You might think that Isabel Wilkerson’s best-selling book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents might be timely because Kamala Harris is descended both from a high-caste Brahmin mother and a Jamaican father from that island’s “middle-class brown” caste.
Harris’ father, a retired Stanford economics professor, appears to be a product of the careful breeding regimen that author Malcolm Gladwell describes in his writings about how his Jamaican mother’s ancestors kept themselves distinct from the black masses. An affluent Jamaican once told me with bemusement: “Everybody calls me black in the United States and white in Jamaica.”
Americans, with our traditional one-drop rule for lumping people into either black or white, don’t understand Caribbean and Latin American gradients, which go back to Spanish times. For example, on Kamala’s birth certificate, Professor Harris entered as his race “Jamaican,” which strikes me as a sensible way around the problem of Americans lacking a vocabulary to describe in-between people like himself.
On the other hand, it could be argued that the only real system of caste in the world is found among the Hindus of South Asia, Bali, and Silicon Valley, with their thousands of endogamous groups and endless proliferation of rules. Everybody else’s caste system is just a weak-tea metaphor for the Indian straight stuff.
The South Asian caste system is a colossal work of social construction. Yet it turns out to have genetic ramifications as well. Harvard geneticist David Reich’s 2018 book Who We Are and How We Got Here explains:
The Han Chinese are truly a large population. They have been mixing freely for thousands of years. In contrast, there are few if any Indian groups that are demographically very large, and the degree of genetic differentiation among Indian jati groups living side by side in the same village is typically two to three times higher than the genetic differentiation between northern and southern Europeans. The truth is that India is composed of a large number of small populations.
Harris’ mother was a Tamil Brahmin.
We often think of caste as a pointless division of people into arbitrary groups with no regard to merit. And yet…the Tamil Brahmins are quite high-achieving for a relatively small group of about 2 million in India and 50,000 in the U.S., producing the legendary math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, two Nobel laureates, and the CEOs of Google and Pepsi. Nature? Nurture? Both?
Indeed, Kamala, with her degrees from black Howard U. and plebeian Hastings law school, is likely the least intelligent member of her family, trailing her lawyer sister (Berkeley and Stanford Law), cancer-researcher mother, and economist father. In contrast to her meritocrat family members, Kamala launched her San Francisco political career the old-fashioned way: by having sex with Mayor Willie Brown, who in return gave her a BMW and two taxpayer-funded sinecures.
Who are the Brahmins? Reich points out that Hinduism’s priestly caste tends to be more descended from the Aryan invaders from the Eastern European–Western Asian steppe, which is why higher-caste people in India tend to be fairer-skinned.
On the other hand, Southern Indians tend to be darker, somewhat less descended from Aryans, and higher-scoring on academic tests than Northern Indians, reminiscent of Nietzsche’s speculations on “slave morality” that in Eurasian prehistory the conquered tended to be smarter than their Blond Beast conquerors.
One theory is that the Proto-Indo-European-speaking steppe nomads imposed India’s caste system: After all, they may have brought to Europe the three-element class system of warrior nobles, clergy, and commoners that comprised the Estates-General in France up through 1789.
Madison Grant speculated in his 1916 The Passing of the Great Race:
A record of the desperate efforts of the conquering upper classes in India to preserve the purity of their blood persists until this very day in their carefully regulated system of caste. In our Southern States, Jim Crow cars and social discrimination have exactly the same purpose.
Then again, Europe has always been so much more egalitarian and socially streamlined than India that it’s conceivable that caste was indigenous to South Asia and the Aryans simply put themselves on top of a preexisting hierarchy.
Or the system may have evolved after the invasions.
We don’t know, but the new science of digging up skeletons and analyzing their DNA might provide an answer in the upcoming decades, although South Asian elites, like elites all over the world, seem to be turning against genetics due to the threat it poses to their worldviews.
For example, perhaps the most embarrassingly over-the-top book review ever penned by The New York Times’ usually sensible Dwight Garner was for the new Oprah’s Book Club selection Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, a black lady who won a Pulitzer Prize for her best-seller about African-American history The Warmth of Other Suns.
Her new tome is about caste in India, the United States, and Nazi Germany (because we can never hear enough about Hitler). Wilkerson argues that we should stop talking about racism against blacks, because as we all know science proves race doesn’t exist, and instead talk about casteism against blacks. In fact, maybe we shouldn’t talk about blacks and whites since that’s only skin-deep. Instead, we should refer to “the dominant caste” and “the subordinate caste.”
It’s an extraordinary document, one that strikes me as an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far…one of the most powerful nonfiction books I’d ever encountered.
Garner is a normal white guy from West Virginia, so I guess he feels he has to say these kind of things to avoid being canceled from his nice job at The New York Times by ambitious underlings.
Times being what they are, people do what they must. But still, the ignominy of extolling Wilkerson’s book…
First, Wilkerson’s moralistic prose style appears to be aimed at the Intelligent Middle Schooler market: It’s young-adult nonfiction. It’s not badly written (Wilkerson deserves praise for largely avoiding the academic jargon that has been metastasizing during the Great Awokening), it’s just not for self-respecting grown-ups.
Second, Wilkerson is not a terribly knowledgeable, insightful, or analytical thinker. Caste is a huge topic with a huge literature, and Wilkerson, a former human-interest journalist for The New York Times, is in over her head.
For example, Wilkerson writes about Jim Crow’s weird, Hindu-like concern with ritual pollution, which mandated separate drinking fountains and so forth. But unlike some previous writers on the topic, she fails to notice that this was a post–Civil War novelty that emerged among the defeated whites. Previously, slave-owners had lived on intimate terms with their house slaves and didn’t worry about such neurotic concerns, probably because their legal and political position was so dominant that they didn’t need to impose petty taboos to humiliate blacks.
But as the losers in the Civil War, Southern whites created Jim Crow to prevent their mulattoization in their new age of defeat. Wilkerson doesn’t perceive that the personal nastiness of Jim Crow toward blacks was a product less of Southern white dominance than of Southern white subordination to Northern whites, of that defeat that was for a century foremost in the minds of Southern whites.
Third, African-American authors’ leading genre has been autobiography (The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the most famous example, although my favorite is Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road), and Wilkerson’s book keeps digressing into personal anecdotes about people disrespecting her because of her
But Wilkerson hasn’t lived as interesting of a life as, say, Frederick Douglass or Maya Angelou. Hence, many of her memories involve less-than-electrifying encounters with fellow passengers in first class who give her a funny look when she asks for help lifting her carry-on luggage or the like. In comparison, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Escalator Incident is as thrilling as The Count of Monte Cristo.
“I am an author, not a domestic,” she thunders. But do white Americans actually stereotype black women as maids in 2020? Outside of West Indian nannies in New York, I don’t recall seeing an African-American domestic servant in this century.
In general, Caste reflects the antiquarianism of the current year. Applying the term “dominant caste” to whites in 2020 ought to sound funny, but because the media is so obsessed with the increasingly distant past, nobody gets the joke.
Like most journalists, Wilkerson is twenty years behind the science in assuming that race has been discredited. She writes:
“Race is a social concept, not a scientific one,” said J. Craig Venter, the geneticist who ran Celera Genomics when the mapping was completed in 2000.
You know and I know that in the two decades following this famous ceremony for the Human Genome Project in Bill Clinton’s Rose Garden, the explosion of genetic information has largely confirmed the basic racial model of the old physical anthropologists (while vastly complicating the backstory of how we got to where we are). But practically nobody else seems to have noticed that Venter was yanking our chain in 2000.
As a true believer in the conventional wisdom, Wilkerson assumes that racial differences are just arbitrary conventions fetishizing one skin-deep difference—color—to the point of reductio ad absurdum. She asks us to imagine a world where caste discrimination is based not on pigment but on height:
Were height the measure for determining race, as arbitrary a measure as any and less arbitrary than some, the Dutch people of the Netherlands would be the same “race” as the Nilote people of South Sudan or the Tutsis of Rwanda.
No, they would not, because race is about who your ancestors were.
For instance, sub-Saharans and Pacific Melanesians look so similar that 19th-century anthropologists assumed they must be closely related due to some unknown prehistoric migration. But over the course of the 20th century, physical anthropologists noted key differences and decided they weren’t actually much related at all, which 21st-century genetics validated. So, for generations, Americans haven’t considered Melanesians to be the same race as Africans.
In reality, there is of course a country where the racial groups are distinguished not by color but by height: Rwanda. Traditionally, the tall Tutsis dominated the medium-size Hutus who dominated the Pygmy-like Twa. When majority rule came in the 1960s, the more numerous Hutus voted themselves into power, but in the 1990s the Tutsi exiles invaded. Radio Hutu Power launched the 1994 genocide of the resident Tutsis with the cry “Cut the tall trees.”
When the Tutsis got back in power, president Paul Kagame proclaimed that there are no racial differences between Tutsi and Hutu, that was all just a socially constructed scam by the white man to divide and conquer Rwandans. But when Kagame brought his lovely daughter to the White House to meet the Obamas, she turned out to be over 6′ 4″. (And here is a picture worth clicking on of two of Kagame’s children with Michael Bloomberg.)
Obviously, Tutsis are not an arbitrary group. They aren’t Tutsis because they are tall, they tend to be tall because they are Tutsis. A racial group is made up of relatives. Tutsis are descended from Tutsis, just as Hutus are descended from Hutus.
Wilkerson eventually winds up with this classic self-own:
We accept the illogic of race because these are things we have been told. We see a person with skin that is whiter than that of most “white” people, and we accept that they are not “white” (and thus of a different category) because of the minutest difference in the folds of their eyelids and because perhaps their great-grandparents were born in Japan.
In other words, contrary to the premise of her book, race isn’t fundamentally about skin color, it’s about what part of the world your ancestors evolved in. Pigmentation, facial features, height, and so forth aren’t the essence of race, they are all clues to who you are more related to.
In summary, race is real. What we choose to do about it is up to us, but the more we pay attention to the truth, the likelier we are to make good decisions.
With summer 2020 finally in the rearview mirror, and after seven months of “two weeks to flatten the curve,” I’m getting a little sick of “the science.” Not science, mind you, but theee science, the thing that leftists keep assuring us exists—a singular, canonical truth we all must obey. Mind you, it sure seems like there’s not a great deal of agreement about “the science” regarding COVID: You don’t need masks/You do need masks. Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work/Hydroxychloroquine totally works. Sunlight doesn’t help/Sunlight helps. COVID doesn’t linger in the air/COVID totally lingers in the air/COVID doesn’t linger after all.
Large crowds spread COVID/Large crowds don’t spread COVID (if it’s a BLM crowd).
Theee science is whatever today’s CNN home page says it is. If that happens to contradict yesterday’s home page, well, that’s your fault for having a memory.
The corruption of science by the “don’t ask questions, just accept today’s headline” crowd started long before COVID (like, when cancel-conscious scientists began redacting everything they’d previously said about there being only two genders). But COVID has conditioned millions of Americans to unquestioningly accept that corruption as a permanent fixture. In such an environment, is it any surprise that leftists are using junk science to promote their most sacred of tenets: the inborn racism of white Americans?
Phillip Levine and Robin McKnight are two tenured mouthbreathers at Wellesley. Levine is a former Clinton administration senior economist who churns out liberal pap for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), and McKnight is a “health economist” who does health-care-related research also for NBER and NASI. These two “top researchers” recently authored a paper for the Brookings Institution about the summer spike in U.S. firearms sales. In the study, Levine and McKnight claim that the spike in gun purchases was not due to legitimate security fears in response to riots and looting. Rather, they claim the spike was the result of…can you guess? Evil white racism!
Whites motivated by “racial animus” were mass-purchasing guns because they hate black people. Because that’s whites for ya. They don’t want to protect their businesses, homes, or families. Nope, they just wanna kill blacks. As The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham summarized in his coverage of this “bombshell” report, “The research suggests that at least some of the spike in gun purchases is driven by racist beliefs and attitudes among white Americans.”
Now, the obvious question that any rational person would ask is, how did these “scientists” arrive at their conclusion? The gun purchase spike was real, and easily explained as a reaction to BLM/Antifa violence and anarchy. So how did Levine and McKnight “prove” that “racist beliefs and attitudes among whites” were the actual prime motivating factor behind the spike?
You’ll think I’m kidding, but I’m not: The two “professors” used Google Trends data to count how many people in different states Google-searched the word “nigger.” Since searches for “nigger” appeared to rise along with gun sales, Levine and McKnight “deduced” (i.e., assumed) that:
(a) Only racist white people Google search “nigger.”
(b) The “nigger” search spike occurred at roughly the same time as the firearms spike.
(c) The firearms spike was driven by racist whites who Google “nigger.”
I reached out to the WaPo’s Ingraham, posing the following question:
There’s no way of knowing the race of the people searching for those racial epithets, is there? In theory, those searches could have been performed by whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, the mixed-race, children, etc. There’s really no way of knowing. Is there something I’m missing here?
He replied: “Given that anti-black racism in this country has historically been inflicted primarily by whites, that’s the most sensible conclusion.”
Observe how Ingraham has created his own equation of imbecility:
A) No one Googles “nigger” unless they hate blacks.
B) Only whites hate blacks, as history proves.
C) All Google searches for “nigger” are conducted by whites who hate blacks.
Believe it or not, Ingraham’s equation didn’t convince me. I replied:
I still don’t see how one can determine the race of the searchers. What are these folks even searching for? It could be rap lyrics (Lil Wayne just released a revamped version of his hit featuring the N-word in the title), stand-up routines, news stories ABOUT the use of epithets, etc. It seems to me that assuming race from Google searches is strikingly inexact.
In response, Ingraham referred me to the granddaddy of all “nigger search” studies, which Levine and McKnight used to “prove” the soundness of their methodology: “The Cost of Racial Animus on a Black Presidential Candidate: Using Google Search Data to Find What Surveys Miss,” by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. Stephens-Davidowitz, a former Google “data scientist,” is the Isaac Newton of “nigger search science.” For his “Cost of Racial Animus” paper, which was written in 2013 when he was attending Harvard, he used Google Trends data to make the case that “nigger searches” are a predictor of antiblack voting patterns. Stephens-Davidowitz’s entire premise was predicated upon the same core assumption that infests the Brookings study: Only white adults with pronounced antiblack views ever Google-search “nigger.”
Now, Stephens-Davidowitz did control for “nigga,” to eliminate rap lyric results. But he didn’t control for “N-word” viral news stories. And we all know how much the press loves promoting “N-word” viral news stories. As an example of Stephens-Davidowitz’s slipshod and unreliable methodology, he cataloged nigger searches for the year 2006 without even mentioning, let alone factoring in, the Michael Richards November 2006 Laugh Factory incident, which likely had half of America, regardless of race, ethnicity, or ideology, Googling “Kramer nigger meltdown” or similar terms.
It never even occurred to “scientist” Stephens-Davidowitz to control for viral stories like the Richards affair.
The two Wellesley profs freely admit to using Stephens-Davidowitz’s paper as their inspiration, so I wrote to them because I had a few simple questions about their study. Mainly, I wanted to know if they, like Stephens-Davidowitz, failed to control for Google searches prompted by viral N-word news stories. When I emailed Levine and McKnight, I let them know I’d already had a friendly back-and-forth with the WaPo’s Ingraham. This is a technique that helps academics feel “safe” with a potentially critical journalist; it’s like letting a dog smell your hand (my apologies—that analogy is unfair. Academics should never be compared to dogs. Dogs are beautiful, beloved creatures, unlike the anthropomorphic colostomy bags that inhabit our nation’s universities).
Sadly, Professors Levine and McKnight refused to answer any questions about their study, almost certainly because my questions expose just how worthless the study is. For example, the two Ph.Dumbasses claim that “nigger searches” reached a peak on June 19 (“Juneteenth”), thus “proving” that the searches were conducted by racist whites who apparently were so incensed by the black pseudo-holiday that they decided to search Google for just the right epithet to scream.
However, Levine and McKnight neglected to take into account that June 18–19 saw a slew of “N-word” news stories go viral:
—A black woman was called “nigger” by a white “Karen” following a traffic altercation. Video of the incident was made viral by Upworthy, creating a feeding frenzy on “black Twitter.”
—A black woman claimed she was called “nigger” by an elderly white woman at a New Jersey ShopRite. That incident was covered by dozens of East Coast news outlets and went viral on Reddit, spawning a Change.org petition demanding that ShopRite institute a “zero tolerance” policy on racism.
—Two young members of the Berkeley, Calif., “Brown Girls Climbing” all-black rock-climbing team claimed a white woman called them “nigger” because they were in a park that was closed for COVID. Although no proof of the encounter was provided, Bay Area news sites made it a home page headline.
—The website DaVibes, which caters to Caribbean-Americans, ran a piece titled “Better to Be a ‘Nigger’ From Nigeria.”
—Popular (black) Medium author Jon Writes Ink posted a piece titled “Understanding My Father’s Racial Past: They Called Him Nigger and Killed His Neighbor.”
—And last but certainly not least, Hispanic broadcasting mega-corp Univision fired its immensely popular longtime host Luis Dávila Colón for saying “nigger” on air. That story went super-viral in the Spanish-language press (including the L.A. Times’ Spanish edition).
All of the above stories were viral June 18–19, and all of them might have accounted for instances of blacks, Hispanics, white liberals, and ideologically unaffiliated newshounds conducting Google searches that included the word “nigger” on those dates. Yet Levine and McKnight blindly attribute all such searches during that period to racist whites pissed off about Juneteenth.
Now, you might think I’ve driven a stake through the heart of Google Trends “nigger search science,” but that’s not good enough for me; I want to piss on the ashes as well. See, there’s a coda to the story. Philip Cohen is an accomplished author and sociologist at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also runs a pretty darn leftist blog called Family Inequality. In October 2016, Cohen attempted to replicate Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s 2013 Google Trends study in the run-up to the Trump/Clinton election. He specifically wanted to show that searches for “nigger jokes” and “Holocaust jokes” corresponded with areas that were polling high for Trump.
He seemed to get the results he desired, until…one of his colleagues commented that her grad student had attempted to replicate the state-by-state results, and found that Google Trends figures from past months and years are not stable; the numbers vary wildly hour to hour. These seemingly random fluctuations make the data useless in pinning down a region’s “actual” search rates:
Over the course of 10 hours, I find (a) a mean difference in frequencies for all states by 2.2 points, and (b) a correlation of .987 between our frequencies. The differences were substantial. Only 4 out of 30 states have numbers that were the same…. If Google Trends had daily temporal reliability, we would expect there to be no differences in our numbers and therefore perfect correlation. This clearly isn’t the case. I think this emphasizes the skepticism we should have about using Google Trends.
Cohen, acting like a scientist should, admitted that he’d been in error to rely on Google Trends data, which he conceded is “unstable” and has “a reliability problem.”
Levine and McKnight didn’t let Cohen’s 2016 discovery sully their 2020 study, which is completely unreliable not just for the reasons I outlined (not controlling for viral news stories), but also because another leftist academic named Philip Cohen discovered in 2016 that Google Trends search data is too unstable to form the basis of such a study.
Is this the end of “N-word science”? Don’t count on it. Junk science never bows to reason. That Google Trends data is so malleable will likely lead to more “N-word” studies, and more fawning, credulous mainstream news pieces.
After all, silly little things like facts and logic have no place in theee science, where only dogma lives, and lives loudly.
By nominating Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Donald Trump kept his word, and more than that.
Should she be confirmed, he will have made history.
Even his enemies would have to concede that Trump triumphed where his Republican predecessors — even Ronald Reagan, who filled three court vacancies — fell short. Trump’s achievement — victory in the Supreme Court wars that have lasted for half a century — is a triumph that will affect the nation and the law for years, perhaps decades.
Trump’s remaking of the Supreme Court for constitutionalism may well be the crown jewel of his presidency.
Consider. If Judge Barrett becomes Justice Barrett, she will join Justices Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to create a constitutionalist core of five justices, a controlling majority.
On the other side would sit the three liberals: 82-year-old Stephen Breyer and Barack Obama appointees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
If Chief Justice John Roberts envisioned a Roberts Court where he would be the swing vote for 4-4 deadlocks, deciding every such case himself, his dream could be about to vanish.
If Barrett is confirmed, the new court becomes “The Five,” with its youngest, newest and most charismatic member, a 48-year-old protege of Justice Antonin Scalia, its brightest and rising star.
Consider the credentials of the jurist Trump just named.
Barrett was summa cum laude at Notre Dame Law School, graduating first in her class. She clerked for Scalia, taught law at South Bend for 15 years and has served for three years on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
She is a non-Ivy League, Middle American and a devout Catholic and mother of seven, including a special needs child and two adopted children from Haiti. Almost universally, former classmates and colleagues, liberals among them, praise her temperament, brilliance and scholarship.
America’s court wars, in which the coming battle over Barrett’s nomination may prove decisive, go back half a century.
It was begun in June 1968, as Richard Nixon, victorious in his party’s primaries, was moving inexorably to the GOP nomination in Miami Beach and very possibly on to the presidency of the United States.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, an old adversary of Nixon’s from California days, was not happy with this. A report in the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Warren “is said to feel that Richard Nixon — regarded as the GOP’s likely presidential nominee — would be bound to appoint a new Chief Justice pledged to overturn recent court decisions guaranteeing constitutional rights of criminals.”
Nixon sent the clipping to me with a note: “Buchanan: Why doesn’t (Strom) Thurmond send this to Southern papers — opinion leaders.”
The Inquirer article proved to be on point. In collusion with Chief Justice Warren, President Lyndon Johnson had hatched a plot.
Warren would announce his resignation as chief justice and would make acceptance contingent upon Johnson’s nominee to succeed him being confirmed. And that nominee would be Justice Abe Fortas, a court ally of Warren and longtime crony of LBJ. All three were in on it.
When Fortas was confirmed, his vacant seat as associate justice would then be filled by Federal Judge Homer Thornberry, also an ally of Johnson’s going back to his Texas days.
Thus would Nixon be preempted, the liberalism of the high court guaranteed, and the Warren Court succeeded for another decade by the Fortas Court.
When LBJ named Fortas, Nixon went silent. But GOP Senators Robert Griffin, John Tower and Howard Baker moved to block Fortas’ ascent. They used an argument familiar to us today. The new president chosen in November, not the president retiring in January, should choose Warren’s replacement as chief justice.
The attack from Senate Republicans soon zeroed in on Fortas’ social liberalism on pornography as manifest in his having voted alone on the court to approve for public viewing films depicting acts of homosexual sex.
Fortas not only failed to win the support of the two-thirds of the Senate he needed to overcome a Republican filibuster, he also failed to win a simple majority, receiving only 45 votes for confirmation. On Oct. 1, 1968, Fortas asked Johnson to withdraw his nomination, and in the spring of 1969, he was forced to resign from the court in a financial scandal.
Warren would have to swear in Nixon as the nation’s 37th president on Jan. 20, 1969, and then watch Nixon replace him as chief justice with Judge Warren Burger in the spring of that same year.
Came then Nixon’s losing battles to put Southern judges Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell on the court, Reagan’s failure to elevate Bob Bork, and the brutal but failed assaults on Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.
Now comes Amy Coney Barrett’s turn.
If Senate Republicans stay united, then they can realize a victory that generations of their GOP predecessors had hoped to see.
Giving credence to suspicions that rioting has engulfed the nation for four months now without officials lifting a pinkie finger to stop it because it’s actually part of a Deep State operation to rebuild the nation the way they want it rebuilt, the FBI recently took pains to announce that, no, Antifa was definitively NOT responsible for a spate of Oregon wildfires.
Giving credence to suspicions that the mainstream press is merely a PR arm of the Deep State, many high-profile publications have taken great pains to assure us that, no, it hasn’t been Antifa and BLM torching and smashing and beating and killing since late May—it’s been “white supremacists” all along.
Their words would lead an unquestioning soul to believe that despite the ample evidence of Black Lives Matter and Antifa “protesters” setting fire to police precincts and federal buildings and fast-food joints and car dealerships and public housing-facilities under construction in cities such as Madison, Oakland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Rochester, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Portland, St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, Nashville, Denver, Washington, DC, Madison, Richmond and states such as Nebraska, Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, these were just white supremacists in blackface and communist apparel.
They even want us to know that when rioters and their enablers chant or tweet “burn it down,” they don’t actually mean it literally. Or at least not all the time.
Newsweek recently quoted a certain “Donna Zuckerberg” on this very topic:
‘Burn it all down’ isn’t always a genuine recommendation. Sometimes it’s just an expression of extreme frustration, recognition that something is so deeply flawed that gradual incremental change within existing infrastructure won’t cut it. It’s a provocation and a challenge to imagine how, if you had a blank slate, you’d go about solving big problems in creative, radical ways. It’s also a kind of self-care, an anti-gaslighting technique that allows space to acknowledge how bad and hurtful something is before we begin the long, hard, painful work of making it better.
Gaslighting? Zuckerberg, please! What are they extremely frustrated about? The fact that in very rare cases, violent black suspects with long criminal histories get shot when they’re dumb enough to resist arrest and assault police?
Sounds kind of juvenile and mental. For years, psychiatrists have linked arson with mental illness. And it’s also a common behavior among fledgling serial killers. The other day I honestly asked online if the next trend would be torturing animals in the name of social justice and was informed that it’s already happened.
A Louisville TV station recently quoted John Jay Johnson, leader of a black militia group called the Not Fucking Around Coalition, about what he meant back in July when he said this about Breonna Taylor—a woman who was accidentally shot by police after her dope-slinging boyfriend shot at police first—meant when he said this back in July:
If we … don’t get the truth … the whole truth … and the motherfucking truth, we are going to burn this motherfucker down.
The truth? When did these flagrantly inarticulate imbeciles give a fig about the truth? Johnson’s response:
That’s a million-dollar question. Nobody with good sense would think you would come in like the old days with torches and burn the town down. That doesn’t serve the purpose. ‘Burn it down’ means to take down the systems that are in place that have held us up. In other words, we need those answers and we need those answers now. No one has issued a threat to burn down the town. We don’t break the law.
Well, it seems as if at least a few hundred of your allies didn’t get the memo, sir. And your jibber-jabber about “racism” rings hollow when one of your own members showed up in Stone Mountain, GA challenging “crackers” to a gun battle.
It’s interesting that Johnson said “the systems” have “held us up” rather than “kept us down.” Maybe he meant “impeded us,” but whether he actually meant that the American judicial system is either holding blacks down or impeding them from realizing their full potential, he is welcome to address my perennial challenge to name a black-majority place on this godforsaken planet where his brethren fare better than they do in America.
The endless calls for arson, real and imagined, literal and figurative, continued apace last week. When it was announced that a grand jury had reviewed all available evidence and concluded that the only law police broke during the Breonna Taylor incident involved shooting recklessly into adjoining apartments, rioters shot up two cops and Twitter allowed #BurnLouisville to become a top trending topic because apparently that’s not a terroristic threat.
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died far too late last week and it was suggested that Donald Trump might nominate a replacement as is his right, foreign-born writer Reza Aslan tweeted thusly:
If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire fucking thing down.
He later clarified that he was not speaking figuratively and that if Mitch McConnell proposed a vote for a nominee, Aslan was calling for a violent insurrection—which, last time I checked, is a federal crime:
Over our dead bodies, literally.
Has this insufferably self-righteous twat ever been in a fight? I mean, a literal one instead of some online slapfest?
By the way, have you noticed that not one of the tools who chant “burn it down” has proposed what they plan to do after the only thing left is ashes?
A generation that has never done anything besides watch Star Wars movies and swipe right on Tinder somehow seems convinced they can rebuild a better civilization from scratch.
Why should we trust people who can’t even spell the word “breathe” to rebuild a more functional society than the current one?
How do you expect them to build a functional civilization if their entire protest movement is based on the provable lies that police are wantonly slaying blacks in the streets and that blacks are in any way systematically defamed and oppressed rather than worshiped and enabled? If they can’t even get THAT straight, they can’t get anything straight.
Let’s say that hypothetically, America falls apart and a Civil War ensues. In the case that the USA no longer exists and the side that is more sympathetic to my beliefs winds up victorious, I offer an alternate proposal: Anyone who is dumb enough to think they’ll improve society by burning every institution and edifice to the ground should be neutered in every way possible: financially, socially, and yes, even sexually. Burn every last opportunity in life for them down to ashes. Cut their legs off at the knees and send them out to sea on ice floes as they slowly bleed to death.
Better yet, burn them at the stake. It’d be more poetic.
The world would be a far better place without any of these destructive waste cases. These people are the reason we can’t have nice things, the losers who want to topple everything because they’ve personally achieved nothing.
In my eyes, any medium-sized house with a solid foundation and no black mold is worth more than any of their lives.
The Week’s Sassiest, Brassiest, and Gassiest Headlines
ALYSSA “DEFUND THE POLICE” MILANO CALLS 911 ON SQUIRREL-SHOOTING DOMESTIC TERRORIST
Formerly sexy actress Alyssa Milano is best known for her groundbreaking 1988 workout video “Teen Steam” that features people of different races stretching and sweating together without any noticeable outbreaks of violence.
Since she now enjoys a net worth of around $10 million and lives in a 8,000-square-foot house in a gated community, she openly identifies with the poor and oppressed like any other Hollywood dimwit plagued with wealth guilt. In July, she tweeted her support for an LA County bill that would cut police funding by 90%. In August, she burped out a simple “#DefundThePolice.”
Recently, alarmed at the sound of gunfire near her lavish crow’s nest, she dialed 911 in panic, resulting in “seven Ventura County Sheriffs’ vehicles, one K-9 unit, a police helicopter and one Los Angeles Fire Department team that sat down the street on standby” infesting her tony neighborhood.
According to a local resident, “It turned out it was a neighborhood teen with an air gun shooting at squirrels.” After being informed that his squirrelly endeavors caused havoc in the neighborhood, the rodent-poaching juvenile delinquent turned himself into the police that Milano seeks to defund. Since at press time, we have received no reports that the police murdered the teen, we will assume he is not black.
Another resident noted that Milano is a big poopy-faced hypocrite:
She can tweet those things because at the end of the day she lives behind gates in a gated community. She knows the police will come to save her. But what about all those people who don’t have that luxury and live in unsafe neighborhoods? She obviously doesn’t care. She uses her platform in hypocritical ways. Why not send your husband into the yard to find out what is actually going on before you call the police? I would guesstimate the response today from law enforcement cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
You heard it here first: Sometimes Hollywood stars say one thing and then do another.
Breonna Taylor was a black woman in Louisville, KY whose boyfriend shot at cops while they were in the process of legally serving a warrant. Even though the cops reportedly knocked and announced they were cops, we are led to believe that the only reason they showed up at her apartment was to shoot a black woman to death, resulting in months of riots and the eventual complete obliteration of Louisville as a functional municipality.
If you’ve been paying attention, in every last freaking one of these high-profile cases where a black person gets shot and killed by cops, there was some level of resisting arrest involved. In Taylor’s case, she was the unfortunate victim of a shooting that occurred when her paramour made the dumb decision to start shooting at cops.
After months of delays, public pressure finally forced Louisville to convene a grand jury to determine if the police had broken any laws. Last week, they decided that only one of the three cops who fired bullets that night had committed a crime—his recklessness had endangered residents in adjoining apartments.
Naturally, Twitter erupted with the predictably counterfactual cries of “IT’S LEGAL IN AMERIKKKA FOR COPS TO MURDER BLACK WOMEN WITH IMPUNITY” and suchlike. By this point, you should have realized that facts have never mattered to these idiots, because if they did, they would have been far more successful in life than their global record of constant failure would indicate.
Two police officers were shot during the first night of peaceful protests. At least 160 people were arrested, including the only black woman on Kentucky’s state legislature. Some will see this as proof of endemic racism in Kentucky. Others—the smart ones—will see it as proof that black politicians are more likely to riot than others.
Twitter, which has an odd concept of what constitutes incitement to violence—allowed the phrase “Burn Louisville” to trend without banning anyone. Outright calls for arson and decapitation even slipped past their censors:
Burn it to the fucking ground and put Daniel Cameron’s head on a pike at the highest point of the ashes. #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor
Then again, the guy who posted that looks like this, just as you knew he would. Of COURSE he’s an obese, bearded white guy who dresses up as a woman.
TWITTER’S RACIST ALGORITHM CROPS BLACKS OUT OF PHOTOS
The problem with robots, just as with white people, is that they are both racist and sexist. A 2016 AI bot that Microsoft christened “Tay” rapidly turned into a Jew-hating Nazi, and in 2018 Google was forced to forbid any pictures from being labeled as a chimpanzee or a monkey because its racist algorithms equated these beasts to black people.
Twitter, since it is a white-supremacist company operating in a white-supremacist country under a white-supremacist form of capitalism, recently caught heat when it emerged that an image-cropping algorithm on the site routinely cropped black people out of pictures. It repeatedly cropped Barack Obama out of a picture with Mitch McConnell. It even cropped black Labradors out of pictures with golden Labs.
No one ever said that robots aren’t smart.
GINSBURG DIES, DEMS ISSUE THREATS
Wheezing judicial yenta Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently passed into the great beyond after enduring the longest recorded death in world history, and it seems as if the entire progressive world shit themselves in unison.
When Ginsburg finally died, they didn’t sadistically celebrate like they did four years ago when Antonin Scalia passed away; instead they sadistically threatened to shut down the government and pack the Supreme Court with judges who believe the Constitution gives you the right to get white people fired from their jobs for refusing to be white.
Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, a former Black Panther under whose reign the FBI ceased to break down the race of criminal perpetrators and victims for obvious reasons, supported packing the court with judges who think it’s a good idea to let former Black Panthers become the country’s chief prosecutor:
You know what the reality is, if Merrick Garland had been confirmed, as he should have been, there would have been a progressive majority for the past three years. So I think that if, if in fact [the Republicans] are successful in placing a justice on the court, I think that what Democrats have to do — assuming Biden is president and there is a Senate majority for the Democrats — we need [to] think about court reform. And at a minimum, as part of that reform package, I think additional justices need to be placed on the Supreme Court.
If anyone knows of any losers in world history who have lost with less grace than Democrats from 2016 onward, please email the editors.
D.O.J. LISTS THREE CITIES AS “ANARCHIST JURISDICTIONS” FOR ALLOWING UNFETTERED RIOTING
After nearly four months of doing next to nothing about the rioting that is forever destroying the nation’s cities, Trump’s DOJ finally designated three cities—New York, Seattle, and Portland—as “anarchist jurisdictions” for their failure to curb the nonstop retarded looting and smashing and burning.
According to Attorney General William Barr:
We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who’s a douche but not nearly as douchey as his brother Chris, threatened to disobey the US government and then sue it:
I understand the politics, but when you try to manipulate and distort government agencies to play politics, which is what the Trump administration has done from day one…this is more of the same. The president can’t supersede the law and say I’m going to make those funds basically discretionary funds, which is what he would have to do. If they actually do this, we will challenge it legally, and they will lose once again.
Perhaps New York’s first mistake was permitting Italians to enter.
GUN-TOTING BLACK MEN BOAST ABOUT SCARING COPS
Remember that thing called “gun control”? Have you noticed that everyone stopped talking about it, like, late in May for some reason?
Yahoo! News is another outlet that relentlessly pushed gun control until their editors got sexually excited at the sight of black men hoisting guns and aiming them at white people. They recently shat out a glowing tribute to some all-black militia in Minnesota called the “Freedom Fighters” who are battling for “racial justice,” whatever the hell THAT means. Pretty sure at this point, it means, “more dead whites.”
Without asking a single follow-up question, they quote a sourpussed woman named Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, who said that most of the wreckage in Minneapolis after George Floyd croaked was caused by “white supremacists”:
These brothers were there in the beginning, when threats were being made by white supremacists. There is no doubt they stepped up for the community.
They also quote a Rev. Tim Christopher, who says that cops are afraid of black men with guns:
It’s been a breath of fresh air. Seeing an armed Black [sic] man — knowing he is here to take care of the community, nurture the community — is a blessing. At that point, my hands are on the steering wheel and I say, ‘Yes, officer, I have a firearm and it’s legal.’ They always back up and place a hand on their gun.… There is a stigma, and they’re scared of Black [sic] men with guns.
What an absurd fear! Black men, who comprise only six percent of the population, routinely commit only a wee bit over half the murders in the USA. Why would anyone be afraid of them?
GSTAAD—I’ve been wrestling all week with indecision, the kind that tests one’s soul, and the uncertainty is killing me. It’s like having to choose between Keira Knightley and Jennifer Lawrence, when it’s normal to want both. No, I’m not being greedy, and it’s not even my fault, but that of my esteemed colleague Douglas Murray, author of The Madness of Crowds and a fellow columnist at The Spectator. Two weeks ago, and at his most serious, he proposed that I be put in charge of either the BBC or the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Yippee, hooray!
Douglas was annoyed when certain Tory wets did not defend the appointment of a past Australian prime minister as a U.K. trade adviser. Instead of telling a left-wing female hack grilling them about the appointment to drop dead, they folded like an overused accordion. Hence Douglas’ call for Taki, but why did he inject the word or? I want both, to head the BBC and the Commission for Human Rights (plus Keira and Jennifer to boot).
The first thing I’d do is fire 90 percent of all BBC personnel who edit, research, or present news, the BBC being the most woke and left-wing of British institutions. No woke fanatic will appear within a block of the studios; no BLM lefty freak will ever tarnish a BBC screen again. Fairness will be paramount, but none of these people who do not menstruate will be allowed on air. Women will be referred to as women. I will also ban the corporation from showing filth, and that includes every single film made here and in America over the past forty years. All sci-fi will be verboten—too predictable and boring and viewed by morons only—as will the f-word on any BBC show. The Best Years of Our Lives, All About Eve, Paths of Glory, Laura, Life With Father, Gone With the Wind, Das Boot, all John Wayne Westerns, all Audie Murphy Westerns, all MGM musicals, all black-and-white movies featuring huge art deco nightclubs, large bands playing ’30s tunes, and men in white tie dancing with beautiful women with mid-Atlantic accents and shimmering dresses will be de rigueur, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, All Quiet on the Western Front, Rebecca, all Gary Cooper movies, all Barbara Stanwyck films, all Ava Gardner ones, all William Holden and all Burt Lancaster films, with a weekly showing of The Leopard, Visconti’s masterpiece of the Lampedusa novel. Ditto Fred-and-Ginger movies to brighten up our spirits when the English weather sets in. Marx Brothers films every Sunday morning to get over our hangovers.
A decree banning all that shouting by sport announcers will be rigorously enforced, along with the canned laughter on prerecorded phony smart-aleck shows like Have I Got News… In fact, an image of the homely, triple-jowled gossipmonger Ian Hislop will hang outside the main BBC building under the banner “This was us,” next to a picture of Rita Hayworth in Gilda under the heading “This is us now.” Yippee! I will seek to find talents that approach those of Noel Coward, and demand that female presenters copy the demeanor of Valerie Hobson. In no time the BBC will reclaim its place as the best broadcasting body in the world and banish Sky, ITV, CBS, NBC, ABC, Netflix, HBO, and CNN to the rubbish heaps where they belong. Last but not least, the slightest PC manifestation on chat shows or in interviews will mean instant dismissal. The BBC under me will be for freedom of speech, and not its suppression by neo-Nazi leftists. There!
As far as the Equality and Human Rights Commission is concerned, my task will be far simpler. I will abolish it in an instant, but if the busybodies who run our lives insist against my ukase, my first order will be that nothing the European Court of Justice directs will ever be obeyed. My second act will be a strict directive against any ruling by the European Convention of Human Rights. ECHR is a body created so that criminals fighting deportation are able to exploit it, nothing more, nothing less. Hence the rights of illegal immigrants to fight in court and enrich unscrupulous lawyers will end. Oh yes, I almost forgot, the most important of all, hate crimes. I will banish the use of the word because it is nothing but a redundancy of expression. If for example a white man attacks and beats up and robs a black man, it is now viewed as a hate crime. But if a black man attacks and beats up and robs a white man, it is seen simply as a crime. No longer. Both will be judged on their merits, or demerits, as the case may be. This will ensure that I will go down in history as Taki the Wise, or Taki the Fair.
Otherwise, everything’s hunky-dory. The Brits are all reading Sasha Swire’s diaries, and they sound like revenge porn. I knew her forty-some years ago, when she was stepping out with Oliver Gilmour. I found her unpleasant, unfriendly, and rather plain-looking. She had a beautiful roommate named Sophie Stapleton-Cotton. That was her best part. Anyway, diaries are not to be believed. Diarists assume they are much more moral than anyone else, never hypocritical and always truthful. Most of them are score settlers and have enormous axes to grind. They are self-aggrandizing while diminishing others. I pass.
My understanding of economics must be deficient, or else my personal experience of the world is misleading. Both are possible, of course: None of us can experience more than an infinitesimal part of all that the world contains, and since even the best economists often have a poor grasp of reality, it would not be surprising if my understanding of a subject that I have never studied were minimal.
Nevertheless, there is a strange disjunction between what I read in newspapers and on the internet—that Europe is undergoing deflation—and the rising prices I notice when I try to buy anything. For example, this year the price of Métro tickets in Paris has risen by nearly 13.5 percent. The price of a haircut has risen by 10 percent. Although I am hardly an obsessive follower of food prices, the cost of food has clearly risen in recent months and is almost certain to continue to rise because the harvests have been bad and those products that require harvesting by human hand have not been harvested at all because of a shortage of cheap labor. I ate in a favorite restaurant yesterday and it cost 20 percent more than usual without my having eaten or drunk anything more than usual.
I accept that my experience is very limited. I haven’t bought any clothes recently, and if I had, I wouldn’t know whether prices had risen or fallen. I buy clothes very infrequently, in fact as infrequently as possible, and so have no means of comparison. Europe, moreover, does not consist only of the places I have frequented. Clearly, then, direct personal experience such as mine is not sufficient to decide the question; detailed measurement is necessary.
And yet, in my heart of hearts, I am convinced that there is inflation rather than the reverse, whatever the economists say. This is not only because of my personal experience, but because, like almost everyone else, I am perpetually on the lookout for something, such as rising prices, to complain about. What one seeks, one finds. However bad deflation may be for the economy in general, falling prices mean obtaining more for your money, so you are better off—provided that you have at least the same amount of money, of course. Therefore, for every falling price that we notice, we notice a hundred rising prices. This helps to convince us that our dissatisfaction with the world comes from without, from the circumstances, rather than from within, from the cast of our mind or constitution.
My notions of economics are, I must admit, not only primitive but contradictory. I am a follower of the greatest economic thinker of all time, Mr. Micawber. It was he who discovered the law according to which to live within one’s means was the secret of happiness and to live beyond them was the secret of misery. To be able to follow this advice, however, one must be able to control and limit one’s wants, but in a modern consumer society, not to have indefinitely expanding wants is to be a bad, or at least an anti-economic, citizen. For if you are satisfied with what you already have, and realize that to have more will not bring you any greater happiness, you are the salesman’s nightmare. You will not indebt yourself in order to take immediate possession of what you neither need nor want, and if everyone were to follow this example, the economy would collapse for lack of demand. Enrichissez-vous (enrich yourselves) said Guizot, the 19th-century French historian and politician, who thought that by enriching yourself you were enriching society and therefore everyone. Today he would say endettez-vous (indebt yourselves), because by doing so you will keep the wheels of commerce turning that would otherwise seize up.
Consumer society reverses the old saw that necessity is the mother of invention. On the contrary, invention is now the mother of necessity. If smartphones had never been invented, we should never have thought, “What we need to complete our happiness is a smartphone”; but once they were invented everyone had to have one, and indeed within a short time life has become almost impossible, or at any rate inconceivable, without one. The same is true of other inventions, past, present, and no doubt to come. The kind of equilibrium that makes possible obedience to Micawber’s law is now very difficult for those of modest means. Seemingly necessary expenses increase faster than do salaries; and perhaps it would be salutary and beneficial, especially for the poor, if Western societies were to institute a kind of electronic Ramadan, such that for a month a year it were forbidden for anyone to consult a screen of any description. Unlike Ramadan, however, the “fast” would have to continue for the entire 24 hours and not be broken once the sun went down, otherwise people would glue themselves to their screens as soon as they were able and not sleep a wink. “Throw down your crutches and walk!” commanded the old-fashioned faith healers; to which we might now add, “Turn off your screens and think!”
I have to confess, however, that I am by no means a perfect advertisement for what I teach, namely the simple and economically modest life. When I consider my possessions, I realize that, without ever having set to do so, I have accumulated so many that they will pose a serious problem for my legatees (which reminds me, I must make a new will, my former beneficiaries, since I made my last, having become in my estimation unworthy of legacies). Indeed, I have half a mind to die intestate, just to make things difficult for those who succeed me. It is the nearest to immortality that I can achieve.
I knew a talented writer who died recently and who regarded even the typewriter as a dangerous technological innovation. Until the advent of the word processor, he was able to send in his work to various publications handwritten and they would go to the trouble of transferring it to a typewritten manuscript that would then in turn be transferred to hot type. He lived into an age when no young person knew any longer what movable type was. Along with another friend who has abjured the internet and the mobile telephone entirely (without, so far, any damage to his health or well-being), he is my hero, insofar as I have one.
The Italians have voted to reduce their number of politicians by 30 percent. Bravo! Millions will be saved in salaries, pensions, and official allowances of privileged deputies and senators; and, most important, they will stop seeing the mugs of so many incapable politicians. They announced that the measure will be effective in 2023, but I suppose that its splendid capacity for the dolce far niente will extend it even more than Brexit.
Hopefully the same referendum will soon be extended to the rest of Europe, which is dangerously drowning in a dictatorial web of bureaucracy. Especially Spain, where the political class is considered in the polls as one of the major problems instead of the solution. As Julio Camba wrote: “In Spain, the councilman steals like the ox moos.” And every year there are more! The public apparatus grows as much as the private sphere weakens.
In all of social democratic Europe there is a clear excess of politicians, and that translates into excesses of those in charge. They preach everything for the people but without the people (and without a trace of Versailles-like manners). They acquire a status that allows them to serve themselves before serving. They travel around the world, but they do not acquire worldliness. And their favorite hobby, to make it look like they work, is passing laws that often make life more difficult for voters and skeptics alike.
Brussels was also filled with people who were never voted in and came directly from the detritus of the member countries’ political parties. For many years, the cry of condemnation of many internal dissidents to exile has been “To Brussels!” But it is not exactly like condemning them to the galleys. Once they have acclimated to moules-frites, they live very well; and besides, they can devote their efforts to annoying the same people who exiled them.
So the Italian initiative fills me with hope. Of course, such a measure has been labeled as “populist” by many politicians who are afraid of losing their seats. Even so, the people who invented the panem et circenses voted by a large majority in favor of losing sight of a considerable part of their representatives.
Possibly, the Italians think, before the considerable savings (100 million euros per year), that by reducing the number of politicians they will be able to concentrate better on what really matters; they will be more efficient and will not waste so much time legislating nonsense to screw up the lives of others. And the money saved will be better invested in Education, Health, and Security. This is clearly a democratic high C.
The Italian is practical by nature and knows that money does not bring happiness, but it does calm the nerves.
The wise Taoist Lao Tse recommended 2,500 years ago something perfectly valid today: “Imperceptible government, happy people; solicitous government, unhappy people.” But with time his countrymen forgot the wise advice and decided to join the bloody revolution, and today in China they are absolutely dependent on a very solicitous communist government.
Can the same thing happen again in Europe? The joyful individualism of the West sometimes breaks down into dangerous collective movements. And with such an excess of caring politicians, the bureaucratic dictatorship is already a reality. There are so many confusing laws that one feels like a criminal as soon as one steps onto the street.
But perhaps the Italian measure represents a democratic renaissance. For the time being, it is a wake-up call to the very abusive political class.
(The article in its original Spanish immediately follows.)
¿Exceso de Politicos? Riduzione Alla Italiana
Los italianos han votado reducir el número de sus políticos en un treinta por ciento. ¡Bravísimo! Se ahorrarán millones en sueldos y dietas oficiales de privilegiados diputados y senadores; y, lo más importante, dejarán de ver la jeta de muchos políticos incapaces. Anuncian que la medida será efectiva en 2023, pero supongo que su espléndida capacidad para el dolce far niente lo dilatará aún más que el Brexit.
Ojalá que el mismo referéndum se extienda pronto por el resto de Europa, que se ahoga peligrosamente en una dictatorial maraña burrocrática. Especialmente España, donde la clase política es considerada en las encuestas como uno de los grandes problemas en vez de una solución. Tal y como escribió el Solitario del Palace, Julio Camba: “En España el concejal roba como el buey muge.” ¡Y cada año hay más! El aparato público crece tanto como se debilita la esfera privada.
En toda la Europa socialdemócrata hay un claro exceso de políticos y eso se traduce en excesos de los que mandan. Predican el todo para el pueblo pero sin el pueblo (y sin rastro de modales versallescos). Adquieren un estatus que les permite servirse antes de servir. Viajan por el mundo, pero no adquieren mundo. Y su pasatiempo favorito, para hacer ver que trabajan, son promulgar unas leyes que frecuentemente hacen la vida más difícil tanto a votantes como a escépticos.
Bruselas también se llenó de una gente que jamás fue votada y procedía directamente de los detritus de los partidos políticos de los países miembros. “¡A Bruselas!” ha sido en los últimos años el grito de condena al exilio de muchos disidentes internos. Pero no es exactamente como condenarlos a galeras. Una vez se aclimatan a los moules frites, viven muy bien; y además pueden dedicar sus esfuerzos a fastidiar a los mismos que les exiliaron.
Así que la iniciativa italiana me llena de esperanza. Por supuesto que tal medida ha sido tachada de “populista” por muchos políticos con miedo a perder su butaca. Aún así, el pueblo que inventó el panem et circenses, votó mayoritariamente a favor de perder de vista a una parte considerable de sus representantes.
Posiblemente los italianos piensan, mucho antes que en el considerable ahorro (100 millones de euros por año), que reduciendo el número de políticos estos podrán concentrarse mejor en lo que realmente importa, serán más eficientes y no perderán tanto el tiempo en legislar sandeces para joder la vida de los otros. Y el dinero ahorrado podrá invertirse mejor en Educación, Sanidad y Seguridad. Es claramente un do de pecho democrático.
El italiano es práctico por naturaleza y sabe que el dinero no da la felicidad, pero calma los nervios.
El sabio taoísta Lao Tsé recomendó hace 2500 años algo perfectamente válido hoy en día: “Gobierno imperceptible, pueblo feliz; gobierno solícito, pueblo desgraciado.” Pero con el tiempo sus paisanos olvidaron el prudente consejo, decidieron sumarse a la sangrienta revolución y hoy en China dependen absolutamente de un muy solícito gobierno comunista.
¿Puede pasar lo mismo en Europa? El gozoso individualismo occidental a veces se despeña en peligrosos movimientos colectivos. Y con tal exceso de políticos solícitos, la dictadura burrocrática es ya una realidad. Hay tantas leyes confusas que uno se siente como un criminal nada más pisar la calle.
Pero tal vez la medida italiana suponga un renacimiento democrático. De momento ya ha sido un toque de atención a la muy abusona clase política.
During a BLM “peaceful protest” in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 30 (over George Floyd’s dying of a heart attack while in police custody in Minneapolis), James Scurlock was peacefully protesting by breaking into an architecture firm — hoisting an office chair and hurling it into two computer monitors, then ripping a phone from a desk and throwing it against the wall, as his friend shattered another monitor — all of which was captured on video.
Nearby, Jake Gardner, an Iraq War veteran and Trump supporter, was keeping watch over the two bars he owned, The Hive and The Gatsby, aided by his 68-year-old father and a security guard. The peaceful protesters soon made their way to Jake’s bar, where they hurled a street sign through The Hive’s plate-glass window. He and his father rushed outside to prevent the peaceful protesters from storming his bar.
Scurlock’s friend, catching his wind after smashing computer monitors, knocked Gardner’s father to the ground. (It’s on tape.) Or as CNN’s Madeline Holcombe put it: “An unidentified man can be seen pushing Gardner’s father.” Gardner rushed to help his father, then backed away toward the bar, lifting his shirt to show the protesters he was armed, and telling them to move along. Again, it’s all on tape. Murmurings can be heard from the crowd: “That (expletive) got a gun” and “It’s not worth it (expletive) you stu–,”
At that point, peaceful protester Alayna Melendez leapt on Gardner from behind (not subscribers to the Marquess of Queensberry rules, these peaceful protesters), knocking him down and into the street, whereupon yet another peaceful protester jumped on top of Gardner, who fired two warning shots in the air, scattering his first two assailants. Again: all on tape.
Three seconds later, as Gardner was trying to get up, Scurlock jumped on him from behind and put him in a chokehold — which I believe is considered definitive proof of intentional murder when performed by a police officer. In videos, Gardner can be heard yelling, “Get off me! Get off me!”
With his right arm pinned, and Scurlock choking him, Gardner moved the gun to his left hand and shot over his shoulder, hitting Scurlock in the collarbone, killing him.
Or as The New York Times’ Azi Paybarah explained it: “Mr. Gardner got into a fight with one man, James Scurlock, 22. The two scuffled before Mr. Gardner fired a shot that killed him.” They “scuffled.” It brings to mind the Times headline from Nov. 24, 1963: “President Kennedy Dies in Dallas After Scuffle — Albeit at Great Distance — With Lee Harvey Oswald.”
Let’s be fair, though. Maybe Scurlock jumped Gardner, or maybe Gardner jumped Scurlock. Who knows? It’s not like there are 4 million videos of the incident.
Gardner was immediately taken into police custody for questioning and held until 11 p.m. the next night.
The Democratic district attorney, Don Kleine, his chief deputy Brenda Beadle, and all the homicide detectives spent 12 hours that weekend reconstructing the incident with multiple videos. Their unanimous conclusion? That Gardner shot Scurlock in self-defense.
Despite the delusional claims posted on “social media” that Gardner used the N-word — which, as we all know, is grounds for immediate execution by any black person — none of the videos substantiate that. To the contrary, Scurlock’s own friend denied that Gardner said anything racial at all. (Apparently, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.)
At 22, Scurlock already had a rap sheet a mile long, including home invasion, assault and battery, domestic violence — and, of course, he was in the middle of a crime spree that very night. Methamphetamine and cocaine were found in his urine.
But “the community” erupted like COVID in April. Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt (bisexual, graduate of a now-defunct college) repeatedly called Gardner a “white supremacist.” Another Nebraska state senator, Kara Eastman (bisexual), called Gardner’s shooting of Spurlock a “cold-blooded murder.”
(Why do I mention their sexual orientations? A lot of the hate toward Gardner seems to come from the transgender community for saying on Facebook that transgenders would be restricted to the unisex bathrooms after a man in a dress attacked a female customer in the ladies’ room.)
Twitter was full of unattractive humans claiming that Gardner was a “white supremacist,” which were dutifully reprinted in local media, such as this one from @nostudavab (Twitter banner: “F*CK TRUMP”):
“Club owner Jake Gardner shot and killed a protestor in Omaha on video, yelling racial slurs. he is openly racist and homophobic. he murdered James Scurlock, he’s proud of it, and he’s not in jail.”
Protesters besieged Kleine’s neighborhood.
Kleine responded to the mob’s demand for “justice” by calling in a black prosecutor, Fred Franklin, to make damn sure the grand jury indicted Gardner — whom Kleine (the elected D.A.) had found to be innocent. As he was expected to do, Franklin produced a series of fanciful indictments, including for manslaughter and making a “terroristic threat.” (The “terroristic threat” was Gardner lifting his shirt to show the peaceful protesters that he was armed.)
The special prosecutor’s ALL NEW EVIDENCE THAT BLEW THE OTHER FACTS AWAY was this: The night of the BLM protest, Gardner had posted on Facebook: “Just when you think ‘what else could 2020 throw at me?’ Then you have to pull 48 hours of military style firewatch.”
WHY WAS THIS MAN NOT IMMEDIATELY ARRESTED?
Gardner’s landlord, Frank Vance, immediately evicted The Hive and The Gatsby, and sent an anguished apology letter to Scurlock’s family (“deepest sympathy … the pain and suffering … losing a child to unnecessary violence … apologize for this horrible incident … time to heal … very deepest condolences”).
Gardner was facing 95 years in prison for shooting a career criminal who was choking him, and now he had lost his source of income. So naturally his friends tried to set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for his legal defense.
GoFundMe’s response? They immediately and repeatedly took down the page, based on their clearly stated policy: We don’t like you.
Here’s a thought, GoFundMe: Guaranteeing a fair trial for an individual accused of a crime isn’t the same as defending the thing he’s accused of. That’s the whole point: Gardner wanted to prove that he was innocent. Nope! No fair trial, no fair press, no livelihood, no GoFundMe. No chance.
Meanwhile, the family of the convicted criminal who jumped Gardner has already raised more than a quarter-million dollars on GoFundMe. (Funeral expenses can be costly!)
Poor Jake Gardner didn’t stand a chance against the raging, hate-filled multitude. Even those sworn to uphold the law, like Kleine and Franklin, leapt in with the mob. And a corporation whose business it is to enable people to raise money for just causes such as getting a fair trial refused to do business with him, not unlike the Memphis Woolworth’s treatment of black people in 1960.
Sadly, President Trump never said a word about his polite, cheerful supporter being railroaded in Omaha. Gardner had attended Trump’s inauguration with such high hopes. He had well wishes even for the (can we say “insane”?) protesters he encountered there.
Last weekend, facing death threats and a kangaroo court, and with no means to mount a defense, Gardner killed himself, rather than be killed by the mob waiting for him back in Omaha.
This is the part of the column where I make a clarion call for action. How about civil suits against the monsters in the prosecutor’s office, against the criminal-supporting GoFundMe and the Facebook and Twitter defamation mobs! Maybe a department of justice investigation or FCC action against biased social media companies. Antitrust suits. Boycotts!
I’ve got nothing. The country has gone mad. I always figured the first armed civilian who ever fought back would put an end to the violence exploding all over the country — the violence that police and prosecutors can’t or won’t stop. “We have the guns,” conservatives like to say. In fact, it’s even worse now.
It’s official: You can’t protect yourself. Not even a blameless ex-Marine could defend himself from being choked to death. The D.A. will call in a “special” prosecutor to throw you to the wolves, and they’ll both be praised for railroading an innocent man in the Omaha World Herald, while the “elite” media defame you.
Center-left Vox pundit Matthew Yglesias’ new book One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger is actually two contradictory polemics. The book is both a sensible call for making family formation more affordable for younger Americans, and a demented demand for tripling the population of the United States (currently one-third of a billion) via immigration, thus ruining the chances of tens of millions of actual Americans to afford marriage and children.
There’s really no way to reconcile Yglesias’ two requests:
—We should figure out smart ways to make life a little less stressful for Americans so they can have children as well as careers; and
—We should also encourage the rest of the world to crowd into the U.S. and horn in on the birthrights of American citizens.
Yglesias’ main argument for adding 666,666,666 immigrants is that this would help us compete with populous China.
In short, Yglesias seems to imply, America must invite the world in order to invade the world.
Just think of the possibilities! If we had two-thirds of a billion more immigrants, we could conscript a humongous army and militarily conquer the world…which would finally give us some place to dump all the teeming masses of immigrants.
Seriously, Yglesias argues, we couldn’t have won WWII or the Cold War without a big population.
Of course, mid-20th-century USA was far more unified, due to the immigration shutdown in the 1920s that wisely ruled that no interest groups would be allowed to use immigration to change the country’s ethnic balance. Hence, the political system was more cooperative and functional than today when Democratic pundits like Yglesias’ partner at Vox Ezra Klein alternate between boasting that immigration will bury whiteness and complaining that whites are paranoid about being replaced.
Now Democrats envision using immigration to alter the racial balance to achieve perpetual one-party rule.
One obvious problem with this plan, however, is that all the immigrant ethnicities would then turn on each other in a struggle to control the capital of the world. Why compete with the United State militarily if you can use your co-ethnic immigrants to simply subvert the USA from within (such as this week’s example of an immigrant NYPD officer arrested for spying for China on Tibetan exiles), especially if Washington were so foolish as to invite in two-thirds of a billion immigrants?
Germany would have liked to do that using German immigrants in 1917, but the self-righteous WASP ruling class proactively crushed any German-American resistance with heavy-handed assimilation methods, such as banning Beethoven concerts.
But these days the Chinese are slowly learning how to play the White Guilt card against America. In an era when extirpating the vanishing phenomenon of White Privilege obsesses the American establishment, it’s inconceivable that we would take effective steps to Americanize the tens of millions of new Chinese immigrants. Always remember, diversity is our strength! Foreigners are who we are.
So, how American are these One Billion going to be?
The Democrats haven’t dreamed up any strategy for keeping their United States of Diversity from turning into a circular firing squad other than to scream ever harder at white men as the designated scapegoats.
Indeed, one reason for this summer’s mania over whites supposedly oppressing blacks is because blacks vaguely realize that the white man’s days are numbered due to immigration. Once the immigrants take over, nobody will take seriously anymore African-Americans’ sad stories about George Floyd, redlining, and Emmett Till. So blacks had better guilt-trip whites fast into making expensive concessions because the next rulers of America sure aren’t going to fall for black tears.
One phenomenon that is readily apparent in this book is that progressives are getting more ignorant about recent history as their movement has become more obsessed with the white man’s crimes of the increasingly distant past.
For example, in arguing that supply and demand doesn’t apply to immigration economics, Yglesias asserts that the ending of the bracero program for importing Mexican migrant farmworkers in 1964 had no impact on wages. In reality, this liberal triumph (set in motion by Edward R. Murrow’s 1960 Harvest of Shame muckraking documentary) allowed Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers union to emerge in 1965 as a potent force for higher wages in California’s fields.
Liberals used to know about Cesar Chavez. Now, apparently, they don’t.
Similarly, Yglesias devotes seven pages to the tedious academic dispute over economist David Card’s study that showed that wages in Miami did not drop after the May 1980 Mariel boat-lift of Cuban refugees into the city increased the labor supply.
But he never mentions what I’ve been rudely pointing out to economists since 2006. Miami simultaneously received one of the most potent economic stimuli ever: the 1980–1984 cocaine trafficking boom made world-famous in Scarface and on Miami Vice. Economic studies require that “all else be equal,” but nothing was ever equal to Miami’s cocaine bubble during Card’s study.
Surprisingly, Yglesias returns time and again to the nagging problem that more immigrants equal more greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, most progressives have simply ignored the mathematical inevitability that increasing the U.S. population by importing poor people will increase climate-change emissions.
Americans pump out about four times as much carbon emissions per capita as even car-crazy Mexicans, and ten times or more as much as a typical Third Worlder. So if Americans currently contribute 14% of the world’s greenhouse gases, tripling the population through immigration would, if the immigrants assimilate economically, increase global emissions by about 25%, which to Vox readers ought to sound like the end of the world. The author labors mightily but can’t overcome this simple arithmetic.
On the other hand, Yglesias barely deigns to acknowledge that massive immigration would almost certainly worsen inequality, which is why billionaires tend to be so enthusiastic for it.
The better part of One Billion Americans is about how to reverse the declining fertility of American citizens. It’s not as complete as Jonathan V. Last’s 2013 book What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, but offers a good start on the subject.
The total fertility rate for American women was dropping even during the Trump Boom before the pandemic, down to a below replacement rate of 1.72 children per woman in 2018. And yet when asked how many children they’d like to have, women and men both average about 2.6.
Clearly, America is suffering from economic, political, and cultural problems that are keeping Americans from achieving parenthood to the extent that they would prefer.
The most obvious reason American fertility is below replacement level is one that Elizabeth Warren pointed out in her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: The traditional basics of American middle-class family life—a house with a yard in a satisfactory public school district—have grown increasingly expensive.
Why? Because supply has not kept up with demand. Yglesias has a number of sensible suggestions about how to increase the supply of housing. Indeed, the book would have been more engaging if Yglesias had shared more personal anecdotes. As a normal home-owning husband and father, he’s a good guide to the economic frustrations facing younger Americans.
I would have liked to read even more about his long-running battles with the District of Columbia historic preservation authorities who tried to keep him from installing double-paned windows and solar panels to save on utility bills.
Yglesias says that “My wife and I have one kid and that’s plenty for us.” But I had somehow gotten the impression that he and his wife might want one or two more children, and that the sane parts of his book were motivated by how hard it was proving for even a successful Harvard grad with a certain amount of family money to make it all work in a major city.
Of course, one unmentionable reason for more demand for houses with “good” schools (i.e., schools with mostly white or Asian student bodies) is immigration, which destroys unions, increases demand for housing, and makes public schools less appealing.
For example, when I was a child, all the Jewish kids in the neighborhood went to Los Angeles’ public schools. Now, however, there are an abundance of Jewish private schools because the public schools were overwhelmed by Latinos.
Conversely, at the high end, the University of California is now dominated by high-GPA Asians, which means white parents in Los Angeles tend to pay big bucks for private colleges.
It’s an expensive way to live.
Why does Yglesias want to make the U.S. three times as crowded, especially at a time of infectious pandemic, riots, urban looting, and wildfires?
The most likely reason is that he doesn’t, really, but taking an extremist stance on immigration, calling for an order of magnitude more than the 52 million immigrants expected under Joe Biden’s plan, inoculates him from getting canceled for writing reasonable passages such as:
Having and raising children is an increasingly costly undertaking and the operation of human reproductive biology is a somewhat poor fit for the market economy’s increasing tendency to demand that people extend formal education or job training deeper into their twenties. The idea of taking deliberate action to increase national fertility gives some progressives the willies…
But also, Yglesias just plain likes crowded cities. As he admits on page 256, “I am not personally a nature lover or an outdoorsy person…” He grew up in the six-story housing complex in Greenwich Village that New York University maintains for its professors, such as his father (who moonlighted as a screenwriter).
Human beings tend to imprint upon the landscape they inhabited around puberty, say from age 10 to 15. This is even true for a surprising number of the very rich. Warren Buffett likes Omaha, and Jeff Bezos spends a certain amount of time in barren West Texas, where he summered on his grandparents’ ranch. Michael Jordan has two of his three houses in his home state of North Carolina.
Like Jane Jacobs, Yglesias is fond of mid-rise but still leafy Greenwich Village, rail transit, and walkability. By Manhattan standards, Greenwich Village isn’t that crowded. So why can’t the rest of America be a little more like Greenwich Village?
Of course, most Americans did not imprint upon Greenwich Village. They find it a nice place to visit, but wouldn’t want to live there.
Because most people would prefer to live in a place rather like the one they grew up in, just a little nicer, radically transforming the United States with immigration is an act of aggression against their happiness.
So far, Yglesias’ campaign to make all of America more like what he remembers from his urban youth isn’t succeeding, even at home. He recently tweeted that his kindergartener said:
My son just told me that when he grows up he thinks he’ll live in the suburbs because that’s better for when you have kids.