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There’s a cookie shop in my neighborhood that appears to be run by Russian gangsters as some kind of front or money laundering operation. There’s nobody in it, no place to sit, no menu sign, just a bakery case of Oreo-sized macaroons. Finally, a Bob Hoskins-looking guy in a wife-beater undershirt comes out from the back room and seems surprised that I’m there.

Man in a wifebeater with a Russian accent: “What do you want?”

Steve: “How much are the cookies?”

Man in a wifebeater with a Russian accent: “Cookie? \$3.75.”

Steve: “Uh –”

Man in a wifebeater with a Russian accent: “Plus tax.”

Steve: “How many cookies do you get for that?”

Man in a wifebeater with a Russian accent: “One. Plus tax.”

Another time I went into a large shop in Encino with a sign that said “Printer Cartridges.” Inside, there was mostly empty floorspace.

Steve: “I’ve got an HP 8600 and –”

Surly man behind the counter: “What?”

Steve: “I’ve got an HP 8600 and …”

Surly man behind the counter: [Blank stare]

Steve: “You know, a printer.”

Surly man behind the counter: “Sold out.”

One reason Hollywood thrillers have been full of Russian gangsters since the 1990s is that screenwriters tend to start out living in North Hollywood, which has a lot of ominous Russians (and/or Israelis) around. I don’t know exactly what the Russians do, but it’s fun to make up stories about them.

Here’s a pitch: What if the Russian gangster with the fake cookie shop invents a cookie recipe that actually is worth \$3.75 PLUS TAX? He could name his cookie The Flathead and start a national cookie chain called Flathead’s. But just when Mr. Flathead thinks he’s out, they pull him back in…

 
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  1. Wife-beater, Steve? Really? Can’t you use the perfectly-good term that has offended exactly no one for nearly a century now, dago t?

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    @JimDandy

    "Guinea-T" was the term that I always heard.

    Interesting how our fair author throws around an epithet like "flathead" so casually (and often). I had thought he was somewhat above the fray across the board, but, like so many, he feels safe (and maybe a thrill up his leg) hating on his own kind. I'm sure the gangster (if he was that) wasn't movie idol gorgeous like George Floyd or Stacey Abrams, but still...

    Replies: @JimDandy

    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    @JimDandy


    Wife-beater, Steve? Really?
     
    These days, I believe the proper PC nomenclature is, "A-shirt."
    , @Brutusale
    @JimDandy

    I never wear them, but a Christmas gift from the girlfriend last month was a 4-pack of wife-beaters, but they were from Spyder, so they're not wife-beaters, but singlets!

    Steve, was said flathead wearing a gold chain and Adidas sweatpants?

  2. Here’s a pitch: What if the Russian gangster with the fake cookie shop invents a cookie recipe that actually is worth \$3.75 PLUS TAX? He could name his cookie The Flathead and start a national cookie chain called Flathead’s. But just when Mr. Flathead thinks he’s out, they pull him back in…

    Woody Allen ‘Small Time Crooks:’ while attempting to rob the bank next door to his wife Tracy Ullman’s cookie shop Woody discovers his wife makes delicious cookies and they make a fortune from that.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0edEM7qAZGE

  3. I used to lunch at a place that felt like a Russian human trafficking/ money laundering front. The food was delicious, but never seemed to have enough people to justify it staying open. The waitresses talked of trying to get their papers back.

    It closed during the pandemic. Perhaps they could no longer engage in the same criminal activity with closed borders.

    • Replies: @clyde
    @Gaius Gracchus


    I used to lunch at a place that felt like a Russian human trafficking/ money laundering front. It closed during the pandemic. Perhaps they could no longer engage in the same criminal activity with closed borders.
     
    For decades the obvious go-to for 3rd worlder immigrants has been to open a restaurant. With an SBA loan of course. A cash business that you can cheat the tax-man on. (Immigrants say that paying taxes is for suckers and Americans)

    Covidxyz has killed their restaurant scheme. Many shut down for good or for the (Covid) duration. I am convinced that many/most of these immigrants scammed and lied their way to $50000-$100000 plus via Covid small business rescues from the Feds in DC. What have they got to lose? Be prosecuted? Ha! Only if someone drops a dime on them.

    Cookies - I bought the cheap choco-chip ones. Then last month I caved and bought Nabisco chips-ahoy. They are harder and keep their hardness. Smear some P-butter on them and make them extra good.

  4. Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R. What – we just didn’t have enough gangsters already? What do these people add to America? Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @Mr. Anon

    But maybe they were oppressed Russian Jewish gangster refugees?

    , @RobinG
    @Mr. Anon

    See comment by Altai about the Jewish mafia. Identifying with the Tribe was the Get-Out-of-Russia-Free card.

    Replies: @JR Ewing

    , @Anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @silviosilver, @SafeNow, @ANON, @Anthony Aaron, @Anonymous

    , @Mr Mox
    @Mr. Anon

    Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    As I like to put it: "Some of my best friends are foreigners... in foreign countries!"

    , @Sick of Orcs
    @Mr. Anon

    Should be boilerplate:

    Did we really need to import ______ from _____?
    What – we just didn’t have enough _______ already? What do these people add to America? Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against ______s, as long as they stay in _______.

    , @Anthony Aaron
    @Mr. Anon

    The Russian jews that came to the US then were often sponsored by taxpayer moneys … the Seattle Symphony Orchestra back then was under Gerard Schwartz … and he utilized that facility's good graces and taxpayer money to bring lots of Russian jews into SEA.

    Furthermore - and rather disgusting - is how Russian jews were permitted to apply for 'asylum' -- without any notion of actually, you know, escaping the things that typically cause folks to seek asylum … AND then, once here, they were put on full social security (this, as I recall, from these very unz.com pages) … while Russian Gentiles got - diddly squat …

    Such a deal … such a steal …

    Replies: @utu, @ATBOTL

    , @AnotherDad
    @Mr. Anon


    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R.
     
    No
  5. Everything ok, Steven? Your fans are here for you!

    • LOL: Buffalo Joe
  6. The Italian gangsters laugh at you when you go in their cookie shops.

    • Replies: @thenon
    @obwandiyag

    Maybe you did not ask the right questions? :48
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7yK8cuP1Bw

    , @Buffalo Joe
    @obwandiyag

    obi, "Leave the gun. Take the cannolis." One of the best lines ever in a movie.

  7. I do find it interesting how there is a who/whom about making fun of accents. Slavic accents are still fair game. (Lots of accents still are but you can’t be blatant about it) Is it less about understanding and universal values and more about sheer numbers making people self-conscious? (A bit like immigration that way) Is it maybe also the same reason Sacha Baron Cohen picks his acceptable ethnic targets?

    For that matter, it seems like it’s been memory-holed how the ‘Russian mafia’ was (Originally at least) really the ‘Russian Jewish mafia’, presumably because they tended to be less obviously Jewish and were relatively small in number. And, as in Israel, they may have tended to be less Jewish.

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

    The seeds of it were laid by the first waves of Soviet Jews who given special legal provisions for immigration and asylum into the US in the 1980s. Lots of it’s members took advantage of Israel as a safe-haven.

    I wouldn’t know if in the 2020s with more Slavic immigration from Russia if there is indeed a larger and more cohesive ethnic Russian mafia now, it seems to be something that’s hard to see much journalism on. I suspect what is often called the ‘Russian’ mafia is likely lots of smaller organised crime groups based around very clannish ethnicities from the Russia empire (Or even the Balkans or elsewhere in non-Russian Slavic Europe) and their diasporas inside Russia proper that aren’t necessarily Russian.

    Is the American ‘Russian’ mafia finally Russian? (Did the Russian Jews create enough of a diaspora in LA that their kinda Jewish cousins came and then the non-Jewish Russians came?) But at least the idea of the ‘Russian mafia’ has become familiar to audiences to allow Hollywood to have gangsters who are white and immigrants long after the old-style Italian mafia finally feels anachronistic to modern audiences. Can you imagine Batman or Daredevil beating up black and Hispanic gang members? Can you imagine the Russian Jewish mafia being depicted on TV with their leader hiding out in Tel Aviv?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Altai

    My vague impression is that there are a lot of people in the San Fernando Valley with roots in Russia who are kind of Jewish or have Jewish relatives. Ariel Sharon, who was kind of Russian, invited to Israel lots of people from Russia who were a quarter or half Jewish. Many wound up voting for Sharon and helped him become Prime Minister. Some of them got tired of Israel and bounced to America, such as L.A.

    And lots of people came here directly from the ex-Soviet Union.

    And some gentiles from the ex-Soviet Union might be following their part-Jewish relatives to L.A.: "My half-Jewish cousin who used to live in Tel-Aviv now owns a cookie shop in North Hollywood and he said I could stay with him for a while." That kind of thing.

    What I don't see, although I could be wrong, are particularly sharp ethnic divisions among the people with some Russian background. So I kind of doubt that there is some kind of particularist ethnic mafia, more just: "I know a guy who knows a guy ..." On the other hand, the whole topic of who all the ex-Soviets in the San Fernando Valley are is kind of not a topic for serious journalists, although screenwriters seem to like to make up stories about them.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @International Jew, @clyde, @ATBOTL

    , @JimDandy
    @Altai

    You might enjoy this excellent essay:

    https://www.takimag.com/article/comedy_that_never_forgets_steve_sailer/

    , @LP5
    @Altai

    Refusenik, an almost-forgotten term. A friend helped some emigrate to the US, and was fastidious to the point of paranoia about their identities.

  8. • Replies: @silviosilver
    @Anon

    "Silicon Slopes"? Isn't that racist?

    , @Colin Wright
    @Anon

    Canary in a coal mine.

    Replies: @silviosilver

  9. @Mr. Anon
    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R. What - we just didn't have enough gangsters already? What do these people add to America? Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @RobinG, @Anonymous, @Mr Mox, @Sick of Orcs, @Anthony Aaron, @AnotherDad

    But maybe they were oppressed Russian Jewish gangster refugees?

    • Agree: HammerJack
  10. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many Eastern Euro girls were trafficked to various places throughout the world, including NYC, Miami, and LA. A lot of them work the nightclub circuit.

    Those scary Russian dudes are muscle, hired by pimps who “manage” these girls.

    The muscle is generally ethnically Slavic, while the pimps are Jews from Eastern Europe and/or Israel. These guys often branch off into other illegal activities, such as insurance fraud, money laundering, smuggling, and spying.

    Epstein (who was a Jewish-American pimp who ran a blackmail operation that targeted global elites) hired a Russian bodyguard.

    A large fraction of these guys migrated to the U.S. through the Russian Jewish refugee program, including many Slavics.

    The show “American Greed” had an interesting episode that explored one of their common nightclub scams. Watch this 1-minute video below to see a preview of that episode.

    Eastern Euro girls are really hot, so they can easily separate horny men from their money.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    @JohnnyWalker123

    I have a friend who worked for INS. He told me about a marriage fraud he investigated. A guy called INS about a week after his marriage to a Ukrainian girl. The agents visited to investigate. The complainant, kind of an ordinary pot-bellied schlub from Northeast Philly, answered the door.
    He’d been married about a week when a couple of BMW 750ils pull up in front of his house. Four Russians get out. Three watch the house from outside. The fourth walks in past the newlywed and greets his new wife to squeals of obvious delight. They sojourn in his marital bed for an hour or so. Noisily. The Russian guy leaves. Never a word is spoken by him.
    The American expresses his displeasure to his bride and joy. She ignores him. He calls INS, she calls Philly PD. He gets a PFA filed against him. Months of hijinks ensue. She eventually disappears for parts unknown.
    The guy said he couldn’t keep his agents away from this girl. She was absolutely gorgeous. When they went to interview her, she’d inevitably answer the door in a very short satin nightgown with nothing underneath and those high heeled slippers with feathers on the front from the fifties.

    , @nebulafox
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Asia, too. Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s or thereabouts. Juicy establishments in particular near military bases, it was usually them and Filipinas. Some of those ladies were actually quite attractive, which is surprising for people familiar with the average American THOT or sex worker. I'd be surprised if they remained that way, though. Infantry bargirling is a rapid aging profession.

    Funny anecdote I've got: outside Hong Kong step up brothels, you'll have lists of the prices of the girls depending on their race. Some of the blonde willowy Russian girls can apparently get away with charging double their Chinese/Vietnamese/Filipina counterparts...

    Replies: @Twinkie, @R.G. Camara, @Old Prude

    , @Twinkie
    @JohnnyWalker123


    former MMA fighter Igor Zinoviev
     
    His fight with Mario Sperry is an old school MMA classic. His last fight was for the UFC middleweight championship all the way back in UFC 16 against Frank Shamrock who picked him up and then slam-KO’d him in 22 seconds. I think Zinoviev broke his neck and retired.

    https://youtu.be/AYvYTvCG0Cw

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

  11. There are stores like that in every college town. Hardly any customers, high rents, yet somehow in business for years on end.

    A lot of bars on East Coast college campuses were owned by the Italian mafia at some point, but those always made money. I am sure they were still used for money laundering.

    • Replies: @James J O'Meara
    @Twinkie

    When I was in NYC I would marvel at two-bit establishments that seemed to be on prime real estate and assumed they must be money laundering operations. There is/was a "psychic" parlor in Greenwich Village, on Seventh Ave. South, across from the Caliente Cab Co. restaurant. You men of Unz may assume that there are lots of silly women going to psychics, especially in the Village, but it was always as empty looking (big plate glass windows all around) as the palm reading gypsy's tent in Incredibly Strange Creatures (perhaps there were zombies trapped in the back room, created from unsuspecting walk ins?). Even here in Stars Hollow, there's a "nail salon" in a huge building, about the size of a Trader Joe's, that offers drinks and snacks while you wait, but there's never been a single person inside as far as I can tell (again, big plate glass windows all around, so it's not like they're hiding it).

  12. “Adventures in Cookie Shopping”

    Tovarisch, exactly how long have you been waiting to use that title on an article? When Mom caught you with hand in cookie jar back in ’68 did you say you were doing field research for an article entitled
    “Adventures in Cookie Shopping”? Inquiring minds etc…

  13. I must say that this brief shift in attention to thuggish Russian-American gangsters, as opposed to the overwhelming black criminal under-class, is briefly and mildly entertaining. And only relevant to a handful of locations such as New York and Los Angeles. Something tells me that the Russians only hit whom they’re supposed to hit, whereas with the black thugs, who knows???

    • Replies: @Old Prude
    @PaceLaw

    High IQ crooks may well cost the taxpayers more money than the low IQ thugs. Medicare scams and such. Americans are the suckers of the world.

    On the other hand, low IQ thugs don't provide the community with artisan cookie shops.

  14. He could name his cookie The Flathead and start a national cookie chain called Flathead’s.

    The Nordic knockoff could be Squarehead’s.

    • Replies: @LP5
    @Reg Cæsar


    The Nordic knockoff could be Squarehead’s.

     

    The Swedish guy down the way talked of his countrymen as blockheads. Some also say boxheads. Your dimensions may vary.
    , @Jmaie
    @Reg Cæsar

    That's Flattop.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  15. @Mr. Anon
    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R. What - we just didn't have enough gangsters already? What do these people add to America? Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @RobinG, @Anonymous, @Mr Mox, @Sick of Orcs, @Anthony Aaron, @AnotherDad

    See comment by Altai about the Jewish mafia. Identifying with the Tribe was the Get-Out-of-Russia-Free card.

    • Replies: @JR Ewing
    @RobinG


    Identifying with the Tribe was the Get-Out-of-Russia-Free card.
     
    My freshman year roommate at Harvard was a Russian Jew who had emigrated to Providence in the 1980's. A math savant and winner of several distinguished prizes while in high school and quite literally the smartest person I have ever known. He was a TA for a graduate level math class as a freshman. He was also a lazy asshole slob who never went to class and ran around with a crew that would have made the Big Bang Theory blush.

    Last I heard, he was making millions working as a quant on Wall Street.

    There was another Russian immigrant guy on our floor from Brooklyn who was much more open about being jewish. He very much looked the part and acted the part and is now an oncologist on the west coast. Very smart himself but in a different way.

    I learned more Russian (and about jews) just hanging out with the two of them than I ever learned in four years of actual college level classes.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @JohnnyWalker123

  16. @Altai
    I do find it interesting how there is a who/whom about making fun of accents. Slavic accents are still fair game. (Lots of accents still are but you can't be blatant about it) Is it less about understanding and universal values and more about sheer numbers making people self-conscious? (A bit like immigration that way) Is it maybe also the same reason Sacha Baron Cohen picks his acceptable ethnic targets?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpXcKdkiFhI

    For that matter, it seems like it's been memory-holed how the 'Russian mafia' was (Originally at least) really the 'Russian Jewish mafia', presumably because they tended to be less obviously Jewish and were relatively small in number. And, as in Israel, they may have tended to be less Jewish.

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

    The seeds of it were laid by the first waves of Soviet Jews who given special legal provisions for immigration and asylum into the US in the 1980s. Lots of it's members took advantage of Israel as a safe-haven.

    I wouldn't know if in the 2020s with more Slavic immigration from Russia if there is indeed a larger and more cohesive ethnic Russian mafia now, it seems to be something that's hard to see much journalism on. I suspect what is often called the 'Russian' mafia is likely lots of smaller organised crime groups based around very clannish ethnicities from the Russia empire (Or even the Balkans or elsewhere in non-Russian Slavic Europe) and their diasporas inside Russia proper that aren't necessarily Russian.

    Is the American 'Russian' mafia finally Russian? (Did the Russian Jews create enough of a diaspora in LA that their kinda Jewish cousins came and then the non-Jewish Russians came?) But at least the idea of the 'Russian mafia' has become familiar to audiences to allow Hollywood to have gangsters who are white and immigrants long after the old-style Italian mafia finally feels anachronistic to modern audiences. Can you imagine Batman or Daredevil beating up black and Hispanic gang members? Can you imagine the Russian Jewish mafia being depicted on TV with their leader hiding out in Tel Aviv?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @JimDandy, @LP5

    My vague impression is that there are a lot of people in the San Fernando Valley with roots in Russia who are kind of Jewish or have Jewish relatives. Ariel Sharon, who was kind of Russian, invited to Israel lots of people from Russia who were a quarter or half Jewish. Many wound up voting for Sharon and helped him become Prime Minister. Some of them got tired of Israel and bounced to America, such as L.A.

    And lots of people came here directly from the ex-Soviet Union.

    And some gentiles from the ex-Soviet Union might be following their part-Jewish relatives to L.A.: “My half-Jewish cousin who used to live in Tel-Aviv now owns a cookie shop in North Hollywood and he said I could stay with him for a while.” That kind of thing.

    What I don’t see, although I could be wrong, are particularly sharp ethnic divisions among the people with some Russian background. So I kind of doubt that there is some kind of particularist ethnic mafia, more just: “I know a guy who knows a guy …” On the other hand, the whole topic of who all the ex-Soviets in the San Fernando Valley are is kind of not a topic for serious journalists, although screenwriters seem to like to make up stories about them.

    • Agree: Sean
    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @Steve Sailer

    Jewish assimilation and intermarriage into mainstream Russian culture really took off in the postwar USSR, for a number of reasons. (Nazi destruction of Pale, heavy handed official government encouragement, etc.) There's a reason Israel is the most Russophonic non-Soviet country, and from what I've seen of their American counterparts, they are indistinguishable from gentile Russians after decades of that.

    , @International Jew
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve, let it go with your Subbotnick Ariel Sharon theory. Israelis are pretty fiercely ethno-centric and yet nobody ever questioned Sharon's status as a Jew. Not even the medievally-minded ultraorthodox rabbis.

    , @clyde
    @Steve Sailer

    OK Steve- Time to wheel out the (your) fully panoply of gold chain necklaced, disco loving immigrants in LA. Semi-pro gangster types.
    -Iranians
    -Armenians (all!)
    -Jewish Iranians, aka Persians as they call themselves
    -Chechens
    -Russians, or at least most of them
    -Israelis, but only the swarthy ones

    Who or what did I leave out?

    , @ATBOTL
    @Steve Sailer

    In other words, they are all jewish. I have yet to see any evidence of ethnic Russians who are not jewish having any kind of organized crime network anywhere. Western news stories about organized crime in Russia emphasize the dominance of Georgians and other minorities, especially at the leadership level. Russians are Northern Europeans who have been falsely vilified by jews. Stop calling jewish criminals "Russian," just call them jews.

    Replies: @Twinkie

  17. @Altai
    I do find it interesting how there is a who/whom about making fun of accents. Slavic accents are still fair game. (Lots of accents still are but you can't be blatant about it) Is it less about understanding and universal values and more about sheer numbers making people self-conscious? (A bit like immigration that way) Is it maybe also the same reason Sacha Baron Cohen picks his acceptable ethnic targets?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpXcKdkiFhI

    For that matter, it seems like it's been memory-holed how the 'Russian mafia' was (Originally at least) really the 'Russian Jewish mafia', presumably because they tended to be less obviously Jewish and were relatively small in number. And, as in Israel, they may have tended to be less Jewish.

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

    The seeds of it were laid by the first waves of Soviet Jews who given special legal provisions for immigration and asylum into the US in the 1980s. Lots of it's members took advantage of Israel as a safe-haven.

    I wouldn't know if in the 2020s with more Slavic immigration from Russia if there is indeed a larger and more cohesive ethnic Russian mafia now, it seems to be something that's hard to see much journalism on. I suspect what is often called the 'Russian' mafia is likely lots of smaller organised crime groups based around very clannish ethnicities from the Russia empire (Or even the Balkans or elsewhere in non-Russian Slavic Europe) and their diasporas inside Russia proper that aren't necessarily Russian.

    Is the American 'Russian' mafia finally Russian? (Did the Russian Jews create enough of a diaspora in LA that their kinda Jewish cousins came and then the non-Jewish Russians came?) But at least the idea of the 'Russian mafia' has become familiar to audiences to allow Hollywood to have gangsters who are white and immigrants long after the old-style Italian mafia finally feels anachronistic to modern audiences. Can you imagine Batman or Daredevil beating up black and Hispanic gang members? Can you imagine the Russian Jewish mafia being depicted on TV with their leader hiding out in Tel Aviv?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @JimDandy, @LP5

  18. Anonymous[986] • Disclaimer says:

    Who p!ssed all over your cornflakes this morning, Steve?

    Well, at least we get an update from the classic Sailerian ‘Hairy Man’ Axis of Evil Central – San Fernando Valley, California – to you, once every blue moon.

    But, my dirty mind is still more fixated on on the Porno Central aspect of the Valley, Dirty Disneyland, the launcher of a thousand wanks to my primordial teenage self.

  19. @Mr. Anon
    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R. What - we just didn't have enough gangsters already? What do these people add to America? Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @RobinG, @Anonymous, @Mr Mox, @Sick of Orcs, @Anthony Aaron, @AnotherDad

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    • Agree: HammerJack
    • Disagree: JohnnyWalker123
    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @Anonymous

    Nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, and dying early from vodka abuse.

    Replies: @HammerJack

    , @silviosilver
    @Anonymous

    Obviously not every Russian - nor even a majority - meets that description. Just as every nation or ethnicity has its smart fraction, they each have their scum fraction too. It's bad enough when you have a run-in with the scum fraction of your group, but it looms so much larger in your mind when you have a run-in with the scum fraction of an outside group - even if nothing serious occurred, it still leaves you wondering why you're forced to put up with these shitheads.

    Replies: @Fred C Dobbs

    , @SafeNow
    @Anonymous

    Yes, I agree, “real” Russians are good guys, if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians. They make what chess players call “quiet moves,” and when they have a losing game against me (rare), they resign, which is considered the gentlemanly thing to do, a show of respect. In the post-game chat comment, they will say “gg” (=“good game”) and not something impolite.

    Replies: @silviosilver, @AndrewR, @kaganovitch

    , @ANON
    @Anonymous

    World War 2, and about 400 years of warfare between those peoples, disagrees with you and your very suspicious, cucky worldview.

    , @Anthony Aaron
    @Anonymous

    Those 'bloody, fair blue-eyed people who love nature, wild animals …' are likely from when the Vikings arrived in what is now Ukraine, Belarus and Russia in the mid-9th century … 

    , @Anonymous
    @Anonymous


    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.
     
    Technically, those wouldn't be the "real" core Russians who are Slavic. You're thinking of small populations of Scandinavians/Viking types and Finno-Ugric types who were assimilated and absorbed into the Slavic Russian population.

    The more pure Slavic, core Russian type is more surly and unfriendly looking, potato-faced, rougher in manner and disposition.

    Besides the Scandinavian/Finno-Ugric minority elements that were absorbed, there have also been various Georgian, Armenian, Tatar types that have been absorbed to an extent which is why some ethnic Russians will have darker features.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Colin Wright

  20. It’s only been late in life I’ve realized how businesses can be fronts.

    About a decade or two ago there was a small pizza joint, open late, that was right across from the Boston Garden. Sold really cheap pizza slices that sucked and the service was awful and the small shop was dirty and funky. Drunks would stream out of the Garden after an event and wait in line for pizza, so it seemed that might be their business model, but man, I never understood how it worked.

    Then it closed down because one night at about 3am, the cops busted up a huge party in the backroom/kitchen that had spilled over to the front room where you could see from the street. Turns out the place was a front for a drug dealing gang that laundered the money using the pizza joint.

    They probably never would’ve gotten caught if they hadn’t set up shop outside the Garden and made sure they had those metal security curtains on the business whenever they “closed” so no one could see in. But the Garden sits right on top of a big commuter rail station and subway stop, so its an area cops are always assigned.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    @R.G. Camara

    Years ago, an elderly black lady called in a local talk show complaining about a guy going to set up a barber shop. The host thought it was hilarious, but he went to talk to her. He found out, and told us listeners, a certain number of barber shops in the hood are drug dealing/ money laundering fronts.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Ghost of Bull Moose, @Paul Mendez

    , @JMcG
    @R.G. Camara

    They must have stopped paying the cops. Or a cop’s kid overdosed on their product.

    , @Brutusale
    @R.G. Camara

    Nah, they just didn't make the payoff or pissed off someone with more juice.

    A few blocks away at the Haymarket was a pizza place called Al Capone's. The slices were good, huge, and cheap. It was a pretty busy joint, especially at lunch. It was also a money laundry for the boys in the North End just on the other side of the Central Artery, run by the older brother of a high school classmate that I used to ride to school with in the Z-28 Camaro his parents bought him for his 16th birthday (this was the 70s).

    I was more impressed by the guys who'd roll up in a Cadillac to shovel my friend's driveway and front walk after every snowstorm!

    I would also hazard a guess that this is even more widespread among the Asians. They're bringing in the slave labor to a much greater degree.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

    , @Cortes
    @R.G. Camara

    “Out of Season”, the third in Antonio Manzini’s Rocco Schiavone series set mainly in Aosta, in the Italian Alps, has two shops providing cover for activities of the Calabrian ‘Ndragheta OC networks. The first is a horrible, filthy pizzeria. The other one conforms fully with Steve’s models, with an even more ridiculous front.

    https://www.publishersweekly.com/9780062696496

    Those curious can find out for themselves. The series is very interesting, hilarious in parts, but becoming a bit “woke” I fear.

    , @Muggles
    @R.G. Camara

    In my neck of the woods (Houston) there are a million Vietnamese nail shops. In virtually every strip mall.

    Now I know little about the nail business, next to nothing. Wife doesn't go, nor do I know anyone else who does.

    Yet these places always have several Viet ladies in them.

    I assume they can make money doing nails.

    But I have long suspected they are also fronts for money laundering by Viet drug gangs. Or whatever else they do. I have never heard of one being busted.

    As I have an accounting background I have always been curious about small businesses which populate strip malls and even small office buildings, where few customers seem to be seen. Rents are high and margins are not.

    I would think that an ethnic front operation where the workers/owners are immigrants, and maybe don't speakee de English so well, would be good for a laundry business. Keep the sales tax docs in order and keep the IRS accounting at low but believable levels.

    In my limited exposure to IRS doings, they appear to be pretty lazy and incurious unless some bigger operation is being pursued. Rarely.

    I suspect there may even be local chains of small businesses which stay afloat as cash laundries.

    But I am the skeptical type...

    Replies: @Twinkie, @James J O'Meara

    , @Jim Christian
    @R.G. Camara

    RG, your end of the line is TD Garden. Mine is the end of that line, the Haverhill Line. The T, in other words. Take the Haverhill line and walk down the hill to Washington St. and River and there's a so-called Smoked Meats and BBQ sign. Beautiful building, they put it up new in 2012 or so. It's never opened except for a very short period 2 years ago. They actually set up a retail shop with 15 dollar bottles of bbq sauces, stuff like that.. There's never anyone in the store, I'd go in, call out, no one ever came out to sell me anything. 10 years in now, in November before I came down to Florida for the winter, I went to the beer store next door, the Red Hen. 10pm or so. On the lot behind the 'BBQ' store was a collection of cars, Mercedes, Acuras, couple of vettes, you could tell there were folks there. Party maybe. Gangsters, probably. I wanted to carry a case of Sams in and ask who wants a beer? Gangsters are pretty cool to party with as long as you never borrow their money.

    Replies: @Brutusale

  21. Out in Vegas here, near the strip, in a decent mini-mall I encountered a shop that sells cookies. OK, so I went in and ordered one of their seemingly delicious cookies and a cup of coffee. They said that they don’t sell, coffee, nor do they sell tea, nor any beverage, just cookies. OK, I left, scratching my head and wondering how brainless can a business plan be to sell cookies but no coffee/tea/milk, whatever. I’ll bet the business idea originated with Mormons from Salt Lake. But what do I know, Mormons are generally successful, and I’m not.

    • Replies: @James J O'Meara
    @Daniel H

    Never gets old. "I have a drinking problem? Fuck you, Peck, you're a Mormon. Compared to you we all have a drinking problem."

    https://youtu.be/mO8roISHjJo

    Replies: @Twinkie

    , @Muggles
    @Daniel H

    I think there was a Simpsons episode where the local Mafia guy ("Tony") fronted funds for Marge to open a cookie shop. Which turned out to be a great idea.

    The money laundering part became a problem I think.

    Someone here may recall better details.

    Mormons drink non caffeinated beverages (Sanka, Postum, yuck...) and juices, fancy water. Pretty good markup on those. Also milk and related sweetened shake type things.

    So a cooler of those would be in a legit cookie place.

    Maybe health or zoning problems with this one? Very odd not to sell anything to drink (high margin canned beverages!) as such a place. Most Mormons are smarter than that.

    , @Admiral Assbar
    @Daniel H

    Women go wild for expensive gourmet cookies. They're the new cupcakes.

  22. There is a lot of Russian money in London and even a recent political scandal when one of the donors to the Tory party was unearthed as a Russian “oligarch”.

  23. @Anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @silviosilver, @SafeNow, @ANON, @Anthony Aaron, @Anonymous

    Nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, and dying early from vodka abuse.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    @JimDandy

    Your point? One of those is supposed to be bad?

    Replies: @JimDandy

  24. I used to work in a metal fabrication shop owned by Russians, in the San Fernando Valley. No product ever went out the door, we just worked and re-worked the same big pieces of steel that were never right. When OSHA came around, the owner would not let them in, so they came back with a warrant. Not a successful business model if metal fabrication is actually your line. I quit after a couple months, not a good place to be.

  25. Further to the point, did you know that the San Fernando Valley subsidiary of General Mills (TM) has just released a new breakfast cereal which the marketing department has provisionally named ‘Pornflakes’.
    You see, when you pour the milk on, the cereal goes “Slap, Tickle and Grope”.

    • LOL: Cortes
    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Anonymous

    Hey, no stealing Shecky Greene jokes here.

    Show some respect for the dead.

    Dirty jokes are a lot more uh, graphic these days.

  26. @Ghost of Bull Moose

    Here’s a pitch: What if the Russian gangster with the fake cookie shop invents a cookie recipe that actually is worth $3.75 PLUS TAX? He could name his cookie The Flathead and start a national cookie chain called Flathead’s. But just when Mr. Flathead thinks he’s out, they pull him back in…
     
    Woody Allen 'Small Time Crooks:' while attempting to rob the bank next door to his wife Tracy Ullman's cookie shop Woody discovers his wife makes delicious cookies and they make a fortune from that.

    Replies: @Anonymous

  27. @Anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @silviosilver, @SafeNow, @ANON, @Anthony Aaron, @Anonymous

    Obviously not every Russian – nor even a majority – meets that description. Just as every nation or ethnicity has its smart fraction, they each have their scum fraction too. It’s bad enough when you have a run-in with the scum fraction of your group, but it looms so much larger in your mind when you have a run-in with the scum fraction of an outside group – even if nothing serious occurred, it still leaves you wondering why you’re forced to put up with these shitheads.

    • Agree: Captain Tripps
    • Replies: @Fred C Dobbs
    @silviosilver

    Scrum factions vary. Enormously.

  28. Mob took over UK first but with manners.

    • Thanks: HammerJack
  29. @R.G. Camara
    It's only been late in life I've realized how businesses can be fronts.

    About a decade or two ago there was a small pizza joint, open late, that was right across from the Boston Garden. Sold really cheap pizza slices that sucked and the service was awful and the small shop was dirty and funky. Drunks would stream out of the Garden after an event and wait in line for pizza, so it seemed that might be their business model, but man, I never understood how it worked.

    Then it closed down because one night at about 3am, the cops busted up a huge party in the backroom/kitchen that had spilled over to the front room where you could see from the street. Turns out the place was a front for a drug dealing gang that laundered the money using the pizza joint.

    They probably never would've gotten caught if they hadn't set up shop outside the Garden and made sure they had those metal security curtains on the business whenever they "closed" so no one could see in. But the Garden sits right on top of a big commuter rail station and subway stop, so its an area cops are always assigned.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @JMcG, @Brutusale, @Cortes, @Muggles, @Jim Christian

    Years ago, an elderly black lady called in a local talk show complaining about a guy going to set up a barber shop. The host thought it was hilarious, but he went to talk to her. He found out, and told us listeners, a certain number of barber shops in the hood are drug dealing/ money laundering fronts.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Redneck farmer

    Dave Chappelle made a throwaway joke on his show about barber shops all being fronts, and I remember it sticking with me. This was around the time that Barbershop comedy movie series was out about day to day business of black barbershops and beauty shops (one of Ice Cubes' first big hit films after Friday).

    Which makes the barbershop scenes in Coming to America seem to be either willfully obtuse on the matter (didn't want to get hate/censored) or maybe there's more subtle drug/front joke going on there but no one's caught on yet. I wouldn't put it past Murphy to be real subtle on it, the guy's intelligence and cleverness are always underrated.

    , @Ghost of Bull Moose
    @Redneck farmer

    Paul Mooney did that 'joke.' He'd say people wonder why there are so many hair salons and barbershops in the hood but they don't realize they are used for selling drugs. The crowd would laugh and Mooney wouldn't even crack a smile.

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @Paul Mendez
    @Redneck farmer

    Where I live, nearly every run-down strip mall has* a nail salon, staffed by pretty Asian girls dressed in inappropriately fancy attire. Often, there is a Jackie Chan look-alike watching the place. And no customers.

    I can’t figure it out. A nail salon has to be the absolute worst cover for a brothel! And I never saw any potential johns entering or leaving.

    * A lot closed after The Plague (tm) started.

  30. OT

    https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/insurance-death-rates-working-age-people-up-40-percent

    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a \$100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.

    “The data is consistent across every player in the business.”

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.

    “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three sigma or 200-year catastrophe would be a 10 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels,” Davison said. “So, 40 percent is just unheard of.”

    He said the data shows COVID deaths are greatly understated among working age Americans.

    Davison says OneAmerica expects to pay out more than \$100 million in short- and long-term disability claims due to the pandemic.

    “Whether it’s long COVID or whether it’s because people haven’t been able to get the health care they need because the hospitals are overrun, we’re seeing those claims start to tick up as well,” he said.

    Because of this, insurance companies are beginning to add premium increases on employers in counties with low vaccination rates to cover the benefit payouts.

    Now you can take this data two ways – either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.

    OTOH, actuaries are generally pretty bright people, and I find it hard to believe they’d up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason. OTOHA (on the other hand again) actuaries are nerdy types who tend to do as they are told by the executive – not so much direct orders as “can’t you tweak the assumptions to produce (desired result)?”.

    Tried to look at UK figures, but as of July 2021 (among all age groups) no sign of a similar rise – indeed the introduction of jabs coincides with below-average death rates. More data needed, and split by age.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessmortalityandmortalitydisplacementinenglandandwales/2020tomid2021

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    You can look up US stats on the weekly deaths by age from all causes in 2021 vs. 2020 here:

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

    I mostly see the covid waves but maybe you'll notice something different.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    , @EdwardM
    @YetAnotherAnon


    I find it hard to believe they’d up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason.
     
    I find it easy to believe. Fits the narrative, pleases the state insurance regulator, signals virtue, and increases revenue in a way that no polite person will dispute. A good example of the politicization/corruption of everything.
    , @eric
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Insurance companies are smart, which means they understand what they can get away with. The mortality risk for vaping or chewing tobacco is well below that for smoking, empirically and theoretically. Cigarette smoke is much more toxic than these other nicotine products, as smoke has a slew of toxins that are independent of nicotine. Yet they put vape, chew, and cigarettes in the same pricing bucket, presumably because they can. Regulators hate cigarette alternatives because they potentially hurt the much higher state revenue streams negotiated in the cigarette litigation from the late 90s.

    If you are going to raise prices, blaming covid is much preferable to blaming, say, fentanyl, because the latter would highlight the negative side effects of lockdowns, etc. The feds won't bother you as much.

    , @stillCARealist
    @YetAnotherAnon

    These are the death years. I assume they'll wane, like all other eras, but maybe not soon. The virus is doing its part, for sure, but even without it we'd see bigger death numbers.

    This is my feeling, based not on any stats, but just from watching friends and family keel over. Regularly. In fact, the regular topic of conversation is who died, from what, and when is the memorial. Cancer is a big cause, of course, but also OD's, Alzheimer's, heart attacks.

    I'm curious if any other people here are having the same experience.

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic

    , @Mark G.
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Now you can take this data two ways – either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.
     
    There are a number of possibilities here. One possibility is undercounted covid deaths or deaths from long covid. You could also have deaths from people not being able to get treatment for other diseases due to hospitals being overwhelmed with covid patients.

    Another possibility is that these are lockdown related deaths from things such as increased drug or alcohol abuse. No lockdown Sweden had fewer excess deaths in 2021 than the previous year. 2021 showed the second lowest rate of excess deaths in Sweden for the past seventeen years. By not locking down, they may have had more deaths initially but less deaths in the long run.

    Another possibility is that the vaccines are giving people myocarditis. A newly released British study and an earlier censored one by Dr. Peter McCullough possibility indicates that. If so, that could lead to more deaths. Our public health officials should be announcing that they are going to look into the causes of the excess deaths. If they don't, it will look like a coverup is going on.

    https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/more-bad-news-on-covid-vaccines-and/comments

    https://www.thedesertreview.com/opinion/columnists/beyond-ivermectin-censoring-medical-journals/article_b1089af2-4279-11ec-b491-5bcaf600d33c.html
    , @AnotherDad
    @YetAnotherAnon


    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a $100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.
     
    That's nonsense.

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.
     
    But this i can believe.

    The reality we live in with almost no one dying until they are old is unprecedented in human history. (Clean water, vaccines, antibiotics, almost no one dying in childbirth, then a big decline in smoking and drinking oneself to death, easier labor and lower accidents, even less violent crime.) So the base death rate for 18-64 was getting pretty darn low.

    But the result is, when you then do have an uptick--even if it's not huge, it really moves the stats.

    Auto-accidents accidents turned around with smart phones. Then fentanyl hit. Then we've had BLM driving crime back up. Now Covid and the Floyd accelerator to BLM and the lockdowns ... all in the last couple years.

    Still if you're telling me 55 year olds are dying at a greater rate now than in 1962, i'm pretty darn dubious. I think his "ever seen in the history of this business" means more like "in the last few decades since i've been in this business".
  31. I don’t know exactly what the Russians do, but it’s fun to make up stories about them.

    Just ask that other Unz humorist, Pat Buchanan.

    It won’t seem so hilarious if the Establishment gets its war.

  32. @obwandiyag
    The Italian gangsters laugh at you when you go in their cookie shops.

    Replies: @thenon, @Buffalo Joe

    Maybe you did not ask the right questions? :48

  33. @Mr. Anon
    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R. What - we just didn't have enough gangsters already? What do these people add to America? Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @RobinG, @Anonymous, @Mr Mox, @Sick of Orcs, @Anthony Aaron, @AnotherDad

    Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    As I like to put it: “Some of my best friends are foreigners… in foreign countries!”

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
  34. I hope the sweat off of his hairy back didn’t drip into the cookies. Jesus Steve, be careful, your naive and trusting northwest European temperament is no match for these Semitic cookie monsters.

  35. @YetAnotherAnon
    OT

    https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/insurance-death-rates-working-age-people-up-40-percent


    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a $100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.

    “The data is consistent across every player in the business.”

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.

    “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three sigma or 200-year catastrophe would be a 10 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels,” Davison said. “So, 40 percent is just unheard of.”

    He said the data shows COVID deaths are greatly understated among working age Americans.

    Davison says OneAmerica expects to pay out more than $100 million in short- and long-term disability claims due to the pandemic.

    “Whether it’s long COVID or whether it’s because people haven’t been able to get the health care they need because the hospitals are overrun, we’re seeing those claims start to tick up as well,” he said.

    Because of this, insurance companies are beginning to add premium increases on employers in counties with low vaccination rates to cover the benefit payouts.
     

    Now you can take this data two ways - either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.

    OTOH, actuaries are generally pretty bright people, and I find it hard to believe they'd up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason. OTOHA (on the other hand again) actuaries are nerdy types who tend to do as they are told by the executive - not so much direct orders as "can't you tweak the assumptions to produce (desired result)?".

    Tried to look at UK figures, but as of July 2021 (among all age groups) no sign of a similar rise - indeed the introduction of jabs coincides with below-average death rates. More data needed, and split by age.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessmortalityandmortalitydisplacementinenglandandwales/2020tomid2021

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM, @eric, @stillCARealist, @Mark G., @AnotherDad

    You can look up US stats on the weekly deaths by age from all causes in 2021 vs. 2020 here:

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

    I mostly see the covid waves but maybe you’ll notice something different.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Steve Sailer

    Thanks - it looks as if there's a way of producing the "excess deaths" graph only for ages 18-64.

    You could take the "Weekly_Counts_of_Deaths_by_Jurisdiction_and_Age.csv" data table, which should have the data in - yes it does - well 25-44 and 45-64. Watch this space as I'm currently engaged in packing away Christmas decorations/lights/artificial trees.

    On the other hand the recent 2021 data is (according to the table) incomplete in that not all 2021 deaths will yet have been recorded.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  36. Memphis rapper Young Dolph was recently gunned down in a cookie shop. Maybe your onto something Steve, damn that Big Cookie.

    https://news.yahoo.com/rapper-young-dolph-fatally-shot-223024717.html

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Anon

    A selfless act on behalf of music lovers everywhere.

  37. @Anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @silviosilver, @SafeNow, @ANON, @Anthony Aaron, @Anonymous

    Yes, I agree, “real” Russians are good guys, if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians. They make what chess players call “quiet moves,” and when they have a losing game against me (rare), they resign, which is considered the gentlemanly thing to do, a show of respect. In the post-game chat comment, they will say “gg” (=“good game”) and not something impolite.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    @SafeNow


    if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians.
     
    A totally representative sample!
    , @AndrewR
    @SafeNow

    Why would that be gentlemanly, unless it's one of those endgames where you're just chasing the king around but the other player has no chance of winning

    , @kaganovitch
    @SafeNow

    if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians.

    Nah, you just think it was hundreds of Russians. It's really a bot farm. When it's not interfering in our elections it keeps itself sharp by playing chess.

  38. @YetAnotherAnon
    OT

    https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/insurance-death-rates-working-age-people-up-40-percent


    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a $100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.

    “The data is consistent across every player in the business.”

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.

    “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three sigma or 200-year catastrophe would be a 10 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels,” Davison said. “So, 40 percent is just unheard of.”

    He said the data shows COVID deaths are greatly understated among working age Americans.

    Davison says OneAmerica expects to pay out more than $100 million in short- and long-term disability claims due to the pandemic.

    “Whether it’s long COVID or whether it’s because people haven’t been able to get the health care they need because the hospitals are overrun, we’re seeing those claims start to tick up as well,” he said.

    Because of this, insurance companies are beginning to add premium increases on employers in counties with low vaccination rates to cover the benefit payouts.
     

    Now you can take this data two ways - either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.

    OTOH, actuaries are generally pretty bright people, and I find it hard to believe they'd up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason. OTOHA (on the other hand again) actuaries are nerdy types who tend to do as they are told by the executive - not so much direct orders as "can't you tweak the assumptions to produce (desired result)?".

    Tried to look at UK figures, but as of July 2021 (among all age groups) no sign of a similar rise - indeed the introduction of jabs coincides with below-average death rates. More data needed, and split by age.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessmortalityandmortalitydisplacementinenglandandwales/2020tomid2021

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM, @eric, @stillCARealist, @Mark G., @AnotherDad

    I find it hard to believe they’d up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason.

    I find it easy to believe. Fits the narrative, pleases the state insurance regulator, signals virtue, and increases revenue in a way that no polite person will dispute. A good example of the politicization/corruption of everything.

  39. @JimDandy
    @Anonymous

    Nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, and dying early from vodka abuse.

    Replies: @HammerJack

    Your point? One of those is supposed to be bad?

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @HammerJack

    Yes. Cats.

  40. There was once a Mexican restaurant in my old neighborhood that had all-you-could-drink margaritas for \$7. In addition to sounding to good to be true, you didn’t have to be an accountant like I am to figure out something was up with that.

  41. @Redneck farmer
    @R.G. Camara

    Years ago, an elderly black lady called in a local talk show complaining about a guy going to set up a barber shop. The host thought it was hilarious, but he went to talk to her. He found out, and told us listeners, a certain number of barber shops in the hood are drug dealing/ money laundering fronts.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Ghost of Bull Moose, @Paul Mendez

    Dave Chappelle made a throwaway joke on his show about barber shops all being fronts, and I remember it sticking with me. This was around the time that Barbershop comedy movie series was out about day to day business of black barbershops and beauty shops (one of Ice Cubes’ first big hit films after Friday).

    Which makes the barbershop scenes in Coming to America seem to be either willfully obtuse on the matter (didn’t want to get hate/censored) or maybe there’s more subtle drug/front joke going on there but no one’s caught on yet. I wouldn’t put it past Murphy to be real subtle on it, the guy’s intelligence and cleverness are always underrated.

  42. @JimDandy
    Wife-beater, Steve? Really? Can't you use the perfectly-good term that has offended exactly no one for nearly a century now, dago t?

    Replies: @AceDeuce, @The Wild Geese Howard, @Brutusale

    “Guinea-T” was the term that I always heard.

    Interesting how our fair author throws around an epithet like “flathead” so casually (and often). I had thought he was somewhat above the fray across the board, but, like so many, he feels safe (and maybe a thrill up his leg) hating on his own kind. I’m sure the gangster (if he was that) wasn’t movie idol gorgeous like George Floyd or Stacey Abrams, but still…

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @AceDeuce

    Haven't Italians-Americans paid their dues? Name a white ethnic group that is more patriotic. I think it's time to pass the baton.

    That flathead was wearing a Russky-T.

    Replies: @utu

  43. Here’s my movie pitch: it’s a superhero movie called Boomer Man. He is immortal due to the fact that every time he in a situation where he might die, some new, highly expensive medical procedure or drug is developed which keeps him alive.

    The arch villains are finally unmasked as his own children, who are trying to save the remaining share of their inheritance before it is all used up in medical expenses. In the end they are forced to admit the error of their ways, as well as the superiority of his music collection over their own 90’s grunge and metal (the film could have an amazing soundtrack).

    • LOL: kaganovitch
  44. How do you live with all those Russian/Armenian/Israeli a-holes that take up a good chunk of the east SFV? As a fellow SoCal guy I’d throw in with your normal Mexicans and Asians 100 times over. GTF out and come down here to OC. Ain’t perfect……but not so many Men With Chains. David Cole would agree.

    • Agree: Alden
  45. @silviosilver
    @Anonymous

    Obviously not every Russian - nor even a majority - meets that description. Just as every nation or ethnicity has its smart fraction, they each have their scum fraction too. It's bad enough when you have a run-in with the scum fraction of your group, but it looms so much larger in your mind when you have a run-in with the scum fraction of an outside group - even if nothing serious occurred, it still leaves you wondering why you're forced to put up with these shitheads.

    Replies: @Fred C Dobbs

    Scrum factions vary. Enormously.

  46. @YetAnotherAnon
    OT

    https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/insurance-death-rates-working-age-people-up-40-percent


    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a $100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.

    “The data is consistent across every player in the business.”

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.

    “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three sigma or 200-year catastrophe would be a 10 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels,” Davison said. “So, 40 percent is just unheard of.”

    He said the data shows COVID deaths are greatly understated among working age Americans.

    Davison says OneAmerica expects to pay out more than $100 million in short- and long-term disability claims due to the pandemic.

    “Whether it’s long COVID or whether it’s because people haven’t been able to get the health care they need because the hospitals are overrun, we’re seeing those claims start to tick up as well,” he said.

    Because of this, insurance companies are beginning to add premium increases on employers in counties with low vaccination rates to cover the benefit payouts.
     

    Now you can take this data two ways - either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.

    OTOH, actuaries are generally pretty bright people, and I find it hard to believe they'd up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason. OTOHA (on the other hand again) actuaries are nerdy types who tend to do as they are told by the executive - not so much direct orders as "can't you tweak the assumptions to produce (desired result)?".

    Tried to look at UK figures, but as of July 2021 (among all age groups) no sign of a similar rise - indeed the introduction of jabs coincides with below-average death rates. More data needed, and split by age.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessmortalityandmortalitydisplacementinenglandandwales/2020tomid2021

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM, @eric, @stillCARealist, @Mark G., @AnotherDad

    Insurance companies are smart, which means they understand what they can get away with. The mortality risk for vaping or chewing tobacco is well below that for smoking, empirically and theoretically. Cigarette smoke is much more toxic than these other nicotine products, as smoke has a slew of toxins that are independent of nicotine. Yet they put vape, chew, and cigarettes in the same pricing bucket, presumably because they can. Regulators hate cigarette alternatives because they potentially hurt the much higher state revenue streams negotiated in the cigarette litigation from the late 90s.

    If you are going to raise prices, blaming covid is much preferable to blaming, say, fentanyl, because the latter would highlight the negative side effects of lockdowns, etc. The feds won’t bother you as much.

  47. In Glendale right down the road, there was a barber shop that seemed to be full of ex-cons claiming to have learned the art of hair-cutting in prison. Armenian hair seems to be of larger gauge than average, and quite tough, like phone cable. Dusty signs in the window indicated ‘knife and scissor sharpening’ and ‘cash only.’ Seemed sketch. An acquaintance told me he took some edged instruments in for sharpening, and was told “we don’t do that anymore” and also that for haircutting they “don’t take walk-ins.” Next door was a shop that did “paper shredding” and was never open.

  48. @YetAnotherAnon
    OT

    https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/insurance-death-rates-working-age-people-up-40-percent


    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a $100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.

    “The data is consistent across every player in the business.”

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.

    “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three sigma or 200-year catastrophe would be a 10 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels,” Davison said. “So, 40 percent is just unheard of.”

    He said the data shows COVID deaths are greatly understated among working age Americans.

    Davison says OneAmerica expects to pay out more than $100 million in short- and long-term disability claims due to the pandemic.

    “Whether it’s long COVID or whether it’s because people haven’t been able to get the health care they need because the hospitals are overrun, we’re seeing those claims start to tick up as well,” he said.

    Because of this, insurance companies are beginning to add premium increases on employers in counties with low vaccination rates to cover the benefit payouts.
     

    Now you can take this data two ways - either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.

    OTOH, actuaries are generally pretty bright people, and I find it hard to believe they'd up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason. OTOHA (on the other hand again) actuaries are nerdy types who tend to do as they are told by the executive - not so much direct orders as "can't you tweak the assumptions to produce (desired result)?".

    Tried to look at UK figures, but as of July 2021 (among all age groups) no sign of a similar rise - indeed the introduction of jabs coincides with below-average death rates. More data needed, and split by age.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessmortalityandmortalitydisplacementinenglandandwales/2020tomid2021

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM, @eric, @stillCARealist, @Mark G., @AnotherDad

    These are the death years. I assume they’ll wane, like all other eras, but maybe not soon. The virus is doing its part, for sure, but even without it we’d see bigger death numbers.

    This is my feeling, based not on any stats, but just from watching friends and family keel over. Regularly. In fact, the regular topic of conversation is who died, from what, and when is the memorial. Cancer is a big cause, of course, but also OD’s, Alzheimer’s, heart attacks.

    I’m curious if any other people here are having the same experience.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    @stillCARealist

    The first wave of the Baby Boom is dying. Trim, ex-athlete Dan Reeves got sick and died at age 77. Over the next two decades large cohorts of Americans are going to start dropping like flies. Lots of them, unlike Dan Reeves, are obese with lifelong sedentary habits. So they'll be picked off by opportunistic respiratory viral infection which turns into pneumonia which turns into sepsis and organ failure. Since it looks like coronaviruses have outmuscled H1N1 viruses for access to our airways, there's your "excess" COVID deaths. Dancing nurses at hospitals are going to be screaming overwhelmed! for a long time to come.

    My impression is that we really haven't made any advances in life-extension/quality-of-life in geriatric medicine. Americans have gotten a lot less healthy in the meantime. Since it's a Boomerific world, it will seem like "everybody" is dying for the next 20 years.

    At the end of it, all the then 50-year olds will think back to how things were growing up, and wonder where all the white people went, like the shift from 85% white to 60+% white that's happened in my own lifetime. In 20 years, it's going to be 40+% white. That's too bad; majority non-white countries are no fun to live in without lots of money.

  49. @SafeNow
    @Anonymous

    Yes, I agree, “real” Russians are good guys, if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians. They make what chess players call “quiet moves,” and when they have a losing game against me (rare), they resign, which is considered the gentlemanly thing to do, a show of respect. In the post-game chat comment, they will say “gg” (=“good game”) and not something impolite.

    Replies: @silviosilver, @AndrewR, @kaganovitch

    if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians.

    A totally representative sample!

  50. @JohnnyWalker123
    After the fall of the Soviet Union, many Eastern Euro girls were trafficked to various places throughout the world, including NYC, Miami, and LA. A lot of them work the nightclub circuit.

    Those scary Russian dudes are muscle, hired by pimps who "manage" these girls.

    The muscle is generally ethnically Slavic, while the pimps are Jews from Eastern Europe and/or Israel. These guys often branch off into other illegal activities, such as insurance fraud, money laundering, smuggling, and spying.

    Epstein (who was a Jewish-American pimp who ran a blackmail operation that targeted global elites) hired a Russian bodyguard.

    https://twitter.com/Steve_Sailer/status/1161788781881466880

    A large fraction of these guys migrated to the U.S. through the Russian Jewish refugee program, including many Slavics.

    The show "American Greed" had an interesting episode that explored one of their common nightclub scams. Watch this 1-minute video below to see a preview of that episode.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PgQ6XBykok

    Eastern Euro girls are really hot, so they can easily separate horny men from their money.

    Replies: @JMcG, @nebulafox, @Twinkie

    I have a friend who worked for INS. He told me about a marriage fraud he investigated. A guy called INS about a week after his marriage to a Ukrainian girl. The agents visited to investigate. The complainant, kind of an ordinary pot-bellied schlub from Northeast Philly, answered the door.
    He’d been married about a week when a couple of BMW 750ils pull up in front of his house. Four Russians get out. Three watch the house from outside. The fourth walks in past the newlywed and greets his new wife to squeals of obvious delight. They sojourn in his marital bed for an hour or so. Noisily. The Russian guy leaves. Never a word is spoken by him.
    The American expresses his displeasure to his bride and joy. She ignores him. He calls INS, she calls Philly PD. He gets a PFA filed against him. Months of hijinks ensue. She eventually disappears for parts unknown.
    The guy said he couldn’t keep his agents away from this girl. She was absolutely gorgeous. When they went to interview her, she’d inevitably answer the door in a very short satin nightgown with nothing underneath and those high heeled slippers with feathers on the front from the fifties.

    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
  51. @JimDandy
    Wife-beater, Steve? Really? Can't you use the perfectly-good term that has offended exactly no one for nearly a century now, dago t?

    Replies: @AceDeuce, @The Wild Geese Howard, @Brutusale

    Wife-beater, Steve? Really?

    These days, I believe the proper PC nomenclature is, “A-shirt.”

  52. @R.G. Camara
    It's only been late in life I've realized how businesses can be fronts.

    About a decade or two ago there was a small pizza joint, open late, that was right across from the Boston Garden. Sold really cheap pizza slices that sucked and the service was awful and the small shop was dirty and funky. Drunks would stream out of the Garden after an event and wait in line for pizza, so it seemed that might be their business model, but man, I never understood how it worked.

    Then it closed down because one night at about 3am, the cops busted up a huge party in the backroom/kitchen that had spilled over to the front room where you could see from the street. Turns out the place was a front for a drug dealing gang that laundered the money using the pizza joint.

    They probably never would've gotten caught if they hadn't set up shop outside the Garden and made sure they had those metal security curtains on the business whenever they "closed" so no one could see in. But the Garden sits right on top of a big commuter rail station and subway stop, so its an area cops are always assigned.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @JMcG, @Brutusale, @Cortes, @Muggles, @Jim Christian

    They must have stopped paying the cops. Or a cop’s kid overdosed on their product.

  53. What do people think the Ummah are up to with all those kebab shops and shwarama stands?

  54. Michigan cheap family restaurant Big Boy started as a mafia money laundering operation and grew into a franchise when the family realized the inauthentic spaghetti was making more money.
    ——-
    I had a copy of a highly expensive cookie recipe an acquaintance bought from department store Neiman Marcus in a fit of pique and wealth. Lost it in a flood. Still have Debbie Field’s recipes, which are better anyway.
    ——-
    While investigating pizzagate, 4chan’s attention was drawn to something calling itself Manhattan Knights, which sells a wierdly small range of okay apparel (like MK baseball caps) for completely unrealistic prices.
    But then again look at Kanye’s clothing line. If you want to reject conspiracy theory in favor of calling people dumb, you almost always have to conclude that everyone is inexpressibly dumb.

  55. >buying cookies from Russians and not Greeks
    Steve you know nothing about cookies.

  56. One of the places in Hong Kong with the highest store rents is the Peak Galleria, at the top of the tram line to the… peak. There is or was a fancy chocolate store and “museum” there. You could get a chocolate Eiffel Tower or pagoda for a thousand bucks. Unusually, the person behind the counter was a Slavic-looking girl. Not a cozy atmosphere!

  57. @JimDandy
    Wife-beater, Steve? Really? Can't you use the perfectly-good term that has offended exactly no one for nearly a century now, dago t?

    Replies: @AceDeuce, @The Wild Geese Howard, @Brutusale

    I never wear them, but a Christmas gift from the girlfriend last month was a 4-pack of wife-beaters, but they were from Spyder, so they’re not wife-beaters, but singlets!

    Steve, was said flathead wearing a gold chain and Adidas sweatpants?

  58. Waiting for the story about how Steve walking into the Happy Ending Massage Parlor looking to purchase a Christmas gift card for someone.

    There are used car lots around the southwest Chicago suburbs that are likely fronts for OC money. The lot is full of the types of cars no one would ever buy (nothing newer than about 2006) and the gates are always closed.

  59. @Anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @silviosilver, @SafeNow, @ANON, @Anthony Aaron, @Anonymous

    World War 2, and about 400 years of warfare between those peoples, disagrees with you and your very suspicious, cucky worldview.

  60. @SafeNow
    @Anonymous

    Yes, I agree, “real” Russians are good guys, if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians. They make what chess players call “quiet moves,” and when they have a losing game against me (rare), they resign, which is considered the gentlemanly thing to do, a show of respect. In the post-game chat comment, they will say “gg” (=“good game”) and not something impolite.

    Replies: @silviosilver, @AndrewR, @kaganovitch

    Why would that be gentlemanly, unless it’s one of those endgames where you’re just chasing the king around but the other player has no chance of winning

  61. Speaking of Flatheads, maybe that’s where the “Sons of Anarchy” writers got the idea for SAMCRO to open an ice cream shop.

  62. It’s an old idea, or an old canard. My grandparents would talk about a restaurant they’d visit when my grandfather went for refresher courses at Cook County General in Chicago in the 1930’s. The Italian food so good and relatively inexpensive, it seemed like there was a waiter for every table. Eventually, they thought it was a gangster joint, because how could they do it for the price?

    Money-laundering isn’t easy to do, though. The guy who owned my favorite local sub shop was caught making a side deal with a local weed distributor back in the 1970’s, helping make clean the ill-gotten gains. He went to prison for three years.

  63. @JohnnyWalker123
    After the fall of the Soviet Union, many Eastern Euro girls were trafficked to various places throughout the world, including NYC, Miami, and LA. A lot of them work the nightclub circuit.

    Those scary Russian dudes are muscle, hired by pimps who "manage" these girls.

    The muscle is generally ethnically Slavic, while the pimps are Jews from Eastern Europe and/or Israel. These guys often branch off into other illegal activities, such as insurance fraud, money laundering, smuggling, and spying.

    Epstein (who was a Jewish-American pimp who ran a blackmail operation that targeted global elites) hired a Russian bodyguard.

    https://twitter.com/Steve_Sailer/status/1161788781881466880

    A large fraction of these guys migrated to the U.S. through the Russian Jewish refugee program, including many Slavics.

    The show "American Greed" had an interesting episode that explored one of their common nightclub scams. Watch this 1-minute video below to see a preview of that episode.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PgQ6XBykok

    Eastern Euro girls are really hot, so they can easily separate horny men from their money.

    Replies: @JMcG, @nebulafox, @Twinkie

    Asia, too. Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s or thereabouts. Juicy establishments in particular near military bases, it was usually them and Filipinas. Some of those ladies were actually quite attractive, which is surprising for people familiar with the average American THOT or sex worker. I’d be surprised if they remained that way, though. Infantry bargirling is a rapid aging profession.

    Funny anecdote I’ve got: outside Hong Kong step up brothels, you’ll have lists of the prices of the girls depending on their race. Some of the blonde willowy Russian girls can apparently get away with charging double their Chinese/Vietnamese/Filipina counterparts…

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @nebulafox


    Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s
     
    And Ukrainian girls. They were mostly cleared out by the KNP within about 10 years. Eastern European “models” still do the usual “entertainment” visa circuit in Japan and South Korea though.

    You seem to know about prostitution in Asia too well. ;)

    Replies: @nebulafox, @Chrisnonymous

    , @R.G. Camara
    @nebulafox

    I would have thought Asian men would prefer Asian girls to whites, but hey, that's their business. Although I did hear that during the 80s in Japan it was a status symbol for a corporate bigwig in Tokyo to have a blond on his arm.

    , @Old Prude
    @nebulafox

    I window-shopped a high rise whore house in Frankfurt in the eighties. On the ground floor were real beauties. Hard and aloof but beautiful. Quality declined but the sales-pitch got more intense as one walked the stairs on each floor up to the top. On the top floor I was grabbed by a fat black lady who tried to pull me into her room. Yikes.

    The arrangement was typically German in its layout and logic.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @JohnnyWalker123, @Pericles

  64. @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    You can look up US stats on the weekly deaths by age from all causes in 2021 vs. 2020 here:

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

    I mostly see the covid waves but maybe you'll notice something different.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    Thanks – it looks as if there’s a way of producing the “excess deaths” graph only for ages 18-64.

    You could take the “Weekly_Counts_of_Deaths_by_Jurisdiction_and_Age.csv” data table, which should have the data in – yes it does – well 25-44 and 45-64. Watch this space as I’m currently engaged in packing away Christmas decorations/lights/artificial trees.

    On the other hand the recent 2021 data is (according to the table) incomplete in that not all 2021 deaths will yet have been recorded.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Yes, don't trust the most recent 8 weeks of Excess Death data: it takes 8 weeks to trickle in, so it always looks like things suddenly are getting much better over the last two months. Don't go past the end of October. Let us know what you find for young people.

    One thing to keep in mind is that there has been a big upsurge in fentanyl deaths, both part of a long term trend but with an inflection point in the first half of 2020 probably related to lockdowns, etc.

  65. There’s nobody in it, no place to sit, no menu sign, just a bakery case of Oreo-sized macaroons.

    Are you talking about coconut macaroons or French macarons like this? \$3.75 is a little high for the French macarons, but it isn’t astronomically higher than most bakeries would sell them for. Obviously that wasn’t a high end bakery based on the rest of your description.

    https://www.goldbelly.com/bouchon-bakery/traditional-macarons-6-piece-gift-box?ref=merchant

  66. @Steve Sailer
    @Altai

    My vague impression is that there are a lot of people in the San Fernando Valley with roots in Russia who are kind of Jewish or have Jewish relatives. Ariel Sharon, who was kind of Russian, invited to Israel lots of people from Russia who were a quarter or half Jewish. Many wound up voting for Sharon and helped him become Prime Minister. Some of them got tired of Israel and bounced to America, such as L.A.

    And lots of people came here directly from the ex-Soviet Union.

    And some gentiles from the ex-Soviet Union might be following their part-Jewish relatives to L.A.: "My half-Jewish cousin who used to live in Tel-Aviv now owns a cookie shop in North Hollywood and he said I could stay with him for a while." That kind of thing.

    What I don't see, although I could be wrong, are particularly sharp ethnic divisions among the people with some Russian background. So I kind of doubt that there is some kind of particularist ethnic mafia, more just: "I know a guy who knows a guy ..." On the other hand, the whole topic of who all the ex-Soviets in the San Fernando Valley are is kind of not a topic for serious journalists, although screenwriters seem to like to make up stories about them.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @International Jew, @clyde, @ATBOTL

    Jewish assimilation and intermarriage into mainstream Russian culture really took off in the postwar USSR, for a number of reasons. (Nazi destruction of Pale, heavy handed official government encouragement, etc.) There’s a reason Israel is the most Russophonic non-Soviet country, and from what I’ve seen of their American counterparts, they are indistinguishable from gentile Russians after decades of that.

  67. @R.G. Camara
    It's only been late in life I've realized how businesses can be fronts.

    About a decade or two ago there was a small pizza joint, open late, that was right across from the Boston Garden. Sold really cheap pizza slices that sucked and the service was awful and the small shop was dirty and funky. Drunks would stream out of the Garden after an event and wait in line for pizza, so it seemed that might be their business model, but man, I never understood how it worked.

    Then it closed down because one night at about 3am, the cops busted up a huge party in the backroom/kitchen that had spilled over to the front room where you could see from the street. Turns out the place was a front for a drug dealing gang that laundered the money using the pizza joint.

    They probably never would've gotten caught if they hadn't set up shop outside the Garden and made sure they had those metal security curtains on the business whenever they "closed" so no one could see in. But the Garden sits right on top of a big commuter rail station and subway stop, so its an area cops are always assigned.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @JMcG, @Brutusale, @Cortes, @Muggles, @Jim Christian

    Nah, they just didn’t make the payoff or pissed off someone with more juice.

    A few blocks away at the Haymarket was a pizza place called Al Capone’s. The slices were good, huge, and cheap. It was a pretty busy joint, especially at lunch. It was also a money laundry for the boys in the North End just on the other side of the Central Artery, run by the older brother of a high school classmate that I used to ride to school with in the Z-28 Camaro his parents bought him for his 16th birthday (this was the 70s).

    I was more impressed by the guys who’d roll up in a Cadillac to shovel my friend’s driveway and front walk after every snowstorm!

    I would also hazard a guess that this is even more widespread among the Asians. They’re bringing in the slave labor to a much greater degree.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Brutusale

    The sex trade amongst illegal Asians is through the roof. Mostly Korean girls, who are boated in and then forced into a brothel to pay off a debt that never goes away.

    The main problem is demand: many white men like Asian girls on par with white women, and more than Hispanic or other non-whites, so there's much more incentive for human traffickers to grab poor girls in Seoul or North Korea (if they're brave) or China and send them to the U.S.

  68. In NYC you see lots of Russian guys — or Russian-ish guys, who can tell? — as barbers, as well as waiters in old school steak houses like Sparks and Smith & Wollensky. I have no idea why they congregate thusly, but ethnic niches are often inexplicable.

    Meanwhile, since the fact that the old school mob of the 20s and up was highly Jewish, and the most important figures of all were Jewish and not Italian, and that this information is still not known by most of the population (thanks, Hollywood!), don’t expect that “Russian mob” ever becomes “Russian Jewish mob” in the collective imagination.

    Heck, we can’t even get people to register that “Russian oligarch” is essentially always “Russian Jewish looter.” That whole 90s Jews-looting-the-nation resulting in millions of excess Russian deaths thing would make a great movie. Ha ha ha! I kid, I kid.

  69. @JohnnyWalker123
    After the fall of the Soviet Union, many Eastern Euro girls were trafficked to various places throughout the world, including NYC, Miami, and LA. A lot of them work the nightclub circuit.

    Those scary Russian dudes are muscle, hired by pimps who "manage" these girls.

    The muscle is generally ethnically Slavic, while the pimps are Jews from Eastern Europe and/or Israel. These guys often branch off into other illegal activities, such as insurance fraud, money laundering, smuggling, and spying.

    Epstein (who was a Jewish-American pimp who ran a blackmail operation that targeted global elites) hired a Russian bodyguard.

    https://twitter.com/Steve_Sailer/status/1161788781881466880

    A large fraction of these guys migrated to the U.S. through the Russian Jewish refugee program, including many Slavics.

    The show "American Greed" had an interesting episode that explored one of their common nightclub scams. Watch this 1-minute video below to see a preview of that episode.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PgQ6XBykok

    Eastern Euro girls are really hot, so they can easily separate horny men from their money.

    Replies: @JMcG, @nebulafox, @Twinkie

    former MMA fighter Igor Zinoviev

    His fight with Mario Sperry is an old school MMA classic. His last fight was for the UFC middleweight championship all the way back in UFC 16 against Frank Shamrock who picked him up and then slam-KO’d him in 22 seconds. I think Zinoviev broke his neck and retired.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @Twinkie

    Damn.

  70. @obwandiyag
    The Italian gangsters laugh at you when you go in their cookie shops.

    Replies: @thenon, @Buffalo Joe

    obi, “Leave the gun. Take the cannolis.” One of the best lines ever in a movie.

  71. @nebulafox
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Asia, too. Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s or thereabouts. Juicy establishments in particular near military bases, it was usually them and Filipinas. Some of those ladies were actually quite attractive, which is surprising for people familiar with the average American THOT or sex worker. I'd be surprised if they remained that way, though. Infantry bargirling is a rapid aging profession.

    Funny anecdote I've got: outside Hong Kong step up brothels, you'll have lists of the prices of the girls depending on their race. Some of the blonde willowy Russian girls can apparently get away with charging double their Chinese/Vietnamese/Filipina counterparts...

    Replies: @Twinkie, @R.G. Camara, @Old Prude

    Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s

    And Ukrainian girls. They were mostly cleared out by the KNP within about 10 years. Eastern European “models” still do the usual “entertainment” visa circuit in Japan and South Korea though.

    You seem to know about prostitution in Asia too well. 😉

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @Twinkie

    Heheh, I have my alibis. Depending on the time, I was too young, poor, disinterested*, or committed. ;)

    ("Shoo, shoo, soap bubble covered woman. I'm trying to make electromagnetism notes here. God, you guys, why the hell couldn't we stay at that bar where it was quiet and we could have *food*, and better, stronger alcohol for cheaper prices than the markup here?" If I want to indulge in vices, I want the ones that'll let me focus.)

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @Twinkie

    I went to an Orthodox church here on January 6 in Japan. Half Japanese, half blonde women of various ages with their heads covered (plus one guy who looked Greek).

  72. Guy Ritchie does a good job with Russian gangsters, Boris the Blade in :Snatch” and the oligarch in “Rock and Rolla.” Good flics.

  73. In my old neighborhood, near Chicago, there were mom and pop pizza places and there were pizza places that were just fronts for the Chicago Outfit. The ones run by the outfit had better pizza. The Mannheim Strip, a several mile long area of strip clubs and bars just south of O’Hare, was an area completely run by the mob. As the Chicago Outfit has slowly died out, the signs on the illicit businesses on the strip have slowly changed from signs in English, to signs in Russian.

  74. @Brutusale
    @R.G. Camara

    Nah, they just didn't make the payoff or pissed off someone with more juice.

    A few blocks away at the Haymarket was a pizza place called Al Capone's. The slices were good, huge, and cheap. It was a pretty busy joint, especially at lunch. It was also a money laundry for the boys in the North End just on the other side of the Central Artery, run by the older brother of a high school classmate that I used to ride to school with in the Z-28 Camaro his parents bought him for his 16th birthday (this was the 70s).

    I was more impressed by the guys who'd roll up in a Cadillac to shovel my friend's driveway and front walk after every snowstorm!

    I would also hazard a guess that this is even more widespread among the Asians. They're bringing in the slave labor to a much greater degree.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

    The sex trade amongst illegal Asians is through the roof. Mostly Korean girls, who are boated in and then forced into a brothel to pay off a debt that never goes away.

    The main problem is demand: many white men like Asian girls on par with white women, and more than Hispanic or other non-whites, so there’s much more incentive for human traffickers to grab poor girls in Seoul or North Korea (if they’re brave) or China and send them to the U.S.

    • Agree: Alden
  75. @nebulafox
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Asia, too. Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s or thereabouts. Juicy establishments in particular near military bases, it was usually them and Filipinas. Some of those ladies were actually quite attractive, which is surprising for people familiar with the average American THOT or sex worker. I'd be surprised if they remained that way, though. Infantry bargirling is a rapid aging profession.

    Funny anecdote I've got: outside Hong Kong step up brothels, you'll have lists of the prices of the girls depending on their race. Some of the blonde willowy Russian girls can apparently get away with charging double their Chinese/Vietnamese/Filipina counterparts...

    Replies: @Twinkie, @R.G. Camara, @Old Prude

    I would have thought Asian men would prefer Asian girls to whites, but hey, that’s their business. Although I did hear that during the 80s in Japan it was a status symbol for a corporate bigwig in Tokyo to have a blond on his arm.

  76. @RobinG
    @Mr. Anon

    See comment by Altai about the Jewish mafia. Identifying with the Tribe was the Get-Out-of-Russia-Free card.

    Replies: @JR Ewing

    Identifying with the Tribe was the Get-Out-of-Russia-Free card.

    My freshman year roommate at Harvard was a Russian Jew who had emigrated to Providence in the 1980’s. A math savant and winner of several distinguished prizes while in high school and quite literally the smartest person I have ever known. He was a TA for a graduate level math class as a freshman. He was also a lazy asshole slob who never went to class and ran around with a crew that would have made the Big Bang Theory blush.

    Last I heard, he was making millions working as a quant on Wall Street.

    There was another Russian immigrant guy on our floor from Brooklyn who was much more open about being jewish. He very much looked the part and acted the part and is now an oncologist on the west coast. Very smart himself but in a different way.

    I learned more Russian (and about jews) just hanging out with the two of them than I ever learned in four years of actual college level classes.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @JR Ewing

    The best benefit was that you were able to understand those guys speaking Russian in the "embroidery shop" in Texas. I love it!

    , @JohnnyWalker123
    @JR Ewing

    What did you learn exactly?

  77. Just a guess — I’ll bet that cookie shop doesn’t have trouble with smash-n-grab shopping by the local ‘youths’.

    • Replies: @thenon
    @Mike_from_SGV

    Maybe a Finnish shoplady
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxZHbC4QvUg

    Replies: @JR Ewing

  78. Citicorp Center had one on the prime floor of the Atrium selling “Mexican Artifacts”.
    In ten years I never saw anybody in the place.
    I’m sure it was entirely coincidental that Citi was laundering money wholesale for Salinas and Carlos Slim at the time.

    That, by the way, was where I got my first insights into the Fine Art business as a way to move money globally and tracklessly between individuals, recently updated by the Biden family and the NFT scam.

  79. Flat heads look better than black and british zepplin heads he he hee

  80. @YetAnotherAnon
    OT

    https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/insurance-death-rates-working-age-people-up-40-percent


    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a $100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.

    “The data is consistent across every player in the business.”

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.

    “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three sigma or 200-year catastrophe would be a 10 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels,” Davison said. “So, 40 percent is just unheard of.”

    He said the data shows COVID deaths are greatly understated among working age Americans.

    Davison says OneAmerica expects to pay out more than $100 million in short- and long-term disability claims due to the pandemic.

    “Whether it’s long COVID or whether it’s because people haven’t been able to get the health care they need because the hospitals are overrun, we’re seeing those claims start to tick up as well,” he said.

    Because of this, insurance companies are beginning to add premium increases on employers in counties with low vaccination rates to cover the benefit payouts.
     

    Now you can take this data two ways - either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.

    OTOH, actuaries are generally pretty bright people, and I find it hard to believe they'd up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason. OTOHA (on the other hand again) actuaries are nerdy types who tend to do as they are told by the executive - not so much direct orders as "can't you tweak the assumptions to produce (desired result)?".

    Tried to look at UK figures, but as of July 2021 (among all age groups) no sign of a similar rise - indeed the introduction of jabs coincides with below-average death rates. More data needed, and split by age.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessmortalityandmortalitydisplacementinenglandandwales/2020tomid2021

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM, @eric, @stillCARealist, @Mark G., @AnotherDad

    Now you can take this data two ways – either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.

    There are a number of possibilities here. One possibility is undercounted covid deaths or deaths from long covid. You could also have deaths from people not being able to get treatment for other diseases due to hospitals being overwhelmed with covid patients.

    Another possibility is that these are lockdown related deaths from things such as increased drug or alcohol abuse. No lockdown Sweden had fewer excess deaths in 2021 than the previous year. 2021 showed the second lowest rate of excess deaths in Sweden for the past seventeen years. By not locking down, they may have had more deaths initially but less deaths in the long run.

    Another possibility is that the vaccines are giving people myocarditis. A newly released British study and an earlier censored one by Dr. Peter McCullough possibility indicates that. If so, that could lead to more deaths. Our public health officials should be announcing that they are going to look into the causes of the excess deaths. If they don’t, it will look like a coverup is going on.

    https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/more-bad-news-on-covid-vaccines-and/comments

    https://www.thedesertreview.com/opinion/columnists/beyond-ivermectin-censoring-medical-journals/article_b1089af2-4279-11ec-b491-5bcaf600d33c.html

  81. @Twinkie
    @nebulafox


    Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s
     
    And Ukrainian girls. They were mostly cleared out by the KNP within about 10 years. Eastern European “models” still do the usual “entertainment” visa circuit in Japan and South Korea though.

    You seem to know about prostitution in Asia too well. ;)

    Replies: @nebulafox, @Chrisnonymous

    Heheh, I have my alibis. Depending on the time, I was too young, poor, disinterested*, or committed. 😉

    (“Shoo, shoo, soap bubble covered woman. I’m trying to make electromagnetism notes here. God, you guys, why the hell couldn’t we stay at that bar where it was quiet and we could have *food*, and better, stronger alcohol for cheaper prices than the markup here?” If I want to indulge in vices, I want the ones that’ll let me focus.)

  82. About a year ago, my preferred embroidery shop here in the Houston suburbs closed permanently due to Covid and I needed some hats and shirts done for my kid’s baseball team, so I went to a different place in an industrial park that I had driven past several times. It was one of those places that has a storefront on one side and a warehouse and loading dock in the back.

    Most embroidery places look like a business conference threw up and are full of tchotchkes and sample items, but the inside of this place looked more like an abandoned office of some kind with paper all over the floor and furniture in various states of disrepair. I did not see any machinery or embroidery paraphernalia. I did hear machinery noises and voices coming from the warehouse part in the back.

    I caught on very quickly that the guy I was talking to – he said his name was “Daniel” – was a Russian jew, but I did not say anything about it. He was helpful enough and said he could do the work for me, and the price he quoted was very cheap, so I left my stuff. He said to “come back next Tuesday.” Inside of his notebook he wrote down the instructions in Russian.

    I go back the next Tuesday and Daniel is not there but there is a new guy who introduces himself as “Pavel” who was straight out of the Russian Mobster stereotype: buzzcut, gold chains, track pants. I ask for my stuff and Pavel has no idea what I’m talking about. Pavel appears to be panicking and decides to call Daniel and they proceed to have a conversation in Russian on the speaker phone where I can hear both sides.

    Daniel says, shit, he forgot to take my stuff to the embroidery shop and to make up an excuse. Maybe the machine is broken? Pavel says, when should I tell him to come back? Daniel says, tell him I said Thursday of this week (“Chetvyerg”) and not Tuesday (“Votornik”). Tell him he came on the wrong day of the week.

    This is all in Russian, but I understand every word.

    Pavel hangs up and says, in English, “Daniel says you came on the wrong day. Your stuff was supposed to be ready on Thursday. Come back then.”

    I smile and very simply say, “Nyet. Ftornik. Sevodnya.” (Tuesday. Today).

    Pavel looks confused initially, (“Who is this overweight redneck speaking Russian back to me?”), then he smiles and says, in Russian, “OK. It is not here. Come back Thursday.”

    I go back on Thursday and both guys are in the shop. My embroidered materials are in a box on the counter and look nice.

    Pavel hands me the box and says, in English, “Thank you my friend. There is no charge.”

    I ask him, in Russian, if his machine is still broken. He just laughs and says, in English, “Have a nice day.”

    I then kindly say, “Spasiba” and pick up my box and walk out and that was the end of that.

    I still have no idea what they were doing in that warehouse but it certainly wasn’t embroidery and I have no desire to find out.

    • Thanks: Buzz Mohawk, Old Prude
    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    @JR Ewing

    The Irish version:

    https://youtu.be/RIzItfdrhvM

    , @Achmed E. Newman
    @JR Ewing

    Haha! Great story, J.R. I am impressed that you know Russian, as someone who is does not pick up languages well.

    Here's a similar one. The Chinese factory owner and sales lady were traveling back in a van from the trade show to the factory, with a Mexican customer they'd met at the show riding along. The boss told the sales lady in Chinese how they would sell this guy the one container that had been shipped all the way back from Germany due to too many defects in the goods. Yeah, it turned out the Mexican guy knew Chinese. How were they supposed to know that?!

    Replies: @JR Ewing, @JR Ewing

    , @Jack D
    @JR Ewing

    All's well that ends well. Here's a health tip - never go back there again.

  83. When I lived on the Upper West Side in the late ’70s there was a “vitamin shop” in the neighborhood. There was one very dusty and faded bottle of vitamins in the shop window. When you went inside there were no vitamins either, there was just a small portal like a bank teller window. As far as I could tell it was a numbers parlor. The police were paid to tolerate numbers but they wouldn’t (I hope) have tolerated a drug den.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Jack D

    LOL

    NYC Sucking in the 70s. It's on it's way back.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfwyVQxaB1o&list=PLLYDomDEwt5j4AQI2YMzx14sd488p683k

  84. Relatives who lived in Van Nuys had Russians next door for a while. The Russians ran a strip club and the house and yard were occasionally used for porno shoots. They were otherwise actually a fairly amiable bunch, even their Rottweiler wasn’t particularly nasty, but they moved out and were replaced by much more obnoxious Arab students who seemed to run a 24/7 Animal House style party house.

  85. Here is what I know about the economics of cookie shops.

    There was once a cookie shop in my neighborhood (they moved to a different part of the town a couple of years ago.) It was a hole in a wall staffed by two young bubbly American women. The price then was \$2.50 for one cookie (it’s \$3.50 now.)

    I’d never seen any customers in the shop and the price struck me as kinda high for a cookie. I mentioned this to my wife and said that I didn’t know how they stayed in business. But my wife, who is plugged into school moms network, told me that actually the shop did tremendous amount of business by selling cookies by the box for children parties and such. All the other mom were raving about it.

    Sure enough, a few months later we ordered two boxes of cookies for my daughter’s birthday party. These were custom made cookies decorated with various images of Peppa Pig, which was the theme of the party. The cookies were delicious.

  86. There used to be an ice cream shop across the road from my office. While they sold a lot of ice cream on any given business day, it wasn’t enough to cover the “owner’s” very expensive car or the jewelry his wife sported.

  87. @Anon
    Memphis rapper Young Dolph was recently gunned down in a cookie shop. Maybe your onto something Steve, damn that Big Cookie.



    https://news.yahoo.com/rapper-young-dolph-fatally-shot-223024717.html

    Replies: @Anonymous

    A selfless act on behalf of music lovers everywhere.

  88. @Redneck farmer
    @R.G. Camara

    Years ago, an elderly black lady called in a local talk show complaining about a guy going to set up a barber shop. The host thought it was hilarious, but he went to talk to her. He found out, and told us listeners, a certain number of barber shops in the hood are drug dealing/ money laundering fronts.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Ghost of Bull Moose, @Paul Mendez

    Paul Mooney did that ‘joke.’ He’d say people wonder why there are so many hair salons and barbershops in the hood but they don’t realize they are used for selling drugs. The crowd would laugh and Mooney wouldn’t even crack a smile.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    The hair salons at least are real. Black women spend a LOT of time and $ on their hair.

    Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose

  89. @PaceLaw
    I must say that this brief shift in attention to thuggish Russian-American gangsters, as opposed to the overwhelming black criminal under-class, is briefly and mildly entertaining. And only relevant to a handful of locations such as New York and Los Angeles. Something tells me that the Russians only hit whom they’re supposed to hit, whereas with the black thugs, who knows???

    Replies: @Old Prude

    High IQ crooks may well cost the taxpayers more money than the low IQ thugs. Medicare scams and such. Americans are the suckers of the world.

    On the other hand, low IQ thugs don’t provide the community with artisan cookie shops.

  90. @nebulafox
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Asia, too. Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s or thereabouts. Juicy establishments in particular near military bases, it was usually them and Filipinas. Some of those ladies were actually quite attractive, which is surprising for people familiar with the average American THOT or sex worker. I'd be surprised if they remained that way, though. Infantry bargirling is a rapid aging profession.

    Funny anecdote I've got: outside Hong Kong step up brothels, you'll have lists of the prices of the girls depending on their race. Some of the blonde willowy Russian girls can apparently get away with charging double their Chinese/Vietnamese/Filipina counterparts...

    Replies: @Twinkie, @R.G. Camara, @Old Prude

    I window-shopped a high rise whore house in Frankfurt in the eighties. On the ground floor were real beauties. Hard and aloof but beautiful. Quality declined but the sales-pitch got more intense as one walked the stairs on each floor up to the top. On the top floor I was grabbed by a fat black lady who tried to pull me into her room. Yikes.

    The arrangement was typically German in its layout and logic.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    @Old Prude

    Hey, now. Stateside outside of the commercial sector, they can be pretty fun. Great visual and aerodynamics, passionate, rough, decadent: and relaxed and fun to hang out with after. ;)

    Just remember to put on a saddle before you get on the horse...

    , @JohnnyWalker123
    @Old Prude


    window-shopped
     
    I'm sure.
    , @Pericles
    @Old Prude

    Lol, that's the funnier version of the 'husband department store'. Congratulations on your escape.

  91. If I knew how I’d post the Breaking Bad scene where Saul explains to Jesse why owning a nail salon is a smart investment

    • Replies: @acementhead
    @Mr Wilson


    If I knew how I’d post the Breaking Bad scene where Saul explains to Jesse why owning a nail salon...
     
    Just copy the URL from your video and paste the link in your reply. Ron's magic does the rest.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhsUHDJ0BFM
  92. That was pretty funny, Steve. The conversations you had in the 2 stores makes me think of a more widespread problem that almost all Americans have to deal with now.

    It doesn’t have to be Russians or gangsters or involve fake businesses. This country is so flooded with foreigners (something like 17% of the population now, NOT counting illegal aliens) that it’s getting really hard to deal with people, with so many whose English is, err, unsound, in addition to the accents.

    There’s almost no point in asking people at a gas station for directions* or for help with anything. This was all very funny during the time of the “chee-buger, chee-buger, no Coke, Pepsi” skits and Seinfeld with Babu Bhatt and his Pakistani restaurant. It’s not that funny now. It’s just getting old.

    .

    * Please don’t tell me about your apps and GPS – I understand.

    • Replies: @JR Ewing
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Related story, kind of.

    Wife and I are building a house on some rural land we own. We have plans and site prep done, now we are looking for a builder.

    One guy invited us earlier this week to come see a house under construction in a McMansion neighborhood nearby. A 20,000 sqft modern monstrosity next to a drainage pond.

    Wife and I noticed early on that there were some peculiarities in the house: no washer or dryer downstairs, a "spice kitchen" that can be sealed off from the rest of the house, two separate three car garages on either side of the house, a pool bathroom with two toilets in separate stalls, and a small lavatory in the dining room.

    We finally get upstairs and there are ten bedrooms upstairs, including four identical "master" bedrooms in each corner of the house. Each "master" bedroom has its own washer and dryer hookup and a separate "parlor" with a big screen television cove.

    The builder finally admits to us that his client is an older "foreign" couple, he never mentions the ethnicity, who intend to live in the house full-time with their three married children and spouses and 15(!) grandkids.

    In one house.

    It's not a house, it's an apartment building.

    I've heard of over-occupied houses full of illegal laborers before, but I've never seen custom built McMansion intended as a boarding house, either.

    The builder shrugged and said that most of the really big really ugly houses in cramped developments in our suburb are crammed full of multi-family immigrant residents. Apparently it's cheaper and much more luxurious than each one of those families having its own McMansion or luxury apartment, and compared to where they come from - India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, wherever - it's Nirvana.

    He also admitted that no, it does not conform with the single family deed restrictions of the neighborhood and there is limited government building code oversight since it's in an unincorporated area of the county.

    The infrastructure of the neighborhood could not be reached for comment.

    Replies: @joe_mama, @Alden

  93. @Altai
    I do find it interesting how there is a who/whom about making fun of accents. Slavic accents are still fair game. (Lots of accents still are but you can't be blatant about it) Is it less about understanding and universal values and more about sheer numbers making people self-conscious? (A bit like immigration that way) Is it maybe also the same reason Sacha Baron Cohen picks his acceptable ethnic targets?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpXcKdkiFhI

    For that matter, it seems like it's been memory-holed how the 'Russian mafia' was (Originally at least) really the 'Russian Jewish mafia', presumably because they tended to be less obviously Jewish and were relatively small in number. And, as in Israel, they may have tended to be less Jewish.

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

    The seeds of it were laid by the first waves of Soviet Jews who given special legal provisions for immigration and asylum into the US in the 1980s. Lots of it's members took advantage of Israel as a safe-haven.

    I wouldn't know if in the 2020s with more Slavic immigration from Russia if there is indeed a larger and more cohesive ethnic Russian mafia now, it seems to be something that's hard to see much journalism on. I suspect what is often called the 'Russian' mafia is likely lots of smaller organised crime groups based around very clannish ethnicities from the Russia empire (Or even the Balkans or elsewhere in non-Russian Slavic Europe) and their diasporas inside Russia proper that aren't necessarily Russian.

    Is the American 'Russian' mafia finally Russian? (Did the Russian Jews create enough of a diaspora in LA that their kinda Jewish cousins came and then the non-Jewish Russians came?) But at least the idea of the 'Russian mafia' has become familiar to audiences to allow Hollywood to have gangsters who are white and immigrants long after the old-style Italian mafia finally feels anachronistic to modern audiences. Can you imagine Batman or Daredevil beating up black and Hispanic gang members? Can you imagine the Russian Jewish mafia being depicted on TV with their leader hiding out in Tel Aviv?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @JimDandy, @LP5

    Refusenik, an almost-forgotten term. A friend helped some emigrate to the US, and was fastidious to the point of paranoia about their identities.

  94. Anonymous[412] • Disclaimer says:

    In the late 80s or early 90s there was a “Nut Shop” in the East Village near Tompkins Square Park. I went in as a lark once and there was a Jamaican guy behind a rudimentary plywood counter. On the floor in front of him were several wooden barrels with peanuts. The odor in the store was not peanuts.

  95. @Reg Cæsar

    He could name his cookie The Flathead and start a national cookie chain called Flathead’s.

     

    The Nordic knockoff could be Squarehead's.


    https://www.comicbookreligion.com/img/f/l/Flattop_Jones_Sr.jpg

    Replies: @LP5, @Jmaie

    The Nordic knockoff could be Squarehead’s.

    The Swedish guy down the way talked of his countrymen as blockheads. Some also say boxheads. Your dimensions may vary.

  96. I had a pizza place in my neighborhood that might have been a money laundering operation. I drove by there for more than a decade and never saw more than one car in the parking lot. It should have gone out of business and then sold to someone who would use it for something else but that never happened. I was tempted to go in and try to order a pizza but was a little frightened by what might happen, so I never did.

  97. @Reg Cæsar

    He could name his cookie The Flathead and start a national cookie chain called Flathead’s.

     

    The Nordic knockoff could be Squarehead's.


    https://www.comicbookreligion.com/img/f/l/Flattop_Jones_Sr.jpg

    Replies: @LP5, @Jmaie

    That’s Flattop.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Jmaie

    Yes, I know, and assumed everyone else (above a certain age) did, too. Now behave, or I'll sic the Brow and Oodles on you.

  98. @R.G. Camara
    It's only been late in life I've realized how businesses can be fronts.

    About a decade or two ago there was a small pizza joint, open late, that was right across from the Boston Garden. Sold really cheap pizza slices that sucked and the service was awful and the small shop was dirty and funky. Drunks would stream out of the Garden after an event and wait in line for pizza, so it seemed that might be their business model, but man, I never understood how it worked.

    Then it closed down because one night at about 3am, the cops busted up a huge party in the backroom/kitchen that had spilled over to the front room where you could see from the street. Turns out the place was a front for a drug dealing gang that laundered the money using the pizza joint.

    They probably never would've gotten caught if they hadn't set up shop outside the Garden and made sure they had those metal security curtains on the business whenever they "closed" so no one could see in. But the Garden sits right on top of a big commuter rail station and subway stop, so its an area cops are always assigned.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @JMcG, @Brutusale, @Cortes, @Muggles, @Jim Christian

    “Out of Season”, the third in Antonio Manzini’s Rocco Schiavone series set mainly in Aosta, in the Italian Alps, has two shops providing cover for activities of the Calabrian ‘Ndragheta OC networks. The first is a horrible, filthy pizzeria. The other one conforms fully with Steve’s models, with an even more ridiculous front.

    https://www.publishersweekly.com/9780062696496

    Those curious can find out for themselves. The series is very interesting, hilarious in parts, but becoming a bit “woke” I fear.

  99. Reminds me of an Irish joke:

    An innocent Irishman was driving around an isolated area near the border with Northern Ireland, and he come to a small, dodgy looking garage in the middle of nowhere with a gas pump in front of it.

    “Could I get some petrol?” he asks.

    Out comes a surly brutish fellow. “No!” he yells. “We don’t have any petrol! Go away!”

    “Well, then,” says our hero. “Do you have any oil?”

    “No! No oil! Go away!”

    “How about a new wiper blade?”

    “Look here, me boyo. Haven’t you caught on yet? This isn’t a regular garage! It’s an IRA front!”

    “An IRA front, aye? Well, in that case, can you blow up me tires?”

    • Thanks: Muggles
    • LOL: El Dato, Alden
    • Replies: @JMcG
    @Garlic

    That boyo might have been a tail gunner on a milk truck!

  100. @Mr. Anon
    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R. What - we just didn't have enough gangsters already? What do these people add to America? Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @RobinG, @Anonymous, @Mr Mox, @Sick of Orcs, @Anthony Aaron, @AnotherDad

    Should be boilerplate:

    Did we really need to import ______ from _____?
    What – we just didn’t have enough _______ already? What do these people add to America? Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against ______s, as long as they stay in _______.

  101. @Achmed E. Newman
    That was pretty funny, Steve. The conversations you had in the 2 stores makes me think of a more widespread problem that almost all Americans have to deal with now.

    It doesn't have to be Russians or gangsters or involve fake businesses. This country is so flooded with foreigners (something like 17% of the population now, NOT counting illegal aliens) that it's getting really hard to deal with people, with so many whose English is, err, unsound, in addition to the accents.

    There's almost no point in asking people at a gas station for directions* or for help with anything. This was all very funny during the time of the "chee-buger, chee-buger, no Coke, Pepsi" skits and Seinfeld with Babu Bhatt and his Pakistani restaurant. It's not that funny now. It's just getting old.

    .

    * Please don't tell me about your apps and GPS - I understand.

    Replies: @JR Ewing

    Related story, kind of.

    Wife and I are building a house on some rural land we own. We have plans and site prep done, now we are looking for a builder.

    One guy invited us earlier this week to come see a house under construction in a McMansion neighborhood nearby. A 20,000 sqft modern monstrosity next to a drainage pond.

    Wife and I noticed early on that there were some peculiarities in the house: no washer or dryer downstairs, a “spice kitchen” that can be sealed off from the rest of the house, two separate three car garages on either side of the house, a pool bathroom with two toilets in separate stalls, and a small lavatory in the dining room.

    We finally get upstairs and there are ten bedrooms upstairs, including four identical “master” bedrooms in each corner of the house. Each “master” bedroom has its own washer and dryer hookup and a separate “parlor” with a big screen television cove.

    The builder finally admits to us that his client is an older “foreign” couple, he never mentions the ethnicity, who intend to live in the house full-time with their three married children and spouses and 15(!) grandkids.

    In one house.

    It’s not a house, it’s an apartment building.

    I’ve heard of over-occupied houses full of illegal laborers before, but I’ve never seen custom built McMansion intended as a boarding house, either.

    The builder shrugged and said that most of the really big really ugly houses in cramped developments in our suburb are crammed full of multi-family immigrant residents. Apparently it’s cheaper and much more luxurious than each one of those families having its own McMansion or luxury apartment, and compared to where they come from – India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, wherever – it’s Nirvana.

    He also admitted that no, it does not conform with the single family deed restrictions of the neighborhood and there is limited government building code oversight since it’s in an unincorporated area of the county.

    The infrastructure of the neighborhood could not be reached for comment.

    • Replies: @joe_mama
    @JR Ewing

    Interesting. I was wondering when we would be getting the standard 3rd World "Compound" style residence. Very common in the sub-continent, but also seen in Latin America as well.

    , @Alden
    @JR Ewing

    23 people plus maybe 2 maids aka unpaid slaves.

    In San Francisco the Chinese manage to pack 23 people in a 1,000 sq foot house over an equal size garage. Garage used as an illegal sewing factory or chicken slaughter house for the restaurants the family owns. Yes, live chickens in crates a few already dead slaughtered on a dirty garage floor by short scrawny middle aged men in T shirts and flip flops in a neighborhood where it seldom gets over 65 degrees at noon.

    Replies: @JR Ewing

  102. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    @Redneck farmer

    Paul Mooney did that 'joke.' He'd say people wonder why there are so many hair salons and barbershops in the hood but they don't realize they are used for selling drugs. The crowd would laugh and Mooney wouldn't even crack a smile.

    Replies: @Jack D

    The hair salons at least are real. Black women spend a LOT of time and \$ on their hair.

    • Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose
    @Jack D

    Believe me, I know. In the mile stretch of Flatbush Avenue near my apartment in Brooklyn there must have been at least 25. Usually empty, except on Friday nights or before Jouvert. They spend hundreds of dollars at a time on their ‘hair.’

  103. After she divorced my father and moved to Boulder, my mother got involved with a crook she met in rehab. He was an Irish-American from New York.

    He set her up with a gift shop on the main drag in Estes Park, near Rocky Mountain National Park. He had her selling Hummel figurines and music boxes to tourists. The thing was, there was almost no business. Tourists don’t come to Colorado to buy German kitsch.

    It had to be a money-laundering operation.

    He was a partner in a shady mortgage investment scheme. They enticed middle-class Coloradans to invest in houses and apartment buildings — and then to take out more loans and overextend themselves, rolling things over. This was a time of very high inflation, like the one we are now entering, and even the average American was looking for a way to hold onto value.

    The company was eventually shut down, and the boss, another Irish American who worked with my mom’s boyfriend, went to prison.

    One night, the boyfriend from rehab took my mother and I to go gambling, which was illegal. He drove us to an ordinary tract house in a cul-de-sac in one of the many, mediocre suburbs on the Flatland around Denver. He knocked on the door and a pretty girl in a cocktail dress let us in. There was a craps table in the dining room and a blackjack table in the breakfast nook by the kitchen.

    It was funny to me: Everything about that house reeked of middle class or lower middle class, but the two tables looked like they had been trucked in from Las Vegas. We played blackjack. (That’s when I learned how.) I quit when I was ahead by \$55, which to me then was enough money. Mom’s boyfriend was way behind, and he started pestering me to let him bet my chips. I declined, and he ended up losing money. On the drive back home, he kept teasing me about my \$55.

    Weeks later, there was a Denver TV news story about police crashing a local gambling house. There in the video was my mom’s boyfriend being led out of the house, arrested.

    It hasn’t been just Russians.

    • Thanks: JR Ewing
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Buzz Mohawk


    One night, the boyfriend from rehab took my mother and I to go gambling.
     
    He took my mother and ME.

    I hate it when that happens. Damned compound objects!
    , @Muggles
    @Buzz Mohawk

    My mother's stepfather (in Colorado) was an ex-con who we think did a bit for one of the Coors clan during prohibition.

    He was something of a gambler. My teen aged (then) future mom was used as a shill in card games with rich Texans on their summer sojourns to cooler climes. (This was in the 30s).

    I'm not sure if she cheated, but was very good at cards in family games. One handed shuffles, etc.

    So "informal Colorado casinos" are something of a tradition there.

  104. @Garlic
    Reminds me of an Irish joke:

    An innocent Irishman was driving around an isolated area near the border with Northern Ireland, and he come to a small, dodgy looking garage in the middle of nowhere with a gas pump in front of it.

    “Could I get some petrol?” he asks.

    Out comes a surly brutish fellow. “No!” he yells. “We don’t have any petrol! Go away!”

    “Well, then,” says our hero. “Do you have any oil?”

    “No! No oil! Go away!”

    “How about a new wiper blade?”

    “Look here, me boyo. Haven’t you caught on yet? This isn’t a regular garage! It’s an IRA front!”

    “An IRA front, aye? Well, in that case, can you blow up me tires?”

    Replies: @JMcG

    That boyo might have been a tail gunner on a milk truck!

  105. @Twinkie
    There are stores like that in every college town. Hardly any customers, high rents, yet somehow in business for years on end.

    A lot of bars on East Coast college campuses were owned by the Italian mafia at some point, but those always made money. I am sure they were still used for money laundering.

    Replies: @James J O'Meara

    When I was in NYC I would marvel at two-bit establishments that seemed to be on prime real estate and assumed they must be money laundering operations. There is/was a “psychic” parlor in Greenwich Village, on Seventh Ave. South, across from the Caliente Cab Co. restaurant. You men of Unz may assume that there are lots of silly women going to psychics, especially in the Village, but it was always as empty looking (big plate glass windows all around) as the palm reading gypsy’s tent in Incredibly Strange Creatures (perhaps there were zombies trapped in the back room, created from unsuspecting walk ins?). Even here in Stars Hollow, there’s a “nail salon” in a huge building, about the size of a Trader Joe’s, that offers drinks and snacks while you wait, but there’s never been a single person inside as far as I can tell (again, big plate glass windows all around, so it’s not like they’re hiding it).

  106. @Daniel H
    Out in Vegas here, near the strip, in a decent mini-mall I encountered a shop that sells cookies. OK, so I went in and ordered one of their seemingly delicious cookies and a cup of coffee. They said that they don't sell, coffee, nor do they sell tea, nor any beverage, just cookies. OK, I left, scratching my head and wondering how brainless can a business plan be to sell cookies but no coffee/tea/milk, whatever. I'll bet the business idea originated with Mormons from Salt Lake. But what do I know, Mormons are generally successful, and I'm not.

    Replies: @James J O'Meara, @Muggles, @Admiral Assbar

    Never gets old. “I have a drinking problem? Fuck you, Peck, you’re a Mormon. Compared to you we all have a drinking problem.”

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @James J O'Meara

    Absolutely hilarious movie. Captures certain aspects of DC to a tee.

  107. @Anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @silviosilver, @SafeNow, @ANON, @Anthony Aaron, @Anonymous

    Those ‘bloody, fair blue-eyed people who love nature, wild animals …’ are likely from when the Vikings arrived in what is now Ukraine, Belarus and Russia in the mid-9th century … 

  108. @JR Ewing
    About a year ago, my preferred embroidery shop here in the Houston suburbs closed permanently due to Covid and I needed some hats and shirts done for my kid's baseball team, so I went to a different place in an industrial park that I had driven past several times. It was one of those places that has a storefront on one side and a warehouse and loading dock in the back.

    Most embroidery places look like a business conference threw up and are full of tchotchkes and sample items, but the inside of this place looked more like an abandoned office of some kind with paper all over the floor and furniture in various states of disrepair. I did not see any machinery or embroidery paraphernalia. I did hear machinery noises and voices coming from the warehouse part in the back.

    I caught on very quickly that the guy I was talking to - he said his name was "Daniel" - was a Russian jew, but I did not say anything about it. He was helpful enough and said he could do the work for me, and the price he quoted was very cheap, so I left my stuff. He said to "come back next Tuesday." Inside of his notebook he wrote down the instructions in Russian.

    I go back the next Tuesday and Daniel is not there but there is a new guy who introduces himself as "Pavel" who was straight out of the Russian Mobster stereotype: buzzcut, gold chains, track pants. I ask for my stuff and Pavel has no idea what I'm talking about. Pavel appears to be panicking and decides to call Daniel and they proceed to have a conversation in Russian on the speaker phone where I can hear both sides.

    Daniel says, shit, he forgot to take my stuff to the embroidery shop and to make up an excuse. Maybe the machine is broken? Pavel says, when should I tell him to come back? Daniel says, tell him I said Thursday of this week ("Chetvyerg") and not Tuesday ("Votornik"). Tell him he came on the wrong day of the week.

    This is all in Russian, but I understand every word.

    Pavel hangs up and says, in English, "Daniel says you came on the wrong day. Your stuff was supposed to be ready on Thursday. Come back then."

    I smile and very simply say, "Nyet. Ftornik. Sevodnya." (Tuesday. Today).

    Pavel looks confused initially, ("Who is this overweight redneck speaking Russian back to me?"), then he smiles and says, in Russian, "OK. It is not here. Come back Thursday."

    I go back on Thursday and both guys are in the shop. My embroidered materials are in a box on the counter and look nice.

    Pavel hands me the box and says, in English, "Thank you my friend. There is no charge."

    I ask him, in Russian, if his machine is still broken. He just laughs and says, in English, "Have a nice day."

    I then kindly say, "Spasiba" and pick up my box and walk out and that was the end of that.

    I still have no idea what they were doing in that warehouse but it certainly wasn't embroidery and I have no desire to find out.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon, @Achmed E. Newman, @Jack D

    The Irish version:

  109. @Mr. Anon
    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R. What - we just didn't have enough gangsters already? What do these people add to America? Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @RobinG, @Anonymous, @Mr Mox, @Sick of Orcs, @Anthony Aaron, @AnotherDad

    The Russian jews that came to the US then were often sponsored by taxpayer moneys … the Seattle Symphony Orchestra back then was under Gerard Schwartz … and he utilized that facility’s good graces and taxpayer money to bring lots of Russian jews into SEA.

    Furthermore – and rather disgusting – is how Russian jews were permitted to apply for ‘asylum’ — without any notion of actually, you know, escaping the things that typically cause folks to seek asylum … AND then, once here, they were put on full social security (this, as I recall, from these very unz.com pages) … while Russian Gentiles got – diddly squat …

    Such a deal … such a steal …

    • Replies: @utu
    @Anthony Aaron

    "they were put on full social security " - This is true.

    Jackson - Vanik amendment which as Risjcard Perle himself assures us was not Perle's idea:

    "Jackson's staffer Richard Perle said in an interview that the idea belonged to Jackson, who believed that the right to emigrate was the most powerful among the human rights in certain respects:"

    , @ATBOTL
    @Anthony Aaron

    No one in the history of the world got more welfare money than Soviet jews in America got.

  110. @Buzz Mohawk
    After she divorced my father and moved to Boulder, my mother got involved with a crook she met in rehab. He was an Irish-American from New York.

    He set her up with a gift shop on the main drag in Estes Park, near Rocky Mountain National Park. He had her selling Hummel figurines and music boxes to tourists. The thing was, there was almost no business. Tourists don't come to Colorado to buy German kitsch.

    It had to be a money-laundering operation.

    He was a partner in a shady mortgage investment scheme. They enticed middle-class Coloradans to invest in houses and apartment buildings -- and then to take out more loans and overextend themselves, rolling things over. This was a time of very high inflation, like the one we are now entering, and even the average American was looking for a way to hold onto value.

    The company was eventually shut down, and the boss, another Irish American who worked with my mom's boyfriend, went to prison.

    One night, the boyfriend from rehab took my mother and I to go gambling, which was illegal. He drove us to an ordinary tract house in a cul-de-sac in one of the many, mediocre suburbs on the Flatland around Denver. He knocked on the door and a pretty girl in a cocktail dress let us in. There was a craps table in the dining room and a blackjack table in the breakfast nook by the kitchen.

    It was funny to me: Everything about that house reeked of middle class or lower middle class, but the two tables looked like they had been trucked in from Las Vegas. We played blackjack. (That's when I learned how.) I quit when I was ahead by $55, which to me then was enough money. Mom's boyfriend was way behind, and he started pestering me to let him bet my chips. I declined, and he ended up losing money. On the drive back home, he kept teasing me about my $55.

    Weeks later, there was a Denver TV news story about police crashing a local gambling house. There in the video was my mom's boyfriend being led out of the house, arrested.

    It hasn't been just Russians.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Muggles

    One night, the boyfriend from rehab took my mother and I to go gambling.

    He took my mother and ME.

    I hate it when that happens. Damned compound objects!

  111. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Steve Sailer

    Thanks - it looks as if there's a way of producing the "excess deaths" graph only for ages 18-64.

    You could take the "Weekly_Counts_of_Deaths_by_Jurisdiction_and_Age.csv" data table, which should have the data in - yes it does - well 25-44 and 45-64. Watch this space as I'm currently engaged in packing away Christmas decorations/lights/artificial trees.

    On the other hand the recent 2021 data is (according to the table) incomplete in that not all 2021 deaths will yet have been recorded.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Yes, don’t trust the most recent 8 weeks of Excess Death data: it takes 8 weeks to trickle in, so it always looks like things suddenly are getting much better over the last two months. Don’t go past the end of October. Let us know what you find for young people.

    One thing to keep in mind is that there has been a big upsurge in fentanyl deaths, both part of a long term trend but with an inflection point in the first half of 2020 probably related to lockdowns, etc.

  112. @R.G. Camara
    It's only been late in life I've realized how businesses can be fronts.

    About a decade or two ago there was a small pizza joint, open late, that was right across from the Boston Garden. Sold really cheap pizza slices that sucked and the service was awful and the small shop was dirty and funky. Drunks would stream out of the Garden after an event and wait in line for pizza, so it seemed that might be their business model, but man, I never understood how it worked.

    Then it closed down because one night at about 3am, the cops busted up a huge party in the backroom/kitchen that had spilled over to the front room where you could see from the street. Turns out the place was a front for a drug dealing gang that laundered the money using the pizza joint.

    They probably never would've gotten caught if they hadn't set up shop outside the Garden and made sure they had those metal security curtains on the business whenever they "closed" so no one could see in. But the Garden sits right on top of a big commuter rail station and subway stop, so its an area cops are always assigned.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @JMcG, @Brutusale, @Cortes, @Muggles, @Jim Christian

    In my neck of the woods (Houston) there are a million Vietnamese nail shops. In virtually every strip mall.

    Now I know little about the nail business, next to nothing. Wife doesn’t go, nor do I know anyone else who does.

    Yet these places always have several Viet ladies in them.

    I assume they can make money doing nails.

    But I have long suspected they are also fronts for money laundering by Viet drug gangs. Or whatever else they do. I have never heard of one being busted.

    As I have an accounting background I have always been curious about small businesses which populate strip malls and even small office buildings, where few customers seem to be seen. Rents are high and margins are not.

    I would think that an ethnic front operation where the workers/owners are immigrants, and maybe don’t speakee de English so well, would be good for a laundry business. Keep the sales tax docs in order and keep the IRS accounting at low but believable levels.

    In my limited exposure to IRS doings, they appear to be pretty lazy and incurious unless some bigger operation is being pursued. Rarely.

    I suspect there may even be local chains of small businesses which stay afloat as cash laundries.

    But I am the skeptical type…

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Muggles


    Vietnamese nail shops
     
    https://youtu.be/IG1myqu4CbA
    , @James J O'Meara
    @Muggles

    I assume that, as per usual, they don't/can't bother with every two bit nail salon, nor with the really big guys (Bezos, Bloomberg) so it's the middle guys who get audited up the wazoo.

    So, if you "owned" a dozen or hundred nail salons, but without the "right" paperwork to connect them into some half-assed chain, you could fly under the radar while moving a lot of money etc.

  113. @HammerJack
    @JimDandy

    Your point? One of those is supposed to be bad?

    Replies: @JimDandy

    Yes. Cats.

    • Agree: HammerJack
    • LOL: Mark G.
  114. @Daniel H
    Out in Vegas here, near the strip, in a decent mini-mall I encountered a shop that sells cookies. OK, so I went in and ordered one of their seemingly delicious cookies and a cup of coffee. They said that they don't sell, coffee, nor do they sell tea, nor any beverage, just cookies. OK, I left, scratching my head and wondering how brainless can a business plan be to sell cookies but no coffee/tea/milk, whatever. I'll bet the business idea originated with Mormons from Salt Lake. But what do I know, Mormons are generally successful, and I'm not.

    Replies: @James J O'Meara, @Muggles, @Admiral Assbar

    I think there was a Simpsons episode where the local Mafia guy (“Tony”) fronted funds for Marge to open a cookie shop. Which turned out to be a great idea.

    The money laundering part became a problem I think.

    Someone here may recall better details.

    Mormons drink non caffeinated beverages (Sanka, Postum, yuck…) and juices, fancy water. Pretty good markup on those. Also milk and related sweetened shake type things.

    So a cooler of those would be in a legit cookie place.

    Maybe health or zoning problems with this one? Very odd not to sell anything to drink (high margin canned beverages!) as such a place. Most Mormons are smarter than that.

  115. @Anonymous
    Further to the point, did you know that the San Fernando Valley subsidiary of General Mills (TM) has just released a new breakfast cereal which the marketing department has provisionally named 'Pornflakes'.
    You see, when you pour the milk on, the cereal goes "Slap, Tickle and Grope".

    Replies: @Muggles

    Hey, no stealing Shecky Greene jokes here.

    Show some respect for the dead.

    Dirty jokes are a lot more uh, graphic these days.

  116. @Redneck farmer
    @R.G. Camara

    Years ago, an elderly black lady called in a local talk show complaining about a guy going to set up a barber shop. The host thought it was hilarious, but he went to talk to her. He found out, and told us listeners, a certain number of barber shops in the hood are drug dealing/ money laundering fronts.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Ghost of Bull Moose, @Paul Mendez

    Where I live, nearly every run-down strip mall has* a nail salon, staffed by pretty Asian girls dressed in inappropriately fancy attire. Often, there is a Jackie Chan look-alike watching the place. And no customers.

    I can’t figure it out. A nail salon has to be the absolute worst cover for a brothel! And I never saw any potential johns entering or leaving.

    * A lot closed after The Plague ™ started.

  117. @YetAnotherAnon
    OT

    https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/insurance-death-rates-working-age-people-up-40-percent


    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a $100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.

    “The data is consistent across every player in the business.”

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.

    “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three sigma or 200-year catastrophe would be a 10 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels,” Davison said. “So, 40 percent is just unheard of.”

    He said the data shows COVID deaths are greatly understated among working age Americans.

    Davison says OneAmerica expects to pay out more than $100 million in short- and long-term disability claims due to the pandemic.

    “Whether it’s long COVID or whether it’s because people haven’t been able to get the health care they need because the hospitals are overrun, we’re seeing those claims start to tick up as well,” he said.

    Because of this, insurance companies are beginning to add premium increases on employers in counties with low vaccination rates to cover the benefit payouts.
     

    Now you can take this data two ways - either covid rates are greatly understated, or something else is killing people.

    OTOH, actuaries are generally pretty bright people, and I find it hard to believe they'd up rates on the unvaxxed with no reason. OTOHA (on the other hand again) actuaries are nerdy types who tend to do as they are told by the executive - not so much direct orders as "can't you tweak the assumptions to produce (desired result)?".

    Tried to look at UK figures, but as of July 2021 (among all age groups) no sign of a similar rise - indeed the introduction of jabs coincides with below-average death rates. More data needed, and split by age.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessmortalityandmortalitydisplacementinenglandandwales/2020tomid2021

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @EdwardM, @eric, @stillCARealist, @Mark G., @AnotherDad

    “We’re seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business,” said Scott Davison, the CEO of OneAmerica, a \$100 billion life insurance and retirement company headquartered in Indianapolis.

    That’s nonsense.

    Davison said death rates among working age people – those 18 to 64-years-old – are up 40 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2021 over pre-pandemic levels.

    But this i can believe.

    The reality we live in with almost no one dying until they are old is unprecedented in human history. (Clean water, vaccines, antibiotics, almost no one dying in childbirth, then a big decline in smoking and drinking oneself to death, easier labor and lower accidents, even less violent crime.) So the base death rate for 18-64 was getting pretty darn low.

    But the result is, when you then do have an uptick–even if it’s not huge, it really moves the stats.

    Auto-accidents accidents turned around with smart phones. Then fentanyl hit. Then we’ve had BLM driving crime back up. Now Covid and the Floyd accelerator to BLM and the lockdowns … all in the last couple years.

    Still if you’re telling me 55 year olds are dying at a greater rate now than in 1962, i’m pretty darn dubious. I think his “ever seen in the history of this business” means more like “in the last few decades since i’ve been in this business”.

  118. @Mr. Anon
    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R. What - we just didn't have enough gangsters already? What do these people add to America? Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Russians, as long as they stay in Russia.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @RobinG, @Anonymous, @Mr Mox, @Sick of Orcs, @Anthony Aaron, @AnotherDad

    Did we really need to import a bunch of shifty, surly hoods from the old U.S.S.R.

    No

  119. @JR Ewing
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Related story, kind of.

    Wife and I are building a house on some rural land we own. We have plans and site prep done, now we are looking for a builder.

    One guy invited us earlier this week to come see a house under construction in a McMansion neighborhood nearby. A 20,000 sqft modern monstrosity next to a drainage pond.

    Wife and I noticed early on that there were some peculiarities in the house: no washer or dryer downstairs, a "spice kitchen" that can be sealed off from the rest of the house, two separate three car garages on either side of the house, a pool bathroom with two toilets in separate stalls, and a small lavatory in the dining room.

    We finally get upstairs and there are ten bedrooms upstairs, including four identical "master" bedrooms in each corner of the house. Each "master" bedroom has its own washer and dryer hookup and a separate "parlor" with a big screen television cove.

    The builder finally admits to us that his client is an older "foreign" couple, he never mentions the ethnicity, who intend to live in the house full-time with their three married children and spouses and 15(!) grandkids.

    In one house.

    It's not a house, it's an apartment building.

    I've heard of over-occupied houses full of illegal laborers before, but I've never seen custom built McMansion intended as a boarding house, either.

    The builder shrugged and said that most of the really big really ugly houses in cramped developments in our suburb are crammed full of multi-family immigrant residents. Apparently it's cheaper and much more luxurious than each one of those families having its own McMansion or luxury apartment, and compared to where they come from - India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, wherever - it's Nirvana.

    He also admitted that no, it does not conform with the single family deed restrictions of the neighborhood and there is limited government building code oversight since it's in an unincorporated area of the county.

    The infrastructure of the neighborhood could not be reached for comment.

    Replies: @joe_mama, @Alden

    Interesting. I was wondering when we would be getting the standard 3rd World “Compound” style residence. Very common in the sub-continent, but also seen in Latin America as well.

  120. @Old Prude
    @nebulafox

    I window-shopped a high rise whore house in Frankfurt in the eighties. On the ground floor were real beauties. Hard and aloof but beautiful. Quality declined but the sales-pitch got more intense as one walked the stairs on each floor up to the top. On the top floor I was grabbed by a fat black lady who tried to pull me into her room. Yikes.

    The arrangement was typically German in its layout and logic.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @JohnnyWalker123, @Pericles

    Hey, now. Stateside outside of the commercial sector, they can be pretty fun. Great visual and aerodynamics, passionate, rough, decadent: and relaxed and fun to hang out with after. 😉

    Just remember to put on a saddle before you get on the horse…

  121. I’m a little suspicious of how many little Mexican tax establishments we have here in the Southwest. Gotta be something besides tax preparation keeping the lights on, right?

  122. @James J O'Meara
    @Daniel H

    Never gets old. "I have a drinking problem? Fuck you, Peck, you're a Mormon. Compared to you we all have a drinking problem."

    https://youtu.be/mO8roISHjJo

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Absolutely hilarious movie. Captures certain aspects of DC to a tee.

  123. @Muggles
    @R.G. Camara

    In my neck of the woods (Houston) there are a million Vietnamese nail shops. In virtually every strip mall.

    Now I know little about the nail business, next to nothing. Wife doesn't go, nor do I know anyone else who does.

    Yet these places always have several Viet ladies in them.

    I assume they can make money doing nails.

    But I have long suspected they are also fronts for money laundering by Viet drug gangs. Or whatever else they do. I have never heard of one being busted.

    As I have an accounting background I have always been curious about small businesses which populate strip malls and even small office buildings, where few customers seem to be seen. Rents are high and margins are not.

    I would think that an ethnic front operation where the workers/owners are immigrants, and maybe don't speakee de English so well, would be good for a laundry business. Keep the sales tax docs in order and keep the IRS accounting at low but believable levels.

    In my limited exposure to IRS doings, they appear to be pretty lazy and incurious unless some bigger operation is being pursued. Rarely.

    I suspect there may even be local chains of small businesses which stay afloat as cash laundries.

    But I am the skeptical type...

    Replies: @Twinkie, @James J O'Meara

    Vietnamese nail shops

    • Thanks: Old Prude
  124. @AceDeuce
    @JimDandy

    "Guinea-T" was the term that I always heard.

    Interesting how our fair author throws around an epithet like "flathead" so casually (and often). I had thought he was somewhat above the fray across the board, but, like so many, he feels safe (and maybe a thrill up his leg) hating on his own kind. I'm sure the gangster (if he was that) wasn't movie idol gorgeous like George Floyd or Stacey Abrams, but still...

    Replies: @JimDandy

    Haven’t Italians-Americans paid their dues? Name a white ethnic group that is more patriotic. I think it’s time to pass the baton.

    That flathead was wearing a Russky-T.

    • Replies: @utu
    @JimDandy

    In Soviet cinema guys were always wearing sleeveless shirts when in bed with a lover. No naked male chest was allowed. The sex scenes obviously were not explicit. The hint that something transpired was the wife beater signifying some guilt and postcoital satiation. But it is also possibly that Russian women get excited by the wife beater.

    Replies: @JimDandy

  125. @Anon
    https://twitter.com/BenWinslow/status/1478438101093470210

    Replies: @silviosilver, @Colin Wright

    “Silicon Slopes”? Isn’t that racist?

  126. @Steve Sailer
    @Altai

    My vague impression is that there are a lot of people in the San Fernando Valley with roots in Russia who are kind of Jewish or have Jewish relatives. Ariel Sharon, who was kind of Russian, invited to Israel lots of people from Russia who were a quarter or half Jewish. Many wound up voting for Sharon and helped him become Prime Minister. Some of them got tired of Israel and bounced to America, such as L.A.

    And lots of people came here directly from the ex-Soviet Union.

    And some gentiles from the ex-Soviet Union might be following their part-Jewish relatives to L.A.: "My half-Jewish cousin who used to live in Tel-Aviv now owns a cookie shop in North Hollywood and he said I could stay with him for a while." That kind of thing.

    What I don't see, although I could be wrong, are particularly sharp ethnic divisions among the people with some Russian background. So I kind of doubt that there is some kind of particularist ethnic mafia, more just: "I know a guy who knows a guy ..." On the other hand, the whole topic of who all the ex-Soviets in the San Fernando Valley are is kind of not a topic for serious journalists, although screenwriters seem to like to make up stories about them.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @International Jew, @clyde, @ATBOTL

    Steve, let it go with your Subbotnick Ariel Sharon theory. Israelis are pretty fiercely ethno-centric and yet nobody ever questioned Sharon’s status as a Jew. Not even the medievally-minded ultraorthodox rabbis.

  127. @Anthony Aaron
    @Mr. Anon

    The Russian jews that came to the US then were often sponsored by taxpayer moneys … the Seattle Symphony Orchestra back then was under Gerard Schwartz … and he utilized that facility's good graces and taxpayer money to bring lots of Russian jews into SEA.

    Furthermore - and rather disgusting - is how Russian jews were permitted to apply for 'asylum' -- without any notion of actually, you know, escaping the things that typically cause folks to seek asylum … AND then, once here, they were put on full social security (this, as I recall, from these very unz.com pages) … while Russian Gentiles got - diddly squat …

    Such a deal … such a steal …

    Replies: @utu, @ATBOTL

    “they were put on full social security ” – This is true.

    Jackson – Vanik amendment which as Risjcard Perle himself assures us was not Perle’s idea:

    “Jackson’s staffer Richard Perle said in an interview that the idea belonged to Jackson, who believed that the right to emigrate was the most powerful among the human rights in certain respects:”

  128. @Gaius Gracchus
    I used to lunch at a place that felt like a Russian human trafficking/ money laundering front. The food was delicious, but never seemed to have enough people to justify it staying open. The waitresses talked of trying to get their papers back.

    It closed during the pandemic. Perhaps they could no longer engage in the same criminal activity with closed borders.

    Replies: @clyde

    I used to lunch at a place that felt like a Russian human trafficking/ money laundering front. It closed during the pandemic. Perhaps they could no longer engage in the same criminal activity with closed borders.

    For decades the obvious go-to for 3rd worlder immigrants has been to open a restaurant. With an SBA loan of course. A cash business that you can cheat the tax-man on. (Immigrants say that paying taxes is for suckers and Americans)

    Covidxyz has killed their restaurant scheme. Many shut down for good or for the (Covid) duration. I am convinced that many/most of these immigrants scammed and lied their way to \$50000-\$100000 plus via Covid small business rescues from the Feds in DC. What have they got to lose? Be prosecuted? Ha! Only if someone drops a dime on them.

    Cookies – I bought the cheap choco-chip ones. Then last month I caved and bought Nabisco chips-ahoy. They are harder and keep their hardness. Smear some P-butter on them and make them extra good.

  129. @JimDandy
    @AceDeuce

    Haven't Italians-Americans paid their dues? Name a white ethnic group that is more patriotic. I think it's time to pass the baton.

    That flathead was wearing a Russky-T.

    Replies: @utu

    In Soviet cinema guys were always wearing sleeveless shirts when in bed with a lover. No naked male chest was allowed. The sex scenes obviously were not explicit. The hint that something transpired was the wife beater signifying some guilt and postcoital satiation. But it is also possibly that Russian women get excited by the wife beater.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @utu

    Pretty sure I read (more than once) that a Russian peasant woman would get upset if her drunken Russky husband didn't beat her, because that meant he didn't love her/wasn't attracted to her anymore.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

  130. @Steve Sailer
    @Altai

    My vague impression is that there are a lot of people in the San Fernando Valley with roots in Russia who are kind of Jewish or have Jewish relatives. Ariel Sharon, who was kind of Russian, invited to Israel lots of people from Russia who were a quarter or half Jewish. Many wound up voting for Sharon and helped him become Prime Minister. Some of them got tired of Israel and bounced to America, such as L.A.

    And lots of people came here directly from the ex-Soviet Union.

    And some gentiles from the ex-Soviet Union might be following their part-Jewish relatives to L.A.: "My half-Jewish cousin who used to live in Tel-Aviv now owns a cookie shop in North Hollywood and he said I could stay with him for a while." That kind of thing.

    What I don't see, although I could be wrong, are particularly sharp ethnic divisions among the people with some Russian background. So I kind of doubt that there is some kind of particularist ethnic mafia, more just: "I know a guy who knows a guy ..." On the other hand, the whole topic of who all the ex-Soviets in the San Fernando Valley are is kind of not a topic for serious journalists, although screenwriters seem to like to make up stories about them.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @International Jew, @clyde, @ATBOTL

    OK Steve- Time to wheel out the (your) fully panoply of gold chain necklaced, disco loving immigrants in LA. Semi-pro gangster types.
    -Iranians
    -Armenians (all!)
    -Jewish Iranians, aka Persians as they call themselves
    -Chechens
    -Russians, or at least most of them
    -Israelis, but only the swarthy ones

    Who or what did I leave out?

  131. @utu
    @JimDandy

    In Soviet cinema guys were always wearing sleeveless shirts when in bed with a lover. No naked male chest was allowed. The sex scenes obviously were not explicit. The hint that something transpired was the wife beater signifying some guilt and postcoital satiation. But it is also possibly that Russian women get excited by the wife beater.

    Replies: @JimDandy

    Pretty sure I read (more than once) that a Russian peasant woman would get upset if her drunken Russky husband didn’t beat her, because that meant he didn’t love her/wasn’t attracted to her anymore.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @JimDandy

    Pretty sure I read (more than once) that a Russian peasant woman would get upset if her drunken Russky husband didn’t beat her, because that meant he didn’t love her/wasn’t attracted to her anymore.

    Sheesh, could you be any more MAN OF UNZ?

    Replies: @JimDandy

  132. @Daniel H
    Out in Vegas here, near the strip, in a decent mini-mall I encountered a shop that sells cookies. OK, so I went in and ordered one of their seemingly delicious cookies and a cup of coffee. They said that they don't sell, coffee, nor do they sell tea, nor any beverage, just cookies. OK, I left, scratching my head and wondering how brainless can a business plan be to sell cookies but no coffee/tea/milk, whatever. I'll bet the business idea originated with Mormons from Salt Lake. But what do I know, Mormons are generally successful, and I'm not.

    Replies: @James J O'Meara, @Muggles, @Admiral Assbar

    Women go wild for expensive gourmet cookies. They’re the new cupcakes.

  133. @Mike_from_SGV
    Just a guess -- I'll bet that cookie shop doesn't have trouble with smash-n-grab shopping by the local 'youths'.

    Replies: @thenon

    Maybe a Finnish shoplady

    • Replies: @JR Ewing
    @thenon

    If only Americans cared so much about shoplifting.

    Going to go out on a limb here and say she did that because she's not scared of later being accused and charged with violating the poor black man's "civil rights", unlike in most American cities, where something like that just doesn't happen anymore.

  134. @Buzz Mohawk
    After she divorced my father and moved to Boulder, my mother got involved with a crook she met in rehab. He was an Irish-American from New York.

    He set her up with a gift shop on the main drag in Estes Park, near Rocky Mountain National Park. He had her selling Hummel figurines and music boxes to tourists. The thing was, there was almost no business. Tourists don't come to Colorado to buy German kitsch.

    It had to be a money-laundering operation.

    He was a partner in a shady mortgage investment scheme. They enticed middle-class Coloradans to invest in houses and apartment buildings -- and then to take out more loans and overextend themselves, rolling things over. This was a time of very high inflation, like the one we are now entering, and even the average American was looking for a way to hold onto value.

    The company was eventually shut down, and the boss, another Irish American who worked with my mom's boyfriend, went to prison.

    One night, the boyfriend from rehab took my mother and I to go gambling, which was illegal. He drove us to an ordinary tract house in a cul-de-sac in one of the many, mediocre suburbs on the Flatland around Denver. He knocked on the door and a pretty girl in a cocktail dress let us in. There was a craps table in the dining room and a blackjack table in the breakfast nook by the kitchen.

    It was funny to me: Everything about that house reeked of middle class or lower middle class, but the two tables looked like they had been trucked in from Las Vegas. We played blackjack. (That's when I learned how.) I quit when I was ahead by $55, which to me then was enough money. Mom's boyfriend was way behind, and he started pestering me to let him bet my chips. I declined, and he ended up losing money. On the drive back home, he kept teasing me about my $55.

    Weeks later, there was a Denver TV news story about police crashing a local gambling house. There in the video was my mom's boyfriend being led out of the house, arrested.

    It hasn't been just Russians.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Muggles

    My mother’s stepfather (in Colorado) was an ex-con who we think did a bit for one of the Coors clan during prohibition.

    He was something of a gambler. My teen aged (then) future mom was used as a shill in card games with rich Texans on their summer sojourns to cooler climes. (This was in the 30s).

    I’m not sure if she cheated, but was very good at cards in family games. One handed shuffles, etc.

    So “informal Colorado casinos” are something of a tradition there.

    • Thanks: Buzz Mohawk
  135. There was a men’s clothing shop – suits, dress shirts, etc. – on the ground floor of a downtown office building in my city for nearly ten years. I believe it was run by west Africans. I would walk past it usually at least twice a day and I probably saw customers in there fewer than five times the whole time it was there.

    I always wondered if it might be a money laundering front, but a clothing shop seems like an odd choice since such a high percentage of the transactions would be expected to be via credit card instead of cash. Maybe they did a lot of business in tailoring custom suits in the back?

  136. Anonymous[121] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    Replies: @JimDandy, @silviosilver, @SafeNow, @ANON, @Anthony Aaron, @Anonymous

    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.

    Technically, those wouldn’t be the “real” core Russians who are Slavic. You’re thinking of small populations of Scandinavians/Viking types and Finno-Ugric types who were assimilated and absorbed into the Slavic Russian population.

    The more pure Slavic, core Russian type is more surly and unfriendly looking, potato-faced, rougher in manner and disposition.

    Besides the Scandinavian/Finno-Ugric minority elements that were absorbed, there have also been various Georgian, Armenian, Tatar types that have been absorbed to an extent which is why some ethnic Russians will have darker features.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    When I was in Moscow 20 years ago, everybody on the street looked Russian to me, but in wildly different ways. When I mentioned that, somebody pointed out to e that Russia is a really big country.

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic, @Reg Cæsar

    , @Colin Wright
    @Anonymous

    '...Besides the Scandinavian/Finno-Ugric minority elements that were absorbed, there have also been various Georgian, Armenian, Tatar types that have been absorbed to an extent which is why some ethnic Russians will have darker features.'

    There's also the effect of all the Tatar raids. According to a Russian helper of mine, occasionally one would see a Russian girl of inarguably pure slavic type: blond hair, round blue eyes. Her ancestors had been able to run faster than the raiders.

    More factually, somebody determined that the Russian aristocracy was of ten percent Tatar descent or something -- and thinking about it in a purely non-scientific way, Russians do seem to have more Asiatic features than Poles or Czechs.

    The interesting bit is looking at all the Slavs brought into the Ottoman empire as slaves and concubines -- two million or so. I wonder what part of the modern 'Turkish' genetic heritage is Slavic?

    Replies: @Twinkie

  137. @JR Ewing
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Related story, kind of.

    Wife and I are building a house on some rural land we own. We have plans and site prep done, now we are looking for a builder.

    One guy invited us earlier this week to come see a house under construction in a McMansion neighborhood nearby. A 20,000 sqft modern monstrosity next to a drainage pond.

    Wife and I noticed early on that there were some peculiarities in the house: no washer or dryer downstairs, a "spice kitchen" that can be sealed off from the rest of the house, two separate three car garages on either side of the house, a pool bathroom with two toilets in separate stalls, and a small lavatory in the dining room.

    We finally get upstairs and there are ten bedrooms upstairs, including four identical "master" bedrooms in each corner of the house. Each "master" bedroom has its own washer and dryer hookup and a separate "parlor" with a big screen television cove.

    The builder finally admits to us that his client is an older "foreign" couple, he never mentions the ethnicity, who intend to live in the house full-time with their three married children and spouses and 15(!) grandkids.

    In one house.

    It's not a house, it's an apartment building.

    I've heard of over-occupied houses full of illegal laborers before, but I've never seen custom built McMansion intended as a boarding house, either.

    The builder shrugged and said that most of the really big really ugly houses in cramped developments in our suburb are crammed full of multi-family immigrant residents. Apparently it's cheaper and much more luxurious than each one of those families having its own McMansion or luxury apartment, and compared to where they come from - India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, wherever - it's Nirvana.

    He also admitted that no, it does not conform with the single family deed restrictions of the neighborhood and there is limited government building code oversight since it's in an unincorporated area of the county.

    The infrastructure of the neighborhood could not be reached for comment.

    Replies: @joe_mama, @Alden

    23 people plus maybe 2 maids aka unpaid slaves.

    In San Francisco the Chinese manage to pack 23 people in a 1,000 sq foot house over an equal size garage. Garage used as an illegal sewing factory or chicken slaughter house for the restaurants the family owns. Yes, live chickens in crates a few already dead slaughtered on a dirty garage floor by short scrawny middle aged men in T shirts and flip flops in a neighborhood where it seldom gets over 65 degrees at noon.

    • Replies: @JR Ewing
    @Alden

    We did ask about servants and he said there were no such separate living quarters in the house. The only downstairs bathroom was the two-stall combination powder room/pool bath.

    Maybe the servants would live upstairs but it did not look like that was planned.

    Or, most likely, this being Houston, the servants will just drive to and from the house every day.

  138. @Anon
    https://twitter.com/BenWinslow/status/1478438101093470210

    Replies: @silviosilver, @Colin Wright

    Canary in a coal mine.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    @Colin Wright

    What, in the sense that you think there's actually some validity to his nutty claims?

    I don't get it, if you're willing to lay your career on the line to "name the Jew," why do it on the basis of total nutjob claim that will only ensure nobody takes you seriously?

    The content actually matters, you know. If you base your "naming" on the basis that they're up to their eyeballs in hypocrisy and double standards, you can reasonably expect that at least some people will consider the evidence and conclude that, wow, I never expected it, but holy crap, those dastardly "anti-semites" are actually right about a couple of things.

    The only people who will take this guy seriously are the lunatic fringe.

    Replies: @Jack D

  139. ‘There’s a cookie shop in my neighborhood that appears to be run by Russian gangsters as some kind of front or money laundering operation…’

    Well, this is the fun part about living in the big city, isn’t it? Up here, no such luck.

  140. @Old Prude
    @nebulafox

    I window-shopped a high rise whore house in Frankfurt in the eighties. On the ground floor were real beauties. Hard and aloof but beautiful. Quality declined but the sales-pitch got more intense as one walked the stairs on each floor up to the top. On the top floor I was grabbed by a fat black lady who tried to pull me into her room. Yikes.

    The arrangement was typically German in its layout and logic.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @JohnnyWalker123, @Pericles

    window-shopped

    I’m sure.

  141. @Jmaie
    @Reg Cæsar

    That's Flattop.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Yes, I know, and assumed everyone else (above a certain age) did, too. Now behave, or I’ll sic the Brow and Oodles on you.

  142. Adventures in Cookie Shopping

    • Thanks: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Old Prude
    @Reg Cæsar

    I greatly admire the Cookie Monster's passion.

  143. @Muggles
    @R.G. Camara

    In my neck of the woods (Houston) there are a million Vietnamese nail shops. In virtually every strip mall.

    Now I know little about the nail business, next to nothing. Wife doesn't go, nor do I know anyone else who does.

    Yet these places always have several Viet ladies in them.

    I assume they can make money doing nails.

    But I have long suspected they are also fronts for money laundering by Viet drug gangs. Or whatever else they do. I have never heard of one being busted.

    As I have an accounting background I have always been curious about small businesses which populate strip malls and even small office buildings, where few customers seem to be seen. Rents are high and margins are not.

    I would think that an ethnic front operation where the workers/owners are immigrants, and maybe don't speakee de English so well, would be good for a laundry business. Keep the sales tax docs in order and keep the IRS accounting at low but believable levels.

    In my limited exposure to IRS doings, they appear to be pretty lazy and incurious unless some bigger operation is being pursued. Rarely.

    I suspect there may even be local chains of small businesses which stay afloat as cash laundries.

    But I am the skeptical type...

    Replies: @Twinkie, @James J O'Meara

    I assume that, as per usual, they don’t/can’t bother with every two bit nail salon, nor with the really big guys (Bezos, Bloomberg) so it’s the middle guys who get audited up the wazoo.

    So, if you “owned” a dozen or hundred nail salons, but without the “right” paperwork to connect them into some half-assed chain, you could fly under the radar while moving a lot of money etc.

  144. @SafeNow
    @Anonymous

    Yes, I agree, “real” Russians are good guys, if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians. They make what chess players call “quiet moves,” and when they have a losing game against me (rare), they resign, which is considered the gentlemanly thing to do, a show of respect. In the post-game chat comment, they will say “gg” (=“good game”) and not something impolite.

    Replies: @silviosilver, @AndrewR, @kaganovitch

    if I may extrapolate from my experience. I have played online chess against hundreds of Russians.

    Nah, you just think it was hundreds of Russians. It’s really a bot farm. When it’s not interfering in our elections it keeps itself sharp by playing chess.

    • LOL: Buzz Mohawk
  145. @Jack D
    When I lived on the Upper West Side in the late '70s there was a "vitamin shop" in the neighborhood. There was one very dusty and faded bottle of vitamins in the shop window. When you went inside there were no vitamins either, there was just a small portal like a bank teller window. As far as I could tell it was a numbers parlor. The police were paid to tolerate numbers but they wouldn't (I hope) have tolerated a drug den.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    LOL

    NYC Sucking in the 70s. It’s on it’s way back.

  146. @JimDandy
    @utu

    Pretty sure I read (more than once) that a Russian peasant woman would get upset if her drunken Russky husband didn't beat her, because that meant he didn't love her/wasn't attracted to her anymore.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Pretty sure I read (more than once) that a Russian peasant woman would get upset if her drunken Russky husband didn’t beat her, because that meant he didn’t love her/wasn’t attracted to her anymore.

    Sheesh, could you be any more MAN OF UNZ?

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @kaganovitch

    You're right. I could be, and I will work harder.

  147. @JR Ewing
    @RobinG


    Identifying with the Tribe was the Get-Out-of-Russia-Free card.
     
    My freshman year roommate at Harvard was a Russian Jew who had emigrated to Providence in the 1980's. A math savant and winner of several distinguished prizes while in high school and quite literally the smartest person I have ever known. He was a TA for a graduate level math class as a freshman. He was also a lazy asshole slob who never went to class and ran around with a crew that would have made the Big Bang Theory blush.

    Last I heard, he was making millions working as a quant on Wall Street.

    There was another Russian immigrant guy on our floor from Brooklyn who was much more open about being jewish. He very much looked the part and acted the part and is now an oncologist on the west coast. Very smart himself but in a different way.

    I learned more Russian (and about jews) just hanging out with the two of them than I ever learned in four years of actual college level classes.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @JohnnyWalker123

    The best benefit was that you were able to understand those guys speaking Russian in the “embroidery shop” in Texas. I love it!

  148. Regarding guys who got caught up in Russian honeypot troubles–anyone remember uberschlub John Bolaris? He’s a half-jewish schmendrick who became a weatherman in NYC, and then landed in Philly.

    He had a few rocky times:

    In 2001, Bolaris drew major criticism after predicting a major blizzard, which he dubbed the “storm of the century” would hit Philadelphia. Leading up to the storm, Bolaris’ segments featured custom theme music and he often compared the emerging storm to the North American blizzard of 1996.[8] Bolaris urged viewers to stay home from work and Philadelphia area schools were closed. However, the storm resulted in less than an inch of snow.[9] As a result, Bolaris received more than 1,000 angry emails and multiple death threats. A year later, Bolaris left Philadelphia

    then:

    In 2009, Bolaris returned to Philadelphia as the Chief Meteorologist at Fox 29.[11] However, Bolaris ran into trouble with Fox 29’s management after they refused to conduct an interview with Bolaris’ friend and former Phillies star, Lenny Dykstra. In December 2011, Bolaris was suspended after he took part in a profile in Playboy magazine, which presented him in a negative light and was he fired a month later.[

    And then:

    In 2010, while in Miami, Bolaris was drugged and charged for \$43,000 on his American Express card. Bolaris contacted the FBI, who connected Bolaris’ story to a crime ring run by a bar owner. 17 arrests were made in connection with the crime ring. The story was the subject of investigations on ABC’s 20/20 and American Greed.[21][22]

  149. @Colin Wright
    @Anon

    Canary in a coal mine.

    Replies: @silviosilver

    What, in the sense that you think there’s actually some validity to his nutty claims?

    I don’t get it, if you’re willing to lay your career on the line to “name the Jew,” why do it on the basis of total nutjob claim that will only ensure nobody takes you seriously?

    The content actually matters, you know. If you base your “naming” on the basis that they’re up to their eyeballs in hypocrisy and double standards, you can reasonably expect that at least some people will consider the evidence and conclude that, wow, I never expected it, but holy crap, those dastardly “anti-semites” are actually right about a couple of things.

    The only people who will take this guy seriously are the lunatic fringe.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @silviosilver

    Maybe he's a false flag sent by the Jews to discredit all anti-Semites?

    Replies: @silviosilver

  150. @Anonymous
    @Anonymous


    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.
     
    Technically, those wouldn't be the "real" core Russians who are Slavic. You're thinking of small populations of Scandinavians/Viking types and Finno-Ugric types who were assimilated and absorbed into the Slavic Russian population.

    The more pure Slavic, core Russian type is more surly and unfriendly looking, potato-faced, rougher in manner and disposition.

    Besides the Scandinavian/Finno-Ugric minority elements that were absorbed, there have also been various Georgian, Armenian, Tatar types that have been absorbed to an extent which is why some ethnic Russians will have darker features.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Colin Wright

    When I was in Moscow 20 years ago, everybody on the street looked Russian to me, but in wildly different ways. When I mentioned that, somebody pointed out to e that Russia is a really big country.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    @Steve Sailer

    Indeed. Not Asiatics, but not Occidentals either.

    https://i.imgur.com/STJioM2.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/tLFpkuI.jpg

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Reg Cæsar

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer

    I noticed that in Seoul. There seemed to be two Korean races-- one looked like a Chinese-Japanese hybrid, the other a lost Mongolian.

    Replies: @Twinkie

  151. @thenon
    @Mike_from_SGV

    Maybe a Finnish shoplady
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxZHbC4QvUg

    Replies: @JR Ewing

    If only Americans cared so much about shoplifting.

    Going to go out on a limb here and say she did that because she’s not scared of later being accused and charged with violating the poor black man’s “civil rights”, unlike in most American cities, where something like that just doesn’t happen anymore.

  152. @Alden
    @JR Ewing

    23 people plus maybe 2 maids aka unpaid slaves.

    In San Francisco the Chinese manage to pack 23 people in a 1,000 sq foot house over an equal size garage. Garage used as an illegal sewing factory or chicken slaughter house for the restaurants the family owns. Yes, live chickens in crates a few already dead slaughtered on a dirty garage floor by short scrawny middle aged men in T shirts and flip flops in a neighborhood where it seldom gets over 65 degrees at noon.

    Replies: @JR Ewing

    We did ask about servants and he said there were no such separate living quarters in the house. The only downstairs bathroom was the two-stall combination powder room/pool bath.

    Maybe the servants would live upstairs but it did not look like that was planned.

    Or, most likely, this being Houston, the servants will just drive to and from the house every day.

  153. @Old Prude
    @nebulafox

    I window-shopped a high rise whore house in Frankfurt in the eighties. On the ground floor were real beauties. Hard and aloof but beautiful. Quality declined but the sales-pitch got more intense as one walked the stairs on each floor up to the top. On the top floor I was grabbed by a fat black lady who tried to pull me into her room. Yikes.

    The arrangement was typically German in its layout and logic.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @JohnnyWalker123, @Pericles

    Lol, that’s the funnier version of the ‘husband department store’. Congratulations on your escape.

  154. @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    When I was in Moscow 20 years ago, everybody on the street looked Russian to me, but in wildly different ways. When I mentioned that, somebody pointed out to e that Russia is a really big country.

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic, @Reg Cæsar

    Indeed. Not Asiatics, but not Occidentals either.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    Solzhenitsyn always reminded me, oddly, of an Ourangatang.

    Sorry, Alexander, you were a great man and novelist.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @The Anti-Gnostic


    Indeed. Not Asiatics, but not Occidentals either.
     
    Accidentals?
  155. @Reg Cæsar

    Adventures in Cookie Shopping
     
    https://soranews24.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/06/83120685.jpg?w=580


    https://149360821.v2.pressablecdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/THE-COOKIE-MUNCHER-COLLAB-WITH-RAFFITI.jpg

    Replies: @Old Prude

    I greatly admire the Cookie Monster’s passion.

  156. @stillCARealist
    @YetAnotherAnon

    These are the death years. I assume they'll wane, like all other eras, but maybe not soon. The virus is doing its part, for sure, but even without it we'd see bigger death numbers.

    This is my feeling, based not on any stats, but just from watching friends and family keel over. Regularly. In fact, the regular topic of conversation is who died, from what, and when is the memorial. Cancer is a big cause, of course, but also OD's, Alzheimer's, heart attacks.

    I'm curious if any other people here are having the same experience.

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic

    The first wave of the Baby Boom is dying. Trim, ex-athlete Dan Reeves got sick and died at age 77. Over the next two decades large cohorts of Americans are going to start dropping like flies. Lots of them, unlike Dan Reeves, are obese with lifelong sedentary habits. So they’ll be picked off by opportunistic respiratory viral infection which turns into pneumonia which turns into sepsis and organ failure. Since it looks like coronaviruses have outmuscled H1N1 viruses for access to our airways, there’s your “excess” COVID deaths. Dancing nurses at hospitals are going to be screaming overwhelmed! for a long time to come.

    My impression is that we really haven’t made any advances in life-extension/quality-of-life in geriatric medicine. Americans have gotten a lot less healthy in the meantime. Since it’s a Boomerific world, it will seem like “everybody” is dying for the next 20 years.

    At the end of it, all the then 50-year olds will think back to how things were growing up, and wonder where all the white people went, like the shift from 85% white to 60+% white that’s happened in my own lifetime. In 20 years, it’s going to be 40+% white. That’s too bad; majority non-white countries are no fun to live in without lots of money.

  157. @JR Ewing
    About a year ago, my preferred embroidery shop here in the Houston suburbs closed permanently due to Covid and I needed some hats and shirts done for my kid's baseball team, so I went to a different place in an industrial park that I had driven past several times. It was one of those places that has a storefront on one side and a warehouse and loading dock in the back.

    Most embroidery places look like a business conference threw up and are full of tchotchkes and sample items, but the inside of this place looked more like an abandoned office of some kind with paper all over the floor and furniture in various states of disrepair. I did not see any machinery or embroidery paraphernalia. I did hear machinery noises and voices coming from the warehouse part in the back.

    I caught on very quickly that the guy I was talking to - he said his name was "Daniel" - was a Russian jew, but I did not say anything about it. He was helpful enough and said he could do the work for me, and the price he quoted was very cheap, so I left my stuff. He said to "come back next Tuesday." Inside of his notebook he wrote down the instructions in Russian.

    I go back the next Tuesday and Daniel is not there but there is a new guy who introduces himself as "Pavel" who was straight out of the Russian Mobster stereotype: buzzcut, gold chains, track pants. I ask for my stuff and Pavel has no idea what I'm talking about. Pavel appears to be panicking and decides to call Daniel and they proceed to have a conversation in Russian on the speaker phone where I can hear both sides.

    Daniel says, shit, he forgot to take my stuff to the embroidery shop and to make up an excuse. Maybe the machine is broken? Pavel says, when should I tell him to come back? Daniel says, tell him I said Thursday of this week ("Chetvyerg") and not Tuesday ("Votornik"). Tell him he came on the wrong day of the week.

    This is all in Russian, but I understand every word.

    Pavel hangs up and says, in English, "Daniel says you came on the wrong day. Your stuff was supposed to be ready on Thursday. Come back then."

    I smile and very simply say, "Nyet. Ftornik. Sevodnya." (Tuesday. Today).

    Pavel looks confused initially, ("Who is this overweight redneck speaking Russian back to me?"), then he smiles and says, in Russian, "OK. It is not here. Come back Thursday."

    I go back on Thursday and both guys are in the shop. My embroidered materials are in a box on the counter and look nice.

    Pavel hands me the box and says, in English, "Thank you my friend. There is no charge."

    I ask him, in Russian, if his machine is still broken. He just laughs and says, in English, "Have a nice day."

    I then kindly say, "Spasiba" and pick up my box and walk out and that was the end of that.

    I still have no idea what they were doing in that warehouse but it certainly wasn't embroidery and I have no desire to find out.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon, @Achmed E. Newman, @Jack D

    Haha! Great story, J.R. I am impressed that you know Russian, as someone who is does not pick up languages well.

    Here’s a similar one. The Chinese factory owner and sales lady were traveling back in a van from the trade show to the factory, with a Mexican customer they’d met at the show riding along. The boss told the sales lady in Chinese how they would sell this guy the one container that had been shipped all the way back from Germany due to too many defects in the goods. Yeah, it turned out the Mexican guy knew Chinese. How were they supposed to know that?!

    • Replies: @JR Ewing
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I'm not sure out to post videos but your story immediately brought this to mind.

    https://youtu.be/ycDfwns61Tk

    , @JR Ewing
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I also have a similar story once where I told a Russian lady at a playground in the Boston suburbs (after college, during my second stint living there) what I thought of her bully son who wouldn't leave my two kids alone, who at the time were 3 and 5 years old. I had told the kid to go away and he wouldn't, which is why I escalated it to Mamashka.

    Once she got over her surprise that I had understood what she was saying to her son and what she had said on her side of a concurrent mundane telephone conversation, she rounded up her kid and quickly drove off, presumably to the local embroidery shop where her baby-daddy was "working". I left very soon thereafter as I did not wish to get into a confrontation with him.

    Another time, I was selling eggs at the local farmer's market (back in Houston) when a Russian woman walked up and told her husband that my eggs were too small and cost too much. I asked her what a fair price would be and she smiled and still paid full price for two dozen.

  158. The gold cross at the neck of the (((Bob Hoskins)))-looking gangster is a nice touch.

  159. Would any of these suspiciously useless-looking shops be within tunnelling distance of a bank or jeweler? TV and movies are crawling with crooks buying and (badly) running some shop or business while quietly drilling through the sub-basement to get at a vault or diamond collection. I dimly recall Larceny Inc, with Edward G Robinson’s dopey gang running a bank-adjacent luggage store as a front — which inexplicably becomes so profitable they decide to go straight.

    As far as bakeries, yes that’s one of the absurd fronts used by THRUSH agents to cover up their nefarious activities on The Man From UNCLE. Solo walks in and has to dodge clouds of knockout gas fired from big fake baguettes.

  160. Anonymous[181] • Disclaimer says:

    I seem to remember there being more comedies about Russian con artists and swindlers in the 80s (the career of Ukrainian-American* comedian Yakov Smirnoff might coincide with the downward phase of this). About 20 years ago there was the British simp-dramedy “Birthday Girl” starring Nicole Kidman as a mail-order monkey-brancher. My impression is by the 2010s movie audiences were back to viewing Russkies as frightening.

    Still waiting for the bumper crop of Muslim comedies since they’re so obviously hapless and hilarious (must be related to why Yusuf al-Colombo style pressure groups so frequently go on TV to assure us Muslims are the #1 world danger real soon now).

    *just going by Google auto suggestion here

  161. @Achmed E. Newman
    @JR Ewing

    Haha! Great story, J.R. I am impressed that you know Russian, as someone who is does not pick up languages well.

    Here's a similar one. The Chinese factory owner and sales lady were traveling back in a van from the trade show to the factory, with a Mexican customer they'd met at the show riding along. The boss told the sales lady in Chinese how they would sell this guy the one container that had been shipped all the way back from Germany due to too many defects in the goods. Yeah, it turned out the Mexican guy knew Chinese. How were they supposed to know that?!

    Replies: @JR Ewing, @JR Ewing

    I’m not sure out to post videos but your story immediately brought this to mind.

  162. @Achmed E. Newman
    @JR Ewing

    Haha! Great story, J.R. I am impressed that you know Russian, as someone who is does not pick up languages well.

    Here's a similar one. The Chinese factory owner and sales lady were traveling back in a van from the trade show to the factory, with a Mexican customer they'd met at the show riding along. The boss told the sales lady in Chinese how they would sell this guy the one container that had been shipped all the way back from Germany due to too many defects in the goods. Yeah, it turned out the Mexican guy knew Chinese. How were they supposed to know that?!

    Replies: @JR Ewing, @JR Ewing

    I also have a similar story once where I told a Russian lady at a playground in the Boston suburbs (after college, during my second stint living there) what I thought of her bully son who wouldn’t leave my two kids alone, who at the time were 3 and 5 years old. I had told the kid to go away and he wouldn’t, which is why I escalated it to Mamashka.

    Once she got over her surprise that I had understood what she was saying to her son and what she had said on her side of a concurrent mundane telephone conversation, she rounded up her kid and quickly drove off, presumably to the local embroidery shop where her baby-daddy was “working”. I left very soon thereafter as I did not wish to get into a confrontation with him.

    Another time, I was selling eggs at the local farmer’s market (back in Houston) when a Russian woman walked up and told her husband that my eggs were too small and cost too much. I asked her what a fair price would be and she smiled and still paid full price for two dozen.

  163. @kaganovitch
    @JimDandy

    Pretty sure I read (more than once) that a Russian peasant woman would get upset if her drunken Russky husband didn’t beat her, because that meant he didn’t love her/wasn’t attracted to her anymore.

    Sheesh, could you be any more MAN OF UNZ?

    Replies: @JimDandy

    You’re right. I could be, and I will work harder.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
  164. @Jack D
    @Ghost of Bull Moose

    The hair salons at least are real. Black women spend a LOT of time and $ on their hair.

    Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose

    Believe me, I know. In the mile stretch of Flatbush Avenue near my apartment in Brooklyn there must have been at least 25. Usually empty, except on Friday nights or before Jouvert. They spend hundreds of dollars at a time on their ‘hair.’

  165. @silviosilver
    @Colin Wright

    What, in the sense that you think there's actually some validity to his nutty claims?

    I don't get it, if you're willing to lay your career on the line to "name the Jew," why do it on the basis of total nutjob claim that will only ensure nobody takes you seriously?

    The content actually matters, you know. If you base your "naming" on the basis that they're up to their eyeballs in hypocrisy and double standards, you can reasonably expect that at least some people will consider the evidence and conclude that, wow, I never expected it, but holy crap, those dastardly "anti-semites" are actually right about a couple of things.

    The only people who will take this guy seriously are the lunatic fringe.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Maybe he’s a false flag sent by the Jews to discredit all anti-Semites?

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    @Jack D

    I've seen way too many sincere implosions to need that crutch. These occurrences are your fault, of course. When you set the game up as there being nothing, absolutely nothing, that Jews can ever be collectively criticized for without incurring the tag "anti-semite", then it's really not all that surprising that when people realize, uh hang on, there actually are things that Jews can be criticized for - just as any other human group can - then they very often goes completely nuts with it. Tough to rein them in at that point.

  166. @Anthony Aaron
    @Mr. Anon

    The Russian jews that came to the US then were often sponsored by taxpayer moneys … the Seattle Symphony Orchestra back then was under Gerard Schwartz … and he utilized that facility's good graces and taxpayer money to bring lots of Russian jews into SEA.

    Furthermore - and rather disgusting - is how Russian jews were permitted to apply for 'asylum' -- without any notion of actually, you know, escaping the things that typically cause folks to seek asylum … AND then, once here, they were put on full social security (this, as I recall, from these very unz.com pages) … while Russian Gentiles got - diddly squat …

    Such a deal … such a steal …

    Replies: @utu, @ATBOTL

    No one in the history of the world got more welfare money than Soviet jews in America got.

  167. @Steve Sailer
    @Altai

    My vague impression is that there are a lot of people in the San Fernando Valley with roots in Russia who are kind of Jewish or have Jewish relatives. Ariel Sharon, who was kind of Russian, invited to Israel lots of people from Russia who were a quarter or half Jewish. Many wound up voting for Sharon and helped him become Prime Minister. Some of them got tired of Israel and bounced to America, such as L.A.

    And lots of people came here directly from the ex-Soviet Union.

    And some gentiles from the ex-Soviet Union might be following their part-Jewish relatives to L.A.: "My half-Jewish cousin who used to live in Tel-Aviv now owns a cookie shop in North Hollywood and he said I could stay with him for a while." That kind of thing.

    What I don't see, although I could be wrong, are particularly sharp ethnic divisions among the people with some Russian background. So I kind of doubt that there is some kind of particularist ethnic mafia, more just: "I know a guy who knows a guy ..." On the other hand, the whole topic of who all the ex-Soviets in the San Fernando Valley are is kind of not a topic for serious journalists, although screenwriters seem to like to make up stories about them.

    Replies: @nebulafox, @International Jew, @clyde, @ATBOTL

    In other words, they are all jewish. I have yet to see any evidence of ethnic Russians who are not jewish having any kind of organized crime network anywhere. Western news stories about organized crime in Russia emphasize the dominance of Georgians and other minorities, especially at the leadership level. Russians are Northern Europeans who have been falsely vilified by jews. Stop calling jewish criminals “Russian,” just call them jews.

    • LOL: IHTG
    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @ATBOTL


    I have yet to see any evidence of ethnic Russians who are not jewish having any kind of organized crime network anywhere.
     
    Georgians are heavily represented at the leadership level of Russian “thieves within the code”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thief_in_law#Notable_thieves_in_law
  168. @JR Ewing
    About a year ago, my preferred embroidery shop here in the Houston suburbs closed permanently due to Covid and I needed some hats and shirts done for my kid's baseball team, so I went to a different place in an industrial park that I had driven past several times. It was one of those places that has a storefront on one side and a warehouse and loading dock in the back.

    Most embroidery places look like a business conference threw up and are full of tchotchkes and sample items, but the inside of this place looked more like an abandoned office of some kind with paper all over the floor and furniture in various states of disrepair. I did not see any machinery or embroidery paraphernalia. I did hear machinery noises and voices coming from the warehouse part in the back.

    I caught on very quickly that the guy I was talking to - he said his name was "Daniel" - was a Russian jew, but I did not say anything about it. He was helpful enough and said he could do the work for me, and the price he quoted was very cheap, so I left my stuff. He said to "come back next Tuesday." Inside of his notebook he wrote down the instructions in Russian.

    I go back the next Tuesday and Daniel is not there but there is a new guy who introduces himself as "Pavel" who was straight out of the Russian Mobster stereotype: buzzcut, gold chains, track pants. I ask for my stuff and Pavel has no idea what I'm talking about. Pavel appears to be panicking and decides to call Daniel and they proceed to have a conversation in Russian on the speaker phone where I can hear both sides.

    Daniel says, shit, he forgot to take my stuff to the embroidery shop and to make up an excuse. Maybe the machine is broken? Pavel says, when should I tell him to come back? Daniel says, tell him I said Thursday of this week ("Chetvyerg") and not Tuesday ("Votornik"). Tell him he came on the wrong day of the week.

    This is all in Russian, but I understand every word.

    Pavel hangs up and says, in English, "Daniel says you came on the wrong day. Your stuff was supposed to be ready on Thursday. Come back then."

    I smile and very simply say, "Nyet. Ftornik. Sevodnya." (Tuesday. Today).

    Pavel looks confused initially, ("Who is this overweight redneck speaking Russian back to me?"), then he smiles and says, in Russian, "OK. It is not here. Come back Thursday."

    I go back on Thursday and both guys are in the shop. My embroidered materials are in a box on the counter and look nice.

    Pavel hands me the box and says, in English, "Thank you my friend. There is no charge."

    I ask him, in Russian, if his machine is still broken. He just laughs and says, in English, "Have a nice day."

    I then kindly say, "Spasiba" and pick up my box and walk out and that was the end of that.

    I still have no idea what they were doing in that warehouse but it certainly wasn't embroidery and I have no desire to find out.

    Replies: @Peter D. Bredon, @Achmed E. Newman, @Jack D

    All’s well that ends well. Here’s a health tip – never go back there again.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
  169. @Twinkie
    @nebulafox


    Russian girls were common enough in Seoul in early-mid 2000s
     
    And Ukrainian girls. They were mostly cleared out by the KNP within about 10 years. Eastern European “models” still do the usual “entertainment” visa circuit in Japan and South Korea though.

    You seem to know about prostitution in Asia too well. ;)

    Replies: @nebulafox, @Chrisnonymous

    I went to an Orthodox church here on January 6 in Japan. Half Japanese, half blonde women of various ages with their heads covered (plus one guy who looked Greek).

  170. @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    When I was in Moscow 20 years ago, everybody on the street looked Russian to me, but in wildly different ways. When I mentioned that, somebody pointed out to e that Russia is a really big country.

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic, @Reg Cæsar

    I noticed that in Seoul. There seemed to be two Korean races– one looked like a Chinese-Japanese hybrid, the other a lost Mongolian.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Reg Cæsar

    You are confusing darker, thinner rural people vs. fairer, fleshier urban dwellers with race differences. Koreans have low genetic structure and regional variability is fairly low.

  171. Adventures in fuel shopping…

    If you were wondering why Kyle Rittenhouse “crossed state lines”, here is the motive. From WLIP in Kenosha, where Joe Pyne invented call-in radio in 1949:

    Gas Price Gap Widens Between Wisconsin And Illinois

    What do you call someone who isn’t crossing the border? A Cheesehead!

  172. @Jack D
    @silviosilver

    Maybe he's a false flag sent by the Jews to discredit all anti-Semites?

    Replies: @silviosilver

    I’ve seen way too many sincere implosions to need that crutch. These occurrences are your fault, of course. When you set the game up as there being nothing, absolutely nothing, that Jews can ever be collectively criticized for without incurring the tag “anti-semite”, then it’s really not all that surprising that when people realize, uh hang on, there actually are things that Jews can be criticized for – just as any other human group can – then they very often goes completely nuts with it. Tough to rein them in at that point.

  173. @Anonymous
    @Anonymous


    Russians, *real* Russians, for that matter, are a blondy, fair blue eyed people who love nature, wild animals, cats and dogs, are quiet and introspective and are gentle mannered. Much like their near neighbors and genetic cousins in Finland and Sweden.
     
    Technically, those wouldn't be the "real" core Russians who are Slavic. You're thinking of small populations of Scandinavians/Viking types and Finno-Ugric types who were assimilated and absorbed into the Slavic Russian population.

    The more pure Slavic, core Russian type is more surly and unfriendly looking, potato-faced, rougher in manner and disposition.

    Besides the Scandinavian/Finno-Ugric minority elements that were absorbed, there have also been various Georgian, Armenian, Tatar types that have been absorbed to an extent which is why some ethnic Russians will have darker features.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Colin Wright

    ‘…Besides the Scandinavian/Finno-Ugric minority elements that were absorbed, there have also been various Georgian, Armenian, Tatar types that have been absorbed to an extent which is why some ethnic Russians will have darker features.’

    There’s also the effect of all the Tatar raids. According to a Russian helper of mine, occasionally one would see a Russian girl of inarguably pure slavic type: blond hair, round blue eyes. Her ancestors had been able to run faster than the raiders.

    More factually, somebody determined that the Russian aristocracy was of ten percent Tatar descent or something — and thinking about it in a purely non-scientific way, Russians do seem to have more Asiatic features than Poles or Czechs.

    The interesting bit is looking at all the Slavs brought into the Ottoman empire as slaves and concubines — two million or so. I wonder what part of the modern ‘Turkish’ genetic heritage is Slavic?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    @Colin Wright


    Her ancestors had been able to run faster than the raiders.
     
    Because Tatar raiders ran after Russians on foot, instead of, say, chasing after them on horses and lassoing them like normal steppe people.
  174. @Colin Wright
    @Anonymous

    '...Besides the Scandinavian/Finno-Ugric minority elements that were absorbed, there have also been various Georgian, Armenian, Tatar types that have been absorbed to an extent which is why some ethnic Russians will have darker features.'

    There's also the effect of all the Tatar raids. According to a Russian helper of mine, occasionally one would see a Russian girl of inarguably pure slavic type: blond hair, round blue eyes. Her ancestors had been able to run faster than the raiders.

    More factually, somebody determined that the Russian aristocracy was of ten percent Tatar descent or something -- and thinking about it in a purely non-scientific way, Russians do seem to have more Asiatic features than Poles or Czechs.

    The interesting bit is looking at all the Slavs brought into the Ottoman empire as slaves and concubines -- two million or so. I wonder what part of the modern 'Turkish' genetic heritage is Slavic?

    Replies: @Twinkie

    Her ancestors had been able to run faster than the raiders.

    Because Tatar raiders ran after Russians on foot, instead of, say, chasing after them on horses and lassoing them like normal steppe people.

  175. That’s a good pitch. You could also go in the opposite direction- a guy running a front business has to deal with customers who inexplicably like his cookies. Like have you ever wondered why Famous Amos cookies are so lousy, but still famous? Maybe old Famous Amos was doing something else and then, one day, for no particular reason, people decide his dry, tasteless cookies are all the rage. And he has to meet their demand to keep up appearances, or risk being exposed. And then one day, he has to stop being a powerful PR rep who shakes down musicians by forcing them to buy boxes of \$10,000 cookies because everyone wants to buy his \$3.75 bags of cookie-shaped cardboard.

  176. @ATBOTL
    @Steve Sailer

    In other words, they are all jewish. I have yet to see any evidence of ethnic Russians who are not jewish having any kind of organized crime network anywhere. Western news stories about organized crime in Russia emphasize the dominance of Georgians and other minorities, especially at the leadership level. Russians are Northern Europeans who have been falsely vilified by jews. Stop calling jewish criminals "Russian," just call them jews.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    I have yet to see any evidence of ethnic Russians who are not jewish having any kind of organized crime network anywhere.

    Georgians are heavily represented at the leadership level of Russian “thieves within the code”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thief_in_law#Notable_thieves_in_law

  177. @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer

    I noticed that in Seoul. There seemed to be two Korean races-- one looked like a Chinese-Japanese hybrid, the other a lost Mongolian.

    Replies: @Twinkie

    You are confusing darker, thinner rural people vs. fairer, fleshier urban dwellers with race differences. Koreans have low genetic structure and regional variability is fairly low.

  178. @The Anti-Gnostic
    @Steve Sailer

    Indeed. Not Asiatics, but not Occidentals either.

    https://i.imgur.com/STJioM2.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/tLFpkuI.jpg

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Reg Cæsar

    Solzhenitsyn always reminded me, oddly, of an Ourangatang.

    Sorry, Alexander, you were a great man and novelist.

  179. @R.G. Camara
    It's only been late in life I've realized how businesses can be fronts.

    About a decade or two ago there was a small pizza joint, open late, that was right across from the Boston Garden. Sold really cheap pizza slices that sucked and the service was awful and the small shop was dirty and funky. Drunks would stream out of the Garden after an event and wait in line for pizza, so it seemed that might be their business model, but man, I never understood how it worked.

    Then it closed down because one night at about 3am, the cops busted up a huge party in the backroom/kitchen that had spilled over to the front room where you could see from the street. Turns out the place was a front for a drug dealing gang that laundered the money using the pizza joint.

    They probably never would've gotten caught if they hadn't set up shop outside the Garden and made sure they had those metal security curtains on the business whenever they "closed" so no one could see in. But the Garden sits right on top of a big commuter rail station and subway stop, so its an area cops are always assigned.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @JMcG, @Brutusale, @Cortes, @Muggles, @Jim Christian

    RG, your end of the line is TD Garden. Mine is the end of that line, the Haverhill Line. The T, in other words. Take the Haverhill line and walk down the hill to Washington St. and River and there’s a so-called Smoked Meats and BBQ sign. Beautiful building, they put it up new in 2012 or so. It’s never opened except for a very short period 2 years ago. They actually set up a retail shop with 15 dollar bottles of bbq sauces, stuff like that.. There’s never anyone in the store, I’d go in, call out, no one ever came out to sell me anything. 10 years in now, in November before I came down to Florida for the winter, I went to the beer store next door, the Red Hen. 10pm or so. On the lot behind the ‘BBQ’ store was a collection of cars, Mercedes, Acuras, couple of vettes, you could tell there were folks there. Party maybe. Gangsters, probably. I wanted to carry a case of Sams in and ask who wants a beer? Gangsters are pretty cool to party with as long as you never borrow their money.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    @Jim Christian


    Gangsters are pretty cool to party with as long as you never borrow their money.
     
    My friend's restaurant, having good Italian food and being located just north of the city, eventually attracted some of the local mobsters. They would come in on Friday nights with their girlfriends (Friday was for goomahs, Saturday night was for the wives). They ate big, drank big, talked loud, and spent much cash. Friends of the house were often included in the late-night largess like rounds of cocktails and unlawful Cuban cigars. A friend once asked me if he had to whack someone if he smoked the cigar!
  180. @JR Ewing
    @RobinG


    Identifying with the Tribe was the Get-Out-of-Russia-Free card.
     
    My freshman year roommate at Harvard was a Russian Jew who had emigrated to Providence in the 1980's. A math savant and winner of several distinguished prizes while in high school and quite literally the smartest person I have ever known. He was a TA for a graduate level math class as a freshman. He was also a lazy asshole slob who never went to class and ran around with a crew that would have made the Big Bang Theory blush.

    Last I heard, he was making millions working as a quant on Wall Street.

    There was another Russian immigrant guy on our floor from Brooklyn who was much more open about being jewish. He very much looked the part and acted the part and is now an oncologist on the west coast. Very smart himself but in a different way.

    I learned more Russian (and about jews) just hanging out with the two of them than I ever learned in four years of actual college level classes.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @JohnnyWalker123

    What did you learn exactly?

  181. @Twinkie
    @JohnnyWalker123


    former MMA fighter Igor Zinoviev
     
    His fight with Mario Sperry is an old school MMA classic. His last fight was for the UFC middleweight championship all the way back in UFC 16 against Frank Shamrock who picked him up and then slam-KO’d him in 22 seconds. I think Zinoviev broke his neck and retired.

    https://youtu.be/AYvYTvCG0Cw

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    Damn.

  182. @Mr Wilson
    If I knew how I'd post the Breaking Bad scene where Saul explains to Jesse why owning a nail salon is a smart investment

    Replies: @acementhead

    If I knew how I’d post the Breaking Bad scene where Saul explains to Jesse why owning a nail salon…

    Just copy the URL from your video and paste the link in your reply. Ron’s magic does the rest.

  183. @The Anti-Gnostic
    @Steve Sailer

    Indeed. Not Asiatics, but not Occidentals either.

    https://i.imgur.com/STJioM2.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/tLFpkuI.jpg

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Reg Cæsar

    Indeed. Not Asiatics, but not Occidentals either.

    Accidentals?

  184. @Jim Christian
    @R.G. Camara

    RG, your end of the line is TD Garden. Mine is the end of that line, the Haverhill Line. The T, in other words. Take the Haverhill line and walk down the hill to Washington St. and River and there's a so-called Smoked Meats and BBQ sign. Beautiful building, they put it up new in 2012 or so. It's never opened except for a very short period 2 years ago. They actually set up a retail shop with 15 dollar bottles of bbq sauces, stuff like that.. There's never anyone in the store, I'd go in, call out, no one ever came out to sell me anything. 10 years in now, in November before I came down to Florida for the winter, I went to the beer store next door, the Red Hen. 10pm or so. On the lot behind the 'BBQ' store was a collection of cars, Mercedes, Acuras, couple of vettes, you could tell there were folks there. Party maybe. Gangsters, probably. I wanted to carry a case of Sams in and ask who wants a beer? Gangsters are pretty cool to party with as long as you never borrow their money.

    Replies: @Brutusale

    Gangsters are pretty cool to party with as long as you never borrow their money.

    My friend’s restaurant, having good Italian food and being located just north of the city, eventually attracted some of the local mobsters. They would come in on Friday nights with their girlfriends (Friday was for goomahs, Saturday night was for the wives). They ate big, drank big, talked loud, and spent much cash. Friends of the house were often included in the late-night largess like rounds of cocktails and unlawful Cuban cigars. A friend once asked me if he had to whack someone if he smoked the cigar!

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