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With Iran in the news, it’s worth reviewing a central feature of Persian culture: “Zerangi.”

From the New York Times:

The Real Supermarkets of Orange County
NOV. 19, 2010

By FIROOZEH DUMAS

In August, to be closer to my aging parents, my husband and I moved from Northern California to Orange County. My family settled there more than 30 years ago, not long after coming to the United States from Iran. I was 12, and the culture shock was pretty severe. There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish. When I left for college, I told myself that I’d never live in such a homogeneous place again. Today the beaches are still beautiful and surfers still ride the waves, but the blonds are in the minority.

The closest market to our new house is a chaotic Persian supermarket usually filled with Chinese and Hispanic customers as well as people from just about every country associated with terrorists, floods and dictators. It’s the kind of place you might call “charming” until the third time the lady in front of you stops next to the pomegranates, jujubes or prickly pears, blocking the aisle with her cart to greet her friend with a kiss on each cheek and five minutes of pleasantries.

… When we first came to America in 1972, my father was amazed at the way Americans waited in line at Disneyland. No complaints, no cutting. In Iran, we have zerangi, a concept that loosely means “cleverness.” Zerangi can be both ethical and unethical. Coming to America and starting a successful business? That’s zerangi. Finding a way to avoid paying taxes? Also zerangi.

That was my jury duty in 2006: two Iranian brothers-in-law started a used car business, with the less quick-witted one playing legal front man for his zerangi in-law who had been banned for life from the used car business. The ideas man had a great idea for getting rich: Collect the full sales tax but only send half of it to Sacramento. Eventually, state auditors noticed this transparent ruse, so he vanished back to Iran, which doesn’t have an extradition deal with the U.S..

(Hey, David Brooks, if you are reading this, tell Obama to tell Kerry to make that a priority in the nuke negotiations: full extradition of all Iranians. Iran will send us back all the Iranian crooks who ripped off Americans for us to imprison and America will send Iran back all the Iranian crooks who ripped off Iranians for them to imprison. There will be tumbleweeds blowing in the streets of Beverly Hills.)

From Iranian.com:

Persian work ethics
Beh pir, beh peyghambar, we are lazy

by dAyi Hamid

September 30, 1999

… Zerangi complex

Most Iranians have the zerangi complex. I don’t have the slightest idea where it comes from but you often hear “maa khodemun yeh paa qaaltaaqim”, “maa ghurbaaqaro rang mikonim jaa-ye foleks mifrushim”, “uni keh bekhaad sar-e maaro kolaah bezaareh hanuz be donyaa nayumadeh”, etc. I’m sure you know what I mean. Not everybody expresses it the same way but most of us have this thing about being zerang. And it affects the way we work.

We’d like to work less than others and earn more at the same time. We think it’s not necessary to work, rather we just need a good idea and we’ll be rich over night. Those who work are stupid; they don’t have the brains to become rich just like that. I’m the king of the world. I could make millions in a day, but this government, the Americans, Israel, and my mom don’t let me, so I’m doing a bit of mosaaferkeshi until luck knocks on my door.

From Iranian.com

Zerangi:
Glorification of the corrupt

by Taymaz Garadjalou
23-Jul-2008

“Zerangi” in Persian can be loosely translated as “cleverness” and to be “zerang” is to be “clever”. Most, if not all the time in Iranian culture and society, a zerang person is seen in a positive light for he or she is intelligent, resourceful and independent/autonomous and is thus what most Iranians strive to be. To be a zerang person can be applied in many situations, both positive and sinister. For example, a person who knows how the American legal system works and is able to work it to his or her advantage is zerang. A person who is resourceful in business and has made something of himself/herself is zerang. However, a person who is able to cleverly cheat his taxes and screw the system and government is also zerang. It does not stop here; a person who is able to wittingly cheat people, companies, businesses, governments of money is zerang and an idol for many Iranians.

In this essay, I wish to focus on the darker side of the culture of zerangi in Iranian society. The reason why I am writing this is because this one aspect of our culture is probably the most destructive phenomenon that our country and society is facing today. It would be quite silly to say that this phenomenon is restricted only to Iran and Iranians, but on the contrary many other cultures and countries share this problem; however, this does not give us a license to ignore the dangers of this trend.

As I initially remarked, zerangi is generally seen in a positive light regardless of it being a good or evil act. Obviously not every single zergan act will be seen in a positive light, but most of it, at least internally or implicitly, is admired by us. …

Sadly enough, Iranian culture, at least in the past 50 or so years, has become the exact opposite [of Japan's culture]. I remember one time where one of the Iranians here was not only able to cheat the Canadian tax-system, but also cheat his company’s money. Instead of being condemned, various Iranians rushed to be his friend and to learn his clever tactics. He was admired and glorified as zerang and all the women tried to get their husbands to be friends with this Mr. X. I would see wives putting their husbands down and saying “boro az oon X yaad begir, mibini che ghadr zerange?” (Go and learn from Mr. X, can’t you see how clever he is?). One might immediately say that this is the fault of the mullahcracy of Iran, however most of these people have been out of Iran since the early 70s and have not returned to Iran ever since, therefore the problem is much deeper as you will see.

Another trend that is part and parcel the culture of zerangi is the absence of personal-accountability. It is a given that none of the higher echelons of the IRI are held accountable, however I can say that a great bulk of Iranians do not hold themselves as personally accountable either. It is never our fault, it is always “others”. The Mullahs blame Amrikaaa and a bunch of Jews over a 100 miles away, the Marxollahis will blame the Shahollahis, and the Shahollahis will blame the Hezbollahis and Mullahs, but none will hold themselves accountable. …

This type of talk is wide-spread in Iran and it is dangerous as I will argue. The basic idea is that all of our problems are sourced in Islam and Mullahs. 1400 years ago, we were all cultured, tall, blond, blue-eyed and spoke something similar to German until the Arabs came and screwed us, made us short, dark and hairy. After this, mullahs were created and everything that point on messed up.

… The problem is not that a Mullah becomes a thief, but it’s the exact opposite; it is a thief who becomes a Mullah. We Iranians, although outwardly criticize corruption, internally glorify it and wish to master it. When we attack Rafsanjani for being a thief and corrupt, we may outwardly oppose him by saying it is wrong, but internally we are jealous of him, we admire him and wish we could take his place. Whenever there is an opportunity to make easy money through corruption we all rush to it. At one point, it was to do it with the British, at another, it was to do it with the Russians and at another, it was to become a Mullah.

My point is this: during the Shah’s time, we blamed all of Iran’s problems and corruption on the Shah. We thought that after the revolution and kicking out the Shah as well as having Mullahs come to power, everything would be ok and all our problems would be solved. The problems however did not change and got worse and now we fantasize about kicking out the Mullahs and bringing the Shah’s son back, or just bringing another order that doesn’t involve turbans. However, the underlying issue is that we do not hold ourselves accountable, we bribe and take bribes, cheat others and the government of money and when we are successful at it our society calls us zerang.

 
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  1. Fascinating stuff.

    Do you think Barack Obama and — especially — John Kerry had even heard this word before they saw it in the NYT? Does someone actually tell them these things about the countries and cultures they are supposed to be dealing with? You’d never suspect it from their statements and actions . . . .

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  2. Fascinating stuff.

    Do you think that Barack Obama and — especially — John Kerry had ever heard this word before seeing it in the NYT? You’d think they’d have people to fill them in on this kind of thing with regard to the countries they’re supposed to be dealing with, but judging from their statements and actions, there’s no reason to suspect they have the first clue . . . .

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  3. manton says:

    Where’s Unz to lecture us on how enriching this is for California and the U.S.?

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  4. andy says:

    This attitude of cutting corners, breaking the law if one is confident you won’t get caught, believing that cheating is a sign of being smart, etc. is common to many societies, not just Iran (you’ll see it in Latin America, Italy, and many other places)

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  5. markm says:

    I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do. Of course, we can trust them not to build atomic bombs and give them to terrorists! Obama is a fool to trust them. His negotiations should have begun this way: “We are going to bomb your enrichment sites and research centers and blockade your country. That is our starting point in these negotiations. Now you convince me why I should not to do this.”

    No war would have been necessary — just aerial bombing. Unless the Iranians believed that Obama might bomb them, you don’t have a real negotiation.

    One can only hope that Iranians in the U.S. will assimilate but how many groups can a society absorb before people stop buying the narrative and there is no longer any predominate group? If they are surrounded by a native culture (the former blondes) that value trust and honesty, over time they would need to conform or be frozen out of local commerce. If there is chaos and no predominate group, they have no pressure to change.

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    • Replies: @Difference Maker
    Close the borders. Deport deport deport.

    Problem solved!!! Lol!
    , @Stogumber
    "I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do."
    But there is a definite similarity between "zerangi" and "chutzpah" or a "yiddishe kop", meaning in both cases that you are handy to use or abuse foreign rules at your own advantage, so that you mustn't do manual work.

    One might suppose that one people influenced the other.

    , @Bill
    Huh. In my experience anti-semites mostly attack semites rather than defending Persians. For example, they might notice that "arial bombing" of Israel's regional rivals in pursuit of no discernible US interests is, like, hard to explain as a serious policy suggestion in the US. Unless, of course, some middle eastern group is, like, running a scam on us American rubes.

    Oh, wait, they are only scams when Iranians are running them. Hmmmmm. I wonder if they are scams when "Iranians" are running them.
    , @Big bill
    You are exasperated over nothing. According to the zarangi article authors, no one should believe Iranians who will hustle you and con you out of your goodies. They are out to make a buck the easiest way they can. To you that means they are liars, and therefore will lie about their intentions to exterminate the infidel world. To me it means they are lazy, they like the good life and the last thing they are interested in is apocalypse now.

    Now that we are agreed they are greedy and lazy at heart, how should that change the way we treat them? As greedy, lazy, selfish, in-it-for-the-money hustlers (you convinced me!) do we really think they are going to nuke the world (or America at least) to get their 72 virgins in heaven? Extremely unlikely.

    Far from being the psychotic Samsonite Zealots they are typically painted to be, they seem rather simple and easy to understand (if not believe or trust!). I am even more comfortable signing an agreement with the Iranians and lifting the embargo.
  6. Apologies for the double post — it appeared the first one had disappeared into the ether when I hit the publish button . . . !

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  7. MarkinLA says:

    Years ago there was a scandal it the Los Angeles city purchasing department. An Iranian immigrant and his American buddy had city credit cards and ran up about 1.5 million in overcharges that were kicked back to them. The Iranian found out about the audit (probably another Iranian immigrant) and fled to Iran. The poor American sap had no place to hide.

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  8. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    “We’d like to work less than others and earn more at the same time. We think it’s not necessary to work, rather we just need a good idea and we’ll be rich over night.”

    This explains a lot of Iranian movies.

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  9. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I don’t want to have to deal with this shit, Steve.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    >>>>>> "I don’t want to have to deal with this shit, Steve."

    Bwwahaha. You may not be interested in war but war is interested in you.
  10. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    US gov puppet (Shah of Iran) and all of his cronies including military and secret police were transplanted en masse to Southern California.

    This was a sudden migration of something like 200,000+ people and there was no news coverage. They weren’t poor. These were the nasty elite that had terrorized Iran for decades in cahoots with the CIA.

    It never ends. Recent gangsters transported to the USA include Saakashvili from Georgia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    They started showing up in SoCal even when the Shah was riding high.
    , @Neil Templeton
    To me, the mystery is why did American leadership begin to believe that cutting deals with criminals would be profitable, and when did leadership begin to cut such deals.

    I have a book by Robert Halmi, "Into Your Hand Are They Delivered". The book is Copyright 1969 and is a defense of hunting. On pp. 49-50 it reads:

    "To shoot while on the move is a nice feat, but to shoot with accuracy from an Arabian stallion at full gallop is real marksmanship. That's one difference between King Hussein and another Middle Eastern monarch, the Shah of Iran. The Shah is a superior rider, a good shot, and a true outdoorsman and hunter. I have been with the Shah when he urged his mount into a full run in pursuit of a band of mountain sheep, then shouldered his rifle and brought one down on the first shot. The Shah told me later that this was more a result of luck than of skill, because he rarely scored while at a gallop. 'Some of my tribesmen,' he added, 'are fantastic, never miss.' Such modesty is typical of the Shah but atypical of most hunters, who generally do not overvalue modesty."

    Perhaps such men win over diplomats and Presidents through charisma, manners, skill, and courage.

    , @ogunsiron
    somewhat OT, but I really wanted to share :

    Saakashvili was being advised until not too long ago by Raphael Glucksman, pseudo-philosopher, son of a french neocon of well chosen origin. Raphael Glucksman is in the orbit of prominent anti-Putin activist (among many other endeavours) Bernard-Henri Levy.

    Raphael Gluckman is married to a woman named Eka Zguladze. Her wiki says that " Her second husband, whom she married in 2011, is the French journalist and film director Raphaël Glucksmann (born 1979), who is a son of the French philosopher and writer André Glucksmann and a former adviser to ex-President Saakashvili. The couple has a son born in 2011".

    What's interesting about Raphael Glucksman's wife ? She went from being a member of the georgian government to being a ukrainian government official.
    "On 17 December 2014, Zguladze was appointed as First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. Earlier that month, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko granted her Ukrainian citizenship to make her eligible for the post. She is the second former Georgian official, after Alexander Kvitashvili, appointed to a Ukrainian government position in 2014".

    Raphael Glucksman was recently shamed on french tv for failing to mention that his wife worked for the ukrainian government while pontificating on tv about the Ukraine situation. A couple of guests forced him to disclose that his wife works for the ukrainian government and that he was in no way being a disinterested commentator with a passion for "democracy" his only motivation to speak about the Ukraine.
  11. AKAHorace says:

    When I was an undergraduate I knew of a lot of cases of Iranians cheating their way through courses in classes that I was in. Very likable people though.

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    • Replies: @Jay
    If you "like" people who are destroying the culture that made the USA great, does that make you a sucker?
  12. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “Zerangi” sounds like “Ferengi”, one of the ET races from Star Trek. Not only do the words sound similar, but the Ferengi are depicted as a savvy mercantile culture:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferengi

    They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade, and their constant efforts to swindle unwary customers into unfair deals.

    They’ve also been criticized as depicting anti-Semitic stereotypes:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferengi#Interpretation_as_a_parody_of_Judaism

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    • Replies: @tunglet
    But the Ferengi was the Franks, and so far not a single Dutch have have complained about it.
    , @Watson
    Believe it or not, the name "Ferengi" in Star Trek was inspired by the Persian word "farhangi", which means "foreign". It is believed that the English term "foreign" comes from "farhangi".
  13. Hepp says:

    Can anyone with experience discuss the cultural differences between Arabs and Iranians with regards to these things? The Arabs I’ve known have come across as almost hopelessly naive and idealistic, which would explain their attraction to fundamentalist religious movements. At the same time, they’re weirdly dishonest although very bad at it. It’s sort of contradictory, but that’s my impression. I don’t know any Iranians.

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    • Replies: @EdwardM
    This is a very profound comment. I know lots of Arabs (lived in the Arab world for years) and see the same "zerangi" impulse, but your point about their incompetence in it is spot on.

    Arabs are also notorious conspiracy-mongers, attributing all of their failures to dark forces outside their control. With some exceptions (almost completely correlated to the influence of Christianity, i.e., Lebanese and to a letter extent Syrians and Jordanians), they also shun accountability -- this is most visible in places like Qatar, where the people are rich and coddled and don't have to be accountable to anyone or risk material failure, yet still embody the zerangi mindset.

    A related character trait in Arabs, shared by other eastern cultures, is the complete lack of directness and transparency (polar opposite to Germans, Dutch, and Scandanavians). An Arab will not tell you no directly, and will think that being honest and transparent tips his hand too much while he's angling to screw you.

    The upshot, I think, is that the "golden rule," which so elementally defines Western, and especially Anglo-Saxon, culture, simply doesn't exist in these societies.
    , @BB753
    Iranians, well to be specific Persians, are smarter and less inbred than Arabs. More outgoing and worldly as well, easier to get along with. They don't come across as phony like Arabs ( and South Asians) do. Definitely friendlier in a genuine way. The men are virile in a non homo and creepy way like Arabs, and their women are pretty.
    On the other hand, Iran has a long lasting tradition and civilization, unlike Arabs who were mostly goat- herders, I mean Mohamed and his kin who founded Islam. Shia Islam seems less crazy than other brands, so their religion doesn' t prevent them from being functional in the modern world.
    Having said that, they're prone to cheating and swindling. And proud of it, too. In that, they're no different from say 90% of the planet, and from 100% of "men in gold chains" to use Sailer's "mot". ( probably including Jews).
    , @Clyde
    Can anyone with experience discuss the cultural differences between Arabs and Iranians with regards to these things?

    The Persian population centers are at 3000-4000 ft elevation so are cooler than Arab population centers. Most of which are at or near sea level. The Arabs brains are fried from the heat. Persia-Iran is not as hot

    Example:
    Tehran elevation
    3,900 feet

    Teheran also is 250 miles north of Cairo and 500 miles north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which means cooler climate. Teheran is same latitude as South Carolina
  14. M_Young says:

    The more diversity in OC the less diversity. I recently drove through the ‘diverse’ Irvine — acres and acres of bland tract houses that have covered what was once orange groves and strawberry fields* and the Orange County International Raceway and a water park and even a ‘Wild Animal Park’ .

    ‘Diversity’ ™ is drab.

    *Ever notice how, despite the eternal ‘we need them to pick the crops’, the number of Mexican immigrants is invariably inversely proportional to the remaining crop land?

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    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    "Crops rotting in the fields" is a good tagline, even if its inaccurate.

    Saying we need them to "Scrub the toilets" (Bioshock), or "wipe great-grandpas feces", while more accurate, doesn't sell as well.

    Or even further, saying that we could kick our own bums off the dole, is a political non-starter. Why else would Israel have Thais picking the bananas?
  15. Rob McX says:

    A fraud like the one those Iranian car dealers were pulling seems tailor-made for guys who have another country to flee to when it’s inevitably discovered. Unless they’re going to be ripped off left, right and centre, the state auditors must be on the lookout for any case where merchandise is apparently being sold at a fraction of the normal price.

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  16. Peter says:

    That ain’t unique to Iran, that’s pretty much the entire non-Germanic/Japanese/Anglo world.

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  17. Blobby5 says:

    We must appear as fat dumb gullible sheep to the world. Don’t get me started on the Russians!

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    The Israelis have a word for that type if sucker or patsy: Freier.


    Nobody wants to be thought of as a Freier!
  18. @Anonymous
    US gov puppet (Shah of Iran) and all of his cronies including military and secret police were transplanted en masse to Southern California.

    This was a sudden migration of something like 200,000+ people and there was no news coverage. They weren't poor. These were the nasty elite that had terrorized Iran for decades in cahoots with the CIA.

    It never ends. Recent gangsters transported to the USA include Saakashvili from Georgia.

    They started showing up in SoCal even when the Shah was riding high.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    In the '70's there was a 24 burger joint I used to go to in Berkeley that was open all night; I used to go there to drink coffee, smoke, and do homework. There was a band of Iranians who used to show up late at night and get into big arguments. They gay guy who ran the counter and I used to laugh about it. Who are these guys? Iranian students who hated the Shah .....
    , @Steve Sailer
    The term "oligarch" unfortunately wasn't known in America in the mid-1970s when the Shah's friends started buying bolt-holes in the Hollywood Hills for the coming days of retribution for their thievery.
  19. i wish i had invested in oc real estate ..gone up so much, despite all the cultural decay

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  20. OhComeOn says:
    @andy
    This attitude of cutting corners, breaking the law if one is confident you won't get caught, believing that cheating is a sign of being smart, etc. is common to many societies, not just Iran (you'll see it in Latin America, Italy, and many other places)

    It’s called being part black.

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  21. SPMoore8 says:
    @Steve Sailer
    They started showing up in SoCal even when the Shah was riding high.

    In the ’70′s there was a 24 burger joint I used to go to in Berkeley that was open all night; I used to go there to drink coffee, smoke, and do homework. There was a band of Iranians who used to show up late at night and get into big arguments. They gay guy who ran the counter and I used to laugh about it. Who are these guys? Iranian students who hated the Shah …..

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  22. @Steve Sailer
    They started showing up in SoCal even when the Shah was riding high.

    The term “oligarch” unfortunately wasn’t known in America in the mid-1970s when the Shah’s friends started buying bolt-holes in the Hollywood Hills for the coming days of retribution for their thievery.

    Read More
  23. how to piss off an Iranian: call him an Arab

    Read More
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    how to piss off an Iranian: call him an Arab
     
    Sigh. Yes, we all saw Crash.
    , @pseudonymic handle
    Hah! Yes, every one of the Iranians I've known has "explained" to me, quite seriously, that the reason they are dark/hairy/Iranian-looking is because of those dreadful Arabs who took over and ruined their native, Aryan culture and fair-skinned people.
  24. @Anonymous
    US gov puppet (Shah of Iran) and all of his cronies including military and secret police were transplanted en masse to Southern California.

    This was a sudden migration of something like 200,000+ people and there was no news coverage. They weren't poor. These were the nasty elite that had terrorized Iran for decades in cahoots with the CIA.

    It never ends. Recent gangsters transported to the USA include Saakashvili from Georgia.

    To me, the mystery is why did American leadership begin to believe that cutting deals with criminals would be profitable, and when did leadership begin to cut such deals.

    I have a book by Robert Halmi, “Into Your Hand Are They Delivered”. The book is Copyright 1969 and is a defense of hunting. On pp. 49-50 it reads:

    “To shoot while on the move is a nice feat, but to shoot with accuracy from an Arabian stallion at full gallop is real marksmanship. That’s one difference between King Hussein and another Middle Eastern monarch, the Shah of Iran. The Shah is a superior rider, a good shot, and a true outdoorsman and hunter. I have been with the Shah when he urged his mount into a full run in pursuit of a band of mountain sheep, then shouldered his rifle and brought one down on the first shot. The Shah told me later that this was more a result of luck than of skill, because he rarely scored while at a gallop. ‘Some of my tribesmen,’ he added, ‘are fantastic, never miss.’ Such modesty is typical of the Shah but atypical of most hunters, who generally do not overvalue modesty.”

    Perhaps such men win over diplomats and Presidents through charisma, manners, skill, and courage.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill

    To me, the mystery is why did American leadership begin to believe that cutting deals with criminals would be profitable, and when did leadership begin to cut such deals.
     
    Dunno. The Founding Fathers were pissed at the British for harshing on their real estate schemes. The Constitution enriched speculators in US govt debt. So, I'd say it goes way back.
  25. Zerangi and the popular admiration of those who display it is not unique to Iranians, as the same outlook is found in all Mohammedan societies and in a great many Moslems.

    Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels, who has extensive experience of counseling Moslems in Denmark, has written a great deal on the mindset, outlook and behavior of Moslems, who hold themselves blameless because they see everyone and everything else as forces arrayed against them and thus causing and responsible for their behavior: http://www.newenglishreview.org/Nicolai_Sennels/Muslims_and_Westerners%3A__The_Psychological_Differences/

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    There has to be some interesting HBD work in that area. Imagine getting groups to look at themselves honestly. That is probably in an unreleased John Lennon song, too.
    , @Meep Meep

    Zerangi and the popular admiration of those who display it is not unique to Iranians, as the same outlook is found in all Mohammedan societies and in a great many Moslems.
     
    This same outlook can be found in every part of the world outside of northwestern Europe and its colonial offshoots across the Atlantic. It's the default attitude of humankind.
  26. Ivy says:
    @Blobby5
    We must appear as fat dumb gullible sheep to the world. Don't get me started on the Russians!

    The Israelis have a word for that type if sucker or patsy: Freier.

    Nobody wants to be thought of as a Freier!

    Read More
    • Replies: @silviosilver

    The Israelis have a word for that type if sucker or patsy: Freier.

    Nobody wants to be thought of as a Freier!
     

    http://henrymakow.com/2013/11/Israeli-Business-Dishonesty%20.html

    Reminds me of the Balkans and Turkey too.

    Btw, I expected more zionist 'Nuke Iran' trolls to show up on this thread. I'm a little disappointed guys. Come on, here's your chance to shine.

  27. syonredux says: • Website

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.

    Yeesh. First we get the “only people with dark hair” trope from the Jews, and now we get it from the Iranians.You know, my Dad was born in 1940, and he grew up in SoCal.He’s of Scots-English descent, and he has really dark hair.So do all of his brothers and his mother.Plenty of people of European descent have dark hair, even ones whose ancestors come from Northern Europe.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    Travel in Ireland or France to see a lot of dark hair, with the occasional ginger in the former, and a few blondes in the latter.

    It may be apocryphal but one story said dark-haired Irish descended from the Spanish Armada survivors that washed ashore. Not sure who could swim back then.
    , @advancedatheist
    My long-departed grandfather from the Ozarks, Ervin Langley, had black hair as a young man, and he said that his family descended from "black Irish." He looked like all the other Scots-Irishy people you find in the hills in northern Arkansas.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Here's a young Richard Nixon of Orange County with a great head of black curls:

    http://41.media.tumblr.com/94cf04a2ec402d325aea929279217926/tumblr_n2lr7nK9Qr1qeu6ilo1_500.jpg
    , @silviosilver

    Yeesh. First we get the “only people with dark hair” trope from the Jews, and now we get it from the Iranians.You know, my Dad was born in 1940, and he grew up in SoCal.He’s of Scots-English descent, and he has really dark hair.So do all of his brothers and his mother.Plenty of people of European descent have dark hair, even ones whose ancestors come from Northern Europe.
     
    tl;dr in bold.

    I've got my own quite literal anti-dark hair discrimination story to share. A few years ago I was playing a casual round of golf when I quickly caught up to some elderly WASP player in front of me. The bastard could clearly see me behind him but refused to allow me to play through for about four holes. So as he was coming off the tenth green I played a shot that landed a few feet away from him, startling him.

    As I came to the green, he was walking up the fairway that ran right behind it. He grumbled "Well, go on, play through then." I apologized for startling him but he'd have none of it. He first accused me of skipping holes, to which I protested that I did not but said we weren't playing competition anyway so even if I did so what. A look of disgust then came over his face and he dismissed me with, "Bah, all you dark-haired blokes are the same" and stormed off. That upset me so I yelled at him, "What's this 'dark-haired blokes' business? Come out and say what really happened: you saw me behind you but said to yourself, 'Bah it's just some slimy greasy dago, f--k him.' Well you know what? F--k you, buddy, f--k you."

    The golf club captain roundly reproached me for that outburst, but gentleman that he is he also added that he didn't blame me for getting upset. Obviously my life is now permanently ruined after this horrifying experience of racism - WASP racism, the worst there ever was and the worst there can ever be. Anyone have any news on the reparations front by any chance?

    , @James Kabala
    I wonder if by "dark hair" he means "jet black hair" and "blond" somehow is meant to include "light and medium brown." That would still be wrong, but less flagrantly so. He can't possibly believe that all European people have truly blond hair, can he?
  28. wren says:

    My first exposure to many Iranians was in Japan during their bubble. Due to some visa deal that involved oil, there were Iranians everywhere. Many were doing jobs that, apparently, the Japanese wouldn’t do, but most seemed to be involved in zerangi-type enterprises. Foreigners were accosted by them selling fake phone cards every few yards in in some places. Perhaps they were all working for the Yakuza as some said, but the arrangement seemed like a good fit.

    The Japanese term for zerangi is zurui, oddly enough.

    In my experience, the Chinese have taken zerangi to world class levels, however.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    When I was in China, the most incompetent attempt at ripping me off was a guy who took a note from me and tried to not give me change. He took my money and then shoo'd me off like I had done something offensive. Dishonest? Yes. Clever? No.
  29. Ivy says:
    @Auntie Analogue
    Zerangi and the popular admiration of those who display it is not unique to Iranians, as the same outlook is found in all Mohammedan societies and in a great many Moslems.

    Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels, who has extensive experience of counseling Moslems in Denmark, has written a great deal on the mindset, outlook and behavior of Moslems, who hold themselves blameless because they see everyone and everything else as forces arrayed against them and thus causing and responsible for their behavior: http://www.newenglishreview.org/Nicolai_Sennels/Muslims_and_Westerners%3A__The_Psychological_Differences/

    There has to be some interesting HBD work in that area. Imagine getting groups to look at themselves honestly. That is probably in an unreleased John Lennon song, too.

    Read More
  30. manton says:

    Wait, I thought the sophisticated “anti-war” position was to believe everything that America’s enemies say? I know, America has no enemies (other than Israel), but what about the countries that take American hostages, call us the Great Satan, sponsor terrorism against us for 36+ years, kill our soldiers around the world, and help our enemies?

    They’re just “friends we haven’t met”!

    So why are we all mad at Iran all of a sudden?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Wait, I thought the sophisticated “anti-war” position was to believe everything that America’s enemies say? I know, America has no enemies (other than Israel), but what about the countries that take American hostages, call us the Great Satan, sponsor terrorism against us for 36+ years, kill our soldiers around the world, and help our enemies.

    It's still a good rule of thumb at the governmental level. Besides, Iran is only our enemy according to Israel. So you should disbelieve they are our enemy. They are not.
  31. Ivy says:
    @syonredux

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.
     
    Yeesh. First we get the "only people with dark hair" trope from the Jews, and now we get it from the Iranians.You know, my Dad was born in 1940, and he grew up in SoCal.He's of Scots-English descent, and he has really dark hair.So do all of his brothers and his mother.Plenty of people of European descent have dark hair, even ones whose ancestors come from Northern Europe.

    Travel in Ireland or France to see a lot of dark hair, with the occasional ginger in the former, and a few blondes in the latter.

    It may be apocryphal but one story said dark-haired Irish descended from the Spanish Armada survivors that washed ashore. Not sure who could swim back then.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    You don't have to cross the channel or the Irish Sea to find lots of Brunets.Wales has tons of dark haired people.
    , @Whiskey
    The original, pre Viking Celts had dark hair. Think Gael Garcia Bernal or Catherine Zeta Jones. Remnants are found also in Galicia Spain and Brittany.
  32. @markm
    I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do. Of course, we can trust them not to build atomic bombs and give them to terrorists! Obama is a fool to trust them. His negotiations should have begun this way: "We are going to bomb your enrichment sites and research centers and blockade your country. That is our starting point in these negotiations. Now you convince me why I should not to do this."

    No war would have been necessary -- just aerial bombing. Unless the Iranians believed that Obama might bomb them, you don't have a real negotiation.

    One can only hope that Iranians in the U.S. will assimilate but how many groups can a society absorb before people stop buying the narrative and there is no longer any predominate group? If they are surrounded by a native culture (the former blondes) that value trust and honesty, over time they would need to conform or be frozen out of local commerce. If there is chaos and no predominate group, they have no pressure to change.

    Close the borders. Deport deport deport.

    Problem solved!!! Lol!

    Read More
  33. syonredux says: • Website
    @Ivy
    Travel in Ireland or France to see a lot of dark hair, with the occasional ginger in the former, and a few blondes in the latter.

    It may be apocryphal but one story said dark-haired Irish descended from the Spanish Armada survivors that washed ashore. Not sure who could swim back then.

    You don’t have to cross the channel or the Irish Sea to find lots of Brunets.Wales has tons of dark haired people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrew
    syon:

    Brunettes are just another form of light haired folk - its really just a darker shade of red or blonde, with intermediate varieties like dirty blonde and auburn.

    Black hair is something enetirely different from brown.
  34. Drake says: • Website

    Google Books has a few more interesting uses of zerangi

    https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&hl=en&q=Zerangi

    Zerangi then means “cleverness,” being able to deceive others. Whereas in English this immediately conjures negative connotations, in Persian, it is an ability that is admired and aspired to… This leads to a cultural standard of generally not trusting people; yet not mistrusting in a negative sense, but being expectant of zerangi — it is “part of the game”.

    The notion of “zerangi” has a convoluted cultural connotation that far exceeds the straightforward meaning of “cleverness.” It implies the presence of a special, desirable intelligence that takes advantage of an immediate situation, with no regard for larger societal considerations, personal convictions, or moral scruples.

    As one specialist noted, Iranians often tried to substitute outward cleverness, or zerangi, for the alternative of putting a substantial effort into a task, and “studying it, by blood, sweat, and tears, so to speak.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    An official from an Arab country recently said: "They've been Shia only since the 18th century, but they've been Persians for a long time."
  35. Drake says: • Website

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.

    As syon mentioned, this is totally impossible and says more about the author’s preoccupations than the reality he lived in. Just as when Erdely said something similar about UVA.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Right, leaving aside all the dark haired European residents of Orange County, such as Richard Nixon, Orange County had some Japanese farmers from way back, and a big influx of Vietnamese from 1975. California also had tons of Armenians from next door to Iran -- one was elected governor in 1982.
    , @BurplesonAFB
    There's also that fact that to an arab, a turk looks white whereas to a norwegian, the finns are a dusky race
  36. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    I don't want to have to deal with this shit, Steve.

    >>>>>> “I don’t want to have to deal with this shit, Steve.”

    Bwwahaha. You may not be interested in war but war is interested in you.

    Read More
  37. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:
    @syonredux

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.
     
    Yeesh. First we get the "only people with dark hair" trope from the Jews, and now we get it from the Iranians.You know, my Dad was born in 1940, and he grew up in SoCal.He's of Scots-English descent, and he has really dark hair.So do all of his brothers and his mother.Plenty of people of European descent have dark hair, even ones whose ancestors come from Northern Europe.

    My long-departed grandfather from the Ozarks, Ervin Langley, had black hair as a young man, and he said that his family descended from “black Irish.” He looked like all the other Scots-Irishy people you find in the hills in northern Arkansas.

    Read More
  38. The problem is that in a country like Iran there was never a way to become successful by honest hard work and diligence because either government thugs will prey on you or zerangi will outcompete you. This is true for most Third World countries and the main reason why they are still undeveloped.

    Read More
    • Replies: @superpsych0
    There is something to this, as Romania has a similar culture of being "shmecher." It reads exactly like this "zerangi" stuff to me, a native.

    People like to rip on the "shmecheri" in public, but in private they're jealous of their success and wish they'd been in the right place at the right time to make a killing, rather than study and work hard, blood sweat and tears, etc etc etc

    As noted elsewhere in this thread, there's also the undercurrent of blaming others. In Romania, it's always the politicians, the government... and rightfully so to a degree, as they're corrupt beyond the wildest dreams of any Westerner. Still, the "man on the street" wants "the government" to make things better, and swears at the fraudsters and those possessed of "smecherie..."
  39. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:

    The Iranian writer F.M. Esfandiary back in the 1960′s wrote about how Middle Eastern tribes lie about their wealth and hide it from outsiders. “The Beggar Rich”:

    http://fm2030.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/middle-east-paradox-the-beggar-rich.pdf

    Read More
    • Replies: @BurplesonAFB
    I must say there are a lot of middle easterners who do a bad job at that today
  40. @Drake

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.
     
    As syon mentioned, this is totally impossible and says more about the author's preoccupations than the reality he lived in. Just as when Erdely said something similar about UVA.

    Right, leaving aside all the dark haired European residents of Orange County, such as Richard Nixon, Orange County had some Japanese farmers from way back, and a big influx of Vietnamese from 1975. California also had tons of Armenians from next door to Iran — one was elected governor in 1982.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    California also had tons of Armenians from next door to Iran — one was elected governor in 1982.
     
    Yeah, my Dad grew up in Glendale.One of his best friends in High School was Armenian.
  41. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @manton
    Wait, I thought the sophisticated "anti-war" position was to believe everything that America's enemies say? I know, America has no enemies (other than Israel), but what about the countries that take American hostages, call us the Great Satan, sponsor terrorism against us for 36+ years, kill our soldiers around the world, and help our enemies?

    They're just "friends we haven't met"!

    So why are we all mad at Iran all of a sudden?

    Wait, I thought the sophisticated “anti-war” position was to believe everything that America’s enemies say? I know, America has no enemies (other than Israel), but what about the countries that take American hostages, call us the Great Satan, sponsor terrorism against us for 36+ years, kill our soldiers around the world, and help our enemies.

    It’s still a good rule of thumb at the governmental level. Besides, Iran is only our enemy according to Israel. So you should disbelieve they are our enemy. They are not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @manton
    So Israel stormed the American embassy in Tehran in 1979, held 66 Americans for 444 days? Bombed the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 killing 241 American? Harassed American and allied shipping the Persian Gulf for 35 years and counting? Trained and equipped anti-American terrorists for 35 years and counting? Consistently killed American soldiers in the Middle East? (I know, we shouldn't have been there, so we had it coming.)

    Gee, they sure treat us like an enemy.

    But you Jew-hating paleo-fucktards have it all figured out. Iranians can kill Americans with impunity, but Israel is always to blame.

    You know, the neo-cons can be wrong about some things, but the avowed intentions and actions of hostile regimes still speak for themselves.

    , @Whiskey
    Iran and Russia want expensive oil. Zerangi requires it. We need cheap(er) oil. Managing diversity requires it. So yes Iran is our enemy unless you crave living like a Berkeley hippy, bathing every other year.

    The media loves Iran only slightly less than their lightworker. Trust Obama?
  42. @syonredux

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.
     
    Yeesh. First we get the "only people with dark hair" trope from the Jews, and now we get it from the Iranians.You know, my Dad was born in 1940, and he grew up in SoCal.He's of Scots-English descent, and he has really dark hair.So do all of his brothers and his mother.Plenty of people of European descent have dark hair, even ones whose ancestors come from Northern Europe.

    Here’s a young Richard Nixon of Orange County with a great head of black curls:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Notorious as the best poker player in the entire Navy, ca. WWII. No shortage of zerangi in that character.
  43. syonredux says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    Right, leaving aside all the dark haired European residents of Orange County, such as Richard Nixon, Orange County had some Japanese farmers from way back, and a big influx of Vietnamese from 1975. California also had tons of Armenians from next door to Iran -- one was elected governor in 1982.

    California also had tons of Armenians from next door to Iran — one was elected governor in 1982.

    Yeah, my Dad grew up in Glendale.One of his best friends in High School was Armenian.

    Read More
  44. manton says:
    @Anonymous
    Wait, I thought the sophisticated “anti-war” position was to believe everything that America’s enemies say? I know, America has no enemies (other than Israel), but what about the countries that take American hostages, call us the Great Satan, sponsor terrorism against us for 36+ years, kill our soldiers around the world, and help our enemies.

    It's still a good rule of thumb at the governmental level. Besides, Iran is only our enemy according to Israel. So you should disbelieve they are our enemy. They are not.

    So Israel stormed the American embassy in Tehran in 1979, held 66 Americans for 444 days? Bombed the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 killing 241 American? Harassed American and allied shipping the Persian Gulf for 35 years and counting? Trained and equipped anti-American terrorists for 35 years and counting? Consistently killed American soldiers in the Middle East? (I know, we shouldn’t have been there, so we had it coming.)

    Gee, they sure treat us like an enemy.

    But you Jew-hating paleo-fucktards have it all figured out. Iranians can kill Americans with impunity, but Israel is always to blame.

    You know, the neo-cons can be wrong about some things, but the avowed intentions and actions of hostile regimes still speak for themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @nglaer
    Israel has killed more Americans than Iran has.
    , @anonymous
    the avowed intentions and actions of hostile regimes still speak for themselves.

    But who's been murdering the Iranian nuclear scientists? Hardly an act of friendship. Also, didn't the US shoot down one of their civilian airliners back in the 80's as well as launch a few strikes against them?
  45. Stogumber says:
    @markm
    I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do. Of course, we can trust them not to build atomic bombs and give them to terrorists! Obama is a fool to trust them. His negotiations should have begun this way: "We are going to bomb your enrichment sites and research centers and blockade your country. That is our starting point in these negotiations. Now you convince me why I should not to do this."

    No war would have been necessary -- just aerial bombing. Unless the Iranians believed that Obama might bomb them, you don't have a real negotiation.

    One can only hope that Iranians in the U.S. will assimilate but how many groups can a society absorb before people stop buying the narrative and there is no longer any predominate group? If they are surrounded by a native culture (the former blondes) that value trust and honesty, over time they would need to conform or be frozen out of local commerce. If there is chaos and no predominate group, they have no pressure to change.

    “I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do.”
    But there is a definite similarity between “zerangi” and “chutzpah” or a “yiddishe kop”, meaning in both cases that you are handy to use or abuse foreign rules at your own advantage, so that you mustn’t do manual work.

    One might suppose that one people influenced the other.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    Probably just 'drank from the same well'; seems universal throughout the Mediterranean region--you get this in Italy and Greece, which are after all the wellsprings of our Greco-Roman virtues. I think it has more to do with making money under the various empires that ruled the area over the millennia--you want to hide it from the king's taxmen. The same dour, honest Republican Romans became the fun, dishonest Italians. I bet if you could do analyses of genes controlling personality traits from republican Roman fossils and modern Italians, you'd find different distributions (though of course you have gene flow from outside)--populations can undergo selective pressures too.
  46. “Zerang” sounds a lot like the Italian concept of “furbizia”. The ethical world of your average Neapolitan or Sicilian is exactly like an Iranian’s. Most Mediterranean peoples actually have a fairly similar view towards rules and authority, regardless of whether they are Christian or Muslim. Greeks also have “mangkas” which I think is pretty much the same thing.

    Read More
  47. @advancedatheist
    The Iranian writer F.M. Esfandiary back in the 1960's wrote about how Middle Eastern tribes lie about their wealth and hide it from outsiders. "The Beggar Rich":

    http://fm2030.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/middle-east-paradox-the-beggar-rich.pdf

    I must say there are a lot of middle easterners who do a bad job at that today

    Read More
    • Replies: @advancedatheist
    The ones in the U.S. feel more secure about displaying their wealth because they can see that we have less corruption and a stronger system of property rights. But then they still try to hide income behind the scenes, like the Iranians in Steve's jury duty story.
  48. @Drake

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.
     
    As syon mentioned, this is totally impossible and says more about the author's preoccupations than the reality he lived in. Just as when Erdely said something similar about UVA.

    There’s also that fact that to an arab, a turk looks white whereas to a norwegian, the finns are a dusky race

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    Well that doesn't make sense, given that the Finns are blonder than the Norweigians, and indeed may be the blondest people alive.
    , @tunglet
    The forest dwelling Finns are a lot blonder than the Fisheating Norwegians, that did not need blond hair as adults, because they got vitamin D from all the fish.

    Blue eyes are about the same, though, as that is an adaptation to night vision in the light Arctic nights both people shared.
    , @P
    Finns are as fair or fairer than Norwegians.
  49. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I recently had a long conversation with some Iranian students studying here who told me they believed that the ’79 revolution had been backed by the US government. They claimed that the US was afraid the Shaw had become too powerful, and it was time for him to go.

    I had never heard this conspiracy theory before, but all four of these young Iranians believed it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Iranians are great believers in conspiracy theories. I wouldn't put too much weight on their theorizing. If the Iranian Revolution had turned out great for these guys, would they make up conspiracy theories blaming it on the US or is it only all the bad things that are the fault of the US?
  50. @Steve Sailer
    Here's a young Richard Nixon of Orange County with a great head of black curls:

    http://41.media.tumblr.com/94cf04a2ec402d325aea929279217926/tumblr_n2lr7nK9Qr1qeu6ilo1_500.jpg

    Notorious as the best poker player in the entire Navy, ca. WWII. No shortage of zerangi in that character.

    Read More
  51. EdwardM says:
    @Hepp
    Can anyone with experience discuss the cultural differences between Arabs and Iranians with regards to these things? The Arabs I've known have come across as almost hopelessly naive and idealistic, which would explain their attraction to fundamentalist religious movements. At the same time, they're weirdly dishonest although very bad at it. It's sort of contradictory, but that's my impression. I don't know any Iranians.

    This is a very profound comment. I know lots of Arabs (lived in the Arab world for years) and see the same “zerangi” impulse, but your point about their incompetence in it is spot on.

    Arabs are also notorious conspiracy-mongers, attributing all of their failures to dark forces outside their control. With some exceptions (almost completely correlated to the influence of Christianity, i.e., Lebanese and to a letter extent Syrians and Jordanians), they also shun accountability — this is most visible in places like Qatar, where the people are rich and coddled and don’t have to be accountable to anyone or risk material failure, yet still embody the zerangi mindset.

    A related character trait in Arabs, shared by other eastern cultures, is the complete lack of directness and transparency (polar opposite to Germans, Dutch, and Scandanavians). An Arab will not tell you no directly, and will think that being honest and transparent tips his hand too much while he’s angling to screw you.

    The upshot, I think, is that the “golden rule,” which so elementally defines Western, and especially Anglo-Saxon, culture, simply doesn’t exist in these societies.

    Read More
  52. 5371 says:

    OT: There’s trouble in paradise:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-20/adelson-may-have-to-answer-ex-macau-chief-s-casino-firing-claims

    The money quote:

    [Sands said in a 2012 court filing that Jacobs’s allegation that Adelson approved a prostitution strategy is “demonstrably false.”
    “Mr Adelson regards prostitution as morally abhorrent,” Sands said. “In his business, Mr. Adelson has consistently opposed allowing prostitution, regardless of any financial calculations.”]

    Joke about the GOP goes here.

    Read More
  53. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Ivy
    Travel in Ireland or France to see a lot of dark hair, with the occasional ginger in the former, and a few blondes in the latter.

    It may be apocryphal but one story said dark-haired Irish descended from the Spanish Armada survivors that washed ashore. Not sure who could swim back then.

    The original, pre Viking Celts had dark hair. Think Gael Garcia Bernal or Catherine Zeta Jones. Remnants are found also in Galicia Spain and Brittany.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    There is a (possibly crackpot) theory that there may have once been significant Phoenician/Carthaginian colonies in Britain. Supposedly that would explain some of the linguistic weirdness of Welsh and Irish grammar and syntax, it would also explain why Welsh people are darker, and maybe the "Black Irish" as well.
  54. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    Wait, I thought the sophisticated “anti-war” position was to believe everything that America’s enemies say? I know, America has no enemies (other than Israel), but what about the countries that take American hostages, call us the Great Satan, sponsor terrorism against us for 36+ years, kill our soldiers around the world, and help our enemies.

    It's still a good rule of thumb at the governmental level. Besides, Iran is only our enemy according to Israel. So you should disbelieve they are our enemy. They are not.

    Iran and Russia want expensive oil. Zerangi requires it. We need cheap(er) oil. Managing diversity requires it. So yes Iran is our enemy unless you crave living like a Berkeley hippy, bathing every other year.

    The media loves Iran only slightly less than their lightworker. Trust Obama?

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    All oil exporters want expensive oil. That means that Saudi Arabia and Mexico are bigger enemies than Iran, even, according to your own inane metric. Why not our declaring war on, and invading, those two benighted nations?
  55. D. K. says:
    @Whiskey
    Iran and Russia want expensive oil. Zerangi requires it. We need cheap(er) oil. Managing diversity requires it. So yes Iran is our enemy unless you crave living like a Berkeley hippy, bathing every other year.

    The media loves Iran only slightly less than their lightworker. Trust Obama?

    All oil exporters want expensive oil. That means that Saudi Arabia and Mexico are bigger enemies than Iran, even, according to your own inane metric. Why not our declaring war on, and invading, those two benighted nations?

    Read More
  56. Maj. Kong says:
    @M_Young
    The more diversity in OC the less diversity. I recently drove through the 'diverse' Irvine -- acres and acres of bland tract houses that have covered what was once orange groves and strawberry fields* and the Orange County International Raceway and a water park and even a 'Wild Animal Park' .

    'Diversity' (tm) is drab.

    *Ever notice how, despite the eternal 'we need them to pick the crops', the number of Mexican immigrants is invariably inversely proportional to the remaining crop land?

    “Crops rotting in the fields” is a good tagline, even if its inaccurate.

    Saying we need them to “Scrub the toilets” (Bioshock), or “wipe great-grandpas feces”, while more accurate, doesn’t sell as well.

    Or even further, saying that we could kick our own bums off the dole, is a political non-starter. Why else would Israel have Thais picking the bananas?

    Read More
  57. @grey enlightenment
    how to piss off an Iranian: call him an Arab

    how to piss off an Iranian: call him an Arab

    Sigh. Yes, we all saw Crash.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    How to piss off some Iranians: call them Iranians. My dentist's assistant insists on "Persian".
  58. Numinous says:

    Interesting reads. Everything said about Iranians also probably applies to Indians: the tendency to blame corrupt officials while secretly envying them, foreign invaders, Western powers; the blurred lines between cleverness, ingenuity, and cunning.

    Read More
  59. @Whiskey
    The original, pre Viking Celts had dark hair. Think Gael Garcia Bernal or Catherine Zeta Jones. Remnants are found also in Galicia Spain and Brittany.

    There is a (possibly crackpot) theory that there may have once been significant Phoenician/Carthaginian colonies in Britain. Supposedly that would explain some of the linguistic weirdness of Welsh and Irish grammar and syntax, it would also explain why Welsh people are darker, and maybe the “Black Irish” as well.

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  60. Strange I know enough Persian to get by but I’ve never heard of Zerangi as a concept (obviously Zerang means smart but more often than not I have heard it referred to book smarts rather than street smart). Instead what I’ve really absorbed from my maternal Persian culture is the concept of Taarof, which is essentially the elaborate version of “maintaining face.” It does mean I’m much more generous when it comes to the bill instead of going “Dutch.”

    At any rate I’ve always thought of Persians as far more Westernised and straightforward in their dealings in comparison to Desis (South Asians). That’s a whole another can of worms lol.

    I guess the Asiatic ethnicities, from Jews to Japanese, have a very different interpretation of getting ahead or “catching up.”

    And oh yes despite more than 2 decades in the West I have great difficult in saying “no” directly. But then again I always remember that great expression, “when a diplomat mean yes he means maybe, when he says maybe he means no and a good diplomat will never say no!”

    “The Dutch are too honest to be polite and the New Zealanders are too polite to be honest.” http://www.globalmarketinginsight.com/yes-no-or-maybe-or-the-diplomatic-and-the-lady/

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    • Replies: @SFG
    The Chinese are quite fond of cheating and moneymaking.
  61. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    In India, it’s known as “cunning” and widely admired as a personal trait.

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  62. SFG says:
    @Stogumber
    "I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do."
    But there is a definite similarity between "zerangi" and "chutzpah" or a "yiddishe kop", meaning in both cases that you are handy to use or abuse foreign rules at your own advantage, so that you mustn't do manual work.

    One might suppose that one people influenced the other.

    Probably just ‘drank from the same well’; seems universal throughout the Mediterranean region–you get this in Italy and Greece, which are after all the wellsprings of our Greco-Roman virtues. I think it has more to do with making money under the various empires that ruled the area over the millennia–you want to hide it from the king’s taxmen. The same dour, honest Republican Romans became the fun, dishonest Italians. I bet if you could do analyses of genes controlling personality traits from republican Roman fossils and modern Italians, you’d find different distributions (though of course you have gene flow from outside)–populations can undergo selective pressures too.

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    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    Modern Italians presumably have very little in common with the Republican Romans genetically. I would guess southern Italians are probably mostly of Greek ancestry if you go back far enough. Northern Italy should be mostly descended from aboriginal Celtic, and Christian era Germanic invaders. Between immigration, various invasions, and the move of the capital and much of the ruling class to Constantinople, probably very little of the old Roman stock was left in Rome by the time the Western Empire fell.

    The people who resemble old Romans today the most in demeanor, cuisine and even vocabulary are actually the Spaniards, particularly Northern Spain and Catalonia. Not that surprising considering Iberia was a very attractive place to live at the height of the Roman Empire, and many Roman legionaries stayed put there.
  63. SFG says:
    @Zachary Latif
    Strange I know enough Persian to get by but I've never heard of Zerangi as a concept (obviously Zerang means smart but more often than not I have heard it referred to book smarts rather than street smart). Instead what I've really absorbed from my maternal Persian culture is the concept of Taarof, which is essentially the elaborate version of "maintaining face." It does mean I'm much more generous when it comes to the bill instead of going "Dutch."

    At any rate I've always thought of Persians as far more Westernised and straightforward in their dealings in comparison to Desis (South Asians). That's a whole another can of worms lol.

    I guess the Asiatic ethnicities, from Jews to Japanese, have a very different interpretation of getting ahead or "catching up."

    And oh yes despite more than 2 decades in the West I have great difficult in saying "no" directly. But then again I always remember that great expression, "when a diplomat mean yes he means maybe, when he says maybe he means no and a good diplomat will never say no!"

    “The Dutch are too honest to be polite and the New Zealanders are too polite to be honest.” http://www.globalmarketinginsight.com/yes-no-or-maybe-or-the-diplomatic-and-the-lady/

    The Chinese are quite fond of cheating and moneymaking.

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  64. @Drake
    Google Books has a few more interesting uses of zerangi

    https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&hl=en&q=Zerangi

    Zerangi then means “cleverness,” being able to deceive others. Whereas in English this immediately conjures negative connotations, in Persian, it is an ability that is admired and aspired to... This leads to a cultural standard of generally not trusting people; yet not mistrusting in a negative sense, but being expectant of zerangi -- it is "part of the game".

     


    The notion of "zerangi" has a convoluted cultural connotation that far exceeds the straightforward meaning of "cleverness." It implies the presence of a special, desirable intelligence that takes advantage of an immediate situation, with no regard for larger societal considerations, personal convictions, or moral scruples.
     

    As one specialist noted, Iranians often tried to substitute outward cleverness, or zerangi, for the alternative of putting a substantial effort into a task, and “studying it, by blood, sweat, and tears, so to speak.”
     

    An official from an Arab country recently said: “They’ve been Shia only since the 18th century, but they’ve been Persians for a long time.”

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  65. BB753 says:
    @Hepp
    Can anyone with experience discuss the cultural differences between Arabs and Iranians with regards to these things? The Arabs I've known have come across as almost hopelessly naive and idealistic, which would explain their attraction to fundamentalist religious movements. At the same time, they're weirdly dishonest although very bad at it. It's sort of contradictory, but that's my impression. I don't know any Iranians.

    Iranians, well to be specific Persians, are smarter and less inbred than Arabs. More outgoing and worldly as well, easier to get along with. They don’t come across as phony like Arabs ( and South Asians) do. Definitely friendlier in a genuine way. The men are virile in a non homo and creepy way like Arabs, and their women are pretty.
    On the other hand, Iran has a long lasting tradition and civilization, unlike Arabs who were mostly goat- herders, I mean Mohamed and his kin who founded Islam. Shia Islam seems less crazy than other brands, so their religion doesn’ t prevent them from being functional in the modern world.
    Having said that, they’re prone to cheating and swindling. And proud of it, too. In that, they’re no different from say 90% of the planet, and from 100% of “men in gold chains” to use Sailer’s “mot”. ( probably including Jews).

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    • Replies: @silviosilver

    Shia Islam seems less crazy than other brands, so their religion doesn’ t prevent them from being functional in the modern world.
     
    That bodily mutilation ritual they do seems kinda bizarre though.

    I've heard from a number of levantine Christians that the prefer Shiites over Sunnis, but that may just be because they're both minorities rather than any actual positive qualities Shiites possess.
  66. @BurplesonAFB
    There's also that fact that to an arab, a turk looks white whereas to a norwegian, the finns are a dusky race

    Well that doesn’t make sense, given that the Finns are blonder than the Norweigians, and indeed may be the blondest people alive.

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  67. “. . . good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis.”

    Ok, I can put up with a lot of things, but the person that thinks the disappearance of the above is something to be celebrated is nothing short of a monster.

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  68. Svigor says:

    This is what I mean when I say Jews are like other west Asian populations, only smarter and more driven.

    I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do.

    See above.

    I don’t want to have to deal with this shit, Steve.

    Northern Europeans are going to have to develop a sense of xenophobia and ethnocentrism. In the long run it’s a necessary survival trait.

    The Arabs I’ve known have come across as almost hopelessly naive and idealistic, which would explain their attraction to fundamentalist religious movements. At the same time, they’re weirdly dishonest although very bad at it. It’s sort of contradictory, but that’s my impression. I don’t know any Iranians.

    Maybe they’re from rich backgrounds. I knew a very dark-skinned rich kid from UAE (a Christian, I think) years back who was extraordinarily naive and sheltered, from an American perspective. Also, west Asian cultures tend to be very politeness-oriented, they lie like rugs to be polite and maintain appearances, save face, etc., it’s not really lying as most people think of the term.

    Zerangi and the popular admiration of those who display it is not unique to Iranians, as the same outlook is found in all Mohammedan societies and in a great many Moslems.

    *cough* Freier Culture *cough*

    behavior of Moslems, who hold themselves blameless because they see everyone and everything else as forces arrayed against them and thus causing and responsible for their behavior:

    *cough* Anti-Semitism/Holocaust Culture *cough*

    One might suppose that one people influenced the other.

    More like this is their genetic and cultural background.

    All oil exporters want expensive oil. That means that Saudi Arabia and Mexico are bigger enemies than Iran, even, according to your own inane metric. Why not our declaring war on, and invading, those two benighted nations?

    Don’t Forget Venezuela, Russia, Texas, North Dakota, Alaska, etc.

    I think it has more to do with making money under the various empires that ruled the area over the millennia–you want to hide it from the king’s taxmen.

    Yes, it’s these populations’ much longer exposure to population density and diversity, sort of like how they’re better able to handle alcohol.

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  69. tunglet says:
    @Anonymous
    "Zerangi" sounds like "Ferengi", one of the ET races from Star Trek. Not only do the words sound similar, but the Ferengi are depicted as a savvy mercantile culture:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferengi

    They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade, and their constant efforts to swindle unwary customers into unfair deals.
     
    They've also been criticized as depicting anti-Semitic stereotypes:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferengi#Interpretation_as_a_parody_of_Judaism

    But the Ferengi was the Franks, and so far not a single Dutch have have complained about it.

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  70. tunglet says:
    @BurplesonAFB
    There's also that fact that to an arab, a turk looks white whereas to a norwegian, the finns are a dusky race

    The forest dwelling Finns are a lot blonder than the Fisheating Norwegians, that did not need blond hair as adults, because they got vitamin D from all the fish.

    Blue eyes are about the same, though, as that is an adaptation to night vision in the light Arctic nights both people shared.

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  71. Bill says:
    @Neil Templeton
    To me, the mystery is why did American leadership begin to believe that cutting deals with criminals would be profitable, and when did leadership begin to cut such deals.

    I have a book by Robert Halmi, "Into Your Hand Are They Delivered". The book is Copyright 1969 and is a defense of hunting. On pp. 49-50 it reads:

    "To shoot while on the move is a nice feat, but to shoot with accuracy from an Arabian stallion at full gallop is real marksmanship. That's one difference between King Hussein and another Middle Eastern monarch, the Shah of Iran. The Shah is a superior rider, a good shot, and a true outdoorsman and hunter. I have been with the Shah when he urged his mount into a full run in pursuit of a band of mountain sheep, then shouldered his rifle and brought one down on the first shot. The Shah told me later that this was more a result of luck than of skill, because he rarely scored while at a gallop. 'Some of my tribesmen,' he added, 'are fantastic, never miss.' Such modesty is typical of the Shah but atypical of most hunters, who generally do not overvalue modesty."

    Perhaps such men win over diplomats and Presidents through charisma, manners, skill, and courage.

    To me, the mystery is why did American leadership begin to believe that cutting deals with criminals would be profitable, and when did leadership begin to cut such deals.

    Dunno. The Founding Fathers were pissed at the British for harshing on their real estate schemes. The Constitution enriched speculators in US govt debt. So, I’d say it goes way back.

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  72. Meep Meep says:
    @Auntie Analogue
    Zerangi and the popular admiration of those who display it is not unique to Iranians, as the same outlook is found in all Mohammedan societies and in a great many Moslems.

    Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels, who has extensive experience of counseling Moslems in Denmark, has written a great deal on the mindset, outlook and behavior of Moslems, who hold themselves blameless because they see everyone and everything else as forces arrayed against them and thus causing and responsible for their behavior: http://www.newenglishreview.org/Nicolai_Sennels/Muslims_and_Westerners%3A__The_Psychological_Differences/

    Zerangi and the popular admiration of those who display it is not unique to Iranians, as the same outlook is found in all Mohammedan societies and in a great many Moslems.

    This same outlook can be found in every part of the world outside of northwestern Europe and its colonial offshoots across the Atlantic. It’s the default attitude of humankind.

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  73. Bill says:
    @markm
    I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do. Of course, we can trust them not to build atomic bombs and give them to terrorists! Obama is a fool to trust them. His negotiations should have begun this way: "We are going to bomb your enrichment sites and research centers and blockade your country. That is our starting point in these negotiations. Now you convince me why I should not to do this."

    No war would have been necessary -- just aerial bombing. Unless the Iranians believed that Obama might bomb them, you don't have a real negotiation.

    One can only hope that Iranians in the U.S. will assimilate but how many groups can a society absorb before people stop buying the narrative and there is no longer any predominate group? If they are surrounded by a native culture (the former blondes) that value trust and honesty, over time they would need to conform or be frozen out of local commerce. If there is chaos and no predominate group, they have no pressure to change.

    Huh. In my experience anti-semites mostly attack semites rather than defending Persians. For example, they might notice that “arial bombing” of Israel’s regional rivals in pursuit of no discernible US interests is, like, hard to explain as a serious policy suggestion in the US. Unless, of course, some middle eastern group is, like, running a scam on us American rubes.

    Oh, wait, they are only scams when Iranians are running them. Hmmmmm. I wonder if they are scams when “Iranians” are running them.

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  74. Clyde says:
    @Hepp
    Can anyone with experience discuss the cultural differences between Arabs and Iranians with regards to these things? The Arabs I've known have come across as almost hopelessly naive and idealistic, which would explain their attraction to fundamentalist religious movements. At the same time, they're weirdly dishonest although very bad at it. It's sort of contradictory, but that's my impression. I don't know any Iranians.

    Can anyone with experience discuss the cultural differences between Arabs and Iranians with regards to these things?

    The Persian population centers are at 3000-4000 ft elevation so are cooler than Arab population centers. Most of which are at or near sea level. The Arabs brains are fried from the heat. Persia-Iran is not as hot

    Example:
    Tehran elevation
    3,900 feet

    Teheran also is 250 miles north of Cairo and 500 miles north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which means cooler climate. Teheran is same latitude as South Carolina

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Iran has been a relatively advanced civilization for a long, long time, with a particular knack for luxury goods and services.
  75. Mark says:

    My deceased father in law was an orphan who built from scratch a successful dairy business in Teheran…he always said that he would never deal with a Muslim preferring Armenians, Jews or Bahi. He said they couldn’t be trusted and the Mullahs were the worst con men of all!

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  76. advancedatheist [AKA "RedneckCryonicist"] says:
    @BurplesonAFB
    I must say there are a lot of middle easterners who do a bad job at that today

    The ones in the U.S. feel more secure about displaying their wealth because they can see that we have less corruption and a stronger system of property rights. But then they still try to hide income behind the scenes, like the Iranians in Steve’s jury duty story.

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  77. P says:
    @BurplesonAFB
    There's also that fact that to an arab, a turk looks white whereas to a norwegian, the finns are a dusky race

    Finns are as fair or fairer than Norwegians.

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  78. @SFG
    Probably just 'drank from the same well'; seems universal throughout the Mediterranean region--you get this in Italy and Greece, which are after all the wellsprings of our Greco-Roman virtues. I think it has more to do with making money under the various empires that ruled the area over the millennia--you want to hide it from the king's taxmen. The same dour, honest Republican Romans became the fun, dishonest Italians. I bet if you could do analyses of genes controlling personality traits from republican Roman fossils and modern Italians, you'd find different distributions (though of course you have gene flow from outside)--populations can undergo selective pressures too.

    Modern Italians presumably have very little in common with the Republican Romans genetically. I would guess southern Italians are probably mostly of Greek ancestry if you go back far enough. Northern Italy should be mostly descended from aboriginal Celtic, and Christian era Germanic invaders. Between immigration, various invasions, and the move of the capital and much of the ruling class to Constantinople, probably very little of the old Roman stock was left in Rome by the time the Western Empire fell.

    The people who resemble old Romans today the most in demeanor, cuisine and even vocabulary are actually the Spaniards, particularly Northern Spain and Catalonia. Not that surprising considering Iberia was a very attractive place to live at the height of the Roman Empire, and many Roman legionaries stayed put there.

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    • Replies: @Southfarthing

    "Northern Italy should be mostly descended from aboriginal Celtic, and Christian era Germanic invaders."
     
    The ancient English natives were more completely conquered by Germanic tribes than ancient Romans were, but the English are only 30% Germanic. And the Norman conquering of England didn't leave significant genetic admixture.

    So it seems like the default assumption should be that Italians are mostly the same today as they were in ancient Rome.
  79. Gringo says:

    The ideas man had a great idea for getting rich: Collect the full sales tax but only send half of it to Sacramento. Eventually, state auditors noticed this transparent ruse, so he vanished back to Iran, which doesn’t have an extradition deal with the U.S..

    I knew an Indian Muslim immigrant- his father worked at the UN IIRC- who got caught pulling a similar scam in another state. He had to pay a substantial penalty, thank goodness.

    While he had nothing but scorn for the jihadists who pulled off 9/11, he also believed that Jews had gotten advance notice to get out of the WTC before the planes flew into it. Curious mixture, there.

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  80. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Governments throughout history everywhere have exploited their subjects as beasts of burden, milking and bleeding them. Westerners need to understand that oftentimes ‘government’ is not what they’re used to thinking it is but rather has been a family, clan, tribe or other grouping that holds power and siphons off the wealth for itself until it’s forcibly unseated by another group. Attempts to accumulate material gain and make some headway are thwarted by mafia-type government agents who extort and rob with impunity. Being evasive and acting in a surreptitious manner is a logical response. Once that sort of behavior becomes ingrained into a culture it stays on even after conditions have changed. Much of the world is like that today.
    Insofar as Arabs blaming outside forces for everything there’s a basis in fact for that. Look at a map of the Arab world; every single Arab country’s borders were drawn up by non-Arabs with perhaps an exception for SA. Disparate groups were put into the same country according to the whim of Sykes-Picot and others, their leaders chosen by outsiders. All this has been imposed upon them by force of arms, one outside intervention after another taking place. Instability and conflict have been the built-in byproduct for the past one hundred years. They’ve gotten the message that they don’t rule their own house and that must influence their thinking.

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  81. @Peter Akuleyev
    Modern Italians presumably have very little in common with the Republican Romans genetically. I would guess southern Italians are probably mostly of Greek ancestry if you go back far enough. Northern Italy should be mostly descended from aboriginal Celtic, and Christian era Germanic invaders. Between immigration, various invasions, and the move of the capital and much of the ruling class to Constantinople, probably very little of the old Roman stock was left in Rome by the time the Western Empire fell.

    The people who resemble old Romans today the most in demeanor, cuisine and even vocabulary are actually the Spaniards, particularly Northern Spain and Catalonia. Not that surprising considering Iberia was a very attractive place to live at the height of the Roman Empire, and many Roman legionaries stayed put there.

    “Northern Italy should be mostly descended from aboriginal Celtic, and Christian era Germanic invaders.”

    The ancient English natives were more completely conquered by Germanic tribes than ancient Romans were, but the English are only 30% Germanic. And the Norman conquering of England didn’t leave significant genetic admixture.

    So it seems like the default assumption should be that Italians are mostly the same today as they were in ancient Rome.

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  82. @wren
    My first exposure to many Iranians was in Japan during their bubble. Due to some visa deal that involved oil, there were Iranians everywhere. Many were doing jobs that, apparently, the Japanese wouldn't do, but most seemed to be involved in zerangi-type enterprises. Foreigners were accosted by them selling fake phone cards every few yards in in some places. Perhaps they were all working for the Yakuza as some said, but the arrangement seemed like a good fit.

    The Japanese term for zerangi is zurui, oddly enough.

    In my experience, the Chinese have taken zerangi to world class levels, however.

    When I was in China, the most incompetent attempt at ripping me off was a guy who took a note from me and tried to not give me change. He took my money and then shoo’d me off like I had done something offensive. Dishonest? Yes. Clever? No.

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  83. I went to law school in OC back in the mid-90′s with quite a few Iranians–though they called themselves “Persians,” to the amusement of the arabs on campus. They were physically a very attractive lot, a fact I attributed to the elite status their parents held in Iran prior to the revolution. But they did strike me as generally unscrupulous and materialistic. I ended up dropping out of law school and becoming a nurse!

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  84. @grey enlightenment
    how to piss off an Iranian: call him an Arab

    Hah! Yes, every one of the Iranians I’ve known has “explained” to me, quite seriously, that the reason they are dark/hairy/Iranian-looking is because of those dreadful Arabs who took over and ruined their native, Aryan culture and fair-skinned people.

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  85. ABN says:

    Our own word “cleverness” seems to have different connotations in the US and Britain. The British seem to use “clever” much more liberally, as a generic synonym for smart. In American English, the connotation is vaguely malign. “Clever” has an overtone of “devious,” at least to me.

    This would appear to comport with different stereotypes about the respective national characters. You always read about perceptions of Britain as “perfidious Albion,” full of crafty stratagems to paint the map red. “The sun never sets on the British empire because God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark,” and so on.

    Critical stereotypes about America seem to be much more along the lines of excessive missionary earnestness, ignorance about the world, the belief that foreigners are basically Americans-in-waiting, and so on .

    Thus, for example, the comment by the jaded British journalist to the idealistic CIA agent in The Quiet American: “That’s the problem with you Americans. You always mean well.” (Or something along those lines.)

    My guess would be that it has something to do with America being traditionally less socially competitive and class-conscious. Social structures emerged largely from the willing cooperation of free landowning individuals. Moreover, the arc of American history (until relatively recently) lent itself to sunny optimism, whereas English history is more Game-of-Thrones-ish. Plus, some regions of America are at least as German/Nordic as they are English.

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    • Replies: @ABN
    In general, societies without zerangi are much more desirable to live in. I guess the opposite of zerangi could be called something like the Nice White Ladyness.

    Nice White Lady societies are cooperative, trusting, and egalitarian, but they're also the most prone to ethnomasochism, pathological altruism, and exploitation by people who have more zerangi than they do. There's a lot to be said for Nice White Ladies, but these are the same people who get up in the morning and say, "By gum, this town needs some more Somalis!"

    They need to be protected from themselves. Not for the first time, I find myself looking admiringly to Japan. They're a cooperative, high-trust society that doesn't have a Scandinavian-style death wish. Good for them.

  86. ABN says:
    @ABN
    Our own word "cleverness" seems to have different connotations in the US and Britain. The British seem to use "clever" much more liberally, as a generic synonym for smart. In American English, the connotation is vaguely malign. "Clever" has an overtone of "devious," at least to me.

    This would appear to comport with different stereotypes about the respective national characters. You always read about perceptions of Britain as "perfidious Albion," full of crafty stratagems to paint the map red. "The sun never sets on the British empire because God wouldn't trust an Englishman in the dark," and so on.

    Critical stereotypes about America seem to be much more along the lines of excessive missionary earnestness, ignorance about the world, the belief that foreigners are basically Americans-in-waiting, and so on .

    Thus, for example, the comment by the jaded British journalist to the idealistic CIA agent in The Quiet American: "That's the problem with you Americans. You always mean well." (Or something along those lines.)

    My guess would be that it has something to do with America being traditionally less socially competitive and class-conscious. Social structures emerged largely from the willing cooperation of free landowning individuals. Moreover, the arc of American history (until relatively recently) lent itself to sunny optimism, whereas English history is more Game-of-Thrones-ish. Plus, some regions of America are at least as German/Nordic as they are English.

    In general, societies without zerangi are much more desirable to live in. I guess the opposite of zerangi could be called something like the Nice White Ladyness.

    Nice White Lady societies are cooperative, trusting, and egalitarian, but they’re also the most prone to ethnomasochism, pathological altruism, and exploitation by people who have more zerangi than they do. There’s a lot to be said for Nice White Ladies, but these are the same people who get up in the morning and say, “By gum, this town needs some more Somalis!”

    They need to be protected from themselves. Not for the first time, I find myself looking admiringly to Japan. They’re a cooperative, high-trust society that doesn’t have a Scandinavian-style death wish. Good for them.

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  87. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I’m so sick of white people waiting in line and enjoying nature. Can’t wait to see the whole world get clevered up. We’ll just all outclever each other until noone works and we’re all rich. That’s never been tried before.

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  88. Andrew says:
    @syonredux
    You don't have to cross the channel or the Irish Sea to find lots of Brunets.Wales has tons of dark haired people.

    syon:

    Brunettes are just another form of light haired folk – its really just a darker shade of red or blonde, with intermediate varieties like dirty blonde and auburn.

    Black hair is something enetirely different from brown.

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  89. Big bill says:
    @markm
    I hope all the usual anti-Semites come on hear and defend the Iranians as they are usually prone to do. Of course, we can trust them not to build atomic bombs and give them to terrorists! Obama is a fool to trust them. His negotiations should have begun this way: "We are going to bomb your enrichment sites and research centers and blockade your country. That is our starting point in these negotiations. Now you convince me why I should not to do this."

    No war would have been necessary -- just aerial bombing. Unless the Iranians believed that Obama might bomb them, you don't have a real negotiation.

    One can only hope that Iranians in the U.S. will assimilate but how many groups can a society absorb before people stop buying the narrative and there is no longer any predominate group? If they are surrounded by a native culture (the former blondes) that value trust and honesty, over time they would need to conform or be frozen out of local commerce. If there is chaos and no predominate group, they have no pressure to change.

    You are exasperated over nothing. According to the zarangi article authors, no one should believe Iranians who will hustle you and con you out of your goodies. They are out to make a buck the easiest way they can. To you that means they are liars, and therefore will lie about their intentions to exterminate the infidel world. To me it means they are lazy, they like the good life and the last thing they are interested in is apocalypse now.

    Now that we are agreed they are greedy and lazy at heart, how should that change the way we treat them? As greedy, lazy, selfish, in-it-for-the-money hustlers (you convinced me!) do we really think they are going to nuke the world (or America at least) to get their 72 virgins in heaven? Extremely unlikely.

    Far from being the psychotic Samsonite Zealots they are typically painted to be, they seem rather simple and easy to understand (if not believe or trust!). I am even more comfortable signing an agreement with the Iranians and lifting the embargo.

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  90. ABN says:

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis.

    By the way, can I take this as an admission by the Megaphone that mass Third World immigration is making America less attractive? Of all the reasons to oppose mass immigration, preserving a population’s physical aesthetics is far from the most high-minded or important. But it’s not nothing, and the point is being freely conceded here in the NYT.

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  91. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous
    I recently had a long conversation with some Iranian students studying here who told me they believed that the '79 revolution had been backed by the US government. They claimed that the US was afraid the Shaw had become too powerful, and it was time for him to go.

    I had never heard this conspiracy theory before, but all four of these young Iranians believed it.

    Iranians are great believers in conspiracy theories. I wouldn’t put too much weight on their theorizing. If the Iranian Revolution had turned out great for these guys, would they make up conspiracy theories blaming it on the US or is it only all the bad things that are the fault of the US?

    Read More
    • Replies: @dcite
    Of course they do. They know more than we do about such things. They are ancient masters of conspiracy. I'm not sure why you think "conspiracy" awareness is a bad thing. They exist everywhere, because everywhere individuals and groups conspire to advance their own agendas. There is no one with more experience in this than Persians. The fact you think "conspiracies" rarely or never exist, and ignore such ideas, doesn't make them go away. It makes your enemies stronger.
  92. Watson says:
    @Anonymous
    "Zerangi" sounds like "Ferengi", one of the ET races from Star Trek. Not only do the words sound similar, but the Ferengi are depicted as a savvy mercantile culture:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferengi

    They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade, and their constant efforts to swindle unwary customers into unfair deals.
     
    They've also been criticized as depicting anti-Semitic stereotypes:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferengi#Interpretation_as_a_parody_of_Judaism

    Believe it or not, the name “Ferengi” in Star Trek was inspired by the Persian word “farhangi”, which means “foreign”. It is believed that the English term “foreign” comes from “farhangi”.

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  93. Brutusale says:
    @ScarletNumber

    how to piss off an Iranian: call him an Arab
     
    Sigh. Yes, we all saw Crash.

    How to piss off some Iranians: call them Iranians. My dentist’s assistant insists on “Persian”.

    Read More
  94. Whiskey says: • Website

    Zerangi and Northern European straightforwardness are the flip side of the ways of war. Zerangi is the fruit of a nomadic, horse mounted aristocracy that prefers to fight short raids without a conclusive victory but without any great risk.

    By contrast, Europeans from Marathon and Thermopylae and Plataea onwards, prefer to fight mass shock infantry battles where the most important thing is for men not related to each other by anything other than far removed kinship fight and often die together. This is why Western peoples venerate places like Thermopylae and the Alamo — desperate last stands where defenders fought as infantry to the last man and bought time and space for ultimate victory.

    Societies with military systems built on mostly voluntary, mostly infantry, mostly small holders determined to defend their small holdings from foreigners will fight conclusive, shock battles of annihilation of the enemy looking for a decisive and conclusive victory so they can get back to their farms. This produces anti-Zerangi, a valuation of straightforwardness and standing in line in awful battles. Societies built on semi-nomadic mounted aristocracy as the main military force will favor trickery and no decisive engagement as their wealth is mobile and mounted.

    This is probably an oversimplification but as a simplified model it has explanatory power.

    No Arab or Persian force could ever sustain something like the Somme, or Bulge, or Iwo Jima. Neither can America fight endless, non-conclusive wars of raid and counter raid.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous

    Neither can America fight endless, non-conclusive wars of raid and counter raid.
     
    Why not? We've done it. Indian wars, Afghanistan, although the supply lines for the second are long and the actual point of it is elusive.
    , @Twinkie

    This is probably an oversimplification.
     
    You don't say. This reflects an extremely crude, superficial, and unsophisticated understanding of the military systems of the ancient Greeks and Persians, straight out of the extremely juvenile "300" cartoons. Sounds like someone needs to read Hans Delbrück.

    Let me break it down a bit.

    Zerangi and Northern European straightforwardness are the flip side of the ways of war.

     

    Ancient Northern Europeans were largely unsophisticated but crafty raiders and "bushwackers" and some among them were also semi-nomads especially compared to the Greeks and the Romans. In fact, the reputation of the pre-medieval Germanic warriors (which ancient Greeks and Romans mention repeatedly) was that like Celts they had a ferocious initial charge, but lacked discipline and broke easily when the initial onslaught failed.

    And of course the Goths were known for their heavy cavalry (Caesar too, when he campaigned in Gaul, recruited Germanic cavalry, which was likely light and nimble missile cavalry).

    The European emphasis on highly disciplined infantry is largely a modern construct and a "re-discovery" of the ancient Roman ideals during and after the Renaissance. It eventually coincided with the rise of the "pike and shot" warfare pioneered by the Spanish, the Dutch, and the Swedes.

    This is why Western peoples venerate places like Thermopylae and the Alamo — desperate last stands where defenders fought as infantry to the last man and bought time and space for ultimate victory.
     
    All warrior cultures venerate courageous men who fight to death until they fall. Achaemenid "Immortals" (essentially an elite imperial guard or "companion" force) were *infantry* and they had a well-deserved reputation for their courage and steadfastness in combat, as reported by *Greeks.* Only the later Sassanid "Immortals" were cavalry (and heavy cavalry at that, not light mounted horse archers).

    Societies with military systems built on mostly voluntary, mostly infantry
     
    Ancient Greek citizen infantry (hoplite) was not "voluntary" but a conscripted force. The truly rich and elite (very few in Greece) got to ride horses, the Peers (full citizens) fought as heavy infantry (because full panoply was still very expensive) while the lower classes fought as poorly equipped missile troops/skirmishers, mostly with javelins and (where available) slingers.

    But as the Greek wars expanded in scope and sophistication, however, they began to use many more mercenaries and more "mixed" troops (lighter than the traditional hoplite but more heavily armed than traditional missile troops) who could fight in either role flexibly.

    It's true that the Achaemenids relied on missile cavalry, but they were mostly javelin-cavalry just like the Greek Prodromoi, and performed as skirmishers.

    Societies built on semi-nomadic mounted aristocracy as the main military force will favor trickery and no decisive engagement as their wealth is mobile and mounted.
     
    This is more like the later Huns and Mongols, not ancient Persians. And even the Huns and Mongols, though highly versed in "trickery" and mobile warfare, sought to annihilate their opponents where possible.

    And Persian (Achaemenid and later Sassanid) wealth was not based on moveable wealth, but in their rich and flourishing cities. A lot of poorly read Westerners imagine the ancient Persian civilization as another iteration of Arab, Turkic or Mongol semi-nomadic culture, but that is completely mistaken. The Persians built an imperial and federalized (satrapies) civilization from early on and derived their riches from the taxes and tributes from their far-flung subjects. And contrary to the cartoons and the Greek panegyrics, the Persians did not have a levée en masse but relied on a small imperial core of skilled warriors, and maintained an empire "on the cheap."

    Furthermore, during the Sassanid times, their decisive military force was made up of a heavy cavalry shock force that was widely imitated elsewhere including by the Romans and Byzantines (Cataphracts). Indeed, most scholars think that the idea of heavy cavalry (instead of a skirmishing or pursuit force) originated in Iran and then spread to Central Asia and the Middle East. It's not a coincidence that the decline of the military power of the Greek successor state of Seleucids was contemporaneous with the loss of control of the eastern provinces and the access to the Bactrian and Median heavy cavalry these areas provided to the Seleucid rulers.

    No Arab or Persian force could ever sustain something like the Somme, or Bulge, or Iwo Jima.
     
    You are comparing apples and oranges from vastly different eras (and the Bulge wasn't even an example of pitched, mass infantry battle). Turks originated as a horse-riding light cavalry people and later formed one of the most feared and disciplined infantry forces of its day, the Janissaries. And later a partially modernized Ottoman Turkish military did well enough fighting Western infantry on equal footing at Gallipoli.

    Furthermore, you seem completely unaware of the massive, pitched battles that Arabs and Iranians fought during the Iran-Iraq War. The latter, due to an arms embargo, had trouble refitting and resupplying their armies, so often relied on mass charges by the Pasdaran, the religiously-infused Revolutionary Guard. Anthony Cordesman wrote as huge tome about the Iran-Iraq War as a part of "The Lessons of the Modern War" series in 1990, which covers pretty much all military technical aspects of that conflict to minute details.
  95. Hal says:

    Smaller Steve Sailer:

    Two Iranian guys cheated somebody, so let’s nuke them.

    (It’s usually ‘shorter” rather than “smaller.” Intentional.)

    Read More
  96. @Clyde
    Can anyone with experience discuss the cultural differences between Arabs and Iranians with regards to these things?

    The Persian population centers are at 3000-4000 ft elevation so are cooler than Arab population centers. Most of which are at or near sea level. The Arabs brains are fried from the heat. Persia-Iran is not as hot

    Example:
    Tehran elevation
    3,900 feet

    Teheran also is 250 miles north of Cairo and 500 miles north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which means cooler climate. Teheran is same latitude as South Carolina

    Iran has been a relatively advanced civilization for a long, long time, with a particular knack for luxury goods and services.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Iran has been a relatively advanced civilization for a long, long time, with a particular knack for luxury goods and services.
     
    Indeed, it possessed quite a flourishing urban civilization before the smelly Macedonians (and later Arabs) showed up and ruined it all.

    I am still cross with the Arabs for razing all those interesting fire temples. Philistines!
  97. This gives me a special sense of gratitude for my Germanic-ancestors who promulgated the protestant work-ethic. The notion that one must work hard has done more good for western culture than any level of cleverness.

    Read More
  98. @Ivy
    The Israelis have a word for that type if sucker or patsy: Freier.


    Nobody wants to be thought of as a Freier!

    The Israelis have a word for that type if sucker or patsy: Freier.

    Nobody wants to be thought of as a Freier!

    http://henrymakow.com/2013/11/Israeli-Business-Dishonesty%20.html

    Reminds me of the Balkans and Turkey too.

    Btw, I expected more zionist ‘Nuke Iran’ trolls to show up on this thread. I’m a little disappointed guys. Come on, here’s your chance to shine.

    Read More
  99. @BB753
    Iranians, well to be specific Persians, are smarter and less inbred than Arabs. More outgoing and worldly as well, easier to get along with. They don't come across as phony like Arabs ( and South Asians) do. Definitely friendlier in a genuine way. The men are virile in a non homo and creepy way like Arabs, and their women are pretty.
    On the other hand, Iran has a long lasting tradition and civilization, unlike Arabs who were mostly goat- herders, I mean Mohamed and his kin who founded Islam. Shia Islam seems less crazy than other brands, so their religion doesn' t prevent them from being functional in the modern world.
    Having said that, they're prone to cheating and swindling. And proud of it, too. In that, they're no different from say 90% of the planet, and from 100% of "men in gold chains" to use Sailer's "mot". ( probably including Jews).

    Shia Islam seems less crazy than other brands, so their religion doesn’ t prevent them from being functional in the modern world.

    That bodily mutilation ritual they do seems kinda bizarre though.

    I’ve heard from a number of levantine Christians that the prefer Shiites over Sunnis, but that may just be because they’re both minorities rather than any actual positive qualities Shiites possess.

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  100. nglaer says:
    @manton
    So Israel stormed the American embassy in Tehran in 1979, held 66 Americans for 444 days? Bombed the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 killing 241 American? Harassed American and allied shipping the Persian Gulf for 35 years and counting? Trained and equipped anti-American terrorists for 35 years and counting? Consistently killed American soldiers in the Middle East? (I know, we shouldn't have been there, so we had it coming.)

    Gee, they sure treat us like an enemy.

    But you Jew-hating paleo-fucktards have it all figured out. Iranians can kill Americans with impunity, but Israel is always to blame.

    You know, the neo-cons can be wrong about some things, but the avowed intentions and actions of hostile regimes still speak for themselves.

    Israel has killed more Americans than Iran has.

    Read More
  101. Twinkie says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Iran has been a relatively advanced civilization for a long, long time, with a particular knack for luxury goods and services.

    Iran has been a relatively advanced civilization for a long, long time, with a particular knack for luxury goods and services.

    Indeed, it possessed quite a flourishing urban civilization before the smelly Macedonians (and later Arabs) showed up and ruined it all.

    I am still cross with the Arabs for razing all those interesting fire temples. Philistines!

    Read More
  102. @syonredux

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.
     
    Yeesh. First we get the "only people with dark hair" trope from the Jews, and now we get it from the Iranians.You know, my Dad was born in 1940, and he grew up in SoCal.He's of Scots-English descent, and he has really dark hair.So do all of his brothers and his mother.Plenty of people of European descent have dark hair, even ones whose ancestors come from Northern Europe.

    Yeesh. First we get the “only people with dark hair” trope from the Jews, and now we get it from the Iranians.You know, my Dad was born in 1940, and he grew up in SoCal.He’s of Scots-English descent, and he has really dark hair.So do all of his brothers and his mother.Plenty of people of European descent have dark hair, even ones whose ancestors come from Northern Europe.

    tl;dr in bold.

    I’ve got my own quite literal anti-dark hair discrimination story to share. A few years ago I was playing a casual round of golf when I quickly caught up to some elderly WASP player in front of me. The bastard could clearly see me behind him but refused to allow me to play through for about four holes. So as he was coming off the tenth green I played a shot that landed a few feet away from him, startling him.

    As I came to the green, he was walking up the fairway that ran right behind it. He grumbled “Well, go on, play through then.” I apologized for startling him but he’d have none of it. He first accused me of skipping holes, to which I protested that I did not but said we weren’t playing competition anyway so even if I did so what. A look of disgust then came over his face and he dismissed me with, “Bah, all you dark-haired blokes are the same” and stormed off. That upset me so I yelled at him, “What’s this ‘dark-haired blokes’ business? Come out and say what really happened: you saw me behind you but said to yourself, ‘Bah it’s just some slimy greasy dago, f–k him.’ Well you know what? F–k you, buddy, f–k you.”

    The golf club captain roundly reproached me for that outburst, but gentleman that he is he also added that he didn’t blame me for getting upset. Obviously my life is now permanently ruined after this horrifying experience of racism – WASP racism, the worst there ever was and the worst there can ever be. Anyone have any news on the reparations front by any chance?

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  103. Mike says:

    People who want to have one idea and get rich without work? Sounds like almost every American (of any culture) that I have ever met

    Read More
  104. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Whiskey
    Zerangi and Northern European straightforwardness are the flip side of the ways of war. Zerangi is the fruit of a nomadic, horse mounted aristocracy that prefers to fight short raids without a conclusive victory but without any great risk.

    By contrast, Europeans from Marathon and Thermopylae and Plataea onwards, prefer to fight mass shock infantry battles where the most important thing is for men not related to each other by anything other than far removed kinship fight and often die together. This is why Western peoples venerate places like Thermopylae and the Alamo -- desperate last stands where defenders fought as infantry to the last man and bought time and space for ultimate victory.

    Societies with military systems built on mostly voluntary, mostly infantry, mostly small holders determined to defend their small holdings from foreigners will fight conclusive, shock battles of annihilation of the enemy looking for a decisive and conclusive victory so they can get back to their farms. This produces anti-Zerangi, a valuation of straightforwardness and standing in line in awful battles. Societies built on semi-nomadic mounted aristocracy as the main military force will favor trickery and no decisive engagement as their wealth is mobile and mounted.

    This is probably an oversimplification but as a simplified model it has explanatory power.

    No Arab or Persian force could ever sustain something like the Somme, or Bulge, or Iwo Jima. Neither can America fight endless, non-conclusive wars of raid and counter raid.

    Neither can America fight endless, non-conclusive wars of raid and counter raid.

    Why not? We’ve done it. Indian wars, Afghanistan, although the supply lines for the second are long and the actual point of it is elusive.

    Read More
  105. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @manton
    So Israel stormed the American embassy in Tehran in 1979, held 66 Americans for 444 days? Bombed the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 killing 241 American? Harassed American and allied shipping the Persian Gulf for 35 years and counting? Trained and equipped anti-American terrorists for 35 years and counting? Consistently killed American soldiers in the Middle East? (I know, we shouldn't have been there, so we had it coming.)

    Gee, they sure treat us like an enemy.

    But you Jew-hating paleo-fucktards have it all figured out. Iranians can kill Americans with impunity, but Israel is always to blame.

    You know, the neo-cons can be wrong about some things, but the avowed intentions and actions of hostile regimes still speak for themselves.

    the avowed intentions and actions of hostile regimes still speak for themselves.

    But who’s been murdering the Iranian nuclear scientists? Hardly an act of friendship. Also, didn’t the US shoot down one of their civilian airliners back in the 80′s as well as launch a few strikes against them?

    Read More
  106. Twinkie says:
    @Whiskey
    Zerangi and Northern European straightforwardness are the flip side of the ways of war. Zerangi is the fruit of a nomadic, horse mounted aristocracy that prefers to fight short raids without a conclusive victory but without any great risk.

    By contrast, Europeans from Marathon and Thermopylae and Plataea onwards, prefer to fight mass shock infantry battles where the most important thing is for men not related to each other by anything other than far removed kinship fight and often die together. This is why Western peoples venerate places like Thermopylae and the Alamo -- desperate last stands where defenders fought as infantry to the last man and bought time and space for ultimate victory.

    Societies with military systems built on mostly voluntary, mostly infantry, mostly small holders determined to defend their small holdings from foreigners will fight conclusive, shock battles of annihilation of the enemy looking for a decisive and conclusive victory so they can get back to their farms. This produces anti-Zerangi, a valuation of straightforwardness and standing in line in awful battles. Societies built on semi-nomadic mounted aristocracy as the main military force will favor trickery and no decisive engagement as their wealth is mobile and mounted.

    This is probably an oversimplification but as a simplified model it has explanatory power.

    No Arab or Persian force could ever sustain something like the Somme, or Bulge, or Iwo Jima. Neither can America fight endless, non-conclusive wars of raid and counter raid.

    This is probably an oversimplification.

    You don’t say. This reflects an extremely crude, superficial, and unsophisticated understanding of the military systems of the ancient Greeks and Persians, straight out of the extremely juvenile “300″ cartoons. Sounds like someone needs to read Hans Delbrück.

    Let me break it down a bit.

    Zerangi and Northern European straightforwardness are the flip side of the ways of war.

    Ancient Northern Europeans were largely unsophisticated but crafty raiders and “bushwackers” and some among them were also semi-nomads especially compared to the Greeks and the Romans. In fact, the reputation of the pre-medieval Germanic warriors (which ancient Greeks and Romans mention repeatedly) was that like Celts they had a ferocious initial charge, but lacked discipline and broke easily when the initial onslaught failed.

    And of course the Goths were known for their heavy cavalry (Caesar too, when he campaigned in Gaul, recruited Germanic cavalry, which was likely light and nimble missile cavalry).

    The European emphasis on highly disciplined infantry is largely a modern construct and a “re-discovery” of the ancient Roman ideals during and after the Renaissance. It eventually coincided with the rise of the “pike and shot” warfare pioneered by the Spanish, the Dutch, and the Swedes.

    This is why Western peoples venerate places like Thermopylae and the Alamo — desperate last stands where defenders fought as infantry to the last man and bought time and space for ultimate victory.

    All warrior cultures venerate courageous men who fight to death until they fall. Achaemenid “Immortals” (essentially an elite imperial guard or “companion” force) were *infantry* and they had a well-deserved reputation for their courage and steadfastness in combat, as reported by *Greeks.* Only the later Sassanid “Immortals” were cavalry (and heavy cavalry at that, not light mounted horse archers).

    Societies with military systems built on mostly voluntary, mostly infantry

    Ancient Greek citizen infantry (hoplite) was not “voluntary” but a conscripted force. The truly rich and elite (very few in Greece) got to ride horses, the Peers (full citizens) fought as heavy infantry (because full panoply was still very expensive) while the lower classes fought as poorly equipped missile troops/skirmishers, mostly with javelins and (where available) slingers.

    But as the Greek wars expanded in scope and sophistication, however, they began to use many more mercenaries and more “mixed” troops (lighter than the traditional hoplite but more heavily armed than traditional missile troops) who could fight in either role flexibly.

    It’s true that the Achaemenids relied on missile cavalry, but they were mostly javelin-cavalry just like the Greek Prodromoi, and performed as skirmishers.

    Societies built on semi-nomadic mounted aristocracy as the main military force will favor trickery and no decisive engagement as their wealth is mobile and mounted.

    This is more like the later Huns and Mongols, not ancient Persians. And even the Huns and Mongols, though highly versed in “trickery” and mobile warfare, sought to annihilate their opponents where possible.

    And Persian (Achaemenid and later Sassanid) wealth was not based on moveable wealth, but in their rich and flourishing cities. A lot of poorly read Westerners imagine the ancient Persian civilization as another iteration of Arab, Turkic or Mongol semi-nomadic culture, but that is completely mistaken. The Persians built an imperial and federalized (satrapies) civilization from early on and derived their riches from the taxes and tributes from their far-flung subjects. And contrary to the cartoons and the Greek panegyrics, the Persians did not have a levée en masse but relied on a small imperial core of skilled warriors, and maintained an empire “on the cheap.”

    Furthermore, during the Sassanid times, their decisive military force was made up of a heavy cavalry shock force that was widely imitated elsewhere including by the Romans and Byzantines (Cataphracts). Indeed, most scholars think that the idea of heavy cavalry (instead of a skirmishing or pursuit force) originated in Iran and then spread to Central Asia and the Middle East. It’s not a coincidence that the decline of the military power of the Greek successor state of Seleucids was contemporaneous with the loss of control of the eastern provinces and the access to the Bactrian and Median heavy cavalry these areas provided to the Seleucid rulers.

    No Arab or Persian force could ever sustain something like the Somme, or Bulge, or Iwo Jima.

    You are comparing apples and oranges from vastly different eras (and the Bulge wasn’t even an example of pitched, mass infantry battle). Turks originated as a horse-riding light cavalry people and later formed one of the most feared and disciplined infantry forces of its day, the Janissaries. And later a partially modernized Ottoman Turkish military did well enough fighting Western infantry on equal footing at Gallipoli.

    Furthermore, you seem completely unaware of the massive, pitched battles that Arabs and Iranians fought during the Iran-Iraq War. The latter, due to an arms embargo, had trouble refitting and resupplying their armies, so often relied on mass charges by the Pasdaran, the religiously-infused Revolutionary Guard. Anthony Cordesman wrote as huge tome about the Iran-Iraq War as a part of “The Lessons of the Modern War” series in 1990, which covers pretty much all military technical aspects of that conflict to minute details.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Everything Whiskey knows about military history, he obviously learned from Vic Hanson. Don't get me wrong - I like Vic Hanson. He writes well, and his essays on Greek history are a pleasure to read. Outside of Greek history, however, I think Hanson's factual knowledge is quite limited. And that's not a criticism, given that he has chosen to specialize in Greek history. However, his comments outside of his area of expertise should be given little credence.
  107. @syonredux

    There were moms in tennis skirts, dads in pastels, good-looking blond boys who surfed and good-looking blond girls who were born to wear bikinis. We were the only dark-haired people they’d ever met who didn’t speak Spanish.
     
    Yeesh. First we get the "only people with dark hair" trope from the Jews, and now we get it from the Iranians.You know, my Dad was born in 1940, and he grew up in SoCal.He's of Scots-English descent, and he has really dark hair.So do all of his brothers and his mother.Plenty of people of European descent have dark hair, even ones whose ancestors come from Northern Europe.

    I wonder if by “dark hair” he means “jet black hair” and “blond” somehow is meant to include “light and medium brown.” That would still be wrong, but less flagrantly so. He can’t possibly believe that all European people have truly blond hair, can he?

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  108. ogunsiron says:
    @Anonymous
    US gov puppet (Shah of Iran) and all of his cronies including military and secret police were transplanted en masse to Southern California.

    This was a sudden migration of something like 200,000+ people and there was no news coverage. They weren't poor. These were the nasty elite that had terrorized Iran for decades in cahoots with the CIA.

    It never ends. Recent gangsters transported to the USA include Saakashvili from Georgia.

    somewhat OT, but I really wanted to share :

    Saakashvili was being advised until not too long ago by Raphael Glucksman, pseudo-philosopher, son of a french neocon of well chosen origin. Raphael Glucksman is in the orbit of prominent anti-Putin activist (among many other endeavours) Bernard-Henri Levy.

    Raphael Gluckman is married to a woman named Eka Zguladze. Her wiki says that ” Her second husband, whom she married in 2011, is the French journalist and film director Raphaël Glucksmann (born 1979), who is a son of the French philosopher and writer André Glucksmann and a former adviser to ex-President Saakashvili. The couple has a son born in 2011″.

    What’s interesting about Raphael Glucksman’s wife ? She went from being a member of the georgian government to being a ukrainian government official.
    “On 17 December 2014, Zguladze was appointed as First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. Earlier that month, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko granted her Ukrainian citizenship to make her eligible for the post. She is the second former Georgian official, after Alexander Kvitashvili, appointed to a Ukrainian government position in 2014″.

    Raphael Glucksman was recently shamed on french tv for failing to mention that his wife worked for the ukrainian government while pontificating on tv about the Ukraine situation. A couple of guests forced him to disclose that his wife works for the ukrainian government and that he was in no way being a disinterested commentator with a passion for “democracy” his only motivation to speak about the Ukraine.

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  109. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Twinkie

    This is probably an oversimplification.
     
    You don't say. This reflects an extremely crude, superficial, and unsophisticated understanding of the military systems of the ancient Greeks and Persians, straight out of the extremely juvenile "300" cartoons. Sounds like someone needs to read Hans Delbrück.

    Let me break it down a bit.

    Zerangi and Northern European straightforwardness are the flip side of the ways of war.

     

    Ancient Northern Europeans were largely unsophisticated but crafty raiders and "bushwackers" and some among them were also semi-nomads especially compared to the Greeks and the Romans. In fact, the reputation of the pre-medieval Germanic warriors (which ancient Greeks and Romans mention repeatedly) was that like Celts they had a ferocious initial charge, but lacked discipline and broke easily when the initial onslaught failed.

    And of course the Goths were known for their heavy cavalry (Caesar too, when he campaigned in Gaul, recruited Germanic cavalry, which was likely light and nimble missile cavalry).

    The European emphasis on highly disciplined infantry is largely a modern construct and a "re-discovery" of the ancient Roman ideals during and after the Renaissance. It eventually coincided with the rise of the "pike and shot" warfare pioneered by the Spanish, the Dutch, and the Swedes.

    This is why Western peoples venerate places like Thermopylae and the Alamo — desperate last stands where defenders fought as infantry to the last man and bought time and space for ultimate victory.
     
    All warrior cultures venerate courageous men who fight to death until they fall. Achaemenid "Immortals" (essentially an elite imperial guard or "companion" force) were *infantry* and they had a well-deserved reputation for their courage and steadfastness in combat, as reported by *Greeks.* Only the later Sassanid "Immortals" were cavalry (and heavy cavalry at that, not light mounted horse archers).

    Societies with military systems built on mostly voluntary, mostly infantry
     
    Ancient Greek citizen infantry (hoplite) was not "voluntary" but a conscripted force. The truly rich and elite (very few in Greece) got to ride horses, the Peers (full citizens) fought as heavy infantry (because full panoply was still very expensive) while the lower classes fought as poorly equipped missile troops/skirmishers, mostly with javelins and (where available) slingers.

    But as the Greek wars expanded in scope and sophistication, however, they began to use many more mercenaries and more "mixed" troops (lighter than the traditional hoplite but more heavily armed than traditional missile troops) who could fight in either role flexibly.

    It's true that the Achaemenids relied on missile cavalry, but they were mostly javelin-cavalry just like the Greek Prodromoi, and performed as skirmishers.

    Societies built on semi-nomadic mounted aristocracy as the main military force will favor trickery and no decisive engagement as their wealth is mobile and mounted.
     
    This is more like the later Huns and Mongols, not ancient Persians. And even the Huns and Mongols, though highly versed in "trickery" and mobile warfare, sought to annihilate their opponents where possible.

    And Persian (Achaemenid and later Sassanid) wealth was not based on moveable wealth, but in their rich and flourishing cities. A lot of poorly read Westerners imagine the ancient Persian civilization as another iteration of Arab, Turkic or Mongol semi-nomadic culture, but that is completely mistaken. The Persians built an imperial and federalized (satrapies) civilization from early on and derived their riches from the taxes and tributes from their far-flung subjects. And contrary to the cartoons and the Greek panegyrics, the Persians did not have a levée en masse but relied on a small imperial core of skilled warriors, and maintained an empire "on the cheap."

    Furthermore, during the Sassanid times, their decisive military force was made up of a heavy cavalry shock force that was widely imitated elsewhere including by the Romans and Byzantines (Cataphracts). Indeed, most scholars think that the idea of heavy cavalry (instead of a skirmishing or pursuit force) originated in Iran and then spread to Central Asia and the Middle East. It's not a coincidence that the decline of the military power of the Greek successor state of Seleucids was contemporaneous with the loss of control of the eastern provinces and the access to the Bactrian and Median heavy cavalry these areas provided to the Seleucid rulers.

    No Arab or Persian force could ever sustain something like the Somme, or Bulge, or Iwo Jima.
     
    You are comparing apples and oranges from vastly different eras (and the Bulge wasn't even an example of pitched, mass infantry battle). Turks originated as a horse-riding light cavalry people and later formed one of the most feared and disciplined infantry forces of its day, the Janissaries. And later a partially modernized Ottoman Turkish military did well enough fighting Western infantry on equal footing at Gallipoli.

    Furthermore, you seem completely unaware of the massive, pitched battles that Arabs and Iranians fought during the Iran-Iraq War. The latter, due to an arms embargo, had trouble refitting and resupplying their armies, so often relied on mass charges by the Pasdaran, the religiously-infused Revolutionary Guard. Anthony Cordesman wrote as huge tome about the Iran-Iraq War as a part of "The Lessons of the Modern War" series in 1990, which covers pretty much all military technical aspects of that conflict to minute details.

    Everything Whiskey knows about military history, he obviously learned from Vic Hanson. Don’t get me wrong – I like Vic Hanson. He writes well, and his essays on Greek history are a pleasure to read. Outside of Greek history, however, I think Hanson’s factual knowledge is quite limited. And that’s not a criticism, given that he has chosen to specialize in Greek history. However, his comments outside of his area of expertise should be given little credence.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Don’t get me wrong – I like Vic Hanson. He writes well, and his essays on Greek history are a pleasure to read.
     
    Professor Hanson is a gifted political essayist and polemicist, and is a superb classicist. I enjoy reading him immensely. But he is not a rigorous military historian, and is woefully uninformed about even very basic elements of military history (e.g. logistics) that should be familiar to well-read amateurs. He has a disturbing habit of conveying to his readers that everything his ancient protagonists wrote was factual especially as relates to numbers (when common sense and a bit of archeological and military historical knowledge dictates otherwise).

    What is worse, he has created an oversold, exaggerated paradigm of Western vs. Eastern way of war that, while very popular, has retarded good understanding of actual military history of Eurasia on the part of the general public.
  110. @Pseudonymic Handle
    The problem is that in a country like Iran there was never a way to become successful by honest hard work and diligence because either government thugs will prey on you or zerangi will outcompete you. This is true for most Third World countries and the main reason why they are still undeveloped.

    There is something to this, as Romania has a similar culture of being “shmecher.” It reads exactly like this “zerangi” stuff to me, a native.

    People like to rip on the “shmecheri” in public, but in private they’re jealous of their success and wish they’d been in the right place at the right time to make a killing, rather than study and work hard, blood sweat and tears, etc etc etc

    As noted elsewhere in this thread, there’s also the undercurrent of blaming others. In Romania, it’s always the politicians, the government… and rightfully so to a degree, as they’re corrupt beyond the wildest dreams of any Westerner. Still, the “man on the street” wants “the government” to make things better, and swears at the fraudsters and those possessed of “smecherie…”

    Read More
  111. When we first came to America in 1972, my father was amazed at the way Americans waited in line at Disneyland. No complaints, no cutting.

    That is an important observation. Lining up is a good character-forming activity (teaching as it does patience, fairplay, and orderliness).

    It’s also economically important: Nations that don’t queue up well are less economically successful, probably in part because single queues are more economically efficient:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=single+queue+multiple+lines&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    I flew on United Airlines this past weekend and was disappointed to see that it had abolished the single queue in favor of the mad rush for the automated check-in machines. United Airlines now looks like McDonald’s and they both look like a third-world country. One more reason I hate to fly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    That is an important observation. Lining up is a good character-forming activity (teaching as it does patience, fairplay, and orderliness).
     
    I have an informal measure of civilization based on queues - call it the Twinkie index of spontaneous queue forming. Whenever I travel somewhere, I'd like to observe how quickly, efficiently, and in an orderly manner the locals can form a queue *without* intervention of authority from above.

    So far, my conclusion is that the Singaporeans are the most civilized people on the planet. But they are the product of a visionary leader who wanted his people to be "more English than the English." So kudos to the English for setting a good example, even though their own habits seemed to have declined greatly of late.

    I flew on United Airlines this past weekend and was disappointed to see that it had abolished the single queue in favor of the mad rush for the automated check-in machines. United Airlines now looks like McDonald’s and they both look like a third-world country.
     
    For the life of me, I do *not* understand why there are multiple lines in lieu of a single queue. The former is so very prone to cheating and luck that it disturbs the sense of fair play. I know that life isn't fair, but shaping a society to make it as fair as possible tends to benefit the people and betters the society in the end.
  112. Twinkie says:
    @Anon
    Everything Whiskey knows about military history, he obviously learned from Vic Hanson. Don't get me wrong - I like Vic Hanson. He writes well, and his essays on Greek history are a pleasure to read. Outside of Greek history, however, I think Hanson's factual knowledge is quite limited. And that's not a criticism, given that he has chosen to specialize in Greek history. However, his comments outside of his area of expertise should be given little credence.

    Don’t get me wrong – I like Vic Hanson. He writes well, and his essays on Greek history are a pleasure to read.

    Professor Hanson is a gifted political essayist and polemicist, and is a superb classicist. I enjoy reading him immensely. But he is not a rigorous military historian, and is woefully uninformed about even very basic elements of military history (e.g. logistics) that should be familiar to well-read amateurs. He has a disturbing habit of conveying to his readers that everything his ancient protagonists wrote was factual especially as relates to numbers (when common sense and a bit of archeological and military historical knowledge dictates otherwise).

    What is worse, he has created an oversold, exaggerated paradigm of Western vs. Eastern way of war that, while very popular, has retarded good understanding of actual military history of Eurasia on the part of the general public.

    Read More
  113. Twinkie says:
    @Percy Gryce

    When we first came to America in 1972, my father was amazed at the way Americans waited in line at Disneyland. No complaints, no cutting.
     
    That is an important observation. Lining up is a good character-forming activity (teaching as it does patience, fairplay, and orderliness).

    It's also economically important: Nations that don't queue up well are less economically successful, probably in part because single queues are more economically efficient:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=single+queue+multiple+lines&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    I flew on United Airlines this past weekend and was disappointed to see that it had abolished the single queue in favor of the mad rush for the automated check-in machines. United Airlines now looks like McDonald's and they both look like a third-world country. One more reason I hate to fly.

    That is an important observation. Lining up is a good character-forming activity (teaching as it does patience, fairplay, and orderliness).

    I have an informal measure of civilization based on queues – call it the Twinkie index of spontaneous queue forming. Whenever I travel somewhere, I’d like to observe how quickly, efficiently, and in an orderly manner the locals can form a queue *without* intervention of authority from above.

    So far, my conclusion is that the Singaporeans are the most civilized people on the planet. But they are the product of a visionary leader who wanted his people to be “more English than the English.” So kudos to the English for setting a good example, even though their own habits seemed to have declined greatly of late.

    I flew on United Airlines this past weekend and was disappointed to see that it had abolished the single queue in favor of the mad rush for the automated check-in machines. United Airlines now looks like McDonald’s and they both look like a third-world country.

    For the life of me, I do *not* understand why there are multiple lines in lieu of a single queue. The former is so very prone to cheating and luck that it disturbs the sense of fair play. I know that life isn’t fair, but shaping a society to make it as fair as possible tends to benefit the people and betters the society in the end.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ogunsiron
    In my city people queue down to take public transportation, whether bus or subway. Somewhat miraculously, everyone conforms to that custom, including people of all races and recent immigrants. The queues get formed even in the more ghetto parts of the city.

    Re: multiple lines
    It makes sense to at least have 2 lines, in case a particular client ends up holding the line for several minutes. It can happen so it's good for the other clients to at least have an alternative.

  114. ogunsiron says:
    @Twinkie

    That is an important observation. Lining up is a good character-forming activity (teaching as it does patience, fairplay, and orderliness).
     
    I have an informal measure of civilization based on queues - call it the Twinkie index of spontaneous queue forming. Whenever I travel somewhere, I'd like to observe how quickly, efficiently, and in an orderly manner the locals can form a queue *without* intervention of authority from above.

    So far, my conclusion is that the Singaporeans are the most civilized people on the planet. But they are the product of a visionary leader who wanted his people to be "more English than the English." So kudos to the English for setting a good example, even though their own habits seemed to have declined greatly of late.

    I flew on United Airlines this past weekend and was disappointed to see that it had abolished the single queue in favor of the mad rush for the automated check-in machines. United Airlines now looks like McDonald’s and they both look like a third-world country.
     
    For the life of me, I do *not* understand why there are multiple lines in lieu of a single queue. The former is so very prone to cheating and luck that it disturbs the sense of fair play. I know that life isn't fair, but shaping a society to make it as fair as possible tends to benefit the people and betters the society in the end.

    In my city people queue down to take public transportation, whether bus or subway. Somewhat miraculously, everyone conforms to that custom, including people of all races and recent immigrants. The queues get formed even in the more ghetto parts of the city.

    Re: multiple lines
    It makes sense to at least have 2 lines, in case a particular client ends up holding the line for several minutes. It can happen so it’s good for the other clients to at least have an alternative.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    In my city
     
    Where might this magical city be?

    It makes sense to at least have 2 lines, in case a particular client ends up holding the line for several minutes. It can happen so it’s good for the other clients to at least have an alternative.
     
    You are confused. Multiple terminals/counters, but single line feeding into all of them. In fact, the whole "particular client holding up the line" problem is exactly why we need a single queue. Because with multiple lines, the entire line behind that particular client would be stuck, even though those standing behind him may have arrived earlier than others in other lines.
  115. Twinkie says:
    @ogunsiron
    In my city people queue down to take public transportation, whether bus or subway. Somewhat miraculously, everyone conforms to that custom, including people of all races and recent immigrants. The queues get formed even in the more ghetto parts of the city.

    Re: multiple lines
    It makes sense to at least have 2 lines, in case a particular client ends up holding the line for several minutes. It can happen so it's good for the other clients to at least have an alternative.

    In my city

    Where might this magical city be?

    It makes sense to at least have 2 lines, in case a particular client ends up holding the line for several minutes. It can happen so it’s good for the other clients to at least have an alternative.

    You are confused. Multiple terminals/counters, but single line feeding into all of them. In fact, the whole “particular client holding up the line” problem is exactly why we need a single queue. Because with multiple lines, the entire line behind that particular client would be stuck, even though those standing behind him may have arrived earlier than others in other lines.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Numinous

    Where might this magical city be?
     
    Do you live in NYC, by any chance? I am honestly surprised at your surprise, because outside of NYC, I have never seen line-breaking behavior anywhere in the US. Granted, I am not that well-traveled a person. But I spent much of the 2000s in Los Angeles, where I can't recall seeing line-cutting (unless you include tailgating and overtaking on the freeways). Or in the Seattle area, where I lived a couple of years.
  116. dcite says:
    @Jack D
    Iranians are great believers in conspiracy theories. I wouldn't put too much weight on their theorizing. If the Iranian Revolution had turned out great for these guys, would they make up conspiracy theories blaming it on the US or is it only all the bad things that are the fault of the US?

    Of course they do. They know more than we do about such things. They are ancient masters of conspiracy. I’m not sure why you think “conspiracy” awareness is a bad thing. They exist everywhere, because everywhere individuals and groups conspire to advance their own agendas. There is no one with more experience in this than Persians. The fact you think “conspiracies” rarely or never exist, and ignore such ideas, doesn’t make them go away. It makes your enemies stronger.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Regarding the whole conspiracy bit, it's kinda funny to go to, er, "less sophisticated" countries and strike up conversations with ordinary people. They often blame "The CIA" for all manners of misfortune that befall their society. For example, a bridge collapses? It's the CIA! They didn't want the commerce between the two valleys! Some popular politician is disgraced in a corruption or sexual scandal? It's the CIA! They didn't like him because he was a nationalist and wouldn't bend to the Americans! The earnestness of it is quite comical sometimes.

    Part of the blame-shifting is due to their own sense of inferiority, to be sure. But some of that sentiment is also a product, I think, of the seemingly omnipresent and omnipotent power and influence of the United States prior to the Vietnam War.

    There is some vestige of this left even in highly developed countries in Europe and East Asia whose people still remember when Americans were giants. Many Americans believe the movies and really think that we Americans are far more powerful and involved (in their affairs) than we really are.
  117. Twinkie says:
    @dcite
    Of course they do. They know more than we do about such things. They are ancient masters of conspiracy. I'm not sure why you think "conspiracy" awareness is a bad thing. They exist everywhere, because everywhere individuals and groups conspire to advance their own agendas. There is no one with more experience in this than Persians. The fact you think "conspiracies" rarely or never exist, and ignore such ideas, doesn't make them go away. It makes your enemies stronger.

    Regarding the whole conspiracy bit, it’s kinda funny to go to, er, “less sophisticated” countries and strike up conversations with ordinary people. They often blame “The CIA” for all manners of misfortune that befall their society. For example, a bridge collapses? It’s the CIA! They didn’t want the commerce between the two valleys! Some popular politician is disgraced in a corruption or sexual scandal? It’s the CIA! They didn’t like him because he was a nationalist and wouldn’t bend to the Americans! The earnestness of it is quite comical sometimes.

    Part of the blame-shifting is due to their own sense of inferiority, to be sure. But some of that sentiment is also a product, I think, of the seemingly omnipresent and omnipotent power and influence of the United States prior to the Vietnam War.

    There is some vestige of this left even in highly developed countries in Europe and East Asia whose people still remember when Americans were giants. Many Americans believe the movies and really think that we Americans are far more powerful and involved (in their affairs) than we really are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Numinous
    Regarding the whole conspiracy bit, it’s kinda funny to go to, er, “less sophisticated” countries and strike up conversations with ordinary people.

    Much of the anti-immigrant discourse that goes on on this blog also sounds very conspiratorial to those who don't share regular commenters' (or Steve Sailer's) beliefs and pet theories. It requires an outsider to see the ridiculousness of many of these theories.
  118. Numinous says:
    @Twinkie

    In my city
     
    Where might this magical city be?

    It makes sense to at least have 2 lines, in case a particular client ends up holding the line for several minutes. It can happen so it’s good for the other clients to at least have an alternative.
     
    You are confused. Multiple terminals/counters, but single line feeding into all of them. In fact, the whole "particular client holding up the line" problem is exactly why we need a single queue. Because with multiple lines, the entire line behind that particular client would be stuck, even though those standing behind him may have arrived earlier than others in other lines.

    Where might this magical city be?

    Do you live in NYC, by any chance? I am honestly surprised at your surprise, because outside of NYC, I have never seen line-breaking behavior anywhere in the US. Granted, I am not that well-traveled a person. But I spent much of the 2000s in Los Angeles, where I can’t recall seeing line-cutting (unless you include tailgating and overtaking on the freeways). Or in the Seattle area, where I lived a couple of years.

    Read More
  119. Numinous says:
    @Twinkie
    Regarding the whole conspiracy bit, it's kinda funny to go to, er, "less sophisticated" countries and strike up conversations with ordinary people. They often blame "The CIA" for all manners of misfortune that befall their society. For example, a bridge collapses? It's the CIA! They didn't want the commerce between the two valleys! Some popular politician is disgraced in a corruption or sexual scandal? It's the CIA! They didn't like him because he was a nationalist and wouldn't bend to the Americans! The earnestness of it is quite comical sometimes.

    Part of the blame-shifting is due to their own sense of inferiority, to be sure. But some of that sentiment is also a product, I think, of the seemingly omnipresent and omnipotent power and influence of the United States prior to the Vietnam War.

    There is some vestige of this left even in highly developed countries in Europe and East Asia whose people still remember when Americans were giants. Many Americans believe the movies and really think that we Americans are far more powerful and involved (in their affairs) than we really are.

    Regarding the whole conspiracy bit, it’s kinda funny to go to, er, “less sophisticated” countries and strike up conversations with ordinary people.

    Much of the anti-immigrant discourse that goes on on this blog also sounds very conspiratorial to those who don’t share regular commenters’ (or Steve Sailer’s) beliefs and pet theories. It requires an outsider to see the ridiculousness of many of these theories.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dcite
    Some conspiracy ideas are absurd. You must think critically. What conspiracies are you talking about? Be precise. There are conspiracies and there are conspiracies.They must be investigated. But many, many, make far more sense than the Officially Approved Stories. Anyone who cannot accept that there are legitimate conspiracies is just -- limited. Very limited. Or maybe they have their own reasons for denying their existence.

    How about the really pretty obvious plans out of public eye that stripped us of our industrial base and invited the rest of world. You don't think that was not preceded by years of conspiring? You just weren't a part of it.

    What were practically the first words out of Bush's mouth right after 9/11? "Let's no get into conspiracy theories." Why? We were told in no uncertain terms exactly who dunnit, why, when and where. A pristine passport even floated down from the blazes to punctuate the truth, despite several of the highjackers still being alive years later, one identified by his own dad as working for a well known intelligence agency (two actually, only one American). We weren't engaging in "conspiracy theories" at that point. It was all wrapped up before lunch, pretty much as the JFK thing was wrapped up, assassin caught with bio and psychological portrait, before dinner. Case closed. Move on. Nothing to see here.
    And for 50 years those that cared enough to look with eyes wide open instead of wide shut, have seen more and more and more.
    Most Americans would fall in the "unsophisticated" category. Europeans and educated persons virtually anywhere but here, are more sophisticated about how the world really works. Which in a way, makes them much more guilty. Americans are more willfully ignorant.
    I'm also talking about people here and elsewhere, who are extremely well read, well connected, with high level clearances, people involved in intimate ways with "events" that get spun for public consumption in quite a different way than they really happened. People like this exist in almost all countries with any infrastructure at all.
    If they don't have the guts to buck the "conspiracy theorist" moniker (a term much promoted by the CIA after 11/22/63 for obvious reasons) then...well, I don't know what then. Pretty hopeless for any improvement. That Kissinger ghoul has been smirking up his bloody nose for the past 60 years and still gets away with it. Maybe he's a zombie clone.
    Nah. That's too conspiratorial even for me.
    Blame it on my my adhd. Blame it on my g-g-g-generation.

  120. Jay says:
    @AKAHorace
    When I was an undergraduate I knew of a lot of cases of Iranians cheating their way through courses in classes that I was in. Very likable people though.

    If you “like” people who are destroying the culture that made the USA great, does that make you a sucker?

    Read More
  121. dcite says:
    @Numinous
    Regarding the whole conspiracy bit, it’s kinda funny to go to, er, “less sophisticated” countries and strike up conversations with ordinary people.

    Much of the anti-immigrant discourse that goes on on this blog also sounds very conspiratorial to those who don't share regular commenters' (or Steve Sailer's) beliefs and pet theories. It requires an outsider to see the ridiculousness of many of these theories.

    Some conspiracy ideas are absurd. You must think critically. What conspiracies are you talking about? Be precise. There are conspiracies and there are conspiracies.They must be investigated. But many, many, make far more sense than the Officially Approved Stories. Anyone who cannot accept that there are legitimate conspiracies is just — limited. Very limited. Or maybe they have their own reasons for denying their existence.

    How about the really pretty obvious plans out of public eye that stripped us of our industrial base and invited the rest of world. You don’t think that was not preceded by years of conspiring? You just weren’t a part of it.

    What were practically the first words out of Bush’s mouth right after 9/11? “Let’s no get into conspiracy theories.” Why? We were told in no uncertain terms exactly who dunnit, why, when and where. A pristine passport even floated down from the blazes to punctuate the truth, despite several of the highjackers still being alive years later, one identified by his own dad as working for a well known intelligence agency (two actually, only one American). We weren’t engaging in “conspiracy theories” at that point. It was all wrapped up before lunch, pretty much as the JFK thing was wrapped up, assassin caught with bio and psychological portrait, before dinner. Case closed. Move on. Nothing to see here.
    And for 50 years those that cared enough to look with eyes wide open instead of wide shut, have seen more and more and more.
    Most Americans would fall in the “unsophisticated” category. Europeans and educated persons virtually anywhere but here, are more sophisticated about how the world really works. Which in a way, makes them much more guilty. Americans are more willfully ignorant.
    I’m also talking about people here and elsewhere, who are extremely well read, well connected, with high level clearances, people involved in intimate ways with “events” that get spun for public consumption in quite a different way than they really happened. People like this exist in almost all countries with any infrastructure at all.
    If they don’t have the guts to buck the “conspiracy theorist” moniker (a term much promoted by the CIA after 11/22/63 for obvious reasons) then…well, I don’t know what then. Pretty hopeless for any improvement. That Kissinger ghoul has been smirking up his bloody nose for the past 60 years and still gets away with it. Maybe he’s a zombie clone.
    Nah. That’s too conspiratorial even for me.
    Blame it on my my adhd. Blame it on my g-g-g-generation.

    Read More

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