I suspect that Mr Richwine may have been able to survive either controversy taken in isolation. Had he not just argued, in an extremely tendentious fashion, that Hispanic immigrants are, on the whole, parasites, he might have endured public criticism of his dissertation. Had he not in his dissertation argued that Hispanic immigration ought to be limited on grounds of inferior Hispanic intelligence, he would have endured the firestorm over the risible Heritage immigration study, as Mr Rector did. Taken together, however, these two works produce a strong impression of hostility to Hispanics—they’re parasitical because they’re a bit dim as a breed, you see—which would be very hard to dispel. It’s easy to see why Heritage let Mr Richwine dangle.
Nevertheless, Mr VerBruggen, sees “a shocking unwillingness on the part of Heritage to stand up to bullying and protect the academic freedom of its researchers”. Michelle Malkin says that Mr Richwine was “strung up by the p.c. lynch mob for the crime of unflinching social science research”, which she finds “chilling, sickening and suicidal”. This sort of indignation speaks more to the right’s failure to take seriously the history and reality of American racial injustice than it does to Mr Richwine’s fate. As long as conservatives are inclined to think that Mr Richwine was “bullied” and “lynched” for his brave empiricism, instead of having been sunk by the repugnant prejudice exposed by the shoddiness of his work, non-white voters will continue to flock to a party less enthusiastically receptive to the possibility of their inferiority.
I would suggest that, as a rule, if you find yourself using the term “lynching” to describe “people who resign from wingnut welfare sinecures,” you should probably avoid ever writing about race ever.
The soldiers who landed in Normandy on D-Day were greeted as liberators, but by the time American G.I.’s were headed back home in late 1945, many French citizens viewed them in a very different light.
In the port city of Le Havre, the mayor was bombarded with letters from angry residents complaining about drunkenness, jeep accidents, sexual assault — “a regime of terror,” as one put it, “imposed by bandits in uniform.”
This isn’t the “greatest generation” as it has come to be depicted in popular histories. But in “What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American G.I. in World War II France,” the historian Mary Louise Roberts draws on French archives, American military records, wartime propaganda and other sources to advance a provocative argument: The liberation of France was “sold” to soldiers not as a battle for freedom but as an erotic adventure among oversexed Frenchwomen, stirring up a “tsunami of male lust” that a battered and mistrustful population often saw as a second assault on its sovereignty and dignity.
On the ground, however, the grateful kisses captured by photojournalists gave way to something less picturesque. In the National Archives in College Park, Md., Ms. Roberts found evidence — including one blurry, curling snapshot — supporting long-circulating colorful anecdotes about the Blue and Gray Corral, a brothel set up near the village of St. Renan in September 1944 by Maj. Gen. Charles H. Gerhardt, commander of the infantry division that landed at Omaha Beach, partly to counter a wave of rape accusations against G.I.’s. (It was shut down after a mere five hours.)
In France, Ms. Roberts also found a desperate letter from the mayor of Le Havre in August 1945 urging American commanders to set up brothels outside the city, to halt the “scenes contrary to decency” that overran the streets, day and night. They refused, partly, Ms. Roberts argues, out of concern that condoning prostitution would look bad to “American mothers and sweethearts,” as one soldier put it.
Keeping G.I. sex hidden from the home front, she writes, ensured that it would be on full public view in France: a “two-sided attitude,” she said, that is reflected in the current military sexual abuse crisis.
I wanted to alert LGM readers about an exciting real estate opportunity. You can buy property in a Manhattan high rise for as little as $158,000! Of course, that’s for the wine cellar. A three bedroom apartment will run you about nine grand a month…after you’ve paid $32 million for the property.
Fortunately, you can purchase a maid’s quarters for as little as $1.5 million. Start saving today!
Roy reports on the scandal that is even worse than the Benghazi failed Arkansas drug running land deal scandal: something about an umbrella. There are many crazy responses documented, but the source of the very funniest is, in retrospect, not entirely surprising:
We must clear some extra space for Ann Althouse’s four (!) posts about the umbrella. First Althouse was “seeing something tragic” in the umbrella scandal: “The old ways — that made us love him — don’t work anymore,” she sighed. “The gentle, slow-talking, stalling with ‘uhs’ for Woody Allen-like timing… We see the rain failing on his dark suit, and maybe we think about how, yes, that’s the White House in back of him and he does have his closets in there, full of suits… empty suits… skeletons in the uh uh uh…” After a good deal of this, Althouse challenged a Washington Post story that said conservatives were irked by the umbrella: “who were these ‘irked conservatives’?” she demanded. “WaPo only cites an email from the conservative Move America Forward PAC…”
Althouse later posted on Nabokov’s objections to Freud, asking “What would Freud have said about Obama’s endless uh-ing?” Later still she told us, “The word ‘umbrella’ appears exactly once in Obama’s ‘Dreams From My Father’… Now, I’m astounded to see that the umbrella figures importantly in the book — and it is even an umbrella held over him by another man… it is at the moment when he finds out who he really is that another man suddenly appears and is sheltering him with an umbrella… Flash forward, and he’s President. He is in the Rose Garden. It starts to rain. No man suddenly appears with an umbrella. He is getting wet and he is President — with plenty of airplanes and rifles and all of the world’s greatest military at hand — but he is still getting wet…”
She also discussed the phallic symbolism of umbrellas. You can read the rest at the links, or just wait for the audiobook version. (Throughout, Althouse’s commenters reacted in their by-now expected way, e.g., “That baboon isn’t fit to shine the Marine’s boots.”)
If the Wall Street Journal is ever in the market for a conservative hack for people who find Peggy Noonan a little too substantive and coherent, they always have somewhere to go. I do regret, however, that Althouse failed to emphasize the new evidence that Dreams From My Father was written by the Weather Underground.
I checked, and re-checked, and triple-checked, and I can confirm that it’s not 1979 anymore.
Now, that shouldn’t be too surprising — I’m not writing this on an Apple II, after all — but it is to a generation of men (and yes, they are all men) who think stagflation is always and everywhere a looming phenomenon. No matter how low inflation goes, they see portents of Weimar. But that neverending 70s show isn’t just a phobia of rising prices. It’s the idea that the solution to economic pain is more pain. In other words, Volcker-worship.
But only in this sense. Austerians believe, sincerely, that their path is the quicker one to prosperity in the longer run. This doesn’t mean that they have forgotten the lessons of Keynes and the Great Depression. It means that they remember the lessons of Paul Volcker and the Great Stagflation of the late 1970s. “Stimulus” is strong medicine—an addictive drug—and you don’t give the patient more than you absolutely have to.
You might think the fact that inflation remains very low might give Kinsley pause, but apparently not. You might also think the fact that the invocation of the 70s makes no sense even on its own terms might also undermine the argument. Except, again, that logic and history don’t really have anything to do with it — it’s an excuse, like pretending to believe that Saddam Hussein was a threat comparable to Hitler to advocate a war you’ve wanted for other reasons anyway. It’s just overclass moral panic, identical to Kinsley’s silly arguments about Chris Christie. Other people have to suffer to pay for some perceived sins; that’s the whole argument. And you can bet that if it was Kinsley being asked to make sacrifices he’d start recognizing the errors in his own arguments very quickly. The drug analogy is perfect, although not in the way Kinsley intends; a similar logic is used to justify a war on drugs whose immense costs and gross inequities can’t be rationally defended, but persist in large measure because there are sinners and someone has to pay. As the manager said in Wall Street, “it ain’t going to be me.”
Because it’s Sunday night and there are (and soon will be) so many new faces around here, I feel the need to remind y’all of who I am and why I “matter.” I welcome other authors to do the same. Point being, I’m an urban legend whose improbable tales just happen to be true. It all began one day back in March 2007, when I received email from a student I’d just failed, slightly redacted it, and posted it on the Internet:
I appreciate you taking your inconvenience to instruct us but I really had some problems in your class and I would like to explain them to you now. Every day I wanted to discuss with you about the way you grade my papers and the way you teach the class, but I could not because the things you say in class and your words disturb me so much I can not. You make me completely uncomfortable with the little things you say in the class like how you talk about television or how you talk about when you are grading our papers and trying to be fair. You do not seem to care about our grades only that they are up to your too high standards and I can not talk to you because you make me completely uncomfortable. For example, you say you will talk to us about our grades but you really will not because of how uncomfortable you make me feel with your words and what you say.
I will plan to contest the grade you have given me in this class when I get it because I know it will be much higher with any other teacher. I am a very religious man and you are not a bad person but you do not choose your words with enough care like a teacher should. You try to be objective and the very attempt becomes your flaw because you try so hard to grade fairly and comment wisely that you become biased to your own ideas. You criticize our writings because we are college students and young but do not realize that you offend most of us when you do this. I am always offended when I go to your class and have been on many occasions but I never tell you of my offense because you make me completely uncomfortable so I never say a word.
You like to lead discussions and that is bad because it is the entire means by which we learn but we do not know what you want from us on our papers. I have honestly no idea what I learned from you in this class because so much time was spent discussing the tiny details in the passages in the book and so if I learned anything it is how to read things in too much detail. I could have read books in too much detail on my own but that is not what I came to college to do because I already know how to read and I would have told you this but you make me completely uncomfortable with your words so I never said a word.
By doing this you give us no guidance on our papers. I thought it was lame that you decided to show a movie and a cop out because you chose not to give us any instruction. I know that it was a movie based on the story in the play we read but it was not teaching to show it to us when you could have been teaching us to write what you wanted us to write on our papers instead. The movie was completely racist and very offensive because it contained cultural stereotypes that are often used in disrespectful jokes about people who have their feelings hurt all the time. I was offended by this racism and in the movie and had my feelings hurt by it. If that was supposed to teach me something about the class I completely do not understand.
After this quarter I am hurt and tired and feel like talking to you now will do me no good. I wanted to go to your office hours but I could not find the time or make myself because of your words. I feel like my paper was written to the best of my ability in reference to your teaching skills in the discussions. You grade my papers poorly but do not realize that you do so because they reflect your teaching skills. Other people may have done well with your skills but I did not and would have talked to you but what you said about grading fairly made me uncomfortable. I take my responsibilities as a man and I have never complained about my grades but this one I will because I did not need you to teach me how to read or to write. I have made very high grades in all my other writing classes and even though I had many disputes with those instructors we always settled them to my happiness. Now for the first time I can not talk to you to settle my grades because I am uncomfortable to talk or even write to you. I should have stayed strong and like a man no matter how much your words and what you said offended me. I do not blame you because when there is error there are two to blame, the perceiver and the target. I do not know what this email does but I have to get my feelings off of my chest. Thank you for reading this and I am sorry if what I feel has shown you disrespect but these are my feelings and I feel by your words you did not respect them. I love everyone and believe you to possibly be a great person but with your words you have treated me completely unfairly.
I am a very religious man and I love every one but I will forward this letter to the head of your department so he can see that I am a serious student who does not deserve the grade you will give him because I write so very well.
Since I’m the biggest no-life-having-jagoff of the authors here, I was wondering if you all wanted share your Google Sepuku stories with everyone on the internet. Well, sort of. I’m not talking about specifically about Google Seppuku; actually, I was wondering is if you’ve ever typed something completely innocuous into the Google search box and ended up seeing something you wish could unsee or at least could have braced for. It’s happened to me several times (“Persian kittens”: not always adorable felines), but the last time it happened it ended up being sort of a blessing/curse, ‘cuz I knew I could juice the experience for some comedy.
Note to self: Googling “pocket bears” may get you some results you a.) weren’t expecting b.) would be ok with not seeing.
See, I was looking for a segment of a P.F. Tompkins standup routine where he talks about owning tiny, genetically modified bears. So I Googled “pocket bears.” I think you see where this is going. If you don’t, I urge you NOT to Google “pocket bears.”