February 7, 2012

David Brooks' Self-Parody: "Flood the Zone" (A.K.A., Drain the Treasury)

Jodi Kantor notes in The Obamas that David Brooks of the New York Times is "the President's favorite pundit." In turn, I've been told on extremely good authority that Brooks is a regular reader of me. Being a covert member of the Steveosphere makes Brooks perhaps the most interesting conventional wisdom columnist, but also creates a lot of stress for the poor man. After such knowledge, what forgiveness? How do you triangulate your way to something that Obama will nod complacently over without totally boring yourself? How do you stay on TV, mouthing 21st Century platitudes, while knowing that a few people know you know?

This tension usually manifests itself in a couple of columns per year that only make sense under the supposition that I represent the conventional wisdom and that he's the man with challenging new ideas as he tries to dream up new epicycles to refute my Occamite slashes.

But then there's his new NYT column "Flood the Zone," the purpose of which is to eventually get around to gently criticizing Obama for his health insurance contraception stand. But, first, he feels he has to provide air cover for himself by trotting out all the shibboleths of 21st Century conventional wisdom.  

And that part is just brutal self-parody, presumably driven by a certain amount of self-loathing. No, I didn't write this, but if you read it as if I wrote it as a vicious satire on Brooks, it's quite funny. So, there's no need for me to respond to it. It's self-detonating:
The essential truth about poverty is that we will never fully understand what causes it. There are a million factors that contribute to poverty, and they interact in a zillion ways. 
Some of the factors are economic: the shortage of low-skill, entry-level jobs. Some of the factors are historical: the legacy of racism. Some of the factors are familial: the breakdown in early attachments between infants and caregivers and the cognitive problems that often result from that. Some of them are social: the shortage of healthy role models and mentors. 
The list of factors that contribute to poverty could go on and on, and the interactions between them are infinite. Therefore, there is no single magic lever to pull to significantly reduce poverty.
The only thing to do is change the whole ecosystem. 
If poverty is a complex system of negative feedback loops, then you have to create an equally complex and diverse set of positive feedback loops. You have to flood the zone with as many good programs as you can find and fund and hope that somehow they will interact and reinforce each other community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood. 
The key to this flood-the-zone approach is that you have to allow for maximum possible diversity. Let’s say there is a 14-year-old girl who, for perfectly understandable reasons, wants to experience the love and sense of purpose that go with motherhood, rather than stay in school in the hopes of someday earning a middle-class wage. 
You have no idea what factors have caused her to make this decision, and you have no way of knowing what will dissuade her. But you want her, from morning until night, to be enveloped by a thick ecosystem of positive influences. You want lefty social justice groups, righty evangelical groups, Muslim groups, sports clubs, government social workers, Boys and Girls Clubs and a hundred other diverse institutions. If you surround her with a different culture and a web of relationships, maybe she will absorb new habits of thought, find a sense of belonging and change her path.

132 comments:

master_of_americans said...

Jesus Tiger, you quoted Gerontion! Who would do something like that? You're the best, Steve.

Steve Sailer said...

History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
Guides us by vanities.

Anonymous said...

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.024359129817f80d27d8ccd84469c668.361


What if the brains of the third oand fourth multigenerational public-assistance-using-poor are shown to be inherently abnormal by some study by a respected university, like Cambridge for instance?

The brains of addicts are, according to the University of Cambridge study discussed in this Breitbart piece, inherently abnormal:

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.024359129817f80d27d8ccd84469c668.361

"Drug addicts have inherited abnormalities in some parts of the brain which interfere with impulse control, said a British study published in the United States on Thursday."

"Scientists at the University of Cambridge compared the brains of addicts to their non-addicted siblings as well as to healthy, unrelated volunteers and found that the siblings shared many of the same weaknesses in their brains.

That indicates that the brain vulnerabilities had a family origin, though somehow the siblings of addicts -- either due to environmental factors or other differences in brain structure -- were able to resist addiction."

(Interesting stuff to follow):

"Researchers tested 50 biological sibling pairs, in which one was addicted to drugs and the other one had no history of chronic drug abuse. They also tested 50 healthy, unrelated pairs of people as a control group.

The tests involved measuring how well they could control their impulses in a stop-signal reaction time test that assesses how quickly a person can switch from following one set of instructions to another.

Addicts are known to have poor impulse control.

The researchers found that the sibling pairs -- even the non-addicts -- fared significantly worse on the test than the healthy volunteers.

Brain scans showed that the siblings shared some of the same weaknesses in the frontal lobe and its connections to the basal ganglia, which mediates motor, cognition and behavior."



Perhaps the multigeneratinally poor, who have been birthed by welfare mothers since their Great Grandmothers day in many cases, really can't make it in the complex modern world, and siphoning off the tax monies of the folks who can make it out there, but are unable to have the 2.0 children it takes to replace themselves partly because of that yoke, represents a kind of malinvestment in "human capital" and all that.

Anonymous said...

Brooks fancies himself a Compassionate Conservative, he's the real thing. He probably subscribes to HBD but he's not a fundamentalist like some of the folks here are.

Tom Regan said...

"You have no idea what factors have caused her to make this decision, and you have no way of knowing what will dissuade her."
Presumably the doors will be closed to those people who know exactly what factors made her make this decision, and know exactly what would dissuade her ilk from making that decision.
For question one: the massive increase in the labor pool via peasant immigration and increased female participation over the past two generations have axiomatically caused a severe dimunition in real working wages, to the point where being on single-parent welfare is an increasingly attractive alternative.
For two: Reverse the above factors.
But I know that common sense is, well...common. I know that the counter-intuitive, the illogical and the emotional are the touchstones of fashionable opinion, so I guess I'll never be a NYT pundit.

DaveinHackensack said...

If only the producers of The Book of Mormon made "David Brooks: The Musical". That last paragraph would make one hell of a musical number, with the teenage girl protagonist executing flash costume changes (Cathloic school girl outfit, burkah, etc.) and being spun down a line of nuns, mullahs, social workers, volleyball coaches, etc.

Orthodox said...

The better analogy is "drain the swamp." All the good and bad influences give feedback, but many are economic. When government gives people money, it short circuits the loop. Bad influences are popular because they're fun. End all welfare spending, every cent, and suddenly bad influences will go away and good influences will spring up like weeds.

swimming swan said...

"Perhaps the multigeneratinally poor, who have been birthed by welfare mothers since their Great Grandmothers day in many cases, really can't make it in the complex modern world, and siphoning off the tax monies of the folks who can make it out there, but are unable to have the 2.0 children it takes to replace themselves partly because of that yoke, represents a kind of malinvestment in "human capital" and all that."

Wrong as usual. Statistics that don't completely provide a picture of the dynamics within a demographic group are not the place to start. You take them too seriously anyway. Then the bizarre extrapolations begin. Since this information characterizes a group you don't belong to any negative information gets attributed to some inherent genetic flaw "they" have and you and your ilk don't. A round of self-congratulation at your supposed superior genetic fortune and your brain clicks off. And so it goes on iSteve: Shallow thinking from shallow people who mostly make Marie Antionette look like a philanthropist.

I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate. In my own demographic, the girls who were drawing a lot of attention from the opposite sex, therefore fending the potential unwanted pregnancy, tended to be more independent than the rest of us, having more responsibilities at home or even already doing a part-time job. The were also more perceptive in social interaction, i.e. they always got the sarcasm. These females certainly aren't the worst and dumbest of any demographic. I'd say the majority of them have simply ripened into adult fitness at a relatively early age which would've given their families a survival advantage a few centuries back.

Certainly Brooks is right up to the point of accepting complete responsibility for these girls' choices. Seeing the problem as a vestige of our past rather than a sign of degeneration might help with solutions. Here on iSteve, you'll very cynically promote religion as a panacea for all societal ills, hoping that programming youth with a ready-made, private system will condition them with guilt and shame, no government programs or tax dollars necessary. A less judgmental perspective could, however, lead to a eureka moment in which you discover, say, that segregating students by gender from jr high onwards curtails teen pregnancy rates.

Your approach reveals your agenda only too clearly. What happened to curiosity and the thirst for truth despite the consequences? Maybe that never was a feature of iSteve. I dunno, could be I just read that in. Ultimately, the moralistic tone stifles debate while the self-aggrandizement alienates.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the wealthy, well governered Germanic nations of continental Europe (especially Scandinavia and Switzerland), have to all intents and purposes abolished poverty.
Some of these nations are socialist.Switzerland definitely is not.
The 'problem' is definitely NOT insoluble - these societies just need to be studied and scrutinized.
But alas, the 'experts' will be looking at the wrong things.The real reason HBD will be ignored.

Heliogabalus said...

"Flooding the zone" reminds me of the so-called "Taj Mahal" schools for blacks built at great expense in places like Harlem and Kansas City. They come with aquariums, model courtrooms, fully equipped science labs, "mentoring" - nothing but good influences, all the time and available on tap.

Yet after this particular zone is flooded, "the gap" steadfastly refuses to close. Back to the drawing board, folks! (as long as we've got other people's money to give away)

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the multigeneratinally poor, who have been birthed by welfare mothers since their Great Grandmothers day in many cases, really can't make it in the complex modern world, and siphoning off the tax monies of the folks who can make it out there, but are unable to have the 2.0 children it takes to replace themselves partly because of that yoke, represents a kind of malinvestment in "human capital" and all that."

Yes. Very well said.

But the tax burden on such people isn't the worst of it. It's the depressing reality that their immense effort gets them just barely a little bit more than those who do no labor at all; and the fact that they often have to live among such layabouts, or very near them.

Metternich said...

After decades of studying different lifestyles, I have been able to discover that poverty is caused by the lack of money. Just this one cause is the overwhelming single factor that brings about poverty. No need for zillions of explanations.

Take the same no good, dumb, brain-addled, addicted idiot, change his last name to Rockefeller or Buffet, dump a few hundred million dollars on the clod, and presto! He's rich!

Srsly, that's all it takes.

BrokenSymmetry said...

Continuing the Eliot trope:

"human kind cannot bear very much reality"

Steve Sailer said...

How about a title for a book by me:

After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness: Can Humankind Bear Very Much Reality?

Personally, I think we can.

Title-subtitle TM 2012, by the way.

dearieme said...

If he's going to use technical terms such as "negative feedback loops", it would be a good idea to learn what they mean.

Mind you, since the world and his wife misuse "learning curve" I may not be on to a winner here. Maybe it's simpler to let the simpletons misuse all technical terms and teach bright young STEM students their accurate use.

Jeff Burton said...

DaveInHackensack: Couldn't track you down directly, so have to shout out publicaly. Thanks for making me laugh this morning.

rightsaidfred said...

These females certainly aren't the worst and dumbest of any demographic. I'd say the majority of them have simply ripened into adult fitness at a relatively early age which would've given their families a survival advantage a few centuries back. (from swimming swan)

This doesn't change the realization that single motherhood supported by tax money is a dysfunctional strategy. If we can't solve this, or defeat it, then we will be less than we could be otherwise.

dogzma said...

"After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness: Can Humankind Bear Very Much Reality?"

Realty check for Sailer. This title smokes weed, flunked out of 8th grade and got its girlfriend pregnant.

ex-engineer said...

DB needs to study up on negative and positive feedback loops. He's got them reversed.

Anonymous said...

"It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate."

Show me the data. I've interacted with these people too, and they strike me as fucking retarded. The retarded decision to have a kid that young just seals the deal. Unless you've got more then some anecdotes you're just some schlub with an opinion.

"they always got the sarcasm"

If there is one thing we need, its women who love snarky sarcasm.

"I'd say the majority of them have simply ripened into adult fitness at a relatively early age which would've given their families a survival advantage a few centuries back."

That's exactely the point. In the environments they evolved the ability mature quickly, have kids, and do low level cogitive tasks was critical. This doesn't apply to modern society. Modern society wants high cognitive ability late bloomers.

elvisd said...

"Flooding the zone". I'm speechless. This is, of course, the multicultural, multilayered village-raising-the-child stuff that progs fantasize over, but I'm taken aback with Brooks in a way that I think Steve is: that mixture of honesty papered over with absurd prescriptions. This is the "diverse" version of the Harlem project. Instead of essentially separating the child from dysfunctional home life, now we'll swaddle her/him in an endless parade of programs, big sisters, tutors, mentors, and a faith-based cornucopia.

elvisd said...

"I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate,,,"

I've taught dozens of them, and in my "search for truth", I found otherwise, complete with multigenerational chaos as the milieu. Said demographic produces a life for their children that continues this chaos. YOU get real.

bruce banner said...

You have to flood the zone with as many good programs as you can find and fund and hope that somehow they will interact and reinforce each other community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood.

This has got to be either the most asinine or dishonest statement I´ve ever read! Or perhaps, both at the same time.
Another instant classic: "Flood the zone!"

Anonymous said...

Steve,

I just bought 5 advance copies of your book on Amazon. That is, if they'll sell it when it comes out.

The above makes as much sense as Brooks' piece.

Well done,

Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

"After such knowledge, what forgiveness? How do you triangulate your way to something that Obama will nod complacently over without totally boring yourself? How do you stay on TV, mouthing 21st Century platitudes, while knowing that a few people know you know?"

That made me laugh out loud at The Internet. I love Steve-O's rare and elusive meanstreak. Outstanding prose, sir!

George Orwell said...

Instead of "Flood the Zone" or "Drain the Treasury" how about these similar zingers?

"We don't and can't know anything therefore throwing more money into the mysterious void will fix everything QED... and don't forget diversity, that's good too"

"Flood the tree of Individual and Social Pathologies with OPM" (Other Peoples' Money)"

"Transfer the More Wealth with More Government Force"

"Squeeze the Shrinking Working Masses to Support the Growing Non-Working Minority"

"Oppress the Constructive to Liberate the Self-Destructive"

Anonymous said...

Swimming swan:

You refuse to accept that DNA is statistical destiny. That's fine. There are entire continents that stand as counterargument, but whatever. The real villains are Steve Sailer's readers, who control CNN, ABC, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal!

Steve:

I have to sort of wonder if Brooks is pulling some sort of elaborate performance art. His ostensible ode to diversity is a reductio ad absurdum. It shows that diversity is nothing but incoherence and cacophony.

Among other things are "lefty social justice groups", "Muslim groups", and "government social workers" really going to stop that girl from having children at 14? Her genetics are pushing her to have as many kids, now, by multiple men, as soon as possible. Islam isn't exactly against the child brides thing, and lefty groups will give her more money for each kid.

Diversity means confusion. For a message to be positive it must first be understood.

Anonymous said...

Tell the 14 year old ho that there is no wlfare check at the end of the penis and it would behoove her not to get pregnant.

Anonymous said...

The Scandinavian countries have NOT "to all intents and purposes abolished poverty."

They may have made it virtually impossible to live in abject poverty on the street, but the pathologies of poverty are rampant among the immigrant masses flooding their shores.

Generations of dependence on the welfare state have not encouraged good behavior among the native Scandinavians, either. Blatant fraud has become a problem at even the highest levels of government.

The head of Sweden's venerable Social Democrats clung desperately to his job as party leader for weeks after it was revealed last fall that he had been pocketing a housing allowance illegally for years while serving in parliament:

http://www.thelocal.se/36620/20111008/

Anonymous said...

No mention of immigration. That would never be considered a factor. Occam's razor says a surplus of anything, including labor, will cause a decrease in it's value. But, no, Mr. Brooks must look for more complex answers.

Neoconservatives are funny, David Frum has been lambasting Murray over at Slate.com, that British harridan T.Brown's little Clintonian assemblage/shelter for homeless neocons.

In all of Frum's diatribe against Murray, often citing declining wages, Frum never once mentions immigration. Funny that.

peterike said...

I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate.

Ahh, nothing so warms the cockles of me heart like Stockholm syndrome romanticizing of pathology. What are you, a high school "guidance" counselor?

You do, however, make a most excellent point later:

A less judgmental perspective could, however, lead to a eureka moment in which you discover, say, that segregating students by gender from jr high onwards curtails teen pregnancy rates.

I don't know if anybody preemptively argued against this as you seem to suggest, but I've been in favor of same sex schools for decades now, and I have no idea what a "judgmental perspective" has to do with it. It is simple common sense, not to mention the practice of most of the world for most of time.

That said, good freaking luck getting such an idea past the Gatekeepers of Political Correctness. It won't be allowed because it will work, and Orcs don't want things to work: they crave destruction. Think how many guidance counselors we could do without by simply putting boys and girls in different schools.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe she'll just wanna get laid with the hot popular highschool quarterback?

DCThrowback said...

"Let’s say there is a 14-year-old girl who, for perfectly understandable reasons, wants to experience the love and sense of purpose that go with motherhood, rather than stay in school in the hopes of someday earning a middle-class wage."

I bet David Brooks scores quite low on Charles Murray's "To Know A Lower Class White Person" Quiz.

"It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate."

Mate. Yes, nothing says permanence in a relationship like black 15 year old "women" getting knocked up. While I appreciate your experience, let's get some #s to support your hypothesis that the smarter more organized "women" forgot how to put a condom on a banana. Physically mature? Sure. Mentally? Let's find a way to measure that assertion.

"In my own demographic, the girls who were drawing a lot of attention from the opposite sex, therefore fending the potential unwanted pregnancy, tended to be more independent than the rest of us, having more responsibilities at home or even already doing a part-time job. The were also more perceptive in social interaction, i.e. they always got the sarcasm. These females certainly aren't the worst and dumbest of any demographic."

Or they just had big breasts and/or liked Guns 'n Roses.

"Certainly Brooks is right up to the point of accepting complete responsibility for these girls' choices."

Perhaps some day we'll have a society where your individual actions lead to individual responsibility. If you want to have babies at 15, knock yourself out. I just don't see why the taxpayers of the state of ____ have to subsidize it.

Mr. Anon said...

"swimming swan said...

Wrong as usual.

................

I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate.

................

I dunno, could be I just read that in. Ultimately, the moralistic tone stifles debate while the self-aggrandizement alienates."

Allow me to respond to you with a succinct reply to what you wrote.

I don't give a f**k. I don't care about those people. They are not my people. I don't want to pay this idle, undeserving generation of thugs and parasites - the progeny of the last generation of thugs and parasites - to give birth to the next generation of thugs and parasites. F**k them.

Anonymous said...

does the kindergarten this guy attends have just the right number of feel-good government programs? http://www.theonion.com/articles/the-college-i-attend-has-just-the-right-number-of,11280/

gummiade said...

"The key to this flood-the-zone approach is that you have to allow for maximum possible diversity."

Well, it would help by flooding the top and making it trickling down. How nice if NY Times were to be flooded by diversity of views and truth. Then, maybe there will a richer, deeper, and more varied discussion at the top on social issues, and maybe that richness will trickle/flow downwards. But as long as the elites are of ONE MIND, their policies for everyone else is just PC flooding.

Btw, if Brooks want poor folks to be 'flooded' by all sorts of views, we don't need to spend a lot of money. He should run columns recommending people to check out alternative news sites.
So much is on the web, all sorts of views, both PC and PIC. Have politicians make speeches urging poor folks to check out sites like Takimag and American Conservative. You see, it don't cost a dime. Have every elementary and middle school urge kids to check out news sites on the internet that are critical of PC, MLK, and Obama. Again, it doesn't cost a dime.

Of course, the problem is not lack of choice--anyone can go to used book sales and buy books for 50 cents!, anyone can find 'intellectual' stuff on youtube, anyone can afford a computer and access world wide web--but the kind of choice people make. There's a good stuff on the web, but MOST people wanna check out Lady Gaga and such crap. There are lots of good movies made available by netflix streaming but most people wanna watch dumb Hollywood blockheadbusters.
Brooks has to stop seeing poor folks as hapless victims. They are vicious morons making stupid choices, and most cultural junk on TV, music, and movies are sold to the public by liberals who run Hollywood and music industry.
(Kathy Shaidle's new column in Taki mag nailed it. I saw so much of the same shit as a child.)

Btw, Brooks is certainly not Obama's fav columnist. It's just a publicity stunt on Obama's part to seem 'open-minded'. By mentioning Brooks, he kills two birds with one stone: He's 'open-minded' to conservative views AND Brooks is the kind of phony 'conservative' every conservative should aspire to be.

Anonymous said...

Hurricane David Project. If you flood black communities with lots of ideas and loving, black folks have no choice but to loot love and ideas, and that will do some good. When they loot love instead of a X-box and take it home, it's gonna make them real warm inside.

Anonymous said...

I have a better idea. Since Jews are so rich and blacks are so poor, how about we take 80% of Jewish wealth and dump it on blacks. Instead of people at top pushing people on bottom against people in the middle, it's time to force people on top with people on the bottom. I say build section 8 housing on Bill Gates' property.

Anonymous said...

"You want lefty social justice groups, righty evangelical groups, Muslim groups, sports clubs, government social workers, Boys and Girls Clubs and a hundred other diverse institutions."

Here's the problem. The real problem is the black flood. When a community floods with too many black folks, there's too much violence and madness, and all those 'diverse groups' build an ark and drift away.

Anyway, according to Shaidle at Takimag, Brooks lifted this idea from Charles Murray, though he took it another step. I think Murray meant rich whites should reconnect with poor whites. Brooks wants to include poor blacks too. Okay, Brooks should lead by example. He should take his family and settle in Detroit. Flood the black city with Jewish love and proposals for 'gay marriage'.

Anonymous said...

If we want more jobs for American citizens, can we at least stop flooding this nation with immigrants from Third World nations? Especially illegal ones?
But Brooks will say that's more diversity. FLOOD THE BLACKS WITH BROWNS!!

Anonymous said...

Move aside Bloods and the Crips. Here come the Floods and the Hips.

Anonymous said...

I suppose this is the opposite of the saying, 'drain the swamp'. That be sounding to intolerant, hateful, and genocidal.

So, it be 'flood the zone' now. So, if there be some fetid swamp where nothing be growing, just dump a lot of goldfish, turtles, snakes, ducks, salmons, otters, beavers, frogs, and such stuff in the hope that the eco-system magically coming back to life. And if all such critters die cuz swamp be so foul, just add more stuff to the swamp.

Yo, SWAMP THE SWAMP!!

t said...

The example of the 14-year old girl may be the craziest thing ever written in the Times.

Can you ask Ross or Reihan to respond to Brooks? That would be hilarious. Even Reihan would have to be brutal.

Baloo said...

To put it as succinctly as I can, poverty is the human norm. What needs to be studied and understood is the bizarre anomaly of prosperity.

Kylie said...

"Ultimately, the moralistic tone stifles debate while the self-aggrandizement alienates."

Which is why it took an act of will for me to finish reading your comment.

Anonymous said...

Now, we know why we failed in Iraq and Afghanistan. We didn't flood those zones with Boy Scouts, Gay clubs, Christian fundies, Hippies, Slut walk paraders, porn actors, Matt Yglesias, etc.
Iraqis and Afghanis would have so fascinated with all that diversity they never would have had time to set off bombs and cause all that trouble.

Kylie said...

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know that the answer lies in throwing even more money at the problem.

Kevin Michael Grace said...

"But you want her, from morning until night, to be enveloped by a thick ecosystem." What is this: wonk porn?

gummi flood said...

There are all sorts of poverty. White/Jewish liberals are not materially poor. Nor intellectually poor--at least in most areas. But they are very poor in the honesty department, which makes them also poor in the courage department. PC is a bullying tool by cowards who are afraid to look truth in the eye.
The poverty of honesty at elite levels prevents us from discussing real issues with honesty, and so we keep formulating dumb or fantastic policies for Americans that are huge waste of time and money.
It's like doctors being afraid to tell many of their patients that the main reason for their health problems is they are TOO FAT!! (Some docs got sued for saying as much.)

Brooks' logic seems to go as follow: we tried each of these policies separately, and that's why they failed. So, how about we try them ALL AT ONCE, and there will be some kind of synergy that kicks into place. A black kid will be inspired by 'social justice', grounded by 'evangelicalism', fascinated by 'art', sobered by 'book learning', energized by 'boy scouts', provoked by 'gay club', and etc. All these forces will work in balance and the black kid will magically turn into a multi-faceted person!! Well, it's true there are advantages to exposing people to different ideas and peoples, but diversity can also be distracting and trivializing.
Jewish way used to be 'divide and rule'. Now, is it 'dump and stir'?

To be sure, this is still better than the usual PC. It's kinda like LET A HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOOM, LET A HUNDRED SCHOOLS CONTEND. But what happens when this diversity include politically incorrect view that there are IQ and physical differences that leads to racial inequality and tensions? Then, just like the HUNDRED FLOWERS campaign, it's gonna be shut down and heretics will be punished all over again.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Seeing the problem as a vestige of our past rather than a sign of degeneration might help with solutions...

How about welfare to provide for their basic needs? Public schooling for basic skills education? Anti-discrimination laws? Proportional representation? Armies of social workers? Affirmative action, preferences, set-asides?

How about this: we give them political power over their very own municipalities that they can run by and for themselves, free of vestigial racism! How's that working out?

Sorry, David. The guilt account is overdrawn and the Great Society has been a dysgenic, dystopic nightmare. End it before it ends us.

beowulf said...

"That last paragraph would make one hell of a musical number..."
If only Steve's Occamite slashes could be portrayed on stage (I'm picturing Jon Heder with a switchblade).

Without bothering to click through and read his column, I'm guessing Brooks is talking about scaling up nationally Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Project (which, in truth, wouldn't be the worst thing Uncle Sam ever funded).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlem_Children%27s_Zone

To Swimming Swan's point, yes single-sex classrooms are a good idea but wouldn't make a dent in teen pregnancy. The baby daddies tend be much older (as in, too old to be in school).
Finally, I have the perfect book title for Steve.
"iSteve: Jobs for all by rebooting the economy."
No lawsuit there!

Lucius said...

DaveinHackensack makes a vivid comic point: this hypothetical girl would be submitted to a bewildering array of impressions.

And by the hypothesis, she's impressionable to begin with.

I'm somehow made mindful of Aaliyah's posthumous hit "Rock the Boat":

"Flood the zone/ Flood the zone/ Flood the zone/ Flood the zone--

"Chaaaaange po-si-shion: new position! new position! . . . ."

Well, "parsimonious" healthcare should free up plenty of resources to make this happen. Now I can understand why Zeke Emanuel finds this word so magical. Bourgeois grandmas have had their kicks. Let's win one for knocked-up voluble fourteen year-olds.

Luke Lea said...

For those who are unfamliar with it, I recommend Fanny Kemble's A Residence on a Georgia Plantation, the later chapters especially. Her candid descriptions of everyday life on a pre-Civil War Plantation are real eye-openers, unblinkered by political correctness. It's a pitiful scene, though not entirely for the reasons we usually think about.

International Jew said...

You sure this isn't a David Brooks parody of Tom Friedman?

Anonymous said...

OT. The ObaMAO syndrome. Never blame the great helmsman. In China, all the problems of the Mao era were and still are blamed on everyone but Mao though they were acting under Mao's orders. So, the Gang of Four blamed Zhou and Deng for deviating from Maoism(though they only did what Mao told them to do), and then later Deng accused the Gang of Four for violating Maoism(though the Gang was pushing radical version of Maoism).
Similarly, Obama is never to be blamed. Even when he does something NY TIMES doesn't like, the blame falls on those around him. This is a democracy? How sickening. (It's also like how David Irving blames people around Hitler but not Hitler himself, though Hitler had the final say on all matters.)

irishman said...

Has steve stopped writing for Vdare or what's the story?

mark said...

"I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate".

Those girls didn't attract a mate who could financially support them and their child and they can't support the child themselves. How is having a child you can't financially support intelligent and mature? In the absence of welfare paid for by people who actually are intelligent and mature, a lot of those children born to teenage unwed and uneducated mothers would starve to death.

slumber_j said...

I'd change Steve's subtitle to "An Alien People Clutching their Gods." But either way, I'd buy the book.

Anyway, as far as I'm aware, the last "Timesman" to talk about "flooding the zone" was Howell Raines. And look how that turned out...

Anonymous said...

Brooks is such an imbecile. His very title is a lie. What's hilarious is that everything he is bravely calling for we have been trying for 50 years. Hasn't worked. Won't work. Blacks and Mexicans are as dumb as a bag of hammers and have the impulse control and social skills of an enraged badger. Nothing will turn them into White middle class citizens.

Black Sea said...

"The essential truth about poverty is that we will never fully understand what causes it."

The essential truth about poverty is that, when defined in relative terms, it is ineradicatable. The causes of relative poverty are the same as those that cause a range of human outcomes in any other area. Some people are always going to be more talented, or more determined, or more attuned to opportunities, or just plain luckier.

The essential truth about poverty when defined in absolute terms is that -- at least for the time being, and in the developed world -- it's fairly close to having been eradicated.

There are a lot of people forced by economic circumstances to live in dangerous neighborhoods, but that's a moral or social problem, not a problem of poverty per se. There are a lot of people living with stress, depression, etc. due to unemployment or economic uncertainty. These are real problems, but they aren't absolute poverty, i.e. not having enough material provision to survive.

We're not going to eliminate relative poverty, and we're not going to eliminate the adverse psychological and social effects caused by economic stress and uncertainity, or just being toward the bottom of the economic pecking order, which is a drag.

In short, the poor will always be with us, but if we -- and they -- are lucky, they'll be reasonably well housed and fed.

Anonymous said...

O/T

Steve, I saw on another blog today that the comments system was slightly altered. Nested rather than in-line. You might want to try that, makes it easier to follow a developing discussion in the comments.

Mannerheim said...

I wish I could have a cushy NYT sinecure just for saying: "well, the problem is complex and I have no idea what to do about it, so let's just keep throwing money at all the solutions we've already tried. Also: MAXIMUM DIVERSITY!". Especially when the problem is actually simple and the effective solutions are obvious.

In all seriousness, I thought one of the main insights of KIPP schools is that left-half-of-the-bell-curve types thrive best under a system of rigorously imposed discipline (whereas Montessori schools claim that egghead types do best with a healthy amount of self-direction). i.e. exactly the opposite of Brooks's suggestion that we just toss the kids into a primordial stew of gov't programs and mutually hostile culture groups and expect them to figure it all out themselves.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the excerpt here, the content and style of Brooks' column reminds me of a garden variety high school essay.

Anonymous said...

"Occamite slashes" - I love it. Brooks is a master of 'kitman'. Imagine the discipline that must take, day after day.

Hmmm said...

The tests involved measuring how well they could control their impulses in a stop-signal reaction time test that assesses how quickly a person can switch from following one set of instructions to another.

I always thought poor impulse control was an emotional problem (cravings are just too strong to resist) not a lack of mental ability.

greenrivervalleyman said...

Talk about self-loathing! I've had a couple jobs (thankfully, all of them only short-term) where the benefits were good, the environment agreeable, but the actual work was degrading (nothing illegal or slimy, just sort of useless projects to nowhere, some of them maybe vaguely tied to the diversity industry, Americans with Disabilities Act, or hare-brained marketing schemes). Anyway, pretending like you're doing honest, sturdy, productive work when you're not just so you can grab the next paycheck- even for a couple months- is really draining on the soul.

So in those lonely hours of the night, Steve, when you curse how fate has rewarded mountebanks and frauds like Malcolm Gladwell and Andrew Sullivan for towing the politically correct line, at least be glad you're not David Brooks- with 15 years to go before retirement, a big mortgage in Connecticut to service, and college to fund for several kids, all the while realizing that with with no marketable skills outside of those tied to an imploding journalism industry you're only 1 gaffe (i.e. inadvertent outburst of truth) away from having that whole NY Times sinecure pulled out from beneath you and winding up like the Chris Cooper character from Company Men. No wonder last week he overtook Mark Shields in visible agedness

gummet said...

Flood the poor community with more discipline, morality, and law enforcement. Drain it of rap culture, hedonism, thugs and drugs.
It would help if Brooks asked his Hollywood and music industry buddies to stop flooding American culture with filth and rot, especially for underclass folks. (But then, keeping the masses dumb and addicted to trash is a way of social control. Such people are also very easy to manipulate through symbols and feelings.)

Btw, I kinda sympathize with Brooks. Brooks may actually believe that conservative values are what poor folks really need, but if he said that, he would be seen as 'reactionary' among people he hangs around with. So, he tries to push conservatism into the poor community dressed up as 'diversity'. If he said 'more family values for the poor', liberal NYers will laugh at him. But if he said family values and gay clubs, maybe he can slip in some family values along with the other stuff. It's like if you can't make a kid eat spinach, you say, 'okay, it's great to eat EVERYTHING. Here's a cookie, here's some ice cream, here's some chicken... and here's some spinach.'

So, Brooks may actually not be arguing for diversity per se but diversity-as-cover-for-family-values. If Obama pushes leftism in the guise of patriotism, why not push rightism in the guise of 'diversity'?
I'm reading the Deng bio by Eric Vogel, and in the late 70s, Deng actually pushed anti-Mao policies along with tenets of Mao Zedong Thought and Marxism-Leninism. Just rules of the game.

Anonymous said...

Why do even intelligent lefties (and I think that "swimming swan" is such a thing) persist in tut-tutting about the evils of "moralizing" while moralizing themselves?

It reminds me of the libertarian who was here just recently going on about "value judgements" as if they were self-evidently the worst thing in the world - while making all sorts of value judgements himself.

Anonymous said...

It would help if Brooks asked his Hollywood and music industry buddies to stop flooding American culture with filth and rot, especially for underclass folks.


There's the root of the problem. No amount of Catholic charities or Boys and Girls Clubs can compete with television and movies. As long as single motherhood is depicted as something cool or admirable in the entertainment industry, we're going to have a serious problem with young single mothers.

Paul Mendez said...

I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate.

Dear Ms. Swan:

What color sky does your planet have?

Sincerely,
Paul

Charlotte said...

"I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate."

Who don't attract a mate? What strategy, skill, even looks, does it take to attract sex with another young person who, being a boy or young man, has even stronger impulses and less sense of consequence, than does the 14 yr old girl?
What an absurd statement in any case. I've seen what you've seen, aplenty, and intelligence is not a word that comes to mind when describing them. Neither does common sense.
We may be shallow here but we're not shallow fools.
btw, Marie Antoinette actually was quite generous in her charities. She got misquoted and was fatally misunderstood.

Anonymous said...

Because Brooks plays it both ways, he has friends on both sides but is also vilified by both sides. It must be nice and awful at the same time.

Anonymous said...

the poverty rate amongst non-European immigrants in Sweden is around 15%.

http://www.scb.se/statistik/HE/HE0103/2008A02D/HE0103_2008A02D_SM_HE21SM1001.pdf

Anonymous said...

Poverty is a misnomer.

The word Brooks is looking for is 'dysfunction'.

The lowest echelon is not poor by any rational definition. Their healthcare and nutrition and standard of living is better than 99% of folks that have ever lived. They live in real buildings with electricity, plumbing, telephones, etc. They are persistently dysfunctional and unproductive, but they are not poor.

Anonymous said...

David, you ignorant slut.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Swan:


What color sky does your planet have?




In fairness to Swan he or she did suggest that we segregate students by gender from jr high onwards, which is a sensible idea. Of course it's an idea the left will never go for.

Anonymous said...

"But if he said family values and gay clubs, maybe he can slip in some family values along with the other stuff. It's like if you can't make a kid eat spinach, you say, 'okay, it's great to eat EVERYTHING. Here's a cookie, here's some ice cream, here's some chicken... and here's some spinach.'

"So, Brooks may actually not be arguing for diversity per se but diversity-as-cover-for-family-values. If Obama pushes leftism in the guise of patriotism, why not push rightism in the guise of 'diversity'? "


Right, because everything is equal. Spinach and cookies are equal, P-diddy and Mozart are equal. Mother Teresa and Stalin. Everything is, like, equal, y'know.

Except that it's not.

David Brooks school of thought:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnjJvzprjN0

Anonymous said...

'Gay marriage' because powerful people want it. War with Iran because same people want it.

Anonymous said...

It won't be allowed because it will work, and Orcs don't want things to work: they crave destruction.

Which is our fundamental problem in all of this - it's useless to pretend that we can reach some sort of common ground with the Left unless we are willing to accomodate the underlying nihilism which burns away in their hearts.

To accede to the Left is to agree to the extinction of our nation, of our civilization, and of the species itself.

Svigor said...

Take the same no good, dumb, brain-addled, addicted idiot, change his last name to Rockefeller or Buffet, dump a few hundred million dollars on the clod, and presto! He's rich!

Tell that to Terrell Owens. He made 80m in his NFL career, and now he's pleading poverty. Or the majority of NBA players, who (IIRC), after retiring, are broke within 5 years.

(Silver lining: proof that you're wrong; that's one reason I wouldn't bitch about all the money NBA players make, the way some BRA-haters do, even if I was tempted)

Svigor said...

O/T

Steve, I saw on another blog today that the comments system was slightly altered. Nested rather than in-line. You might want to try that, makes it easier to follow a developing discussion in the comments.


Something about nested comments has always left me flat (har-har). Maybe it's too analogous to "perfecting" categorization, when there's clearly no such animal - that way lies madness.

I prefer just one conversation, one thread. It's not like it's difficult to follow, is it?

Anonymous said...

In fairness to Swan he or she did suggest that we segregate students by gender from jr high onwards, which is a sensible idea. Of course it's an idea the left will never go for.

Lesbians might.

S.Anonyia said...

"I don't know if anybody preemptively argued against this as you seem to suggest, but I've been in favor of same sex schools for decades now, and I have no idea what a "judgmental perspective" has to do with it. It is simple common sense, not to mention the practice of most of the world for most of time. "

Intelligent kids need to get used to the opposite sex before they enter the adult world. They could use more interaction with the opposite sex. Otherwise they will be even more socially awkward, with even lower birth rates 10 years down the road.

Segregating all the "failing schools" by gender is a great idea though. Its like stealth eugenics.

Whiskey said...

Somewhat related, Obama's Abortion/Contraceptive fight with the Catholic Church is a fairly astute political gamble. He loses Catholics.

But he gains WOMEN.

Quinnipac has Obama up substantially in VA, due entirely to White women coming around. The LAST thing any woman wants is a kid by a Beta Male. That's "icky" and far better to have, say, kids by Kevin Federline or the nearest approximation than say, a Mark Zuckerberg.

Federline has five kids, one by Shar Jackson (illegitimate), two by Britney Spears (legitimate), and two by some model (both illegitimate). All were working adults when they chose Federline to father their kids. It's a Levi Johnston world. We just live in it.

Obama's playing on the desire, understandable, of most women most of the time to maximize their current reproduction for "sexy sons" because it is assumed that we are in a permanent abundance. Abortion matters, because women don't want a Zuckerberg baby, they want a Federline kid. That's why Obama's words were so powerful for women. Punished with a baby is exactly right, if the father is a beta male. For now. In assumed permanent abundance.

As for Brooks, even during the dregs of Jim Crow, Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton's testimony showed a native Black civil society filled with benevolent associations, far less violence than today (but plenty violent): underpinned by fear of both White retaliation and falling into starvation. Billy Holliday's parents were both teens (around 15-16 or so) when they got married, she was already 2 or 3 years old. But she was the exception, not the rule. As scarcity, fear, and such drove female choice on its own. Not Tiger or French mothers but "not starving" mothers.

Whiskey said...

The solution after all to Black poverty is simple and straightforward, but difficult. It requires cutting off resources, leaving Black people to sort things out themselves, to prosper or starve, without any action at all by Whites. One way or another.

Sooner or later, we will head that way anyway: King's noxious legacy was to maximize the short-term dominance of his group like Bismarck (Blacks for King, the Junkers/Kaiser for Bismarck) at the expense of long-term disaster as both favored groups killed the golden goose.

How strong is the NYT? Not very, they seem to require yearly bailouts by Carlos Slim. All the elites are just one big push from getting tossed out; to be replaced by new ones. Rule by Hollywood, Silicon Valley, lawyers, and a few Wall Street cronies is not sustainable over the long run. Too few to maintain dominance, too many outsiders wanting stuff.

Anonymous said...

"Brooks fancies himself a Compassionate Conservative, he's the real thing. He probably subscribes to HBD but he's not a fundamentalist like some of the folks here are."

And Swan bashes on along similar lines with a lot more cant.

This endless compassion sounds all very well. But the problem is numerical and ultimately geo-political. Throw immigration into the mix and it's easy to see that it is the zone that is going to swamp us.

Brooks is another end-of-history fantasist.

Gilbert Pinfold.

S.Anonyia said...

"I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate. In my own demographic, the girls who were drawing a lot of attention from the opposite sex, therefore fending the potential unwanted pregnancy, tended to be more independent than the rest of us, having more responsibilities at home or even already doing a part-time job."

LOL. They had more responsibilities because their Mom made the same bad choices and was probably taking care of multiple illegitimate children.

And women who get pregnant as teenagers are either dummies or emotionally disturbed the majority of the time. Seriously it takes 2 minutes on google to figure out that single teen pregnancy has terrible consequences in modern society.

Svigor said...

She got misquoted and was fatally misunderstood.

I don't know if she was misquoted, but the quote has been misinterpreted. "Cake" is (was) a French idiom for the bread left over in the pan, something people did and would eat in a pinch. It's funny how prominent the misinterpretation is.

Dennis Dale said...

And I want an army of didgeridoos. Fifty thousand didgeridoos!
--Dewey Cox

Compassionate conservatism is in its late decadent phase.

Dennis Dale said...

"But you want her, from morning until night, to be enveloped by a thick ecosystem." What is this: wonk porn?

He's subconsciously transferring the fact that his point about contraception must be enveloped in a thick ecosystem of intellectual manure.

NotDavidBrooks said...

David Brooks reads your blog? Ha! Dont you think he has better things to do than read this blog? How conceited you must be! Mr. Brooks is extremely busy,with many many interesting things to do. He is an immensely talented man who has many projects and many demands on his time.Not to mention a loving family that he enjoys spending quality time with,as well as many highly accomplished,intellectual friends who enjoy being with him and hearing his opinions on many issues. So get over yourself in a hurru mister,as I doubt David Brooks reads this blog a'tall! Ha,its even funny to think about. Ha ha ha...riiiiight!! Ridiculous!

swan's a swimming said...

"It's like if you can't make a kid eat spinach, you say, 'okay, it's great to eat EVERYTHING. Here's a cookie, here's some ice cream, here's some chicken... and here's some spinach.'"

Other than those who lock their children in a tower and homeschooling them, you've just described 99% of parenting in this country.

As for the numerous snarky replies to my assertion that many of these PTs are hot babes with some smarts, I'd love for you to meet my two bombshell friends from jr high, the really nice, matured-way-too-early, already in a double-D friend I had in 5th grade, and the chick in the running for a NMS at our sister high school. I don't know what was happening in the black community at the time; among whites, however, many boys would settle for dog meat but they'd howl for the filet mignon first. Since we were also the first generation with a lot of working moms and single moms, I believe the only one of the aforementioned hot mamas who didn't get knocked up was the friend who had a stay-at-home mom and whose father's justified hyper-vigilance got her through high school mostly untouched, aye, but not completely. As much as I hate to admit it, many of these girls were functioning better than me in all the areas that indicate future success though they usually weren't as academically inclined. I'm saying this as someone who got a little masculine attention myself but, by comparison, it's hardly worth mentioning.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,
"The solution after all to Black poverty is simple and straightforward, but difficult. It requires cutting off resources, leaving Black people to sort things out themselves, to prosper or starve, without any action at all by Whites. One way or another."

Now reread your previous post... the part about life in Satchmo's day. You seem to have left something essential out of your back-to-the-future prescription... the bit about the threat of violent sanctions.

Your scenario cannot work anymore because around forty years ago the threat of violence reversed direction and has continued to escalate.

Gilbert Pinfold.

Truth said...

""The solution after all to Black poverty is simple and straightforward, but difficult. It requires cutting off resources, leaving Black people to sort things out themselves, to prosper or starve, without any action at all by Whites. One way or another."

The problem with that is that then you'd have to cut off the other 50% of the people sucking off the government teat, whom are, your white relatives; distant and close.

Anonymous said...

In relation to Chua's book, Brooks defended sleepovers cuz girls find out a lot about getting along, negotiation, and learning about the politics of being a 'social animal'.

So, everything Brooks writes is in the spirit of a slumber party at NY Times. He's the odd-girl-out who's been invited to the sleep-over, so he(as she)must play a funny kind of game of being 'different yet same'.

Being 'conservative' probably helps his career some because there is no lack of highly educated Jewish/white liberals in NY. But a highly educated Jewish conservative is relatively rarer, so his 'conservatism' has token value. If Brooks were liberal, he might not even have much of a career.

gumm said...

Obama is the bridge, David is the brooks.

beowulf said...

Actually Paul Krugman is the only person on the Times op-ed page worth reading. He made a Steve-esque affordable family formation point yesterday.
Should we really be surprised that young men, confronting the reality that they won’t earn anything near as much in real terms as their fathers did — and that they will be even further from having what society sees as an adequate income, because even Adam Smith acknowledged the importance of social norms in defining prosperity — don’t marry and raise families the way the previous generation did?
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/wages-and-values/

Anonymous said...

I went to a small all-male private day school in grades 7-8, after which the school was merged with the girls' school up the street. This was in the early 70's in what's now a quintessential SWPL town. I hated it and it was not conducive to my personal development. Totally the wrong place for a small, brainy, unathletic kid. Reimplementation of single sex school would create a lot of disaffected kids, and these type usually end up on the left.

dogzma said...

"I don't give a f**k. I don't care about those people. They are not my people. I don't want to pay this idle, undeserving generation of thugs and parasites - the progeny of the last generation of thugs and parasites - to give birth to the next generation of thugs and parasites. F**k them."

Well then. Don't hold back. Let it all out now, it might make you feel better.

Anonymous said...

Reimplementation of single sex school would create a lot of disaffected kids, and these type usually end up on the left.

As they did in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. There were far more hard-core leftists then than now.

Kylie said...

"As for the numerous snarky replies to my assertion that many of these PTs are hot babes with some smarts, I'd love for you to meet my two bombshell friends from jr high, the really nice, matured-way-too-early, already in a double-D friend I had in 5th grade, and the chick in the running for a NMS at our sister high school."

Helpful hint: when you make an assertion about "many", citing only two examples doesn't back it up convincingly.

And frankly, I think your fulsome description of your "bombshell" black friends' physical charms is kind of creepy. The topic being discussed is teen pregnancy, not how hot junior high black girls are in their double-D bras.

swimming swan said...

"As they did in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. There were far more hard-core leftists then than now."

Is "hard-core leftist" a euphemism?

CJ said...

The problem with that is that then you'd have to cut off the other 50% of the people sucking off the government teat, whom are, your white relatives; distant and close.

That's not a bug, it's a feature.

Anonymous said...

"As they did in Britain in the first half of the 20th century. There were far more hard-core leftists then than now."

Is "hard-core leftist" a euphemism?

No, simply another way of saying "far left type such as communist, socialist, anarchist". I'm talking Kim Philby not Tony Blair.

elvisd said...

peterike said...

I've interacted with quite a few of those black unwed mothers who got pregnant while still in high school. It's safe to say that they are often much more intelligent, organized and mature (both physically and mentally) than their peers who didn't attract a mate.

"Ahh, nothing so warms the cockles of me heart like Stockholm syndrome romanticizing of pathology. What are you, a high school "guidance" counselor?"

There is nothing more destructive on the campus of a contemporary public school than a guidance counselor. They embody all that's wrong with education. I've wanted to strangle some of them.

swimming swan said...

"And frankly, I think your fulsome description of your "bombshell" black friends' physical charms is kind of creepy. The topic being discussed is teen pregnancy, not how hot junior high black girls are in their double-D bras."

Isn't that your bra size, Kylie? Anyway, I was enumerating the pubescent white chicks from my neighborhood back in the day. There was no escaping the fact that I was invisible to guys when standing beside one of them. And there was that point in my life when I realized they'd gotten knocked up and were probably kinda poor when I was just starting to enjoy life. I suspect the schadenfreude directed at this demographic of pretty, early maturing girls comes from nerds who were even less socially adroit and hot than I was. Realize too that I experience a little survivors guilt knowing that at least 3 of the girls could've accomplished a lot academically then professionally had they been more carefully guided through this vulnerable period of their lives. For all I know, though, they settled into happy enough working class lives along with early marriages. Just showing some humility while trying to be open-minded...

Nanonymous said...

This title smokes weed, flunked out of 8th grade and got its girlfriend pregnant.

LOL. Good one. Agreed.

David said...

You're being unpleasant again, Steve. Brooks will drop you in a fit of pique after this.

David said...

>Modern society wants high cognitive ability late bloomers.<

Not in my experience.

Anonymous said...

"But the tax burden on such people isn't the worst of it. It's the depressing reality that their immense effort gets them just barely a little bit more than those who do no labor at all; and the fact that they often have to live among such layabouts, or very near them."

This why so many are liberal in youth and so conservative as they age: they realize that the help they've given to others has allowed the others to have as much as they, without working or sacrificing. The guy in the section 8 house next to you often has more in the way of material possessions than you.

Anonymous said...

"And frankly, I think your fulsome description of your "bombshell" black friends' physical charms is kind of creepy. The topic being discussed is teen pregnancy, not how hot junior high black girls are in their double-D bras."

Minor point, but the vast majority of females with double-D cups are double-D because they are obese.

Once in a great while nature makes a Dolly Parton small waist, top-heavy double D; usually, it's a plastic surgeon's handiwork.

Teen girls with double D's are fat, very, very fat.

Anonymous said...

"You're being unpleasant again, Steve. Brooks will drop you in a fit of pique after this."

This may be true, but Sailer doesn't play 'social animal' politics.

Anonymous said...

"" went to a small all-male private day school in grades 7-8, after which the school was merged with the girls' school up the street. This was in the early 70's in what's now a quintessential SWPL town. I hated it and it was not conducive to my personal development. Totally the wrong place for a small, brainy, unathletic kid."

I went to an all male high school and I think it hurt me in interacting with women. It won't hurt everyone, but the ones who are already pathologically shy and have few social skills, could be damaged severely. Throw in religious repression and you have a severely neurotic adult.

Mr. Anon said...

"Truth said...

""The solution after all to Black poverty is simple and straightforward, but difficult. It requires cutting off resources, leaving Black people to sort things out themselves, to prosper or starve, without any action at all by Whites. One way or another.""

The problem with that is that then you'd have to cut off the other 50% of the people sucking off the government teat, whom are, your white relatives; distant and close."

I'm white and I have no problem with that. I don't see why "Truth" would. Unless it's because of this: White's would fall back on thier families. Some would help. Some wouldn't. But upon whom would blacks rely? Thier families? The families of black welfare users are quite liable to be welfare users themselves. Even the notion of "black family" is becoming kind of iffy. Is it just this fact - that it would make blacks look comparitively bad, that makes "Truth" raise this objection?

Mr. Anon said...

"dogzma said...

Well then. Don't hold back. Let it all out now, it might make you feel better."

You pay to support people who hate you and hold you in contempt, if you like. Count me out. We have lived with this system for fifty years now, and a lot of us are just not buying it anymore.

Maya said...

Swimming Swan,

I'd debating whether you are trolling or not. You can't possibly be serious!

Not every girl who develops early get knocked up. Those who do are, by definition, unintelligent and psychologically immature. You act as if pregnancy is just something that happens when a girl's ripe enough without any active role in the matter on the part of the girl in question. Meanwhile, even 8 year olds understand that there are consequences for their actions, can plan for the near future and delay gratification, if they are developmentally normal. I was biologically able to have children by the time I started middle school, had a fast food job since I was 14 ( yes, it was allowed with a work permit) and plenty of responsibilities at home. My parents didn't make it home until after dinner on most days. Oh, and I liked boys a lot, and while I wouldn't call myself a bombshell, some boys I liked were willing to date me. This wasn't unique where I grew up. There were plenty of us with part time jobs, working parents and visible breasts. The vast majority of us (save one in my graduating class of 650) managed to not get pregnant in our teens. Why? Well, personally, I wanted to have a pleasant life and nice things, and I was willing to do the obvious minimum to get there. It's not rocket science. Anyone who can figure out that you flush the toilet after you go and not before or that you should put dirty laundry in the washer before you put it in the dryer can figure out that getting pregnant as a teenager is a bad idea and can find a way to not get pregnant. It doesn't take monumental wisdom or superior intelligence. These girls you were telling us about lacked the most basic ability to plan for the future. That's the opposite of intelligence and maturity. The only other possibility is that they were smart and psychologically balanced enough to know what they were doing, but they completely lacked in dignity, self-respect, ambition and love for their future children.

swimming swan said...

"Once in a great while nature makes a Dolly Parton small waist, top-heavy double D; usually, it's a plastic surgeon's handiwork.

Teen girls with double D's are fat, very, very fat"

You must be an envious chick to be choking on my comment the focus of which was sidetracked, diverted, seduced & knocked up attractive yet smart teen girls going to waste. This girl, who couldn't have been older than 12 at the time, was a Dolly Parton physical type. I could be a little wrong about her bra size though. It was 5th grade so relatively speaking...

I unintentionally tested the genuineness of this "Sailer", btw. The old Sailer would be happy enough with early and often breeding among females who score well on the SAT and/or are good at math and surprisingly high in conscientiousness. I can't vouch for the baby daddies however. There could be some reversion negating any advantage to procreating in the face of a baby bust (that means lack of babies not lactating babies, Kylie.)

Maya said...

"You must be an envious chick to be choking on my comment the focus of which was sidetracked, diverted, seduced & knocked up attractive yet smart teen girls going to waste."

Again, no. A spade is a spade, and a girl who would let herself get pregnant in middle school is a dumbass. A girl so young lacks in experience and, probably, wouldn't know how to manipulate and seduce men or how to get the best deal for a used car. However, not getting pregnant in one's early teens in order to have a better life is just too simple of a concept. Most of us (who are very far from being of superior intelligence, just not retarded) found it rather easy to not get expelled, not get arrested, not get pregnant in our teens and not pass out drunk on the railroad tracks with minimal to no guidance.

bored swan said...

"I was biologically able to have children by the time I started middle school, had a fast food job since I was 14 ( yes, it was allowed with a work permit) and plenty of responsibilities at home. My parents didn't make it home until after dinner on most days. Oh, and I liked boys a lot, and while I wouldn't call myself a bombshell, some boys I liked were willing to date me."

I don't see how you can really be convinced that given enough time alone two teenagers of any IQ won't let nature take its course. I wasn't advocating teen pregnancy. What I was saying, as real Steve would agree, was that an unwanted pregnancy is always a possibility when two teenagers are allowed to be alone together. When you stack up the odds by that girl being off-the-charts attractive (not like you or me), she's going to be pursued by many clever enough persistent guys. It's also more than likely such a girl will be attracting older males who are too sophisticated for the teen to handle easily. Smart parents will watch these girls like hawks because of the older guys who would love to exploit their naivete. The unwary often haven't figured out their little girl has grown up perhaps more because they can't think of her in a sexual way than any lapse in judgment.

Mostly I think you're being a contrarian. Smart kids get into all the difficulties dumb kids do with the resulting opportunities lost to them being much greater. To me it's a phase of vulnerability that affects some kids more than others. A girl or boy who looks older than they are can easily get in over their heads. It's not controversial. A less sexy girl may well date a lot but she's attracting guys who are friends first, closer to her age and anything but smooth operators. Your having dated tame boys proves nothing.

Let me repeat: Though teen pregnancy isn't advisable, girls who get pregnant may well be good, smart kids otherwise. A girl who's extremely pretty and or well-developed at a young age isn't immature compared to her peers because she can't distinguish love from infatuation or lust. Anyone less than robotic emotionally can become impulsive when they're in love. It doesn't make them stupid or demonstrate they have poor impulse control.

Truth said...

"White's would fall back on thier families. Some would help. Some wouldn't."

LOL, this is just wrong on so many levels; Kylie is a white social worker who worked mostly with the type of whites you want to pull the rug out on, I'm sure she'd be happy to elucidate.

Mike said...

David Brooks doesn't know the meaning of either "positive feedback" or "negative feedback". The American way seems to be about sounding clever (if that's your thing) and everyone else just nods wisely.

rules for gummis said...

You know who Brooks kinda looks like? Saul Alinsky, the author of RULES FOR RADS. Maybe Brooks is working on something like RULES FOR TRADS(traditionals--or tradicals?).

Alinsky told his followers to act mainstream, patriotic, apple pie; to adopt the symbolism of mainstream America while subverting it with leftist/'progressive' ideas. That way, radicalism will take root in America not as anti-Americanism but part-and-parcel-of-Americanism.

Maybe Brooks feels that since America has become so 'progressive', trads need to use the symbolism of 'progressivism' and 'diversity' to slip in elements of traditionalism. If we 'flood' poor communities with 'everything' in the name of diversity, certain ideas/values are likely to work more than others and take deeper root in the long run, thereby winning the argument. Family values are gonna make more of a positive difference of poor folks than gay tattoos or voodoo medicine.

Brooks may be more of a slippery character because he grew up liberal but moved conservative.
There are some people who are born conservative and remain that way all their lives, and there are those who are born liberal and remain liberal all their lives. But some go from left to right or right to left. Like people who know more than one language, they have more than one way to look at and feel around reality.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Obama 'likes' Brooks cuz when read between the lines, Brooks' columns reminds Obie of good ole Saul.

Mr. Anon said...

"rules for gummis said...

Alinsky told his followers to act mainstream, patriotic, apple pie; to adopt the symbolism of mainstream America while subverting it with leftist/'progressive' ideas. That way, radicalism will take root in America not as anti-Americanism but part-and-parcel-of-Americanism.

Maybe Brooks feels that since America has become so 'progressive', trads need to use the symbolism of 'progressivism' and 'diversity' to slip in elements of traditionalism..."

Or maybe Brooks is just one of those Alinskyite radicals, disguising himself as a mainstream, patriotic, all-american American.

Scarlet Hos said...

girls who get pregnant may well be good, smart kids otherwise.

There are always exceptions and anecdotes. Statistically, lower IQ correlates with a host of bad life outcomes like teenage preganancy and single motherhood.

A girl who's extremely pretty and or well-developed at a young age isn't immature compared to her peers because she can't distinguish love from infatuation or lust.

"Prettiness" does not give a woman any moral indugence for acting like a skank. Besides, from what I see around me, most teen mothers and single moms tend to be "unpretty", so this is not a epidemic disproportionately affecting the "pretty".

Horney guys will hit anything they can get - looks are not a huge factor. Looks are a 5th order effect compared to the first order effect of a woman being easy, loose, or whatever they call it these days.

Women are evolved to be more social animals and are more subject to shame. Given the social chaos women can cause as teen and/or single mothers of often messed up kids, the last thing we should do is be celebrating them as brave heroines (or victims of their beauty as you attempt to do).

A major pathology of our society is celebrating moral failings, eliminating reponsibily for irresponsible behaviors and forcing the the constructive normal to financial subsidize the destructive abnormal.

Your defense of your "pretty" friends is a perfect example of hallow excuse making in an attempt to avoid well-deserved social shaming.

Maya said...

Swimming/Bored Swan,

I never said you advocate teen pregnancy. You are, however, trying to argue that an extraodinarily improbable situation is, in fact, almost common place. Yes, since it's not against the laws of physics, it's theoretically possible that a smart girl would allow herself to get pregnant in her early teens or that she would or that she would kill an elderly gentleman for a pack of cigarettes, but it's highly, highly unlikely. Twelve year olds are not toddlers. In my country of origin, kids that age are expected to pass algebra. In my American school, the top 20% were in Algebra I. The law, also, allowed us to watch out baby brothers and sisters for extended length of time, at that age. I'm saying all this to make a point that 12 year olds should have the ability to think logically, solve problems, plan for the future and anticipate consequences. In my experience, most do.

Did you really just say that it would take an unfeeling robot to not get pregnant at 12, given enough time alone with a boyfriend one cares for? How about at 18? At 22? If your friend was so overwhelmed by love, she couldn't help expressing it physically, is there a reason why, being such a smart girl, she didn't resort to condoms, birth control pills (she could've pulled the common trick of complaining about an uncomfortable period to get the pills) or even oral sex? The fact is that at the age when she was old enough to employ logic and plan for the future effectively, your friend decided to have unprotected intercourse, even though it's common knowledge that intercourse causes pregnancies and teen pregnancies make life difficult. DUMB.
A lot of college bound, suburban kids have sex in high school. Yet teen pregnancies are extremely rare in that demographic. Why? Because preventing pregnancies is simple for those who are capable of holding a thought. That one girl who got pregnant in my graduating class spent 7 years in ESL and never moved beyond basic math. She wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed.

Lastly, I'm baffled by your emphasis on the young girls' looks when it comes to early sexual activity. As far as i can remember, it was the dimmer and uglier girls who started having sex first. The pretty ones could get enough attention without giving up too much. Even older boys were overjoyed to get a mere kiss from a really beautiful middle school girl whereas a less attractive girl had to do a lot of extra to buy herself male attention. Of course the smarter less attractive girls tended to retreat into their books and hope for something to change in the future. The ones who got "seduced" early tended to be both plain and dim. But even the plain and dim slutty girls managed to not get pregnant in my lower middle class suburb because avoiding pregnancy is just that easy.

yawning swan said...

I'm not even bothering to read you nags. The expression "beating a dead horse" comes to mind. I'm not even advocating teen sex for that matter but since we're focusing on anecdotal evidence gleaned from Maya's not very typical life I'd like to remind you that the working class and middle class populations in the US often had their daughters officially married off by age 16. Save your moralizing for the at risk population. I assure you they don't read iSteve.

You're so silly. Give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

I went to an all male high school and I think it hurt me in interacting with women. It won't hurt everyone, but the ones who are already pathologically shy and have few social skills, could be damaged severely. Throw in religious repression and you have a severely neurotic adult.

By any chance is your name James Joyce?

Anonymous said...

voodoo medicine

What do you mean by that?

Perhaps chastity belts, circumcision, radium inhalers, mechanical bottle feeding, prison-like mental institutions, judicial hysterectomies and lobotomies?

beowulf said...

"Not every girl who develops early get knocked up. Those who do are, by definition, unintelligent and psychologically immature."

Closer to the truth to say they are, by definition, victims of statutory rape.

Dennis Dale said...

Have you considered, Sailer, that Brooks is addressing you directly?

Maybe it's subconscious anxiety of influence at work.
Maybe he thinks something will stick. You should throw him a bone. Imagine how good it would make him feel if he thought he influenced something here--like he was twenty-one again, before he sold out!

David said...

The real beauties didn't get pregnant in my High Screwl. The better-looking the girl, the harder she was to get. One or two lookers managed to acquire very Alpha boyfriends (one per girl I mean) who beat them up now and then, but no pregnancies that we heard of. In fact, despite a certain percentage of dogs who put out, nobody was impregnated that we heard of; a pregnancy in that screwl (1980s, preppy, the south) would have been a scandal beyond the ken of reason. Sigh. File this in the yellowing pages of history, I guess.