Link Rodeo: Larry Summers, Test Bias, and Entitlement Apocalypse

Monday, May 18, 2009

American Ponzi…Larry Summers doesn’t practice what he preaches:

But defering to big banks and prefering fiscal expansion is very much a decision in the hands of Treasury and the White House. They may feel this is essential to restoring confidence, but that is not the general experience of countries facing major crises. The usual advice – given by the IMF, often at the behest of the US Treasury – is: manage an insolvency process for failed banks, precisely to reduce fiscal costs now and in the future, and to help restore confidence in the economy. Come to think of it, wasn’t this exact point made – forcefully and publicly – by Summers to the Japanese government during the 1990s?

John McWhorter on test bias against blacks:

Zora Neale Hurston had some apt words in her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road: “It seems to me that if I say a whole system must be upset for me to win, I am saying that I cannot sit in the game, and that safer rules must be made to give me a chance. I repudiate that. If others are in there, deal me a hand and let me see what I can make of it.”

We’re running out of money…fast. Social Security will exceed revenues in 7 years:

The Social Security Board of Trustees reported Tuesday that costs will exceed revenues in 2016 — a full year sooner than expected just last year. And total assets — including more than 70 years of “surpluses” built up in the “trust fund” — will be completely gone by 2037 — four years earlier than in last year’s report.


Race and IQ

Saturday, December 6, 2008

James Flynn (the Flynn effect demonstrates that IQ improves over generations, indicating the influence of environmental factors in forming IQ) wrote in New Scientist a couple of months ago about African-Americans and IQ. The article is only available to subscribers, but the Cambridge University Press blog has the whole piece.

On average over the last 30 years, African-Americans score 15 points lower on IQ tests than whites. Flynn believes, and there is considerable evidence to support this, that the cause of this difference is not related to genetics, but to environment.

His main point?

I believe we must show that the environments in which black children are raised are on average less cognitively demanding than those of most other ethnic groups.

He goes into a long (I believe flawed) analysis of the “black marriage market.” His take:

Government statistics show that at birth there are 104 black boys for every 100 girls. Between ages 25 and 45, six more men than women are dead, leaving 98 men for every 100 women. Of these 98 men, nine are in jail, eight are missing and 21 are employed less than half-time. That leaves 60 “promising” black men – men who are alive, employed and not convicted felons. Also consider that promising black men living with a non-black partner outnumber white men with a black partner by three. That leaves only 57 black men for every 100 women in a position to be a permanent partner.

Out of 100 black women, 43 face the choice of either having a child by a black man who is unlikely to settle down with them or going childless.

This, of course, assumes that of the 100 women he started with all are “promising.” I don’t disagree with his general thrust, but surely the numbers are overly stark. In any case, he points this problem out to make the case that:

There is a strong case that black Americans suffer from a series of disadvantageous environments. Studies show time and again that before they go to school, black children are on average exposed to a smaller vocabulary than white children, in part due to socioeconomic factors.

Obviously, an incredibly sensitive issue, because it’s an indictment. But it also is a cause for some hope, because the problem – a cultural and environmental one – is not fixed and can be changed.

Flynn sums up:

I believe that America, however, has been reluctant to really examine the cause of the racial IQ gap or the factors that create the black marriage market, let alone come up with credible plan to deal with it. Perhaps those who strongly object to my views will show how American society can be affecting black IQ without doing something extremely tough and unpleasant to the immediate environment black children experience.

Shouts about class will not do, nor will claims of test bias or stereotyping. America will have to address all the aspects of black experience that are disadvantageous, beginning with the regeneration of inner city neighbourhoods and their schools. A resident police office and teacher in every apartment block would be a good start. Only heresy can give an environmental explanation of the black IQ deficit. To run away from debate is like unilateral disarmament: it leaves the enemy in possession of the field.


Pre-Powell Endorsement Smear

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Drudge Report, a sleazy website that has officially jumped the shark this campaign season (by relentless posting often spurious pro-McCain, anti-Obama links and/or omitting links to pro-Obama news), started what will be a relentless smear job against Colin Powell if, and I stress if, he endorses Obama on Meet the Press tomorrow.

The picture I’m referring to is down now, perhaps because Drudge realized no one knows what Powell will do and thought he might find it offensive. The picture in question showed Powell dancing with a couple of black singers or rappers. The implication?

The endorsement, if it comes, is racial.

And Colin Powell, the respected general and former Secretary of State is, just another n****r.

Too harsh?

Not for that sleaze ball. Matt Drudge is a partisan hack of vicious and evil intent no better than Karl Rove. No one is willing to cross him and many pander, but his site, surging traffic aside, is a dying animal. It is merely a propaganda organ for a soon to be discredited niche party called the GOP.

As a symbolic act of protest, I am removing Drudge permanently from my blogroll. I encourage everyone with a conscience to do the same. This kind of brutish extremism must be marginalized.


Jesse Jackass: Part II

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I was hesitant to link to this but I’m going to go ahead because I think it’s important to disassociate Obama from the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Bill Clinton.

One of the great benefits of an Obama presidency will be a true generational shift away from the 60s era political leaders of the Jackson/Clinton ilk (which explains their passive-aggressive antipathy). Whether or not Obama solves America’s race problem (he won’t and can’t), he will represent a step forward and away from a race conscious past. Post-racial is the right word.

And while it’s likely that marginalized groups will always find comfort in the likes of Jesse Jackass, we can keep hope alive that his future, and the future of others like him who racketeer in victimhood, will be diminished come November 4.


McCain’s Last Line of Attack? Race

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Here is a post I wrote the day after Palin’s candidacy for VP was announced:

And so now it’s coming.

By cutting off (obliterating) the one avenue of attack that, though inaccurate, had an element of relative legitimacy – Obama’s inexperience – McCain has just reduced his campaign to tatters. Around the Internet conservatives are lamenting the pick and wondering how McCain will attack Obama now.

The answer?

Race.

What? You thought it would disappear?

As I wrote yesterday, look for Jeremiah Wright commercials, questions about Obama’s “rootless” life, nasty insinuations about his connection to Islam, and so on. Rove’s team is in charge and they’re going for the jugular. This is the cynical heart of GOP politics.

These men believe that in the deep recesses of the minds of white people lies a genuine, almost primal, dislike (discomfort, revulsion) of black people, particularly the idea of a black president and first lady. They feel this way, because it is what they feel themselves.

And to some degree, they are right. I don’t know how many Americans do harbor these feelings, but some must. The GOP is banking that more do than not.

The bottom line? The Palin pick was a desperate tactic by a desperate candidate of a desperate party. And that desperation will only grow more extreme. The race issue is coming after the convention. Just watch.

This is where we are going in the next few weeks. As the polls continue to show Obama gaining, it’s going to be slash and burn for the McCain campaign.


Why Does the MSM Ignore the G-Word Issue?

Friday, August 15, 2008

I’ve continued to write about John McCain’s use of the g-word right up until the California primary in 2000. At that time, realizing that California has a large Asian population (another example of his politically calculating nature), he apologized for using the term, recognizing that it was racist.

My blog attracts a small and growing readership, but I am not, by any stretch, a well known voice. So when the “race card” issue surfaced, I thought mine would be one tiny part of a chorus of outlets that pointed out that McCain does have a racist problem in his past. True, it isn’t related to black people (although he did vote against the national holiday for MLK, Jr.), but it does provide important context to this ongoing story. I was wrong.

I know every informed MSM journalist and blogger out there already knows about this issue, so why, I wondered, were they all ignoring it. I emailed a number of larger blogs, commentators, and MSM news organizations to find out why, but no one responded. My guesses?

1. They feel it somehow isn’t relevant or that McCain’s torture by the North Vietnamese excuses it.
2. They feel it would harm Obama to bring up race in any way.
3. They feel it would be harmful to McCain.

In any case, his proud and ongoing use of the g-word was racist. Here’s why:

“I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.”

John McCain was using the g-word unapologetically as late as the 2000 campaign. Then, heading into the California primary, he issued an apology. California, of course, has a large Asian population. Now, some people might be willing to excuse this because McCain was tortured in Vietnam, but many won’t.

His defenders will say that this is old news and that he apologized, but why did it take him so long? And why wait until it’s politically expedient? Imagine a man held hostage and tortured by Africans. Then imagine him using the n-word to describe them right up until, say, the South Carolina primary. It’s unimaginable, and deeply offensive. John McCain has every right to hate his former captors, but it is nothing – nothing – to change the word you use to describe them from one that characterizes their race to one that characterizes their morality. I suggest f**kers.

This story should come out. Give McCain a chance to explain why he isn’t a racist. Ask him why he apologized if the use of the word was acceptable given the circumstances. Let Obama weigh in. It is relevant and it is news. I promise you that most Americans have never heard this story.


Charles Murray: College is a Waste of Time

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I’m a big fan of Charles Murray. Murray, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, gained famed several years ago for his book with Richard J. Herrnstein, The Bell Curve.

At the time, the book was, in part, interpreted as racist because it pointed out that blacks, on average, score lower than whites on IQ tests; Murray and Herrnstein noted that the cause of this discrepancy is uncertain, but also suggested that both genetic and environmental factors might be involved. Murray (Herrnstein died just before the book was released) is defending the book to this day, and since then there has been a ton of research and commentary on the validity of IQ and what, if any, conclusions can be drawn from the measurement.

Though I disagree with any suggestion of a genetic underpinning (recent evidence has demonstrated an all but certain correlation to environmental factors), the book still made some valid points, most notably this one: intelligence (however measured) has vast and important implications for success. In an America that is increasingly under pressure from the Republi-Conservative idiocracy, this obvious statement needs to be emphasized as early and as often as possible. That is to say: Intelligence is not fixed at birth. Every American must strive to develop their intellectual capacities. Wealth, happiness, and success depend upon it.

At any rate, Murray has penned a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal suggesting that college is a waste of time for most people and that certification tests would do more than the current system to equalize the unfair distribution of the wealth in this country.

I agree. Read the piece and let me know what you think.