May 22, 2010

A Drinker's Paradise

Nicholas D. Kristof has been on a roll lately, calling for Africans to use contraception in his last column and to sober up in his latest one:
MONT-BELO, Congo Republic 

There’s an ugly secret of global poverty, one rarely acknowledged by aid groups or U.N. reports. It’s a blunt truth that is politically incorrect, heartbreaking, frustrating and ubiquitous:

It’s that if the poorest families spent as much money educating their children as they do on wine, cigarettes and prostitutes, their children’s prospects would be transformed. Much suffering is caused not only by low incomes, but also by shortsighted private spending decisions by heads of households.

That probably sounds sanctimonious, haughty and callous, but it’s been on my mind while traveling through central Africa with a college student on my annual win-a-trip journey. 

If first prize is one week in the Congo Republic, what's second prize? Two weeks?
Here in this Congolese village of Mont-Belo, we met a bright fourth grader, Jovali Obamza, who is about to be expelled from school because his family is three months behind in paying fees. (In theory, public school is free in the Congo Republic. In fact, every single school we visited charges fees.)

We asked to see Jovali’s parents. The dad, Georges Obamza, who weaves straw stools that he sells for $1 each, is unmistakably very poor. He said that the family is eight months behind on its $6-a-month rent and is in danger of being evicted, with nowhere to go.

The Obamzas have no mosquito net, even though they have already lost two of their eight children to malaria. They say they just can’t afford the $6 cost of a net. Nor can they afford the $2.50-a-month tuition for each of their three school-age kids.

“It’s hard to get the money to send the kids to school,” Mr. Obamza explained, a bit embarrassed.

But Mr. Obamza and his wife, Valerie, do have cellphones and say they spend a combined $10 a month on call time.

A telephone can add tremendously to one's productivity (assuming one is trying to be productive). In much of Africa, they don't have old-fashioned landlines, so a cellphone isn't a luxury upgrade, it's the entry-level telephone.

In addition, Mr. Obamza goes drinking several times a week at a village bar, spending about $1 an evening on moonshine.

If Mr. Obama restricts his drinking to the evening, he could well be Cotton Mather by local standards.
By his calculation, that adds up to about $12 a month — almost as much as the family rent and school fees combined.

I asked Mr. Obamza why he prioritizes alcohol over educating his kids. He looked pained.

Other villagers said that Mr. Obamza drinks less than the average man in the village (women drink far less). Many other men drink every evening, they said, and also spend money on cigarettes. 

That reminds me of P.J. Tobia's classic article "Soused Africa" in the October 2004 edition of Modern Drunkard magazine:
At first blush, this place seems gripped in pandemic suffering. A closer look reveals the true nature of southern Africa: It is a drinker’s paradise. Hundreds of miles of beaches with names like Monkey Bay and Candy Beach line the eastern coast of Mozambique and the enormous lake Malawi, providing the perfect setting for canoeing, fishing, and drinking the hot days away. Homemade liquors and bottled beers are available at almost every roadside shack, some conveniently attached to rest houses where one can sleep off a particularly frightening bender in a cheap, clean bed. Pocket change will buy a round for the entire bar and, of course, the police have never, and I mean never, heard of a Breathalyzer.

For example, the President's father killed a man while driving drunk in Kenya, and later died in a drunk-driving accident. Also, the President's half-brother David, son of the President' father's second American wife, died in a motorcycle crash after a night out drinking with his half-brother Roy/Abongo, son of the President's father's first African wife, after Roy was jailed for drunken brawling.
Women do almost all the daily work in southern Africa: cooking, finding food, raising children, and tidying up around the hut, which leaves men free to spend the day pursuing more amiable interests, like drinking until they can barely stand or form sentences.

And because the possibility of finding a job is laughable and property ownership largely hereditary, there is no expectation that the people of this region become clock-punching cubicle drones or slaves to a mortgage. While they lack the amenities we Westerners couldn’t imagine living without—such as hot, clean water, electricity, or a life expectancy greater than 35 years—they do have the luxury of being able to relax with good friends and a few dozen drinks every single day of the year.

And, boy, do they drink.

Kristof's solution for African dissolution is for women to have more power over money. Perhaps. But then women do most of the work in Africa already, and handle much of the money, so it's not clear that Western feminism provides much of a template for thinking about Africa. (By the way, I see little evidence that the President has really any personal regard for feminism. He seems to view feminists much like he views pro-Israel people such as Rahm Emanuel and feminst bete noire Larry Summers: as a power bloc whom you want in the tent pissing out rather than outside pissing in.)

In the history of successful social movements to rise up out of drunken lethargy to bourgeois behavior, such as Puritanism, patriarchy has typically played a major role.

What African men need is not necessarily less power but more responsibility. And that probably won't happen until African women start denying sex to African men who act like no-accounts drunks.

More on Harvard's Undocumented Studier

A commenter writes about Adam Wheeler, the Harvard student whom the University had arrested and charged on 20 accounts when he applied for a Rhodes Scholarship and Harvard finally noticed that his claims of having a perfect SAT score, having written a half dozen books, and being able to speak Olde English, Classical Armenian, and Ancient Persian were undocumented:
In Mr. Wheeler's defense, he was only doing courses that other students won't do. Without the likes of Mr. Wheeler, who would fill the positions for the Queer Feminist Theory classes or the Afro-American Transgendered Women's seminars? Who would pick the library books that the other kids just won't pick?

Didn't President Bush tell us that anyone "worth his salt" would try to find a way to sneak into Harvard?

I would also add that family values don't stop at the 3.5 GPA line. Besides, people like Mr. Wheeler are natural born contributors. If we could only find a way to bring him out of the shadows, I'm sure he would go on to contribute much to the university's academic life.

To showcase this massive display of unfairness, I am producing a documentary called A Day without a Wheeler and Dealer. Then maybe Harvard would realize the vibrant diversity they are losing with Mr. Wheeler's departure.

Come on, Steve. Don't hold the kid's cheating against him. What are you? Some kid of Cheatist?

Anyway, there are an estimated 12,000 undocumented studiers in American universities today. There's no way you could ever remove them all.

I propose a solution: A "Temporary Guest Student Program." Let's title it the Kennedy-MccCain CHEAT Act. It's not really unfair as it seems because.... I'm going to make sure all these undocumented studiers pay back tuition and undergo a remedial math class. After that I'm sure Mr. Wheeler and his ilk will be plenty prepared for university life and will never EVER break any rules again.

A grade is only a line on a piece of paper. I propose the creation of a group called SWG (Student's Without Grades). My group would seek to eliminate the arbitrary and classist barriers that keep people like Mr. Wheeler out of Harvard.

More on Jonathan Katz

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Prof enjoys debate, rocking the boat
Bill McClellan

Had Washington University professor Jonathan Katz been nominated to the Civil Rights Commission, I would understand why some people might point to his writings and object to the nomination. In particular, I would understand why his 1999 essay defending homophobia might be a cause of concern.

But he wasn't asked to join the Civil Rights Commission. He was asked to join a group of scientists working on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

What do his thoughts about sexuality have to do with that?

Nothing is the correct answer.

I should be upfront about this. I have known Katz for a long time — our kids went to grade school together — and I have always admired him. He is a man of strong opinions, and he does not care a whit if those opinions are popular.
I've written about him once. That was in 2002. Washington University had decreed that reporters needed official permission to conduct an interview on campus. According to the new guidelines, a reporter who wanted to conduct an interview on campus was required to notify the Public Affairs office, and a person from that office would have the right to monitor the interview.
So Katz called and asked if I wanted to break the rules. Of course, I said. I went to his office and interviewed him. He wanted to talk about his bosses.

"They're control freaks," he said. "This kind of policy is something you'd expect from a corporation. I have nothing against corporations, but a university is a fundamentally different thing."

He dismissed the notion of a closed campus.

"A university is a small town with public spaces open to all. There is supposed to be a free flow of ideas and people. If you don't have those things, you don't have a real university. I've done a fair amount of consulting for the defense industry, and I've seen more freedom of thought, freedom to disagree, in the defense establishment than I see here."

By the way, the door to his office was decorated with an American flag. That's unusual in the physics department. Heck, it's unusual anywhere in the university. Which is, I suspect, part of the reason he did it.

On the other hand, Katz represents something quintessentially American — a zest for engaging in the battle of ideas.

Over the years, he has often disagreed with stuff I've written. He lets me know.

His wife, Lily, is much the same. When my daughter was in fifth grade with one of the Katz kids, the class was studying Ireland. I asked a friend who had been in the Irish Republican Army to speak to the class. Lily did not share my sympathy for the IRA. But she was not against my friend speaking. She just disagreed with his views and wanted to air those differences.

There is a big difference between disagreeing with somebody and wanting to silence that person. Vigorous debate used to be considered the hallmark of a healthy democracy. We're losing our ability to engage in a debate.  

May 21, 2010

NYT: GOP Endangered by Being on Winning Side of Immigration Issue

The New York Times is deeply, truly concerned that their precious GOP might be damaged by having a popular issue on its hands:
Immigration Law in Arizona Reveals G.O.P. Divisions

LOS ANGELES — Republican lawmakers and candidates are increasingly divided over illegal immigration — torn between the need to attract Latino support, especially at the ballot box, and rallying party members who support tougher action.

Fortunately, Bush apparatchiks are available to offer their time-tested wisdom to Republicans:
“I think we need to be very careful about immigration,” said Karl Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush. “I applaud Arizona for taking action, but I think the rhetoric on all sides ought to be lowered.”

Mr. Rove and other strategists who worked for Mr. Bush were proponents of an immigration overhaul that included a path to legal status. ...

“The kindling has been lit in the states,” said Matthew Dowd, a political consultant from Texas who was the chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign. ...

But the divisions appear more acute among Republicans, some of whom fear that the party will become identified with punitive immigration laws at a time when Hispanics are a growing part of the electorate — particularly in emergent battleground states like Colorado and Nevada.

“I am a grandson of an Irish immigrant,” Mr. McDonnell of Virginia said in an e-mail message. “The Hispanic population in this country contributes to our culture, economic prosperity and quality of life.”

Republicans who are not facing primary challenges are far more likely to take a more moderate view of immigration, and many, particularly in border states, are aware that business groups that depend on illegal immigrants for labor support a comprehensive immigration overhaul....

“It is really how you ask the question,” said Sarah Taylor, who was Mr. Bush’s political affairs director. “And it is tied up in people’s feelings about their own family’s immigration experience, and then you have elements of race.” ...

“People like Perry and McDonnell and others realize this is a very divisive issue for our party,” said Linda Chavez, the Republican chairwoman of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative research organization, referring to the governors of Texas and Virginia. “The fact is, you can’t secure the borders if you don’t fix immigration, because the two go hand in hand.”

How come Tamar Jacoby isn't quoted in this article? Did she forget to recharge her cellphone?

May 20, 2010

Undocumented Quota Beneficiaries

A reader writes:
My friend's friend really wanted to go to Stanford, but knew as a white male he wouldn't be admitted. So what did he do? [At the time,] they required a picture sent with the application. So my friend's friend sent his application in with a picture of a black guy (the picture was of a male model that came with his wallet), and he didn't check the ethnicity/race box. Thus, technically he didn't lie (intent is another matter). Anyways, he was accepted and upon arriving on campus was inundated with offers to join the Black Student Association for this or that. He was nervous at first, but then after a month or so the offers eventually stopped; I asked about him years later and he had apparently added to Stanford's black graduation rate.

Warning: that reminds me of how the summer before  I went to Rice, I got a letter from the college demanding a snapshot. I assumed that this was just to check up on whether I'd been lying for affirmative action purposes. So, I grabbed the first snapshot I had at hand, which made me look even dorkier than I actually was at 6'4" and 168 pounds, and sent that off. It turns out it wasn't for admissions at all, it was for inclusion in a booklet of all incoming freshmen that coeds in my class would thumb through for the next four years to discuss who was cute and who wasn't. Now that I think about it, I should have sent in a picture of a male model.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

May 19, 2010

Updated: Harvard has Undocumented Studier arrested

In the latest from the Annals of Not Getting the Joke, the New York Times reports:
A Delaware man has been charged with faking his way into Harvard and duping the university out of $45,000 in financial aid, grants and scholarships. Adam Wheeler, 23, of Milton, Del., was admitted to Harvard and became a student in 2007 after he falsely claimed he had earned a perfect academic record at Phillips Academy in Andover and had studied for a year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, prosecutors said Monday. Harvard started to look into Mr. Wheeler’s background after he sought the university’s endorsement for Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships. He was indicted on 20 offenses, including larceny, identity fraud and pretending to hold a degree. He was arrested Monday by Massachusetts authorities and scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court. He was trying to transfer to Yale and Brown when he got caught, District Attorney Gerry Leone of Middlesex County said. Before attending Harvard, Mr. Wheeler was a student at Bowdoin College in Maine from 2005-7, but was suspended for academic dishonesty, the authorities said.

This case is just more evidence that Congress must pass Comprehensive Admission Reform granting a Path to Scholarship for the likes of poor Mr. Wheeler.

Harvard must grant Mr. Wheeler amnesty and allow family reunification, admitting all the other budding con-men in his extended family. Think of the children!

Speaking of children, any children he has fathered while at Harvard should be given, by interpretation of the 14th Amendment, birthright admission to Harvard.

The obvious solution to the problem of undocumented studiers is to legalize all of them. If the demand for Harvard educations exceeds the supply, then Harvard should simply increase its class size until every person in the world who wants to be Harvard student is one. Problem solved!

Mr. Wheeler didn't cross Harvard Yard. Harvard Yard crossed him.

If Harvard gets 14 applications for every one it accepts, then it's Harvard's fault for not letting in 14 times as many students.

I'm sure the President's Aunt Zeituni, a long-time resident of Boston, could offer the victim some winning legal advice.

As for not letting him have scholarships, wasn't that declared unconstitutional when Prop. 187 was stricken down by the courts?

Harvard should give Mr. Wheeler the Prof. Andrei Shleifer Award for Seeing His Opportunities and Taking Them. Larry Summers could come up from D.C. to hand it out to him.

I don't see what Harvard is all upset over. It's not like Mr. Wheeler did something really bad, like send a private email to a few friends expressing an open mind on a scientific controversy.

Oil spill "Dream Teamer" canned by Obama for not being PC

Glad to see the Obama Administration has its priorities straight in dealing with the oil spill crisis.

From an AP article in the LA Times:
A St. Louis scientist who was among a select group picked by the Obama administration to pursue a solution to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been removed from the group because of writings on his website, the U.S. Energy Department confirmed Wednesday.

Washington University physics professor Jonathan Katz was one of five top scientists chosen by the Department of Energy and attended meetings in Houston last week.

Though considered a leading scientist, Katz's website postings often touch on social issues. Some of those writings have stirred anger in the past and include postings defending homophobia and questioning the value of racial diversity efforts. ...
"Dr. Chu has spoken with dozens of scientists and engineers as part of his work to help find solutions to stop the oil spill," a statement from the Energy Department said. "Some of Professor Katz's controversial writings have become a distraction from the critical work of addressing the oil spill. Professor Katz will no longer be involved in the Department's efforts." ...

In a website posting titled "In Defense of Homophobia," Katz wrote about the AIDS epidemic.

"The human body was not designed to share hypodermic needles, it was not designed to be promiscuous, and it was not designed to engage in homosexual acts," he wrote. "Engaging in such behavior is like riding a motorcycle on an icy road without a helmet. It may be possible to get away with it for a while, and a few misguided souls may get a thrill out of doing so, but sooner or later (probably sooner) the consequences will be catastrophic. Lethal diseases spread rapidly among people who do such things."

The stuffing down the Memory Hole of the primary cause of the AIDS epidemic in America in the 1980s -- the gay liberation in the 1970s -- is one of the most audacious accomplishments in the history of rewriting history. From what I hear now, you would think the AIDS epidemic broke out in Provo and Peoria, rather than in West Hollywood, Castro Street, and Greenwich Village.
In another posting, Katz questioned the value of diversity efforts.

"The diversity movement is racist at its core," he writes. "When dealing with people we should be concerned with intellect, talent, character and accomplishment. People aren't dogs or cattle; race matters only to racists."

A.J. Bockelman, director of PROMO, a St. Louis-bases advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, applauded the decision to remove Katz.

"It's disappointing at a time like this that when all Americans need to come together and focus on relief efforts and recovery efforts in the Gulf, someone divisive was placed in a position of power," Bockelman said.

Isn't it great that we finally have a "pro-science" Democratic Administration?

Evan Turner

A likely lottery choice in the NBA draft is 6'7" Ohio State point guard Evan Turner, the college Player of the Year, from the West Side of Chicago. I may have watched him play as a 6th grader against my kid's elementary school team, which was pretty funny. 

This kid was about 4" taller than anybody else on the court and infinitely more coordinated. But instead of having him set up inside as a center and shoot on every play like Wilt Chamberlain in 1962, he played point guard. He was determined to be a good teammate and get them the ball to shoot. So, he'd whip these amazing no look passes to his 12-year-old teammates, which, unfortunately, tended to bounce off their surprised faces before they could even get their hands up. On one fast break he grabbed a rebound and did that John Stockton move where  he took one dribble then shotputted the ball right off the dribble without putting both hands on it the length of the court to a teammate sprinting downcourt, who, sadly, didn't expect it, so the ball hit him on the back of the head. 

You could see why athletes of that caliber spend most of their time on AAU traveling all-star teams rather than playing for their schools.

The funny thing, though, is that although Turner is the right age and from the right place to be the kid I saw a decade ago, the more videos of him I watch, the more I think the kid I saw wasn't Evan Turner. Nor was he likely Derrick Rose, a Chicago contemporary, who was a recent #1 draft pick overall. So that just goes to show how steep the pyramid of talent is. Turner and Rose are better than the kid I saw.

May 18, 2010

Oops ...

In Stage Army of the Establishment news, the New York Times trumpets "A Generation Gap Over Immigration" to demonstrate that only fuddy-duddy racists (such as, presumably, Lakers coach Phil Jackson) are concerned about illegal immigration:
Meaghan Patrick, a junior at New College of Florida, a tiny liberal arts college in Sarasota, says discussing immigration with her older relatives is like “hitting your head against a brick wall.” 

Cathleen McCarthy, a senior at the University of Arizona, says immigration is the rare, radioactive topic that sparks arguments with her liberal mother and her grandmother. “Many older Americans feel threatened by the change that immigration presents,” Ms. McCarthy said. “Young people today have simply been exposed to a more accepting worldview.”

Forget sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll; immigration is a new generational fault line.

In the wake of the new Arizona law allowing the police to detain people they suspect of entering the country illegally, young people are largely displaying vehement opposition — leading protests on Monday at Senator John McCain’s offices in Tucson, and at the game here between the Florida Marlins and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Meanwhile, baby boomers, despite a youth of “live and let live,” are siding with older Americans and supporting the Arizona law.

That's an elaborate way of explaining away what the NYT doesn't like: polls show the Arizona law highly popular with voters. Sure, you evil racists may be in the majority for now, but you are demographically doomed, doomed we tell you! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

Then to prove that Resistance Is Futile, the NYT trots out the following graph of metropolitan areas with the biggest difference in race between seniors and children. Please look at this listing carefully and see if the names of these wonderful Cities of the Future remind you of very different news stories from just one to two years ago:

Do you get the joke? 

The NYT sure doesn't.

This list overlaps hilariously with lists of the metropolitan areas with the worst home foreclosure rates in the country. With the exception of Dallas, these are all Sand State cities (California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida -- still, even in 2010, the four states with the worst default rates). These Cities of the Future are, to a close order of approximation, the places that crashed the economy in the Mortgage Meltdown.

Out of the 203 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the country, seven of the NYT's favorites were on RealtyTrac's Q1-2009 list of the Worst Ten foreclosure rates: Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino, Bakersfield, Modesto, Cape Coral, Stockton, and Las Vegas.  Two more of the NYT's favorites (Fresno and San Diego) were in the Worst Twenty.

On RealtyTrac's Q1-2010 listing of highest foreclosure rates, the NYT's darlings rank numbers one through five worst. RealtyTrac's entire worst 20 are in the four Sand States.

May 17, 2010

"Robin Hood"

Sir Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood turns out not to be the expected proto-superhero summer blockbuster. Instead, it works best as an intricate political allegory about how the recently defeated New Labourites of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown betrayed England through their stratagems of invade the world, invite the world, and in hock to the world.

It’s 1199, and King Richard the Lionheart has bankrupted England with his military adventuring in Muslim lands alongside other Western leaders. Richard’s brother and rival, King John, in a na├»ve alliance with rapacious foreigners, sets out to tax the freemen of England dry. The true Englishmen finally rise up, demand a great charter of rights from their ruler, and then fight the Continental invaders on the beaches and on the landing grounds.

In globalist Cool Britannia, this manner of blatant English patriotism is tolerated mostly just during the quadrennial World Cup soccer tournament (which begins in three weeks in South Africa). Yet, xenophobia, especially an irrational loathing of the French, has historically served the offshore islanders well. Paul Johnson wrote in A History of the English People:
“Isolation… is the most consistent single thread running through the tapestry of English history…[It is] the attitude of mind of a people who live on an island and wish to keep the sea as their frontier… It inhibits the systematic involvement with the land-mass which diminishes, and in the end destroys, the island privilege.”

Not surprisingly, the film has opened strongly in the U.K. American audiences, however, have been puzzled (not without reason) over why Robin Hood doesn’t have much to do with, well, Robin Hood.

Read the whole thing there and comment below.

A striking lack of shame

From CNN:
Washington (CNN) -- President Obama's aunt from Kenya can stay in the United States, a U.S. immigration judge has ruled, ending a six-year-plus legal battle over her status. Judge Leonard Shapiro made the decision Friday, court officials said. Two government sources confirmed Monday that the ruling will give legal status to Zeituni Onyango, 57, allowing her to remain in the country.

Onyango's attorneys held a press conference on the matter Monday afternoon in Ohio. Onyango, who is the half-sister of the president's late father, applied for political asylum in 2002 due to violence in her native Kenya. She was a legal resident of the United States at the time and had received a Social Security card a year earlier.

Onyango's asylum request was turned down in 2004. She appealed the rejection of her request twice but was denied each time and ordered to leave the country.

Onyango remained in the country illegally until April 2009 when Shapiro gave her permission to stay in the United States while he considered her case. 

Obviously, the President of the United States' aunt would be in imminent danger of political violence the moment she landed in a country where her nephew is wildly popular.
In February, Onyango arrived at an immigration court in a wheelchair and testified before the judge for more than two hours, her representative, Amy Cohn, told CNN at the time.
Two doctors, including her personal physician, also testified on her behalf. Onyango's medical condition was part of her legal defense against expulsion.

White House officials said during the appeals that Obama was staying out of the matter. "The president believes that the case should run its ordinary course," an official said.
Onyango's immigration status came to light in the final days of the 2008 presidential race.

Which, of course, John McCain decided not to make an issue of.

Obama has always rejected, in sharp contrast to his father, the Big Man's sense of personal financial responsibility for the members of his extended family. Instead, his role, as expressed in Dreams from My Father is to win large scale political change for them: i.e., have the taxpayers foot the bill. Of course, as this incident suggests, he's kind of late to the party: the taxpayers already have been footing the bill for the housing and health care of his illegal immigrant aunt, and will continue to do so.

Latinos as "the stage army of the elites"

My new column considers why the press was so surprised to discover that likely American voters support the Arizona law by landslide majorities. I introduce the concept of non-Asian minorities as a useful "stage army" of the elites.

A "stage army" in a Shakespearean production is one in which extras march across the stage then whip around behind the scenes to march across, again and again.

Here's an excerpt from the middle:
In modern America, Latinos often function as a sort of "stage army" for our elites. They want Hispanics to intimidate—by sheer bulk of numbers—the citizenry and make resistance to elite projects appear historically hopeless. The vast and seemingly always increasing quantities of Hispanics can be cited as justification for whatever a person in a position of influence wants to do.

Say you are the President of the United States and you are worried that what you consider your demographic bases—"young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women"—won’t remember to show up to vote in 2010. So pick a fight over a state law and try to turn it into a racial conflict. Anybody who opposes you must be a racist, so you can’t lose, right?

Or say you want a make-work sinecure as an ethnic studies instructor or diversity coordinator. Harp on the existence of nearly 50,000,000 Latinos in the U.S... Claim to be one of their natural leaders. Assert that Real Soon Now they are all going to get around to voting—and that, when they do, they will all agree with you that you should have an easy job.

Say you are a high school administrator who doesn’t like the kind of students who wear American flag T-shirts to school. Well, punish them and blame it on the Latinos. Claim the Mexicans would riot if an American flag were seen on Cinco de Mayo—which is what has just happened at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California.

I believe that this sort of elite enabling, not Reconquista, is the real political danger that the Mexodus poses to the U.S.

Having followed this issue closely for decades, I've come to the conclusion that there isn't much chance of Mexican elites in the U.S. organizing a powerful Quebec-style separatist movement.

There are two reasons: First, as Barack Obama decided in the 1980s after his lengthy consideration of Louis Farrakhan’s black economic nationalism, there’s no money in separatism. If Mexicans wanted to live in a separate country run by Mexicans, they would live in Mexico. 

Second, Mexicans in the U.S. don't organize much of anything beyond the extended family or neighborhood level (such as a gang). LA Times columnist Gregory Rodriguez noted: "For example, in Los Angeles, home to more Mexicans than any other city in the U.S., there is not one ethnic Mexican hospital, college, cemetery or broad-based charity."[Mexican Americans Are Building No Walls, February 29, 2004]

On the other hand, the vast numbers of Mexicans in the U.S. due to legal and illegal immigration, the 1986 amnesty, and their high fertility serve the American left as a sort of mock mob, allowing American leftist elites to intimidate their rivals in all sorts of turf wars.

The American Left claims to have the vast Mexican masses on its side. They will (someday) vote in large numbers—so you'd better surrender now to them (or, to be precise, to their self-appointed leaders and allies).

Much of modern American leftism boils down to encouraging tribalistic attitudes among nonwhites. Clearly, some Mexican students in Morgan Hill’s Live Oak high school interpreted their school’s endorsement of multiculturalism through their own usual gang turf lens. Nor is it surprising that some American students, when exposed to these kind of school-sponsored Mexican assertions of cultural dominance, resist with subversive gestures, such as displaying American flags.

I have long argued that these racially fraught situations are used by upper middle class white liberals as class markers in order to put down their rivals of lower rank.

In California, for example, upper middle class white liberals almost never educate their children in high school classrooms with large numbers of Mexicans. It’s simply not done.

So if your kid goes to a school where Mexicans are dominant in numbers, and is therefore made uncomfortable by Mexican declarations of ascendancy, then that just shows to the white liberal mind that you and your kid are losers. Obviously, you can’t afford private school or to live in an expensive school district, or you aren’t smart enough to figure out how to manipulate the magnet and charter school rackets in order to get in with the right people.

It's a Perpetual Motion machine: if the elite-subsidized minority tribalism provokes the slightest sign of tribalistic reactions among the people who aren't allowed to express group pride—that is to say, Americans, citizens, whites, etc.—then that can be used to cram more expressions of elite-sponsored minority tribalism down the throats of the people who don't have their own approved tribe.

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

I then compare the Live Oak H.S. events to the recent Harvard Law School Watsoning. One obvious lesson to follow when targeted for a Two Minutes Hate is to stand tall, like policeman James Crowley of Cambridge, not cravenly apologize like Harvard president Larry Summers of Cambridge. (Larry, hilariously, immediately gave a $50 million slush fund to Drew Gilpin Faust as reparations. Not surprisingly, Dr. Faust soon replaced Summers as President.)

Read the whole thing there and comment upon it here.

May 16, 2010

"The Township"

I spent many Sunday afternoons in the 1990s being shown by real estate agents around the worst houses in Wilmette, IL (i.e., the only ones I could afford), so I'm looking forward to this series:
Speaking at an HBO press junket Monday, acclaimed writer-producer David Simon, creator of the gritty urban dramas The Wire and Treme, announced that his next project will be an epic, multilayered examination of the contented and comfortable streets of suburban Wilmette, IL.

According to Simon, the sprawling new series, tentatively titled The Township, will offer a searing and unsentimental glimpse into the happy social fabric of modern-day Wilmette, an area known for its deeply untroubled history and well-functioning political structure.

"As a writer, my mission is to tell a story that makes viewers think about how conditions in American cities are created," Simon told reporters. "We can't just turn our back on the staggering levels of happiness occurring in a place like Wilmette and say, 'Well, that's not my life.' We have to confront this tranquility head-on and shine a light on the institutions that are responsible for it."

Added Simon, "I want this show to be an unflinching dissection of how the system has in no way failed the people of this town."

According to HBO sources, the novelistic series will chronicle the interconnected web of police officers, politicians, tradespeople, teachers, and ordinary families who are "all complicit" in perpetuating the cycle of institutional effectiveness that makes Wilmette the seventh best place in the country to raise children.