June 17, 2006

JPod's contribution to statistics & genetics

Many people can't see beyond John Podhoretz's oafish exterior and thuggish behavior, such as sending Philip Weiss an email entitled "Look Out!" that read only "We know where you live!" Yet, Podhoretz's contributions to world culture include being responsible for the invention of the word "Podenfreude," which was coined by his coworkers at the Washington Times to describe their delight in their weekly ritual of gathering around in JPod's absence and laughing while one of them read aloud his sublimely awful column.

Nor do many people realize that Podhoretz, the scion of a distinguished intellectual family, has contributed to the further development of a concept in statistical analysis first explored by Francis Galton by being the world's greatest living exemplar of "regression beneath the mean."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 16, 2006

Steven Pinker on the Cochran-Harpending theory of Jewish IQ in The New Republic

Groups and Genes
by Steven Pinker
Post date 06.15.06 | Issue date 06.26.06

My grandparents were immigrants from Eastern Europe who owned a small necktie factory on the outskirts of Montreal. While visiting them one weekend, I found my grandfather on the factory floor, cutting shapes out of irregular stacks of cloth with a fabric saw. He explained that by carving up the remnants that were left over when the neckties had been cut out and stitching them together in places that didn't show, he could get a few extra ties out of each sheet of cloth. I asked him why he was doing this himself rather than leaving it to his employees. He shrugged, tapped his forehead, and said, "Goyishe kop," a term of condescension that literally means "gentile head."...

To read the rest, you have to go through free registration.

For some reason, this article by a prestigious best-selling author isn't mentioned anywhere on the front page of the TNR website.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The Duke Lacrosse Brouhaha

Predictably, the case is imploding, but DA Mike Nifong, even though he used his witchhunt to win re-election, has yet to withdraw his indictment of the three Great White Defendants. The question now is whether anyone -- the DA, the accuser, or the media minions who hyped this case as proof of white racism -- will suffer the slightest punishment for their actions. Don't count on it. As you'll recall, Al Sharpton's career has not exactly suffered for his role in orchestrating the Tawana Brawley hoax.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

From the Freakonomics blog

Steven D. Levitt posts:

Steve Sailer asks an excellent question

In response to my last blog post, Steve Sailer posed the following question in the comments:

The abortion rate among whites fell from 19 in 1991 to 11 in 1999, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute of Planned Parenthood. Should we thus soon expect an upturn in crime rates among white 14-17 year olds?

This is a great question. And the answer—no, we likely shouldn’t expect an upturn in crime—may surprise you. [More

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

A Tale of Two Pueblos

My new VDARE blog item:

A Tale of Two Pueblos

Prominent economist and unskilled Hispanic immigration supporter Tyler Cowen writes on his Marginal Revolution blog about two Mexican villages he’s visited in the state of Guerrero, a good one and an awful one, then affirms his hope that Mexican immigration to the U.S. will turn out like the good village. I respond by asking some obvious questions, here.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Diversity Trumps Scientific Inquiry in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, Part 426

Bruce Lahn's discovery last fall of two genes apparently related to brain development that have been under recent selection was quantitatively overwhelmed by Bob Moyzis's HapMap analysis last December of 1,800 genes, no doubt hundreds of which are related to cognition, that have been under different selection pressures on different continents over the last 50,000 years. Nicholas Wade of the New York Times didn't have a chance to cover Moyzis's paper when it came out, so much of the attention remains on Lahn's earlier work.

I talked to this WSJ reporter for about an hour six weeks ago when he was researching this article, as I mentioned in my review of Nicholas Wade's Before the Dawn.

From the front page of today's Wall Street Journal:

Head Examined: Scientist's Study Of Brain Genes Sparks a Backlash

Dr. Lahn Connects Evolution In Some Groups to IQ; Debate on Race and DNA 'Speculating Is Dangerous' By ANTONIO REGALADO June 16, 2006; Page A1

CHICAGO -- Last September, Bruce Lahn, a professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago, stood before a packed lecture hall and reported the results of a new DNA analysis: He had found signs of recent evolution in the brains of some people, but not of others.

It was a triumphant moment for the young scientist. He was up for tenure and his research was being featured in back-to-back articles in the country's most prestigious science journal. Yet today, Dr. Lahn says he is moving away from the research. "It's getting too controversial," he says.

Dr. Lahn had touched a raw nerve in science: race and intelligence....

Dr. Lahn has drawn sharp fire from other leading genetics researchers. They say the genetic differences he found may not signify any recent evolution -- and even if they do, it is too big a leap to suggest any link to intelligence. "This is not the place you want to report a weak association that might or might not stand up," says Francis Collins, director of the genome program at the National Institutes of Health....

Pilar Ossorio, a professor of law and medical ethics at the University of Wisconsin, criticizes Dr. Lahn for implying a conclusion similar to "The Bell Curve," a controversial 1994 bestseller by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray. The book argued that the lower average performance by African-Americans on IQ tests had a genetic component and wasn't solely the result of social factors. Referring to Dr. Lahn and his co-authors, Prof. Ossorio says: "It's exactly what they were getting at. There was a lot of hallway talk. People said he's doing damage to the whole field of genetics."

The 37-year-old Dr. Lahn says his research papers, published in Science last September, offered no view on race and intelligence. He personally believes it is possible that some populations will have more advantageous intelligence genes than others. And he thinks that "society will have to grapple with some very difficult facts" as scientific data accumulate. Yet Dr. Lahn, who left China after participating in prodemocracy protests, says intellectual "police" in the U.S. make such questions difficult to pursue...

Henry Harpending, a University of Utah anthropology professor who recently published a theory for why Ashkenazi Jews tend to have high IQ's, says Dr. Lahn once suggested they co-author an article for Scientific American about the genetics of behavior, in which they could explain why "Chinese are boring."

"I think that Bruce doesn't understand political correctness," Dr. Harpending says. Dr. Lahn says he only vaguely recalls the conversation but confirms that he wonders whether during China's imperial times there was "some selection" against rebellious individuals.

In recent years, Dr. Lahn has become interested in why the human brain is so large and complex. Although humans and chimpanzees share about 96% of their DNA, human brains are about four times larger. Even today, researchers can find a correlation, on average, between people's brain size and their IQ...

"You have to follow the data wherever it leads, but speculating in this field is dangerous," says Spencer Wells, head of the National Geographic Society's Genographic Project, a five-year, $40 million effort to collect DNA samples from 100,000 indigenous people. Dr. Wells says the project team might try to find evolutionary reasons for physical differences such as why Danes are taller than pygmies. But Dr. Wells says National Geographic won't study the brain. "I think there is very little evidence of IQ differences between races," he says...

Dr. Lahn stands by his work but says that because of the controversy he is moving into other projects. Earlier this year, Mr. Easton of the university's media department forwarded Dr. Lahn a paper by two economists looking at the IQ of infants of different races. Dr. Lahn wasn't interested. "I'm surprised anyone studies this," he replied in an email. [More]

By the way, the two economists are undoubtedly Steven D. "Freakonomics" Levitt and Roland G. Fryer and the paper is one where they showed that a test of infant liveliness (e.g., how often the infant babbles) that has a low but positive correlation with childhood IQ doesn't show the normal differences between the races at age 8 to 12 months. Indeed, the highest IQ children (Northeast Asians) do the worst on this test of infant vivacity. With a typical Freakonomic leap of faith, Levitt and Fryer suggested that this shows that IQ differences aren't genetic but are caused by environmental differences, presumably between age 1 and the earliest ages at which IQ tests are semi-reliable.

Of course, all Levitt actually did was show that this test of infant liveliness was a racially biased predictor of IQ. Why is it racially biased? Well, there are lots more ways for something to go wrong than to go right, but one obvious possibility is that the test of infant alertness might measure traits that differ on average between the races, but aren't related to IQ differences between the races. For example, within a race, babies that babble more turn out to be a little bit smarter on average than more taciturn babies. Yet, Asian infants don't babble as much on average as other babies, but that doesn't mean they'll turn out to have lower IQs on average than babies from races that babble more. But pointing out that this test of babies is racially biased is not as sexy a story as claiming it shows Nurture Triumphs Over Nature.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The worst of both worlds

The problem with American political discourse today is that we've wound up with the worst of both sexes:

- the arbitrary obsession with team spirit of men

- and the emotional lack of interest in rationality and factuality of women

So, we have people using mindlessly emotional arguments to propound that their side rules.

In theory, we could have a politics based on what's best about the two sexes:

- female concern for the welfare of future generations

- male hard-headedness about how best to achieve those female goals

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The Foer Family Record

"Don't mention the genocide!" -- I noted below that New Republic editor Franklin Foer's 26 page chapter on the Ukraine in his soccer book manages to mention the Jewish Holocaust but not the Ukrainian Holocaust (or Holodomor). A reader points out that this isn't even the Foer Family record for for most pages written about the Ukraine without any mention of the recent unpleasantness of 1932-33:

As you may know, Franklin Foer's brother, Jonathan Safran Foer, wrote a popular novel, Everything Is Illuminated, recently made into a movie, about a young Jewish fellow named Jonathan Safran Foer who visits the Ukraine to find the Ukrainians who sheltered his grandparents from the Nazis. The premise was based on real life, though Jonathan never found them.

Anyway, it's understandable that Jonathan would write a Jewish Holocaust book about the Ukraine, rather than a Ukrainian Holocaust book about the Ukraine. But it irked me a bit that the book managed to never mention the Ukrainian famine (unless I missed it or forgot...I had mixed reactions to the novel), which I would think should at least come up (and I'm talking artistically here) in a book set in the Ukraine, examining the 30s, and in which there is much commentary about how most Ukrainians were terrible to the Jews.

And it irked me a *lot* that the subject never came up in the endless press about the novel. I didn't see the movie, with Elijah "Frodo" Wood as Foer. Maybe it was just that it's a particularly vivid example of how there have been thousands of fictional works on *the* Holocaust, but none (?) on the Ukrainian Holocaust.

Similarly, I've never seen anything that points out that celebrated Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who died last year, was born in 1908 in the Ukraine, yet, as far as I can tell, he never showed much interest in chasing the criminals who murdered millions of human beings in his native land in 1932-33. According to Wikipedia, "In 1934 and 1935, Wiesenthal apprenticed as a building engineer in Soviet Russia, spending a few weeks in Kharkov and Kiev, but most of these two years in the Black Sea port of Odessa under Stalin." All three cities are in modern Ukraine, so presumably Wiesenthal heard about what had happened in the Ukraine a couple of years before. Yet, he never seemed interested in catching the perpetrators of that genocide.

Carrying on this tradition, the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, Rabbi Marvin Hier, publicly protested that Mel Gibson dared mention the Ukrainian disagreeableness in the same paragraph as the real Holocaust. When asked by Peggy Noonan in Reader's Digest if he was a holocaust denier, Gibson had replied:

"I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union."

Hier, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, wrote a public letter denouncing Gibson:

"Rather than showing understanding for what historians regard as the most telling example of man's inhumanity to man in the history of civilization, you diminish the uniqueness of the Holocaust by marginalizing it and placing it alongside the horrors and suffering of people caught up in conflict and famine."

So, the three million or so dead Ukrainians were merely "caught up in conflict and famine." Hey, all you whiney Ukrainians out there, s*** happens. Learn to deal with it.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 14, 2006

By Any Means Necessary turns out to mean by any means necessary

One of the most active "civil rights" organizations these days is By Any Means Necessary. Journalists seldom see fit to explain to readers that the name of the group comes from Malcolm X's euphemism for violence and threats of violence.

From the Detroit News:

Police investigate alleged threat to affirmative action foe
Santiago Esparza / The Detroit News

DETROIT --An official with the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which is pushing for an end to race-based affirmative action policies, has accused a member of an opposition group of threatening her with a knife.

MCRI Executive Director Jennifer Gratz on Tuesday filed a report with the Detroit Police accusing Luke Massie, national chairman of the activist group By Any Means Necessary, of displaying the knife during a confrontation. She said the incident happened Monday morning outside of a Michigan Civil Rights Commission meeting in the State building on West Grand Boulevard.

Massie contends it didn't happen at all.

"I won't be intimidated," Gratz said today. "It was a clear attempt to threaten and intimidate."

The initial police report, which has been assigned to an investigator, says Gratz told officers Massie had a knife in his right pants pocket and toyed with it, said Detroit Police Sgt. Omar Feliciano.

Gratz said Massie pulled the knife halfway out of his pants but did not draw its blade.

Gratz has been a lightening rod for controversy after suing the University of Michigan for denying her admission in 1995. She claimed reverse discrimination, because she is white and the university at that time was giving priority to minority students for admission.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the system. Gratz then helped to launch an effort to amend the state constitution to bar municipalities, schools and other public from using preferences based on ethnicity and gender.

The matter is to be voted on in November and could affect race-based scholarships and minority quotas in the workforce.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The Laws of Economics v. the Law of Economists

Not content with co-owning a popular blog, Marginal Revolution, and having a gig as a New York Times columnist, George Mason U. economist Tyler Cowen has been promoting massive Hispanic immigration through op-eds in Slate, the LA Times, and now the Washington Post, in a piece of sophistry on Hispanic assimilation entitled "Blending In, Moving Up." Cowen wants to Hispanicize America because he likes Latin American cuisine and painting, but readers of his blog know that, although editors seem accept him as an expert on immigration, until very recently he didn't actually know much of anything about the effects of immigration on the U.S., and that all of his research in recent weeks has been devoted to developing talking points for his preconceived bias.

Since the quality of Cowen's blog is quite high, except when he or Alex Tabarrok post about immigration, the quality of comments on Marginal Revolution is strong, especially on immigration, as this tremendous thread demonstrates, in which Cowen received (assuming he read it) in education in the economics of immigration.

Now, comments sections on blogs seldom if ever yield as much gold as this one did. Most bloggers use comments sections primarily to boost their visit counts by getting the argumentative to pop in a half dozen times per day. Personally, for various reasons (including I started this website before reliable comments sections were available and thus switching would be difficult), I prefer to reprint emails from readers. I especially like emails documenting where I've gone wrong, because A. I hate to be wrong, but B. I'd much rather admit it myself than have somebody else notice it.

Still, it's a more than a little ironic for Cowen to turn off comments specifically on his post about a topic, immigration on which the quality of comments has been so high.

Even more amusingly, Cowen followed up with this post (once again, with comments turned off).

Comments Policy

In response to a few inquiries, here is a reminder about our comments policy. Having "comments on" is neither a default nor a right for the reader. Usually the quality of the comments is excellent; I read them with learning and real joy. But some topics attract, or have attracted, poorly thought out or overly emotional comments. Some topics fall into very predictable debates. In other cases previous comments already have attracted significant and noteworthy discussion. Paul Krugman, free will, religion, Iraq, and yes immigration are a few examples of these tendencies. Once low-quality comments get started, they tend to feed upon themselves, sometimes for days at a time. We know that good comments attract readers to this blog, so we wish to maximize the average quality of comments. Sometimes this means no comments, but that is in the interests of good debate, stochastically speaking and properly construed over time.

Perhaps Cowen meant by "low-quality comments" those of his supporters who couldn't think of much besides accusing the better-informed immigration skeptics of "racism." But a simpler explanation would be that "low-quality comments" mean ones that use facts and logic to expose weaknesses in his arguments.

There are the Laws of Economics and then there is the Law of Economists. One of the Laws of Economics is that when somebody tells you, "I'm doing this for your own good," he's probably actually doing it for his own good. On the other hand, the Law of Economists is that the Laws of Economics don't apply to economists, who are holy and pure and above all such tawdriness.

A more cynical interpretation could be that Cowen doesn't want paying editors to have a convenient way to find out how dubious was the immigration op-ed that he sold them. But of course, he's an economist, so otherwise useful concepts like self-interest couldn't possibly apply to his behavior.

Meanwhile, Harvard economist Greg Mankiw, recently the Chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, writes on his blog:

I recommend that you read A Normal Country: Russia After Communism by Andrei Shleifer and Daniel Treisman from the Winter 2005 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Their bottom line:

although Russia’s transition has been painful in many ways, and its economic and political systems remain far from perfect, the country has made remarkable economic and social progress. Russia’s remaining defects are typical of countries at its level of economic development.

By the way, Shleifer is my colleague at Harvard and is one of the best economists I know.

I imagine that Andy Fastow, formerly of Enron, has similarly written something on the energy business.

Of course, Shleifer is an economist, so the mere fact that a federal court found him to have been a financial sleazedog during his activities advising the Russian government while under contract to Harvard, costing Harvard many millions, himself $2 million in a federal fine, and probably his best friend Larry Summers his job as president of Harvard is totally irrelevant under the Law of Economists. (David Warsh has been all over this under-publicized story.)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


A reader writes:

Just out of curiosity (and, as a Jewish reader of your blog, I'm quite curious), are you accused of anti-Semitism for simply discussing these issues?

Of course, but the more effective tactic is not debating you but just making sure that you don't get paying work (e.g., recall how nice liberal Gregg Easterbrook was fired from ESPN in 2003 to encourage the others).

My co-religionists, amongst themselves, talk about these things all the time (as do members of most ethnic and racial groups) and I would be sorry if they attacked you for simply doing the same. Different groups bring different things to the table, and it just so happens that the past century or so fit in nicely with the skill sets that Jews have developed over the years.

One of the fascinating aspects of Jewish culture, to me, has been the fact that we are everywhere on the ideological spectrum. The most prominent libertarians? Check. The most prominent communists? Check. The biggest neo-conservatives? Check. The biggest anti-war demonstrators? Check. Josh Marshall and Matthew Yglesias [well, both supported the war back in the beginning] are members of the tribe, but so are Kristol and Podhoretz. One of the reasons why it's so easy to come up with preposterous statements about Jews. in general, is that specific Jews can be found propagating almost any point of view imaginable -- and doing it well enough to be seen as a prominent figure in whatever movement they join.

Indeed. Similarly, the most anti-Communist English-language literary giant of the last 40 years, Tom Stoppard, discovered as a middle-aged man that he's 100% Jewish.

For example, here are two fairly honest depictions of two utopian groups that were diametrically opposed in politics but in which Jews played dominant roles: Students for a Democratic Society and the Ayn Randers:

- Mark Rudd of the Columbia sit-in and the Weathermen on "Why Were There So Many Jews in SDS? Or, The Ordeal of Civility" (via Larry Auster)

- Economist Murray Rothbard on "The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult" (Rothbard was expelled by Rand after a year's membership in the cult) (via Lew Rockwell)

One member of the Ayn Rand cult from his late 20s up at least through the age of 42 was Alan Greenspan, the future chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Bill Bradford reported in The American Enterprise:

As I learned in hours of interviews with their associates, Greenspan was a member of Rand’s inner circle during this entire period [the 1950s] and beyond. He lectured on economics for the Nathaniel Branden Institute. He wrote for the first issue of The Objectivist Newsletter, and when Rand broke with Branden [her 25-year younger lover], he signed a public statement condemning the traitor “irrevocably.” [Greenspan was then in his 40s.] When Gerald Ford appointed him to the Council of Economic Advisors, he invited Rand to his swearing-in ceremony, and attended her funeral in 1982.

That somebody as seemingly hard-headed as Greenspan should have spent much of his adult life in the Rand cult is striking.

My reader continues:

Jews, unfortunately, are also likely to have a persecution complex (I know that nearly every one of them -- including me -- that I've ever met has one to some degree). And in most cases they have them for historically valid reasons -- our persecutions have been regular and consistent. Sadly, however, this means that any discussion of the role that Jews have played in the history of the past three centuries is often seen as an attack. If Jews are seen as too influential, the theory goes, it will bring the hammer down like some cosmic game of whack-a-mole.

The obvious question then is whether being shielded from objective analysis in the media is good for the Jews. Unfortunately, getting yourself deemed above criticism is the surest way to lower one's performance.

For Americans as a whole, understanding Jewish tendencies is both more complicated and, perhaps at this point in history, more important than understanding those of any other ethnic group.

In their 1995 book Jews and the New American Scene, the prominent social scientist Seymour Martin Lipset, a Senior Scholar of the Wilstein Institute for Jewish Policy Studies, and Earl Raab, Director of the Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy at Brandeis University, pointed out:

"During the last three decades, Jews have made up 50% of the top two hundred intellectuals, 40 percent of American Nobel Prize Winners in science and economics, 20 percent of professors at the leading universities, 21 percent of high level civil servants, 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington, 26% of the reporters, editors, and executives of the major print and broadcast media, 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the fifty top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series." [pp 26-27]

The last thing, however, that non-Jews are allowed to do in the U.S. is to objectively discuss the kind of psychological and sociological patterns that help explain why the quality of Jewish political and social decision-making has, on average, not always been as strong as their IQs, work ethic, argumentative skills, interest in public affairs, and self-confidence in their own judgment might suggest. The first President Bush understood this, but the second didn't seem to have learned this lesson before the Iraq Attaq (although he seems to have learned a little in the aftermath, with Feith gone, Wolfowitz kicked upstairs, and Perle out of fashion).

What are some of these common self-debilitating Jewish tendencies? Off the top of my head, I'd suggest:

- Utopianism: Bombing Iraq into an America-loving democracy is only the latest disastrous project

- Cult-Worship- of- the-All-Knowing-Scholar-Sageism: Marxism, Freudianism, Randism, Straussianism, etc.

- Ethnocentric nostalgiaism: vividly seen in the current immigration debate, where Ellis Island-worship is substituted for facts and logic

- Be-Like-Meism: e.g., the common suggestion by Jewish pundits that all Mexican illegal immigrants have to do is act like the Jewish immigrants of 1906 and everything will turn out fine. Well, swell ...

- Pseudo ethnic Humilityism: few Jews actually believe that Mexicans are just like Jews -- they think Jews are much smarter -- but they don't want anybody else to notice that Jews are smarter so they advocate immigration policies that depend for their success upon Mexicans being just as smart as Jews. That this immigration policy is obviously bad for the country is less important than keeping up the charade that nobody mentions in the press that Jews are smarter than everybody else on average.

- Rube Goldbergism: overly complicated plans and analyses with too many moving parts to work reliably (e.g., the neocon plans for fixing the Middle East through invasion)

- Is-It-Good-for-the-Jewsism: I am a huge fan of enlightened self-interest, so I don't object to this on principle

- Rube Goldbergian Is-It-Good-for-the-Jewsism: This could also be called He-Who-Says-A-Must-Say-B-C-D-E-Q-W-and-Zism. Jewish intellectuals have a tendency that on any topic related to Jews, they tend to think baroquely many steps down the line. Thus, the full panoply of the subjects that have been assumed to be bad-for-the-Jews and therefore ruled out of discussion in polite society is breathtakingly broad -- for example, IQ has been driven out of the media in large part because it is feared that mentioning that Jews have higher average IQs would lead, many steps down the line, to pogroms.

- Missing-Piece-of-the-Puzzleism: One obvious problem with this tendency is that you can't make a Rube Goldberg analysis work in the real world if you've banned the use of crucial moving parts, such as IQ

- Pay-No-Attention-to-that-Man-Behind-the-Curtainism: The biggest unmentionable, as the Mearsheimer-Walt brouhaha demonstrated once again, is also one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle for understanding how the modern world works: the influence of Jews.

- Enemy Nostalgiaism: Difficulty identifying current and future enemies because of emotional obsession with past enemies: e.g., the obsession with "The Passion of the Christ" combined with the inability to identify growing Latin American populism as a future threat due to immigration, etc.

- Faux Sabraism: as Francis Fukuyama pointed out to Charles Krauthammer, American neocon thinking about Iraq was motivated less by hardheaded is-it-good-for-Israel analysis -- Sharon's government was only modestly enthusiastic about the Iraq Attaq -- than by What-Would-the-Israelis-Do emotions. Armchair warriors like Douglas Feith are particular susceptible to this kind of Let's Pretend thinking..

Ironically, Jewish writers themselves are obsessed with Jewish influence, even in fields where Jews have virtually no influence, such as soccer. I'm reading How Soccer Explains the World: An (Unlikely) Theory of Globalization by Marty Peretz's latest young man to edit The New Republic, Franklin Foer. This Jewish soccer fan's book is hilariously obsessed with the Jewish role in soccer, even though that role is almost nonexistent. The great majority of Jews live in America and Israel, two countries that are almost irrelevant to the story of soccer.

Did you know that a Jewish team won the Austrian national championship in 1925? Isn't that the most fascinating thing you've ever heard in your life? Well, Foer seems to think so, as he travels to Vienna to interview elderly Jews about their memories of that amazing team, but it turns out that none of the old Jews in Vienna can remember it or, for that matter, ever had any interest in soccer. But Foer still scrapes together a full 10 pages on this epochal team. Similarly, his chapter on English soccer hooligans is based on the perhaps not quite reliable memories of one middle-aged yobbo who is (surprise!) half-Jewish.

As you'd expect, references to the Jewish Holocaust pop up throughout this book on soccer. On the other hand, Foer's 26-page chapter on soccer in Ukraine never mentions the Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932-33. I wonder why?

Unfortunately, as you might expect from one of Marty Peretz's minions, Foer's writings about Jews and soccer are so hamstrung by powerful emotions and worries about what exactly is good for the Jews to put down in writing about the Jews that they are largely analytically worthless for learning anything directly about Jewish tendencies. You have to read between the lines, and that's not popular these days. Not Safe For Work.

Even sillier are Will Saletan's current articles in Slate on his visit to Germany to see the World Cup, which an impudent editor re-titled "Don't Mention the War" after the addled Basil Fawlty's warning to his hotel staff about their poor German guests in the funniest scene in all of Fawlty Towers (and thus likely the funniest scene in sit-com history):

No Nazi jokes. That's what I told myself when I landed in Frankfurt on Saturday to see the World Cup. The Germans are throwing a very nice party, especially for journalists. They're setting aside tickets, even giving us free train travel. The least we can do is not mention you-know-what. But then you ride a German train, and you sit in a German stadium throbbing to the chants of a nationalist mob, and it all comes back.

The dark humor started last week. I'm on a fellowship in Cambridge with a few Englishmen who haven't forgotten the Hun. The other day, a lecturer showed us a couple of slides fictionally depicting England under Hitler. The idea, which the speaker meant to challenge, was that if this or that hadn't happened, history would have unfolded in a completely different way. That's why Churchill said of the Royal Air Force, "Never has so much been owed by so many to so few." Fortunately, the few on whom Britons are relying this week are just footballers, and the adversary is just Paraguay. But remind me again: What's that South American country to which the you-know-whos disappeared?...

It's a beautiful trip, full of chalet-like villages nestled in valleys. Churches are everywhere. Windmills circle in the breeze. On the train, everyone's friendly. Americans play video games or yap on cell phones; Germans read books. It's such a civilized country. Sitting on that train, listening to reassuring announcements, I tried to imagine how hard it must have been for German Jews to recognize the early days of you-know-what. Maybe that's why they took so long to get out. Good folks can't turn bad, can they? But they did, and they could again, and so could the Brits, and so could we.

But as I was saying, you-know-what is gone. It's been replaced by the new you-know-what, the one that hit us on 9/11 and hit the Brits last year. On the way to Hamburg, I wondered about that. Wasn't the 9/11 plot launched from Hamburg? Is it just coincidence that the home of the old fascism incubated the new fascism?

Well, if it's not a coincidence, it's because people like Will Saletan have browbeaten the modern Germans into not being so insensitively nationalistic as to throw out the Muslim extremists infesting their country.

And here's Saletan's bizarre sermon on why the Serbs, those New Nazis, deserved their loss to the Dutch in the their opening round match:

Maybe the match says something about why so many Dutchmen protected people like me when you-know-what roamed the earth. Maybe it says something about why so many Serbs perpetrated their own ethnic cleansing in the war before the war on terror. Or maybe it's all in my head. All I know is, the man who led that cleansing is dead, and he died in the prison of the international justice system, and that prison is in Holland. And I'm going home with a couple of orange jerseys in my bag.

Uh, actually, not that many Dutch protected people like you, Will. As Franklin Foer points out (inevitably) in his soccer book:

But more than rediscovering this history of resistance, the Dutch fabricated it. As historians have pointed out tirelessly in recent years, the Dutch did a better job collaborating with the Nazis than stopping them. Holland lost a higher percentage of its Jews to the Holocaust than any other country.

As a reader points out, Saletan may be confusing the Dutch and the Danes, who sneaked their Jews out to neutral Sweden (which Saletan probably remembers as Switzerland).

And those Dutch peacekeepers sure distinguished themselves in Bosnia!

Meanwhile, the Serbs fought the Nazis and their Croatian allies for all five years their country was occupied by the German Army. Serbs died by the hundreds of thousands at the hands of the Nazis and Nazi-Wannabes. Gratitude is why Israel backed Serbia for most of the 1990s. And the Serbs ended up as the most ethnically cleansed Balkan nation of the 1990s.

And, anyway, it's just a boring soccer match...

Saletan's essay is a classic example of how much of America's Kosovo policy was based not on facts but on modern Jewish-Americans' psychodramas, most notoriously Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's, about getting revenge on the Nazis by sticking it to the Serbs.

As Chris Caldwell wrote in the New York Times about former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's memoirs: "For her, every conflict is a replay of the Munich conference of 1938..." Albright was born in Czechoslovakia, which was dismantled at the Munich conference when the Great Powers took away its border province of the Sudetenland due to agitation by its German population, so it's hardly surprising she's obsessed with it. Obsession, however, is not precisely what you want in a Secretary of State, as we saw with Albright. The great irony of Albright's life is that when she finally got power in her hands, her lifelong fixation with Munich manifested itself in a hilariously twisted manner. She staged her own Great Power conference (Munich-Rambouillet) to take away from a small Eastern European country (Czechoslovakia-Yugoslavia) its border province (Sudetenland-Kosovo) due to agitation by its disaffected minority ethnicity (Germans-Albanians).

The unexpected consequence of our Kosovo war and the campaign of anti-Serbism was growing anti-Israel sentiment among Europeans, who then saw Israel's West Bank occupation as the equivalent of Serbia's Kosovo occupation. This analogy was a natural one to everybody outside the sphere of influence of the U.S. media, but since American Jews are the most intense consumers as well as producers of American media, they got blindsided by this analogy.

In summary, the crucial question for Jews is:

Is it good for the Jews to obsess over "Was it good for the Jews?" Or should they, when thinking about immigration and foreign policies, ask, "Will it be good for the Jews?"

And for Americans as a whole, the crucial question is: Is it good for America if a powerful group is free from all outside analysis, no matter how objective?

A reader responds:

You state that keeping the fact of high Jewish IQ’s on the down low is the reason for public ixnay on the IQ alktay in ublicpay. Hmm, I could swear that the big factor is fear of noting that blacks had low IQ’s was the big mover. What has swayed US domestic policy more, the PC need to see non-whites as virtuous, talented victims held back by WE, the man, or all that Jewish stuff?

I thought the obvious public lens on the Balkan damn fool thing was that the Kosovo muslims were BLACK, and the Serbs were Klansmen just as much as the Kosovos were Jews and the Serbs Nazis.

Heck, I’d say the whole Euro American divide re: Isreal is as much about European white guilt as American Jew-guilt, yah? Europeans aren’t nearly so guilty about what they did to blacks as to the beige and brown, Arabs largely among them, and the Isrealis are seen as Europeans doing some nasty colonial thing to the Arabs, yah? But Americans don’t automatically see Arabs as minority victims, where we do recognize Jews as historical victims needing to defend themselves.

Euros feel bad about colonialism, and guilt compensate by taking the Arab side in what they see as a colonial land grab. Americans have no guilt regarding Jews or Arabs, but they do feel good about being Holocaust liberators, so they take the Jewish side in what they see as the Jews surrounded on all sides, fighting off the Huns.

In fact, couldn’t this be seen as the Euros doing that liberal intra-white status game of who’s more beastly to the minorities? The Euros establish moral superiority by being more tolerant of the Arabs than their fellow westerners, the Isrealis? And the Isrealis are helpfully just different enough –they’re Jews, and their problems don’t really directly touch Europe, except as riling their own problem urban minorities?

Couldn’t one say Euro superiority to Isrealis, and concern for rioting domestic Arabs, is like NE libs and their superiority over Red State rednecks, especially those in high black population southern states who must actually deal with the issue, and their simultaneous concern for rioting blacks in Harlem?

Another reader writes:

One Jewish characteristic which may considerably underlie several of the others might be a tendency to religious fanaticism. In Antiquity, Jews were certainly not regarded as being especially smart or good at business; instead it was their extreme religious fanaticism that attracted attention. And one might argue that during a couple of millenia of living as religious minorities in Europe and elsewhere, the less fanatic Jews might probably have tended to convert for pragmatic reasons and merge into the larger Gentile population.

I suspect that one reason this plausible Jewish characteristic attracts relatively little attention is the extreme secularism of modern Jews, probably about the least religious ethic group in most countries. But I would suggest that the same underlying psychological tendency easily manifests itself in lots of "secular religions," which helps to explain why Jews are so prominent in almost every conflicting ideological movement, ranging from Marxism/Communism to libertarianism, liberalism, multiculturalism, neo-conservatism, environmentalism, pro-Israelism (and anti-Israelism), and everything else.

And Hans Gruber looks at the flip side of the coin:

One possible explanation for the Utopian tendency is that Jews are much more secular than the general population. Religion is a human universal. It's possible that religion satisfies inherent desires for purpose, for meaning, and for immortality. Secular peoples, lacking the fulfillment religion provides, might then seek a sort of substitute from political ideology and creating paradise here, today (therefore ensuring their immortality as well). Religious peoples, however, tend to accept the imperfection of this world for the promise of paradise in the next, staving off Utopian impulses.

You also mention reverence for the "all-knowing-scholar-sage." This is also consistent with the secular explanation because this is essentially the replacement of a religious priesthood with a secular priesthood. The priest or rabbi gives us guidance on how to live our lives, and so too does the secular priesthood of "all-knowing-scholar-sages."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

This Modern World on "Peter Beinart, Boy War Liberal"

On liberal cartoonist Tom Tomorrow's blog, Jonathan Schwarz translates the former New Republic editor's call to arms into plain English:

In a recent Q & A with Kevin Drum about Beinart’s book The Good Fight, [Beinart said:]

Jihadism sits at the center of a series of globalization-related threats, including global warming, pandemics, and financial contagion, which are powered by globalization-related technologies, and all of which threaten the United States more than other countries.

This is outstanding work. The only way his point could be improved would be to put it like this:

Gerbil narcolepsy sofa-bed detritus squanders Bigfoot. Crapulent snurf machine? Crapulent snurf machine knob knobbler! Groucho lithe koala traipsing noreaster flange mucus. Mithril acne fluffernutter shamus fling-ding-a-ling-doo!

Unfair, but I do like the "Crapulent snurf machine? Crapulent snurf machine knob knobbler!" part. Since I'm on a Tom Stoppard kick, I wonder if Schwarz got the basic idea from Stoppard's short play Dogg's Hamlet, in which the boys at a school for some reason speak only Dogg, which uses English words like "slab" and "block" but gives them completely different meanings:

It is a school speech day, and after the prize-giving there will be 15-minute performance of Hamlet. (Followed by a one-minute reprise of the whole thing.) But before that, the platform has to be set up. It is to be built out of blocks, slabs, planks, and cubes. A workman arrives to do this, and is watched by some of the schoolboys...

The builder speaks English, and says "cube" and "plank" and so on for the things in his lorry. But the schoolboys speak Dogg, where every single word is an English word but with an entirely unrelated meaning. So they test the microphone with Breakfast, breakfast... sun -- dock -- trog, they call each other vanilla squire when angry, and politely ask the time of a stranger with cretinous pig-faced, git?

The conversation of the workman and the children goes on simultaneously in both languages for a long time and becomes very intricate. Because of their actions on stage, you can understand the import of it all. This extends to the football scores on the radio, Dogg the headmaster's speech, and the lady guest of honour's very gracious speech (beginning "Sad fact, brats pule puke crap-pot stink, spit; grow up dunces crooks; rank socks dank snotrags...).

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 13, 2006

Another hanging curveball from the WSJ

The Wall Street Journal editorialistas are extremely upset that new CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden told Sen. Carl Levin during his testimony that he wasn't pleased with Doug Feith's intelligence work that helped get us into Iraq:

At his Senate hearing last month, General Hayden told Michigan Democrat Carl Levin not once but twice that he was not "comfortable" with intelligence-related work that had been done by an office reporting to former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith. He also suggested such work had been "wrong," "inaccurate," and "misleading."

In their headline, the WSJ boys plaintively ask:

Why did the CIA Director feed the "Bush lied" myth?

Uh, because he was under oath?

Really, this is getting too easy.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 12, 2006

A Question about the Ukrainian Holocaust

In downtown LA, I noticed a bronze plaque in the civic plaza that reads

In memory of 7,000,000 Ukrainians, victims of Russian communism, who lost their freedom, property and life by order of the Soviet government during 1932-1933 genocide by starvation in Ukraine. -- Dedicated by the Genocide in Ukraine Commemorative Committee, Los Angeles.

I presume the number 7 million on the plaque was chosen by Ukrainian-Americans to one (million) up the 6 million dead of the Jewish Holocaust, but what was the real number?

A reader responds:

According to the Wiki entry for Holodomor, estimates vary anywhere from 1.5 to 10 million, and most scientific estimates put the number somewhere between 2.5 and 4.8 million.

6 million Jews is also an estimate of course; the death toll from Nazi genocide of the Jews is generally estimated to have been between 5 and 6 million.

Some people who like to split hairs about things like these have called the Ukrainian famine a "democide" since its aim was the elimination of the Ukrainian nation but not the Ukrainian people - millions of Ukrainians had to die to accomplish this political goal, but physical liquidation of all Ukrainians was not the objective. This seems to me to be splitting hairs; very few genocides in history have been quite as comprehensive in their intent as the Nazi genocide against the Jews, so that's probably setting the bar too high.

The Ukrainians, in any event, clearly have as good a claim as the Armenians to being victims of genocide, perhaps better, as the famine was clearly both intentional and centrally directed, whereas there is some ambiguity about the Armenian case as to both the objective - eliminate the Armenian nation or forcibly remove it? - and the degree to which it was centrally planned.

(To some degree this debate exists about the Nazi genocide of the Jews as well, but not to the same degree; the functionalist historical school notwithstanding, there's no serious scholarly debate about whether, by the latter years of the war, the Nazis intended to physically exterminate the Jewish people; the debate is about how the Nazis got to that point, to what extent Hitler intended such a plan from 1938, or 1933, or 1924, and to what extent the extermination of the Jews became the primary war aim only once all other war aims were manifestly unachievable.)

In terms of numbers of dead, of course, both tragedies are chicken-feed compared to Mao's Great Leap Forward, which resulted in something like 30 million deaths.

The numbers who died during periods of disorder in China, such as the famine caused by Mao's farm collectivization and backyard steel mill mania, or the 19th Taiping civil war, or An Lushan's rebellion in the 8th Century A.D. are staggering. My impression is that, due to earlier and more universal marriages than in Europe, the Chinese population tended to grow to closer to the ultimate carrying capacity of the land with the current population than in Europe, so periods of bad rule or anarchy led to gigantic die-offs.

The other big question about the Ukrainian Holocaust was just how intentional it was. At one end of the scale, the Jewish Holocaust was extremely intentional because the Nazis paid a price in reduced war effectiveness in order to kill Jews. Extermination was the goal. At the other end of the scale, some of the Chinese die-offs were, I assume, unplanned by-products of dynastic jousting.

Stalin's killing sprees are a little complicated. First, he specifically had huge numbers of people shot for political reasons in urban secret police headquarters. "No man, no problem" was Stalin's byword. Stalin was much more wasteful of his own regime's officials than was Hitler.

But, second, the Gulag labor camps weren't by design death camps like Auschwitz. The goal was to use up every bit of labor in a prisoner, but whether he died or survived and returned home a broken man was a matter of indifference. So, Stalin's camps were more profitable economically to the regime than Hitler's.

Third, there were large scale ethnic cleansings during WWII on Soviet territory, in which large numbers of national minorities died in transit or upon arrival at their forbidding new homes.

Fourth, there was the appalling treatment of returned Soviet prisoners of war by the regime, as memorialized in Al Stewart's song "Roads to Moscow."

And, fifth (and no doubt leaving out several more categories of Soviet beastliness), there was the Ukraine, where the intention was to both extract sufficient grain to fund the forced industrialization of the Soviet Union, and to break the will of Ukrainians to resist the regime, whether on class or national lines or both.

So, massive death tolls as an instrument of intimidation were always part of the plan for the Ukraine, although the goal was never complete extermination, as with Hitler's plan for the Jews, since somebody had to survive to continue slaving in the fields.

Whatever its precise magnitude, the Ukrainian Holocaust is perhaps the most ignored event of the 20th Century. The only persons I've ever heard use the phrase "Ukrainian Holocaust" on television have been Pat Buchanan and Mel Gibson during the "Passion of the Christ" brouhaha. I imagine the phrase went right over the heads of 99% of the people watching the interview, but I also suspect (although without much evidence) that Mel was aiming it to be a thumb in the eye to Abe Foxman of the ADL and the like to show them that he knows that they know the secret of the Ukrainian Holocaust.

What is the secret?

The reason you almost never hear about the Ukrainian Holocaust, unlike, say, the Armenian Holocaust of 1915, is that among "Stalin's Willing Executioners" (to use Berkeley historian Yuri Slezkine's phrase in his landmark 2004 book, The Jewish Century, which restores the dignity of Jews, after decades of being portrayed solely as passive victims of history, by showing how Jews, qua Jews, were among the most dynamic actors in the central events of the 20th Century) in the Ukraine, secular Jews were vastly over-represented in proportion to their small numbers

Stalin went out of his way to assign Jewish secret policemen to the homicidal collectivization of Ukrainian agricultural because, being a close student how he could exploit all that is twisted and hate-ridden in history, he knew that Jewish Communists would be the least likely to show mercy to the Ukrainian peasants due to the ancient ethnic animus between the farmers and the Jews employed by the ruling Polish nobles as rent and tax collectors, a hostility which culminated in the pogroms of the 1648 anti-Polish uprising in the Ukraine.

It's easy, though, to over-estimate the role of Jews during the first 2 to 3 decades of the Soviet Union, as Kevin MacDonald sometimes does. Since they made up no more than 2% of the total population, only at rare times and places did they ever make up a local majority of the Communist ideologues and killers. But that Jews were, on average, the most enthusiastic supporters of the Leninist-Stalinist state of all the many ethnic groups within the Soviet Union seems indisputable after the publication of The Jewish Century by Slezkine, a 1982 dissident refugee from the Soviet Union, who is himself half Jewish.

Of course, the NKVD butcher boys weren't religious Jews, but then neither were many Jewish heroes like Einstein. As Slezkine documents, Bolshevism was appealing to secular Jews for reasons specifically deriving from their Jewish ethnicity:

- Jews were disliked because they were so good at capitalism, so they wanted to get rid of capitalism.

- Jews were disliked for religious reasons, so they wanted to get rid of religion.

- Jews were disliked for nationalistic reasons, so they wanted to get rid of nation-states

And, indeed, as Slezkine copiously documents, Jews rose up to positions of power and prestige faster in the Soviet Union than even in America over the same period, where they were held back by anti-Semitism. That's why so many Communist Jews around the world kept their faith in the Communism even through the Hitler-Stalin pact in 1939 and the emergence of overt Soviet anti-Semitism after WWII. Finally, the Soviet Union's siding with Egypt against Israel in 1956 convinced a lot of true believers that the Soviet Union really wasn't good for the Jews.

History has since been rewritten to make Jews into the leading victims of the rise of the Soviet Union, when at the time Jews tended to feel they were the leading beneficiaries.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Tom Stoppard's "Rock 'n' Roll"

Rock 'n' Roll is the new play by Sir Tom Stoppard. It is said to combine, in some hard to predict Stoppardian fashion, the stories of both Pink Floyd's acid-casualty Syd Barrett and of Czechoslovakia between the Soviet invasion of 1968 and the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

By my count, that makes Rock 'n' Roll Stoppard's ninth play to deal, disapprovingly, with Eastern European Communism. The others are Travesties (Lenin in Zurich], Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (inside a Soviet psychiatric hospital where dissidents are imprisoned), Cahoot's Macbeth (censorship in Czechoslovakia), Personal Foul (samizdat literature), Squaring the Circle (Poland in 1980-81), and his trilogy The Coast of Utopia (the rise of Russian radicalism in the 19th Century). The malignancies of Communism are one of the most massive stories of our time, yet also one that has largely been ignored by almost every other Western European or American writer of Literature-with-a-Capital-L.

As this profile of Stoppard in the Telegraph makes clear, one reason for this is that Stoppard, by birth, is an Eastern European writer like Kundera or Solzhenitsyn. He was born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, but his family was driven out by Hitler before he can remember. His father died in the Far East, and his widowed mother married a British Army officer in India, from whom Stoppard acquired his English patriotism. Stoppard's lack of alienation from traditional England is one of the most attractive and rare qualities in a writer of his dazzling intellect.

And, indeed, his devotion to explaining the suffering of his fellow Slavs under the Bolsheviks has a boyishly abstract quality to it. He gives the impression that he decided as a good-hearted English schoolboy who believed in fair play that he would do what he could for his native lands, even though he can't remember them, and has stuck to that vow ever since, although nobody else in his circles cared much about what had been done to the poor Slavs.

A striking irony is that Stoppard learned during the 1990s that he isn't Slavic at all:

At 68, he is still discovering himself. When he was a boy, his mother drew a veil over the family's past. There had been a Jewish grandmother, she said, and this was why they had to leave Czechoslovakia. Only relatively recently did he learn the fully story.

His whole family was Jewish. Most of his relatives had been murdered in the death camps. His father, once the house doctor at the Bata shoe factory in Zlin ...

Stoppard grew up believing he was roughly 1/4th Jewish. (When looking at pictures of Stoppard, you are so struck by how much he looks like he could be the best-preserved member of the Rolling Stones that it's hard to focus on what ethnicity he might be.) But in the 1990s he finally saw a photograph of his father, who turned out, I would say, to be the most Jewish-looking man in all history. (Unfortunately, I can't find online the picture from Stoppard's article in Talk magazine.)

It's interesting to speculate on what subjects would have interested Stoppard if his mother had been forthcoming about his ethnic background. Would he have instead written about the historical crimes of Nazism rather than the more contemporary crimes of Communism? Would he have obsessed over the sins of the Slavs (e.g., anti-Semitism) rather than their virtues (such as fortitude)? In other words, would he have ended up like most of the other writers in the English-speaking world?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

More from the email bag

Readers write about the 2005 NAEP 8th Grade Science scores:

But Hawaii [which came in third from the bottom, beating only Mississippi and California] is heavily Asian. Why does it rank so low on both the 8th grade and 12th grade science tests? Asians living in Hawaii came to this country under a different immigration regime. They came to work in the sugar cane fields, not as part of the highly educated, post-1965 wave. I wonder if all Asians are more representative of Hawaiian Asians or of the more recent group of immigrants?

Of course, it might also have to do with the fact that they spend more of their time surfing. (Maybe weather explains at least part of the reason why people in northern latitudes do better in school).

The lack of economic dynamism in Hawaii, especially in the high tech fields, is striking.

Another writes about why the highest scoring Hispanics tend to be in states with very few Hispanics like Missouri and Ohio and the lowest scoring ones are in heavily Hispanic states like California and Arizona:

It seems pretty clear to me. If you let in small amounts of immigrants, they have to conform to the prevailing culture. If you let in large amounts, they can keep to themselves and not assimilate...or, worse, assimilate into the preexisting underclass culture with all its negative attributes.

(BTW, I can tell you why whites do so well in Massachusetts: all the college professors. Whatever their risibly liberal politics, they do encourage their kids to study. It's much like the liberal Minnesotans you mentioned before: of course we don't need tradition! People (because all people are like us) don't need social restraints, because all they want to do with their freedom is study 17th century literature! Only someone who's been oppressed all their life would want to rob a convenience store.)

Massachusetts has been among the best educated states ever since the Puritans arrived in 1629. Many of the other states with strong educational traditions, like Montana, were settled by descendents of the Puritans. Another reader comments:

As far as Hispanic test scores go, I'm not surprised that Ohio does better than places with a "critical mass" of Hispanics. Most of the Hispanic kids I went to high school with assimilated strongly to "white norms," probably something they would have gotten beaten up for Texas or Florida. Most of the Hispanic kids here in Ohio learn proper English early, try to make something of themselves in school so they can go to college (despite their parents humble backgrounds), etc. When I lived in Long Island, I noticed a lot of the Puerto Rican and Dominican kids assimilated strongly towards the thuggish Bronx norms, even way out in Suffolk county.

An immigrant reader writes:

I'd like to congratulate you on another astute observation: that immigrants care more about permanent residency than they do about citizenship. Most of the policymakers in Washington who have a big fetish for all this civic stuff probably can't see that. I immigrated to this country, first on a J2 visa in 1992, then an H2, and when we finally got a green card in 1998 it was a big deal. I became a U.S. citizen in 2004, which was nice, but not really a big deal. I could still own property, go to any college, come and go from the USA as I please, work practically any job, etc. as a permanent resident. The green card is what most immigrants care about, or in the case of illegals, an effective green card by not being deported. GWB has already told them that they won't be deported, so they could care less about his "path to citizenship" scheme.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Immigrant extended families, the cash culture, and corruption

I recently spent a couple of weeks on jury duty in a tax fraud case involving an extended family of Iranian immigrant used car dealers, which turned out to be a horrendous fiasco of justice. It's rather astonishing I was allowed on the jury because the case confirmed much of what I've been writing about all decade about how vulnerable Western societies, with their nuclear family values that have made them successful polities, are to exploitation by immigrants from parts of the world with extended family values. The same nepotism and in-group morality that makes their home countries so dismal that they leave, also gives the immigrants them large advantages at cheating us naive Westerners in our countries. I won't say more now about my jury duty because I'll write about it at length later, but I was reminded of it by this news story from the UK Guardian that I briefly mentioned in my new VDARE column.

Secret report brands Muslim police corrupt:
Fury over internal Met study which says Asians need special training

Sandra Laville and Hugh Muir Saturday June 10, 2006 The Guardian

A secret high-level Metropolitan police report has concluded that Muslim officers are more likely to become corrupt than white officers because of their cultural and family backgrounds. The document, which has been seen by the Guardian, has caused outrage among ethnic minorities within the force, who have labelled it racist and proof that there is a gulf in understanding between the police force and the wider Muslim community. The document was written as an attempt to investigate why complaints of misconduct and corruption against Asian officers are 10 times higher than against their white colleagues.

The main conclusions of the study, commissioned by the Directorate of Professional Standards and written by an Asian detective chief inspector, stated: "Asian officers and in particular Pakistani Muslim officers are under greater pressure from the family, the extended family ... and their community against that of their white colleagues to engage in activity that might lead to misconduct or criminality." It recommended that Asian officers needed special anti-corruption training and is now being considered by a working party of senior staff.

The report argued that British Pakistanis live in a cash culture in which "assisting your extended family is considered a duty" and in an environment in which large amounts of money are loaned between relatives and friends.

The rest of the Guardian article is just the usual yammering about how racist it is to notice that Muslim cops are 10 times more corrupt than average, but I was impressed that the Guardian slipped in the report's explanation for the corruption: extended family values and the cash culture. It's exactly the same syndrome I witnessed with the Iranian used car dealers.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer