July 30, 2005

How many Iraqis are fighting on our side?

"Freaky Iraqis: Now U See Them, Now U Don't" -- Also in The eXile, Mark Ames reviews two years worth of estimates of the number of trained Iraqi security personnel fighting on our side with a Phoenix real estate agent, whose comments are in italics.

Sept. 17, 2003: "In four months we brought back 40,000 police officers, 400 cars in Baghdad, 35 stations, communications all over the country...I couldn't have done that in New York City as the police commissioner in five years. So I'm not really sure what the critics are talking about when they're saying it's taking too long."

Bernard Kerik, interim minister of the interior in Iraq and former New York City police commissioner, interviewed on NewsHour.

[Hey, awesome round numbers there! As Peter Griffin would say, "Go on..." You know Peter Griffin, right? Family Guy? Awesome show. If anyone wants to join me for a brew and talk about that show, I'm game.]

Oct 24, 2003: "[T]here has been a lot of progress made already. I think it very significant [that] more than 80,000 - the numbers I read say 86,000 - but I'll just say more than 80,000 Iraqis [are] in the field fighting for their country...It makes the Iraqi security forces the second largest member of the coalition. Measured not only by the numbers in the field, but also by the numbers who are fighting and dying. Their casualties since June 1st are, I guess I should get you an exact number, I think I have it here. Let me pull it out, so I don't guess at it. They have lost 82 killed in action just since June 1st."

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz

[Dude, did you see how those numbers just ****in' doubled? Cool! This is like a hot Tempe property. I'd be advising all my clients to load in on this Iraqi forces investment, big-time!]

Oct 25, 2003: Nationwide, Iraq's Civil Defense Corps stands at about 4,700 trained soldiers. Wolfowitz told the House Armed Services Committee in late September that plans call for expanding the force to 15,000 by January. The deputy secretary called this standing up of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps "a wonderful success story" that represents a major step toward Iraq's ability to assume full responsibility for its own security. "These are young Iraqis stepping forward to fight for their country alongside our people," he said.

American Forces Press Service

[Wait, what? Iraqi forces went from 40,000 to a generous 80,000, then way down to 4,700, then going up to 15,000, all in a matter of days. Well, ****, he must know what he's talking about. He reminds me of my regional sales manager Larry Chase - the guy can whip out escrow numbers so fast your head spins, but in the end, everyone's happy.]

Nov 2, 2003: "What's changed is the Iraqi forces. The Iraqi forces have gone from zero on May 1st up to over 100,000 today. And our plan calls for them to go to something in excess of 200,000. So the total number of security forces in the country has been going up steadily."

Rumsfeld, ABC This Week

[Whoa, daddy! So it went from 80k to 4700 and up to 100k in just one week! It's like, these guys can do ****in' ANYTHING! The old rules about numbers just don't apply anymore, man! We're talking total paradigm shift, dude!]

December 6, 2003: "Something in excess of 140,000 Iraqis...are engaged in providing security..."


[Dang! I usually don't say that word "dang," but in this case, "Dang!" These guys are ****in' gods! The sky's the limit (either that, or some really, really big number)!]

Jan 31, 2004: "There are almost 200,000 Iraqis now in the police and the Facilities Protection Service and the army the border guard, and a fifth force which I think is maybe the most important one, called the Civil Defense Corps."


[200,000! A-ha-hal-right! Now that is ****in' awesome! Do I hear 300,000? Anyone?]

March 14, 2004: "We're making very good progress. We're up to over 200,000 Iraqis that have been trained and equipped."

Rumsfeld, CBS' Face The Nation.

[Okay, that's cool. I'll be happy with 200k, for now. It's like when the market takes a breather, you know? It's actually a good sign, shows that the Iraqi forces are maturing.]

... September 23, 2004: "The Iraqi government now commands almost 50,000 armed and combat- ready Iraqis. By January it will be some 145,000. And by the end of next year, some 250,000 Iraqis."

Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, speaking to US Congress.

[I don't know much about military stuff, but I do know one thing: 50,000 is a ****ty number. It's like the Iraqis are shrinking or something But at least this Arab guy "Aya-whatever" is showing progress: First, a ****ty number. Then, a bigger number. Then...a really, really huge number! That's why he started with a ****ty number like 50,000. And did he say "250,000"? Dude, okay, this Aya-whatever-guy kicks ass!]

September 27, 2004: The Pentagon documents show that of the nearly 90,000 people now in the police force, only 8,169 have had the full eight-week academy training. ...22,700 Iraqi personnel have received enough training to make them "minimally effective at their tasks."

Seattle Times, "Bush claim on training of Iraqis disputed."

[Wait, this isn't cool, man. In fact, this is kind of a bummer. Could I have some bigger numbers, please? And make them the kinda numbers that keep doubling and ****, okay?]

October 25, 2004: "Along with Iraqi forces, we're on the offensive in Fallujah and north Babil. We've restored government control in Samarra and Tal Afar and Najaf. More than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers, police and border guards are already trained and equipped and bravely serving their country. And more than 200,000 will be in place at the end of next year."

President Bush

[Du-hu-hude, score! High fives all around! In just one month we went from Aya-whatever's 50,000 to Bush's 100,000! It's like old times again, man. And Bush is saying we're gonna have 200,000 soon. It's totally working out again! **** yeah, I feel ****in great! If I had a red wheat microbrewed ale right now, everything would be ****in' perfect!]

November 1, 2004: Reaching down to the table and knocking wood, Wolfowitz mentioned recent progress in regard to the National Guard, noting the Iraqis' participation in the wresting of Samarra from the insurgents' control.

New Yorker, "The Believer: Paul Wolfowitz Defends His War."

(In early November (2004)...Iraqi police in the contested city of Samarra "dissolved" under insurgent attacks, according to 42nd Infantry Division Capt. Robert Giordano.)

Salon.com, "Down and out with Iraqi forces.")

[Gee thanks, I feel really great reading this. Who wrote this ****? Whatever, man. Next!]

... January 19, 2005: "We think the number [of fully-trained Iraqi forces] right now is somewhere over 120,000."

Condoleezza Rice, Confirmation Hearings, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

[Oh, phew! Nothing, I just thought I heard...nope, nothing, forget it. 120,000's cool, I'll settle for that for now.]

Jan 19, 2005: ... (In early November (2004), Q-West [in Mosul], which had been pretty peaceful to that point, "fell apart," in the words of US officers. Rather than stand and fight, most police in Q-West dropped their weapons and ran. They never came back. By mid-November, an American commander in Mosul says, "I went from 2,000 police to 50." There was a similar exodus in the Iraqi army. "Let me tell you, there were some sleepless nights.")

Salon.com, "Down and out with Iraqi forces.")

[Okay, that was a ****in' bummer. It's like Wolfowitz could use some ****in' pumpin up, man.]

... February 4, 2005: "We're increasing international military participation in Iraq. We have accelerated the training of Iraqi security forces, now more than 200,000 strong."

Rumsfeld testifying before Congress.

[Dude, didja hear that?! They've gone from 120,000 to 200,000 in less than two weeks again! Rawwwwq!!!]

February 4, 2005: Less than a third of the 136,000 members of Iraqi security forces that the Pentagon says are trained and equipped can be sent to tackle the most challenging missions in the country, and Iraqi Army units are suffering severe troop shortages...

New York Times, "Many Iraqi troops not fully trained, U.S. officials say"

[Zzzzzzzz. Huh? What? Was somebody being negative here? Oh, it's just the liberals at the New York Times. Duh! You know, the thing about these liberal media guys is, would you ever want to have a beer with them? I sure as hell wouldn't, and neither would any of my friends.]

February 5, 2005: The US General in charge of building up Iraqi security forces has conceded that the program was behind schedule and that the beheading of recruits by insurgents was causing retention problems.

Reuters, "Beheadings slow Iraqi security force build-up."

[Bla-bla-bla. So what we learn is that the Iraqis are a bunch of fags who can't deal with a couple of beheadings. Bring back Rumsfeld, he'll make me feel better.]

February 5, 2005: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said during a visit to Iraq last October that he expected to have 150,000 Iraqi security forces by the end of January, and the Pentagon has set an ultimate goal of training a force of 271,000.


[Duuuude, did I ****in' tell you or what?! 271,000! This is like the biggest ****in' rawq concert ever!!! It's like bigger than if, like, Zep were to do another reunion. But wait, yesterday Rumsfeld said there were 200,000 Iraqis, so how did the Iraqi forces fall 50,000 in four days, and in time-reverse? Whatever, who cares.]

... March 14, 2005: "The number of security forces overstates the number actually serving. [Iraqi] Ministry of Interior reports, for example, include police who are absent without leave in its totals. ...According to DOD officials, the number of absentees is in the tens of thousands. The reported number of Iraqi police [55,274 cops, out of a target number of 135,000] is unreliable. ...[The U.S. military command] does not know how many Iraqi police are on duty at any given point because the Ministry of Interior does not receive consistent and accurate reporting from police stations across Iraq....

Joseph A. Christoff, director of the Government Accountability Office's international affairs and trade division, testifying in Congress

[Fag alert! Next!]

March 27, 2005: "By this time next year...Assuming that the political process continues to go positively...and the Iraqi army continues to progress and develop as we think it will, we should be able to take some fairly substantial reductions in the size of our forces."

General George W. Casey, Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq

[Hey man, are you a General or are you a fag? You oughtta be telling me, "By this time next year, an Iraqi force of eleven million highly-trained security forces, all of whom are professed Seinfeld fans, will be deployed not only to take control of Iraq, but to invade, occupy, and Americanize every neighboring country, including, if necessary, Russia and China. God bless these men, and God Bless America!"]

May 10, 2005: The Iraqi army is said to have 73,450 "trained and equipped" personnel, but a report earlier this year by the U.S. Defense Department - whose armed forces live or die by how well-prepared the Iraqi army really is - noted that all but a few thousand of Iraq's troops are only lightly equipped and not at all prepared for mobile warfare.

Slate.com, "Over There: Why U.S. troops won't be coming home from Iraq anytime soon."

["Flintstones/Meet the Flintstones/They're a modern stone age fa-mi-ly!" Huh? Hold on, I'll turn the TV down. This Slate.com guy is trying to tell me something? Oh gee, I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. You know why? I don't listen to fags.]

...June 10, 2005: An hour before dawn, the sky still clouded by a dust storm, the soldiers of the Iraqi army's Charlie Company began their mission with a ballad to ousted president Saddam Hussein. "We have lived in humiliation since you left," one sang in Arabic, out of earshot of his U.S. counterparts. "We had hoped to spend our life with you."

..."We can't tell these guys about a lot of this stuff, because we're not really sure who's good and who isn't," said Rick McGovern, a tough-talking 37-year-old platoon sergeant from Hershey, Pa., who heads the military training for Charlie Company.

Overall, the number of Iraqi military and police trained and equipped is more than 169,000, according to the U.S. military, which has also said there are 107 operational military and special police battalions. As of last month, however, U.S. and Iraqi commanders had rated only 3 battalions capable of operating independently.


[Dude, I just read that, and you know what I realized? The point of that article is that there are 169,000 Iraqis on our side. Hoo-ah!]

June 13, 2005: "I just wish they'd start to pull their own weight without us having to come out and baby-sit them all the time," said Sgt. Joshua Lower, a scout in the Third Brigade of the First Armored Division who has worked with the Iraqis.

New York Times, "The Struggle for Iraq: Insurgency; As Iraqi Army Trains, Word in the Field is it May Take Years."

[Okay, this Lower guy's totally bummin' me out. Couldn't the Army release medical records showing that Lower's, like, clinically depressed, or gay, or something like that? With a name like Lower, it can't be hard.]

July 21, 2005: About half of Iraq's new police battalions are still being established and cannot conduct operations, while the other half of the police units and two-thirds of the new army battalions are only "partially capable" of carrying out counterinsurgency missions, and only with American help, according to a newly declassified Pentagon assessment.

New York Times, "Iraqis Not Ready to Fight Rebels on Own, U.S. Says"

[Enough, man! Seriously. I want a big ****in number, alright? Where's that big ****in number?!]


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

The War Nerd gets medieval on Victor Davis Hanson

in "Victor Hanson: Portrait of an American Traitor." Most of Gary Brecher's essay doesn't pass iSteve.com's family-friendly language standards, but here are some excerpts from a long stream of ad hominem abuse of the National Review columnist:

This fool passes himself off as a military historian, writing columns about Iraq and Afghanistan and everything else he feels like babbling about, but he doesn't have a clue about contemporary warfare. Every war nerd on the net knows more about what's happening in Iraq than he does. But that doesn't stop him. He teaches Classics, he's written a half dozen books on ancient warfare, and he never lets you forget that he's a professor and you're not.

In his last column for the Fresno Bee, he sneered at people who don't have Ph.D.'s for daring to have opinions about the war in Iraq: "What do a talented Richard Gere, Robert Redford and Madonna all have in common besides loudly blasting the current administration? They either dropped out of, or never started, college. Cher may think George Bush is 'stupid,' but she-not he-didn't finish high school."

Since I never even finished my AA degree, I took that kind of personally. I guess it's my fault for not getting into Yale on pure merit like Bush did...

He doesn't even suspect what a total hypocrite he is. According to his official online bio, Hanson graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1975. I don't know if you non-Californians understand what that means. UC Santa Cruz is the official sex-and-drugs campus of the whole UC system. It's so hippie-cool and mellow it doesn't even give grades, which are just too bourgeois. You just get little notes from your teachers. The kids who go there are rich brats who don't have to worry about getting a job-because graduating from there is like telling your future employers you were stoned for four straight years...

And Hanson graduated from there in 1975. I can only dream about what it must've been like to be a student at Santa Cruz back then, at the climax of the hippie days.

But you know, I could take all Hanson's hypocritical pompous **** if he only knew something about contemporary warfare. He doesn't. All he knows is that he's in favor of Gulf War II, and to defend that mess he's willing to slander Bush Sr's magnificent victory in Gulf War I. This is insane, really insane-taking America's only outright strategic victory since 1945, our most glorious campaign since Inchon, and turning it into a defeat just so you can make Bush Jr's fiasco look a little better...

There are so many evil lies here, I don't know where to start. First there's the phony comparison to Germany after WW I. There's no comparison at all. Saddam's Kuwait invasion wasn't a nationalist war like WW I, and no matter what Saddam said, every dog in the street in Baghdad knew perfectly well that the Iraqi army had been outclassed and savaged. Moreover, the Germans fought for four years and nearly won, whereas Saddam got his ass completely whipped in a three-day land war. Fact is, we did it right in Gulf War I. We neutered Saddam, destroyed his ability to threaten anybody, and left him in charge of his hellhole country. It was American diplomacy combined with military power at its finest. And this pig tries to say it was a defeat!

Hanson goes on to say that we "refused to go to Baghdad" because we wanted to please the UN. ****. We used the UN to build a huge alliance (something Bush's idiotic son didn't think was necessary), and we stayed out of Baghdad because Powell and Bush Sr. knew what would happen if we tried to occupy Iraqi cities. We're going through the consequences of that mistake right now; how can anybody pretend not to understand, by now, why it was a bad idea, and why Bush Sr. was right the first time?

What's amazing is that Hanson is actually trying to blame Bush Sr. for not jumping off the cliff first, before his idiotic son did. Like I said, it's insane-until you realize it's being done just to make Junior's disaster look good, which Hanson needs to do because he's been shilling for Bush Jr.'s war from day one. Hanson isn't just insane. He's one sleazy dude...

And all that ancient Greek stuff won't help Hanson deal with urban guerrilla war, because there was nothing like it in the ancient world. In those days conquerors wiped out cities the second they showed any sign of uppity behavior. Urban guerrilla wars were pretty quick and pretty unsuccessful: rise up against the occupier, and literally every man, woman and child gets slaughtered, and the offending city covered in salt. End of story...

But I don't really think he's insane-just a traitor, a liar willing to keep shoving American troops and money into a meatgrinder just so he doesn't have to admit he was wrong. Sooner or later we're going to have to face it: these NeoCons don't care about America any more than Stalin cared about Russia. They're not just wrong. They're traitors. [More]

For a balanced assessment of Hanson's genuine achievement as a scholar of ancient Greek warfare, the article "The Case of Victor Davis Hanson: Farmer, Scholar, Warmonger" by F. Devlin Roger in the Occidental Quarterly is terrific. The first half consists of an appreciation of Hanson's profound contribution to understanding the crucial question: Why the Greeks? What happened during the Greek dark ages (roughly 1100 to 800 BC) that transformed the fairly conventional culture that produced Achilles to the unique culture that produced Homer and a host of great men in his wake?

Hanson, an orchard farmer in the Central Valley of California, where the climate isn't too different from Greece, delivered an answer in his scholarly books such as The Other Greeks: the Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization. Devlin writes:

"We still had no plausible explanation for the Greek miracle. Thanks in some significant measure to Victor Davis Hanson, we now do. The explanation, in a word, is agrarianism. All preindustrial societies are agricultural, but only a few have been agrarian; of these latter, classical Greece was the first and most important. Agrarian societies are informed by a certain ideal, according to which landed estates should be generally small and inalienable. A plot of land should be large enough to provide a family with a decent sufficiency, but not luxury. It should belong to a family rather than any individual; the head of the family holds it in trust for the benefit of his children and his children’s children. It is his, in other words, but not his alone. He has no moral right to do with it simply as he pleases."

This is similar to Thomas Jefferson's vision for America of a society of small landowners, which he did much to bring about by eliminating primogeniture and starting the Federal Government's system of selling land cheap in relatively small parcels.

Unfortunately, Hanson the scholar has descended into the squalid marketplace with the rest of us professional bloviators with predictably unfortunate results. I don't know many people who still read Hanson's endless effusions about the Middle East anymore, but his recent short book Mexifornia shows how good he can still be when he holds himself in check. It would be a right and fitting thing for a rich man to do to pay Hanson a large annual stipend to subsidize his writing, with just one condition: he not publish more than 80,000 words per year.

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

French Court Declares Voltaire Obsolete:

"Former French actress Brigitte Bardot was fined 5,000 euros (6,000 dollars) by a Paris court for writing a book in which she declared disgust with her country's tolerance of Islam."

Whatever happened to: "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? Oh, well, I guess Diversity Sensitivity is more important than freedom of speech.

Seriously, diversity, in practice, is the enemy of free speech.

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

July 28, 2005

"How the Right Got Bigger & Dumber"

by Austin Bramwell is the cover story on the August 29th issue of The American Conservative. Bramwell is the 26-year-old lawyer that Wm. F. Buckley appointed to the National Review Board of Trustees because he's that rare young man who can be relied upon to provide wise advice into the second half of the 21st Century.

Defining Conservatism Down
As the Right's popularity has grown, its intellectual challenge to the Left has diminished.

By Austin Bramwell

...Though every year the conservative movement raises thousands of aspiring intellectuals, they have no interest in creating a new intellectual synthesis. If they go into academia or the think-tank world, they contribute to research projects long under way; if they go into journalism, they defend an established editorial line. In the blogosphere parlance, they become "instapundits," not philosophers.

Meanwhile young conservatives -- in contrast to the anticommunists of the 1950s and the neoconservatives of the 1970s -- rarely come to right-wing ideas through any epiphany. Rather they inherit their conservatism from parents or grandparents. Through generously funded seminars and think-tank internships, they study the canon of conservative thought: The Road to Serfdom, Ideas Have Consequences, Capitalism and Freedom, The Conservative Mind, Witness, Atlas Shrugged, In Defense of Freedom, The Closing of the American Mind, and others. These works, almost all written in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, define the ideology they are charged with advancing...

Yet few worry that conservatism will go flabby. The tenets have already been settled, they think; all that is left is to promote them... Nonetheless, conservatives should not let the intellectual restlessness of their early years give way to decadent complacency. It has happened before in American political life -- to American liberalism -- with unhappy consequences both for liberalism and the nation...

Happily, however, original thinking on the Right can still be found. I can think of three examples.

On the libertarian side, a small group of academics affiliated with the journal Critical Review is quietly working a revolution. They forthrightly acknowledge that neither free-market economics nor moral philosophy have produced a comprehensive argument for libertarianism. Nonetheless, they argue, limited government is still preferable because it mitigate the problem of public ignorance.

The majority of voters in a mass democracy, they reason, are stunningly ignorant of even the most basic political information... Democratic politics thus presents a choice between the ideological rigidity of the elites and the sheer incompetence of the masses. We can escape this predicament only by reducing the role of government in our lives....

Second, a loose network of what John O’Sullivan has called “evolutionary” conservatives attempts to understand politics in light of genetic science. Unlike many conservatives, evolutionary conservatives remain undaunted by the apoplectic reaction of liberals to Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve and Dinesh D’Souza’s The End of Racism. Steve Sailer, for example, the most talented evolutionary conservative, writes with rigor and imagination on such scabrous topics as race, IQ, voting patterns, and national identity. Though other writers treat these ideas as taboo, perhaps because they seem to undermine American ideals of equality and self-reliance, evolutionary conservatives pride themselves on preferring truth to wishful thinking.

This attitude enables them to understand affirmative action and identity politics in a way that others cannot. More timid conservatives believe that if only we embraced the American Creed with sufficient fervor, we would become a color-blind society at last. As Thomas Sowell observes, however, every country that has racial or ethnic groups of differing economic achievement has adopted a system of preferences. Race relations seem to have an irreducibly tragic dimension; identity politics may well be a permanent feature of all multi-ethnic societies, often, as in Bosnia, Rwanda or Sri Lanka (and, perhaps, Iraq) with calamitous results. Human biodiversity is important; we owe to ourselves to try to understand it.

Finally, techno-skeptic conservatives, such as those who write for the journal The New Atlantis, are rallying to the defense of human nature. In essence, they spin clever arguments against things that people want, such as greater longetivity and bodily health, on the grounds that they negate the nobler aspects of human life -- love, honor, and piety...

These three sources of fresh ideas on the Right have certain features in common. First, a preoccupation with modern science. Compare to them, the canonical works of postwar conservatism seem wooly and abstract. This is not surprising: the cold War gave conservatives an armed ideological enemy, which provoked an ideological response. Second, the three schools are all either forthrightly or implicitly elitist. Like conservatives of the '40s and '50s, they do not expect that their ideas will be popular.

This elitism, perhaps an electoral handicap, is an intellectual strength. Original thinking often flourishes under conditions of intellectual marginality. Unfortunately, the conservative movement, having discovered a mass audience, risks squandering the intellectual marginality that once made it so interesting and daring.

In future years, it may take a smaller, elite group of right-wingers to animate conservative ideas once more.

And don't forget: As part of my elitist crusade to animate conservative ideas once more, I'll be discussing "The Wedding Crashers" with Ron Reagan Jr. on MSNBC on Friday, July 29th at 5:30 EDT, 2:30 PDT!

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

Fred Reed on Science and Humility

Back in 1999, I wrote an article entitled "Darwin's Enemies on the Right:"

Darwin seems to lose out with the public primarily when his supporters force him into a mano-a-mano Thunderdome death match against the Almighty. Most people seem willing to accept Darwinism as long as they don't have to believe in nothing but Darwinism. Thus, the strident tub-thumping for absolute atheism by evolutionary biologists like Richard Dawkins, author of the great book "The Selfish Gene," is counter-productive....

The smug atheism rampant among prominent evolutionists today is reminiscent of that of the physicists in 1899, just before the 20th Century unleashed a host of unwelcome surprises upon them. Unfortunately, biologists don't know enough of the history of physics and cosmology to see how atheistic dogmatism can mislead and slow scientific progress...

the two most scientifically fruitful theories in 20th Century cosmology -- the Big Bang and the Anthropic Principle of Intelligent Design -- were partially cribbed from theologians like St. Thomas Aquinas, much to the dismay of cosmologists.

In 1927 Father Georges Lemaitre, a Belgian priest and mathematician, devised what's now called the Big Bang theory. Most scientists found its similarities to Genesis' "Let there be light" and the famous prime mover proof for the existence of God to be unsettling. Thus, they largely turned toward the less subversive Steady-State theory. This postulated that the creation of matter wasn't a one-shot cataclysm of Biblical proportions, but a routine, small-scale event. The 1964 discovery that you could watch the electro-magnetic static generated by the Big Bang on your TV disproved this comforting scenario, however, ushering in an era of rapid scientific advance.

Then in 1974 cosmologist Brandon Carter revived the ancient Argument from Design for the existence of God. This had held that the existence of a well-designed item like a sword or a bird's wing implies the existence of a designer. Darwin's theory of natural selection had seemingly disposed of that chestnut by demonstrating that the differential reproduction rates of competing variations could eventually produce superbly engineered organisms without a designer. Carter, however, showed that our universe appears to be fine-tuned to support the evolution of intelligent life. A host of seemingly arbitrary physical parameters such as the strength of gravity, coincide superbly well to foster a stable, long-lived universe. The odds against such a coincidence happening by chance appear, well, astronomical.

Once again, a quasi-religious notion did wonders for the fecundity of cosmological theory. To avoid admitting a Designer, cosmologists had to postulate that beyond our natural world, there must exist a, shall we say, "supernatural" world. Rather than a hairy thunderer shouting "Let there be light," maybe, they say, there is a "superuniverse" comprising an infinite number of universes, all with different natural laws. And maybe life only emerges in the universes with the right law, like ours. And maybe, to make the Darwinian metaphor complete, universes compete somehow against each other.

This infinite universes concept is a sensationally creative idea. Of course, in its utter untestability, it's not exactly science. In truth, it is theological speculation at its most grandiose. Philosopher Robert C. Koons notes, "Originally, atheists prided themselves on being no-nonsense empiricists, who limited their beliefs to what could be seen and measured. Now, we find ourselves in a situation in which the only alternative to belief in God is belief in an infinite number of unobservable parallel universes! You've come along way, baby!" At minimum, we now know that our natural world cannot account for its own existence. To do that, we need to assume the existence of some sort of supernatural word. And even if some enormous breakthrough let us validate the existence of this superuniverse, we'd probably end up having to assume that it was brought about by some sort of hyperuniverse beyond that, and on and on.

Now, Fred Reed has written an important column "Of Knowing and Not Knowing" along similar lines:

My father told me of driving one night with a friend in hill country, whereupon a large truck appeared suddenly over a crest, soundless, lights blazing, too close to avoid. They drove through it without effect. “Did you see what I saw?” asked my father of his friend. “Yes,” replied the friend, shaken. They did not, he said, tell anyone.

Now, I can offer the usual explanations. These people all suffered from temporary insanity, there is no proof that they weren’t actually making up the stories, their memories were playing tricks (whatever that means), or they were dreaming and thought they were awake—all of which seem convenient evasions... Is that really what is happening? Maybe. But saying so doesn’t make it so. My father was a hard-headed mathematician, not given to the occult.

Note that the sciences are incapable of recognizing such phenomena. For the sake of discussion, let us suppose that some unscientific event actually occurred—say, that the shade of Elvis in fact appeared in my living room one night, sang Blue Moon Over Kentucky, and then vanished. Would science, or any scientist, be able to know it?

I could tell a physicist that I had seen Elvis, of course. He would assume that I was joking, lying, or deluded. I could report that the neighbors had heard Blue Moon, but the physicist would say that I had played the song on my stereo. I might show him video that I had shot of the appearance, but he would say that I had hired an Elvis impersonator, or that I had faked the footage with video-editing software.

In sum, even though it had really happened, he could never know that it had.

The difficulty is that the sciences can apprehend only the repeatable. If I could summon Elvis at will, again and again in an instrumented laboratory, physicists would eventually have to concede that something was happening, whatever it might be. While scientists defend their paradigms as fiercely as Marxists or Moslems, they can, after sufficient demonstration, be swayed by evidence. But without repeatability, they see no evidence.

Not uncommonly, those in the sciences say that they “do not accept supernatural explanations.” One might observe that the world remains the same, no matter what they accept. I might choose not to accept the existence of gravity, but could nonetheless fall over a cliff.

Yet those who do not accept the supernatural never say just what they mean by “supernatural.” By “nature,” do we not simply mean, “that which is”? If for example genuine premonitions exist (which I do not know), how can they be supernatural, as distinct from poorly understood?

I think that by supernatural scientists mean “not deducible from physics.” But of course a great many things are not so deducible—thought, consciousness, free will if any, sorrow, beauty. Scientists do not accept things which seem to have no physical cause, and of course as scientists should not accept them. If a comet were suddenly to change course, it would hardly be useful if an astronomer said that it just happened, or that a herd of invisible unicorns had pushed it from its path.. He, properly, would want to find a gravitational influence.

This is an important point that both sides in the current debate have trouble accepting. As I wrote:

Anti-religiousness is the appropriate professional prejudice of scientists. The Sidney Harris cartoon summed it up. A lab-coated researcher is filling the left and right sides of a black board with equations, but the only thing connecting the two clouds of symbols are the words, "Then a miracle occurs." Another scientist suggests, "Maybe you could give us a little more detail on that middle section." Relying on miracles in science is like relying on the lottery in retirement planning.

The problem comes when scientists try to inflate this useful professional prejudice into the primary principle of the cosmos.

Fred continues:

Trouble comes when the sciences overstep their bounds. It is one thing to study physical phenomena, another to say that only physical phenomena exist. Here science blurs into ideology, an ideology being a systematic and emotionally held way of misunderstanding the world. A science is open and descriptive, an ideology closed and prescriptive. A scientist says, in principle at least, “Give me the facts and I will endeavor to derive a theory that describes them.” The ideologist says, “I have the theory, and nothing that does not fit it can be a fact.” Having chosen his rut, he never sees beyond it. This has not been the way of the greats of science, but of the middle ranks, adequate to swell a progress or work in a laboratory.

In the limitless confidence of this physics-is-all ideology there is a phenomenal arrogance. Perhaps we overestimate ourselves. As temporary phenomena ourselves in a strange universe we don’t really understand, here for reasons we do not know, waiting to go somewhere or nowhere as may be, we might display a more becoming humility. [More]

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

America the Incompetent

In the late spring of 1942, the U.S.S. Yorktown aircraft carrier limped into the shipyard at Pearl Harbor, severely damaged from the Battle of the Coral Sea. The initial assessment found it would take 90 days to repair. But, a massive Japanese fleet with four aircraft carriers was steaming toward Midway Island, and without the Yorktown in the fray, America could only muster two carriers. So, workers desperately swarmed over the Yorktown, blacking out the electrical power to much of the rest of Oahu to free up enough juice to get the job done. They finished in only 36 hours and the Yorktown sailed off to glory in the battle that decided the War in the Pacific.

Colby Cosh writes in "Bureaucratic murder in space?" about the first launch of the Space Shuttle since NASA shamefully allowed the last one to perish without even trying to see if there was a problem, much less trying to fix it.

"These gentlemen hastily admitted that Discovery had suffered the very same problem--foam shedding from the interface between the orbiter and the main fuel tank--that had led to the deaths of the Columbia astronauts. As the press inquirers were quick to point out, two years and hundreds of millions of dollars had been invested in this specific problem, and the net benefit appears to have been zero or less....

"Thus is confirmed one of the wisest of human maxims: "If there's no solution, there's no problem." Discovery, apparently uninjured by the debris, is now locked in a high-altitude embrace with the International Space Station; when it comes home--if it comes home--it and the remainder of the fleet will have to be grounded for a more radical re-work of the fuel-tank design.

"It's a shocking disaster. And what made it more shocking were the continual protestations from Michael Griffin and Bill Parsons that Discovery's current mission was a "test flight" in which major anomalies were anticipated. Was this phrase used freely when the crew of STS-114--who, for the moment, seem to have dodged a large cream-coloured bullet made out of synthetic insulation--was being recruited? The original test flights of the space shuttle were conducted with crews as small as two members. Question for NASA: why are there five men and two women aboard a spacecraft whose engineering properties were apparently being "tested" for fundamental survivability? [More]

Lots of liberals who favored the Iraq Attaq later said they didn't realize how incompetent the US government would be in carrying it out. Yet, incompetence seems to be the defining note of most projects attempted by the government these days. I'm not sure why, but one problem is the tendency for any non-competitive institution to become less effective over time due to all those Parkinsonian processes at work whenever the attention is not concentrated by, say, having the Japanese fleet headed your way. The second is that rejection of reality -- made up of marketing spin, postmodernism, and old-fashioned American boosterism -- that is so characteristic of our country nowadays, especially of the Bush Administration. Third, a multicultural country tends to devote more effort to the politics of distributing pork than of putting the very best people on the job.

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

Tivo Alert

I'll be on TV on Friday Afternoon: I'm donning my American Conservative film critic hat to appear on MSNBC's "Connected: Coast to Coast" with Ron Reagan Jr. and Monica Crowley to discuss whether movies are too liberal. I'll be on for 8-12 minutes on Friday, June 29 at about 5:30 pm EDT, 4:30 CDT, 3:30 MDT, or 2:30 PDT.

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


Stephen Bodio's blog: I first noticed Bodio's byline on a story in the Atlantic Monthly on the Mongolians who instead of falconry, practice eaglery, using trained golden eagles to hunt game. The pictures of an enormous bird of prey perched on a very contented man's gauntleted arm were memorable. Bodio specializes in hunting, outdoor life, nature, Central Asia, and surviving as a freelance writer. He now has a blog.

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

Is San Francisco really the 3rd best city for singles?

Forbes has presented a list of the "best cities for singles," which includes San Francisco as #3. It includes this endorsement of Frisco from "Carol Queen, 48, sexologist at Good Vibrations retail store:"

"San Franciscans are open-minded and sex-positive for the most part. They're interested in figuring out a lot of options here."

San Francisco's new motto could be:

"Our single men: sex- and HIV-positive -- a killer combination!"

My wife asks:

"San Francisco is 3rd best for what - staying single? Certainly not what straight women have in mind when they think of a great-for-singles place to live. Also I don't think most people think of gays as singles - perhaps because gay men don't identify being a couple and being single as mutually exclusive. Wonder how this data jives with your Affordable Family Formation theory?"

Good question, my dear.

Unsurprisingly, one of the factors in Forbes' ranking is "coolness," as defined by the egregious but well-compensated Richard Florida, who thinks that having lots of gays makes your city cool and thus economically successful. (In reality, the arrow of causality almost certainly points largely in the opposite direction: footloose gays follow the money generated by engineers and businessmen; the pocket protector boys don't follow the gays, as Florida assumes).

Equally unsurprisingly, the Forbes rankings doesn't even consider what's likely the #1 question single women have about a city: How quickly can they expect to become unsingle if they move there? It would take some effort, but I suspect the data is available to estimate that key number.

Anyway, here's the top 10 of the Forbes list, for whatever it's worth:

1. Denver-Boulder
2. Boston
3. San Francisco
4. Raleigh-Durham
5. Washington-Baltimore
6. Atlanta
7. Los Angeles
8. New York
9. Chicago
10. Seattle

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

July 27, 2005

The Competition: Bruce Kovner

Since I'm currently shaking you all down for spare change, I was struck by "George Soros's Right-Wing Twin," a profile in New York by Philip Weiss of financier Bruce Kovner, the Chairman of the American Enterprise Institute. Kovner is #106 on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans.

An interesting life story: Kovner grew up in an extended family that consisted mostly of Stalinists and/or gangsters, went to Harvard, became the student of the brilliant early neoconservative social scientist Edward Banfield (The Unheavenly City), who expected him to become as much of an academic star as his earlier student James Q. Wilson, but then he dropped out, drove a cab, got interested in commodity trading, made more money than God, and now spends it on the Lincoln Center and the American Enterprise Institute.

Since I'm in many ways an Old Neocon in the tradition of James Q. Wilson, Nathan Glazer, and Charles Murray, the AEI would once have been a natural place for me to turn for financial help, but my public criticism of the New Neocons of the invade-the-world-invite-the-world stripe makes it unlikely I'd be welcome there.

Weiss writes:

"Neoconservatism is a career," says Scott McConnell, editor of American Conservative. "One thing neocons have that both other factions of conservatives and liberals don't have is they can employ a lot of people. AEI provides a seat for the kind of mid-level intellectuals who can produce op-ed pieces. It's 50 to 100 people with decent prose styles, or Ph.D.'s, and they form a critical mass. They help create the reality of being the dominant strain of conservatism."

Kovner's relationship to AEI is the same as his relationship to all his causes: lordly. He plays visionary and psychiatrist to the AEI board. "He's brilliant," says Perle. "He's intellectually rigorous, balanced, and thoughtful."...

James Q. Wilson, a member of the AEI board, says that Kovner has pushed AEI to build an endowment so that scholars are more independent, so they don't have to hunt up grants for their work. Kovner?s hedge fund manages the lion's share of the group's investments, which grew from $28 million to $40 million in 2003, the latest year collected by Guidestar.org.

The article about Kovner is a fascinating portrait of how neoconservatism has changed over the decades. Kovner started out as a social scientist under Edward Banfield, working alongside James Q. Wilson, then he went into commodities trading and now he runs the Ahmed Chalabi Fanclub, as the American Enterprise Institute has sadly become.

Why? This is perhaps the greatest mystery in modern American politics -- why did the neoconservatives started out as hard-headed skeptical social scientists but then lose most of their interest in domestic issues and become obsessed with Israel, just as Israel's security was becoming ever more rock-solid as its enemies grew weaker? Why did neocons become simultaneously softheaded (as their infatuation with the convicted conman Chalabi demonstrates) and bloodthirsty (as their manuevering us into the War in Error in Iraq to put Chalabi on the throne in Baghdad shows)? Was it just Kovner who went off the rails and his money bought everybody else's acquiescence in his new obsession with invade-the-world thinking? Or was it a broader malady that seduced a few dozen inter-connected individuals?

Any clues?

Michael Brendan has more.

It is perhaps the most intriguing political development of the last fifty years. Although the neo-cons were decidedly anti-Communist when they appeared on the scene they came at a time when this was de rigeur on the right. What was so novel and brilliant about them was their vivisection of L.B.J.'s Great Society liberalism- using the tools of social science against liberalism at a time when most eggheads on the right were still talking about tradition, theology and political history (as right-wing eggheads always do).

The great untold story of the neoconservatives is how they moved from that stance of looking at domestic questions, challenging liberal pieties about race, welfare, and big government to one focused so intensely on (in Adam Wolfson's parlance) a "hard Wilsonian" foreign policy. This second movement, neo-conservatives who went from opposing revolutionary and Soviet communism (as nearly all on the American right did) to pulling the Right along in opposing "Evil" generally (see An End to Evil by David Frum and Richard Perle)

Do read the article, or have an assistant read it to you. And dream like I did, that rich patrons would go back to funding the politics of prudence, cultivation and real conservatism.

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

Day 2 of the Second iSteve.com Panhandling Drive!

Click Here to PayLearn MoreAmazon Honor System

I'd like to thank everybody who was so generous during Day 1. The Panhandling Drive is off to a good start, with a much higher proportion of $50 donations this year than last year. Apparently, reading iSteve.com over the last year has made you significantly more prosperous! (Hey, this kind of post hoc ergo propter hoc logic with a 22 year lag, has made Steven Levitt the toast of the publishing industry, so why can't I use a similar argument?)


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

More on Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel

A Finnish reader writes:

Your VDare article about Jared Diamond reminded me why I started to question his premises after reading 'Guns, Germs and Steel'. It was those Russian fox breeding experiments in Siberia. Diamond pretty much states in that book that all the plants and animals it is possible to domesticate were domesticated a long time ago, and too bad for those people who weren't lucky enough to have any good candidates around.

Now most people would probably agree that while foxes bred for their fur are used by man, they are by no definitions tame. Yet the Russians created very tame foxes in only a few decades.

Young foxes, or kits, scamper in a cage in Siberia, Russia, where they are part of a 45-year research project to domesticate foxes. Each generation has been selectively bred for tameness—fearlessness and nonaggression toward humans. By now the foxes in the project behave like pet dogs, barking and wagging their tails at humans.

Also like pet dogs, the domesticated foxes can "read" human cues (pointing, for example) much better than their wild cousins or even tame chimpanzees, according to a new study published today in Current Biology. The study authors call such behavior social intelligence. They say its appearance in domesticated foxes may help us better understand how intelligence developed in humans and other animals.

If they could do that with foxes, it might very well be possible with most other animals too. As you said, ostriches are farmed now. And if the historical accounts of what the European wild cattle were like are at all accurate, they weren't any more 'tame' to start with that the African buffalo is, yet, as far as I remember, they are supposed to be what our placid cows were bred from.

The American Indians could have domesticated the horses and camels that were indigenous to the Americas when they arrived here from the Bering Strait, but, instead, they ate them all, at least according to Diamond.

I've seen the Mongolian wild horse, Przewalski's Horse, at the San Diego Zoo and it is a ferocious beast. Zebras aren't pussycats either, but they don't strike me as any wilder than Przewalski's Horse. It's hard to imagine how much courage must have been possessed by the first person thousands of years ago to catch wild horses and start domesticating them.

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

John Derbyshire in VDARE.com:

"Thinking About 7/7: Enoch Powell’s Revenge?" -- An excerpt:

There seems to be a fair consensus [among Tory intellectuals], therefore, that immigrants, especially Muslim immigrants, in the UK must assimilate to Britishness, and Britishness must be more firmly asserted by Britain, so that immigrants actually have something to assimilate to.

There is not the slightest prospect that anything like that will happen. A strong and confident assertion of Britishness would go against the entire socio-intellectual trend of the past 40 years—against all the apparatus of culture, education, and liberal-elite commentary, against everything two entire generations of Britons have been brought up to believe, against the entire zeitgeist.

I venture to say that there is no chance whatever that Britishness will confidently assert itself again, not in my lifetime.

Don't you know that Britain was an imperialist nation, that oppressed and exploited colored people in distant places? That invented the term "concentration camp"? That was beastly to the poor Irish for 800 years? That forced opium down the throats of the wretched Chinese? That sent little children underground to mine coal? That helped plant Israel on Arab land, dispossessing thousands of helpless fellaheen?

This stuff is taught in schools now, and absorbed early in life, so that it is difficult for British people to doubt or question it, or to understand it in any proper historical context. Why on earth would anyone wish to assimilate to such a nation, with such a history?

A confident assertion of national identity is hard to bring off unless you believe, as most British people probably did believe until 40 years ago, that your nation is better than other nations, that your people are better than their people. Lingering traces of this belief in national superiority remain, both in Britain and here, or did until recently. You can catch a glimpse of it in artifacts like the first Indiana Jones movie, where the mental, physical, and moral superiority of Americans is taken for granted.

Clear verbal expression of such a sentiment is, though, now completely prohibited. Our people are better than their people— Who on earth would dare say such a thing out loud now? How long would a person last in public life, having uttered such a thing?

I hear the voice of my father (b. 1899), speaking ex cathedra, i.e. from his armchair: "Foreigners? Bloody fools for all I can see... One Englishman is worth ten Frenchies..." etc., etc.

And here is a more sophisticated commentator, writing in 1940:

"[I]s a country necessarily inferior because it is one’s own? Why should not a fellow feel proud of things in which a just pride may be taken? I have lived in many countries, and talked in several languages: and found something to esteem in every country I have visited. But I have never seen any nation the equal of my own."

— "Frank Richards Replies," in The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, Vol. 1, p.538.

Of course, hardly anyone believes those things any more. But can you have a strong national identity if people don't believe them? [More]

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

$41 Billion?

"$41 Billion Cost [per year for five years] Projected To Remove Illegal Entrants" reads a Washington Post write-up of a press release by a liberal advocacy group. A friend responds:

What a farce. Actually the title of the study is the first joke "Deporting the Undocumented: A Cost Assessment". Sure, and rape is really just "unauthorized sex". Here is a summary and here is the study itself.

The study assumes that INS agents can only deport 10 illegals per year. Experience in Israel, Malaysia and the U.S. shows that immigration agents can bust at least one illegal a day. See for an article about how just 12 INS agents captured 450 illegals in a few days. Of course, Bush freaked out when the INS actually started doing its job and stopped them. Hey, wages might have gone up by a penny. Can't have that.

This is a crucial point because the study claims that apprehension accounts for 73.61% of the total cost of illegal removal. Using a more realistic 250 illegals per agent, per year, reduces the apprehension cost from $17,603 (the number in the "study") down to less than $1000 per deportation (actually $702.8). Of course, this results in an 70.67% reduction in the total cost of illegal expulsion.

If that weren't bad enough... The study also assumes that only 20% of the illegals would remove themselves faced with real law enforcement. Experience in the U.S. and other countries shows that at least 2/3 would get out rather than be arrested and deported. Providing incentives ("leave on your own with no penalty versus a lifetime ban if we have to do it" would be one approach) could raise this fraction materially.

Using a more realistic 66.7% voluntary exit rate yields another 58.34% cost reduction. Combining these two "minor adjustments" reduces that likely cost by 87.78%. What's being wrong by a factor of 10 among friends?

The authors also assume that mass deportation will have no effect on the number of illegals entering the U.S. Even they regard this as dubious but use this claim in their analysis. Their actual words:

"Although some of the future flow would likely subside if a massive deportation policy were adopted within the United States, this report assumes the demand at our border will remain unchanged over the five year period."

On a positive note, the claims that the future cost of enforcing the border is only $2.99 billion per year. Sounds cheap to me.

Overall, the study amounts to just another Open Borders screed and a bad one at that. To call the study "trite" would be an undeserved complement. The study repeats the long-refuted mantra about how cheap labor supposedly helps us all. Tell it to anyone who has actually lived in California for the last 30 years.

From my point of view, logically, the #1 priority, as usual, is: First, do no more harm.

It wouldn't be very sensible to try to round up massive numbers of current illegal immigrants while leaving the border largely open for their replacements. (Of course, we should be deporting right now criminal aliens, alcoholics, and the like.)

That means building a better fence along the Mexican border (by the way, we already have a fence along much of the border, but most of it is four feet high and can be gotten over or under rapidly by not very clever third-graders). What we need is an effective fence, like the Israelis have.

For those who get caught trying to sneak in, instead of just tossing them back over the border like we do now (or letting them go free in the U.S. if they are "other than Mexican"), we need to lock them up for 30 days for a first offense, six months for a second, and so forth.

Meanwhile, start applying pressure on employers. Make expensive examples of the most egregious, and start enforcing the 1996 laws on the rest.

Offer free one-way trips home, including shipping of all household goods, to anyone who turns himself in. Anyone who takes up the offer and gets caught back in America again would go to prison for five years.

Continuously up the pressure and a large fraction will self-deport. If that's not enough, then round 'em up.

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

July 26, 2005

"What’s Holding Black Kids Back?"

"What’s Holding Black Kids Back?" asks Kay S. Hymowitz in City Journal:

The difference between middle-class and low-income child rearing has been captured at its starkest—and most unsettling—by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley in their 1995 book Meaningful Differences. As War on Poverty foot soldiers with a special interest in language development, Hart and Risley were troubled by the mediocre results of the curriculum they had helped design at the Turner House Preschool in a poor black Kansas City neighborhood. Comparing their subjects with those at a lab school for the children of University of Kansas professors, Hart and Risley found to their dismay that not only did the university kids know more words than the Turner kids, but they learned faster. The gap between upper- and lower-income kids, they concluded, “seemed unalterable by intervention by the time the children were 4 years old.”

Trying to understand why, their team set out to observe parents and children in their homes doing the things they ordinarily did—hanging out, talking, eating dinner, watching television. The results were mind-boggling: in the first years of life, the average number of words heard per hour was 2,150 for professors’ kids, 1,250 for working-class children, and 620 for children in welfare families.

But the problem went further. Welfare parents in the study didn’t just talk less; their talk was meaner and more distracted...

In middle-class families, the child’s development -- emotional, social, and (these days, above all) cognitiv -- takes center stage. It is the family’s raison d’ĂȘtre, its state religion. It’s the reason for that Mozart or Rafi tape in the morning and that bedtime story at night, for finding out all you can about a teacher in the fall and for Little League in the spring, for all the books, crib mobiles, trips to the museum, and limits on TV. It’s the reason, even, for careful family planning; fewer children, properly spaced, allow parents to focus ample attention on each one. Just about everything that defines middle-class parenting—talking to a child, asking questions, reasoning rather than spanking—consciously aims at education or child development.

But, of course, the current obsessiveness with managing their children's lives that affluent white parents display is a recent development. They sure weren't brought up that way. During the Baby Boom, their parents averaged four kids and didn't have time to drive them all over town. That's what bikes were for.

Moreover, parents may not have been as child-centric in aggregate either. My impression is that adults back then went to more cocktail parties, played more bridge, bowled more, and the like. In the seven years of playing baseball in local park leagues, I don't believe either of my parents ever went to one of my games. (They did that out of principle, objecting to parents who put too much pressure on their kids in sports.) Today, it's typical for both parents to go to every game.

Yet, the Baby Boom kids of well-to-do parents generally didn't turn out to be illiterate crack dealers. I wonder why ...

Perhaps the modern style will turn out to be better for kids. Or perhaps it will rob them of initiative. We shall see.

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

"Abuse stories 'isolating African communities'"

"Abuse stories 'isolating African communities'" worries the lefty Guardian:

The government was yesterday urged to ensure that African communities in the UK are not stigmatised over claims of ritualistic child abuse. At a summit called by ministers amid concerns over abuse linked to rituals such as exorcism, there were calls for a focus on a wider range of immigrant communities in the UK, some of which are seen as hard to reach by social services and other authorities.

Ministers from the Department for Education and Skills and the Home Office, meeting representatives of the police, local government, faith and community groups, were also warned that ritualistic abuse - the extent of which is little-researched - should be examined in the context of wider issues of child abuse in communities new to the UK.

The summit, hosted by the children's minister, Beverley Hughes, follows a high-profile court case earlier this month in which three adults were jailed for their involvement in the abuse of an eight-year-old girl from Angola who they accused of being a witch. The Old Bailey heard that the child, brought to Britain from Angola by her aunt, had been beaten, cut and had chilli peppers rubbed in her eyes. Sita Kisanga and her brother Sebastian Pinto were convicted of aiding and abetting child cruelty, along with the child's aunt, found guilty of cruelty.

Ministers were also prompted to act following a leaked report for the Metropolitan police which identified a belief among some members of an African community that children were being abused during exorcism rituals at Pentecostal churches, and another police study indicating high numbers of African boys going missing from school records.

However, African church leaders and campaigners against child abuse within African communities have warned that some media coverage - including claims of child sacrifice in London churches - risks isolating hard-to-reach groups.

A reader responds:

Here is a perfect example of how the pro-immigration multi-culturalist socialworker/engineers sabotage Western culture.

Recently, three African adults were arrested in Britain for torturing a small child in strange exorcism ceremonies. They beat her, cut her and rubbed hot chilli peppers in her eyes over a period of days. Initial news reports said this was a growing problem and was due to religious beliefs of African "protestant fundamentalist churches". It has not happened in a vacuum. (and don't get me started on "muti", the magic practiced by Africans that requires body parts like hearts, livers, fingers and eyes taken from another living human being.)

After a mere two weeks (see the link above), the British sensitivity establishment has already shifted its attention from African exorcisms, torture and death of small children to the dangers of stigmatizing the African community itself.

They call the African neighborhoods and people who either torture children (or defend the torturers and marginalize the torture) as "hard to reach" and fear that the general public's shock and outrage by these religious practices will "isolate African communities".

This is a classic social engineer's maneuver. The socialworker/engineer assumes the mantle of managing everyone's feelings and interrelationships. It is their job to properly gauge the responses of each group and control the level and intensity of feeling. Naturally, they have the goal of bringing African aboriginals into the 21st Century as fast as possible (while preserving their quaint customs and endearing folkways). They also have the job of reengineering the English People to accommodate some of the more bizarre (but harmless) aspects of aboriginal life.

What they refuse to accept is that their way is not the only way, and that the English people may have their own solution to the problem that does not require accommodation or being re-engineered on the part of the English People: increased English shock and outrage until the Africans (I will not say African "communities") either leave; or abase themselves; admit that their savage and barbarian practices are just that: savage and barbarian; admit their sin; beg forgiveness for their savagery; and swear never to do it again.

To reduce English anger, the socialworker/engineer are trying to implant the same memes they use for every other conflict involving savage communities versus civilized communities: persuade the public that the problem isn't "African ritual violence against children" (of which only the Africans partake, and which Africans can only stop by snitching on each other, reporting their own offenders, and changing their morality and religion), but the greater problem of "violence in society" {sample: "It requires us all to proceed sensitively and constructively, and not stigmatise any one community." another sample: "We can't separate it from the issue of wider abuse of children, especially children who are being privately fostered,".

In short, the social workers are unable to address the problem except by gentle persuasion, AND it can work only if the English People agree to not notice what Africans are doing, AND (I fear) only if The Guardian stops writing about such torture and killing, or if it does, that it stop mentioning the fact that torture/killers are African. In short: we must either avert our gaze, go blind, or stick our head in the sand.

It equates the beating a child gets when an English father comes home drunk, with organized religious activities of many Africans out of a deeply-held aboriginal belief in evil spirits and other mumbo-jumbo.

As it is, the Brit socialworker/engineers have already given up the high ground of telling the Africans their behavior is just plain wrong and that what they call their religion is completely unacceptable to England.

As an aside, note the careful way the social workers have already tried to implicate the English in these African crimes. They have called the African religion "protestant fundamentalism" to suggest English guilt as colonialists. They expect us to forget that the missionaries taught the savages a religion of peace, and that it was the Africans alone that engrafted syncretistic native child abuse and torture on that religion. I would no more call the witch-hunting religion of the African child abusers "protestant fundamentalism" than I would call Haitian voodoo "catholicism".

As a final aside, do you think for a moment that the socialworker/engineer women would ever stop blaming men for all domestic violence? That they would drop their male-stigmatizing political reeducation courses they present for judges and policemen as male-bashing and "stigmatizing" a male "community"? Of course they wouldn't. The question is, "Why not?" Find the answer to that, and I think you will have found the nut of the "Church of Liberalism and Multiculturalism".


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