The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
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The death of Sen. John McCain last August revealed some important truths about the nature of our establishment media.

McCain’s family had released word of his incurable brain cancer many months earlier and his passing at age 84 was long expected, so media outlets great and small had possessed all the time necessary for producing and polishing the packages they eventually published, and that was readily apparent from the voluminous nature of the tributes that they ran. The New York Times, still our national newspaper of record, allocated more than three full pages of its printed edition to the primary obituary, and this was supplemented by a considerable number of other articles and sidebars. I cannot recall any political figure other than an American president whose passing had ever received such an enormous wealth of coverage, and perhaps even some former residents of the Oval Office might have fallen short of that standard. Although I certainly didn’t bother reading all of the tens of thousands of words in the Times or my other newspapers, the coverage of McCain’s life and career seemed exceptionally laudatory across the mainstream media, liberal and conservative alike, with scarcely a negative word appearing anywhere outside the political fringe.

On the face of it, such undiluted political love for McCain might seem a bit odd to those who have followed his activities over the last couple of decades. After all, the Times and most of the other leading lights of our media firmament are purportedly liberal and claim to have become vehement critics of our disastrous Iraq War and other military adventures, let alone the calamitous possibility of an attack upon Iran. Meanwhile, McCain was universally regarded as the leading figure in America’s “War Party,” eagerly supporting all prospective and retrospective military endeavors with gleeful fury, and even making his chant of “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” the most widely remembered detail of his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. So either our major media outlets somehow overlooked such striking differences on an absolutely central issue, or perhaps their true positions on certain matters are not exactly what they seem to be, and merely constitute elements of a Kabuki-performance aimed at deceiving their more naive readers.

Even more remarkable were the discordant facts airbrushed out of McCain’s history.

As the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and two George Polk awards, the late Sydney Schanberg was widely regarded as one of the greatest American war correspondents of the twentieth century. His exploits during our ill-fated Indo-Chinese War had become the basis of the Oscar-winning film The Killing Fields, which probably established him as the most famous journalist in America after Woodward and Bernstein of Watergate fame, and he had also served as a top editor at The New York Times. A decade ago, he published his greatest expose, providing a mountain of evidence that America had deliberately left behind hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and he fingered then-presidential candidate John McCain as the central figure in the later official cover-up of that monstrous betrayal. The Arizona senator had traded on his national reputation as our best-known former POW to bury the story of those abandoned prisoners, permitting America’s political establishment to escape serious embarrassment. As a result, Sen. McCain earned the lush rewards of our generous ruling elites, much like his own father Admiral John S. McCain, Sr., who had led the cover-up of the deliberate 1967 Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, which killed or wounded over 200 American servicemen.

As publisher of The American Conservative, I ran Schanberg’s remarkable piece as a cover story, and across several websites over the years it has surely been read many hundreds of thousands of times, including a huge spike around the time of McCain’s death. I therefore find it rather difficult to believe that the many journalists investigating McCain’s background might have remained unaware of this material. Yet no hints of these facts were provided in any of the articles appearing in any remotely prominent media outlets as can be seen by searching for web pages containing “McCain and Schanberg” dated around the time of the Senator’s passing.

Schanberg’s journalistic stature had hardly been forgotten by his former colleagues. Upon his death a couple of years ago, the Times ran a very long and glowing obituary, and a few months later I attended the memorial tribute to his life and career held at the New York Times headquarters building, which more than two hundred prominent journalists mostly from his own generation, including those of the highest rank. Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. gave a speech describing how as a young man he had always so greatly admired Schanberg and had been mortified by the unfortunate circumstances of his departure from the family’s newspaper. Former Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld recounted the many years he had worked closely with the man he had long considered his closest friend and colleague, someone whom he almost seemed to regard as his older brother. But during the two hours of praise and remembrance scarcely a single word was uttered in public about the gigantic story that had occupied the last two decades of Schanberg’s celebrated career.

This same blanket of media silence also enveloped the very serious accusations regarding McCain’s own Vietnam War record. A few years ago, I drew upon the Times and other fully mainstream sources to strongly suggest that McCain’s stories of his torture as a POW were probably fictional, invented to serve as a cover and an excuse for the very real record of his wartime collaboration with his Communist captors. Indeed, at the time our American media reported his activities as one of the leading propagandists of our North Vietnamese foes, but these facts were later flushed down the memory-hole. McCain’s father then ranked as one of America’s top military officers, and it seems likely that his personal political intervention ensured that the official narrative of his son’s wartime record was transmuted from traitor to war-hero, thereby allowing the younger McCain to later embark upon his celebrated political career.


The story of the abandoned Vietnam POWs and McCain’s own Communist propaganda broadcasts hardly exhaust the catalog of the major skeletons in the late Senator’s closet. McCain was regularly described by reporters as being remarkably hot-headed and having a violent temper, but the national press left it to the alternative media to investigate the real-life implications of those rather suggestive phrases.

How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...
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As I was growing up in the suburban San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s, organized crime seemed like a very distant thing, confined to the densely-populated cities of the East Coast or to America’s past, much like the corrupt political machines with which it was usually associated.

I never heard any stories of ballot-box stuffing or political precinct captains controlling a swath of no-show city jobs or traffic tickets being “fixed” by a friend at City Hall. The notion of local grocery stores paying protection money or taking numbers bets from their clientele on behalf of bookies would have seemed quite outlandish to me.

All these personal impressions were strongly reinforced by the electronic media that so heavily shapes our perceptions of reality. A couple of the popular shows I sometimes watched in reruns were the police procedural dramas Dragnet and Adam-12, both set in Southern California, and although each episode focused on one or more serious crimes, these were almost never of the “organized” variety. The same was true for Perry Mason episodes, although those longer courtroom dramas would have been naturally suited to the plotting of Syndicate members. The popular Rockford Files of the late 1970s did sometimes feature mobsters, but these individuals were almost always temporary visitors to LA from New York or Chicago or Las Vegas, with the plotlines sometimes humorously treating these gangsters as struggling fish out of water in the very different world of sunny Southern California. By contrast, a contemporaneous detective show set in New York like Kojak seemed to feature mafioso characters in every third or fourth episode.

The offerings of the Silver Screen generally followed the same pattern. Gangster films, ranging from the crudest B-flick to the Academy Award-winning Godfather masterpieces, were almost never set on the West Coast. And although a film like Roman Polanski’s Chinatown might be focused on the deadly criminal intrigues of the 1930s Los Angeles financial elitess, the villain was just a ruthless businessman, employing a couple of murderous hired thugs.

Children soon become aware that the dramatic concoctions of Hollywood are not necessarily accurate, but when everything we see on screens big and small so closely matches our direct personal experience, that amalgamation of images and daily life produces a very firm sense of reality.

Even the occasional exception seemed to support the general rule. In the 1970s, I remember once watching a local television news crew interview an elderly Jewish man named Mickey Cohen on a local park bench, breathlessly describing him as having once been the reigning mobster king of Los Angeles. While I didn’t doubt that in bygone days the crotchety little fellow had once been a hardened criminal, I remained somewhat skeptical that LA had ever contained enough gangsters to warrant having a king, let alone that such a figure would have been drawn from our notoriously law-abiding Jewish community.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s crime became a steadily rising problem in the once-quiet suburbs of Los Angeles, but virtually none of those incidents seemed much like a Francis Ford Coppola epic. The Crips and Bloods of South-Central regularly killed each other and innocent bystanders, while burglaries and robberies—as well as occasional rapes and murders—sometimes spilled over the Hollywood Hills into the Valley. Terrifying serial killers like the Hillside Strangler provoked widespread fear as did the horrible deeds of the Manson Family, while the fiery final shootout of the Symbionese Liberation Army near Inglewood drew national headlines; but none of this seemed much like activities of the Gambinos or Columbos of NYC. Indeed, I and my friends would sometimes joke that since the Mafia was supposedly so effective at keeping street crime away from its New York neighborhoods, perhaps LA would have been better off if it had had a sizeable Sicilian population.

When I sometimes gave the matter a little thought, the utter lack of any organized crime in California seemed fairly easy to explain. East Coast cities had been settled by waves of foreign immigrants, impoverished newcomers who spoke no English, and their total ignorance of American ways left them quite vulnerable to criminal exploitation. Such situations were an ideal breeding ground for corruption, political machines, and crime syndicates, with the centuries-old secret societies of Sicily and Southern Italy providing the obvious seeds for the last of those. Meanwhile, most of California had been settled by longstanding American citizens, often relocating from the placid Midwest, with Iowans who spoke perfect English and whose families had been voting in U.S. elections for six generations being far less vulnerable to political intimidation or criminal exploitation.


Since organized crime obviously did not exist in California, I was never quite sure how much to believe about its supposed size and power elsewhere in the country. Al Capone had been imprisoned and died decades before I was born and with the end of Roaring Twenties, violent gangsterism seemed to have mostly disappeared as well. Every now and then the newspapers might carry the story of an Eastern Mafia chieftain killed by his rivals, but those occasional events provided little indication about the power those individuals had wielded while alive. In 1977, teenage members of an obscure Chinese immigrant street gang in San Francisco used automatic weapons to attack their rivals at a local restaurant, leaving sixteen dead or wounded, a body-count that seemed comparable to the total number of traditional Mafia killings nationwide over a period of several years.

During the 1970s I also starting hearing lurid tales that the Mafia had stolen the 1960 election for President John F. Kennedy and might even have been involved in his subsequent assassination, but the respectable media seemed to treat those claims with enormous scorn, so I tended to regard them as National Enquirer type nonsense, not much different than ridiculous UFO stories. Growing up when I did, the Kennedys had seemed like America’s own royal family, and I was very skeptical that control of the White House at the absolute height of the American Century had been swung by Mafia bosses. There were stories that Old Joe Kennedy, the family patriarch, had dabbled in bootlegging during the 1920s, but that had been during Prohibition, a very different era than the aftermath of the quiet and prosperous Eisenhower years of the 1950s.


Twentieth century American history had never been of much interest to me, so I am not entirely sure at what point my understanding of these issues began to change. I think it may have been just a few years ago, when I was absolutely shocked to discover that there was overwhelming evidence that the JFK Assassination had indeed been part of a large conspiracy, a revelation absolutely contrary to what I had always been led to believe by the media throughout my life. But when a highly-regarded national journalist such as David Talbot gathered the copious evidence in his book Brothers, and his conclusions were endorsed by an eminent presidential historian such as Alan Brinkley writing in the pages of the august New York Times, such a shift became unavoidable. And it seemed clear that elements of organized crime had been heavily involved in that presidential assassination.

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Some may remember that in 2005 a major media controversy engulfed Harvard President Larry Summers over his remarks at an academic conference. Casually speaking off-the-record at the private gathering, Summers had gingerly raised the hypothetical possibility that on average men might be a bit better at mathematics than women, perhaps partially explaining the far larger number of males holding faculty positions in the math, science, and engineering departments.

These controversial speculations were soon leaked to the press, and an enormous firestorm of protest erupted, with MIT professor Nancy Hopkins claiming that merely hearing Summers’ words at the event had left her physically ill, forcing her to quickly exit the room lest she suffer a blackout and collapse.

Harvard students and faculty members soon launched an organized campaign to have Summers removed from the summit of our academic world, with noted evolutionary-psychologist Steven Pinker being one of the very few professors willing to publicly defend him. Eventually, an unprecedented “no confidence” vote by the entire faculty and growing loss of confidence by the Board of Trustees forced Summers to resign, becoming the first Harvard President to suffer that fate in the university’s 350 year history, thus apparently demonstrating the astonishing power of feminist “political correctness” on college campuses.

The true story for those who followed it was actually quite a bit more complex. Summers, a former Clinton Administration Treasury Secretary, had a long record of very doubtful behavior, which had outraged many faculty members for entirely different reasons. As I wrote a few years ago:

Now I am hardly someone willing to defend Summers from a whole host of very serious and legitimate charges. He seems to have played a major role in transmuting Harvard from a renowned university to an aggressive hedge fund, policies that subsequently brought my beloved alma mater to the very brink of bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis. Under his presidency, Harvard paid out $26 million dollars to help settle international insider-trading charges against Andrei Shleifer, one of his closest personal friends, who avoided prison as a consequence. And after such stellar financial and ethical achievements, he was naturally appointed as one of President Obama’s top economic advisors, a position from which he strongly supported the massive bailout of Wall Street and the rest of our elite financial services sector, while ignoring Main Street suffering. Perhaps coincidentally, wealthy hedge funds had paid him many millions of dollars for providing a few hours a week of part-time consulting advice during the twelve months prior to his appointment.

Moreover, Summers had previously denounced anti-Israel activism by Harvard students and faculty members as “anti-Semitic,” an accusation that provoked fierce opposition. A few years later, it also came out that Summers may have played a crucial role in favoring Mark Zuckerberg over the Winkelvoss brothers in their early battle for ownership of Facebook, while Summers’ former assistant Sheryl Sandberg later became Facebook president, making her a multi-billionaire.

Although Summers’ impolitic remarks regarding female math ability had certainly sparked his ouster, the underlying cause was probably his many years of extremely unbecoming behavior. Indeed, I think a reasonable case can be made that Summers was the worst and most disreputable president in all of Harvard’s long history.

Still, even a broken or crooked clock is right twice a day, and I doubt that Larry Summers is the only person in the world who suspects that men might be a bit better at math than women. But some strongly disagree with this assessment, and in the wake of the Summers controversy one of his fiercest academic opponents was a certain Janet Mertz, who specializes in cancer research at the University of Wisconsin.

In order to effectively refute Summers’ odious speculations, she and her co-authors decided to carefully examine the total roster of participants in the International Math Olympiads for the years 1988-2007. These 3200-odd individuals represent the world’s highest-performing math students drawn from the secondary schools of dozens of countries, and the gender distribution across so many different cultures and years would surely constitute powerful quantitative evidence of whether males and females significantly differed in their average aptitudes. Since most of these thousands of Math Olympians are drawn from non-Western countries, determining the genders of each and every one is hardly a trivial undertaking, and we should greatly commend the diligent research that Mertz and her colleagues undertook to accomplish this task.

They published their important results in a 10,000 word academic journal article, whose “first and foremost” conclusion, provided in bold-italics, was that “the myth that females cannot excel in mathematics must be put to rest.” And in her subsequent press interviews, she proclaimed that her research had demonstrated that men and women had equal innate ability in mathematics, and that any current differences in performance were due to culture or bias, a result which our media gleefully promoted far and wide.

But strangely enough, when I actually bothered to read the text and tables of her eye-glazingly long and dull academic study, I noticed something quite intriguing, especially in the quantitative results conveniently summarized in Tables 6 and 7 (pp. 1252-53), and mentioned it in a column of my own:

The first of these shows the gender-distribution of the 3200-odd Math Olympians of the leading 34 countries for the years 1988-2007, and a few minutes with a spreadsheet reveals that the skew is 95% male and 5% female. Furthermore, almost every single country, whether in Europe, Asia, or elsewhere, seems to follow this same pattern, with the female share ranging between 0% and 12% but mostly close to 5%; Serbia/Montenegro is the only major outlier at 20% female. Similarly, Table 7 provides a gender distribution of results for just the United States, and we find that just 5 of our 126 Math Olympians—or 4%—have been female. Various other prestigious math competitions seem to follow a roughly similar gender skew.

These remarkable findings are even more easily grasped when we summarize the male percentages of top math students aggregated across 1988-2008 for each individual country:

China, 96% male
India, 97% male
Iran, 98% male
Israel, 98% male

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A couple of years ago I happened to be reading the World War II memoirs of Sisley Huddleston, an American journalist living in France. Although long since forgotten, Huddleston had spent decades as one of our most prominent foreign correspondents, and dozens of his major articles had appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and Harpers, while he had authored some nineteen books. Given such eminence, his personal relationships reached far into elite circles, with one of his oldest and closest friends being William Bullitt, the American ambassador to France, who had previously opened our first Soviet embassy under FDR.

Huddleston’s credibility seemed impeccable, which is why I was so shocked at his firsthand account of wartime Vichy, totally contrary to what I had absorbed from my introductory history textbooks. While I had always had the impression that Petain’s collaborationist regime possessed little legitimacy, this was not at all the case. Near unanimous majorities of both houses of the duly-elected French parliament had voted the elderly field marshal into office despite his own deep personal misgivings, regarding him as France’s only hope of a unifying national savior following the country’s crushing 1940 defeat at Hitler’s hands.


Although Huddleston’s sympathies were hardly with the Germans, he noted the scrupulous correctness they exhibited following their overwhelming victory, policies that continued throughout the early years of the Occupation. And although he had on a couple of occasions performed minor services for the nascent Resistance movement, when the 1944 Normandy landings and the subsequent German withdrawal suddenly opened the doors of power to the anti-Petain forces, they engaged in an orgy of ideological bloodletting probably without precedent in French history, far surpassing the infamous Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, with perhaps 100,000 or more civilians being summarily butchered on the basis of little or no evidence, often just to settle personal scores. Some of the worst of the bloodshed came at the hands of the Communist exiles of the Spanish Civil War, who had found shelter in France after their defeat and now eagerly took an opportunity to turn the tables and massacre the same sort of “bourgeois” class-enemies who had defeated them in that previous conflict just a few years earlier.

As I sought to weigh Huddleston’s testimony against the traditional narrative of wartime France I had always fully accepted, most of the factors seemed to point in his favor. After all, his journalistic credentials were impeccable and as a very well-connected direct observer of the events he reported, his statements surely counted for a great deal. Meanwhile, it appeared that most of the standard narrative dominating our history books had been constructed a generation or so later by writers living on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, whose conclusions may have been substantially influenced by the black-and-white ideological framework that had become rigidly enshrined at elite American universities.

However, I couldn’t help noticing one huge, gaping flaw in Huddleston’s account, an error so serious that it cast grave doubts upon his entire credibility as a journalist. Towards the beginning of his book, he devotes a page or so to casually mentioning that in the early months of 1940, the French and British were preparing to launch an attack against the neutral Soviet Union, using their bases in Syria and Iraq for a strategic bombing offensive meant to destroy Stalin’s Baku oil fields of the Caucasus, one of the world’s leading sources of that vital commodity.

Obviously, all military organizations produce a wealth of hypothetical contingency plans covering all possible situations and opponents, but Huddleston had somehow misunderstood such possibilities or rumors as outright fact. According to him, the Allied bombing of the Soviet Union had been scheduled to begin March 15th, but was initially delayed and rescheduled for various political reasons. Then a few weeks later, the German panzer divisions swept through the Ardennes forest, surrounded the French armies, and captured Paris, aborting the planned Allied bombardment of Russia.

Given that the USSR played the leading role in Germany’s eventual defeat, an early Allied attack upon the Soviet homeland would surely have changed the outcome of the war. Although Huddleston’s bizarre fantasies had somehow gotten the best of him, he was hardly incorrect in exclaiming “What a narrow escape!”

The notion that the Allies were preparing to launch a major bombing offensive against the Soviet Union just a few months after the outbreak of World War II was obviously absurd, so ridiculous a notion that not a hint of that long-debunked rumor had ever gotten into the standard history texts I had read on the European conflict. But for Huddleston to have still clung to such nonsensical beliefs even several years after the end of the war raised large questions about his gullibility or even his sanity. I wondered whether I could trust even a single word he said about anything else.

However, not long afterward I encountered quite a surprise in a 2017 article published in The National Interest, an eminently respectable periodical. The short piece carried the descriptive headline “In the Early Days of World War II, Britain and France Planned to Bomb Russia.” The contents absolutely flabbergasted me, and with Huddleston’s credibility now fully established—and the credibility of my standard history textbooks equally demolished—I went ahead and substantially drew upon his account for my long article “American Pravda: Post-War France and Post-War Germany.”


I hardly regard myself as a specialist on the history of World War II, but I initially felt deeply embarrassed to have spent my entire life completely ignorant of that crucial early turning-point in the huge conflict. However, once I had carefully read that National Interest article, my shame quickly dissipated, for the it was obvious that the author, Michael Peck, along with his editors and readers had been equally unaware of those long-buried facts. Indeed, the article had originally run in 2015, but was republished a couple of years later due to enormous reader demand. As near as I can tell, that single 1100 word essay constituted the first and only time the momentous events described had received significant public attention in the seventy years since the end of the war.

Peck’s discussion greatly fleshed out Huddleston’s brief, offhand remarks. The French and British high commands had prepared their enormous bomber offensive, Operation Pike, in hopes of destroying Russia’s oil resources, and their unmarked reconnaissance flights had already overflown Baku, photographing the locations of the intended targets. The Allies were convinced that the best strategy for defeating Germany was to eliminate its sources of oil and other vital raw materials, and with Russia being Hitler’s leading supplier, they decided that destroying the Soviet oil fields seemed a logical strategy.

Banning Black Historiography During Black History Month
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As most are surely aware, the last year or two has seen a growing crackdown on free speech and free thought across the Internet, with our constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights being circumvented through the agency of monopolistic private sector corporations such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Although as yet our government has not gained the power to ban discordant views nor punish their advocates, anonymous tech company censors regularly take these steps, seemingly based upon entirely opaque and arbitrary standards which lack any power of appeal. No one really knows why some individuals are banned or “de-platformed” and others are not, and surely this looming uncertainty has imposed self-censorship upon hundreds of individuals for every publicized victim who receives an exemplary punishment.


Some critics have attacked this policy as a new form of “McCarthyism,” but this characterization seems based upon historical ignorance. Although the notorious junior senator from Wisconsin was an alcoholic prone to making reckless, unsubstantiated charges and therefore served as an extremely poor vessel for the movement he eventually came to symbolize, his accusations of massive Communist political subversion were absolutely correct and indeed somewhat understated. Over the last quarter-century, the public release of the Venona Decrypts has demonstrated that throughout most of the Franklin Roosevelt Administration and even afterward, the top levels of our national government were honeycombed with numerous spies and traitors deeply loyal to the Soviet Union rather than the United States. Today’s ritualistic denunciations of McCarthyism are made by ignorant journalists who derive their understanding of the past from misleading Hollywood dramas rather than the meticulously researched volumes produced by leading academic scholars such as John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr.

In fact, just a few years before Sen. McCarthy burst upon the national scene, control of our federal government was nearly seized by agents of Stalin. From 1941 to 1944 FDR’s Vice President was Henry Wallace, who would have succeeded to the presidency if Roosevelt had renominated him in that latter year or had died prior to early 1945. And although Wallace himself was not disloyal, his top advisors were mostly Communist agents. Indeed, he later stated that a Wallace Administration would have included Laurence Duggan as Secretary of State and Harry Dexter White as Secretary of the Treasury, thereby installing Stalinist henchmen at the top of the Cabinet, presumably supported by numerous lower-level officials of a similar political ilk. One might jokingly speculate whether the Rosenbergs—later executed for treason—would have been placed in charge of our nuclear weapons development program.

That America’s national government of the early 1940s actually came within a hair’s breadth—or rather a heart-beat—of falling under Communist control is a very uncomfortable truth. And our history books and popular media have maintained such total silence about this remarkable episode that even among today’s well-educated Americans I suspect that fewer than five in one hundred are aware of this grim reality. Surely this should cause all sensible people to become quite cautious about blithely accepting the standard narrative of other important historical events promoted by those same sources of obfuscation.


Even leaving aside this total whitewash of Communist infiltration during the 1930s and 1940s, the measures imposed upon the supposed martyrs of that era utterly differ in degree from those visited upon today’s ideological dissenters. In the best-known cases, a few of Hollywood’s most highly-paid screenwriters saw their income dry up due to their Communist affiliations and were forced to cut back on their lavish lifestyles, a personal suffering treated with utmost sympathy in recent mainstream films produced by their spiritual descendants. Meanwhile, today’s targets of social wrath are almost always just working-stiffs, powerless nobodies fearfully voicing their controversial online opinions under a pseudonym before having their identities “doxxed” and then sometimes getting fired from their merely hum-drum jobs.

And even that gross disparity drastically understates the difference between then and now. During the 1950s, any proposal to ban suspected Communists from making telephone calls, watching television, renting cars, or having bank accounts surely would have been universally ridiculed as utter lunacy. But in today’s America, entirely equivalent measures are steadily growing more frequent and more severe, with very little public opposition.

Social media platforms have become the new electronic town square, and just a few weeks ago our own Israel Shamir’s recounted how he was “Banned by Facebook for Telling the Truth.” He described the absurd levels of censorship that he and so many others have suffered on that platform, sometimes even being punished with a lengthy ban merely for posting a link to his own writings.

I don’t much use Social Media myself since my long-form writings are hardly suitable for Facebook let alone the tiny character budget of Twitter. And although the latter seems effective as a means of promoting articles or distributing images or videos, the strict limits of a few dozen words surely render it much more appropriate for slogans or insults than anything more thoughtful or substantive. I find it difficult to believe that too many intelligent people have ever had their minds changed on anything significant by a few Tweets.

Amazon, however, is something else entirely. Its unmatched collection of available books comes close to fulfilling one of the original utopian goals of the very early days of the Computer Age. Over the last twenty years I’ve surely ordered many hundreds of volumes from that source, and reading them has played a huge role in transforming my beliefs on numerous important issues. For this reason, the growing wave of Amazon book-bannings carries very ominous overtones.

On February 19th, an article in Quartz denounced Amazon for continuing to carry “neo-Nazi and White Supremacist” books, and the following week most of the books in question were suddenly “disappeared” after many years of availability, in some cases apparently even vanishing from personal Kindle devices. An article published in American Renaissance provided one of the earliest accounts, and Counter-Currents has attempted to put together a comprehensive list of the dozens of vanished volumes.

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Back in November I published a long column discussing the results of the 2018 midterm elections and then a couple of weeks ago I also released a private letter I’d distributed to prominent figures in the Alt-Right movement back in 2017, suggesting some of the ways that their public positions had severely damaged their credibility and injured their nascent political movement.

Immigration and the closely-related issue of Hispanic crime were important elements of both my pieces, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised that I provoked such an enormous outpouring of (mostly hostile) responses, now totaling well over 3,000 comments and nearly 500,000(!) words. The bitter immigration dispute between President Donald Trump and the new Democratic Congress has already produced the longest federal government shut-down in American history, so this controversial subject has certainly reached the absolute center of the American political stage.

Unfortunately, I believe that there are few other topics in which such severe misinformation, often of an emotionally charged nature, has so totally contaminated the political debate, sometimes on both sides of the controversy. Given this situation, I’ve decided to provide a general summary of what I see as some of the crucial facts together with my analysis.


The dismal state of factual misinformation widespread within the anti-immigration community is best illustrated by a single striking example. Among such individuals, no piece of American legislation is as fiercely condemned as the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act, routinely denounced as the law that destroyed our country by opening the floodgates to the influx of countless millions of non-white Third Worlders, thereby dooming America to eventual white-minority status. These critics often single out Ted Kennedy as the particular villain behind this policy, even though he had only just reached the Senate a couple of years earlier, and as a very junior member played only a relatively minor role in enacting this statute.

This supposed impact of the 1965 Act certainly possesses superficial plausibility. The measure was widely advertised as a loosening of our strict immigration quotas of the 1920s and non-white immigration did enormously increase in the decades that followed. Largely as a consequence of the latter, America’s white population declined from 84% to just 62% between 1965 and 2015, with our rapidly-growing Latino population now reaching 18% of the total. Today more than half of young American children are non-white, and within a couple of decades whites will have become a minority of our entire population, a situation that would have been absolutely unimaginable back in 1965. Indeed, the careful demographers of the Pew Research Center have determined that the overwhelming majority of these racial changes have been due to post-1965 immigration, without which America would still be 75% white today. Since 1965 our non-white population has grown by 86 million, but 60 million of that increase has been due to immigration, overwhelmingly from Latin America and the Caribbean.


Given these undeniable statistics, I would guess that 99% of anti-immigration activists currently believe that the 1965 Immigration Act was responsible for opening our borders and thereby destroying white-majority America. Ann Coulter’s best-selling screed Adios America! is filled with ferocious attacks against the 1965 Act and Sen. Ted Kennedy on exactly these grounds.

Unfortunately, all these individuals have the facts exactly backwards and upside-down. The 1965 Act didn’t OPEN America’s borders, instead it largely CLOSED America’s borders.

The history is very simple. Prior to the 1920s, America allowed unlimited immigration from Europe and Latin America. Then the 1924 Immigration Act sharply restricted European immigration, but retained an “open borders” policy toward Latin America and the rest of the Western Hemisphere, largely because Southwestern business interests desired an unrestricted supply of Mexican labor. This only changed with the 1965 Act, which for the first time imposed strict quotas upon immigration from Latin America and the Caribbean even as it loosened restrictions upon European and Asian immigration. Prior to 1965, any Latin American who paid a small fee at the border, generally in the range of $18, could legally immigrate to America with almost no waiting period. Immigration had remained low merely because Mexico and most of Latin America had traditionally been under-populated.

The huge rise in Latin American immigration after 1965 was due to the enormous population growth in that region and came in spite of the 1965 Act rather because of it.

If Congress had never passed the 1965 Act, illegal immigration would never have become an issue because legal immigration from Latin America would have remained entirely unlimited. I suspect that the influx of legal Hispanics might have reached 5 million per year by the 1990s, and perhaps the entire impoverished population of Haiti would have relocated to our shores. Immigration over the last fifty years has increased our non-white population by some 60 million, but without the sharp restrictions of the 1965 Act, the figure would surely have been 120 million or perhaps even 180 million. Such a scenario can hardly be viewed with favor by racially-focused immigration-restrictionists.

This gigantic factual error at the core of the anti-immigration movement was almost certainly unintentional. Presumably, some early activist 25 or 30 years ago was careless and made an honest mistake regarding the legal details of the 1965 Act, a mistake that soon got into widespread circulation. Since that time, many thousands of other immigration-activists have quoted and requoted that initial blunder across the Internet, until almost everyone in this insular ideological community has come to believe it.

Anyone can make a mistake, but the fact that this misinformation has remained so widespread for so many years suggests the rather unreliable quality of most anti-immigration sources across the Internet.

Indeed, for the last dozen years or so, I’ve periodically brought this serious error to the attention of various anti-immigration websites. They’ve checked the facts, said Oops!, and immediately discontinued their incessant attacks against the 1965 Act and Teddy Kennedy. But they obviously couldn’t take down the hundreds of pieces they had already published on the subject, nor could they publicly admit their longstanding error without looking ridiculous, so almost none of their readers or peers become aware of the correction, and the denunciations of the 1965 Act in their community continue almost unabated. Sometimes after a few years, these websites even return to attacking the 1965 Act themselves, as less well-informed contributors join or the peer-pressure simply becomes too strong.


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Given the current federal government shut-down over funding of a border-wall and the continuing increase in Internet censorship and “deplatforming,” I’ve decided I might as well publish a lengthy note I’d privately circulated last year to a considerable number of individuals, many of whom were then prominently associated with the “Alt-Right” movement.

A few people had suggested at the time that I release it, but I felt I was much too preoccupied with my software work to involve myself in any resulting discussion. The heated reaction to my recent discussion of racial politics in California does indicate that these issues still deserve a wider audience.

Very little has happened in the last fifteen months that would cause me to reconsider any of my views.

A Confidential Note to Various “Alt-Right” People and Others
Dated: August 21, 2017

I’ve been very dismayed by the recent “political purge” being conducted by some of the largest Internet companies, in which numerous controversial websites of the “Alt Right” have suddenly been “disappeared,” and in which all sorts of basic Internet services such as PayPal have been terminated to many of the others on grounds of political ideology. Some of these sites might eventually come back, but I’d assume that others are gone forever.

This is a very disheartening development, and has enormous negative implications for freedom of thought on the Internet. I’m very busy with my own software work, but have already run or republished a number of highly critical articles of this purge on my website, and will certainly continue to do so in the future. I’ve also run numerous articles suggesting that the current excuse for this purge, namely the recent violence at Charlottesville, is being heavily slanted and misreported in the MSM.

There’s also a chance that some of the projects I’m currently working on might somewhat help somewhat mitigate this situation, though none of you should much count upon that for the immediate future.

However, that being said, I’d like to provide some very candid observations regarding what I think were some of the factors over the years that put all of you in this terrible predicament. Whether or not you decide to accept my conclusions is your own choice, but the sentiments I’m expressing are entirely sincere.

First, I’m sure that all of you realize that there are very powerful interests that are extremely hostile to your positions, and which are always looking for some means of shutting you down, one way or another. These groups possess enormous wealth, media power, and political connections and none of you have any of those things. Under such circumstances, I think that the “risky behavior” in which some of you have chosen to indulge has contributed to your situation.

I’d also like to emphasize that many of your opponents, whether in the commanding heights of power or in the form of “antifa”-associated radical activists, engage in all sorts of questionable and dishonest behavior as well, saying all sorts of things that are extreme or just aren’t true. But since their side almost entirely controls the distribution of information in the MSM and elsewhere, they can get away with these things while you yourselves cannot. That’s certainly not fair, but as the old saying goes “Life is Unfair.”

Now although I’m a software developer and live in the heart of Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, I’m really not part of the mainstream “tech community” and only very slightly know a few of the prominent figures in it. But I think I have a reasonably good sense of what’s going on and why they’re taking the absolutely unprecedented step of purging many of you from the Internet.

My strong impression is that most of the leading Silicon Valley people are generally pretty nice and reasonable, but are very politically unsophisticated. They’re totally focused on technology and business issues, and with a few exceptions here and there, don’t really pay any deep attention to politics or ideological matters, sub-contracting out those things to the same “mainstream” opinion-forming elites who provide that role for almost everyone else in our society. Just think of the leading Silicon Valley people as your pleasant, college-educated next door neighbors, who sporadically catch the regular news on TV, glance at the newspaper headlines, and regard that as the reality of the world.

As an example, when “everyone says” that Russia hacked our presidential election, well, then, I suppose that Russia must have hacked our presidential election. And pretty much the same applies to matters of race, ethnicity, and social policy.

Now most sensible people somewhat weigh the reality presented in the MSM against what they actually experience in their day-to-day lives, and if there’s a sharp divergence between the two, they may gradually become suspicious of the MSM, and begin turning to alternate sources of information, even including the sort of ideological views presented on your own websites. That’s obviously why your own readership has risen quite a lot over the last few years, and why Donald Trump stunned America’s elites by winning the presidency despite 99% opposition in the MSM. Maybe all the TV programs told working class whites in the Midwest or the South that things under Obama were great and Trump was horrible, but when they looked around themselves, they saw something totally different, so they decided the MSM was just lying and voted Trump.

But the problem that all of you face is that when people in Silicon Valley look around themselves, what they see reasonably matches the claims of the MSM, while if they ever visit Breitbart, let alone any of your own Alt-Right websites, you mostly come across like a bunch of total lunatics. Therefore, when the MSM recently claimed that you were all a bunch of violent, murderous madmen, they stampeded the Silicon Valley people into deciding to help shut all of you down as a public service to America.

Let’s take a few salient issues. Over the last year or two, I’d guess that 70% of the most visible and heated rhetoric coming from Donald Trump has involved ferocious attacks on Muslims, Mexicans, and immigrants in general, and certainly that’s also been a major theme of his backers both in the Alt-Right and the Alt-Lite.

Now obviously, almost every mainstream/prominent figure in American politics and media, Democrat and Republican, has denounced these attacks in the strongest possible terms as “racist,” “bigoted,” etc. But that had no impact upon Trump’s support in e.g. West Virginia, since the people there watched FoxNews shows about Muslims conquering America and imposing Sharia law, and had become very fearful. The fact that ordinary West Virginians have almost no real life contact with Mexicans, Muslims, or immigrants left them open to such nonsense.

The PRC Should Retaliate by Targeting Sheldon Adelson's Chinese Casinos
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As most readers know, I’m not a casual political blogger and I prefer producing lengthy research articles rather than chasing the headlines of current events. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the looming danger of a direct worldwide clash with China is one of them.

Consider the arrest last week of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer. While flying from Hong Kong to Mexico, Ms. Meng was changing planes in the Vancouver International Airport when she was suddenly detained by the Canadian government on an August US warrant. Although now released on $10 million bail, she still faces extradition to a New York City courtroom, where she could receive up to thirty years in federal prison for allegedly having conspired in 2010 to violate America’s unilateral economic trade sanctions against Iran.

Although our mainstream media outlets have certainly covered this important story, including front page articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, I doubt most American readers fully recognize the extraordinary gravity of this international incident and its potential for altering the course of world history. As one scholar noted, no event since America’s deliberate 1999 bombing of China’s embassy in Belgrade, which killed several Chinese diplomats, has so outraged both the Chinese government and its population. Columbia’s Jeffrey Sachs correctly described it as “almost a US declaration of war on China’s business community.”

Such a reaction is hardly surprising. With annual revenue of $100 billion, Huawei ranks as the world’s largest and most advanced telecommunications equipment manufacturer as well as China’s most internationally successful and prestigious company. Ms. Meng is not only a longtime top executive there, but also the daughter of the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, whose enormous entrepreneurial success has established him as a Chinese national hero.

Her seizure on obscure American sanction violation charges while changing planes in a Canadian airport almost amounts to a kidnapping. One journalist asked how Americans would react if China had seized Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook for violating Chinese law…especially if Sandberg were also the daughter of Steve Jobs.

Indeed, the closest analogy that comes to my mind is when Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia kidnapped the Prime Minister of Lebanon earlier this year and held him hostage. Later he more successfully did the same with hundreds of his wealthiest Saudi subjects, extorting something like $100 billion in ransom from their families before finally releasing them. Then he may have finally over-reached himself when Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, was killed and dismembered by a bone-saw at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

We should actually be a bit grateful to Prince Mohammed since without him America would clearly have the most insane government anywhere in the world. As it stands, we’re merely tied for first.

Since the end of the Cold War, the American government has become increasingly delusional, regarding itself as the Supreme World Hegemon. As a result, local American courts have begun enforcing gigantic financial penalties against foreign countries and their leading corporations, and I suspect that the rest of the world is tiring of this misbehavior. Perhaps such actions can still be taken against the subservient vassal states of Europe, but by most objective measures, the size of China’s real economy surpassed that of the US several years ago and is now substantially larger, while also still having a far higher rate of growth. Our totally dishonest mainstream media regularly obscures this reality, but it remains true nonetheless.

Provoking a disastrous worldwide confrontation with mighty China by seizing and imprisoning one of its leading technology executives reminds me of a comment I made several years ago about America’s behavior under the rule of its current political elites:

Or to apply a far harsher biological metaphor, consider a poor canine infected with the rabies virus. The virus may have no brain and its body-weight is probably less than one-millionth that of the host, but once it has seized control of the central nervous system, the animal, big brain and all, becomes a helpless puppet.

Once friendly Fido runs around foaming at the mouth, barking at the sky, and trying to bite all the other animals it can reach. Its friends and relatives are saddened by its plight but stay well clear, hoping to avoid infection before the inevitable happens, and poor Fido finally collapses dead in a heap.


Normal countries like China naturally assume that other countries like the US will also behave in normal ways, and their dumbfounded shock at Ms. Meng’s seizure has surely delayed their effective response. In 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon visited Moscow and famously engaged in a heated “kitchen debate” with Premier Nikita Khrushchev over the relative merits of Communism and Capitalism. What would have been the American reaction if Nixon had been immediately arrested and given a ten year Gulag sentence for “anti-Soviet agitation”?

Since a natural reaction to international hostage-taking is retaliatory international hostage-taking, the newspapers have reported that top American executives have decided to forego visits to China until the crisis is resolved. These days, General Motors sells more cars in China than in the US, and China is also the manufacturing source of nearly all our iPhones, but Tim Cook, Mary Barra, and their higher-ranking subordinates are unlikely to visit that country in the immediate future, nor would the top executives of Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and the leading Hollywood studios be willing to risk indefinite imprisonment.

Canada had arrested Ms. Meng on American orders, and this morning’s newspapers reported that a former Canadian diplomat had suddenly been detained in China, presumably as a small bargaining-chip to encourage Ms. Meng’s release. But I very much doubt such measures will have much effect. Once we forgo traditional international practices and adopt the Law of the Jungle, it becomes very important to recognize the true lines of power and control, and Canada is merely acting as an American political puppet in this matter. Would threatening the puppet rather than the puppet-master be likely to have much effect?

Similarly, nearly all of America’s leading technology executives are already quite hostile to the Trump Administration, and even if it were possible, seizing one of them would hardly be likely to sway our political leadership. To a lesser extent, the same thing is true about the overwhelming majority of America’s top corporate leaders. They are not the individuals who call the shots in the current White House.

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I wasn’t closely following the midterm elections campaign, but the results seemed to be about as expected for Donald Trump and the Republicans. With some races still undecided, the Democrats will apparently pick up close to 35 House seats, giving them solid control, and also a half-dozen governorships, while losing at least a couple of Senate seats. These overall Democratic gains seem roughly what might be expected for the first midterm after a Republican presidential victory, but nothing at all like the “blue wave” that had seemed possible a few months earlier, before the bitter public battle over the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination greatly re-energized the Republican base.

Perhaps the loss of the House may actually prove to be a mixed blessing for Trump. Democrats will achieve control of all the investigative committees and their accusations and subpoenas will make Trump’s life even more miserable than it was before, while surely removing any chance that significant elements of Trump’s remaining agenda will ever be enacted. However, although Trump had reached the presidency by advocating a radical populist-nationalist agenda, he has hardly governed in those terms. For his first two years in office, he sunk nearly all his political capital into enacting huge tax cuts for the rich, wholesale Wall Street deregulation, large increases in military spending, and an extremely pro-Israel foreign policy—exactly the sort of policies near-and-dear to the establishment conservative candidates whom he had crushed in the Republican primaries. Meanwhile, his jilted grassroots supporters have had to settle for some radical rhetoric and a regular barrage of outrageous Tweets rather than anything more substantive. With Republicans in full control of Congress, finding excuses for this widespread betrayal was quite difficult, but now that the Democrats have taken the House, Trump’s apologists can more easily shift the blame over to them.

Meanwhile, a considerably stronger Republican Senate will certainly ease the way for Trump’s future court nominees, especially if another Supreme Court vacancy occurs, and there will be little chance of any difficult Kavanaugh battles. However, here once again, Trump’s supposed radicalism has merely been rhetorical. Kavanaugh and nearly all of his other nominees have been very mainstream Republican choices, carefully vetted by the Federalist Society and other conservative establishment groups, and they would probably have been near the top of the list if Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio were sitting in the Oval Office.

Both Trump’s supporters and his opponents claim that his presidency represents a drastic break from Republican business-as-usual, and surely that was the hope of many of the Americans who voted for him in 2016, but the actual reality often seems rather different.

Although the net election results were not particularly bad for the Republicans, the implications of several state races seem extremely worrisome. The highest profile senate race was in Texas, and Trump may have narrowly dodged a bullet. Among our largest states, Texas ranks as by far the most solidly Republican, and therefore it serves as the central lynchpin of every Republican presidential campaign. The GOP has won every major statewide race for more than twenty years, but despite such seemingly huge advantages, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz faced a very difficult reelection race against a young border-area Congressman named Beto O’Rourke, who drew enormous enthusiasm and an ocean of local and national funding.

I was actually in Texas just a couple of days before the vote, speaking at a Ron Paul-related conference in the Houston area, and although most of the libertarian-leaning attendees thought that Cruz would probably win, they all agreed with the national media that it would probably be close. Cruz’s final victory margin of less than three points confirmed this verdict.

But if things had gone differently, and O’Rourke had squeaked out a narrow win, our national politics would have been immediately transformed. Any Republican able to win California has a near-lock on the White House, and the same is true for any Democrat able to carry Texas, especially if the latter is a young and attractive Kennedyesque liberal, fluent in Spanish and probably very popular with the large Latino populations of other important states such as Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. I strongly suspect that a freshman Sen. O’Rourke (R-Texas) would have been offered the 2020 Democratic nomination almost by acclamation, and barring unexpected personal or national developments, would have been a strong favorite in that race against Trump or any other Republican. Rep. O’Rourke raised an astonishing $70 million in nationwide donations, and surely many of his contributors were dreaming of similar possibilities. A shift of just a point and a half, and in twenty-four months he probably would have been our next president. But it was not to be.

Still, the very close nature of the race does not bode well for long-term Republican control over what has certainly become one of their must-win states. O’Rourke may have been an especially attractive candidate and Cruz has often described as unlikeable, but a small margin of victory drawn entirely from the older and whiter portion of the Texas electorate reinforces the growing GOP fear that changing demographics are inevitably shifting Texas toward the Democrats.

These negative indications were even stronger in the high-profile gubernatorial races in Florida and Georgia, each narrowly won by a right-wing white Republican who faced a left-wing black Democrat. In the past a matches along such racial and ideological lines in Southern states would have been expected to produce a blowout GOP victories, but this year the margin was less than two points in Georgia and less than one in Florida. These surprisingly strong showings by the two black Democrats came despite the considerable personal baggage each had carried, with the Florida candidate under possible investigation in a local corruption scandal and the one in Georgia owing over $50,000 in unpaid federal income taxes. Normally, these would have been exactly the sort of factors that provided a racially-suspicious white electorate a convenient sort of “psychological deniability,” allowing them to vote for the white candidate with a clear conscience.

Although Florida was traditionally a swing state, Georgia had been solidly Republican for many years, at least on the federal level, supporting the Republican presidential candidate in six of the last seven elections, with only fellow Southerner Bill Clinton carrying it by a whisker in 1992. Both Georgia senators had been Republican since 2005, as had been most of the Congressional delegation for over two decades, along with every current statewide officeholder. Georgia had elected some prominent Democrats in the not too distant distant past, but these had always been white moderates of the Southern variety. In a society whose politics was still substantially divided along racial lines, electing a vocal left-liberal black as governor might have seemed almost unthinkable, but it came within a couple of points of happening.

The apparent Democratic victory in a close Arizona Senate race represents another severe warning sign to the Republicans. With the sole exception of 1996, that state had backed the Republican presidential ticket without fail in every national election since 1960 and both senators had been Republican since 1995, with the Congressional delegation generally skewing in that same direction for the last half century. Yet a Democrat now seems to have won an open Senate seat, something that had last happened in 1976.

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This last week trial began in Boston federal court for the current lawsuit in which a collection of Asian-American organizations are charging Harvard University with racial discrimination in its college admissions policies. The New York Times, our national newspaper of record, has been providing almost daily coverage to developments in the case, with the stories sometimes reaching the front page.

Last Sunday, just before the legal proceedings began, the Times ran a major article explaining the general background of the controversy, and I was very pleased to see that my own past research was cited as an important factor sparking the lawsuit, with the reporter even including a direct link to my 26,000 word 2012 cover-story “The Myth of American Meritocracy,” which had provided strong quantitative evidence of anti-Asian racial quotas. Economic historian Niall Ferguson, long one of Harvard’s most prominent professors but recently decamped to Stanford, similarly noted the role of my research in his column for the London Sunday Times.

Two decades ago, I had published a widely-discussed op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on somewhat similar issues of racial discrimination in elite admissions. But my more recent article was far longer and more comprehensive, and certainly drew more attention than anything else I have ever published, before or after. Soon after it appeared in The American Conservative, its hundreds of thousands of pageviews broke all records for that publication and it attracted considerable notice in the media. Times columnist David Brooks soon ranked it as perhaps the best American magazine article of the year, a verdict seconded by a top editor at The Economist, and the Times itself quickly organized a symposium on the topic of Asian Quotas, in which I eagerly participated. Forbes, The Atlantic, The Washington Monthly, Business Insider, and other publications all discussed my striking results.

Conservative circles took considerable interest, with Charles Murray highlighting my findings, and National Review later publishing an article in which I explained the important implications of my findings for the legal validity of the 1978 Bakke decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

There was also a considerable reaction from the academic community itself. I quickly received speaking invitations from the Yale Political Union, Yale Law, and the University of Chicago Law School, while Prof. Ferguson discussed my distressing analysis in a lengthy Newsweek/Daily Beast entitled “The End of the American Dream.”

Moreover, I had also published an associated critique suggesting that over the years my beloved Harvard alma mater had transformed itself into one of the world’s largest hedge-funds with a vestigial school attached for tax-exempt purposes. This also generated enormous discussion in media circles, with liberal journalist Chris Hayes Tweeting it out and generously saying he was “very jealous” he hadn’t written the piece himself, while many of his colleagues promoted the piece with similarly favorable remarks, while the university quickly provided a weak public response to these serious financial charges.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to myself or other outside observers, Harvard itself launched an internal investigation of the anti-Asian bias that I had alleged. Apparently, the university’s own initial results generally confirmed my accusations, indicating that if students were admitted solely based upon objective academic merit, far more Asians would receive thick envelopes. But Harvard’s top administrators buried the study and did nothing, with these important facts only coming out years later during the discovery process of the current Asian Quotas lawsuit.


Only the first part of my very long article dealt with the question of anti-Asian racial discrimination in elite college admissions, but it attracted vastly more attention than any other element.

For many years, there had been a widespread belief within the Asian-American community that such discriminatory practices existed, a sentiment backed by considerable anecdotal evidence. But the university administrations had always flatly denied those claims, and the media had shown little interest in investigating them. However, my powerful new quantitative evidence was very difficult to ignore.

Among other things, I focused upon the publicly available statewide lists of National Merit Semifinalists (NMS), a group that constituted the highest-performing one-half percent of American high school seniors. By a fortunate coincidence, this fraction of the American student body was reasonably close in size to the total enrollment of students at the Ivy League schools together with similarly elite schools such as Stanford, Caltech, and MIT. The NMS dataset had previously been almost entirely ignored by researchers, but I found it a treasure-trove of useful empirical information.

Since Asian last names are extremely distinctive, I was able to estimate that Asians nationally constituted roughly 25-30% of this top academic group, a figure considerably larger than their enrollment at Harvard and other elite schools. This conclusion was supported by the even greater Asian dominance in more highly selective academic competitions such as the Math Olympiad and the Intel Science Talent Search, though the far smaller numbers involved reduced the statistical validity of that analysis.

But my most dramatic finding relied upon an even simpler analysis of public data, which had previously remained unnoticed. As I wrote in my New York Times column:

About Ron Unz

A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.

He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.

In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.

In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.

After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.

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