her father was Italian-American and her mother was Colombian.”

    Which means that she is half-Italian and half-Hispanic. And she is not Jewish in terms of ethnicity.

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  49. syon: Good point. I’ve seen the “b-but Jews are a religion and not an ethnic group” reply a lot lately on mainstream sites, usually in response to someone pointing out successful attributes of the group. It is amazing the lengths people will go to either not notice or not admit obvious truths.

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  50. Yakov
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    @jefferson

    You are clueless, you understand nothing about us.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2_64uKSlrI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Speaking for myself, I have to add that I also like the Arabic language and the ud, but hate the violent and inhumane interpretation of Islam, yes there are different I interpretations.

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  51. Jefferson
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    “You are clueless, you understand nothing about us.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Israel#Polls

    Over a third of Israeli teens fear Arabs all together….The report becomes even grimmer, citing the ACRI’s racism poll, taken in March 2007, in which 50% of Israelis taking part said they would not live in the same building as Arabs, will not befriend, or let their children befriend Arabs and would not let Arabs into their homes.

    Another 2007 report, by the Center Against Racism, also found hostility against Arabs was on the rise. Among its findings it reported that 75% of Israeli Jews don’t approve of Arabs and Jews sharing apartment buildings; that over half of Jews wouldn’t want to have an Arab boss and that marrying an Arab amounts to “national treason”; and that 55% of the sample thought Arabs should be kept separate from Jews in entertainment sites. Half wanted the Israeli government to encourage Israeli Arabs to emigrate. About 40% believed Arab citizens should have their voting rights removed.

    Israeli Jews are as racist as those evil White Goyims in the American South who vote Republican, cling to their guns, and oppose open borders/amnesty.

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  52. Yakov
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    @Jefferson

    ‘Israeli Jews hate Muslims, so Israeli Jews are the extreme opposite of their Jewish American brothers and sisters.’

    Jews don’t hate Arabs. Your Wikipedia quote reflects healthy sense of national self-preservation, but not hatred. Unlike the Arab States and sites, similar to this one that engage in inflating hatred of the Jews, Israel doesn’t engage in this practice with regard to Arabs.

    The article had nothing to do with the Jews, why did you bring them into discussion?

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  53. Jefferson
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    “Your Wikipedia quote reflects healthy sense of national self-preservation, but not hatred.”

    Over 50 percent of Israeli Jews said they would disapprove of a Jew marrying an Arab. So that is self-preservation and not hatred in your eyes ?

    Would you say the same thing about Whites who disapprove of say Black-White marriages ? Would you say they are about self preservation and not hatred ? Or are you a typical hypocrite Jew ?

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  54. Numinous
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    You do realize that “Jew” and “Muslim” are not races, and that cultural differences account for different outcomes? I know that goes against the catechism being recited constantly on this blog, but still, you got to be “noticing” this stuff, no?

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  55. Numinous
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    Were you high when you read my comment? Where did I hail the wonders of multiculturalism? If anything, I was optimistically pushing for a uniculture that is not based on kinship, but rather comes into being through cultural conditioning (like assimiliation). and I gave examples of how this has been achieved many times in the history of civilization. Indeed, civilization itself is such a process that rebelled against purely Darwinian instincts (though we can never get rid of those, of course.)

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  56. Numinous
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    Learn to read, pea-brain. I never said only white people should not organize themselves tribally. I am an equal opportunity offender (assuming protesting against tribalism is an offense, which seems to be a widely held opinion hereabouts). My post was an anti-tribalism screed.

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  57. Reg Cæsar
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    A big factor is the nature of their neighbors– the ultra-anal Germans and Swedes. There is no better way for the Danes to distinguish themselves than by just chilling out.

    This observation comes from a study stint in Denmark and decades among Danish-Americans. My roommate in the Danish school told me they view Sweden as “Nordens Amerika”, obsessed with big, fast cars and all that.

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  58. Nick Diaz
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    @Numinous

    “Your entire worldview seems to be built around the recognition and celebration of natural impulses.”

    This is probably the single greatest statement ever made about Steve Sailer. Or, better yet: Sailer believes that the best kind of Society is one that conforms to human nature, and that the conservative society of the 1950′s and before that conformed to human nature. Ergo, a conservative society is the ideal society to maximize human happiness.

    Most of Sailer’s social commentary revolves around him criticizing “liberals” for performing social experiments that result in human misery because these experiments organize society in unnatural ways, and that the conservative society of the past was better because it respected such differences. For instance, Sailer criticizes feminists for complaining about low female enrollment in engineering and the hard sciences. He generalizes that women are happier as housewives and in people-oriented jobs, because women are natural nurturers. Sailer ignores the many individual exceptions to general patterns, and that giving the OPPORTUNITY for women to enroll in these careers if they want to is not the same as forcing them. Another example, women in the military. How does a conservative society that disables women from entering the military on the grounds of their gender enable the humn happiness of the women who love armed services and are able to fulfill the requirement for armed services?

    Sailer in one of his articles accused liberals and feminists of “ruining Christmas” by forcing children to accept gender non-conforming toys. While it is certainly wrong to push toys on children they don’t want on ideological grounds, what about feminine boys in the past who were forced to accept toy guns as gifts when they wanted dolls instead? Sailer is perfectly happy with an arrangement where many people are disenfranchised as long as it works for the majority. That is because Sailer doesen’t really care about human happiness: he care about the happiness of his kind of people, namely, pétit bourgeoise heterosexual family-oriented types.

    Sailer’s conclusions only make sense if you assume that conservative values such as union-for-life, having kids in-wedlock and upholding sexual puritanismo are ultimate values that result in a Panglossian society, and then judge the “success” or failure of such societal changes on whether they have successfully upheld those values. If you do not share Sailer’s values, his conclusions are meaningless.

    Sailer also fails to relize that the conservative society that he grew up with and loves so much was far fom perfect. It might have resulted in greatest happiness on average for his kind of people, but it made millions of people miserable. And that includes white people. The sexual and moral mores of that society were suffocating, and lots of people became desperate trying to cope with it. Over 10% of white people were alcoholics back in the 1950s, and the restrains on sexuality led to lots of neuroticism and perversions. The shame associated with divorce led to misery for life, as upholding the insitution of the family no matter what meant indicual misery. It also led to spousal abuse as well. As David Thoreau said about te conservative society of is time:”Many men live lives of quiet desperation…”

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  59. Svigor
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    Israeli Jews are as racist as those evil White Goyims in the American South who vote Republican, cling to their guns, and oppose open borders/amnesty.

    Huh? Where’s your “data”* on the latter?

    * The most important actual data would probably be who feels freer saying what.

    ‘Israeli Jews hate Muslims, so Israeli Jews are the extreme opposite of their Jewish American brothers and sisters.’

    Jews don’t hate Arabs. Your Wikipedia quote reflects healthy sense of national self-preservation, but not hatred. Unlike the Arab States and sites, similar to this one that engage in inflating hatred of the Jews, Israel doesn’t engage in this practice with regard to Arabs.

    The article had nothing to do with the Jews, why did you bring them into discussion?

    Haha, nonsense. All of those opinions reflect seething racial/ethnic hatred. Just ask your typical American, but swap in some different pronouns and set the poll somewhere other than Israel, first.

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  60. Reggin
    says:
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    Nick Diaz:

    Sailer’s conclusions only make sense if you assume that conservative values such as union-for-life, having kids in-wedlock and upholding sexual puritanismo are ultimate values that result in a Panglossian society, and then judge the “success” or failure of such societal changes on whether they have successfully upheld those values. If you do not share Sailer’s values, his conclusions are meaningless.

    For once, Nick Diaz makes sense.

    This applies both to Sailer and many of his conservative commenters. They have a fixation on only certain eras being golden ages. “Conservative”, by its definition, means upholding the values of the past. But which values, and of which past? Why, for example, uphold Victorianism and not Regency-ism? Why Puritans and not Cavaliers? Why Prussia and not Austria? Why Sparta and not Athens? Why some obscure (in his time) heretical Jewish troublemaker from 1 AD Jerusalem – and not Moses, or Siddhartha Gautama, or five thousand years of established Hindu tradition?

    It would be nice if conservatives admit what they really love are heavily regimented societies that make no exception for individual needs, and sacrifice the individual to arbitrary social morality. Add to that a mostly-free market and the trappings of material prosperity. They need not be police states; internal shame and guilt work just as well.

    My view is that regimentation works only for less intelligent people. They need to be shamed into having kids in wedlock, not divorcing, and not shtupping their uncle’s goldfish. The only way to have a fair society would be a patently unequal one where rights and responsibilities are based on intelligence.

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  61. anonymous
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    “It would be nice if conservatives admit what they really love are heavily regimented societies that make no exception for individual needs, and sacrifice the individual to arbitrary social morality. “

    This is a truly bizarre and very wrong definition of conservatism, in particular as it has been experienced in the US. (Maybe you are thinking of somewhere else?) In particular in the English speaking world, it is conservatism that has fought for individual freedom in the face of various utopian or socialist projects (Revolutionary France, Euro-socialism, fascism, communism…) the “Isms”. Think of US conservatism as a lack of “ism”; what you get when you take away all the isms and are content to just deal with life as it comes. No jumping around like a madman willy nilly willing to gamble the entire society on ideas that haven’t been tried and tested at small scale first. Conservatism implies the ability to conserve things that work and fight against grand utopian schemes, which history all too often suggests are just ways for whoever is pushing them to grab power. Conservatives are often a lot less strident than leftists because they don’t have an “ism” that they are trying to promote.

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