You grew up in El Cerrito, just north of Berkeley, then attended Reed College in Portland. Reed was like a madhouse in the 60’s. Then you went to Berkeley, before heading to Vietnam for four years, during the height of the war. Did you transform from a hippie to a gung-ho grunt?
I was too poor, too conservative and too goy to fit in well at Reed. At Berkeley I ignored the anti-war crowd and graduated in math in 1966.
I went to Vietnam to get out of the Army. IBM needed people to support the State Dept. and military. But… my National Guard signal company was a “designated reserve unit,” first to go if called by Pres. Johnson. They were not letting communications people out.
My sergeant was sympathetic to my problem, and excited that I had the chance to go to Vietnam. He said “The Army ain’t gonna step on its own dick. How’d you like to be a cook?”
In Danang I developed a rapport with the Marines I worked with. Glad not to be one, but respected them as people .
I’m assuming Vietnam was your first foreign country. It’s certainly not ideal to experience any place in during a war, with all its social turmoils and distortions. Still, you stayed there for four years, and even married a Vietnamese. What did you like and hate about Vietnam? Shoot straight!
IBM literally had to throw me out after four years. I loved the work, the warm weather, the freedom, the Vietnamese people and the money. I accumulated $100,000.
All bachelors, we formed the Benevolent Association for Recreation and Fornication—BARFUP. Our mission was to make the most of the outstanding French, Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. We joined the elite French Club Sportif and Club Nautique.
The frustrations were tolerable: beggars, “I watch boys” who would vandalize your car if you didn’t pay protection, traffic cops who wanted bribes.
We developed what the French called la fièvre jaune, an appreciation of the beautiful young women. When one guy, who had divorced just to become eligible for Vietnam, brought his wife over we joked that he was “bringing a sandwich to a banquet.”
It is telling that despite the great availability of women, monogamy won out. Most settled down and quite a few are still married to their Vietnamese sweethearts. And why not? They love children, take pride in their bodies, and generally respect their husbands.
Vietnamese in French schools adopted French names, so my wife was Josée. Josée’s father, born in 1900 to the Bac Lieu province chief, studied law and lived in France. His firstborn of 12 came when he was 40. Mother, 20 years younger, was the daughter of the largest landowner. The incessant squabbles in their marriage presaged those in ours.
You ate your sandwich, and have apparently gotten over your yellow fever. You’re now married to a Ukrainian woman who’s 37 years younger! Can we assume she’d not have agreed to be your wife if you didn’t have an American passport? If so, is there anything wrong with that?
You can’t make that assumption. That would be the hard-up girls looking online to become “Russian brides.”
Looking for a place to practice English, Oksana dropped in on the Anglican church. My decade-older friend Mike chatted her up and squired her to Rotary and Toastmasters—where I also happened to be. Through conversations at their meetings she learned that I wanted to start a family. Mike escorted her to the Toastmasters Ball, where I danced with her.
She wanted to learn to type. My computer had a typing program. I put my arms around her and my hands on hers to position them properly. She still contends that the kiss on the neck came to her as a surprise, but I doubt it.
She played a weak hand well. Just as if she had read The Rules, she gave herself to me by slow degrees. She didn’t agree to marry until we had lived together for half a year. Encouraged by girls from her former dance troupe, she put my generosity to a one time test with diamonds and a fur coat. Satisfied, I heard nothing more. When burglars stole them they were not replaced.
While Oksana would like to see the United States, she has never had any desire to live there. Her family and friends are here.
We talk about our situation often in the context of encouraging mutual friends to get married. We were both somewhat unusual in that we were really committed to starting a family. The miracle is that we figured that out and were able to do something about it.
In between your Vietnamese and Ukrainian wives, you also had a Japanese one. How did you meet her?
I researched IBM overseas offices as my Vietnam tour ended. There was a sister office supporting the military in Germany. I booked an international telephone call—a rare thing in those days—to ask if they had openings.
I loved my time in Germany, learning the language and Spanish as well. I programmed what became an Army standard system—bit of a feather in my cap.
After Josée’s constant fighting led to our separation I discovered that my instincts had been right—the German girls were unromantic, hard-edged feminists. My one love was a Hungarian girl. Had I been wiser, I’d have married her.
When I returned from Germany in 1976, Washington was supposed to be a bachelor’s paradise—three women for every man. Yes, but each had read Sex and the Single Girl, The Feminine Mystique and Germaine Greer. They wanted careers and success—not families. The more attractive and intelligent, the more the corporate world would entice them. Those I met through church, the neighborhood and work were either uninteresting or uninterested.
I met this lovely half Japanese lady in my first week with Booz Allen just as short reconciliation with Josée failed. Within a month we were thrown together writing a government proposal. I had the expertise and the writing skill, Mary Ann knew Booz’ resources and how a proposal should be structured. I asked her out shortly after the victory party. She was surprised when “the bicycle guy” arrived at her door in a 450 SL.
She wasn’t sure that she wanted marriage or children, but gave it a try. However, she soon started her own company and career took precedence.
When you wed a foreigner, you’re also marrying her entire culture. How difficult was this? How did you get along with your foreign in-laws?
My Vietnamese, Japanese and Ukrainian mothers-in-law have all seemed happy that their daughters married somebody who could care for them. With minimal language overlap conversation was scant with the first two. Oksana’s mother and I talk easily about cooking, children and housekeeping. She can’t give me crap—I’m five years older and rather generous. Josée’s father enjoyed speaking of world affairs in French with somebody educated; subsequent fathers-in-law just weren’t interested. I’ve never gotten close to any of my wives’ siblings.
Josée’s friend My Linh and her French banker husband looked askance at the American husband. They didn’t trust America’s or American motives. In Germany Josée was the queen bee in the circle of Vietnamese rural wives, the one with savoir faire, the one who could negotiate in four languages, Vietnamese, French, English and German.
I didn’t form friendships with my wives’ friends until Ukraine. Oksana is extroverted. Her friends tolerate my Russian and/or are eager to speak English. Interest in the world is part of their culture.
What made you come to Ukraine initially?
I came to look for a wife. My humorous speeches from fall of 2019 on the absurd situations I encountered dating in the United States are on YouTube. I had married two Asians and traveled extensively in Europe and Latin America. Money counts in the marriage market—you do better in a poorer country. The Eastern European wives I knew were as good as any and prettier than most. Ukraine didn’t require a visa to study Russian and look around.
There is a lot of instability there, and even a simmering war that threatens to really explode. Still, you’ve decided to stay there with Oksana and your three children. Why is the Ukraine, with all its problems, still preferable to the US?
You writers at Unz know as well as anybody the vast gulf between propaganda and reality. Ukraine has never been that dangerous. Like tsars throughout history, Putin is a cautious aggressor. Russia simply could not administer a restive, hostile Ukrainian. No matter how much the Americans try to provoke a war, both the Russians and Ukrainians are smart enough to avoid it.
Ukraine has no illusions about its few minorities—mostly Jews and Gypsies. We don’t have welfare or immigration. The adage I have coined for Ukraine is “We’re too poor to be that stupid.” I don’t have a car—public transit is cheap and safe. People are more than courteous. They love to chat up my kids on the bus and Metro. They look at my kids as their own. They will scold me if they think I have not dressed them warmly enough or don’t hold their hand crossing the street. We have genuine social capital.
America is not a good place for white men. Expensive private schools taught my quarter-Asian children their father was evil. Colleagues who worked after I retired were pushed aside for H1Bs, minorities and women. The University of Maryland’s College of Education vomited me up like a hairball—students of color and feminists detested me even before I opened my mouth to offer common sense observations from what I had seen of the soixante-huitards, American Indians and Watts riots.
I carried a rifle in Watts during the riots. When I matter-of-factly told a class of education students at Maryland 40 years later that I found it curious that Blacks were burning their own neighborhoods, they attacked me en masse, telling me that I had not seen what I had seen. They liked it even less when I told that the soixante-huitards trashing the Champs Elysées in Paris in 1973 appeared to be little more than nihilists and thrill seekers.
Worse than that, I recounted that I had seen Blacks in Peru, Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Portugal, and observed the reactions of Vietnamese and Japanese to black American soldiers. Blacks are the same wherever they go—their behavior has nothing to do with the white man.
Adding insult to injury, I told them that Indians are pretty much the same from Canada to Tierra del Fuego. I spent a month with the Kayapó Indians in the Amazon and studied Indian education in both America and Brazil. Same people—they simply don’t want to conform to the white man’s civilization. Wrong answer! The right answer is that the white man is holding them back.
My Army basic training company included American Indians and, Eskimos. I became close to a black guy named Johnson, curious why such a smart guy seem to almost be driven to screw up. A black fellow surveyor named Davis had no interest in life beyond a Chevrolet 409. That’s what we were talking about on the job the day Kennedy was shot.
My ancestors, Christian Europeans arriving between 1620 and 1850, built the most successful society in history only to see it stolen away at an ever-increasing pace. Why on earth would I raise another family there?
You made a YouTube video called “A Fossil Speaks about Sex,” which is basically your take on the decline of the family.
The talk is on the malleability of human sexual behavior. Beliefs and practices have changed radically and for the worse over the course of my lifetime. The hookup culture, homosexuality and transsexuality are cultural trends. They do not represent breakthrough insights into human nature.
The French and Russian revolutions had some of the sexual craziness of our sexual revolution. Two girl cousins a decade younger than me got swept up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene. Five kids between them by five fathers, none within matrimony. One, recently dead at 48, wrote that the only way they knew who his father was was that he wasn’t black. Both cousins are dead, one having lived the last few years of her life in a car. This cannot perpetuate itself. When these crazies go, they have to be replaced by the offspring of people who stayed within the bounds of a culture.
Successful cultures all have a belief in something bigger than themselves. Christians believe that God tells them how to behave. American Indians, Chinese and Japanese believe they have a duty to their ancestors to pass along the beliefs they have inherited.
Substitute culture for God in Chesterton’s quote and you have: “When men choose not to believe in their culture, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” The anythings of our age include the notion that homosexuality is natural and beneficial to society, the absence of any differences among human populations, and the need to do penance to Gaia by going on a fossil fuels fast.
You have to believe in something bigger than yourself to have children. Without them you are free to pursue whatever hedonistic desires you wish. With them you have to maintain the disciplines of steady work, a stable household, a cordial marriage relationship, and the burden of raising them to be civilized. My message is we need to believe in our heritage and ourselves, and express our beliefs by passing them on to children.
The irony is that people who sacrifice freedom for the sake of raising children lead more fulfilling lives than dedicated hedonists.
Even with gutted factories, rundown airports befitting the Third World, tent cities sprouting everywhere, human shit on downtown sidewalks, rigged elections as the norm, no news newspapers, Jew-screwed Holocaust freaks, genital-denial academics, cross-dressing grandpas, twerking second-graders and an overtly satanic pop culture, many Americans still think of the USA as “a light to all nations,” to quote Trump. What cause this insane smugness?
You are absolutely right. It is paradoxical that kids hate everything traditional about America, but still somehow think it’s the best.
The schools do an incredibly bad job of teaching history. When I was a kid they preached American greatness. The distortions of recent generations have been an endless litany of capitalist corruption, racist oppression and patriarchy. Wrong both ways.
Fewer than half of Americans have been out of the country. Those have mostly gone to Canada and Mexico. Unless they are born into it, very few speak a foreign language. They don’t learn much even when their cruise ship stops in Cozumel.
People have been told what to be concerned about by their textbooks, television and the curators of the Internet such as Google and Facebook. The problems you mention are largely ignored while made-up problems such as those you name—transgender issues, Holocaust denial, Covid 19 and climate change—dominate the news.
Ukraine is a case in point. A great many friends ask, as you did, how can I afford to live in such a dangerous country? The media has certainly promoted the false notion that we are extremely threatened by the Russian bear.
What goes unsaid is that United States media have extraordinary influence over world public opinion. The same elites who control the media in the United States do so everywhere, with the conspicuous exceptions of Russia, China and the Muslim world. World news is often just recycled American news.
I have a theory, one I have not read elsewhere, that the American media have attacked Russia so vehemently because Russian media and financial interests are not beholden to them. They will never forgive Putin for bringing the first generation of billionaire oligarchs to heel and throwing out the likes of Bill Browder.
While I love the fact that the Unz review is one of the few brave publications that offers alternative opinions on Jewish themes, I find it paradoxical that many of its strongest contributors are Jews.
How can a people who are so smart be so consistently wrong? And how can they fail to recognize the many sane voices in their midst? Bret Weinstein and Ron Unz are at the forefront of getting the truth out about Covid19. Ron is history on YouTube, but they have not yet deplatformed Bret, probably because he is both extremely well credentialed and a member of the tribe.
My take is that the Jewish problem will solve itself in a couple of generations. Jewish avarice and advocacy have so alienated their host populations, and so screwed up their own fertility, that they are a spent force.
We Anglo-Saxons owned the 19th century. As Yuri Slezkine writes, the 20th was the Jewish Century. Best bet for the 21st would be somebody else, Muslims (per Dutton) or Chinese.
Large monolingual populations tend to be insular throughout the world. Combine that observation with an increasingly divided and dumb population and dumbed down education and I think you have the answer to your question, and the reason for the twilight of America.
You have self-published a book on home schooling. What prompted you to do that?
I wrote the book shortly after nine-year-old Eddie was born. What we are learning about school will certainly apply to his sisters, almost 1 and almost 4.
The basic skills a person needs are reading, writing and arithmetic. Other subjects provide kids concepts to which they can apply these skills. Schools everywhere fold indoctrination into that intellectual fodder.
This year parents have risen up against the extreme indoctrination at super-expensive Brearley and Grace schools in New York City. As a school trustee 20 years ago in Washington I saw it all develop. Diversity demands that you dumb down the curriculum. You absolutely cannot afford to notice differences among groups of children. Differences among individuals are addressed by therapy instead of character development.
My millennial children had play dates with the Huffingtons. I had a premonition that things would not turn out well. You can read what happened—the Huffington story is easier to find than mine. They are representative of the whole snowflake generation.
The kids didn’t learn their times tables. “Whole language” ensured that they did not learn how to write. Dumbed down texts didn’t challenge their reading. Dear old dad, who tried to address these problems, has been totally cut off for years.
As a substitute in Washington DC I observed that I was prepared to teach every subject, and itched for the freedom to do it right. Homeschooling.
Nonetheless I relented. Eddie loves being around other kids. Ukrainian children expect to grow up to give their parents grandchildren. Heather does not have two mommies. No racial diversity means that teachers don’t walk on eggshells. He attended a small private school close to our house through the fourth grade.
But… we have been homeschooling since school let out, because of Covid. We are moving quickly through the arithmetic that he didn’t get—fractions, negative numbers and such. Reading and writing are the real issues. Just as his Puritan ancestors were not afraid to tackle adult-level Pilgrims Progress, he has embraced Bill Malden’s Up Front, about World War II. I read a page after which he reads the same page.
He reads slowly, with mechanical difficulties in both English and Ukrainian. I stand my ground—no excuses, just keep at it! We digress frequently to talk about K and C rations, strategic bombing, officer ranks, propaganda, and war in general. Few other fifth-graders will have Pat Buchanan’s Unnecessary War perspective. It is highly relevant—America is pushing Ukraine towards an unnecessary war with Russia.
I have him learning touch typing and dictation software. Today’s challenge—and a huge one—is to write two pages on what he has learned from our reading to date. The hardest part about writing is getting started. He will need continued encouragement and a bit of pressure. Getting sentences into the computer will be hard work, but I can already anticipate his thrill of success.
Americans are becoming dumber and angrier, a terrible combination. Even at Unz, I see commenters using their stupidity as a weapon. Do you see this dumbing down as deliberate, and if so, what is its purpose?
Occam’s razor favors evolutionary psychologist Edward Dutton‘s explanation. Intelligence is highly hereditary. Since the Industrial Revolution the bottom social class has been the only one to reproduce itself. The smarter people are paying enough taxes to sustain the dumb ones, and have better things to do than raise children.
As James Thompson notes, there are significant differences in average intelligence among peoples. Immigration is dragging down average intelligence.
Dumbing down may be, as Kevin McDonald would suggest, an unconscious strategy to handicap us goyim. They don’t do it on purpose—it is just in their bones. If so, it is a blunderbuss approach. It has affected every group in society. However, with regard to feeding anger he is right on. The level of anger in society has increased exponentially over my lifetime, with elites working to set tribes other than theirs against one another.
I do not see any solution at a societal level. I am among the pessimists who think that the system has to “run to failure” and restart. My guess is that the West’s financial and social collapse will arrive before my kids are grown. My task is to prepare them for life in a bleaker, poorer world that, having been swept clean, can also be more optimistic than today’s.
Eastern Europe has considerable advantages. Our countries are more internally cohesive, of “one people.” We don’t have an alien underclass. We have recent experience with societal collapse.
Please elaborate on what you mean by “in their bones.”
I believe in evolution. Jews evolved to be who they are.
We Indo-Europeans evolved on the Pontic plains, north of the Caspian Sea, to be the meanest MFs in that part of the world. Horse-mounted herders, violently defending our very mobile assets. We became the world’s best warriors.
Also, per MacDonald, altruistic. Unique in that we selected leaders based on merit rather than blood connections. Married for love rather than to cement alliances. It allowed us to form wider associations than mere kin groups. We benefited greatly from the collective intelligence of the group. We grew to support the weaker members because they added strength to the group. This led to larger polities, corporations, etc.
This drew to an end in the 19th century, when we had captured everything. Then we had to administer it. We became so nice we let the slaves go and instituted welfare. Might makes right gave way to legalisms.
Jews have cut us to shreds with legalisms. Forced integration, busing, etc. etc. Also gay and trans rights, etc. etc. Ended our (and their) ability to reproduce in neighborhoods of like people.
What comes next? I’m betting on a general collapse, which will favor a simple country of people able to grow their own food. Like Ukraine. Also Chinese, because of innate intelligence, and Muslims, because of their solidarity.
Graham Seibert (78-years-old)