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Exclusives Archive: Dec 2001
Kwanzaa - What's fascinating about Kwanzaa is that its relentless
advance in official recognition is solely a product of the Left's
"march through the institutions." African-Americans who aren't
part of the bureaucracy themselves don't seem to care much about it - at
least they don't care enough to write Kwanzaa songs. Have you
ever heard a Kwanzaa song? To find out if any actually exist, I
logged on to an MP3 song file-sharing network. (Note to the Recording
Industry of America Association's mongoose-like lawyers: This was
purely for journalistic research purposes.) I found 4055 tracks with
"Christmas" in the file name, a huge proportion of them
performed by blacks. In contrast, there were only 11 copies of
Kwanzaa songs, and, judging by the titles, they didn't seem to reflect
much originality and/or respect for the holiday. Most of the files were
copies of either "I'm Dreaming of a Black Kwanzaa" or
"The Twelve Days of Kwanzaa" (there are actually seven
story that the mainstream media has completely missed is the Bush
family's 40 year long history of private dealings with some pretty odiferous
powerbrokers from the Mexican
elite. Only investigative reporter Julia Reynolds of the little
bilingual Mexican-American literary mag El
Andar has poked her nose into it. Maybe there's nothing more to it
than what she's dredged up so far. Still, if nothing else, she's come up
with some colorful Bushian anecdotes. Click
here for my story summarizing her investigations. 12-27-01
win-win solution to the otherwise endless disputes over
school sports teams that use Indian tribe names.
Ali Alert: How in the world do you make the life of Muhammad Ali
dull and depressing? Ali was an illiterate beige racist (a middle-class
"paper bag" colored mulatto, he hated whites and despised
working class blacks, such as the noble Joe Frazier, whom he repeatedly
called a "gorilla"), but he still deserves better than Michael
Mann's catastrophic dud. See
Praise for Tom Clancy - A
few days after Sept. 11, I bought Tom Clancy's novel from 2000, The
Bear and the Dragon, as a relatively painless way to learn the
current state of American war-fighting technology. It ends with a
detailed description of how 21st Century American air power pulverizes a
Chinese armored invasion of Siberia. I finished it and said, "Okay,
we're obviously going to crush the Taliban from the air. No problemo."
(My biggest worry then became that the Taliban would hand over Osama to
us before we could devastate them, which we had to do in order to
encourage the other regimes to not allow anti-American terrorists to
operate from their territories.) Thus, I was incredulous when so many
pundits decided around Nov. 1st that the Taliban were winning.
"Don't they know anything about our current air power? Don't they
read Tom Clancy novels?" A week later, of course, the fearsome
Taliban threw down their weapons and ran for the hills. The answer to
both questions about our commentariat I realize now is "No. They
didn't know anything about military technology and one reason was
because they hold Clancy in contempt." Well, now the joke's on
have so few rock groups been racially integrated compared to
jazz bands? After all, Benny Goodman featured an integrated orchestra in
the Thirties. Before the civil rights revolution, black and white jazz
musicians put up with all sorts of nonsense in order to play together.
When Charlie Parker's band toured the segregated South in the Forties,
they told local sheriffs that their white trumpeter Red Rodney was
actually a black man named "Albino Red."
Christmas vs. Winter Solstice
Q. I'm a Multiculturalist Pagan. I want to celebrate the shortest
day of the year at the exact same moment as all the indigenous peoples
on Mother Earth. Exactly when will that moment occur?
A. Never. Unlike Christianity,
pagan religions are local. This causes practical problems for
politically correct American pagans who want to use the seasons of the
sun to commemorate the unity of humanity under nature. Their problem is
that nature treats humans very differently depending upon where they
live. For example, while Dec. 21 is the shortest day for the Inuit (i.e.
Eskimos), it's the longest day for Australian Aborigines. And for
Africans living on the equator, it's just another twelve-hour day like
all the others. In truth, Winter Solstice celebrations are (gasp)
Eurocentric! Or, to be precise, "Nordocentric."
Tom Cruise in Vanilla
Sky - My
Why do Caucasians differ so much amongst themselves in hair
color, while everybody else (with the exception of some blonde
Australian Aborigines) has dark brown hair? Here's my theory, which has
been getting some favorable responses.
and red hair are favorable mutations for women because they make men
notice them more. Fair hair reflects more light than dark hair, so it
catches the eye more. Women like shiny jewelry for the same
why then doesn't blonde or red hair become universal? Well, it would
lose scarcity value if all women had it. But, also, while it's good for
your daughters, under pre-modern conditions it was bad for your sons.
It tended to hurt males at hunting and war. I recall attending a golf
tournament on a sunny day and standing behind the green when a friend
asked, "Which players are coming next?" I glanced at the tee
500 yards away, and said, "I can't tell who all is in the next
group, but you can definitely see the sunlight glinting off Greg
Norman's hair." The Australian pro Norman, who is no doubt of
partial Nordic descent judging by his name and appearance, has
extremely blonde hair. Fortunately, by now Northwestern Europeans have
largely beaten their swords into golf clubs, but in days of yore,
Norman's hair would have served disastrously as a beacon calling
attention to his presence. Of course, in the Nordic homelands there
aren't many terribly sunny days.
blonde hair becomes more common the farther in Europe you go north,
where the sun is low in the sky and the land heavily forested and
therefore shady. Within Northern Europe, red hair becomes more prevalent
the farther west you go, where, due to the Gulf Stream, the weather is
extremely misty. (I'd guess that the Western Irish are around 1/3
red-haired.) So, in Northwest Europe, you can have lots of blondes
and redheads because lack of direct sunlight meant that highly visible
hair worked well for women, without much penalizing their men folk when
hunting or raiding.
line with this theory, in movie love scenes, the actress almost
always has lighter hair and skin color than the actor. This suggests
that we still associate fairness with the fair sex. 12/13/01
correction: Alert reader R.G. Parker suggested there was a
mistake in my piece below about Prince
Bandar, the Saudi Ambassador. I wrote: "The Prince is the illegitimate daughter of
a Saudi prince and a 'servant' girl." That is wrong. The Prince, I
have since learned, is actually the legitimate daughter of their
common-law marriage. My apologies to the Prince and her parents.
Why do conservative intellectual
shooting themselves in the foot by attacking Darwin? The
magazine with the least to be embarrassed about is National Review.
Although it has printed some dopey Creationist stuff, under both former
editor John O'Sullivan and current
editor Rich Lowry, it has also printed my neo-Darwinian analyses,
Still, National Review Online editor Jonah Goldberg offers
important clue into why normally sophisticated conservative editors
give the anti-Darwin crowd a platform, in his response to Michael
Lind's NYT attack on the Religious Right's influence over the
"Let us not forget that Marx and Freud were once established scientific fact as well. And, moreover, letís see Lindís friends at
Dissent run a negative article about Marx, Freud, or Darwin."
other words, Jonah thinks that Darwin is sacrosanct on the Left. I
suspect this view is common among Right editors. In reality, the Left absolutely
hates what Darwin said about human nature. See my
NR essay on Edward O. Wilson's Sociobiology for the
Sullivan's fuel-injected rise to the top of the heap of
personal web punditry has been an inspiration to all of us with similar
ambitions to grab the world by the lapels. He's churned out an
enormous amount of lively prose ever since he began mainlining
testosterone. Injecting the manly
molecule, however, doesn't always leave him in the mood for careful
thought. Well, that's the most charitable interpretation I can
come up with for this:
TALIBAN'S DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL: All the rest of NATO may have given up
on policing their militaries for homosexuals, but the United States can
rest easy knowing that one military that still supports U.S. policy is
the Taliban. Any consorting with beardless young men in the army is
strictly forbidden. This
story from the Daily Telegraph tells of a weird and fastidious
obsession. - 12/5/2001 11:17:09 PM
Andy? Please tell us you didn't realize that "consorting with
beardless young men in the army" is a euphemism for military men
sexually violating 13-17 year-old boys under their command. It's an old
Afghan custom. James Michener's informative 1963 novel Caravans
refers to it frequently (Here's an amusing
excerpt describing Kabul's butch-femme warrior couples, who are the
product of Afghan men seldom seeing what a real woman looks like). Call
me "weird and fastidious," but on this one issue, I've got to
come down on the same side as the
Taliban against the alliance of Andy Sullivan and the armed pederasts.
Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, wrote a nice complimentary
column about my "ingenious analysis" of the prerequisites
for widening the war in the Middle East in my recent article "Seize
Saudi Arabia before Iraq?" But Rich is more gung-ho about
starting Wolfowitz's War than I am. So let me emphasize that my article
was a challenge to the Big War hawks to either get serious about what
extending the war beyond Afghanistan would require, or to calm down.
wrote on Nov. 7: "Imperialism is a serious business requiring a
serious foundation. If these plans to conquer and rebuild Iraq and other
rogues states, however, are not to prove wholly quixotic, it may well be
that the U.S. would have to first lay the groundwork by seizing control
of Saudi Arabia and its oil wealth. If America is not willing to take
that step, then it should reassess just how committed it is to
broadening the war and afterwards overseeing the region." - 12/4/01
Most of the neo-conservative punditariat now seems favor the Northern Route to attack Iraq. Some want to do it in alliance with the
neighboring Turks, some with the Iraqi Kurds. Few seem to notice that the Turks and the Kurds probably
hate each other
even more than they hate Saddam. The last thing Turkey wants is an
oil-rich Kurdish nation-state in arms upset over the Turks stomping on
their Kurdish cousins in southeastern Turkey. So, which one do we choose?
And what do we do with other? - 12/4/01
I want to shift gears and discuss something positive (or at least
surprisingly non-negative) about Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
Granted, they haven't done much of note with the money they won in the
oil lottery, but they also haven't let it destroy their personal and
family lives yet either. Their general populations, which were almost
completely pre-modern, have not collapsed into debauchery, the way so
many hunter-gatherer peoples in Canada and Australia have. Perhaps, they
did even better than African-Americans did after AFDC was boosted. Sure,
plenty of princes live lives of debauchery when away from Arabia, but
they usually spend part of the year in Arabia drying out. And the
general populous seldom leaves. I think the strictness of Islam has been
a big help in preventing moral collapse - especially the prohibition on
alcohol, which has destroyed so many other peoples suddenly brought into
the modern world. - 12/4/01
self-contrarianism about the Saudis - Having recently raised the
question of whether we should conquer Saudi Arabia and steal its oil, I
want to point out something else positive about that country and Islam
in general - a higher degree of racial tolerance than one would
expect from such a benighted part of the world.
invited to too many parties on Embassy Row, I only recently got my first
look at Prince Bandar, the notoriously genial Saudi ambassador to the
U.S., probably the most successful ambassador of his era. (I did,
however, once talk to the guys who installed the James Bond-style
security system for his 55,000 sq. ft. mansion above Aspen. In case you're planning to truckbomb his ski house, one word of advice: Don't.
You'd be dead before you got 50 feet up the driveway.)
A recent Newsweek
ran a photo of Bandar and Colin Powell. They could well be brothers.
Since Powell has some Jewish ancestors, he has some Semitic in him too.
Prince Bandar would almost certainly be
considered "black" if he was an America (he's at least as
black as, say, rapper Ice-T.) The Prince is the illegitimate daughter of
a Saudi prince and a "servant" girl. (Since black slavery
wasn't outlawed in Arabia until 1962, I'd presume she may have been a
slave girl.) I always thought it was ridiculous that when Malcolm X made
a pilgrimage to Mecca only two years after the abolition of Saudi
slavery, he came back with a vision of racial harmony.
Yet ... Malcolm was on to something. Much
of the strength of Islam stems from its universalism. In an ancient part
of the world that seems permanently subdivided into hostile clans, it
offers a higher philosophy than ethnic nepotism. That was part of the
early appeal of the Taliban - the belief that Koranic students would
raise Afghanistan above warlordism. Sadly, it turned out there were even
worse things than warlordism. - 12/4/01
The left wing New York
Review of Books just ran a terrific two part series
on immigration by distinguished Harvard sociologist Christopher Jencks
called "Who Should Get In." It's striking, although it really
shouldn't be surprising, that starting from nominally opposite ends of the
political spectrum, he and I reach almost identical conclusions about
what's in the best interests of American citizens. Jencks' last sentence
is, "Fifty years from now our children could find that admitting
millions of poor Latinos had not only created a sizable Latino
underclass butófar worseó that it had made rich Americans more like
rich Latin Americans." In
May, I wrote in VDARE.com, "The
unexplored problem with massive mestizo immigration is that by creating
a beige servant caste, it slowly turns the wealthier native-born
Americans into a white master caste. Maybe we'll be able to withstand
the temptations inherent in this kind of society better than the whites
of Latin America, who were thoroughly corrupted by them. The history of
the American South, though, suggests that rich white Americans aren't
immune to the sinister blandishments of luxurious living based on a
surplus of cheap laborers of dusky hue."
Multiculturalism vs. geography education: The war
has revealed that Americans know terribly little about much of the
peoples of the world. This is in part because geography went out of
fashion as a school subject decades ago. The multi-culti folks
definitely don't want more classes about other foreign peoples that boys would find interesting. For example, my son's enormously heavy math book is full of pictures of things like Kenyans playing soccer and a caption that says
"Kenyans like playing soccer." Obviously, the point is that Kenyans are just like middle class American kids - they like soccer! But that's
borrrring. That's like saying: "Kenyans like to eat food!" Ho hum. Information consists of contrasts, as in the 0's and 1's of digital data. We learn very little by hearing how other people are just like us, and our brains certainly can't
use that to put together a distinct picture of them.
Now, if you had a picture of the Masai draining blood from the neck of a cow and a caption saying that the Masai live on milk and cow's blood, boys would be interested in
that. And if you had a picture of Masai girl on her wedding day and a caption that said that this bride was bought from her father for
40 cows, girls would be interested in that.
Similarly, the Pathan (Pashtun) culture of Afghanistan is strangely fascinating to Western males -
Churchill, Kipling, and other Victorians were partly horrified, partly entranced by it. James Michener said that Afghanistan is the one country he would most like to revisit. But everything that's interesting about Pathan life is horribly non-PC, so it's best just to ignore them completely.
Schools can't teach about what other cultures are actually all about, because what they typically are interested in - war, distinct sex roles, patriarchy, sexual jealousy and control of female reproduction,
hunting, religion, vengeance, aristocracy, ethnocentrism, etc. - are all things that kids are being taught are what makes the West uniquely bad
compared to these very PC other cultures that are being oppressed by the west.
I absolutely loved geography in grade school and look how evil I turned
out to be.
From the PC perspective, it's much safer to teach abstract mathematics than geography, which is why schools are pretty good at math these days
(at least when teaching kids who are genetically capable) and terrible at geography.
What Russia's Putin wants - There
has been much speculation about why Vladimir Putin has cozied up to
America so dramatically. Here are three of his worries that you haven't
heard much about yet:
First, Russia's major long-term major external threat is a Chinese invasion of
Siberia. The situation in the East is getting dicier every decade. The Chinese population will expand to about 1.5 billion before stabilizing. The Russian population is 142 million and dropping with no bottom in sight. Illegal immigration from China to Siberia is slowly tipping the balance with Siberia.
The main hope for the Russian economy is discovering more natural resources, but each new oilfield or mine in Siberia is an added inducement for a Kuwait-style invasion by the People's Liberation Army. Putin knows his army is terrible and he doesn't have the money to make it much better. And he wants to cut way back on his nukes to save money, at a time when the Chinese are expanding their nuclear war fighting capabilities. Presumably, he'll keep enough nukes to deter the Chinese, but no head of state sleeps well when the main thing preventing invasion is the presumption that he, personally, will initiate an exchange of ICBMs that will result in the deaths of millions of his own people.
There's got to be a better way.
So, if you are Putin, why not start acting like Russia already has a mutual defense pact with the mighty USA? American has been attacked, so Russia is going to its aid. Putin is hoping to build up the presumption that if Russia is attacked by China, therefore America will go to Russia's aid.
Second, I suspect, Putin wants America favor the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. His major internal threat is from Muslims inside Russia. The defining problem of the
Muscovite state over the last half millennium has been the lack of natural borders on the great Eurasian plain. Whereas mountainous Switzerland can remain both small and independent, in the East, size matters. The barriers to expansion are low, but so are the barriers to dissolution. The Russians were content to let Chechnya have its autonomy after the First Chechen War, but constant kidnapping raids by Chechen gangsters into the Muslim but loyal Russian region of Dagestan outraged the Russian people, making possible Putin's Second Chechen War.
Our 1999 attack on Yugoslavia over Kosovo terrified the Russians. Here was the U.S. violating the national sovereignty of a Slavic, Eastern Orthodox-run state (remind you of anybody?), breaking an internationally recognized country apart, handing a big chunk of its lawful territory over to the control of
Muslim gangsters and facilitating their ethnic cleansing of the native Slav population, all because America didn't like the tactics being used by the legal government to put down an internal rebellion. Tactics that were no worse than what Putin shortly thereafter found necessary in Chechnya (or, for that matter, that Turkey found necessary in Kurdistan.) This example that American foreign policy can be driven more by the volatile emotions of elites rather than by our national interest suggests that Russia needs to appeal to America's emotions by coming to its aid now.
Third, we're likely to see the revival of the ancient rivalry between Moscow and Istanbul. Turkey's GNP is about two fifth's as large as Russia's, so it's no longer all that one-sided. Plus, the Turks are much tougher warriors than most Middle Eastern Muslims (remember
You may have seen the interesting WSJ op-ed by a Turkish writer proposing that the U.S. subsidize Turkey in exporting its version of secularism to the Islamic world. What the Turkish writer wanted in return was the U.S. favoring Turkey extending its sphere of influence to the former Soviet but ethnic Turkish states of Central Asia. The U.S. has long seen Turkey as just about the best that you can hope for from a country with an Islamic population. It's not at all inconceivable that we will shift our Middle Eastern aid from such troublesome "allies" as Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia to the much more satisfactory Turkey. Putin is trying to head this Turkish threat off by making these Russian puppet governments in Central Asia cooperate with the U.S. so that we support Putin's
hegemony over these potentially oil-rich countries.
think a lot of my readers are turned off by my reliance on
Darwinian logic. So, one of these days I'm going to need to write a
full-blown article about "liberal creationism" that
will put it all in perspective.
In general, the
more sophisticated religious creationists admit that the various kinds
of Darwinian selection (artificial, natural, and sexual) work. They
don't deny that, say, germs are rapidily evolving under the impact of
antibiotics. None of them have a problem with believing that artificial
selection can create new breeds of dogs or pigs or whatever. They call
this "microevolution" and it's okay with them. What they
refuse to believe is that new species can emerge (what they call
Now, I believe
that the concept of "species" is vastly overrated in
importance (e.g., lions and tigers can get together and make perfectly
fertile little ligers and tions, so are lions and tigers
different species or just different races? And, ultimately, what
difference does it make?) So, the differences between microevolution and
macroevolution seem unimportant to me.
Still, since most
of my interests and all of what passes for my expertise are in human
subjects rather than lions and tigers, I can pretty much live with smart
Creationists who accept microevolution. If you tell me that the modern
human species was flat out created ex nihilo 100,000 years ago,
and that humans have been genetically diversifying ever since according
to the processes of selection, we can go a long way together toward
understanding things like race. (I can't of course deal with people who
think the Earth was created in 4004 BC and Noah's flood killed the
dinosaurs and dug the Grand Canyon - although the concept of racial
diversification is at least introduced in the Genesis account of the
sons of Noah.)
On the other hand,
liberal creationism - the assumption that these Darwinian selection
systems were zooming along for billions of years, but then instantly
ground to a halt 100,000 or so years ago when the first modern humans
evolved - is simply an intellectual dead end for my purposes. The Stephen
Jay Gould-types assume that species evolve, but not races, breeds,
subspecies, extended families or whatever. The system that creates
species simply shuts down once one is created until it's time to create
a new one. This obviously makes no sense. - 12/5/01