Archives for May 2012

The Collapse Of Britain In A Few Headlines

Here’s a sampling of recent headlines from the country that loves to lecture others on freedom of speech and rule of law.

Racist Tube rant woman Jacqueline Woodhouse jailed: A London Underground passenger has been jailed for 21 weeks after she admitted hurling racist abuse at fellow passengers.BBC

Girl gang who kicked woman in the head while yelling ‘kill the white slag’ freed after judge hears ‘they weren’t used to drinking because they’re Muslims’.Daily Mail

Police misused powers during royal wedding, protesters claim. (AK: on preemptive arrests of republicans) – The Independent

The hijab has liberated me from society’s expectations of women: Wearing the hijab doesn’t have to be about religious dedication. For me, it is political, feminist and empowering. (AK: What’s worse than a feminist, and a radical Islamist? A feminist Islamist)The Guardian

No 10 guide to changing nappies and baby talk: New parents will be given government advice on changing nappies, breastfeeding and “baby talk” under a multi-million pound initiative to support family life.The Telegraph

UK economy’s fall into recession deeper than expected: Contraction of 0.3%, coupled with more bad news from the eurozone, increases pressure on government to intervene to boost economic growth.The Guardian

Is there any reason, any reason whatsoever, for other countries to listen to Britain on absolutely anything? Flee as quickly as you can possibly can! 😯

Ernst & Young: Russian Corruption Is Rather Banal By World Standards, And Improving

When I cited TI figures showing that Russian everyday corruption is middling by global standards (percentage paying bribes: 26%, compared to 15% in Latvia, 18% in Greece, 24% in Hungary, 28% in Romania) – as opposed to being on the same plank with Zimbabwe or Liberia – one of the most common counter-arguments was that corruption in Russia is especially concentrated in the upper commercial/political social crust.

However, as Vedomosti recently covered (h/t Nils), the acceptability of corruption in Russia has basically converged to global averages. According to the table below from the original study by Ernst & Young, Russia in fact now appears to perform slightly better than the global average (and vastly better than  low-income countries like India, Indonesia, and Vietnam, all of which are nonetheless ranked higher than Russia in the Corruption Perceptions Index).

Furthermore, the last year has seen significant improvements, e.g. whereas now only 16% see cash payments as acceptable to win or retain business, this figure was 39% in 2010. This is practically equal to the global average of 15%, which unlike Russia rose from 9% in 2010.

Power summary: Russia is a normal country in the sense that its level of corruption, as reported by ordinary citizens and businesspeople, is what you would expect of a middle-income country. However, it is near rock bottom as perceived by various self-appointed experts. I wonder who’s more reliable.

Blast From The Past: What Andrew Miller Predicted About Russia In 2000

This guy Andrew Miller used to be The Economist’s Moscow correspondent. This is his prediction from 2000. I also imagine he’d get on splendidly with K.F./Keif. No further comment is necessary. (h/t Patrick Armstrong)

JRL 4331
#9
From: “andrew miller”
Subject: The Gathering Storm
Date: Sun, 28 May 2000

Topic: The Gathering Storm

Title: The Oblast of Russia?

… New predictions: Vladimir Putin will not leave power in 2004 or 2008 no matter the results of any election. He will die in office like Brezhnev unless he is ousted like Krushchev in favor of someone like Brezhnev. Within five years, there will be no independent media in Russia (as if there is any now, but according to a recent New York Times editorial in the JRL, there is, so I guess there must be; just wish The Times had told me which kiosk to look in…) Within five years, Russia will absorb Belarus and Georgia (a revised constitution will eliminate the two-term limit for presidents; even if this is not done, Russians will reelect, as that term will come to be defined, Putin as many times as he likes notwithstanding the constitution). Russia will not allow Ukraine to join NATO or the EU and may, within 10 years, forcibly reincorporate Ukraine into the Russia fold if it can substantially improve its military during that time, which it will be able to do only should Western or Asian nations resume lending it piles of cash. In any case, it will do anything it can to prevent such a thing.

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“Cycle of Poverty” Is Just Another Way of Saying “Idiot’s Limbo”

Case in point: This article (“Caught in the cycle of poverty”, Anna Gorman) from the LAT, which is a microcosm of everything that is wrong in US demographic and social policy. It is a story about the “challenges” facing a poverty-stricken African American woman clearly intended to evoke sympathy for her. That didn’t go over well in the readers’ comments section even though the LAT is basically the West Coast equivalent of the liberal/lefty NYT.

Indeed, at first glance, it is difficult to find sympathy for her. Our heroine, Natalie Cole, is a high school dropout who’d popped out two kids by the age of 17 (!). She then popped out another two with her Latino boyfriend. She was asked to write a resume for her job application but never did so. She does not take her medications or turn up for appointed check-ups despite already by the age of 27 being “heavyset” (read: Obese) and suffering from a variety of health ailments. She shoplifts. According to the author, “She wants to provide a better life for her children but seems not to know how.”

On the other hand however we have to bear in mind that LAT readers are fairly intelligent, whereas there is cause to doubt Ms. Cole is even functionally literate. She has most of the correlates of a dull person: Single motherhood; inability to follow simple instructions; obesity; etc. Despite wanting to, she seems unable to get a GED certificate. From the portrait given by the LAT it is hard to imagine her having an IQ of more than 75. No amount of further education or counseling can bestow her with the tools to escape idiot’s limbo. As such, it is obviously unfair to judge Ms. Cole so harshly for her welfare dependency.

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The Evil That Obesity Apologists Wreak

Apart from a few (typically loser) countries with national fat fetishes, men do not want to fuck fat girls. Or even see them. Most certainly, they do not want to feed the bizarre princess complexes typical of Anglo femdom.

Is it fair that obesity lowers a young woman’s social status far, far more than a man’s? Of course not. Proof:

A few further observations that can be made on this topic:

* Is it an accident that the two major countries – the US and Russia – with the highest divorce rates are where chicks are substantially fatter than dudes? It is after all hard to keep the attraction simmering through more and more layers of blubber. A typical scenario appears to be:

  1. Chick gets fat
  2. Dude loses sexual interest
  3. Chick initiates divorce (and payoff!)
  4. Becomes a columnist at Jezebel railing against the patriarchy.

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Alex Mercouris On Russian Journalists

His comment on my last article on the safety of Russian journalists was so good, involving detailed and seemingly original research, that I thought it would be good to highlight it in a separate post. Also like the lawyerly way he goes about making his argument. 🙂

I have spent the last few days working through the websites of the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) and of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). I have read through their case studies. I would just like to make the following points:

1. Both the CPJ and the IFJ come across to me as sober and honest organisations. Though they use different methodologies and therefore come up with different figures their articles on deaths of journalists in Russia and elsewhere impress me as well researched and well intentioned. I can see no agenda other than a desire to protect and increase the safety of journalists.

2. Though they use different methodologies and come up with different figures both the CPJ and the IFJ say about Russia essentially the same thing, which is that the situation there with respect to the safety of journalists is improving and that the Russian authorities are making a genuine effort to come to grips with the problem and that this effort is starting to achieve success.

3. @ K.F., in that connection, I have to point out that the link you have provided to the website of the CPJ not only bears out my last point and the point Anatoly made in his article, but makes the diametrically opposite point to the one you are trying to make. It reads:

“Russia and Mexico, two of the world’s most murderous countries for the press, are heading in different directions in combating deadly anti press violence. The Committee to Protect Journalists found improvement in Russia as journalist murders ebbed and prosecutors obtained two high profile convictions”.

By contrast the CJP reports that the situation in Mexico is going rapidly from bad to worse.

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Proof Of Genetic Memory

h/t Red Hot Russia. 🙂

Russian Journalists Are Far Safer Than Mexican Journalists, Ordinary Russians, And Their Own Counterparts Under Yeltsin

One of the most common tropes against Russia is that critical (independent, democratic, etc) journalists there are dying like flies, presumably because of the “culture of impunity” created by Putin or even on his express orders. It is rarely mentioned that the statistical chances of a Russian journalist dying by homicide is an order of magnitude lower than in several countries widely recognized to be “democratic” such as Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, and the Philippines, or that – unlike Turkey or Israel (!) – Russia does not imprison any journalists on account of their professional work. To this end, I compiled a “Journalism Security Index” to get a more objective picture than the politicized rankings produced by outfits like Freedom House that put Russia on par with Zimbabwe.

As usual in these situations, a few graphs are worth thousands of words.

The graph above shows the numbers of journalists killed in Russia for every year since 1992 as compared with other “democratic” countries like Brazil, Mexico, India, and Colombia. As one can see, the situation has improved greatly in the past three years, with only one journalist (in Dagestan) getting killed in 2011; meanwhile, the situation in Mexico has deteriorated to levels unseen in Russia since the early 1990’s. Does this mean that Felipe Calderón is the next Stalin? Or is it that he is just faced with a drugs war that is rapidly spiraling out of control?

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Berlin Gets Bad News From PISA

There are several ways to influence national mean IQ levels. One is to improve nutrition and education, but vitally important though they are, they suffer from diminishing returns as populations bump up against their genetic ceilings. Another is to promote eugenic policies, or at least policies to mitigate the dysgenic trends that are typical of modern developed societies, but they tend to be ethically questionable and politically unfeasible. The third major lever is the immigration system, but how can we assess whether it’s doing its job of only letting in the people who would be a net benefit to the host country?

In my wanderings through the interwebs, I found that the NCES has an excellent “International Data Explorer” with all kinds of socio-economic data on the tested students of each country that participated in the PISA standardized tests (which correlate closely with IQ). Of particular interest was data on scores broken down by immigration status (native, 1st generation, 2nd generation), which was frankly stunning in the degree to which it confirms various stereotypes and explains why migrants succeed in some countries and live in lawless ghettos in others. See the graph below (click to enlarge).

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In Which I Appear On The Stark Report

You can listen to the 56 minutes of my interview on The Stark Truth about race realism, IQ / human capital, and economic development here. (That, or read the posts linked to therein if you haven’t already. I didn’t say much new).

Many thanks to Robert Stark, and the Voice of Reason Broadcast Network which does sterling work in publicizing alternate viewpoints.