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November 2002

 

One-stop shopping for all your Mark Steyn reading needs -- It looks like Steyn finally has a website that links to all of his enormous output. (Thanks to Colby Cosh for the link.) I've long been convinced that Steyn is the best opinion journalist currently working in English. But his output is spread out across various outlets in Canada, Britain, and the U.S., so he's been hard to keep up with. (Plus, he must publish 4,000 words a week.)

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Unintended consequences of war, Part 36 -- I haven't been writing much about the Iraq Attaq lately. I wanted to see a democratic debate on the subject, and I think Bush's victories in Congress and the November elections qualify well enough as an endorsement of his stand. 

 

Still, I'm reminded of one of the weirdest unanticipated consequences of American wars -- both WWI and the Gulf War seemed to set off puritanical feminist frenzies. In 1917, whorehouse across the country were shut down, leading to the jazz musicians in New Orlean's huge Storyville red light district, such as Louis Armstrong, heading up the Mississippi River to Memphis, St. Louis, and Chicago. Further, women got the vote and politicians immediately responded by instituting What Women Want: which in this case was Prohibition (the distillers were the main backers of the anti-Suffragette movement). Ultimately, the spread of jazz and speakeasies undermined feminist Puritanism more than the whorehouses and legal liquor ever did, but that just shows that unintended consequences have their own unintended consequences.

 

Similarly, the Gulf War seemed to inflame a new generation of feminist puritans. Remember the Tailhook brouhaha? What was that all about? Navy fighter pilots held a victory party in a Las Vegas hotel and America was outraged to hear of the flyboys taking liberties while in their cups? It's all pretty incomprehensible today, but it was a very big deal then. And don't get me started on Anita Hill's hissy fit. Anyway, that led to the Year of the Woman and huge Democratic victories in 1992. That also led, inevitably, to journalists investigating Bill Clinton's advances toward his employees in Arkansas since some of them had to be unwelcome. That led to Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit which led to Clinton's perjury over Monica which led to his impeachment. By then, however, the fever had passed, and all the feminists lined up on Clinton's side, because they thought he was so sexy or something.

 

Any predictions what the Iraq Attaq might bring on the domestic front?

***

 

Film of the Week: Clooney in 'Solaris' by Steve Sailer

By releasing "Solaris" in 2,600 theatres over the long Thanksgiving weekend, 20th Century Fox is trying to squeeze a quick mass market buck out of an intellectually inspiring but somber and befuddling art house film. "Solaris" reunites director Steven Soderbergh and leading man George Clooney for the first time since their delightful blockbuster "Ocean's Eleven."

***

 

Fox wants to tax Mexican intellectuals - After the Mexican Revolution, the Mexican government put the country's entire left wing artistic and intellectual class on the dole, exempting them from taxes, subsidizing their salaries, and buying most of the ads in their journals. This had the happy result of neutering would-be Marxist revolutionaries. By turning the Left into spoon-fed lapdogs of the state, Mexico avoided the horrendous civil wars seen in Guatemala and Peru, where white Communists led oppressed brown peasants, and the Tupamaro white urban insurrections in Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina. (Mexico's Chiapas uprising is a pale reflection of what happened over the border in Guatemala.)

 

Unfortunately, it sapped the dynamism of Mexican culture above the most vulgar level of the the telenovelas and Sabado Gigante. The biopic Frida portrays a 1930's Mexico that seems immensely far away, an era in which the rest of the world was actually quite interested in the painters and writers of Mexico. 

 

But, 70 years of subsidies farther on, Mexico's intellectual life barely has a pulse. Newspaper readership is absurdly low, as is book publishing. You'll noticed that non-Mexican Miami is the Hispanic cultural capital of America, not Los Angeles with its huge Mexican population.

 

A major reason is because Mexican writers don't have to compete for the public's ear, so they can afford to be boring. It's just like the established churches of Europe, which, like subsidized government monopolies everywhere, do a lousy job of meeting people's needs. Thus, Christianity is much less popular in Europe than in America, with it's hyper-competitive free market in religion. Similarly, Mexican writers don't have pressing financial incentives to come up with new ideas to attract eyeballs, so they don't. By kicking Mexico's intelligentsia off the dole, Fox could spark a rennaisance.

 

Mexico's other cultural problem is demographic. The peasants classes have out bred the elite in the 20th Century, vulgarizing national tastes. The same thing happened in once-sophisticated Egypt. Verdi's Aida premiered in Cairo -- can you imagine something like that happening today?

***

 

Is this all there is to the story? - "In early 2000 a Saudi national living in San Diego named Majeda Ibrahin Dweikat began receiving regular monthly, stipends of about $2,000 from the checking account of Princess Haifa bint Faisal, the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Dweikat often signed the checks over to her Saudi friend in San Diego, Manal Ahmed Bagader, who was married to another Saudi national named Omar al-Bayoumi. And al-Bayoumi, it turns out, was a good friend of--and provided crucial assistance to--Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, two Saudi nationals who arrived in San Diego in early 2000 and on September 11, 2001, helped hijack American Airlines Flight 77 and crash it into the Pentagon." - TNR

 

Let's see: Assume Ambassador Bandar is A and his wife is B. She gives his money  to C who gives it to D who gives it E who gives it to F. It's like playing Six Degrees of Separation! Obviously, Prince Bandar wanted to blow up Washington, no doubt about it!

 

I once drove by Bandar's 17,000 sq ft house in Starwood outside Aspen. Actually, that's just his guesthouse. His ski chalet is 55,000 sq ft. For his wife, $2000 bucks per month is pocket lint.

***

 

Rove's Mistake: Fred Barnes writes: Fred Barnes writes:

 

"In reapportionment based on the 2000 census, Karl Rove was the key White House player. Rove is a senior Bush adviser and the president's chief political handler. Rove urged Republicans to enter agreements with Democrats to protect incumbents in the midterm, and a number of deals were reached. Only three Republican House incumbents lost on November 5--Connie Morella in Maryland, Felix Grucci in New York, and George Gekas in Pennsylvania. Republicans increased their majority in the House by knocking off five Democratic House incumbents and capturing a surprisingly large share of open seats."

 

Yes, I realize that everything Karl Rove has ever done in his life is a stroke of genius, but doesn't it now look like Rove cost the GOP a few dozen House seats in the 2002 election? By agreeing to incumbent protection, he held gains down to only 5 seats (1% of the House), despite Republican candidates beating the Democrats by 6 or more percentage points. I'm sure it was the prudent thing to do, but it definitely backfired on him.

***

 

Greatest Britons ever - According to a million votes received by the BBC - 1. Churchill 2. Isambard Kingdom Brunel 3. Princess Diana 4. Darwin 5. Shakespeare 6. Newton 7. Lennon 8. Elizabeth I 9. Nelson 10. Cromwell

 

A pretty good list: The great engineer Brunel's second place showing was probably the work of Brunel U. students, but he's not a bad choice at all for the Top 10, although maybe James Watt would be a better representative of the Industrial Revolution. 

 

Anyway, how would I change this list? I'd replace Nelson with Wellington, but I can certainly see the arguments on both sides. Di is out, Jane Austen's in. John Lennon's out, Adam Smith's in. Oliver Cromwell's out, Edmund Burke's in.  Beyond those, it's awfully hard to argue with Churchill, Darwin, Shakespeare, Newton, and Elizabeth I. 

 

Runners-up:  Alfred the Great, the two Bacons, Drake, William Penn, Hume, Macauley, Gladstone, Galton, Maxwell, Chaplin, McCartney, Thatcher, and William D. Hamilton.

***

 

Negritos in Yemen? - I helped George Weber of Andaman.org get permission from Ambassador Carl Coon to post his father's pictures of "Arabs" from Yemen in southwest Arabia who look like various peoples normally thought of as living thousands of miles to the east: negritos, Australian aborigines, and/or Indian Veddoids. In general, here and there throughout the Middle East there are pockets of people who appear to have been left over from tens of thousands of years ago. For example, Coon visited oases in Morocco where there are people who look like South African Bushmen.

***

 

Headlines you'll see more of: "Tangtiphaiboontana Wins Golf Title" - Presumably due to the inspiring example of the quarter-Thai Tiger Woods, young golfers with sesquipedalian last names have become common atop the leader boards of West Coast high school golf tournaments. I presume this young lady is Thai, although judging from her name's length it could be a Malagasy name from Madagascar, home to the world's longest names.

***

 

Long time favorite Nicholas Wade of the NYT has an article on the co-evolution of dogs and people. Polymath Jerry Pournelle has suggested that domesticating dogs allowed humans to evolve into modernity by offloading most smell processing from the human brain to dogs, freeing up human brain space for higher order cogitation. The article suggests two possible dates for dog domestication: 15,000 years ago and 40,000. The 40,000 years ago date fits nicely with Pournelle's theory, since that is somewhere around the time of the human Great Leap Forward that led to a rapid advance in human culture (cave paintings and all that) after very little advance during the the first 50,000 to 150,000 years of the existence of anatomically modern humans.

***

 

Help me out here - Did Jonah Goldberg really call for an unprovoked military assault on Canada in his National Review cover story "Bomb Canada"? I read the relevant passages twice trying to construe his call for blowing up the 2,000' CN Tower in Toronto as a hypothetical response to a hypothetical Al-Qaeda attack on the U.S. from Canadian soil, but it sure sounded like he wanted us to attack Canada right now. Please tell me I got this wrong?

 

Update -- Apparently, he was calling for a Pearl Harbor-style sneak attack on Canada, but now Jonah says he was being "sarcastic." Subtle humor, however, isn't exactly Jonah's style, and this was a very serious-sounding article.

***

 

The Jewish vote in 2002 - A lot of Republicans expected Jews to swing to the GOP this year. It looks like there may have been a slight increase, but not much more than the usual ups and downs after a particularly bad year in 2000 (when the GOP took only 17% of the Jewish vote). From limited data, I'd guess that Republicans upped that to the 20%-25% range. Reagan carried close to 40% of the Jewish vote in 1980, when many Jews were mad at Carter over Camp David.

 

Jews makes up only about 2% of the population and 4% of the voters, but of course a larger fraction of Representatives (26 of 435), Senators (11 of 100), political donors, and public intellectuals. A few decades ago, one academic made up a list of the 200 top public intellectuals: 104 had two Jewish parents and 52 had one.

***

 

The gay vote in 2002 - A Zogby poll of 412 self-identified non-straights finds 71% say they voted Democratic, 19% Republican, 4% Libertarian, 3% Green. Andrew Sullivan, who forecast a rising GOP tide among gays, claims this is "preposterous ... this poll strikes me as essentially worthless." But an LA Times exit poll of 3,444 Californians found about 136 self-identified homosexuals, who split 69% Democratic, only 10% Republican, and 21% various third parties. (No doubt the nominally Republican NY governor George Pataki did better among among gays/lesbians, since he moved so far to the left that he won the endorsement of the substantially gay-dominated NYT.) In 2000, Gore beat Bush  70%-25% among about 530 homosexuals in the VNS exit poll. All this suggests that homosexuals are similar to Jews in their voting patterns, which I don't think would come as a surprise to too many of you.

 

I think part of Andrew's problem in being realistic about this is that he doesn't know (or like) many lesbians. They probably make up a third or so of the homosexual population and, judging from how politicized many lesbians are, they may vote more heavily per capita than the more hedonistic and apolitical male homosexuals. I wouldn't be surprised if lesbians voted 90% or higher for the Democrats and/or Greens. In contrast, I suspect that gay males include a lot of small businessmen, who normally tend toward Republicanism.

 

By the way, the three polls cited above found homosexuals to be 5%, 4%, and 4% of all voters. I suspect, although without too much hard evidence, that they vote more per capita than the average. This might suggest something like homosexuals making up 3%-4% of the adult population, well below the 10% number you used to here, but a little above those of scientific researchers. J. Michael Bailey of Northwestern has long suggested a lower number, but that 3% or 4% sounds reasonable to me.

***

 

What kind of bird are you? In the grand tradition of Barbara Walters asking interviewees what kind of tree they'd be, the burning issue of the day appears to be whether you are a hawk, dove, chickenhawk, or (fanfare, please) eagle. Hmmhmmmhm ... on this controversy, can I just be a mockingbird?

***

 

Film of the Week: Kline's 'Emperor's Club' by Steve Sailer

Kevin Kline, who stars as a beloved classics teacher in the gentle prep school drama "The Emperor's Club," is a near dead-ringer in looks, but not persona, for Errol Flynn, that Golden Age of Hollywood emblem of rampant masculinity. While playing a fictionalized Flynn in "My Favorite Year," Peter O'Toole reacted in horror to the suggestion that he perform live, famously exclaiming, "I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!" In contrast, the mild-mannered family man Kline has always been too much the actor to ever become quite the movie star that so many had expected.

***

 

Video of the Week: 'Spirit the Stallion' by Steve Sailer

Dreamworks' big budget ($80 million) animated feature, the nice-looking "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron," is out Tuesday on DVD ($26.99 list) and VHS ($24.99). It took in $73 million at the domestic box office, but should do well in the video market since horse-loving little girls will want to watch it repeatedly.

***

 

Women at Augusta - This brouhaha over Augusta National discriminating against women reminds me of who are some of the staunchest supporters of all-male golf clubs -- the members' wives. Consider that American co-ed country clubs have traditionally been typically quite generous to widows, discriminatory against divorcees, and virtually closed to single women. Now, why would men subsidize widows' memberships but block applications of young single women? Because their wives don't want them fooling around at the club. By keeping out young women on the hunt for husbands, the guys get permission more often from their wives to do what they really want: go to the club and play golf.

***

 

An exchange with "Mr. Eagle" - Here's my email exchange with somebody I'll only refer to as Mr. Eagle on the question of whether his priority is to first send American soldiers into harm's way in Iraq (something he has advocated vociferously) or to first root out homophobia and intolerance among American soldiers who don't like gays looking at them in the shower (something else he obsesses over):

 

Mr. Eagle - My priority is to tell them [American soldiers] to get over it [their distaste for out-of-the-closet homosexuals].

 

Me: Right before sending them off to invade Iraq? Or as their hero's welcome when they get back?

 

Mr. Eagle - Jeez. these guys can't take a look or two. It's pathetic.

 

Me. It's how guys who are good at killing people and breaking things feel. Same with football players. Did you choose the way you feel about being ogled?

 

Mr. Eagle - I'm amazed how far the right goes in defending "sensitivity" in this case, when they'd have no patience for it anywhere else. 

 

Me - Yes, I am extremely sensitive to the feelings of the guys who risk their lives in the interests of my country. Aren't you?

 

Mr. Eagle - But I think you need to be explicit in arguing that homophobia is a critical source of cohesion in the military, just as racism once was. Then defend it.

 

Me - Two different things. I'll let Tom Wolfe do it -- see "Incident at Fort Benning."

 

(I haven't heard from Mr. Eagle since. Let me cheat by explaining the last a little. White racism was based on denigrating the masculinity of black men -- by calling them "boy" and the like to keep them from impregnating white women. The places where black men and white men get along best now -- the military and sports teams -- are specifically masculine environments where men bond through fighting on the same side, and where outspoken homosexuals are particularly unwelcome because they throw into suspicion the entire bonding process.)

***

 

How to help smart black kids? - The NYT runs an article on a program that provides help to high-scoring slum kids. I used to advise a charity in Chicago that provided scholarships to private high schools for kids from poor families. Choosing 8th graders was an interesting and difficult process that raised all sorts of questions that I didn't have satisfying answers for. 

 

For example, do you give scholarships in a colorblind fashion to the ones who score highest on tests? That sounds good, but I ended up voting against three Russian Jewish immigrant kids who scored at the 99th percentile. They were only temporarily poor because their M.D. fathers were studying to take the Illinois doctor's exam in English. They had enormous potential, but there were lots of Jewish charities to take care of them, and they didn't seem to be at any real risk at all.

 

One thing that quickly became apparent was that there were plenty of other resources for very high scoring kids of any race. For example, the public, but intensely meritocratic  Whitney Young H.S. in the inner city had the 6th highest test scores in Illinois. Many of the strongest candidates for our scholarships had already been accepted at Whitney Young. Over time, I came to argue that we ought to take mostly black and Hispanic kids who scored in the 40th-70th percentile -- the ones who could go both ways in life and were in substantial danger of going the wrong way.

 

One other thing that soon emerged was that most of the elite prep schools were exactly the wrong places for ghetto kids -- too liberal, too free form for kids who desperately needed discipline and basics. (Similarly, there was a recent article about Berkeley H.S., where the white parents and the black parents had been in conflict - the liberal whites want a permissive, progressive environment and the black parents want the 3 Rs and a firm hand.) The best choice was usually Providence-St. Mel's a Catholic high school on the rough West Side run by a famously hard-nosed black Catholic priest. But most of the donations were coming from rich graduates of the preps schools who wanted to send the poor kids to their alma maters.

***

 

Eagle Priorities - Lately, Andrew Sullivan has been proclaiming that he is neither a hawk nor a dove -- instead, he is something much higher and finer: an "eagle." So, what's an eagle? Apparently, if Andrew is the model, he's a hyperhawk, except that he seems to think that the military should drop everything to root out anti-gay sentiments among enlisted men, so that that very small fraction of male enlistees who are gay can speak their love that dare not speak its name. So, what's his priority: Send hundreds of thousands of homophobes into harms' way in Iraq, then welcome them home by dispatching them to sexual orientation sensitivity re-education camps? Or vice-versa?

 

Andrew admits, "the issue that genuinely perplexes me is the fear and panic that many straight men display when they think another man might find them attractive." What makes Andrew a star -- being so wrapped up in his own personality -- also makes him frequently clueless about everybody else. So, why do Marines hate to be ogled in the shower by gays? It's the same reason that 200 pound Women's Studies professors with butch haircuts get all worked up over the "Male Gaze." In general, relatively masculine men and women hate being treated as sex objects. Relatively feminine men and women like being treated as sex objects. Andrew can say that's not logical, but That's How They Feel. Extremely masculine men -- the guys who are going to take out Saddam for him -- really, truly hate gays eyeing them. 

***

 

Population Growth --> Environmentalism - WSJ columnist Tom Bray, the self-appointed voice of the auto industry, complains that the Republican sweep didn't go far enough: one "glaring exception" was that voters still approved billions to buy and set aside open lands as nature preserves. "A more radical agenda may be driving the thirst for open space," he warns darkly, then admits that for some reason, "The American hankering for open spaces, in other words, is still one of the most potent values at work on the American political scene." Bray asks plaintively about Michigan voters and their unfathomable predilection for nature: "How much open space can the state's residents sensibly use?"

 

Since we have no idea what the population of the U.S. will be in the future -- the Census Bureau's last High Estimate was 1,000,000,000 at the end of this century, and that was before the new Census discovered the U.S. population was already 6,000,000 higher than the government thought -- it might well be admirably prudent for voters to preserve open land. If the WSJ is serious about reducing the pressures causing voters to support environmentalism, then the it should support measures to reduce population growth. I believe that American citizens should determine the size of the next generation in the privacy of their own bedrooms. Since most of the population growth over the next century will stem from immigration, the first step the WSJ should take is to publicly retract its longtime support for a constitutional amendment saying "There shall be open borders." I know there are plenty of people at the WSJ Op-Ed page smart enough to get this logic. It's time to step forward. (This means you, John Fund.)

***

 

Latest Rove Amnesty Trial Balloon - This one's particularly pathetic -- amnesty only for 15% of illegal aliens, no citizenship, no votes, limited rights to bring in relatives. Clearly, judging by the conditions, Rove now gets it that amnesty would be very bad for the GOP, so he's trying to come up with the absolute minimum one imaginable. This one certainly won't get the GOP in the good graces of the Univision, La Raza, and the other Hispanic "leaders" whose incomes depend on more bodies, so what's the point? It would only make sense as a sop in return for Building a Wall from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico.

***

 

Amazing Deal -- For $40 at Costco, I picked up the 32 CD-Rom collection of all National Geographic articles over the last 112 years. It includes 185,000 photos, every word of text, and all those ads from the past that everybody loves. I typed in "Andaman" and it took to me the 1975 article showing photos of the pygmy negritos on the beach of isolated N. Sentinel I. who drove off the investigative team by shooting a photographer with an arrow.

***

 

One thing I've learned in years of sorting laundry - You don't want to try to make a fashion statement via your socks. Buy three dozen pairs of identical black socks and three dozen pairs of identical white socks. Every three years you throw them all out and buy six dozen more. You'll never waste a second matching socks again.

***

 

Animal rights -- We ought to be breeding stupider domestic animals. For example, chickens are so unintelligent that it's hard for anybody sensible to feel any qualms over eating them. But, pigs are smart enough (perhaps as smart as dogs) that I might skip eating them, if they just weren't so tasty. So, what we need are stupider pigs that we can raise in factory farms without them even noticing what a raw deal they are getting. In fact, most domestic animals already have smaller brains than their wild cousins. It would be humane to accelerate this process.

 

Of course, on a philosophical level, it's hard to understand why so many of the people who get worked up over animal rights aren't worried at all about partial birth abortions.

***

 

Calling All Blowhards -- Because they start each essay with the other guy's name, I can never remember which of the Two Blowhards is which, but here are a couple of art stories for the L.A. Blowhard to check out. 

 

In Pasadena, Caltech foolishly hired Richard "Tilted Arc" Serra to create a "world class" sculpture on the grassy lawn where hard-working nerds like to relax by tossing the old Frisbee around. Not exactly surprisingly, Serra responded by designing one of his typical viewer-victimizing Berlin Walls to split the field in half, block the sightlines, and potentially break the necks of the Frisbee players. The students have been protesting and the college administration is trying to maintain a low profile. Go nerds!

 

Meanwhile, downtown in the grand old Bradbury Building (featured in "Blade Runner") the anti-Serra, Edward R. Tufte, is having an exhibit. Tufte, the author of the celebrated and beloved "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information," advocates that the purpose of design is to serve the viewer by communicating rich amounts of knowledge in the most readily comprehensible fashion possible. This exhibit includes both Tufte's famous statistical graphs and a couple of his new abstract steel sculptures. 

 

Serra is a highly talented artist, but nobody's that talented that his egomaniacal urge to commit large scale vandalism on a beautiful greensward (which exists because previous artists designed it) should be indulged. Serra should be sentenced to two months of studying Tufte's books.

***

 

The Economist's article "Why the Republicans Won" cites my UPI article, and, in fact is largely a summary of my work. If you subscribe to The Economist, you can read it here.

***

 

After four all-nighters since Election Day, I'm trying to get 20 hours of sleep today, so don't expect much from me. It's been a satisfying week and a half, though, since I scooped everybody on both the overall voting margin and on the major demographics trends. I heard a rumor that the VNS exit poll data, such as it is, might be released on Friday. If you see it, please email me the URL.

***

 

Film of the Week: New 'Harry Potter' by Steve Sailer
I took my son and his two best friends to see the latest "Harry Potter" movie, just as I had last November when they were third graders. Two hours and forty-one minutes of "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" later, I asked them how it compared to "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," which took in more receipts worldwide than anything besides "Titanic.
"

***

 

If you want to look at exit poll data for yourself, here is the Fox results for ten states. And here is the Acrobat PDF of the L.A. Times poll of California. 

 

Someday we may see the VNS exit poll data. Or maybe not. However, there are two more sources of polling data that are not public: each party's private polls. In the absence of VNS data, I hereby call on Mr. Karl Rove and Mr. Terry McAuliffe to release their party's results as a public service to aid in fully  understanding the historic events of last week.

 

Here's a good example of why the parties should let the world see their poll results, rather than continue to bring fragments of them out for maximum spinnage. 

 

"Mr. Rove cited other recent data that suggested Republican support among older and younger voters he did not specify ages appeared to be growing at a faster rate than the overall population, and that the gender gap among younger voters was narrowing to an even split. In recent elections, Republicans have generally appealed more to men than to women. He said the idea that a growing number of younger voters were identifying with Republicans "is pretty dramatic," and that the shift in the gender gap "could be a significant trend" that would help Republicans long into the future.""

 

First, why is it a good thing for GOP support to be growing faster among the young and the old than among people in their middle years? It sounds like a net wash to me. (If the opposite had been true, Rove could have spun it, with equal plausibility, "GOP support is growing faster among voters in the primes of their lives rather than among the immature slacker young or the senile, soon-to-be-dead old!" Look, a voter is a voter, and, I am awfully tired of everyone acting like some voters are more equal than others. 

 

Second, is it even true? I tried to check Rove's claim about doing better among the young for the eleven states I have data for, but I only found it to be true in three. Further, in the last Gallup Poll, which accurately predicted a national 6 point GOP win, the Democrats were ahead among 18-34 year olds by a huge 59-39 margin. The GOP's biggest margin was among 35-49 year olds.

 

That doesn't mean Rove's lying. It just means he should release all the numbers he has for the other 39 states. Another example: he says the gender gap among the young is narrowing and that this is good for the GOP. The exit poll result I have don't report this, so I can't check it directly. Let me point out that Rove seems to be appealing to the media's assumption that the Gender Gap is a bad thing for Republicans. Obviously, Rove knows that's nonsense -- the gender gap was first identified in the 1980 election, and we all know the decades from 1980 on have have been a lot kinder to Republicans than the two preceding decades when there wasn't much of a gender gap. (It may be unfashionable, but a man's vote still counts for as much as a woman's vote.) Further, since we know that single women are much more Democratic than married women and there are more single women among the young, the most likely reasons for a smaller gender gap among the young is because young men vote more Democratic. That's good for the GOP?

***

 

Andrew Sullivan announces that he's "tired of this hawk-dove paradigm." From now on, he wants to be known as an "Eagle." 

One of the pleasures of listening to Rush LImbaugh is how when he gets particularly egomaniacal, Rush verbally winks at you to let you know he's in on the joke too. With Andrew, a lot of the fascination is that he doesn't even seem to be aware of the joke.

***

 

Here's the Big One of my election articles, thoroughly documenting and expanding the insights of the VDARE piece I wrote last Thursday:

Analysis: Whites, not Latinos, win for GOP by Steve Sailer

The demographic headline on the 2002 election was expected to be either "Democrats ride growing numbers of nonwhite voters to victory," or "GOP wins by attracting more minorities." Instead, non-whites played an anticlimactic role. The star turn was taken by what had become the Invisible Giant of American politics: the white electorate.

***

 

Video of the Week: 'Attack of the Clones' by Steve Sailer by Steve Sailer

If you are blind, there is no point in purchasing "Star Wars: Episode 2: Attack of the Clones" on video (out on Tuesday for $29.98 list on DVD and $24.98 on VHS), since the plot is ponderous, the dialogue deplorable and the line-readings limp. Still, the latest "Star Wars" installment is worth seeing if you like splendid sci-fi landscapes and bang-up action sequences.

***

 

Video of the Week: 'Bad Company' by Steve Sailer

"Bad Company," a Jerry Bruckheimer action thriller that took in $30 million last summer despite a $70 million budget, is out Tuesday on DVD ($29.99 list) and VHS (rental only).

***

 

Definitely check out Frank Miele's new book: Intelligence, Race, and Genetics: Conversations with Arthur R. Jensen. Frank is the premiere interviewer of human behavior scientists and this fairly short book is the best possible introduction to the life and work of the leading IQ expert in the world.

***

 

Steven Johnson gives Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate" a highly positive review in The Nation and explains why leftists need to understand sociobiology. Unfortunately, he does not attempt an explanation of the burning question: why there are so many Steves writing on the subject?

***

 

I'm worried that I'm not getting all of my email - one friend got a bouncing error message from me back from AOL. If you think a recent message to me might not have gotten through, please send me another one and copy SSailer at UPI.com (replacing " at " with "@" of of course).

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Big jump in teen marriages in the U.S. - Andrew Sullivan attributes this to welfare reform, asking "What else explains the sudden jump in teen marriages in the 1990s?" Well, judging by the ongoing arranged marriage scandals in Europe, I'd say that a large chunk of this growth is due to immigration scams. When your American citizen daughter hits 18, you marry her off to your brother's son back in the old country, thus allowing your nephew to live in the U.S. About 60% of British-born Pakistanis marry a first or second cousin, typically from Pakistan. Home secretary David Blunkett has asked Pakistani parents to arrange more marriages within Britain. The new Danish government is trying to outlaw the practice.

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The New Republic is worried that our Muslim semi-allies like Egypt and Jordan are being too mean to terrorists at our bequest: "If you happen to believe the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist, you are quite possibly a member of the U.S. government." Personally, I don't believe the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist. I believe the only good terrorist is one who has been tortured into spilling the beans on his colleagues so that they will be dead terrorists.

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The dirty little secret of the Human Genome Project is that, while it's essential basic research, it's not going to find many causes of diseases because it focuses on what we have in common rather than what we differ on -- most of Celera's version, for example, is derived from the DNA of Celera leader Craig Venter, rather than from a variety of humans. Fortunately, the HapMap project will look at variations between blacks, whites, and East Asians. This sounds more promising. Of course, that has plenty of people up in arms because it will show that race does not Not Exist, and they'd prefer to have people die than to know the truth.

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More on how the GOP used the Sailer strategy to win: "In Georgia, as in Minnesota, Colorado, South Dakota and more than 25 other states, party officials say, Republicans recruited more volunteers, made more telephone calls, rang more doorbells and got out more votes in Republican households than they ever had. 'The story of 2002 is not that Democrats stayed home,' said Ralph Reed, the Georgia Republican chairman who has been a prophet of grass-roots organizing since before his days at the Christian Coalition. 'It was that Republicans came to the polls in historic numbers, and our candidates had the broadest appeal to swing voters we have seen in recent years.'" -- NYT, 11/9/02

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In the left column is my new VDARE piece on the elections. I wrote it on Thursday night, when I'd been up for 54 of the previous 60 hours, so there are a couple of typos, but the evidence that my initial view was right has piled up since then.

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Here's the NYT picking up on what I've been saying: the GOP won by maximizing its opportunities to rake in white voters. You go hunting where the ducks are and the white segment makes up 4/5ths of the electorate.

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It's more and more looking like the key to the 2002 elections was growth in the white vote. There's a lot of grumbling among Democrats that blacks didn't turnout, nor did Mexican-Americans do much in their two big states of California and Texas. It looks like the GOP did what I notoriously advised them to do after the 2000 election in "GOP Future Depends on White Vote": get more white votes. (See this NYT article for details). Since this is the Strategy that Dare Not Speak Its Name, they blew a lot of smoke about Hispanics helping them to victory.

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As you know, I was very concerned about Administration staffers hustling us into a war with Iraq without regard for the Constitution. I'd still like to see a formal Declaration of War, but I have to say that my regard for democratic decision-making on such an important policy is now largely satisfied by the Congressional resolution vote and by Bush's 53-47 victory in Tuesday's election.

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With no VNS national exit poll results, the nascent conventional wisdom on the demographics of the election will be up for grabs between now and the Sunday gab shows.- Michael Barone is already spinning the Hispanics going Republican angle. The only real exit poll released so far, however, the L.A. Times poll in California, shows that minority turnout collapsed and Simon did better than expected due to a relatively large and more heavily Republican white vote. So, please help me try to get the following article around:

 

Analysis: California minority turnout way down by Steve Sailer -- Tuesday's meltdown of the Voter News Service's national exit polling system left election analysts desperate for data to help them understand the demographic underpinnings of the shift to the Republicans. The first major regional exit poll -- the Los Angeles Times' survey of 3,444 California voters, which was released early this morning -- clears up some of the mystery surrounding one of Tuesdays' most surprising outcomes: the apparently forlorn California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon's strong showing in defeat. It also offers a surprising update on the much vaunted growth in minority voting blocs.

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Film of the Week: 'Femme Fatale' by Steve Sailer

In "Femme Fatale," writer-director Brian De Palma ("Carrie" and "Dressed to Kill") tries to create a new kind of heroine combining the alluring but cruel bad girls of classic film noirs such as "Double Indemnity" and "The Maltese Falcon" with the victimized but butt-kicking heroines of recent years.

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Both AndrewSullivan.com and KausFiles.com used my "53-47 Nation" article as their leads today, so it will probably become the permanent conventional wisdom. I sure hope I did the math right! (I had been up all night.)

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Analysis: GOP beats Dems by about 53%-47% by Steve Sailer

Democrats can't console themselves with the idea that the strong Republican showing stemmed not from a sizable swing to the GOP, but from the Republicans happening to win a lot of close elections.

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More Help Needed! - The meltdown of the VNS exit polls means that I'm currently stuck with practically no demographic data to analyze. Does anybody have any suggestions on how I can find out how Hispanics, women, the wealthy, etc. voted?

 

Why turnout is low in modern America by Steve Sailer

Election turnout was reported to be heavy in many states with key elections such as Minnesota, where the dramatic entry of former Vice President Walter Mondale into the Senate race last week stirred political passions, and Florida, where the president's brother Jeb Bush was re-elected governor.

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Anti-bilingualism wins in Massachusetts by Steve Sailer

As polls in Massachusetts predicted, anti-bilingual education forces have won a massive victory on the "Question 2" initiative, which would have scrapped the state's current system of multi-year transitional bilingual education in public schools in favor of a single year of "English immersion" for students who don't speak English.

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I was glad to see Bill Simon ultimately put up a good fight against Gray Davis in California, when everybody was assuming he'd be humiliated. He's a good man and didn't deserve half of what he had to go through, such as the ludicrous fraud verdict.

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Help! - I've got to write three UPI articles on the elections on Tuesday-Wednesday. My topics are demographics, voter turnout, and Ron Unz's bilingual initiatives. If you come up with any great insights, please email them to me.

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Here's how to make chess a big deal in America again for the first time since Bobby Fischer's annus mirabilis of 1972: Get a bunch of consumer products marketers to sponsor a women's team world championship and to build a U.S. women's team. Hey, it worked in basketball, softball, ice hockey, and soccer! (Well, it worked once for each sport - the second time around was pretty dismal.) We Americans love patriotic feminism. Nothing makes us Americans feel better about ourselves than watching our women beat the women of mighty Norway in the finals of some women's event that nobody in the world except us, the Canadians, and the Scandinavians cares about.

 

Colby Cosh (who knows infinitely more about chess than I do) protests that such an event would be a joke because Judit Polgar, the Hungarian Jewish grandmistress who is by far the greatest woman player of all time (she ranked in the men's top 10 at her apex), refuses to play in women-only events. And I say, so what? Do you think that any sports fan in America has heard of Ms. Polgar? Has she ever been on Leno? If she doesn't show up, well, that just gives our women a better chance to win. And winning is everything in these women's team events. Did it matter that our celebrated 1998 gold medal women's ice hockey team only had five other teams in the tournament, three of whom barely knew how to lace on their skates? Did it matter to us than the women of France, Italy, and Britain wouldn't think of trading in their high heels for soccer spikes? Heck no! All that matters is that we won and some foreigners lost. We don't care which foreigners we beat, because they are pretty much all the same to us (although maybe we should rig it so we beat Iraq in the chess finals.) USA! USA!

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My new VDARE article is up (see left column). It considers why increased diversity seems to inevitably bring increased demands for censorship.

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One oddity in modern movies is the huge number of family comedies (especially Christmas comedies) set in the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, including three franchises: "Santa Clause," "Home Alone," and "National Lampoon's Vacation" (particularly "Christmas Vacation"). The North Shore seems to have supplanted the San Fernando Valley in the movies as America's model suburb. There's also "Risky Business." Part of the reason is Glenbrook H.S. grad John Hughes' prolific talent: besides "Home Alone," he wrote "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "The Breakfast Club," "Pretty in Pink," etc., all set in the wealthy suburbs of Chicago. Another cause is that movie makers need homes with big rooms to film in - otherwise they have to knock down the homeowner's walls in order to dolly the camera back far enough. This technical problem leads to what Siskel-Ebert called "the how can they afford that?" syndrome. In the rest of the world, moviegoers are convinced that Americans all live in 5,000 square foot homes. Granted, more of us do than anywhere else, but, still, that syndrome leads to foreigners thinking we must be incredibly greedy since we all live in mansions, but don't give them any of our money.

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"The Santa Clause 2" left me in a bit of a quandary over whether to write about it: I had a most pleasant time at it, but how much of that was due to the low expectations I brought to it? And if I recommended it heartily to you, would that ruin your chance of enjoying it the way I did?

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