Thursday, December 30, 2004

Immigrants and Social Security

Phyllis Schlafly writes about the threat to Social Security posed by illegal immigrants from Mexico:

The threat comes from a Bush administration plan to load illegal immigrants into the Social Security system, an idea that would skyrocket costs and bankrupt the system at the same time baby boomers flood into their benefit years.

The code word for this racket is "totalization." The United States has totalization agreements with 20 countries, which have been reasonable and uncontroversial, but totalization with Mexico is TOTALLY different.

The idea behind totalization with other countries is to ensure a pension to those few individuals who work legally in two countries by "totalizing" their payments into the pension systems of both countries. All existing totalization agreements are with developed nations whose retirement benefits are on par with U.S. benefits, and the affected employees work for companies that have been paying taxes into the other countries' retirement systems.

Workers from those other 20 countries come with employer documents verifying that they are authorized to work in the United States. Only a minuscule fraction of Mexicans enter with such documents.

The legitimate goal of totalization with other countries is to avoid double taxation for retirement when employers assign their employees to work temporarily in another country. Reciprocity works because there is rough parity between the number of U.S. workers in the 20 other countries and the foreigners from those countries who work in the United States.

But this goal has no relevance to Mexico. There is no parity between the number of Mexicans working in the United States and the number of U.S. citizens working in Mexico, and absolutely no parity in the social security systems of the two countries.

Mexican benefits are not remotely equal to U.S. benefits. Americans receive benefits after working for 10 years, but Mexicans have to work 24 years before receiving benefits.

Mexican workers receive back in retirement only what they actually paid in, plus interest, whereas the U.S. Social Security system is skewed to give lower-wage earners benefits greatly in excess of what they and their employers contributed.

Mexico has two different retirement programs, one for public-sector employees, which is draining the national treasury, and one for private-sector workers, which is estimated to cover only 40 percent of the work force. The remaining workers are in the off-the-record economy euphemistically called the "informal" sector.

The 10 million Mexicans who have illegally entered the United States previously lived in poverty, did not pay social security taxes in Mexico and did not work for employers who paid taxes into a retirement plan. If they were working at all, it was in the off-the-record economy.

Illegality is no issue with the countries where the United States has existing totalization agreements because none of them accounts for even 1 percent of the U.S illegal population. On the other hand, Mexico provides more than two-thirds of the illegal immigrants in the United States.

The Bush totalization plan would pay out billions in Social Security benefits to Mexicans for work they did in the United States using fraudulent Social Security numbers, something Americans would be jailed for doing. It would pay Social Security disability benefits to Mexicans who worked in the United States as little as three years.

The Bush totalization plan would lure even more Mexicans into the United States illegally in the hope of amnesty and eligibility for Social Security benefits. The Bush plan would even cover spouses and dependents of Mexican illegal immigrants who mighty never have lived in the United States.

Because few if any of the illegal immigrants have built up any equity in the Mexican retirement system, what is there to totalize? Totalization is a plan for U.S. taxpayers to end up assuming the entire burden.

The Latino Race

Latinos see themselves as members of a distinct racial group:

The Census Bureau, preparing for the census in 2010, recently tried to eliminate the "some other race" option on its forms. From the bureau's perspective, too many people erroneously placed themselves in this group. But at the instigation of a Latino congressman from New York, José E. Serrano, Congress barred the move by conditioning funding for the census on the retention of the "other race" category. Serrano, a Democrat, claimed a victory for "millions of American Latinos." Latino civic organizations seem to agree, with both Mexican American and Puerto Rican civil rights groups praising his actions.

Here is the demographic analysis of Latino subgroups:

According to Brown University professor John Logan's analysis of the census and survey data, Latinos generally divide themselves into three racial camps. There are black Latinos, who identify as Latino ethnically and as black racially. This group, steady at just under 3% of the Latino population since 1980, numbers nearly a million in the United States. Next come white Latinos, who grew from 9 million in 1980 to just shy of 18 million in 2000. This doubling did not, however, keep pace with the growth of the Latino population as a whole. The proportion of Latinos claiming to be white has steadily declined, from 64% in 1980 to just under 50% in 2000.

Then there are those Logan calls "Latino Hispanics," who identify as "Hispanic" on the ethnicity question and as "other" on the race item. This population has steadily gained among all Latinos, from 34% in 1980 to nearly 47% in 2000.

Muslim second wives in Britain

The British Inland Revenue is considering recognizing the polygamous practices of some religious groups for tax purposes:

Officials have agreed to examine “family friendly” representations from Muslims who take up to four wives under sharia, the laws derived from the Koran.

Existing rules allow only one wife for inheritance tax purposes. The Revenue has been asked to relax this so that a husband’s estate can be divided tax-free between several wives.

The move is bound to create controversy if it leads to a change in the rules. It is seen as a breakthrough by Muslim leaders who have been campaigning to incorporate sharia into British domestic law.

There is a possibility that such legal changes could lead to the legalization of plural marriages in Britain:

Any concession by the Revenue could open a wider debate about the legality of plural marriages. At present a person married to more than one people can be charged with bigamy.

Muslim marriages to second, third and fourth wives are not valid in civil law, with the women effectively regarded as mistresses with no legal or tax rights.

However, some official bodies have already pointed out that tax laws are unfavourable to religious groups that recognise more than one spouse.

The National Audit Office (NAO) recently concluded that the tax system inadvertently penalised devout Muslims. An NAO inquiry into inheritance laws found that devout Muslims were not able to take full advantage of British tax law, which allows spouses to inherit an entire estate from their husband or wife tax free.

Other legal changes may be made to appease minorities:

Sadiq Khan, a leading Muslim politician, said: “I am pleased to see the Inland Revenue applying common sense to the application of Islamic law on uncontroversial matters such as inheritance.

“There are some other uncontroversial areas of Islam law which could easily be applied to the legal system we have in the UK.”

He insisted there was no question of pressing for the introduction of sharia’s criminal code “where people are flogged or have their hands chopped off”. He said: “This is not the thin edge of the wedge.”

The NAO also points out that Jews who follow the traditional code of halakah are similarly penalised because it requires estates to be passed through the male line.

Ethnic division outside Boston

Metropolitan Boston became more racially diverse in the 1990s, but the booming growth of minority residents in so-called satellite cities outside the urban core occurred largely along segregated lines:

The percentage of non-Latino white residents in metropolitan Boston declined from 87 percent in 1990 to 81 percent in 2000. The metropolitan area, as defined in the study, includes seven counties and stretches from Buzzards Bay in the south to the New Hampshire border in the north and to the western boundary of Worcester County.

Nonwhites and Latinos are moving to satellite cities in large and disproportionate numbers. While 15 percent of the region lived in satellite cities in 2000, for example, 34 percent of the area's Latinos resided there. The study listed the satellite cities as Attleboro, Brockton, Fall River, Fitchburg, Gloucester, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, New Bedford, and Worcester.

At 81 percent, the area's non-Latino white population is much larger than in comparable areas nationwide. Across the United States, non-Latino whites comprise 66 percent of the metropolitan regions.

The region's nonwhite and Latino communities are extremely diverse, with roughly equal numbers of blacks, Asians, and Latinos. Each group has a robust degree of ethnic diversity. About 26 percent of the black population, for example, is foreign-born. Nationwide, the figure is 6 percent.

Greater Boston's 6 percent population growth in the 1990s was due solely to the growth in nonwhite and Latino residents.

Suburban whites choose to live away from non-whites:

Whites in the suburbs apparently have little exposure to nonwhite and Latino neighbors. In 2000, the average suburban block in metropolitan Boston was 93 percent white.

Even whites in the urban core -- defined as Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Somerville, and Waltham -- lived on blocks that averaged 75 percent white.

And this has affected other groups:

Although Asians make up 5 percent of the population in the peripheral cities, the average Asian in those communities lives on a block that is 25 percent Asian. For Latinos, who make up 15 percent of the satellite cities, the average Latino lived on a block that was 46 percent Latino.

In those cities, many blocks where whites had disproportionate representation in 1990 raised their share of white residents by 2000.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Cross-bred lions

Scientists have learned the hard way the dangers of cross-breeding:

Indian scientists have carried out vasectomies on scores of cross-bred lions, the results of experiments to create new sub-species, to let them die out in a "controlled extinction".

All 300 captive animals, a mix of Asian and African lions many of whom are deformed and diseased, are expected to be dead by 2008, scientists said.

Here is how the problem started:

Indian authorities say the animals were cross-bred until 1992 in free-for-all experiments, weakening the genetic pool of Indian cats.

The experiments even extended to mating lions with tigers.

"Until we made guidelines 12 years ago, some were experimenting, producing 'Tigons' by mating tigers with lionesses and 'Litigons' by crossing lions with tigresses. None of these are now living," the wildlife scientist told AFP.

As problems of cross-breeding became apparent, "Zoos with hybrids were asked to take population control measures as these animals have no conservation value at all," the wildlife scientist said.

The national zoo watchdog sterilised all its 300 hybrid outcasts between 1999 and 2001 to ensure no new so-called "cocktail lions" were born, and stepped up a campaign for captive breeding of India's pure Asiatic lions.

And here are some of the medical problems associated with "cocktail lions":

The cocktail lions have lower immunity and are prone to disease. Many are in a poor physical state with dull coats and thin manes, suffering from a variety of ailments caused by inbreeding.

But in the early years, the genetic problems of the crossed species did not show up, and many were bred so there would be more cats available for exhibition at zoos and safari parks.

Chatbir Park, near the northern city of Chandigarh, holds 30 hybrid lions which belong to an original litter of an unhealthy pride produced by African lions mating with Asiatic types, ministry officials said.

"Their population increased manifold especially in Chatbir so we asked Central Zoo Authority to take action to prevent proliferation of the hybrids," Chakravarty said. Chatbir Zoo was at the centre of a key breeding programme.

"Now we're waiting for them to die out so we can replace them with pure Asiatic stock," Chakravarty said of the zoo, where many of the diseased lions can barely let out a growl, let alone lead a charge.

There are 131 pure-bred Asiatic lions in 58 zoos and national safaris --- their number having swollen by 50 in the past decade because of an accelerated captive breeding programme, Central Zoo Authority officials said.

Some 380 Asiatic lions, smaller than the African variety, roam the wild while about 300 hybrids are segregrated in facilities including New Delhi's reknowned Purana Quila zoological park.

"Although the two hybrid lions we have are sterilised, we're not taking chances and we're keeping them segregated," said Ram Babu, a Delhi zoo warden.

Germany's immigrant problem

Germans are becoming increasingly anti-immigrant:

An ongoing survey of German views toward Muslims and 'foreigners' - who in Germany are generally taken to be Turks comprising the country's biggest, most visible minority - shows a growing intolerance.

Almost 60 percent say there are too many foreigners in Germany, according to a poll of 3,000 people by the University of Bielefeld's Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence.

In 2002 the number of Germans saying there were too many foreigners was 55 percent, according to the poll.

Some 70 percent of those surveyed say Islamic culture "does not fit into the west" - up from 66 percent in 2003 - and one out of every three agrees with the statement: "Due to the many Muslims living here I sometimes feel like a foreigner in my own country."

City halts flow of refugees

Manchester tries to do something about its refugee problem:

A surge in refugees coming into Manchester last summer so overwhelmed the city's capacity that a three-month moratorium was placed on most new arrivals, government officials said in recent interviews.

The moratorium went into effect Sept. 28 and will continue through the end of the year. Meanwhile, the state is conducting a review of how future resettlement should occur in New Hampshire, officials said.

The moratorium was largely triggered by the strain an influx of mostly African refugees placed on the public health system. Lead poisoning was detected in 34 children — four of whom were hospitalized, city and state health officials said.

Recently, Manchester has been inundated with refugees:

The city health department reports 364 new refugees resettled in Manchester during the fiscal year that ended June 30, an 85 percent increase over the previous year, when 198 arrived.

Of the 364 who came in fiscal 2004, 193 arrived between the months of June and August. Another 59 followed in September. After the moratorium went into effect Sept. 28, resettlements dropped off to 26 in October, according to the health department report.

The 364 refugees came from 18 countries and speak about 20 languages, the report said. African refugees comprised 88 percent of the new arrivals, with most coming from Somalia, Liberia and Sudan.

The 96 refugees who came in June alone was a record high for the city, the health department report said. The record year for refugee resettlement in Manchester was fiscal 2000, when 425 arrived.

Moreover, while Manchester has about 9 percent of the state's total population, it accommodated 83 percent of the total refugees who resettled in New Hampshire in fiscal 2004, the health report said.

Crime in Los Angeles

The police are losing control in many areas of Los Angeles:

In Jordan Downs, for instance, one of three gang-dominated housing projects in Watts, the predominantly African American Grape Street Crips routinely beat Latinos (among others), engage in regular home-invasion robberies and have been known to murder residents who dare report their activities. When the LAPD set up a police kiosk in Jordan to quell rising crime, the gangs blew it up; the LAPD left and did not return for more than a decade. In the Ramona Gardens housing project, the last three black families didn't survive long enough to suffer the perpetual abuse that residents of Jordan have endured: Latino gangsters firebombed them out of their units.

And here is what happens to children who refuse to join the gangs:

Years ago I asked gang members what happened to kids who "just said no" to the Bloods or V-18s. They brought me a videotape other gang members had made for a 14-year-old boy who had refused to join them. The tape showed gang members raping his 13-year-old sister. The boy joined the gang so that its members wouldn't return to kill her.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Radical Islam Spreads

Radical Islamic ideology is spreading to thousands of young Muslims in the Netherlands according to the country's intelligence service:

The agency, known by its acronym AIVD, identified the potential threat in an overview of domestic fundamentalist Islamic movements compiled for the Home Affairs Ministry in the wake of the country's first terrorist attack.

The publication comes nearly two months after the murder of film director Theo van Gogh, who was shot and stabbed to death on a busy Amsterdam street. A letter pinned to his chest with a knife threatened politicians and other "infidel nonbelievers."

The 60-page report said a variety of sources of radical Islam pose a threat to the country, ranging from Salifist mosques openly preaching anti-Western, antidemocratic ideas to an underground political movement backing violent jihad, or Islamic holy war.

"Europe and the Netherlands have been confronted with extreme violence," the report said, referring to Van Gogh's murder Nov. 2 and the train bombings in Madrid, Spain, last March 11.

The spread of radical Web sites as an alternative to traditional outlets of Islamic teaching, such as mosques, makes it harder for authorities to isolate potential threats, the report said.

"Especially the youth have found their way to Web sites of radical Islamic spiritual leaders," it said. "These Web sites increasingly contribute to the radicalization of Muslim communities in the Netherlands."

Mission Accomplished?

Pat Buchanan writes about the Iraq situation:

We might all prefer that Arab nations be democratic. But that is not vital to us. If they remain despotic, that is their problem, so long as they do not threaten or attack us. But to invade an Islamic country to force it to adopt democratic reforms is democratic imperialism. If we practice it, we must expect that some of those we are reforming will resort to the time-honored weapon of anti-imperialists – terrorism, the one effective weapon the weak have against the strong.

Yet, if our goals appear gauzy and vague, our enemy's war aims appear specific, concrete and understandable. They seek our expulsion from Iraq and the eradication of all "collaborators." And the tactics they are using are the same as those the FLN used to drive the French out of Algeria.

To us, democracy may mean New England town meetings. To the Sunnis, democracy means a one-man, one-vote path to power for the Shias, 60 percent of Iraq's population, who will dispossess them of the power and place they have held since Ottoman times. Why should people to whom politics is about power – "Who, whom?" in Lenin's phrase – not fight that? And why should we fight and die for a Shia-dominated Iraq?

Unions and illegal immigrants

Steve Sailer ponders why the AFL-CIO seems to be in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants:

The AFL-CIO favors a less radical version of the Karl Rove Amnesty Plan, suggesting that they view the political impact of KRAP very differently than Rove does. The unions see two benefits. First, amnesty increases the number of potential union members by bringing illegals out of the shadows. Second, by threatening to destroy American wage levels, KRAP will increase desperation among workers and make them turn to the unions for protection from guest workers, just as the unions first became hugely powerful during the Depression when the supply of labor was far greater than the demand.

Post-apartheid South Africa

Crime is out of control in post-apartheid South Africa:

Well over 1,200 Boer Afrikaners have been butchered in more than 6,000 attacks since Mbeki's democratically elected African National Congress (ANC) took power in 1994. Despite the threat of systematic extermination, farmers are forbidden automatic weapons. So they must battle their ubiquitous assailants with only a shotgun, a handgun and a limited number of rounds at their disposal.

In "free" South Africa there is an official blackout (or shall I say whiteout) of national crime statistics. When they are divulged, officials prefer to use difficult-to-understand ratios. In many instances, data have been doctored. Government sources claim there were 21,553 murders in 2002. The Mail & Guardian estimates that between January 2000 and March 2003 there were almost 48,000 murders in South Africa (population 44.6 million). In comparison, the "high crime" United States (population 288.2 million) suffered 16,110 murders in 2002.

And there are no shortages of affirmative action programs in South Africa either:

In South Africa, virtually all the poor people are black. It does not follow that all black South Africans are poor, but the South African government has for the past 10 years acted as if the two words were interchangeable. Any program whose stated aim is to uplift those who were crushed by apartheid is assumed, ipso facto, to be a good thing. This has culminated in something called "Black Economic Empowerment," a process whereby white-owned firms are encouraged to surrender large dollops of equity to black businessmen. This is "voluntary," but firms that stay white cannot win government contracts, and many assume that if they do not yield now, they will end up being nationalized, Mugabe-style, in a decade or two.

Things have gotten so bad in South Africa that people are starting to emigrate:

Thousands of skilled young South Africans are continuing to emigrate in search of a better life, draining the country of much-needed economic resources.

Up to 100,000 people are believed to have left South Africa over the last three years, and 70% of skilled South Africans still in the country say they are considering emigrating, despite government calls for them to stay and help their country.

Most give fear of crime as the reason behind their decision to go, but the Aids epidemic and unemployment are also cited in a recent study carried out by the University of South Africa (Unisa).

South Africa is only one of the many countries in Africa affected by brain drain, which has deprived the continent of a third of its skilled professionals in recent decades, strangling growth.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Jewish immigrants in Germany

Germany is more popular with Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union than Israel:

Germany has a startling revelation: more Jews have immigrated here in the past three years than to Israel. Most are coming from the lower socio-economic rungs of the former Soviet Union, are collecting welfare and are getting lost in the margins. Berlin is now, for the first time in more than a decade, considering limits on the influx.

This year's statistical oddity: In 2004, more Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union immigrated to Germany than to Israel. Surprised? You shouldn't be. After all, the security situation in Israel is still precarious and the economy isn't exactly booming. Plus, it's the third year in a row that it's happened, and the numbers gap between the two is only growing.

But that may soon change. For over a decade, Germany has allowed unlimited Jewish immigration from ex-Soviet states -- the only non-German immigrant group allowed a free pass into the country. Now, however, the clause allowing the mass migration is under review -- and those Russian Jews wanting to come to Germany may soon find themselves on the outside looking in.

Here is how it started:

The mass immigration began in 1990 when East Germany began allowing Jews from the Soviet Union free entry. The law was one of few that newly reunified Germany adopted when West and East came together in October 1991. Since then, over 197,000 Jews from former Soviet Bloc countries have emigrated to Germany, giving it the third-largest population of Eastern European Jews after Israel -- over a million Soviet Jews have moved there since the beginning of the 90s -- and the US.

In 2002, however, Germany's annual immigration numbers surpassed Israel's for the first time. 19,200 Jews from the east moved to Germany that year, as opposed to 18,000 who headed for Israel. While numbers aren't yet official, nearly 10,000 ex-Soviet immigrants have arrived this year in Germany bringing the country's total Jewish population up to over 100,000 as compared with a 1990 population of just 30,000.

Unfortunately, these new immigrants are causing problems for Germany:

The vast majority of the Jews coming from the former Soviet Union have difficulty finding jobs and often live on social welfare. In Berlin, an estimated 80 percent of the Jewish community -- the majority of them new arrivals from the East -- receives state help, the Berliner Zeitung reported.

Israeli apartheid

Anti-Arab discrimination in Israel:

Adel Kaadan is standing by the side of a potholed road surrounded by puddles of sewage. "Can you smell it now?" he asks. "My children have to pass this way every day on their way to their classes.

"When I took my eldest daughter for her first day at school I saw that the roof was stuffed with asbestos."

We are walking around Baqa al-Gharbiyah, an Arab town in northern Israel about an hour's drive from Tel Aviv.

As head nurse at a nearby hospital Mr Kaadan is well aware of the health risks in his hometown. But it is not just the rubbish, the asbestos and the sewage - the whole place reeks of neglect.

In one neighbourhood the streets end abruptly with a wall of concrete and barbed wire - Baqa is sliced in half by Israel's new security fence.

"There's nothing to do here - no cinemas, no swimming pool, hardly any sports facilities. So most young people either turn to Islamic fundamentalism or start taking drugs," says Mr Kaadan.

It is not the kind of place he wants to raise his four daughters, aged four to 15, so for almost a decade he has been fighting for the right to move to a Jewish community a few miles away on heavily subsidised, state-owned land.

Things are very different on the Jewish side of the fence:

Katzir is a gated suburban paradise, perched on a hilltop. It was set up in 1982 by the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency as a bulwark against the surrounding Israeli Arab villages in the valley below.

Resident Gila Levy takes me on a tour of the tidy streets and immaculate gardens filled with brightly coloured flowers.

She boasts that Katzir is a cosmopolitan place and shows me dozens of new houses built by families from as far afield as Argentina and the former Soviet Union.

Then she takes me to a spot with breathtaking views.

"On a clear day you can see the Mediterranean and at night you can see the green lights and hear the calls to prayer from all the mosques down there," she says.

"I like that. It gives this place a very special atmosphere".

But although Gila is happy to live next to Arabs, she doesn't want them to share her community. She says many other residents feel the same way.

Apparently Israelis feel that Arabs should live with their own kind:

Adel Kaadan first heard about Katzir in 1995 after a Hebrew language newspaper advertised for new residents.

"I went up there to find out more and at first people were friendly because they knew me from the hospital in Hadera - they were ex-patients of mine," he says.

"But when they found out that I wanted to buy a plot of land, their behaviour changed. Some of them became very hostile. It felt like a slap in the face".

At first the Katzir council simply dismissed Mr Kaadan as "socially unsuitable".

When pressed on his reasons for opposing the application, Mayor Yacoov Armor says he doesn't believe that Mr Kaadan or his family really want to integrate with Jews.

"Why would a Muslim want to observe Jewish holidays or send his children to our schools? He just wants to destroy our community by destroying our rules," he says.

Mr Kaadan, a secular Muslim, insists he doesn't mind if his children observe Jewish customs and holidays so long as they get a decent education.

A court ruling in Kaadan's favor allowed him to buy land in Katzir but now the Israelis want to change the law to make it illegal for other Arabs to do so:

Earlier this month some members of the Knesset tried to introduce a new bill which would circumvent the Supreme Court verdict and once again allow for exclusively Jewish communities on state land.

The bill was narrowly defeated and the former Justice Minister Tommy Lapid said he opposed it because "it smelled of apartheid".

So on paper Mr Kaadan remains the winner. In practice though bureaucrats are dragging their feet. There is still no lease and he hasn't started building his house.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Anti-Christian hatred in Israel

The Israelis want to charge an Armenian archbishop with assault in spite of the fact that he was the one who was attacked:

Police are now considering whether to initiate criminal proceedings against the Armenian archbishop and to charge him with assault. Meanwhile, the incident has sparked much anger among the clergy of the small Armenian community in Jerusalem.

Religious Jews, among them yeshiva students, customarily spit on the ground as a sign of disgust on seeing the cross. The Armenians, who live adjacent to the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, suffer from this phenomenon more than any of the other Christian sects in the Old City.

Manougian says he and his colleagues have already learned to live with it. "I no longer get worked up by people who turn around and spit when I pass them by in the street; but to approach in the middle of a religious procession and to spit on the cross in front of all the priests of the sect is humiliation that we are not prepared to accept," he notes.

A policeman is customarily posted to guard the Armenians' religious processions, but doesn't generally do anything to prevent the spitting. The Armenians took the matter up with Interior Minister Avraham Poraz some seven months ago, but nothing has been done about till now.

"The Israeli government is anti-Christian," Manougian charges. "It cries out in the face of any harm done to Jews all over the world, but is simply not interested at all when we are humiliated on an almost daily basis."

Growing support for Geert Wilders

Conservative Dutch politician Geert Wilders is becoming a very popular man in the Netherlands:

In early November, a poll in the left-leaning daily de Volkskrant showed that Wilders could win several hundred thousand votes, which would translate into nine seats in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the national legislature. When the gadfly filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot and knifed in southeastern Amsterdam on November 2, the letter that his killer pinned with a knife to his corpse contained a promise to do the same to the Somali-born feminist VVD member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Wilders got similar threats shortly thereafter. There were two results for Wilders. First, his popularity shot through the roof: A second poll in de Volkskrant showed Wilders would now win almost 2 million voters, taking 28 seats, or a fifth of the parliament, and that he was drawing support across party lines and in every single sector of Dutch society, despite--or perhaps because of--perceptions that he is a single-issue candidate.

But Wilders also had to go into hiding. He now appears in public only for legislative sessions in the Hague, where he travels under armed guard. He complained in mid-December that the death threats had hampered his ability to build his party. The head of a conservative think tank told newspapers he had been advised by security personnel to stay away from Wilders. Anyone who declared himself for one of those 28 seats that looked ripe for the plucking would thereby place himself on a death list, too.

The Netherlands is becoming an increasingly divided nation:

Muslim immigrants had begun to scare people long before Pim Fortuyn, the charismatic populist, turned himself into the country's most popular politician in the space of a few weeks in 2002, by arguing that the country was already overloaded with newcomers. (Fortuyn was assassinated by an animal-rights activist in May of that year.) Already in the 1990s, there were reports of American-style shootouts in schools, one involving two Turkish students in the town of Veghel. This past October, newspaper readers were riveted by the running saga of a quiet married couple who had been hounded out of the previously livable Amsterdam neighborhood of Diamantbuurt by gangs of Muslim youths. There were incidents of wild rejoicing across Holland in the wake of the September 11 attacks, notably in the eastern city of Ede. The weekly magazine Contrast took a poll showing that just under half the Muslims in the Netherlands were in "complete sympathy" with the September 11 attacks. At least some wish to turn to terrorism.

And things don't look any better for the future:

If immigrants behave this way now, what will happen when they are far more numerous, as all authorities have long promised they will be? It has been estimated that the country's two largest cities, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, will be "majority minority" very soon (Rotterdam is today at 47 percent), and already 65 percent of primary and secondary students in both cities are of non-Dutch parentage. London's Daily Telegraph, citing immigration experts and government statistics, reported a net outflow of 13,000 people from Holland in the first six months of 2004, the first such deficit in half a century.

Illegal immigration on the rise

It appears that illegal immigration to the United States is on the increase:

As WorldNetDaily reported in September, a Time magazine story indicated illegal immigration into the U.S. has accelerated in the last year, since President Bush proposed a temporary worker program that amounts to a limited amnesty program that would allow millions to remain in the U.S. legally.

This year, according to the report, some 3 million more illegal aliens will enter the country – "enough to fill 22,000 Boeing 737-700 airliners, or 60 flights every day for a year."

It's the largest wave of illegal immigration into the country since 2001, and illegal immigration now represents triple the number of immigrants who enter the country legally.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Immigration and the US economy

Mark Krikorian on the negative effects immigration has on the American economy:

If the supply of foreign workers were to dry up (say, through actually enforcing the immigration law, for starters), employers would respond to this new, tighter, labor market in two ways. One, they would offer higher wages, increased benefits, and improved working conditions, so as to recruit and retain people from the remaining pool of workers. At the same time, the same employers would look for ways to eliminate some of the jobs they now are having trouble filling. The result would be a new equilibrium, with blue-collar workers making somewhat better money, but each one of those workers being more productive.

Many people fear the first part of such a response, claiming that prices for fruits and vegetables would skyrocket, fueling inflation. But since all unskilled labor — from Americans and foreigners, in all industries — accounts for such a small part of our economy, perhaps four percent of GDP, we can tighten the labor market without any fear of sparking meaningful inflation. Agricultural economist Philip Martin has pointed out that labor accounts for only about ten percent of the retail price of a head of lettuce, for instance, so even doubling the wages of pickers would have little noticeable effect on consumers.

But it's the second part of the response to a tighter labor market that people just don't get. By holding down natural wage growth in labor-intensive industries, immigration serves as a subsidy for low-wage, low-productivity ways of doing business, retarding technological progress and productivity growth.

That this is so should not be a surprise. Julian Simon, in his 1981 classic, The Ultimate Resource, wrote about how scarcity leads to innovation:

It is important to recognize that discoveries of improved methods and of substitute products are not just luck. They happen in response to "scarcity" — an increase in cost. Even after a discovery is made, there is a good chance that it will not be put into operation until there is need for it due to rising cost. This point is important: Scarcity and technological advance are not two unrelated competitors in a race; rather, each influences the other.

As it is for copper or oil, this fact is true also for labor; as wages have risen over time, innovators have devised ways of substituting capital for labor, increasing productivity to the benefit of all. The converse, of course, is also true; the artificial superabundance of a resource will tend to remove much of the incentive for innovation.

Eugenics and Zionism

New research shows that many of Israel's founders were supporters of eugenics:

A shocking new study reveals how key figures in the pre-state Zionist establishment proposed castrating the mentally ill, sterilizing the poor and doing everything possible to ensure reproduction only among the `best of people.'

Castrating the mentally ill, encouraging reproduction among families "numbered among the intelligentsia" and limiting the size of "families of Eastern origin" and "preventing ... lives that are lacking in purpose" - these proposals are not from some program of the Third Reich but rather were brought up by key figures in the Zionist establishment of the Land of Israel during the period of the British Mandate. It turns out there was a great deal of enthusiasm here for the improvement of the hereditary characteristics of a particular race (eugenics). This support, which has been kept under wraps for many years, is revealed in a study that examines the ideological and intellectual roots at the basis of the establishment of the health system in Israel.

In the Yishuv (pre-state Jewish community) in the 1930s there were "consultation stations" operating on a Viennese model of advice centers for couples that wished to marry and become parents. In Austria, with the Nazis' rise to power, they served for forced treatment. Here the stations were aimed at "giving advice on matters of sex and marriage, especially in the matter of preventing pregnancy in certain cases." They distributed birth-control devices for free to the penniless and at reduced prices to those of limited means. In Tel Aviv the advice stations were opened in centers of immigrant populations: Ajami in Jaffa, the Hatikvah Quarter and Neveh Sha'anan.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Ethnically-mixed Scotland

According to new research, the Scots may not be as Gaelic as was previously believed:

Bloodshed and blackmail, the hallmarks of the Border Reivers, have always been blamed on their Celtic or Pictish ancestry, adding to the reputation of the Scots as a violent and intolerant race.

But that reputation could yet be scuppered by modern science, which is already indicating that Armstrongs, Douglases, Elliots, Grahams, Rutherfords and other families who rendered the Borders ungovernable up to the end of the 16th century, were not necessarily descended from Scotland’s earliest settlers.

The first results from the Border Reiver DNA Project, set up by a computer software consultant from Boston, Massachusetts, shows the gangsters who perfected protection rackets long before Chicago was built may well have had their roots in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe or even North Africa.

The researcher, James Elliott, has spent months studying the DNA samples of men from Reiver backgrounds and has come up with a startling conclusion:

"So far we have discovered that, although a moderate majority of the Reivers’ descendents most likely have British Celtic ancestors, their ancestry as a whole is quite diverse. Many are clearly of Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian origin. Others exhibit DNA profiles that may once have been North African or Middle Eastern or, like my own profile, bear an uncanny affinity with the people of eastern Europe or with the steppes of central Asia."

The study also suggests that the large number of Roman troops stationed along Hadrian’s Wall may have left a strong impact on the genetic heritage of the people of the Borders.

Chinese immigrants in Russia

Large scale Chinese immigration is starting to change the demographics of Russia:

Each year the pace is accelerating. Such is the influx that locals and some analysts predict a seismic demographic shift.

They say the Chinese will change the ethnic makeup, and there are fears that they eventually may gain control over huge swathes of eastern Russia.

Sergei Buchma, the deputy president of an association of Russian-Chinese entrepreneurs, runs a business center in Vladivostok where eight Chinese companies with an annual collective turnover of $10 million are based.

"Ten years ago they were all shuttle traders," he said. "Now they are big managers, some of them turn over millions of dollars a year. They already control half of the economy here. Within 30 or 40 years they will have economic control of this whole area."

Statistics fuel the Russian fears. In the Vladivostok region, the population density is 15 times lower than in the Chinese areas just across the border.

The local Russian population numbers 2.1 million. About 280,000 Chinese are working in the area officially, but the real number may be many times higher.

Some local politicians blame lack of financial support from Moscow and its indifference to the far-flung regions.

Nikolai Markovtsev, a national legislator from Vladivostok, said: "If official policies don't change, within 30 years the Chinese will dominate the Russian Far East. Last year alone, 40,000 Russians left the coastal regions."

Americans fear Muslims

There is a growing fear of Muslims in the United States:

A Cornell University poll finds that 44 percent of the U.S. population believe that Muslim Americans are a threat and their civil liberties should be curtailed.

The survey found that 27 percent of respondents believe Muslim Americans should be required to register with federal law enforcement agencies, 26 percent say that investigators should monitor mosques and 29 percent that undercover police officers should infiltrate Islamic organizations. And 22 percent would accept profiling of Muslims and people with Middle Eastern ties.

Geert Wilders speaks out

At least one Dutch politician is speaking out about the crisis being created in the Netherlands by Islamic immigrants:

A DUTCH right-wing parliamentary deputy has called for an immediate freeze on immigration to the Netherlands, where feelings are running high over the killing of an outspoken moviemaker, allegedly by an Islamic extremist.

"We must immediately stop admission of non-western immigrants," Geert Wilders told the newspaper Trouw in a sweeping attack on Islamic culture.

And apparently many Dutch agree with him:

Wilders has enjoyed a major personal surge in popularity in opinion polls following the murder of the outspoken and provocative Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

The murder and subsequent violent reprisal attacks on the Muslim community have exposed a painful rift in Dutch society, increasingly torn by ethnic tensions.

A recent poll showed that a staggering 40 per cent of Dutch "hope" that the 900,000 Dutch Muslims in a total population of 16 million "no longer feel at home here" after the van Gogh killing.

Immigrants in London

Immigrants have placed great pressure on London's public services, particularly its educational system:

For those who find London's ethnic mix threatening, high levels of immigration have given them reason as well as opportunity to move out. They have increased pressure on London's stretched public services, too. More immigrants mean more children with a poor command of English. They struggle at school and make life difficult for teachers. In Inner London, 38% of children get five or more good GCSEs; in England as a whole, 48% do. Rising property prices have made it harder to recruit teachers and nurses. In London, 12% of teachers are unqualified or temporary. In England as a whole, the figure is 6%. Rich people, as a result, feel condemned to send their children to expensive private schools (fees around £10,000 a year at secondary level): 16% of secondary school children go to independent schools in London, compared with 8% across England as a whole.

Asian American success rates

New research shows that not all Asian immigrants become American success stories:

Indian Americans have surged forward as the most successful Asian minority in the United States, reporting top levels of income, education, professional job status and English-language ability, even though three-fourths were foreign-born, according to U.S. census data released Wednesday.

The striking success of Asian Americans who trace their heritage to India contrasted with data showing struggles among Cambodian, Laotian and Hmong immigrants. Those three groups reported continued significant poverty rates, low job skills and limited English-language ability since their flight from war and political turmoil.

The research also shows significant variation in the educational and financial achievements of the different groups:

Median family income, for instance, ranged from $70,849 for Japanese and $70,708 for Asian Indians to about half that for Cambodians and Hmong. Indian men showed the highest full-time earnings, $51,900, about double the figure for Hmong men.

About 64% of Asian Indians held a bachelor's degree or more, the highest rate, compared with 7.7% for Laotians and 7.5% for Hmong, the lowest. More than three-fourths of Indians and Filipinos spoke fluent English, twice the rate for Vietnamese.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Faces and genes

According to psychologist Lisa DeBruine people tend to choose friends who look like them and may do so in order to promote the interests of their genes:

Dr DeBruine, of McMaster University, Canada, said previous research had shown that people were more likely to trust others who looked like them.

In one of her previous studies she found people playing a two-person monetary investment game over the internet while viewing a picture of the "second player" were more likely to trust this player if the picture was digitally morphed to resemble them.

She believes it may be possible that we are evolved to place greater trust, and to have greater affection for, people who look as though they may be related to us because the chances are higher that they share the same genes as us.

By forging a bond in this way, it could help these people to thrive, and thus, in evolutionary terms, to pass their genes down to the next generation.

Professor David Perrett, of the Perception Lab at St Andrew's University, told BBC News Online: "It is likely that people who look similar to ourselves share our genes, and it makes sense to help the cause of these individuals because, in effect, we are helping our own genes."

Racial conflict at school

Conflict between black and Latino students has caused the closing of a school in California:

Officials at a new high school in Rialto on Wednesday closed the campus for the rest of the week in response to Tuesday's lunchtime brawl between black and Latino students, the second such fight in less than a week.

The melee at Wilmer Amina Carter High School started after the groups of students lined up and faced each other, and one student allegedly threw a water bottle. Food and trash cans were then hurled, and fistfights broke out, said Marilyn Cardosi, a spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District.

"The nurse administered first-aid to 47 students either affected by pepper spray used by security to break up the fight, or students were treated for minor cuts and abrasions, like a cut over the eye, a cut to the hand," Cardosi said. "There were no serious injuries of students or staff, thankfully."

More than 2,000 students were in the central courtyard finishing lunch shortly before noon when the fight broke out. Administrators canceled classes for the rest of the week, and, because Monday will be the official start of holiday break, students will not return until Jan. 3.

Genetic nationalism

The genetic basis of nationalism is discussed and explored in a review of Frank Salter's new book On Genetic Interests: Family, Ethny, and Humanity in an Age of Mass Migration:

According to Darwinian theory, the goal towards which all living things strive is to make more copies of their distinctive genes. This is seen most clearly in the devotion of parents to children; as Dr. Salter writes, "The importance of genetic continuity is an end in itself, for humans as well as for other species." From an evolutionary points of view, "propagating one’s genes is life’s raison d’être." This is the ultimate goal of living things, and every other goal is subordinate to it.

One important conceptual breakthrough in On Genetic Interests is to recognize that loyalty to one’s ethny—Dr. Salter prefers this term to race, nation, or ethnic group—is just as valid biologically as loyalty to one's children. This is because each ethny is a storehouse of its members' distinctive genes, just as children are carriers of their parents' genes. A person’s children are very concentrated stores of his genes, but his ethny is a vastly larger, though more dilute, pool of the same genes. Given the size of most ethnies, they are repositories of far more copies of each of its member’s distinctive genes than even a person’s children, and therefore have a theoretical genetic claim to loyalty even greater than that of children.

An ethny is an extended family. The larger one’s ethny, the larger a store it becomes of distinctive genes, so its members have an interest in seeing their numbers rise or at least remain constant. A shrinking ethny is like a family whose members are dying off—either condition represents a loss of genetic interests.

According to the universalist, everyone's-equal model of human relations that is supposed to govern how we think about race, there is no good reason any of us should care more about our children than we do about the children of strangers. We do, of course, and not because they are objectively superior to all other children but because they are ours, that is to say, they carry our distinctive genes. From a genetic point of view, our ethnies deserve similar loyalties for the same reason.

Dr. Salter points out that different ethnies can be so genetically distant that random members of the same ethny are close kin in comparison to members of the other ethny. Ethnic loyalty can thus be a continuation of family loyalty. Australian Aborigines and Mbuti pygmies, for example, are about as genetically distant as two ethnies can be. Two random members of either group are—in comparison to members of the other group—so genetically similar to each other they are almost the equivalent of identical twins. Compared to Australian Aborigines, all Mbuti pygmies are, in fact, so similar to each other that actual identical Mbuti twins are, relatively speaking, not much more closely related to each other than any two random Mbuti.

Group rape in the Netherlands

Sex offences committed by teens in the Netherlands are often perpetrated by ethnic minorities:

Researcher Catrien Bijleveld said the "sizeable" number of cases gave reason for further research into the phenomenon. She also told Expatica that this was the first study of its kind.

Bijleveld said she would not express concern about the study's findings and she also refused to draw conclusions on the fact that two-thirds of the 91 offenders studied — comprising 24 group offences committed between 1993 and 2001 — were from ethnic minority backgrounds. Excluding one male victim, all victims were female, of which 75 percent were native Dutch.

When the report was published last week, many Dutch news organisations highlighted that a high proportion of teens from a minority background were involved in the crimes.

US test scores and race

Steve Sailer breaks down the recent test scores of the international math test:

U.S. whites scored 512 on math literacy, which would have ranked them 13th out of 29 OECD countries, between Denmark and France, right in the middle of the pack of European countries. The US score was dragged down by Hispanics (443—0.69 standard deviations below the white score) and African-Americans (417—0.95 standard deviations lower).

Oddly, Asian-Americans scored only 506, a little below whites, even though Northeast Asian countries averaged 527 or higher, but perhaps the explanation is that students in Southeast Asia did much worse (Thailand 417, Indonesia 360), and Asian-Americans are no longer so much restricted to Northeast Asians.

The strong showing by Canada compared to the U.S. may reflect the benefits of a more selective immigration system, compared to the U.S. system, which selects less than 10% of legal immigrants on wealth-creating talent. Most legal immigrants to America get in on being related to a previous immigrant, while illegal immigrants get in on ability to walk across the desert at night. Canada, in contrast, has relatively few illegal immigrants.

Dutch middle class flight

The Dutch middle class has started to flee the Netherlands following recent events such as the murder of Theo Van Gogh:

Escaping the stress of clogged roads, street violence and loss of faith in Holland's once celebrated way of life, the Dutch middle classes are leaving the country in droves for the first time in living memory.

The new wave of educated migrants are quietly voting with their feet against a multicultural experiment long touted as a model for the world, but increasingly a warning of how good intentions can go wrong.

Australia, Canada and New Zealand are the pin-up countries for those craving the great outdoors and old-fashioned civility.

The illusion that all was well in the Netherlands died in May 2002 when Pim Fortuyn, the shaven-headed, gay populist, was shot by a Left-wing activist in the country's first political assassination since 1584.

Fulminating home truths than nobody else dared utter, Fortuyn swept on to the political stage protesting that Europe's most densely-populated country was full to bursting point, and that Muslim immigration, leavened with Salafist extremism, had reached a level where it was starting to destabilise Dutch society itself. His movement won more seats than the ruling Labour party in the 2002 elections.

Theo van Gogh, his friend and disciple, was next. The mischievous film-maker had his throat cut by an Islamic fanatic last month as he bicycled to work through the heart of Amsterdam, punished for a film about repression of women in the Muslim world.

Racial divide in British cities

There are growing racial divisions in Britain's largest cities according to an analysis of British census data:

The analysis also finds for the first time in Britain evidence of the American phenomenon of "white flight" as whites leave districts with high ethnic minority populations.

In some inner-city areas members of ethnic minorities are becoming more isolated from the white population as a result of whites moving out.

The spread of ethnic minorities to almost every local council area means, however, that the white population in general is becoming less isolated from ethnic minorities, the study by academics at the London School of Economics concludes.

A study of change in the white population in London, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester between 1991 and 2001 found that white population losses were highest in the districts with the highest ethnic minority populations in 1991. Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy at the LSE and an author of the study, said: "We are getting polarisation and a growing racial divide at one level but dispersal at another."

She said that while ethnic minorities were represented in almost every area, they had become more concentrated in the districts where they had settled on arrival. "The white population in these areas is in decline and ethnic minorities are moving in," Ms Power said. "White people do tend to move but it is not necessarily because of what people call white flight."

It also found that the ethnic minority population grew at twice the rate of the white population. The ethnic minority population increase represented 73 per cent of the overall population growth. The white population grew by 600,000 and the ethnic minorities by 1.6 million.

Overall the population in 2001 comprised 52.4 million whites and 4.6 million from ethnic minority groups.

Politically correct lunatics

Here is an example of the insanity of some liberal professors:

Kerri F. Dunn, a 39-year-old academic prole, a visiting professor of social psychology at CMC whose contract was up in June, repeatedly harangued her students about the racists and sexists lurking in the shadows. On March 9th, she gave a fiery speech at a campus event on "Hate Speech Versus Free Speech." She then walked to her 1992 Honda Civic and returned some time later, claiming she had found it spray-painted with anti-black, anti-female, and anti-Semitic slurs. The Irish-American Dunn pointed the finger at her own students, arguing that only they had heard she was considering converting to Judaism: "How else would they believe I was Jewish unless they were in my class?"

Dunn's allegation triggered a frenzy of fear and loathing.

Although faked hate crimes have become routine in the years since the Tawana Brawley hoax, the college presidents immediately canceled the next day's classes (costing parents paying the full $37,000 per year list price for 150 days of education about $250 each, or close to two million dollars in total at list price). At the mass rally the next night, Dunn announced, to rapturous applause: "This was a well planned out act of terrorism. And I don't believe for one second it was one person. I think that there's a group here, a small group, but I do believe that there is a group here that perpetuates this in all different kinds of ways."

Dunn's image of a secret goon squad of marauding junior Straussians was as memorable as it was preposterous, but the administration had already been apprised of the unsurprising truth. Earlier that day, two eyewitnesses had told the Dean of Students that Professor Dunn had slashed her own tires. The FBI and local police quickly found inconsistencies in Dunn's story. A week later, they announced publicly that Dunn had done it. (They also found that during her mid-30s, Dunn had been arrested three times, twice for shoplifting, once for driving with a fake license.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

British Protestant culture

Samuel P. Huntington on the role that British Protestant culture has had in the formation of the United States:

Would America be the America it is today if in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish, or Portuguese Catholics? The answer is no. It would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico, or Brazil.

The unfolding of British Protestant culture in America didn't just happen; it was orchestrated by our founders. As immigrants poured in during the late eighteenth century, our forefathers saw the need to "make Americans" of the new arrivals on their shores. "We must," John Jay said in 1797, "see our people more Americanized." At the peak of this effort in 1919, Justice Louis Brandeis declared that Americanization meant the immigrant "adopts the clothes, the manners, and the customs generally prevailing here…substitutes for his mother tongue the English language," ensures that "his interests and affections have become deeply rooted here," and comes "into complete harmony with our ideals and aspirations." When he has done all this, the new arrival will have "the national consciousness of an American." The acquisition of American citizenship, the renunciation of foreign allegiances, and the rejection of dual loyalties and nationalities are key components of this process.

Huntington feels that the abandonment of the Americanization policies of the past is turning the United States into two countries:

A glimpse of what a splintering of America into English- and Spanish-speaking camps might look like can be found in current day Miami. Since the 1960s, first Cuban and then other Latin American immigrants have converted Miami from a fairly normal American city into a heavily Hispanic city. By 2000 Spanish was not just the language spoken in most homes in Miami, it was also the principal language of commerce, business, and politics. The local media and communications are increasingly Hispanic. In 1998, a Spanish language television station became the number one station watched by Miamians--the first time a foreign-language station achieved that rating in a major American city.

The changing linguistic and ethnic makeup of Miami is reflected in the recent history of the Miami Herald, one of the most respected papers in the United States. The owners of the Herald first attempted to appeal to Hispanic readers and advertisers with a Spanish supplement, but this attempt to reach Hispanics and Anglos simultaneously, failed. Between 1960 and 1989, the percentage of Miami households reading the Herald fell from 80 percent to 40 percent. Eventually the Herald had to set up a separate Spanish paper, El Nuevo Herald.

Is Miami the future for Los Angeles and the southwest generally? In the end, the results could be similar: the creation of a large, distinct, Spanish-speaking community with economic and political resources sufficient to sustain its own Hispanic identity apart from the national identity of other Americans, and also sufficient to significantly influence American politics, government, and society. The process by which this might come about, however, is different. The Hispanization of Miami has been led from the top down by successful Cuban and other Central and South American immigrants. In the southwest, the overwhelming bulk of Spanish-speaking immigrants are Mexican, and have been poor, unskilled, and poorly educated. It appears that many of their offspring are likely to be similar. The pressures toward Hispanization in the southwest thus come from below, whereas those in South Florida came from above.

The persistence of Mexican immigration and the large absolute numbers of Mexicans in the southwest reduce the incentives for cultural assimilation. Mexican-Americans no longer think of themselves as members of a small minority who must accommodate the dominant group and adopt its culture. As their numbers increase, they become more committed to their own ethnic identity and culture. Sustained numerical expansion promotes cultural consolidation, and leads them not to minimize but to glory in the differences between their society and America generally.

The continuation of high levels of Mexican and Hispanic immigration and low rates of assimilation of these immigrants into American society and culture could eventually change America into a country of two languages, two cultures, and two peoples. This will not only transform America. It will also have deep consequences for Hispanics--who will be in America but not of the America that has existed for centuries.

Free speech in Britain

It seems that free speech is illegal in Britain:

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National party, was today arrested on suspicion of incitement to commit racial hatred following a television investigation about the extent of racism in the organisation.

A BBC documentary, Secret Agent, screened in July, featured covertly-filmed footage showing BNP activists confessing to race-hate crimes and party leader Mr Griffin condemning Islam as a "vicious, wicked faith".

A BNP spokesman said four non-uniformed police officers arrested Mr Griffin at his farmhouse in mid-Wales and he was currently being taken to a station in West Yorkshire.

"He is believed to have been arrested on suspicion of incitement to commit racial hatred," the spokesman said.

West Yorkshire police confirmed they had arrested a 45-year-old man from outside their area.

Speaking on July 15, when the BBC documentary was screened, Mr Griffin accused the programme-makers of selectively editing the speech he is seen delivering, and challenged the authorities to prosecute him.

He said: "If Mr Blunkett wants to put me on a show trial about whether we're entitled to warn about the dangers of Islam, I will be absolutely delighted."

A BNP spokesman today said that Mr Griffin's arrest was "an attack on freedom of speech".

"The BNP doesn't hate anyone, we don't hate anyone's race or religion," he said.

"If we want to debate whether or not religious diversity is a good thing for this country, we should be allowed to do so without the police banging on the door."

Iberian Exceptionalism

It is believed by many that there is less racial prejudice in Latin America than there is in the United States. The following research challenges the validity of that belief:

The "racial democracy" (Iberian Exceptionalism) thesis claims that racial prejudice in Latin America is not only lower than that found in the United States, but is essentially absent altogether. We explored the plausibility of this thesis by the use of both explicit and implicit prejudice measures among Blacks and Whites from the United States and three Caribbean nations (the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Cuba). In general, the results showed significant racial prejudice against Blacks and in favor of Whites in all four nations. African-Americans were the only respondents not to show significant implicit prejudice either in favor of or against Blacks. In addition, North Americans displayed both lower implicit and explicit racial prejudice than respondents in each of the three Latino nations. Overall, the results clearly contradicted the thesis of racial democracy and suggest that Latin America may not be nearly as egalitarian as some have argued.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The genetics of race

Steve Sailer discusses genetic research on race:

This is Cavalli-Sforza's description of the map that is the capstone of his half century of labor in human genetics: "The color map of the world shows very distinctly the differences that we know exist among the continents: Africans (yellow), Caucasoids (green), Mongoloids … (purple), and Australian Aborigines (red). The map does not show well the strong Caucasoid component in northern Africa, but it does show the unity of the other Caucasoids from Europe, and in West, South, and much of Central Asia."

Basically, all his number-crunching has produced a map that looks about like what you'd get if you gave Strom Thurmond a paper napkin and a box of crayons and had him draw a racial map of the world. In fact, at the global level, Cavalli-Sforza has largely confirmed the prejudices of the more worldly 19th Century imperialists. Rudyard Kipling and Cecil Rhodes could have hunkered down together and whipped up something rather like this map in honor of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

And here is the map showing Cavalli-Sforza's research:

race map

Sailer also provides an example showing how Cavalli-Sforza created his map:

Cavalli-Sforza's team compiled extraordinary tables depicting the "genetic distances" separating 2,000 different racial groups from each other. For example, assume the genetic distance between the English and the Danes is equal to 1.0. Then, Cavalli-Sforza has found, the separation between the English and the Italians would be about 2.5 times as large as the English-Danish difference. On this scale, the Iranians would be 9 times more distant genetically from the English than the Danish, and the Japanese 59 times greater. Finally, the gap between the English and the Bantus (the main group of sub-Saharan blacks) is 109 times as large as the distance between the English and the Danish. (The genetic distance between Japanese and Bantus is even greater.)

From these kind of tables, Cavalli-Sforza reached this general conclusion: "The most important difference in the human gene pool is clearly that between Africans and non-Africans …"

Immigrants and the British

According to the Economist, the British are becoming less sympathetic towards immigrants:

THE British like to think of themselves as rather enlightened when it comes to immigration and race relations. Disputes over headscarves are left to the French. Ghettos, frank discrimination and the nasty notion that Britishness is a white characteristic endure only in coal-stained northern towns, which are stuck in the past in more ways than this. Everywhere else, a multicultural consensus reigns.

It's a view that is becoming hard to sustain. A YouGov poll for The Economist this week finds that 74% of people believe too many immigrants are coming into the country. Londoners, young people and the middle classes can normally be counted on to hold more liberal views, but not, it seems, when it comes to immigration. Their sentiments are virtually identical.

Most damaging for Britain's enlightened self-image, the nation has risen to the top of the European xenophobes' league. A Eurobarometer poll earlier this year found that 41% saw immigration as one of the two biggest problems faced by the nation—16 points more than in any other European country. Forget unemployment, terrorism or crime: the real threat comes from the man with the battered suitcase.


Pat Buchanan on growing anti-Christian sentiment:

What we are witnessing here are hate crimes against Christianity – the manifestations, the symptoms of a sickness of the soul, a disease a Vatican diplomat correctly calls "Christianophobia," the fear and loathing of all things Christian, coupled with a fanatic will to expunge from the public life of the West all reminders that ours was once a Christian civilization and America once a Christian country.

Americans are among the most tolerant of peoples. No one demands that any dissenting adult or child be made to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, or join in Christmas caroling, or be forced to say a prayer before class, or go to church at Christmas. The Christian majority only asks that they be free to be themselves, to exercise their freedom to express their love of their Savior as the First Amendment has always guaranteed.

But what are we to make of Maplewood, N.J., where the Columbus High School brass ensemble was ordered not to play a single Christmas carol at their holiday concert, not even an instrumental version. Parents and students were outraged. "This is censorship at its most basic level," said student Ryan Dahn. Correct, Ryan.

In Denver, officials of the annual Parade of Lights refused to permit in the parade a float carrying the banner "Merry Christmas" with members of the Faith Bible Chapel congregation, who were to sing Christmas carols. Approved was a float sponsored by Two Souls, an American Indian group that considers homosexuality holy.

Advice for the GOP

Steve Sailer has some advice for the Republican Party:

Republicans do best when younger adults can afford to get married and have children. (Women are especially likely to be converted from Democrat to Republican by marriage and children.)

Young white people are most inclined to marry and procreate if housing is cheap because of low population density and if the public schools are undamaged by ethnic diversity.

That may sound shockingly blunt to see in writing. But, let's be honest, that's how everybody talks in private when buying a home.

In increasingly expensive and diverse California, white fertility fell 14 percent from 1990 to 2002.

Not surprisingly, although George H.W. Bush carried California by four points in 1988, his son lost it by nine points in 2004.

What is the single most effective way Republicans can avoid Californicating the rest of the county?

What is the simplest way to keep population density under control and public school quality up—thus allowing more young people to afford the Republicanizing blessings of marriage and children?

Cut back on immigration.

Religion and fertility

Phillip Longman author of The Empty Cradle sees a future where the religious end up outbreeding the secular:

Rapid aging followed by depopulation on a scale not seen since the collapse of the Roman Empire threatens the modern world, writes Phillip Longman, an American journalist. Buried inside his book is the startling forecast that America's evangelical Christians will breed themselves into a position of global dominance. That idea horrifies Longman, who spends most of his pages hatching schemes to prevent this from happening.

In Longman's view, modernity itself is to blame for the population debacle. "Those who reject modernity," he argues, "seem to have an evolutionary advantage, whether they are clean-living Mormons, or Muslims who remain committed to large families."

Having looked into the abyss, Longman proposes to save modernity from itself through tax incentives favoring larger families, an unconvincing approach. But he at least has taken the trouble to notice that modernity is consuming itself. A few sound bites give the gist:

Germany could easily lose the equivalent of the current population of East Germany over the next half-century. Russia's population is already decreasing by three-quarters of a million a year. Japan's population meanwhile is expected to fall by as much as one-third.

By mid-[21st]-century, China could easily be losing 20-30% of its population per generation.

Fertility rates are falling faster in the Middle East than anywhere else on Earth, and as a result the region's population is aging at an unprecedented rate. It took 50 years for the United States to go from a median age of 30 to today's 35. By contrast, during the first 50 years of the 21st century, Algeria will increase its median age from 21.7 to 40.

With deaths exceeding births by well over half, current projections show Russian population will fall by 29% by 2050.

Longman cannot make up his mind as to whether economic disincentives or existential despair account for collapsing birthrates. He offers an economic explanation as follows: In traditional society children were an asset, a source of cheap farm labor in the present and the equivalent of a pension later on. In the modern world, children are a cost. Because parents and non-parents both will receive pensions paid by the next generation, no individual has an incentive to make sacrifices to bring the next generation into the world. In the absence of economic incentives to reproduce, "Faith is increasingly necessary as a motive to have children."

Friday, December 10, 2004

Young Hispanic underclass

Heather MacDonald writes about the growing underclass of Hispanics:

Hispanic youths, whether recent arrivals from Latin America or birthright American citizens, are developing an underclass culture.

Hispanic school dropout rates and teen birthrates are now the highest in the nation. Gang crime is exploding nationally - rising 50% from 1999 to 2002 - driven by the march of Hispanic immigration east and north across the country.

Most worrisome, underclass indicators like crime and single parenthood do not improve over successive generations of Hispanics. They worsen.

The pull to a culture of violence among Hispanic children begins early. In Chicago, gangs start recruiting kids at age 9, say criminologists. The Chicago Community Policing Evaluation Consortium concluded that gangs have become fully integrated into Hispanic youth culture; even children not in gangs emulate their attitudes, dress and self-presentation.

Washington, D.C., reports the same "ever younger" phenomenon. "Recruitment is starting early in middle school," said Lori Kaplan, head of D.C.'s Latin American Youth Center.

Jewish Hispanics?

Apparently some Latinos are descended from Sephardic Jews:

As a boy, Father William Sanchez sensed he was different. His Catholic family spun tops on Christmas, shunned pork and whispered of a past in medieval Spain. If anyone knew the secret, they weren't telling, and Sanchez stopped asking.

Then three years ago, after watching a program on genealogy, Sanchez sent for a DNA kit that could help track a person's background through genetic footprinting. He soon got a call from Bennett Greenspan, owner of the Houston-based testing company.

"He said, 'Did you know you were Jewish?' " Sanchez, 53, recalled. "He told me I was a Cohanim, a member of the priestly class descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses."

With the revelation that Sanchez was almost certainly one of New Mexico's hidden or crypto-Jews, his family traditions made sense to him.

He launched a DNA project to test his relatives, along with some of the parishioners at Albuquerque's St. Edwin's Church, where he works. As word got out, others in the community began contacting him. So Sanchez expanded the effort to include Latinos throughout the state.

Of the 78 people tested, 30 are positive for the marker of the Cohanim, whose genetic line remains strong because they rarely married non-Jews throughout a history spanning up to 4,000 years.

Michael Hammer, a research professor at the University of Arizona and an expert on Jewish genetics, said that fewer than 1% of non-Jews possessed this marker. That fact — along with the traditions in many of these families — makes it likely that they are Jewish, he said.

Ethnic voter patterns

Steve Sailer comments on the different voting patterns of blacks, whites and Latinos in the United States:

The simplest model of white, Hispanic, and black voting behavior is that voters (at least those who are less than well-to-do and are family-oriented) are on average torn between the Democrats' tax-and-spend policies and the Republicans' family values stances. The poorest ethnic group of voters, blacks, feels they can't afford to waste their vote on semi-symbolic family values issues when they need direct help on bread-and-butter issues. In contrast, the wealthiest ethnic group of voters, whites, can afford to vote for Republicans—both because some are so wealthy that GOP policies like eliminating the inheritance tax are in their self-interest; and because, for the majority, they can afford to vote for family values.

Hispanic voters fall in the middle. Hispanics, overall, are quite poor. But those who are citizens and regular voters tend to be a little better off than blacks, and somewhat more upwardly mobile. They are tempted by the GOP's family values rhetoric. But a large majority feel their pocketbooks demand they vote Democratic.

This suggests that Hispanics are most likely to become Republican voters when, on average, they aren't so poor. The most straightforward way to raise Hispanic average incomes is to stop taking in so many extremely poor Hispanics from south of the border.

Red state baiting

Dave Kopel blogs about the white baby gap and how Democrats are trying to use it to attack people in the red states:

A newer form of red-baiting claims that the supposedly moral red states are actually in a state of hypocrisy. For example, they vote against court-imposed gay marriage, but they watch Will & Grace on television.

A more sophisticated red-baiting argument appears in a recent posting on The DailyKos, an enormously influential Web site among left-wing activists, and one of the highest-trafficked political Weblogs in all the blogosphere.

Kos provides a chart showing teenage birth rates by states. Overwhelmingly, the low teenage birthrate states are blue, and the high-rate states are red. Kos writes:

When Red States get their social problems under control, and things such as teen pregnancy down to nationwide lows, then they can try and foist their solutions on the rest of the country.

But as things currently stand, on this issue (as well as others like divorce), the Red States have no ground to stand on. Those crazy New Englad [sic] liberals are running circles around them in this tangible measure of their residents' "values".

But this approach is not necessarily the best guide to moral behavior.

Kos is indisputably correct that red states have higher divorce rates. But the finding turns out to be an artifact of the higher marriage rates in those states. If you look at the number of divorces as percent of total marriages, then the blue-state superiority disappears.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Europe's failed multiculturalism

Europe's past unwillingness to deal with Islamic extremists is really starting to haunt them:

Radical imams are starting to come to the attention of European governments. Many analysts fear that radical imams are using Europe's mosques to preach hate and incite anti-Western sentiments. Boyer warns that radical Muslims are recruiting more followers from France's prisons, a growing problem he says that is not given enough attention.

"When Muslims go to prison in France, the imams are waiting for them," Sfeir told UPI. As an example he cited the case of Khaled Kalkal, of Algeria's GIA (the French acronym for Groupe Islamique Armee -- or Armed Islamic Group). Kalkal, points out Sfeir, went to jail for petty crimes and came out a hardened Islamist militant.

Again no hard data are available on the number of Muslims in French or European prisons. It is illegal for states in most of the continent to keep records of people's religion. However, one estimate given by the International Herald Tribune places France's prison population at around 60 percent Muslim. Muslims in France comprise only 10 percent of the population.

Islamic extremism in Europe

Islamic fundamentalism is causing many Europeans to change their views on religious tolerance:

In Germany, with its three million — mainly Turkish — Muslims, and France, with its five million of mainly North African descent, television viewers were shocked when local young Muslims approved of Van Gogh’s murder. "If you insult Islam, you have to pay," was a typical response.

"The notion of multiculturalism has fallen apart," said Angela Merkel, leader of Germany’s Christian Democrat opposition. "Anyone coming here must respect our constitution and tolerate our Western and Christian roots." Italy’s traditional tolerance towards immigrants has been eroded by fear of Islamism. An Ipsos poll in September showed that 48 per cent of Italians believed that a "clash of civilisations" between Islam and the West was under way and that Islam was "a religion more fanatical than any other".

Similar views can be heard across traditionally tolerant Scandinavia — and no longer just from the populist rightwing party’s such as Pia Kjaersgaard’s People’s Party in Denmark. The centre-right Government of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has equipped Denmark with Europe’s toughest curbs on immigration, largely aimed at people from Muslim countries. In Sweden, where anti-Muslim feeling is running high and mosques have been burnt, schools have been authorised to ban pupils who wear full Islamic head-cover, although the measure comes nowhere near France’s new ban on the hijab in all state schools.

In Spain, with a rapidly rising population of nearly a million Muslims, the backlash has been less visible despite the bombings, but thousands demonstrated in Seville this week against plans to build a mosque in the city centre. The Government has also won approval by sending 500 extra police to monitor preachers and Muslim associations.

Math and ethnicity

According to an international study of students, the position of the United States as a world economic power may be in jeopardy:

The study suggests that there aren't nearly as many bright kids in U.S. schools as there are in other countries -- which could undermine U.S. dominance in technology-related fields. On average, about 4% of kids who took the test scored at the top of a six-point scale; in the U.S., only 2% scored at the top.

The study also indicated that huge numbers of U.S. students can barely do math, meaning the U.S. lacks the advantage of a generally well-educated population, which also can spur growth. One-quarter of the U.S. 15-year-olds scored at either the bottom rung or, worse, scored so low that they didn't even make that level. White and Asian youngsters in the U.S. scored above the international average, but Hispanics averaged 443 on the exam and blacks scored 417.

Those generally low-scoring groups, because of population trends, are becoming an increasing share of the labor market. "It's their productivity that will determine economic growth and whether my generation gets Social Security," says Harvard University economist Richard Murnane.

Tribalism and modern civilization

David Boxenhorn has an interesting post on how our modern way of life conflicts with how we evolved to live in tribal societies:

For millions of years we lived in tribal units, stretching back in time far beyond the origins of our species, and continuing almost up to the present. A mere 10,000 years ago, all our ancestors lived as hunter-gatherers. Probably, most of our ancestors were still hunter-gatherers only 5,000 years ago. But even after that date, we lived in small villages - from a social point of view not too different from a hunter-gathering tribe. Modern life, intimately bound to the social milieu of the city, became the native habitat of the majority only about a hundred years ago, and then only in the most technologically advanced countries of the world. It is a profound change for mankind that after millions of years of evolution for tribal life, we find ourselves in an habitat that doesn't support it.

It is my opinion that many of the psychopathologies of the modern world result from the breakdown of the tribal unit. We are highly adapted to tribal life, and only by understanding this fact, and what it implies, can we understand human nature. The bottom line is this: we are profoundly maladapted to our habitat. Symptoms of our maladaption include feelings of ennui, isolation and depression, so common in our society. From an evolutionary perspective, these are clearly disadvantageous. Who is more likely to survive and reproduce – a depressed, listless individual, or a happy, energetic individual? Clearly, these problems are severely selected against, and indeed in tribal societies living close to our original habitat these problems are rare.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Black genes

Medical science is beginning to accept that genetic factors play a role in the disease rates of different racial groups:

This summer, Howard University Medical School in Washington announced it will begin building a first-of-its-kind gene bank. Although other gene banks would be larger — such as Iceland's DeCode project or the United Kingdom's proposal to bank the DNA of about 500,000 Britons — Howard University's initiative is unique. It proposes to collect and store the DNA only of those who identify themselves as African American.

Over the next five years, the project would gather the genetic codes, along with personal and family health histories, of about 25,000 people. Once up and running, Howard's "biobank" could help solve the enduring medical mystery: why African Americans seem to fall ill with so many diseases — hypertension, heart disease, prostate and breast cancer, asthma, glaucoma and obesity — more frequently than do white Americans and most major ethnic groups in the United States.

At a time when the nation stews over the practice of racial profiling and debates whether race continues to have any real meaning, Howard's biobank — along with a welter of other initiatives — points toward a provocative conclusion: that some racial differences are encoded in the genes, and those differences can make people of one skin color inherently more or less susceptible to certain diseases than people whose complexion is different. In short, in matters of health, it seems that race matters.

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