Monday, July 28, 2014

The Seven Hurty Words: Tranny

About a month ago a parody twitter account sending up the prevailing attitudes and obsessions of the online magazine Salon came to wide attention. Here's Salon's true twitter account. And here are tweets from each, I forget which is which:
 From wet T-shirts to oral sex contests: @TracyClarkFlory on the history of sexploitative party games 
 Checking a woman's facts is another form of mansplaining. Here's how we can teach men to not do it
My favorite from the satirical site:
10 words that were OK in 2013 but are NOT OK in 2014
I like how this captures both the casual presumption of authority (of course we have the right to outlaw words!) and the ever quickening pace Progress requires. Ten words excised this year? Why not? Let it be a thousand, if a thousand offences are found. We can't work fast enough to straighten out the language.*

Still the time frame, not the principle, is where the joke stretches plausibility. Ten in a single year does seem a bit high. But there certainly must be words that were acceptable in 2013 but are destined to lapse into ignominy by the end of 2014. Here are some candidates.

1. "Tranny"
For the time being you can still use this in an automotive context, but expect that to change soon. Otherwise, tranny, which began 2013 under mild pressure from, formerly, trannies, looks assured to end 2014 beyond the pale and is on its way to nothing less than Hyphenate Unmentionable Status (like "N-word", but this would be of a much lower order, of course). That is, it cannot even be used in context, but only alluded to with biblical reverence by a prurient, juvenile phrase (a curious combination). Well done, ladies and gentlemen. And lady-gentlemen.

Fittingly this was consecrated by the ritual humiliation of a powerful, annoying homosexual (of the type which trannies are actually ideally suited to hate--the fag wag with a mean streak; I mean, how long, pre-respectability, have the girls been enduring the taunting gibes of this class?).
I refer of course to Dan Savage, who momentarily reacquired his Catholicism (if only the Church weren't doing away with boy-buggery!), issuing a several thousand word apologia defending his right to use the word--not at will or publicly, mind you, but in context, privately and among the like-minded, for the purpose of condemning it. He tried doing that at a University of Chicago meeting with student activists when he was directed by a distraught freshman (not just distraught in the way all freshmen are, but transcendentally distraught, by Hate) "to stop using the 't-slur' ." Dazed, Savage lapsed into the role of the conservative decrying pc: "I guess it's not the t-word anymore. I missed the memo."

The word had been slated for removal for a couple of years now, as young trannies coming of age (whatever that means in this context) seek out evidence of their suffering at the hands of normality. This is getting harder and harder in the current climate requiring not repression but celebration of their confusion; still, it has to be done, as all the celebration requires at least the perception of suffering. But then Ru Paul went all hormonal one day last Spring and defended it, while denouncing the aggregated self-absorption that is World War T:
Cause most people who are trans have been through hell and high water… But some people haven’t and they’ve used their victimhood to create a situation where, ‘No! You look at me! I want you to see me the way you’re supposed to see me!’ You know, if your idea of happiness has to do with someone else changing what they say, what they do, you are in for a fucking hard-ass road… I dance to the beat of a different drummer. I believe everybody — you can be whatever the hell you wanna be, I ain’t stopping you. But don’t you dare tell me what I can do or what I can’t — say or can’t do. It’s just words, like, ‘Yeah, you hurt me!’ Bitch, you need to get stronger.
Paul was countermanded by a younger (and more manly) trans activist, and in his "Good Indian" defense Savage noted he yielded years ago to young Lady Manjaw's desires. But the nursery is calling the shots now. Savage did manage to point out the hypocrisy of his child tormentors (of the organization "Queers United in Power", or QUIP, because nothing says humor and fun like queers united in power): "Somehow no one seems to give a shit that lesbian gay elders object to the use of the word "queer."
He's still oblivious: it isn't queer that is the operative word here but power. Years from now Savage will re-emerge from obscurity, like Ru Paul above assuming the role of elder curmudgeon, to lambaste whatever bizarre permutations pc is taking on by then. But, Progress having advanced from our dark times, his counsel will not merely be rejected, he'll be hunted down by a mob and beaten to death with rubber dildos. It gets worse, Dan.

*Soon, God willing and if Progress is not derailed by Reaction, this phrase too will no longer be acceptable; if "straighten" can mean "fix" or "make right", then "straight" is normative  and ultimately nothing can be normative--hence the need for the "cis-" prefix applied to heterosexuals. We are all hyphenated humans now.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Alternative America Phrasebook

Your Guide to the Idiom of Mass Delusion

Stereotype, n. euspeak, 
1. Unwelcome expectation resulting from past experience. 
2. Gauche but true.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Screaming Subtext

Via Sailer, I see USA Today has bravely exposed the latest outrage perpetrated by the white male oppressor class with the clever title Status update: Facebook not so diverse:

Facebook, the world's most popular social network, released statistics on the makeup of its workforce that do not reflect the demographics of its users around the globe.

Civil Rights law does not--yet--require an employer's workforce to mirror the racial composition of its global customer base. In the case of Facebook this standard would mean its workforce would have to be representative of the global population. The 1991 Civil Rights Act allows a prospective employee to make a prima facie case of race or gender discrimination based on statistical disparity between an employer's work force and the pool of available workers [emphasis added].

Indeed, Facebook and other tech companies' own continuing efforts to expand ("reform") immigration and the HB-1 visa program are deliberate attempts to grow or alter that pool of available workers to their advantage. If anti-discrimination crusaders wanted to make a case of it, they could argue these are deliberate attempts to deny employment to blacks, Hispanics and women. At the very least they could point out the disparate impact that comes of such policies. They would of course have to ignore the fact that this effort also disproportionately excludes whites. But they're already getting away with that--at 34% Asians are overwhelmingly over-represented and whites, at 50%, are under-represented (yet the caption under the pie-chart still inexplicably reads "mostly white").

But the real irony is that it takes a relatively heterogeneous group to innovate in the first place. The history of technological progress is one of such groups as these producing inventions and innovations that, through widespread adoption, come to benefit all of humanity. We owe the modern world to what we now see as festering pools of exclusion.
So the real question isn't when are White Males going to stop discriminating? but when is everybody else going to start contributing?
(Of course Asians are contributing like mad, but to the forces of inclusion they are, most of the time, the Invisible Clan)

But this all cuts to the real problem with the marching assertion that minorities and women are "victims" of modern America: following this logic modernity and its putative benefits in material progress and enlightenment are of no real value. One has to believe by implication that, for one instance, black Americans would be better living as their ancestors did before they were sold off to the Atlantic slave trade. One could very well make this argument from a reactionary point of view; but somehow I don't think it's what the progressive order intends. That or they are left positing by omission that somehow African societies, free of slavery and colonialism, would have found their own way to modernity. A sort of collective subconscious awareness of the inconsistency of it all might explain the curious durability of the Boasian approach to anthropology disallowing any measure of superiority or inferiority between cultures.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sucked into the comment hole

Alerted by, where else, Sailer's, to a minor WWT skirmish, I could no longer restrain myself and responded to Tyler Cowen's declaration that how we treat transexuals is the best measure of our overall level of tolerance, and understanding the importance of tolerance:
Obviously once someone like Mr Cowen declares the "best measure" of society's justice how it treats a given group he's created a powerful entity--even if their historical grievance is just. And in the rush to establish that measure of justice Cowen et al--to the extent they are successful and WWT is a stunning success thus far--slam the door on any further inquiry in to the nature of the identity. Just for me to suggest here that we don't fully understand is heresy. Of course McCloskey et al are going to explain and the decent people await, hushed.
So, ironically, the true measure of an enlightened society is now it's polite lack of curiosity, doubt, skepticism, really; isn't it time we updated that term?
What's truly stupid about it all is that there's never been a better time for gender-confused kids (are we even allowed to speak in such terms any more?) regarding tolerance. At least in white society. Until you've all corrected the disgrace that is their [whites'] majority status, the LGBT are safe.
But nobody's giving any more thought to the possibility we're encouraging what we would--without WWT--otherwise classify as mental illness sometimes culminating in self-mutilation. If we're going to cite all the presumptive teen suicides that happen due to "intolerance", taking advocates entirely at their word, it is then perfectly legitimate to consider, just for starters, the cases of resentful post-ops who are unhappy. What is the net in misery or happiness? Do you really trust McCloskey to have an unbiased opinion, one not moderated by personal resentment, ambition and, yes, prejudice? The real problem with the whole concept of marginalized identity groups is only they get to define themselves. I ask the liberal: of the various critiques of, say, whiteness, masculinity, class, religion, etc, do they not increase our understanding of these things? Why does the perception of victim-hood change that? Why do you ignore the potential for abuse in this reality you create?
But is McCloskey's aggressive advocacy going to result in a far greater net misery? Is McCloskey, in her zeal and ambition, creating an identity group which she can lead, with disregard for the individual members of that group? If our greatest measure is how "well" we treat this presumed class of people who we are not allowed to identify; who have a unique proprietary right to their "identity" (but you know, it isn't really the aggregate voice of all them, but McCloskey and the few other best and most ambitious who define it, with the blunt thug tactics they deployed against Bailey and with the kitsch that is all the rest of WWT solidarity). [bad editing left in here]
This is not tolerance. This is power.
Life is so much more fun and interesting once you give up the ghost of false morality.
It brings to mind something I've been thinking about lately: how understanding actually depends a great deal on what we now identify as bias, as racism, or sexism, and on. Any honest attempt to understand the world has to include what is now deemed bigoted: the bias that comes from having one's own confident identity against which to measure the world. Anything else is fraudulent. We've lost something to the new post-Christian order assigning the highest value to what is sometimes questionably called "tolerance".

First the obvious perversions of the concept by various strains of Theory, but also even the valid need to avoid offence necessarily chills the culture. I'm struck by this whenever I find an example in an old book or film of something that I know wouldn't be allowed today. It often regards that core black/white obsession, but now includes "sexism" and is being quickly expanded to include such as the transgendered. Note this example from Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being, which starts out on a philosophical note (and leaving aside whether you find it all too pretentious or not--not the point here and I only choose it because I happened upon a paperback copy someone else left lying about recently and read this on the first page):

...its horror, sublimity, and beauty mean nothing. We need take no more note of it than a war between two African kingdoms in the fourteenth century, a war that altered nothing in the destiny off the world, even if a hundred thousand blacks perished in excruciating torment.

Such as this would not be allowed today or would be attended with the kind of hysterics with which Dr. McCloskey and gang there tried to silence author Steven Bailey, who actually wrote an interesting book (found it in e-format at my library). Further, the conditioning of people now is such that many or most will come across such a quote with the sort of confusion that would have confounded and troubled the religiously devout in another time. If Cowen and crew have their way, we all will experience this exquisitely conditioned response. Tolerance, like politeness, requires a certain amount of ignorance.

Come to think of it this quote ideally illustrates the problem because here he's very casually acknowledging that the blackness of those Africans, as much as their distant time and place, make them remote from him, and he does this acknowledging, marveling even at, the reality that as human beings their suffering can be no less or more than his own--and still. But it's in recognizing the cruel irony of this that some greater understanding comes--a means of understanding as or more important than empathy, detachment. Detachment is separation and even a bit of alienation.

Indeed, its opposite, empathy, is the worst sort of contrivance, falsely adopting the other guy's prejudices and self interest. In abolishing the validity of one's own point of view--whether it be Western or White or Male, but it could be anything, we're trying to abolish point of view itself, which is not only absurd, it's impossible. One's own point of view is inescapable, so contriving to do away with it lays a false groundwork for understanding. But then, understanding isn't the point of tolerance at all; the point is acceptance. They are not the same and the latter, again, often requires ignorance.

To the extent identity can be controlled socially, culturally and politically, white identity is de-legitimized and pathologized. I don't want to lament that here, yet again, but just point out the unique curiosity of it.

Without an identity as a starting point, one that necessarily includes race or sex, you have no true point of reference. It probably sucks for us that the people best at the sort of conceptualization that comes with detachment, white males, and who, in large part through it, brought us to this perversion of it, are the ones who are now denied identity itself; that or their identity, and theirs alone, is seen as something of an affliction.
But any identity is an affliction.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Going Around the Trend

From Nikki Finke:
Happy Fathers Day, everyone. (I know it sucks to spend the day with civilians…) And on that note you should know that Disney and Warner Bros are sorting out the rights to Father Of The Bride 3 with Charles Shyer to write and direct (Nancy Meyers passed) and Steve Martin to return. (What else does he have going?) The twist in this threequel is that Little Matty is now 29 and gay and getting married to a Navy SEAL’s son. Father of the bride George is "thunderstruck and speechless" and has problems with the whole gay thing. So wife Nina kicks him out of the house, according to the pitch which Disney loved. Shyer is writing it with Marc Klein, David Hoberman producing again. "It’s a timely idea," my source said. "I told Charles I just hope it goes forward before gay stops trending…"
My question is, what are we in for once Gay stops trending?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Case for Refutations, I

Respect, just a little bit...

Two recent publications from last month, Ta-Nehisi Coates' Atlantic article arguing for slavery reparations, and former New York Times science editor Nicholas Wade's book asserting the reality of racial differences, A Troublesome Inheritance, met with very different receptions from what is regarded as respectable opinion. The timing is coincidental, but I believe they represent two contradictory answers to the bedeviling problem of black inequality that are on a collision course, one coming from a conventional point of view and the other, if the mixture of silence and outrage with which conventional thinkers have received it are any indication, from the bowels of hell.

Mainstream political discourse is limited to two purely environmental explanations for black inequality. The right blames some combination of the welfare state and declining morals for inculcating a culture of illegitimacy, criminality and idleness; the left blames ongoing white racism and the legacy of slavery and segregation.

However these terms of engagement were arrived at they've served as a sort of gentleman's agreement that seems to suit mainstream actors just fine: the right gets to condemn the welfare state and the left gets to condemn white racism. As for the individual wishing to participate in public life, he may place himself anywhere along a continuum between racism on one hand and culture on the other as the ultimate cause, assigning some proximate value to the other effect, but he cannot stray from the dichotomy.

In asserting the reality of race and the heritability of behavior, Wade has strayed. Despite refusing to draw it himself his argument leaves to unavoidable implication the probability inequality is more a failure of black ability than of white justice. It's likely no accident he published his book after retiring from his regular post at the Times (we've become so used to purges for dissent the Daily Caller attributed his status as former science editor to the book's publication--without taking the time to verify). Meanwhile Coates' career is taking off as a result of his essay.

Wade is the first respectable mainstream figure to leave the reservation in a long, long time and he is riding roughshod over sacred ground. What's lost in the mainstream controversy surrounding this popular science book is how little real controversy exists among geneticists.
In his 1975 book, Race, biologist John Baker cites a work from 1928 by Russian-born University of Minnesota professor of sociology Pitirim Sorokin, Contemporary Social Theories, which included a chapter on the debate about genetic racial differences (while taking neither side), as marking, in Baker's view:

"...the close of the period in which both sides in the ethnic controversy were free to put forward their views, and authors who wished to do so could give objective accounts of the evidence pointing in each direction. From the beginning of the thirties onwards scarcely anyone outside Germany and its allies dared to suggest that any race might be in any respect or in any sense superior to any other, lest it should appear that the author was supporting or excusing the Nazi cause. Those who believed in the equality of all races were free to write what they liked, without fear of contradiction...Sorokin's chapter is well worth reading today, as a reminder of what was still possible before the curtain came down. In recent years a corner of it has already been lifted."

Baker was writing nearly forty years after Sorokin and it's been almost another forty since the optimistic note he struck with that last sentence. Meanwhile, despite the failures of such alternatives as Freudian theory and radical behaviorism, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union and America's ongoing failure to eliminate racial disparities--what might be called behaviorism's two biggest failed experiments--and regardless of the recent revolution in genomics, Baker's "curtain" not only has not lifted it has become iron, descended firmly between the mass of accumulated knowledge and respectable opinion.

Those failures, and the reemergence of hereditarianism within the study of genetics in recent years (if not outside of it), have prompted numerous false land-sightings by hereditarians so long at sea. Some see in the period between 1994 (when the Bell Curve was published) and 2005 a time of relative perestroika (Peter Brimelow's "interglacial") when it might have been reasonably assumed the tide was finally turning, at least in favor of an open debate. That thawing was cataloged by John Derbyshire in 2009 for National Review Online; as if to demonstrate how little permanent effect it had the same magazine would purge him exactly two years later for his (in)famous "Talk" post. Each year new studies come in, fallacies are debunked, frauds are exposed; and the prevailing narrative grows stronger, as if inversely proportionate to any empirical or objective success. Whether or not the existence of racial differences has been proven over the last generation, the durability of denial has proven stronger.

Perhaps the proponents of the culture-only explanations believe any inherent disparities are small enough to be made insignificant or ignored with some combination of policy, education and, on the conservative side, bourgeois values. Needless to say, such hopes would have to be fading by now from long exposure to failure. As for the prospects for the restoration of the old virtues, it's hard to see that happening for any of us. The sexual revolution is here to stay. Progressive ideology, defined by its opposition to bourgeois values, needs no excuse for further hostility to them, but it finds one in black inequality--in that sense black inequality, specifically our obsession with it, has become just one more corrosive eating away at those values. But in the present milieu we have to either presume no difference between white and black norms despite all evidence to the contrary, or we have to dismiss their significance altogether.

Thus Coates, having already sought to tie present black dysfunction to historical racism by way of a lengthy account of housing discrimination in Chicago, sets out to deny both the importance of fatherhood and civility or the reality of blacks' vastly different concepts of them:

One thread of thinking in the African American community holds that these depressing numbers partially stem from cultural pathologies that can be altered through individual grit and exceptionally good behavior. (In 2011, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, responding to violence among young black males, put the blame on the family: “Too many men making too many babies they don’t want to take care of, and then we end up dealing with your children.” Nutter turned to those presumably fatherless babies: “Pull your pants up and buy a belt, because no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.”) The thread is as old as black politics itself. It is also wrong. The kind of trenchant racism to which black people have persistently been subjected can never be defeated by making its victims more respectable. The essence of American racism is disrespect. And in the wake of the grim numbers, we see the grim inheritance.

Coates obscures the true context of Nutter's remarks: an outbreak in Philadelphia of violent black "flash-mobs"--impromptu recreational race riots organized via social media--in the summer of 2011. This was not merely the depressing and familiar routine of "violence among black males". In fact it wasn't limited to males and included children barely in their teens. That Coates sees in paternal responsibility and refraining from violence "individual grit and exceptionally good behavior" demonstrates the bizarre contortions necessary to explain black behavior if heredity is disallowed--and the behavior he excuses demonstrates the disastrous effect of that denial. Elsewhere in his essay he continues:

From the White House on down, the myth holds that fatherhood is the great antidote to all that ails black people. But Billy Brooks Jr. [victim of street crime] had a father. Trayvon Martin had a father...Adhering to middle-class norms has never shielded black people from plunder..."

The "plunder" theme holds throughout his essay, which aims to construct a narrative of black industriousness thwarted up to the present by white malice. Needless to say he has to ignore the vast sums spent and massive federal effort of the last half century to encourage greater black participation in the economy--among other things he dismisses affirmative action out of hand because despite its practical effect in transferring wealth to blacks, affirmative action's

...precise aims, for instance, have always proved elusive. Is it meant to make amends for the crimes heaped upon black people? Not according to the Supreme Court. In its 1978 ruling in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, the Court rejected “societal discrimination” as “an amorphous concept of injury that may be ageless in its reach into the past.” Is affirmative action meant to increase “diversity”? If so, it only tangentially relates to the specific problems of black people—the problem of what America has taken from them over several centuries.

This confusion about affirmative action’s aims, along with our inability to face up to the particular history of white-imposed black disadvantage, dates back to the policy’s origins. “There is no fixed and firm definition of affirmative action,” an appointee in Johnson’s Department of Labor declared. “Affirmative action is anything that you have to do to get results. But this does not necessarily include preferential treatment.”

Where does one begin? The Bakke ruling introducing "diversity" was an attempt to rationalize a manifestly unconstitutional practice specifically to continue the project of elevating blacks economically, socially and politically. Yet for Coates, the very real transfer of wealth that has represented and the degradation of the constitution that is the "diversity" ruse (now its own monstrous sham) employed to continue it, mean nothing because it all somehow "only tangentially relates to the specific problems of black people." What are the "specific problems of black people"? Apparently just the grim facts we already know, that their poverty is deeper, their neighborhoods more blighted, their behavior more violent, combined with the historical humiliation of slavery and, if Coates is right, the continuing reality of segregation.

But those same pathologies, combined with the intense bigotry of blacks, is the motive force behind white flight and segregation. The segregation of the past is invoked to explain, among other things, the violence and chaos of the present; what we don't allow is the possibility the violence and chaos of the present explain the segregation of the past (and present, for that matter; the same white liberals who encourage Coates' emotional musings are almost entirely ensconced in their own highly segregated neighborhoods). That very repression itself is evidence against the assumption.
White flight anticipated quite accurately the the degradation that followed the black takeover of urban America. To assume it's nothing more than self-fulfilling prophecy because whites took their money and civility with them is to assume a complete lack of black agency, much less responsibility. Just who are the racists here?

Coates isn't about to suggest limiting affirmative action to blacks or replacing it with reparations, heaven forbid, and he has no new ideas for how the money will be directed beyond more efforts at desegrgation--because there are none. He's arguing that reparations will transcend the long cycle of failure merely by being directed specifically at the problem of black inequality.

But one can sense Coates' real issue is with the broadening of affirmative action and victim status to other groups, who are now successfully copying black grievance as political strategy. That strategy has proven quite effective in turning black failure into political power and government subsidy. Without the assumption that disparate impact is always proof of of discrimination, where would black political power be? What would it have to trade on? Indeed, where would Ta-Nehisi Coates be without it? It's the alchemy of demagogy, turning the lead of failure into the gold of patronage.

But the sudden haste of this renewed push for reparations, and the suspiciously coordinated appearance of the reception of Coates' essay, complete with helpful suggestions as to how reparations might be raised (such as simply printing a trillion or so dollars a la quantitative easing) suggest a recognition on the left that time and the patience of non-black America are running out; further, with Barack Obama still in office the time may never be better (the author will neither confirm nor deny having met privately with the president shortly before he would have begun writing the essay).

As America becomes more racially diverse the old black/white dynamic is threatened--recall Eric Holder's "nation of cowards" speech", what Steve Sailer described as a signal to other  grievance groups to move to the "back of the bus" and recognize black primacy of place atop the hierarchy of grievance. Others are adapting the black model of turning grievance into power and cash. Coates, in decrying "diversity" wants to make that successful model somewhat proprietary. But the question as to the cause of black inequality--white injustice or black inadequacy--becomes more troublesome still. Because one of these is a corrosive destroying the fabric of the republic and society.

But to return to the question of values, despite Coates' cavalier dismissal of them, might a return to traditional family values help? One of the assumptions of desegregation is that pathologies will no longer be concentrated, and presumably blacks, freed of concentrations of other blacks, will be able or willing to adopt whiter norms. One of Wade's troublesome heresies is to suggest Western institutions can't be adopted by most non-Western societies because

If institutions were purely cultural, it should be easy to transfer an institution from one society to another.

Wade limits himself to societal-level comparisons. But he accepts the Cochran-Harpending thesis of continuing, accelerated evolution to the present day--contradicting the old convention holding evolution to have stopped about forty thousand years ago that, as if by design, left room for egalitarian assumptions that no meaningful evolution transpired after humans began splitting off into separate geographical populations after the migration out of Africa. Wade repeatedly describes evolution as "recent, regional and copious", and again presents us with an unavoidable implication: that an individual's genetic legacy must leave him more suited for that type of society in which his genetic makeup was forged and less suited, to the extent it differs, for one to which he has been "transferred" by the migration, forced or voluntary, of recent ancestors.

If this is true it explains black inequality and further means it's no more fair to declare it America's collective moral failure than to declare it blacks' individual moral failure. It's a problem without a solution and one--perhaps not by coincidence--we will not allow ourselves to identify. So we are condemned to a history of failed attempts to square this circle; a history that may eventually include reparations.

But is the characterization that blacks "suffer" from being Americans, from living in a modern economy and a liberal society, simply because these disparities outrage blacks and progressives, accurate? If we are different, what does equality even mean? Do blacks live in misery, or is the perception a projection of white values? Are we merely obsessing over the wrong metrics? If it can be shown blacks are happier on average than whites, does that make a difference?

A little over a year after having the temerity to suggest black teenagers pull up their pants, that same Mayor Nutter denounced Philadelphia Magazine for publishing an article about, among other things, the violent harassment of whites in the city. That article's author pointed out the remarkable reversal that has taken place in American cities with large black populations: it is whites who now "know their place" in regard to blacks. That knowledge has been arrived at by intimidation and violence--a reality that has long been taken for granted and is somehow both a running joke and a grim, humiliating reality. The essence of black and white relations now is indeed "disrespect", as Coates asserts--but of demoralized whites by confident blacks. White adaptations to this relatively new reality include submissiveness and copying--generally to the individual's detriment--of black cultural norms seen as more genuine. An ongoing, broad kulturkampf  has made "white" derogatory in not one but two ways: culturally synonymous with weak, effeminate and awkward, and politically synonymous with oppressive or illegitimate.

So it's no surprise blacks consistently demonstrate higher levels of self-esteem than other groups and--unique among racial groups--their self-esteem isn't dependent on any sense of accomplishment as these researchers were surprised to find:

...given that personal efficacy and self-esteem are positively correlated, and given that blacks have relatively high self-esteem, the fact that blacks have relatively low personal efficacy is something of an anomaly.

Coates and company argue, among other things, there is a psychological mechanism tying past discrimination to present dysfunction--the logic of the "legacy" of slavery/segregation argument. Study after study fails to find proof of the wounded individual psyches posited by these just-so surmises. Inequality is taken as a priori evidence of repression. But these studies tend more often to reinforce stubborn, long-held folk impressions ("racist stereotyping") of racial differences in psychology and intelligence reflected in behavior.

The alternative to the present order, defining justice as equality of opportunity and accepting the resulting inequality of results, does not appear politically or socially tenable--if our elites will not allow it, blacks, and now our growing Hispanic population, will not accept it. If we differ in abilities, then the enforced measure of fairness--disparate impact--ensures no end to our strife, no end to the demagogy of such as Coates, and no end to the escalating repression and, yes, plunder of such as reparations. Slavery then is indeed America's "original sin", and one for which we cannot and will not atone. Dark days are ahead.

[more later]

Lions and Tigers and Goyim, oh my!

The "nobody-I-know-voted-for-Nixon" head scratching continues over at the New York Times. Anything to avoid the obvious question with the more obvious answer--absent the perception of Cantor as a high-profile champion of a deeply unpopular Amnesty, would Professor Brat have had a snowball's chance of unseating the powerful incumbent? There, mystery solved in one question. But as we're not going there, we might as well trot out some favorite who, whom hobby-horses:
Voters Saw Cantor as Out of Touch, but Not Because of His Jewish Faith, Analysts Say 
 
As the lone Jewish Republican in Congress, representing a deeply conservative, overwhelmingly Christian district in Virginia while dreaming of becoming the first Jewish speaker of the House, Representatives Eric Cantor always had a delicate task.
“He’s a public official in an overtly non-Jewish world,” said Rabbi Gary S. Creditor of Temple Beth El in Richmond, which Mr. Cantor attended as a boy. “He didn’t flaunt being a Jew, and he did not highlight it, but he did not deny it, either.”
Not that Brat should be entirely above suspicion:
Mr. Brat, a professor at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, speaks often about a return to “Judeo-Christian values” and cites his “belief in God.” In an interview on Fox News with Sean Hannity after his surprise victory, he said he felt that “God acted through the people on my behalf.”
Funny how it's the guy who talks about Judeo-Christian values is automatically suspected of being anti-Semitic, but I get it.
Mr. Cantor’s district was redrawn in 2010 to make it tilt even more to the right — a factor that some analysts say may have in the end helped Mr. Brat. Roughly one-quarter of 1 percent of the district’s population is Jewish, according to the Berman Jewish Databank, a project of the Jewish Federations of North America.
Which is vastly different from the, say, one or two percent Jews likely represented in his previous boundaries. The proportion of the Jewish vote hasn't been putting him over the top since he first ran in 2000. And as Stolberg notes, he's benefited from the pro-Israel sentiment of his conservative Christian constituents for a long time, while recently--if this article is to be believed--alienating Jewish supporters for not getting Amnesty passed:
In the House, Mr. Cantor has been a steadfast supporter of Israel, an issue important to Jews and Christian conservatives alike. But Jews in the Richmond area appear divided on him. Jewish Democrats are angry because he has stood in the way of a comprehensive immigration overhaul — an issue that, paradoxically, helped cost him his job, when Mr. Brat attacked him for supporting legal residency for young people brought here illegally.
And that's as close as Stolberg gets to Cantor's Amnesty problem; it "helped cost him his job." Yeah, and I also understand a collision with an iceberg factored into the sinking of the Titanic.

Update: Stolberg's article has already been re-(excuse the phrase)christened:
Opponent Resonated With Christian Conservatives in a Way Cantor Could Not

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A matter of power and death

John Boehner's choice of phrase in lamenting last night's upset of Eric Cantor was a clumsy but no doubt sincere moment of pathos, unintentionally revealing the love of prestige and influence that fills the heart, such as it is, of the typical politician:

"My thoughts are with Diana and their kids tonight."

 

Did somebody die, John? 
Shudder to think of those poor kids* having to grow up in the household of a mere lobbyist. All of our thoughts and prayers are with them. Word that John was later seen in his office weeping to the strains of Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All could not be confirmed.

*maybe he's referring to Cantor's other "kids". 

Sunday, June 08, 2014



Odd Nosdam, Fat Hooks

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Real Horror Show

Mickey Kaus today:

Still, you’d think the embarrassment of this latest surge – with thousands of recently arrived illegals being shipped all over the country, obviously never to leave –would be enough to kill amnesty, at least for this year. But you’d have thought the slack job market would be enough to kill amnesty, and you’d have thought Obama’s troubles (and the chance for GOPs to retake the Senate) would be enough to kill amnesty. You’d have thought Marco Rubio’s precipitous drop in the polls, after he championed the “Gang of 8″ bill, would be enough to kill amnesty. And you’d have thought the administration’s release of illegal immigrant criminals back into the population would be enough to kill amnesty.

But amnesty is hard to kill.

 

Indeed. Riddle it with bullets. Run it over. Set it on fire. Nothing seems to work. Amnesty has become like bad horror film that nobody pays to see, yet returns every year in various sequels, prequels and re-boots, along with hectoring ad campaigns denouncing us for not, finally, going to see the latest version. Of course this would never happen to a real Hollywood production, because of money. Likewise, Amnesty doesn't have to prove its popular appeal, because of money.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Can the Washington Post be trusted?

The Washington Post has an article up about declining levels of trust among Americans:
 Data from the DDB Life Style Survey indicates that trust began to increase throughout the country after World War II, and rose steadily through the 1960s. According to the data, trust peaked in 1967–1968, when roughly 56% of survey respondents agreed that “most people can be trusted.” From there, trust began to decline, and the trend has continued ever since. 
Gee, I don't know, did anything happen, say around 1965, that might have contributed to this trend? Then there's this: 
Robert Putnam attributed it to the influences of television, the Internet, and other, socially isolating inventions, though not everyone has agreed with him. Dietland Stolle and Laura Nishikawa say that the media has influenced some parents to instill distrust in their children, despite how the parents themselves may have felt about trust. As with the other factors in this analysis, it is safe to assume that many influences converged on this relationship. 
No mention at all of Putnam's recent findings about the predictable erosion of trust in a multicultural society. I mean, that surely qualifies as a candidate for one of "many influences", no? Who ya gonna trust?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Words

It is not "race" that has lost its usefulness as a word or concept, but "racism".

Of course this all depends on who defines "usefulness". Who, whom, always.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens...

Good news everywhere. Incredible, really. The "War on Terror" is over--we won. To celebrate, the NSA is holding an open house.
The economy is no longer in danger of slipping back into recession. Full employment has become a reality; not a single able-bodied American is out of work. The Fed has figured out how to unwind quantitative easing with zero risk. The budget is balanced and the current account deficit is projected to remain in surplus for eternity.
Racial strife ended abruptly last night. Urban crime is a thing of the past.  Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and the Reverend Wright held a joint news conference this morning to reveal their respective careers have in fact been elaborate hoaxes.
"We were just fucking with you this whole time. I mean, come on, you guys are too easy. What do we look like, buffoonish demagogues?" Sharpton said, shaking his head amiably.
Teenagers are pulling up their pants.
The Chinese have apologized for spying on us and are opening up their former cyber-espionage operations for full inspection. To make amends they've cancelled our debt. Vladimir Putin issued a tearful apology last night regarding the ongoing unpleasantness in Ukraine, saying "whatever you guys decide, I'm cool with it". Iran has followed suit regarding their nuclear program.
The Palestinians have renounced all claims to the West Bank and Gaza; the rest of the Arab nations are jockeying--good-naturedly, of course--for the right to settle them within their borders.
The last of the major diseases was cured this afternoon.
Jonah Hill has promised to never step in front of a camera again.

Looks like "it's all good" is no longer an insipid saying, but literal reality.

How can it be? Well, what else could explain having time for this?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Q: Why did Mark Cuban cross the road?

A: To be denounced as a racist.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Some people have personalities, others have tattoos.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Name that Author

From this lack of knowledge there has arisen that fine dictum of morality so much bandied about by the philosophical crowd, that men are everywhere the same, and that having everywhere the same vices, it is rather useless to attempt to characterize the different races; which is just about as reasonable as if one were to say that one could not distinguish Peter from James, because each of them has a nose, a mouth, and eyes.
Will one never see the return of those happy times when people did not concern themselves with philosophy, but when such men as Plato, Thales, or Pythagoras, smitten with an eager desire for knowledge, undertook the longest journeys solely to obtain information, and went far away to shake off the yoke of national prejudices, to learn to know men by their conformities and by their differences...?
[good question]