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damnatio memoriae

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From the Dallas Morning News:

Houston, Franklin and Jefferson are among Dallas ISD campuses that ‘require further research’ for possible name changes

Corbett Smith, Staff Writer

Dallas ISD [Independent School District] is researching the histories of Ben Franklin, Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson and 17 other historical figures, looking into whether their connections with slavery or the Confederacy should prompt reconsideration of their names on DISD campuses.

Last Thursday, DISD administration recommended changing the names of four schools honoring Confederate generals: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and William L. Cabell elementary schools. During that discussion, it was mentioned that there is a much broader list of at least 21 names that bear further investigation, if trustees were compelled to do so.

“This was just a very quick review of looking at the biographies of the individuals,” DISD chief of school leadership Stephanie Elizalde told trustees on Sept. 14. “And if there was any association with Confederacy — not making a judgment for or against — just if we saw Confederacy named in it, we then highlighted it. We are now in the process of doing a second [look].”

The Dallas Morning News has obtained a copy of that list, which includes Texas revolutionaries and founders such as Sam Houston, James Bowie and William Travis, U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and Dallas pioneers James Gaston and William Brown Miller.

Elizalde acknowledged to trustees the difficulty in drawing a line on where to proceed.

Wait until they find out that Franklin’s most epochal contribution to economic and biological theory, his 1754 essay Observations Concerning the Increase in Mankind, was an anti-immigration pamphlet.

Commenter anonymous observes:

Inshallah, I would be damn proud to be quarterback for the Ahmed Mohamed H.S. (formerly Douglas MacArthur H.S.) “Fightin’ Clockboys” in Irving, Texas.

• Tags: damnatio memoriae 
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From the New York Times:

Which Statues Need to Come Down? You Decide

Here’s the percentage of readers who supported taking each statue down

93% Nathan Bedford Forrest
84% Joe Paterno
84% Jefferson Davis
83% Roger B. Taney
79% Robert E. Lee
70% Strom Thurmond
56% Frank Rizzo
53% J. Marion Sims
53% ‘Silent Sam’
48% Stephen Foster
42% Andrew Jackson
31% Christopher Columbus
23% William McKinley
17% Theodore Roosevelt
8% Ulysses S. Grant
4% George Washington

Based on 15358 reader responses.

Others whose statues and memorials should have been asked about:

Thomas Jefferson
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (redlining, Japanese internment)
Earl Warren (Japanese interment, (giant crime wave))
Oliver Wendell Holmes (eugenics)
James Madison (slaveholder)
Sam Houston (anti-Mexican, slaveholder, frenemy of Cherokee)
Judah P. Benjamin (anti-Semitism)
POW grave markers in Madison and Boston
Confederate General Stand Watie
Scary Confederate flag-looking tiles in Times Square subway station
Traveler (USC mascot horse spelled kind of like Robert E. Lee’s famous Traveller horse)
Phantom (Robert E. Lee’s less famous horse)
Bruce Lee

Bill Clinton
(18′ statue on Lower East Side)
Sacco and Vanzetti (Boston Public Library)
Balto (Central Park Zoo)

I’m not sure who would be against Balto, the heroic Siberian husky who led the sled team that carried medicine to Nome, Alaska during the 1925 diptheria epidemic, but in these sensitive times we must ask these difficult questions.

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From MSN, an account of the mounting pressure to tear down memorials to the notorious Confederate generals Christopher Columbus and Ulysses S. Grant:

A Whole New World: Columbus Statue Could Be Considered for Removal

Daniella Silva
46 mins ago

As the violence in Charlottesville has reignited a national debate over monuments dedicated to Confederate-era and other controversial figures, New York City is conducting its own review over “symbols of hate” and possibly taking aim at Christopher Columbus.

New York City Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a 90-day review by a commission of all “symbols of hate” on city property in the wake of violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that was protesting the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

The move has opened questions about a variety of monuments in the city, including a 76-foot statue of Christopher Columbus in the heart of Manhattan’s Columbus Circle.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said on Monday she thought Columbus’ history and treatment of indigenous people in Caribbean “has to be looked at.”

“I will wait for the commission, as I said Christopher Columbus is a controversial figure to many of us particularly in the Caribbean and I think that that has to be looked at, when you have to look at history we have to look at it thoroughly and clearly,” she said.

“I know some people may take offense to that but for many of us that come from the Caribbean islands, we see him as a controversial figure,” she added.

Melissa Mark-Viverito is ethnically a Conquistador-American.

… [Mayor] De Blasio was also asked Tuesday if the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant in the city should also be considered for removal, over claims of anti-Semitism for an order he gave during the American Civil War expelling Jewish people from the area of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Grant later apologized for the order.

The mayor said he was not “familiar with that history” but, “we don’t tolerate anti-Semitism in New York City.”

“We have to look at each one of these cases. We’ll have a commission that does that,” he added.

While Grant’s memorial is in a city park, it is also a national monument and thus it was unclear what authority the city would have over changes to it.

Screenshot 2017-08-23 15.02.25Also there is that colossal statue of Grant in front of the U.S. Capitol.

It’s gotta go too.

All of these monuments of Confederate generals have to go.

Even if, technically speaking, they weren’t Confederates.

The point is, they were in America doing big things before Melissa Mark-Viverito’s ancestors were in America.

So they give her bad feelz.

And don’t forget to chop down the 267-foot-tall General Grant sequoia tree in King’s Canyon National Park.

It’s unofficial name is “The Nation’s Christmas Tree,” which sounds anti-Semitic, just like Grant.

Think of the children!

Better yet, nuke it from orbit.

It’s the only way to be sure.

By the way, if you have any portraits of Ulysses S. Grant in your wallet, radiating Evil Spirit Rays, I’d be happy to take them off your hands for proper disposal as part of my iSteve August fundraiser.

Also, Benjamin Franklin wrote an anti-immigration screed that inspired Charles Darwin, so having his picture in your pocket is bad juju too. And don’t get me started on Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Jackson.

Here are seven ways for you to contribute to iSteve:

First: You can use Paypal (non-tax deductible) by going to the page on my old blog here. Paypal accepts most credit cards. Contributions can be either one-time only, monthly, or annual. (Monthly is nice.)

Commenter Lot adds:

For paypal, you can currently avoid all fees on both sides of the transfer by (1) selecting the “friends and family” feature (2) using your bank account rather than credit card.

Second: You can mail a non-tax deductible donation to:

Steve Sailer

P.O Box 4142

Valley Village, CA 91617-0142

Third: You can make a tax deductible contribution via VDARE by clicking here. (Paypal and credit cards accepted, including recurring “subscription” donations.) Note: the VDARE site goes up and down on its own schedule, so if this link stops working, please let me know. Don’t forget to click my name.

Fourth: You can use Bitcoin:

I’m using Coinbase as a sort of Paypal for Bitcoins.

Message to the SPLC intern reading this: The IRS has issued instructions regarding Bitcoins. I’m having Coinbase immediately turn all Bitcoins I receive into U.S. dollars and deposit them in my bank account. At the end of the year, Coinbase will send me a 1099 form for filing my taxes.

So, SPLC intern, tell Heidi she’s out of luck again. And ask her how long until you get paid, what with Morris having piled up a $303 million endowment.

Coinbase payments are not tax deductible.

Below are links to two Coinbase pages of mine. This first is if you want to enter a U.S. dollar-denominated amount to pay me.

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in U.S. Dollars)

This second is if you want to enter a Bitcoin-denominated amount. (Remember one Bitcoin is currently worth many U.S. dollars.)

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in Bitcoins)

Fifth: if you have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Wells Fargo SurePay. Just tell WF SurePay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address steveslrAT — replace the AT with the usual @). (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with Paypal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.

Sixth: if you have a Chase bank account (or even other bank accounts), you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Chase QuickPay (FAQ). Just tell Chase QuickPay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address ( — replace the AT with the usual @). If Chase asks for the name on my account, it’s StevenSailer with an n at the end of Steven. (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with Paypal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.

Seventh: send money via the Paypal-like Google Wallet to my Gmail address(that’s isteveslrATgmail .com — replace the AT with a @). (Non-tax deductible.)

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From The Forward:

Why Are There No Statues Of Jewish Confederate Judah Benjamin To Tear Down?

Ari Feldman August 20, 2017

Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson, the three most famous Confederate heroes, have hundreds of memorials and monuments in public spaces throughout the United States dedicated in their memory.

Judah Philip Benjamin, the most significant Jewish political figure in the United States during the 19th century, often called the “brains of the Confederacy,” has four. One is a house that Benjamin never owned. One’s a rusted bell. None of them are statues of his likeness.

Though Judah Benjamin was a brilliant legal mind, a legendary orator and Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ right-hand man, it is likely that he has no major monuments because he alienated himself from both Jewish and non-Jewish Southerners.

“Non-Jews didn’t make statues of him because he was a Jew, and Jews didn’t make statues of him because he was intermarried and not really associated with the Jewish community,” said Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and author of “Lincoln and the Jews.” …

Because of his less-than-revered status, Benjamin has not become a focus of the current movement to remove statues of Confederate figures that has roiled the nation and shaken President Trump’s administration. …

Some historians say Jews should be more aware of how their history was deeply intertwined with the Confederacy — and slavery.

In general, Jews were more welcomed in the South than in the North because Southern WASP elites saw themselves as an agrarian aristocracy and thus viewed Jews as valued mercantile complements. For example, Birmingham, Alabama had both a German Jewish country club and a Russian Jewish country club.

In contrast, post-Puritan Northern elites saw Jews as commercial competitors.

“It’s hard to excise Judah Benjamin’s memory from the American Jewish consciousness, because it’s not in the American Jewish consciousness,” said Robert Rosen, who recounted Benjamin’s life in the book “The Jewish Confederates.”

There is only one known statue of a Jewish Confederate leader. It depicts David Levy Yulee, an industrialist, plantation owner and Confederate senator from Florida, and it shows him sitting on a bench. The statue commemorates a railway he built, not his Senate service. It stands in the small northern Florida town of Fernandina Beach (population: 12,500), and so far no one has suggested toppling it.

Levy Yulee, who was some kind of cousin of Benjamin, preceded Benjamin as the first Jewish U.S. Senator. An ardent Secessionist, the Union locked Levy Yulee up after the Civil War for about 9 months. But then they let him out and later President Grant came and stayed at his house as a gesture of reconciliation between the North and the South.

Similarly, Benjamin’s boss, Jefferson Davis, was imprisoned for a couple of years.

In contrast, Benjamin got out while the getting was still good in April 1865. In English exile, he wrote a bestselling legal textbook, Benjamin on Sales, and became a highly paid lion of the British bar. But his fleeing abroad rather than taking his lumps at home was considered dishonorable in America.

… “Judah Benajmin is a great example of how Southern Jews were assimilated into Southern society,” said Robert Rosen. “But of course they accepted all the values of that society, including slavery.”

While the majority of Southern Jews owned slaves, of those most only had house slaves. Benjamin, however, owned a 300-acre plantation and 140 slaves to grow and harvest sugarcane on it. (One of his biographers has asserted that he was a “humane” slaveowner.)

It was hard to be a humane sugar plantation owner. The crop hierarchy of humanity went tobacco > cotton > sugar.

Benjamin was elected to the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, and in the Senate he gained a reputation as a legendary orator and as an apologist for slavery. One member of Congress called him “an Israelite with Egyptian principles.” …

Benjamin had many roles in the Confederacy, moving from Attorney General to Secretary of War to Secretary of State. He was considered Jefferson Davis’ right-hand-man. …

“He was discreet, loyal, a workaholic, somebody you wanted on your side,” Rosen said. In his book, Rosen writes that Benjamin negotiating loans for the cash-starved Confederacy and was the South’s “spymaster,” possibly even organizing a plot to kidnap Abraham Lincoln in the waning days of the war.

Various conspiracy theorists have theorized that Benjamin was involved in the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln, but Benjamin had ordered burned all the records of the Confederate spy service a week before, so we’ll never know. (The Confederate government had been outraged by an unsporting 1864 Union raid intended to assassinate Davis and Benjamin.)

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton acted decisively to have tried and hanged the obviously guilty lower level conspirators, but didn’t pursue the wispier trails into the highest levels of the Confederacy.

“He certainly was the most important person in the government other than Davis,” Rosen added.

Benjamin was also held in low regard by many for another reason: many historians now suspect that he was gay. This hypothesis, says Sarna, “explains a lot of things.”

For one, Benjamin burned all his personal documents on his deathbed.

… Furthermore, the stated reason for Benjamin’s early dismissal from Yale was “ungentlemanly conduct,” a common euphemism for being gay in the 19th century. Perhaps most tellingly, Benjamin’s wife lived in Paris for nearly five decades during their marriage. He visited her and their daughter once a year at most. …

There was at least one attempt to raise a real statue of Benjamin — but it wasn’t even by a Jewish organization. In August 1910, the Daily States, a New Orleans evening newspaper, suggested in an editorial that the city’s planned memorial to Jefferson Davis include a statue of Benjamin on the other side of Canal Street, in downtown New Orleans. “We refer to Judah P. Benjamin, one of the most remarkable men of his age, and one of the most intellectual his splendid race has produced,” the editorial read. …

His face appears on the Confederacy’s two-dollar bill, issued in 1862, which can fetch about $25 on Ebay. … One Jewish alt-right blogger, known as Reactionary Jew, uses Benjamin’s face as his profile picture on Twitter.

Robert Rosen, Benjamin’s biographer, thinks it’s a shame that more American Jews do not know about the Jewish Confederate, even with his support for slavery.

“He was the most successful Jewish figure in American politics until [Louis] Brandeis,” Rosen said.

“If there were a statue, I would defend it,” he added. “Maybe I’ll build a statue, now that you’ve called me.”

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From WBUR:

Why Boston Has A Confederate Monument — And Why You Can’t See It Right Now
August 16, 2017
Louise Kennedy

Take a boat to Georges Island in Boston Harbor, and you’ll see something you might not expect: a Confederate monument.

Actually, right now you won’t see it. The stone, the only Confederate monument in Massachusetts, has been boarded up since June while the state figures out what to do with it — a question that has new urgency in the wake of last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville.

Uh-oh, I see a chink in the wooden box that could let the Evil Spirits out.

The granite block, which sits outside Fort Warren on Georges Island, lists 13 Confederate soldiers who died there as prisoners.

Putting this POW grave marker in a wooden box is a start. But is mere wood strong enough to hold in its Evil Spirit emanations? Think of the children of Boston and even, indeed, New England being ritually polluted by its presence.

I’m not sure what the solution is for de-polluting the site, but all options must be on the table, including tactical nuclear weapons.

Perhaps the most moderate solution for re-sanctifying the site would be to round up all existing copies of Ken Burns’ PBS Civil War documentary from the Moral Dark Ages of the early 1990s and burn them on the spot. Think of all the Ken Burns VHS tapes sitting in drawers across America sending out their Hate Waves:

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From The Oklahoman:

OKC school district responds to violent racial protests

by Tim Willert Published: August 15, 2017 11:51 AM

Several Oklahoma City School Board members said Tuesday they favor renaming four schools named after Confederate officers, but raised concerns about the costs associated with doing so.

Four elementary schools — Stand Watie, Lee, Wheeler and Jackson — are named after generals who commanded Confederate troops in the Civil War, according to the district’s website.

“Those four historical figures certainly don’t represent any of the values that we have in our district today, and I understand 100 percent the desire to change them,” board Chair Paula Lewis said.

Uh, Stand Watie? I suspect Ms. Lewis has forgotten her Oklahoma history if she ever knew it.

Stand Watie represents Diversity.

Or does he? Nobody in the press ever says Clarence Thomas represents diversity on the Supreme Court.

“We don’t want any of our actions, whether intentional or unintentional, to allow for anybody to think that we support racism, white supremacy or any maltreatment of a minority, race or culture.”

Superintendent Aurora Lora, responding to the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, acknowledged Tuesday that some facilities named after “historical” figures do not “reflect our values in 2017.”

From Wikipedia:

Stand Watie (Cherokee: ᏕᎦᏔᎦ, translit. Degataga, lit. ‘Stand firm’) (December 12, 1806 – September 9, 1871) — also known as Standhope Uwatie, Tawkertawker, and Isaac S. Watie — was a leader of the Cherokee Nation, and not only a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, but the only Native American general of the Confederate Army. He commanded the Confederate Indian cavalry of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi, made up mostly of Cherokee, Muskogee and Seminole, and was the final Confederate general in the field to cease hostilities at war’s end.

He appears to have been about 3/4th Cheroke and 1/4th white.

This will be an interesting test case. Commenter Clyde suggests:

My bottom lining here is that monuments to white people are being desecrated and torn down. That they are Confederate memorials is only 10% of the issue. This is just inchoate rage against “white patriarchy” by the coalition of the fringes.

Try doing this with any memorial to a black or Samoan or (my pet) Aleutian Islanders.

So, the fate of Stand Watie appears to be a good test case of whether the current paroxysm is really anti-Confederate or anti-white.

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From the Wisconsin State-Journal, keep reading for the poignant details:

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin orders removal of Confederate monuments at Forest Hill Cemetery

LOGAN WROGE 9 hrs ago

A concrete slab remains where a stone and plaque memorializing the resting place of Confederate soldiers of the Civil War was removed from the Confederate Rest section of Forest Hill Cemetery on Wednesday.


One Confederate monument is gone and another is slated to be taken down at Forest Hill Cemetery after Madison Mayor Paul Soglin ordered their removal.

Soglin said in a statement Thursday that he directed city staff to remove a plaque and a larger stone monument at the Confederate Rest section of the public cemetery, saying, “There should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country.” …

It described the 140 people buried there as “valiant Confederate soldiers” and “unsung heroes.” The privately funded plaque, which rested on a granite structure, said the soldiers were buried in the Union state after surrendering in a battle and dying at Camp Randall as prisoners of war.

Oh …

From the Badger Herald in 2016:

Confederate captives in Madison: Camp Randall’s history as Civil War prisoner-of-war camp

… Despite best efforts, U.S. Army officials deemed camp conditions unsuitable. A May 1 letter written by Assistant Quartermaster J.A. Potter described the soldiers of the 19th Wisconsin as undisciplined, inexperienced and poorly-equipped to guard such a volume of prisoners. He expressed disappointment in hospital conditions, noting that of the roughly 1,200 prisoners held at Camp Randall, some 200 were hospitalized with illness.

The condition of these afflicted prisoners worsened. Despite medical care, more prisoners began to succumb to measles, mumps and pneumonia. A Private Paddock of the 19th Wisconsin Regiment wrote to his family regarding these deaths: “They die off like rotten sheep. There was 11 die off yesterday and today, and there ain’t a day but what there is from two to nine dies.”

Barely a month after their arrival at Camp Randall, the Confederate inmates had to relocate. … On May 31, 1862, the majority of the Camp Randall inmates left for Camp Douglas, a larger encampment in Chicago.

By June, the last of the Camp Randall prisoners had left. The only ones who still remain in Madison are 140 Confederate soldiers who died during their stay at Camp Randall, now interred at Confederate Rest.

Dead Confederate prisoners were buried at Forest Hill Cemetery. Initially grouped into a mass grave, the dead were later given their own headstones and a more formally organized plot, now known as Confederate Rest.

The plot is well-shaded and removed from the more populated areas of the cemetery, a quiet and somber reminder of an unsung chapter of Madison history.

Okay, so the Union managed to kill off in a month, via disorganization, over 10% of its Confederate POWs interned at Camp Randall. That’s likely a war crime, although a minor, unintentional one. (The American Civil War was, on the whole, relatively civil.)

Originally, those who died in Union captivity were dumped in a mass grave, but later were allowed to have their own individual graves, tombstones, and memorials.

But that kind of mercy and reconciliation is racist, so it’s gotta go.

Here’s a picture by William Cronon of how the two-foot tall memorial to the dead POWs looked:

And here is Ann Althouse’s photo of all that is left today:

Screenshot 2017-08-18 20.57.42

While Mayor Soglin couldn’t bring himself to let soldiers dead for 150+ years rest unmolested, he is a huge fan of at least one white man:


Cuba announcement dredges up Madison Mayor Paul Soglin’s meetings with Fidel Castro
BRYNA GODAR | The Capital Times | Dec 18, 2014

Following President Barack Obama’s Wednesday announcement that the United States would move toward normalizing relations with Cuba, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin changed his Facebook profile picture to a black-and-white shot of him chatting with Cuba’s long-time leader Fidel Castro.

“It’s long overdue,” Soglin said of the thawing relations. … Soglin traveled to Cuba three times in the 1970s, meeting Castro on two of those trips.

“There’s a contradiction,” Soglin said. “We have this image of him giving forceful, eight-hour speeches. In person, he’s quiet, soft-spoken. He listens.”

By the way, I’m reminded of the current dispute between Poland and Russia over memorials to Soviet Red Army soldiers who died in Poland.

It’s been hard for American media to get a handle on this because the Who? Whom? issues are complex. Today’s Russians are Bad Guys. but their ancestors were punching Nazis in Poland in 1944. But in 1939 they and Nazis were teamed up punching Poles. But maybe the anti-Semitic Poles deserved punching? After all, today’s Poles are Bad Guys too for not taking in Merkel’s refugees. From Newsweek:


Russian senators are calling on President Vladimir Putin to put sanctions on Poland for a law that could see Soviet memorials in the country torn down.

Poland’s new law demands the removal of dates, names and mentions on public monuments that seem to glorify Communism or “any other totalitarian” regime. This mostly affects the many monuments built during Poland’s Cold War decades as a satellite state for the Soviet Union, and Russia has been particularly critical of the affect on memorials to Soviet soldiers who died fighting Nazism during World War II. …

The most emotive part of the issue for Russia officials seems to be the memory of around 600,000 Soviet soldiers who died in Poland during World War II. …

While in Russia the final Soviet siege of Nazi Berlin is annually marked with a huge celebration, Poles remember early Soviet action in World War II, focusing instead on the first year and a half of the conflict, when the Soviets and Nazis amicably split Poland’s territory between them. Moscow did not go to war with Nazi Germany until the German Wehrmacht mounted an attack on the Soviet Union.

This seems like a good time for a little statesmanship:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

But malice over events of 150+ years ago is currently running amok within the American Establishment.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

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I don’t know for sure that Palo Alto, CA, the home of the venture capital industry and next door to Stanford U., is really the highest IQ town in America. The highest test score public schools in America are in Lexington, MA, a suburb preferred by Boston area college professors. And I imagine tiny, rich municipalities like Atherton, CA might have higher average IQ residents than sprawling Palo Alto with its pretty middle class housing stock.

But still … the average home price in Palo Alto is $2.5 million, which is kind of a lot considering the average home is a nothing special ranch style house. Palo Alto houses average $1,471 per square foot, so a 3,000 square foot house would cost $4.4 million.

So if you took the average IQ of the people who live in Palo Alto and the people who work in Palo Alto, it would be awfully high.

Historically, that’s not a coincidence. As I pointed out in Taki’s Magazine in 2012, Palo Alto has been as central to the story of IQ science in America as it has been to the story of electronics in America. Just before WWI, Lee de Forrest invented an important version of the vacuum tube in Palo Alto, while Stanford professor Lewis Terman published America’s first major IQ test, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales in 1916.

As I wrote in my history of Silicon Valley’s ongoing obsession with intelligence:

In 1921, Terman began his landmark study of gifted children with IQs of 135 and above, which continues even today to track its dwindling band of aged subjects. (Ironically, the young William Shockley was nominated for inclusion in Lewis Terman’s study, but his test score fell just short of the cutoff.) To the public’s surprise, “Terman’s Termites” showed that highly intelligent children were not particularly likely to grow up to be misfits like the much publicized prodigy/bad example William James Sidis. Indeed, the higher the IQ, the better the outcome. Terman’s study was an early landmark in Nerd Liberation, one of the 20th century’s most important social developments.

Hewlett, Packard, F. Terman

Lewis’s son Fred Terman, dean of engineering at Stanford, pretty much invented the distinctive aspects of the Silicon Valley educational-industrial complex, such as by encouraging his students Hewlett & Packard to go into business for themselves.

The other main candidate for Father of Silicon Valley, William Shockley, was a good friend of Terman’s. During WWII, they’d been in charge of mirror image R&D projects for the military in terms of electronic warfare over Germany. Stanford missed out on the federal lucre during WWII, and Terman resolved for Stanford to be ready when the Cold War cranked up. (See Steve Blank’s lecture Hidden in Plain Sight: The Secret History of Silicon Valley for the fascinating back story.)

But Palo Alto wants to stay at the forefront of the growing fad for damnatio memoriae, by rewriting its history to eliminate the names of its now politically inappropriate founding fathers.

From Palo Alto Online:

School board majority supports renaming schools

One trustee worries renaming will distract from deeper issues

by Elena Kadvany / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Mar 8, 2017, 9:15 am

A majority of the school board agreed on Tuesday that two of the school district’s middle schools should be renamed in light of their namesakes’ leadership roles in the eugenics movement.

Recognizing an opposing view in the community — that to rename these schools would be to sever generations of alumni’s ties to tradition and history — most board members said that in a public school district in 2017, however, schools cannot carry the names of men who actively advocated for policies grounded in a belief that people of certain races and disabilities were inferior to others.

All five trustees said they support a majority recommendation from a district committee, convened last year to study and make recommendations on the renaming issue, to give David Starr Jordan Middle School a new name, and a majority said they also believe Terman Middle School should be renamed.

David Starr Jordan was the first president of Stanford U. He was an anti-imperialist who wrote a famous anti-war treatise pointing out that war was dysgenic: the morally best young men would get gunned down in vast numbers, while the sleazier would be more likely to avoid such a fate.

Terman’s fate is slightly more complicated given its naming history, trustees said Tuesday. Terman was first named after Lewis Terman, a prominent Stanford University psychologist, when the school opened in 1958. When the school later closed and then reopened in 2001, it was named to honor both Lewis and his son, Frederick, an accomplished Stanford electrical engineer. There is no clear evidence, committee members said Tuesday, that Frederick played an active role in or supported the eugenics movement, as Lewis did.

Eh … As I wrote in 2012 about Fred:

His son inherited Lewis’s biases: Fred Terman’s wife of 47 years, who had been one of his father’s grad students, said he only became serious about courting her after he went to the Psych Department and looked up her IQ score.

Back to the Palo Alto Weekly:

One committee member recommended retaining the Terman name, but making clear that it honors the son, not the father. A majority of the committee recommended against this, arguing that “retaining the surname will not effectively disconnect the school from Lewis and does not effectively disavow his eugenics legacy,” committee member and parent Sara Armstrong said Tuesday.

It’s almost as if the anti-eugenics witch-hunters believe that Fred Terman, the primary founder of Silicon Valley, inherited the sins of the father, IQ scientist Lewis Terman, via ideological Corruption of Blood.

Ofelia Prado said as a Mexican mother of a Jordan seventh-grader, it was “negative and shameful and degrading” to hear that her child’s school was named after a eugenicist. (In Jordan’s writings, he called Mexicans “ignorant, superstitious, with little self control and no conception of industry or thrift” and also wrote that “to say that one race is superior to another is merely to confirm the common observation of every intelligent citizen.”)

They should rename Jordan the Angelo Mozilo School, because at least Angelo didn’t believe the wrong things. Angelo put your money where his mouth was when it came to believing that Mexican were good bets to pay back their mortgages.

… Some board members said the estimated cost of renaming — about $200,000 to cover both schools — is a secondary consideration that would not stop them from voting in support. …

The board will vote on the renaming proposals at its next meeting on Tuesday, March 14. …

Many parents urged the board Tuesday night to seize the opportunity to take a visible stand for the values it so often cites: equality, diversity and inclusion.

After all, there’s nothing that screams equality, diversity, and inclusion than Palo Alto’s NIMBY policies that keep the average house selling for $2.5 million.

By the way, Stanford is running a project to make school district average test scores comparable across the country. As I pointed out in Taki’s Magazine last spring, the worst white-black test score gap in the country was found in violently liberal Berkeley, CA. The next four least equal school districts were Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC; Shaker Heights, OH; Asheville, NC; and Evanston, IL.

Other liberal college towns with massive white-black gaps include Madison (U. of Wisconsin), Iowa City (U. of Iowa), Charlottesville (U. of Virginia), Austin (U. of Texas), Bernie Sanders’ Burlington (U. of Vermont), Durham (Duke U.), and Ann Arbor (U. of Michigan). Palo Alto, next door to Stanford U., the sponsor of this research project, also has an intense white-black gap, but not enough blacks can afford to live in Palo Alto for it to make my sample-size cutoff for reliability.

Now that’s what I call equality, diversity and inclusion!

By the way, I’m reminded of this conversation between Russ Roberts and Yale psychologist Paul Bloom:

Screenshot 2017-03-09 03.00.02

I’ve met Pinker and Murray, and they really are noticeably smarter than I am.

Back in 2010 it occurred to me that I ought to write about a book explaining why it isn’t the end of the world that some people are smarter than other people. That would be my great contribution if I could explain why, just as it’s not a global crisis that all the medalists in the next Olympic men’s 100m dash will be black, the fact that some races tend to be smarter than others doesn’t mean we should dig up Hitler’s DNA and elect him President.

But, you’ll notice, I haven’t written that book yet.

🔊 Listen RSS

My new column in Taki’s Magazine offers an overview of the evolution of misleading the public from Pharaoh Akhenaten to the 2016 election.

In politics, secrecy and silence are becoming less practical, while noise and distortion are coming to dominate. Thus, the 2016 election raises questions of how strategies of political power are evolving as we move from an age of information scarcity to one of superabundance.

Almost by definition, the powerful in the future will still continue to exercise dominion over the minds of men, but their methods of manipulation will change.

The technology of power is moving from the past’s emphasis on privacy and concealment toward more contemporary techniques of diversion, bias, misconception, and willful stupidity. The crude methods that George Orwell summed up in his image of the incinerator-chute “memory hole” are growing into more sophisticated devices for providing the public with misleading frameworks for mentally organizing (or rationalizations for simply ignoring) the overload of available facts, thus making it harder to remember or understand politically inconvenient knowledge.

In the past, outright censorship was more useful. During the Egyptian counterrevolution over 3,300 years ago following the reign of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten (a.k.a. Amenhotep IV), his statues were smashed and his name laboriously scraped from the walls. His memory, and that of his queen Nefertiti and son Tutankhamun, were largely expunged from history until the archaeological discoveries of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Read the whole thing there.

• Tags: damnatio memoriae 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

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

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