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« Bagatelles | Main | No Help at All »

March 31, 2008

Arms Dealers

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Not to be missed: Steve Sailer and the Steve Squad are doing a phenomenal job of figuring out who and what's behind a current arms-supply scandal. The story they're unearthing is pure high comedy, if in the wasteful / painful genre. I especially loved learning that Hasidic Jews qualify for affirmative action -- and that it was the Reagan administration that declared them disadvantaged. Here, here, here, here, here, here.

A couple of lessons to take away from the mess, or so it seems to me: As fun as it can be to dream up "things the government should be doing," it also doesn't hurt to remember that every new ambitious government program opens up big opportunities for corruption and abuse. That goes for war, too.



posted by Michael at March 31, 2008


And soon the global warming industry will become a vast scam.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on March 31, 2008 9:40 AM

Sadly, I think Shouting Thomaas is correct.

Oh, well, being a small government type myself, I will stick to sending letters of abuse to the local paper, re: the trustees of my town. I find it makes a good hobby.

*Examples: the new buildings you put up are ugly glass boxes and your taste is abhorent, you make me pay too much in property tax, why are half the buildings empty downtown and how does hiring a consultant to fill them in make sense?

Seriously, it is a very good hobby.

Posted by: MD on March 31, 2008 11:39 AM

I love isteve, but I'm not sure what the fascination with this story is. For many of Steve's readers, it just seems like another oportunity to knock the Jews.

Posted by: green mamba on March 31, 2008 11:57 AM

Yeah, and he takes his anti-Semitism to really silly levels, like going after the Donmeh, who haven't even been Jews for hundreds of years.

It's a little silly to argue that just because government can be perverted it shouldn't be done. That's like saying we shouldn't do research because the atom bomb was invented. Or we shouldn't have literacy because Mein Kampf or Das Kapital got written.

Posted by: SFG on March 31, 2008 1:01 PM

ST -- If it isn't already. And I say this as someone who sometimes thinks a carbon tax (in place of tons of other regs) would make a lot of sense.

MD -- Fun to see you! Hard to know what to do often except make some noise, isn't it?

Green Mamba -- Some of Steve's commenters have strong agendas, don't they?

SFG -- I think Americans too often fall either in the "All regulations are good" or the "Regulations are by nature evil" camps. Both are dumb, and anti-useful. Clearly some governing is necessary, so why bother squabbling from absurd absolute positions? But -- when deciding what government really ought to be attending to -- it doesn't hurt to remember occasionally that government is probably best not approached as a plaything, and that laws and regs, once put in place, almost never go away.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on March 31, 2008 1:46 PM

Michael, I think it's more than just Steve's commenters that have strong agendas. Steve himself is showing some worrisome signs that he may be developing the "Jew Thing", as John Derbyshire called it. I hope not, because that black hole can suck even the most original minds into its strange-attractor grasp. I hope Steve doesn't let his detestation of neocons turn into detestation of, you know, "neocons". Them.

Posted by: PatrickH on March 31, 2008 2:45 PM

"...every new ambitious government program opens up big opportunities for corruption and abuse. That goes for war, too."

Bravo! So true! When will be ever learn!

Posted by: Lester Hunt on March 31, 2008 2:48 PM

I didn't know that Hasidic Jews qualified for affirmative action until I read the articles on isteve. I don't see that there's anything anti-semitic about pointing out a fact. It's, IMO, the madness of affirmative action and not the Jewishness of these recipients that's the issue. All AA, by discriminating for certain groups discriminates against others. What's particularly surrealistic in the case of Hasidics getting AA is that those government bureaucrats granting them this advantage aren't even claiming that AA is being given because the Hasidics have been discriminated against, just that they're underperforming. What's next, AA for westcoast WASPs who are underperforming relative to westcoast Asians?
As to the other question of whether Hasidic Jews are even more ruthless businessmen than other businessmen? Who knows? The business types I've had dealings with, both as a customer and a relative have struck me as harsh, even merciless when it comes to doing a deal. But isn't that what the market is for? You get burned dealing with one business, Jewish run or gentile, and you don't do business with that firm again, you go to its competitors.
No such mechanism when dealing with compassionate AA granting government.

Posted by: ricpic on March 31, 2008 3:21 PM

If you are wondering why the big institutions of the media are laying off veteran staffers, take a look at coverage of the Awful Afghan Ammo scandal. There are 1866 articles on Google News alone, but nobody has mentioned that the 22-year-old Efraim Diveroli at the center of it comes from a very interesting family. The press have totally missed the fabulous human interest angles that help explain the story of how a 22-year-old could get a $300 million taxpayer contract.

His mom was the treasurer of Michael Jackson's "infamous" children's charity named Time for Kids but didn't seem to give any of it to kids. Efraim Diveroli's uncle Shmuley Botach is one of the modest famous rabbis in the country, Michael Jackson's spiritual advisor, with a long line of ethically challenged activity. Another one of Ephraim's uncles, Bar-Kochba Botach runs one of the most notorious weapons shops in the world. His grandfather Yoav Botach was threatened with the "biggest palimony" suit in history recently, and co-owns 144 properties in Southern California.

There are two reasons why nobody in the Mainstream Media has touched these great aspects of the story: they don't think in terms of extended family ties. And they especially don't like to touch stories about Jewish extended family ties because they'll automatically get accused of anti-Semitism (see above).

Posted by: Steve Sailer on March 31, 2008 7:08 PM


I love your site and really appreciate your work. Keep it up!!!

Posted by: jonathan on March 31, 2008 7:45 PM

Oh, we all like his site, that's why we keep reading it. His 'extended ethnic family' bit explains a lot, and his cynicism is refreshing. His mild anti-Semitism does get silly though.

Posted by: SFG on March 31, 2008 10:00 PM

Unrelated, but seeing as your interested in low-budget films and out-of-the-way topics, thought you might enjoy, Micheal.


Posted by: bdr on April 1, 2008 2:02 AM

I can not speak for Steve Sailer, but I never thought that he was an Anti-Semite.

I think that he has an aversion to "Oh, you can't talk about that."

Or, "Jeez, I never knew you were an Anti-Semite" because someone mentions how many influential Neo-Cons are Jewish.

He seems to be the only guy that will talk about really Politically Incorrect things. Even Michael Blowhard, who is always saying, "Jeez, all of this immigration does not seem so great" rarely goes into the racial implications.

And, yes, many Anti-Semites swarm to because, to them, it must seem like one of the few places where they can vent.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on April 1, 2008 12:18 PM

I don't think he's *very* anti-semitic. He's certainly less so than Pat Buchanan, who supports the Palestinians (which makes no sense for a paleocon-supporting Islam?). And his primary beef seems to be with the Mexicans. He's a lot more balanced than Kevin MacDonald; he'll actually post letters from dissenting Jews who oppose the ethnic lobby.

And being anti-Semitic doesn't make what he says about the Israel lobby or ethnic nepotism networks *wrong*; a statement is correct regardless of who says it.

It is just kind of funny how every eight posts or so he has something else bad to say about the Jews. It's more like the grumpy old guy who hates the noisy kids downstairs or the Italian guy who posts a 'Speak English please!' sign in his deli than it is the German dude with the funny mustache.

Posted by: SFG on April 1, 2008 6:50 PM

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