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Back in early May, Google had taken the remarkable step of deranking our entire website, placing our many thousands of content pages near the absolute bottom of its search results, where almost no one would ever see them. If a user included the keyword “unz” in a search string, our pages would still come up, but otherwise they would be almost totally invisible. So people specifically looking for our website could still find it, but almost no one else.

Google holds a monopoly over worldwide search results, having a total market share greater than 90% and therefore functioning as a global gatekeeper to the Internet, so this harsh action had serious consequences. Our regular daily traffic dropped by 15% or more, especially reducing the inflow of casual new visitors who might discover our alternative media webzine in an unrelated search. The national wave of urban turmoil that broke out at the end of that same month soon overwhelmed this decline and lifted our traffic to new heights. But the severe loss of new readers remained. So although our daily pageviews have set new records, the number of daily visitors to our website has remained substantially diminished.

Then a couple of weeks ago, various journalists reported an even more severe manipulation of Google’s search system, with dozens of top Republican-leaning websites, including Breitbart and Drudge, suddenly discovering that all their content had entirely disappeared from Google although liberal-leaning publications remained unaffected. This search engine “glitch” ended within a day and the conservative websites reappeared, but there was widespread speculation that Google had added a “kill switch” that could cleanse the Internet of all right-wing content at a moment’s notice, and someone had inadvertently tested this powerful new media weapon in public, thereby revealing its existence.

A presidential election is less than three months away, and conservatives have long complained that the Silicon Valley tech giants are biased against them. So the very real possibility that Google was road-testing the ability to “disappear” all their publications at some crucial moment would surely raise concerns even among the most level-headed individuals.

Therefore, I naturally assumed that this crucial issue of biased search results would become a central point of questioning during last week’s Congressional testimony of Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Surely, the Republican members of the committee would ask him why all the websites in their ideological camp had suddenly disappeared from Google, and whether this suggested deliberate plans by the Monopolist of Mountain View to slant its search results against their side of the aisle. Google displays the results of six billion searches each day, so this would probably have a political impact millions of times greater than the alleged “RussiaGate manipulation” that had so dominated our national headlines for many months.

However, I was sorely mistaken. Neither the national newspapers nor other publications reported any such line of questioning. This suggested that the Republican members of the committee were either reluctant to antagonize their powerful witness, or more likely, were just too ignorant of the Internet to realize that if Google suddenly “disappeared” all their media outlets, many of their voters and their own seats in Congress would soon follow. So I was forced to listen to the entire three and a half hour hearing on YouTube, then afterward hunted around in vain for a complete transcript.

 

Although the Republicans made little attempt to pin down Google’s chief, some of Pichai’s responses certainly seemed to suggest that Google was committed to providing unbiased search results, especially during his questioning by Rep. Steve King (IA). He assured his listeners that Google never “put its thumb on the scale” of search results, nor allowed “manual intervention” to corrupt its objective algorithms. Any casual listener would surely assume that Google search results were solely ranked based upon the number and quality of links and sources rather than modified for reasons of ideological bias or political expediency. Yet it is quite easy to demonstrate the contrary. I recounted last year:

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.

 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: American Media, Censorship, Google, McCain/POW 
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The last few weeks have seen the greatest wave of American urban unrest in two generations. Massive protests, riots, and looting have swept across dozens of our major cities, accompanied by an enormous amount of political vandalism, often targeting monuments to our country’s former presidents and other historical figures.

Most importantly, powerful elements of our political, corporate, and media elite have now declared their support for various policy goals of the newly-elevated Black Lives Matter movement, even sometimes agreeing that local police departments should be “defunded” and that our most celebrated national heroes such as Washington and Jefferson should be removed from their places of honor in our nation’s capital, proposals that would have been dismissed as utter lunacy just a couple of months ago. Many observers, not least in China, have noted the striking similarities this turmoil bears to aspects of Mao’s Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s. We seem rapidly heading towards some unknown but probably unfortunate destination.

This enormous national upheaval has centered on race, probably leading many individuals to reassess their racial understanding of the world. But some of these shifts may have been in less expected directions.

I recently received a short email from someone in his thirties with whom I’d been a little friendly over the last dozen years. He had spent most of that period solidly located within the racialist/HBD right-wing, regularly writing for some of its publications and even working with some of its leading figures during part of that period. This background lent particular weight to his conclusions.

He entitled his note “You were a prophet” and then declared:

I was a fool to believe that immigration mattered, that there was anything in American politics and culture other than the sadomasochistic relationship between white liberals and blacks.

He also provided some harsh appraisals of prominent anti-immigration right-wingers:

It’s amazing just how wrong people like Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan, and Steve Sailer have been on all these issues…Their mistakes are partly racialism, but more a degenerate nationalism, that ends up sympathizing more with criminals than honest people who contribute to society and mind their own business.

Although my correspondent did not refer to any particular articles of mine, there was really no need. Over the last quarter century, I have published hundreds of thousands of words on the contentious subjects of immigration and race, and my most recent writings take positions not much different from those that I had presented in the early 1990s.

Over the last few years and especially since the election of President Donald Trump, immigration has returned to the center stage of American politics, becoming the primary focus of most right-wing activists and pundits.

I regarded this approach as extremely misguided and counter-productive. Three years ago in the aftermath of the Charlottesville debacle, I circulated a private letter to a couple of dozen prominent figures in the reigning Alt-Right movement, then publicly released it the following year, along with two lengthy columns devoted to similar topics. These three pieces together provoked an enormous outpouring of responses, amounting to nearly 4,000 comments and 600,000 words, with some supportive but the overwhelming majority quite hostile. Those so interested may wish to revisit those discussions and decide for themselves whether or not my analysis has proven correct.

 

From the time I first became involved in immigration issues three decades ago, it soon became apparent that the overwhelming majority of the strong opposition was racially-driven. John Tanton was the original founder of the modern movement and he had his roots in environmentalism and population control, while Roy Beck, a more recent leading figure, seemed most concerned with the impact of a heavy inflow of foreign workers upon native employment. But such individuals were the clear exceptions. I would say that something like 90% of the energetic core of the anti-immigration groups were soft-core or perhaps crypto-White Nationalists, with the movement representing a safe and somewhat “politically correct” berth for once-common ideological views that had gradually become too controversial to directly advocate.

During all of this time, a dystopian nightmare scenario dominated the fears of these individuals, involving the collapse of our stable middle-class society under a massive influx of non-white foreigners, a population impossible to assimilate and deeply hostile to our culture. Crime and social disorder would skyrocket and the cherished symbols of our national heritage would come under fierce attack. Once California and the rest of the Southwest became heavily Hispanic, a secessionist movement would naturally become a powerful political force, possibly seeking to reunite with Mexico

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This sort of apocalyptic vision was indicated by the title of one of the earliest works in the genre, The Path to National Suicide, published in 1990 by the late Lawrence Auster. Over the years, several bestsellers have been produced along roughly similar lines, including Peter Brimelow’s Alien Nation in 1995, Pat Buchanan’s Death of the West in 2001, and most recently Ann Coulter’s Adios America! in 2015. Even figures of the highest academic repute have sometimes voiced similar fears, with Harvard’s Samuel P. Huntington, one of America’s most eminent political scientists, publishing The Clash of Civilizations in 1996 and Who Are We? in 2004.

And whether we take our information from the pages of the New York Times articles or from informal smartphone videos, exactly these long-dreaded scenes of violent disorder and cultural upheaval have now appeared throughout much of our country. But the circumstances have been quite different than any of these writers had predicted.

Over the last few decades, America’s urban centers have been become overwhelmingly non-white and heavily immigrant, with residents of European ancestry these days reduced to less than 35% of the total. But within that national average, some cities are still largely white, and these have demonstrated an intriguing pattern.

 
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Early yesterday morning I received a worried note from one of our regular columnists saying our website no longer came up in any Google search results.

Google and Facebook are the top gatekeepers to the global Internet, and in early May they had both purged us, with Facebook blocking our content and Google de-ranking all of our pages.

Google search results had previously placed many of our pieces very high, but now they no longer appeared at all unless one included “unz” in the search string. Thus, only those actually looking for us would ever find our content.

But this latest blow was even more severe, and now neither searches with nor without “unz” ever seemed to return any of our pages. Google had apparently “disappeared” us from the entire Internet.

Despite the earlier Facebook and Google bans, our traffic had easily broken all records in June, with our uniquely alternative perspectives overcoming the setback inflicted by the Internet giants. So apparently the Monopolist of Mountain View had decided to turns its screws a little tighter.

As it happens, I was somewhat mistaken. Later that day, I discovered a similar fate had befallen a very wide range of popular conservative and Republican-leaning websites, including those offering very mainstream and moderate perspectives:

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/techwatch/corinne-weaver/2020/07/21/updated-google-blacklists-newsbusters-conservative-sites

https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/21/google-appears-to-test-its-ability-to-blacklist-conservative-media-ahead-of-election/

FoxNews host Tucker Carlson currently has the highest rated show in cable history, but Google had decided that his websites no longer exist:

http://www.tuckercarlson.com/

https://www.foxnews.com/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight

So apparently our “controversial” content had had little connection with our total disappearance from the Internet. Instead, a Google censor had decided we were some sort of conservative website, to be purged along with all the others.

I felt a little like the secret leader of the biggest Trotskyite network in the 1930s USSR, suddenly arrested in the middle of the night in an NKVD raid and thrown into a dank interrogation cell, where I desperately wondered “Who had betrayed me?!” But then I eventually discovered that 50,000 other people had been rounded up that same night, mostly for complaining that the bread they recently bought had been stale…and I remembered complaining about stale bread to someone the previous week…

As it happens, Google’s sudden total removal of all those websites including our own turned out to be temporary, and the search results were soon returned to what they had been the day before, with our pages still merely de-ranked and almost impossible to find rather than entirely eliminated. But the incident highlighted the absurd political and media power now allowed to a private company and its top executives.

Google’s share of the search engine market is nearly 90%, both in the US and worldwide, and Facebook has almost an equally strong monopoly in social networking. They are the gatekeepers to the Internet, and does it really make sense to allow them to have the power to “disappear” whatever websites or political candidates they don’t like? Should the phone companies be able to permanently cut off your service if you say something they don’t like?

During the Golden Age of television, if one network had controlled 90% of the American audience, it surely would have been treated as a regulated monopoly, and required to behave in an even-handed and fair manner. Shouldn’t Google and Facebook be held to the same standard?

 

Patterns may or may not be indicate of ultimate causes, but our alternative media website had spent five years providing material of an extremely controversial nature without encountering any difficulties with Internet gatekeepers, while our traffic steadily rose. Then, in late April I published an extremely popular article presenting the strong evidence that our disastrous Covid-19 outbreak was probably the unintentional blowback from an exceptionally reckless American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), and within days we had been purged by both Facebook and Google. So it seems possible that the juxtaposition of these two occurrences may be more than purely coincidental.

Although our traffic has subsequently reached new heights, the Google ban was especially vexing to me, for reasons that I have noted:

For the last ten years, my article The Myth of Hispanic Crime had regularly ranked #2 among the 180 million search results Google returned for “Latino Crime” and the 60 million for “Hispanic Crime,” an achievement for which I had become inordinately proud. But although comparable search engines such as Bing and DuckDuckGo still rank my piece near the very top, Google has completely “disappeared” it.

I think a reasonable measure of a topic’s importance is the total number of search results it returns. Communism and Communists dominated the entire twentieth century and the political party of that name still holds sway in gigantic China. So a search on “Communism” returns 163 million results, a vast number but still somewhat below the total for “Latino Crime.” Imagine how an academic or journalist might feel if his article analyzing Communism had spent a full decade ranked #2 across the entire Internet, but Google had then suddenly decided to blacklist it for reasons entirely unrelated to its intrinsic or objective quality.

Still, these unfortunate developments are hardly comparable to those experienced under some other regimes of the twentieth century. I’ve finally gotten around to reading the The Black Book of Communism, that authoritative 1997 account of the USSR and the numerous other regimes which adopted a similar ideology, and although I’m only half way through the 800 pages, the mass-executions and wholesale imprisonments that found throughout make for rather depressing material.

Moreover, there are disturbing indications that our own tottering society is now heading in some extremely negative direction, a scenario in which de-rankings by Google would constitute only the most minor of petty grievances. Former CIA Officer Philip Giraldi has always been an extremely level-headed individual, but yesterday he published an extremely popular column evocatively entitled “A Nation Falling Apart,” which included the statement “There are a lot of indications that the American stratocruiser is about to crash.”

A few days ago, I had made some of these same points when I was interviewed at length by Luis Razo Bravo of the European Institute of Science in Management, who had studied during the 1980s under Richard Herrnstein of Harvard and whose other recent guests had included Charles Murray and the eminent theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Censorship, Facebook, Google 
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Our website traffic easily broke all records for the month of June, and these high levels have now continued into July, suggesting that the huge rise produced by the initial wave of Black Lives Matters protests may be more than temporary. It appears that many new readers first discovered our alternative webzine at that point, and quite a few have stayed on as regular visitors.

This represents a sharp turnaround after May, when our near-simultaneous banning by both Google and Facebook at the beginning of that month caused our previously strong traffic to decline by 15% or more.

A longer-term factor that may be strengthening our position is the unprecedented wave of ideological purges that have swept our country since early June, with prominent figures in the intellectual and media firmaments being especially hard hit. When opinion-leaders become fearful of uttering even slightly controversial words, they either grow silent or only mouth the most saccharine homilies, thereby forcing many of their erstwhile readers to look elsewhere for more candid discussions. And our own webzine is about as “elsewhere” as one could possibly get.

Take, for example, the New York Times, more than ever our national newspaper of record. For the last few years, one of its top figures had been Editorial Page Editor James Bennet, who had previously run The Atlantic, and he was widely considered a leading candidate to assume the same position at the Gray Lady after next year’s scheduled retirement of the current top editor. Indeed, with his brother serving as U.S. Senator from Colorado—and a serious if second-rank presidential candidate—the Lifestyle section of the Washington Post had already hailed the Bennet brothers as the potential saviors of the American establishment.

But then his paper published an op-ed by an influential Republican senator endorsing President Trump’s call for a harsh crackdown on riots and looting, and a Twitter mob of outraged junior Times staffers organized a revolt. The mission of the NYT Opinion Pages is obviously to provide a diversity of opinions, but Bennet was quickly purged.

A similar fate befell the highly-regarded longtime editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer after his paper ran a headline considered insufficiently respectful to black rioters. Michigan State University researchers had raised doubts about the accepted narrative of black deaths at the hands of police, and physicist Stephen Hsu, the Senior Vice President who had supported their work, was forced to resign his administrative position as a consequence.

Numerous other figures of lesser rank have been purged, their careers and livelihoods destroyed for Tweeting out a phrase such as “All Lives Matter,” whose current classification as “hate speech” might have stunned even George Orwell. Or perhaps a spouse or other close relative had denounced the black rioters. The standards of acceptable discourse are changing so rapidly that positions which were completely innocuous just a few weeks ago have suddenly become controversial or even forbidden, with punishments sometimes inflicted on a retroactive basis.

I am hardly alone in viewing this situation with great concern. Just last week, some 150 prominent American writers, academics, and intellectuals published an open letter in Harpers expressing their grave concern over protecting our freedom of speech and thought.

Admittedly, the credentials of some of the names on the list were rather doubtful. After all, David Frum and various hard-core Neocons had themselves led the effort to purge from the media all critics of Bush’s disastrous Iraq War, and more recently they have continued to do with same with regard to our irrational hostility towards Putin’s Russia. But the principled histories of other signers such as Noam Chomsky partially compensated for the inclusion of such unpleasant opportunists.

Although the Harpers statement attracted many stars of our liberal firmament, apparently few people read Harpers these days, with its website traffic being just a tenth of our own. Therefore, the reaction in the media itself was a much more important factor, and this seems to have been decidedly mixed. 150 rather obscure activists soon issued a contrasting statement, which major outlets such as NYT, CNN, and the Los Angeles Times seem to have accorded equal or greater weight, hardly suggesting that the ideological tide has started to turn.

 

Back a couple of years ago, there was a popular joke going around Chinese social media in which Chairman Mao came back to life with all sorts of questions about the modern world. Among other things, he was informed his disastrous Cultural Revolution had shifted to America, a prescient observation given the events of the last few weeks:

The controversial May 25th death of a black man named George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody soon set off the greatest nationwide wave of protests, riots, and looting in at least two generations, and the once-placid hometown of the Mary Tyler Moore Show alone suffered some five hundred million dollars of damage. Some of the main political reactions have been especially surprising, as the newly elevated activists of the Black Lives Matter movement have received massive media support for their demands that local urban police departments be “defunded,” a proposal so bizarre that it had previously been almost unknown.

Statues, monuments, and other symbolic representations of traditional American history quickly became a leading target. Hubert Humphrey’s Minneapolis has long been an extremely liberal bastion of the heavily Scandinavian Upper Midwest, having no ties to the South or slavery, but Floyd’s death soon launched an unprecedented national effort to eradicate all remaining Confederate memorials and other Southern cultural traces throughout our society. Popular country music groups such as the Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum had freely recorded their songs for decades, but they were now suddenly forced to change their names in frantic haste.

 
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 
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.
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.