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This is my new favorite Trump picture. What is he pointing at?

From The Atlantic:

From Jayman

Trump and the Borderers

The Republican front-runner’s appeal seems rooted in a distinctive political culture—born in the British borderlands, and still flourishing in America’s southern highlands.

by Yoni Appelbaum

… It’s how the historian David Hackett Fischer described the appeal of Andrew Jackson and other Appalachian politicians, who set the pattern for his success centuries ago.

Fischer argued that a group he termed “Borderers”—who hailed from northern Ireland, Scotland, and northern England—brought with them a distinctive culture. The constant conflict, insecurity, and poverty of the borderlands led their inhabitants to stress sharply differentiated gender roles, to prize aggressiveness, and to disdain weakness. Strong familial loyalty was matched with a clannish suspicion of outsiders. The settlers took these attitudes with them to Appalachia, he argued, where they were reinforced, and in some measure altered, by harsh conditions along the frontier.

Screenshot 2016-04-06 20.58.52


Okay … except that Trump’s mother was from the opposite end of Scotland from the English-Scottish border where the Scots-Irish come from.

Trump’s Scottish ancestors were from the Outer Hebrides off the northwest tip of the mainland, which is about as Highlander as you can get. The historian Fischer goes into great detail in Albion’s Seed about how the Scots-Irish “borderers” are different from the Scottish Highlanders.

Trump owns a couple of golf courses in Scotland, so the website for his Aberdeen course explains his genealogy:

Trump Scottish Ancestry

The Family History of Mary Anne MacLeod, the Mother of Donald J. Trump

by Tony Reid

Mary Anne was born on 10th May 1912 at 3 Tong, Stornoway to Malcolm MacLeod and his wife Mary Smith. The family lived at Tong, a small fishing/crofting township lying 3-4 miles from Stornoway, the only town on the Isle of Lewis. The parents married in 1891 within the Free Church of Scotland, Tong. Malcolm was a local fisherman/crofter, the son of Alexander MacLeod and Annie MacLeod. At the time of the 1901 Census, Malcolm and Mary already had six children. Alexander, also a crofter/fisherman, would have been born in about 1832. He married Ann MacLeod, also a Tong resident, in 1853 and died in Tong in 1900. According to his son Malcolm, who was the informant of his father’s death, Alexander was the son of William MacLeod, a crofter, and Catherine MacLeod. William died at nearby Vatisker in 1869 and, according to his son Alexander; he was the son of Kenneth MacLeod and Catherine McIver.

That’s about as croftercentric as genealogy can get.

Another aspect is that American Scots-Irish were forged on the frontier. Has Trump even been to Appalachia or the Ozarks before this campaign? Maybe he played golf at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia?

Fischer’s “Albion’s Seed” is a wonderful book, but its readers try too hard to make everything in America fit into Fischer’s 4 favored types of British-Americans. But you’ll notice that Fischer basically leaves out New York City from his account of American history. (The current mania in New York City over hometown boys Ron Chernow and Lin-Manuel Miranda celebrating fellow New Yorker Alexander Hamilton is a not unreasonable reaction to Fischerian a-New Yorkism.)

Trump is a pretty classic New York City Scottish-German business tycoon. Scottish-Americans used to be famous as captains of industry in the northeast (e.g., Andrew Carnegie and Charles Blair Macdonald, the founder and architect of the National Golf Links of America). That stereotype has faded, although the evidence remains that Scottish-Americans, as opposed to Scots-Irish, are considerably above average in wealth.

Trump’s vehement personality rather reminds me of Charles Blair Macdonald, who more or less was the founder of golf in America. Macdonald tended to be extremely earnest, but his whole life could also be interpreted as a heroic comic adventure. Thus the NGLA is both the best and the funniest golf course I’ve ever played. (In fact, it may be the only funny golf course I’ve ever played. Don’t ask me to explain what I mean.)

Similarly, Germans were common in New York City in Teddy Roosevelt’s day, but they’ve faded from the limelight.

Moreover, Fischer’s version of American history is laid out along north-south lines, with four different kinds of Brits moving west along the same latitudes: e.g., the Puritan/ Yankees from East Englnd were the furthest northern group, moving from New England through Michigan, Minnesota, Montana and to the Pacific Northwest. The Pennsylvanians were Quakers and their German allies who moved west through Ohio and Iowa to Los Angeles. The Borderers/Scots Irish were frontiersman who moved west from inland Virginia through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and terminating, like Merle Haggard, in Bakersfield. The Lowland Southerners were southern English who became the deep Southerners.

Trump however has turned this cozy framework 90 degrees into an east-west framework instead of Fischer’s north-south. He’s popular east of the Mississippi, doing well in primaries in both Massachusetts and Mississippi, but doing more poorly the further west in the center of America you go, with Cruz dominating in the Great Plains.

I don’t really understand this new geography — latitude is usually more important than longitude — but that’s another thing that makes Trump interesting after a long era of political stagnation.

• Tags: Trump 
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Trump’s Luck is the pattern that whenever the national media announces that This Time, Trump Has Gone Too Far, the next day’s headlines will be about some outrage validating Trump’s general point. For example, remember last summer when everybody respectable was worked up over Trump saying the Mexican ruling class dumps their unwanted, low quality people on America as illegal aliens and … a five time deported Mexican illegal alien murdered that poor lady on the waterfront in San Francisco?

Today, the FBI investigation into San Bernardino is turning up all sorts of details that would be hilarious if there weren’t so many dead people.

From the New York Times today:

New Timeline Raises Questions of Vetting Over San Bernardino Attacker’s Visa

WASHINGTON — The couple at the center of last week’s massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., had been radicalized before their marriage, and the husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, might have plotted an attack as far back as 2012 with one of his longtime friends, senior law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

So the San Berdoo Two was sort of the Trio from San Bernardio?

That would be Walmart security guard Enrique Marquez, Farook’s old school buddy and some kind of brother-in-law, who converted to Islam.

Who is this guy anyway? He looks like he could be a backup dancer for Selena Gomez. Is he Mexican? Filipino? He looks like that gay Filipino illegal alien publicity hound who is always denouncing Trump. Can’t Walmart afford more intimidating-looking guards?

How did he afford an Eastern European bride, who is apparently the sister of Farook’s brother’s wife? Was she that desperate for a Green Card? Was she misinformed about how close San Bernardino is to Rodeo Drive? Exactly what kind of chain migration conveyor belt is going on here?

Like I said yesterday, I haven’t seen much evidence that many Latinos are getting interested in Islam, but if they are, that would be bad. There aren’t a lot of Idea Men among Mexican-Americans, but Islam generates chip on the shoulder crazies with dreams of glory on a disproportionate scale.

The new timeline suggests that Mr. Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were considering violent action before the Islamic State rose to prominence in 2014 and began trying to inspire sympathizers to carry out attacks in the West. And the disclosures raise questions about how thoroughly American law enforcement and immigration officials vetted the wife before giving her a visa to enter the United States from Pakistan a year before the shooting, which left 14 dead and 21 wounded.

So maybe that HORRIBLE idea about a moratorium on Muslim immigration until government officials figure out what’s going on is maybe not so crazy.

Oh, and the vetting given to Syrian refugees? Maybe, in reality, that’s no more bulletproof than those 14 people at the Holiday Party …

“ISIL inspiration may well have been part of this, but these two killers were starting to radicalize towards martyrdom and jihad as early as 2013,” the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

I thought it said Farook and Marquez were discussing a terrorist attack in 2012?

“And so that’s really before ISIL became the global jihad leader that it is.”

So, maybe the current terrorism isn’t just a one time thing involving ISIS/ISIL/Potayto/Potahto that will no doubt go away, it’s … an Islamic thing that will in the long run be around in rough proportion to the proportion of Muslims who are around.

Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. still believed that the couple had been inspired by foreign extremist groups but that it had not found evidence the husband and wife team was ordered to attack by the Islamic State or any other group. …

The account of a possible attack in 2012, came from Enrique Marquez, a longtime friend and former neighbor of Mr. Farook’s, according to law enforcement officials who would only speak anonymously about a continuing investigation.

Mr. Marquez, a Walmart clerk who converted to Islam several years ago and either sold or gave Mr. Farook the two assault rifles used in last week’s attack on county public health workers in San Bernardino, has told the authorities that in 2012 he and Mr. Farook had plans for an attack at that time.

The Religion of Peace.

It is not clear why they decided not to go forward with it.

Maybe one of them decided it wasn’t, on the whole, all things considered, really a good idea.

Mr. Marquez, whose wife is a sister-in-law to Mr. Farook’s brother, has also told investigators that Mr. Farook had radical beliefs but that he did not know Mr. Farook and his wife were plotting the recent shootings or what may have motivated them.

The authorities are still seeking to corroborate what Mr. Marquez is telling them. Because he provided two of the four weapons used by the attackers, some investigators have questioned his credibility, thinking that he might exaggerate what he knows about the couple to win favor with the authorities.

In addition, Mr. Marquez is said to have mental health issues. Shortly after the attacks, he checked himself into a mental health facility in California. He has not been charged or detained.

In Mr. Comey’s appearance on Capitol Hill, he said that the couple, who some relatives say met on an online dating site, had radicalized at least as far back as two years ago.

They were “talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and married and were living in the U.S.,” Mr. Comey said.

It’s nice to see young people brought together by their shared hobbies and ideas.

He said that the “investigation to date shows that they were radicalized before they started courting or dating each other online.”

Mr. Comey said the conclusion came from “data” and intelligence that American authorities had obtained.

Ms. Malik declared allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook post around the time of last week’s shooting, which led the authorities to conclude that the shooting was a terrorist attack.

But the authorities say that the couple may have decided to commit terrorism in the name of the Islamic State late in the planning process, after their views had hardened and they had already committed to violence.

Officials have discovered a potential link between the attackers and Islamic extremism.

With some members of Congress asking how Ms. Malik had been cleared for a K-1 visa to come to the United States, a spokesman for the State Department, John Kirby, said Wednesday that “it’s too soon to know what, if anything, might have been missed in the screening process” that allowed Ms. Malik to enter the country on the special 90-day visa for people planning to marry Americans. President Obama has asked for the department to review the program.

Mr. Kirby added that “if in the context or in the process of the review we find things that we can do, we’re not going to wait for the review to be complete before we make the changes.”

“But clearly,” he added, “we’re going to keep an open mind about the program going forward and make whatever changes we need to make.”

In other words, it sounds like the man with the plan was on the right track:


(New York, NY) December 7th, 2015, — Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.

More from the NYT:

More details about Mr. Farook and Ms. Malik and their relationship emerged Wednesday in interviews with family members, neighbors and classmates in California and in Saudi Arabia — including a fateful meeting at Islam’s holiest site that pushed the couple toward marriage.

Speaking by telephone from Saudi Arabia, Ms. Malik’s father, Gulzar Ahmed Malik, recounted a meeting between him and his wife and Mr. Farook’s mother during the annual hajj pilgrimage in the Saudi city of Mecca, in July 2013.

Like I’ve been saying ever since Razib pointed it out years ago, the increase in pilgrimages to Mecca has spread Meccan fundamentalism all over the Islamic world, making Muslims more homogeneous and extremist.

In an encounter just outside the Kaaba, the cuboid building at the center of Islam’s holiest mosque, Mr. Farook’s mother, Rafia, told the Pakistani couple that her family sought a “pious, religious girl” to marry their son, he said.

Mr. Malik replied that he was looking for a similar match for his daughter, and that he liked the young American man because, like his daughter, he had memorized the Quran.

An arranged marriage or a love match brought together by their mutual hatred of infidels?

The couple married months later by telephone, as allowed under Islamic custom, Mr. Malik said, and they held a celebration in the Saudi city of Jidda in July 2014, shortly after Ms. Malik had obtained her visa from the American Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Ms. Malik’s state of mind at that time is a point of intense focus for American investigators.

But apparently it wasn’t of intense interest to the American bureaucrats who gave her a visa to immigrate here.

… At home, her father said, she spent much of her time alone in her room, studying for university or reading the Quran. “She was always busy in her studies,” he said. …

New clues also surfaced on Wednesday about what the husband and wife team might have been planning. According to law enforcement officials, the couple had not finished building at least some of the dozen pipe bombs that were found in their home, leading investigators to believe they had a much larger attack planned for the future.

In addition, although Mr. Farook had smashed his cellphones and taken steps to delete files from his computer, the F.B.I. has been able to retrieve photos from them. One of the photos is of a local high school, suggesting to investigators that it may have been viewed as a target.

Law enforcement officials have also found that Mr. Farook had contacts with six people in Orange County, Calif., who federal authorities had scrutinized at some point in recent years for their apparent ties to terrorism. While officials do not believe these people were involved in the massacre, the connections have suggested to investigators that Mr. Farook was associating with like-minded people.

Trump’s Luck.

• Tags: Trump 
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With Jeb Bush and Donald Trump arguing over whether George W. Bush failed to stop 9/11, it’s worth going to the videotape (47:28) of the second Presidential debate of 2000. On 10/11/2000, the Texas governor denounced heightened scrutiny of Arab airline passengers by airport security. Bush said on national TV:

Secondly, there is other forms of racial profiling that goes on in America. Arab-Americans are racially profiled in what is called secret evidence. People are stopped, and we have to do something about that. My friend, Senator Spencer Abraham of Michigan, is pushing a law to make sure that Arab-Americans are treated with respect. So racial profiling isn’t just an issue at local police forces. It’s an issue throughout our society. And as we become a diverse society, we’re going to have to deal with it more and more. I believe, though — I believe, as sure as I’m sitting here, that most Americans really care. They’re tolerant people. They’re good, tolerant people. It’s the very few that create most of the crises, and we just have to find them and deal with them.

Note that when the future President said “we just have to find them and deal with them,” the “them” he was referring to as having to be dealt with were not Arab skyjackers but airline and airport employees worried about stopping Arab skyjackers.

In accordance with this statement, Bush appointed Democrat Norman Mineta Secretary of Transportation and directed him to root out profiling of Arabs at the airport.

In 2005, airport counter clerk Michael Tuohey told Oprah Winfrey of his encounter early on 9/11/2001 with the leader of the terrorists:

“I got an instant chill when I looked at [Atta]. I got this grip in my stomach and then, of course, I gave myself a political correct slap…I thought, ‘My God, Michael, these are just a couple of Arab businessmen.’”

By the way, on a personal note, this may have been when I started to realize I was the world’s least viral journalist. I’m not sure if the word “viral” had that meaning on 9/11/2001, but if it did, I was sure that the President’s 11-month-old denunciation of anti-terrorism efforts would soon go viral. I vividly recalled watching Bush say this to a huge television audience less than a year before. Back then you couldn’t post video, but it was easy to find a transcript. So I stayed up late that night writing up “Bush had called for laxer airport security” so I wouldn’t get scooped too badly by all the other pundits.

In all the rush, it didn’t get published for about a week. Yet by then, nobody else had brought it up. When my piece didn’t get any attention, well, lots of stuff was happening.

Every few years since then, I’ve brought up Bush’s statement, but it never seems to register on anybody other than my core readers. It’s an interesting example of the Sapir-Whorf effect in action. We are given categories to file facts away in: e.g., Republicans Are Racist; Bush Protected Us from Terrorism, etc. It’s very hard to remember anything that doesn’t fit in the right slots.

This is the first time I’ve posted video of Bush saying this. We’ll see if this makes any difference in the impact, although by now, after 14 years, I doubt it.

Similarly, the big Bush Push of 2002-2004 to ease traditional credit standards, such as down payments and documentation, that have disparate impact on black and Hispanic mortgage-seekers is practically impossible for most people to remember because it doesn’t fit in the categories: Republicans Are Racist; Bush Protected Us from Liberalism, etc.

Here’s a video of Bush telling his federal regulators that down payment requirements are keeping minorities from achieving the American Dream:

But I’ve posted this before with negligible impact.

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Is Donald Trump cool?

On the one hand, he’s been around forever, his tastes are cheesy/expensive, and the media has, as you may have noticed, been squealing nonstop for months that he’s Not Cool.

On the other hand, he’s not from Flyoverville. He’s about as New York as you can get.

And yet, he’s an old-fashioned in-your-face New Yorker of the kind celebrated by Colin Quinn. But then that’s also the “problematic” type who make new SWPL New Yorkers uncomfortable: What would our stylistic betters in Europe think of this crass American? How could the very American Trump be sophisticated and urbane, like, say, soccer?

Except, that Trump’s winning issue, what has distinguished him from the pack — immigration — is exactly the issue that obsesses Europeans in 2015. For example, above is a new graph from The Economist showing immigration as an important issue in Britain hitting a new historic high in the latest poll.

So Trump is on the cutting edge of Euro fashion.

It’s complicated …

• Tags: Euro, Immigration, Politics, Trump 
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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