September 7, 2005

John Podhoretz averts his maidenly eyes

After John Derbyshire bravely defends me once more in NRO's Corner against John Podhoretz's fatwa against my New Orleans article and its mention of the lower average IQ of African-Americans, JPod sputters:

I have read only two things by [Sailer] in the past few years, both of them e-mailed to me, and I regret having soiled my eyes, my brain and my sensibility with them.

This is another example of the typical attack on me -- the "point-and-sputter" diatribe devoid of logic and facts.

Inevitably, responses to Pod the Lesser's sallies traditionally fall into the "point-and-laugh" mode -- for example, his former colleagues at the Washington Times coined the pun Podenfruede for their group ritual of reading Pod's latest effusion and laughing at his shortcomings as a writer, thinker, and human being. Since JPod doesn't give anyone anything to sink their teeth into -- it's hard to point out the fallacies in JPod's logic when all he is expressing is mindless rage and thuggish threats. So, "point-and-laugh" is natural.

Still, my readers might be interested in some of the logical contradictions related to Pod Minor, even if rationality is not, personally, his thing. For example, will he next condemn Commentary and the American Enterprise Institute?

I ask this because the sentence in my New Orleans article that called "the most disgusting sentence yet written about Katrina" simply applied to the disaster the facts printed in the feature article in this month's neoconservative Commentary magazine (and also posted on the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute's website): "The Inequality Taboo" by Charles Murray, the Bradley Fellow at AEI.

Indeed, my previous article "Charles Murray Reenters America's Inequality Debate" was a celebration of the article's publication by Commentary, where Big Little Pod's father, Norman Podhoretz, is "Editor-at-Large" after a distinguished quarter-century career as Commentary's Editor-in-Chief. Further, many of the foreign policy pundits that Commentary routinely publishes are domiciled at the AEI, and the think tank gave Norman Podhoretz its Francis Boyer award in 2002.

Indeed, Norman Podhoretz has said:

"I'm a defender of The Bell Curve. I think The Bell Curve has been subjected to the most vicious lynching of any book since Making It."

That was Podhoretz Major's first autobiography, which came out 27 years before The Bell Curve.

Perhaps, JPod's attacks on me are a surreptitious, indirect form of Oedipal warfare upon his father, since he knows by now that every time he attacks me on race, IQ, and crime, I will shine the spotlight of attention on the fact that his father holds equally politically incorrect views on the same subjects.

We should pause for a moment of sympathy for John Podhoretz. It can't be emotionally easy having such a formidable figure as Norman Podhoretz as your father. Financially, of course, being connected has been very easy for John, but it must be tough on his dignity to go through life being known among the punditocracy as the world's leading example of nepotistic incompetence and regression toward the mean.

More generally, JPod's Oedipal anger reflects the understandable resentment of the second generation of neoconservatives (the "minicons") looking back on the heroic first generation. The first generation -- Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Nathan Glazer, James Q. Wilson, Andrew Greeley, and so forth, with Charles Murray as probably the youngest member of that pantheon -- were primarily social scientists studying domestic issues of race, ethnicity, and crime. (As a literary critic, Norman Podhoretz was an odd man out among the quant jocks, but he was a trenchant writer on black crime even back when he was a self-proclaimed radical leftist. As he aged, he has, of course, become more obsessed with foreign policy, but that's a natural progression for an elderly gentleman with four grandchildren abroad.)

The minicons, in embarrassing contrast, are primarily pundits obsessed with Middle Eastern affairs.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Yglesias slips link to my "New Orleans Nightmare" into TAPPED

Yglesias slips link to my "New Orleans Nightmare" into TAPPED: On the blog of the liberal The American Prospect, TAPPED, Matthew Yglesias writes:

WHY SO BLIND? I know you're not supposed to quote Steve Sailer because he writes stuff like this [my article], but nevertheless, I think he makes a good point here:

and proceeds to quote from my Democrat-friendly item about "Why didn't the media grasp the Bush Administration's incompetence earlier?"

One of the many, many emails I've received this week (and I apologize for not answering enough of them and for posting only a tiny fraction of those worthy of wide distribution) suggested that a lot of people are pointing and sputtering at my article precisely because they want more people to read it, but don't want to get in trouble for endorsing it. But Yglesias isn't even putting in any pro forma condemnations of me. He's just not-too-subtly making fun of the condemnations of my sensible essay.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Larry Arnhart's new book Darwinian Conservatism

There's now a blog promoting political scientist Larry Arnhart's new short book:

"Conservatives need Charles Darwin"

That’s the message of Larry Arnhart’s new book Darwinian Conservatism, launched this month by Imprint Academic.

Ever since the publication of Darwin’s Origin of the Species in 1859, political and religious conservatives have had an uneasy relationship with Darwin’s theory of evolution. Many conservatives accept the Biblical doctrine that human beings were specially created by God in His image. And some conservatives believe that the living world shows evidence of being the product of an "intelligent designer". Many of these conservatives fear that the idea of humans evolving naturally from lower animals denies their moral dignity as special creatures of the Divine Intelligent Designers.

Going against this movement, Larry Arnhart aims to persuade conservatives that Darwin is their friend and not their enemy. The author claims that a Darwinian science of human nature supports the moral, political and religious ideas of conservatism. Darwinian biology confirms the conservatives’ realist view of human nature and denies the leftists’ utopian view of human nature as perfectible.

Many conservatives don't realize that Darwin was the greatest intellectual descendent of their hero Adam Smith. Darwin read Smith's Wealth of Nations in the late 1830s just as he was formulating his theory of natural selection, and was greatly influenced by it. In effect, natural selection is Smith's "invisible hand" applied to nature rather than the economy.

Arnhart's publisher's message sounds sensible too:

In recent years the tradition of the political pamphlet has declined—with publishers (other than think-tanks) rejecting anything under 100,000 words as uneconomic. The result is that many a good idea has ended up drowning in a sea of verbosity. However the introduction of the digital press makes it possible to re-create a more exciting age of publishing. Imprint Academic is proud to announce Societas: essays in political and cultural criticism to fill the lacuna in public debate. The authors are all experts in their own field, either scholarly or professional, but the essays are aimed at a general audience and contain the minimum of academic paraphernalia. Each book should take no more than an evening to read.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

"As Surely as Water Will Wet Us ..."

"As Surely as Water Will Wet Us" ... Because I don't like watching my fellow American citizens suffer the horrors of anarchy, I have been pointing out that the happy-clappy multi-culti assumption by all levels of government that in case of disaster the police and people of New Orleans would all pitch together like Good Samaritans to help each other out was foolish. In many places, survivors will do that, but the demographics and culture of New Orleans were always unpropitious ... but nobody is allowed to mention that. The first priority of government in a place like New Orleans must be re-establishing order. Rescue won't proceed well when workers fear for their lives from violence.

Kipling summed up the realist view of New Orleans in the last four lines of his poem "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" (i.e., traditional proverbs and bleak ancient truths that English schoolboys were once required to write at the top of their notebook pages):

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will bum,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Bill Whittle, Dangerous Loon or Emasculated Liar?

I finally got around to reading the loooong essay about the New Orleans anarchy by TV writer Bill Whittle, which Instapundit is pushing as the moderate, sensible alternative to extremists like, oh, say, me.

Whittle says you can divide the world up into two kinds of people, or "tribes:"

-- The liberal "Pinks" who only care about emotion, like that awful Sean Penn:

"The Pink Tribe is all about feeling good: feeling good about

-- The conservative "Greys," like, oh, say, Bill Whittle:

"This is a Tribe where emotion is repressed because Emotion Clouds Judgment. This is the world of Quadratic Equations and Stress Risers and Loads Torsional, Compressive and Tensile, a place where Reality Can Ruin Your Best Day, the place where Murphy mercilessly picks off the Weak and the Incompetent, where the Speed Limit is 186,282.36 miles per second, where every bridge has a Failure Load and levees come in 50 year, 100 year and 1000 Year Flood Flavors."

Yet, Mr. Unemotional Rationality, Mr. Moderate Mainstream, is soon babbling about how he'd like to murder people who disagree with his ideology:

Let’s not talk about Black and White tribes… I know too many pathetic, hateful, racists and more decent, capable and kind people of both colors for that to make any sense at all. Do you not? Do you not know corrupt, ignorant, violent people, both black and white, to cure you of this elementary idiocy? Have you not met and talked and laughed with people who were funny, decent, upright, honest and honorable of every shade so that the very idea of racial politics should just seem like a desperate and divisive and just plain evil tactic to hold power?

If such a thing is not self-evident to you, please get off my property. Right now. I should tell you I own a gun and I know how to use it. I assure you that the pleasure I would take in shooting you would be temporary, minimal, and deeply regretted later.

So, what is his highly scientific worldview anyway?

I believe that the human animal – the raw material of our physical bodies – is essentially interchangeable. By this I mean that I could take the children of Fallujah and turn them all into Astronauts, convert Jewish babies into fanatical, mass-murdering SS guards, and shake a generation of the poorest Voodoo-worshippers in Haiti into a cadre of top-flight nuclear physicists, chemical engineers and computer scientists.

You may recognize this as just a regurgitation of the notorious blank slate boast of John Watson, the founder in the 1920's of the now discredited school of behaviorist psychology, that if he were given an infant at random, he could train him:

''to become any type of specialist I might select -- doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors.''

Watson was a fool to say that 80 years ago, and we know even more now.

And Whittle's version is more idiotic than Watson's: " I could take the children of Fallujah and turn them all into Astronauts." Whittle sure couldn't have turned me into an astronaut. No matter how totalitarian an upbringing he would have subjected me to, my poor reflexes, bad eyesight, inability to follow complex directions, slow decision-making, excessive size, and fear of heights would have left me a washout on day one of Flight School.

Whittle claims he could " shake a generation of the poorest Voodoo-worshippers in Haiti into a cadre of top-flight nuclear physicists, chemical engineers and computer scientists." But, in the real world, top-flight scientists and engineers can't reliably raise their own kids to be top-flight scientists and engineers. Francis Galton quantified regression toward the mean between father and son way back in the Victorian era.

Mr. Skeptical Empiricism continues:

Race has nothing to do with this – precisely nothing... Human hearts are indistinguishable and interchangeable. Anyone who claims otherwise is, without further argument or statements necessary, a complete God-damned idiot.

Well, that settles that!

Look, if you took Whittle literally, you'd think he was a dangerous loon, talking about shooting people who disagree with him and raising innocent children the way B.F. Skinner raised pigeons. But, it's clear he's just flapping his gums. He's simply spouting nonsense that he knows full well is nonsense because he's terrified of the Politically Correct Thought Police. As Theodore Dalrymple said:

" When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to cooperate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."

A friend points out:

"Make no mistake that Whittle's been Pinked - even his description of those no-good Pinks (i.e. pacifist liberals), and heroic Greys (i.e. militarist conservatives) shows that a *real* Grey wouldn't make claims about "interchangeable hearts" and voodoo engineers. But this sounds exactly like something those "Pinks" would say, according to his description. Everything about this reflects Whittle's anger at being neutered."

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Why didn't the media grasp the Bush Administration's incompetence earlier?

It sure seemed obvious that the Administration was clueless in Iraq and many other places, but the press has consistently given the Bushies the benefit of the doubt on basic competence, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

I think the most likely reason is that the press admired the skill the Administration has displayed in manipulating the press. Reporters, many of whom have themselves considered working on the PR side of the media racket, were so professionally impressed by how well the Bushies organized photo ops, managed the leaking process, and spun the news for them that they found it hard to believe that the Administration was as inept as it appeared at its lawfully mandated tasks.

Of course, the reality was that the Administration was devoting its best talent to image-mongering while dumping hapless loyalist losers like Mike Brown, a failure in the horse show business, on unimportant positions like running FEMA. Or check out Craig Nelsen's backgrounder on David Safavian, whom Bush appointed to head federal procurement.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

September 6, 2005

A Man-Made Disaster:

John Ray points us toward an important essay by Robert Tracinski at The Intellectual Activist that emphasizes the disastrous role played by wrong assumptions about how those left behind in New Orleans would behave, and the impact that would have on slowing the rescue and succor efforts:

It took four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it also took me four long days to figure out what was going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicles, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists—myself included—did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

This is somewhat exaggerated, since a few hundred well-led trained armed men could have secured the city quickly. In fact, you should expect for there to be a lot of revisionism about how the level of violence wasn't really as bad as rumor said it was. Of course, as one resident told a TV crew, if somebody shot him and left him floating, his body would swell up and it's unlikely anybody would bother looking for bullets in him when his body was found. I suspect that there won't be a strong effort made to figure out the precise cause of death of all those swollen bodies fished out of the water.

But, it's a key point borne out in many riots (such as Detroit in 1967), that violence, especially any level of sniping, has a paralyzing effect on rescue workers. Sure, rumors outrun the reality, but think about what it would be like to be a cop or fireman who is supposed to go out in a boat and rescue people. You're putting your life vest on because there's a chance that some desperate survivor in the water might pull you in. But then your wife rushes in and says there are reports of snipers shooting at rescuers, and she insists you put on your bullet-proof vest instead. But that's heavy and would drag you right down to the bottom. So, you say, screw it, I'm calling in sick.

Now, if you have good quality men, like the heroic Fire Department of New York on 9/11, and good leadership, well, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. But the New Orleans police department always consisted of shakedown artists (see the Dennis Quaid movie "Big Easy"), and then, after the black takeover of the mayor's office, standards were dropped even lower to take in lots of blacks, many with criminal records. (I don't anything about the New Orleans Fire Department. Firemen generally are of a higher moral level than policemen, but who knows in New Orleans?) So, unsurprisingly, the rescue workers did not show exceptional bravery under fire.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over four days last week. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state. [More]

Now, that's a nice safe place to stop: blame it on the welfare state. There's a lot of truth to it -- as soon as welfare to unwed mothers was raised above starvation levels in the 1960s, the illegitimacy and crime rates shot through the roof.

But a big problem with this argument is that liberals will in response point out that Sweden has had a far more lavish welfare state for 70 years now, yet, despite incessant American conservative predictions of Sweden's imminent collapse, it's still a functioning society. And liberals say, "Well, I wouldn't quit my job if we had a better safety net. I find my job a fascinating exercise of my intellectual capabilities. Are you saying that other people aren't like you and me and the Swedes? Are you implying that ... blacks aren't like Swedes? Are you, huh, are you? Crimethink! Ahhhh-oooo-gahhh! Crimethink!"

And that's where the argument has bogged down, at least among intellectuals, almost permanently since the 1960s ... because of the unthinkability of pointing out that, well, yes, maybe, blacks aren't Swedes.

Heck, even the Brits aren't Swedes -- the welfare state wrecked Britain economically in a couple of decades and is destroying the morals of Britain's white working class today.

Now, ever since the 1966 midterm elections, running against welfare and crime has typically been a winning issue for conservatives because, the public can see how disastrous the welfare boosts of the 1960s turned out to be.

But, the rapid rises in crime and welfare that happened 40 years ago are fading into the mists of time, and the pundit elite is making noises this week like they've forgotten the past and they want to spend zillions on "urban problems" again.

So, once again, we are seeing the disastrous impact of having an intellectual elite that isn't allowed to write sense about topics, if they want to keep their jobs, that the general public talks about it.

As Steven Pinker, author of The Blank Slate, said in my 2002 interview with him:

Q: Aren't we all better off if people believe that we are not constrained by our biology and so can achieve any future we choose?

A: People are surely better off with the truth. Oddly enough, everyone agrees with this when it comes to the arts. Sophisticated people sneer at feel-good comedies and saccharine romances in which everyone lives happily ever after. But when it comes to science, these same people say, "Give us schmaltz!" They expect the science of human beings to be a source of emotional uplift and inspirational sermonizing.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Nicholas D. Kristof wields Occam's Butterknife in the NYT

In "The Larger Shame," the New York Times op-ed columnist tries to shackle his on-the-spot observation of how cooperatively the Japanese victims of the 1995 Kobe earthquake responded to the emerging Conventional Wisdom that the U.S. should spend more money on poverty programs (what Peter Brimelow calls the new Tet Offensive). Kristof writes:

One of the most dispiriting elements of the catastrophe in New Orleans was the looting. I covered the 1995 earthquake that leveled much of Kobe, Japan, killing 5,500, and for days I searched there for any sign of criminal behavior. Finally I found a resident who had seen three men steal food. I asked him whether he was embarrassed that Japanese would engage in such thuggery.

"No, you misunderstand," he said firmly. "These looters weren't Japanese. They were foreigners."

The reasons for this are complex and partly cultural, but one reason is that Japan has tried hard to stitch all Japanese together into the nation's social fabric. In contrast, the U.S. - particularly under the Bush administration - has systematically cut people out of the social fabric by redistributing wealth from the most vulnerable Americans to the most affluent.

It's not just that funds may have gone to Iraq rather than to the levees in New Orleans; it's also that money went to tax cuts for the wealthiest rather than vaccinations for children.

Oh, come on, Nick, you know as well as I do that Japan has traditionally been a low-tax, low welfare spending state with a notoriously stingy social insurance scheme that encourages the Japanese to save enormous fractions of their income for a rainy day. Heck, you lived there.

Now, there are high-spending welfare states whose citizens have behaved well during disasters, such as Iceland. Yet, the real common denominators between Japan and Iceland are things you would denounce as "xenophobia," such as low immigration rates and ethnic and cultural homogeneity, and other concepts that you couldn't even begin to formulate in your mind without your CRIMETHINK alarm sounding, such as the general (but hardly universal) tendencies for high latitude peoples to cooperate better amongst themselves than do low latitude peoples.

... So the best monument to the catastrophe in New Orleans would be a serious national effort to address the poverty that afflicts the entire country. And in our shock and guilt, that may be politically feasible. Rich Lowry of The National Review, in defending Mr. Bush, offered an excellent suggestion: "a grand right-left bargain that includes greater attention to out-of-wedlock births from the Left in exchange for the Right's support for more urban spending." That would be the best legacy possible for Katrina.

If you stop and think, however, you'll remember that the most effective legislation in recent decades toward easing urban dysfunction was a bill that limited spending on the poor, the 1996 welfare reform cutback.

Didn't anybody learn the lesson over the last 40 years that it was the "urban spending" increases of the 1960s that subsidized the vast growth in "out-of-wedlock births" by making it easier for unmarried women to have children without a husband to provide for them?

I very much favor doing what it takes to fix our problems, but, the only way we will make any progress is if we start by being honest with ourselves about what the real troubles are and what might actually work.

A college professor writes:

As horrible as the NO disaster has been, it is dramatic evidence for what you have been writing for a long time: that we don't help people by lying about racial facts. On the contrary, lying in order to be kind KILLS people. Your honesty and courage has gotten you marginalized, but today was the day the faculty here has to report to campus for the new academic year, and after hearing for the hundredth time how NO wouldn't have happened if the victims were white (i.e., America hates black people and longs to see them destroyed) the margins are looking pretty good..

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

The Supreme Court on IQ and Judgment

A lot of the nice people who are currently professing to be shocked by my pointing out that low IQ and poor judgment are correlated also favored the Supreme Court's 2002 decision that, in effect, banned the death penalty for killers with IQs under 70. The NYT, for example, editorialized: "[I]nflicting the death penalty on individuals with I.Q. scores of less than 70 who have little understanding of their moral culpability violates civilized standards of justice."

I found that decision dubious because "Thou shalt not kill" is a quite simple concept. Also, the death penalty is seldom handed out for homicides committed in the throes of passion, but typically for murder one with malice aforethought and often with aggravating circumstances as well.

I wrote for UPI:

"Some of the IQ defenders were quick to point out that Court and the New York Times had implicitly agreed with them that IQ tests were not racially biased. [U. of Delaware professor Linda] Gottfredson said, 'The death penalty may be the only public policy debate involving race in which we are not bombarded with the usual canards about IQ tests being biased against blacks.'" ...

Finally, the Court's decision officially designates that a much larger fraction of the African-American population is of diminished moral capability compared to the white and East Asian populations. About 2 percent-3 percent of whites or East Asians don't exceed 70 on IQ tests, vs. 10 percent-12 percent of American blacks...

Assuming that wealthier and more foresightful people tended to get out of town before the hurricane, I would guesstimate that roughly 15% to 20% of the people left behind in New Orleans were, according to the Supreme Court, ineligible for the death penalty due to having IQs below 70.

Now, be clear that I'm not saying that low IQ people are not morally culpable or that they lack free will or all those other philosophical issues that are fun to stay up all night talking about in the dorm room. What I am saying is that policymakers need to plan ahead for the likely problems that have been shown to be statistically correlated with having large numbers of low IQ people. Otherwise, more people will die, especially low IQ Americans.

But instead, we see that merely calling attention to this simple fact gets me demonized in National Review Online by, of all people, the son of the man, Norman Podhoretz, who wrote "My Negro Problem -- and Ours" in Commentary in 1963!

Or here's a particularly self-righteous effort from somebody called Damnus Absque Injuria.

So, how can any official plan ahead based on realistic assessments of how a particular population is likely to react in an emergency if the entire subject of behavioral differences is a career-killing thought crime? These are our fellow human beings and our fellow Americans in New Orleans, but we're letting them die because we've been terrified to make plans based on politically incorrect facts.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Religion, Urban Life, and Morals:

A reader writes:

One thing that seems to be missing from the conversation is religion... There is something to be said for the notion that God tests people with disaster, or, rather, a belief in God makes them better able to weather disaster.

We have a good comparison for this with New Orleans and Mississippi. I have yet to hear of looting in Mississippi that reached the scale it did in New Orleans. Yet Mississippi didn't lack for temptations. Anyone watching Fox or MSNBC saw those casino barges carried half a mile inland and busted open for all the world to see. Nor does Mississippi lack for Wal-Marts and other department stores. And while the population in Mississippi might not be as black as New Orleans' population, it certainly has a large presence. The only difference between the two areas is that one is governed by an ethic that is driven by the most shameless hedonism, while the swears by the kind of Bible-beating fundamentalism sneered at by our nation's elite.

Another reader writes:

Also, a point on the stupidity and destructiveness of noticing racial differences, I was listening to NPR and some Mississippi congressman was furious that he was not allowed to distribute relief supplies by FEMA because they insisted that it all had to be surrounded by National Guard escorts to prevent riots over the food. He was saying "my people are not from New Orleans, they all know each other and they would behave civilly." FEMA would not even let them take it with police escorts, so eventually they had to waste millions of dollars by using National Guard Helicopters (this is somehow outside of FEMA's jurisdiction) to get the food to the affected areas, even though the roads were clear, and of course there was no rioting or problems over the supplies. I've been trying to find an article about the story online, but I haven't been able to. I'll send you a link if I find it.

Another important point that a number of my readers have made to me is to note there are probably differences in law-abidingness between big city and small town people. The anonymity of urban life is more conducive to life as a criminal since bystanders are less likely to recognize you as you commit a crime. Whereas, in small towns, witnesses are likely to tell the sheriff, "Oh, it was that Jones boy again, the bad one, not the nice one who plays the flute, but that no-good one you arrested last year."

That, along with the moral-cultural differences, may help explain why the black imprisonment rate in 1997 in absolute terms, according to a liberal activist group, was almost 50% higher in Louisiana than Mississippi.

Nationally, the black imprisonment rate per capita was 9.1 times the non-Hispanic white rate back in 1997, but it tended to be significantly lower in conservative southern states, such as only 6.0 times the white rate in Mississippi, and 6.1 times higher in Alabama. In Louisiana, it's 7.5 times higher. This suggests to me that rural living and and church-going are, on average, good for black people.

There's a new, highly detailed report on racial differences in crime and imprisonment that will be out soon, and which I'll be writing about for VDARE in a couple of weeks. I haven't checked carefully yet, but I'm guessing it will show that this 9.1X black-white imprisonment gap seen in these 1997 statistics has narrowed some in more recent years. 1997 was right after the worst of the crack wars years, which were fought primarily by black crack dealers. Black law-abidingness has improved since then, so I expect to see lower (but still substantial) black to white ratios. But we shall see when the report is released.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

What to do with the refugees

At the Houston Astrodome and other places full of underclass refugees from the Superdome, it's crucial to give them paying work to do as soon as they are physically able. Pay them to pick up litter around the Astrodome and then later all around town. Pay them to set up tents, to dig ditches, anything.

But don't let them sit around.

This may require drafting the lazy into working. It's the oldest cliché in the book that "Idle hands are the devil's workshop," but we are back to a situation where the old clichés are the best advice.*

These refugees are our fellow citizens and they need to be given an opportunity to earn their dignity back by the sweat of their brow.

Similarly, in 2003 we should have given the defeated Iraqi Army paying work immediately, but instead we sent them home on no pay, where they sat around dreaming up ways to kill us.

* Rudyard Kipling said it best in "The Gods of the Copybook Headings." ("Copybook" is British for "notebook." "Headings" refers to traditional proverbs or other ancient truths that teachers long ago assigned their students to write essays about. The moral is that unfashionable truths can’t be ignored forever.)

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will bum,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Big genetic news coming this week

This is just a teaser about a paper that will be out by Friday in one of the science journals. A certain evolutionary theorist has been chewing my ear off about it for weeks. I'll try to get you all the details when it's released, although it's usually hard to scoop Nicholas Wade of the New York Times on the human genetic biodiversity beat. I beat Wade on the Genghis-Khan-as-world's-greatest-lover report, but that was only because the Space Shuttle broke apart and he had to cover that instead.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

It's Stevegoating Time!

You may recall last week's gigantic brouhaha over the two New Orleans pictures, one of blacks and one of whites and the captions that said the blacks were "looting" while the whites were "finding" food. This took up an enormous amount of space in the brains of high-minded folks for quite some time since it provided a welcome distraction from the obvious reality that blacks were doing the vast majority of the looting, raping, sniping and so forth in New Orleans. See, those captions proved the problem in New Orleans was ... white racism!

As Larry Auster says in his addendum to Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society:

The worse blacks behave (in this case the total failure of the black-run government of New Orleans to take the absolutely necessary steps to prepare for and respond to the disaster), the more this black failure must be blamed on white racism.

This week, my essay on why the New Orleans nightmare shouldn't have come as a surprise, as it apparently did, to all levels of government might replace the now tapped-out Caption Controversy as an enjoyable distraction from reality, a Two Minute Hate, for the pure of heart.

Thus,we see libertarian Radley Balko blogging:

I have never understood why Steve Sailer gets taken seriously. Even by people I respect.

One can only hope that after this vile screed, said serious-taking will cease.

This "vile screed" of course being my article on New Orleans. This is representative of the usual "point-and-sputter" attacks on me -- no facts or logic are presented, because that's not the point. The point is merely to gesticulate in fury at the sheer unmentionability of what I've said.

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin blogs:

Via Instapundit, Steve Sailer weighs in with a related column on race and Katrina. Sailer has written many brilliant articles, and I admire his willingness to challenge politically correct shibboleths. But I strongly disagree with his assertion that African-Americans possess "poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups" and "need stricter moral guidance from society."

No, I wrote, "tend to possess."

Thus, the rest of her entry is attacking a non-existent straw man: the idea that I claimed that "moral cowardice and weakness is not predetermined by race," which I of course never did. I merely pointed out that by the overwhelming weight of statistical evidence, it appears that African-Americans on average show less resistance to temptation than Asians and whites, so a moral environment like that of New Orleans, which specializes in encouraging people to give in to temptation, will tend to be particularly deleterious for blacks.

UPDATE: Michelle has since corrected her out-of-context quotation. My substantive response to her argument that there is no correlation between race and judgment is here:

A reader writes:

My sense is that on a whole range of issues, the more something is at variance with obvious reality, the more fervently people attack those who suggest that fact. This was pretty similar to what happened for two or three generations in the late, unlamented USSR.

I think a secondary element in this is that people who've worked/trained very, very hard to "doublethink" their way around reality are bitterly resentful at some indication that maybe all that training might have been wasted. After all, given the nature of human evolution, pretty much *everyone* can see reality, while only highly-trained elites can manage to (pretend to??) avoid seeing it.

As I've said before, I suspect that almost everyone in the world is actually a human biodiversity realist, though the highly trained make enormous efforts to pretend not to be, much like the religious zealots of the Middle Ages sometimes did and claimed to believe all sorts of peculiar things, partly to demonstrate their elite status. Compared to flagellating oneself every Easter (or on Ali Martydom Day, as the Shiites do), just "lying" a lot on TV for lots of money doesn't seem particularly difficult.

By contrast, I'm almost sure that the simply-educated Latinos who work at my morning coffee shop watch TV and say to each other "those dangerous blacks are rioting again in New Orleans---Boy, I'm glad I don't live there!"

Careerism is an important part of it (is it really so crazy to say silly things on TV about black rioters so that you yourself don't actually have to live in a neighborhood near them??) and so is "fashionability."

Consider the latter. Fashions come and go each year, in partially manipulated but partially mysterious ways, and most people mostly go along with them. Near as I can tell, they're approximately random (e.g. the fashionability of hair length over the last 50 years).

If all the fashionable people are saying what seem to be silly things, well then, you, too, should probably also say those same things, lest you be considered unfashionable. And if all the smart people (e.g. Harvard professors) say those things, then maybe you're just not smart enough to understand it properly. And any Harvard professor who might consider saying otherwise would worry about getting in trouble with the Harvard President. And when the Harvard President (accidentally) said something different, well, he learned never to make that same mistake again.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

The word from the street

One of my readers who was an inner city social worker writes:

Interesting to see how much grief you're getting for saying that African-Americans tend to have "poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups" and thus need "stricter moral guidance from society."

As you've pointed out, the average IQ of blacks is about a standard deviation below that of whites. Does intelligence affect judgment? Seriously, yes. This was one of the things that became most depressingly, painfully obvious to me when I was a social worker.

We had clients who were chronically in trouble, often for utterly boneheaded stuff. One client's son got arrested for taking part in a bank robbery. His accomplice ran off and left him standing there empty handed. Not knowing what to do, he stood outside the bank and *waited for a bus.* He seemed surprised that the cops somehow managed to find him.

Well, what can I say? This sort of thing happened all the time with my clients.

I remember one guy who'd been arrested repeatedly for robbery and other crimes. The interesting thing was that he did not come across as particularly "bad" or "dangerous" when I talked with him one on one. And when he was in prison (he went to prison several times), he was considered docile and cooperative. He actually sent me Christmas cards from the penitentiary, jolly ones with pictures of Santas and Bambi-esque reindeer.

When asked about his crimes, he rarely seemed defensive or evasive, just confused. It finally dawned on me that one of his big problems was that he had trouble processing multiple ideas and streams of information at the same time. He literally tended to "go with the flow" because the flow was pretty much all that existed for him at any given time.

If he was sitting talking with a young white female social worker, he was charming because he wanted to impress me. If he was under the control of prison authorities, he was cooperative because he didn't want to get his head busted. If it was Christmas season, he sent cards. If he was on the street with his friends, he was Criminal Dude because -- well, because that's just what the situation called for, wasn't it?

Saying this guy needed "stricter moral guidance from society" is putting it as mildly as possible; in fact, he required near constant reinforcement. And remember, this was a low-aggression kid, unlike a lot of others I encountered.

The late historian Jim Chapin, long the Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America, introduced me to the how-stupid-of-me-not-to-have-thought-of-that point that what poor people tend to need is more help from their government and culture in raising their kids, since they often lack the skills and resources that the affluent can bring to insulating their children from bad influences.

Chapin, who was the brother of the late folk singer Harry Chapin, lacked the ambition required to achieve the fame that his vast knowledge and largeness of heart merited, but he was a mentor to many of all shades of the ideological spectrum including Harold Meyerson, Fred Siegel, George Stephanonpolous, Scott McConnell, Jim Pinkerton, David Brooks, and myself. One of Chapin's many distinguishing traits was that he was a leftist who was honest enough to give racial differences in IQ the serious thought they deserved.

One of the reasons I despise gangsta rap, and the vast corporate music industry that pushes it, so much is because, while it's just a laugh to the white kids who buy the CDs, too many black kids down through the years have taken its messages seriously. The notion that blacks, on average, need more moral guidance than whites is shocking to many people, especially because our media, from Norman Mailer's "White Negro" onward, tends to treat blacks as if they need less guidance, as if their role is to act out for the amusement of whites their inner fantasies of unrestrained behavior.

Of course, it's particularly disastrous that the media encourages African-Americans to blame their troubles on white racism, rather to stand up and take responsibility for themselves. Scapegoating whites doesn't do blacks any good, no matter how useful it is for some whites to blame other whites for black crimes in the endless status struggle among whites for moral superiority.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

New Orleans in a Nutshell:

Here's an article from WorldNetDaily rewritten from the BBC that says much about the moral climate of the Big Sleazy and its police department:

Female survivors urged to flash breasts for help
Rescuers told gals on rooftops to 'show us what you've got'

Female survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were urged by government rescuers to flash their breasts in order to receive help in the immediate aftermath of the storm. That according to English tourists who are now just returning to the United Kingdom, relating their horror stories to British media.

Ged Scott, 36, of Liverpool, was on his annual vacation at New Orleans' Ramada Hotel with his wife Sandra, 37, and their 7-year-old son, Ronan.

"I could not describe how bad the authorities were, taking photographs of us as we are standing on the roof waving for help, for their own personal photo albums, little snapshot photographs," Scott told BBC News.

Scott said there was a group of girls standing on the lobby's roof, calling out to passing rescuers for help. "[The authorities] said to them, 'Well, show us what you've got' – doing signs for them to lift their T-shirts up. The girls said no, and [the rescuers] said 'well fine,' and motored off down the road in their motorboat. That's the sort of help we had from the authorities," he said.

... "The only information we got from anybody in authority was if a policeman came past and we shouted to them out of the windows. The only information we ever got off them was negative, 'Do not go here. Do not go there'. There was no, 'Are you OK? Are you safe? Have you got water?' Most of the time they would ignore us."

Scott recounted that at night, police completely vanished, leaving stranded hotel guests and staff to defend themselves.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Favorite Footnotes

from Charles Murray's "The Inequality Taboo:" The publication of Murray's summary of new IQ research since The Bell Curve has elicited the predictable Two Minute Hates at liberal sites, especially among people who sort of know better, but are engaging in the old throw-somebody-to-the-wolves routine to protect themselves from the packs of haters. (Kevin Drum, that means you.) Of course, there's little evidence that the denouncers have read the new article (or the old Bell Curve, for that matter).

I figure readers are quite capable of reading Murray's article for yourselves, but I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorites from his 10,000 words of footnotes and bibliography:

72. Over the years since The Bell Curve was published, it has been especially exasperating to be told, or to see it written, that Herrnstein and I were wrong because we did not know about the Flynn effect. We not only provided the first discussion of the Flynn effect aimed at a general audience; we named it (Herrnstein and Murray 1994: 307–09).


Main Text: On most specific human attributes, it is possible to specify a continuum running from “low” to “high,” but the results cannot be combined into a score running from “bad” to “good.” What is the best score on a continuum measuring aggressiveness?... All of us use the weighting system that favors our group’s strengths.1

1. If you think this is mushy nonjudgmentalism, try a thought experiment: Suppose that a pill exists that, if all women took it, would give them exactly the same mean and variance on every dimension of human functioning as men—including all the ways in which women now surpass men. How many women would want all women to take it? Or suppose that the pill, taken by all blacks, would give them exactly the same mean and variance on every dimension of human functioning as whites—including all the ways in which blacks now surpass whites. How many blacks would want all blacks to take it? To ask such questions is to answer them: hardly anybody. Few want to trade off the unique virtues of their own group for the advantages that another group may enjoy.

Sometimes these preferences for one’s own group are rational, sometimes not. I am proud of being Scots-Irish, for example, even though the Scots-Irish group means for violence, drunkenness, and general disagreeableness seem to have been far above those of other immigrant groups. But the Scots-Irish made great pioneers—that’s the part of my heritage that I choose to value. A Thai friend gave me an insight into this human characteristic many years ago when I remarked that Thais were completely undefensive about Westerners despite the economic backwardness of Thailand in those days. My friend explained why. America has wealth and technology that Thailand does not have, he acknowledged, just as the elephant is stronger than a human. “But,” he said with a shrug, “who wants to be an elephant?” None of us wants to be an elephant and, from the perspective of our own group, every other group has something of the elephant about it. All of us are right, too.


37. I will venture a prediction that a variety of academic achievement measures in elementary and secondary school will soon show renewed convergence [between whites and blacks] because of the No Child Left Behind Act, which puts schools under intense pressure to teach to the test in basic skills. If students are drilled on limited ranges of subject matter, scores will tend to rise. The more basic the tests are (that is, the easier they are), the more that improvements among the least skilled will affect the mean. Also, the higher the stakes facing a school—and the No Child Left Behind Act makes those stakes very high indeed—the greater will be the incentives for administrators to use some of the many resources at their disposal to make the results come out right, through the judicious manipulation of suspensions and absences, and through outright cheating (yes, it has been known to happen). Some convergence in black and white test scores will probably occur, but partitioning that effect among the competing explanations is a task that will take a few years. Insofar as the convergence has been the result of teaching to the test and of artifacts, it will be temporary.


46. I put aside here the explanation that has received the most publicity in recent years, the phenomenon labeled “stereotype threat.” Its discoverers, Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson, demonstrated experimentally that test performance by academically talented blacks was worse when a test was called an IQ test than when it was innocuously described as a research tool (Steele and Aronson 1995). Press reports erroneously interpreted this as meaning that stereotype threat explained away the black-white difference. In reality, Steele and Aronson showed only that it increases the usual black-white difference; if one eliminates stereotype threat, the usual difference remains.

The misrepresentation of these results in the mainstream media was grotesque. For example, the narrator of the PBS television program Frontline told his viewers that “blacks who believed the test was merely a research tool did the same as whites.” The Boston Globe reported that “Black students who think a test is unimportant match their white counterparts’ scores.” Newsweek reported that “blacks who were told that the test was a laboratory problem-solving task that was not diagnostic of ability scored about the same as whites.” Such claims have now infiltrated major psychology texts. The third edition of Psychology by Davis and Palladino (2002) reports that “The results revealed that African-American students who thought they were simply solving problems performed as well as white students.” Similar statements have appeared in scientific journals. All of the above examples are taken from Sackett, Hardison, and Cullen (2004). Sackett et al. also have a nice description of how the research results should have been described: “In the sample studied, there are no differences between groups in prior SAT scores, as a result of the statistical adjustment. Creating stereotype threat produces a difference in scores; eliminating threat returns to the baseline condition of no difference” (9).

Readers may follow the latest in the debate by reading a set of responses to Sackett, Hardison, and Cullen (2004) in the April 2005 issue of American Psychologist, but nothing in the critiques overturns the above description. The existence of stereotype threat has indeed been demonstrated. It is an interesting phenomenon, and some claims have been made that reducing stereotype threat can improve scores on certain tests (Good, Aronson, and Inzlicht 2003), but the widespread assertion that stereotype threat explains a significant part of the observed black-white difference is wrong. The dissemination of that false assertion is perhaps understandable in the case of journalists who are not supposed to be sophisticated about such topics. It is less easily explained away when done by authors of technical articles and textbooks.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

September 5, 2005

Let's play the Blame Game!

A reader writes:

Your New Orleans article sure seemed to have stirred up a hornet’s nest! ... Do poor black people have worse judgment? Perhaps I’m not the best one to ask this: I’ve made enough mistakes to fill 20 lives! My guess is that your idea contains more than a kernel of truth….

Whenever the TV broadcasts hours of blacks behaving badly, this enormous pressure builds up to denounce the first person who mentions what everybody can see with their lying eyes. I believe it was Robert Conquest, historian of the Soviet terror, who pointed out that Hans Christian Anderson's "Emperor's New Clothes" is psychologically dubious: the more obvious the lie, the more angry the crowd would get at the truth-teller. As Theodore Dalrymple pointed out, the purpose of political correctness is to humiliate you by forcing you to go along with lies, so when somebody points out the truth, everybody gets mad at him for calling attention to how they've allowed themselves to be emasculated.

On the blame game:

The most would go to the Mayor for not forcibly evacuating the poor and elderly. The picture of those flooded buses says it all. True, some people would have refused to go, but that wouldn’t have been the city’s fault. You are right on target that the city’s “party” atmosphere contributed greatly to the debacle – no one took it seriously until it was too late with tragic results. The Mayor should do the honorable thing and resign as of October 1.

Perhaps, but, remember the poor guy got elected to office as a reformer, and the first thing he did was stage a sting on the crooked cab supervision racket in which his own cousin got arrested. But that just came back to haunt him because it showed he lacked the clan loyalty a New Orleans bigshot is supposed to display. According to Josh Levin in,

"In the black community, the fizzling of these early successes did less to hurt Nagin's reputation than the perception that he was disloyal—to the cousin he had arrested, to the administration of his popular predecessor Marc Morial (which he frequently insinuated, perhaps appropriately, was complicit in City Hall corruption), and to the city's African-American population as a whole. After Morial's brother's house was raided as part of a corruption probe, a leading black preacher called Nagin a "white man in black skin." It didn't matter that, according to the Times-Picayune, he had done a demonstrably better job than Morial in giving government contracts to minority-owned businesses."

My reader continues:

The second biggest goat would be Tom Ridge and the Feds. It’s been over 3 years since 9/11 and the establishment of that department ….and we get the worst emergency performance ever? (Chertoff gets less of the blame because he’s been on the job a shorter time). Here’s where your much-commented upon failure of Bush to ever fire anyone really hurt….

Third would be Rumsfeld! Remember you wanted to make Powell Sec of Defense and have him re-institute the doctrine of Overwhelming Force. This was a textbook case of why massive manpower was needed to prevent chaos from spreading….

Rumsfeld refused to put down looting after we conquered Baghdad, which I said at the time was going to come back to haunt us.

Fourth would be Bush for not getting there sooner….

Republicans will try to blame the chaos on the bad behavior of the urban underclass, but anyone who knows anything takes that as a given in crisis situations. (Remember the NYC blackout of ’77?)

Exactly. That's been my point all along. For example, the hapless FEMA director Mike Brown admitted that the lawlessness in New Orleans surprised him. That's the kind of politically correct naiveté that all these denunciations of me by John Podhoretz and Michelle Malkin, etc. just encourage in public officials. And being oblivious to the obvious doesn't do poor minority underclass people any good when it's crunch time.

Everybody should have assumed that when the hammer finally came down, the New Orleans Police Department would fold and underclass thugs would run amok, making it unsafe for unarmed rescue workers to do their jobs. The government should have planned to helicopter combat troops in and do what it takes to restore order: tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammo if necessary.

The GOP had better hope something happens to change the subject from Iraq and New Orleans to something else.

The Republican shouldn't wish to hard for a distraction or they might just get one, good and hard.

Now the nominee for worst performance by a journalist goes to… David Brooks.

Here’s what he said about the systematic failures of recent years:

“And the key fact to understanding why this is such a huge cultural moment is this: Last week's national humiliation comes at the end of a string of confidence-shaking institutional failures that have cumulatively changed the nation's psyche. Over the past few years, we have seen intelligence failures in the inability to prevent Sept. 11 and find W.M.D.'s in Iraq. We have seen incompetent postwar planning. We have seen the collapse of Enron and corruption scandals on Wall Street. We have seen scandals at our leading magazines and newspapers, steroids in baseball, the horror of Abu Ghraib. Public confidence has been shaken too by the steady rain of suicide bombings, the grisly horror of Beslan and the world's inability to do anything about rising oil prices.”

Say what? This guy is complaining about the failure of WMD intelligence in Iraq….and incompetent postwar planning?!? One of the men who shouted the loudest for this war now complains about it! How stupid does he think the public is? What’s next? Bush’s budget director complaining about deficits? Tom DeLay calling for better Congressional ethics? Louis Farrakhan opposing anti-Senitism? Or Vincente Fox criticizing too much Latin immigration into the US? AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

More from Brooks:

“It's already clear this will be known as the grueling decade, the Hobbesian decade. Americans have had to acknowledge dark realities that it is not in our nature to readily acknowledge: the thin veneer of civilization, the elemental violence in human nature, the lurking ferocity of the environment, the limitations on what we can plan and know, the cumbersome reactions of bureaucracies, the uncertain progress good makes over evil.”

He’s exactly right: there ARE limits to what we know…all the more reason to be cautious when Wolfowitz, Karuathammer, Perle and Feith, et al came along selling their plan for a vast transformation of the Mid East! You’re right: journalists inhabit the softest sector in America and never get canned for bad advice. The old saying was “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I guess being a neo-con means never having to say you’re wrong -- or sorry.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Remember those hundreds of parked buses in NO?

A reader writes:

"One might ask the following question. On election day the state and local Democrats with admirable efficiency and organization manage to have fleets of buses and vans at those now flooded housing projects to get their constituents to the polls. So where were they for the three days while the storm was bearing down on the city?"

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

Good Blog Coverage of NO:

Our Way of Life has lots of no BS entries on the social side of life when the police force disintegrates.

A professor at the U. of New Orleans, now sheltering with his sister on the Eastern Seaboard, writes:

"If you have any influence, try to cover the refusal of the Red Cross to assist Jefferson Parish (a white area of almost a half million pre storm) and the almost complete lack of media coverage of St. Bernard (68,000 people) and Plaquamines Parish, two areas that don't seem to have weathered the storm nearly as well as New Orleans (yes, there are worse hit areas in the metropolitan area)."

Military Thoughts has a long entry on what can be learned from NO about how to evacuate a city after a nuclear or dirty bomb attatck:

It can also be expected that certain segments of the populace to be evacuated will pose an additional nightmare for those conducting the evacuation.

Persons best described as having "problems", "issues", or "difficulties".

Street gangs that exist in ALL major American cities will undoubtedly taken advantage of the situation. A total break down of law and order due to the absence of police [in the event of an atomic blast, many "first responders", such as the police, may be killed or wounded. There will be just NOT enough law and order people to go around]. Street gangs do have the numbers, the organization, the weaponry, the physical and mental wherewithal to "take over" large portions of American cities and become the controlling force. All entering their "turf' will have to bend to their will.

In some American big cities, there exist areas where the community is very resistant to governmental authority of any type. Mandatory orders to evacuate WILL only heighten tensions and anger directed at "authority". Especially in the aftermath of an atomic detonation. Emotions will overpower reason. Governmental "officials" in this case will have to act as if they were "walking on eggs" when dealing with such unruly "communities". These WILL NOT be docile folks that obey and do as they are told.

Provisions will have to be made to "deal" with drug addicts of all sorts. Persons NO LONGER to get their "fix". Desperate people, whether they be "crackheads" [cocaine] or "fiends" [heroin] of a sort that will pose significant difficulties for "authority".

Indeed, the whole gamut of "street people" or "homeless" will pose grave problems for "authority". 75 % of such folks are either mentally deranged, alcoholics, or drug addicts. Corralling, immobilizing, sedating, and "securing" such folks will not be easy. Moving them by evacuation is one thing, handling them afterwards is a different matter. A subject for another blog. These folks again, are dangerous to "first responders" in normal circumstances, much less in the aftermath of a catastrophe.

[This being America, also include a category of armed folks. Desperate and wanting THEIR needs attended to right NOW, no matter what!! Normally law-abiding people becoming armed and dangerous given the serious situation. "Treat my family member now, doc, or you are going to get it!!" This does happen. I heard an interview on National Public Radio [NPR} a number of years ago now where a doctor described this exact event. In such a circumstance, the doctor DOES have to comply while someone is holding a gun to his head!!]

Other classes of people will also pose a problem for those implementing evacuation. NOT "difficult" or unruly or criminal minded people, but folks with problems that are no fault of their own. Among these people will be found:

Grossly obese persons.

[Years ago now, there was a famous incident where two para-medics attempted to manhandle a four hundred pound woman down eighteen flights of stairs to a waiting ambulance. In two hours, the paramedics were able to move this woman down ONE flight of stairs, all the while being harassed by an unruly and most vociferous group of family members!! The woman died!!]

Institutionalized persons, such as found in nursing homes, or in mental institutions

Handicapped persons, such as the wheelchair bound, paraplegics, quadriplegic, and the retarded.

Sick and infirm persons as found in intensive care units [ICU's] of hospitals.

There also seems to be a difficulty that arises when people WANT to go back INTO the disaster area. This may sound strange, but this seems to be a tendency folks have when the status of their family or possessions or dwelling is in question. People WANT to know WHAT has happened. There seems to be a strong desire for information. Danger does not deter. NOR do admonitions from authorities. People going INTO a disaster area create a further problem for the authorities.

Persons being evacuated FROM a disaster must also be decontaminated.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

A reader responds to "The New Orleans Nightmare and Racial Reality:"

Awesome piece. The historical significance of this last week just makes my brain explode, I can't begin to grasp it. The failure of all levels of government on the one hand. But th biggest issue, as you say, is the total ripping of the veil away from the truth of black barbarism. And yet there is a concerted effort at the MSM to change the subject to white racism. So the truth having been exposed is now immediately buried again. Looting for electronic goodies is comprehensible if reprehensible--we know why they are doing it--sheer opportunism, hatred of rules of property. But shooting at rescuers, or violence within a shelter, is simply unfathomable. I wonder what refugee camps are like in Africa.

I suspect actual African tribes organize themselves well -- disaster isn't all that different from daily life and they know how to deal with that. But last year's Tropical Storm Jeanne in Haiti unleashed similar mayhem in urban zones.

A friend of mine, an anthropologist who lived for 3.5 years in the bush with hunter-gatherer tribes in Africa and liked it so much he almost gave up his American professorship to become a hunting guide for safaris, said that life was sweet in the villages, poor but harmonious, with that African joie de vivre ... until the first road came to town. Then everything went to hell. The arrival of the outside world shattered the traditional web of beliefs, evolved over thousands of years, in black magic that had kept people in line. Young men stopped believing that if they raped a pretty girl her grandmother would cast a spell that would give them blackwater fever.

But, yes, sniping during rescue operations, as in the 1967 Detroit riot, is a complete calamity since it can send rescuers fleeing. Generally, the amount of actual sniping gets exaggerated while it's happening, but that reflects the terror and revulsion that any sniping at relief workers generates.

Whenever the talking heads on TV and their partners in print notice that they are showing mass evidence of blacks behaving badly, they are inspired into a paroxysm of lying about white racism to prevent the formation of "stereotypes" among viewers inclined to believe their own lying eyes. But as Theodore Dalrymple points out (via The Ambler, Kevin Michael Grace):

"Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to cooperate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer