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The American Deep State Strikes Back
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After several months of record-breaking traffic our alternative media webzine suffered a sharp blow when it was suddenly purged by Facebook at the end of April. Not only was our rudimentary Facebook page eliminated, but all subsequent attempts by readers to post our articles to the world’s largest social network produced an error message describing the content as “abusive.” Our entire website had been banned.

Facebook publishes a monthly report cataloging its actions to eliminate “improper content,” and although our publication was probably one of the largest and most popular ever so proscribed, the explanation provided was remarkably cursory, with our name mentioned in only two scattered sentences across the 47 page document.

Our investigation linked this network to VDARE, a website known for posting anti-immigration content, and individuals associated with a similar website The Unz Review.

Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their coordination, our investigation linked this network to VDARE, a website known for posting anti-immigration content, and to individuals associated with a similar website The Unz Review.

As I’ve previously discussed, characterizing our alternative media publication as an “anti-immigration” website “similar” to VDare seemed utterly bizarre considering that only about 0.2% of our 2020 content was republished from that source and many months had elapsed since we had last featured a piece on immigration. So I strongly suspected that the claim merely served as an excuse.

I don’t use Facebook or other social networks myself, and noticed little reduction in our daily traffic following that purge, which seemed to underscore our lack of reliance upon social media. But a week later, this abruptly changed, and our regular daily readership dropped by a significant 15-20%, hardly a crippling blow but quite distressing, setting us back many months of previous growth.

This puzzled me. Why would the Facebook ban have had such limited initial impact but then suddenly become so much more serious? Eventually I discovered that a second even more powerful Internet giant had also banned us, which explained the sharp drop. Our entire website and all its many millions of pages of serious content had been silently deranked by Google, thus eliminating nearly all our incoming traffic from search results. A few quick checks confirmed this unfortunate situation, best illustrated by a particularly striking example.

Just over a decade ago, I had published an important article entitled The Myth of Hispanic Crime, and for ten years it had always placed extremely high in Google searches, generally being ranked #2 across the 52,000,000 results for “Hispanic crime” and also #2 among the 139,000,000 results for “Latino crime.” The impact of my analysis on the heated public debate had also been quite considerable, and a few years ago a leading academic specialist even asked me to blurb his book on that subject. But my article had now vanished from all such Google searches.

Although Google holds an overwhelming monopoly for web searches across the Western world, comparable products using similar technology such as Bing and DuckDuckGo do exist, and these still list my article near the top of their results, with Bing ranking it at #2 for “Hispanic crime” and “Latino crime,” while DuckDuckGo places it #4 in each. But no one would ever find it using Google.

The other pages of our website have been similarly blacklisted, effectively eliminated from all web searches courtesy of Google’s information monopoly. This even included the periodical content library that I had built during the 2000s, containing the near-complete archives of hundreds of America’s most influential publications of the last 150 years. Millions of these important articles are available nowhere else, and their disappearance represents a tremendous loss to academic scholarship.

Google still does contains all these pages, and if the additional specifier “unz” is added to the search, the results come up, but for anyone not knowing where to look, our entire website and all its content has completely disappeared. This explained our sudden 15-20% reduction in regular traffic.

Internet law is obviously quite murky, but it seems a great shame if Google has decided to use its software monopoly to severely manipulate search results and deliberately hide important information. The notion of Google “disappearing” an entire website and all its material is surely fraught with peril. Should Google’s executives be allowed to “disappear” whichever politicians or candidates they dislike? Should wealthy individuals or powerful groups be able to pay or lobby Google to have their critics removed from all search results?

During 2018 Google employees themselves took a very strong public stance on exactly these issues, protesting their own company’s willingness to produce a “censored” version of their search engine for use in China, a controversy that reached the national headlines, and soon forced executives to abandon the project. But although Google censorship of content within China still remains an inflammatory topic, Google censorship of American content has now apparently become so routine and accepted that it took me more than a week to discover that our entire website had been thrown down the Orwellian “memory hole.”

I’d always taken great pride in having my Hispanic Crime article spend a decade ranked #2 among nearly 200,000,000 Google results for that important topic, and was dismayed that Google “disappeared” it. But in fairness, I’d have to admit that individuals who make themselves disagreeable to ruling political elites sometimes suffer far worse retaliation. For example, my Saturday morning newspapers carried the latest developments in the unfortunate story of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissenting Saudi journalist whose critical writings in the Washington Post so irritated his government that they had him killed and his body dismembered with a bone-saw. Compared to that, having my articles deranked by Google hardly seems a major complaint.

 

For years our website has published a great deal of extremely controversial material, and many readers are probably much more surprised that Google and Facebook took so long to purge us rather than they finally did so.

 
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Just over a month ago I was riding high and celebrating the steady upward progress of our alternative media webzine. I proudly noted that our traffic had now far surpassed that of the venerable New Republic, a century old publication that had spent decades as America’s most influential opinion magazine.

But pride goeth before the fall. At the end of April we were suddenly purged and banned by Facebook, the world’s leading social network. Not only was our rudimentary Facebook page removed, but every last item of our website content was declared illegal, with all past and future links eliminated. Any attempt to post our material on Facebook now produces an error message reporting that the content is “abusive” and a violation of “community standards.”

Although I personally don’t use Facebook or other social networks, billions of people do, and totally excluding all of our content from that important distribution channel eventually produced a 20% drop in our regular daily traffic, a serious blow that set us back many months.

At first I was rather surprised by this unexpected development. After all, we had already spent years publishing articles and posts of an extremely controversial nature, notably including my own American Pravda series. As far back as 2018, my writings had been attacked by the ADL, though that notoriously ferocious organization seemed rather perfunctory and milquetoast in its denunciation. During all this time, we had not incurred any Facebook penalties, but now we had suddenly been totally banned.

An obvious explanation was the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic. Over 80,000 Americans have died while unemployment has already reached Great Depression levels. During such a tremendous national crisis, strong steps are often taken to maintain social control, and Facebook had come under great pressure to block the distribution of dangerous misinformation on its network, which the company’s top leadership soon promised to do.

Now “misinformation” is a somewhat vague term, and our very extensive Coronavirus coverage had hardly included suggestions that Americans drink bleach or inject themselves with Lysol. But critics have often linked such health care falsehoods with what they considered “conspiracy theories” about Covid-19 and its origins. A new organization had recently taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times that denounced these latter notions in very strong terms, claiming that such ideas were almost as dangerous as the virus itself and spread as rapidly, therefore demanding that they be banned by the leading social networks.

Although the term “conspiracy theory” generally carries a pejorative meaning, if taken as a simple description, I would certainly agree that our website had trafficked in some articles along those lines.

Indeed, just before the Facebook ban I had published a 7,400 word article presenting the considerable circumstantial evidence that our national disaster may have been the unintended blowback from an extremely reckless American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), presumably organized by the Deep State Neocons or other rogue elements within our national security establishment. The piece generated enormous early traffic, more than any of my previous articles, and perhaps twice as many Facebook Likes. The following extracts provide a taste of the material I presented:

As the coronavirus gradually began to spread beyond China’s own borders, another development occurred that greatly multiplied my suspicions. Most of these early cases had occurred exactly where one might expect, among the East Asian countries bordering China. But by late February Iran had become the second epicenter of the global outbreak. Even more surprisingly, its political elites had been especially hard-hit, with a full 10% of the entire Iranian parliament soon infected and at least a dozen of its officials and politicians dying of the disease, including some who were quite senior. Indeed, Neocon activists on Twitter began gleefully noting that their hatred Iranian enemies were now dropping like flies.

Let us consider the implications of these facts. Across the entire world the only political elites that have yet suffered any significant human losses have been those of Iran, and they died at a very early stage, before significant outbreaks had even occurred almost anywhere else in the world outside China. Thus, we have America assassinating Iran’s top military commander on Jan. 2nd and then just a few weeks later large portions of the Iranian ruling elites became infected by a mysterious and deadly new virus, with many of them soon dying as a consequence. Could any rational individual possibly regard this as a mere coincidence?

* * *

For obvious reasons, the Trump Administration has become very eager to emphasize the early missteps and delays in the Chinese reaction to the viral outbreak in Wuhan, and has presumably encouraged our media outlets to direct their focus in that direction.

As an example of this, the Associated Press Investigative Unit recently published a rather detailed analysis of those early events purportedly based upon confidential Chinese documents. Provocatively entitled “China Didn’t Warn Public of Likely Pandemic for 6 Key Days”, the piece was widely distributed, running in abridged form in the NYT and elsewhere. According to this reconstruction, the Chinese government first became aware of the seriousness of this public health crisis on Jan. 14th, but delayed taking any major action until Jan. 20th, a period of time during which the number of infections greatly multiplied.

Last month, a team of five WSJ reporters produced a very detailed and thorough 4,400 word analysis of the same period, and the NYT has published a helpful timeline of those early events as well. Although there may be some differences of emphasis or minor disagreements, all these American media sources agree that Chinese officials first became aware of the serious viral outbreak in Wuhan in early to mid-January, with the first known death occurring on Jan. 11th, and finally implemented major new public health measures later that same month. No one has apparently disputed these basic facts.

 
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My morning newspapers had recently mentioned Facebook’s plans to crack down on misinformation related to our ongoing Covid-19 epidemic, and probably like most other readers I just nodded my head. After all, many Americans might die if cranks or pranksters began promoting highly dubious cures to the deadly disease, perhaps even suggesting that people should inject themselves with Lysol to ward off an infection.

However, those bland public statements took on an entirely different meaning yesterday afternoon when I discovered that all material from The Unz Review had suddenly been banned for alleged violations of “community standards” and our own Facebook page eliminated.

I don’t use Social Media much myself, but others obviously do, and blocking all our website content from access to the 1.7 billion Facebook users seems a pretty drastic step. So it’s quite reasonable to wonder why, and especially why now?

From the very first, the motto of our publication has been A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media, and I think we have fulfilled that pledge, publishing many thousands of articles and posts on an enormous range of extraordinarily controversial and even forbidden topics, notably including my own American Pravda series.

Under such circumstances, being banned by Facebook might hardly seem surprising. However, many of our most extremely controversial pieces were published years ago, drawing angry denunciations from various quarters, but received with apparent equanimity from the Lords of the Social Network. Nearly all of the “touchy” pieces we published in the last couple of weeks seem no more “touchy” than the ones from a year or two years or even three years ago. So what suddenly sparked this unprecedented action?

Although I can’t be sure, I strongly suspect that the triggering event was my own most recent American Pravda article, dealing as it did with the Coronavirus epidemic, the supposed focus of Facebook’s current crackdown. And this piece not only accumulated more early readership than any of my previous articles here, but also two or three times as many Facebook Likes, which might have raised serious concerns in certain quarters.

My previous American Pravda articles have hardly been bland, but disputing the established narrative of the JFK Assassination or World War II might be regarded as mere intellectual exercises, having little practical impact. By contrast, tens of thousands of Americans have already died from the Coronavirus outbreak while our economy has been wrecked. So raising troubling questions about the origins of this gigantic national disaster might be regarded as just too problematical to be allowed distribution on Facebook.

American Pravda: Our Coronavirus Catastrophe as Biowarfare Blowback? was the title of my 7,400 word essay, and I answered that explosive query in the closing section:

As the coronavirus gradually began to spread beyond China’s own borders, another development occurred that greatly multiplied my suspicions. Most of these early cases had occurred exactly where one might expect, among the East Asian countries bordering China. But by late February Iran had become the second epicenter of the global outbreak. Even more surprisingly, its political elites had been especially hard-hit, with a full 10% of the entire Iranian parliament soon infected and at least a dozen of its officials and politicians dying of the disease, including some who were quite senior. Indeed, Neocon activists on Twitter began gleefully noting that their hatred Iranian enemies were now dropping like flies.

Let us consider the implications of these facts. Across the entire world the only political elites that have yet suffered any significant human losses have been those of Iran, and they died at a very early stage, before significant outbreaks had even occurred almost anywhere else in the world outside China. Thus, we have America assassinating Iran’s top military commander on Jan. 2nd and then just a few weeks later large portions of the Iranian ruling elites became infected by a mysterious and deadly new virus, with many of them soon dying as a consequence. Could any rational individual possibly regard this as a mere coincidence?

* * *

Last month, a team of five WSJ reporters produced a very detailed and thorough 4,400 word analysis of the same period, and the NYT has published a helpful timeline of those early events as well. Although there may be some differences of emphasis or minor disagreements, all these American media sources agree that Chinese officials first became aware of the serious viral outbreak in Wuhan in early to mid-January, with the first known death occurring on Jan. 11th, and finally implemented major new public health measures later that same month. No one has apparently disputed these basic facts.

But with the horrific consequences of our own later governmental inaction being obvious, elements within our intelligence agencies have sought to demonstrate that they were not the ones asleep at the switch. Earlier this month, an ABC News story cited four separate government sources to reveal that as far back as late November, a special medical intelligence unit within our Defense Intelligence Agency had produced a report warning that an out-of-control disease epidemic was occurring in the Wuhan area of China, and widely distributed that document throughout the top ranks of our government, warning that steps should be taken to protect US forces based in Asia. After the story aired, a Pentagon spokesman officially denied the existence of that November report, while various other top level government and intelligence officials refused to comment. But a few days later, Israeli television mentioned that in November American intelligence had indeed shared such a report on the Wuhan disease outbreak with its NATO and Israeli allies, thus seeming to independently confirm the complete accuracy of the original ABC News story and its several government sources.

It therefore appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless our intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires.

 
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Nearly 30,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus during the last two weeks, and by some estimates this is a substantial under-count, while the death-toll continues to rapidly mount. Meanwhile, measures to control the spread of this deadly infection have already cost 22 million Americans their jobs, an unprecedented economic collapse that has pushed our unemployment rates to Great Depression levels. Our country is facing a crisis as grave as almost any in our national history.

For many weeks President Trump and his political allies had regularly dismissed or minimized this terrible health threat, and suddenly now faced with such a manifest disaster, they have naturally begun seeking other culprits to blame.

The obvious choice is China, where the global epidemic first began in late 2019. Over the last week or two our media has been increasingly filled with accusations that the dishonesty and incompetence of the Chinese government played a major role in producing our own health catastrophe.

Even more serious charges are also being raised, with senior government officials informing the media that they suspect that the Covid-19 virus was developed in a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan and then carelessly released upon a vulnerable world. Such “conspiracy theories” were once confined to the extreme political fringe of the Internet, but they are now found in the respectable pages of my morning New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Whether plausible or not, such accusations carry the gravest international implications, and there are growing demands that China financially compensate our country for its trillions of dollars in economic losses. A new global Cold War along both political and economic lines may soon be at hand.

 

I have no personal expertise in biowarfare technology, nor access to the secret American intelligence reports that seem to have been taken seriously by our most elite national newspapers. But I do think that a careful exploration of previous Sino-American clashes over the last couple of decades may provide some useful insight into the relative credibility of those two governments as well as that of our own media.

During the late 1990s, America seemed to reach the peak of its global power and prosperity, basking in the aftermath of its historic victory in the long Cold War, while ordinary Americans greatly benefited from the record-long economic expansion of that decade. A huge Tech Boom was at its height, and Islamic terrorism seemed a vague and distant thing, almost entirely confined to Hollywood movies. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the possibility of large scale war seemed to have dissipated so political leaders boasted of the “peace dividend” that citizens were starting to enjoy as our huge military forces, built up over nearly a half-century, were downsized amid sweeping cuts in the bloated defense budget. America was finally returning to a regular peacetime economy, with the benefits apparent to everyone.

At the time, I was overwhelmingly focused on domestic political issues, so I only paid slight attention to our one small military operation of that period, the 1999 NATO air war against Serbia, intended to safeguard the Kosovo Albanians from ethnic cleansing and massacre, a Clinton Administration project that I fully endorsed at the time.

Although our limited bombing campaign seemed quite successful and soon forced the Serbs to the bargaining table, the short war did include one very embarrassing mishap. The use of old maps had led to a targeting error that caused one of our smart bombs to accidentally strike the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three members of its delegation and wounding dozens more. The Chinese were outraged by this incident, and their propaganda organs began claiming that the attack had been deliberate, a reckless accusation that obviously made no logical sense.

In those days I watched the PBS Newshour every night, and was I shocked to see their U.S. Ambassador raise those absurd charges with host Jim Lehrer, whose disbelief matched my own. But when I considered that the Chinese government was still stubbornly denying the reality of its massacre of the protesting students in Tiananmen Square a decade earlier, I concluded that unreasonable behavior by PRC officials was only to be expected. Indeed, there was even some speculation that China was cynically milking the unfortunate accident for domestic reasons, hoping to stoke the sort of jingoist anti-Americanism among the Chinese people that would finally help bind the social wounds of that 1989 outrage.

Such at least were my thoughts on that matter more than two decades ago. But in the years that followed, my understanding of the world and of many pivotal events of modern history underwent the sweeping transformations that I have described in my American Pravda series. And some of my 1990s assumptions were among them.

Consider, for example, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which every June 4th still evokes an annual wave of harsh condemnations in the news and opinion pages of our leading national newspapers. I had never originally doubted those facts, but a year or two ago I happened to come across a short article by journalist Jay Matthews entitled “The Myth of Tiananmen” that completely upended that apparent reality.

According to Matthews the infamous massacre had likely never happened, but was merely a media artifact produced by confused Western reporters and dishonest propaganda, a mistaken belief that had quickly become embedded in our standard media storyline, endlessly repeated by so many ignorant journalists that they all eventually believed it to be true. Instead, as near as could be determined, the protesting students had all left Tiananmen Square peacefully, just as the Chinese government had always maintained. Indeed, leading newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post had occasionally acknowledged these facts over the years, but usually buried those scanty admissions so deep in their stories that few ever noticed. Meanwhile, the bulk of the mainstream media had fallen for an apparent hoax.

Matthews himself had been the Beijing Bureau Chief of the Washington Post, personally covering the protests at the time, and his article appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, our most prestigious venue for media criticism. This authoritative analysis containing such explosive conclusions was first published in 1998, and I find it difficult to believe that many reporters or editors covering China have remained ignorant of this information, yet the impact has been absolutely nil. For over twenty years virtually every mainstream media account I have read has continued to promote the Tiananmen Square Massacre Hoax, usually implicitly but sometimes explicitly.

 

 
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Dr. Sarah Cody. That’s the name of a local government employee probably unknown to almost everyone reading this. Yet I think there’s a good chance that a million or more Americans will owe her their lives. And therein lies a tale…

Last Tuesday President Donald Trump announced that he expected to lift most health restrictions recently imposed due to the Coronavirus epidemic and send the country back to work by Easter, a possibility that shocked and horrified nearly all mainstream health professionals.

No need to worry, I said. I predicted that the exponentially-growing Coronavirus death toll in his home city of New York would have reached such horrifying levels by Easter that his Wall Street friends would persuade him to “pivot” away from such a foolhardy proposal.

At the time I made that prediction, Coronavirus deaths in New York were running at around 50 per day, and they soon jumped to 140 per day, then reached 209 in a 24-hour period by Saturday. Wall Street Wizards are quite familiar with exponential growth, the fundamental basis of compound-interest, and presumably they began to notice what was happening outside their own windows. So on Saturday, Trump announced that rather than any relaxation, he was instead considering an unprecedented federal quarantine of the entire State of New York as well as adjoining parts of of New Jersey and Connecticut, though he later backed down under fierce pressure. Just five days had made all the difference in the world.

The unimaginable human disaster now facing our country has several obvious roots. Our oceans had protected our home front from any attack during the two world wars while modern medicine had rendered disease epidemics a fading memory for three generations. Our arrogant and incompetent national leadership simply could not comprehend the possibility that their missteps might actually kill hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans. Moreover, our mainstream media was equally oblivious, and even if they had sounded the alarm, they had hysterically cried wolf so many times about so many ridiculous things that nobody would have taken them seriously.

But an important contributing factor is surely the inability of most individuals to grasp the unusual dynamics of an exponentially-growing process. In such a situation, seemingly insignificant delays can have enormous consequences.

Let us consider a very simple example in which two similar cities each happen to have 1,000 Coronavirus infections, with a doubling-period of 3 days.

Suppose that the first city immediately implements a complete lock-down, thereby drastically reducing the spread of the disease, and then uses that window of opportunity to track down and temporarily quarantine all the infected. Assuming a 1% death rate, 10 total fatalities will result.

Now suppose the second city takes exactly the same approach, but merely delays implementing the policy for a single week. During that lost week, the number of infected will grow to 5,000, and the resulting five-fold increase in cases requiring hospitalization may overwhelm the local health care system, thereby increasing the death rate to 5%. The result is 250 fatalities. So the delay of a single week has increased the death toll by a factor of 25.

 

I live in Palo Alto, and every now and then I see a squirrel wander into the middle of a street, then remain frozen in fear as an approaching car bears down upon him. Almost invariably, the squirrel leaps away to the nearby pavement at the last moment, saving its life. But occasionally I have noticed the remains of a youthful squirrel who did not react in time.

For a month or two, our national government and its top health officials seemed similarly paralyzed with horror as they began to recognize the oncoming locomotive of a deadly disease rapidly approaching them. But during this crucial period, they did little or nothing and vast numbers of Americans may die as a consequence.

The Coronavirus is extremely contagious and once it has significantly established itself within a community, the only effective means of halting the rapid spread is through a full social lock-down. This approach had been especially necessary in America, given our woeful lack of adequate testing capabilities.

China completely locked down and quarantined the city of Wuhan at a point when only 300 detected infections and 17 deaths had occurred, thereby strictly confining all 11 million residents to their homes. Not long afterward, similar measures were applied to the 60 million residents of the surrounding province of Hubei, and later extended to include some 700 million Chinese across the country, a medical quarantine perhaps a thousand times larger than any such previous effort in human history.

These remarkable Chinese actions shocked and astonished many observers around the world, certainly including myself. But they succeeded brilliantly, and China seems to have almost entirely stamped out the deadly disease at the final cost of just a few thousand deaths. Millions perhaps even tens of millions of Chinese owe their lives to the decisiveness of their bold and courageous national leadership.

 

China and America have different political systems, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The ruling Chinese Communist Party can impose by immediate fiat national policies that are almost unimaginable under America’s Constitutional system, and order these implemented at speeds that seem impossible to us.

I was aware of no precedent in modern American history for locking down a major city for health reasons, an action that appeared completely contrary to our widespread notions of civil liberties and constitutional rights. Moreover, during January and February various anti-China pundits had had a field day attacking and vilifying “totalitarian China” for shutting down its entire economy and confining so many hundreds of millions of its citizens to their own homes, thus rendering it seemingly impossible for any American political leader to propose similar measures.

With so little testing and a three week lag-time between infection and death, only the tiniest sliver of the gigantic Coronavirus iceberg bearing down on the U.S.S. America was visible to the public, and our insouciant mainstream media paid almost no attention to this terrible oncoming danger. Therefore, I regarded it as almost inconceivable that America’s dysfunctional government would take such difficult steps quickly enough to halt the spread of the disease before it became fully endemic and uncontrollable.

My own Santa Clara County was then the national epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak, and the local morning newspapers carried more and more indications of its rapid, almost invisible spread, with a couple of firefighters testing positive one day and a few TSA workers found infected the next. I assumed this pattern of reports would continue and grow exponentially until California was entirely submerged by the rapidly approaching tsunami wave of disease.

 
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The Coronavirus epidemic may soon produce the greatest American disaster since our Civil War over 150 years ago, and numbers reveal the possible magnitude.

For example, New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof on Sunday reported the disheartening analysis of Dr. Neil Ferguson of Britain, one of the world’s leading epidemiologists. According to Dr. Ferguson the “best case” scenario is that the Coronavirus will kill over a million Americans.

Other possible projections are far worse. Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued orders completely locking down his entire state in order to halt the spread of the disease. He justified this decision by explaining that experts had warned him that without drastic changes in behavior, over 25 million Californians would become infected over the following couple of months. Such a calamity would obviously have produced to a total collapse of the state’s health care system, probably resulting in more than a million deaths. A million dead Californians by early summer…

The key to understanding the terrible danger of the Coronavirus is that there is no existing immunity and the disease is highly contagious. Therefore, under ordinary circumstances, the number of infected individuals tends to double every 3-6 days. A doubling-time of 3 days would multiply the ranks of the infected a thousand-fold during the course of a single month.

Thus, in late February Italian political leaders hardly regarded the virus as a serious national threat, but within just a few weeks much of the Italian health care system had collapsed and many thousands of Italians were dead. Despite a full national lockdown, the number of deaths in Italy has continued to rise exponentially.

Similarly, New York reported its first death on March 14th. Yet just ten days later, deaths in that state were running at 50 per day, and rapidly accelerating.

Unfortunately, although numbers are absolutely crucial for our efforts to combat this dread disease, we lack accurate American data, especially with regard to the rate of infection.

The problem is that any program of massive, widespread testing is completely impossible given our lack of sufficient testing resources. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus has a substantial latency period during which victims experience no symptoms, and even afterward many cases are quite mild or even completely asymptomatic, leaving the infected unaware of their condition. So at present, testing has been confined to just a tiny sliver of the population, ensuring that the reported numbers of those infected represents a severe undercount. But we are left to guess just how severe.

However, the Coronavirus death statistics are certainly far more solid and reliable, and I soon noticed a simple and easy means of reasonably estimating Coronavirus infections from Coronavirus deaths. But although the methodology seemed obvious to me, after I described it on a comment-thread yesterday, I encountered quite a bit of initial confusion and disagreement, suggesting that the idea was not nearly as obvious as I had assumed. So on the off-chance that some people might be unfamiliar with the method, I’ve decided to outline it below.

Let us note three crucial Coronavirus parameters, which have already been estimated by medical experts although they are obviously dependent upon particular conditions.

  1. The infection doubling period – probably 3-6 days
  2. The mortality rate – perhaps 1% prior to the collapse of a the local health system.
  3. The typical mortality period (time between infection and death) – according to some estimates, around 3 weeks.

Now consider a Coronavirus death. If we assume a mortality rate of 1% and a three week interval between infection and death, we can therefore estimate that there had been 100 new infections three weeks earlier. Next, if we assume a doubling-period of 6 days, those 100 infections would have increased to 100 * 2^(21/6) = over 1000 infections by the time the death occurred.

Therefore, under these particular assumptions (along with a few simplifications), the true number of total infections can be estimated at over 1000x the number of deaths.

Let’s apply this methodology to a real-life situation. On 3/23/20, New York reported 53 new Coronavirus deaths, bringing the total to 210. This suggests that the true number of new infections that day may have been over 50,000, raising the total infected to more than 200,000. These estimates are eight to ten times larger than the officially-reported Coronavirus totals for New York, namely 4,750 and 25,665.

This estimate of New York infections relied upon a doubling period of six days, and it is quite possible that greater “social distancing” together with the recent lockdown imposed in that state may have considerably increased that parameter this figure, thereby reducing the correct number of infections. But I strongly suspect that the figures provided above are still far closer to the truth than those officially reported by the New York authorities. And there is obviously a huge practical difference between assuming 25,000 infected New Yorkers and believing the true figure is already closer to 200,000.

Here’s another example. The official estimate of Coronavirus infections in Louisiana is currently less than 1,400, but this estimation method suggests that the true total is nearly 50,000, a figure that has vastly different policy implications. While I would put little weight in the precise accuracy of that estimate, I strongly believe it’s much closer to reality than the tiny official total.

Summarizing things, the formula for estimating infections is:

  • Number of infected = Number of Deaths / Mortality_Rate *2^(Mortality_Period/Doubling_Period).

It’s important to recognize that the parameters used may need to be sharply readjusted based upon particular circumstances.

For example, once a health care system collapses, the death rate probably spikes to around 5%, greatly changing the calculation. Similarly, once government lockdowns or other similar measures are taken, the doubling-period of the infection becomes much longer.

Under other circumstances, if a substantial fraction of the deaths are the elderly residents of nursing homes (as was the case in Washington State), the assumed death-rate would be much higher and the doubling-period of the infections generated by the immobile residents lower, significantly altering the appropriate equation.

Finally, this analysis may carry an important policy implication. Suppose that our best and most accurate means of estimating infections is indeed based upon this methodology. We would therefore be using the current death rate to back into the infection rate that that occurred three weeks earlier, so that any analysis of the impact of government policies would necessarily be lagged by three weeks.

Under these circumstances, it would be extremely inadvisable for President Trump or other government officials to rescind any of their lockdown or quarantine decisions until at least three weeks had gone by and the impact of these policies upon the rate of infection became fully apparent.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease 
The JFK Assassination and the 9/11 Attacks?
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From the Peace of Westphalia to the Law of the Jungle

The January 2nd American assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani of Iran was an event of enormous moment.

Gen. Soleimani had been the highest-ranking military figure in his nation of 80 million, and with a storied career of 30 years, one of the most universally popular and highly regarded. Most analysts ranked him second in influence only to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s elderly Supreme Leader, and there were widespread reports that he was being urged to run for the presidency in the 2021 elections.

The circumstances of his peacetime death were also quite remarkable. His vehicle was incinerated by the missile of an American Reaper drone near Iraq’s Baghdad international airport just after he had arrived there on a regular commercial flight for peace negotiations originally suggested by the American government.

Our major media hardly ignored the gravity of this sudden, unexpected killing of so high-ranking a political and military figure, and gave it enormous attention. A day or so later, the front page of my morning New York Times was almost entirely filled with coverage of the event and its implications, along with several inside pages devoted to the same topic. Later that same week, America’s national newspaper of record allocated more than one-third of all the pages of its front section to the same shocking story.

But even such copious coverage by teams of veteran journalists failed to provide the incident with its proper context and implications. Last year, the Trump Administration had declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard “a terrorist organization,” drawing widespread criticism and even ridicule from national security experts appalled at the notion of classifying a major branch of Iran’s armed forces as “terrorists.” Gen. Soleimani was a top commander in that body, and this apparently provided the legal figleaf for his assassination in broad daylight while on a diplomatic peace mission.

But note that Congress has been considering legislation declaring Russia an official state sponsor of terrorism, and Stephen Cohen, the eminent Russia scholar, has argued that no foreign leader since the end of World War II has been so massively demonized by the American media as Russian President Vladimir Putin. For years, numerous agitated pundits have denounced Putin as “the new Hitler,” and some prominent figures have even called for his overthrow or death. So we are now only a step or two removed from undertaking a public campaign to assassinate the leader of a country whose nuclear arsenal could quickly annihilate the bulk of the American population. Cohen has repeatedly warned that the current danger of global nuclear war may exceed what which we faced during the days of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and can we entirely dismiss his concerns?

 

Even if we focus solely upon Gen. Solemaini’s killing and entirely disregard its dangerous implications, there seem few modern precedents for the official public assassination of a top-ranking political figure by the forces of another major country. In groping for past examples, the only ones that come to mind occurred almost three generations ago during World War II, when Czech agents assisted by the Allies assassinated Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1941 and the US military later shot down the plane of Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in 1943. But these events occurred in the heat of a brutal global war, and the Allied leadership hardly portrayed them as official government assassinations. Historian David Irving reveals that when one of Adolf Hitler’s aides suggested that an attempt be made to assassinate Soviet leaders in that same conflict, the German Fuhrer immediately forbade such practices as obvious violations of the laws of war.

The 1914 terrorist assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was certainly organized by fanatical elements of Serbian Intelligence, but the Serbian government fiercely denied its own complicity, and no major European power was ever directly implicated in the plot. The aftermath of the killing soon led to the outbreak of World War I, and although many millions died in the trenches over the next few years, it would have been completely unthinkable for one of the major belligerents to consider assassinating the leadership of another.

A century earlier, the Napoleonic Wars had raged across the entire continent of Europe for most of a generation, but I don’t recall reading of any governmental assassination plots during that era, let alone in the quite gentlemanly wars of the preceding 18th century when Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa disputed ownership of the wealthy province of Silesia by military means. I am hardly a specialist in modern European history, but after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War and regularized the rules of warfare, no assassination as high-profile as that of Gen. Soleimani comes to mind.

The bloody Wars of Religion during previous centuries did see their share of assassination schemes. For example, I think that Philip II of Spain supposedly encouraged various plots to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England on grounds that she was a murderous heretic, and their repeated failure helped persuade him to launch the ill-fated Spanish Armada; but being a pious Catholic, he probably would have balked at using the ruse of peace-negotiations to lure Elizabeth to her doom. In any event, that was more than four centuries ago, so America has now placed itself in rather uncharted waters.

 

Different peoples possess different political traditions, and this may play a major role in influencing the behavior of the countries they establish. Bolivia and Paraguay were created in the early 18th century as shards from the decaying Spanish Empire, and according to Wikipedia they have experienced nearly three dozen successful coups in their history, the bulk of these prior to 1950, while Mexico has had a half-dozen. By contrast, the U.S. and Canada were founded as Anglo-Saxon settler colonies, and neither history records even a failed attempt.

During our Revolutionary War, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and our other Founding Fathers fully recognized that if their effort failed, they would all be hanged as rebels by the British. However, I have never heard that they feared falling to an assassin’s blade, nor that King George III ever considered such an underhanded means of attack. During the first century and more of our nation’s history, nearly all our presidents and other top political leaders traced their ancestry back to the British Isles, and political assassinations were exceptionally rare, with Abraham Lincoln’s death being one of the very few that come to mind.

 
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Pat Buchanan and “the Unnecessary War”

In late 2006 I was approached by Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative (TAC), who told me that his small magazine was on the verge of closing without a large financial infusion. I’d been on friendly terms with McConnell since around 1999, and greatly appreciated that he and his TAC co-founders had been providing a focal point of opposition to America’s calamitous foreign policy of the early 2000s.

In the wake of 9/11, the Israel-centric Neocons had somehow managed to seize control of the Bush Administration while also gaining complete ascendancy over America’s leading media outlets, purging or intimidating most of their critics. Although Saddam Hussein clearly had no connection to the attacks, his status as a possible regional rival to Israel had established him as their top target, and they soon began beating the drums for war, with America finally launching its disastrous invasion in FebruaryMarch 2003.

Among print magazines, TAC stood almost alone in whole-hearted opposition to these policies, and had attracted considerable attention when Founding Editor Pat Buchanan published “Whose War?”, pointing the finger of blame directly at the Jewish Neocons responsible, a truth very widely recognized in political and media circles but almost never publicly voiced. David Frum, a leading promoter of the Iraq War, had almost simultaneously unleashed a National Review cover story denouncing as “unpatriotic”—and perhaps “anti-Semitic”—a very long list of conservative, liberal, and libertarian war critics, with Buchanan near the very top, and the controversy and name-calling continued for some time.

Given this recent history, I was concerned that TAC‘s disappearance might leave a dangerous political void, and being then in a relatively strong financial position, I agreed to rescue the magazine and become its new owner. Although I was much too preoccupied with my own software work to have any direct involvement, McConnell named me publisher, probably hoping to bind me to his magazine’s continuing survival and ensure future financial infusions. My title was purely a nominal one, and over the next few years, aside from writing additional checks my only involvement usually amounted to a five-minute phone call each Monday morning to see how things were going.

About a year after I began supporting the magazine, McConnell informed me that a major crisis was brewing. Although Pat Buchanan had severed his direct ties with the publication some years earlier, he was by far the best-known figure associated with TAC, so that it was still widely—if erroneously—known as “Pat Buchanan’s magazine.” But now McConnell had heard that Buchanan was planning to release a new book supposedly glorifying Adolf Hitler and denouncing America’s participation in the world war to defeat the Nazi menace. Promoting such bizarre beliefs would surely doom Buchanan’s career, but TAC was already under continuous attack by Jewish activists, and the resulting “Neo-Nazi” guilt by association might easily sink the magazine as well.

In desperation, McConnell had decided to protect his publication by soliciting a very hostile review by conservative historian John Lukacs, which would thereby insulate TAC from the looming disaster. Given my current role as TAC‘s funder and publisher, he naturally sought my approval in this harsh break with his own political mentor. I told him that the Buchanan book certainly sounded rather ridiculous and his own defensive strategy a pretty reasonable one, and I quickly returned to the problems I faced in my own all-consuming software project.

Although I’d been a little friendly with Buchanan for a dozen years or so, and greatly admired his courage in opposing the Neocons on foreign policy, I wasn’t too surprised to hear that he might be publishing a book promoting some rather strange ideas. Just a few years earlier, he’d released The Death of the West, which became an unexpected best-seller. After my friends at TAC had raved about its brilliance, I decided to read it for myself, and was greatly disappointed. Although Buchanan had generously quoted an excerpt from my own Commentary cover-story “California and the End of White America,” I felt that he’d completely misconstrued my meaning, and the book overall seemed a rather poorly-constructed and rhetorically right-wing treatment of the complex issues of immigration and race, topics upon which I’d been heavily focusing since the early 1990s. So under the circumstances, I was hardly surprised that the same author was now publishing some equally silly book about World War II, perhaps causing severe problems for his erstwhile TAC colleagues.

Months later, Buchanan’s history and the hostile TAC review both appeared, and as expected, a storm of controversy erupted. Mainstream publications had largely ignored the book, but it seemed to receive enormous praise from alternative writers, some of whom fiercely denounced TAC for having attacked it. Indeed, the response was so extremely one-sided that when McConnell discovered that a totally obscure blogger somewhere had agreed with his own negative appraisal, he immediately circulated those remarks in a desperate attempt at vindication. Longtime TAC contributors whose knowledge of history I much respected, including Eric Margolis and William Lind, had praised the book, so my curiosity finally got the better of me and I decided to order a copy and read it for myself.

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I was quite surprised to discover a work very different from what I had expected. I had never paid much attention to twentieth century American history and my knowledge of European history in that same era was only slightly better, so my views were then mostly rather conventional, having been shaped by my History 101 courses and what I’d picked up in decades of reading my various newspapers and magazines. But within that framework, Buchanan’s history seemed to fit quite comfortably.

The first part of his volume provided what I had always considered the standard view of the First World War. In his account of events, Buchanan explained how the complex network of interlocking alliances had led to a giant conflagration even though none of the existing leaders had actually sought that outcome: a huge European powder-keg had been ignited by the spark of an assassination in Sarajevo.

 
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
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The death of Sen. John McCain last August revealed some important truths about the nature of our establishment media.

McCain’s family had released word of his incurable brain cancer many months earlier and his passing at age 84 was long expected, so media outlets great and small had possessed all the time necessary for producing and polishing the packages they eventually published, and that was readily apparent from the voluminous nature of the tributes that they ran. The New York Times, still our national newspaper of record, allocated more than three full pages of its printed edition to the primary obituary, and this was supplemented by a considerable number of other articles and sidebars. I cannot recall any political figure other than an American president whose passing had ever received such an enormous wealth of coverage, and perhaps even some former residents of the Oval Office might have fallen short of that standard. Although I certainly didn’t bother reading all of the tens of thousands of words in the Times or my other newspapers, the coverage of McCain’s life and career seemed exceptionally laudatory across the mainstream media, liberal and conservative alike, with scarcely a negative word appearing anywhere outside the political fringe.

On the face of it, such undiluted political love for McCain might seem a bit odd to those who have followed his activities over the last couple of decades. After all, the Times and most of the other leading lights of our media firmament are purportedly liberal and claim to have become vehement critics of our disastrous Iraq War and other military adventures, let alone the calamitous possibility of an attack upon Iran. Meanwhile, McCain was universally regarded as the leading figure in America’s “War Party,” eagerly supporting all prospective and retrospective military endeavors with gleeful fury, and even making his chant of “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” the most widely remembered detail of his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. So either our major media outlets somehow overlooked such striking differences on an absolutely central issue, or perhaps their true positions on certain matters are not exactly what they seem to be, and merely constitute elements of a Kabuki-performance aimed at deceiving their more naive readers.

Even more remarkable were the discordant facts airbrushed out of McCain’s history.

As the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and two George Polk awards, the late Sydney Schanberg was widely regarded as one of the greatest American war correspondents of the twentieth century. His exploits during our ill-fated Indo-Chinese War had become the basis of the Oscar-winning film The Killing Fields, which probably established him as the most famous journalist in America after Woodward and Bernstein of Watergate fame, and he had also served as a top editor at The New York Times. A decade ago, he published his greatest expose, providing a mountain of evidence that America had deliberately left behind hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and he fingered then-presidential candidate John McCain as the central figure in the later official cover-up of that monstrous betrayal. The Arizona senator had traded on his national reputation as our best-known former POW to bury the story of those abandoned prisoners, permitting America’s political establishment to escape serious embarrassment. As a result, Sen. McCain earned the lush rewards of our generous ruling elites, much like his own father Admiral John S. McCain, Sr., who had led the cover-up of the deliberate 1967 Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, which killed or wounded over 200 American servicemen.

As publisher of The American Conservative, I ran Schanberg’s remarkable piece as a cover story, and across several websites over the years it has surely been read many hundreds of thousands of times, including a huge spike around the time of McCain’s death. I therefore find it rather difficult to believe that the many journalists investigating McCain’s background might have remained unaware of this material. Yet no hints of these facts were provided in any of the articles appearing in any remotely prominent media outlets as can be seen by searching for web pages containing “McCain and Schanberg” dated around the time of the Senator’s passing.

Schanberg’s journalistic stature had hardly been forgotten by his former colleagues. Upon his death a couple of years ago, the Times ran a very long and glowing obituary, and a few months later I attended the memorial tribute to his life and career held at the New York Times headquarters building, which more than two hundred prominent journalists mostly from his own generation, including those of the highest rank. Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. gave a speech describing how as a young man he had always so greatly admired Schanberg and had been mortified by the unfortunate circumstances of his departure from the family’s newspaper. Former Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld recounted the many years he had worked closely with the man he had long considered his closest friend and colleague, someone whom he almost seemed to regard as his older brother. But during the two hours of praise and remembrance scarcely a single word was uttered in public about the gigantic story that had occupied the last two decades of Schanberg’s celebrated career.

This same blanket of media silence also enveloped the very serious accusations regarding McCain’s own Vietnam War record. A few years ago, I drew upon the Times and other fully mainstream sources to strongly suggest that McCain’s stories of his torture as a POW were probably fictional, invented to serve as a cover and an excuse for the very real record of his wartime collaboration with his Communist captors. Indeed, at the time our American media reported his activities as one of the leading propagandists of our North Vietnamese foes, but these facts were later flushed down the memory-hole. McCain’s father then ranked as one of America’s top military officers, and it seems likely that his personal political intervention ensured that the official narrative of his son’s wartime record was transmuted from traitor to war-hero, thereby allowing the younger McCain to later embark upon his celebrated political career.

 

The story of the abandoned Vietnam POWs and McCain’s own Communist propaganda broadcasts hardly exhaust the catalog of the major skeletons in the late Senator’s closet. McCain was regularly described by reporters as being remarkably hot-headed and having a violent temper, but the national press left it to the alternative media to investigate the real-life implications of those rather suggestive phrases.

 
How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...
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As I was growing up in the suburban San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s, organized crime seemed like a very distant thing, confined to the densely-populated cities of the East Coast or to America’s past, much like the corrupt political machines with which it was usually associated.

I never heard any stories of ballot-box stuffing or political precinct captains controlling a swath of no-show city jobs or traffic tickets being “fixed” by a friend at City Hall. The notion of local grocery stores paying protection money or taking numbers bets from their clientele on behalf of bookies would have seemed quite outlandish to me.

All these personal impressions were strongly reinforced by the electronic media that so heavily shapes our perceptions of reality. A couple of the popular shows I sometimes watched in reruns were the police procedural dramas Dragnet and Adam-12, both set in Southern California, and although each episode focused on one or more serious crimes, these were almost never of the “organized” variety. The same was true for Perry Mason episodes, although those longer courtroom dramas would have been naturally suited to the plotting of Syndicate members. The popular Rockford Files of the late 1970s did sometimes feature mobsters, but these individuals were almost always temporary visitors to LA from New York or Chicago or Las Vegas, with the plotlines sometimes humorously treating these gangsters as struggling fish out of water in the very different world of sunny Southern California. By contrast, a contemporaneous detective show set in New York like Kojak seemed to feature mafioso characters in every third or fourth episode.

The offerings of the Silver Screen generally followed the same pattern. Gangster films, ranging from the crudest B-flick to the Academy Award-winning Godfather masterpieces, were almost never set on the West Coast. And although a film like Roman Polanski’s Chinatown might be focused on the deadly criminal intrigues of the 1930s Los Angeles financial elitess, the villain was just a ruthless businessman, employing a couple of murderous hired thugs.

Children soon become aware that the dramatic concoctions of Hollywood are not necessarily accurate, but when everything we see on screens big and small so closely matches our direct personal experience, that amalgamation of images and daily life produces a very firm sense of reality.

Even the occasional exception seemed to support the general rule. In the 1970s, I remember once watching a local television news crew interview an elderly Jewish man named Mickey Cohen on a local park bench, breathlessly describing him as having once been the reigning mobster king of Los Angeles. While I didn’t doubt that in bygone days the crotchety little fellow had once been a hardened criminal, I remained somewhat skeptical that LA had ever contained enough gangsters to warrant having a king, let alone that such a figure would have been drawn from our notoriously law-abiding Jewish community.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s crime became a steadily rising problem in the once-quiet suburbs of Los Angeles, but virtually none of those incidents seemed much like a Francis Ford Coppola epic. The Crips and Bloods of South-Central regularly killed each other and innocent bystanders, while burglaries and robberies—as well as occasional rapes and murders—sometimes spilled over the Hollywood Hills into the Valley. Terrifying serial killers like the Hillside Strangler provoked widespread fear as did the horrible deeds of the Manson Family, while the fiery final shootout of the Symbionese Liberation Army near Inglewood drew national headlines; but none of this seemed much like activities of the Gambinos or Columbos of NYC. Indeed, I and my friends would sometimes joke that since the Mafia was supposedly so effective at keeping street crime away from its New York neighborhoods, perhaps LA would have been better off if it had had a sizeable Sicilian population.

When I sometimes gave the matter a little thought, the utter lack of any organized crime in California seemed fairly easy to explain. East Coast cities had been settled by waves of foreign immigrants, impoverished newcomers who spoke no English, and their total ignorance of American ways left them quite vulnerable to criminal exploitation. Such situations were an ideal breeding ground for corruption, political machines, and crime syndicates, with the centuries-old secret societies of Sicily and Southern Italy providing the obvious seeds for the last of those. Meanwhile, most of California had been settled by longstanding American citizens, often relocating from the placid Midwest, with Iowans who spoke perfect English and whose families had been voting in U.S. elections for six generations being far less vulnerable to political intimidation or criminal exploitation.

 

Since organized crime obviously did not exist in California, I was never quite sure how much to believe about its supposed size and power elsewhere in the country. Al Capone had been imprisoned and died decades before I was born and with the end of Roaring Twenties, violent gangsterism seemed to have mostly disappeared as well. Every now and then the newspapers might carry the story of an Eastern Mafia chieftain killed by his rivals, but those occasional events provided little indication about the power those individuals had wielded while alive. In 1977, teenage members of an obscure Chinese immigrant street gang in San Francisco used automatic weapons to attack their rivals at a local restaurant, leaving sixteen dead or wounded, a body-count that seemed comparable to the total number of traditional Mafia killings nationwide over a period of several years.

During the 1970s I also starting hearing lurid tales that the Mafia had stolen the 1960 election for President John F. Kennedy and might even have been involved in his subsequent assassination, but the respectable media seemed to treat those claims with enormous scorn, so I tended to regard them as National Enquirer type nonsense, not much different than ridiculous UFO stories. Growing up when I did, the Kennedys had seemed like America’s own royal family, and I was very skeptical that control of the White House at the absolute height of the American Century had been swung by Mafia bosses. There were stories that Old Joe Kennedy, the family patriarch, had dabbled in bootlegging during the 1920s, but that had been during Prohibition, a very different era than the aftermath of the quiet and prosperous Eisenhower years of the 1950s.

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Twentieth century American history had never been of much interest to me, so I am not entirely sure at what point my understanding of these issues began to change. I think it may have been just a few years ago, when I was absolutely shocked to discover that there was overwhelming evidence that the JFK Assassination had indeed been part of a large conspiracy, a revelation absolutely contrary to what I had always been led to believe by the media throughout my life. But when a highly-regarded national journalist such as David Talbot gathered the copious evidence in his book Brothers, and his conclusions were endorsed by an eminent presidential historian such as Alan Brinkley writing in the pages of the august New York Times, such a shift became unavoidable. And it seemed clear that elements of organized crime had been heavily involved in that presidential assassination.

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RonUnz1
About Ron Unz

A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.

He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.

In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.

In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.

After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.


Personal Classics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...