June 18, 2014

Latest iSteve posts at The Unz Review

Just an update for those who haven't yet bookmarked my iSteve blog at The Unz Review:

The NYT notices something I've harped on for about a dozen years:

Latinos Onscreen, Conspicuously Few
Anna Bahr JUNE 18, 2014
If you went to the movies in 1946, when Latinos constituted barely 3 percent of the American population, you might have caught Carmen Miranda, reportedly the highest-paid woman in the world at [MORE]

Lloyd Green points out in The Daily Beast that Hillary's big advantage in 2016 might be that she is white.

POLITICS 06.09.14
GOP’s Biggest 2016 Problem: Clinton’s Numbers Among White Voters
Hillary Clinton’s strength among white voters is the key to 2016—and it spells nearly certain defeat and disaster for Republicans. Culture will likely shape [MORE]

As I've mentioned before, my favorite of the new web journalism startups is turning out to be Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, but precisely for the reasons that it's likely not making much money: it's not very partisan, ideological, or trendy, just pleasantly data-dweeby. In contrast, Ezra Klein's Vox hasn't done much of anything for me: didactic, [MORE]

From my review of Thomas Piketty in Taki's Magazine:

One of the surprises in Thomas Piketty’s best seller Capital in the Twenty-First Century is how grating the Frenchman’s prose style turns out to be. Granted, Piketty has valid reasons for being perpetually outraged at his fellow economists’ ignorance and cupidity. .. [MORE]

From The Daily Mail: 

'Send them back': Hillary says wave of illegal immigrant children should be 'reunited with their families'
Hillary Clinton stunned a CNN audience on Tuesday by saying that the US should deport thousands of unaccompanied minors who have flooded the American border  [MORE]

June 17, 2014

I'm blogging at The Unz Review

I'm now blogging full time at The Unz Review, so please go there and bookmark my blog.

My giant archives of my blog posts and your comments will be maintained both there and here.


June 12, 2014

The missing link between golf and evolutionary theory: Robert Chambers

The links of St. Andrews
At The Unz Review, I've posted an essay outlining a previously unnoticed historical link between golf and evolutionary theory.

Kids These Days: Permanent Record Paranoia

Over at The Unz Review, I reflect upon a scene out of a Philip K. Dick story.

Brat's Weberianism Denounced as Low Brow

Biden demands Congress pass urination reform now!

As I've been mentioning, I'm blogging now at The Unz Review -- please bookmark my new site.

I've got a post up on the wonderful new Joe Biden speech on immigration:
Biden: Amnesty Skepticism Is the Enlarged Prostate Blocking the "Constant, Unrelenting Streams" and "Not Dribbling" But "Significant Flows" of Prosperity

Ron just finished updating the Mobile version of The Unz Review, so check out my blog there on your smartphone or tablet and let me know in the comments how it's working.

June 10, 2014

Eric Cantor Loses

You can discuss House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's defeat in the GOP primary over in my comments at The Unz Review.

College loans make family formation unaffordable

Over at iSteve's new home The Unz Review, I discuss how the high cost of college and of college loans is a machine for creating future Democratic voters by reducing affordable family formation.

Donald Sterling makes the same mistake twice

Over at The Unz Review, I look into how Shelley Sterling asserted legal control of the Clippers.

June 9, 2014

Kon-Tiki vindicated?

Over at iSteve on The Unz Review, lots of new posts today, including one on whether a genome study has supported Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 theory/adventure.

A reader asks: Should I stop being a Republican?

Over at The Unz Review, a reader back from the Texas state convention asks "Should I remain a Republican?"

Try out the even more convenient commenting system over there.

Software upgrades over at Unz.com/iSteve

Please see 

June 7, 2014

Bitcoin seems to be working

Thanks to those who paid overnight via Coinbase. It seems to be working well.

For those who want to avail themselves of my latest media for fundraising, see the post below.


Panhandling ... now with Bitcoin!

I want to thank everybody who has participated in the first 2014 iSteve fundraiser so far.
Due to popular demand, I'm going to try out accepting Bitcoins. I'm using Coinbase as a sort of Paypal for Bitcoins.
This Coinbase startup is backed by the prestigious venture capital firm of Andreesen Horowitz so it has been checked out by people who understand this stuff a lot better than I do.
I've been leery about accepting Bitcoins in the past because I've long been tracked by extremely deep-pocketed organizations out to get me for ideological reasons. (Hi, Heidi! Hi, David!)
But now the IRS has issued instructions regarding Bitcoins. I'm having Coinbase immediately turn all Bitcoins I receive into U.S. dollars and deposit them in my bank account. At the end of the year, Coinbase will presumably send me a 1099 form for filing my taxes.
Payments are not tax deductible.
Below are links to two Coinbase pages of mine. This first is if you want to enter a U.S. dollar-denominated amount to pay me.
This second is if you want to enter a Bitcoin-denominated amount. (Remember one Bitcoin is currently worth many U.S. dollars.)
Thanks for your support.

June 6, 2014

June 4, 2014

The Milli Vanilli World Cup Team

Over at my iSteve blog's new home, The Unz Review, I have a new post on an interesting nature/nurture experiment being carried out with the U.S. World Cup soccer team:

C'mon over and check it out.

Obama Admin: "C'Mon Up, Undocumented Breeders!"

Over at the new host for my iSteve blog, The Unz Review:
Obama Admin: "C'Mon Up, Undocumented Breeders!"
By the way, a few tips on commenting over there.

Your privacy is a major priority.

You can comment under your real name, a long term pseudonym, or some one-time characters you randomly jab on the keyboard: e.g., "dsfvaewds" -- the latter two protect your privacy while allowing other commenters to respond coherently:

-- I was awestruck by dsfvaewds' brilliant distinction between ...

-- Indeed, but dsfvaewds still overlooks the impact of Godel's most subtle paradox ...

And so forth ...

As for emails, which won't be publicly displayed, feel free to make up a fake one. I'm told that the usefulness of this is that it serves as an impediment to somebody posting comments under your usual handle since the impostor won't know the email, real or fake. (So far, that hasn't been a problem.)


Currently at Unz.com/iSteve

Over at my iSteve blog's new host, http://www.Unz.com/iSteve, I have a few new posts up for you to read:

June 3, 2014

The Amish and Nicholas Wade

I have a new column up at Taki's Magazine on the Amish as offering a new perspective on the controversy over Nicholas Wade's A Troublesome Inheritance.

Bryan Caplan: "Why Sailer Scares"

Over at my iSteve blog's new host, The Unz Review (www.Unz.com/iSteve), I discuss Bryan Caplan's latest strawmonster argument:
"Why Sailer Scares"

The Decline of the Heiress

Check out my new post at iSteve's new home:

iSteve at The Unz Review

I’m happy to say I'm teaming up with my old friend and fellow 1970s Valley Dude Ron Unz to publish my long-running iSteve blog on Ron’s relatively new Unz Review at:

My long-time readers should make sure to check out all the other interesting stuff on The Unz Review while you are there. 

Like they used to say at MBA school in 1980: Synergy!

I’ve been doing a “soft opening” for several days there, and you’ll find 13 new posts that haven’t appeared on my old iSteve.blogspot.com site. There is so much new material for you to read that it doesn’t all fit on the front page there. You’ll have to hit “Older Items” at the bottom left of the page. Here are the last few days' new posts:

Attn. Dr. Piketty: Two Ways Old Money Dwindles

Old White Men: Who? Whom? Chapter MLXVII

Why Is Hamlet Tall and/or Thin?

Piketty's Reclusive Billionaires v. Howard Hughes

World War HIV

Pretty Fly for a White-Ified Guy

Welcome to ISteve on the Unz Review

Pinker on Genealogy

The Atlantic Discovers the Real Racism

Race and the Roads Not Taken

The Bonfire of the Inanities

IQ, the Death Penalty, and Witness-Murdering

On the Possible Extinction of the United Kingdom

The Tedium of American Cultural Dominance

Commenting seems to work pretty well over there, but it will of course be subject to the usual unpredictable lags in when I get to my desk and start moderating. (Note: I sleep largely on Transylvanian Time.) Check out how it works for you.

One thing I don’t like anymore at my age is changing platforms often. I used to love playing around with the latest computer technology, but it’s not 1996 anymore. (The switch to Blogger about six or eight years ago was stressful for me). I’d rather write new blog posts for you than fiddle with the pipes under my blog (or, come to think of it, do my dishes). But this modern WordPress system offers a lot of new capabilities that I intend to utilize over the coming weeks.

Of course, there will be glitches and transition issues. For example, hyper-aggressive spell-checking: in the title of the similar post on the new site, it’s supposed to be “iSteve” (of course), not "ISteve," but so far the new system insists upon capitalizing the “i” no matter how many times I correct it. No doubt, if I were 25 I would have already found the keystroke combo or whatever that temporarily subdues the raging WordPress spellchecker, but at my age, I'd rather compose rueful blogposts about my ineffectuality at dealing with new tech than study up on what to do about it. But we’ll get there …

More substantively, we will add a low bandwidth and small screen-friendly mobile option, which will probably take the rest of the week. Until then, you might want to set it to not show images.

I’m told that the little orange rss button on the top blue bar over there will give you your RSS feed. If you have a Reader, you can reset to the new address for blog activity:

And, of course, I’m having difficulty getting my Paypal buttons for my ongoing fundraising drive to show up over there. It wouldn't be iSteve without panhandling technical troubles. (The new Paypal Buttons are still working fine here on the old site, hint hint.)

Your hardcoded links to old posts on iSteve.blogspot.com should continue to work.

Anyway, take a look around and let me know what else you’d need or want. 

Thanks for your patience over the weekend and I think you’ll like what we will be putting together here.


June 1, 2014

Paypal for Panhandling

Welcome to the PayPal page for Steve Sailer's iSteve fundraising campaign.

NOT tax-deductible.

Click the drop down menus above each button to find the right amount for you.

One-time only payment options

Annual Subscription Payment Options

Monthly Subscription Payment Options


May 30, 2014

"X-Men: Days of Future Past"

X-Men movies exemplify the dominant Minority Supremacist ideology of our age. Mutant superheroes are oppressed by the boring normals, except for the few enlightened members of the uncool majority. Not surprisingly, Bryan Singer's X-Men movies are vastly popular with the teenage masses, who of course are all members of a talented minority, right? I mean, if you can't trust Bryan Singer, boys, who can you trust?

The latest X-Men comic book movie Days of Future Past is a time travel flick set in 1973, much like 2011's pretty good X-Men: First Class was set in in 1962. And I liked X-Men: First Class quite a bit because it was a reboot after Brett Ratner had trashed the continuity in 2006's X-Men: Last Stand, so it stood alone better than most. This new one devotes a lot of effort to patching over problems in the continuity, so it puts the franchise back in good shape, although it may not make for the most scintillating stand-alone flick. And whenever it runs into a problem it just throws some more movie stars at it, such as Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen, which is not the worst strategy. 

X-Men movies wouldn't have worked well as a franchise before the Web era since you really need to look up online before you go what all happened in the last movie and who all the teeming mutant freaks are again. I'm not really into doing my homework before a movie so I enjoyed the first one back in 2000 the most. 

Also, I, personally, I find 1962 cooler than 1973. And the previous film let Michael Fassbender as the vengeful Magneto, a mutant supremacist, hog tie and stomp James McAvoy as the nice Dr. Charles Xavier. 

In this one, McAvoy gets more emphasis and he's somewhat cooler -- he's supposed to resemble a 1973 British rock star fighting his heroin addiction in his country estate -- than in First Class. Unfortunately, Fassbender, who may be the top male star to emerge in this decade (although Andrew Garfield is terrific in the otherwise pointless Spider-Man reboot), doesn't get much to do other than to wave his hands around, although at the end he gets to deliver a rousing speech to Richard Nixon on the necessity of Mutant Supremacism.

A message from Mrs. Sailer

My father and I,
Cabo San Lucas, 1986
Today was a very good day in the first iSteve fundraising drive of 2014. I want to thank everybody who has made a sacrifice to help me out. 

My wife got home from work about 8PM tonight and I gave her the encouraging news as we ate dinner off paper plates. The reason we've been eating all our meals off paper plates for the last year or so is that the old dishwasher died and they don't make dishwashers anymore small enough to fit under our kitchen counters. The kitchen counters and cabinets are 63 years old. Dishwashers hadn't been invented yet in 1951, much less standardized in size at one inch larger than our counters can contain. 

On the other hand, the linoleum is only, I believe, 34 years old. Indeed, the kitchen floor seemed to be back in style around 2005, but at that rate won't come back into fashion again until maybe 2030.

Unfortunately, even a good day of fundraising doesn't put much of a dent in the fact that I owe my frugal, hardworking, and patient wife a kitchen that can accommodate a dishwasher so we don't have to drink solely out of Big Red Cups like some kind of frat house or perpetual Toby Keith video. (The neighbors are wondering how many kegs we go through per week). 

She's made a lot of sacrifices so I can write for you full time for the last 14 years. (For instance, she never complains about driving a 16 year old car with 237,000 miles on it.) Now that I think about it, I never mentioned to her when we got married in 1987 that when it came to all that "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health" stuff, that I was going to spend 1998 fighting cancer and then, when that was over, decide to spend the 21st Century as an unpopular writer. 

So, I need to make more money so I can get my wife the remodeled kitchen she deserves. Therefore, I'm going to keep asking for your contributions. The various ways to donate are described above to the right. The Google Wallet method may look daunting but is actually pretty simple.

As usual with my money transfer method attempts, something has stopped working: in this case the VDARE link as of the wee hours of Friday morning. I have hopes it will be fixed soon, and will let you know.
Once again, let me thank everybody who has donated so far.

The Clippers Challenge: Piketty v. "Forbes 400"

I like lists, so I've been a fan of the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans since it started in 1982. Economists, however, have been reluctant to include this data in their analyses. Personally, I think they mostly don't want to risk peeving the extremely rich, who could be nice friends or very nasty enemies.

But Thomas Piketty, for example, claims he is very much against looking at the Forbes 400 data on methodological grounds. He doesn't believe there is really so much churn among the superrich. Like people who write to tell me that Forbes undercounts the secret wealth of the Rothschilds, Piketty believes there are large numbers of hidden Old Money billionaires out there. Matthew Yglesias sums up Piketty's argument:
Piketty's interesting point on entrepreneurial wealth turns out to be that the famous Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America (and similar lists in other media outlets) is probably mistaken. 
Not just mistaken, in fact, but systematically biased to overrepresent entrepreneurs and underrepresent heirs and heiresses. This isn't a matter of ideology (though Piketty does think the publications in question are ideologically biased toward valorization of entrepreneurs) but of the limits of data. After all, the task of estimating the net worth of a major entrepreneur is relatively straightforward. Mark Zuckerberg is rich because as the founder of Facebook, he owns a lot of shares of Facebook stock. ...
But consider Zuckerberg's hypothetical future grandchildren. These grandchildren will, presumably, inherit a lot of money. But it's also reasonably likely that they won't play a management role in Facebook. And the prudent thing for them (or the creators of their trust funds) to do would be to hold a diversified portfolio of wealth rather than a large block of Facebook shares. They would be broadly invested in domestic and foreign stock markets, probably own a bunch of real estate, and maybe include some alternative investments (a hedge fund here, a commodity index there). 
Tracking it all down would be possible, though perhaps difficult, in the course of a contentious lawsuit in which someone has the power to issue subpoenas. But a merely curious journalist has no real way of finding out how the holder of a diverse portfolio of inherited financial assets is doing. 
In other words, we are almost certainly overcounting entrepreneurs among today's super-rich and undercounting the descendents and past entrepreneurs. And a generation or two from now we are very likely to underestimate the wealth of the descendants of today's entrepreneurial billionaires.

Okay, but if say, Zuckerberg has 3 children and they have 3 children each, that is 9 heirs to divvy his fortune up among.

The average member of the Forbes 400 has, last I checked, 3.6 children. Rich men tend to have children with a couple of wives over the course of a lifetimes. Heiresses probably don't have as many children as male heirs, but it seems likely that today's great fortunes will be divvied up an average of 3 to 10 grandchildren. If heirs marry heiresses, then wealth would be combined, but that doesn't seem all that common these days.

Another way to approach the question of Hidden Rothschild (or whomever) Wealth is too look at trophy purchases. Are scions of ancients fortunes buying up the Los Angeles Clippers or homes along the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach? Are they building their own personal golf courses? Golf courses are visible from the air, so they show up on Google Maps. I'm more or less familiar with most of the personal golf courses in Southern California, and they tend to have been built by rich guys you've heard of like Bob Hope, Walter Annenberg, and Jerry Perrenchio.

What about bidders on the Clippers?
Ballmer, who was chief executive of Microsoft for 14 years, beat out other bidders that included Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh and a group that included David Geffen, Oprah Winfrey, Larry Ellison and executives from the Guggenheim Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

You've probably heard of Ballmer (#21 on the Forbes 400), Geffen (#68), Ellison (#3), and Winfrey (#168). Ressler is an old Mike Milken guy who teamed up with Leon Black; he's now married to actress Jami Gertz. He's not on the Forbes 400, although Black is #85. I don't know who Steve Karsh is, but Bruce Karsh is an L.A. billionaire who is #296 on the Forbes 400 list, so "Steve Karsh" is likely a typo. Other reports have Bruce Karsh teaming with Ressler and retired basketball player Grant Hill.

It could be that Piketty would respond that only tawdry arrivistes wanted to overpay for the Clips (who don't even own their own arena). As a Southern Californian, perhaps I'm not aware of real old money. But Los Angeles has had a fair number of rich people since it became accessible by railroad in 1887. For example, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle's co-author, is the great-grandson of Edward Doheny, the original for the I-drink-your-milkshake oilman in There Will Be Blood who was involved in the Teapot Dome scandal 90 years ago. But a lot of dramatic and mundane stuff has happened to Old Man Doheny's money over the years. 

So this suggests a methodology to test Piketty's assumption that he is justified in ignoring Forbes 400 data: track the purchasers of trophy properties in the 21st Century and the donors of trophy gifts such as art museums and concert halls.

Are they typically Astors and Vanderbilts or are they Ballmers and Geffens?

May 29, 2014

Nicholas Wade defends "A Troublesome Inheritance"

From the Huffington Post:
By Nicholas Wade

In Defense of A Troublesome Inheritance
Posted: 05/29/2014 6:02 pm EDT Updated: 56 minutes ago  
Three attacks on my book A Troublesome Inheritance have appeared on The Huffington Post's blog this month. For readers puzzled by the stridency and personal animus of these compositions, I'd like to explain what is going on. 
The issue is how best to sustain the fight against racism in light of new information from the human genome that bears on race. 
My belief is that opposition to racism should be based on principle, not on science. If I oppose racism and discrimination as a matter of principle, I don't care what the science may say because I'll never change my position. As it happens, however, the genome gives no support to racism, although it does clearly show that race has a biological basis, just as common sense might suggest. 
Many social scientists, on the other hand, have long based their opposition to racism on the assertion that there is no biological basis to race. I doubt they personally believe this and suspect that they oppose racism on principle, just as I do. But they believe that other people, less enlightened and intelligent than they, will not abandon racism unless told that everyone is identical beneath the skin. 
So whenever someone points out that race is obviously biological, defenders of the social science position respond with attacks of whatever vehemence is necessary to get the inconvenient truth-teller to shut up. 
For many years this tactic has been surprisingly effective. It takes only a few vigilantes to cow the whole campus. Academic researchers won't touch the subject of human race for fear that their careers will be ruined. Only the most courageous will publicly declare that race has a biological basis. I witnessed the effects of this intimidation during the 10 years I was writing about the human genome for The New York Times. The understanding of recent human evolution has been seriously impeded, in my view, because if you can't study the genetics of race (a subject of no special interest in itself), you cannot explore the independent evolutionary histories of Africans, East Asians and Europeans. 
The attacks on my book come from authors who espouse the social science position that there is no biological basis to race. It is because they are defending an ideological position with a counterfactual scientific basis that their language is so excessive. If you don't have the facts, pound the table. My three Huffington Post critics -- Jennifer Raff, Agustín Fuentes and Jonathan Marks -- are heavy on unsupported condemnations of the book, and less generous with specific evidence. 

Here's Jennifer Raff's effort. Read the comments, especially by Chuck (from whom I borrowed that Darwin quote in my last column).

Here's Agustin Fuentes' piece, and here's a picture of Professor Fuentes, who looks like he should be playing goalie for Argentina's World Cup team.

And here's Marks' piece in the HuffPo.
Despite their confident assertions that I have misrepresented the science, which I've been writing about for years in a major newspaper, none of these authors has any standing in statistical genetics, the relevant discipline. Raff is a postdoctoral student in genetics and anthropology. Fuentes and Marks are both anthropologists who, to judge by their webpages, do little primary research. 
Most of their recent publications are reviews or essays, many of them about race. Their academic reputations, not exactly outsize to begin with, might shrink substantially if their view that race had no biological basis were to be widely repudiated. Both therefore have a strong personal interest (though neither thought it worth declaring to the reader) in attempting to trash my book. 
It would try the reader's patience to offer a point-by-point rebuttal of the three reviews, so I will address just the principal arguments raised by each. Let's start with Raff, who asserts, "Wade claims that the latest genomic findings actually support dividing humans into discrete races." In fact, I say the exact opposite, that races are not and cannot be discrete or they would be different species, but it's easier to attack an invented statement. 
By denying the existence of race, social scientists are intimidating biologists from pursuing this path. This is particularly exasperating given the fallacious nature of the belief that race must be denied if racism is to be quelled. The geneticist Theodore Dobzhansky observed, "People need not be identical twins to be equal before God, before the law, and in their rights to equality of opportunity." Unlike identical twins, we are not all clones. We exist as different races by virtue of our evolutionary histories. The recovery of this history is a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry, and from this advance of knowledge unimagined benefits may accrue.

Read the whole thing there.

More Clippers lunacy

From the LA Times:
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to buy Clippers for $2 billion 
Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer won a frenetic bidding war for ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, with his $2-billion offer setting a record price for an NBA team, The Times has learned.
Ballmer, who was chief executive of Microsoft for 14 years, was chosen over competitors that included Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh and a group that included David Geffen and executives from the Guggenheim Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to three individuals familiar with the negotiations. 
One of the individuals with knowledge of the negotiations said the Geffen group bid $1.6 billion and Ressler at $1.2 billion. 
The sale price is almost four times the highest previous NBA franchise sale price -- the $550 million paid earlier this month for the Milwaukee Bucks. It is second only to the Dodgers' 2012 sale for $2.1 billion as the highest price for any sports team in North America. 
The tentative deal still must receive the blessing of her husband, Donald Sterling, who has waxed and waned on the question of whether he would allow his wife to sell the team he has controlled for more than three decades.

Don Sterling got $2 BILLION for selling the Clippers? Uh, hey...I don't want any black people in my house! Make me an offer!
That's basically the same price as Guggenheim (with Magic Johnson as the frontman and Mike Milken on the phone) paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, which has prevented 70% of Dodger fans from watching their team on cable TV this year due to demands for much higher fees from cable companies.

So, expect a similar Greed Squeeze on Clippers fans now that the Evilest Man in the World no longer owns the team. I mean, it's not like the former CEO of Microsoft understands anything about exploiting market power to earn quasi-monopolistic profits.