January 27, 2006

America's top cop tells Canadians the truth about crime and race:

William Bratton, the LAPD chief and Rudy Giuliani's first NYPD chief, informs Linda Frum (David's sister?) of Maclean's magazine that Canadians are kidding themselves:

So you know a little bit about our city? You know about our problems? A 27-per-cent increase in the number of homicides from 1995 to today. A Boxing Day slaying where a 15-year-old innocent bystander was gunned down during a gang shootout on a major shopping street. Can I tell you -- it would be nice if you were our police chief.
Well, thank you. Tell me, the gang violence that you are experiencing, what is the racial or ethnic background of the gangs?

That's a refreshingly blunt question. Some say it may be as high as 80 per cent Jamaican. But no one knows for sure, because people here don't like to talk about that.
You need to talk about it. It's all part of the issue. If it's Jamaican gangs that are committing the crimes, well then, go after the Jamaican gangs. And don't be afraid to go after them because they're black. That's the last thing you need to be concerned with.

Oh boy, I can see the complaints coming in already. You have to understand the climate here. The major local daily in Toronto, the Toronto Star, says it doesn't believe in "gratuitously" labelling people by ethnic origin.
Well, that really helps identify who they are, doesn't it? The next step will be to refuse to allow the police to identify people by their race or ethnic origin. That type of societal consciousness really goes to extremes.

I'm sure you heard that Toronto's mayor and our prime minister blame the Boxing Day shooting on you Americans. . .

Mm-hmm, yes. They talked about the problem of guns coming in from the United States. But whose hands are the guns in? You have to look at all sources of the problem. It is a combination of lax gun laws, which certainly contributes to our problem here in the United States, but ultimately the responsibility is on the individual who pulls the trigger...

The Broken Windows approach to policing is assertive and increases the frequency of interaction with citizens on a daily basis. Is it a method of policing that is possible only with the right political will behind it?
Political will is absolutely critical. In other words, if your government, your society, is saying, "We don't want you focusing on the little things because we're concerned it might be seen as racially incorrect," or, "We're concerned that it's not appreciative of the ethnic backgrounds of people" -- well, that's the lame excuse that got American policing into so much trouble in the '60s, '70s and '80s. The attitude was, "We're not going to police some of these minor crimes in the minority neighbourhoods. After all, what's the harm? There are really no victims to prostitution, or gangs hanging on the corner and drinking." But what we didn't understand was that the victim was the neighbourhood. It was like a cancer eating away at that neighbourhood. And all the people who lived there were ultimately the victims as their neighbourhoods deteriorated. It's guaranteed that if you don't control those minor types of violations, you are going to create a climate in which the people perpetrating them are emboldened to try and get away with more...

Rather than focus on social and economic causes, you've said in the past that one of the most important ways to reduce crime is to go after narcotics. . .
Well, what are the Jamaican gangs up there fighting over -- who controls the drug trade?

Yes.Exactly. So to do it, they are going to do the same thing they do down in Jamaica, which is resort to violence as the first way of dealing with it. Whether it's your Asian gangs that are trying to control the gambling or your gangs coming in from Eastern Europe trying to control the credit card fraud, they all have their specialties. It comes back to core principles. The criminal justice system, if properly co-ordinated, and properly supported politically and publicly, can in fact control crime. And the way you control crime is through controlling behaviour.

So the situation in Canada is far from hopeless. . .

The good news is we know what to do about crime. You need to have political leaders, police chiefs, and the community working together, under the community policing partnership principle. You need to develop priorities and develop focus. And also go from the underlying understanding that crime is caused by individual behaviour.

Where'd all the geniuses go?

Vienna -- The teenage Beethoven traveled to Vienna to meet Mozart in 1787. When he returned to Vienna a few years later, he took lessons from Haydn.

In Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment, the ranking of Western composers in order of eminence according to standard reference books lists Mozart and Beethoven tied for #1, with Haydn #5 (in-between are Bach and Wagner). And that's hardly Eurocentric prejudice: the great Western composers might be more popular today in East Asia than in North America.

The world population was just under a billion in the late 18th century. Today, it is just under 6.5 billion. The population of Vienna then was about 225,000. Today, it is 1,600,000.

Where'd all the musical geniuses go?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

When was the last time Iran started a war?

Glaivester points out a Michael Ledeen quote from 2003:

To be sure, many of our finest Iran-watchers, including the great Bernard Lewis, believe that any future Iranian government, even a democratic one, is likely to continue the nuclear program.... But even if it is true, a democratic Iran will not be inclined to commit hara-kiri by launching a nuclear first strike against Israel, nor will it likely brandish its bombs against the United States.

True, but why would a non-democratic Iranian ruling class want to "commit hara-kiri" either? If you and your friends and family enjoyed the good fortune of owning a fairly big country like Iran and were looking forward to passing it on to your heirs unto the seventh generation, why would you turn your valuable property into a radioactive crater by "launching a nuclear first strike against Israel," which is a Certified Tough Customer?

Gregory Cochran brings up another relevant question. When was the last time Iran started a war?

This can't be right (can it?), but the last time I can find for a truly aggressive Iran was the first half of the 18th Century, under the reign of Nadir Shah (1688-1747), who attacked everybody nearby, including Turkey, Oman, and Afghanistan. In 1739, he invaded India, sacked Delhi, and brought home Shah Jehan's Peacock Throne (whose gold and jewels were worth about $1 billion at today's commodity prices) and the Koh-i-Noor diamond (now a 186 carat gem in the Tower of London).

, who grew up on the periphery of Persia and was a close student of its history considered Nadir Shah one of his two main historical role models, along with Ivan the Terrible. The Encyclopedia Britannica sums Nadir Shaw up:

In the end he was assassinated by his own troops while attempting to crush an uprising in Khorasan. Nadir Shah's only interests were war and conquest. Once, when informed that there was no warfare in paradise, he remarked: “How then can there be any delights there?”

So, maybe if we read of the Iranians digging up Nadir Shah's body and cloning his DNA, we'd better start actively worrying about them eventually "launching a nuclear first strike."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

January 26, 2006

Another triumph for Bush's Democratize the Arabs strategy

Democracy Rules OK! -- Picture from the NYT

This NYT photo shows happy Palestinian voters celebrating the arrival of Madisonian democracy. Democracy Rules OK!

The Washington Post reports:

"Hamas Sweeps Palestinian Elections, Complicating Peace Efforts in Mideast"

The radical Islamic movement Hamas won a large majority in the new Palestinian parliament, according to official election results announced Thursday, trouncing the governing Fatah party in a contest that could dramatically reshape the Palestinians' relations with Israel and the rest of the world.

In Wednesday's voting, Hamas claimed 76 of the 132 parliamentary seats, giving the party at war with Israel the right to form the next cabinet under the Palestinian Authority's president, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah.

Looking on the bright side, Arab democracy might actually hurry along the discrediting of maniacal Muslim fundamentalism among Arabs by putting the maniacal Muslim fundamentalists into power, where they can demonstrate that their panacea is just as useless for solving the Arabs' problems as all the failed panaceas that came before it, like Baathism, Nasserism, Pan-Arabism, Nationalism, Socialism, etc.

On the other hand, being Arabs, whatever panacea they dream up to come after maniacal Muslim fundamentalism might be even worse, so we'll end up missing the elected maniacs when they're gone.

By the way, guess who helped fund the origin of Hamas? Click here for the answer. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Are our frontal lobes bigger than in late Medieval times?

The BBC reports:

Researchers have found that the shape of the human skull has changed significantly over the past 650 years. Modern people possess less prominent features but higher foreheads than our medieval ancestors.

Writing in the British Dental Journal, the team took careful measurements of groups of skulls spanning across 30 generations. The scientists said the differences between past and present skull shapes were "striking"...

They looked at 30 skulls dating from the mid-14th Century. They had come from the unlucky victims of the plague. The skulls had been excavated from plague pits in the 1980s in London.

Another 54 skulls examined by the team were recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose which sank off the south coast of England in 1545.

All the skulls were compared with 31 recent orthodontic records from the School of Dentistry in Birmingham.

The two principal differences discovered were that our ancestors had more prominent features, but their cranial vault - the distance measured from the eyes to the top of the skull - was smaller. Dr Peter Rock, lead author of the study and director of orthodontistry at Birmingham University, told the BBC News website: "The astonishing finding is the increased cranial vault heights.

"The increase is very considerable. For example, the vault height of the plague skulls were 80mm, and the modern ones were 95mm - that's in the order of 20% bigger, which is really rather a lot."

He suggests that the increase in size may be due to an increase in mental capacity over the ages.

Is this true? Did foreheads, and presumably frontal lobes, get bigger over a few dozen generations in England, where there was very little ethnic change from 1066 to 1945?

I have the nagging feeling that some scholar did a more complete study than this of this question back in, say, 1930, when skull measurements were the bread and butter of anthropology, but the answer got buried by the triumph of the Boasian cultural anthropologists.

Along those lines, the latest NYT Magazine ran a good articled called "The Animal Self" by Charles Siebert on the belated rediscovery by scientists of the fact, which is utterly obvious to anyone who has owned more than one pet of the same species, that animals have varying personalities and feel emotions that are often similar to ours:

Not so very long ago, concepts like animal sentience, emotion and personality were not merely the stuff of anecdotes told by farmers and pet owners; they were wholly embraced by the scientific community as well. In the late 19th century, animal emotion and behavior were integral aspects of the newly emerging science of human psychology. Charles Darwin devoted much of his time after the publication of "The Origin of Species" to researching "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals," published in 1872. Although that era's cross-species conjecturing and comparing was often naïve or intuitive, the impulse behind it went on to inform human psychological study well into the 20th century. Beginning with the appearance in 1908 of more sober, scientifically sound works like John Lubbocks's "On the Senses, Instincts, and Intelligence of Animals With Special Reference to the Insects" or Edward L. Thorndike's "Animal Intelligence," animal studies figured prominently in standard human psychology textbooks well into the 1940's. And then, steadily, the animals began to disappear...

The banishment of our fellow beasts from psychological literature can be blamed by and large on that branch of psychology known as behaviorism. The field's major proponents, eminent psychologists like B.F. Skinner, stressed the inherent inscrutability of mental states and perceptions to anyone but the person experiencing them. And even though the behaviorists were themselves major proponents of the use of animals in behavioral research, they sought to rein in subjective verbal descriptions of the animals' mental states, as well as the sorts of experiments that relied on such necessarily vague data. If the human mind was, as Skinner famously referred to it, "a black box," then surely the minds of animals were even further beyond our ken...

Now, however, the pendulum has begun to swing back in that direction, and it is a shift that has been impelled, somewhat surprisingly, by hard science. Advances in fields like genetics and molecular and evolutionary biology have lent to the study of psychology something that it really didn't have when behaviorism first came to the fore: a better understanding of the biological and bioevolutionary underpinnings of behavior.

On the whole, science is less driven by arbitrary and often stupid fads than is, say, architecture, but it's hardly immune. The marginalization -- in fact, the demonization -- of physical anthropology and biometrics by the cultural anthropologists after WWII was definitely one of those stupid fads, and harsher terms like "disinformation campaign" might be more appropriate.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Allan Wall's back from Iraq

Having survived a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas National Guard, VDARE's Man in Mexico has a new column on the hilariously berserk anti-George W. Bush attitudes in Mexico.

In a column entitled "El Muro Bush" (“The Bush Wall”), Martha Chapa claims that "…the attempted unilateral construction of a wall by a country cannot be justified, even on its own territory."

What’s mine is mine—and what’s yours is mine as well.

Mexican pundits come down especially hard on President George W. Bush.

That’s ironic. More than any other president in U.S. history, George W. Bush has bent over backwards to please the government of Mexico. George W. Bush has defended, justified and facilitated illegal immigration.

And if he finally does take action to control our border, it will be due to grassroots pressure, not his own desire to fulfill his duty protecting our borders.

Nevertheless, in Mexico, Bush is regularly vilified and pilloried. And he’s being blamed for the border fence.

Just check out the titles of two recent anti-Bush anti-border fence editorials. One was entitled "Un redomado racista" ("An Out and Out Racist"—referring to President Bush). Another editorial, which appeared in El Universal, was entitled "Bush the Rapist" (!). [More]

"Racist," "Rapist," who cares? All these sputtering mad Mexican Establishmentarians know for sure is that President Bush is one of those R words.

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy...

Ben Franklin pointed out that the way to get somebody to like you is to have them do you a favor. Doing them favors just makes them resent your power. I guess the President never got the memo.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

January 25, 2006

Some new additions to the blogroll

Below in blue are how they refer to themselves, while in bold blue is how I refer to them in my Links listing near the top of the left hand column:

16 Volts Per Minute -- Since Finland is one of those countries that's so boring it's interesting (e.g., because of its location it could have had a catastrophic 20th Century, but through the heroic efforts of its own people, it managed to avoid most of the horrors of the last century), it's interesting to read a bright Finn in Ontario's reflections on the differences between Finland and North America.

Mean Mr. Mustard -- A rapidly improving blog by a college student.

Taki's Top Drawer -- Not a blog, but an archive of the Last Aristocrat's latest published columns.

Dennis Dale's Untethered -- Highly talented writer's reflections, but, please, break it up into more paragraphs!

Mahalanobis -- Economist turned hedge fund guy's quantitative observations

Matt Yglesias -- This is his personal stuff, so my influence on him shows up more here than when he has to share a forum with the likes of Garance Franke-Ruta (who also has a blog, but it's deadly dull -- Garance, you're only interesting when denouncing me or passing on my ideas under your byline, so don't try thinking for yourself.)

Snouck Hurgronje -- Dutch observer of the Muslim immigration issue.

Martin Kelly -- Dyspeptic Glawegian, formerly the G-Gnome

Abode of Amritas -- Hawaiian linguist

Spengler -- The Asian Times columnist

Hard Right -- A. C. Kleinheider's lively and funny blog

Albion's Seedlings -- James C. Bennett's Anglospherist blog

Faceright -- Generalist.

Daily Dose of Optimism -- Investing

Surfeited with Dainties -- Michael Brendan Dougherty has added as co-author John Murphy, who hopefully has a middle name like Seamus or Eoghan

Relapsed Catholic -- From Canada

Leon Hadar -- American Conservative and Cato Institute foreign policy analyst

Udolpho -- Good nasty fun

Dusk in Autumn -- High end human biodiversity and linguistics analysis.

I'm sure I've missed a lot of other good ones I've added in recent months.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Osama's tone of voice

"I Hear the Desperation in Osama's Voice" is the headline on Christopher Hitchens's latest effusion in Slate about the triumphs of the Bush Administration's foreign policy..

Chris, it's been four years and four and a half months since Osama murdered 3,000 of my countrymen. On that day, I put up an American flag on my house and vowed I wouldn't take it down until we got him. A year and a half later it was in tatters and I had to bring it down. The only analysis of Osama's tone of voice that I want to read is one explaining that his death rattle was satisfyingly protracted and painful-sounding.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Garrison Keillor on Bernard-Henri Lévy

The Prairie Home Companion guy's review on NY Times Select makes the overhyped French intellectual's extremely irritating new book AMERICAN VERTIGO: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville sound like a parody of itself written by Dave Barry:

At the stock car race, Lévy senses that the spectators "both dread and hope for an accident." We learn that Los Angeles has no center and is one of the most polluted cities in the country. "Headed for Virginia, and for Norfolk, which is, if I'm not mistaken, one of the oldest towns in a state that was one of the original 13 in the union," Lévy writes. Yes, indeed. He likes Savannah and gets delirious about Seattle, especially the Space Needle, which represents for him "everything that America has always made me dream of: poetry and modernity, precariousness and technical challenge, lightness of form meshed with a Babel syndrome, city lights, the haunting quality of darkness, tall trees of steel." O.K., fine. The Eiffel Tower is quite the deal, too.

But every 10 pages or so, Lévy walks into a wall. About Old Glory, for example. Someone has told him about the rules for proper handling of the flag, and from these (the flag must not be allowed to touch the ground, must be disposed of by burning) he has invented an American flag fetish, a national obsession, a cult of flag worship. Somebody forgot to tell him that to those of us not currently enrolled in the Boy Scouts, these rules aren't a big part of everyday life.

He blows a radiator writing about baseball - "this sport that contributes to establishing people's identities and that has truly become part of their civic and patriotic religion, which is baseball" - and when, visiting Cooperstown ("this new Nazareth"), he finds out that Commissioner Bud Selig once laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington, where Abner Doubleday is also buried, Lévy goes out of his mind. An event important only to Selig and his immediate family becomes, to Lévy, an official proclamation "before the eyes of America and the world" of Abner as "the pope of the national religion . . . that day not just the town but the entire United States joined in a celebration that had the twofold merit of associating the national pastime with the traditional rural values that Fenimore Cooper's town embodies and also with the patriotic grandeur that the name Doubleday bears." Uh, actually not. Negatory on "pope" and "national" and "entire" and "most" and "embodies" and "Doubleday." ...

Bombast comes naturally to him. Rain falls on the crowd gathered for the dedication of the Clinton library in Little Rock, and to Lévy, it signifies the demise of the Democratic Party. As always with French writers, Lévy is short on the facts, long on conclusions. He has a brief encounter with a young man outside of Montgomery, Ala. ("I listen to him tell me, as if he were justifying himself, about his attachment to this region"), and suddenly sees that the young man has "all the reflexes of Southern culture" and the "studied nonchalance . . . so characteristic of the region." With his X-ray vision, Lévy is able to reach tall conclusions with a single bound.

And good Lord, the childlike love of paradox - America is magnificent but mad, greedy and modest, drunk with materialism and religiosity, puritan and outrageous, facing toward the future and yet obsessed with its memories. Americans' party loyalty is "very strong and very pliable, extremely tenacious and in the end somewhat empty." Existential and yet devoid of all content and direction. The partner-swapping club is both "libertine" and "conventional," "depraved" and "proper." And so the reader is fascinated and exhausted by Lévy's tedious and original thinking: "A strong bond holds America together, but a minimal one. An attachment of great force, but not fiercely resolute. A place of high - extremely high - symbolic tension, but a neutral one, a nearly empty one."

And what's with the flurries of rhetorical questions? Is this how the French talk or is it something they save for books about America? "What is a Republican? What distinguishes a Republican in the America of today from a Democrat?" Lévy writes, like a student padding out a term paper. "What does this experience tell us?" he writes about the Mall of America. "What do we learn about American civilization from this mausoleum of merchandise, this funeral accumulation of false goods and nondesires in this end-of-the-world setting? What is the effect on the Americans of today of this confined space, this aquarium, where only a semblance of life seems to subsist?" And what is one to make of the series of questions - 20 in a row - about Hillary Clinton, in which Lévy implies she is seeking the White House to erase the shame of the Lewinsky affair? Was Lévy aware of the game 20 Questions, commonly played on long car trips in America? Are we to read this passage as a metaphor of American restlessness? Does he understand how irritating this is? Does he? Do you? May I stop now?

Yes, Garrison, you may. Job well done.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

"Kobe Bryant and Smush Parker combined for 94 points"

Actually, I don't think any newspapers ran that summary of the Lakers game last night in which Bryant scored 81, the second highest total in NBA history. But I wanted to bring up the (possibly apocryphal) log line, "Wilt Chamberlain and Al Attles combined for 117 points" that one newspaper supposedly printed because they were dumbfounded by how to describe Chamberlain's 100 point game in 1962.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The War on Boys in the schools

Here's a good letter to the editor in the Washington Times:

The gender bias against boys is even greater than the perceptive article "Academic underachievers" (Page 1, Sunday) suggests. Two factors not mentioned in the article are how students are taught and evaluated.

Consider the neglect of political and military history, which involve the real forces of politics, war and peace. Boys are more interested in these than are girls, but such subjects are downplayed in favor of "social" history. For example, my son's American history class devoted one class period each to changes in women's fashions during World War II and discussion of the battles of Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Consider that when writing is taught, great emphasis is placed on keeping journals and expressing feelings, which generally are more interesting to girls than to boys, at the expense of a gender-neutral emphasis on expository writing and argumentation. Which is more useful in life, the ability to compose paeans to me, myself and I or the ability to set down one's ideas in cogent form?

Consider the importance given to writing throughout the curriculum, even in mathematics and science classes, which favors girls over boys. By contrast, no educator has ever emphasized the importance of teaching mathematics across the curriculum: Sciences courses have been stripped of math requirements, and social studies courses neglect statistical topics and even the use of data to illustrate important demographic and population trends. This emphasis exists despite the fact that mathematics is extremely useful in everyday life and for many careers, while few jobs require the kind of writing that schools stress.

Consider the revised SAT, with its recently added writing section. Writing again is elevated at the expense of mathematics, which is only one-third the total score. Again this shows bias against boys, who traditionally excel at mathematics, and in favor of girls, who are more likely to like writing. Consider the growing bias in favor of using mixed ability groupings, which downplays individual competition in favor of interpersonal cooperation and places a great burden on students to manage each other. Finally, consider grading practices that emphasize student behavior and assignment completion but not test scores. Tests are far better measures of what is learned, but because girls are better behaved than boys, de-emphasizing test scores favors girls over boys.

Unless these deep and pervasive biases in grading and curricula are addressed, boys will continue to lag behind.

Former commissioner
National Center for Education Statistics
U.S. Department of Education

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Canadian Election

A reader writes:

Not one single riding/district in Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal went to the Conservative party. Each of these cities has a high immigrant proportion. They all voted for the corrupt party and the socialist party.

If immigrants destabilize a political system by disproportionately voting for one party, rather than voting the spectrum like natives, then why should citizens vote to increase rates of immigration when those very people will simply vote to redistribute wealth from the natives to themselves.

If white-bread Canada, OK multigrain is not exempt from this, where the immigrants come from many nations with possibly China and India being the dominant two, why do Republicans think that hispanics can be wooed to their party?

Native-born Canadians were disgusted with self-dealing corrupt practices exhibited by the Liberals and wanted clean gov't yet disproportionate numbers of immigrants vote for the moneytrain party.

Here's Peter Brimelow and here's Hogtown Front on the election.

The fundamental problem with Canada, as Brimelow explained in his book The Patriot Game almost two decades ago, is that it is not a nation-state: it was two nations under one state. Quebec would make a reasonable nation-state, and British Canada would make an excellent one. But to save this unnatural governmental arrangement from the perfectly rational result of Quebec walking out, Pierre Trudeau invented the current system that is based on the abasement of British Canada. Then the ruling class turned around and covertly stuck it to Quebec by using the multiculturalist rhetoric that justifies Quebec's privileged position to import vast numbers of immigrants, some of whom filter into Quebec, to keep the separatist vote in Quebec just below 50.01%. Of course, most of the immigrants move to British Canada, further abasing that nation, but that is a price the ruling elite is perfectly willing to pay.

I've noticed that lots of American conservatives hold a knee-jerk opposition to Quebec independence on the grounds that French people are evil and must be kept down. (One pundit told me in 2000 that if Quebec wins its independence, it would invite China's People's Liberation Army in to set up bases on our borders.) What they don't understand is the price Anglophone Canada pays to keep Quebec in the country.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Politically incorrect fashion analysis

The new Dusk in Autumn blog has run several fascinating, number-filled analyses of sex and orientation differences among fashion designers:

1) At the most basic Level 1, "students at top fashion design schools," we observe a Men to Women ratio [M:W] of about 1 to 13 at Parsons and about 1 to 5.7 at FIT, among the most prestigious schools internationally...

2) Moving up to Level 2, "good enough to be showcased," the M:W is 1.29 to 1 among members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Sartorial encyclopedias Who's Who in Fashion and The Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion -- both edited by women -- show a M:W of 1.5 to 1 and 1.9 to 1, respectively, among those featured...

3) At the top Level 3, "fashion's elite," we count those great enough to win top awards, to enter The Canon, etc. The winners of the CFDA's Perry Ellis awards for emerging talent show a M:W of 3.6 to 1, nearly triple the M:W of its membership. I came up with a pretty objective (though as always somewhat subjective) list of the most influential female designers and got 9: Vionnet, Lanvin, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Sander, Prada, Westwood, Karan, and Kawakubo. I then listed the male designers at least as influential and got 24. To save space, see the appendix for the men. This gives a M:W of 2.7 to 1. Let's say, then, that M:W at Level 3 is about 3 to 1....

To foreshadow Part III of this series, in fact very few men so gifted drift toward fashion; most male fashion designers are gay. Most estimates of gay men in the male population range from 1% to 5% -- we'll assume 3%, or 1.5% of all people. However, they represent 54% of all Perry Ellis award winners and 33% of all in my most influential list. Thus, they are from 22 to 36 times more frequent at fashion's Level 3 than they are in the general population. Lesbians are typically estimated at half the frequency of gay men, meaning straight women represent about 49% of the population at large. All females at Level 3 are straight and comprise 22% of Perry Ellis award winners and 27% of my most influential list, meaning they are only about half as frequent here as they are in the general population.

... The M:W for winners of the most prestigious awards in architecture, the Pritzker Prize and the AIA Gold Medal, are 27 to 1 and 61 to 0, respectively.

And here is Dusk's subjective list of the top 24 most influential male fashion designers and his assessment of their sexual orientation, with "G" for gay and "PG" for "Probably Gay" (or, perhaps, "Parental Guidance advised if this gentleman volunteers to be your son's new Scoutmaster"):

Cardin, Dior (PG), Saint-Laurent (G), Ellis (G), Gautier (G), Armani (G), Versace (G), Tom Ford (G), Klein, Lauren, Miyake, Yamamoto, Galliano (G), Slimane, McQueen (G), Balenciaga (PG), Dolce & Gabbana (G; counted only once), Lagerfeld (G), Helmut Lang, Givenchy, Chalayan, Valentino (G), Alaïa, Poiret.

I wouldn't think Calvin Klein is 100% straight, but, what do I know?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

The Flynn Effect in the Caribbean

Here's the abstract of a new study in the Mankind Quarterly reporting quite rapid increases in raw IQ test scores of about 18 points over 25 years:

Generational Change of Cognitive Test Performance in Dominica
Gerhard Meisenberg, Elliott Lawless, Eleonor Lambert and Anne Newton

Mental ability, as assessed by standardized tests, is not fixed in time. Large IQ gains have been recorded in many industrialized countries during the 20th century, but very little is known about IQ trends in the less developed countries. The present study investigates generational changes in mental test performance on the Caribbean island of Dominica. In a cross-sectional design, Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices were administered to two age groups: young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years, and older adults between the ages of 51 and 62 years. Raw scores were 23.3 ± 11.4 points for the older generation and 36.1 ± 10.9 points for the younger generation. Compared to the current British norms for their respective age groups, the average IQs of these two cohorts were estimated as 61 and 73, respectively. Since the age-specific British norms reflect a rising IQ trend in Britain already, the real gain in Dominica is not 12 points but approximately 17 to 19 points. The results on a vocabulary test suggest similar cohort gains in word knowledge. Differences between the Afro-Caribbean majority and the native Caribs were small. Data are presented to show that the difference between the two age groups represents a cohort effect rather than an aging effect. The implications of the Flynn effect for economic development and cultural evolution are discussed.

Typically, the rare published reports on the size of the Flynn Effect in 3rd World countries fail to mention the actual IQ scores, so this one reporting a rise from 61 to about 79 over one generation is particularly interesting.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

January 24, 2006

Ghana endorses my plan for improving Africa

Ghana News Today reports on a problem I've highlighted twice on VDARE.com (first and second), but which almost nobody else in the West has dared talk about because it involves IQ.

Ghanaian Children Lose IQ For Taking Non-Iodated Salt

A study carried out by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that Ghanaian children are losing between 10 and 15 intelligence quotient (IQ) points for consuming salt without the adequate levels of iodine.

A programme officer of UNICEF in charge of nutrition, Mrs Ernestina Agyepong, who stated this at a seminar on breastfeeding in Accra yesterday, said the study also revealed that apart from the Brong Ahafo, Western and Ashanti regions, where 60 per cent of the households used iodised salt, most households in other regions had failed to use it in the preparation of meals.

She said ironically, at Ada, where iodised salt was produced, only two per cent of the households used it. Mrs Agyepong said UNICEF and the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) would soon embark on a programme to ensure that all non-iodised salt was removed from the market and urged all salt producers to ensure that all salt put out for consumption was iodised.

Here in the U.S., inland parts of the U.S. had trouble with "cretinism" caused by lack of iodine in the diet until all salt was fortified with iodine back before WWII. This probably was one of the contributors to the Flynn Effect of rising IQ scores, although I doubt that the overall effect was to drive IQ scores down the 10-15 points claimed in the article. But, the lack of iodine (and iron) in the diet in Africa does help explain the approximate 15 point gap between average IQs among sub-Saharan Africans and African-Americans.

On breastfeeding, Mrs Agyepong said promoting exclusive breastfeeding into the second-year of lif , appropriate complementary feeding, growth promotion and other activities were intrinsically linked to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the elimination of hunger and would ensure the holistic development of the child.

“There cannot be any better start in life for the child than to breastfeed properly to ensure good nutrition and the best start in life,” she added.

She noted that unrestricted promotion of breast milk substitutes was a major threat to the promotion of breast milk, adding that in the Central Region, for example, the breastfeeding rate was 33 per cent, far below the national average of 53 per cent.

I've been pushing breastfeeding as a way to narrow the black-white IQ gap in the U.S. since 2000, although the evidence is less conclusive for that than for iodine and iron fortification in the Third World. I did see recently that nursing rates have been going up among African-Americans, which is good news.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

January 23, 2006

David Brock: Is Mr. Guilt-by-Association Guilty by Association with Me?

I'm being smeared by Mr. Truth-Teller, David Brock! The old sleazemeister-turned-politically-correct-scold is very, very upset that I was allowed to yak about movies on the NBC Nightly News for 20 (admittedly, almost endless-seeming) seconds during the oh so heavily-viewed Saturday evening edition. Personally, I can't think of any more effective way to achieve Brock's long term goal of driving me out of the public eye for crimethink than putting me on TV immediately after George Clooney... but Brock isn't much of a strategic thinker. I wouldn't look so awful following, say, Andy Rooney on a bad hangover day, but after George Clooney, c'mon ... the contrast is so absurd you might as well put a sign around my neck saying "Deformed Nosepicker."

This hit piece is Brock's usual guilt-by-association demonization job that his leftist-funded Media Matters website has tried on me who-knows-how-many-times-before: you know, the usual: Roy Cohn meets Six-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon.

Which is all pretty funny because David Brock may well owe the most famous exploit of his brilliant career -- bringing about the impeachment of President Clinton -- to that cynosure of all that's evil ... namely, me.

Talk about guilt-by-association!

Back in December of 1992, a month after the election of Bill Clinton, I sent Brock's employer, The American Spectator magazine, an essay about how vulnerable the President-Erlect was to the exact same charges of sexual harassment made by Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas, charges that had helped propel Bill and Hill into the White House during "the Year of the Woman." I wrote:

I know of no evidence whatsoever that Clinton has ever made "unwanted sexual advances to women who worked for him or with him." Yet, if I was an investigative reporter wishing to make a name for myself as the Woodward/Bernstein of the 90's, I'd be highly intrigued by these facts: Governor Clinton has for many years presided over thousands of female state employees. By his own testimony, he has not always paid strict attention to his marriage vows. Finally, he is widely reputed to be a man like any other man, only more so.

On the other hand, Mr. Clinton is younger and more Kennedyesque than the hapless Mr. [Robert] Packwood, so a higher proportion of any propositions he might have made would have ultimately proven to be "wanted," thus letting him off the hook, according to the fascinating logic of current harassment theory. Yet, not even Warren Beatty has a career batting average of 1.000. So, all in all, it seems likely that some enterprising reporter is going to think it worth his while to go Pulitzer hunting among the secretarial pools and law offices of Little Rock. I'm sure they've been raked over before by journalists, but they were looking for the wrong kind of woman. Far more scandalous in today's environment would be the story of the woman who didn't commit adultery with Bill Clinton.

Most likely, the reporter won't find anybody who'll say anything. Quite possibly, there is nothing to be said. But if there is, at any moment over the next four years a vast brouhaha may erupt. While initially amusing to contemplate, the thought of a Watergate-like paralysis of the executive branch, followed by an Al Gore Presidency and a retributive Democratic attack on every Republican who has ever winked at a pretty girl, is not.

If Mr. Clinton has any secret worries on this score, he should act now. A vague confession and apology would cause a short flurry of tsk-tsking, but the ultimate loser would not be the President but the expansive definition of sexual harassment.

The American Spectator
dispatched their investigative reporter David Brock, author of a muckraking attack on Anita Hill, to Little Rock from whence he returned with lengthy articles about Bill Clinton's sex habits. Indeed, Brock's reporting led to Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit (which Clinton eventually settled for $850,000), in which Clinton perjured himself over Monica Lewinsky (causing him to lose his Arkansas legal license), brining about his 1998 impeachment.

Perhaps Brock's magazine would have got the idea anyway without my suggesting it to them, so we can't say for sure what the exact chain of causality was. But, judging by the standards of guilt-by-association he uses against me, he sure looks guilty as charged!

By the way, I want to thank my co-conspirator David Brock for kindly posting a usable video copy of the NBC segment on his Media Matters website. I hadn't been able to get the one on the NBC site to display, but my ally's works like a charm (here).

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

January 22, 2006

More on "Glory Road"

From my upcoming review in The American Conservative:

Josh Lucas, who exhibited ornery charm as Reese Witherspoon's redneck husband in "Sweet Home Alabama," gruffly plays new basketball coach Don Haskins, who in 1965 brings to the benighted Southern school (now the U. of Texas at El Paso) the radical idea of recruiting blacks. Although his seven Northern newcomers are the victims of racist violence and vandalism, they persevere to the NCAA Final where they confront august coach Adolph Rupp and his mighty all-white Kentucky team, backed by their Confederate flag-waving fans. To make a civil rights statement, Haskins chooses to play only African-Americans. Their astonishing victory finally opens the doors to black basketball players.

Unfortunately, that paragraph is mostly Hollywood hooey.

To find out what really happened, well, you'll have to get the magazine. Subscribe here.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Albion's Seed and Surname Mapping

You can use the Hamrick map of last name frequencies by state to see some of the themes in historian David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed. For example, you can see how the descendents of New England Puritans spread across the Northern tier of the country by looking at the old Puritan name "Huntington" (as in railroad tycoon Henry E. Huntington of Huntington Library and Gardens and Prof. Samuel Huntington of Harvard) as it spreads across the northern reaches of the country in this animation.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

P.J. O'Rourke on his kingly background in Ireland

A reader writes:

Just for your amusement, an excerpt from "That Piece of Ireland That Passeth All Understanding" by P.J. O'Rourke, taken from "Give War A Chance" by the same (New York: Vintage Books, 1993; p. 30 et seq.):

"An O'Rourke, you say?" And I got to hear the entire history of my clan.

It seems we were kings in the olden days. But who wasn't? It must have been interesting, the Ireland of Zero A.D.: "I'm the king--from this rock down to the creek and from that cow to the tree. And this is my wife, the Queen, and our dog, Prince." And it must have been every bit as peaceful as it is today, with a million or two kings on one island...

The best thing about the violence in Northern Ireland is that it's all so ancient and honorable. And I'm proud to say it began in the household of my own relative Tighernan O'Rourke, Price of Breffni. In 1152 Tighernan's comely wife Dervorgilla ran off with Diaruid MacMurrough, King of Leinster. Cousin O'Rourke raised such a stink (and army) that MacMurrough had to call King Henry II of England for help. The Brits arrived, somewhat tardily, in 1169 and proceeded to commit the unforgiveable sin of having long bows and chain mail. For the next 819 years (and counting) the English stole land, crushed rebellions, exploited the populace, persecuted Catholics, dragged a bunch of Scottish settlers into Ulster, crushed more rebellions, held potato famines, hanged patriots, stamped out the language, taxed everybody's pig, crushed more rebellions yet and generally behaved in a manner much different than the Irish would have if it had been the Irish who invaded England and the shoe was on the other foot (assuming the Irish could afford shoes).

For complicated reasons I can't quite recall, P.J.'s O'Rourkes are Protestants, not Catholics, which might explain the unsympathetic tone.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Neocons: We meant "Attack Iran," not "Attack Iraq"

Are you going to hold us responsible for just getting one single little letter wrong?

It's an easy mistake to make. When my wife was in college, she assumed that Iraq was the capital of Iran. (Not surprisingly, she found the news reports in 1980 of the outbreak of the Iraq-Iran war quite puzzling. I suspect she had a lot of company. I wouldn't be surprised if a third of Bush's voters in 2004 thought we were fighting in the country that took our embassy officials hostage in 1979.)

On Eunomia, Daniel Larison writes about the latest agitation to get America into war with Iran:

The key mistake that doomed opposition to the Iraq war was the concession by opponents that Iraq posed any kind of a threat to the United States at all. This was untrue in every sense of the word. Iraq was about as much of a threat to American security in 2003 as Burma, and probably less.

Iran could make the government's life very difficult in the Near East if it so chose, but even with nuclear weapons it is not even as "direct and immediate" a threat to the United States as Pakistan is today. In Pakistan it is conceivably a much shorter path to al-Qaeda itself acquiring nuclear weapons, as some ties between the ISI, the Taliban and al-Qaeda remain in spite of all official statements to the contrary.

In the less-than-worst-case scenario, Musharraf is toppled and a radical faction from within the military takes over, one that is friendly to the Taliban and keen to resume conflict with India over Kashmir. Iran is the natural enemy of all these forces, and so should be considered (if we were actually making policy in our real national interest) as prospective ally, not a prospective target. [More]

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

A major article by me on "Citizenism"

in the brand new American Conservative of Feb. 13th (subscribe here). In the past, I've defended "citizenism" from the attacks of the white nationalists, but haven't had a chance until now to go on the offensive with it against neoconservative "propositionism" and liberal "anti-discriminationism." Here's an excerpt from this long article:

More than most peoples, Americans are idealists. This is both one of America's glories and curses, because it makes us particularly vulnerable to manipulation by self-interested word-spinners. Nowhere is this more evident than in the immigration debate, where the restrictionists have most of the facts and logic on their side, but the beneficiaries of the current system of malign neglect of the laws have succeeded in blocking reform largely by defining themselves as the holders of the ethical and intellectual high ground.

If you want to win at American politics, you need a moral theory. Fortunately, there is a concept that is both more practical and more attractive to Americans' idealism than either liberal "multiculturalism" or neoconservative "propositionism." I call it "citizenism" because it affirms that true patriots and idealists are willing to make sacrifices for the overall good of their fellow American citizens, rather than for the advantage of either the six billion non-citizens or of the special interests within our country. The notion is sensible, its appeal broad. Yet, it has seldom been explicitly articulated...

How do they keep winning? The articulate and affluent who profit from illegal immigration look down their noses at anyone who wants to reduce it. They don't debate dissenters, they dismiss them. Their most effective ploy has been to insinuate that only shallow people think deeply about immigration. The more profound sort of intellect, the fashionable imply, displays an insouciant heedlessness about the long-term impact of immigration.

Yet, the well-educated and well-to-do aren't expected to subject their own children to the often unpleasant realities of living among the "diverse." They carefully search out homes removed by distance or doormen from concentrations of illegal aliens (although, ideally, not so far that the immigrants can't come and clean their houses tax-free). As our Ascendancy of the Sensitive sees it, that their views are utterly contradicted by how they order their daily lives is proof not of their hypocrisy but of how elevated their thinking is.

This doesn't mean that the white elites view minorities as their equals. Far from it. Instead, they can't conceive of them as competition: Nobody from Chiapas is going to take my job. Status competition in the upper reaches of American life still largely consists of whites trying to claw their way to the top over other whites, who, as examples, make up 99 percent of the Fortune 500 CEOs and 94 percent of the Hollywood screenwriters.

That's why the media treats the outsourcing of hundreds of thousands of white-collar jobs to English-speaking high IQ Indians as a respectable cause for alarm, but not the insourcing of tens of millions of immigrants to perform blue collar and servile jobs.

Of course, our elites aren't against being personally selected themselves for higher status positions. Indeed, they compete fiercely to have their children admitted to the most exclusive schools. In the bestselling novel The Nanny Diaries, the wealthy Manhattan mother hires a developmental consultant to evaluate Nanny's prepping of four-year-old Grayer for the grueling pre-school application process. The expert grills the servant with questions such as: "How many bilingual meals are you serving him a week? ... And you are attending the Guggenheim on what basis?" Shocked to learn that Nanny is letting little Grayer do the kinds of things four-year-olds like to do, the consultant concludes, "I have to question whether you're leveraging your assets to escalate Grayer's performance."

What is left out of the novel might be even funnier: All toddlers aiming for prestigious private nursery schools in New York City must take the 60-75 minute Wechsler IQ test administered by the Educational Records Bureau for $375. Yet, their private obsession with their children's IQ hasn't stopped the Manhattan media mafia, ever since the Bell Curve brouhaha, from publicly denouncing IQ testing as a racist and discredited concept.

The typical white intellectual considers himself superior to ordinary white folks for two contradictory reasons. First, he constantly proclaims his belief in human equality, but they don't. Second, he has a high IQ, but they don't.

This anti-discrimination ideology doesn't mean liberals refrain from discriminating among people in private, which would be impossible. Instead, it simply implies that to discuss in public how the choices among individuals should be made and what their consequences might be would be in the worst possible taste.

Decisions over what Lenin aptly described as the key questions of "Who? Whom?" continue to be made, of course, but by special interests in private.

To read the rest, get the magazine.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Another Iran question

Back before the Iraq Attaq, I was deeply skeptical of the wisdom of an invasion, but, unfortunately, I didn't fully buy into physicist Gregory Cochran's now-confirmed logic on why Saddam couldn't possibly be building nuclear weapons.

I did ask, however, why, rather than invade, we couldn't just blow up any Iranian nuclear laboratories with cruise missiles or JDAM bombs. Back then, the neocons scoffed that airstrikes were impractical since the wily Saddam had a country the size of California in which to use his countless billions in oil smuggling profits to hide his vast underground Dr. Evil-like laboratories. And what about the deadly radiation fallout from blowing up his vast plutonium stockpiles? The only feasible American response, they said, was invasion.

Well, that all turned out to be hooey -- Saddam barely had any money and had no high tech WMD laboratories, underground, above-ground, driving around in mobile homes, floating in Zeppelins, or wherever.

But now that the American public has gown wary of invading countries that begin with I-r-a, the neocons are telling us that no invasion of Iran would be necessary to root out Iran's entire nuclear infrastructure. We could just do it all push-button style from the air.

Perhaps, but considering that Iran is not the size of California, but is instead more than twice the size of Texas, and has a GDP (in purchasing power terms) about six times that of Iraq, why have the neocons suddenly become so confident in the power of airstrikes alone? Or is promoting airstrikes just a way to get us into a war with Iran that will eventually require a ground war too?

By the way, is there much evidence that Iran is gearing up for nonstop aggressive war? According to the CIA World Factbook, Iran's military spending in 2003 was $4.3 billion dollars (compared to America's planned expenditure of 370.7 billion, which I imagine came in higher due to to the expenses of the Iraq occupation). That was all of 3.3% of Iran's GDP, which doesn't suggest fanatical militarism to me.

In case you are wondering, Israel's military spending was $9.1 billion, which was 8.7% of GDP. Iran's main (perhaps only) military advantage over Israel is in potential quantity of cannon fodder (as it showed in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war), but that's no threat to Israel because Iran doesn't share any borders with Israel. (Iranian cannon fodder would be more of a problem for the U.S., since we have 150,000 troops in neighboring Iraq, who, in case the U.S. attacks Iran, might come under either guerilla attack from Shi'ite sympathizers in Iraq or by conventional attack by the main Iranian army.) The current claim that Iran threatens to overtake Israel in a high tech arms race seems laughable.

The simplest explanation for why Iran would want a nuclear bomb is the most plausible: it wants a deterrent against American and/or Israeli aggression. Considering that we launched a war of aggression against Iraq just three years ago, it's hard to conceive why any Iranian patriot wouldn't, all else being equal, want a deterrent.

By the way, if the crazy Shi'ite fundamentalists in Iran are such a threat, why did we start a war to put the crazy Shi'ite fundamentalists in Iraq into power? Just asking ...

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer