Is that goal worth killing people?
Why do you think that will work?
I went there [Harvard Law School] one year behind Obama, had one class together. I graduated cum laude, and my measured IQ last time was 156, and I got perfect score on LSAT. But I am also a little bit ADHD-ish, and I don't think I studied as diligently as most of my peers. I mention this because (besides being defensive about not doing better) while the HLS population is quite smart, they are even more different from average in discipline and diligence, and while Obama was not the smartest guy there, he was f****** amazing in terms of discipline. Over all, I think his package of mental gifts are well superior to mine.
First of all, not all classes were blind graded. On many there were signed papers. And in my class, Obama sat in the front row every day and gazed at the professor with an adoration that Nancy Reagan would have been embarrassed to beam at Ron. He worked them incredibly assiduously. And very successfully. That helped his scores. That isn't LSAT intelligence, but it requires an interpersonal skill that is way beyond mine, and I hazard, way beyond anyone reading this. That is very demanding, and he had that ON TOP OF very respectable raw IQ.
I know that because there are a lot of classes that are blind graded, not easily gamed, and you can't be a dope in them and get magna. Even without his brilliant suck-up skills, he would make the top half of the Harvard distribution.
Steve is right to focus on his ability to paraphrase opponents' arguments to disarm them. Someone of glaringly average intelligence -- like say, Amanda Marcotte -- is a complete failure at that.
As far as his hesitation to make decisions, I don't ascribe that to lack of intelligence. It is part conscious strategy. He never gave a substantive opinion in class -- he just paraphrased others. People loved it, and thought he was brilliant. Those of us who thought that made him a pussy were few and far between. And he kept to that strategy with iron discipline. You might think of it as like the post-modern philosophy in chess: never commit until after the other guy does, and then you have the chance to decide what to do when you have learned more. I agree there are a lot of problems with that strategy for being president, but it sure does seem to work like gang-busters for getting to be president.
Though I think it is more than strategy, cause he does it even when it is stupid. I think that was his survival skill for being the only black kid in Hawaii and Indonesia. I mean think about it, that has to be terrifying, and living in that kind of fear for so long has to leave a mark. Clinton learned from his abusive alcoholic parents to lie lie lie, and do whatever feels good. Obama learned from his disinterested, abandoning parents to never let yourself be vulnerable by committing to anything.
Anyway, my main point is: I don't want this guy to be president, and I don't share his beliefs, and I think he is more than half a crook (see e.g. Michelle's bag collecting disguised as a phony baloney job at U of C hospital). But anyone is a fool who takes his talents lightly.
Exactly how smart is Obama? He is represented, by self and media lickers-and-kissers as "the smartest guy in the room." Yet as far as I can see, there's absolutely no documentation for this claim.Virtually everything he's been given has been donated willingly on the basis of what he is--pan racial, seemingly articulate and forthright exotic who wears clothes brilliantly and is highly charismatic--than what he's done. No grades, no scores, no actual accomplishments. So how smart is he? Is he really smart? He's articulate but he uses his charm in any circumstance where he's out-IQed, and if his charm fails, so does his confidence, and he lurches in gibberish, well documented.
Has he ever thought anything through in a conscientious way? Does he look under, through or behind the bromides that he so glibly produces on cue? There's no evidence of any of this. He takes his time on making decisions, but to me that's more a sign of fear, even panic, as he knows he must commit and defend, as opposed to simply being Obama, and that scares him silly. He's not stupid; he's certainly well above average, but at the same time far below distinguished. He's smart enough to see nuances but he's not disciplined enough to discriminate between them, ignore the inappropriate ones, and lead on, as Bush (also no genius) was willing to do, and take the heat, as the heat quite clearly bothers him. (As well it should; he's never felt it before; he's always been beloved.)
Anyway, for me, this calculates out to about a 115. What do you think/ Love to see your ruminations on this one, and your reader's responses.
An unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry official condemned the ongoing coalition airstrikes on Qadhafi forces and told state media that Tripoli was tricked by the West into giving up its nuclear-weapon technology in "an invasion tactic to disarm the country."
In exchange for diplomatic recognition and economic aid, Tripoli surrendered technology that included a largely complete warhead design and 4,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges capable of generating fissile material ...
"The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson," the official said, emphasizing that the North's strategy of building up its own military was "proper in a thousand ways" and the only assurance of stability for the Korean Peninsula.
High-ranking officials in Pyongyang tracking the air assaults on Libya "must feel alarmed, but also deeply satisfied with themselves," Korea University professor Rüdiger Frank wrote in a web posting.
The Qadhafi case was "at least the third instance in two decades that would seem to offer proof that they did something right while others failed and ultimately paid the price," Frank said. He cited the former Soviet Union's determination to stop its military buildup and to "abandon the political option to use their weapons of mass destruction," along with ex-Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein's acceptance of international WMD monitors into Iraq.
"To put it bluntly in the eyes of the North Korean leadership all three countries took the economic bait, foolishly disarmed themselves, and once they were defenseless, were mercilessly punished by the West," Frank said.
"It requires little imaginative power to see what conclusions will be drawn in Pyongyang," the professor said, asserting that any high-level North Korean voices who supported nuclear disarmament "will now be silent."
The rise of the nerds to mainstream dominance is one of popular culture’s most important developments over the last generation. Consider the gulf in sensibility between old Hollywood blockbusters such as Gone with the Wind and characteristic 21st-century tent poles such as Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and The Dark Knight.
A central figure in the evolution of obsessive geeks into a self-aware, self-confident community was science-fiction author Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988). For many of the mid-20th century’s lonely youths, discovering Heinlein stories in pulp sci-fi magazines or at the public library was a you-are-not-alone moment.
Yet a massive new Heinlein biography by William H. Patterson, Jr. illustrates a paradox: Heinlein himself wasn’t a nerd. Weighing in at 624 fact-crammed pages, Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume I, 1907-1948: Learning Curve> (whew…) is redolent of the Aspergery culture that Heinlein helped call forth. ...
Ironically, the urbane Heinlein preached the virtues of being an all-arounder.
Charlie Trotter, a Leader Left Behind
Though [chef Charlie Trotter] can be genial and very funny, he has never been able to shake his label as a tyrant of fine dining. In fact, it’s the main way his name has been coming up of late. Grant Achatz, the chef and an owner of the Chicago restaurant Alinea, devotes an entire chapter to Mr. Trotter’s scariness in his new memoir, “Life, on the Line.”
Otherwise, Mr. Trotter hardly seems to figure in the national food conversation anymore. In the very years when Chicago has gloried in newfound recognition as a major restaurant destination, with the spotlight trained upon alumni of Mr. Trotter’s kitchen like Mr. Achatz, Homaro Cantu (of Moto), Giuseppe Tentori (of Boka), and Graham Elliot (of Graham Elliot), the man who put the city on the fine-dining map has somehow fallen below the radar. ...
It’s a curious fate for a chef who turned a page in American culinary history. Charlie Trotter’s opened in 1987 in the Lincoln Park town house it still occupies. ... Mr. Trotter was a homegrown talent who saw no reason an American restaurant couldn’t offer the same experience that gastro-tourists enjoyed in Europe: the tasting menu of multiple small courses, each audacious in its inventiveness and exquisite in its ingredients. And he pulled it off — at 27.
Yet Mr. Trotter never quite cracked the code of how to expand his brand.
But there remains a perception that there’s more to these off-site fizzles — that Mr. Trotter is a perfectionist control freak, temperamentally ill-equipped to delegate and collaborate. ... Mr. Trotter grants that control is exceedingly important to him, and that there is an inherent contradiction between the nature of his business — hospitality — and the radical extent to which he takes his quest for excellence.
“You know the old adage that the customer’s always right?” he said. “Well, I kind of think that the opposite is true. The customer is rarely right. And that is why you must seize the control of the circumstance and dominate every last detail: to guarantee that they’re going to have a far better time than they ever would have had if they tried to control it themselves.”
“Alice Waters may have discovered vegetables, but Trotter was the first man I know who cooked them beautifully,” said Alan Richman, the longtime restaurant critic for GQ. ...
by Barack Obama
It's been more than two months since the tragedy in Tucson stunned the nation. It was a moment when we came together as one people to mourn and to pray for those we lost. And in the attack's turbulent wake, Americans by and large rightly refrained from finger-pointing, assigning blame or playing politics with other people's pain.
But one clear and terrible fact remains. A man our Army rejected as unfit for service; a man one of our colleges deemed too unstable for studies; a man apparently bent on violence, was able to walk into a store and buy a gun. ...
But since that day, we have lost perhaps another 2,000 members of our American family to gun violence. ... I know that every time we try to talk about guns, it can reinforce stark divides. People shout at one another, which makes it impossible to listen. ... I'm willing to bet that responsible, law-abiding gun owners agree that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few - dangerous criminals and fugitives, for example - from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.
Women Engineers Are Jerk-Averse
Anna North notes new research on why women leave the science and engineering fields, which often comes down to women not enjoying being mistreated by jerks ...
What is true, though, is, is that we have piled on a lot of standardized tests on our kids. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a standardized test being given occasionally just to give a baseline of where kids are at. Malia and Sasha, my two daughters, they just recently took a standardized test. But it wasn’t a high-stakes test. It wasn’t a test where they had to panic. I mean, they didn’t even really know that they were going to take it ahead of time. They didn’t study for it, they just went ahead and took it. And it was a tool to diagnose where they were strong, where they were weak, and what the teachers needed to emphasize.
Too often what we've been doing is using these tests to punish students or to, in some cases, punish schools.
And so what we've said is let’s find a test that everybody agrees makes sense; let’s apply it in a less pressured-packed atmosphere; let’s figure out whether we have to do it every year or whether we can do it maybe every several years; and let’s make sure that that's not the only way we're judging whether a school is doing well.
Because there are other criteria: What’s the attendance rate? How are young people performing in terms of basic competency on projects? There are other ways of us measuring whether students are doing well or not.
"We've got a problem," he told Packouz, shouting to be heard over the restaurant's thumping music. "The plane has been seized on the runway in Kyrgyzstan."
The arms shipment, it appeared, was being used as a bargaining chip in a high-stakes standoff between George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. The Russian president didn't like NATO expanding into Kyrgyzstan, and the Kyrgyzs wanted the U.S. government to pay more rent to use their airport as a crucial supply line for the war in Afghanistan. Putin's allies in the Kyrgyz KGB, it seemed, were holding the plane hostage — and Packouz was going to be charged a $300,000 fine for every day it sat on the runway. Word of the seizure quickly reached Washington, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates himself was soon on his way to Kyrgyzstan to defuse the mounting tensions.
Packouz was baffled, stoned and way out of his league. "It was surreal," he recalls. "Here I was dealing with matters of international security, and I was half-baked. I didn't know anything about the situation in that part of the world. But I was a central player in the Afghan war — and if our delivery didn't make it to Kabul, the entire strategy of building up the Afghanistan army was going to fail. It was totally killing my buzz.
Packouz was about to get a rare education. He watched as Diveroli won a State Department contract to supply high-grade FN Herstal machine guns to the Colombian army. It was a lucrative deal, but Diveroli wasn't satisfied — he always wanted more. So he persuaded the State Department to allow him to substitute Korean-made knockoffs instead of the high-end Herstals — a swap that instantly doubled his earnings. Diveroli did the same with a large helmet order for the Iraqi army, pushing the Pentagon to accept poorer-quality Chinese-made helmets once he had won the contract. After all, it wasn't like the military was buying weapons and helmets for American soldiers. The hapless end-users were foreigners, and who was going to go the extra mile for them?
The federal government recently took Marin to task for not reaching out more to people of color when it comes to providing affordable housing. The feds say Marin is not fully in compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act… … A county spokesman tells me it’s difficult to build any new housing in Marin. … Marin County is now promising to do more in a report just issued this week. The feds are reviewing it.
Second: You can make a tax deductible contribution via VDARE by clicking here. (Paypal and credit cards accepted, including recurring "subscription" donations.) UPDATE: Don't try this at the moment.
Here's the Google Wallet FAQ. From it: "You will need to have (or sign up for) Google Wallet to send or receive money. If you have ever purchased anything on Google Play, then you most likely already have a Google Wallet. If you do not yet have a Google Wallet, don’t worry, the process is simple: go to wallet.google.com and follow the steps." You probably already have a Google ID and password, which Google Wallet uses, so signing up Wallet is pretty painless.
You can put money into your Google Wallet Balance from your bank account and send it with no service fee.
Or you can send money via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover) with the industry-standard 2.9% fee. (You don't need to put money into your Google Wallet Balance to do this.)
Google Wallet works from both a website and a smartphone app (Android and iPhone -- the Google Wallet app is currently available only in the U.S., but the Google Wallet website can be used in 160 countries).
Fourth: if you have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Wells Fargo SurePay. Just tell WF SurePay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address steveslrATaol.com -- replace the AT with the usual @). (Non-tax deductible.)
Fifth: if you have a Chase bank account (or, theoretically,other bank accounts), you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Chase QuickPay (FAQ). Just tell Chase QuickPay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address (steveslrATaol.com -- replace the AT with the usual @). If Chase asks for the name on my account, it's Steven Sailer with an n at the end of Steven. (Non-tax deductible.)