October 10, 2009

Obama wins two Grammies


Barack Obama won Grammy Awards in 2006 and 2008.

Here's the list of Best Spoken Word Album Grammy winners for this decade from Wikipedia. See if you can notice a couple of patterns about who wins:
Evidently, you win this Grammy either for being a Democratic politician or for being black, so Obama, as is only right and fitting, has won two. He's like a Venn diagram of SWPL affectations.

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

The Nobel Participation Prize

Isn't Obama's Nobel Participation Prize a synecdoche of Obama's whole life, which has largely consisted of him getting handed goodies by white people just for showing up, just for being the SWPL black man raised by whites thousands of miles from any black community whom whites have been dreaming about since the first Sidney Poitier movie? Obamamania is essentially the acting out of 21st Century white self-infatuation.

What Obama contributes is a non-SWPL lack of irony, a shamelessness that allows him to wallow in this sea of self-congratulation. His genius is that he seems like the kind of self-aware modern white guy who couldn't, say, bring himself to actually accept the Nobel Prize because he gets the joke, but Obama doesn't turn it down. On a certain intellectual level, he grasps that everything that's happened to him over the last eight years is a joke, but on a more fundamental level, he doesn't care: he feels he deserves it.

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

October 9, 2009

Mickey Kaus wins the A.J. Liebling Award

Since everybody's handing out awards, I'm going to invent the A.J. Liebling Award -- named in memory of the journalist who boasted (accurately): "I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better" -- and give it to Mickey Kaus, who posted this on Friday at 2:48 AM (Pacific Time):
What Obama Should Do With His Nobel Peace Prize
Posted Friday, October 09, 2009 2:42 AM | By Mickey Kaus

Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he's honored but he hasn't had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory--and helps solve his narcissism problem and his Fred Armisen ('What's he done?') problem, demonstrating that he's uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he's started to realize it. ... Plus he doesn't have to waste time, during a fairly crucial period, working on yet another grand speech. ... And the downside is ... what? That the Nobel Committee feels dissed? ... P.S.: It's not as if Congress is going to think, well, he's won the Nobel Peace Prize so let's pass health care reform. But the possibility for a Nobel backlash seems non-farfetched. ... 2:48 A.M.

A reader writes;

Once, when writing about a boxer, Liebling said "'potential' just means he ain't done it yet".

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

UPDATED: Obama's Acceptance Speech

Here is the text of former President Barack Obama's farewell address, which he delivered before departing in the interstellar battlecruiser that had landed near the Washington Monument on Friday morning:
I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Directorate of the Milky Way to honor me by naming me Galactic Overlord.
Let me be clear. I do not view my apotheosis as Supreme Imperator of the Nine Million Subjugated Planets as a recognition of my own accomplishments.
Rather, it is an affirmation of Milky Wayling leadership on behalf of aspirations held by sentient life-forms across the entire local cluster of galaxies.
To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by the Galactic Overlordship, the men, the women, the self-fertilizing clones, the androids, the telepathic hive minds, and the cybernetic avatars who've inspired me (during the half hour I've been aware of their existence) and inspired the entire galaxy through their courageous pursuit of extending the Milky Way's hegemony over the Lesser Magellanic Cloud.
But I also know that my aggrandizement reflects the kind of cosmos that all Milky Waylings want to build, a trans-galactic imperium that gives life to the promise of our founding documents, such as, uh, that gold-plated recording of Johnny B. Goode that Carl Sagan shot out of the solar system on a space probe ... plus, no doubt, some other stuff.
And I know (at least since my conversation with Grand Vizier Xzqhtpv fifteen minutes ago) that throughout history the Overlordship has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes, such as the utter enslavement and/or annihilation of the Andromeda Galaxy.
And that is why I will accept exaltation to Supreme Imperator, as I've accepted so many promotions in the past, not just as a convenient career move, not merely as a way to continue to fail upward (although I do wish to extend my sincerest hope to the Altgeld Gardens community that somebody will finally get them organized for a change; yet, let us never forget, I did help get some of the asbestos removed), but as a call to action, a call for, uh ... can we back up the Teleprompter here? ... a call for all higher species to confront the common challenges facing the Galactic Empire in its 3,452nd eon of prepotency.


And to those doubters who whisper that I'm no more qualified for my new responsibilities than I was to chair the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, that my tenure as Galactic Overlord will prove as ineffectual as all my previous careers at accomplishing anything besides stoking my vanity, that I will soon require yet another promotion to sidestep the looming consequences of my inevitable mediocrity at my latest job, let me remind them that David Axelrod is already spinning my image in infinite parallel universes.

The Affirmative Action Nobel

From Reuters, not The Onion:
U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for giving the world "hope for a better future" and striving for nuclear disarmament.

The hilarious career of Barack Obama continues to demonstrate how much white people long to give money, fame, and power to a black guy who meets minimum standards of presentability, regardless of his lack of accomplishments.

P.S. You must check out Obama's very latest acceptance speech.

P.P.S. Lots of amusing comments below.

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

October 7, 2009

A high school coaching job, like insanity, is hereditary: You get it from your kids.

Something I noticed in researching my Taki's Magazine column on running backs is what a high percentage of star white high school athletes have their dads coaching them.

Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, a former NFL QB who played for his dad in high school, likes having players, such as his NCAA-leading running back Toby Gerhart, whose fathers were their high school coaches:
Kids who have been coached by their fathers, they are almost always really coachable kids,” Harbaugh said. “They take advice, they’re willing to learn. I’m happy to have them.”

Any teenager who will listen to his father will listen to any adult male authority figure.

So, is the correlation between star athletes and fathers who are employed coaching them in high school nurture? That makes sense. Football is a complicated game, and having a professional coach around the house can certainly help.

Or, is it nature? That also makes sense. Coaches tend to have been very good players, so some of their skill is likely passed down.

Yet, keep in mind a third possibility: reverse nepotism. There are a few high school coaches who have inherited their jobs from their star sons. Generally speaking, high schools aren't supposed to recruit grade school athletes, but hiring a kid's dad as a coach is okay.

(There's also regular nepotism, too, such as the high school coach who had his son play quarterback and Ben Roethlisberger, now QB of the Super Bowl champ Steelers, play wide receiver so his son would have a large target to throw the ball in the general direction of. The son went to a Division 3 college, washed out as quarterback, but wound up making a good Div 3 wide receiver.)

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

My Taki article on white running backs

From my Wednesday column in Taki's Magazine:
Let’s celebrate diversity! In Division 1-A college football, 19 of the top 20 players in rushing yards are—as sports fans expect—black. Yet, the #1 rusher is a white guy.

Toby Gerhart, Stanford’s 235-pound tailback, has piled up 650 yards on the ground to power lowly Stanford to a 4-1 overall record and a Pac-10 leading 3-0 conference mark. ...

Gerhart has been the most valuable running back in college football so far this season because Stanford doesn’t have much else going for it. Every defense knows Gerhart will be coming at them, but they haven’t stopped him yet.

Of course, there are many white running backs who shine in high school. ...

Why are white starting tailbacks so rare in college football (at least, outside of the Mountain Time Zone)? ...

To help you understand where I’m coming from in thinking about race and running backs, allow me to indulge in a little nostalgia concerning the first college football game I ever saw. It was November 16, 1968, and I was nine. My dad had taken me to the museums in Exposition Park next to the University of Southern California. When we came out, a few minutes after one in the afternoon, the parking lot was full and the Coliseum next door roaring over the rematch between defending national champion USC and the only team to beat them the year before, Oregon State.

With the game already underway, a desperate scalper offered to sell us two tickets for whatever my father had in his pockets, which turned out to be $1.10.

As my dad and I trudged ever upward to our 55-cent seats in what turned out to be the 89th (and top) row in the end zone, I started to wonder if the scalper hadn’t gotten the best of the deal. Standing on my seat, I could peer over the back wall of the Coliseum and see our 1963 Pontiac down in the parking lot. Still, our Goodyear Blimpish view through the goal posts was ideal for watching the encounter of two All-American running backs.

Read the whole thing there and comment about it below.

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

First woman to win Chemistry Nobel in 45 years

From the NYT:

Three scientists who showed how the information encoded on strands of DNA is translated into the thousands of proteins that make up living matter will share the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, the Swedish Academy of Sciences said Wednesday.

The trio are Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of the M.R.C. Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England; Thomas A. Steitz of Yale University; and Ada E. Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Each will get a third of the prize, worth 10 million Swedish kronors total, or $1.4 million, in a Dec. 10 ceremony in Stockholm.

Dr. Yonath is the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry since Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin in 1964 (in case you are wondering, Miss Crowfoot wasn't an American Indian), and the fourth woman since 1903. (Marie Curie won in 1911, after winning the physics Nobel in 1903, and her daughter Irene Joliot-Curie won in 1935.)

From 1965 through 2008, during the heart of the feminist era, the Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Chemistry Nobels to 84 men and zero women, which demonstrates conclusively to even somebody as ignorant of chemistry as me that Dr. Yonath's Nobel Prize is not an affirmative action token.

It's striking that in its three hard science prizes, the Swedish Academy of Sciences simply ignored all the political pressures for affirmative action and went about its business using the same objective standards as ever. This reminds me of something I wrote in a 2005 article about the Larry Summers brouhaha:

My wife asked, "So why hasn't the Nobel Foundation bowed to feminist pressure and started the usual crypto-quotas to make women feel better about themselves?"

"Because they don't have to?" I speculated. "After all, they're the Nobel Foundation."

"Exactly," she shot back. "And Larry Summers is the President of Harvard. So why can't he stand up to the feminists, too?"

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

Racial preferences at the Naval Academy

Bruce Fleming, a civilian English professor at Annapolis, has been pointing out how the Navy is corrupting itself in pursuit of Diversity:
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced in Annapolis recently that "diversity is the number one priority" at the Naval Academy.

He has a new post up (in hard to read typeface). I liked this comment on Thomas Rick's blog on Foreign Policy from Geschichtlich:

As a fellow USNA professor, I must concur entirely with Bruce's assessment. Don't underestimate the impetus of the Superintendent behind the current policy. The man is committed to gaining a fourth star, and cynically understands that the current course is likely appeal strongly to the current administration. And don't underestimate the significance of the policy as window-dressing. Somebody ought to ask our dear leader what proportion of his own community (nuclear power) are minorities, and then marvel when the notion of inviolable standards is invoked in defense of the shockingly low number.

All is revealing of a service that hasn't fought a real naval war in sixty years, hasn't had its doctrine, organization, personnel and promotion policies, or strategic posture really tested by a serious opponent in a long time. One cannot but recognize that such preposterous policies - at a military academy, no less - reflect an indolent service culture of peacetime politics.

You'll notice that affirmative action usually runs out at some point up the hierarchy, such as at the level of commanding ballistic nuclear missile boomers (thank God).

A subtle issue that hasn't been widely addressed is that employees of the Executive Branch, such as admirals, naturally assume that under President Obama pushing racial preferences is an even faster route to promotion than under previous Presidents. Unless Obama forthrightly states otherwise, affirmative action will inevitably get stronger under Obama even if he, himself, takes no positive steps.

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

Bill Ayers is enjoying this

From The National Journal:
Who actually wrote Dreams From My Father? The book cover says Barack Obama, but one corner of the right-wing blogosphere thinks Obama had a ghostwriter--and that it was Bill Ayers, onetime Weatherman, current academic, perpetual radical. National Journal caught up with Ayers at a recent book festival where he was exhorting a small crowd of listeners to remember that they are citizens, not subjects. "Open your eyes," he said. "Pay attention. Be astonished. Act, and doubt." When he finished speaking, we put the authorship question right to him. For a split second, Ayers was nonplussed. Then an Abbie Hoffmanish, steal-this-book-sort-of-smile lit up his face. He gently took National Journal by the arm. "Here's what I'm going to say. This is my quote. Be sure to write it down: 'Yes, I wrote Dreams From My Father. I ghostwrote the whole thing. I met with the president three or four times, and then I wrote the entire book.'" He released National Journal's arm, and beamed in Marxist triumph. "And now I would like the royalties." --Will Englund

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

October 6, 2009

For this you get a Nobel Prize?

Paul Krugman still can't grasp why years of stupid investments cause inevitable recessions.

Krugman denounces Arnold Kling's quasi-Austrian explanation of why busts occur. The reigning Nobel laureate proceeds to triumphantly zing Kling with what he thinks is a killer question:
And now as then, the whole notion falls apart when you ask why, say, a housing boom — which requires shifting resources into housing — doesn’t produce the same kind of unemployment as a housing bust that shifts resources out of housing.

Yes, that's what Dr. Krugman wrote: Why doesn't a housing boom cause the same kind of unemployment as a housing bust?

A commenter named Scott replies:

You don’t create unemployment by hiring people.

Seriously, Paul basically just asked “Why doesn’t hiring people create the same unemployment that firing does?”

And people take him seriously?

At much greater length, I had reviewed what was wrong with Krugman's thinking about recessions a year ago.

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

Ayers tells blogger in Starbucks he wrote "Dreams from My Father"

From Anne Leary of Backyard Conservative:
There I was, sitting in Reagan National Monday morning, sipping a Starbucks by the United counter before going through security. ... That's when I saw Bill Ayers, an instant blight. Scruffy, thinning beard, dippy earring, and the wirerims, heading to order. I gathered my things, got my camera ready, and snapped a shot right when he got his coffee.

I asked--what are you doing in D.C. Mr. Ayers?

... He said oh you mean GW, he said no...was trying to decide if I was a fan, then said he was giving a lecture in Arlington to a Renaissance group on education--that's what I do, education--you shouldn't believe everything you hear about me, you know nothing about me. I said, I know plenty--I'm from Chicago, a conservative blogger, and I'll post this. ...

Then, unprompted he said--I wrote Dreams From My Father. I said, oh, so you admit it. He said--Michelle asked me to. I looked at him. He seemed eager. He's about my height, short. He went on to say--and if you can prove it, we can split the royalties. So I said, stop pulling my leg. Horrible thought. But he came again--I really wrote it, the wording was similar. I said I believe you probably heavily edited it. He said--I wrote it. I said--why would I believe you, you're a liar.

He had no answer to that. Just looked at me. Then he turned and walked off, and said again his bit about my proving it and splitting the proceeds.

Clearly, the part about "and if you can prove it, we can split the royalties" is a joke on Ayers' part. How much of the rest of it is Ayers' pulling the leg of a conservative who accosts him, I don't know.

Ayers might just be idly amusing himself here.

Or, our recent discussions of the legally fuzzy nature of blackmail might be relevant here. It's a crime to try to extort money by threatening to reveal secrets unless one is paid off. But it's probably not a crime to make apparent jokes about royalties that could send a message to the potential blackmailee that he, e.g., POTUS, might want to make the first move toward reaching a quiet, mutually beneficial and quite legal financial settlement.

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

Sports Narcisstolgia

When I don't have anything worth saying about anything, I occasionally indulge in narcissistic sports nostalgia: i.e., making my favorite fading sports memories easier to find on the web.

This one took me years to hunt down, since it didn't even make SMU's Top 90 most memorable football moments, so you can see how unimportant it was. Apparently, practically nobody affiliated with Southern Methodist University cares about remembering it, but for some reason I do.

In 1976, SMU was 2-8 coming into their final game against 5-2-1 Arkansas. It was the last game for SMU's little wishbone quarterback Ricky Wesson, 5'9" and 163 pounds, who had started for the last three and half seasons. He wasn't much of a passer. These days he couldn't play quarterback anywhere except the military academies, but in those days there was a wide variety of offensive strategies in college football, and so there was room here and there for "good man in a foxhole" type undersized gamers.

In his finale against Arkansas, however, Wesson had the passing game of his life, throwing four touchdown passes (as well as rushing for 80 yards) to put SMU up 35-31.

Still, with a minute left, Arkansas was driving down the field past the overmatched SMU defense for a seemingly inevitable come-from-behind win. So, quarterback Wesson begged his coach Ron Meyer to put him in on defense at free safety. He made the interception in the end zone to save the game.

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

October 5, 2009

Women and the Nobel Prize in Medicine

Nicholas Wade in the NYT reports:

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded this year to three American scientists who solved a problem of cell biology with deep relevance to cancer and aging. The three will receive equal shares of a prize worth around $1.4 million.

The recipients solved a longstanding puzzle involving the ends of chromosomes, the giant molecules of DNA that embody the genetic information. These ends, called telomeres, get shorter each time a cell divides and so serve as a kind of clock that counts off the cell’s allotted span of life.

The three winners are Elizabeth H. Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, Carol W. Greider of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Jack W. Szostak of Massachusetts General Hospital.

The two other 2009 hard science Nobels are not out yet, but this announcement reflects an on-going trend in which the top female scientific talent is concentrating in the life sciences and leaving the lifeless sciences, physics and chemistry, to the boys.

Here's a list of all female winners (keep in mind that there have been more multiple winners in recent years -- in other words, it's gotten easier to be a Nobel Laureate in recent years because prizes are more often fractured):
So, before 1965, women won five Nobels in physics or chemistry vs. only one in medicine. Since then, women have won zero in physics or chemistry (warning: this could change this week) versus nine in medicine.

This strikes me as healthy: women specializing in what they (and I, as a beneficiary of medical science) find most important. Of course, in the wake of the 2005 Larry Summers brouhaha, vast amounts of money are being spent to lure women scientists away from the life sciences and into the inanimate sciences in the name of diversity. Will all that money spent make humanity better off?

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

October 4, 2009

How the GOP can survive through 2050

Here's an excerpt from my new VDARE.com column:

But let’s be realistic. Being, in essence, the white party makes the GOP uncool. And that’s only going to get worse as the impact of decades of indoctrination in the uncoolness of white people by the school system and Main Stream Media continue to pile up.

Further, contra Karl Rove, the GOP will never be able to shake its white party image. It will either increase its share of the white vote or it will go out of business as a party capable of winning national power.

My suggestion: the only long-term option for the Republicans, the de facto white party, is to rebrand the Democrats as the de facto black party.

Not the Minority Party or the Cool, Hip, Multicultural Party—but the Black Party. Go with the flow of the fundamental Manichaeism of American thought: Black versus White.

Sure, it’s kind of retarded, but Americans, especially American intellectuals and pundits, aren’t good at thinking in terms of shades of brown. You can’t beat it, so use it.

Hispanics and Asians certainly will never be terribly happy with the idea of being junior partners in the white party. (Indeed, lots of white people have an allergy to belonging to the white party.) Hence, the alternative must be framed that if Hispanics and Asians don’t want to be junior partners in the white party, they get to be junior partners in the black party.

Black or white: choose one.

Or they can not choose and stay home on Election Day. Half a loaf is better than none.

The cunning required in rebranding the Democrats as the black party is to not criticize the Democrats for being the vehicle of African-American political activism, but to praise them for it, over and over, in the most offhand “everybody-knows” ways.

Republicans can hurry along the coming Democratic train wreck by, for example, lauding blacks as the “moral core” of the Democratic Party. Respectfully point out that the Democratic Party is the rightful agent for the assertion of African-American racial interests, and that advancing black interests is central to the nature of the Democratic Party. Note that, while individual blacks wishing to vote for the good of the country are more than welcome in the GOP, black racial activists have their natural home in the Democratic Party. That’s what the Democrats are there for.

Don’t argue it. Just treat it as a given.

Moreover, Republican rhetoric should encourage feelings of proprietariness among blacks toward their Democratic Party. It’s not all that hard to get blacks to feel that they morally deserve something, such as, for example, predominance in the Democratic Party. African-Americans are good at feeling that others owe them things.

This kind of subtle language, casually repeated, puts Democrats in a delicate spot. Either they insult blacks by denying this presumption, or they alarm their Asian, Hispanic, and white supporters by not denying it. As everybody knows, but seldom says, black political dominance hasn’t worked out well for places as far apart as Detroit and Zimbabwe.

For instance, 2016 on the Democratic side will be interesting. If Obama wins re-election in 2012, blacks will argue, not unreasonably, that they’ve brought the Democrats political prosperity and therefore a black deserves a spot on the 2016 national ticket. If Obama loses re-election, the media will relentlessly blame it on white racism, and blacks in 2016 will demand a black candidate to fight the scourge of anti-black feelings.

Even if blacks are rebuffed by the Democrats in the 2016 nominating process, they aren’t going to vote Republican in the fall of 2016. But without a black on the ballot, they won’t show up to vote in quite the huge numbers seen in 2008.

Conversely, if the Democrats pander to blacks in 2016, thus establishing a precedent of a permanent black spot on the national ticket, that will raise severe questions among the rest of this awkward alliance.

Meanwhile, as the black sense of rightful ascendancy in the Democratic Party becomes more pronounced, Hispanics will be demanding that their burgeoning numbers mean that it’s now their turn. More Asians will wonder why they are supporting an agglomeration dominated by blacks who don’t share their values. And white Democrats will wonder how exactly they can prosper in a party where everybody else is allowed to speak out in internal disputes as representatives of a legitimately aggrieved racial group, but they aren’t.

The GOP faces a daunting future of their own making. Then, again, so do the Democrats.

Democrats should be helpfully assisted in realizing this.

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

Older VDARE.com column: How the GOP can survive in 2050

Here's an excerpt from one of my VDARE.com columns:

Recently, the bloggers Cold Equations and One STDV looked at the Census Bureau’s 2050 population projections, and in effect tried to update the 1997 Brimelow-Rubenstein forecast of the partisan tilt of the playing field in the 2048 and 2052 Presidential elections, assuming the GOP garners the same share of the vote within each race as in this decade. Upon that base, I built a model with a few more factors, such as age and citizenship differences.

The result: If—as in some time-loop nightmare—we just refought the 2008 election over and over, mere demographic change alone would propel the Democrats from 53 percent last year to 59 percent by mid-century.

That is, if the GOP keeps doing what it did in 2008, the country will become a more or less one-party regime—just like the President’s chosen hometown of Chicago. And that might be the best case scenario. Think Detroit. Or New Orleans.

And yet the GOP’s plight is not hopeless. Looking at my statistical model of the 2048-2052 elections: if

1. The GOP’s share of the white vote grows from 55 percent to 70 percent; and
2. White turnout returns to the level seen in 1992 (during Ross Perot’s insurgent run),

Then, all else being equal, GOP candidates would still win in the middle of the 21st century. The party would get a 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent majority in the popular vote in 2052.

To put that in current perspective, about one third of Obama’s white voters would have had to switch to Republican by 2052.

That certainly wouldn’t be easy.

But does anybody have a better plan?

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