White Nationalists And Practicality: If Any

“White nationalists” as they call themselves  would like to US to be close to one hundred percent white. So would I. So would many tens of millions of Americans who do not call themselves white nationalists, but are. Diversity causes nothing but trouble, and is doing so now. However, America can’t be completely white, or even close. The time for that idea is long past. The practical question becomes: What now?

White nationalists, often inaccurately called “white supremacists,”  want to close the border. So do I. They want to make Obama stop importing every sort of third-worlder he has heard of. So do I. They want to deport illegal aliens. With exceptions, so do I.

For the sake of discussion, let us assume that all of this has been done. At this point the white nationalists (hereinafter just “nationalists”) run out of gas, having so far as I am aware no further plan or aim beyond a loathing for anything not white and European.

The utility of this is not clear. The disappearance of the illegals would leave some 45 million legal Latinos: birthright citizens, naturalized citizens, legal residents and, increasingly, completely American citizens of Latino descent. (The numbers are shaky, but “whole really big bunch” would be accurate.) My question to white nationalists:

What do you recommend doing with, about, for, or to the tens of millions of legal Latinos? What specifically, and how do you propose doing it?

Many of the arguments made by the nationalists are rational—we don’t need the population, American businessmen unemploy Americans by giving jobs to illegals, the costs of assimilating them are high, and so on. Well and good, but mostly a bit late. Meanwhile the nationalists transparently seethe with hatred of Latinos. How this will prove of service to the United States eludes me.

This antagonism leads them to distort and even lie. Their opponents do likewise.  Most of the public I suspect, having no independent source of information, has to guess between.

So, what do nationalists propose? I do this not as a challenge but in search of understanding, a reasonable question in search of a reasonable answer. The question is one of the most important that can be asked.  The country deserves a concrete answer. The politically correct classes say things like, “We need comprehensive immigration reform.” That can mean anything, and therefore means nothing.

My answer would be: Try to make legal Latinos into productive citizens, which should not be terribly hard. Leaving them alone, and not allowing governments to turn them into a welfare class, would probably do the trick. If nationalists have a better idea, or another idea, I would be happy to consider it.

Since tens of millions of Latinos are in the country, and are going to stay, it might be wise to seek at least a modus viventdi and an amicable relationship, and better, assimilation, rather than needlessly encourage hostile relations. A difficulty here is that below the reasoned arguments of the nationalists there lies a horror of intermarriage. Correct me if I am wrong. To many, successful assimilation would be worse than keeping Latinos somehow cordoned off.

The problem, of course–“of course,” anyway, to people who have lived in the developing world–is that so many of the immigrants are not of the middle class. Once people have a decent job, spouse, mortgage, car, refrigerator, two kids and a dog, they become placid, maybe a little boring, and spend their time taking the kids to soccer practice. (How many of the people shooting each other in Chicago fail to fit this description? How many middle-class blacks shoot each other? Exactly) Thus it might be wise to encourage the entry of Latinos  into the middle class.

Unless the desire is to keep them out  of the middle class. Is it?

I have framed the question on the assumption that the border has been closed, which it hasn’t, and won’t be for most of a decade if Hillary comes in.

Do white nationalists propose to encourage assimilation? How? Discourage it? How? Let nature take its course? If the choice is to discourage assimilation, the practicality would seem doubtful, since in many places in the US the races mix amicably, and many Americans in Mexico who have Mexican wives speak highly of the idea.

Do white nationalists favor teaching Latino kids English in the schools,  or not doing so? Should white children be allowed, or required, to learn to speak Spanish? The idea seems to set off spasms of revulsion in some nationalists, though if you told a  German that his kids should not learn English or French, or both, he would look at you strangely. Discouraging monolingualism  would make for assimilation, if that should be desired.

Is assimilation possible? I think so, eventually anyway, but we shall see. I do know that if (a) Latinos, already probably twenty per cent of the population, become ghettoized, isolated, hostile and dysfunctional, the United States is over, fini, done, and (b) constant attacks on them as Latinos tend to lead to this end. It Is one thing to deport illegals, verify citizenship for employment, and punish criminals. It is another endlessly to characterize Latinos as criminal, stupid, and foul. Which is what white nationalists relentlessly do.

The curious thing is that nationalists seem to want Latinos to be as undesirable as possible. If I write that n Mexico the schools are not chaotic and kids learn to read, that Mexicans do not breed like flies, (fertility rate, CIA FactBook: 1960: 6.78; 2015: 2.26), that the country runs the standard technological infrastructure of airlines, telecommunications and hospitals, on and on, the response never varies: Fred is lying, everything good is done by the white part of the Mexican population, and  these defects are genetic  and pleasantly irremediable.

One would think that the nationalists, having millions of Latinos in their country, would welcome evidence that the newcomers were not as terrible as thought–hoped, I could almost say. No. To hell with the country, but do not threaten my internal furies.

We have an interesting approach to national suicide. On one hand, favoring unlimited immigration, we have the Googooing Good, the big money men, Hillary, and Obama, which will make matters worse. On the other hand, white nationalists who apparently want a bar fight. What could be smarter?

A Different Take on China: Reflections from a Former Life

Ages ago, for reasons I no longer remember, I was wandering across Asia and decided to spend some time in Taiwan. The Chinese interested me, and Taiwan was then as close as it was practical to get. Then, as now, the Chinese were thought by many to be exotic, inscrutable, devious and unlike normal people such as ourselves. You know, opium dens, dragon ladies, assassinations by puff adder, that sort of thing. Given the importance of China today, the nature of these multitudinous people might bear thought.

As was commonly done in those days, I found a (very) cheap place to stay in the winding alleys downtown and settled in. Nice  enough place, I thought, agreeable people, pretty girls. It is curious how unweird people turn out to be if you actually live among them, this being a principle I had discovered among the Thais, Viets, Mexicans, and Cambodians. I shared  an apartment with another wandering young gringo, and a little Japanese mathematician named Sakai–”whiskey well” if I remember the characters of his name–and two young Chinese guys. One of them, Ding Gwo, played the guitar and wanted to be a rock star. The whole bunch were extraordinarily ordinary. The Chinese are in fact as  exotic as potatoes. The kids act like kids anywhere, the women like women. They are not another species.

 The girls dressed to be attractive and pretty, hardly a novelty among young women, and were often wildly successful. (Oriental women tend to appeal greatly to Western guys, the condition being known as “yellow fever” or “rice fever.” It is not a matter of sexual availability, the middle-class girls being less promiscuous than American, but just lovely and feminine. Chilly they were not.)

At night we sometimes went to a local hangout for the young, pretty much like any other though more innocent than the American today: Taiwan was decidedly authoritarian and being caught with drugs would not have led to a happy ending. Dim lights, soft drinks, Western rock, and considerable flirtation.  It could have been Memphis.

ChinPing

Exotic murderess Chin Ping distracts Fred with humor while temple dragon sneaks up behind to bite his hand off. It’s how the Chinese are, crafty, and hang out with concrete animals.

I studied Mandarin hard for nearly six months, on the principle that most things are possible with a combination of modest intelligence and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The school was Gwo Yu R Bao, literally Mandarin Newspaper, but it had a language school above. My teacher, Jang Lau Shr, was a mid-fortiesish woman who seemed quite old to me at the time. She was competent and likable, and not devious, sneaky, or mysterious. She probably didn’t have a single puff adder. I guess she hadn’t gotten the word.

When the government realized that I was a journalist of sorts, she was suddenly replaced by a very attractive young women who I know damned well was from Guo Min Dang intelligence. Manna from heaven.

Chin Ping Sisters

Sisters of Chin Ping the Wiley Murderess. You could almost mistake them for, you know, just kids, unless you knew of their eerie genetic affinity for puff adders.

Several things I noticed, young and dumb as I was (the two conditions overlap greatly). Taiwan was not Uganda. At the time all manner of countries in the bush world had Five-Year Plans or the equivalent. These countries usually consisted of a patch of jungle, a colonel, and a torture chamber. Decades later, they would still consist of a patch….

Taiwan, then in the Third World–whatever that is–had an equally ambitious program of advancement. Perhaps it was for five years. It included the Jin Shan reactors, a new port, a steel mill, a major highway, and so on. Thing was, they were actually coming into existence. Later, for the Far Eastern Economic Review, I would interview the head of the nuclear program. Harvard guy. On a press junket I would visit many of the projects, such as the steel mill, which was in production.

With my honed capacity for recognizing the inescapable, I concluded that these people could get things done. Things like industry, organization, technology. That sort.

At some point I had passed through Hong Kong and concluded that it was New York with slanted eyes. The Chinese; I judged correctly though young and dumb, could play hardball finance.

And in the US, Chinese students were reported to be doing very well at places like MIT. Hmmm….What if that great American ally, Mousy Dung, stopped paralyzing the mainland and the world had to compete with all 800,000,000 of them?

We are finding out.

I  loved the language, the characters that seemed almost of dance on the page in old, old documents in the national museum, which was filled with wonderful works of art saved from the communists when Chiang fled to the island. I couldn’t begin to read them, of course. However, modern Chinese is remarkably easy provided you don’t want to read or write it, having none of the complexities of tense, mood, or person of, say, Spanish. By dint of pathological application, I ended able to communicate reasonably and grind my way through a pulp novel with lots of help from the dictionary–using which was an adventure unto itself. It made people lots less mysterious to realize that they were not talking about the hidden Blue Jade Eye of God, worth millions and protected by a curse, but about Grandma’s congestive heart failure and what to do about it.

And, for a young man, there was practical Chinese: “Wo mei-you kan-gwo numma pyauliang-de syau-jye.”

On blazing hot evenings we wandered through the twisting lanes past rows of what appeared to be orange crates at which sat children doing their homework. Inside, they would have cooked. I thought this studiousness  impressive, but had no idea how much it would later pay off at MIT.

A traffic overpass near where we lived had a steamy enclosed food market beneath with stalls selling just about anything edible and some maybe not quite. We would go there for sheets of fried squid–”you yu”–and fruit juice, the latter sold by a young woman who became a friend. We called her “Shwei Gwo Syau Jye,” or Fruit Juice Girl. Taiwan had not then become the economic Mighty Mouse that it is today and most people, though not hungry, were poor. She spent long, long hours in her stall with a small fluffy dog to keep her company. She had a subscription to Newsweek that she read to learn English and walked home with her dog every night, exhausted, to take care of a father of some eighty years.

She deserved better. There was a lot of that going around.

There were relics, fast disappearing, of the old China, more closely resembling the exotic image. In Wan Wha (“Ten Thousand Glories”) there was the street of the snake butchers, definitely memorable by night. At stalls live snakes, some of them deadly, hung by strings around their necks, if that is what snakes have. The proprietor on request slit a snake from head to tail, massaged the blood into a glass, squeezed the gall bladder into the mess, and sold it to, usually, a laborer to drink. Dwei shen-ti hen hau: Good for the body. Not mine, though.

At the time what was called Madame Chiang’s hotel was going up on a hillside. Most new buildings in Asia look like buildings in Philadelphia. This one was deliberately Chinese, and glorious. I had no idea that years later on a junket the Taiwanese government would put me up there, and several other reporters, for a week. Funny how things work.

I came to have immense respect for China as a civilization. Given the dismal record of immorality, poor judgement, and venality that is the baseline for humanity, China is impressive.

MadameChiang

Madame Chiang’s. Not too shabby.

Among racial sites on thee web today one frequently sees the assertion that Asians can copy but not invent. Maybe. There is a chain of thought that begins with “Screwed up like a Chinese fire drill,” then “Well, they can make pencils and toys,” (“Made in Japan,” remember?), then “OK they can make easy things like washing machines,” then “Well, yes, they can assemble iPads, but can’t create anything.” Then it turns out, as it has turned out, that they are designing world-class supercomputers all of their own, oops, heh.

On the one hand, the condescension sounds like wishful thinking. On the other, in painting for example, there is more creativity between the Impressionists and Klimt than in centuries  of Chinese painting, which usually consisted of making copies of past masters. We had better hope.

 

ShanghaiStreet ACDC

Street, Shanghai, a few years ago. China ain’t what it used to be. Getting rid of Mau did the trick. PhredFoto

Years later, on the junket aforementioned, my wife and I and very small daughter came to Taipei and stayed in Madame Chiang’s. I don’t know how old babies are when they first sit up unaided, but that’s how old Macon was, because it is what she did. Anyway, we came into the  lobby, Blonde Poof in arms. gorgeous vases on pedestals, columns in red lacquer, everything but the Empress Dowager, and they may have had her in a closet somewhere.

The staff, mostly young girls, came running over, charmed by anything so exotic and golden-haired. The Chinese can do many things, but golden hair isn’t one of them. They all wanted to look at this wonder child. A girl smiled and unceremoniously took Macon from my wife’s arms. The mob raced about the lobby showing their prize to everyone they knew, disappeared into the kitchen for a couple of minutes, and came back, delighted, and put Macon back where they had found her.

I have a hard time getting from there to weaselly, sinister, and devious.

We went to Gwo Yu R Bau to say hello to Jang Lao Shr, who was still there, and to the bridge to see Shwei Gwo Syau Jye, who also was still there. Still reading Newsweek, still working long, long hours. It was delightful. I never saw either again.

 

Note: I idiotically called last week’s piece of robots Rossiter’s Universal Robots, a reference to Capek’s play, but of course it is Rossum’s. Relying on high-school memories is not too smart.

Ready: New Rossum’s Universal Robots: Toward a Most Minimal Wage

Being as I am a curmudgeon, and delight in human folly and thoughts of huge asteroids, tsunamis, incurable plagues, continent-shattering volcanoes, and the Hillary administration, I follow the advance of robots with hope. They may finally end civilization as we know it.  Currently they  spread like kudzu. Herewith a few notes from my favorite technical publication, the Drudge Report. It may convince you that the robots are upon us like ants on a sandwich.

Navy building autonomous sub-hunting submarine. Robots deliver food to your door. China’s use of robots set to surge. Amazon uses 30,000 robots in warehouses. AMBER lab robot jogs like human. Japanese farming robots.  Burger-flipping robot. World’s first sex-robot. China’s robot cop. China’s road to self-driving cars. Bloomberg uses robot story-writers. In theme park, robots make food and drinks. SCHAFT unveils new robot in Japan. Boston Dynamics has several ominous robots paid for by the Pentagon. Robot does soft-tissue surgery better than humans. Robotic KFC outlet in Shanghai. And of course everybody and his dog are working on self-driving vehicles.

People seldom click on links. This one, Atlas, from Boston Dynamics, is truly worth a click. Think of him coming through your door by night. Many similar critters exist, often in Asia.

These machines either work  well or come very close, and impinge on manufacturing, delivery, war, policing, the restaurant industry, journalism, and service industries perhaps soon to include prostitution. We ought to think forethoughtedly about what to do with  these machines. We won’t.

Amazon Robot

Photo: Amazon’s robots. Video. These orange devils carry heavy racks to humans who pick ordered goods from them for shipment. Amazon is working on robots that can do the picking. Who will be left? In principle, 30,000 robots can work 90,000 shifts, plus weekends. With a predictability that makes sunrise look like a long shot, the company says that the robots do not replace but “help” humans. If you believe this, I’d like to sell you stock in my venture to make radioactive dog-food on Mars.

Automation of course means more than robots. As newspaper after newspaper goes all-digital, less pulpwood will be needed to make less newsprint, pressmen will be fired, delivery trucks will no longer needed, and so on. Such ripple effects get little attention. They should.

The capitalist paradigm in which companies think only about themselves, seeking to increase productivity and reduce costs, is going to work decreasingly well. Replacing well-paid workers with robots means replacing customers with a lot of money with customers with little money. People who are not paid much do not buy much. Robots buy even less.

The first crucial question of coming decades: Who is going to buy the stuff pouring from robotic factories?

The current notion is that when a yoyo factory automates and lays off most of its workers, they will find other well-paid jobs and continue to buy yoyos. But as well-paid jobs everywhere go automated, where will the money come from to buy yoyos? Today participation in the work force is at all- time lows and we have a large and growing number of young who, unable to find good jobs, live with their parents. They are not buying houses or renting apartments. (They may, given the intellectual level of today’s young, be buying yoyos.)

Enthusiasts of the free market say that I do not understand economics, that there will always be work for people who want to work. But there isn’t. There won’t be. There is less all the time. Again, look at the falling participation in the work force, the growing numbers in part-time badly paid jobs. Short of governmentally imposed minimums, wages are determined by the market, meaning that if a robot works for a dollar an hour, a human will have to work for ninety-five cents an hour to compete , or find a job a robot can’t do–and these get scarcer.

From a businessman’s point of view, robots are superb employees. They don’t strike, demand raises, call in sick, get disgruntled and do a sloppy job, or require benefits. Building factories that are robotic from the gitgo means not having to lay workers off, which is politically easier than firing existing workers. Using robots obviates the Chinese advantage in wages, especially if America can make better robots–good for companies, but not for workers in either country. That is, production may return to the US, but jobs will not. In countries with declining populations, having robots do the work may reduce the attractiveness of importing  uncivilizable bomb-chucking morons from the bush world.

A second crucial question: What will we do with people who have nothing to do? This has been a hidden problem for a long time, solved to date by child-labor laws, compulsory attendance in high school, the growth of universities as holding tanks, welfare populations, and vast bureaucracies of people who pretend to be employed. Few of these do anything productive, but are supported and kept off the job market by the rest of us. But there are limits to the capacity of Starbuck’s to soak up college graduates. (The economic fate of America may depend on our consumption of overpriced coffee.)

As time goes on and fewer and fewer people can find work, and particularly the less intelligent, something will have to give. We won’t see it coming. We never see anything coming. Businessmen will observe productivity going up and labor costs going down. What could be wrong  with that?  Businessmen do not concern themselves with social questions. Methinks, however, that social questions are about to concern themselves with businessmen.

As standards of living decrease, unrest will come. I will guess that much of Donald Trump’s popularity arises from the sending of factories to China by the corporations that rule America. Now the robots are going to take the remaining jobs. Economists will chatter of this principle and that curve and what Aristotle said about Veblen, but in a free market for labor, robots will win. If we have a high minimum wage, business will automate. If we have a low minimum wage, they will automate, but a few years later.

The obvious solution, one I think inevitable within a few decades unless we want a revolution, is a guaranteed minimum income, enough to live on comfortably, for everyone. Whether this is a good idea can be debated, but it seems likely to be the only idea. Capitalists will tell me that I do not understand markets, or capital flows or pricing mechanisms, and that I am against freedom. I will respond that they need to wake up and look around. And I will point out that economics has become a tedious form of Left-Right metaphysics, Keynes versus the Austrian School, capitalism versus socialism, all unconnected to onrushing reality.

What would be the effects of a guaranteed income? Godawful, I would guess. Some people, probably including those who read columns on the web, would  read, listen to music, drink wine and talk with friends, hike in the Himalayas, scuba dive, and earn doctorates in physics. But most would get up every morning, bored, without purpose, anticipating just another of unending days of television, beer, tedium, no driving desire to do anything but discontent with nothing to do. Would the young even go to school? They would have no need.  What has happened among the welfare populations that in effect have a guaranteed minimum income?

See? We are doomed. It warms the cockles of a curmudgeon’s heart. Whatever a cockle is.

Jewish Decline and the Rise of China: In the US

Years ago, when I was tech writer for weird magazines such as Signal and for other more-normal techish pubs, Jews littered the intellectual landscape. They were all over high-end research, such as Bell Labs. The big names were often Jewish, Einstein, von Neumann, Feynman, Gell-Mann, Minsky. The staff list for the Manhattan Project read like a Yeshiva yearbook. The same happened in the arts. Bernstein, Landowska, Rubinstein, Stoppard (“Maidens in search of Godhead…and vice versa.”) 

Jews were smart, most people figured, not necessarily liking it.  I wondered why without great interest. Genetic determinists of course cooked up evolutionary explanations involving undiscovered genes acted upon by unquantifiable selective pressures to produce assumed results not correlatable with the pressures. Business as usual. 

Later I began to notice without thinking about it that the Jewish names were growing thin on the ground. These were not systematic observations. But Asian names were becoming prominent almost everywhere. The Feinsteins seemed to be in recession, if only anecdotally.

Something odd was happening, I barely noticed.

Then Ron Unz published The Myth of American Meritocracy, documenting a stunning turnaround of which I had been only vaguely aware. The book deals substantially with corruption in admissions to Ivy schools, with some (I think) good ideas for reform. It also charts the sharp decline in Jewish achievement and the meteoric rise of the Asians. (Actually I think falling is more what meteors do, but cliches are cliches.)

As one example, consider the NMSQT, the National Merit Scholastic Qualifying Test, given nationally to high-schoolers. To be a Semi-Finalist a student has to test in the top one half of one percent–sort of upper middle-brow intelligence.

in 2010  there were about 2000 Semi-Finalists in California, the state with the second highest Jewish population after New York. Citing an analysis of last names, Unz notes that there was only one Cohen, Levy, and Kaplan, but 49 Wangs and 36 Kims.

This pattern, Unz notes with lots of documentation, repeats across the country. For example, in the ultra-high-end high schools such as Thomas Jefferson in Virginia and Stuyvesant in New York. These places are scary smart, CalTech in short pants. Unz:

“Jews and Asians today are about equal in number within New York City but whereas a generation ago elite local public schools such as Stuyvesant were very heavily Jewish, today Jews are outnumbered at least several times over by Asians.”

“In 2012, Asians were 72.5% of Stuyvesant students, with all whites at just 24%, of whom an unspecified fraction were Jewish.”

Which is to say that even if all the whites were Jews and no HAGVACAS (House and Garden Variety (non-Jewish) Caucasians), the Asians would be outperforming the Jews by three to one.

Which is crazy strange.

Now the reader may say, “But Fred, this  objection and that objection, and what about…?” Fair enough, but in condensing a  book into three paragraphs one leaves things out. The sources are there and the analysis careful. And no, the book is not an attack on Jews, Unz himself being Jewish and a Harvard grad.

Methinks, subject to correction, that his findings shed considerable darkness on what we think we know about intelligence. Jews still perform better than Hagvacas, but less better than before, and the Asians are way ahead of the Jews. It seems unlikely that the Asians have suddenly risen in biological intelligence, or that Jews have gone down. Putting it otherwise, when one group falls almost overnight on a wide variety of tests thought to measure intelligence, and another rises, it follows that either intelligence can change very fast or the tests are not measuring intelligence. So what is happening? What do the aptitude tests measure? 

The easy explanation is that the Chinese kids are of about normal intelligence but just work harder. Yet when a kid gets into Stuyvesant or MIT, he can’t get by on hard work and modest aptitude any more than I could play for the Chicago Bulls by practicing hard. You have to be smart to do, say, computational fluid dynamics. Actually really, really smart with tensors and things.

Which is why I have trouble buying the explanation offered by a Jewish friend: “We’ve lost our hunger.” I think he means that in his day there were Jewish quotas in universities and no room in the country club so when those barriers lifted the Jewish kids  were going to show the goyim what was what and went at everything fang and claw and, well, showed the goyim. Then they got comfortable, moved to the suburbs, and maybe even watched football.

I have known people with very high pre-dumbing-down SATs, and Merit Semi-Finalists, and people with IQs in excess of 150. They didn’t just know stuff. They were bright. Was intrinsic intelligence raised in the Asian young by hard study?  

Whatever is happening, it is grave. Consider CalTech, which probably has the highest standards for admission in the country. Further, it does not practice affirmative action. The demographics of the studentry: Black, 2%; Hispanic, 12%; White (including Jewish), 28%; Asian, 44%. This is worse than it seems at a glance because Asians are only 15% of the population of California,and six percent of the national.

Whatever is happening, it is not a statistical  fluke. A couple of quotes from the book among many similar ones:

“For example, among Math Olympiad winners white Gentiles scarcely outnumbered Jews during the 1970s…but since 2000 have become over fifteen times as numerous.”

“Over forty percent of Putnam winners prior to 1950 were Jewish…but since 2000 the percentage has dropped to under ten percent,  without a single likely Jewish name in the last seven years.” The Putnam is a very high-end math test.

Another of my friends has an Asian wife and thus entree  into the Asian community. He quotes their (wisely private) outlook: “Whites are lazy and stupid.”

If you like succinct, you just got it.

The curious thing is that the Asians are not just way ahead of Jews, but wayer ahead of Hagvacas. The gap is huge, and seems to me too large to be explained by the few points of extra IQ sometimes attributed to East Asians.

The Asian rise may have consequences. It is not thought proper to notice that the white population of America, numbering very roughly two hundred million, provides nearly all of the scientific advance, engineering, and entrepreneurship. China has, again very roughly, a billion Han Chinese–you know, the kind that dominate Hagvacas and Jews in the US.

I watch Chinese technology as best I can. In fifteen years, China has gone from having no supercomputers to having slightly more than the US has, including the world’s two fastest, the most rapid of which (TaiHuiLight) is a Chinese design using Chinese semiconductors. (Obama, ever brilliant, stopped Intel from selling them chips, so they apparently decided the needed to supply their own.) The quantum-crypto line from Beijing to Shanghai, said to have been spurred by a desire to keep NSA off China’s back, is noticeably more advanced than carrier pigeons. The type 093B nukey attack sub just launched seems a major improvement over its predecessor. The 300 mph plus Shanghai Maglev trains uses foreign technology, but now they know how to do it. China is by far the world leader in high-speed rail, of which America has none.

Beijing is trying hard to advance technologically and with success With Jews going dark, and Hagvacas worried about safe spaces and microaggressions, who is going to protect America against competition by potentially five times as many engineers as we have, especially if they perform as well as our Asians do? 

Walter Williams, Catholics, the Projects, and Schooling for Blacks: Something is Wrong Somewhere

Some time ago I read a column  on the schooling of blacks written by Walter Williams, the black economist at George Mason University, who grew up in the black housing projects of Philadelphia in the Thirties. I have read Williams for years. He is an absolutely reliable witness. He reports that all the kids could read, and that classrooms were orderly and teachers respected. Today, by all reports, in the urban black schools the kids can’t read and chaos reigns. Black kids have not gotten stupider since the Thirties. Something is wrong somewhere.

I read similar stories about chaotic, violent, illiterate Latino kids in American schools, these things being attributed to low intelligence. I live in Mexico, and see nothing even faintly resembling these stories. The statistics agree. (Mexican literacy, CIA FactBook: 95%. American literacy, US Department of Education: 86%) Something is wrong somewhere.

In 1981, I wrote a piece for Harper’s on the overwhelmingly black Catholic schools of Washington, DC, and found them to be exactly as Williams described the schools in his projects: well-behaved, and all the kids could read. The article follows. shortly.

I expected that liberals would applaud a piece demonstrating that black kids could learn far better than they did in the public schools. Instead, fury erupted. The success of the Catholics pointed up the incompetence of the teacher’s unions and the vacuity of accepted social theory. Whatever nits can be picked with the piece,  whatever one believes about the relative intelligence of blacks, whites, yellows, and ed majors, it is obvious that black kids could do far, far better than they are doing.l Something is wrong somewhere.

Anyway:

The Color of Education

Harper’s, February 1981

Should anyone in authority say anything sensible about racial policy, an event unlikely to occur before the next Ice Age, he would have to say that when it is not merely futile it often injures the people it is supposed to help; that it succeeds in antagonizing whites without benefiting blacks; that it has become more of an ideological battleground than a practical program; and, finally, that it is a fraud, serving principally to benefit groups that grow fat from racial programs. He might be tempted to add that civilized man has never seen such a monumental stream of unembarrassed twaddle.

An obvious observation, which hardly anyone seems to make, is that blacks suffer less from racism than from poor education. Harvard does not reject black applicants because it dislikes blacks but because they are badly prepared. Blacks do not fail the federal entrance examination because it is rigged to exclude them but because they don’t know the answers. Equality of opportunity without equality of education is a cruel joke: giving an illiterate the right to apply to Yale isn’t giving him much.

The intelligent policy is to educate black children, something that the public schools of Washington manage, at great expense, not to do. In fact the prevailing (if unspoken) view seems to be that black children cannot be educated, an idea whose only defect is that it is wrong: the Catholic schools of Washington have been educating black children for years. The Catholic system has 12,170 students in the District, of whom 7,884, or 65 percent, are black.

On the Science Research Associates (SRA) exam, a standardized test of academic achievement, the average reading ability of eighth graders in Washington’s Catholic schools in 1979-80 was at the 52nd percentile, compared to the national norm, and at the 72nd percentile, compared to big-city norms — that is, above average. In arithmetic, the percentiles were 60 and 75 above average. In science, they were 53 and 66 — again, above average. In none of the subjects tested, which included composition, “language arts,” and social studies, were scores as low as the 50th percentile.

Most people argue, incorrectly, that the overall scores are being pulled up by the scores of white students; it is remarkable how few people will accept that black children make good grades because they are bright and well taught. But it happens that Mackin Catholic High School, on California Street, N.W., is 94 percent black, and students there average at grade level or higher when tested in reading; they score similarly in other subjects. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School, in Anacostia, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, has only two white students. The students in the seventh grade read at the 40th percentile, or, to put it another way, rank 10 percent below the national norm. Ninth grade students in the public schools in Anacostia rank 26 percent below. St. Anthony’s, in northeast Washington, near Catholic University, is about 90 percent black. On a composite SRA score, its eighth graders rank at the 67th percentile against the national norm, and at the 76th percentile against big-city norms. When there are virtually no whites at a school, whites cannot be responsible for the scores.

Skeptics suspect that Catholic schools get good scores by accepting only promising students. There is a little truth in this, but not much. Catholic schools in Washington do not accept hopelessly bad students or students who have other problems, such as serious police records, which would cripple them academically or cause them to disrupt classes. Some schools are more lenient than others about admissions standards, but most accept students who score below average. They do not gather up the geniuses and neglect the rest.

Why do the Catholics get better results? One reason is that the students have parents who care enough to put them in superior schools. Another reason is that Catholic schools have superior staffs, with teachers generally required to have at least a B.A. in their subjects. Also involved are academic rigor — students are often assigned two-and-a-half hours of homework — and discipline. One disruptive student can reduce a class to chaos. Catholic schools, not being subject to educational bureaucracies and political pressures, can prevent disruption, resorting, if need be, to expulsion.

In my estimation, the Catholic schools also profit by their respect for the students — a belief in their potential, accompanied by a recognition that they are, after all, children. At St. Anthony’s I talked to the eighth-grade English teacher, Lorraine Ferris. Ferris seems to be half scholar and half drill instructor, about right for junior high, and strikes me as being about as good as teachers get. She knows English from the gerunds up, which puts her ahead of most college English departments. “The important thing,” she says, “is to make children believe in themselves, but you can’t do it by coddling them. I won’t accept a 95 from a student who should make a 98. It’s important to them to see that they can compete. And the idea that black children can’t do the work is baloney. I see red every time I hear it.”

If black children can be educated, the question arises: Why aren’t they? The usual answer is that racism and conservatism are responsible, and much ink is spilled in exorcising these evils. But racists and conservatives have almost nothing to do with educational policy in Washington. Until recently, we’ve had a Democratic president and Congress; we have a liberal National Education Association, a black city government, a black school board, and a black electorate. They, not conservatives or racists, bear responsibility for conditions in the schools.

One may argue that in general the chief hindrances to progress for poor blacks are misguided racial policies and the attitudes of those who make them. It is important to realize that things were different twenty years ago. In the Fifties and Sixties the civil rights movement was producing results-dismantling the prevailing apartheid, for example. Unfortunately the movement somehow became bureaucratized, then became self-serving, and finally became the problem. Today the obstacle to racial progress is not Bill Buckley; it is Ted Kennedy. It isn’t the KKK; it is the NEA.

Race has become an industry. CETA, EEOC, OMBE, and other forbidding acronyms with huge payrolls exist by presiding over the status quo. Various freelance acronyms, such as NAACP, SCLC, ACLU, and PUSH, derive their importance from appearing to galvanize the governmental acronyms. Politicians and influential subcommittees thrive by conspicuously giving their attention to racial matters. The Democratic party retains blacks as a largely docile voting bloc by maintaining the flow of money for racial programs. Billions of dollars, countless jobs, and the political balance ride on keeping things as they are.

The underlying difficulty is that when enough people are employed to solve a problem, means become ends. It becomes more important to continue solving the problem, which provides jobs, than to have solved the problem, which would result in dismissals.

Not all racial functionaries cynically exploit racial division, but many do. People are remarkably adept at aligning their principles with their pocketbooks. Racial bureaucrats will always manage to persuade themselves that their particular programs are of paramount importance in the struggle against oppression. Further, their principal interest being their own interest, they will oppose the elimination of unsuccessful programs to prevent the discovery that nothing very bad would happen if they were abolished.

They have all but silenced opposition with their insistence that He who is against me is against blacks. This argument, repeated often enough, results in something close to censorship, so that it is currently almost impossible to discuss racial programs on their merits — i.e., on whether they work. Whether, for example, the welfare system needs revision isn’t considered.

The national media and the major dailies do their best to enforce the ban on open discussion. They simply won’t publish serious criticism. Relative freedom from criticism encourages a preference for moralism in place of practicality. The tendency is to see racial questions as a conflict between abstract Good and abstract Evil, in which the most important thing is to display admirable intentions, usually to the exclusion of doing anything useful.

There is a further tendency among racial functionaries to do penance for sins they haven’t committed, such as tolerating slavery. Penance is fun, but marvelously useless.

When people are more concerned with seeming good than with doing good, symbols become irresistible. Racial policy abounds in symbols that express concern, cost a lot, and miss the point. There is, for example, the Martin Luther King Memorial Library — oversized, underused, short on books, with a grandiose lobby that has enough wasted space for several simultaneous games of basketball. The District, however, doesn’t suffer from a shortage of books but from a shortage of people who can read them.

The University of the District of Columbia, actually a school for remedial reading, is similarly a symbol. Ninety percent of its freshmen read below the ninth-grade level. Although a new university in the District is not necessarily a bad idea, a fraudulent university whose students are hardly beyond the level of junior high school is unquestionably a bad idea. The sensible policy would be to improve the schools so that the city’s children would be qualified to attend a university, and then to build a university or, for that matter, several universities. But establishing a bogus university is quick and easy; teaching a city to read is slow and difficult, and produces votes a decade later.

It is fascinating that the racial establishment systematically blocks the adoption of the educational policies that would most benefit black children. For example, when Vincent Reed, superintendent of schools in the District, urged the wholly admirable idea of a special school for children with the intelligence and energy to do advanced work, the proposal was defeated.

Such schools exist in cities across the country and have worked well. Readers unfamiliar with the workings of the socially concerned mind may not immediately see why bright children should not be educated to their own level. The reason, said those who defeated the idea, is that it would be elitist. Elitism is regarded as a dreadful thing by the wealthier members of the racial establishment, who send their children to Harvard to avoid it.

Preventing elitism by rendering children illiterate is a dubious favor to them and to the nation. The social effect, of course, is to delay the emergence of black leaders and therefore to retard the progress of the race. South Africa achieves the same result by the same denial of education but is morally superior in making fewer pretenses about its intentions.

The racial establishment also discourages the imposition of discipline in the schools, without which teaching is impossible. The problem is horrendous in some of Washington’s schools. The students need protection against marauders from outside, and the staff need protection against physical assault by students. Teachers tell of being attacked by students with knives, of being afraid to go to certain parts of the school. Vincent Reed recently voiced his concern over security. “When I have kids being shot in schools by outside intruders and teachers being mauled by outside intruders — last year we had a young girl ten years old taken out of the building and raped — I don’t have time for rhetoric.”

Others have time for rhetoric. Ron Dellums, a black representative from California, asked at a Congressional hearing whether the presence of policemen in the schools would inhibit discussion of ideas. (Maybe. So, presumably, do knives, guns, drugs, and rapes.) It is a commonplace argument among educationists that discipline is regimentation and a means of racial repression. Illiteracy is a far better means of repression, and disorder is a sure road to illiteracy.

The racial establishment also ensures that black students have poor teachers. One might expect racial politicians to insist on providing the best obtainable teachers for black children who, being behind, desperately need them. It would not be an unreasonable demand. Given the rate of white-collar unemployment, highly educated teachers can be gotten by whistling.

Unfortunately the racial establishment, never particularly energized about the quest for academic quality, is especially unenthusiastic about finding good teachers. There are several reasons, one being that many in the race business belong to the various species of pseudointellectual riffraff that multiplied during the Sixties — psychologists, sociologists, educationists, feminists, the whole touchy-feely smorgasbord of group-gropers, anxiety-studiers, and fruit-juice drinkers who believe that the purpose of education is emotional adjustment. They seem not to have reflected that an excellent source of maladjustment is to be an unemployed semiliterate without the foggiest understanding of the surrounding world.

Educationists, who have a well-developed sense of self-preservation, understandably do not favor higher standards for teachers. Hiring good teachers means firing bad ones. Any serious attempt to get rid of deadwood means bucking the powerful teachers’ unions, which, as a variety of tests have shown, would be gutted by any insistence on competence. Moreover, dismissal of incompetent teachers would mean a heavily disproportionate dismissal of black teachers. The bald, statistically verifiable truth is that the teachers’ colleges, probably on ideological grounds, have produced an incredible proportion of incompetent black teachers. Evidence of this appears periodically, as, for example, in the results of a competency test given to applicants for teaching positions in Pinellas County, Florida (which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater), cited in Time, June 16, 1980. To pass this grueling examination, an applicant had to be able to read at the tenth-grade level and do arithmetic at the eighth-grade level. Though they all held B.A.’s, 25 percent of the whites and 79 percent of the blacks failed. Similar statistics exist for other places.

Another major reason for the slow progress of blacks is a prejudice, palpable in racial policy though unprovable, that blacks are incapable of competing with whites. Racial functionaries will deny this with fervor; yet if they believed blacks could compete, they would advocate preparing them for competition. Instead the emphasis is on protecting them from it. The usual attitude toward blacks resembles the patronizing affection of missionary for a colony of bushmen: these benighted people are worthy in the eyes of God but obviously can’t take care of themselves, so we will do it. Whenever blacks fail to meet a standard the response is to lower the standard, abolish it, or blur it –not to educate blacks to meet the standard. The apotheosis of this sort of thinking was the lunatic notion that black children should be taught in the gibberish of the streets because it, “communicates,” the implication being that English was too difficult for them. Nobody thought English too difficult for the Vietnamese.

Paternalism has practical consequences. The unrelenting condescension supports blacks’ view of themselves as worthless. (If anyone doubts that poor blacks do indeed regard themselves as worthless, I suggest he spend some time with them.) People who think they cannot succeed do not try.

Finally, the absolute unwillingness of the racial industry to police itself — to make sure that money accomplishes the intended results — has made racial programs a synonym for corruption, waste, mismanagement, nepotism, and undeserved preference. It is hard to find a racial program that is not grotesquely abused. The District’s annual effort to provide summer jobs is typical. The jobs don’t exist, nobody tells the youths where the jobs are thought to be, no work is done if the jobs are discovered, and the youths don’t get paychecks even if they happen to do the work. Last year the same thing happened, and next year, one wearily expects, it will happen again. The pattern repeats everywhere. CETA, for example, might better be called the Comprehensive Graft and Scandal Act. Some programs lapse into frank absurdity. Under “affirmative action,” group after group musters the clout to get on the deprived-species list until, on a quick calculation, 65 percent of the population qualify as mistreated minorities.

Corruption and mismanagement inevitably lead to resentment among whites whose money is being wasted. This resentment is currently called “white backlash,” which has a comfortingly vicious sound and implies that it is someone else’s fault. (In the race business, everything is someone else’s fault.) Antagonizing half the country by shoddy performance is abysmally stupid politics, especially given that the nation would probably have few objections to sensible programs that worked. I find it hard to believe that many people would object to giving a black child a good education at a reasonable price.

Hussein Obama, 50; America, 0:More Adventures in Multiculturalism

 

Orlando? So what else is new? Why the excitement? I am puzzled that everyone is  distraught over a perfectly ordinary act of terrorism by a perfectly ordinary Muslim terrorist. We have seen these attacks before and will see them again. They grow monotonous, like car crashes. They are as interesting as a commercial break.

Why the surprise? We know Muslims kill Christians. We know they stone adulteresses to death. We know they drive airplanes into buildings. We know they mutilate women. We know they bomb airliners. We know they destroy historic monuments. We know they kill their daughters for losing their virginity. We know they kill homosexuals. We know they make coordinated mass attacks on cities. We know they are incompatible with societies of the First World. We know they have no respect for our laws. We know they hate us.

Knowing all of this, what do we do? Why…of course! What else? We import more of them. Nothing could make more sense. Ten thousand Syrians, coming to your neighborhood. Thank you, Obama. Thank you in advance, Hillary.

More precisely, Hussein Obama imports them. A black President with Islamic roots, barely American, who dislikes white people and recruits immigrants of his two ethnicities as hard as he can. We get utterly unassimilable Somalis in Minnesota, and all the Muslims he can find. Fifty gay men have just paid the price.

For Hussein’s policy.

The man fascinates me. The two worst actors that America has suffered since Lincoln are Osama bin Laden and Hussein Obama. They easily fit into any list of history’s most effective and influential men, being true geniuses. For a few hundred thousand dollars and an army of a couple of dozen, bin Laden stunningly humiliated America on international television, turned the country into a police state frightened of everything, inspired abrogation of its Constitution, and sucked the country into unending wars. On a cost-benefit basis, it was astonishing. He up-throttled national decline and has Americans hopping barefoot in airports while recordings on subways tell us to watch each other and report “suspicious behavior.”

Hussein Obama is in the same majestic league. He has said that he wants to “transform” America, and he has, has he ever, by simply doing what he wants. He found and exploited the hidden weakness in American government, which is that nobody has the balls to tell him “No.” He has won by sheer force of will. You’ve got to hand it to the guy: he’s good.

He has set the stage for, at least, unending divisiveness and very possibly for civil war. He will bring in as many more incompatible savages as he can before leaving office, and Hillary, if elected, will be Obama continued by other means. Amazing. The combined militaries of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany could not do as much lasting harm as this one man. 

Why does he do it? Look at it as revenge for slavery. Obama bin Osama, I strongly suspect, does. Our post-racial President is in fact the most racial.

For those killed by Omar,and their families and friends, there is nothing amusing about the slaughter. In a certain abstract sense, there is. America is like a man beating on his thumb with a hammer and yelling, “Oh! Ouch! Oooh! It hurts!” Why doesn’t he just stop? Well, that would be hammer-phobic. Countries deserve what they tolerate. They even more deserve what they encourage.

From Drudge:Imam speaking in Orlando said gays must be killed out of ‘compassion’…

Hmmmm. Might this not be homophobic? I dare not say so, for fear of being thought Islamophobic. Which I am not. No. I suffer from Islamonausea.

It seems that gays have to be killed on the authority of some Fourth Century towel rack. It is because the Religion of Peace says so. If a televangelist in Kansas said that homosexuals had to be killed for Jesus, the entire zoo of talking heads would be on him like lice on a leper and the FBI would gin up fraudulent charges. Watch the media for the outrage that won’t exist as they cover up. You can bet that Hussein Obama will say nothing against his own people.

From the standpoint of a curmudgeon, to which ashen-souled tribe I belong, the events in Orlando provide the gray satisfaction of confirmation. We in our dismal trade derive no joy from unavoidable sufferings springing from the routine malice of existence—cancer, automobile wrecks, birth defects—but we thrive on the self-inflicted, on the finger-hammerings accompanied by cries of “Ouch!” We observe that Muslims are nothing but trouble anywhere, so we import Muslims. We observe that diversity is the chief source of bitter strife in the world, so we open the borders. When seeking employees, we deliberately hire people who can’t do the job. In our universities we purposely admit those who neither can nor want to learn. Then, when the obvious, the predictable, indeed the inevitable unexpectedly occurs, we insist that it really didn’t, or shouldn’t have, or wouldn’t have, or something, and do it again. In its way it is wonderfully funny.

Unless of course you are among the dead.

In Paris the day after Orlando, another Mohammedan emissary of peace stabbed to death a policeman and his wife. (“Allahu Akbar: ‘Mohamed Ali’ Stabs Cop on Street, Slits Throat of Wife…”)

Yes, Paris, the city in which heartwarming Muslims have carried out coördinated simultaneous bombings, killed editorial staffs of publications that irked them, burned banlieues and countless cars and successfully intimidate the police. Mon dieu! What can these isolated incidents have in common? Nobody knows. Perhaps the perpetrators were troubled youth.

Actually the comic people are only those who generate a personal reality-distortion field and do hilariously foolish things. At the top of the political dunghill it is not stupidity but design. Or so it must be…mustn’t it? One expects academics to gibber and squeak, and neurally-challenged columnists and rabble studentry and talking heads and so on. It takes some very serious believing to believe that the governments of England, France, Holland, Sweden, Denmark and America are too stupid to have noticed what Muslims do, and what they are doing to those countries. Yet governments cover up, hide identities, punish observation as “hate speech,” and keep pumping the barbarians in.

Why? Opening America’s southern borders make sense because it makes money for those for whom it makes money. Who profits from flaming arrondissements, explosions in subways, and dead gays?

Ah, but the irony is delicious. London, once master of most of the world, has become a branch office of Pakistan and now has a Muslim mayor, who sets about correcting the morals of the English. No photos of women in skimpy clothes, you degenerate rascals. Can caning be far behind?

It does a curmudgeon good.

A moderately comprehensive list of attacks by Muslim terrorists

Whither the Shards of America?: It’s Us, or Them

AntiTrumpMob

From the sewers they come. Anti-Trump animalia beating a supporter of Trump in San Jose. They have done the same to Sanders. Anti-Trump is legitimate. Beating up his supporters is not. Us or them.

From the Drudge Report, America’s thermometer, regarding the disruption  a campaign rally for Trump:

‘NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN AMERICA’…

TRUMP CAMPAIGNERS CHASED DOWN LIKE PREY…

DOZENS PUNCHED…

POLICE ASSAULTED…

SAN JOSE MAYOR JUSTIFIES VIOLENCE…

VIDEO: FEMALE PELTED WITH HUEVOS…

MEXICAN FLAGS RAISED AS AMERICAN FLAG BURNS…

Enough. This can’t last. If people want to demonstrate against anything at all, fine. If they detest any politician at all, fine. If they are vulgar subliterate rabble, let them be vulgar subliterate rabble where I am not. But when they run wild over and over and shut down politics, they need to be stopped, right now, with nightsticks and dogs and long jail sentences.

A country that allows a feral underclass to run unchecked, to attack and beat anyone it doesn’t like, to loot and burn and disrupt political rallies, to block highways and intimidate the citizenry, will not last. It is time to put an end to it. If we still can.

Look at them. They are the muck at the bottom of the national drains, stupid, half-educated at best, without regard for notions of law or democracy. Many couldn’t spell democracy. They need to be stopped, hard.

They do it because they can. They know there won’t be consequences because governments are afraid of them. They sense it and do as they please. They will do so increasingly. They are in charge, and they know it.

These things are no longer incidents in the cute “culture wars,” half amusing and half-exasperating. We see something more like Weimar Germany, with organized mobs making targets of politicians and breaking up rallies. It is a deliberate, conscious assault on what America is supposed to be and to a reasonable approximation, was. 

Somebody needs to take command to end this nonsense before it becomes irremediable. But is it possible? There is no nice way to do it. The scum  will ignore niceness. The police would have to beat the living dog-snot out of rioters, charge them with assault, and put them in slam for the maximum. Controlling them would require  martial law  in cities in insurrection and the shooting of arsonists and looters. Universities would have to expel without recourse of misbehaving college children.  These would take stomach, which we do not have.

It is probably too late.

Yes, there is a culture war. Behind the rabble, and supporting them, are the media, New York and Washington and Hollywood, the open-borders crowd, the racial lobbies and etiolated epicenes of academia, Obama and Hillary and the Neocons and Wall Street.

Asserting control would not be easy. The cities are powder kegs. The rioters hold too many hostages. If police shoot one black criminal, a city burns. Politicians know it. If Latinos become another hostile racial group, Katie bar the door. We face as part of the larger conflict a tricorn race war of, now, low intensity. This makes no sense as most of all races just want to live in peace, but the civilized inevitably get sucked into hostility started by extremists. White nationalists are spoiling for a fight, as are Black Livists and an indeterminate number of Latino hot-heads. 

Latinos are key in what is coming. There are at least 55 million in the US–I suspect the numbers are deliberately understated by the government–and most, being legal, are not going away.

Cracking down appears to be beyond the powers of governments whose politicians will temporize, back away, make polite noises, and hope it doesn’t blow on their watch. If we have Hillary, she will do nothing. It is not clear that Trump could change much, though he would try. 

TrumpRiot2

The  new Brown Shirts. Trump supporter being attacked by the mob. There is a large racial element in the social battleground no matter how much we pretend otherwise.

Race is only a part of the onrushing disaster. America is no longer a country, but a riot of hostile races, sexes, and political extremes, of self-serving politicians and extractive corporations of the extremely rich who have no attachment to the US. The mild competition between Republicans and Democrats of the Fifties has given way to hard Right and weird Left who bitterly hate each other. They are irreconcilable.

Somebody has to win. There is neither a desire for compromise nor room for it. Those who regard universities as centers for infantilism, inclusiveness and narcissistic political theater cannot live side by side with those who want rigorous schooling for the qualified. It is one or the other. A belief in free discourse is not compatible with firing people who say things offensive to the sacred sensitives. No happy mean exists between affirmative action and advancement by merit. The ghetto cannot cohabit amicably with the library.

America has become a three-ring circus run equally by Goebbels, Barnum and Bailey, and Caligula. Something is seriously out of whack when the President of the United States insists that boys pee in the girls’ room, when the National Basketball Association threatens to pull the All Star game from North Carolina unless it allows integrated urination. Does basketball now dictate to the states?  Arrayed against these are people who believe in what was once called common decency. They  do not want their daughters of twelve years going to a ladies’ room in which predictably will be hanging out men of doubtful intentions and intense interest.

Underlying all is the clash over dictatorship of the proletariat, the rule of the underclass. The culture that approved taste, learning, careful English and manners confronts the the  slums which increasingly prevail. Filth and illiteracy are not just tolerated but exalted.

Lyrics from the gutter, specifically  2LiveCrew, a rap group.

“Bend over and spread em, girl, Show-w-w me those pussy pearls, Rub that ass and play with that clit, You know I like that freaky shit” and so on.

Today’s America.

The intellectual and moral level of these bottom-feeders is not compatible with civilization, yet the country is bathed in their outpourings. To take it out of passive voice, the music industry of New York bathes the country in it. There is no nice way to escape because the courts will uphold the industry.

The conflict is  between freedom and social totalitarianism. Remote bureaucracies with whom localities have nothing in common write their children’s textbooks and decide what morality they should be taught.  People who want a say in the schooling of their children, who want to choose where and with whom they live, find themselves pitted against a political ruling class with power to decide almost every aspect of their lives.

Something has to give.

College Then and Now: Letter to a Bright Young Woman

Dear ___,

You asked how college was when I was a kid, in the late Epicene, and what I thought of schools today. Herewith an answer which I will probably post on my website as I think the matter important:

Much has changed.

Long ago, before 1965 say, college was understood to be for the intelligent and academically prepared among the young, who would one day both provide leadership for the country and set the tone of society. Perhaps ten percent, but no more than twenty percent, of high-school graduates were thought to have any business on a campus.

It was elitist and deliberately so. Individuals and groups obviously differed in character and aptitude. The universities selected those students who could profit by the things done at universities.

Incoming freshmen were assumed to read with fluency and to know algebra cold. They did, because applicants were screened for these abilities by the SATs. These tests, not yet dumbed down, then measured a student’s ability to handle complex ideas expressed in complex literate English, this being what college students then did.

There were no remedial courses. If you needed them, you belonged somewhere else. The goal of college was learning, not social uplift.

Colleges were a bit stodgy, a bit isolated from the world, and focused on teaching. Most had not adopted the grand-sounding title of “university.” Professors were hired for a few years to see whether they worked out with the expectation that if they did, they would get tenure. At schools I  knew, “publish or perish” did not exist. The students, almost entirely white and with the cultural norms associated with that condition, were well behaved within the limits imposed by late adolescence.

The purpose of college was the making of cultivated men and women who would understand the world to the extent that it has proved willing to be understood. This meant the liberal arts. “Liberal” didn’t mean “lefty” or “nice.” It implied a broad grounding in languages, literature, history, the sciences, mathematics, economics, philosophy, and art and music.

The emphasis was on “broad.” For example, if the student took a reasonably rigorous course called “A Survey of Art from Classical Antiquity to the Present,” he—or, most assuredly she—could go into any museum or archaeological site in the Western world, and know what he was seeing. In discussions of politics or literature he would not feel like an orphaned guttersnipe and, having a basis in most fields, could rapidly master any that proved of importance or interest.

There was of course, the young being the young, parallel interest in beer, the other sex, and the usual foolishness that we geezers remember with fondness.

That is how things were. Then came what are roughly called the Sixties, actually the late Sixties and early Seventies.

They changed everything.

The first and worst change was the philosophy that everybody, or much closer to everybody, should go to college. Disaster followed. There descended on the schools huge numbers of adolescents without the brains, preparation, or interest needed for college. They had little notion of what college was for. The very idea of cultivation seemed undemocratic to them, as of course it was. They set out to avoid it. And did.

Since they were not ready, and for the most part could not be made ready, colleges dumbed down courses. Remedial classes proliferated. These worked poorly.  When a graduate of high school can barely read, there is usually an underlying reason why he will never be able to read.

Colleges, which had not been focused on money, realized that these swarms of the intellectually bedraggled paid tuition. Schooling became a business. Tuition rose sharply, much in excess of inflation. Banks, seeing a vast new market, began making student loans and soon learned to tie these loans to the parents’ houses. This kept  the student from escaping by filing for bankruptcy. It was a gold mine.

The universities, become businesses, acted like businesses. They cut costs by using adjunct professors, often of low quality, as academic migrant workers instead of far higher-paid tenured staff. Academic quality dropped further.

Students became customers buying diplomas.  On the principle that the customer is always right, colleges gave them whatever they wanted. One thing they wanted was grades. Grade inflation boomed.

What the students didn’t want was an education, to the extent that they knew what the word meant. They wanted courses that were easy and fun. Soon there were things like “What if Harry Potter were Real?” and “The Comic Book in the Struggle for Gender Equality.” These were vacuous, but the students didn’t know and wouldn’t have cared. They were in a USP—a university-shaped place—that had the form of schooling, such as numbered courses with solemn-sounding titles, credit hours, and buildings with blackboards. They  thought they were in college. They weren’t really, but didn’t really want to be.

College, once a passage into adulthood, became a way of avoiding it. Immaturity and narcissism flourished well into the students’ twenties. This was perhaps because they had never had the experience of having to do things, such as work in a gas station or manage a paper route.  They confused universities with their parents and worked to outrage them. With the righteousness of the still-pubescent, they demanded justice for everything and, having no experience of rational argument, or of thought of any kind, called for the abolition of anything that didn’t suit them. To their delight, they discovered that administrations would cave. Expelling them would have been  a wiser course. They became the prissiest of prissy moralists.

Many professors were products of the Sixties and saw the role of universities to be the pursuit of social change. Students with little desire for learning were content with this. Black students were a particular problem, as they were usually even less prepared than the white. Largely to hide their deficiencies, universities began to abandon the SATs which made unpreparedness obvious. This was said to foster “inclusiveness.”

Universities recruited blacks competitively as evidence of social rightness.  These trophies lacked roots in European civilization, literature, history, sciences and mathematics. They demanded, and got, departments of Black Studies, academic ghettos lowering standards yet further.

Meanwhile the federal government had taken control, almost unnoticed. Washington taxed the states and then gave some of the money back to the universities, provided that they behaved as desired. They invariably did. The Supreme Court decided admissions policies. Big schools became research centers for the government, largely the military. The education of undergraduates took third place, behind football.

Oversupply of graduates raised its ugly head. When degrees had been scare, and went to the intelligent, they carried advantage. When everyone had a college degree, they didn’t. The number of jobs actually requiring an education was far smaller than the number of young who had diplomas, though not educations. Soon there were countless college-educated taxi-drivers, parking-lot attendants, and servers of over-priced coffee at Starbucks.

Potentially far worse, though this wave is just beginning to break, employers noticed the falling capacities of graduates. They began to think of hiring people according to what they knew and could do, instead of according to possession of diplomas that increasingly meant little. Survey after survey showed that graduates couldn’t read documents with understanding, didn’t know in what century the Civil War was fought, couldn’t name the three branches of government, and had trouble with arithmetic.

The result was that students who wanted to learn nothing did so, at great expense and to little advantage to themselves or society, and were ruthlessly exploited by banks and rooked for exorbitant tuition while failing to grow up.

I hope these cheerful notes answewer your question.

Love,

Uncle Rick

Here Comes Donald!: Duck.

 

8 U.S. Code § 1324a: (1)In general It is unlawful for a person or other entity—

(A) to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien (as defined in subsection (h)(3))….

Oh  God. Oh God. It’s Hillary or Trump. The first, a loathsome Gorgon paddling about in the  bubbling corruption and fetor of Washington, a political hooker in a plastic miniskirt crooning “I’ll l do anything for a donation to my foundation.” On this soiled caryatid we are going to rest the weight of the nation?

But…Trump? A huckstering bully growling, “I can whip any man in this bar.” He doesn’t seem to have looked around the bar very carefully. I’ll vote for him because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate, but…but….

I read with astonishment his proposed policy toward Mexico. Truculence, ignorance, carney showmanship, and a weird view of Mexico. He sees it as both an enemy country and as a malign being, sentient, diabolical, bent on hurting the United States. This seems to parallel his approach to the rest of the world.

His goal regarding Latinos–the prevention of illegal immigration and the repatriation of illegal immigrants–is commendable. A country has the right to determine who enters. Some of his plans would effect this end. Yet he seems to have little understanding of the problem and believes that Mexico, which he despises, is the cause.

How so? America’s immigration mess is entirely self-inflicted.  In 1965 the United States changed its laws to encourage immigration. Mexico didn’t change America’s laws. Ever since, American businessmen have knowingly, eagerly hired illegal immigrants in large numbers and exerted influence to maintain the influx. The American government under Obama encourages illegal immigration, and former administrations have looked the other way. The Democrats push for naturalization explicitly to get the votes. States give illegals driver’s licenses, health care, and schooling. “Sanctuary cities” openly defy laws as, again, does the federal government. Border patrols have been ordered, by Obama, virtually to stand down.

None of this was done by Mexico.

He is mad about the use of welfare by illegals. Trump quote: “U.S. taxpayers have been asked to pick up hundreds of billions in healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, welfare costs, etc.”

How much sense does this make? America offers these things and then complains when they are accepted. If you don’t want illegal aliens on welfare, don’t give them welfare. Is this a difficult concept? Why is Mexico to blame for America’s stupidity?

Yet we have Trump eagerly planning ways to punish Mexico.

From his web page: “There is no doubt that Mexico is engaging in unfair subsidy behavior that has eliminated thousands of U.S. jobs….”

Fact: American businesses have moved factories to Mexico. Mexico did not force them to do this. In the United States, American businessmen intentionally give jobs to illegals. The illegals accept them. They do not “take” them. How could they? At gunpoint?

Trump is either dishonest, naive, or thinks like a ten-year-old.

Then we have: “Mexico has taken advantage of us in another way as well: gangs, drug traffickers and cartels have freely exploited our open borders and committed vast numbers of crimes inside the United States.”

Always  Mexico is a conscious, malevolent being. Again Trump is blankly ignorant.

Fact: “Mexico” does not sell drugs in the United States. The cartels do. Mexico cannot control the cartels (as neither can the United States), which dominate large parts of the country, fight battles against the army and police, kill reporters and the families of soldiers known to take part in operations against them.

The cartels do far more harm to Mexico than to the United States. Wikipedia: “By the end of Felipe Calderón‘s administration (2006–12), the official death toll of the Mexican Drug War was at least 60,000.[Estimates set the death toll above 120,000 killed by 2013, not including 27,000 missing.”

That’s taking advantage of the US?  Mexican cops, soldiers, and reporters are dying in America’s drug war. Americans are not.

If Trump doesn’t know the foregoing, he is anpolitical gerbil proposing policy without bothering to do minimal homework. If he does know it, he is a con man.

Mexicans occasionally ask, “If Americans don’t want drugs, why do they buy them?” The market for drugs exists in the first place because Americans very much want drugs: high-school students want them, often middle-schoolers, college kids, high-dollar lawyers, Congressmen on the Hill doing lines of coke at parties, liberals, conservatives, libertarians, the residue of the Sixties. Washington doesn’t want Americans to have their drugs. It is America’s problem.

Trump’s plan to require proof of citizenship to remit money to Latin America makes sense and would be effective. So would eVerify. No reason exists to make life easy for criminal aliens–which, since illegal entry into America is a crime, includes all illegals. But he is going to force Mexico to, grrr, woof, to pay for his border wall, the brown bastards. 

Quote: “It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year.  “

This is extortion—he could equally say “Give us fifty billion or we will bomb Guadalajara.” We could profitably use the approach on Canada. It embodies his curious notion that Mexico has responsibility to enforce America’s immigration laws when the US makes no effort to enforce them.

Which would be easy, except that America doesn’t really want to do it.

It is illegal to hire illegals. See USC above. Heavy penalties are on the books. Nowhere, as far as I can determine, does Trump suggest applying those penalties to CEOs, farmers, rich women with illegal maids, and construction firms.

Leading a few dozen employers in handcuffs to the paddy wagon would have an immediate effect. Make it a rebuttable presumption that if more than ten percent of a work force are criminally in the United States, the employer knows it. In the case of corporations, deny federal contracts to companies convicted to hiring criminal aliens. As  President in control of the Justice Department, Trump could begin enforcing the laws on his first day in office.

If Trump won’t move against criminal employers–if you break the law, you are a criminal, and hiring illegals is against the law–how can one regard him as more than a grandstanding opportunist?

Over and over, the pugnacity, the threatening: Quote: “Again, we have the leverage so Mexico will back down.” Over and over, if we do this, it will hurt Mexico (or China in other statements) more than it will hurt us. We have the leverage, the power. We can do what we want to them.

What if Mexico didn’t back down?

Here we have fertile ground for unintended and unpredictable consequences. There are things that governments cannot do and stay in power. Caving in to extortion may be one. The demand to pay for a wall would be a “Kiss my ass, Pedro” moment. It is clearly intended as such. If Mexico said “No” and Trump blocked remittances, his ego being threatened, it would be seen as a war on Mexico, Mexicans, and Latinos in general. Which  it would be. 

There are at least fifty-five million Latinos in the United States. Most are legal and not going anywhere. How wise is it for the President to attack them as Latinos, to describe them in insulting and inaccurate terms, to blame them for things they haven’t done, and create antagonism between the US and Mexico? All of this thrills white nationalists, many of whom seem to want revenge as much as they want an end to immigration. But America probably doesn’t really need another huge, hostile, self-aware racial group. Perhaps Trump should avoid creating one.

Also worth noting is that Mexico is not the banana republic of popular imagination. It is a major trading  partner of the US, a nation of about 120 million, the first or second economy in Latin America depending on what Brazil is doing at the moment, with a rapidly expanding middle class. It is also host to enormous investment by American firms. For example, Ford is about to build a $1.6 billion plant here. The Donald’s school-yard-bully approach plays well with many of his constituents, but making enemies to the south is not going to help either country.

But this is a grown-up consideration. We are talking about national politics.

Squids and the Inner Light of Being

It was an epochal moment for the military and perhaps for all of society. Screwing up her courage, Air Force First Lieutenant Kara-Ann McBee walked into her commander’s office on the D-Ring of the Pentagon and announced that she was a giant squid.

Kara was slender and tomboyish, with an upturned nose, freckles, and an attractive brush-cut hairdo. She could have been Tom Sawyer’s sister. She did not appear to be a giant squid.

“But I am, sir,” she said, rigidly at attention and clearly nervous. “I’ve known it since I was a little girl. I…sir, I am a squid trapped in a woman’s body. I’m trans-phylum, sir.”

The commander, Colonel R. Boyd Gittim, was stunned. He was a compact, graying man in his mid-fifties, a combat flier who had slipped through the screening process to high position in what insiders called the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel. He was not well suited to the complex personnel issues of the modern military.

He had to say something. What, he wondered?

“Squids have lots of arms. Ten, I think.”

“Yessir, ten. But…you see, sir, I feel their presence. Like ectoplasm or something.”

Colonel Gittim sighed. He knew of course about LGBT, which he thought of as Lettuce, Bacon, and Tomato, and he knew there existed crucial military questions about whether boys could use the girls room. Squids were too much.

It wasn’t his Air Force any longer, he thought grayly.  Wars were fought by remotely-controlled drones now, and the best pilots were probably fifteen-year-old gamers with no social life. They could do it from home by internet. He decided to retire and drink himself to death.

But consequences were to follow this modest beginning. Kara-Ann, not particularly militant, said that just wanted to be respected as a cephalopod, although she did say that she thought the Air Force ought to provide her an aquarium to sleep in. But, inevitably,  the affair came to the attention of DACOWITS. This was not a Polish mathematician, but the Defense Advisory Commission on Women in the Services. They were Boadiceas of social justice, fighting against the oppression, brutality, contempt and unremitting assault to which women were subjected everywhere, except anywhere that anyone could find.  

Dacowits needed something to do. Things were slow in the trenches of discrimination. Most victories had been won. A woman commanded the SEALs, who had been disarmed to prevent violence. The new main battle tanks had changing tables, and urinals had been outlawed throughout the services or converted to flower pots to preclude uncomfortable spaces. The warriors of social justice needed a Cause.

Virtual squids were just the thing.

But what to demand? There was no point in having a Cause if you couldn’t demand something outrageous and get coverage in the Washington Post. Perhaps, they decided, they  could insist that Kara-Ann should have uniforms with ten sleeves. After intense conferencing, they came up with “imputed tentacles.” After all, phylum was a social construct, and if Kara-Ann could be a squid without looking like one, then she could have tentacles without having any.

When an unwise major tweeted that the idea was “silly as hell and I don’t want to serve with any goddam octopus,” he was demoted. Wilhelmina Mikoyan-Gurevich, chairwoman of Dacowits, exploded. Who were men to decide how  many arms a woman had? Did men know what it was to be pregnant? Women knew their own bodies. If they thought they had tentacles, then they did have them.

A few within Dacowits thought this was over the top, even in pursuit of social justice. Maybe something simpler would do. Could they demand special diets for virtual squids? They weren’t sure what squids ate. Something unpleasant, no doubt.

Restaurants and chow halls throughout the military were forbidden to serve calamai when Kara-Ann broke down in hysterical crying and said it was just too…too horrible, and requested counseling. Trans-phylum bathrooms were a slam-dunk, but what exactly would such a loo need? How did squids…you know…do it? A commission was formed to study the question.

Things became complicated as more servicepersons discovered their inner zoology. Two giraffes, a kudu, and a Brahma bull came out of the closet, the last requesting a feeding trough in the mess hall. The kudu, a goggle-eyed computer nerd from Defense Intelligence named Howie Osfeiser, said he wasn’t sure what a kudu was, but he figured he probably was one. He just knew it.

An unenlightened Marine general said “the whole business is crazier than three monkeys in a bag. What is this freak show coming to?” The Washington Post ran an editorial comparing him to Hitler and saying that his attitude would lead to a second Holocaust. Of course, the Post thought that everything would lead to a second Holocaust.

The State Department announced that it would fund a recruitment drive to find trans-phylum ambassadors, and would modify embassies correspondingly, for example by increasing headroom for imputed giraffes.

In his last days in office, President Obama ordered that all federal buildings be equipped with litter boxes, saying, “A country as great as America was–is–that all the world wants to be like, and wishes it was, cannot seem to penalize citizens who think they are animals, even if they aren’t–though of course they are. Who are we to decide what kind of animals other people are? Praise Allah.”

This clarion call to probity and fairness echoed around the world and was adjudged to embody the clarity and internal coherence characteristic of Obama’s speeches.

A veritable storm of justice had left its imprint in the Pentagon. Calm gradually returned. Glitches continued, but they were minor. The Army’s Chief of Staff, Priscilla-Robert McFarley, came out of the closet as a Bolivian anteater and was discovered to be having termites flown in from La Paz. The computer nerd who had declared himself a kudu figured out that if he discovered himself to be a three-toed sloth  instead, the Army would have to give him more time to sleep.  

The furor finally died down and the nation entered a time of healing. The matter of inter-phylum dating caused a brief flurry, but abated when it was pointed out that the practice was common in the sheep country of Scotland. And of course national attention was diverted when an Armyperson who gender-identified as usually or somewhat male was caught trying to have sex with a vacuum cleaner. Phylum-neutral bathrooms were hastily equipped with chutes for emptying dust bags and….