We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, December 30. 2019
The $100 billion reason not to return gifts this holiday season - 90% of products returned during the holidays won’t be resold—and some will end up in a landfill.
Online sales tax ruling challenges small businesses
‘Little Women’ Is Just ‘Too White,’ Critic Says
Madrid goes bonkers for waffle willies
Ancient humans procreated with at least four other species. In 2019, the human family tree got a little more complicated.
NYT Cuts Controversial Study From Bret Stephens’ ‘Jewish Genius’ Column
Everybody knows that Jews tend to be smart
Five years on, the lessons from the Rolling Stone rape story
Tales of the Deplorables - For decades, Richard Russo has written about the blue-collar residents of small towns left behind by the American economy.
Virginia increasing corrections budget anticipating jailing gun-owners
Biden Attacked Texas Governor For Signing Law Letting Churchgoers Carry Guns: ‘Totally Irrational’
California Shocked To Find Bill Decriminalizing Retail Theft Resulted In… More Retail Theft
If This Has Been Super-Decade, Why Are We Still so Angry?
I'm not angry
Here’s A List Of Hoax ‘Hate Crimes’ In The Trump Era
Yale Psychiatrist Who ‘Diagnosed’ Trump As Unfit Has Dirty Secret That’s Just Been Exposed
Michael Moore: You Should Be Afraid Of White Guys, Because 2/3 Of Them Voted For Trump
So did more than 1/2 of white women, so fear them too
Suck it, doomsayers! The past decade was the best ever
WE NOW KNOW: IT’S A MAD, MAD MADDOW — AND BEYOND
Williamson still doesn't like Trump
No good reasons
Turley: Testifying for Republicans should not be a sin for academics
THE GENEALOGY OF FREE STUFF: THE TRUMP CARD
INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION: Two Possibilities in Trump Wiretapping, and Neither Is Good.
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Biden Attacked Texas Governor For Signing Law Letting Churchgoers Carry Guns: ‘Totally Irrational’
I'm confused. Isn't this the same guy who recommended a couple of shotgun blasts off the back deck? Geez, they need a new speechwriter ... and a new Chief Ideologist.
From an Ace commenter, exasperated by advice against carrying a weapon in case trouble breaks out somewhere in public:
"1) The idea that you should carry a gun because "you never know' is nuts.
2) We should destroy the world's economy and greatest eliminator of world poverty in history because, although climate change doesn't seem to be happening, you never know."
"Shortly thereafter, the story of Rolling Stone’s reporting failure would eclipse the larger problem of the systematic abuse and mistreatment of women across college fraternities and beyond – even as it would help inspire a new commitment to tenacious sexual assault reporting down the road."
Looks like somebody is attempting to re-try their case for redemption. NO, a phony rape story is NOT the bigger problem. There is NO epidemic of systematic sexually abusive mistreatment of women on college campuses and beyond. Pervasive left-leaning bias, irresponsible animus, and journalistic malpractice is BY FAR the bigger problem. Write about that.
I can't believe the NYT printed a story that quoted anything from Gregory Cochran. I'd have thought they had automatic software to prevent that. Almost his entire blog is devoted to poking a stick in the eye of their brand of PC nonsense about heretability.
It's fun to watch people try to claim that Ashkenazi Jews (and SE Asians, for that matter) don't have relatively high average IQs. It just CAN'T be true. It CAN'T be. And somehow it's white supremacy, too.
I think what is missing from this conversation is that the life style and culture of Jews and Asians is such that they dote on their children and push them relentlessly to succeed. You could take a black or Hispanic person put them in the same situation and their IQ scores would go up 40 points. IQ does NOT test intelligence! It tests what you have learned based on an assumption of what you were taught.
This is also why home schooled children typically test better. The children are taught by caring parents/teachers and there are no excuses for failure to perform.
Are there genetic differences between races? Yes, I honestly believe there are just as Kenyans often win all the long distance races. Years ago the Polish and other Eastern Europeans dominated football and prize fighting because of their genes. Now blacks of African descent dominate for exactly the same reasons; genetic differences.
Here would be my standard to argue that a race or culture is "smarter" than another: Who invented the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, space travel, computers, wrote classic books, composed classical music, etc. Strangely... it is NOT the cultures that today we often claim are genetically geniuses. Go figure.
This is the lightest skinned Kenyan I've ever seen!
You will note that 100M is not a distance race. However The genetics of Africans is very diverse. Different tribes even living in the same area are very different. Typically in a 100M race in the U.S. it will be a black man about 5'9" or so, muscular and definitely not Kenyan who dominates that race.
You could not put black children in Ashkenazi or Asian families and have their IQs go up more than a very few points. We know this because it's been done, thousands of times, with adoption studies. Children end up far closer to the IQs of their birth parents than their adoptive parents.
Home-schooled children score better largely because of selection bias. For the brightest students, I think there is some advantage to just not getting in their way.
IQ tests measure that thing that we usually call intelligence - ability to process information, make connections, memory. One can have a philosophical debate about what it means to be smart or wise or some other variation of thinking well, and those are valuable. Plenty of people with high IQ make poor decisions or have other fatal flaws that prevent success. But when people switch to that, they are changing the subject. IQ is candlepower, which is a real thing, even if it isn't everything. It isn't knowledge, because it works cross-culturally, except in extreme cases where a group is so isolated that they cannot understand that they are being asked a question about patterns in an artificial situation. Not many of those tribes left.
What I said was "You could take a black or Hispanic person put them in the same situation and their IQ scores would go up 40 points."
I did not say adopted by a Jewish or Asian family. And as I alluded to it is because "culture". Adopted blacks in white families discover quite young that they are black and usually start acting black. No, what I meant was that if blacks had the same culture as Asian and their mothers were Asian tiger mothers and the culture they were raised in they saw everyone else like them working hard to get ahead that THEN their IQ would be 40 points higher than it would be raised in America by black parents.
The problem is two fold: 1. The expectation to do well supported by the culture. 2. The continuous effort by parents and teachers to teach the child and the enforcement by the parents on the child to do their best.
I know from your past postings that you have some knowledge in this area. But you are, at least to some extent, incorrect on what IQ is. IQ is what the test says it is, nothing more and nothing less. Of course we all know high IQ people who are ditz and/or unsuccessful in life. They may be smart and they may have done well in the test but for whatever reason they don't have that candlepower you refer to. By the same token we all know sharp, I mean street smart sharp, people who have succeeded, often against all odds who do not test well. The test is flawed, pure and simple.
Now what I said was: "IQ does NOT test intelligence! It tests what you have learned based on an assumption of what you were taught."
This is 100% true. The IQ test does NOT take into account that you are a piss poor lazy student and ONLY test you on the subjects you paid attention to. It tests you one what the school teaches or is supposed to teach and by that I mean teach to the best students. THAT is what is on the IQ test along with a certain number of ballbuster questions intended to keep "just good" students from acing the test. The IQ test does not measure some kind of native or actual intelligence. It comes close but it can also be beat. That is for a few thousand dollars you can hire a tutor who will raise your IQ score by 20 points. Now think about that... It can not possibly be true that the IQ test tests your real and actual candle power AND that I can take your regular high school schlub and increase their IQ. No, the IQ test is flawed, not fatally, but beatable and cannot and does not predict success.
It is not culture that drives IQ. There is simply no evidence for that idea, and ample evidence for the strength of heritability. Even the popular academics who dare not say what they know and wish it were not true - Plomin, Reich, Pinker, Murray - have thrown in the towel. You do have to read between the lines a bit, because they want to keep their careers.
I don't think anyone claims that IQ is more than a mild predictor of "success" on an individual level. There are too many variables in an individual like. So that's not really an argument against the validity of IQ But at the group level, IQ is a stunningly good predictor of success, even within races. You have a possible mechanism to explain why African-American students don't copy the white culture they are adopted into, because they are convinced that they should "act black." When that happens at all, it only happens in high school, maybe a little before. With younger children, they are more usually desperate to be like the family that has taken them in, to belong to it.
IQ also measures something that is not simply a test artifact or a cultural tell. If you hang around an elementary school class for a week you will pick out which kids are the brightest. They read more easily, they can do their numbers, they pick up new concepts. You make your list. Then go look at the test scores and you will find your list matches the high scorers.
As for track and field, West Africans dominate the sprints (Slavs also do well), East Africans from the Great African Rift dominate the distance running. Fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibers are the primary reason, though there are some other anatomical factors.
"It is not culture that drives IQ."
I did not say that. You are hung up on some ethereal "IQ" that you are born with but like it or not we are talking about the score on an IQ test. It absolutely IS the Asian and Jewish culture to demand more from their children AND to parent them in such a way that the children simply cannot get away with doing less. THAT is what makes all the difference and THAT is what the black American culture lacks. It absolutely IS that cultural difference that creates the difference on the IQ tests.
I don't disagree with the rest of your comments.
Sure it's a score on an IQ test. We use them because the results are consitently predictive of a number of things we care about. It is not just an artifact of culture, it seems to be largely inborn.
I wish it were true that you could make people score 40 points higher on an IQ test by any intervention known to man, but it's not. IQ is largely inborn, and strongly heritable.
No! Intelligence s largely inborn, and strongly heritable. I totally agree with that. In a perfect world the IQ test would accurately measure IQ or intelligence but that is simply not the case. The IQ test measures what each individual has learned assuming that each individual is taught the same things. IF each individual were actually taught the same things THEN the IQ test would be a pretty accurate measure of intelligence.
There is also another factor that throws off the results of most testing. Almost anyone can be taught to beat a multiple choice test. It is by far the worst possible test. But it is the easiest test to use and score so that is why it exists.
There are companies and individuals who will tutor your student and increase their IQ score by 20 points. What they do is first evaluate what your child has learned and then provide training in the area where they are deficient. Perhaps your child didn't study English Lit because like many of us at age 14 English Lit sucks. They don't "teach" English Lit to your student they "teach" those things that are likely to be on a test. The process is easy and even low IQ students can raise their score by 20 points (in fact low IQ students will likely improve the most). Another thing they teach is how to take a test. One of the strategies of test writing is to provide two "right" answers and conversely two answers that are wrong. SO they teach you to eliminate two answers right off the bat and then try to identify the "trick" answer. The test writers do this because of laziness. It is easy to write a multiple choice test using this method. There are a few other tricks as well.
If I had to pick smart people by their ethnic backgrounds, I would pick Koreans (in Korea) as the smartest. I have had a number of experiences in Korea where I am just amazed how smart and talented people are, the gears click over very quickly. But is it nature or nurture? Their school system traditionally has had a reputation for being brutal in terms of discipline, and many Korean children then spend 4-6 hours after school going to hagwons, private academies to help you ace your entrance exams for university. Plus, the culture is extremely competitive and demanding and basically you are expected to do everything perfectly and without mistakes. I think all of that plays into their "intelligence." But there are also a lot of problems with emotional burnout in Korea, and a lot of young Koreans will tell you they would rather be somewhere else where the society is not so demanding.
There is only one side of the political spectrum that is angry all the time. Completely divorced from reality.
Waffle Willies: My First laugh of the Day!
"Little Women" just tooooooooo white? BUMMMMMMMMMM-MER!
Tales of the Deplorables: Them hoity-toity writers love putting down rural folks.
California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft: And they THINK they're so SMART...
Michael Moore: You Should Be Afraid Of White Guys, Because 2/3 Of Them Voted For Trump
So did more than 1/2 of white women, so fear them too. And all of them have pistols and rifles; heh, heh, heh.
Re: Little Women. This argument is so crazy. We all heard the same thing about the recent "hate men" ghostbusters movie. If you don't watch their version of hate then YOU must be a bigot or something. It is a crazy self defeating argument not too different than what Hillary did when she called half the voters deplorables. Free choice is a wonderful thing. When I choose to go see a 007 movie my wife looks to see if another movie is playing that she wants to see. I certainly don't accuse her of being terrible because she doesn't want to watch a masculine movie. Besides I do think that when Hollywood makes these movies and chooses to make them specifically anti-male or anti-white they know full well that they are limiting their audience but their calculation is that they will further their agenda so that is OK with them.
I suppose absent copyright, there's nothing to prevent anyone from redoing "classics" in whatever way they want. Hamlet in motorcycle leathers, Ionesco's "Rhinoceros" with SUV's. Yet there is a fundamental dishonesty in that, trying to make works of literature be about US rather than about the people the author intended. It is one more erasure of history in the service of our narcissism. Make no mistake, this is not about changing history (which would be bad enough) this is about erasing it from the public imagination.
Eventually, everything before last Tuesday will be suspect.
"Everybody knows that Jews tend to be smart "
Then why are they overwhelmingly democrat? The democrats hate them. Inside of every democrat is a national socialist waiting to get out.
There's no reliable correlation between intelligence and political philosophy, or even good sense about the likely loyalty of ostensible political allies. IQ can help you read fast and pick up complicated concepts with ease, but it doesn't directly affect your innate honesty with yourself, or your willingness to face facts, or your determination to be free and self-reliant, or your respect for the rights and dignity of others.
Where did the figure for 90% of Christmas gifts being dumped come from? That merchandise probably won't go back on the retailer's shelves but will go into a pallet box in the backroom to be sold downstream to one of the thousands of open box merchandisers around the world. Only an uninformed idiot would believe that the merchandise goes to a dump.
A couple of weeks ago went to buy wiper blades on RockAuto's website and when I tried to check out a message came up saying I couldn't because they can't collect the state or local taxes.
re Online sales tax ruling challenges small businesses
In South Dakota, where the case took place, small businesses that make less than $100,000 in sales or have fewer than 200 transactions are exempt from out-of-state taxing. Other states such as California have followed suit, but have differing monetary thresholds.
That's not true. If the merchandise is sold on an online platform such as eBay or Amazon, the merchandise is still subject to sales tax in many states. The law was written to hammer the small sellers on these sites.
Theft. Government can never steal enough money. Why wouldn't the SCOTUS enable their partners in crime?
re Virginia increasing corrections budget anticipating jailing gun-owners
The amount is tiny by government standards, 250k. If it costs 30k/yr to incarcerate someone, this lets them jail 8 more people??
This legislation is more about sending a message and appears to be an attempt to intimidate gun owners.
It will be interesting to see how THAT works out.
"NYT Cuts Controversial Study From Bret Stephens’ ‘Jewish Genius’ Column"
In the early '50's, polymath E.E.; "Doc" Smith wrote a series of "space opera" books in the "Lensman of Space" series. Great adventures, but pure "pace opera". In the final novel, "Children of the Lens", two characters have an exchange about the steps required in forging the ultimate weapon.
The Jewish people have been beaten down on the "anvil of fate", and they keep rising back up. With all this hammering and heating and quenching, one must wonder; what sort of tool does God need, that He is forging from the Jewish race?