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November 16-30, 2004 Archive



More "Baby Gap:" Ethan Herdrick has built a new U.S. map adding the pregnancy and abortion statistics to the Bush vote and white fertility numbers. 


(Keep in mind that the pregnancy, abortion, and live birth numbers are for all races, and there are big differences in the abortion rate with blacks having the most, Hispanics in between, and whites the fewest.)


One important question that I don't have a grip on yet is whether the higher abortion rate in blue states is causing their lower birth rate. It sounds obvious, right? But, there's another, even more disturbing possibility, which is that a pro-abortion culture simply encourages carelessness, leading to far more unplanned pregnancies that would occur if people didn't expect to use abortion as a back-up plan.




The Upside of a Dynasty: Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's 29-year-old son Patrick has enlisted in the Army, shortly after getting his MBA from the U. of Chicago. I've written in the past about how the Daleys take seriously the concept of a dynasty, which includes making investments that will pay off in family prestige decades down the road. This is an example of old-fashioned noblesse oblige that will probably redound to the benefit of the next generation of Daleys when one of them runs for mayor. 


I haven't heard of any other politician's son enlisting, however. If the President's nephew George P. Bush is serious about running for President someday, he should enlist.



Daniel McCarthy on the politics of Oliver Stone's Alexander -- Here's a highly informative overview from LewRockwell.com of Stones' left-neocon Hitchensian take on Alexander the Great. Lot's of useful historical perspective on Alexander too.



The War Nerd's new column is a long one about who is in a worse quagmire: Russian in Chechnya or America in Iraq.




The Importance of the Baby Gap Is Growing: In my American Conservative article, I pointed out the extraordinarily high correlation between Bush's share of the vote by state in 2004 and the states' total fertility rate (estimated average number of babies lifetime) for white women in 2002: 0.86. You square that number to get the percentage of the variation in Bush's share predictable from the fertility rate: 74%. Has this always been the key to explaining the outcome of Presidential elections by state?


To find out, I've gone back into the National Center for Health Statistics document (warning: it's a big PDF), and pulled out the corresponding white TFRs for 1995 and 1990. (I couldn't find the figures for other years). If we use the 1990 white fertility rates by state and compare them to George H.W. Bush's share of the vote by state in his 1988 victory over another Democrat from Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, then the correlation, while still strong, is significantly lower than in recent years: r=0.71, r-squared=51% versus the 74% in 2004. So, fertility by state was only about 70% as strong a factor 16 years ago compared to this year's election. The Baby Gap has always been a big deal, but it's turning into a bigger deal.


Bush the Elder's correlation with the 1990 TFRs dropped sharply in 1992 down to an r-squared of only 28%, but that was mostly because of Ross Perot's strong run. If we sum Bush's and Perot's shares, the R-squared goes back up to 59%, up from 51%. 


Dole was up to 61% in 1996, correlated with the 1995 TFRs, and Dole + Perot was at 68%. 


Bush the Younger hit 73% in 2000 versus the 2002 TFRs, and 74% in 2004. 


Election Share of Vote Non-Hispanic White Total Fertility Rate  r  r-Squared
2004 Bush 2002 NHW TFR        0.86 74%
2000 Bush 2002 NHW TFR        0.85 73%
1996 Dole + Perot 1995 NHW TFR        0.82 68%
1996 Dole 1995 NHW TFR        0.78 61%
1992 Bush + Perot 1990 NHW TFR        0.77 59%
1992 Perot 1990 NHW TFR        0.53 28%
1992 Bush 1990 NHW TFR        0.53 28%
1988 Bush 1990 NHW TFR        0.71 51%


Another question is whether changes in fertility per state are driving changes in voting behavior by state? The answer appears to be: a little, but not a huge amount. The correlation between change in white TFR from 1990 to 2000 and change in Republican share of the vote from 1988 to 2004 is only 0.31 or 9%. 


However, if this was weighted by population size of the states, it might be more impressive because of the huge change in California. Nationally, white fertility is down 1% from 1990 to 2002, but in California, it plummeted 14%. From 1988 to 2004, the GOP candidate's share of the vote dropped 2 percentage points nationally, but 7 points in California.


Generally speaking, white fertility from 1990 to 2002 has dropped the most in the Far West and upper New England. It has grown the most in Washington D.C., New Jersey, and Connecticut. My guess is that the big drop in crime with the end of the crack epidemic made the cost of insulating children a little less in those densely populated areas. 




I am vindicated: As you no doubt know, I've been scoffing for weeks at the NEP exit poll's claim that Bush won 44% of the Hispanic vote. My first VDARE article after the election focused on the implausibility of the exit poll's claim that Bush's share grew from 43% to 59% in Texas. I wrote:


"I can't find much evidence in the actual vote totals to support the idea that Bush won even a majority of Hispanics in Texas, much less 59 percent."


Now, the Associated Press has announced:


Correction: Texas Exit Poll Glance
Mon Nov 29, 5:13 PM ET
By The Associated Press

In the Nov. 3 BC-ELN--Texas Glance and BC-TX Exit-Poll Excerpts, The Associated Press overstated President Bush's support among Texas Hispanics. Under a post-election adjustment by exit poll providers Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, 49 percent of Hispanics in the state voted for Bush, not a majority. The revised result does not differ to a statistically significant degree from Bush's 43 percent support among Texas Hispanics in a 2000 exit poll.

The revised BC-TX-Exit-Poll Excerpts showed that 20 percent, not 23 percent, of all Texas voters were Hispanic. They voted 50 percent for Kerry and 49 percent for Bush, not 41-59 Kerry-Bush. 


That reduction of 10 points in Texas would appear to knock almost 2 points off Bush's national Hispanic share by itself, and the reduction in the Hispanic share of the Texas vote from 23% to 20% would reduce Bush's national Hispanic share as well. Then, there are the other problems with the Hispanic share that I highlighted in my two subsequent VDARE columns (second and third). My estimate remains that the real Hispanic result was Kerry 60% - Bush 39%.




The Rise and Fall of Rock and Roll -- Rolling Stone magazine put together a panel of mostly Baby Boomer music establishment big shots and they came up with a list of the the top 500 rock and roll songs of all time. Rolling Stone's list was suspiciously "rolling stone"-centric, with #1 being Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," #2 being "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones, and the oldest song on the list was "Rollin' Stone" by Muddy Waters.


The top of the list is weighted toward songs that espouse some heavy ideas, man (e.g., John Lennon's "Imagine" is #3 -- is that really a rock and roll song?), but the list improves once you get past the pompous top 50 and ultimately includes an awful lot of fun stuff. 


Obviously, it's weighted toward songs from the good old days, but I pretty much have to agree with its biases, so I thought I'd chart The Rise and Fall of Rock and Roll from 1948 to 2003. I think its an interesting example of the dynamics of an art form over time, and lots of other art forms would trace somewhat similar patterns of rise, fall, revival, and decadence.


The table below shows for each year the number of songs that made the Top 500 and their aggregate "points" based on their rankings. (Points are calculated by subtracting Ranking from 501. Thus "Like a Rolling Stone" gets 500 points [501-1], while #500, Boston's "More than a Feeling," gets 1 point (501-500]). The annus mirabilis of 1965 has the most songs on the list of any year (35), but it really stands out because it has so many high ranking songs, with "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Satisfaction" accounting for 999 points between them. The last column is a simple graphical representation of how many points in the year.


You can see that rock and roll really got started in 1954, reached a peak during Elvis's golden years of 1956-1957. Then it faded and puttered along until 1963, really taking off during the British Invasion of 1964, reaching an all-time high of creativity in 1965. It remained very strong through 1969, then at a lower but still credible plateau through 1973. The notorious mid-1970s slump actually consisted of two very weak years, 1974 and 1976 sandwiching a decent 1975. The punk-new wave year of 1977 only registers as a blip in an overall downward descent. That generation had good years again in 1979-80, but quickly burned out. Nothing much happened in the 1980s, and even the much-hyped Grunge year of 1991 turned out to be mostly the great Nirvana and a supporting cast of nobodies. After 1991, the voters can barely remember any songs.


I'm sure the poor showing of recent years is partly caused by the age bias of the voters, but there is a lot of evidence that kids these days aren't as interested in music as the previous generations. Movies, TV, and videogames are outcompeting music compared to back in the day. When I was an undergraduate from 1976 to 1980, we almost never went to first run movies during the school year, almost nobody had a TV in their dorm room, and videogames weren't introduced in bars until about 1980, and nobody had their own. And we didn't have the Internet. But we all had stereos and we went to a lot of rock concerts.


Year # of Songs  Points 

 Points Graphed 

1948 1         42  X 
1949 1        390  X 
1950 0          -  
1951 0          -  
1952 0          -  
1953 2        537  X 
1954 7     2,285  XXX 
1955 7     1,970  XX 
1956 20     6,377  XXXXXXX 
1957 19     5,210  XXXXXX 
1958 11     2,931  XXX 
1959 5     1,776  XX 
1960 12     2,704  XXX 
1961 10     2,227  XXX 
1962 6     1,720  XX 
1963 11     3,665  XXXX 
1964 23     6,161  XXXXXXX 
1965 35   11,347  XXXXXXXXXXXX 
1966 31     7,809  XXXXXXXX 
1967 27     6,569  XXXXXXX 
1968 24     7,613  XXXXXXXX 
1969 25     6,721  XXXXXXX 
1970 22     4,271  XXXXX 
1971 20     5,185  XXXXXX 
1972 15     3,720  XXXX 
1973 18     3,101  XXXX 
1974 6     1,344  XX 
1975 16     3,740  XXXX 
1976 8     1,695  XX 
1977 15     3,489  XXXX 
1978 9     1,152  XX 
1979 13     2,771  XXX 
1980 8     2,231  XXX 
1981 1         24  X 
1982 7     1,727  XX 
1983 8     1,889  XX 
1984 8     1,534  XX 
1985 1         15  X 
1986 4        570  X 
1987 9     1,561  XX 
1988 2        677  X 
1989 9     1,780  XX 
1990 1        339  X 
1991 7     1,711  XX 
1992 2        363  X 
1993 3        429  X 
1994 3        272  X 
1995 1        125  X 
1996 2        250  X 
1997 2        364  X 
1998 0          -  
1999 0          -     
2000 1        211  X 
2001 0          -     
2002 1        335  X 
2003 1        321  X 


A reader writes:


The secret of the great pop music of the late 50s and the 1960s is that the boys let the girls buy the records and pick the concerts. It worked sort of like the 19th Century invention of the novel. Women have better taste.


Teenyboppers did have good taste for a long time -- they were the first to idolize Sinatra, Presley, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. But, that streak seems to have run out at some point, and since then they have gone nuts over Bobby Sherman, the Bay City Rollers, the Backstreet Boys, etc. I've never heard a good explanation for this change.




Cover of American Conservative magazine, Dec. 20, 2004: "The Baby Gap: Beyond Red and Blue "  by Steve Sailer

More reader responses to my article "The Baby Gap:"



Adam Carstens looked up some useful information in the General Social Survey database. He found that for incomes below $50k (in 1998), white Republicans only have a very small advantage in number of children over white Democrats. But at higher incomes, Republicans have significantly more children. For example, white "Strong Republicans" with incomes of $50k or more average 2.16 children versus 1.62 children for white Democrats of either "Strong" or "Not Strong" fervency of the same income range. That's 1/3 more children. 


At $90k and above, "Strong Republicans"  average 2.47 children versus 2.04 kids for "Not Strong Republicans," and 1.56 for Democrats as a whole. The sample sizes are little small for slicing and dicing too narrowly, but the pattern seems apparent.



Readers write:


The only county-level natality data (SPSS or SAS) I know of is Local Area Summary Data Files, but you have to be a member of an ICPSR-affiliated institution to download it, or you have to be affiliated with institutions that have the data like UCLA.


Anybody know how I can get my hands on this data?



I wonder if it is possible to merge your lifetime fertility theory with some data about domestic migration. I have long believed that the profound domestic migration southward and westward is disproportionately made up of people prone to vote Republican (simplistically, it seems quite likely that the union workers, government workers and blacks stay behind). My guess would be that those moving consist of large corporation employees (dozens of Fortune 500 companies have moved to Texas and Georgia) and the small business entrepreneurs that spring up to service them. And guess what--the women have subordinated their careers to that the husbands can have the necessary career mobility.



You mention in passing how the cost of private schools factor into attutudes in the South, and you're correct that most whites, especially those dedicated to education, find public schools unacceptable. Part of it is that public schools have become vehicles for social engineering rather than education, and there's also less geographic distance between social classes or races than elsewhere. Tracking might offer a solution, but the educational profession won't permit it and the stakes of ending in the wrong track are just too high. While wealthy, professionals with bright, well-adjusted children might take the risk, most people won't; as you say, people want to keep their daughter's off the pole and their son's out of trouble. So I've noticed lot of working class families work an extra job to pay for tuition at a private academy, and the local academy where I live is a lot more diverse in terms of income and parental education level than the private schools my children attended in the Northeast.

Health insurance is another big issue that's as important as private schools. Few jobs provide family coverage, and the employee contribution for a family eats into monthly salary. While I haven't done the numbers, it would be interesting to see (1) whether the cost is constant across the country and (2) how it relates to average salaries in different regions. Self-employed people and small businesses have a very hard time with insurance. Living without insurance risks catastrophic costs in case of major surgery. While young singles may run the risk when they're healthy and getting by with low salaries as they enter the professional work force, its just not the sort of thing responsible parents do. And the whole point of your article is that middle class parents have middle class standards and aspirations for the children.

The cost structure of housing, health care, and schooling (including college, because there's a vast gap between institutions that have competitive and non-competitive admissions) provides a massive disincentive for families to have children. Indeed, it makes having a family a potential step toward downward social mobility unless you have two upper-end professional salaries. How can this be fixed? Or does everyone have to live in Idaho and homeschool?



Maureeen Dowd's siblings and the Baby Gap: Nicely illustrating my new article "The Baby Gap: Explaining Red and Blue," snippy NYT columnist Maureen Dowd lets her ultra-Republican brother write her column for her. Maureen, of course, is an unmarried 52-year-old liberal woman who lives in Washington D.C. (average number of babies per white woman: 1.1; not coincidentally, Bush's share of the vote: 9%). The underlying theme running through her writing is her desperate effort to silence the little voice in her head that tells her she has wasted her life by not getting married and having babies.


Maureen comes from what I presume is a big Irish Catholic family (she's a 1973 graduate of Catholic U.) and her brothers and sisters are staunchly Republican. Her brother Kevin, a salesman, writes:


My wife and I picked our sons' schools based on three criteria: 1) moral values 2) discipline 3) religious maintenance - in that order. We have spent an obscene amount of money doing this and never regretted a penny. Last week on the news, I heard that the Montgomery County school board voted to include a class with a 10th-grade girl demonstrating how to put a condom on a cucumber and a study of the homosexual lifestyle. The vote was 6-0. I feel better about the money all the time.


Now, if only Kevin lived in suburban Virginia (a red state) instead of suburban Maryland (a blue state), the Dowd clan would fit my thesis perfectly. 



One important point that I might not have made hugely clear in my article is that this red-blue fertility breakdown probably works even better at the county level than at the state level that I used. All  states are a mix of urban, suburban, exurban, small town, and purely rural counties, so all we can do at the state-level is look at a continuum from blue Rhode Island at one end of the density scale to red Alaska at the other end. The one exception is purely urban Washington D.C., which is off by itself with an ultra-low white fertility and ultra-low Bush percentage. It's probably fairly representative of big cities, although it suspect it's a bit of a caricature. 


If you know where I could find fertility or family size data by county, please let me know.



Reponses to my article "The Baby Gap:" (see below for an excerpt from my article)


One thing that I find very frustrating is the way journalists use statistics to create an argument.


- Fertility rate: the number of children born to women of child bearing years (typically described as 13-48 years old)

- Birth rate (which you do not mention, but should!): the number of births in a given year per 100,000 women

Your argument selects one statistic (FERTILITY RATE) that has no meaning unless it is correlated to the BIRTH RATE. Here's why:

Nebraska (a red state) has a relatively high FERTILITY RATE. However, the BIRTH RATE is quite low. Why? Because many YOUNG (white) WOMEN leave Nebraska and there is a larger percentage of older/non-fertile women there. Nebraska has one of the oldest populations in the country. It has fewer white children per 100,000 white people than Massachusetts has.

Utah (a red state) has the highest FERTILITY RATE, and has a VERY HIGH BIRTH RATE because Utah has tons of young people as a percentage of the population.

If you correlate BIRTH RATE into the picture, you'll be surprised to learn that the percentage of white children in states like Massachusetts and Washington are not that different from Nebraska and South Carolina and Virginia. (Utah is and will probably always be an exception because of Mormonism). You will find that white children make up a larger PERCENTAGE of the population in many blue states than they do in some red states.

I think that the failure to include BIRTH RATE into your calculations is key. You may want to run the numbers again. THE STATISTIC YOUR REALLY WANT TO USE TO SEE IF YOUR PREMISE HOLDS ANY WATER IS: The number of white children per 100,000 white residents.


Thanks. Very helpful and informative.

However, I think the lifetime total fertility of white women remains the statistic of relevance because it captures precisely the kind of behavior I'm interested in, which is: what causes people to move from one type of state to another or what causes them to stay home. My model suggests that the key figure in terms of affecting social and political attitudes is not the % of children in a population but the average number of children per family.

As you say, Nebraska is losing many of its more career ambitious young women to blue states, leaving behind the ones more oriented toward having bigger families (and Nebraska also picks up a few refugees from high density blue states looking for a cheap place to raise a large family). This churning of the population will have a big impact on the type of adults living in Nebraska and on their social and political attitudes, which they will likely continue to espouse even after their children eventually leave home.

In contrast, Massachusetts attracts a lot of young people for college or technology jobs, but has a hard time holding on to the ones who want more than one or two children and are willing to give up the more sophisticated culture of an adult-oriented state to move to a family-oriented state.

That's why total fertility works so well as a predictor of Bush's vote in the last two elections, while share of the population that is children does not.

Indeed, I think the statistics actually underestimate the extent of the family size gap between the states. 

First, white women in red states tend to have their first child at an earlier age. I believe blue Massachusetts recently became the first state ever where the age of first time mothers was over 30. So, people in red states tend to spend less of their lives as single and/or childless. 

Second, young urbanites often have one or even two children in the city, and then flee to cheaper and safer surroundings when they decide the toddlers need a yard or are ready to start school. So, the births get credited to the blue region but the bulk of the child-rearing is done in the red region.




Abortion Statistics: One interesting question is how much differences in the abortion rate account for differences in the birth rate by state. A reader sent me this table, which is for all races. Another complication is that abortion statistics are often recorded by the state of the clinic not the state of the client. So, a woman from red West Virginia might drive into blue Pennsylvania for an abortion. Still, by looking at mostly white blue states like Vermont and Oregon versus mostly white red states, it does appear that pro-life red states do indeed practice what they preach -- the denizens of Nevada being an obvious exception to that rule. (I continue to be amazed that large numbers of parents of little girls are moving their families to booming Las Vegas. As Chris Rock says, "Fathers, your prime duty is to keep your daughters off The Pole.")


I was a little surprised by this. I sort of expected Massachusetts women to be well enough organized that they wouldn't have many unwanted pregnancies, but that turned out not to be true.


Per Capita - No. per 1,000 women aged 15-44
State Pregnancies Births Abortions
US Total 103 65 23
Dist. Of Columbia 166 62 83
Nevada 135 76 41
New York 122 65 40
New Jersey 118 65 36
California 176 75 33
Maryland 108 60 33
Florida 111 65 31
Massachusetts 100 57 29
Hawaii 117 73 27
Illinois 111 69 25
Rhode Island 94 57 24
Connecticut 99 62 23
Michigan 97 61 22
Washington 98 62 21
Virginia 93 58 21
Arizona 115 77 21
Oregon 97 63 20
Georgia 99 65 20
Texas 112 75 20
Colorado 97 64 19
North Carolina 96 63 19
Delaware 91 60 18
New Hampshire 83 53 17
Alaska 104 72 17
New Mexico 105 72 17
Pennsylvania 86 57 16
Ohio 90 60 16
Wyoming 89 60 16
Vermont 77 50 15
South Carolina 87 60 15
Alabama 91 62 15
Indiana 91 63 14
Mississippi 95 66 14
Missouri 89 62 14
Tennessee 88 61 14
Louisiana 93 65 13
Minnesota 87 61 13
Montana 85 59 13
Wisconsin 84 58 13
Arkansas 94 67 12
Kansas 92 65 12
Maine 73 50 12
Oklahoma 91 65 12
Nebraska 89 64 11
Iowa 84 61 10
Idaho 96 71 9
Kentucky 81 59 9
West Virginia 72 53 9
North Dakota 81 61 8
South Dakota 88 67 8
Utah 116 89 8


It's not clear whether legalized abortion actually reduces the total fertility rate among whites by very much. A recent Rand Corp. study estimated that outlawing abortion would raise the average number of babies per white woman only from 1.83 to 1.89. Without legal abortion to fall back on in case of unplanned pregnancies, white people would plan better and thus avoid unplanned pregnancies, according to the Rand researcher.



"The Baby Gap: Explaining Red and Blue," my cover story in the Dec. 20th issue of The American Conservative is now available to electronic subscribers. An excerpt:


Clearly, the "issues" that so excite political journalists had but a meager impact on most voters... If a demographic or regional group supported Bush's "humble" foreign policy in 2000, they supported his Alexandrine ambitions in 2004, and vice-versa.

Still, this doesn't mean voters are choosing red or blue frivolously. Indeed, voters are picking their parties based on differing approaches to the most fundamentally important human activity: having babies. The white people in Republican-voting regions consistently have more children than the white people in Democratic-voting regions. The more kids whites have, the more pro-Bush they get...

The single most useful and understandable birthrate measure is the "total fertility rate." This estimates, based on recent births, how many children the average woman currently in her childbearing years will end up with. The federal National Center for Health Statistics reported that in 2002 the average white woman was giving birth at a pace consistent with having 1.83 babies during her lifetime, or 13 percent below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. This below-replacement level has not changed dramatically in three decades.

States, however, differ significantly in white fertility. The most fecund whites are in heavily Mormon Utah, which, not coincidentally, was the only state where Bush received over 70 percent. White women average 2.45 babies in Utah compared to merely 1.11 babies in Washington D.C., where Bush earned but 9 percent. The three New England states where Bush won less than 40 percent -- Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island -- comprise three of the four states with the lowest white birth rates, with little Rhode Island dipping below 1.5 babies per woman.

Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility (just as he did in 2000), and 25 out of the top 26, with highly unionized Michigan being the one blue exception to the rule...

In sharp contrast, Kerry won the 16 states at the bottom of the list, with the Democrats' anchor states of California (1.65) and New York (1.72) having quite infertile whites.

Among the fifty states plus Washington D.C., white total fertility correlates at a remarkably strong 0.86 level with Bush's percentage of the 2004 vote. (In 2000, the correlation was 0.85). In the social sciences, a correlation of 0.2 is considered "low," 0.4 "medium," and 0.6 "high."

You could predict 74% of the variation in Bush's shares just from knowing each state's white fertility rate. When the average fertility goes up by a tenth of a child, Bush's share normally goes up by 4.5 points.


Here's a scatter plot showing how closely Bush's share of the vote in a state correlates with the number of babies per white woman. The blue dot way down in the lower left corner represents Washington D.C. and the red dot way up in the right corner is Utah.



Ethan Herdrick has kindly plotted the Total Fertility Rate - Whites and Bush's Share of the Vote on a nifty map of the U.S. -- Just hover your cursor over the two white boxes on the top and the map will flip from one variable to another. We're still fooling around a little bit with the color schemes, but you'll see that California, for example, doesn't change color because its white fertility and Bush share fall right on the best fit line.


Here's the data:


White Total Fertility Rate Bush % 
USA      1.83 50.9%
Utah      2.45 71.1%
Alaska      2.28 61.8%
Idaho      2.20 68.5%
Kansas      2.06 62.2%
South Dakota      2.02 59.9%
Nebraska      2.02 66.0%
Oklahoma      2.01 65.6%
Wyoming      1.99 69.0%
Indiana      1.94 60.0%
Arkansas      1.94 54.3%
Texas      1.93 61.2%
Arizona      1.92 54.9%
Mississippi      1.92 59.6%
New Mexico      1.90 49.8%
Georgia      1.90 58.1%
Iowa      1.89 50.1%
Missouri      1.89 53.4%
Ohio      1.89 51.0%
Louisiana      1.88 56.7%
Michigan      1.88 47.8%
Montana      1.87 59.1%
Colorado      1.86 52.0%
Nevada      1.85 50.5%
Kentucky      1.85 59.5%
North Carolina      1.84 56.1%
Alabama      1.84 62.5%
Minnesota      1.83 47.6%
New Jersey      1.83 46.4%
Tennessee      1.83 56.8%
Virginia      1.82 54.0%
Maryland      1.81 43.3%
Illinois      1.80 44.6%
South Carolina      1.80 58.0%
Florida      1.78 52.1%
North Dakota      1.78 62.9%
West Virginia      1.78 56.0%
Wisconsin      1.78 49.4%
Oregon      1.76 47.6%
Connecticut      1.75 44.0%
Washington      1.72 45.6%
Pennsylvania      1.72 48.6%
New York      1.72 40.5%
Delaware      1.71 45.8%
New Hampshire      1.69 49.0%
California      1.65 44.5%
Maine      1.65 44.6%
Vermont      1.63 38.9%
Massachusetts      1.60 37.0%
Hawaii      1.59 45.3%
Rhode Island      1.50 38.9%
District of Columbia      1.11 9.3%




Ruy Teixeira estimates Bush's share of Hispanic vote at 39%, up 4 points: The prominent voting analyst goes in depth into the county by county data and finds no evidence for an outsized surge among Hispanics toward Bush, just the same drift seen overall.




More on Oliver Stone's Alexander: From my review in The American Conservative:


Confusing Alexander with Oedipus, Stone casts Rosario Dawson as Alexander's Afghan wife Roxanne because she looks so much like Angelina Jolie [who plays his mom]. Stone implies that Alexander's bisexuality was caused by his mom's incestuous seductiveness, but his behavior was hardly unusual in an ancient aristocrat.

Today, the same advanced thinkers who normally tell us that everything is the result of social conditioning, also claim that homosexual orientation is always innate. Christians and Jews often disagree, because in their institutional memories of the classical era, homosexuality was widely indulged in by the strong at the expense of the weak, as in Alexander's relationship with his eunuch slave Bagoas. Even at its least exploitative, as in Alexander's romantic friendship with his boyhood companion Hephaistion, ancient homosexuality only flourished when females were sequestered or despised. The triumph of Jerusalem's heterosexuality over Athen's bisexuality came in part through the improved status of women under Christianity, which made companionate marriage the ideal.




Give thanks you aren't in Baghdad: From the BBC:


Baghdad's airport route has become a regular target for insurgents. A 15-mile stretch between Baghdad airport and the city centre is said to be the world's most expensive taxi ride. Small convoys of armoured cars and Western gunmen charge about £2,750 ($5,108) for the perilous journey. The route, known as the Qadisiyah Expressway, has become the scene of regular attacks and kidnappings by insurgents. Security costs have soared in Iraq reflecting the escalating risks for foreign workers. The high-speed drive costs four times more than the £670 Royal Jordanian charges for a one-way flight from London to Baghdad via Amman....

The airport is the hub of the US-led coalition's military activities, while the high-security "green zone" is the centre of civilian administration. "You could jump in an Iraqi taxi with a gun and get there for $20," said one security contractor, quoted by the UK's Times newspaper. But with kidnappings a daily occurrence and Westerners being sold to Islamist militant groups for about £150,000, he advised against it. A few thousand pounds will afford you two cars and four Western ex-military bodyguards, usually American, South African or British, packing MP5 submachine guns, M16 rifles and/or AK47 assault rifles.

The client rides in one vehicle at speeds averaging 100 mph, while the other, called the "gun car", travels close-by, looking out for potential assailants. Since the beginning of the resistance, this vital route has come under attack from car bombs, suicide attacks, snipers and rocket-propelled grenades...


From "Healing Iraq," an Iraqi dentist's blog:


Saturday, November 20, 2004 Fierce fighting has been going on in several areas of Baghdad for the last 4 hours. I was supposed to leave for Basrah this morning, as soon as I walked out of the front door I was face to face with ten or so hooded men dressed in black carrying Ak-47's and RPG's. They had set up a checkpoint right in front of our door.

Someone barked at me to go inside. Nabil was also about to leave for his school. His driver had just called him and said that he was turned back at the street entrance by another checkpoint. We looked at the main intersection and it was swarming with armed men running about and motioning drivers and pedestrians to leave the area.

We watched them from behind the door with my mother frantically trying to get us inside. There was an exchange of fire and someone was bellowing "Where are the National traitors? (referring to the National Guards) Let them come and taste this." More shooting followed.

Tens of voices on the street were chanting "Allahu Akbar" and the ground beneath us suddenly shook from a nearby explosion. The shooting was frantic now and a series of explosions followed. Everyone in the house rushed to open windows to prevent their shattering from the pressure.




Happy "Holidays:" From a schoolteacher in Minnesota:


"By the way, I asked one of my Somali girls if she thought GI's should be able to celebrate Christmas in Iraq. She said, "NO, it is a Muslim country." I responded, "Well you get to celebrate Ramadan over here." She replied, "Yes, but you are a country of NOTHING."




The Jewish Century -- I'm about halfway through this dazzling book by Berkeley history prof Yuri Slezkine. The style is unique, sort of a cross between Thomas Sowell and Camille Paglia, if that makes any sense. Like Paglia, Slezkine is absolutely fearless about making big, bold generalizations, although his terrain is economics, anthropology, and politics, not sex. If the central events of the 20th Century are the spine leading from WWI to WWII, then it's hard to make sense of what happened in the last century without the perspective Slezkine provides. Unless we think of Jews as important actors in 20th Century history, as opposed to simply passive victims, European history doesn't make much sense. 


Here's his first chapter on what Slezkine calls "Mercurian" nomads (what Thomas Sowell would call middle-man minorities) versus settled Apollonian tribes (i.e., food producers and warriors -- in Slezkine's terminology, "Dionysians" are just Apollonians when drunk). 


Here's a new interview with Slezkine about his Jewish grandmother's immigration from the Pale to the big cities of the Soviet Union, and, once again, here is the Berkeley alumni magazine interview with Slezkine. 


Otherwise, almost no mention of this book, which has been out for a couple of months anywhere, except in a few blogs who picked it up from me. 




Liberals denounce IQ -- When liberals aren't claiming to have higher IQs than conservatives, they are claiming that the entire concept of IQ is discredited. For a good example, check out the comments on Kevin Drum's Washington Monthly blog when Drum wrote about John Derbyshire's recent article about his meeting with a certain expert on computational genomics. Drum, himself, is more open-minded than most, but lots of his readers are anti-IQ fundamentalists. Particularly ironic are all the denunciations of white racism, when, as I'm sure you guessed, the scientist Derb had dinner with is very dark-skinned.




Alexander by Oliver Stone: An excerpt from my review in the upcoming issue of The American Conservative:


Despite their historical pretences, Oliver Stone movies usually end up being about Oliver Stone, which isn't always a bad thing, because the three-time Oscar winner is a genuinely intriguing figure. It takes a special kind of man to make himself the most widely hated auteur in American movie history.

Yet, for one shining decade, from "Salvador" and "Platoon" in 1986 through "Nixon" in 1995, he was as brilliant a  writer-director as we've seen lately. Stone's paranoid self-pity afforded him refreshing empathy for Richard Nixon, and the filmmaker's vision of himself as a great man beset by great temptations paid dividends in Gordon "Greed is good" Gekko, the wonderfully evil alter ego he created for Michael Douglas in "Wall Street."

Sadly, Stone wasted the brief apogee of his powers on the loathsome "Natural Born Killers" and the dazzling yet preposterous "JFK."

Ironically, conspiracy theories were quite respectable up until "JFK" permanently tarnished them, because -- while Lee Harvey Oswald almost certainly ended up as the lone gunman -- in Oswald's quest to be part of a conspiracy, he had forged suspicious contacts with all the usual suspects.

For ideological reasons, Stone wanted to present Col. Fletcher Prouty's claim that the entire military-industrial complex had plotted JFK's assassination en masse, but for human interest purposes, he needed to dramatize New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison's lonely struggle to pin the rap on some French Quarter homosexuals. So, Stone ended up with a plot where the CIA, FBI, and Pentagon pool their monstrous resources and ruthless expertise to … hire a few flaming gay boys to carry out the actual mission.



The Derb has dinner with ... guess who?




More IQ by State: In contrast to the IQ hoax, here's some real data.This is from Helmuth Nyborg's Vietnam Vet study from 1985-1986 of men in their late 30s. Unlike the VDARE table of IQ by place of birth a couple of weeks ago, this one is by place of residence in 1985-1986, so we are getting closer to the present. I believe these are enlisted men only, no officers. Congress passed a law banning the military from accepting enlistees under an IQ of 80, although Robert McNamara, in his infinite wisdom, pushed through a program to take in the bottom 10% for some period during the Vietnam War. 


Be wary of small samples sizes. I imagine the 109 for Utah and Alaska is too high, but the 108 for Colorado is impressive. I included the average IQ for whites in the right hand column to so you can guesstimate whether Bush or Kerry voters are causing the states at the bottom to be at the bottom.


 Total  Total White
 IQ  Sample  IQ 
Total       100       4,321      102.6
UT             109 30 111
AK             109 3 109
CO             108 64 109
MT             106 32 106
ME             106 15 108
MA             106 83 106
RI             105 9 105
MN             105 96 106
OR             105 53 105
KS             104 43 106
ID             104 14 105
IA             104 69 105
NE             104 34 104
CA             104 417 106
AZ             104 47 107
WA             104 84 104
VT             103 8 103
WI             103 119 104
IL             102 263 105
MO             102 118 104
NJ             101 104 104
PA             101 227 103
MI             101 247 103
CT             101 38 104
NY             101 261 105
ND             101 25 101
OH             100 243 101
MD             100 91 103
NH             100 13 100
WY             100 12 102
OK              98 75 99
IN              98 104 99
NV              98 12 101
FL              98 109 102
KY              98 70 98
VA              97 118 101
HI              97 12 96
NM              97 22 104
TX              97 224 102
SD              96 8 96
TN              95 109 98
NC              94 123 97
SC              94 52 100
DE              94 12 100
WV              93 35 94
GA              92 112 96
AL              91 64 95
AR              91 45 97
DC              90 17 96
LA              90 63 93
MS              89 32 97




The Mystery Factor at the county level - In my upcoming American Conservative article, I reveal a single factor that correlates 0.86 with Bush's share of the vote by state. Here's an LA Times article by Ron Brownstein that looks at the same phenomenon from a different point of view: 


In this month's election, President Bush carried 97 of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties, most of them "exurban" communities that are rapidly transforming farmland into subdivisions and shopping malls on the periphery of major metropolitan areas.

Together, these fast-growing communities provided Bush a punishing 1.72 million vote advantage over Democrat John F. Kerry, according to a Times analysis of election results. That was almost half the president's total margin of victory.




Racial profiling fears may have thwarted FBI agents' 9/11 warning: 


The FBI agent who wrote pre-9/11 memo said concerns over racial profiling may have prevented investigation.

The FBI agent who wrote a memo warning that terrorists were training at flight schools before the September 11 attacks said concerns over racial profiling may have prevented officials from acting on his intelligence.

“If you look at the world prior to 9/11, we were prevented from doing certain things. We were victimised by our own restraints,” Ken Williams told The Arizona Republic in his first interview since writing his now-famous memo in July 2001.

Williams’ findings were based on investigations of Arizona aviation students tied to al Qaida. At the time, he recommended the State Department co-ordinate with the FBI to provide information on flight students from Middle Eastern countries.

Here's Heather MacDonald's article on how lack of  profiling helps terrorists.


On the evening of September 11, 2001, I sat down and wrote for UPI:


Ironically, in an attempt to appeal to the growing number of Arab-American and Muslim voters, exactly eleven months ago George W. Bush called for weakening airport security procedures aimed at deterring hijackers.

On Oct. 11, 2000, during the second presidential debate, the Republican candidate attacked two anti-terrorist policies that had long irritated Arab citizens of the U.S...

"Arab-Americans are racially profiled in what's called secret evidence. People are stopped, and we got to do something about that." Then-Governor Bush went on, "My friend, Sen. Spence Abraham [the Arab-American Republic Senator from Michigan], is pushing a law to make sure that, you know, Arab-Americans are treated with respect. So racial profiling isn't just an issue at the local police forces. It's an issue throughout our society. And as we become a diverse society, we're going to have to deal with it more and more."

Bush's plug for Senator Abraham was intended to help Abraham in close re-election battle, which he ultimately lost. (Abraham is now the Bush Administration's Secretary of Energy.) More important personally to Bush was the swing state of Michigan's 18 electoral votes, which Al Gore eventually won narrowly. Arab-Americans, centered in Dearborn and Flint, make up about four percent of the population of Michigan, the most of any state.

In the debate, Bush conflated two separate policies that Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans felt discriminate against them: the heightened suspicions faced by Middle Eastern-looking travelers at airport security checkpoints and the government's use of "secret evidence" in immigration hearings of suspected terrorists. Yet, despite Bush's confusion, Arab-Americans appreciated his gesture. Four days after the debate, the Arab-American Political Action Committee endorsed Bush.

The day after Bush's remarks, 17 American sailors died in a terrorist attack in the Arab nation of Yemen. The bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, however, did not stop Vice President Al Gore from echoing Bush's calls to end these two anti-terrorist techniques in a meeting with Arab-American leaders on October 14, 200.

According to a spokesperson for a leading Arab-American organization, people of Arab descent are stopped and searched at airports more often than many other ethnic groups. Some refer to this as Flying While Arab or Flying While Muslim. These terms are intended as plays on the popular phrase "Driving While Black," which is widely used to criticize police departments for stopping more black than white motorists.

This year, both Bush and his Attorney General John Ashcroft have called for an end to racial profiling...

Bush's Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta has said that "the security procedures are not based on the race, ethnicity, religion or gender of passengers" Yet, the system is widely believed to use other information - such as whether the traveler is going to or coming from the Middle East - that tends to "disparately impact" Arab and Muslims.

None of the ethnic rights groups, however, has offered any data to dispute the widespread assumption that in the three decades since the Palestine Liberation Organization invented skyjacking, a disproportionate number of hijackers and plane bombers have had Middle Eastern ties.

Nonetheless, the Bush Administration publicly agrees with the civil rights organizations that even a nonracial airport profiling system that had merely a disparate impact on Arabs and Muslims would be objectionable. Secretary Mineta said, "We also want to assure that in practice, the system does not disproportionately select members of any particular minority group." Of course, if Arabs and Muslims are disproportionately more likely to hijack airliners, and the profiling system does not end up disproportionately targeting them, then system wouldn't work very well at preventing hijackings.

To ensure that no disparate impact is occurring, the Bush Administration carried out in June a three-week study, first planned by the Clinton Administration, of whether or not profiling at the Detroit airport disparately impacts Arabs. The results of the study have not been released. Nor is it known whether the secret profiles have been relaxed - they are kept secret in order to keep hijackers guessing.

However, on June 6th Attorney General Ashcroft told Congress, "We want the right training, we want the right kind of discipline, we want the right kind of detection measures and the right kind of remediation measures, because racial profiling doesn't belong in the federal government's operational arsenal."


Will George W. Bush ever pay for any mistake he makes?



My New VDARE.com Column: 


The blue state-red state IQ hoax with which so many millions of disappointed Democrats have consoled themselves since the election can seem initially plausible. Blue states tend to have more prestigious universities, famous research centers, and sophisticated cities than red states.

But in reality, as I’ve shown, there is little overall difference between the average educational attainments between Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats, however, tend to be more inegalitarian, with higher highs and lower lows than the more middling Republicans.

This is clearly visible in the biggest blue state of them all, California.

Census Bureau figures show that California, traditionally America's trendsetter, is pioneering a new kind of class structure—ominously like that of highly unequal Latin American countries like Brazil or Mexico.

California, long viewed as the promised land of the American middle class, is slowly developing a novel U-shaped social system. Relatively large numbers of both the well-educated and the badly-educated are sandwiching a shrinking middle.

This trend toward greater inequality might seem at odds with the ideals of the Democratic Party. But, in fact, it could bode well for them. The party is ceasing to represent blue collar workers. Instead, it has morphed into an alliance between the elite and the underclass.

According to a Census Bureau Supplementary Survey of 700,000 households across the country, California boasts 2 million recipients of graduate degrees (master's or Ph.D. or professional diplomas such as M.D. or J.D.).

Yet this sophisticated state also is home to 2.2 million adults who never even attended high school. Their ranks were up 7 percent during the 1990s. By contrast, in the rest of America, the number of adults who had never seen the inside of a high school dropped by 30 percent over that decade.

The Golden State is now one of only three states with above average percentages both of people who never got past elementary school and of holders of graduate degrees. (The other two are New Mexico and Rhode Island). In California, 10.7 percent of grownups have no more than elementary schooling, compared to only 6.4 percent in the other 49 states.

Of all the states in the Union, California now has the lowest percentage of its population with a midlevel education consisting of at least a high school diploma or some college, but not a bachelor's degree from a four-year college.   [More...]




An extremely high correlation with Bush's 2004 share by state is provided, not surprisingly, by Bush's 2000 share by state: 0.98. But, while interesting, that's not as interesting as my mystery factor which correlates at the 0.86 level, because it's hardly as obvious. 


In 2004, Bush did a little bit better, relatively speaking, in the states where he did poorly in 2000 than in the states where he did well in 2000. This may just be diminishing marginal returns, or it may be the WTC Effect -- he did quite a bit better in NY, NJ, and CN, all states that lost people on 9/11, than in 2000.




Basketbrawl: I've been saying for a long time that the collapse in the quality of play in the NBA over the last decade is related to the rise of gangsta rap beginning with 1987's "Straight outta Compton" album by N.W.A., which broadcast the crack dealer's worldview to susceptible youths everywhere. If the Michael Jordan era was the Golden Age of the NBA, a big reason was that the stars then were born too early for gangsta rap to have a big impact on them during their formative years  -- Jordan, for example, was already in his mid-20s when gangsta rap arrived. 


In contrast, Ron Artest, who got the biggest penalty in the now notorious Pacers-Pistons brawl (suspension for the rest of the season) is the same jerk who recently asked his coach for time off from the team so he could promote his new rap album. Coincidence? I don't think so...




Ireland is #1: The Economist ranks quality of life around the world and decides that Ireland is the best the country in the world. Apparently, Severity of Hangovers was not factored into the ratings. The last time I was in Ireland, my Aer Lingus 747 flight to Boston was delayed 24 hours because the crew was too hung over after celebrating Ireland's upset of Italy in the World Cup to fly the next day.


The U.S. comes in #13. Interestingly, Mexico ranks just behind the UK, yet we aren't overwhelmed by illegal immigrants from Kent.


A reader writes: 


Delaying a loudmouth Yank for 24 hours was a small price to pay to allow the lads time to celebrate a win in a sport that really matters. [I wasn't feeling too good myself after helping the fine citizens of Ballybunion celebrate.]

These surveys may tell more about the criteria than they do about the countries. 2 points about Ireland. Firstly GDP measures income not wealth. We've only gotten rich recently so we haven't the infrastructure other west European countries have. Secondly our official GDP overstates our true income level. Our low corporate tax rate encourages US firms to load profits into their Irish subsidiaries (thanks to US firms Ireland has overtaken the US as the world's leading exporter of computers and Germany as the leading pharmaceuticals exporter - Pfizer make Viagra here). 

That said we have improved materially out of all recognition since your visit. GDP, population (from 3 to 4 million in a couple of decades), employment (from 1 to 1.7 million in about a decade) have shot up while tax rates (personal & corporate), unemployment (down to about 4.5% - we issue about 40,000 job visas p.a.), inflation and the debt to GDP ratio (it was over 100% now it's now the 2nd lowest in the EU) have dropped. Under pressure from Ryanair, Aer Lingus is making money & a battle now rages over whether it should be privatized. We now face the problems of prosperity & modernity - long commutes, more violent crimes, more single-parent families, more drugs and many, many more illegal immigrants - sorry refugees - and a left wing media that has to be read to be disbelieved. 

We're still not getting everything right. Only yesterday when fielding half of a first choice team we could only beat the US 55-6 in rugby and that only a week after a real win, 17-12 over South Africa. Now if I was a drinker that would have been worth a hangover.



Over at GNXP.com, the commenters are trying to figure out what the mystery factor is that I found that correlates at the 0.86 level with Bush's share of the vote by state (with D.C. counting as a state because it has electoral votes). Lots of good suggestions, and, who knows, some of them might correlate even better.



Did Man Evolve to Run asks a lot of recent news stories. Well, I sure didn't. I suspect I have a lot of plodding peasants and the like in my background. At 6-4, I love walking but I'm too tall to put a lot of pounding on my knees. Interestingly, you'd expect most Marine boot camp drill instructors too be intimidatingly big men, but they are mostly small terrier-types. The reason is because they have to do a huge amount of running during boot camp and the big men's knees wear out. 


Long legs are helpful in running, but a long torso isn't. The two biggest stars of Athens Olympics were 6-4 swimmer Michael Phelps and 5-9 runner Hicham El-Gerrouj. Interestingly, they wear the same inseam. 




Sorry about so little posting: I'm finishing up a big story for The American Conservative on what underlies the Red-Blue regional divisions. I found a single obscure factor that correlates with Bush's share of the vote in the 50 states plus D.C. at the 0.86 level, which is extremely high. This appears to be the key to who votes for whom. Clue: it doesn't have anything to do with Iraq or the economic cycle. (No, dammit, it's not average state IQ.)



Also, I'll be reviewing Oliver Stone's Alexander the Great movie, with Colin Farrell as Alexander, Christopher Plummer as his tutor Aristotle, Val Kilmer as his father Philip of Macedon, and Angelina Jolie as his mother. Moral of the movie: Having Angelina Jolie as your mom will mess you up royally. Anyway, it will be fun to write about Oliver Stone for the first time. When young people go on and on about Quentin Tarantino, I want to say, that's nuthin', if you want to talk about a talented jerk, you should have seen old Ollie in his prime.



If you've got a fast connection, here's a video clip of a high school kid from Alberta named Henry Bekkering winning a slam dunk contest by jumping over a player and dunking. He can just about take a bite out of the rim he can sky so high. This white boy can jump.



Hugh Laurie in Fox's "House, M.D.:" I only saw ten minutes of this medical drama's debut last night, but Hugh Laurie's performance as an irascible genius of a doctor was a revelation, especially if you only know him as the best Bertie Wooster imaginable on the wonderful old "Jeeves and Wooster" series with Stephen Fry as the perfect butler. Colby Cosh has more on "House."




Football IQs: The NFL requires all college players hoping to be drafted to take the 12 minute Wonderlic IQ test of 50 questions. I found the stats for the top 309 prospects in the Spring 2003 draft (the one where USC's quarterback Carson Palmer went #1). I've converted it into IQ scores by assuming that 20 questions = 100 and each additional question is worth 2 points, although that might be overstating the IQs a little. The average for all the prospects was 103, which is quite good. (I suspect, however, that player practice the test more, and I'd hardly be surprised if some of these superagents didn't find away for their clients to cheat. 


Here are the scores by position and for the leading football powerhouses (although the sample sizes aren't big enought to say much for sure about colleges recruiting strategies):


Position Count IQ
Guard 19 113
QB 17 112
Center 11 110
Tackle 36 108
Free Safety 11 108
Tight End 21 108
Wide Receiver 40 103
Defensive End 33 100
Int. Linebacker 17 100
Fullback 7 100
Cornerback 26 99
Strong Safety 10 99
Outside LB 14 98
Defensive Tackle 21 97
Running Tackle 26 95
California 4 119
Stanford 7 117
Colorado 6 112
Wisconsin 6 111
Arizona St. 4 111
Iowa 8 110
BYU 4 110
Notre Dame 8 109
Louisville 4 109
Florida St. 8 108
Hawaii 4 108
Michigan 6 106
Washington St. 4 106
Florida 10 105
Oklahoma 5 104
Penn St. 7 103
Ohio St. 6 103
Nebraska 4 103
Texas 5 102
Illinois 6 102
Boston College 4 102
N.C. State 4 101
Texas A&M 5 100
USC 6 99
Georgia 10 96
Tennessee 10 95
Oregon St. 5 94
Louisiana St. 4 93
TCU 4 93
Miami 10 92
Alabama 5 91
Mississippi St. 4 89


Top 10 Ranked players:


1 Carson Palmer USC QB 112
2 Charles Rogers Michigan St. WR 80
3 Terence Newman Kansas St. CB 96
4 Andre Johnson Miami WR 88
5 Byron Leftwich Marshall QB 110
6 Terrell Suggs Arizona St. DE 122
7 William Joseph Miami DT 74
8 Jordan Gross Utah T 140
9 Jerome McDougle Miami DE 80
10 Marcus Trufant Washington St. CB 98


Clearly, the NFL is willing to take guys who score low if they've got the physical skills, but it likes its QBs and offensive linemen to have 3-digit IQs. I hope these guys with 74s and 80s have honest agents and business managers to look after all those millions they're making.




149 Kevin Curtis Utah St. WR 156
8 Jordan Gross Utah T 140
297 David Porter Iowa T 138
65 Jon Stinchcomb Georgia T 134


I'll skip the names of the lowest scorers, but the lowest was a defensive lineman on Utah with a 70. When he lined up across from Jordan Gross (140) in practice, I wonder what their colloquys sounded like?



51% Bush - 48% Kerry: A visual representation:



Kind of creepy... but the more I look at him, the better he looks compared to the two jokers we had.





Jews and the Bolshevik regime: More from the interview in the UC Berkeley alumni magazine with Berkeley history professor Yuri Slezkine about his important new book The Jewish Century:


Q. Why were Jews so successful in the early Soviet state?

A. The story of the Jews in the early Soviet Union is similar to the story of the Jews in America. That is, they were especially successful in the realms of education, journalism, medicine, and other professions that were central to the functioning of Soviet society, including science.

Jews in the Soviet Union were much more literate than any other group, they were untainted by any association with the imperial regime, and they seem to have been very enthusiastic about what the Communist Party was doing. This was to some extent a conscious commitment to ideology, but mostly it was just because there were no more legal barriers against Jews. The doors opened, and they flooded in and did exceedingly well in the 1920s and the first part of the 1930s.

My belief is that you can’t understand the second part of the Jewish story in Russia--the anti-Semitic policies, and what happens to Soviet Jews later, their desire to emigrate, for example--unless you know the first part of the story, which is mostly about amazing success.

Q. You write that Jews were important members of both the secret police and those who ran the gulag. This was news to me.

A. The fact was not known to me when I was growing up in the Soviet Union. Most people found out about it when they read Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. He didn’t make a point of it at the time, but he talks about the people who were running the White Sea Canal labor camps, and they were virtually all ethnic Jews.

Q. What was your reaction?

A. Mostly surprise, because it seemed so incongruous to those of us who thought of Jews as the primary victims and primary opponents of the Soviet regime. But later I discovered that the role of communism in modern Jewish history was tremendously important. I don’t think you can understand modern Jewish history without considering the Russian Revolution or understand communism without considering the role of the Jews.




Why has Illinois turned Democratic? Illinois was long a battleground state, perhaps leaning slightly GOP. In 2004, though, it was always in the Democrats' column and Bush barely contested the state. This is puzzling.


I think there may be a local explanation: Illinois Republicanism was long driven by contempt for Democratic-ruled Chicago, with its corruption, crime, and squabbling, grandstanding politicos. Richie M. Daley, however, has proven to be a quite successful mayor of Chicago, crime is down, property values are strong, and the city is looking good. Meanwhile, the last Republican governor of Illinois, George Ryan, was a notorious crook. (This is not to say that the Daley Administration is honest, but graft is generally kept within limits -- e.g., the roads are always a mess because the roadbuilders are big campaign contributors, but the cancer of corruption is kept within its traditional bounds. Eventually, scandals may well bring down Daley when he gets old and feeble, but he'll have had quite a run up until then.) 




A general theory of partisan turnover: Typically, states that vote strongly for one party in Presidential elections often elect local and state officials of the other party. However, there may be a trend toward homogenization at the state level, with one party coming to dominate all the positions. Ambitious young people decide that they'd be crazy to go into the oppostion party because they never win. However, one party rule eventually leads to corruption. In some places like Chicago, one-party machines are strong enough to sweep corruption under the rug and make their rule permanent, but in many other places, the monopoly party's local corruption opens up opportunities for reformers from the opposite party. Success at throwing out the rascals at the local level can make them attractive candidates for higher office. And so the cycle goes on...




Only 2% of Fallujah prisoners are foreign fighters: The Washington Times reports:


Col. Michael Regner, operations officer for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah, told Reuters that at least 1,052 insurgents had been taken prisoner. Only about two dozen were from outside Iraq.


"They seek him here 
They seek him there 
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere 
Is he in heaven or is he in hell? 
That damn elusive Pimpernel!"


Of course, you don't have to be the Scarlet Pimpernel to know that Bush wouldn't attack before the election so that you had plenty of time to clear out of Fallujah before the hammer came down. But were there ever many foreign jihadists in Fallujah? Are we back to the suspicion that we've been lied to again and the insurgency is overwhelmingly indigenous, fought by local patriots of the Red Dawn ilk?




IQ Hypocrisy: A reader in Turkey writes:


A couple of suggestions for that topic of "the bogus claim of liberals [sic ;-)] not caring about IQ".

You probably know better than I do that that is a feigned attitude. Liberals are in fact obsessed with being smart; it's just that their notion of smart is not someone who can fly a fighter jet but someone who can say complicated things, for example "deconstructionistic" phrases.

This is significant because it also betrays something very obnoxious about their values: their parasitism. Lefties will be the first to wax lyrical about all the gifts of science to society (when they are in the mood to deride religion, for instance), and indeed would love to exploit almost all the conveniences brought about science and technology. But they will do everything in their power to deny the consequences of believing in science; for example, the tough reality or race and IQ.

To put it shortly, they enjoy the fruits of science, but resent the social consequences of putting the facts of science in circulation. The reason they resort to deconstructionism (which is, after all, a new name for hermeneutics, which in turn is a Hegelian-Husserlian modified form of good old "exegesis") the unstoppable urge they feel to squirt ink into the waters to muddy the picture so that they can hide behind it, while they create the illusion of "depth" in the water.

I strongly believe this -- sophistry as a form of life, the modern counterpart of which is leftism -- is *the* telling detail in this debate.

I wouldn't be surprised, for example, if the IQs of many an opinion leader of the left turned out to be around the "just above the average" range, and mostly in the "verbal" skills. Being above the average "hick", they despise their ignorance, but, being mostly unskilled in the hard-core sciences, they can only deal with those smarter than them by sophistry.



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