Skip to comments.Parting Ways [National Review fires John Derbyshire!]
Posted on 04/07/2012 4:24:15 PM PDT by cartan
Anyone who has read Derb in our pages knows he’s a deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer. I direct anyone who doubts his talents to his delightful first novel, “Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream, or any one of his “Straggler” columns in the books section of NR. Derb is also maddening, outrageous, cranky, and provocative. His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation. It’s a free country, and Derb can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Just not in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer.
And what Coulter is doing for Romney is different from what NR/NRO has been doing for Romney... how?
NR was backing Romney in 2008 as well.
Yes on Derb. The man was unflinchingly honest, unlike the tawny blue-bloods who live in blue-state enclaves... and claim to be so tolerant and enlightened, but want to make sure that the mobs are given enough bread and circuses to stay out of their neighborhoods.
Or, let’s turn this on it’s head: What about the black community? Are they racist? Well, yes. The anti-semitism in the black community is given a pass, because no one dares call blacks racist. Well, they are.
And I don’t mean just Calypso Louie, either:
Whimsically, I've suggested that taxpayers give a state-of-the-art robot to every graduating high school senior.
Program it, re-engineer it, duplicate it in any way you like, then set it loose in the work force, where it, or a whole army of it's, go to work for you each day, or manage your business.
The math seems basic.
If robotic productivity doubles each decade - probably an underestimate - in 100 years robots will be 500 times more productive than today.
By 2112, it seems likely that a cost competitive robot or machine will be available for almost every blue collar job that exists in the world economy today.
You mentioned robotic vehicles.
I think your time line may be a bit short, but the consequences will be enormous.
I have to believe that car wrecks and injuries will decline dramatically.
That will impact health care jobs, insurance jobs, vehicle repair jobs, even law enforcement jobs.
Coming sooner will be “Cloud Computing.”
The economies of scale will be staggering.
I have to believe that corporate IT jobs will stagnate, or maybe even decline in coming decades.
Further up the food chain there's the IBM “Watson Computer” that beat the two best “Jeopardy” players in the world.
How long can it be before a Physician's Assistant with a computer can do the work of a medical doctor?
How long can it be before a Registered Nurse with a “Da Vinci Surgical System” can do the work of a surgeon?
Economically, long term, a century in the future, I am much more optimistic than you.
I see the possibility that only 20% or so of the world's best minds and best workers will be in the work force.
The other 80% will be drawing a dividend check from billions of machines and robots, much the same way that Alaska residents draw dividend checks from their oil wells.
Short term, the next decade or so, I'm very pessimistic.
There is no calm, painless way to claw our way out of massive government debt, massive unfunded liabilities, and massive money printing.
You are absolutely right. This is serious and some (not all, or even many) of the comments on this thread are not helping.
This thread is going to be watched by people far outside Free Republic and it is going to do damage if the racist allegations are not dealt with.
I've lived in the inner city in college and graduate school, and was attending a church that successfully made the transition from being predominantly white to predominantly black in a rapidly changing neighborhood. I'm not stupid, I took precautions then, and I would take precautions today. The same should be done by Hispanics going into predominantly black neighborhoods, or blacks going into Vietnamese neighborhoods, or minorities of any race going into many white neighborhoods. It's the same thing I do when I'm in Korea -- I will be "profiled" if I don't dress and act like an American businessman, because Americans unfortunately have earned a reputation for sexual immorality and bad behavior around Asian women. (American businessmen have their own problems in that area, but at least they're viewed as paying customers.)
My problem is with people who say considerably more than that, blaming the entire race rather than realizing some individuals of all races are really, really bad.
Virtually all people on Free Republic are people who oppose liberalism for a wide variety of reasons. That's good. A very small percentage of FReepers apparently hold some opinions which don't reflect the management's statement, posted here: “Please: NO profanity, NO personal attacks, NO racism or violence in posts.”
184 posted on Sun Apr 08 2012 07:56:47 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by Travis McGee: “Nice tap dance and subject evasion. Care to actually answer the question? This question opposes objective truth to a PC “third rail of doom.” It's rather important to answer it, and not just evade it. But if you must evade it, you are telling us that your PC fear of the third rail is greater than your desire to seek the truth anywhere it lies.”
It is not a tap dance to say that Jim Robinson gets to define what is and is not allowed on his own website. The rule is this: “Please: NO profanity, NO personal attacks, NO racism or violence in posts.”
He gets to define that. I may have some pretty strong opinions about what constitutes racism, but it's his call, not mine.
@ chessplayer re. post 249: I make no claims to be an expert on Derbyshire. That's not the point of my concern; my concern is Free Republic is being accused of being racist when that describes, at most, a tiny minority of Freepers. But the links you and others post to Derbyshire’s views with headlines such as “I am a racist” are disturbing, to say the least.
185 posted on Sun Apr 08 2012 07:59:15 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by Travis McGee: “Exactly correct. There is no way a conservative can please a liberal unless he jumps in front of a bus or off of a cliff. It's a fool's errand to try to gain the favor or those who want you dead.”
Often true, but not always. I think there may be quite a few people on Free Republic who are former liberals. Even the head of the Minutemen went out at CPAC to have a meeting with the Occupy people to see if they could have a useful discussion, and it seems to have been of some benefit.
The real point, however, is that the Atlantic has accused Free Republic of being racist, and cited a photoshopped picture of Barack Obama decked out with a bone in his nose. Can we agree that's not exactly helpful to the conservative cause?
Our goal is to win elections, and that requires getting middle-of-the-road people to vote for conservative candidates.
206 posted on Sun Apr 08 2012 11:21:33 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by Pelham (Marco Rubio, la raza trojan horse.): “Congratulations! Youve earned your Politically Correct Merit Badge.”
Great. Now you're going to blame Marco Rubio as a “La Raza Trojan Horse.” I've got my problems with Rubio, chief of them being his support for Mitt Romney, but I'll happily encourage anti-Communist Cubans and I think people who have suffered persecution of their families under Communism make very good allies.
As for being politically correct, I'm a right-wing conservative in my politics and an evangelical Christian in my faith, and if it weren't for the fact that I'm a Calvinist, I'd happily use the word “fundamentalist” to describe myself. My Korean niece who lives with us attends an independent fundamental Baptist school in which her classmates include Asians, Hispanics and blacks, and in which the only “discrimination” against her is that she's not a Baptist, and that's entirely legitimate coming from a private church-run Baptist school.
We need more conservative Christians who think that way, and who base their beliefs on doctrine, not race.
I've gone down this road with racist bigots in my own conservative Christian circles who cite totally irrelevant verses of Scripture to argue against interracial marriage. That's nonsense; the point is barring marriage between believers and unbelievers. Racism is just as nonsensical from secular conservatives as religious conservatives.
235 posted on Sun Apr 08 2012 17:58:52 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by sargon: “Rather than falling into the trap of governing our behavior towards others based on racial generalizations, I believe it will always be better to judge people individually, by the content of their character.”
203 posted on Sun Apr 08 2012 10:43:59 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by CharlesWayneCT: “It was a mis-use of statistics to suggest a larger problem than really exists, in order to justify a wholesale treatment of a race of people differently because of the actions of a few.”
I believe Sargon and CharlesWayneCT are absolutely right here.
Some black people are fine. Some black people aren't. Same can be said for whites, Asians, Hispanics, or any other ethnic group. Deal with people as individuals and most of the problems go away.
In closing, for those who are making racist comments but happen to have Italian, Irish, or southern European heritage, we'd better tread very carefully here. Some pretty horrible things were said a hundred years ago about the propensity toward crime of “wops” and “dagos” like my Italian ancestors. Efforts were made to bar immigration from Italy because its people were supposedly racially inferior. The Chinese Exclusion Act was successfully passed to almost totally forbid immigration from Asia, despite Asians today having a stereotype of being high achievers.
Margaret Sanger and the eugenically-inclined founders of Planned Parenthood had more targets in mind than just black people. To the tiny minority of conservatives who care about race-based politics: be careful about getting on a race-based bandwagon. It will take you places you do not want to go.
You sure hit that nail on the head!
I will never criticize Rush Limbaugh and similar conservative commentators for popularizing conservatism. Conservatives need to fight on both the popular and the academic levels. We need to refute arguments, not just rebut them — and if conservatives don't know the difference between refuting and rebutting, it says a lot about our education system.
As valuable as popular conservative media area, not everything can or should be turned into a soundbite, and we need both a popular and an academic press to win this war.
@ chessplayer re. post 249: I make no claims to be an expert on Derbyshire. That’s not the point of my concern; my concern is Free Republic is being accused of being racist when that describes, at most, a tiny minority of Freepers. But the links you and others post to Derbyshires views with headlines such as I am a racist are disturbing, to say the least.
Yes on Derb. The man was unflinchingly honest,
Okay, two tap dances in a row, I’ll take that as “I’m afraid to violate PC taboos.”
You’ve got that right!
If you want to know what I believe, I have huge problems with homosexual activism. I believe gay marriage is an abomination that invites the wrath of God upon nations. I believe Islam is not only a false religion but a political danger to America and any other non-Islamic nation.
All of those views are taught to me by my Bible and none of those are very “PC” by current standards.
I'm not going to define Jim Robinson's words for him, but I will define mine. On race, I couldn't care less what somebody’s skin color may be; I care a great deal what they believe. Most conservatives figured out long ago that anti-Communists from Cuba, Vietnam, and South Korea believe exactly the same thing we believe, and might be a lot angrier about it than those of us whose contact with liberal extremism is limited to university settings.
White racism is dying out. It's politically irrelevant except in a few small pockets, most of which won't be around in a couple more generations. I don't agree with Herman Cain or Col. West or Marco Rubio about everything — especially Mitt Romeny, in Rubio’s case — but I do know we need many more black and Hispanic conservatives in politics.
Understood and agreed, Chessplayer. I don't know enough about Derbyshire to have an opinion on him. I do have strong opinions about racism. There's no excuse for blaming people for the color of their skin, only for what they have or have not done.
trumandogz needed to go on his first post.
Let’s get married.
You have that absolutely, drop dead correct with one clarification; the “U.S.” is a failed state. The sooner the states go their own way, the better for everyone.
I quite agree. Which is why I would be very interested in a calm, rational discussion by economists of what is the least disruptive way to make it to the other side.
Despite looking, I have been unable to find any such discussion.
I see the possibility that only 20% or so of the world's best minds and best workers will be in the work force. The other 80% will be drawing a dividend check from billions of machines and robots, much the same way that Alaska residents draw dividend checks from their oil wells.
If I remember rightly, Murray et all discussed this in The Bell Curve. Among huge other consequences for society, it will exactly reverse the social status markers that have existed forever.
Not so much in USA, but certainly in Europe it was always a status marker to NOT work. This demonstrated you were a member of the gentry.
In the near-distant future, having a "real job" will demonstrate extreme intelligence and creativity.
More critically, what does that 80% of the population DO with their time? Most people do not handle massive amounts of leisure time well. As can be seen by the histories of lottery winners.
I'm really curious about these issues, but with the exceptions of some SF writers, there is almost no discussion of them.
Also, your scenario would seem to require the end of a market based economy, as otherwise why would the 20% share the wealth they produce more or less equally with the other 80%?
Travis, it is no evasion to tell you that because racism is forbidden by Free Republic, I've been saying repeatedly that I'm not going to get into defining it because then I'm saying whether people in “gray areas” should be banned or not. I don't run this website and I will not make that kind of statement.
I don't avoid racial issues. I'm white. In college and graduate school, I lived in the inner city and attended a church that changed from being predominantly white to being predominantly black. I'm married to a Korean woman I met in graduate school, and in the not-too-distant past, I've attended Korean Presbyterian churches where not only was I one of the few white people, the language of the church was not English. My Korean niece attends a Christian school run by a fundamental Baptist church which is interracial in both the school's students and the church membership. I live in an upper-class neighborhood where most residents are white, but there are a number of black families, generally retired or active-duty military.
Kind of hard for me to tap dance around racial issues, don't you think?
This was the original question:
112 posted on Sat Apr 07 2012 21:38:09 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by reaganaut1: Define racism. Is doubting that all races are equally intelligent on average racist?
If you're asking my personal views I could tell you what I think, but I already did. Post 270: “On race, I couldn't care less what somebodys skin color may be; I care a great deal what they believe.” Post 271: “I do have strong opinions about racism. There's no excuse for blaming people for the color of their skin, only for what they have or have not done.”
I know smart white people. I know stupid white people. I know smart and stupid blacks, Hispanics and Asians.
That last group (Asians) makes me very hesitant to say intelligence is racially based. In the 1800s, Asian immigrants were used as “coolie labor” and their reputation was based on some very bad stereotypes. Today, Asians are regarded as a “model minority” and the stereotype is that they're very intelligent.
What changed? I don't think it was the gene pool.
Some people are going to point out, correctly so, that there is a genetic basis for being tall or being short, having blue eyes or brown eyes, or having blond hair or black hair. Moving from that, they ask if there's a genetic basis for intelligence. I suppose as a purely theoretical question, that, like anything else, is open to research, but as we saw with the global warming debacle, scientific conclusions are all too often based on something other than “pure science,” whatever that term may mean.
If conservatives want to go down the road of race-based genetic studies of intelligence and cultural behavior, it would be wise to look at what the founders of Planned Parenthood and the Germans did with such studies. Black people have not been the only targets of such “research.” Jews, southern Europeans, and numerous other “white” groups were once blamed for being genetically inferior.
If we start down that road, it will take us places we do not want to go.
My strong suspicion is intelligence is based mostly on the way parents raised their kids. Is little Johnny encouraged to read, or told to go outside and play? Is little Jenny encouraged to study, or told that being a responsible family member means taking care of her little sisters when she gets home from school? Conservative white Americans will give different answers to those questions, and those answers will likely have a lot to do with how the kids turn out. And by the way, I don't think everybody needs to go to college — there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a manual laborer or a housewife if that's what somebody wants to do with their life, especially if it's what they're good at doing.
Now, Travis, have I given you your answer?
If the underlying question is my views on Charles Murray and the Bell Curve, you're not going to get me to give strong opinions on that. It's been a long time since I've read the book. I think I heard Murray speak at a college lecture back in the 1990s (I know I intended to go but don't remember if I actually made it or not) and my recollection is most of the people reacting against him weren't interacting with his arguments. I don't want to be one of those people. If we're going to get into the question of whether intelligence is genetically based, I can say that I don't see the evidence for that and I think a much better case can be made that culture is the primary factor in academic achievement of different groups, but I'm not going to publicly criticize a book I haven't read for a very long time.
Your criticism here is of bad science, which of course is not really science at all.
What you are essentially saying, and it's not actually entirely unreasonable, is that we should not do such studies (using good science) because we might not like what we find. From a standpoint of the effect on society of such findings, you are probably exactly right.
The problem is that "we" do not control what studies will be done. The Chinese, for one example, have a cultural imperative that is thousands of years old that the Chinese are superior. They are quite likely to fund studies, again using good science, to try to prove it. They WANT to find out that Chinese are intellectually superior.
I think you've asked the best question yet on this thread.
Should we avoid certain subjects in scientific research because we don't like where they may lead? No, I don't want to say that.
On the other hand, I'm not going to choose to do that research. I have no shame in saying many of my fundamental decisions on life issues are based on theology, not science. If someone else wants to do that research, that's up to them. I think a better subject would be the relationship between cultural values and intelligence rather than between gene pools and intelligence, since I believe the way parents raise their children is the primary factor in how children turn out.
And your point about the Chinese is quite interesting. The tremendous racial bigotry in much of Asia against black people exceeds anything in modern America or Europe. If someone is going to do major genetic-based research on racial intelligence, it's much more likely to happen in Asia than in the West, and we may have to deal with a “Bell Curve” book being published by Chinese authors seeking to “prove” that Chinese genetics and culture combine to make their race the natural leaders of the lesser peoples of the world.
I continue to believe intelligence is mostly based on how parents raise their children, but modern Asians are perhaps best suited to make a credible case for intelligence being based on race, with their race being better than ours.
Let's be careful where this racial theorizing can take us. I'm not at all convinced that the decline of Europe, America, and Western civilization in general gives much reason to believe in Anglo-Saxon or Northern European racial superiority.
With her name she knows she won’t be the last..