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Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Now I know about the Chinese Curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

Japan is having a storm-after-the-storm in the form of a nuclear meltdown.  It is terrible; my brother is serving on the USS Essex dealing with this now.  The radiation and associated exclusion zones create all manner of obstacles to US assitance to this long-term ally.  That said, Japanese are behaving admirably, proof that diversity (particularly imported Third World diversity) is completely unnecessary and in many ways counterproductive to a healthy, functioning, and technologically advanced society.  Indeed, homogenous societies are often more trusting societies, particularly when they have a high level of civilization.  Of course, Iowa and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi had massive flooding in recent years and didn’t have massive crime and looting like New Orleans, but, the last time I checked, they’re not Japanese colonies in the Americas.

Dayton, Ohio police test was thrown out because it “discriminates against” blacks.  Of course, nearly every academic and performance test under the sun discriminates against blacks in the sense that their average performance is worse.   Does a test that measures something useful where the outcome happens to differ between races mean that it is unlawfully discriminatory? Why assume that?  Does whatever test that selects for NFL running backs discriminate against whites? And, indeed, can a test that found its origins in the days of genuine anti-black racism, that is a test designed to distinguish qualified from not-so-well qualified whites be called discriminatory when it is simply imported into a new, race-blind era and has differential outcomes between the races?  Indeed, such a test should be presumptively acceptable.  As a consequence of this and similar rulings, police standards will be lowered in name of diversity, as they have elsewhere, often with disastrous results.

Now the US military announces priority of diversity.  What a friggin’ shame, a harbinger of America’s accelerating decline.  The broad-based war on standards has been in process since the Tail Hook Scandal, but it’s accelerated in recent years.  As in police and fire departments, this stalwart bastion of excellence (in addition to being a realm where blacks and whites work well alongside one another because of uniformly high standards) will find to increasingly common to have the affirmative action promotions that are all-too-familiar to corporate America and municipal government. Over time, and just as bad, the integrity of the entire institution and its leadership will be degraded, because no one is allowed to speak freely about the lower abilities of minorities in a world where equality of outcome is a priority.

Indeed, it’s not as if there’s not plenty of dumb whites to go around.  More testing would eliminate many of them too, but this is not allowed (or only allowed indirectly) because of the law of disparate impact.  Liability concerns are compounded by a liberal status war among whites, where each side accuses the other of racism–as in the “Democrats are the real racists” meme so common among the GOP. Today, unlike the America of only 20 years ago, hardly anyone stands up for fairness, majority rights, excellence, and the condemnation of widespread bad behavior by minorities.  We are becoming a nation of cowards, indeed, but not quite the way Eric Holder thinks.

Finally, Libya’s Kaddafi is winning.  I can’t say I’m losing any sleep over this, other than the impact it has on gas prices.  As in the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979, I’m not really sure why I’m supposed to root for one side or the other.  For all I know, Qadaffi’s opponents are bastards; there’s no evidence one way or the other. Sen. McCain, meanwhile, wants us to get involved and start bombing, and he also says his long term goal is to be “investing in Libya.”  I’m so glad I didn’t vote for that madman*, even though Obama is a disaster in his own unique way.

*For those who are curious, I voted for Chuck Baldwin.

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Tsunami

This event is fairly overwhelming in every sense of the word.  It shows several things, however, relevant to our ordinary lives.  It shows the value of preparation and modern infrastructure.  Japan has lost, it appears, several thousand of its citizens.  This tragedy stands in stark contrast to the hundreds of thousands lost in Haiti and Indonesia as a result of their decades-long mismanagement, shoddy construction, and lackadaisical attitudes.  At the same time, Japan’s situation also shows the fragility of modern societies.  While preparation has helped Japan considerably, our lives and infrastructure are highly interconnected.  Japan’s nuclear plants appear to be on the brink of a meltdown.  The impact of such an event can last many years and cost many lives, as occurred in Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union.  America’s nuclear plants likely have similar vulnerabilities, and, like Japan, it’s not so clear what we could do about it other than mass evacuation.  Finally, personal preparedness for disasters, whatever we may likely face, is an individual responsibility that does much to secure peace of mind, reduce the impact of disasters, and relieve pressure on overtaxed governments.  Japan has a culture of preparedness.  America, not so much.   Even though Katrina and the 2005 Tsunami disaster should be on people’s minds, it is doubtful if very many people in California have “bugout” bags in the event of the Big One or that many people on the Eastern Seaboard have  put away some flashlights and canned food in the event of a major Hurricane.  These events are not so rare or unpredictable that such preparations are extravagant or paranoid.  They’re eminently sensible but, unlike Japan and more like Haiti, many Americans prefer to live in a fantasy land of wishful thinking.

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I recently completed Diversity: Invention of a Concept, by Peter Wood. This is the first of several book reviews I’ll be writing of books generously sent to me by my readers.

Diversity has become one of the defining ideals of our age, surpassing in certain respects our earlier commitments to formal equality, liberty, the rule of law, and merit. The diversity concept, unlike more exotic ideas such as multiculturalism, is important because it has spread outside the academy into the world of business and politics. Every mainstream institution from Hollywood and the art world to the education establishment and business trumpets its commitment to diversity. Yet diversity has undergone little criticism. Unlike affirmative action, which was earlier justified as a form of reparations for white injustice to blacks, diversity is a “feel good” idea that purports to benefit everyone, even members of the majority. Minorities advantaged by affirmative action obviously benefit by receiving positions and admissions they would otherwise not receive. But privileged groups also benefit according to diversity’s partisans because they are now exposed beneficially to different perspectives, ideas, and cultures.

Earlier works such as Dinesh D’Souza’s End of Racism (1995) and Alan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind (1987) dealt with narrower issues: the continuing social problems facing black Americans and the decline of standards in the academy respectively. Both of these works were authored in an age when diversity was less accepted as an aspirational ideal than it is at present. Wood’s contribution is unique. . . .

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