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December 1-15, 2004 Archive

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#cmcjust

Justice is served: 

 

A former Claremont McKenna College visiting professor, who spray-painted her car with racist and anti-Semitic slurs and then reported a hate crime on campus, was sentenced today to a year in state prison. Pomona Superior Court Judge Charles Horan said Kerri Dunn "terrorized" minority students at the college and turned the rest of the students into suspects, adding that her actions could have sparked major racial violence. He likened her actions to calling in a fake bomb threat, saying it had the effect of terrorizing people.

Along with the state prison term, he ordered Dunn to pay restitution of nearly $20,000 to Claremont College to cover the cost of beefing up security and canceled classes, and an undetermined amount of restitution to the police department for filing a false report.

 

From my never before online "Hate Hoax" article in the May 10, 2004 American Conservative:

 

In 1999, Pamela Gann became Claremont McKenna College's first president who was a registered Democrat. She didn't seem happy heading a college with a moderately conservative reputation, and tried to use "diversity" to make CMC less diverse and more like every other college. Gann and the conservative professors fought bitter battles over affirmative action hiring.

Gann's frustration with her rightist holdovers seemed to feed into the growing paranoia at some of the other Claremont colleges, where the staffs nurture an obsession among its "diverse" students (i.e., everybody except non-Hispanic heterosexual gentile white males) to navel-gaze over whether or not they feel "comfortable with the climate."

It was 72 degrees with a gentle breeze blowing, so the climate seemed okay to me, but a flier on Pitzer bulletin boards made the local idée fixe a little clearer: "Diversity and Campus Climate: You are invited to participate in a discussion about campus climate."

Another advertised: "Queer Dreams and Nightmares: What is it like to be a student at the Claremont Colleges? Student panel discussion addressing the current climate at the 5-Cs, both academically and socially." This was part of a conference entitled, with that profusion of punctuation that is the secret fraternity handshake of post-modern academics, "[Re]Defining a Queer Space at the Claremont Colleges."

The university's main concern appears to be to make students feel "comfortable," a word that reappears constantly in Claremont publications despite the obvious hopelessness of the project. The only way to make 19-year-olds feel comfortable is to wait 30 years while they sag into their well-padded maturities. Right now, they are teenagers and their surging hormones have far more important emotions for them to feel than comfort. Adults, however, who make careers out of encouraging kids to mold permanently self-pitying identities around their transient social discomforts have much to answer for.

A series of semi-nonexistent "racial incidents," such as liberal Scripps students advertising a racial sensitivity seminar with posters featuring the N-word, were parlayed by activists into a mood of dread. Kerri F. Dunn, a 39-year-old academic prole, a visiting professor of social psychology at CMC whose contract was up in June, repeatedly harangued her students about the racists and sexists lurking in the shadows. On March 9th, she gave a fiery speech at a campus event on "Hate Speech Versus Free Speech." She then walked to her 1992 Honda Civic and returned some time later, claiming she had found it spray-painted with anti-black, anti-female, and anti-Semitic slurs. The Irish-American Dunn pointed the finger at her own students, arguing that only they had heard she was considering converting to Judaism: "How else would they believe I was Jewish unless they were in my class?"

Dunn's allegation triggered a frenzy of fear and loathing.

Although faked hate crimes have become routine in the years since the Tawana Brawley hoax, the college presidents immediately canceled the next day's classes (costing parents paying the full $37,000 per year list price for 150 days of education about $250 each, or close to two million dollars in total at list price). At the mass rally the next night, Dunn announced, to rapturous applause: "This was a well planned out act of terrorism. And I don't believe for one second it was one person. I think that there's a group here, a small group, but I do believe that there is a group here that perpetuates this in all different kinds of ways."

Dunn's image of a secret goon squad of marauding junior Straussians was as memorable as it was preposterous, but the administration had already been apprised of the unsurprising truth. Earlier that day, two eyewitnesses had told the Dean of Students that Professor Dunn had slashed her own tires.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#ktimmy

iSteve.com's 4th Annual Kwanzaa Song Search: A December tradition here at iSteve.com is our attempt to find out if anyone in Kwanzaa's 35 years of bureaucratically recognized existence has ever written a Kwanzaa song that is not intended either to parody Kwanzaa or to indoctrinate children, but simply to celebrate the holiday. 

The best known Kwanzaa song is "Hey, Kwanzaa Timmy, Whatcha Gonna Gimme?" sung by Kwanzaa Timmy (Tim Meadows) and the Kwanzettes on Saturday Night Live in 1998:

 

Kwanzaa Timmy: "Santa Claus is come and gone,
But don't be sad and blue
'Cause Kwanzaa Timmy's coming,
And soon you'll be coming, too.
Tell that fat old bearded dude
He's living in the past, he
Only knows who's been bad or good,
But I know who's been nasty!"

Kwanzettes: "Hey, Kwanzaa Timmy, 
Whatcha gonna gimme?"

Kwanzaa Timmy: "I've brought you lots of gifts, gi-irl."

Kwanzettes: "Come on, Kwanzaa Timmy, 
Whatcha gonna gimme?"

Kwanzaa Timmy: "I'll promise to rock your world!
My gifts to you symbolize our African unity.
A Mkeke mask, some corn, some wine, and a booty full of me.
Kwanzaa was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga.
And like the spirit of the holiday, I plan to get up on in ya!"

Kwanzettes: "Hey, Kwanzaa Timmy,
Whatcha gonna gimme?" ...

Kwanzaa Timmy: "Look at my eyes, and listen to my mouth."

Kwanzaa Timmy: [ spoken ] "Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima are the first three Kwanzaa dates.
It's also the sound of the bedsprings, while sweet, sweet love we make.
The last four days of Kwanzaa: Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani.
The next day, tell all your friends about my sexy Kwanzaa party!"

Kwanzettes: "There's no booty-knocking, less you fill my stocking."

Kwanzaa Timmy: "Kwanzaa's about giving, not getting."

Kwanzettes: "If you want to sex us, better bring your Lexus."

Kwanzaa Timmy: "I got corn, I got bushels of corn."

Kwanzettes: "Think I know you, Mister; 
You knocked up my sister."

Not bad, but that hardly lives up to the funniest fact about Kwanzaa, which is that its invention was subsidized by J. Edgar Hoover. Ann Coulter has the details here.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#shrop

iSteve.com's 1st Annual Recent Christmas Song Search: Of course, not a lot of popular Christmas songs have been written since 1969, either. For example, each year, Madonna's 1987 version of "Santa Baby" moves closer to standard status, but the song itself was written in 1953, and originally performed by Earth Kitt. 

 

Dru Sefton wrote:

 

There are just no up-and-coming, festive standards of tomorrow. Experts say that's because music styles have shifted from lyrics-based ballads to upbeat dance music. Composers have a hard time getting big names to record new pieces. And publishers just aren't interested in sentimental holiday songs anymore.

Virtually all the secular holiday tunes we hear and sing today were written between 1934 and 1958, said Ron Clancy, author of "American Christmas Classics," a set of three CDs, lyrics and an illustrated book.

A few of those favorites: "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," 1934. "White Christmas," 1941. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," 1944. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" 1945. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 1949. "Frosty the Snowman," 1950. "Silver Bells," 1951.

"One reason why these songs resonate even today is better songwriting," said Clancy, of North Cape May, N.J. "There was a sentimental swing, just a feel to them." .. 

 

To be crass, the incredible royalties you can make from a popular Christmas song ought to motivate songwriters -- for example, one-hit-wonder Elmo Shropshire, a retired veterinarian, still makes $80k annually from having written half of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" in 1979 -- but there are a lot of things our culture can't seem to accomplish anymore no matter how much money is available.

 

Here's an interview with Justin Wilde that explains the dire economics of modern Christmas songwriting.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#idsac

Intelligent Design: I think the Intelligent Design theorists must have a pretty low opinion of the Designer's talents if they assume that His universe is such a badly designed, misfiring contraption that He must frequently get to work with his divine monkeywrench so that advanced life forms can evolve.

 

I don't object much to Intelligent Design theorists positing one or two interventions (e.g., to create life in the first place or to kick prehumans up to the human level), but to argue that the Designer is so inept that he must constantly meddle strikes me as nearly sacrilegious.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#catacombsc

From the Cyber-Catacombs: A friend writes:

 

The MAU-MAUING of Steve Sailer for having the temerity to propose a[n] ethno-demographic model of US psephology without going through academic gatekeepers, and then slipping it past the pee-cee censors, is both remarkable and horrifying to watch in real time.

The fact that frank discussion of human bio-diversity has to be undertaken in private cyber-catacombs, and public discussion must be undertaken in a baffling code, is one of the most bizarre facts about public life in the past half-century. The future will snicker over our anti-intellectual hush-hushing over ethnicity, just as we snicker over Victorian taboos about sex.

Of course, all it does is make public intellectuals, and formal science, appear suspect to those folk inclined to trust their 'lyin eyes and common sense. Which actually makes the public more susceptible to racist ideology by “actual and existing” racists.

Pee-cee thereby generates self-fulfilling prophecies of doom.

 

Which is no doubt intentional on the part of people like Morris Dees who profit by terrifying elderly and out-of-touch liberals in the suburbs of the big blue cities into donating to his money machine.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#graced

SPLC eviscerated by Kevin Michael Grace (The Ambler). Here's a bit from Kevin's brilliant article on the Southern Poverty Law Center in the July 2004 Chronicles.

 

In Morris Dees’ America, night is always falling. It is a nation of ceaseless cross-burnings and lynchings, where minorities cower endlessly in fear, waiting helplessly for the next assault from the Klan, skinheads, the League of the South, Thomas Fleming, Samuel Francis and Chronicles, Peter Brimelow and VDare.com, David Horowitz and the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, the American Enterprise Institute . . . The American Enterprise Institute? Surely there must be some mistake. Not at all...

Clearly, by 1994, even the SPLC realized there was no longer much to fear from the KKK, that tiny band of bedraggled and government-infiltrated losers. Even so, according to the SPLC’s most recent The Year in Hate, “Buoyed by rising numbers of Skinhead and Klan groups, the American radical right staged something of a comeback last year, following a tumultuous period that saw the destruction or hobbling of some of the nation’s leading hate groups.”

So what is the connection between AEI and some of the nation’s leading hate groups? Well, you see, AEI “in recent years has sponsored scholars whose views are seen by many as bigoted or even racist.” You have to love that passive verb, seen. For example? “For example, Dinesh D’Souza.” He holds a fellowship there and also holds heterodox opinions on the civil-rights movement. (You might think that D’Souza shopping Samuel Francis to save his own skin and getting him fired from the Washington Times would score him points with the SPLC, but apparently not.) More “controversial” still is AEI fellow Charles Murray, who wrote The Bell Curve, which cites research funded by the “racist” Pioneer Fund. Why is the Pioneer Fund “racist”? Because it endorses the idea of racial differences. It is a commonplace today for those that believe in the very idea of race to be condemned as “racist,” although it is hard to understand how such a thing as “racism” could exist in the absence of races...

The technique it uses to ferret out those “seen” as “racists” is one well known to aficionados of conspiracy theory: “consanguinity.” As the old song put it, “I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales.” Or as Thomas Fleming put it, “If Congressman Tom Tancredo or [American Conservative executive editor] Scott McConnell has ever met anyone who met anyone who took money from the Pioneer Fund, they must be bigots.” By this measure, every person and organization to the right of the Southern Poverty Law Center is beyond the pale—which is precisely the point. Consanguinity is self-evidently a shoddy logical tool. Not so long ago, those on the right who employed it were accused of “McCarthyism.” Police departments and schools, however, make use of Dees’ smears and “Teaching Tolerance” materials. In 2001, Dees was the recipient of the National Education Association’s highest honor, the Friend of Education Award. And whenever any credulous member of the media wants the lowdown on “hate,” he gives the SPLC a call.

Other SPLC bête noires include “neo-Confederates”; Pat Buchanan; the Bradley, Olin, and Scaife Foundations; the Free Congress Foundation; the Council of Conservative Citizens; the Ludwig von Mises Institute; and the New Century Foundation, publisher of American Renaissance.

Those added to the SPLC’s enemies list are inclined to consider it a rather higher honor than any NEA gong. David Horowitz, however, was mortified. Horowitz was added for his opposition to reparations for slavery. Two howls of protest were published on Horowitz’s website, FrontPageMag.com. His own cri de coeur was an open letter to Morris Dees, which begged him not to lump him in with the real bad guys:

 

"You’ve made yourself a national reputation as a fighter against hate groups. Recently, however, you released a report called “Into the Mainstream” by a leftwing conspiracy theorist named Chip Berlet, which purports to show how “right wing foundations and think tanks support efforts to make bigoted and discredited ideas respectable.” This report is so tendentious, so filled with transparent misrepresentations and smears that if you continue to post the report you will create for your Southern Poverty Law Center a well-earned reputation as a hate group itself."

 

Where has Horowitz been? It is an old story: First, they came for the Pioneer Fund, and I did not speak out because I was not a eugenicist . . . 

Movie buffs will recall that a TV movie was made about Dees. "Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story" was released in 1991. In a delicious irony, this hagiography starred Corbin Bernsen, best remembered as the slimy lawyer Arnie Becker from L.A. Law.   [More...]


Kevin Michael Grace lives in Victoria, British Columbia. He runs the website TheAmbler.com

 

We live in an age when guilt-by-association is considered the highest form of reasoning.

 

By the way, for a benign example of consanguinist thinking, the wonderful journalist Alistair Cooke, who died recently at 95, made it a habit in recent years, according to Peter Robinson, to tell people who had just shook his hand for the first time: "You have just shaken the hand of a man who shook the hand of a man who shook hands with Lincoln."

 

The intermediary between Cooke and Lincoln was the famous Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935). Damn, I wish my sons had had a chance to shake Cooke's hand. They could have carried this chain with just two intermediaries into the third century after Lincoln's death.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#smear

UPDATE #1: The American Prospect Can Dish It Out, But They Sure Can't Take It! After publishing Garance Franke-Ruta's neo-McCarthyite smear of me, The American Prospect is now threatening legal action against anybody who "reproduces" an article somebody published a while ago accusing her of racism. You've really got to read this to believe it. Haven't they ever heard that a "chilling" effect on freedom of speech is a no-no? As The American Prospect's reputation for supporting civil liberties crashes in flames like the Hindenburg, all I can say, is "Oh, the hypocrisy..."

 

At the time I wrote about the article accusing Franke-Ruta of racism:

 

"I must confess that my eyes glazed over while reading about Franke-Ruta's and The American Prospect's alleged high crimes and insensitivities against Latinos. What I saw of it before nodding off seemed no more persuasive than what she wrote about me.

On the other hand, as Across Difficult Country asks, why should the benefit of the doubt be extended to Franke-Ruta if she won't extend it to me? Good question. It's often those who live in the glassiest houses who are most inclined to throw stones to distract from the fragility of their own abodes. 

Well, it being the Christmas season, I shall give Franke-Ruta the benefit of the doubt anyway. 

 

The Winds of Change blog is flabbergasted by the whole deal.

 

Update #2: Garance Franke-Ruta claimed in The American Prospect that black Americans were "seven times more likely to commit homicides" than whites!

 

Although Franke-Ruta wrote some obnoxious and absurd things about me (my response is below), she shouldn't be silenced for her own political incorrectness. What she is saying in the quote above, as offensive as it might seem to American Prospect readers, is perfectly true, and the truth should be an absolute defense. Both for her ... and for me.

In further defense of Franke-Ruta, let me point out that she is sometimes quite a bit more honest than most liberals about issues like race and crime. For example, in a 2002 review of Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," she attacked the movie for basically the same reason I did in my "Baby Gap" article ( http://www.amconmag.com/2004_12_20/cover.html), that she objected to in such an unhinged fashion.

She wrote:

http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2002/11/franke-ruta-g-11-22.html


"My beef with Moore is this: He has managed to make a movie about gun violence in America -- where 53 percent of the gun murder victims are black -- without interviewing a single black victim of gun violence, or even asking black community leaders, who have spent decades successfully trying to combat the problem, for their insights. Instead, to explore a phenomenon that has devastated inner cities and is a horror primarily in urban areas -- nearly 70 percent of gun murders take place in cities, according to U.S. Deaprtment of Justice statistics -- Moore has made a movie that takes as its focal point the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colo., a type of crime (five or more victims) that represented one-tenth of 1 percent of murders that year and that occurred in a white, prosperous, suburban community...

"Young black men ages 14-24 make up only 1 percent of the U.S. population but around 15 percent of the murder victims. Nor are Moore's suburban white gun owners, no matter how ridiculous their fears, the reason that black Americans were six times more likely to be murdered than whites in 1999, and seven times more likely to commit homicides."

 

Obviously, as a woman in Washington D.C., Franke-Ruta has to keep these kind of statistics in mind daily as she decides what parts of the District of Columbia are safe for her by looking at the people on the streets. Unfortunately, this kind of "real estate realism" that everybody talks about with their friends almost never makes it into written policy discussions, much to the detriment of the realism and effectiveness of American journalism. Personally, I think The American Prospect could use more of the kind of honesty Franke-Ruta is showing in the two paragraphs I quoted above. It would greatly benefit from not smearing truth-tellers like myself.

What she appears to have been trying to do by attacking me in such a frenetic and irrational manner is the old trick that, when the wolves of political correctness are closing in on the sleigh, throw somebody even more politically incorrect to them to distract them. "When they came for Steve Sailer, I led them to him, etcetera etcetera"

Obviously, I don't appreciate her ploy, but I certainly don't think it's in American political discourse's best 

interest for her to be devoured by the politically correct either.

*

 

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere: I made the big time. Now I'm being smeared in a New York gossip column! The New York Daily News' professional tattletales Rush and Molloy (email them your thoughts on the subject at rushmolloy@edit.nydailynews.com) write:

 

Bad source code at NYT?

New York Times columnist David Brooks might want to do a background check on the next "expert" he quotes.

Brooks, the reigning conservative on the paper's op-ed page now that William Safire is leaving, is coming under fire for his recent column about Red State "natalism" and birth rates in which he quoted writer Steve Sailer's finding that President Bush "carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates."

Brooks doesn't mention that Sailer reportedly runs a Web discussion group whose members include white supremecists [sic] and anti-Semites.

Sailer also writes for vdare.com, which the KKK-fighting Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a "hate group."

Brooks didn't immediately respond to our E-mail.

But on political magazine The American Prospect's blog TAPped, writer Garance Franke-Ruta asks, "Why is David Brooks promoting the work of a well-known eugenicist sympathizer who regularly indulges in racial stereotyping? ... [It's] journalism at its absolute shoddiest."

In reply, I wrote back:

 

Dear Rush and Molloy:

Speaking of the kettle calling the pot black, Part 1, you didn't mention that Ms. Franke-Ruta, amusingly enough, has herself been accused, at vast length, of racism by a civil rights activist organization who objected intensely to an article she wrote for The American Prospect.

To read the original indictment of Franke-Ruta's purported racism, go here and scan down to "Special Report: In Attack on Hispanics, American Prospect's Garance Franke-Ruta Is Accused of Journalistic Fraud." I must confess that my eyes glazed over while reading about Franke-Ruta's and The American Prospect's alleged high crimes and insensitivities against Latinos. What I saw of it before nodding off seemed no more persuasive than what she wrote about me.

On the other hand, why should the benefit of the doubt be extended to Franke-Ruta if she won't extend it to me? Good question. It's often those who live in the glassiest houses who are most inclined to throw stones to distract from the fragility of their own abodes. 

Speaking of the kettle calling the pot black, Part 2, you pass on the absurd accusation of the Southern Poverty Law Center that the online publication VDARE.com is a "hate group." Yet, you make no mention that the SPLC has widely been documented to be mercenary and racially discriminatory. Click here for all the grisly details.

 

[Also, check out all the other organizations the SPLC has denounced for racism, such as the American Enterprise Institute!]

 

And to find out the kind of mainstream organizations that the SPLC denounces, click here.

So, why aren't you out digging up scandalous dirt on the SPLC? It's all over the Web, including some much more juicy stuff than this. It's a disgrace that the American media tends to treat a discredited, but vastly rich and powerful organization like the SPLC, as if it is run by Mother Theresa.

 

Finally, let's look at the nonsense Franke-Ruta writes.

 

She doesn't deny that the facts Mr. Brooks cited from my article "Baby Gap" in The American Conservative (http://www.amconmag.com/2004_12_06/cover.html) are facts. Her behavior is a classic shoot-the-messenger attempt to help Democrats bury their heads in the sand. How is the Democratic Party ever going to put up an effective opposition to the Bush-Rove machine if they denounce those who tell them truth about the American voters?

 

The rest of her diatribe consists mainly of Joe McCarthyesque-guilt by associationism and out-of-context quotations from my hundreds of articles, none of which she attempts to refute.

 

The defining characteristic of anti-Sailerist diatribes like Franke-Ruta's is multitudinous quotations from my writings with no attempt at refutation of their truth. The reader is simply supposed to be shocked, SHOCKED that anyone would dare write such politically incorrect things.

A few times, Franke-Ruta gets so worked up she can't even be bothered to quote me out of context. I was particularly amused that she included my AmCon article's concluding paragraph in full:

 

"Nobody noticed that the famous blue-red gap was a white baby gap because the subject of white fertility is considered disreputable. But I believe the truth is better for us than ignorance, lies, or wishful thinking. At least, it's certainly more interesting."

Apparently, by letting slip that I believe that the truth is better for us than ignorance, lies, or wishful thinking, I've condemned myself in the eyes of all of polite society. No refutation of my shocking faux pas is needed. All bien-pensants can instantly see how much better it is to bask in reputable ignorance.

 

Franke-Ruta seems to be convinced that I drew a correlation between Bush's share of the vote by state and the total fertility of white women by state because I am a racist. No, I did it because I am interested in the facts. 

 

[I of course also looked at the correlation of Bush's share and the total fertility of all the women in the state, but the r-squared of that nonracial correlation was only 37%, compared to 74% for the correlation between Bush's share and white fertility. For Franke-Ruta's benefit, let me point out that 74% is twice as big as 37%. As for explaining to her what an r-squared is, well, ...

 

The reality is that white fertility correlates with Bush's share of the vote better than total fertility or nonwhite fertility does. 

 

Since I published my "Baby Gap" article, I've found a demographic factor that correlates even better with Bush's share of the vote by state: the average years married between the ages of 18 and 44 for white women. Here's the scatter plot, with it's spectacular correlation coefficient of r = 0.91:

 

Unlike with fertility, years married for all races correlates quite well with Bush's share of the vote, but still significantly less well than years married among white women. You can read all about this factor here. And you can read about a third factor that also correlates super strongly with Bush's share of the vote -- lack of housing price inflation -- here.

In 1943, George Orwell famously observed of this manner of thinking that puts all the weight on who says something and none on what he says:

"Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as 'the truth' exists. There is, for instance, no such thing as 'Science.' There is only 'German Science,' 'Jewish Science,' etc… This prospect frightens me much more than bombs -- and after our experiences of the last few years that is not such a frivolous statement."

Yet, there was an ironic and fortunate coda to Nazi disdain for objective truth that Orwell couldn't have known in 1943. Luckily, it was precisely the Nazis disdain for "Jewish science" that prevented them from investing enough to develop the most frightening of all bombs -- the atomic bomb. Historian Paul Johnson wrote in Modern Times:  "Germany despite the scientific exodus, retained enough nuclear scientists to conceive a bomb. But to Hitler, the nuclear field was identified with Einstein and 'Jewish physics.'"

Anyone, whether Hitler or Franke-Ruta, who evaluates assertions of fact based on the political correctness of the speaker is bound to be self-defeating, .

 

The tragedy in this case of course is that liberal smear artists like Franke-Ruta are, despite their similar attitudes toward truth, far from Nazis, and understanding what motivates voters is not destructive information like the secrets of the atomic bomb, but constructive knowledge. America needs the Democratic Party to be on top of its game, not to be wallowing in politically correct ignorance. The Democrats are the only organized American opposition to the Bush dynasty. But if they don't want to understand why they lost, and prefer to slumber in self-congratulatory bigotry, they simply won't be able to provide the effective political competition our country desperately needs.

 

As for Franke-Ruta's Six-Degrees-of-Joe-McCarthy-guilt-by-association charges:

 

"Brooks doesn't mention that Sailer reportedly runs a Web discussion group whose members include white supremecists [sic] and anti-Semites."

 

[You really shouldn't smear people as "white supremecists" if you can't even spell the word right!]

 

If there are any anti-Semites on the discussion group, they would be vastly outnumberd by the Jewish intellectuals and scientists who are members.

 

As for white "supremecists" (sic), the group includes East Asians, blacks, South Asians, and about 10% of the whites have non-white spouses.

 

And get a load of what Ruta-Franke calles me: a "eugenicist sympathizer?" Ooooooh! Sounds bad! But what the heck is that supposed to mean? Anybody who sympathizes with Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Margaret Sanger, or George Bernard Shaw would be a "eugenicist sympathizer" because they were all staunch advocates of eugenics back in the day. 

 

What's particularly bizarre is that in the article of mine she cites http://www.vdare.com/sailer/pioneer.htm, I explicitly discuss my deep worries that new medical technology is increasingly making do-it-yourself eugenics, such as sex selection, available to parents. The potential social impact of this new free market eugenics concerns me greatly, and so I call for intensive study before we decide to let this cat out of the bag. 

 

[Indeed, Franke-Ruta's list of out-of-context quotes from me draws from a lot of my most liberal arguments! For example, she quotes my criticism of conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan for his attacks on blacks for practicing ethnocentrism and identity politics. She is also shocked by my article presenting evidence from 30 social science studies that male homosexuals do not choose to be homosexual, but instead generally exhibit gay traits long before puberty. I could go on at great length in this vein, as could anyone who follows the links in her smear to my articles.]

 

As for indulging in "racial stereotyping," I am a science and sociology journalist whose work has been recognized by the highest scientific authorities. For example, Steven Pinker of Harvard, the superstar cognitive scientist who wrote the bestseller The Blank Slate, picked my "Cousin Marriage Conundrum" article, which originally appeared in American Conservative, for inclusion in his new anthology The Best Science and Nature Writing 20004. My article from early 2003 predicted, accurately, that nation-building in Iraq would be far more difficult than the Bush Administration was assuming because the Iraqi tendency to inbreed (half marry their first or second cousins) makes nepotistic corruption inevitable and makes it hard for Iraqis to cooperate beyond their intensely loyal inbred extended families.

 

In summary, you have aided Franke-Ruta in perpetrating "journalism at its absolute shoddiest."

 

Yours truly,

Steve Sailer

 

If you have anything to add, you can write to Rush and Molloy at rushmolloy@edit.nydailynews.com. Please be polite and avoid wide-ranging controversies.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#mgplots

My important sequel to "Baby Gap" is up at VDARE.com. Please make sure to read the message from Peter Brimelow. (Don't forget to mention to him how much you value my contributions to VDARE.com.)

 

Here are a couple of graphs that didn't make it in the initial version of the article, but really show what an outrageously strong correlation with the 2004 state-by-state election results I've found.

What a remarkably close fit for a single demographic variable!

 

When you do a multiple regression model using Years Married and Babies per Woman, you get a linear formula that gets the actual vote 88% right:

Interestingly, you get this 88% r-squared for accounting for Bush's share of the states' total votes when looking at the marriage and fertility among whites, rather than total population. When you look at marriage and fertility rates for the whole population, the r-squared of the multiple regression is only 80%. 

 

A reader writes:

 

As always, your latest VDARE piece is brilliant. I did a quick search on my univiersity's periodical databases and didn't find a single study on white fertility/marriage and voting patterns. It simply does not appear to be on the radar screen of political scientists and sociologists in spite of its explanatory power. I made a contribution to VDARE and told them I was doing so because they publish your stuff.

By the way, I blasted what's-her-name from TAPPED in an e-mail the other day.
Keep driving the PC crowd crazy! Here's one from me that will get them: 

 

Merry Christmas!

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#nytoped

Safire's Replacement on the NYT Op-Ed Page -- Jack Shafer in Slate writes about who might take over William Safire's slot on the New York Times op-ed page when William Safire shortly retires: 

 

Safire's impending departure prompted New York magazine to handicap the field for his replacement, tossing out the names of David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, Christopher Caldwell, Richard Brookhiser, Fred Barnes, and Robert Kagan. But the leading candidate, the magazine said, was John Tierney, who has already visited four stations of the cross at the Times as a metro reporter, feature writer, city columnist, and Washington reporter. Tierney's good humor, kinetic prose style, contrarian nature, wide-ranging interests, and rumored ability to attend congressional hearings would make him a fine replacement for Safire. I also like that he's a libertarian or, at the very least, a fellow traveler.

 

Tierney would be a great choice. Shafer goes on:

 

Without disparaging the Tierney nomination, here are a few candidates who have a demonstrated ability to report and would drive respectable opinion crazy:

Heather Mac Donald: A non-practicing lawyer (the best kind), Mac Donald flings dead cats into the temple of liberalism from her sinecure at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative-libertarian stink tank. Unlike Safire, she isn't on a first-name basis with Ariel Sharon and doesn't write about foreign policy, so we wouldn't be getting a one-for-one replacement. But she outwings Safire by such a margin on domestic issues that she makes him look like a McGovernite. I'd love to see the Times' liberal readers squirm as they read her heavily reported pieces on racial profiling (for it), cops (she loves them), illegal immigration (against it), graffiti "artists" (they're vandals), domestic security (loves the Patriot Act), crime ("Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens"), privacy (who cares?), and welfare (must you ask?). Conservative Mac Donald could match liberal Paul Krugman cannonball for cannonball. Sulzberger wouldn't have to worry about offending the sensitive types in the Washington bureau by hiring Mac Donald because she lives in New York City and would happily work out of the newspaper's Times Square offices and offend the sensitive types there.

 

Heather would be a great choice too,. So, I'd be shocked if either got the nod. (And not shocked, SHOCKED, just plain shocked.)

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#bgseq

My sequel to "Baby Gap" will be up on VDARE late Sunday night. It's hot stuff ... if you are interested in understanding what drives the blue-red gap in election results. I've now found a demographic factor that correlates even better with Bush's share of the vote by state than total lifetime fertility of white women does. (It's not a terribly different factor than fertility, so don't expect a huge surprise.) 

 

When you put the new mystery factor together with fertility in a simple multiple regression model, you get an r-squared of 88%, which is bizarrely high. That means that if you have just these two demographic measures for each state (in fact, those just for the white residents, weirdly enough), you can come up with a model where only 12% of the variation in Bush's share is unaccounted for. And it worked almost as well in 2000.

 

Think about all the reasons that pundits gave for why Bush or Kerry would do well in a particular state -- the strength of the state's economy, whether or not the candidates platforms would be good or local interests, the popularity of Gov. Schwarzenegger in California or the unpopularity of the scandal plagued GOP in Illinois, or the number of visits the candidates paid to the state, or yada yada yada. All trivial, accounting in sum for 12% of the variation, compared to the two big demographic factors that nobody mentioned. Granted, they are still very important, but you can see why all the campaign resources were poured into the small number of battleground states where the demographic factors put them on the cusp.

 

Most strangely, the racial makeup of the state doesn't much matter in this model. Because blacks gave 88% of their vote to Kerry, while whites gave him only 41%, common sense says that the percentage of voters in a state who are black would play an important role in determining Bush's share of the vote. Yet, you can get to an r-squared of 88% without inputting the black share of the state's voters. Remarkably, how large a share of the state's populace is black apparently influences the state's white fertility and the white mystery demographic factor enough to account for the varying black influences on the state's voting outcome. (I will, however, eventually input each state's racial makeup and see if that makes the model even more accurate. But the fewer factors in a model the better, on the whole. You want to make it as simple as possible, but no simpler, as Einstein might have of said.)

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#gonorm

In defense of Underperformin' Norman Mineta: My airline expert writes:

 

I still do not see what is so irrational about what the no-racial-profiling policy has, in practice, turned out to be in air travel. In practice, it means we don't check only Arabs. The TSA, airport and, especially, the airline people, are not crazy or suicidal. They are going to check very closely any unknown Arab passenger. And then they are going to do a thorough check on a randomly selected old DAR lady in a wheel chair or a retired Marine general with a walker to 1) avoid having it look like racial profiling and 2) prevent the Arab from feeling too bad about the search. As in, "see, we're all in this together."

Given the choices, is that so bad? You get the security benefit of the Arab check, but maintain some atmosphere of fairness and shared minor sacrifice. We do have an interest in not unnecessarily ticking off the law-abiding Arabs. There is an efficiency cost, but, hell, it's a government program. There is the annoyed big-shot cost, but a lot of them need a little annoyance.

There are a lot of other places, for example drug traffic on I-95, where trying to avoid looking for the obvious ethnic suspects does impose big and unnecessary costs, in either money or lost arrests. But air travel is so unique, in its various aspects, that I think a little benign dishonesty is not so intolerable.

 

By the way, the popular phrase "Underperformin' Norman Mineta" was invented a couple of years ago by John Derbyshire, but the Bush Administration appears to be impervious to witticisms, as shown by Bush's re-appointment of Mineta.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#underp

Underperformin' Norman Mineta asked to stay in Cabinet by Bush! The architect of the system of airport security system whereby a 94-year-old retired Marine Corp general and former Montana governor is given the third degree because his Congressional Medal of Honor set off the metal detector while security workers are banned from giving extra attention to Arabs will be back as Secretary of Transportation, one of only three Cabinet officers to serve since the beginning of Bush's first term.

 

It's widely believed that because Mineta was interned as a lad during WWII, he refuses to incorporate ethnic profiling in airport security. 

 

Mineta said Thursday that his childhood experience had nothing to do with his position. He was simply following the lead of Bush, who declared shortly after the attacks that Arab Americans would not be targeted, and the advice of security professionals, who said racial profiling was not effective.

 

And at age 73, he's not exactly going to get any better at his job. All this makes him Bush's kind of Cabinet Secretary!

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#Kargill

The War Nerd on the highest battlefield in the world -- Gary Brecher reviews the 1999 fighting at 18,000 feet in Kashmir between India and Pakistan. The topic sounds as thin as the air, but, as usual, Brecher finds something important to say about it:

 

In tactical terms, Kargil meant very little. The battlefield was one of the least-valuable bits of real estate on the planet. If it had fallen, nothing would have changed down on the hot flatlands where the Indians and Pakistanis actually live.

But war these days isn't about tactical victory. It's about morale, and propaganda. In those terms, Kargil was a huge, huge victory for India and a big defeat for Pakistan. It did more for Indian nationalism than cricket, and that's saying a lot. It's damn hard finding anything everybody in India can rally behind. Almost everything there is the exclusive property of one particular tribe, or religion, or caste. Remember, India nearly tore itself apart twelve years ago over whether the Muslims or the Hindus had a right to build a shrine on some extra-special piece of holy turf in Ayodhya.

And that's where losing 400 men in a high-profile, harmless little war like Kargil comes in handy. Those websites I mentioned list the names of every single Indian soldier killed up there. When you consider how many Indians die every day, with nobody giving a damn at all, it's pretty amazing that these 400 dead guys get so much adoring press.

When you look at the list of names, you see why. Some of the names are obviously Sikhs (Sikhs love armies), but there are plenty of Hindu names, Muslim names -- for all I know there are Zoroastrian names in there too. It's a chance to sob together over those dead integrated units -- like those good old corny WW II movies where every platoon has this melting-pot roll call: "OK, lissen up, Bernstein, deNapoli, O'Brien, Kowalski, and Running Bear!" And naturally the most harmless ethnic sidekick in the platoon gets killed and everybody cries, and feels patriotic. I haven't even seen the Bollywood movie they made out of Kargil but I'm willing to bet it has a scene like that in it.

By losing 400 men up there where there are no mosques, Hindu temples, Untouchables or sacred cows, India got a huge nation-building boost at zero cost -- a strategic victory out of a minor skirmish.   [More...]

 

The War Nerd writes war reviews for the same reason I write movie reviews: because thinking hard about anything can teach you a little more about how the world works.

***

 

"NRO Rebunks Bush’s Hispanic Share Myth" -- My new VDARE.com column is up. An excerpt:

 

National Review Online ran an article yesterday (Dec. 8th, 2004) by Richard Nadler entitled "Bush’s 'Real' Hispanic Numbers: Debunking the debunkers."

It’s supposed to be an attack on my interpretation of the 2004 presidential election results. But a close reading shows that it largely supports my contention: the President's unlimited open borders plan would both be bad for the Republican Party (by importing more future Democrats than Republicans) and would not make the GOP more popular with current Hispanic voters...

The simplest model of white, Hispanic, and black voting behavior is that voters (at least those who are less than well-to-do and are family-oriented) are on average torn between the Democrats' tax-and-spend policies and the Republicans' family values stances. The poorest ethnic group of voters, blacks, feels they can't afford to waste their vote on semi-symbolic family values issues when they need direct help on bread-and-butter issues. In contrast, the wealthiest ethnic group of voters, whites, can afford to vote for Republicans—both because some are so wealthy that GOP policies like eliminating the inheritance tax are in their self-interest; and because, for the majority, they can afford to vote for family values.

Hispanic voters fall in the middle. Hispanics, overall, are quite poor. But those who are citizens and regular voters tend to be a little better off than blacks, and somewhat more upwardly mobile. They are tempted by the GOP's family values rhetoric. But a large majority feel their pocketbooks demand they vote Democratic.

This suggests that Hispanics are most likely to become Republican voters when, on average, they aren't so poor. The most straightforward way to raise Hispanic average incomes is to stop taking in so many extremely poor Hispanics from south of the border.

(This also has the secondary effect of cutting out the depressing effect on Hispanic wages of the constant arrival of what Marx called "the reserve army of the unemployed" from Mexico.)   [More...]

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#o12

"Oceans' Twelve" -- An excerpt from my review in the Jan. 3, 2004 American Conservative (available in full to electronic subscribers on Saturday)

 

Today ought to be a new golden age of movies. Special effects, cinematography, and sound are all steadily progressing. Audiences can now absorb more rapid editing. Budgets are bigger than ever, averaging $64 million in 2003, so sets and costumes are better than ever. Able character actors are everywhere, and today's big stars have broader skills than their glamorous but repetitious predecessors.

Still, judging from 2004's festival of ineptitude, Hollywood is drifting ever farther from consistent competence. The weak links have been halfbaked scripts. Would-be screenwriters throng workshops, so there should be abundant talent available. Sadly, writers and the producers who hire them have worked themselves into self-defeating ruts.

Most remakes fail because producers commission updatings of over-achieving films, such as Frank Sinatra's "The Manchurian Candidate," where everything clicked. In promising contrast, Sinatra's "Ocean's 11" was a notorious under-achiever. The Rat Pack signed on to play WWII commandos reuniting to knock over five Las Vegas casinos so they could film during the day and croon in the stage shows at night. But they forgot to schedule any snooze time, so they sleepwalked through their roles.

Still, the core concept of an action-comedy caper showcasing male camaraderie was appealing. After Ted Griffin penned a sharp new script for "Oceans Eleven," veteran producer Jerry Weintraub and ace director Steven Soderbergh, an Oscar-winner for "Traffic," had little trouble assembling a killer cast. "Ocean's Eleven" was one of the biggest hits of 2001 with adult audiences, who appreciated its 1940s Howard Hawks feel.

The visual chemistry of the gang's leaders was memorable because Brad Pitt exemplifies the scruffy, boyish-looking stars of post-Sixties pop culture, while George Clooney, who is only three years older but appears to hail from an earlier generation, is a throwback to Clark Gable's era of glamour, when actors tried to look like grown men.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#cvca

An Acquired Taste: The new blog "Across Difficult Country" is hard to describe: perhaps, you could try to imagine Jorge Luis Borges, the War Nerd, and Manhattan Transfer teaming up to impersonate a travel writer. Not work safe, not libel safe, not sanity safe.  But funny.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#chalabic

"The Neocon's Man in Iraq:" I finally put up my never-before-online July 5, 2004 American Conservative article about why the neocons fell so disastrously in love with Ahmed Chalabi.

 

One of the many conundrums revolving around Ahmed Chalabi, that International Man of Mystery, is why so many neoconservatives took seriously his assertions that he was devoted to democracy. In the Wall Street Journal, for example, Seth Lipsky extolled the convicted embezzler as a "democratic visionary." Why did it never occur to them that Chalabi might simply be blowing smoke? More broadly, why hadn't it dawned upon the neocons that their obsession with this kind of ideological declaration is outdated?

Hadn't liberals been embarrassed by megalomaniacal Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutionaries who orated passionately about democracy while they were hiding in the hills, but once in power quickly came to feel: "Hey, we didn't spend all those years in the jungle living on fried iguanas just to be voted out in some maricon election." Hadn't conservatives been burned by the thuggish Jonas Savimbi, the Angolan rebel who said all the right things about elections and free enterprise, but whose murderous behavior seemed to be based on the personal philosophy that: "I am the biggest Big Man, and therefore anyone who gets in the way deserves to step on one of my landmines."

Last February, an Oxford Research survey found that only 0.2 percent of Iraqis consider Chalabi the "leader they trust the most." Yet, the neocons long assumed that a majority in Iraq would vote for a man on the lam from a sentence of 22 years in neighboring Jordan for fraud in the collapse of the Chalabi family's Petra Bank. While the assembled intellects at the American Enterprise Institute might buy Chalabi's rationalization that Saddam framed him, what mattered is that the common people in Jordan, some of whom lost their life savings, didn't. From Jordan, Chalabi's reputation as "Ahmed-the-Thief" filtered into Iraq.

What does Chalabi really want? The simplest guess is that he wants what too many ambitious Iraqis want these days: to be a trillionaire.   [More...]

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#csims

Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons - I finally started the new novel about a freshwoman at a Duke-like university. I had some trepidation since the quality of Wolfe's writing fell off so drastically in the last 100 pages of A Man in Full after the masterful body of the book, presumably due to Wolfe's coronary bypass surgery and his subsequent depression. But Wolfe seems in fine form, not ascending the heights of his amazing "In the Breeding Barn" chapter in A Man in Full, but quite serviceable so far. 

 

And his exultation over finding this great topic -- student life in a modern university -- that nobody important had touched is palpable. A dozen years ago when date rape was a hot topic, I did some research to write a debunking article, but found that naive little me was in over my head, so nothing came of it. One thing I discovered was that the girls most likely to be abused are freshmen living away from home for the first time who want to party with football and basketball players and the top fraternities, but who don't belong to a sorority. Sorority girls, in contrast, have sisters to look out for them when they get drunk and traditions of behavior that can protect them to some extent. Poor Charlotte Simmons, from a hillbilly village in the Blue Ridge mountains, appears to fit this model of a girl headed for trouble.

 

Also, having a teenage girl for the main character solves Wolfe's old problem that while his fascination with and knowledge of fashion and decorating is hugely important to his books, in the manly men he normally writes about, it always seems a little, ahem, gay. Back in the 1960s, Wolfe wrote some brilliant essays about young women, but in the 1970s he became obsessed with physical courage (e.g., The Right Stuff) and lost touch with his ability to write about women, leading to the rather underdeveloped female characters in his two novels. I haven't read enough to see if he's back in touch with his feminine side, but he seems to be off to a good start.

 

Here's John Derbyshire's NRO article on the book.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#natalexp

The "Natalist Movement" Explained: David Brooks' NYT column on "natalism" left me scratching my head: "It's strange that having enough babies to keep the species going needs its own name. What's next? 'Breathingism?'" 

 

The term "natalist" goes back at least to 19th Century France, where the government was correctly worried that the low birth rate of the French was going to put them at a disadvantage on the battlefield against the more fecund Germans. The French government has implemented "pro-natalist" policies ever since. But, obviously, there is virtually nothing in the way of an organized natalist "Movement" in the U.S., as there was in 3rd Republic France. Instead, there is a lot of lower-case movement around the country as people call up moving vans and move to places they hope are better suited for what they want out of life. And it turns out that feelings about having babies are one of the more important sorting mechanisms for where people live and how they vote.

A reader explains:

 

David Brooks comes up with the word for two reasons: publicity and Internet searching.

People may well forget that you identified the relationship first. Especially since you noticed the white aspect of it. But Brooks has labeled it.

You identified a phenomenon. Brooks identified a "movement". "Movements" get press.

Expect Time or Newsweek to talk about the "natalist movement" if your meme has legs (leggy memes, hmmm).

Since Brooks is the one who identified it and gave it a name, however, he is likely to be the one who gets the press when someone performs a Lexis/Nexis or Internet search on "natalism". I can just see him jockeying for position at an editorial meeting, trying to get play for "The New Natalist Movement", and a front-page byline for himself.

As we both know, Brooks is twisting the truth a bit. There is no natalist movement. There is no natalist organization. There is no natalist consciousness. Some folks just like to make babies. That fact, however, is a commonplace, and commonplaces don't sell papers. "The New Natalist Movement" does, however. And David Brooks is the Faith Popcorn of the movement. He will get the credit as the one who first spotted "the movement" in the wild. In his paper will get credit for cracking the story first.

You are not quite old enough, but I remember "The Movement", which to most outsiders was a bunch of college kids smoking dope, dropping out, doing acid, and screwing like bunnies. The guy who labeled it "The Movement" probably got a fair amount of press and bylines.

Hell, if Morris Dees tried to drum up money to get rid of a handful of redneck cranks living in the sticks of Idaho, he wouldn't have gotten a dime. He gets millions, though, for haranguing folks about "The Militia Movement" and "The White Identity Movement".

To satisfy your curiosity, do a search right now for "natalist" on Google. Track the word each day for the next month. See how many times "Brooks" appears in conjunction with "natalist". See how many times "Sailer" appears in conjunction with "natalist". The results would be interesting.

 

In my corporate career, I was a good marketing researcher but a lousy marketer. Obviously, nothing much has changed.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#antis

Anti-Sailerism: There's a classic example of anti-Sailerism over at TAPPED, the blog of The American Prospect by somebody named Garance Franke-Ruta who is in a deep tizzy that David Brooks polluted the pages of the New York Times by citing my "Baby Gap" article. 

 

The defining characteristic of anti-Sailerist diatribes is multitudinous quotations from my writings with no attempt at refutation of the truth of any of them -- the reader is simply supposed to be shocked, SHOCKED that anyone would dare write such politically incorrect things.

 

Sometimes, Franke-Ruta can't even be bothered to quote out of context. I particularly liked that my concluding paragraph was quoted in full:

 

"Nobody noticed that the famous blue-red gap was a white baby gap because the subject of white fertility is considered disreputable. But I believe the truth is better for us than ignorance, lies, or wishful thinking. At least, it’s certainly more interesting."

 

Obviously, by contending that the truth is better for us than ignorance, lies, or wishful thinking, I've condemned myself by my own words in the minds of all of polite society. No refutation of my shocking faux pas is needed. 

Everyone can instantly see how much better the world was back when it basked in reputable ignorance on the question of what drives the red-blue divide.

 

Franke-Ruta seems to be convinced that I drew a correlation between Bush's share of the vote by state and the total fertility of white women by state because I am a racist. No, I did it because I am interested in the facts. I of course also looked at the correlation of Bush's share and the total fertility of all the women in the state, but the r-squared of that nonracial correlation was only 37%, compared to 74% for the correlation between Bush's share and white fertility. For Franke-Ruta's benefit, let me point out that 74% is twice as big as 37%. As for explaining to her what an r-squared is, well, ...

 

The reality is that white fertility correlates with Bush's share of the vote better than total fertility or nonwhite fertility does. 

 

By the way, last weekend I found another demographic factor that correlates even better with Bush's share of the vote. It correlates strongly with fertility, of course, but a simple two factor multiple regression model of white total fertility and the new mystery factor has an astonishing r-squared of 87% with Bush's share. I'll try to write it up for this weekend. Franke-Ruta will be even more aghast.

 

If you want to see some completely apoplectic reactions, check out Atrios. I hope nobody had a stroke. Not a lot of members of the reality-based community there. As far as I can tell, just members of the hate-based community.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#ruta

Franke-Ruta Accused of Racism! Amusingly, Franke-Ruta has herself (himself?) been accused, at vast length, of racism by a civil rights activist organization, who objected intensely to an article she wrote for The American Prospect. (This was discovered by the blog Across Difficult Country.)

 

To read the original indictment of Franke-Ruta's purported racism, go here and scan down to "Special Report: In Attack on Hispanics, American Prospect's Garance Franke-Ruta Is Accused of Journalistic Fraud." I must confess that my eyes glazed over while reading about Franke-Ruta's and The American Prospect's alleged high crimes and insensitivities against Latinos. What I saw of it before nodding off seemed no more persuasive than what she wrote about me.

 

On the other hand, as Across Difficult Country asks, why should the benefit of the doubt be extended to Franke-Ruta if she won't extend it to me? Good question. It's often those who live in the glassiest houses who are most inclined to throw stones to distract from the fragility of their own abodes. 

 

Well, it being the Christmas season, I shall give Franke-Ruta the benefit of the doubt anyway. 

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#tharpe

Scam Watch -- By the way, the Southern Poverty Law Center is on the official Scam Watch of iSteve.com. See Ken Silverstein's Harper's article "The Church of Morris Dees: How the Southern Poverty Law Center profits from intolerance" for the basics on Morris Dees' money machine. And here's leftist Alexander Cockburn's column on the SPLC's money-hungry machinations.

 

Lately, as Morris's moneymaking ambitions have expanded, he has turned to attacking people of the quality of Richard Lamm, the Democratic former three term governor of Colorado. I'm proud to be on Gov. Lamm's side of the ethical chasm between him and Mr. Dees, a member of the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame.

 

Here's something important I hadn't seen before: the revealing statement of Jim Tharpe, the Deputy Metro Editor of the Atlanta Constitution, which he made during a Harvard panel discussion about his experience editing a massive Pulitzer-finalist investigative series on the Southern Poverty Law Center during his days at the Montgomery Advertiser:

 

I’d never done any reporting on nonprofits, I thought they were all good guys, they were mom-and-pop, bake-sale, raise-money-for-the-local-fire-department type operations. I had no idea how sophisticated they were, how much money they raised, and how little access you have to them as a reporter, some of which has already been covered here.

Summary of Findings

Our series was published in 1995 after three years of very brutal research under the threat of lawsuit the entire time.

Our findings were essentially these:

The [Southern Poverty Law] center was building up a huge surplus. It was 50-something million at that time; it’s now approaching 100 million, but they’ve never spent more than 31 percent of the money they were bringing in on programs, and sometimes they spent as little as 18 percent. Most nonprofits spend about 75 percent on programs.

A sampling of their donors showed that they had no idea of the center’s wealth. The charity watchdog groups, the few that are in existence, had consistently criticized the center, even though nobody had reported that.

There was a problem with black employees at what was the nation’s richest civil rights organization; there were no blacks in the top management positions. Twelve out of the 13 black current and former employees we contacted cited racism at the center, which was a shocker to me. As of 1995, the center had hired only two black attorneys in its entire history.

Questionable Fundraising

We also found some questionable fundraising tactics. One of the most celebrated cases the center handled was the case of a young black man, Michael Donald, who was killed by Klansmen in Mobile, Alabama, and his body suspended from a tree, a very grotesque killing. The state tried the people responsible for the murder and several of them ended up on death row, a couple ended up getting life in prison.

The center, after that part of the case took place, sued the Klan organization to which they belonged and won a $7 million verdict. It was a very celebrated verdict in this country. The problem was the people who killed this kid didn’t have any money. What they really got out of it was a $51,000 building that went to the mother of Michael Donald. What the C enter got and what we reported was they raised $9 million in two years using the Donald case, including a mailing with the body of Michael Donald as part of it.

The top center officials, I think the top three, got $350,000 in salaries during that time, and Morris got a movie out of it, a TV movie of the week. I think it was called, "The Morris Dees Story." [Actually, "Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story" with, appropriately enough, Corbin Bernsen (who played sleazy lawyer Arnie Becker on "LA Law") as Morris.]

As I said, being the editor on this series really raised my eyebrows. I never knew anything about nonprofits before this. I thought we would have complete access to their financial records; we didn’t. We had access to 990’s, which Doug mentioned earlier, which tell you very little, but they are a good starting point.

Organizations Monitor Nonprofits

I also learned that there are organizations out there that monitor nonprofits. A couple of these that might be worth your time are the National Charities Information Bureau, the American Institute of Philanthropy, and the Charities Division of the Better Business Bureau. They have rather loose guidelines, I think, for the way nonprofits operated, and even with those guidelines, they had blasted the center repeatedly for spending too little on programs, for the number of minorities in management positions, just very basic stuff that they’d been criticized for but nobody had reported.

The relationship with sources on this story was pretty interesting, because like I said, most of these people were our friends, and as somebody mentioned earlier, these were the disillusioned faithful. They were people who didn’t resign. As I said, most of their jobs simply ran out, but they left the center very disillusioned and very willing to talk about it, although most of them wanted to talk off the record.

That presented a number of problems for us. We did not publish anything in the series unless it was attributed to somebody, but we went beyond that. I think if we had stuck with that tack as the only thing we did in the series, we would have ended up with people at the center could have easily dismissed as disgruntled employees.

By looking at 990’s, what few financial records we did have available, we were able to corroborate much of that information, many of the allegations they had made, the fact that the center didn’t spend very much of its money that it took in on programs, the fact that some of the top people at the center were paid very high salaries, the fact that there weren’t minorities in management positions at the center.

If I had advice for anybody looking into a nonprofit it would be this: It’s the most tenacious story. You have to be more tenacious in your pursuit of these things than anything else I’ve ever been a part of. These guys threatened us with a lawsuit from the moment we asked to look at their financial records.

They were very friendly and cooperative, up until the point where we said, "We want to see the checks you write," and they turned over their 990’s and said, "Come look at these." We said, "We don’t want to see those, we know what those are and we’ve seen them. We actually want to see the checks you write," and they said, "Well, there’s 23,000 checks we’ve written over two years, you don’t possibly have time to look through all those," and we said, "Yes, we do, and we’ll hire an auditor to do it."

First Threats, Eventually No Response to Questions

At that point, they hired an independent attorney. They’re all lawyers, you’ve got to understand. They hired an attorney who began first by threatening me, then my editor, and then the publisher. "And you better be careful of the questions you ask and the stories you come up with," and they would cite the libel law to us. So we were under threat of lawsuit for two years, basically, during the research phase of the series.

They initially would answer our questions in person, as long as they could tape-record it. After we asked about finances, they wanted the questions written down and sent to them in advance, and then finally they said, "We’re tired of you guys, we’re not answering anything else," and they completely cut us off.

We published the series over eight days in 1994, and it had very little effect, actually. I think the center now raises more money than it ever has. [Laughter]

The story really didn’t get out of Montgomery and that’s a real problem. The center’s donors are not in Montgomery; the center’s donors are in the Northeast and on the West Coast. So the story pretty much was contained in Montgomery where it got a shrug-of-the-shoulders reaction. We really didn’t get much reaction at all, I’m sad to say.

One of our editorial writers had an interesting comment on it. I think he stole it from somebody else, but his comment was this: "They came to do good and they’ve done quite well for themselves, and they’ve done even better since the series was published." I’m not sure what the lesson in that is, but don’t assume because a nonprofit has a sterling reputation it’s not worth looking into, and don’t assume when you start looking into it that it’s going to be easy to get the information, because it’s not.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#roeef

The Roe Effect -- James Taranto claims that he knew all about the relationship between white fertility and Republican voting. See, it's the Roe Effect -- future Democrats get aborted, he says.

 

The only problem with this popular idea is that there's little evidence that abortion has a big effect on white fertility -- a 2000 Rand Corporation study found:

 

The white TFR where abortion is legal and Medicaid funding for the procedure available is estimated to be 1.81. Ending Medicaid funding would increase the TFR for whites by 2 percent. Klerman estimates that making abortion illegal would increase white fertility by an additional 3 percent, still below replacement levels.

 

If abortion wasn't convenient, people would have a lot fewer unwanted pregnancies. They really aren't all that hard to avoid.

 

It makes you wonder what the point of legalized abortion is if the great majority of aborted fetuses wouldn't have been conceived without abortion being legalized.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#natal

"Natalism" -- David Brooks writes

 

There is a little-known movement sweeping across the United States. The movement is 'natalism.'

 

It's strange that having enough babies to keep the species going needs its own name. What's next? "Breathingism?"

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#reddiaper

My "Baby Gap" article makes the New York Times:

 

The New Red-Diaper Babies
By DAVID BROOKS

Published: December 7, 2004

There is a little-known movement sweeping across the United States. The movement is "natalism."

All across the industrialized world, birthrates are falling - in Western Europe, in Canada and in many regions of the United States. People are marrying later and having fewer kids. But spread around this country, and concentrated in certain areas, the natalists defy these trends.

They are having three, four or more kids. Their personal identity is defined by parenthood. They are more spiritually, emotionally and physically invested in their homes than in any other sphere of life, having concluded that parenthood is the most enriching and elevating thing they can do. Very often they have sacrificed pleasures like sophisticated movies, restaurant dining and foreign travel, let alone competitive careers and disposable income, for the sake of their parental calling.

In a world that often makes it hard to raise large families, many are willing to move to find places that are congenial to natalist values. The fastest-growing regions of the country tend to have the highest concentrations of children. Young families move away from what they perceive as disorder, vulgarity and danger and move to places like Douglas County in Colorado (which is the fastest-growing county in the country and has one of the highest concentrations of kids). Some people see these exurbs as sprawling, materialistic wastelands, but many natalists see them as clean, orderly and affordable places where they can nurture children.

If you wanted a one-sentence explanation for the explosive growth of far-flung suburbs, it would be that when people get money, one of the first things they do is use it to try to protect their children from bad influences.

So there are significant fertility inequalities across regions. People on the Great Plains and in the Southwest are much more fertile than people in New England or on the Pacific coast.

You can see surprising political correlations. As Steve Sailer pointed out in The American Conservative, George Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates, and 25 of the top 26. John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest rates.   [More...]

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#ptrap

"Baby Gap" vs. "Parent Trap" -- Here's the New Republic's article "Parent Trap" by my neighbor Joel Kotkin and William Frey. Fairly similar, although they didn't come up with the killer statistics that I did about Bush carrying 25 of the top 26 states because they look at overall fertility rather than white fertility, which is the key variable. The average number of babies per white woman in a state accounts for 74% of the variation in Bush's share, but the fertility for all women only accounts for 37%.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#kinse

Kinsey -- John Zmirak has a long review of the new movie and the real life man, which I haven't seen yet. For strong stomachs...

 

I've long resented Dr. Kinsey because he gives a bad name to sex researchers. The unanswered question about his life is whether he became a sex researcher because he was an omnisexual pervert or did he become an omnisexual pervert because he was a sex researcher. In either case, his life story was bad for the reputation of a legitimate and important field. 

 

By the way, before conducting the big sex study of 4,300 people published in the book "Sex in America" (which turned out to be the anti-Kinsey Report, showing that married couples were having the most and best sex ... with each other, and a lot of other not very lascivious findings), the U. of Chicago researchers put a lot of work into finding out the best kind of interviewers. They found an overwhelming preference among all segments of society for being interviewed about intimate matters by middle-aged white ladies. Kinsey, instead, hired enthusiastic young men, who used their jobs as an excuse to run amok.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#salinases

Brother of ex-Presidente murdered in Mexico:

 

Enrique Salinas, the youngest brother of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, was found dead in a car on the outskirts of Mexico City on Monday, with a plastic bag tied over his head in an apparent murder, officials said. Authorities said there indications that Salinas had been killed as part of an attempt to extort him or get information out of him. "Generally, if you put a bag over someone's head, you're often not trying to kill them, but rather extort them or get some information out of them," said Alfonso Navarrete Prida, the attorney general of the State of Mexico, which abuts Mexico City and where the body was found.

 

Do you get the feeling that this attorney general sounds like he has first-hand experience with putting plastic bags over people's heads?

 

Ah, the Salinas family... Life has been dreary without them in the news. If you want to read about the exploits of Carlos and his brother Raul (a.k.a., "Mr. 10%," for his demand that all contracts with the Mexican government include a 10% kickback to the Salinas family), here's my VDARE article

 

The Salinases were great friends of the Bushes. For example, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush vacationed three times with his family on Raul's ranch, perhaps to further educate young George P. on how Presidential relatives should behave. Raul is now doing 27 years in the slammer for having his ex-brother-in-law, the PRI chairman, murdered. Raul's wife was arrested in Switzerland while trying to remove $94 million in cash from their safe deposit box.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#vindic

New VDARE.com column at left on my vindication by AP and NBC over the exit poll's inflated share of Hispanics for Bush. 

 

I've been on a hot streak since mid-October with four quantitative scoops:

 

1. Kerry's IQ

2. Debunking the Blue-Red State IQ hoax

3. Showing the baby gap correlates with the Blue-Red gap

4. Debunking the inflated exit poll

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#hotfl

Maureen Dowd's latest menopausal hot flash

 

I've never said this out loud before, but I can't stand Christmas. Everyone in my family loves it except me, and they can't fathom why I get the mullygrubs, as a Southern friend of mine used to call a low-level depression, from Thanksgiving straight through New Year.

"You're weird," my mom says. This from a woman who once left up our Christmas tree until April 3, and who listens to a radio station that plays carols 24/7 all month.

My equally demonic sister has a whole collection of rodents dressed in holiday clothes that she puts up around her house... My mom and sister both blissfully sat through "It's a Wonderful Life" again on Thanksgiving weekend, while even hearing a mere snatch of that movie makes me want to scarf down a fistful of antidepressants - and join all the other women in America who are on a holiday high - except our family doctor is a Scrooge about designer drugs, leaving me to self-medicate as Clarence gets his wings with extra brandy in the eggnog.

I've given a lot of thought to why others' season of joy is my season of doom ... I think it has to do with how stressed out my mom and sister would get on Christmas Day when I was little. I remember them snapping at me; they seemed tense because of all the aprons to be sashed and potatoes to be mashed. (In our traditional Irish household, women slaved and men were waited on.)

It might be exacerbated by the stress I feel when I think of all the money I've spent on lavishing boyfriends with presents over the years, guys who are now living with other women who are enjoying my lovingly picked out presents which I'm no doubt still paying for in credit card interest charges.

 

Much of the appeal of feminism, like a lot of other 20th Century intellectuals' fads like Freudianism, consists of trying to persuade others to become as unhappy as you are. Nothing drives liberals crazier than seeing their less intelligent relatives grow up to be happier than they are. The great curse of Maureen's life is that she was the smart one in the family, the one who believed what smart people were supposed to believe, while her brothers and sisters believed all the politically conservative, socially traditional stuff that dumb people believe. Unfortunately, just like they predicted, they ended up happier than her. 

 

Fortunately, she has her bully pulpit from which to try to lure others into her mistakes. It won't maker her any happier, but it will make her feel more fashionable.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#verybarry

Barry Bonds told the grand jury he unwittingly used Balco's steroids -- Sure, Barry, whatever you say.

 

Here's Barry's batting performance by age (as of July 1), using the Baseball Reference's single best hitting statistic, Adjusted OPS. The average hitter is a 100. To reach 200 for a single season is out of the reach of most Hall of Famers (Hank Aaron and Willie Mays never did it). As you can see, Barry reached his first peak, achieving 205 and 206, in 1992-93 when he was 27 and 28, which is the typical peak age for a ballplayer. He then declined slowly, as is conventional, to a still outstanding 162 at age 34 in 1999. The next year he bounced back up to 191, which is a little suspicious but hardly impossible for somebody who was already one of the top 20 or so greatest ballplayers of all time, and arguably top 10. Then, from the age of 36 through 39 he went on a four-year tear averaging 257, which is better than Babe Ruth's single best season (1920) of 255, when he was 25. Ted Williams had a 233 when he was 38 but his surrounding seasons weren't too close to that. Bonds' last four seasons include the three best offensive seasons in the history of baseball. That just ain't natural.

 

age Avg=100
21 103
22 114
23 147
24 125
25 170
26 161
27 205
28 206
29 182
30 168
31 186
32 170
33 177
34 162
35 191
36 262
37 275
38 231
39 260

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#unacco

Unaccountability -- As I said just before the voting, the election was all about accountability. If you wanted more of what we got over the last four years, then vote for Mr. Bush. The President clearly agrees with my analysis that the voters have ringingly endorsed unaccountability, and he appears determined to give the public what it voted for, in spades. He just re-hired that author of countless mistakes, Donald Rumsfeld (my favorite: equating looting with freedom in the immediate aftermath of the Iraq conquest, instead of ordering our victorious troops to shoot looters). 

 

But, you are probably saying, Rumsfeld is an amateur in the screw-up department compared to the #3 man at the Pentagon, Douglas Feith. So, what will be the fate of Sergeant Snafu? Well, Newsday reports, "Feith was reported earlier this week to have told his staff he was staying."

 

A reader writes:

 

Bush can't be so stupid as to think Iraq is a victory much less a political plus. Thus, he is simply practicing the old "we all hang together or separately" tactic. If he fired the Neocons and their tool (Rummy) they would turn on him and he'd be finished. So, he needs them to "cover up" the disaster that is Iraq.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#fbispy

The election's over, so the FBI is back to chasing spies: The FBI conducted a "massive" 6 hour raid on the headquarters of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Wednesday, after a long hiatus in pursuing Neocongate presumably mandated by the Bush administration while the election was going on. You've got to admire the patriots in the FBI who keep pushing this investigation even though 95% of the politicians in Washington want this case to vanish.

***

 

The full text of my important article on "The Baby Gap" is now up on the American Conservative website.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#shotdown

1973: The demise of the shotgun wedding -- Here's a new Census Bureau graph on the increasing median age of first marriages. Graphs like this are misleading because by starting in 1950, they don't show that the immediate post-War decades were anomalous. Before WWII, the average age of first marriages had been higher, but after the War, the abundance of union jobs paying a living wage to very young men allowed the age of first marriage to hit an all-time low. In general, Europe has been a fairly late marriage civilization (compared to the Chinese or Indians) since pre-Christian times.

The age of first marriage for women crept upward after 1960, perhaps due to increasing levels of higher education for women. But the marriage age for men had stayed right at 23 until about 1973, after which it shot upwards for about two decades before stabilizing at around 27. Indeed, if I had to guess the very day the average age of marriage for men started to rise, I'd put my money on Jan. 22, 1973, the day the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade.

There's a lot of other evidence that what we think of as The Sexual Revolution of the Sixties didn't actually happen on a mass scale until about 1973. And the likeliest single reason it happened then is Roe v. Wade.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#rockdown

More on the Decline of Rock: A reader writes:

 

My personal theory about the decline of rock-- record company profits are not perfectly correlated with record sales.  If a group becomes too popular (say Led Zeppelin circa 1976) they can get a better deal for themselves and reduce the margins of the companies.  Ergo, record companies pursue a series of disposable acts rather than nurture those of the highest quality.  (Nothing wrong with it, just smart business.)  Disco, boy bands, and rap are producer driven and hence ideal forms for the record execs.  The Clash, Stones, and Grateful Dead are bad investments.

 

The Clash used to drive their record label nuts by insisting on lower than usual suggested retail prices for their records. 

 

I don't know enough about the music industry to say if this is true, but this economic logic has almost killed off the sit-com, with reality TV starring amateurs replacing it.  The supporting cast of Seinfeld showed just how much leverage even lesser stars had when they got paid about $22 million apiece for the final season. Supposedly, NBC offered Jerry Seinfeld personally $5 million per episode or $110 million to do one additional season (on top of the $66 million in salaries the other three would split, showing the top-rated show would still be profitable even if it paid out $176 million in salaries annually), but he turned it down, saying he had enough money. (Jason Alexander claims Seinfeld has made a billion dollars total in royalties on his ownership of the show.) Likewise, the six member cast of Friends made about a million dollars apiece per episode or $132 million per year (or $143 million if Jennifer Aniston really did get an additional $500,000 per episode. 

 

Or, you can hire some attractive but anonymous exhibitionists each year for your reality series and promise [portentuous pause, in the manner of Dr. Evil threatening world leaders] one million dollars to the winner!

***

 

No Surprise, Again: "Endurance running is in east Africans' genes" says the New Scientist. Christopher Orlet has more in the American Spectator.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#giambis

No surprise: The New York Yankee's slugging (but now sick) first baseman Jason Giambi is revealed by the San Francisco Chronicle to be a steroid user. 

 

Last summer, I pointed out that the much acclaimed philosophical revolution in baseball player evaluations pioneered by author Bill James and first put into practice by Oakland general manager Billy Beane (under whom Giambi suddenly leapt to superstardom) had a downside: it particularly valued the kind of accomplishments (homeruns and walks) that could be significantly boosted by taking steroids.

 

"Sabremetricians" have long derided the bestowing of the 2001 American League MVP award on Seattle's singles-hitter Ichiro Suzuki instead of Giambi. From a statistical point of view, this critique was flawless, but from the perspective of the health of baseball, it was all wrong: Giambi was obviously just another steroid abusing Mark McGwire clone, while Ichiro was a unique talent. 

 

This year, Giambi's health broke down, quite possibly because of steroid and human growth hormone abuse, while Ichiro, at age 30 broke George Sisler's ancient record for most hits in a season.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#adlai56

An extraordinary change in politics: I've discovered something I am almost flabbergasted by concerning how much Presidential politics has changed since the 1950s. 

 

I've mentioned before how stable the election results by state and by demographic group were from 2000 to 2004. Bush's share of the vote in 2004 by state correlated at the 0.98 level with his performance in 2000. What that means is that if you spent November in a cave and just surfaced today and asked "What happened in the election?" you could be 96% (that's 0.98 squared) accurate in guessing Bush's share in each state with just three kinds of information: his 2000 performance, his new intercept (start Bush off 3.9 percentage points higher), and his new slope (for each 10 percentage points his 2000 share goes up per state, his 2004 share goes up 9.77 percentage points). For example, if he earned a 50% share in a particular state last time, you would expect him to earn 52.7 points this time (3.9 + (5 * 9.77).

 

So, how does the stability from 2000 to 2004 compare to elections in the past? The impact of third party candidates makes it somewhat difficult to compare seemingly similar pairs of elections, such as the President's father's campaigns in 1988 and 1992. The correlation of Bush41's share in 1988 to 1992 on a state-by-state basis was only .83 (71%), but, perhaps, the intervention of Ross Perot, who captured 19% of the vote, had something to do with that.

 

The cleanest comparison to 2000 and 2004 is the 1952 and 1956 elections, which twice in a row matched up Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson. You would think that the results would have been almost identical from 1952 to 1956, but they correlated only at the 0.78 level, meaning you could only be 61% accurate at plotting Eisenhower's 1956 results knowing his 1952 results and Eisenhower's intercept and slope for 1956. In other words, there was hugely more shifting at the state level between 1952 and 1956 than between 2000 and 2004.

 

Eisenhower's overall share grew 2.3 points from 1952 to 1956, only a little less than Bush's improvement from 2000 to 2004, but Ike's share fell in 19 of 48 states. In contrast, Bush lost share in only 2 of 51 states (although this may change slightly as final vote counts come in).

 

Were voters in 1956 much more sensitive to the actual policies advocated by the candidates, and how they would affect their states, and thus more likely to change their votes as both candidates altered their stance on issues to try to appeal more broadly? In contrast, did voters in 2004 vote not so much on the issues as on which (relatively unchanging) part of society they wished to affirm their membership in?

 

By the way, the correlation between Eisenhower's share by states in 1952 and Bush's in 2004 is -0.01, or utterly random.

 

Here are the r-squareds for state-by-state correlations for the last eight elections. For 1992 and 1996, I've laid out the correlations both with the GOP candidate by himself and with the GOP candidate plus Perot (i.e., the non-Democratic share of the vote). There seems to be an upward trend over time for elections to become more stable, although 1984 to 1988 was 88%, which is low only compared to 2000 to 2004 (96%). The 1992 and 1996 elections were somewhat perturbed by Perot and by Clinton, who had a certain amount of Southern appeal.

 

R-Sqd 1984 1988 1992 1992 1996 1996 2000
Reagan Bush Bush Bush Dole Dole Bush
+ Perot +Perot
1988 Bush 88%
1992 Bush 59% 71%
1992 Bush+Perot 84% 68% 53%
1996 Dole 68% 68% 75% 67%
1996 Dole+Perot 77% 70% 66% 83% 93%
2000 Bush 70% 64% 66% 68% 89% 93%
2004 Bush 72% 66% 72% 69% 88% 91% 96%

***

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#tbop

The Decline and Fall of the American Teenybopper: For about a quarter of a century in the middle of the last century, adolescent girls had a superb sense for recognizing the next big thing in pop musical greatness, going crazy over Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Michael Jackson long before any other demographic segments did . For example, back in 1944 when my late mother-in-law was 14, she put on her bobby-sox and took the El down to the Chicago Loop at 9am to see Sinatra sing for 15 minutes. Sinatra was so popular with bobby-soxers then that he did something like eleven shows a day.

 

Then, something happened and teenyboppers stopped being able to sense greatness: they were into Bobby Sherman, the Bay City Rollers, and the Backstreet Boys. I think there were several causes: 

 

First, teenyboppers' judgment was at its best during stylistic innovations such as the invention of rock and roll in the mid-Fifties and the British Invasion in the mid-Sixties. In contrast, there has been little stylistic innovation since the second half of the 1970s, which saw the popularization of disco, rap, punk, and the various "new wave" styles. My son listens to LA's "New Rock" station KROQ, but just about everything they play could have been created in 1982.

 

Second, the way you become a legend with the people who write about popular music -- who are, overwhelmingly, adult males -- is by making music for adult males. Thus, Sinatra took control of his music-making in 1953 and ascended to a new level of sophistication, as did the Beatles in 1965-1967, and the Stones, too, lagging, as always, a little behind the Beatles. As an artist, Presley's weakness was the he was just too nice a guy, too polite and compliant, and never took control of his own artistry, allowing himself to be pushed around by Col. Parker and other mediocrities, although his brief 1968 comeback, which produced "Suspicious Minds" and "Burnin' Love" indicates what he was capable of.

 

Bob Dylan, however, showed that you could bypass the teeny-bopper stage of your career and go right for the critics. 

 

Third, various impresarios discovered that rather than wait around for some raw genius to strike sparks with teenyboppers, you could manufacture bands that would push young girls' buttons in a Pavlovian fashion.

 

Fourth, as the search intensified for male singers who could function as unthreatening "practice boyfriends" for young girls, regular guys like Sinatra, who was in his mid-20s when the teeny-boppers discovered him and was definitely not the ideal "practice boyfriend," were shunted aside for more specialized types. What impresarios look for in teenybopper idols are males who seem younger than they actually are, but they are less likely to grow up to appeal to adult males.

 

A reader writes:

 

I dunno bout your theory but I have my own observations. Somewhere in the 70s there started increased specialization. Whereas in the past both boys and girls listened to the same bands. Like in the 80s you had hair bands that strongly appealed to guys but not so much girls. And this trend only got stronger culminating with Nirvana. Which is ironic because Kurt Cobain hated the people who loved his music the most, that is, testosterone addled teen males. But also rap, doesn't appeal much to girls, but a lot of guys love it.

I think it would be impossible to have a super-act like the Beatles today. The market is segmented too much to have such a band dominate. Is this good or bad? I dunno, it just is.

 

Right. A band like The Clash, which has the #8 album on Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 albums of all time, with London Calling, has a very specific market niche -- high IQ males interested in politics as well as music, which pretty well defines rock critics. But it's hard to get girls interested in The Clash. The gender divisions have only gotten deeper since then. For example, back in 1982 KROQ played lots of girl groups, like The Go-Gos, including some goofy novelty hits, like Toni Basil's cheerleader chant "Hey, Mickey," but today, even though, the general style of the music has barely changed, the only girl group on the regular rotation is No Doubt, and the mix is aimed overwhelmingly at boys.

***

 

http://www.iSteve.com/04DecA.htm#drjerk

Sherwin Nuland slams Fox's "House, M.D." for portraying a doctor who is a jerk and Colby Cosh slams back -- The premise of the new show starring Hugh Laurie is: Wouldn't it be cool if every hospital had a Greg Cochran on staff for diagnosing the really hard cases -- an irascible genius who has personally been burned by other doctors' incompetence at diagnosis and now won't let anything, including reputation, civility, and other people's self-esteem -- get in the way of figuring out what the damn disease is?

 

Everybody has stories abut doctors' incompetence at diagnosis. Personally, back in 1997 I had a board-licensed M.D. feel a hot dog-sized tumor growing out of my armpit and tell me, "Don't worry about it. It's probably just a muscle pull." But he was a nice guy! In contrast, the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma expert I eventually went to who had access to a life-saving cutting edge experimental monoclonal antibody treatment was a jerk, but I'm alive today, seven years later. Thank you, Dr. Jerk!

***

 

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