June 7, 2008

"Under the Same Moon"

From my review last spring in The American Conservative:

"Under the Same Moon"

The once-lively Mexican film industry stagnated after it was nationalized in the late 1950s, but revived in 1990s with the loosening of the government's velvet stranglehold on the arts. By last year, three art house films by Mexican directors, "Babel," "Pan's Labyrinth," and "Children of Men," garnered a total of 16 Oscar nominations.

Meanwhile, the number of Mexicans in the United States continues to soar, eliciting the interest of movie moguls hoping somehow to woo the enormous, but opaque illegal immigrant market away from the Univision television network. (Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" was a huge hit among undocumented filmgoers, but Hollywood would rather not remember that missed opportunity.)

Expecting synergy, the Weinstein Company and Fox Searchlight paid $5 million at the 2007 Sundance film festival for "Under the Same Moon," a sentimental family film made by Patricia Riggen, daughter of a Guadalajara surgeon. (Part of its $2 million budget was provided by the Mexican government.)

"Under the Same Moon" tells the dual stories of a nine-year-old boy who stays with his grandmother in Sonora and his illegal immigrant mother, who has lived in a garage in East L.A. for four years so she can send him $300 per month she earns cleaning expensive homes. Neither one has a telephone (perhaps due to the high phone charges imposed by Mexico's private landline monopoly, which has made its owner, Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world), so mother and son communicate only via a Sunday morning call from payphone to payphone. When the lad's grandmother dies, he pluckily sets off for LA. Meanwhile, not knowing he's on his way, she vacillates over whether to marry a handsome security guard with a Green Card, or return to Mexico to be with her son.

Theorizing that "Under the Same Moon" could be, in the words of the old Saturday Night Live parody ad, both a floor wax and a dessert topping, the studios released it simultaneously in both downscale theatres in Latino neighborhoods and in upscale cinemas for Anglos who like socially conscious foreign films with subtitles.

Through inept planning, I managed to check out both prongs of its novel marketing strategy. By the time I arrived at The Plant in heavily Latino Van Nuys (the curious title of this power mall built on the site of an old Chevy factory commemorates the days when cars and planes, not just movies, were manufactured in the San Fernando Valley), the 9:40 pm Saturday night show had sold out.

So, I drove south to the cinephiles' latest venue, the Arclight on tony Ventura Blvd. for the 10:30 show, which turned out to be almost empty. Apparently, if the residents of the Hollywood Hills were really all that interested in hearing about the lives of illegal aliens, they wouldn't pay $12.75 to see "Under the Same Moon," they'd just strike up a conversation with their servants. Judging from the film's maid's-eye view of Los Angeles's Anglo elite as stuck-up and cold-blooded, however, they aren't.

Not surprisingly, "Under the Same Moon" works better as a floor wax than as a dessert topping. Its cast of telenovela stars delivers melodramatic telenovela-quality performances, and the screenplay is unsophisticated.

One important point that "Under the Same Moon" drives home to Americans who assume that everybody must long to live in America is that millions of Mexican immigrants dream constantly about going home.

It's not just that Mexico isn't really that poor anymore (life expectancy there is now 75.6 years, compared to 78.0 here). To Latin Americans from small colonial towns, where social life centers organically around the plaza, California cities, with no focal points but endless stripmalls, seem dishearteningly featureless. As Gertrude Stein said of Oakland: "There is no there there."

Thus, when the child finally arrives in East L.A. knowing only that his mother will try to call him the next morning from a street corner that has a laundromat, pizza parlor, and mural, he begins searching, only to discover, nightmarishly, that every corner looks like that.

In contrast, I once had to arrange to meet a friend in a week's time in the fount of Latin culture, Rome, a city neither of us had ever visited before. We eventually agreed that we would get together at the Egyptian obelisk in Bernini's great piazza in front of St. Peter's. Now, there is most definitely a there there.

Rated PG-13 for some mature thematic elements.

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

"Sex and the City"

From my review in the new issue of The American Conservative:

On the last day of May, my younger son was flipping through the movie section of the newspaper when he looked up with sad eyes: "All month, we had good movies -- "Iron Man," "Speed Racer," "Prince Caspian," "Indiana Jones" -- but then … this," he intoned, unable to bring himself to utter the words "Sex and the City." "What happened?"

Indeed, across America, countless guys felt that the Manly Month of May, when the biggest explosion-laden blockbusters are unveiled at the multiplex, was being tainted by the long lines of ladies attending the film version of the 1998-2004 HBO sitcom. "Sex and the City" updates us on a coven of four skanky spinsters who, long ago, moved to Manhattan to find "labels and love" (there apparently being no stores or men in Minnesota or wherever).

Inside the theatre, the palpable affection toward the characters was reminiscent of a 1980s "Star Trek" movie, whose fans couldn't wait to hear Scotty exclaim one more time, "She cannae take any more!" Granted, the movie version of "Sex and the City" isn't as witty as "Star Trek IV." It's also grindingly long at 148 minutes -- the DVD ought to include a "Couples' Cut" with an hour edited out and a few dozen more jokes tossed in. Still, it's certainly no worse than the "Matrix" sequels and "Star Wars" prequels that males turned out to see by the tens of millions.

The stars aren't getting any younger, so sit in the back row. Hollywood has generations of experience lighting actresses of a certain age, though, and the three supporting women look passable, even Cynthia Nixon (who plays the prickly redheaded Miranda), whom I pointed out to my wife in 1998 was an obvious lesbian. (It took Nixon until 2003 to figure it out for herself.)

In contrast, "Sex and the City's" leading lady, purported fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, who portrays columnist Carrie Bradshaw, looks ghastly, like a bulimic bodybuilder, Rambo after the Bataan Death March.

To read the rest of my rather extended abuse of SJP's looks, you'll just have to get the magazine.

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

June 6, 2008

Guess who's leading among Hispanic voters?

Over on the VDARE.com blog, I have a post up on the new Gallup poll results of whom Latino voters favor in November.

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

How to improve education?

For several weeks, I've been noodling away on an article on how to improve mass K-12 education in America, as an upbeat response to Charles Murray's important article "Educational Romanticism." So far, though, I haven't come up with a very long list.

So, I'd like your suggestions in the comments. Or email me.

In the meantime, here is one of the Presidential candidates' speeches on What to Do About Education. I haven't looked into what the other candidates said, but I doubt if it particularly matters which candidate this is (other than Ron Paul). I've included in italics the comments of a friend who has spent his career analyzing education statistics. He's heard it all before.

Full text of Obama's education speech

Sen. Barack Obama's speech, "What's Possible for Our Children," was delivered at Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts in Thornton on Wednesday:

It's an honor to be here at Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts. Just three years ago, only half of the high school seniors who walked the halls of this building were accepted to college. But today, thanks to the hard work of caring parents, innovative educators and some very committed students, all 44 seniors of this year's class have been accepted to more than 70 colleges and universities across the country. [This is quite a change. Any difference in demographics?]

I'm here to congratulate you on this achievement, but also to hold up this school and these students as an example of what's possible in education if we're willing to break free from the tired thinking and political stalemate that's dominated Washington for decades, if we're willing to try new ideas and new reforms based not on ideology but on what works to give our children the best possible chance in life. [No substance.]

At this defining moment in our history, they've never needed that chance more. In a world where good jobs can be located anywhere there's an Internet connection-- where a child in Denver is competing with children in Beijing and Bangalore -- the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge. [It's actually your intelligence, which can be raised only marginally by current technologies.] Education is the currency of the Information Age, no longer just a pathway to opportunity and success but a prerequisite. [Again, it's intelligence.] There simply aren't as many jobs today that can support a family where only a high school degree is required. [This was already predicted by The B*ll C*rv*, but for intelligence not degrees. What it takes to support a family is mostly a subjective judgment.] And if you don't have that degree, there are even fewer jobs available that can keep you out of poverty.

In this kind of economy, countries who out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow. Already, China is graduating eight times as many engineers as we are. [It has a much bigger population, too. Also, it's easier to get an engineering degree in China than here.] By 12th grade, our children score lower on math and science tests than most other kids in the world. [This is false. Generally, U.S. kids are in the middle among the advanced nations.] And we now have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation in the world. [This is a good thing, since high school is mostly a waste of time, particularly for those of less than average intelligence.] In fact, if the more than 16,000 Colorado students who dropped out of high school last year had only finished, the economy in this state would have seen an additional $4.1 billion in wages over these students' lifetimes. [Aristotle exploded the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy in the fifth century B.C. The figures for this statement are just for raw income. Differences in intelligence and effort are not considered.]

There is still much progress to be made here in Thornton, but the work you've done shows us that we do not accept this future for America.

We don't have to accept an America where we do nothing about six million students who are reading below their grade level. [Ignores how grade level "standards" are set. If kids read better, the "standards" would get adjusted upward. There are always going to be those who fail to meet them.]

We don't have to accept an America where only 20 percent of our students are prepared to take college-level classes in English, math and science. Where barely one in 10 low-income students will ever graduate from college. [Sure, we could dumb down college requirements.]

We don't have to accept an America where we do nothing about the fact that half of all teenagers are unable to understand basic fractions. [What was it a hundred years ago?] Where nearly nine in 10 African-American and Latino eighth-graders are not proficient in math. We don't have to accept an America where elementary school kids are only getting an average of 25 minutes of science each day when we know that over 80 percent of the fastest-growing jobs require a knowledge base in math and science. [This last statement has no basis in any facts I've ever seen. I have asked lots of people to recite the quadratic formula, which they all got in the ninth grade. Hardly anyone can.]

This kind of America is morally unacceptable for our children. It's economically untenable for our future. And it's not who we are as a nation. [Bromides.]

We are the nation that has always understood that our future is inextricably linked to the education of our children -- all [text missing. This was true before government education. "In no part of the habitable globe is learning and true useful knowledge so universally disseminated as in our native country. Who hath seen a native adult who cannot write? Who knows a native of the age of puberty that cannot read the bible." --John Gardiner, 1785 (exhibit in the National Museum of American History).] We are the country that has always believed in Thomas Jefferson's declaration that "talent and virtue, needed in a free society, should be educated regardless of wealth or birth." [He actually did say this. But he was honest enough to ask for a constitutional amendment to fund education: http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/winter96/jefferson.html]

That's who we are. And that's why I believe it's time to lead a new era of mutual responsibility in education, one where we all come together for the sake of our children's success. An era where each of us does our part to make that success a reality: parents and teachers, leaders in Washington and citizens all across America. [The part of most of us is to pay.]

This starts with fixing the broken promises of No Child Left Behind. Now, I believe that the goals of this law were the right ones. Making a promise to educate every child with an excellent teacher is right. [Where's the free lunch?] Closing the achievement gap that exists in too many cities and rural areas is right. [This is impossible, on current technology, unless you want to level the field by inflicting brain damage on the smarter.] More accountability is right. Higher standards are right.

But I'll tell you what's wrong with No Child Left Behind. Forcing our teachers, our principals and our schools to accomplish all of this without the resources they need is wrong. Promising high-quality teachers in every classroom and then leaving the support and the pay for those teachers behind is wrong. [I'm not sure these things were exactly promised. But who is to pay for them?] Labeling a school and its students as failures one day and then throwing your hands up and walking away from them the next is wrong. [Is nothing incurable?]

We must fix the failures of No Child Left Behind. We must provide the funding we were promised [This guy is a United States Senator. He knows fully well that acts of Congress specify the maximum amount of money that can be spent. What is actually funded by Congress is done in MONSTER appropriation bills, that fund several different Departments at once. He is a liar.], give our states the resources they need [The objectives are impossible.] and finally meet our commitment to special education. [Does "America's future" depend on the mentally challenged, which is what most "special education" students are?] We also need to realize that we can meet high standards without forcing teachers and students to spend most of the year preparing for a single, high-stakes test. Recently, 87 percent of Colorado teachers said that testing was crowding out subjects like music and art. [This is indeed unfortunate, but the "music" that was being taught in school before NCLB was not classical but rather garbage.] But we need to look no further than MESA to see that accountability does not need to come at the expense of a well-rounded education. It can help complete it -- and it should.

As president, I will work with our nation's governors and educators to create and use assessments that can improve achievement all across America by including the kinds of research, scientific investigation and problem-solving that our children will need to compete in a 21st century knowledge economy. [How are assessments, as such, going to improve learning?] The tests our children take should support learning not just accounting. [If this means that educrats design tests badly, okay. But who is going to design better tests?] If we really want our children to become the great inventors and problem-solvers of tomorrow, our schools shouldn't stifle innovation, they should let it thrive. That's what MESA is doing by using visual arts, drama and music to help students master traditional subjects like English, science and math, and that's what we should be doing in schools all across America. [This sounds interesting.]

But fixing the problems of No Child Left Behind is not an education policy on its own. It's just a starting point.

A truly historic commitment to education -- a real commitment -- will require new resources [MORE!] and new reforms. It will require a willingness to move beyond the stale debates that have paralyzed Washington for decades: Democrat versus Republican; vouchers versus the status quo; more money versus more accountability. It will require leaders in Washington who are willing to learn a lesson from students and teachers in Thornton or Denver about what actually works. That's the kind of president I intend to be, and that's the kind of education plan I've proposed in this campaign.

It begins with the understanding that from the moment our children step into a classroom, the single most important factor in determining their achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from. It's not who their parents are or how much money they have.

It's who their teacher is. [Coleman exploded this in 1965.] It's the person who stays past the last bell and spends their own money on books and supplies. It's the men and women here at MESA who go beyond the call of duty because you believe that's what makes the extra difference. And it does. [Evidence, please? Remember that only "accounting" is used to test the students.]

And if we know how much teaching matters, then it's time we treated teaching like the profession it is. I don't want to just talk about how great teachers are. I want to be a president who rewards them for their greatness.

That starts with recruiting a new generation of teachers and principals to replace the generation that's retiring and those who are leaving. Right here in Colorado, more than 6,000 teachers won't be returning to the schools where they taught last year. [Yeah, lot's of folks retire. Is there something unusual here? Maybe terrible administrators that make teaching difficult. After all, private schools pay less than government schools, since the teachers are freer.] That's why as president, I'll create a new Service Scholarship program to recruit top talent into the profession and begin by placing these new teachers in overcrowded districts and struggling rural towns, or hard-to-staff subjects like math and science in schools all across the nation. [MMMORE!!!] And I will make this pledge as president to all who sign up: If you commit your life to teaching, America will commit to paying for your college education. [MMMMORE!!!! The chief executive does not have the power to do this, not yet.]

To prepare our teachers, I will create more Teacher Residency Programs to train 30,000 high-quality teachers a year. [MMMMMORE!!!!!] We know these programs work [We do?], and they especially help attract talented individuals who decide to become teachers midway through their careers. Right here in MESA, you have excellent teachers like Ike Ogbuike, who became a math teacher after working as an auto-engineer at Ford and completing a one-year, teacher-residency program.

To support our teachers, we will expand mentoring programs that pair experienced, successful teachers with new recruits -- one of the most effective ways to retain teachers. [MMMMMMORE!!!!!!] We'll also make sure that teachers work in conditions which help them and our children succeed. [MMMMMMMORE!!!!!!!] For example, here at MESA, teachers have scheduled common planning time each week and an extra hour every Tuesday and Thursday for mentoring and tutoring students that need additional help.

And when our teachers do succeed in making a real difference in our children's lives, I believe it's time we rewarded them for it. [MMMMMMMMORE!!!!!!!!] I realize that the teachers in Denver are in the middle of tough negotiations right now, but what they've already proven is that it's possible to find new ways to increase teacher pay that are developed with teachers, not imposed on them.

My plan would provide resources to try these innovative programs in school districts all across America. [MMMMMMMMMORE!!!!!!!!!] Under my Career Ladder Initiative, these districts will be able to design programs that reward accomplished educators who serve as mentors to new teachers with the salary increase they deserve. [MMMMMMMMMMORE!!!!!!!!!!] They can reward those who teach in underserved areas or teachers who take on added responsibilities, like you do right here at MESA. [MMMMMMMMMMMORE!!!!!!!!!!!] And if teachers acquire additional knowledge and skills to serve students better -- if they consistently excel in the classroom -- that work can be valued and rewarded as well. [MMMMMMMMMMMMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!]

And when our children do succeed, when we have a graduating class like this one where every single student has been accepted to college, we need to make sure that every single student can afford to go. As president, I will offer a $4,000 tax credit that will cover two-thirds of the tuition at an average public college and make community college completely free. [MMMMMMMMMMMMMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!] And in return, I will ask students to serve their country, whether it's by teaching or volunteering or joining the Peace Corps. [This is a mistake. The best way to help your fellow man, in a free society and generally, is to become rich, and I am not referring to what the government takes and wastes.] We'll also simplify the maze of paperwork required to apply for financial aid and make it as easy as checking off a box on your tax returns because you shouldn't need a Ph.D. to apply for a student loan. [This is too bad. The *old* aid forms ammounted to something of an IQ test, so that resources were not wasted on those who can't actually benefit from college.]

Finally, as so many of you know, there are too many children in America right now who are slipping away from us as we speak, who will not be accepted to college and won't even graduate high school. [How many should be slipping away?] They are overwhelmingly black, and Latino, and poor. [Is there a reason for that?] And when they look around and see that no one has lifted a finger to fix their school since the 19th century, when they are pushed out the door at the sound of the last bell -- some into a virtual war zone -- is it any wonder they don't think their education is important? [Is it buildings now that matter, not teachers?] Is it any wonder that they are dropping out in rates we've never seen before? [Is this true?]

I know these children. I know their sense of hopelessness. I began my career over two decades ago as a community organizer on the streets of Chicago's South Side. And I worked with parents and teachers and local leaders to fight for their future. We set up after-school programs, and we even protested outside government offices so that we could get those who had dropped out into alternative schools. And in time, we changed futures.
[Any controlled studies?]

And so while I know hopelessness, I also know hope. I know that if we bring early education programs to these communities, if we stop waiting until high-school to address the drop-out rate and start in earlier grades -- as my Success in the Middle Act will do -- if we bring in new, qualified teachers, if we expand college outreach programs like GEAR UP and TRIO and fight to expand summer learning opportunities for minority and disadvantaged students -- like I've done in the Senate -- or if we double funding for after-school programs to serve a million more children, as I've proposed to do as president, if we do all this, we can make a difference in the lives of our children and the life of this country. [MMMMMMMMMMMMMMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] know we can. I've seen it happen. And so have you.

Yes, it takes new resources, but we also know that there is no program and no policy that can substitute for a parent who is involved in their child's education from day one. [Do you find a problem with parents who are so irresponsible that they bring children into the world that they can't or won't support at the level you think they should?] There is no substitute for a parent who will make sure their children are in school on time and help them with their homework after dinner and attend those parent-teacher conferences, like so many parents here at MESA do. [You told us earlier that teachers, and maybe buildings, were the most important factor.] And I have no doubt that we will still be talking about these problems in the next century if we do not have parents who are willing to turn off the TV once in awhile and put away the video games and read to their child. Responsibility for our children's education has to start at home. We have to set high standards for them and spend time with them and love them. We have to hold ourselves accountable. [What new Federal crimes will there be?]

This is the commitment we must make to our children. This is the chance they must have. And I will never forget that the only reason I'm standing here today is because I was given that same chance. And so was my wife.

Our parents weren't wealthy by any means. My mother raised my sister and me on her own, and she even had to use food stamps at one point. Michelle's father was a worker at a water-filtration plant on the South Side of Chicago and provided for his family on a single salary. And yet, with the help of scholarships and student loans and a little luck, Michelle and I both had the chance to receive a world-class education. And my sister ended up becoming a teacher herself.

That is the promise of education in America, that no matter what we look like or where we come from or who our parents are, each of us should have the opportunity to fulfill our God-given potential. Each of us should have the chance to achieve the American dream. Here at MESA, you've shown America just how that's possible. I congratulate you, and I wish you continued success, and I look forward to working with you and learning from you in the months and years ahead. Thank you.

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

A Historic Moment

It must bring deep joy to African-Americans that the first black Presidential nominee turns out to be an exotic who grew up quarantined off from African-American culture except for what he could glean from watching "Soul Train" on TV.

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

Gen. William Odom, RIP

Evan Thomas of Newsweek writes about General William Odom, who recently died at age 75:

Washington has its share of retired generals who go on TV and blather the administration line fed them, we have recently learned, at private Pentagon briefings. And then there was Bill Odom.

A retired three-star general who was once a senior officer on President Carter's national-security staff and later chief of the supersecret National Security Agency during the Reagan administration, Odom was one of the first Washington insiders to publicly predict disaster in Iraq. In February 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, when most of the Washington military establishment and much of the mainstream media (including me) were in a hawkish mode, Odom had this to say in The Washington Post: "The issue is not whether the Iraqi people will greet U.S. soldiers as their liberators, but what will they do six months after that. I find it naive and disingenuous to claim that you can create democracy in Iraq any time soon. The administration has already assured us that the U.S. will not stay there for very long, and, if that is the case, then the goal of establishing a constitutional system in Iraq is a joke."

I had dinner with General Odom a couple of times. After one meal, Margaret Thatcher gave a speech. During the question and answer period that followed, General Odom stood up from our table and grilled her on her skepticism about German reunification in 1989, a decade before. (Odom was very pro-German.) Afterwards, the Baroness came over to our table and resumed the argument with Gen. Odom. They went at it hard for ten minutes, like a baseball umpire and manager arguing over a play at the plate. I sat there wide-eyed. Finally, Odom said something like, "My ancestors hid behind trees and shot your ancestors wearing those stupid redcoats during the Revolutionary War!" Mrs. Thatcher laughed, and they went off to the bar together and shot the breeze amiably for two hours.

Most people who are successful in Washington don't have that kind of character.

Also, a few recollections of a presentation I heard him give at this 1999 Hudson Institute event:

- He forcefully quantified America's overwhelming post-Cold War military dominance against any conceivable alliance of challengers, which is something I hadn't realized before. (Sure, I was pretty dumb back then, but how many people don't realize that today?)

- Odom's worldview was that there were only two places in the world that really mattered in terms of the industrial might to support a Really Big War -- Northwest Europe and Northeast Asia. And, sure, the Persian Gulf was kind of important, but the countries that could really cause trouble were just about the same ones as in 1914-1953: Germany, France, and Britain and Japan, South Korea, and China.

- Most radically, Odom believed that America's garrison troops in Britain and Germany, and in Japan and South Korea prevented major wars from breaking out. His logic was that with America garrisoning two of the three Great Powers in each of the two Major Regions, any theoretical war among the three powers in each region would logically have to involve at least one country with an American garrison, and, hence, was inconceivable. But if America pulled out of Germany and Britain, say, then war between one of them and France or between each other would eventually ensue. (And the same for Japan, South Korea, and/or China.) This sounds nuts, but it's impossible to disprove. (By the way, as of late 2007, we still had 44,000 troops in Europe, 17 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. I haven't been able to find more recent numbers -- the number of American troops in Europe is not a topic that comes up much in the news. Nobody seems very interested in the subject.)

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

The Chinese college admissions test

Here's a description in Slate of the Chinese national college admissions test. It's about what you'd expect: long, heavy on memorization, somewhat arbitrary, and effective, as the economic growth statistics show. When you have that many hard-working smart kids to choose from, it's difficult to screw up the test too badly. Also, with over 90% of the Chinese identifying with one ethnic group, you don't have to worry much about minorities' complaints about the test being unfair to them -- you just hand them a few quota slots and get on with it.

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

June 4, 2008

The Reality-Based Community in action

From the Washington Post:

Fairfax May Junk Study on Behavior

Staff Report Shows Racial, Ethnic Gaps Among Students

By Michael Alison Chandler

Fairfax County School Board members said they are likely to abandon a staff report that showed racial and ethnic gaps in some measures of student behavior, including in the demonstration of "sound moral character and ethical judgment."

The board had delayed an April vote to approve the report after concerns were raised that findings were based on subjective measures, such as elementary report card data, and that they would fuel negative stereotypes.

Board member Phillip A. Niedzielski-Eichner (Providence) said yesterday that he plans to propose at a June 19 meeting that a vote on the report be postponed indefinitely. Several board members have indicated their support, he said.

Board member Martina A. Hone (At Large) said that the original report is "fatally flawed" and that it doesn't make sense "to work on fixing it." She said she is pleased with the way the board is rethinking it. "I think we have come out a stronger school board," she said.

The school system's report was an early attempt to measure progress on a host of goals the board considers "essential" for success in the workplace. It identified disparities among groups of students in several skills, including the ability to contribute effectively in a group, resolve conflicts and make healthy choices, and in the demonstration of moral character and ethical judgment.

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

June 3, 2008


I bought the latest book by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), A Time to Fight. It has a lot of good things in it, but the prose style is mediocre, and downright terrible when compared to Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope, which was published at about the same time in their Senate careers. I was wondering if Webb's prose is usually mediocre, or did he rush this out without polishing the prose because he's being paid by the taxpayers to be a Senator, not a writer working for his own profit?

Also, Greg Ransom has found another reporter who went to Hawaii (it's a tough job, but somebody has got to do it) to interview Obama's prep school classmates. They've tracked down the third black student at Punahou, and like the second (who was also half Japanese), he says:
"Peterson and other buddies say Obama never spoke of the turmoil he revealed in his memoir, "Dreams from My Father," in which he wrote about wrestling with his racial identity and using drugs — including marijuana and cocaine — to "push questions of who I was out of my mind.""
Similarly, the Los Angeles Times reported back in March:

Obama appears to know the value of striking such contrasts. When he wrote his memoir, which he invokes on the campaign trail as the key to his thinking, he used literary devices to create several characters that were quick to see racial injustice. In the narrative, they serve as his foils.

Some of Obama’s friends who appear as composite characters with fictional names said he gave them far sharper and more militant attitudes than they recall having.

Kakugawa, identified in the book as “Ray,” the resentful black high school friend, is a part Japanese, part Native American former classmate who says he was nowhere near as angry as the character Obama portrays.

It makes me a very bitter person,” Kakugawa said. “I wasn’t that bitter.”

The same is true for a Chicago activist who encountered Obama in his years as a community organizer.

The activist is identified in the book as “Rafiq al-Shabazz,” a Nation of Islam follower who encouraged Obama to challenge the city’s white power structure rather than work within it.

Obama writes of working with “Rafiq” to open a job training center, but recoiling when his more militant colleague railed against whites. “Rafiq” told Obama that, growing up in the projects, “I’d soaked up all the poison the white man feeds us.”

But black nationalist teachings “contradicted the morality my mother had taught me,” Obama wrote.

Activist Salim Al Nurridin says Obama’s description fits him in almost every way – except that he was never a black nationalist.

I wasn’t promoting a black nationalist agenda, and I’m not promoting one now,” said Al Nurridin, now a Chicago healthcare advocate, who confirmed in an interview last year that he resembled “Rafiq.” “I think … his interpretation of where I was coming from was probably skewed by his own position rather than what I was saying.”

Al Nurridin said he actually agreed with many of Obama’s conclusions about how some aspects of black nationalism could be counterproductive.

You can be for your people without being against other people,” Al Nurridin said. “The whole idea is to have relationships with all walks of life.”

By that time, Obama’s way of reacting to outspoken activists was not a new development.

Obama wrote of being deeply impressed by the autobiography of Malcolm X, whose “repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words … promised a new and uncompromising order.”

In other words, by projecting his own inner racial anger onto real people who didn't, actually, share it, Obama was doing two things:

A. Allowing himself to express one side of himself, a side that he didn't actually express to his friends because that might make them not like him, and they'd at least laugh at how self-pitying he was.

B. Positioning himself to whites as the moderate savior who could keep all this pent-up black rage roiling the ghettos of Hawaii from blowing up on them.

In summary, Obama is best perceived as a gifted fiction writer who has found a more profitable outlet for his talent in politics. He can be compared to Disraeli, a bestselling novelist before becoming Prime Minister. He can be contrasted with Gore Vidal, another fictioneer who felt he deserved to be President. But while Obama has been jet-propelled by being part black, Vidal was frustrated in his political ambitions by being homosexual.

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

It's not plagiarism if I attribute it

From Craptocracy:

While Hillary Clinton’s grossly mismanaged campaign is now being dissected, not mentioned is how her bungled strategy was the consequence of stereotypes.

She and her brain trust assumed she would win at least some of the black vote; thinking blacks might put race first is not a thought liberals allow themselves to have. They also assumed white voters in caucus states like Idaho and North Dakota were bigots who would never vote for a black man, so she didn’t compete enough in those places.


When McCain talks about 'climate change' he seems desperate and grasping, like he doesn’t really care about it one way or the other. It’s as if he’s saying, “I’ll give you your global warming, just let me get my hands on some bombs. Just let me get my hands on some bombs and I will agree to whatever you want that doesn’t involve not bombing.”

Meanwhile, Udolpho resurfaces to announce he has a life.

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

Speaking of over-developed arms ...

Here is famous beauty and style-setter Sarah Jessica Parker, star of "Sex and the City." And here is a similar picture (just with more vein-popping!) of her making like Hans and Franz while unveiling her new perfume last year. Trust me, that's how she looks in the movie, too.

On the other hand, here's a picture of the love of the life of actress Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda, the prickly red-head in the movie. In contrast to Parker (who publicly abjures Botox and facelifts), Nixon, who has two children from a previous relationship, looks like she's had some work done since the show went off the air in 2004, perhaps to please her new love interest. (In case this picture has you wondering, Nixon is not dating her own son.)

Finally, 43-year-old Kristin Davis, who plays the feminine, maternal-minded Charlotte, remains as nice-looking as ever, perhaps because, as she's said, she's never ever wanted to have any children because they'd just interfere with the ruthless pursuit of her acting career ... which is made possible by her looking so feminine and maternal-minded.

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

June 2, 2008

Jamaican breaks 100m dash record

Usain Bolt, a young 6'-5" Jamaican got a perfect start and with a helping tailwind just under the legal limit, set a new world's record in the men's 100 meter dash over the weekend at 9.72 seconds. It's the 14th time the world record has been set or equaled since electronic timing was introduced at the 1968 Olympics (all by men of West African descent, of course).

West Indians appear to be increasingly dominating sprinting, as African Americans lose interest in a sport that was very good to them in the 20th century. Between the Wars, black colleges switched from baseball to track as their big spring sport because tracks' results were objective. Grambling wasn't allowed to play LSU in baseball (or anything else), but Grambling sprinters could compete with LSU sprinters in the newspapers when their times were published.

But African Americans have been concentrating on just football and basketball in recent decades, with anything else considered fit only for athletes of dubious masculinity who don't like contact sports, such as Carl Lewis.

Track and field could use a decade or so without any new world records. In the women's 100m, nobody has come close to the late Florence Griffith-Joyner's 10.49 seconds in the 100m and 21.34 in the 200m in 20 years, which is a good thing.

I suppose this new Jamaican could be the real deal. Bolt is ridiculously tall for a 100m man at 6'-5", which normally interferes with starts, so he's previously specialized in the 200m where his long stride has time to prevail. But if he nails a start now and then, he might really be this good, kind of like John Daly in golf, who is a double-jointed behemoth.

Or he just might be juiced to the gills.

You can usually get an idea by looking to see if the upper body is ridiculously over-developed. But there aren't that many pictures of Bolt online yet and he seems to wear a rather non-form-fitting jersey, so it's hard to tell. Lots of juicehead sprinters make it easy for you to guess by wearing skimpy jerseys and frequently stripping them off in front of cameras to reveal their Mr. Universe torsos. (Here's 2004 200m Olympic gold medalist Shawn Crawford, who has never failed a drug test, but still ...) In contrast, after Barry Bonds started hitting the juice in 1999, he always wore rather shapeless long-sleeved jerseys buttoned to the neck. Barry is a jerk, but he's not stupid.

In 2004, 18-year-old Allyson Felix from LA, then a slip of a girl with no arm muscle definition at all, ran a ladylike 22.18 in the 200 meters for a silver medal at the Athens Olympics. That was cheering. I could envision her running similar times for three more Olympics and winning a bundle of medals without any suspicion of doping. She's a fine young lady, who just graduated from USC a couple of weeks ago despite not having a track scholarship because she's been running professionally for four years.

But in 2007, Felix ran a 21.81, the only time 22 seconds has been broken by a woman since it was done in 2000 by Marion Jones, who is now in prison. Women ran 200m in under 22 seconds 78 times from 1979 through 2000, but only Felix has done it in the last 7 years. Felix now has got more muscular arms, although hardly in the class of, say, Gail Devers in the old days. I'd feel better about her if she wasn't from LA, where a lot of bad stuff involving sprinters and doping has happened, and hadn't left her old coach Patt Connolly (coach of Evelyn Ashford, sometimes said to be the fastest clean women ever) for Flo-Jo's old coach Bobby Kersee.

The men's 200m times show more progression, although hopefully nobody will threaten Michael Johnson's 19.32 at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Women's running was just hit harder by synthetic male hormones up through 2000 because women get a bigger bang for their buck from them.

By the way, the 1993 and 1997 Chinese National Games were festivals of doping with lots of silly women's world records being set. The official website of the Chinese Olympic Committee still boasts: "At the Games, five of its runners surpassed the world records in the 1500m, 3000m and 10000m on 13 occasions." Yeah, sure. That was another reason I didn't understand why the Olympics were given to Beijing instead of Paris.

And the Chinese really want to win the most gold medals in Beijing in 2008. I imagine they don't want to disgrace themselves at home either by getting caught.

So, will the Chinese do the right thing or do the wrong thing?

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

My open letter to Jim Manzi

Here's my mid-week VDARE.com bonus column from last week for those who didn't click on the link. It's a follow up to my earlier response to Jim Manzi's NR cover story.

Dear Jim:

I've thought some more about why your National Review cover story "Escaping the Tyranny of Genes," [June 2, 2008], into which you clearly put a lot of effort, is getting such a skeptical reaction from the small number of people whose respect you should worry about.

I think I've figured out how you went off track.

You started with the reasonable goal, one that I've pursued myself several times, of trying to criticize the pop journalism about genetics that has been common for the last 15 years. There have been repeated sloppy headlines about the discovery of "A Gene for ... Homosexuality (or Happiness or Infidelity or Whatever) ". Some of those "Gene for" headlines have turned out to be wrong.

For example, gay geneticist Dean Hamer got enormous publicity in 1993 when he declared he had found “The Gay Gene” (at least for men). This was hugely popular in the media for a while because a genetic cause for homosexuality is politically correct—it's assumed to be a rebuke to Christians. But 15 years later, you never hear much anymore about Hamer's "discovery".

It's probably not very true. As physicist turned evolutionary theorist Greg Cochran has argued since the 1990s, it's unlikely that a gene for gayness could evolve, because gay men have so fewer children.

Similarly, the hunt for genes that cause fatal diseases has been going slower than expected, probably because, as English science writer Matt Ridley pointed out, your genes didn't evolve to kill you.

Your NR article didn't spell out what bad effects you expect to be caused by credulous science journalism. When you were pushed to clarify your fears in the comments section of The American Scene blog, you wrote:

"I suspect that the analogous policies that might be established if an (incorrect) view of the linkage between gene patterns and mental characteristics and capabilities became more widely and deeply entrenched would be unpredictable, but more likely to be related to the relaxation of the notion of personal responsibility—replacing justice with therapy, greater paternalism in constraining economic, political and lifestyle decisions for those who are ‘unable’ to exercise ‘true’ choice, targeting government services based on genetic content and so on."

That's pretty vague. But perhaps you fear a "liberal therapeutic regime" rather like the one Anthony Burgess described in A Clockwork Orange, where the young thug Alex, rather than being locked up, is conditioned into not liking violence anymore.

Unfortunately, you didn't spend much time at all on these valid examples of weak pop journalism that might support your thesis that the press is overemphasizing genetic explanations. Instead, you chose to devote a huge amount of space to a single example—race and IQ—so incredibly ill-chosen as a case study for your argument that it has proven disastrous to the reception of your article.

As we all know, but you ignored to your credibility's severe detriment, much as the mainstream media want to hear about the Gay Gene and such, they do NOT want to hear about racial differences in IQ. And, the MSM especially do not want to hear about evidence for genetic causes for racial differences in IQ. How many voices in the press stood up to defend America's most eminent living scientist, James Watson, when he got fired last year?

Moreover, the small number of race-and-IQ researchers, the Arthur Jensens and Charles Murrays, are not slapdash Dean Hamers going with the flow of popular opinion. They tend to be cautious and careful scientists aware that they are infringing elite taboos by carrying out unpopular studies certain to be picked at by legions of hostile critics.

Real IQ scientists, like Cochran and Henry Harpending, authors of the 2005 theory [PDF] attempting to explain the evolution of high average IQs among Ashkenazi Jews, are generally close students of the theory of natural selection. So they are less likely to fall for evolutionarily dubious ideas like the Gay Gene.

The evidence for a genetic link between IQ and race is broad but not conclusive. For example, Jensen and Rushton's 2005 summary paper [Thirty Years Of Research On Race Differences In Cognitive Ability (PDF)] listed, I believe, ten different lines of non-genetic evidence for a genetic link.

Occam's Razor, which tells us that the simplest explanation is most likely right, suggests that Jensen and Rushton are probably correct, especially because there is so little evidence for the more socially acceptable opposite view.

You mention Sandra Scarr’s Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study, but what you don’t mention is that it was originally trumpeted in the 1980s as proof of closing of the racial gap through improved home environments for black children. (The adoptive fathers averaged a year of grad school each.) When the black adoptees were tested as 7-years-olds, they averaged around 100. This was a very popular study at the time.

Then when Scarr went back and retested the kids when they were teenagers, their average IQs only came out to 89. This was horrible news and so she buried it in her subsequent paper. Nobody noticed what had actually happened except a CCNY philosopher named Michael Levin, who publicized the actual results .[Comment on the Minnesota transracial adoption study. Intelligence , 19 , 13-20, 1994]This led poor Dr. Scarr to do a lot of soul searching. [PDF]

There is the Flynn Effect—the tendency for average IQs to rise over time—which shows we don't fully understand IQ. But otherwise, even though any social scientist who could publish a valid study showing the race gap in IQ could be eliminated would become an academic superstar, there is remarkably little evidence supporting the conventional wisdom. Thus, when James Flynn debates Murray, he ends up harping on Eyferth's unreplicated 1959 study of the children of black American soldiers and German women for lack of anything better to cite in the way of positive evidence.

But the Jensens and Murrays do NOT claim they've proven their case. They hope to live long enough to see the genome analyses dramatically lower the uncertainty level.

Murray said in 2003 that we'll know from the genome studies one way or another within a few decades. James Watson guesstimated in 2006 that it would take 15 years, but on second thought decided it might be as little as ten.

In the long run, the number of years or decades doesn't much matter. We'll find out, one way or another.

Hence, your race-IQ example is precisely backwards and undermines the point of your article.

Jim, I imagine you are upset at present that your article has elicited so much scoffing. I hope this helps you understand where your chain of argument derailed itself—so you can get back on track in the future.

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

James Watson interviewed by Henry Louis Gates

James Watson is interviewed for the first time since getting Watsoned by Henry Louis Gates, head of the Harvard Afro-American Studies department at The Root.

HLG: What do you think of deCODE's recent estimate of your percentage of recent African ancestry?

JW: I haven't seen the paper … [but] if I'm 16 percent African, then I'm 16 percent African. That's ... a fact; I don't care. You don't judge people by, quote, race, you judge them as individuals. So it's the individual that counts, and no one should be discriminated by what they look like.

HLG: Do you trust admixture tests—I mean, tests that can say you're 16 percent African, or 20 percent Native American?

JW: Well, the African one I can believe, but I just can't see where that 7 percent Asian came from.

I explained here why it's extremely unlikely, based on the photos of relatives and ancestors and detailed genealogical information in Watson's autobiography, that Watson is 1/6th black or 1/4th nonwhite.

Gates also explains the Meaning of It All in the accompanying "The Science of Racism."

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

Cuba's Cartoon Economy

Since Cuba barely exports anything, its currency's exchange rate is practically below zero. The Miami Herald reports:

Decades of measly salaries and vast government subsidies have kept many young people off the labor rolls because it's more lucrative to hustle on the street. Others live comfortably enough off remittances from Miami and elsewhere.

Loraicys passes on neighborhood janitor positions in hopes of higher-paying work at nearby resort hotels, where she also would have a chance of earning tips in dollars.

''I am not going to tell you something different: there are jobs here in Cárdenas where I live. Doing what? Cleaning hospitals for 150 pesos ($7) a month,'' said Loraicys, a single mom. ``For 150 pesos, I would rather stay home with my kid. I am willing to work really hard, but not for nothing in return.''

While Cuba struggles to increase productivity, it must also find a way to entice hundreds of thousands of people to get a job. The dilemma is one of the profound systemic difficulties Castro faces as he tries to create a so-called modern socialist economy.

The government says there are plenty of jobs -- just low-paying ones Cubans won't take. Even educated professionals would rather work in the tourist industry as waiters or taxi drivers, which earn far more money than state jobs that usually offer about $10 a month.

Ten dollars a month? That's what the pay would be for a job that Porky Pig applies for in a 1941 Warner Bros. cartoon.

Cubans in Miami probably put all their pennies in a big jar and every January ship it to Havana for their relatives to live off for the whole year.

Cuba has 2000 miles of coastline, and there's nothing golfers like more than playing alongside the ocean, but only one golf course has been built in the country since the Revolution. The smaller, formerly more-backward Dominican Republic has 22 golf courses, and its famous ocean-front Teeth of the Dog course charges outside players $225 per round, which is twice what a Cuban makes in a year.

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

June 1, 2008

Sen. Obama Disowns Mrs. Obama, Owns Mila Kunis

At an appearance this evening, Barack Obama made some rather cryptic remarks, which aides attributed to an overly tight hat:

"Besides disowning my old pastor, my new pastor, my church and all that other stuff, I'm disowning my wife. Very high maintenance. Too much 'tude.

"Okay, enough with the disowning.

"As of January 20, 2009, I'm owning Mila Kunis, star of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." She'll be my First First Lady. Yeah, the President can do that -- it's in the Constitution, go look it up. I'm a Constitutional law professor, so I know this stuff.

"Also, Macaulay Culkin will serve as my Ambassador to Outer Gautelombia.

"For my Second First Lady, I'll keep you posted. This top picture of Alicia Keys is promising, but the bottom one looks like Michelle all over again. I'm not making that mistake twice."

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

My VDARE review of "Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race"

Here's an excerpt from my review of the important and fascinating new book from the Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA:

Social scientists get a lot of guff for not being "real scientists." But I've always admired the best ones immensely.

Sure, an astronomer (say) can tell you with exactitude when the next solar eclipse will occur. Still, most people don't feel strongly about the timing of eclipses. It's easy to be objective when you deal with things rather than with people.

In contrast, human beings get passionate about what is uncovered by social scientists. In fact, much of what social scientists have learned has been gut-wrenching for the researchers themselves, who typically fall well to the left politically.

Social scientists can't always overcome their biases. But when they do, the results are admirable.

The newest example: the impressive multi-generational study of Mexican-American assimilation carried out by two UCLA sociologists, Vilma Ortiz and Edward E. Telles of UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center.

Their 2008 book, Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation, and Race, decisively concludes a long-running debate about Mexican immigrants.

Telles and Ortiz write:

"Despite sixty years of political and legal battles to improve the education of Mexican Americans, they continue to have the lowest average education levels and the highest high school dropout rates among major ethnic and racial groups in the United States. … However, leading analysts, apparently believing in the universality of assimilation, argue that this is the result of a large first and second generation population still adjusting to American society. … These and other scholars predict that Mexican Americans will have the same levels of education and socioeconomic status as the dominant non-Hispanic white population by the fourth generation."

East Coast pundits, such as Michael Barone and Tamar Jacoby, frequently imply that, while Mexican Americans may appear to be lagging alarmingly, that's mostly because they've all just recently arrived from Mexico.

After all, whoever saw a Mexican in New York, Washington, or Boston before the last decade or two? So their future is wide open! This will catch up by the third generation, or maybe the fourth—but in any case, Real Soon Now.

Due to "the great, slow, mysterious absorptive alchemy of assimilation" (to quote Jacoby's review in National Review of Barone's 2001 book The New Americans, the descendents of Mexican immigrants will no doubt be flourishing just like the descendents of the Ellis Island immigrants.

So why enforce the borders? …

To natives of the Southwestern United States, like myself, this conventional wisdom that Mexicans are just newcomers who will turn into Italians or Jews in "only" three or four generations is simply Eastern ignorance.

Mexican Americans are new to the East, but they've been in the Southwestern U.S. since before there was a U.S. The 1920 Census found one million Hispanics in the U.S.—that's an ample sample from which to draw conclusions.

Social scientists in the mid-20th Century paid intense interest to European ethnic newcomers and African Americans. But Latinos were largely overlooked. Telles and Ortiz note that Mexican Americans "were well off the radar screen of the largely Eastern and Midwestern-based social sciences. At best, they were viewed as some inexplicable frontier anomaly."

This lack of awareness still allows Eastern writers descended from Ellis Island immigrants to spin fantasies about the benign long-run effects of Mexican immigration, based largely on ethnocentric nostalgia about their own lineages' spunky underdog wonderfulness.

Indeed, many Eastern elites seem to regard expressions of skepticism about illegal Mexican immigrants as personal insults directed at their beloved ancestors. They're more concerned about the issues of 1908 than of 2008.

During the Great Society, UCLA organized the first major survey, the Mexican American Study Project. In 1965, UCLA academics interviewed 1576 individuals of Mexican descent in the two largest Mexican American metropolises of the time, Los Angeles County and San Antonio.

This kind of cross-sectional analysis is valuable but it's not totally definitive about assimilation. For that, you need longitudinal analyses that follow people over time. However, surveys that cover decades are extremely expensive.

Fortunately, workers in 1992 stumbled upon the 1965 survey forms in a storage room at the UCLA library. Sociologists affiliated with UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center came up with the audacious notion of searching out the original respondents, then interviewing them again, along with some of their children. This would turn the old 1965 cross-sectional study into a much-needed longitudinal one.

This would allow progress to be tracked across four generations. And researchers could even inquire about the children's children, extending the analysis out to a fifth generation since immigration. …

Telles and Ortiz write with justified pride: "As far as we know, this research design is unique and for many reasons it is the most appropriate for addressing the actual intergenerational integration of immigrants and their descendents." …

Their multiple regression analyses show that the key factor, driving all the others, is education. They conclude:

"Throughout this book, our statistical models have shown that the low education levels of Mexican Americans have impeded most other types of assimilation, thus reinforcing a range of ethnic boundaries between them and white Americans."

As is well known, American-born Mexicans average more years of education than do their Mexican-born immigrant ancestors. Unfortunately, as Telles and Ortiz report, the third and fourth generations of Mexican Americans do not continue to close the gap relative to non-Hispanic whites: "In education, which best determines life chances in the United States, assimilation is interrupted by the second generation and stagnates thereafter."

The fourth generation (whose grandparents were born in America) was particularly unaccomplished: "Sadly and directly in contradistinction to assimilation theory, the fourth generation differs the most from whites, with a college completion rate of only 6 percent [compared to 35 percent for whites of that era]."

The fourth-generation Baby Boomers averaged 0.7 years less schooling than the second and third generation Mexican Americans born in the same era.

Telles and Ortiz found: "…the educational progress of Mexican Americans does not improve over the generations. At best, given the statistical margin of error, our data show no improvement in education over the generations-since-immigration and in some cases even suggest a decline."

In 2000, the UCLA interviewers also asked the Baby Boomer children of the original subjects about their own children (i.e., the grandchildren of the 1965 respondents). These grandchildren (who are third to fifth generation Mexican Americans, Generation X-ers born in the 1960s and 1970s) "seemed to be doing no better than their parents" at graduating from high school.

But, don't worry, be happy. The sixth generation will assuredly get it into gear and catch up with the American mainstream. Only evil, uncouth people could possibly doubt that. Ask Michael Barone.[Email Barone]

Seriously, America is supposed to be a middle class country. Yet, what we appear to have on our hands here is a "Permanent Proletariat," which our elites have corruptly saddled us with.

In Generations of Exclusion, Telles and Ortiz have created a monument to disinterested, objective social science.


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

Obama disowns pastor, church, black community, and white grandmother

The AP reports:

At an appearance this morning, Barack Obama made some rather cryptic remarks, which aides attributed to an overly tight necktie:

"As you may recall, in March, during the initial controversy over Rev. Wright, I told the nation, 'I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother ...'

"Then, in April, I disowned him.

"On the last day of May, after being betrayed by my new pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, Otis Moss III, I disowned my church.

"Now, in June, I've realized that, why, yes, I can disown the black community. Sure, you were a big help when I was a small man, but now you're more trouble than you're worth.

"That's it, I'm out of here. I'm not black anymore.

"To be fair, now that I've disowned Rev. Wright and the black race, I'm also disowning my white grandmother. I've always resented you, you tight-assed bitch. So, you're gone too."

"By the way, my black grandmother? I'm disowning her also. She's not actually my grandmother. She was just one of my grandfather's other polygamous wives. It's complicated. And I don't do complicated anymore. So, bye-bye, don't let the doorknob hit you on the way out."

"Oh, yeah, now that I'm disowning Trinity United Church of Christ, I'm disowning Christ too. I was just going through the motions for the votes. But now I've got the nomination wrapped up and the Republicans have no more chance of winning than the Prohibition Party. So, adios Jesus.

"You may be wondering what I do believe in.

"Fate. My fate.

"And what ethnicity am I now?

"Let's just say: I used to be a Person of Color but now I'm a Man of Destiny."

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